Cake and Icing

Quarter of two. Had my lunch. I feel like a hollow vessel, a body with only air for a soul. It doesn’t feel bad. I wish I could just once get a night’s deep sleep. I can manage only a slumber. Reality doesn’t feel real, as if I could wake up from it suddenly and be somewhere else. It doesn’t matter much to me what I say to people. I don’t pity anybody, as the flip side to not feeling guilty for anything. My good mood is melting to something I can’t define. This is not me. I don’t recognize this person. The clouds outside bulge with muscle, gray and white, while letting the sun dominate temporarily. Again I feel like Atlas or like Sisyphus, waiting for relief from a Hercules. Someone to allow me to breathe… I can hear Jaco playing on Heavy Weather. 1977. I picked up the cassette tape originally in August 1988— and was totally blown away. Within a month I was trying to emulate his style. It seemed like a realistic goal for me, so I pursued it… But reflecting on the memory depresses me because I was a jerk that year. I didn’t know what I was doing with music. All I can say now is that I learned a lot, and got a lot of enjoyment along the way.

Three twenty. Thinking again, college was really quite selfish and shallow, and above all, materialistic. Maybe there was a deeper reason why I fired my psychiatrist, who was another materialist and empiricist. Sometimes he lacked moral fiber, withholding the truth from his clients in order to make them obey. He and others like him are icing on the cake rather than the layers themselves. Gradually I have come to prefer substance to show. This started when I was thirty years old, and it has been consistent with me. What really matters is the truth, however ugly or beautiful it is. I can’t deny that there’s a lot to be said for the inner reality as opposed to the outer appearance. Whatever is moral is what is good and true. Whatever resonates with the conscience is beautiful and right… In some ways, my education misguided me, yet studying the Renaissance was a great thing. I see a few smoky clouds in the east outside my window, but the sun dominates, making splashes of pale yellow on the ground through the magnolia branches. Shakespeare said that the truth will out. And he’s right about that. A life of lies and deceit, of duplicity and perfidy, eventually catches up to a person. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking?

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