matt pond PA

April 16, 2018

Watching the Fake Detectives.

Before I devoted my life to fictional claims of solving make-believe crimes, I was just a human being. I popped popcorn on the stove, watched old films and wrote music in an attempt to make sense of my existence. It was a way to circumvent the parts of my personality that I dislike in order to connect with other human beings. Probably no better than a decent ventriloquist. I loved cracking the codes of sorrow. I loved singing about irretrievable sentences, the wrongly worded runaways of regret.

I’d sway in the shower under the magic rain of modern plumbing, singing these songs to myself. It was all I needed.

Times changed, the perspective of purpose and understanding shifted. My interpretation of humanity had to shift accordingly. So I became a fake detective.

As a law-abiding phantom, I had to define the parameters of my unreal reality. The same way that ghosts need to go sheet-shopping every fall, I needed to understand the length and width of my nonexistence.

Fake detectives are not licensed to perform any particular duties. We merely follow the voices in our heads, a bargain-basement higher calling. Some might say fake detectives are creating a new religion. Others contend we are insane. (If the shoe is an appropriate size, I am generally amenable to placing it on my foot.)

Fake detectives are not meteorologists. We cannot stop the cold fronts that continue to bash the Catskills. But we will yell at the wind for a small stipend.

Fake detectives are often and easily confused. Meaning was once believed to be meaningful, and love was indefinable and everything. People created and coexisted in order to create and coexist. Money and fame weren’t the pinnacle of human achievement. Brilliant thoughts, hard work, eloquent debate, generosity, empathy, talent, trust and sick guitar leads were tops. That was that.

The Popularity Contest used to be an empty, looked-down-upon pursuit — at one time understood to be a vapid enterprise for kids of all ages just trying to fit in, forgoing the risk of individuality for the sake and safety of social ascension.

Now that living and breathing have been numerically repackaged, bubbling to the top is the goal of nearly all our actions. We trick and treat ourselves into believing there’s an organic purpose to our virtual world rather than facing the facts. As if we could control the algorithms that are developed to control us. And we submit willingly — advancing toward an age where we’re defined purely by what we like and buy. Simultaneously disregarding truth and beauty by doubting and deconstructing their value. Truth and beauty are out smoking cigarettes on the bleachers, black and white and eternally awkward.

I don’t mean to be a downer. I have to report my findings because it’s a part of my fake job. It would be wrong of me to shower myself in Monopoly Money without telling you the truth.