Crossed the Bridge

Eleven thirty five.

I don’t want to believe in karma, so I guess I just won’t. No heaven or hell, either. I think I’ve lost Pastor’s trust. It seems that he hadn’t thought through the matter of the saved and the unsaved. I feel very lousy today. When do I ever feel good? I think I should forget about the church, seeing how Pastor is avoiding me. Don’t email him anymore. He doesn’t have a good line of defense against my arguments, so that it only hurts his feelings. I think it’s over with… Gee, he’s just a little church pastor. My brother used to reproach me for flashing my brilliance. Now I kind of see why. But then, where is an intelligent person supposed to go? I feel like an enemy of the people, doomed to be unpopular for the observations I make. Yet there must be a place where I belong, and something constructive I can do… It’s not as though my brain were severed from the rest of me. My deepest emotions are those of a very smart person. Well anyway, I think my problem with the church is resolved already. Now I have to figure out my next move. But first I think I’ll take a break for a while. 

Trouble in Paradise

The deeper the conversation with my sister, the more she would discover that she hates me. Intellectual people are anathema to her. Is that my fault? It’s a better idea not to talk to her too much. And let her despise me if she must… I still feel pretty weird today, and not very cheerful. I’d like to see an end to this whole nightmare. It’s like being forced to watch something gruesome… I wish life was different than it is. My sister is really a nice sort of person. But our lives are like parallel lines destined to never meet. If she could understand me, then maybe we could like each other. Her emotionalism, however, cannot see how my rationalism works. She thinks that I am some kind of monster. And that’s just the way it’s going to be forever.

Five thirty five. I’m looking forward to the end of this lousy day. I will take a gabapentin tonight and then try to get some sleep. I’ve been shaken to my foundation by the phone call yesterday morning. I might try skipping it next week. She’ll probably know I’m avoiding her, but it may be for the best.

Something Remains

Eight forty.

I don’t think I’ll post this particular writing. I have some issues to sort out. It bugs me that Polly is so cocksure of herself. What do I have to hold up to that? A lot of odds and ends of intellectual clutter with no stronghold to unify it all. If my ideology was Freud, and if Freud is passé, then what remains? Is it enough to be a simple realist? Most people need a spiritual outlet… I slept only a few hours last night. Right now it feels cold to me, so I’ve donned a hoodie. How would I feel if I put my Freud books in the book share? Maybe no one would take them. But it would feel like having my liver eaten by an eagle, as happened to Prometheus, if they did… I feel hungry. After feeding Aesop at nine thirty, I will head over to the salon and say hi to Angela and Kim. This will divert my attention from my worries. I’m glad that the weather is still cool.

Quarter after ten. My neighbor down the street offered me a lawn sign for Black Lives Matter, so I accepted. He’ll bring it over probably tomorrow morning. I figure it’s time to show some backbone for the things I care about. The family can cast me out. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. Might doesn’t necessarily make right. It’s been a terrific fight ever since my mother died. Why surrender now?… The key to any battle is persistence. It’s like the tortoise beating the hare, slowly and steadily. Eventually the better side will win, though I may not see it in my lifetime. The effort I put into it makes a difference in the long run.

I’m Not Alone

Quarter of one. Long conversation with my sister this morning. She is definitely opposed to rock music, especially the image part of it. But I halfway agree with her… dunno. She has religious objections to rock and roll, as if it were inspired by the devil. It makes a part of me rather mad, but there’s nothing I can do about that. Whether she’s right or wrong is impossible to say, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I think that her opinion is awfully narrow and unfortunate, but I don’t need her blessing to play rock music if I want to. She represents a certain type of Christian; not all religious people are like her, luckily. Pastor likes rock music, even Led Zeppelin. It’s just my sister’s complacency in her opinion that gets my goat. This difference in taste goes way back to when I was in junior high school and I got involved in the band program. I’m feeling very defensive right now, maybe a little persecuted because my sister is so convinced that she is right. Why should I care what she thinks? Is it because we’re family? She categorically tars and feathers all rock and roll, and that’s not very fair. I guess it’s up to me not to personalize her attitude. It hurts my feelings, but I should let it roll off my back. Her opinion is adamant, so the only thing to do is avoid the subject with her… After our talk, I replaced the battery in my Aria bass and made some racket for a while. I’ve had that guitar for about 11 years and just now am discovering its potential. I felt angry but a bit daunted at the same time. As if there were something wrong with the activity. And I remind myself that I am the only musician in my whole family— but not the only musician in the world.

Blue Tuesday

Eight twenty.

I’m going to try to make today a better day. Think happy thoughts. Yesterday was ridiculous. A downward spiral straight to hell. I used to think reading Sartre was fun, but now it’s too real and gruesome to enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with Romanticism, the beautiful and true. We need something to lift us up from the pits. It may not exist already, but we can create happiness by means of music and poetry.

Nine forty. W— sent me a letter saying it’s unlikely that I have hemochromatosis, but she didn’t tell me what I should do. So, I called the institute and asked about it. I will get a call back later today. It seems to me that W— is trying to be a diagnostic hero or something. Looking for a feather in her cap. The decision is up to the hematologist, not her. Why did she send me the letter? It just seems confrontational on her part. Whatever, I’m getting to the bottom of it. She’s probably right, but still, the doctor is the one to say… People do crazy things in the summertime. The heat gets to everyone, messing up our judgment… Aesop is begging me for his breakfast, due in one minute…

Well, all I have to go by is the note W— wrote. Maybe my reaction was paranoid. I’ve been in a bad frame of mind since yesterday. Perhaps she didn’t think it through to the same conclusion that I did. And my conclusion was, Why be seen for a condition I don’t have? Why waste my insurance money on unnecessary visits and labs? Indeed, I probably did jump to a conclusion that W— hadn’t thought of. Anyway, getting that letter in the mail puzzled me and got my day off to a rather bad start. I’m having a very hard time staying positive. I’m looking for evil motives in people where none exist.

I should burn the Sartre book.

Quarter of ten. I wonder if I should take a gabapentin? Maybe it would help my mood. But this would be psychological dependence on the drug. My cranky mood probably has to do with stopping the med. It is definitely addictive. I think I’m in a mess, a vicious circle of addiction.

Morning Thoughts

Nine thirty.

I left a voice message for Jeff this morning. He won’t call back. He can hold a grudge longer than anybody else I know. It’s weird, though; I’ve done nothing wrong to him. I could try calling Polly, but I’m not as interested in her life. Besides I run the risk of being put in a subordinate position. She has always been too assertive, just like Mom. And she would probably ask pointed questions about how I’ve been doing my household chores. Also about my participation in church. I feel myself getting resentful at the mere thought. So I won’t call her. It would just be a situation where I could explode at her… I know a guy from church whose college attendance made him at odds with his family.

Ten thirty five. Whatever. I guess I’m just curious to know what’s going on with them. Not a good reason to call her up. If we really wanted to bury the hatchet, then that’s different. But I’m not making any concessions to ignorance and bigotry. Our family feud stretches back for as long as I can remember. Let it be… Looks like the clouds will disperse and it will be another sunny day. I could call my old psychiatrist today, but I think I’m doing all right without him. He used to push me too hard. But I sure wish I could chat with Kate. My neighbors across the street are outside, busy with different stuff. Aesop is lying on the floor with his bones… The music in my head is by Chick Corea Elektric Band, the title track to Inside Out. Thirty years ago. It’s as though this past decade went by without me, yet I know I was around. I simply spent it drunk. Freedom is a gift, one that I shouldn’t question. I think I’ll email Mark…


Quarter after two. I’m getting cynical about Fender as a corporation. Everything is different since the days of the prog rock I remember. The ‘70s were 50 years ago. The quality of the gear available is not the same as the old days. But also I don’t know if I can play with the drummer in our band. I tend to have nightmares about him since our tussle in texting some weeks ago. I fear his temper, and maybe he’s a little afraid of me as well for standing up to him. He’s in for a surprise if he thinks he can be a bully to his band mates, especially me. I really don’t like him after our disagreement over the pandemic, and the irrational way he behaved. I think I might quit and be done with it, and see about working with Mark, the other drummer, who is really nice. But another voice says I should stick it out with Mike and Ron no matter what. I wouldn’t want to get a reputation among musicians for being hard to get along with… Just thinking about it makes me nervous, and I don’t like having nightmares about Mike’s temper… I’m used to dealing with people who are more reasonable and peaceful, more self controlled. It’s quite a shock to run into Mike with his rude personality. It’s so much like the situation with SLO, which got more and more volatile as time went on. Those people acted like children, and had no respect for each other. Totally uncivilized. I felt so uncomfortable with that band, yet I did it as long as I could. In a word, they were immature, especially the ones who sang, and also the guitar player. Everyone else was fine.

Three forty. Now I think of times with Blueface when things were tense. I couldn’t have handled them sober, without a screen for protecting myself from the reality. My last gig with them was in June; the same with Satin Love… I think I’ll go lie down for a while and try to relax. Nothing can ever make me drink again. But when a band is getting on my nerves and giving me nightmares, maybe I should do something about it.

The Salon

Five fifty. The spring rain is coming down a bit hard, but still it’s a relief. All shall be well. I have hotdog makings for another two days, though Aesop will need wet food in the morning. State representative Peter De Fazio writes that Social Security incomes will remain safe for people like me. If the convenience store gets shut down, then I trust that there will be access to food somehow. Maybe we’ll all get our groceries from Amazon? But officials can’t just starve the people. It wouldn’t make any sense. They must figure out something that works or else there will be chaos. Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter. The governor has to know what she’s doing. Small businesses are going to suffer, like Karen’s salon, but people have to be able to eat. Dogs too… Democratic leaders claim they’re doing all they can for small businesses, but Karen doesn’t believe it. She said her salon was closed by direct order of the governor. I don’t know what to believe, or more importantly whom to believe. But things are getting silly with our politics. If you’re a Republican, then you blame the Democrats. In the end, we have to trust the powers that be.


Two thirty.

There’s still the bug in my ear that I should call my brother, especially if Polly refuses to talk to him. I never guessed at a day when Jeff would be a black sheep of the family. Perhaps we are all equally sooty? How is my sister better than my brother aside from being more honest? I think racism is a terrible thing. Next door, Jennifer is smoking pot and throwing toys for her dog. Everybody has a hard life. You have to be sympathetic because life is suffering. I don’t know how it feels to be like my brother or anyone else. Forgiveness is very tough, and maybe I’ll never succeed in it. Still I feel bad for Jeff and regret that he must be living alone. Underneath everything, we all crave love and we fear hate and rejection… Casey from the blood doctor’s office hasn’t called back yet. Possibly Todd overreacted to my results. The weather is beautiful, the sun shining and the sky sporting puffy white clouds. If I’m going to call my brother, it should be at around eight o’clock tonight.

Three thirty five. I’m charging the battery for my iPad and thinking about what I was just saying. The same Joni Mitchell song occurs to me as on last Saturday morning. I hear it with longing and deep sorrow. I was 39 years old in 2006. My body was more resilient and my mind more retentive than today. It’s amazing how much hurt I withstood when I was younger. My family was brutal to me before I finally had the confidence to confront them and scream out my frustration. I had to let them know that it was not okay to treat me badly. Well, maybe I dished out some poison of my own to my siblings. The resentment of each other on both sides was incredibly malicious. They took politics and the vote too seriously, as if they were the ultimate reality. Politics and current events were likewise the rage at Laurel Hill during my employment there. After the 2016 election I’d had enough and resolved not to follow the news anymore. It was only a weapon people wielded to hurt one another. My family always voted to thwart each other’s interests, like using some kind of voodoo dolls. Now, finally the battlefield is still, with the maimed corpses littering the place as far as you can see. Am I asked to be forgiving after all that? The reek of blood is yet fresh as the sun sets on the war zone. Why did my siblings hate our mother so much? This is something I’ll never understand. Mom was just a human being, not perfect, but also not a monster. Jeff refers to her as if to the devil or something. The things I’ve been through are just crazy and childish, immature, and illogical. All the backstabbing and treachery haven’t been worth trying to make it work. Yet here I still am, weighing the pros and cons of making a phone call to my brother sometime soon. Is blood thicker than water? Or will I persist in being logical and fair minded to the point of excluding my relatives from my life?

Pavement Cracks

Eight fifty five.

I owe OHI another $400 for the refrigerator. It’s nothing I didn’t know about. The email went to my junk folder, so I missed it until now. Aesop needs both kinds of food. Heidi is coming at one o’clock. I haven’t heard that the food pantry has been cancelled. I might email Pastor Dan about that… I skipped my Vraylar last night, and I haven’t started the cholesterol drug. White clouds are blotting out the sun. Last night I dreamed that I had been drinking for a long time. Occasionally my conscious mind stepped in and reminded me of the truth that I’ve been sober for two and a half years.

Ten thirty. There is a song by Duran Duran called “Cracks in the Pavement,” and it seems I’m looking for those today… Sure enough, Heidi had to cancel my appointment today due to the corona virus… It appears that the more primitive instincts in people are going obsolete. Hardly anyone has a romantic love anymore, or maybe it’s only me. Human beings are becoming as mechanical as the machines they use. This is the real apocalypse, not the corona virus… I’m lapsing into a depression now. I feel like going to bed. The day got off to a raunchy start even at the market. Michelle tried to undercharge me by over three dollars, so I caught it and she fixed it. But even then we still weren’t communicating with each other. A lot of people are imprecise in their thinking and speaking, and it drives me nuts. We can’t agree or disagree on anything if we don’t refer to the same thing. But this is just another crack in the pavement. Meanwhile the blind sun shines through the hazy cloud cover for no reason whatsoever, but we take it as a compliment. It is another miscommunication. When every relation of people with each other and with nature is dissolved, I don’t know what we will do.