Quarter of three AM.
Years ago, in a weak moment, I sold my box set of The Great Deceiver, a collection of live recordings by King Crimson. I remember how carefully the clerk at CD World examined each of the four discs to determine condition and value. In fact, they were immaculate. She finally offered me $30 for them, or maybe $35. Originally I had paid twice that for the new box set, and at the time, I didn’t have internet, so my friend Roger ordered it for me from the DGM website. My mother had just passed away. But I resorted to selling it around 2010 to support my alcoholism.
The longer I live and experience life, the more I doubt that a delusion is really a delusion. When I was younger, I had lots of bizarre superstitions, yet they were no stranger than the beliefs I see in other people; and such thoughts exist in our language and culture. I think the difference is that to a psychotic person, delusions are reality, and are felt as palpably as the literal objects and things around him. Other people can refer to religious ideas and laugh at them, and scoff and make fun because the words are not real to them. These ideas have mere subsistence in the language we use. Yet in a schizophrenic’s mind, the unreal assumes a reality like the experience of a waking dream or nightmare. The only remedies are medication and the passing of time. To persist and to endure.
I once heard an anecdote from a peer in recovery about some friends he knew. Apparently, their car had run out of gas and they were stuck someplace with no gas can or service station nearby. So, like good Christians, they resorted to faith to help their situation. They gathered around the car and prayed over the empty fuel tank to make the car run. I guess God would either put gasoline in the tank or make the car go without fuel… It’s just an example of an extreme that Americans went through twenty years ago and I had the good fortune to hear about. During the time I had a job with the agency, life was quite an intellectual desert, though I met a precious few rational people who were a pleasure to know. These occasions were rare, but I appreciated them while the rest of the world had gone off the deep end. The Rush CD that came out in May 2007 was like a love letter to me, expressing my own sentiments exactly. Otherwise my existence was very lonely and damned, as if I was a pariah for a reason I couldn’t fathom.
It pays to persist and persevere. I really had no choice.
Aesop is begging me for his breakfast, due in ten minutes. I’ll have to buy him more food today at Bi Mart when Gloria gets here. Even though it’s springtime, it’s been cold each day, and they keep saying it’ll snow in the valley. On my walk to the market a waterfowl, a crane or heron, crossed the sky before me. He probably preys on the sitting ducks in neighborhood fishponds when he doesn’t hang out at Kelly Pond. I saw him yesterday, too. Being a bird would be a strange life. The other day I had another fugitive thought: do they have beer in heaven? If not, then what would be the point in going there? I held the door open for a man carrying a blue half rack of some fancy Budweiser that looked pretty good to me. But I did the right thing and stuck with my Coca-Cola. This last week seemed like a very long haul. There is church tomorrow, but I have so many disagreements with the pastor that it’s not worth the trouble. Nobody pays me to think critically on theology or ontology, metaphysics, etc, but I can’t help myself. The two deepest mysteries of life are the emergence and the fate of consciousness. I think that a personal heaven after this life makes more sense than the Resurrection and the Kingdom Come. And having a beer in heaven makes the most sense of all.
Ten o’clock at night.
I wonder if everyone goes through burnout when they reach 55 years old. Only ten years ago I could still experience exquisite pleasure, but now my sensuality has withered up and blown away like a fragile plant in the winter freeze. All that remains of me is purely mental and logical, like a person from planet Vulcan, devoid of heart and soul. Or perhaps this is sobriety at any age in a person’s life? I can say with certainty that it isn’t much fun without the elixir… though the drink is like Mother Kali, giving life with one hand and butchering it with the other. A philosophical temperament gets old and wearisome, but still it goes on and on like a plodding old tortoise alone in his shell. His method may win the race after all, while the rabbit’s lazy complacency never finishes. And he may dally with his pleasures on the way, become stranded with the Lotus Eaters and not know up from down… A coworker long ago told me that persistence pays off, and the historical Aesop would probably agree with him. And Aristotle lectured something about the lone philosopher, as I observe my knuckles growing knottier and knottier with knowledge and logic. I guess that after all, it’s not the sensitive plant that endures, but rather the adamant of the mind, sturdy and stolid as the mountain crags.