Quarter after ten.
The possum under the house made a big racket early this morning. I missed some sleep because of it. At dawn, I slept in until nine thirty and then fed the dog. My walk to the store was rather difficult. I just felt tired and defeatist. What was the use? So I bought a two liter of Coke to pick myself up. I feel a little bit better now. Sometime between noon and four o’clock today, Damien is coming, so that’s something to look forward to. I wonder now if the key to human happiness might consist in generous acts. I should visit the salon more often than I do. Even if I feel awkward when I go there, still I ought to do it just because it gives someone pleasure. The Vraylar tends to put my thinking in Enlightenment mode, but as Wallace Stevens says, “It is not the reason that makes us happy or unhappy.” Perhaps all the knowledge in the world wouldn’t conduce to joy. Think of Odin, who possessed perfect wisdom, but for whom this was a woeful burden. The Father of the Gods was melancholy because he foresaw their own demise… Yet a little generosity and kindness can go a long way. And it takes my mind off of myself. Let us all share a Coke and a smile, on me.
Ten forty. I made my trip to the store. I saw Michelle, Cathy, and Suk. I passed Derek on my way there. The morning is overcast. Suddenly the thought of sociology intrigues me again with regard to this community. There’s a birdsong coming from the backyard. Cathy was busy with inventory, it looked like. Some kind of paperwork. There were only two customers in the store. Tonight is the church singing gig. I hope Lisa shows up, but we managed without her last time. Tomorrow I have to pick up a prescription at Bi Mart. I think of an old Queen song, “Somebody to Love,” and wonder how much people really feel it these days. Maybe everyone really does but dares not say it. Or maybe society has changed and grown colder. So that those old love songs are no longer relevant. They’re just background noise in the supermarkets and shopping malls, totally meaningless. Then what do people really value today?
Eleven forty. As if in answer, Karen rang me up and had a surprise for me. So I walked around the corner to see what was going on. Kim had gotten me a couple of fans for the house on hot days. Also, Gloria remembered me and wanted to say hi. The interior of the salon is all rearranged now. Karen’s desk is against a different wall. The atmosphere is light and airy with the new flooring. It looks great. And then Kim drove me home. Now the overcast has burned off and the sun is bright.
Noon hour. Now Charlie is here doing some cleanup with a wide broom. I imagine that it’s prep for the flooring. The weather is cloudy but supposed to rain again tonight. If I had to paste vicious labels on myself, the first would be sloth and the second, pride. Mental health professionals beat around the bush when it comes to moral issues, but I know what they want to say. They might as well say it, but I guess they’re afraid of lawsuits. I left my old psychiatrist because he said I looked like a bum, a homeless person living under a bridge. I didn’t know I had rights until a phone conversation with my health insurance. Dr T—‘s repeated insults hurt me so much that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. When I realized that I didn’t have to put up with him, I fired him, though that might’ve been extreme. I sort of regret it now because I’m without a psychiatrist of his expertise… The rain started again, which proves that no one really knows. And the same for the psychiatrist. If I had it to do again, I’d probably do the same. I was looking for a softer way, nicer treatment from people. Was I right or wrong to desire that? The church assembly has never given me a hard time for anything at all. If anything, they treat me with respect because I’m really a pretty nice guy. Or maybe they treat everyone equally well. But when I walk into a therapy session I get the screws put to me. I’ve grown to be picky about the kind of treatment I get from people. Perhaps that’s okay. I can’t stand to be verbally abused. And for as long as I have the right to choose my company, I choose to go where people are decent. The rain is coming down hard and steady while Charlie continues his work. It’s a torrent just now. I have to go to the store eventually, but I’ll wait for a break. Aesop needs his canned food and I want something to eat and drink. The forecast says the rain will stop at three o’clock, yet the hourly chart changes hour by hour. No one ever really knows, so one might as well rely on his own wits.
Near eleven o’clock. I was just thinking about how my siblings and I are decent to everybody but each other. There’s probably something wrong with that. I know that James Joyce would have something to say; or maybe he’d agree that that’s the way of things. That is, all humanity is related like one big family, yet we don’t treat each other like it. Family is supposed to be a support, and more; from family we are supposed to feel that we are loved and needed. I don’t know why my siblings and I hate each other with such a passion. It defies all logic and sense of what’s right. My thoughts were occasioned by the way I treat other people with disabilities with kindness. I can’t believe that my sister would do any differently, though my brother is questionable. But why is my own disability an exception to both of them? They always willfully believed that I faked schizophrenia in order to shirk work. But my illness is not one that shows outwardly, and that seems to be the confusion. If I don’t look sick, then I must not be sick. And it’s true that mental illness may never be regarded with the same compassion as a physical disease like cancer. This is because nobody likes the stigma of madness, and because people can’t discriminate the clinical from the moral. It’s inconceivable to them that the moral and psychological, the human, should be marred by disease. It’s the worst thing that could happen to a person. Therefore people deny it totally. So I guess that’s the situation with my family, so unfortunate for me but even more so for them to remain so ignorant.
Eight thirty 🕣. After a power nap. A friend of mine said I am kind and open. She values these things, hence it flatters me to have them. I remember that the bad therapist a year ago didn’t presuppose the value of kindness. She had this brute vision of people dominating or submitting like cavemen, especially in sex. But I’d learned a long time ago from The Wife of Bath that sadomasochism is irrational and sick. The alternative was spiritual love, the equal rational love that comes to us from God. Thus I was not in the wrong when I fired this woman. My memory goes back a very long way, so I am not bamboozled by capricious fads and things that won’t stand the test of time. I think Chaucer is an eternal verity, and his vision of love is kind and far from troglodyte. This therapist person wasn’t rooted in much of anything except what was new and trendy… So when my friend remarked my kindness and openness, I knew she was sincere and I felt great. Some people can go their whole life and not get a compliment like that. I feel sorry for those people because I know how unhappy they are. When people are disliked, it’s a tough thing to turn around. Perhaps if someone offered the therapist a little random loving kindness?…