Quarter after one. Pastor called me before lunch and said I was missed on Sunday. But the real reason he called was because he needs help recording worship this Friday. So I’ll probably go ahead and do that… I watched myself reading the lesson in church again. Yes, my voice is meek sounding, rather mousy. But it’s not a bad thing, necessarily. I might as well get used to it. It’s easy to see why I chose bass for my instrument: compensation. And I like the story by E.B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan, very much. My voice has made me a pushover all my life, but I never realized what it was until recently. My family took terrible advantage of me because of it. Jeff was a bully, and Polly almost as bad. My dog didn’t take me seriously. Even professional people have picked on me for being timid and mousy. I guess the written word has been a way for me to assert myself without depending on my voice… The sun is out right now but the clouds are heavy. Yesterday’s mail came not until nighttime, so I don’t know what to expect today.
Quarter after five. I read The Lotus Eaters episode of Ulysses. It ends with Bloom going to the public baths. Next he’ll be going to the funeral for Paddy Dignam. There’s a lot of alcoholism in the book, but that’s not the reason Joyce wrote it. Then the mail came, bringing bones for Aesop but no book for me. He chewed on the first one until he was tired and thirsty, and chewed some more. Now he’s resting at my feet. Before I cut open the package, I found about three dozen black ants in and around the kitchen sink basin. I turned the water on them and sprinkled vinegar about the spot. They hate white wine vinegar. Now it’s time to eat my cottage cheese. Not much of a meal, but better than nothing. I will call Shasta tomorrow morning.
Six o’clock. Even as I look on, Aesop is getting mellower day by day. He is a very good dog. When the temperatures are warmer, I’ll give him a bath in the tub. His age is seven and a half; he’ll be eight years old in September. I think about how much our life together has changed and go wow. My relatives are all either gone or very distant and have no power over me. I’ve made some really good friends who encourage me and don’t criticize. Many of them are far away, and yet as close as a finger tap. My confidence has grown to a healthy size thanks to blogging. I can handle just about anyone now. In my book, there’s nothing more fearsome than a human being. Only other people can make life hell for us. But not if we don’t let them. It’s crucially important that we take charge of our lives in a way that benefits us. I’ve seen some self defeating people, like the ones who vote against their own interests. Above all, it’s important to use your voice to assert yourself. Don’t let anyone sew your mouth shut. Never be devoured or gainsaid by anybody, especially if it concerns your life. Of course we will make mistakes, but nothing can prevent that, least of all warnings from others… In another hour it’ll be dark outside. Nearly seven o’clock now. Aesop’s mellowness is a manifestation of the passing of time. Everything is subject to time, and is its inmate. My mother’s little electric clock attests to this with a whir and a chug. All else is silence.
Eleven twenty five. I just listened to most of Selling England by the Pound. It’s my favorite Genesis Cd. I had a thought a bit ago: within reason, I am totally free. I can be a night owl if I want. I can have dinner for breakfast. I feel that freedom is very important. Somebody in my life was too controlling, and that had consequences. It was bad enough that my parents were overprotective, but then Mom assigned me to my siblings: a huge mistake. I was 34 years old when she passed away, definitely old enough to take care of myself. I went through hell with my family. But now I’ve got this big renovated house all to myself, and with all this free time and even a little money to play with. I didn’t orchestrate it this way. Life just fell into place with me along for the ride. I’m alone a lot of the time, but I’m okay with that. It beats being oppressed by someone else.
I’m even free from the psychiatrist I fired in 2017. Polly thought I was still seeing him when she sought me out last October. But that’s just another sign of what’s been wrong with my life. Dr T— was a dictator. He treated all of his patients that way. I couldn’t take any more of that. Everybody had advice for me, and then I realized it was all contradictory. Nobody agreed with anyone else. I found that my own opinion was good enough:— in fact, it was righteous.
It is so imperative that everyone trust themselves in a world where opinions and advice are ubiquitous. Judge the value for yourself. We all possess the right to esteem what is right and wrong, and what is important. Don’t be a sheep or a fish or any animal but a human being. And when you assert yourself, people will treat you with more respect.
Seven thirty. Today has been a suspension of the certain, but perhaps every day is like that. I’ve received opinions from conservatives who recommended filing complaints against the insurance and contractors. And also I’ve been judging the case firsthand with more kindness. Only the future holds the truth about whether my house will be ready on time. Until then I can crack the whip every day to stimulate productivity out of these unmotivated workers. It’s contrary to my nature to be assertive, yet this is the pressure exerted on me by others. They may be right: the job would never be finished if I didn’t squawk. Tomorrow will reveal more about what works best. If again no workers show up by nine o’clock, I’ll administer them another shock, like Milgram in his famous 37th experiment. Turn up the voltage each time they scream. We do what we’re told…