Wee hours.

I just remembered a book I started reading in fall of 2017, by Rupi Kaur, titled The Sun and Her Flowers. I only bought it because it was a top bestseller on Amazon and I was curious to know about current trends in thought. The main thing I observed was how the poet cut herself off from men altogether. But it doesn’t stop there. I also read Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich and found a similar attitude of isolation and radical privacy in the female protagonist. And just a few days ago I scanned some writing by Le Guin and saw how she blamed testosterone for war.

On my receipts from the veterinary hospital, the description of my dog no longer says “male neuter;” it says “castrated.”

Now, considering all the above, and the fact that I’m a guy, it puts me in a very strange position.

If you were a rational and fair minded woman, what would you say in response to these observations?


Sunny and Mild

Ten o’clock.

Something happened just now that changed my whole mood for a day. It’s a very simple thing. I made a call to my pharmacy to request a prescription refill and dealt with an individual who was exceedingly nice to me and who made the process much easier. Her name is Laura. With some people you just have a certain chemistry and with others it’s more of a battle, and nothing can explain it save for the stars and planets or the vibrations of names and numbers. I think sometimes that the initial letter of a name can tell you a little about human interaction. In this case, “Laura” begins with L, whose number is 3 on the Pythagorean chart. The traits of the 3 are mostly creative expression and maybe emotive qualities. The R in Robert is a 9, meaning humanitarianism and the arts.

Is it all a lot of baloney? But even if it is, people need a way to make sense of life. We need a calculus of human and social chemistry to navigate the maze of this existence, and occult science seems as good as any method.

Quarter after eleven.

I ate a salad for lunch and then hit the street, carrying the little owl in a bag for Kim. On the way I felt dizzy and lightheaded but managed to get to the salon. I found out that Kim wouldn’t start work until noon; so I put the toy on the counter with Kim’s things and Karen said she would call her attention to it. I turned around to go home then. Roger is outside doing his pet project and I saw a team of Mexicans busy with some construction work. Actually they were just talking among themselves in Spanish and I felt like addressing them in their own language. But often it makes them a bit paranoid if you do that, so I thought better of it. I just said hi in English. I got home and ate a lot of chocolate to help with my dizziness, if that makes any sense. All the while, it’s a clear and sunny day and the temperature is very mild and pleasant. I think back to the times when my yard guy was a Mexican named Juan and his friend Geronimo fixed my truck’s electronic problem— and then wanted to buy the vehicle from me. I haven’t seen those guys since the politics got unfavorable for them, which is a sad story in itself. And sometimes I’d like to just drown my sorrows and forget everything happening today. Pass the chocolate… 

Dali Much Ado

Five thirty AM.

Daylight already this morning, and by six thirty it’ll be broad day outdoors like it was yesterday. I still haven’t popped the plastic on my new book of Dali; it’s so impressive it’s a bit intimidating to me. Am I just a denizen of the Maxwell community, and if so, how dare I aspire to something better? My existence is perhaps like pearls on a dung hill, and just as useless to the people in my surroundings. Everyone is so anti intellectual around here that I have doubts about the place of a person like me. On the other hand, I let this feeling defeat me before, over the same book, eight years ago. People readily condemn what they don’t understand out of fear. And around here it’s an epidemic of stupidity I’m up against.

I resolve to open the book and look through it before the weekend, damn the torpedoes.

Even my brother used to say “sell more books” for beer money, but what kind of “professor” tells you that? At heart, he is still a redneck with the rest of the family. Family and community have a nasty way of devouring the voices of reason and intellect that dare to exist in their midst.

Misery loves company, but joy must struggle to assert itself, and may live alone. If it is all just a fantasy, then still I’ll no longer beat myself up. 

Keep What You Got!


I went to the little store just now, and again Lisa asked me if I was getting enough food to eat; so I asked her curiously if Suk would do anything if I answered no. She said she didn’t know about him, but she would do something… With Kim in mind, I bought still another Ty stuffed animal: a little white owl with a big funny beak and a clueless expression on its face. The Ty toys are one sign that some people still care about each other, even if our government is cold and corrupt and doesn’t give a damn for the citizens. In this regard, the USA now resembles the more authoritarian countries in the world and seems less like a democracy. The next vote will probably be a joke, down to the same old clowns, while people are not credited with having any intelligence at all. God help you if you’re the invisible person on the street. You just ask yourself what in the world is wrong with society.

My dog is very vocal for his breakfast, finally barking at me to feed him… Done.

In the market parking lot I saw a red Nissan truck with a canopy, 90s vintage, that made me think of my old green pickup which I couldn’t afford to maintain anymore: so I sold it to some drunkard for a humiliating price and now I’m stuck without a car.

You can’t have everything you want, so be happy with what you do have. And if you have something, by all means keep it. 



And so Memorial Day winds down to a close. I never left the house all day today except to take out the trash and to pick up a package delivered today to my doorstep. It’s an incredible book of Salvador Dali’s art complete with critical text. I don’t know much about art but I take the liberty to dabble in it here and there. Most people can recognize quality in something like art and music. There’s something psychological running through it all, and if you know your psychology then you can feel at home with the greatest of artists, composers, or writers. It’s only if your soul is a wilderness to yourself that you may feel alienated from creative people and their works.

Also today I plugged in my Kiloton Bass and noodled around with it a while, thinking on how rock and roll seemed to be dying. In fact, I see everything spiritual in decline lately, so I wonder if it’s a good thing or bad. Perhaps someday the religious people will feel persecuted and denied their freedom of belief, like the story of The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. We’ll see how it shakes down, I guess. No one likes to lose their freedom of self expression, whichever side they take on theology or simply their spiritual release. It’s a human thing.

I feel kind of sad and low as I write this tonight, again like the emptiness and aching feeling described in the song by Simon & Garfunkel back in the Sixties. America still goes through growing pains, though I don’t think racism is ever the answer to anything. Some groups are anti everything. It’s a sad state of affairs when people rally around hate and use this as a source of unity and common purpose. There’s something very Antichrist about that; you only need to review WW2 for proof.

I just hang on from day to day, writing my stupid notes like some future historian… 

Forlorn and a Slip


Between seven and ten o’clock I slept, then got up when the sky had gone inky black with the nighttime. Sunday was a better day than Saturday, though it had its share of anxieties and worries; and maybe I magnify molehills into mountains, another irrational thing identified by a forgotten therapy. They used to tell me that it was okay to be imperfect; indeed, perfectionism would make you unhappy and depressed because no such thing as perfect exists. But as it happens, a useful tool, accurate and intelligent, got lost in the shuffle of human confusion if not intentionally crushed by the Church. Americans dislike a perspective of realism and reason, instead going with something fanciful and wild. I used to know a person who told me she was very ordinary, and her reality also was centered and avoided extremes to either side. She said her dad and her sister would often clash and have horrific fights. She learned from observation. I wonder why people today can’t find the gray area in the middle of the poles as we did ten years ago? The situation of the public grows more and more volatile and it’s a huge rack of confusion. If we could be guided by common sense; but no, we insist on the things we cannot see, chasing ghosts and phantoms and expecting Armageddon at any moment. The ones sitting down and shutting up nonetheless think what they think, and you hear it slip out in speech from time to time.

I’m just mulling over something my PCA said Saturday morning, an unfortunate remark that got my imagination spinning. I sometimes think we should call the whole thing off. Meanwhile, the church can keep blithering about demons and whatever medieval crap it can conceive. I long to turn back the calendar 10 or 12 years to a better, more rational time. And maybe it was all a dream in the end. And maybe I discovered a whole world in one person, the one who got away.

Sweet Grapes


The song I hear is still “Duchess” by Genesis, because of some friends I first met in June after my ninth grade school year. They were a young couple who played guitar and bass and were looking for a drummer for a summer project doing Rush covers. Eventually they planned to be a Top 40 band to play for parties and such. But the thing that impressed me at the time was how talented they were. They were one phenomenon in a few million from around here and the outlying towns like Pleasant Hill. I guess the thing called “talent” is a reality. I knew another person like that at my own school, whose destiny was to become a Grammy winning Nashville producer. The other friends I just mentioned still play in Eugene’s biggest act (arguably) which started as a disco band. At one time, all of us came together in the same band and played some important gigs. It’s funny how a thing like conscience can be a rain on the parade. Some people prefer not to stop and think about what they’re doing in the light of ethics and morality: to prioritize humanity from the business of life. I think having principles of honesty and self reflection is essential to any lifetime, and “the unexamined life is not worth living.” You may end up the lone philosopher, or you may meet a person to be your likeminded friend. There is life and then there’s the meta life of speculation that some people consider a waste of time. It depends on what you value and whether you’re willing to forego what most people call success. 


Seven o’clock.

The third day of not taking the Vraylar is beginning to tell on me. In my journal during the wee hours I wrote some very strange gobbledygook ideas on religion that assumed the Bible is historical and true, God is real, and a lot of stuff that doesn’t sound like me at all. So I’m going to take the drug again starting in a few minutes. Later I have to call my sister but I hate to do it because she’s a devout Christian and this aggravates my illness so badly.

Now I’ve fed the dog and taken the Vraylar. I remember a person many years ago at my workplace whose name was Uriah and whose parents were religious fanatics from what we could determine. A coworker swore within his earshot, “Holy mother of God,” and that was the breaking point where he decided not to work for us. On the wall of our cubicle hung a little figure of a devil which, Sandy told me, had frightened another day laborer for our area. There are lots of examples like this, but you see such things in the workplace everywhere, and most people just shrug and are insensitive to them. Of course, the times two decades ago were very different from today, when the spiritual life was booming, to the detriment of the mentally ill people just trying to live. And that’s how I feel whenever I have to call my sister for a conversation each week. As for having joined a church, it was a mistake based on a misunderstanding about recovery from alcoholism. It seemed like the only game in town other than AA.

It always seems I’m between the frying pan and the fire, a sea monster and a whirlpool. Sometimes it’s good to let it go and look at tangible things alone: simple matter.

Hardball; Epitaph


As the church seems to cut me off, I feel more deserted and aimless; I don’t even have the church to beat up anymore: nothing to wrestle with to give my thoughts direction and purpose. Once I heard a political song on the radio years ago with the chorus, “Without this system, you guys would have nothing to bitch about.” Now it’s a point taken. The weather today is beautiful with irrepressible sunshine coloring things on the ground with orange juice. The high temperature should be 79 degrees. But I feel very alone in the world, and the perfect weather just rubs it in. It’s like being all dressed up and nowhere to go. “Waiting for someone to come / And turn your world around…” And Rush was probably right. But also there’s The Beatles: “Nowhere Man, don’t worry / Take your time, don’t hurry / Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand.” I think I like the John Lennon version better.

I was considering reading Daisy Miller again, but it’ll likely turn into another unfinished project. Besides, I still have to read to the end of The Portrait of a Lady.

Karen is bringing me a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco this afternoon. So at least I know that somebody cares about me and won’t let me starve. At the same time, I feel kind of like a bum to take charity from my friends. And maybe I ought to try to support myself; see a specialist at the agency and hunt for a job. I remember how a local bookstore hired an older man when I used to frequent the place a long time ago. Again, there’s the difficulty of not having a car. I’d have to take the bus to work every day.

The cards seem stacked against me, but even so, you know that something has to give. In the meantime it’s a game of waiting and seeing. Does anyone still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword? Or I should say the dollar. And the game of cards has really become a game of hardball. Hardly anyone lives for love nowadays. People are still saying that money makes the world go around. I think this will be the inscription on our stone.

My mother taught me two main lessons. First, to be honest. The second, to despise money. Was this a disservice to me? But there it is and I can’t change it. I’m not sure I would if I could. 

Polemic: Invisible


On second thought, the gold of pure philosophy doesn’t put food on the table.

Two hours ago I could barely hobble to the store around the block, having lost a night’s sleep. When I got there, Lisa asked me if I was getting enough to eat, and I replied that I had plenty of food at home. She pursued that a lot of others were having a rough time since their Snap benefits were reduced, and some women would get pregnant just for the hike in food stamps or whatever welfare they received. She said it was ridiculous, but I don’t know if she meant to blame the mothers or rather the situation of the government. I know which party I would condemn, and it’s not the women on welfare. Again I see that I am not alone in abject poverty, yet the ridiculous thing is I have an education, but because of the stigma of my illness, and because I am honest about it, I’m totally screwed. What’s the difference between the dungeon for schizophrenics and the chains of poverty and prejudice?

Either way, we’re locked up and forced to be invisible 🫥 to the public. It’s completely fucked.