Streaking and Shrieking

Seven thirty.

I hate politics. Biden’s vaccine mandates force me to be political, however. I didn’t know how to respond when our church musician said he had no tolerance for the unvaccinated, but now I can say that he was too extreme. For more than one reason, I want to boycott the church, and Biden’s action makes this decision even stronger for me… Last night I took my medication, and a few hours later felt worse than I’ve ever felt in my life… I don’t know. I don’t care what I say anymore. Life really sucks for everyone right now, so I guess anything goes. I feel like throwing off all my clothes and running screaming through the streets until I get arrested; but chances are that nothing would happen to me… I just trashed the daily church email without opening it. Aesop is whining for his breakfast. At least dogs are apolitical and innocent. I wish people had as much sense as my dog. 

Dystopia

Quarter of seven.

At midnight I dug out my CD of Three Friends by Gentle Giant and spun it. The music brings back the time of being housed at Residence Inn on Club Road… I just saw the news headlines, all of which was bad news. Oh well. There must be some good news somewhere. Yesterday evening I finished reading the treatise on The One by Plotinus. I think it’s basically an ontological argument for the existence of God, sort of like saying that nothing can be made from nothing. All of the world of being depends on The One for its existence. I feel like reading the rest of Les Miserables, but the actual achievement of this is much harder. Victor Hugo is great, except he digresses a lot and throws in a lot of confusion… I can’t seem to write a good letter to my friend in the Southwest anymore. It’s very frustrating to communicate with ghosts.

Eight o five. Sometimes I just don’t give a shit about anything, and I defy anyone to pick a fight with me. Today is one of those days. Satisfaction is very far away. But then, the mood you’re in creates your reality. You think the way you feel and the converse. When you catch yourself being negative, you can stop the spiral by looking for positives. There’s one stressful thought behind all my negativity, and it’s about taking out the trash. I should probably just call the office of the disposal service and tell them my situation. There’s nothing else like clear communication between people. Just be honest and good will result. The only people who will punish honesty are those who are themselves very dishonest. By far the majority of people tell the truth, however, so you can trust them.

Nine twenty. I’ve left a voicemail for my sister and then I called the garbage people. The weather is cloudy and smoky. There’s an old punk song that goes, “This ain’t no f—g picnic,” and that just about says it all. 

Outlaws of Love

Four thirty in the morning.

I wasn’t sleeping well. I got up and trimmed my beard with my electric razor to see my face again. Then I took my Vraylar for the night: just one of those things I have to do. At eight thirty I have to be ready to ride to see my hematologist. These visits are always pretty brief, but I guess they’re necessary. Better to err on the side of caution with hemochromatosis. When the store opens at six o’clock I’ll go do my daily shopping. 

I didn’t like the news headlines this morning, so I trashed the email. There was one about platonic parenting that I thought was stupid and unromantic. It’s just another symptom of how people are going wrong with depersonalization and asexuality. We don’t love each other anymore, and in this way we’re going out not with a bang but a whimper. In this way we are the hollow people, yet we keep signing it into law and tacit rules, so that a real romance will be an unlawful scandal. Why are we doing this to ourselves? We’re committing suicide but we don’t believe it. If I am old fashioned, then so be it. Probably I’ll be arrested for saying so. 

Pinch of Salt

Quarter after eight.

Conspiracy theories… I don’t know what to think. I simply live my life from day to day. Last May I still was concerned with the idea of individual freedom, but the next month, something went wrong. I went to DDA meetings when I would rather not. I suppose I did a number of inauthentic things, however no one is perfect, and maybe it’s better not to adhere to rigid principles. I like to believe that I am flexible in these trying times, a point in history when nobody knows anything. Six children of Sheryl’s family were diagnosed with Covid, I just read this morning. She is a member of my church. I’m becoming less and less of a skeptic of the pandemic…

On the other hand—

Yesterday afternoon I scrolled down the news headlines on my tablet and groaned at how ridiculous they were, and sometimes just terrible. Yet the media flourishes because readers eat it up and ask for more. We don’t care if a story is even true. I guess the need to believe is human nature, and if a fiction is pleasing, we’ll take that sooner than the facts. People believe what they want to believe, and the media panders to just that. I think Jamesian Pragmatism is mostly hogwash because it’s non rational and non factual— which James himself admitted. In other words, it’s a lie. And we’ve seen what mendacity has done for us.

Quarter after nine. I’ve been vaccinated for Covid, and it cannot be reversed. So I guess I’m committed to a certain perspective on current events, though with some inconsistencies and some reservations. I do the best I can. 

Perfectible

Quarter of eight.

As I started walking down my street this morning, my head began to spin and I lost my balance for a few seconds. Dunno what caused it, though it could be my cholesterol medication, or maybe the heatwave. I mastered myself enough to finish going to the store for a few items. No Snapple today. Too risky. I’m also under a lot of stress in general and life has been unkind lately… At ten o’clock I have a Zoom appointment with Rebecca. I may be a bit nervous about that. Aesop gets breakfast at eight thirty. I think I should take it kind of easy today and aim for church on Sunday. My apocalyptic view of this summer could be exaggerated for some reason. However, I still think we could use a good rain here in Oregon. I feel rather tired and also sad about a few things. Every loss brings grieving. I don’t believe my Freudian education is valid anymore, or applicable to my current life. But I learned other things in college I can salvage for use in the present. Information tends to flow and ebb with time. And if I’m just a man out of time, a fish out of water, then I can learn to adapt with everyone else.

Quarter of nine. The day looks quite ugly to me. I’ve thought of how much I miss old times when our winters were actually cold. People still wear jackets and coats in the wintertime, but the truth is that they are not necessary when it’s fifty degrees out. We’re past the tip of the iceberg, and we did this to ourselves by polluting our habitat beyond sustainability. No one listens to scientists because we prefer the flattering lies of religion. The time was yesterday for paying attention to their warnings. Now, the new normal will be more and more abnormal for everybody. If only human nature were perfectible, as Percy Shelley hoped a long time ago… 

The Hurly Burly

One thirty.

I just played my Kiloton bass for a while with the switching in split mode and tuned down to D for doing “People” by King Crimson. Sounds really great. My mother used to spoil me by getting me professional music gear when I was a kid, so I got kind of used to that. Then after the moneybag was gone I felt lost and quite stuck up a creek without a paddle. I’d been so dependent on her and suddenly I was screwed. I don’t think I could reason out my situation very well at first. All I could think of to do was drink a lot of beer, because this made me feel comfortable somehow. Otherwise I was too scared to navigate my course, to make my own decisions and do what was right for myself. Recently I’ve realized that there aren’t that many options for me, unless I rule out some of them automatically. Everybody appears to be stuck with limited choices while the pandemic lasts, though I wonder what a brave person like Sartre would do, if this circumstance is anything like the Nazi occupation of France about 80 years ago. Some people don’t believe the virus is real or that anyone is getting sick, and we’re all just pawns in a government game. Now I have reason not to be as skeptical about Covid, having heard of a case in my own family. I know my sister wouldn’t lie about that.

Two thirty. The sky is a hot white color outside my window, not very pretty. Will this summer ever end? It’s dry as a desert in Oregon. Everything just seems unnatural and out of whack. On the prompt of Environment Oregon I sent a prewritten email to our two Senators this morning. It dealt with climate change from burning fossil fuels, and a plan to change our sources of energy. It was worth a shot… There is Heidi again this Wednesday morning, and Rebecca on Friday. Misty never called me back to reschedule… 

Salvation

Eight ten.

I only heard about the Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon this morning. Apparently it’s been going on for some time. That’s my reward for not watching television or going to church: I’m out of the information loop… It seems like I feel terrible every day now. My right foot pops when I put all my weight on it, as if it had a stress fracture. I need to make the pleasures of life outweigh the pains to feel happier, or else existence is a burden. Tough luck, I guess. There are things money can’t buy, including your health and wellness in some degree. The joy that keeps me going is my rock band, without which I’d have nothing. The summer drags on way too long with no sign of rain on the horizon. “When April with its sweet showers / The drought of March has pierced to the root…” But we didn’t get much rain in April. I’m just feeling depressed with the state of the world. It appears to be on the brink of collapse. Consequently, people need more parties, more fun while it’s still possible to have a good time.

Quarter after nine. Big white clouds roll in, darkening the sun and keeping it cooler. My raspberry tea was good, and Aesop liked his turkey and pea breakfast. Tomorrow I get to visit with Heidi in her office at the agency; for this reason my mood is lifting a little… I was just looking at the anatomy of the human foot: much more complex than I knew. My foot doesn’t hurt, but just pops under pressure. Well, I could complain about a score of little things that bother me, while there’s one thing that pleases me most, and that is making music. Is it an exaggeration to say that music may be our salvation? 

“I Play Safe for You and Me”

Seven o’clock.

Today is Bloomsday again, the day in the life of Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. For some reason I’m not so excited about it this time. Last night I ordered a small selection of poems by John Berryman from the Library of America. I might give it to Ron, since he likes Modern and contemporary poetry. I think I’d rather just play my bass guitars than read and think heavy thoughts.

Quarter of nine. Michelle’s woes are multiplying. Someone stole her wallet right out of her purse on the counter when she went around the corner inside the store. It’s difficult to say whether the catastrophes are real or if her imagination amplifies them out of proportion. Or perhaps she is prone to making bad decisions? Maybe she isn’t very cautious from moment to moment, so the accidents look for her?

Again I remember the film I saw in grade school on safety issues, presented by Jiminy Cricket…

Rebecca just texted me back to offer me a Zoom appointment for next week. So I’m going to go ahead with it. The times today have me all confused, but I’m going with my blue politics and taking it easy. “Come on and take a free ride…” Let other people do the worrying. It’s not my problem. I’m not the one who set up the system this way, so don’t blame me. And as for the Bible, it gives some good suggestions, but I don’t believe it’s the inspired word of God. Is there really a revealed religion?

Quarter of ten. The weather is mostly cloudy with a smattering of sun here and there. I think it’s fair to say that I used to be an alcoholic, but that’s something I don’t do anymore— as simple as that. Still, I’m going to the meeting tomorrow just to get out of the house. I will write an email to Misty presently regarding the time we get together. 

Suspense

Eleven thirty. I wonder why I have such emotional problems? Life has gotten more difficult since April, with increased stress and pressure from all the people I deal with each week. I feel as if I had to compromise my identity to get along with others, and I was never very good at turtling and wearing a mask with different people. It’s exhausting to do this. I feel so tired. It would be better to simply be myself, and if people don’t like me, then they can go away and leave me alone. It seems like such a sin to assert myself in this life. We assert ourselves just by existing, by being someone, and immediately this draws fire from somebody else. The ideal is to live and let live, but hardly anyone practices this policy. It gets harder and harder just to exist in our society. I don’t know why this is. Am I the only one who notices it? I’d like to read a few pages of Being and Nothingness, except Sartre might make this feeling worse… It was Sartre who thought that hell is other people. Well, I shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to agree with someone with a different point of view. Everyone ought to be tactfully assertive and still be okay with each other. I just get this feeling that we’re really not okay. And the situation is escalating day by day. Someday soon it’s going to explode… 

Long Night, Long Day

Seven o’clock.

I spent a very long night last night. I reacted to the shot rather uncomfortably. It didn’t catch up to me until bedtime, but now I feel only a little bit better. It’s good to see the daylight again. Mostly cloudy with a patch of blue sky. It would be great if I could mind over matter the way I feel this morning. That’s what philosophy is good for, so maybe read a bit of Being and Nothingness… I received a call from my bank yesterday afternoon: they just want to do an annual review of my financial wellness. I can say it’s a lot better since I quit drinking. I’d like to go get myself a Snapple tea but it isn’t obligatory. Suddenly I realize how lonely I feel. I’ll call my sister in a half hour… I wish I had a girlfriend like Kate again.

Eight thirty five. I sucked it up and went and bought a Snapple raspberry tea. I got some good news in my mailbox. Feeling better than I did when I first got up. The sky is growing more blue now with a splash of sunshine on the ground. But it’s intolerably quiet in the house, the silence of solitude. It might be a long day.

We may decide to have band practice tomorrow. If Mike doesn’t work on Saturday and if I feel up for it then we could probably do it. I don’t want to miss church on Sunday either. If Aesop weren’t so aggressive towards everyone but me I could take him for a walk around the neighborhood. As it is, he scares people to death. I guess no situation is ever perfect, so you take the bad with the good. I’m glad now that I bought the G&L bass. I think I’ll buy some Ernie Ball strings for it soon. I’d love for life to get back to something like normalcy, but it seems like such a long time coming. Not only that, but maybe there’s no normal to return to.