Quarter of eleven at night.
Three hours ago I sat between purple cloud and pale sun to left and right of me. But I reflected, what if no contrasts existed objectively, and my old Chaucer professor was misled? I recall having a problem with his classification of female and male into polar opposites: because in biology, there are such things as Turner’s and androgen insensitivity, which blur such distinctions. Also I had read James Baldwin, with his passages on androgyny and what this meant for human experience. The Chaucer guy came from the school of Aristotle and Freud and described himself as an old fogy, getting older and fogier every day. His lectures were hilarious and very fun, and Chaucer by nature was bawdy and hysterical. At the same time, at least one student I spoke with had disagreements with the professor: I ran into her in the library the morning of the final exam. Her perspective on the class made me self conscious of mine; and then I had to go take the test. I remember filling up my blue book with essay answers while thinking about taking a trip to see my brother at his place in Michigan. And that’s what I actually did for the last week in June and beyond the Fourth of July. I had a wonderful time.
Four fifty five. As I was playing my bass guitar, I fell into doing some passages from “The Gates of Delirium” by Yes, one of the most impressive songs by a progressive rock band ever recorded… It put me in a sort of dreamy mood, reminiscing again on my high school years with so much great music. At my school, not many kids listened to art rock, but the old Yes albums of the seventies happened to get reissued on vinyl in the early eighties. So, like a person with good taste I bought every Yes record I could get my hands on, and my plastic brain memorized all the music like a tape recorder… But now I’m getting older and not as dynamic as I used to be. The good news is that I’m not so paranoid or delusional anymore, which frees me up to do more things with my life.
I left a voicemail for my sister today but she hasn’t returned my call yet. I thought of her just now because she is a pious Christian. My faith in a literal God, Jesus Christ, and all the other supernatural beings is total toast. I don’t see any way to recover my credence. It isn’t that I don’t believe in being kind to each other, or that love is the greatest thing a person can experience. It’s just the metaphysical nuts and bolts of religion that I can’t accept anymore. There’s no evidence at all for the superstitions that most people take for granted.
I wonder why Lord of the Flies was such a staple of the old literary canon? We students were brainwashed with this book at the age of fifteen, and the precept of it was that human beings are naturally evil, a contemporary version of Hobbesian philosophy. But why sow this seed of learning in young minds? Forever it would rule our fates as we graduated from school and sought our fortune in the secular world. A few kids rebelled against the curriculum; they were the smart ones, dropping out of advanced English and finding an alternative way. They were the ones who disappeared from my sight in the high school halls, while the rest of us took the full dose of the indoctrination and headed off for college— perhaps to end up many years later writing blog posts for a lucky few followers to puzzle their heads about.