One o’clock. I’m tired of worrying about what people think. But I’m kind of tired in general. Just a fish out of water in a lot of ways. Before I was born, my parents were profligate with alcohol and sex. I don’t know what to think about that now. And my mother liked rock and roll. It’s hard to think about because they were my parents and I spent three decades of my life with them. Does everyone have a soft spot for rock and roll, maybe? My dog hates it, but it’s nothing to get superstitious about. I was raised on the music, though my piano teacher was upset when I quit lessons and dedicated myself to drums and percussion. Morally speaking, my upbringing was kind of a mess. The company I keep today makes me feel self conscious about my past and uncertain about my future. It would be scary to cast aside everything I grew up with and adopt a new lifestyle completely. It entails breaking with my mother, mostly, the hardest thing to do for me. It will take a rock solid constitution like I never knew I had, because I’ll be doing this without family. I still utterly reject my sister’s evangelicalism as being ethnocentric. And oddly, Pastor likes rock music, especially The Beatles. Even blues music is okay according to him. Thus my life is in a state of confusion. It appears that I have more sacrifices to make as I move forward. This will have to be okay.


Eight twenty.

I used to be so full of lust, but now, where libido had been, there is only numbness. I don’t relate to women on the basis of desire anymore. Nothing looks good to me. Maybe it’s just as well. People go to the movies for an infusion of desire, but I dislike being told what to see. I defected from mind control long ago. I’d rather have my perception be clear and unbiased. It could be I’m just a fool. I even stopped following politics, having lost all faith in our leadership. I’m not sure what guides me today. There is no new thing under the sun, and all is vanity. Whose lead would I follow, if I had no choice? Are there any leaders anymore? In some capacity I must plug into the human spirit and play a role. My new Fender bass is coming tomorrow. Musician will be my job, but I don’t feel very romantic about it this morning. Maybe the book I’m reading is a downer. Sartre struggles with the idea of freedom in a world that’s gone to war. His characters have no control over political events, and each one responds to the inevitable differently. Why did I pick The Reprieve to read? The panoramic sweep of it is like James Joyce, sort of, but not as good. Doubtless it loses something in the translation. It’s a foggy morning, everything gray and desolate. I resolve to have a Coke and a smile. To go and spend some food stamps. It’s cold outside, but I’m working up my courage. Aesop is resting on the floor, unenthused by anything.

Ten twelve. I encountered nothing extraordinary at the store. However, a lyric occurred to me on the sidewalk: “Wistful and weathered, the pride still prevails alive in the streets of the city.” Emphasis on the word pride. The condition of pride is like gas in the car. It makes the car go. Pride gives a person hope for the future. Whatever happens now, one can always hope for something better. At the same time, the goals must be realistic. I aim to start playing gigs in the local music community. I will polish my technical ability to be the best I can be. But to be honest with myself, I’m a much different person without alcohol. Perhaps what drives me today is different from before. Rush has disbanded since Neil passed away, so those heroes are gone. It’s a time to reevaluate my life. There’s always so much uncertainty on any given day. The future stands like a blind implacable wall before us. Maybe it’s better to concentrate on the present moment. The grayness of the day gets me down. In two hours I have Heidi to see. If I had a crystal ball that gave me an objective look at myself, what would I see? And would I like it?

Reason or Emotion?

Again I’m on the verge of dumping religion and trying for something in the biology field. Or I can just be myself. It’s beginning to disturb me when we talk about sin during church service. It has been bugging me for a while, actually. Somewhere I got the notion that the schizophrenia is my fault, something I’m accountable for, but I don’t know where it came from exactly. It might be the cumulative effect of everything I’m involved in. I began thinking it in July when I had sessions with C—. I just got this inexplicable feeling that I was being blamed by her and also by T—. I still contend that schizophrenia is in my genetics, so how could I be responsible for that? I do take responsibility by taking the medication and avoiding alcohol, and by trying to do what’s right. Schizophrenia is certainly not a disorder of morals. I reject that concept wholesale. I’m not even sure alcoholism is a moral condition. We should’ve left those ideas behind us in the 1930s, back around the time when Thomas Mann wrote The Magic Mountain and Alcoholics Anonymous started up in the United States. Or maybe my rationality is an alibi from the moral responsibility every human being can feel. My reason is a defense mechanism. Still the imputation of blame offends me. But other people might ask who am I to take offense? Everyone else in society accepts that they are sinners, don’t they? Why should I be an exception? At this point I confess that I am totally confused and don’t know which way to turn. There’s the intellectual way and the emotional way. Yet even my emotion tells me that schizophrenia is not a moral condition. People can judge all they want, but it doesn’t change the facts. I just wish I knew where the hell C—‘s attitude was coming from. I didn’t like her at all… Do we say that an individual is created by God and born in sin? Or rather that two sex cells met and formed a zygote? Can we be responsible for being born? Of course not… I think the taper is here. Aesop had a fit… I still think I’m going to leave the church. Religion just doesn’t make sense to me. The guy left already… Again it’s the rational truth versus the emotional, and I’m acquainted with both perspectives, but reconciling them is so difficult. I’m inclined to go with reason, and I would hate to lose sight of it.