Ten forty AM.
I was eating a ham and cheese Hot Pocket when I dripped cheese on the front of my hoodie; a minor disaster. So I went to the kitchen to wipe it with a wet sponge, but there was an electrical problem with the light switch— only for a moment. The superstition crossed my mind that these were little acts of God, but I quickly filtered this illogic out. And besides, what would be the purpose in meaningful little catastrophes like these?… I have a full afternoon and evening today. I thought that any ideology can be turned into fascism, so I’m highly suspicious of most belief systems. Would culture fall apart if we dispensed with ideology? Is it possible to have a society based on tangible things alone, as the positivists advocated around the time of WW2? They didn’t actually propose such a place, but they wanted to clear up philosophy so the excesses of nationalism would be impossible again. I have a nagging phobia of fascism that I learned in school, and sure enough, the same issues of history repeat themselves when people are unaware of their past. The thing is that ideas are only ideas, just fluff that we make up completely, while the physical world is hard to deny with any kind of common sense. It is madness when we lose the material world and the things we agree are real. Dunno. People can say Believe and etc but do they know what they’re really talking about? What happens when our landing gear is so damaged that we can’t get our feet on the ground again? It’s like the disorientation of a sea diver with the bends who can’t tell up from down.
Or maybe I’m just having a bad day?
Nine thirty AM.
I slept in for some time today. I fed Aesop and then I got all the way to the store when I remembered it was garbage pickup day and I was probably late putting mine out. So I hurried home at a half run and did that, but I think he missed me already. But it’s not a great tragedy. It’s a nice sunny morning and cold. The sparrows in the backyard are upset from the presence of a much bigger starling or blackbird, and Aesop was just barking at a squirrel on the ground. I was on the phone to my pharmacy regarding my prescription that didn’t arrive over the weekend— and I’m completely out of my medication, so I’m a little panicky. Everything seems a catastrophe lately, and at times like these I need a refresh of old cognitive therapy. Not everything is going wrong with my life today. There’s a few good books I want to look at sometime today. Maybe I can do that after my phone call with my sister is done. If all was right with the world I’d say so, but the world isn’t all wrong either. Here comes the garbage truck; we’ll see what he does with my bin.
Eight o five.
I haven’t been very well lately but at least I can spot it. The big tangerine in the sky has cleared the horizon as I try to relax my mind. Sometimes it seems to collapse on itself, or explode like the splitting of the atom. When I think I’m critiquing culture, it’s really just the tissue of my existence. The best I can do is avoid the church and religion and focus outward on ordinary objects. I feel like a shapeless glob of gelatin, like a jellyfish or something. Today is a lot like how I felt five years ago, though it’s not very pleasant to remember it. Back then I lived on a tub of ice cream and a loaf of bread every day… This is something different: Aesop isn’t hungry for breakfast yet today. Somewhere there must be an eclipse or sunspots; a supernova or some cataclysm. A long lost comet coming around. Asteroids.
I witnessed some good spirits at the market just a bit ago. A pair of women shot the bull with Lisa and apparently they had jobs in healthcare. They made jokes about paranoia and so on. I noticed that they were buying Mike’s Harder Mango at a very early hour. As I approached the parking lot from the sidewalk I saw a sign at my feet that read “For Rent.” Somebody must’ve dropped it there for a joke. The apartments across the way off of Maxwell Road go for $1400 a month. I think of how fortunate I am to own my home, and there’s something to be said for staying in one place for a long time. Inside the store, another customer examined the greeting cards on the revolving tree. The atmosphere was laid back and even pretty jovial. When I was going out I ran into a young Black man and said hi for no particular reason and held the door for him… The sky at dawn was gunmetal blue this morning. Yesterday it rained most of the day with occasional snow. Right now the sun wants to come out to the greeting of the birds. My dog gets breakfast in just a few minutes.
Eight twenty. I just heard from my friend in Texas. She’s been through extreme weather that damaged her house last night. She is without power and more bad weather is still coming. I hope someone comes to help her very soon. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Quarter of nine.
My day is getting off to a lousy start. I look around at my house and see schizophrenia everywhere: dirt and disorganization. Pure chaos. And I can’t find anyone to help me out with housework. It’s never happened before and I doubt it will ever happen. But I’ll try to see something positive in my life today. The autumn change in weather feels nice to me. Damien said he’d be here this afternoon to do some work. There has to be hope somewhere in this picture. If I had a couple of grand, I’d hire a janitorial service to come clean my house. Maybe I could just put it on my credit card and owe the bank forever. I can ask Damien about getting some help. I’m not a hoarder, just a person with schizophrenia, and I feel pretty terrible.
Nine forty. It might cheer me up to read Henry James… Maybe I need to get out of this place. I don’t care for this neighborhood at all. How nice if I could just pack up and go live in Victoria indefinitely! Anywhere but here. Utopia is a state of mind, I guess. I wish someone would send a little happiness my way today. Too many people want to piss on your campfire… Song: “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” A version by Roger Williams, a long long time ago. I think my dad gave me that LP; he came home for lunch and handed it to me when I was three. I don’t remember exactly the last time I cried, but the next time could be today. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
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.
There’s been yet another headache for me. My debit card was compromised. But my bank was very good about it and I didn’t lose any money. I was fortunate. I think I’ll call my sister… I left a voicemail for her. The bad events hail down on us from a blue sky. Now I know it’s time to give up rock and roll.
Another hot one is predicted for today. Think I’ll stay home from church yet again. The reading I did of Shakespeare during the night got me reflecting on collectivism in a new way. Autolycus as a character in The Winter’s Tale is a fly in the ointment, and by nature he is unlikable with his dishonest purse cutting and bawdy songs. It makes me compare his role in the play to my own place in the church and the community. And seeing myself in this light, I don’t really like my image. Funny how reading a good book can make you self aware.
Seven thirty. The store was supposed to be open at seven, but when I arrived, no one was there and the doors were locked up. I’ve never seen this happen before at Community Market, a total failure to show up. So I crossed the street to the espresso hut and bought a raspberry tea from the pretty girl and came home. I can’t speculate what happened to Heather this morning. I only know she didn’t show up to open the store today… I’m still contemplating going to Our Redeemer for Sunday worship. It’s a very long walk there, and Aesop won’t be happy about my absence. I’ll leave it to the last minute to decide… Band practice was such a disaster yesterday that I won’t make an Orpheus post this time. My mates were too stoned and drunk to be able to play their instruments, let alone think and make sense in speech. I was terribly embarrassed. Maybe in this case it’s two strikes and you’re out. I wasted my time yesterday with these bozos. I just want to make music, while the others make music secondary to the drugs… Church is looking better and better as I think about it…
I just got back from my daily run to the store and didn’t wear a mask this time. Michelle said her cat is angry at her for being spayed recently. I remembered to get Aesop’s dry food and my ibuprofen. It’s cool outside today with overcast skies. Damien brought my ac unit yesterday evening, so now I have some insurance against the next heatwave. I’m just thankful that I can think straight again. I’ve got a passage from Prokofiev playing in my head, used both in his Classical Symphony and in Romeo and Juliet. I first heard it when I was 24, just before I was diagnosed… This is Thursday and nothing planned for today, though I hope for a band rehearsal tomorrow or the next day. I’d like to play my G&L bass sometime today and soak up its beautiful tones. It sounds very close to the Music Man bass I owned during the ‘90’s, the one that made me a small fortune with disco. The band I’m in now is nothing like disco; it may be called indie music, I suppose… I hope the neck on my Aria bass didn’t warp while sitting in the studio through the heatwave…
I don’t recall what dreams I had last night. In my blank book yesterday I confessed that sobriety can be hell, and I asked myself why this is so. But this morning my mind has recovered its original shape, so I think the real hell was the extreme weather last weekend. And that was a trial for everyone in the Northwest, not just me. Nor was I like Jonah, or anybody else in the Old Testament. I don’t believe in telepathy of any kind, thus no God who knows the thoughts of my heart. No other being in the world will ever know my inmost thoughts and feelings by a direct link between minds. But the question is an interesting one. Perhaps I just don’t want to believe in telepathy, valuing my privacy instead, sort of like Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway. The privacy and freedom of one’s mind is a sacred thing.
One o’clock. I went to Bi Mart for my prescription and to get some socks and underwear, but on the way, on the Silver Lane sidewalk I almost got hit by a reckless pickup driver. He ran off the road right next to me, up onto the sidewalk, and eventually drove to the turn lane to get on River Road. Three other witnesses were there, and two of them asked me if I was all right. It was just one of those crazy things. And just as swiftly as it had occurred it was forgotten and I continued to the Bi Mart.
The pickings from the men’s clothes were quite slim, so I grabbed whatever they had in my size and checked out at the pharmacy counter. The cashier was an old sourpuss who always works on Saturdays. It’s interesting, but when I was a drunkard I thought Bi Mart was a very cool place to go shopping. Today I see through its shortcomings, which even the employees readily admit. Bi Mart is not Walmart or even Jerry’s Home Improvement. It has a small selection of a little of everything you need to survive. They have a good variety of beers and wines, sometimes on sale for cheap. But I don’t go there for booze anymore, so it isn’t very exciting these days. I think of how many ghosts from the past I’ve more or less exorcised since quitting the alcohol. I’ve accepted the losses and let them go.
Then I took my things in a brown paper bag and walked home the same way I arrived, reasoning that another accident like before was improbable. I got home without further incident.