Overarching all of this daily strife is the war between theism and atheism, and I contend for the former side. It tore me away from Kate, but we couldn’t make that work anyway. James and I are on opposite sides, yet the rivalry is friendly — usually. Every day is a battle with psychosexual forces, and peaceful reprieves are only temporary. Sober life sucks when I have to be aggressive on defense and sometimes offense. Everyone wants to convert me to their religion in a broad sense. OK; give me a sword and shield and put me in the fray. Nothing is ever permanent except the waves…

Rant against Psychologists

I may cancel my assessment for Wed. Therapy is a huge waste of time and money, since at bottom there is no rock. The only truth is not human, not god, not sex, not money, not cars, not drugs, not rock ‘n’ roll; the only truth is giving. And I hate feeling obligated to undergo such psychic vivisection when there’s really no fucking point. Who was it that made me feel so mandated? When I began therapy almost a year ago, I was still drinking. I couldn’t make informed decisions in such a state. Over the subsequent months, as I grew more aware, I never felt as if the therapist particularly liked me. That gave me no reason to like her, either. In fact, toward the end it was more like hate. I felt helpless and in someone else’s power. She was Victor Frankenstein and I was her reanimated monster, or such was the idea. I don’t know. I don’t think talk therapy is a good idea for people with schizophrenia. Possibly it is bad for people without it. Just give me the medication and leave me alone. I doubt if evidence beyond mere correlation exists for any behavioral etiology for schizophrenia. On the other hand, that chemical imbalances are involved is shown by the fact that the right medications do help with the symptoms. And, schizophrenia has a genetic basis, as evidenced by its incidence in families and twin studies. Psychologists (behavioral) and psychiatrists (biological) often oppose each other in their strategies to help patients with schizo. In my 27 years of experience since diagnosis, I lean strongly in favor of the latter. The first psychologist who treated me was entirely unaware that I was having my initial episode of the illness. He was ignorant and inexperienced. Worse, he urged me away from my major of English and to go back and do the coursework for biology, as that, he judged, was more suitable for a man. The result of this misguidance was a delay of six years in me completing my English degree. It took a psychiatrist to correct the psychologist’s asinine mistake and talk me into finishing college. We are talking about a waste of six years of a young man’s life.

It is difficult to write of my bitter experience with therapists without anger. Deep breaths and count to ten. At least now the reader knows where I stand regarding the treatment of schizophrenia. Talk therapy, for me, caused far more harm than good. I wish to prevent similar disasters from happening to other people. Thank you for reading.

Seize the Dog

When human satisfactions are just not available, when it’s no longer clear which way is up or down, and when making sense of human “nature” becomes a “wilderness of mirrors” — enter my dog at my hand, with in his mouth his red rubber treat toy waiting to be filled not with empty desires, but with a square of cheddar from the fridge.

When this innocence presents itself, of what value is any human talk therapy? Such a dirty affair can drag on for ten years to a lifetime, involving one in a quagmire that only sucks her in deeper the more she moves an inch. Emotional and mental quicksand drags a person only closer to despair and death, while this canine’s simple trust and loyalty stands by, a promise of life’s potential away from the clinic.

And so I advise those who care enough to read and acknowledge, including myself, who needs this advice most of all: seize the dog or cat or hamster or goldfish or whoever depends on you. Like “an apple a day” to the doctor, a pet keeps the psychologist away. No human lusts are worth the life-saving innocence and absolute love offered by our dogs. Time ticks away while we age and either seize the opportunity or not. Psychology wastes precious time and also money. Save both and rescue an animal from the shelter.

Brought to you by “Aesop.”

For My Mother’s Birthday

I ought to pull out my Aria bass, clean it up, and play it. I neglect it for some reason. It was Oct 2009 when I bought it. I remember how those Sister Missionaries came to my door when I happened to be playing it. I gave them my time because Sister Zimmerman was pretty, and both were fairly intelligent. At the time, I was concerned about my drinking… and I was just lonely after having quit my job. Sister Z’s eyes were large gray almonds, and she appeared a little zoned out. It was a gray fall day when they came. Aguilar was the other one’s name. She claimed that just by prayerfully reading the Book of Mormon she came to know in her heart what the truth was. So I tried it myself, unsuccessfully. My reason just couldn’t accept that a tribe of white people had always lived in the Americas, and that American Indians didn’t exist. I’d learned in fifth grade about the land bridge between northeast Asia and Alaska over which the natives traveled, accounting for the similarity in facial features between modern people in both places. Much as I liked Sister Z’s almond eyes, I could not be hypnotized. So I let the Mormons go and kept on drinking. What better excuse to drink than that I knew my grade school lessons? How smart I was! Therefore I deserved my 12-pk every other day, funds permitting. And I drank and I drank and I drank. Henry the Pug also provided me with rationales. I bought him treats today, or I took him for a walk or to the vet, etc, therefore I deserved my 12-pks for being a good dog owner. And amid this sordid history, occasionally I would play my Aria and imagine it to be the flagship bass of the series. It was not, and never could be. I listened to its tone as I played, and descried that it sounded like no instruments on the radio, nothing familiar that could inspire me. It’s not necessarily a bad tone that is so nondescript. I also lay the Aria down on one chair, sat opposite it on the other, and drank stupidly, admiring the thing’s body contours and rationalizing it into the archetypal bass. Someday I would make my SB-404 a famous tone. What in reality was any bass I would immortalize — someday, over the rainbow. Meanwhile, the ovangkol instrument sat there, not knowing its celebrated destiny. Henry, my dog, shared the loveseat with me, weakening with age day by day, while I drank and drank obliviously, passing the time and pissing my life away. Still, the Aria sleeps down the hall, covered with the dust of disuse and maybe even, within, leaked battery acid. Then, there is always tomorrow to clean it and plug it in, disturbing the dirt of a wasted past I’d otherwise wish away…

Somewhere in Scotland

I sorely miss Kate. It wrings my soul to think on the song she liked by Squeeze: “Tempted.” Kate was proud of her body and needed to share it. She needed love, and her “fruit” she considered her best asset. She shared the image of her body with me, for which I am grateful, yet still unfulfilled. That’s the crux of social media: you can’t reach out and grab it. It resolves into a purely mental experience the non-tactility of which is nothing short of torture. My memories of Kate remain — sort of, but changed with the absence of alcohol. Intoxication helped create the illusion of realness. The glowing fumes froze and crystallized into some kingdom of heaven I could access every useless day. As long as I had $$, I could keep the paradise going. But when it ran out by mid-month, heaven flipped to the hell of withdrawals. Kate couldn’t wait for me any longer while I fought my war with addiction. I don’t blame her. I hope she’s happy in her little Scotland today with her interesting family. My heart is with her.

The Uncreated

Five am – What if “nature” to mean innateness doesn’t exist? This would be John Locke again. Religion would not be “nature” either, but we need something for guidance. How was it I had such terrible social problems early in school? Was it only from having shitty parents who abused me at home? Isn’t that cause enough? What was the point in Upanishads of, “You are that, Svetaketu?” Perhaps that human “nature” is as void and formless as Brahman. It is zero, as zen proposes. And this would be all right, if people even still study Hinduism. The zero is peaceable, at least. It sits still and has no extension. It is nowhere and nowhen. It has no primary or secondary qualities. No body and no conditions. No birth, no death, no love, no hate: nothing. It is shantih, peace beyond understanding. Can we wrap our heads around nothing? It is sleep without dreaming. It has no past and no future, nor need of either. No need of needing, be of being, act of acting. It craves nothing. Creates nor destroys nothing. It is Vishnu without a dream. Finally, it is without w—-


Imagine it is last Friday morning at ~9:45. I am volunteering my time and effort at my church for Food for —- County. Somehow, I’ve ended up following Stacie about like a puppy. So here we are in the fellowship hall, with her standing by the opened freezer and me at the corner of a table loaded with cardboard boxes of meat. Thus organized, we implement a system of unpacking meat and shoving it in the freezer. Two or three packages come out at a time: I say, according to category, beef, pork, whole chicken, turkey, and so on, hand them to Stacie, and she stuffs them in her freezer wherever there is room. One package has come open: “That’s garbage,” she says, so I dutifully dispose of it. We continue packing away meat until there is no more. Hence to the produce: I break open bags of apples, Stacie manipulates the carrots. She then remembers the rubber gloves, being mindful that some recipients will have acquired immune deficiencies. Equipped with gloves, we finish the job and repair to the kitchen. Stacie and Nan arrange the clean cups on trays. The former then turns to me and inquires if I need a ride home. From where I sit on a chair I answer, “It’d be nice.”

Off on her way to drop me off, Stacie points out the house where Nan lives, three streets east of mine. I observe it and say, “I’ll have to drop in on her sometime.” Stacie says I will find Nan gardening in her front yard; that Nan has quite a green thumb. I direct Stacie to almost all the way to the end of the avenue. Arrived at my house, I forget to caution her about scraping her car’s bottom on my driveway. We just miss, and then I’m home free. All for the flag of feeding the hungry!