The Caffeine Trap

Quarter after four. I restrung my J Bass and gave it a good workout this afternoon. The strings are extremely bright and made more so by the bridge. I told Pastor that I’d be willing to buy a keyboard amplifier for the church so Eduardo can set up outdoors. Maybe at Guitar Center I can work a trade in for the American Fender bass. But no: see about an exchange from Musicians Friend first. Call them Tuesday, after Memorial Day is over with. On Friday I spoke with a rep who was a complete ignoramus. She knew absolutely nothing about music gear, nor how to retrieve records from their system. She was too stupid to be embarrassed about it. I came away frustrated and angry… Meanwhile, Aesop is dozing after an anxious afternoon of me messing with my bass guitar. And I’ve probably overdosed on caffeine again, making me irritable and kind of mean. I felt great five hours ago and now I’m a jerk. One two liter of Coke is almost a six pack of cans. Also I feel like I’m having to rationalize my caffeine intake. I know that it’s too much to be healthy and moderate. I begin to use it because it makes me feel good, and then I want more and more of that euphoria. How does that differ from an alcoholic buzz? In principle it is no different, and that’s why I have to justify doing it. It’s another addiction.

Taking the First

Tomorrow is the food pantry. Until further notice. I rested in bed with Aesop for a few hours, feeling alone and afraid of having to survive on my own. I kept telling myself that I’ve been doing independence all along. I dreamed that I was an intruder in someone else’s house, and that’s very appropriate to the reality of how I feel. My parents probably abused me, but I don’t know in what way. I only know they made me feel unwelcome. I suppose they only wanted their life of pleasure together, and I was a distraction from that. Maybe my parents really were bad to me. I barely remember what they were like. They expected me to listen to my records alone and stay out of their hair. So again I was brought up on the music more than by my parents. Do I judge my parents now? It would be too late for that, since they are long dead. But it’s safe to say that they were like strangers to me growing up. My dad didn’t care for children at all, and Mom was off in her own little world. If I was not abused, then at least I was neglected. And this explains why I fear independence. If I am a good person, then it’s by virtue of my genetics, which gave me intelligence and a mild temperament. Otherwise I was fatherless and motherless.

The really irksome thing was that there was no open communication in my nuclear family. And any decisions the family made were without my input. I was never allowed an opinion as long as my parents lived. Unfortunately, they were not very smart. If they had been a little brighter, they would’ve found a way to express themselves to each other and to me, and encouraged me to speak my mind. Being lip locked was an injustice like no other, and my siblings tried to perpetuate the same policy with me, until I finally couldn’t take any more. My sister took the biggest explosion of my temper, but my brother deserved it likewise. I still wouldn’t give a flying fuck if my family were to suddenly drop dead. Freedom of speech is an inalienable human right, and it is denied only with very dire consequences. I hope that my family someday reads these words and feels their force. They have no excuse for the way they treated me, so I hope they all burn in hell.

Justice

Three thirty. In a way, psychoanalysis impresses me as immature, especially when the therapist threatens to beat up the client for refusing to admit to being homosexual. Nothing ever warrants physical violence in my book. Once I was at a group session that ended with a sober redneck named Don menacing African American Chris for still drinking. They were going to settle it with a parking lot brawl. Lisa the counselor would not moderate what was a clear case of racial discrimination. The situation was stupid. I asked her if she was going to call the police and she just shrugged in a laissez faire way. Obviously she didn’t care about Chris’s rights or welfare. Lisa was a white Mormon who drove a 67 Chevelle as a sort of status symbol. Her coworker Tammy had a 78 Corvette that didn’t satisfy her. She talked about selling it. There was so much petty shallowness and plain ignorance about the organization that I could’ve slammed at the time. Their Twelve Step rivals deprecated them as a $5000 Big Book. In all the above, who was righteous, if anyone? I only see who was making a killing, getting filthy rich and taking a dump on those who had nothing. It’s the truth. What did sobriety have to do with owning a vintage sports car or assaulting people of color? I had to come to recovery my own way after the corruption I’d seen. I hope for justice someday, and sometimes it triumphs over greed and prejudice. When it does, we thank our lucky stars.

For All Quacks

Seven thirty. The coat hanger in the trailer broke when I got home from the store. It was plastic and couldn’t hold up to three garments hung on it. But I’d known that I wouldn’t get the deposit back on the rental. Aesop is ready for a nap. It’s odd to recall how selfish the family thought I was. I was an intelligent only child, or raised like one. I was called a snob because I wore glasses and did a lot of reading. Now I think the schizophrenia was just a genetic fluke that could happen to anybody. There was no moral basis to it. To hell with therapists and their crap. Have mercy with your pseudoscience. Alcoholism is likewise hereditary and not a moral issue. I get so tired of defending myself against a moral majority that doesn’t understand human biology. I don’t know if there is overlap between biology and phenomenology, but I doubt that there is. A conscience is a sensitive thing, so don’t overtax it with false accusations. Shut the fuck up and I’ll take the goddamn medication and stay away from the booze. But I don’t do it for you or because you told me to. Fuck off!

No Facades

There’s more to life than lemon drops

So blogging seems quite dumb;

The pleasantry of lollipops

Has left me feeling numb.

The superstition of the age

Has worn my patience thin;

Psychology is all the rage

But the answer comes not from within.

Mental pain’s like anything

You cure by taking a pill;

Putting on a happy face

Makes everything worse still.

I don’t believe in devil or god

Or that I am possessed;

Medieval notions go away!

By you I’ve been oppressed.

I’ve had it with your attitude

Of skipping ropes and sunshine;

I’m moving to a latitude

That offers me more gratitude.

Anger

Nine o’clock. I dreamed about jamming with J—. Then I figured out why I liked playing with him: he was subordinate to me. For the same reason, he didn’t like playing with me. Perhaps what’s intimidating about my bass tone is not the instrument; I think the beastie is really me. I’ve always been insubordinate in rock bands. I wanted to run the show myself. With M— and P—, I was being dictated to, which may have been frustrating for me. Was I angry? Inclined to throw a tantrum? Back to my tone: I built that bass myself and knew what it would sound like. No one else “engineered” it but me. Certainly no devil pulled the strings, unless he is just myself. Then what am I really afraid of? The consequences of showing anger? What used to happen to me when I did this? My parents overpowered me, proved to me how helpless I was. They washed my mouth out with soap, they gave me enemas for punishment, and so on. I learned to contain my anger and express it in banging on coffee cans with chopsticks. Was it okay to have anger? You feel what you feel and that’s the truth, the law. Whether it is just or unjust to others has no bearing on how you feel. I have to acknowledge my emotions, and anger is an important one. I’m afraid of it for the way I used to be punished, thinking that it would happen again. Repressing anger does damage. The emotion irrupts in other ways, perhaps even as the symptoms of schizophrenia.