Nine o five.
I think I understand the motive for my Coca-Cola all nighter. If I played the devil’s advocate I’d say I should give myself what I really want: alcohol. But instead, I know I have to do the right things if I want to live much longer. I believe the unconscious probably does exist; sometimes I have an insight to its activity. Alcoholism is a treacherous disease. Addiction in general can shorten your lifespan and make your life miserable… I can see how I substitute compulsions like writing and reading books for the drinking behavior. But if I let myself drink then I’d do nothing else. It’s a mistake to “succumb” to alcoholism. I’m sure that I can’t be a functioning alcoholic. I have no control over it whatsoever. Cold turkey is the only way to go. It’s just me and the booze. There’s nobody else. It feels like fencing with demons, but at least the demons are mine. I will find nothing in these woods stranger than myself, to paraphrase Anne Sexton.
Five o’clock in the morning.
I woke up an hour ago and it seemed I was done sleeping for the night. It’s about time again to call my sister on the phone. Still I have this feeling of my privacy being invaded, my heart ripped out of my chest and diced to pieces. It feels cold in the house: suitable for a martyr… Finally I see the sun rising in the colorless east. I hear the calls of a few birds. In ten minutes, Michelle will open the store on another business day and obediently I will go buy some things. “Man is born free and he is everywhere in chains.”
Six thirty five. Of course, since it’s so early, there was no one out on the street. Only two other customers at the market. My pen pal hasn’t written me yet. It’s weird to have a cold day in July, but then I look forward to the fall. Hopefully the music venues will be open and my band can gig. The thought of society weighs heavy on my mind, and not as a desirable thing. I’m not like Pastor Dan, who argues for the rights of the collective whole; for me, it’s the individual that matters. It’s okay with me to be the black sheep of the fold, or better yet, consider me gone. The world seems slow to wake up this morning. If I said I want to go home, would anybody understand my meaning? It’s kind of like looking for Mercy Street in a dream: not there. Seeking high and low for Eldorado. Arcadia, the lost and last remains of the Golden Age. Life after the lapse isn’t much fun, and the freedom I believed I had was an illusion… But life goes on anyway. Maybe the stoic solution is all right for me. Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s not that people are bad. I just can’t grasp how the monster of civilization got out of human hands, assuming a life of its own.
Seven thirty. The furnace turned on for a minute. Still no word from my correspondent in Texas. And a new thought presents itself to me:
Perhaps the cage is really a cocoon.
Three o’clock. I don’t feel very poetic lately. My creative energy is invested in music with Mike and Ron, and otherwise there’s no reason to worry about the “sublime” anymore. The world is changing away from the supernatural, which is fine with me. The time is now for charting my course through the future, whether I have ten years left or twenty.
If it weren’t so far to walk, I’d go buy two jalapeño burgers from Carl’s Jr. and scarf them down at home. Been a very long time since I did anything like that. During my working years I ate fast food every day and really enjoyed it.
There are other things I’d like to do, too. I’d read some later Henry James if I thought I could share it with someone who cares. His writing is very Freudian, very Modern, and beautifully done. I never did read The Ambassadors, and I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe I’ll do it anyway and keep it to myself, but it’s more fun when you can discuss it with others. I also feel that I might be in the wrong place on WordPress— not for the first time. How I long for a friend who also likes Henry James and can relate to what I learned in college, albeit 30 years ago, when education was much different from today. How nice if I could warp time back to the late ‘80s and do school all over again. In that case I’d be surrounded by people like myself with the same education. Learning is meant to be shared with friends, but I feel like a fish out of water flopping around on the dock. Nowhere for my message to go…
I prefer having good friends with high intelligence. I never wanted to get married because I knew I’d become bored with the same partner year after year. Or maybe I’m just an introvert and prefer solitude? I have loved a few people in my life. I know I am different from most people in being androgynous. Maybe less so than I think. Social norms and rituals make us feel like we have to jump all the same hurdles. The honest person struggles with that more than others. It seems to me that schizophrenia is a symptom of modern life. It is a mirror held up to society, and it seems to say, This is you. The thing I like about Anne Sexton is how honest she is about feeling lost and helpless. She begs for a world where people can just spill their guts and admit to being weak and human. It could be that schizophrenia is a little like that. Sexton contemplated religious conversion, but had to confess that believing is not the same as needing to believe… When we are honest, not one of us fits the round holes of society perfectly. So we do the best we can. Some of us write about our lives in hopes of broadening the human reality. Of raising consciousness. The better we write, the better the guideposts we leave behind.