The Last Word

Quarter after eleven at night.

The plain English is that I’m ambivalent on sobriety. This goes on at a deep and fundamental level, underneath all my thinking and deliberating. I compare it to the hunt for the white whale, and, having read my Melville, I acknowledge that Moby Dick may come out victorious, dragging down the whole ship and drowning the captain. It’s the ambiguity in the book that makes you wonder what the heck. Like trying to serve two masters, both a god and a devil. Or maybe it’s only humankind having to contend with the devil, as in the philosophy of Schopenhauer. The whole point is to obliterate the Will, and this and the whale are the same thing… Ishmael’s life is saved by the coffin that Queequeg built for himself before the final confrontation with the whale. So the coffin symbolizes death and life in the same image. Or maybe Q. gave his life so that Ishmael could live. Remember that his tomahawk also served as a peace pipe…


What I fear is that religion has no substance. In the chalice of faith there’s not a drop of wine. And on the other side of this reality there’s no ideal world, no sublime: no heaven. So then I begin to ask myself who I’m doing sobriety for. What does this word mean?

The last word is books instead of booze. When you buy a book, you invest in wisdom that will last a lifetime; whereas buying beer is a temporary party: you consume it and eliminate it all by the next morning. Then you wake up with a hangover and a cloud of regrets, guilt, and shame.


Holiday Stress

Quarter after six. Stuart from of old called me a Faust when I visited him in winter 1996. But who cares what he said? I don’t even know if he’s still alive today. He belonged to a very radical church that met for worship up in Harrisburg. Not a very logical bunch. They would’ve scared the crap out of me. People in mobs can create a group psychosis, but it’s ridiculous and childish. How useful is it to behave like superstitious children? Adults have no excuse for acting crazy. And the mentally ill are better off taking their medication. The situation is similar to the end of Lord of the Flies. The boys on the island get rescued before Jack can murder Ralph; but— who is going to rescue the rescuers, the adults in the real world? The human race needs to grow up and be responsible because no supernatural agency is going to hold our hands through tough times. When the solutions to problems are available, by all means use them. If you have a rational mind, then for heaven’s sake use that. Human beings don’t have claws, fangs, camouflage, venom, or a stinger to cope with everyday life. The way we’ve evolved to survive and rule the world was by means of our intellect. When human reason fails, then we’re in a terrible bind. It’s just like me when my psychosis flares up. But people need to recognize when things are not right. Maybe relax and do something low stress or take a nap. Wake up refreshed…

A Little Inferno

My delusions of grandeur are fading. Surely worship could go on without me. What N— said about needing my presence went to my head. I’m just a bum with a house but no car scuffing the streets in slip on shoes. What do I know? As for the rock band project, I’m needed there as well. Don’t let them down. And don’t judge it to be evil or dark music, as if half of a dichotomy. That’s all in my head! The stuff about division is mostly my interpretation of it. If I could only talk openly about my concerns! But I’m not that important in the first place. Let me get that through my head. The self importance stuff is alcoholic and also schizophrenic. Beware! The talk before church about political polarization set off an episode before service could even get underway. I felt like I was in the middle of something very important, and from there I went delusional. The talk is probably just hyperbole. People like to get excited over nothing. It’s like expecting a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. There will be no dictatorship in this country. No second civil war. Nothing so extreme or ignorant. But I didn’t say anything. No sense in fanning the flames…


Wouldn’t I like to buy some ice cream tonight? It’s in my power to do. I have some money and the ability to get around. But it’s pitch dark outside and Saturday night. I think I’ll stay home because you never know who’s out there. A lot of drunks will be about. They mostly head for Community Market for beer or wine. I used to be one of them. I just took my Vraylar. Aesop wants out. He’s eating his kibbles… I had a nap beginning I don’t know when. It was a quarter of ten when I woke up. I suppose I should go to the laundromat ASAP. It makes sense that Carmen harps on what I’m not doing right. If everything were all right then I’d have no need of therapy. She admitted that I’m doing pretty well. She told me she has a therapist of her own, else she couldn’t do this job. At least she is honest. I do get a sense of informality in session with her. It’s as if I were sizing her up as well. The equal footing might be a little much for her. What I do next is really up to me. The world is my oyster, so to speak. I respond well to the medication and seem quite functional. The hallucinations annoy me not a little; could certainly do without them. Sartre: “Man is the one whose project it is to be God.” My learning of existentialism is coming back, invaluably. All I want is power over my own life, and that’s what I seem to have. Remember how alcoholism sabotaged my life for so long and learn from that. One cannot be “God” of his life with an addiction. I am too good for AA, too intelligent and too capable. Dave was a moron. Knowledge is power. Is power a magic ring to be thrown away in the fires of Mount Doom? I feel like a little atom bomb unto myself. Jeff thought the solution was suicide, and I agreed with him for a time. He defeated me as long as he could, but now I don’t put up with his shit. Just be careful that I don’t defeat myself. Perhaps I’m my own worst enemy, as Marc said ten years ago. And again there’s the responsibility side of the freedom coin. There are consequences for everything we do.


Why do I persist with my life? I must feel it’s worth saving. I feel terrible now, but there’s no way back. Only forward march. I’ve come a long way, too far to give up now. The show must go on. Just ride it out and watch what happens, accepting everything. Things could take a turn for the worst, but again, just accept what comes. Just stay alive. And remember the people who were good to me. It sounds cliché, but a simple ethic like this really works. I’ll have good days and bad days, and no two days will be exactly alike. I amaze myself for how I slogged through the early stages of recovery. I could barely think some days, but I trudged through the best I could. The fact is that I survived to see this day. I don’t know what tomorrow will be like. Concentrate on this moment: am I happy? I just ate a good burrito for lunch. In a masochistic way I am enjoying this writing process. Progress is painful, and I have setbacks now and again. Today is a bad day, mostly. Happiness used to be artificially induced by alcohol. Like magic, I could drink myself into euphoria that resembled heaven. I could do this anytime in the comfort of home. At the same time, nothing got done. Inside my head, all was peachy, and I thought that was enough. But no, there was a world outside my head that needed my participation. And another word for participation is sharing.