Seven fifty.

At the store, Lisa was telling everyone about a customer who said he was short the 8 cents he owed for a purchase, expecting grace. She insisted that he pay it this time, and she had seen that he had the money. But the interesting thing of it was how Lisa felt she had to tell everyone what had happened. My guess is that she felt badly for her action and needed vindication from others. It’s curious how conscience works; and who knows, perhaps the right thing to do was to give him the 8 cents? It’s just another little moral quandary to puzzle over, if people even care about ethics today… I treated my dog to his favorite chicken jerky this morning, plus his marrow snacks should arrive later today. Right now he seems pretty relaxed, spread out on the carpet next to me. Last night they reported snow flurries, but it was dark out so I never saw it, and now any evidence of it is gone.

The more I consider it, the more 8 cents sounds trivial. Why make a scene over something so small? It’s not like he stole a loaf of bread…


Queens of Etiquette / Optimism

Guilt is an expendable emotion; it serves no purpose whatsoever. There is no particular way a person is supposed to be. Who says we have to look a certain way or act a certain way, etc etc? I don’t care to be conscientious like some people. Take it or leave it. There’s no such thing as perfect. There is no king of public opinion, or if so, then who is it? Martha Stewart was put in jail, wasn’t she? Kathie Lee Gifford and her sweatshops. Regis Philbin. I don’t watch tv, so I don’t even know who is popular anymore, and care less about it. Kill your tv! Live your life your own way. Oprah Winfrey sucks. My sister thought Oprah should run for President. I can’t imagine much worse… They’re making good progress on the fence. Damien is using a nail gun and they move right along.

Three o’clock. I took the Snapples out to them. I’ve been forgetting the idea of faith that all shall be well. In other words, optimism. In uncertain times, this is indispensable. The fence has needed replacing for a couple of years, and now I can do it. In fact, it’s almost done. All I did was not to drink alcohol anymore, and good things came to me… Aesop’s treats are coming from Amazon tomorrow. Filet mignon flavor soft chews. I hope he likes them… I noticed that the paranoia is a lot better than before. Most people don’t have bad intentions toward others. Only if they use drugs or have a mental health issue. Or if they are driven by the big bucks… Now the guys are building the gate. The day has turned out kind of good. I’ll be glad to have the job finished. And then I can listen to the other disc of Permanent Waves.

Tuesday Night

Six ten. I wrote the above with somebody in mind, and she read it and liked it. I just got tired of reading her hopeless posts about feeling guilty, mostly. Guilt and shame. They were a real drag for me, so finally I replied back. But it’s the truth: sooner or later we have to chuck it all and just get on with life. Just say fuck it and roll on. You can spend your whole life in therapy and arrive nowhere. And then you die. Isn’t it better to live your life and enjoy it?… Anyway, I’m tired of being conscientious. Moral improvement is not for me anymore. I don’t believe in heaven and hell, so there’s no point in being super virtuous. It is wasted piety, as Pascal suggests.

Midnight hour. I just heard the full album of American Garage. Very lovely. It’s hard for me to call up memories from before the onset of the illness. Maybe it’ll get easier. I wish I held the key to unlock the truth of myself and my motivation. Perhaps I want to be universally loved, but not even famous people have this. If this is my desire, then I’ll always be beating my head against the wall. The love of one person who is much like me might be enough. I remember how once I loved my brother with a jealous passion. It was never requited, and I gave up when I realized that he despised Mom. What is the greatest love of all? Again I arrive at rational love, the marriage of true minds, as Shakespeare expresses it. The love of likeminded people is the best thing in life.


Ten ten.

My sister accused me once of giving myself only what I wanted. Also, my supervisor said I don’t do the things I don’t want to do. Occasionally these allegations come back to haunt me. What do you call a person who does only what he wants to do? Is that libertinism? Sometimes I don’t care what people say, and other times I stop and think about it. It’s the difference between duty and delight, and sometimes they coincide in the same activity. I know I avoid doing unpleasant chores, and seek out pleasurable things to do. I just don’t know if I can change this. Also I tend to be insubordinate. The euphemism I use for insubordination is freedom. It all depends on what kind of language you use, positive or negative, for the same behavior. Still I don’t think I can change the fact. Not without a lot of therapy. The very thought of therapy fills me with resentment and rebellion. Why should I do what another person tells me to do? I guess I was raised on rock and roll:

What gives you the right, hey you

To stand there and tell me what to do

Tell me, who gave you the power

To stop me from living like I do

Remember if you plan to stay

Those who give can take away

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

It’s an old song by Steppenwolf called “Power Play.” I was only eight years old when I used to listen to Monster. Perhaps my listening to it created one.


Noon hour. If drinking beer were still fun, then I’d definitely do it. For a long time I didn’t believe alcoholism could be fatal. Now I know. Seven years ago I would do a half case every day and get a mile high. I don’t know why today. It was just a lot of fun and it seemed there was no reason not to. The main thing I regret is how rationalization distorted my perception. It was a kind of lying. After a while, the only thought I could muster was to repeat that it wasn’t my fault. In hindsight, I think I probably was culpable, although a lot of people with schizophrenia abuse alcohol. Why is that? I simply wanted to feel better, and alcohol put me on the moon for a while… I either feel like taking a nap or just finding a way to feel comfortable. I dreamt this morning about being homeless. Someone asked me what was my source of income, and I told him it was none of his business. Then he hacked into my Social Security account and tried to stop my payments. I also dreamt that I was typing on an old manual typewriter… I’m going to go look for my copy of The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart. When I read it the first time, my comprehension wasn’t good. She is a great writer, and makes Merlin very believable.

Three twenty five. I found the book and skimmed through it for a while. Stewart makes Merlin less an enchanter than a clairvoyant or prophet, someone gifted with the Sight. I wish I could revive my old faith in spiritual things. My medication mostly precludes it from happening. It makes me realistic and skeptical of the supernatural. If there’s a window to such things, then Mary Stewart is it. There’s no reason not to believe in mystical stuff. Many people do, so why not me? I definitely used to believe in my muse, the one that inspired me to make music and to write poetry. Emerson held a lot of power for me around the time I played with Blue-face. Lately, my faith has withered and wilted away. Metaphysics has become an impossibility. It has to be the antipsychotic.

Nine ten. I passed all afternoon feeling mentally terrible, like a victim of my own conscience. Is it because of the reading I did in the book by Victor Hugo? How could a book have such an impact on my mind? And yet there it is. I’m examining myself like never before in a moral way. The sun was out this afternoon, but I couldn’t stand the light. Had to hide from it. Does everyone go through something like this? A review and reevaluation is taking place. This is only the beginning.


Seven twenty five. Pastor called me as he’d promised. We talked about music and literature but not about religion. Maybe he needs a break from his role as pastor sometimes. It reminds me that he is a human being. He told me that the pantry went okay, with about 30 families served. They figured out how to direct traffic through the parking lot, using new signs. This evening he was just reading a book on the history of baseball in his backyard. I rested in bed for a few hours, my mind wracked by torturous thoughts. I tried to ascertain the cause of my malaise all day today, thinking it was something I had read. I couldn’t relax and be myself. I believed my personality was somehow aberrant or erroneous, specifically hedonistic rather than morally upright. But now it occurs to me that my conscience is overactive, and probably not the mark of a shameless wanton. The Hugo book is putting me through a trial, so maybe I should stop and read something light. I’ve considered Andersen’s fairytales, which may offer more sugar coat to the moral pill. But the more I think about it, the more it seems that all works of literature are morally didactic in nature. Everything we ever write is necessarily moral, whether we intend it or not. Perhaps this is the lesson I’ve learned so far from reading Les Miserables.