” Fight Club “

 Let me start off by telling you the movie has nothing to do with the book. It’s the difference between a successful author’s first book and Hollywood. You’ve seen the movie, and the book is then discredited. I know one person who became engulfed in the book and I’m still awaiting a thank you for recommending it. Just kidding. I read a couple of Palahnuik’s other books and then read Fight Club. I didn’t expect much because I’d seen the movie. Wrong. And I’m seeing it from a better angle after nearly dying and hitting a low. 

I refer to the book often, as you’ve seen. The most importantly, I compare my hospital stay to a fight. That makes sense, right? “Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered.” You’ve seen how I don’t care about television and status symbols, but it goes a lot farther than that. I’d like to eat only rice and drink only water, but can’t. [I wanted to become a minimalist.] I’m seeing people, nature and sports as important, and only those. I used to care what strangers thought of me, but I now do not and it’s damn nice. It works on many levels.

Now, I’m going to pull quotes from a page of quotes and validate them through my own experience. Ready?

On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.

Thought I’d start with an easy one. I’m going to die one day, and this is extremely basic but it’s never been so apparent in a very real way. You don’t know how you’re going to die in the same way that I know it. I won’t live another day with something I’ll regret not doing. It might have negative consequence but I won’t have to wonder what would have happened. I look back at the previous decades of my life and only see the things I hadn’t done as regrets. I regret not telling Tiffany how I felt whereas I don’t quite regret anything I have done—even my accident.

This was freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.

I can get away with most anything now that I’m an injured, “special” person. I called a woman a slur in the hospital and a friend laughed, saying that would be the only time I could fully get away with something like that.

This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.

I’ve already been here for twenty-three years. It’s never been more obvious that I’ve been here for a long time and don’t have much to show for it. I haven’t accomplished much at all. Unfortunately I don’t see it changing much, but I’m trying to keep busy—when I’m at the computer I’m creating something. I’ve never done this before. Surfing the SomethingAwful forums and chatting were my regular activities. Even if my webpage doesn’t get any hits, I’ve got this as a journal to look back on when I’m old and wondering about the most exciting time in my life. 

If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?

I didn’t wake up as a different person, but my priorities in life have changed. Improved. I’m more caring about myself and I’m not ‘dead inside’ like I see so many of you in front of televisions doing. [Nevermind.] Someone who was close to me commented that I’m not the same, and I guess she’s right in the artificial ways. I’m in the same place physically, but I’m in a place where recovery is vital. I’m trying not to waste any time, yet that’s a very hard thing to do.

One minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.

When you achieve something perfect, you only want that memory of achieving perfection. You just want the memory; it doesn’t have to last as a keepsake. I can know I did a good job acting in a play in grade school. I don’t know what play it was or what my lines were, but knowing that I did okay is all I need.

And I wasn’t the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue.

Consumerism makes me vomit.

You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.

I was a Subaru fanatic. I’d watch the World Rally Championship races and I knew who the drivers were. I’d wash and wax that car whenever it needed a treatment. I’d make sure the rims were clean and the tires were shiny. I’d be careful not to scratch my Movado and make sure the face was clean. All reasonable things to do but time consuming. I was obligated to work for those things. And I’m not saying that it was bad, but I now know that life has more to offer than material objects. The next car I have won’t be babied. I see too many people living through their cars and homes. I’ve never known how people can live with substandard belongings, but I now see some value in that. I hope the first house I buy will be really friggin’ luxurious, but I don’t see that as desirable as I did in the past. I pray it won’t make me lazy.

“If you don’t know what you want,” the doorman said, “you end up with a lot you don’t.”

I look around my room and see a lot of car posters, which I haven’t taken them down. Yet. I see a projector worth a few thousand dollars, and I don’t expect to use it. I see a television turned sideways because I refuse to watch it.

May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect. Deliver me, Tyler, from being perfect and complete.

I can’t relate to this one, but I can see the value in living for something. I’ll be living to simply return to the condition I was in, and I can smile knowing that I’m living for something. I can see why parents want to have children for the first time. There’s that need to give the child the best care possible.

I just don’t want to die without a few scars.

I’m not mad about the scars I’ve got. Mementos. People have joked that I should say I got them in a knife fight, but I’ll tell the real story about how I’m almost not here. I could steal the floor by flashing these scars. I’m a little self-conscious, but only a little. 

After a night in fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down. Nothing can piss you off. Your word is law, and if other people break that law or question you, even that doesn’t piss you off.

I’m not as likely to complain about trivial things. I used to complain a lot because I thought it made me look above them. I’ve had better lobster! I can’t complain about a restaurant’s food when I have the knowledge that I’ve been on a stomach tube for weeks floating around in the back of my head.

It used to be enough that when I came home angry and knowing that my life wasn’t toeing my five-year plan, I could clean my condominium or detail my car. Someday I’d be dead without a scar and there would be a really nice condo and car.

When something pissed me off I would turn on the television, lay back and die inside. Or drink. People give the advice of doing something productive when you’re angry, and I can see that for back when I lifted weights. I’m seeing this as something I need to continue doing. The lifting; not the drinking. I can also see how we don’t want to take any risks in life. I don’t mean to alarm you but I’m a little more likely to put my well-being on the line for a very important reason.

Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer…. Maybe self-destruction is the answer.

I’m a better person because of this “tragedy.” I’ve sorted my life out fully, and any issues have evaporated. I’m going as far as saying that it’s the best thing that will ever happen to me. I’ve hit rock bottom and it’s only up from here. Even saying that is comforting. Please don’t worry about me. I’d talked to a therapist in the past, but I don’t see any value in that. This near-death experience has been infinitely more valuable than any soup for the soul.

The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says.


You aren’t alive anywhere like you’re alive at fight club…. Fight club isn’t about winning or losing fights. Fight club isn’t about words. You see a guy come to fight club for the first time, and his ass is a loaf of white bread. You see this same guy here six months later, and he looks carved out of wood. This guy trusts himself to handle anything. There’s grunting and noise at fight club like at the gym, but fight club isn’t about looking good. There’s hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved.


At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.

I’m changing the things that I think are important. I’ve stopped doing the things that I think are useless. I see love as important, and I’m trying to achieve that. I believe that’s the most important thing there is. My life isn’t completely new, but a part of me wishes that it was. I’m not free to do anything, so maybe a little piece of me wishes that I’ll lose everything. I can’t be mad about what I’ve lost. And I haven’t even lost that much. A car and a girl. Thinking about that, a larger piece of me wishes that I’ve lost everything. If I’m older, single, and don’t care for the job I have, I’ll pack up some money and move to another country. 

Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered. 

I don’t keep track of the news. I’m not caring about some of the same things that I used to. Sure.

“It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.”

I haven’t lost everything but I’ve lost enough. I see that I am stuck to certain things. It’s too bad.

By this time next week, each guy on the Assault Committee has to pick a fight where he won’t come out a hero. And not in fight club. This is harder than it sounds. A man on the street will do anything not to fight. The idea is to take some Joe on the street who’s never been in a fight and recruit him. Let him experience winning for the first time in his life. Get him to explode. Give him permission to beat the crap out of you. You can take it. If you win, you screwed up. “What we have to do, people,” Tyler told the committee, “is remind these guys what kind of power they still have.”

I know the world would be a better place if everyone saw the world from my angle. Not along the lines of a car accident, but just the outlook. The world would not be a war of business. And everyone would hug teddy bears. Frankly I don’t know what I’m talking about.

After a night in fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down. Nothing can piss you off. Your word is law, and if other people break that law or question you, even that doesn’t piss you off.

I can’t be mad if there’s no ice cream left. I’m lucky to be here, and that’s a powerful thing to have. I’ve said that if I get fired from a job for coming in late, at least I was able to do the work. That isn’t a good example, but no one knew if I would ever leave a care-facility. 

At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.

I was bored with life. I don’t know why, but my girlfriend and car left me feeling that I was missing something. I’ve lost those and feel like I could start over and do anything that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m sticking with computer science [I didn’t.], but it makes me wonder what I’d really like to do if that knowledge was erased.

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.

For a reason I don’t know, I feel that I can relate to any human for the first time. I used to be a racist, but I see that we all end up in the same place.

…you’re not how much money you’ve got in the bank. You’re not your job. You’re not your family, and you’re not who you tell yourself…. You’re not your name…. You’re not your problems…. You’re not your age…. You are not your hopes.

Again, I see too many people living through their possessions. I was very, very guilty of this.

You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.

The consumerism. I know that many elderly people who know that death is around the corner wish they could do it all over again because they were living for the wrong reasons. This mainly the reason that I think my life will be more successful. Money.

We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.

I wasn’t going to include this because it’s fairly personal. I was a little depressed when I left Northeastern. I didn’t have a lot going on in my life and something needed to fill the void. I’ll go as far as saying that anyone who is depressed only needs something to live for. I’m living for restoring my condition, and at least that’s something.

…when deep-space exploitation ramps up, it will probably be the megatonic corporations that discover all the new planets and map them. The IBM Stellar Sphere. The Philip Morris Galaxy. Planet Denny’s. Every planet will take on the corporate identity of whoever rapes it first. Budweiser World. 

I touched upon the commercialism and this nails it. I wasn’t exposed to any in the hospital, and it now makes me sick. I hope that Brian is going to see this when he returns from Iraq. I can’t believe I was never able to see this. It’s painfully blatant.

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