I’m getting an overdose of society today, and I’ve got Gloria tomorrow morning. I just feel besieged and I worry too much all the time. I want the world to go away for a while, so maybe I should go off the grid temporarily. Unplug everything and take a holiday from people and their conflicting opinions. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. And the fucking news in my face every time I use my phone or tablet is driving me bonkers. It’s too much like The Central Scrutinizer of the record by Frank Zappa; so totally Orwellian and intrusive in our individual lives. Am I just paranoid? Meanwhile the clouds are clearing way for the sun to shine through. If nature were all we had to deal with! But instead we have The Monster, this disembodied octopus in charge of all human beings, thinking in ones and zeros, calculating our destiny with no mercy, no heart, and no soul. If we could just conquer this oversized brain, this cyber Messiah, with the will to love one another like humans and not machines… but it will never happen. There will be no Human Revolution during my lifetime, short of a cataclysm: an asteroid collision with the earth. The next Ice Age. Be careful what you wish for…
Society has no right to be the judge of who or what we are as individuals. There’s so much poison in culture to try to control our words and deeds. Camus describes a firing squad with the gun muzzles just inches from the condemned. It’s a conspiracy… I wandered off to the store this morning in a blue mood, but I thought it would be nice to see Michelle. She has her hands full with her family at home. I just stand there and listen politely. Walking to and from the market can be a chore depending on how I feel, and today I feel unhappy for a lot of reasons. Maybe I made a wrong decision at some point a few years back; but even so, public opinion would still be the same. When I drank, I was tuned out of things like sociology. Now it’s like a sentence: I can’t change the world to suit myself, though I still hope to find happiness given these parameters. The first thing I need to do is boycott the church. Perhaps the bookstores and libraries will give me a clue, but I keep running into the same people in this city, like a kind of circular existence and no exit out of it. There must be something I can do to stop the carousel ride. I think I need a time machine, or to be beamed aboard a mothership to take me to another galaxy.
Ten twenty five.
Before going to the store, my mind was assailed with dark self doubts. What if my life is similar to that of Ezra Pound? His madness caused him to commit treason, and he spent a lot of time incarcerated. Is my brother right that I should keep my mouth shut? I don’t know… Tonight I’ll probably stay home from recording the service at church. Only seven people are allowed to meet, under the new squeeze rules. But I got good news in the mail today. My SSI payments are going up eight dollars, and my healthcare package has been renewed… Many years ago I saw a film with Jessica Lange about some kind of mental illness. Her character might have been bipolar. She had emotional outbursts that she couldn’t control, and at the end, her parents had her lobotomized, making her a vegetable. I felt horrified and outraged by what I saw. I still think my response was appropriate. No one deserves to be a victim, a casualty of brutality. I feel that I’m whistling in a windstorm, but the rights of the individual must be heard out eventually. I’ve never been a one size fits all person. And that’s going to have to be okay.
Guilt is an expendable emotion; it serves no purpose whatsoever. There is no particular way a person is supposed to be. Who says we have to look a certain way or act a certain way, etc etc? I don’t care to be conscientious like some people. Take it or leave it. There’s no such thing as perfect. There is no king of public opinion, or if so, then who is it? Martha Stewart was put in jail, wasn’t she? Kathie Lee Gifford and her sweatshops. Regis Philbin. I don’t watch tv, so I don’t even know who is popular anymore, and care less about it. Kill your tv! Live your life your own way. Oprah Winfrey sucks. My sister thought Oprah should run for President. I can’t imagine much worse… They’re making good progress on the fence. Damien is using a nail gun and they move right along.
Three o’clock. I took the Snapples out to them. I’ve been forgetting the idea of faith that all shall be well. In other words, optimism. In uncertain times, this is indispensable. The fence has needed replacing for a couple of years, and now I can do it. In fact, it’s almost done. All I did was not to drink alcohol anymore, and good things came to me… Aesop’s treats are coming from Amazon tomorrow. Filet mignon flavor soft chews. I hope he likes them… I noticed that the paranoia is a lot better than before. Most people don’t have bad intentions toward others. Only if they use drugs or have a mental health issue. Or if they are driven by the big bucks… Now the guys are building the gate. The day has turned out kind of good. I’ll be glad to have the job finished. And then I can listen to the other disc of Permanent Waves.
Quarter of three. Emotional experience can be a great thing, but using emotions as a guide leads me back to paranoia. And paranoid delusions are not fun. So that schizophrenia is exaggerated emotional reasoning, and everything that cognitive therapy is not…. My bass practice went better today. I played harder this time. More like rock and roll. I just remembered what a great player I was in 2002 with Blueface. I was a drunken animal, but a serious musician. Today, I’ve been trained out of psychosis and drunkenness, so I experience music differently. I’m not even emotional anymore. I’m more or less “normal.” Certainly not the superman I used to think I was.
Quarter of five. It’s been sunny and warm all day today. It will stay light out for another four hours. I like this much better than the gloom of December and January.
Six o’clock. Now I just wonder how emotionalism as a mode of thinking gets started. It could be our natural state, but we’ll never know because from the crib we’re always surrounded by people. Jungian psychology assumes that being in accord with instincts is healthy for human beings. But my personal experience has suggested just the opposite: it fans the flames of psychosis. The only therapy that helps me is CBT, whether we call it inspired by the Enlightenment or science or whatever notwithstanding. It works.
Eleven o’clock. Postscript. How do we know what is instinctive for humanity? Perhaps emotionalism is less natural than reason and sense information?
I just got through playing my Fender bass. It sounds great to me. A lot of growl. How would it be with stainless steel strings? But I’m tired of practicing by myself. It is odd how I can attribute intelligence to inanimate objects. It’s a function of paranoia, I think. I’m not the only one who does that. Of course ordinary things can’t conspire against people. The old notion of ahimsa or non injury because everything has a soul is nice but dubious. I know it’s not wise to debunk religious ideas, though. More than one thinker has suggested that without God, everything is permitted. But if you put this to the test, society might punish you. In the past century, a lot of fiction was written on crime and punishment. How long is the arm of the law? Is it only enforced by people, or does nature sympathize and join in?… Jennifer is out playing with her dog again. There’s nothing for people to do in the lockdown. No sports on television. No church activities. No live entertainment. She sent up a big billow of cannabis smoke and went back indoors. I can hear a few cars on the highway and on Maxwell Road. Mostly diesel semis. They sound like the roars of prehistoric beasts or medieval dragons. If I closed my eyes and concentrated, the delusion would be real. It helps me that it’s broad daylight, but come nighttime I have to protect myself. My eyes don’t want to stay open. Time to charge batteries, of machine and human both…
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…
I spent a paranoid night, thinking about Polly’s interest in my house. I need more evidence before I can really say anything. So just hang on until then and play dumb. I think it’s unrealistic to believe that Polly seriously would undermine me in order to usurp my house. She probably wishes she had it to give to her grandchildren. Yesterday she let slip having thought I had died and the house had gone back to the State of Oregon. And what if I really had died? Would she have contested the situation with someone? I see her thinking wishfully, which could be bogus mind reading by me, or then again a clear insight. There’s a reason why she showed up after the fire, and after two and a half years of broken contact. People would say my thoughts are depressed, but I’m protecting myself from danger. Dunno; I smell a cellar full of rats. My sister treats my house as if it were hers already. Very strange and suspect. But the only way to know is to play along a while longer and keep my eyes and ears open…
Seven o’clock. I begin to think my old suspicions of my sister were founded. I remember for sure that Polly gives bad advice, and gives it like a command. Unfortunately, she isn’t very smart. I could talk to her of something as basic as symbolism and she won’t comprehend. She is a Dennis the Menace in female shape. Maybe it’s not her fault. She may even mean well. But she does tend to meddle in my life, and her ignorance makes her a real problem. Moreover I wonder why, after a two year hiatus, she suddenly had the curiosity to check on my situation. Is it just curiosity? This can be toxic. Perhaps she came back in order to mess me up? The house is underway and things are going pretty well— and now enter a femme fatale. How much of my suspicion is realistic and how much paranoid?… I’ve observed many times that my family system is toxic. If any individual member shows signs of leaving the family, an alarm goes off. I took great pains to extricate myself and start over on my own. I was very deliberate and cautious about making my escape… No, I have serious forebodings about this fortuitous drop in from my sister. It’s too much like a well constructed novel plot. I have a good thing going the way I’ve set it up. I won’t let a menace like my sister foul it up…
I remember an afternoon, probably in spring of 2005, when I went to Polly’s house. We might’ve had lunch at Deb’s hamburger joint, then I took her home. The weather was turning foul as I was about to leave. All I could think about was making a beer run to Safeway on my path home. Polly probably read my mind because she looked anxious. I was in a bit of a hurry to grab a half case and get wasted. So then I left, driving south on River Road, right into the heart of the coming thunderstorm. My paranoia told me that God was angry at me for my illicit intentions. The rain came bucketing down and the thunder shook as I ducked into the supermarket and guiltily purchased twelve Labatt Blue pilsener beers. Somehow I got through the checkout line, with the lightning glaring ever closer, and out to my Nissan with the spoils. My paranoia continued bad on my way home, but according to my will and not God’s, I had my drunken evening all by myself with my dog…
Those were very different times, when I believed in God along with everyone else. But for me, he was the Old Testament God, full of anger at our disobedience. He was a God who sent down thunderbolts to destroy the wicked. And it was another of those Wordsworthian days of paranoid imagination, all for the desire to get drunk and calm my poor pounding heart.