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Canted Angle Media (Everything Relatively Applicable) is the brainchild of Jed Nichols. As a cinematographer, director, writer and actor, Jed's passion for art finds itself most drawn toward the world of narrative filmmaking. On this site, Jed shares stories from his adventures as a short film creator, purveyor of the arts, and reviews of popular films and other artistic mediums. 

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The Anxieties of Life & the Depths of Uncharted Space

January 3, 2020


Maybe there's nothing I will ever do that matters to the world on the full scale. Maybe, life is this nihilistic ride, where everything is permitted within law, moral boundaries are just guidelines, and the greatest message I'll ever spread is that nothing matters in the end. In the end, you're dead. You've got the rest of your life to die slow. Or, maybe you'll shock us all by dying by accident. Death is inconsequential, until it's the death of your loved one, or the death of a loved one's loved one. 


The cold, vast emptiness of space surely feels a lot like where death takes place. A place that holds everything to have ever existed, and hosts the overwhelming nothingness sprawled between the planets, all the same. We break our backs for our purpose, yet we'll never create the one sneaker that changes all of humanity's foot problems, or discover the most perfect sound in all of creation through music. Yet, we wake up, every day, and we try to, at the very least, survive long enough to eat dinner. People who don't like to eat, and who also see no purpose in life, they must really have it bad. At least, I enjoy eating enough to want to survive for tacos by day's end.


I wonder how often today might be my last taco; maybe a rogue bullet will fly through the side of my house, or through the ceiling by a fight upstairs that spiraled quickly out of control at the neighbor's, striking me as I sit on this dilapidated, orange behemoth of a chair, adorned with crown-shaped argyle, binging on Rick & Morty. Maybe, while I'm driving on the highway, someone will have been staring at their phone in the opposite lane, lost sight of the road, swerved to miss a deer, dashed through the median, and hit me full force at 70mph, killing me instantly.


Maybe, I'll die of a heart attack I didn't know was coming, that I'd not prepared for with sit-ups and a healthy diet, just blowing up my heart in the middle of a walk with my dog Murphy. Maybe, my apnea will get the best of me, despite sleeping with a machine, and I'll just croak in my sleep. 


Maybe, just maybe, we'll see World War 3 in my lifetime, and I'll die, grasping my mother in a long embrace, finally being engulfed in flame and fallout from a thunderous symphony of atomic bombs set off by every major nation on Earth; we finally did the thing Kubrick warned us about in that movie with the long name. Congratulations, humanity. You built something powerful enough to extinguish an entire fucking planet of living creatures, nuking all but the most resilient of organisms, too small to even understand the waste of flesh and concrete that now surrounds them.


I can paint a dark picture, but only for about ten seconds, before the histamines in my body swell and the blood rushes to my chest to protect my heart from the death my synapses sense, the "fight" portion of "fight, or flight", trying to guard my most valuable organ like an ancient moat filled with pissed off, hungry alligators and gar, floating in watch for any invasion that might find itself arriving in their waters. The only problem is, the more pissed off the 'gators, the more riled up the water becomes, until it's unmanageable, bloated with festering bubbles, and angrily thrashing against the castle walls.


Anxiety, and these thoughts, are new for me; I've never truly experienced anxiety. At once, I was the person who'd say "hey, just don't have anxiety, we can do something to distract ourselves from what's hurting you" to friends; and, now, I'm the friend who leaves early because the crowd's too raucous, or I had a bad experience with someone and they said something that triggered the fight in my blood, and without my fucking permission, my body started to go into survival mode during an intense moment in one of my favorite action movies.


There's only so much giving it to Space God that I can do before I realize, God created the people who created medicine - if you're persuaded into believing in the same deity I have ailing faith in - and gave them the knowledge to create hydroxyzine, an anti-histamine that absolutely punches my face in its taint when I take, because, after all, it's IMPOSSIBLE to have anxiety, if you're comatose from the medication.


I guess, in a way, anxiety has been my best friend. After all, I got hit so hard by anxiety that I learned I had been a real bastard to people. And, by virtue of having to take life slow now and stop giving a fuck about literally EVERY minute detail or inconvenience, I found out I'd lost my sense of sensibility with others. That's right, I've been a hater for a while, a g-dang unsainted asshat, crippled by an anxiety issue he couldn't even see. Me, the guy who spends more time in your head than you do, couldn't even tell he'd been broken, had been breaking, was consistently, daily breaking himself, for no purpose, per se, just because it felt good to be mad at anything.


I've done pretty well the last few weeks, though I am now dealing with pockets of anxiety once a few weeks, which rears its head in the aforementioned feeling in my chest, an inability to control my thinking, which leads to spiraling, incoherent and confusing conversations where I forget everyone has a side. My holidays were touched by a few anxiety-ridden disrespects toward others. On Thanksgiving, the dinner party I was attending was a bit loud, led by a concerto of puppies pupping, and family talking. I made a loud comment to my mom to be quiet, and then I went to the bathroom for ten minutes, finally walking out of the room feeling like a failure.


Christmas Eve, same thing. I was tired from a trip and extraneous chatter in my professional life, and, again, I made an ass of myself. My mom had to leave the room because I was upset and talking loudly, grasping for a point in my onslaught that I could latch onto and explain why I was having what I thought was righteous indignation at the time. Turns out, I am just a cunt.


New Years Eve, giant mess of a day. NYE is also my old brother's birthday. He passed unexpectedly in 2016. I am certain my tailspin is due in whole to losing him. On this day, I spoke to my loved one in a way that should've sealed our relationship in a coffin and buried it in concrete. I am fortunate to even hear her voice, let alone cook dinner and love her from arms-length proximity, by her grace alone. I don't deserve her love. Yet, she is grace, and unconditional love, personified. 


I'm going to be better. I think I am, most days. Sometimes, I'm off my rocker. The meds calm that down, so long as I'm within a few feet of my bed to break my fall an hour of swallowing. I saw another nihilist saying on their Twitter that "it's not going to be okay, quit saying that phrase", and I'd just like to tell that person, without actually telling them, that they can fuck off. It will be okay... with practice, meds only when the anxiety isn't psychologically manageable, with grace and persistence, with resilience, with the love of those I am humbled to still be able to know intimately. I send my love to you all. My hope is that we grow together, in discourse, and find our way out of the darkness of space infinite.





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