A Birthday Lunch

Quarter of noon. I’m totally confused now. Pastor won’t give up on trying to keep me part of his flock. But I really don’t believe in angels and demons and the traditional concept of heaven. Pastor is trying to say that it doesn’t matter. What counts is being good to one another… It occurs to me that I work too hard on my blog posts. As a result, they require more work to read. Some people don’t want to think.

Two o’clock. Lunch at the salon was fantastic. I walked in the door and everything was all ready. Jean was also there, making it a party of five. Angela looked very cute for her birthday. People joked about where to put away the calories. Karen mentioned that the lockdown may get more stringent again. I wonder how this would affect the church? Angela’s kids are being schooled at home… The air outside is awfully smoky from the wildfires, both regional and from California. We could use more rain anytime. If I’m going to the pharmacy today, then I’ll take a taxi. But I’ll probably wind up just going in the morning. Then, I can take my time and not be anxious. Make it a little promenade to Silver Lane. Maybe snap a few photos— though there’s not much to show when it’s smoky and people are masked… The longer I abstain from drinking, the more complex life around me seems. Current events only become more catastrophic to my mind, and the solutions more elusive. Perhaps in another year or two my brain will be serviceable for something better than blogging. Many years ago, I would’ve said set my brother on the task of saving the world. I verily believe he could’ve done it. 

Searching…

Three twenty five. I suddenly remembered my appointment with Todd for tomorrow afternoon. It will be a video call, sort of like Zoom or Skype. I asked about Heidi, and they said she hasn’t come back from furlough. Something smells fishy. It sounds like she’s not going to be my case manager after this. Miranda took over part of Heidi’s case load, but I haven’t heard from her since early summer… I hope L— H— doesn’t put pressure on me to be religious or something that goes against my personal beliefs. If they do, then I’ll have to figure out other options. I never did like the Christian character of the agency. It was too much like Serenity Lane: Jesus or nothing. I always will find it unconstitutional and unlawful to shove Jesus down our schizophrenic throats. If push really comes to shove, then I’ll emigrate to Canada or something drastic just to preserve my sanity.

Quarter of three in the morning. Yesterday evening I published a post whose sincerity was dubious from the start. A moment ago I went into my posts and trashed it. The writing of it was probably inspired by my trip to Sacred Heart yesterday morning, a phone conversation with L— H—, and finally a shotgun email from Pastor. I retired to bed at ten o’clock and slept four hours, dreaming strange dreams. At one point, I saw a white crockpot that was full of tube worms but which also yielded up old editions of Tarzan, one after the other. At another juncture, I was walking to the church at night and got hit by a car. Though it hurt, I kept walking. When I awoke, I reflected on the nature of heroes: how was Tarzan different from Jesus? Answer: Tarzan did not depend on supernatural powers to expedite his adventures. His strength was purely physical and mental, never spiritual. I considered that I grew up with heroes like everyone else, but they happened not to be Christ. Not even Luke Skywalker, who relied on the Force for his power. Nor Frodo Baggins, aided by the old wizard Gandalf. If anything, the heroes I read about pitted their wits and strength against the supernatural, in the form of nefarious cults with weird, soul devouring gods. Which type of hero was correct? I only know that Tarzan fueled my fortitude in my youth. 

More Power

Eleven thirty. I went out to my mailbox and found a small windfall. Quest Diagnostics refunded my payment of about twelve dollars. So I ended up paying zero dollars for the bloodwork. It raised my spirits for my walk to the store. They were doing a good business today because of Mother’s Day. I’m of a mind to call Polly, but she’s not my mother. Roger is out working on something in his driveway. Aesop is a bit happier than the other day. My rhododendrons are blooming in the front yard, pink and lavender. The air outside is perfumed with blossoming things. The feel and the smells remind me of past Mother’s Days, especially when I used to drink beer. I miss my family whenever there’s a holiday. Even if I had a limitless supply of money I would not buy alcohol again. Money is not our only lifeline.

One o five. Spring sunshine brings back a lot of things. When I was in seventh grade we studied The Red Pony and a novel about the Oregon Trail. The following year was The Call of the Wild. Then the next I read A Separate Peace and a lot of mindless books for pleasure, Tarzan and Doc Savage especially. I still can’t guess what I liked about these two Herculean superheroes who could do anything. Anything they willed was not only doable but done. Fantasies of strength and control gave me vicarious power. I don’t think it was homosexual necessarily, but rather compensation for weeny feelings. I wished I could BE Doc Savage and manage my life accordingly. If I had been Tarzan, my wishes would’ve been realized. No sooner thought than done. But I don’t remember what I wished for, and maybe at the time I didn’t know. I had a crush on a girl named Kathleen and never told her until years later.

Edgar Allan Poe

Noon hour.

The Coke was a winner, now finished. Soon I will have a burrito for lunch. I just read “Some Words with a Mummy,” a playful little tale by Poe. Not a major work by him. The copy I read from I purchased at Borders over twenty years ago. Library of America. I did have a vehicle back then, a green Nissan pickup truck. One night, when the happy hour and dinner were done, I drove to the bookstore and picked this volume for its authoritative texts. The cashier looked at the book skeptically, as if wondering how it differed from the bargain volumes of Poe that abounded. I suppose I thought I deserved better. Likely I was a snob, but this was two decades ago. Still, the book is worthy to keep and venerate as a sort of monument. I went and fetched it from a box of my things, and my place in it was still marked after many years. I had read some 800 pages of it. Even Henry James condescended to like The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, while T S Eliot despised everything from the Romantic period. Many critics denounce Poe, but he still became famous overnight with the publication of “The Raven.” I had a guitarist friend who told me he was going to write an opera about Poe. I wonder if he ever did? Another friend, from Baltimore, sneaked into the cemetery where Poe was buried and slept on his grave. I figure that’s devotion for you. Still another band mate admired the prosody of Poe’s poetry, with every line meticulously put together. Then of course there was my mother, who proclaimed Edgar Allan Poe as a genius for his originality. One could do much worse than Poe for a champion.