Body Language

Four thirty.

I finally figured out what causes my insomnia: it can be no other than the Vraylar. It’s a side effect of the medication. Probably there have been other ones as well, and I just didn’t recognize them. I bet constipation is one. Here it is the wee hours of the morning, the sky and everything cloaked in blackness. The sounds of the railroad faintly reach me. It feels cold because the furnace is turned down. Aesop lies on top of my feet. Fifteen minutes have already elapsed since starting to write. One thing I’d like to remember is the importance of body language in social interaction. A live presence, a meeting in person, is much different from something solely verbal. Our gestures and every movement of face and body express ourselves. This didn’t dawn on me until I met with Ron on Friday afternoon. As any impressionist writer knows, so much is said in the silences. What words or musical notes don’t say, the silence implies. And the same for body language. It reminds me that I am responsible for my facial expressions and body movements. Dependence on electronic communication had obscured from me the truth. For meeting in the flesh there is no substitute. In this sense, DH Lawrence has been absolutely right. No machine, therefore, will ever be able to feel anything. Do machines have body language? The question sounds absurd. Lawrence is amazingly farsighted for his century. He spoke a prophecy for all of us, one that we haven’t heeded. I daresay we never will.

A Blogger’s Complaint

Quarter after ten.

It’s been raining again. I tried to sleep, with little or no success. It is tough being alone with religious delusions. The odd thing is that my psychotic ideas sound intelligent and even plausible. Vraylar seems to take them and refine them into coherence. The thoughts I’m having are much like what I experienced in high school, before I started drinking alcohol. I was always depressed and felt inferior to my peers for being unpopular, like a geek. I had a very low self esteem. No one ever appreciated me except for my teachers; the student body ignored me completely. I don’t think I really belonged in a high school setting. When I entered college I found a lot more nerds like myself, but we all had high intelligence, and the old high school mentality was confined to the Greek system. Nowadays I’m sort of back to being in the high school world again. Very few people can relate to the smart things I have to say. I admit that my personality is saturnine and too serious for most people, but I can forgive myself. The blogging community drives me a little nuts with its pleasantries and sunshine — when reality just doesn’t work that way, if you are honest. I see people who try to give inexpert advice, try to sell a product, and make fools of themselves. My only project is to communicate with people about my life with schizophrenia. It is less to prescribe than to describe what I go through every day. The more personal, the more powerful. I suppose it’s an uphill battle being honest with people. The psychiatrist I left behind coached me to keep the illness a secret, but my morals objected to the dishonesty… I feel angry and frustrated with this community for its thoughtless lemon drops and lollipops, and sometimes I even consider hanging up blogging entirely. I would issue a challenge to every one of you to just for once write something that isn’t a brainless greeting card. The world could stand to be so refreshed.

Long Post: A Thousand Starless Words

Warning: Intense religious content
Eight thirty five.

I caught myself having an episode of psychosis this morning. I emailed Suz about what was happening and she replied very nicely. I have the food pantry this morning; must take off in twenty minutes, or maybe a bit later. I usually get there too early. Cathy should be there with her cookies, which are always welcome. The milk of human kindness is a far cry from delusions about the devil. I don’t know where my religious delusions come from, but they are terrible. As for Sheryl, I still think she was a lousy therapist. Or maybe not qualified to work with schizophrenic people. Funny how I fired her, and then, PeaceHealth was just as bad. I didn’t care for Bonnie very much. Finally I came full circle to Laurel Hill, and that was a lot better. I will tell Dominic that I don’t want to work a job. I can tell him about my episode today. And really, I’ve been under unusual stress lately. Psychosis is very uncomfortable and frightening. No one seems to understand it. However, I do want to stick out playing music with other people. It’s something I’m really good at, and hang the delusions. They are not real. I’ve had all kinds of delusions and hallucinations in my life, but none of them was real. The sexuality stuff could be yet another delusion. I might as well take the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind not the therapists I’ve had, but rather the psychiatrist I used to see. It’s ok to pick and choose among my experiences with providers. I know my own illness very well. Only a few minutes to go. Think about how glad they’ll be to see me…

Noon hour. The food pantry went as usual, nothing extraordinary happened. When I got home, I rested for a few minutes, then I went and bought some food for Aesop. Now he’s been fed and I can relax with my ginger ale. The sun is out in a partly cloudy sky. People are out walking their dogs, children are playing, and the temperature is unusually warm for winter. I went out in just a sweatshirt, no jacket. It’s good to see the sunshine after a week of solid overcast skies. You tend to forget that the sun even exists in winter. The deprivation of light makes you depressed and a little hopeless. Right now the silence is almost unbroken. Two nights ago it rained super hard, but I hardly heard anything because of my new storm windows. My brain is playing a song called “Starless” by King Crimson. The lyric to it is awfully depressing. My conscious mind can’t retrieve the words, but my subconscious probably knows the whole thing. I bought the album Red at Earth River Records when I was still 17 years old. At the time, I already had a vague notion of what the band was about. It wasn’t very healthy for me to be listening to. I knew that my Spanish teacher was a Christian, so in part I rebelled against her beliefs. I don’t know why. High school was a bizarre time for me, with not very many choices of ideology. Pretty much, it was only Christianity and rock and roll, and reactions to both. College was a much better atmosphere, and I learned about this thing called philosophy, which enabled me to think critically about anything under the sun. My whole education after high school was an exposure to philosophy. We were taught how to think, not what to think. Across all disciplines, the underlying theme was philosophy; it was logic and reason.

One forty. I’m in a rut I need to get out of. The episode I had this morning was alarming. It reminded me that I indeed have the illness, and sometimes even the medication can’t block the symptoms. I might take an afternoon nap, because I know I didn’t sleep well last night. Until then, the ginger ale tastes really good.

Five twenty. Wow, Chris K posted a note on my blog that was very heartfelt and nice. He believes that I’m very brave for putting it out there about my illness. I suppose that he’s right. He’s probably sleeping right now, but I replied to his comment… I practiced my bass guitar for a while, and it sounded good to me. It makes a difference when I wash my hands with soap prior to playing. It just feels better. My chops work better that way. I like the sound of my red Precision copy. I think Ron would like it too. I never did get a phone call from Bruce from church. He said he wanted to jam with me. Actions speak louder than words. But the jam with Ron and Mike is already set up. I’ve just closed the blinds and turned on the porch light. It’s raining outside, and I can hear it. It’s nice to have things quiet… Whoa, I just had a psychotic thought. Is the band King Crimson expecting Armageddon? I was watching a YouTube video of them doing “Starless.” Not a smile on anybody’s face. It looked like a recent performance. Robert Fripp had white hair. I need to get myself out of this funk. I’ve experienced enough of being a prophet. Now put away the bass guitar and steer clear of rock and roll. Just go to church and sing in the choir. This is sheer lunacy. If the Bible is the truth, I don’t want to know about it. Very strange week I’ve had. Perhaps it started a week ago, or whenever it was I dug out my red Precision copy and played John Wetton lines. What compelled me to do that? Was it like God inspiring me to pick up the instrument and begin prophesying? I remember: it was last Sunday afternoon. But surely I am delusional? And maybe King Crimson is too…

Metropolis

Almost four o’clock.

I was totally surprised! It turns out that we have a lot in common. We like a lot of the same music, but also we share a love for poetry and good literature. Ron is from New Jersey, and speaks with a bit of an accent. I’m quite impressed with his range of knowledge about music especially… My walk to Black Rock was uneventful at first. When I gained River Road from Kourt Drive, I saw that I’d misjudged where the crosswalk was, and had to go a little out of my way. It was rather amazing to see all the people on foot or waiting at bus stops, people who were essentially just like me. They came from who knows where to Eugene, with any variety of circumstances, but all having a story to tell. Some of them might have been educated and others not so lucky, but to me they all appeared intelligent in some way. I took my umbrella with me just in case. The sky is still overcast with some breaks here and there. The traffic on River Road at three o’clock in the afternoon was incredibly dense and noisy, and waiting for the walk signal took a few minutes. Still, it was an enjoyable experience. And then there was the chat with my new friend. He was a lot more sophisticated than anything I was used to from Eugene. It’s almost as if the whole city had become like the University campus in being savvy. I was amazed at what I witnessed. Like Rip Van Winkle, I awoke twenty years later and found everything transformed– into a minor metropolis. All this was going on just a mile from my house. So that I needn’t have gone out to seek the world; the world came to my backyard.

Colonoscopy

Two fifty. Almost time to go to my appointment. A date with fate in a black taxi. I’m not having a good day. This tablet is freaking me out. I posted a rant about how I feel to my blog. It’s been a long day and it isn’t over yet. I feel the way most artists do when privacy is menaced.

One o seven. I need to figure out what is really bugging me lately, and I think it’s my coming colonoscopy. I complained of an invasion of privacy, and a camera up the butt can be no other than that. So I might as well talk about my feelings rather than let them infiltrate all my other thoughts. I feel that a colonoscopy is not only an invasion, but also a violation, even though I know it’s supposed to help me. Medical procedures, from a psychological point of view, are often strangely sexual. I feel the same way about psychotherapy. The bottom line is the word rape, and the word violence is related to the French viol, for rape. Once, when I was psychotic, I was in a bathroom of a phlebotomist and saw lingam and yoni in all the plumbing. The faucet looked like a phallus, the basin like a womb. I wonder if everyone has that experience subconsciously? Likewise, the fiber optic tube of a colonoscopy resembles a very long phallus inserted up the rectum and into the colon. So that whoever invented the procedure was probably anal sadistic, to use a Freudian term. I’m likely making too much of a fuss over a little thing. Everyone over fifty years old undergoes this operation, but still I must confess that I’m not mentally prepared for it…

A Rant

Hello. Just a test. Yes I guess this app will work ok…

One thirty seven. The ads on this app are making me a little crazy. No wonder it was free. I hear The Song of the Nightingale in my head. Damn machines. I wish I could reverse time and progress but it only goes in one direction, and we have to do it together. If I could emigrate from the human race, sometimes I feel that I would. I feel terrible this afternoon. I don’t have time to take a nap. We can only grow the way the wind blows. I feel an invasion of privacy by using this tablet. Aesop is barking at other dogs in the neighborhood. Well let me express myself intelligently and then maybe the world is an ok place. Since when is the whole world my family? Being connected means much more than it used to. No one has any privacy at all. And it will only get worse. It’s like George Orwell ‘s worst nightmare come true. I had believed that my family was the only problem, but no; nobody can be an individual anymore. This is my impression from using my tablet again after a long hiatus. The world is bound to get a lot louder and the inner realm of silence, the subjective experience, will simply go out of existence. Only the public shall prevail while the private goes extinct. And then there won’t be much more for me to do…

Hyperbole

Quarter of three. It is very cold inside the house. I’m not sure why I got up for a few minutes. All the world’s asleep and the questions run so deep for such a simple man. Yet I’m not simple at all, in the eyes of other people. My family can’t figure me out, but I think I have them pegged. As I’ve said before, I’m a conventional intellectual just as they are conventional cowboys. Everyone is a stereotype, and we are molded that way by education and other modes of society. It isn’t anybody’s fault; it was the monster. The big machine makes us what we are. It gives us a few options along the way, but what we are is ultimately determined by precisely those choices. It is much like choosing the words to write on this tablet even this very moment. It makes me want to be a Luddite and break all machines; sneak into the factories in the dead of night and do the dirty deed. Human beings are not as stupid as society believes we are. The best we can do is start from scratch, break the old molds and defy tradition as much as possible. We need to be our own option makers. We need to esteem value for ourselves, and again from scratch. Perhaps I’m only writing this for myself? But no: the machines are taking over humanity and it’s up to you and me to do something about it. Together we must rise and read our D H Lawrence and read the writing on the wall. Someday our humanity will be completely extinct, all the red blood sucked out of our vessels, all our spontaneous instinct destroyed, our brains chipped and bionic. The Age of the Cyborg is upon us, as corny as this sounds. What are you going to do about it?