Missionary at Midday

Eleven thirty five. I’m beginning to feel better. I took my gabapentin and a Vitamin D3 and now I’ve donned my hoodie. I felt a little chilled in a T-shirt. Today I’m going to withdraw into myself for a while, as if I didn’t do that enough. During the wee hours I read a little about the French Revolution out of my old history textbook. But I don’t know why it was important to me. Maybe I’m just curious for the sake of curiosity. I wasn’t feeling well. I’m thankful for Aesop’s company today. The clouds have rolled in and covered the sun. Acorns occasionally hit the roof, and the squirrels go nuts over them… I still don’t feel very well mentally. The phone call from Polly really shook me up. I hear voices just a tad. I felt like I wasn’t alone inside my own head.

Quarter of three. I lay in bed for a while. My thoughts were preconscious, just below the surface, and difficult and torturous to me. Then I had my lunch, followed by taking out the trash. Aesop’s behavior is much better now when I do this. I’m trying not to be afraid of my sister’s opinions on sexuality and her missionary attitudes in general. Maybe the best thing to do is to someday talk to her about it all very plainly. Can she be reasonable and respectful? Or will she say I’m possessed by the devil or something else hurtful? Because after all, people have erotic fantasies. Mine started when I was two or three years old. In the end, my sister has no right to judge me.

Apocalypse

Warning ⚠️: Sexual content

Nine o’clock 🕘. From something T— said it sounds like he’s a virgin. He sounds inexperienced with sexual nuts and bolts, just the rudiments that give a man an erection. He lacks this much self knowledge, whereas I’ve seen a lot more of life than he has. Maybe he won’t know anything until he gets married. I’m a little embarrassed for him and his overrated religion which precludes the human experience we all deserve to know. Or maybe I should feel embarrassed for myself for not being chaste and innocent? Sheryl didn’t know anything about male sexuality either. I can’t think of anyone who does know besides me. Rather than keep looking for external verification of what I know about myself, I should just act based on my own experience. It seems to me that human beings are losing touch with their instincts, which would be a very sad condition for humankind. D H Lawrence could have predicted a day such as this. Or perhaps I’m just alone with the knowledge that I have of sexual stuff. I know that my sister is a complete prude, denouncing anything remotely sexual, and maybe that’s why she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. This makes me feel ashamed of myself a bit, or should I condemn her for being cold as an icicle? It is strange to be ostracized over sexuality, but then she got a divorce over something sexual. I guess I’m willing to accept my solitude with the truth I possess. But it still feels awfully strange…

Obscure, Boring Post about Myself

Quarter of two. I really like my new bass. The pickup configuration makes it sound like the Fender I owned over thirty years ago. I was very creative with that instrument and it was a good time in my life. I feel younger again today, more alive, fresher and more human. I don’t feel repressed or suppressed, but give myself the license to just be who I am. I’ve opened the back door to let in fresh air. If it turns out that I’m gay then I’ll live out my fate. The most important thing is fidelity to myself. I want to remember everything I once hid from my awareness. My senses are open and receptive, and I feel as if the sunshine belongs to me equally with everyone else. The god of nature is my friend as he is everyone’s… I’m doing the food pantry tomorrow morning and it should be fun… I am quite convinced that the unconscious exists, though it has been given many different names. I also believe there is a superconscious, a mode of transcendence of the natural world. The ability of the human will to override physical existence I think is very interesting. When I was 21 I experienced the full spectrum of mental states, with the natural instincts kept in a box down below and my reason creating an ideal of what ought to be. This condition was both Platonic and Kantian. And although it may have been self deluding, it made me feel happy for about a year.

Quarter of three. And you know, the tradition of speculative philosophy in the West has been consistent with regard to rational transcendence of nature. Since Plato, the concern has been with self control and restraint. Renaissance writers like Sir Philip Sidney echoed the Platonic notion of reason ruling over the passions and weeding out impulses that didn’t make sense. Or maybe Sidney was ironic with his allusions to Plato? I need to go back and read all of The Old Arcadia as I was assigned to do in college but didn’t. Sidney took some risks by hinting at the potential for homosexual love… Youth was a difficult time for me. It took me until I was 26 years old to begin to admit the instincts locked up in my box. But by that time I was already diagnosed with schizophrenia…

Out—?

Three twenty. I tried to sleep on a bed of nails tonight. I feared falling asleep and having nightmares, or strange dream thoughts that fuse religion and sexuality, pushing together and pulling apart. Definitions and descriptions are very difficult for love and sex, and the way religious culture impacts these. There was the dream I had the other night…

Quarter after four. Homosexuality is not a crime. I see why I clash with the Church, which has persecuted gay people for centuries. The local music community doesn’t like gay people either. But I can try networking through the gay bars in town, I suppose. Or go to a social group… Sheryl thought Oregon sucks, and I’m inclined to agree. But I’m stuck with this property in a once conservative neighborhood. For many years I’ve been watching the changes, biding my time, awaiting the auspicious moment to come out. The gods favor the bold and the brave. Everything is different now that my parents are twenty years gone and my family has deserted me. I stand alone with the world… until I meet others like me. The next door neighbors are probably a lesbian couple. Eugene may be adaptable and teachable, but I need a little more evidence of this.

Severed Heads

Nine fifty five. Aesop and I slept in. He gets his breakfast in three minutes. Yesterday I flipped and scanned through Another Country and began to suss it out. It’s really about romantic love and sex as opposed to spiritual love, and maybe for Baldwin there’s no distinction… The gabapentin is great. I feel a lot better since taking it. I used to have back pain, but now it’s virtually gone… Another Country explores the meaning of love, and it seems not to be a Christian love. It is a wanting and needing kind of love. Desire and affection. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s probably very true. I see a lot of repression in society nowadays, however. Some people hate sex, though it makes no sense to me. There ought to be a continuity of the head with the body, as if we had no neck. But this is a matter for debate. What is spiritual love, anyway? Is it a condition of being a severed head? I’m beginning to remember my Whitman and Lawrence: the body is the soul. Spiritual love is where the head dominates the body, rules it with an iron fist. The healthy way to live is for the head and body to be whole and in harmony with each other. I hadn’t thought of this in many years. I believe it’s true.

Androgyny

Quarter after four. Well the book came. I marked my place in it where I left off… Tomorrow I’ll call in a refill for my medication, as I am down to my last three pills. It seems to me that my life would have been totally different if I had flown the nest at 18 years old. What if I had gone to Columbia University in New York? Would I have learned that I was a homosexual? And then what? My mother was protective of me while I went to college here. She judged that one friend who came over was gay— and she was probably right. He and a circle of his friends tended to be androgynous. They had wanted me to join their clique… and what would have been wrong with that? The bunch of them used marijuana frequently. I figured out later that must be why one of them had tits like a girl. They were not good students. But why did they want me in their group? I belonged to another group of friends, mostly musicians, who were all heterosexual. The network spanned multiple high schools and ages. This was the reality I chose, and which my mother approved. It appears quite clear to me now… Moreover, when I looked up Sheryl on the web, I noticed that her name was preceded by a “Ms.” I don’t think she’s ever been married. On the other hand, Beverly is a mother and a grandmother.

I’ve been mistaken for gay since junior high school because I never had a girlfriend. My illness made me shy of dating when I was young. Some people accept that schizophrenia is a biological disease, and that’s that. You treat it with meds just as you would a physical illness. But others go in with a psychic scalpel and try to find meaning in the nonsense, a method I disagree with. The controversy between psychiatrists and psychologists will likely go on long after I’m gone.

Closer to Home

Four thirty.

I did a lot of dreaming about my neighbors across the street. In reality I don’t see them much, and now with the Coronavirus I don’t see them at all. The blinds in the front window are perpetually closed. It’s a houseful of women over there, Diana and her three daughters. I can understand if they’re feeling paranoid. Still, I would really enjoy interacting with them more— and then I remember my gender: I’m a guy. A lot of people make a sharp dividing line between the sexes. I guess I am unusual in not doing so. I grew up not distinguishing between men’s things and women’s things. I find that gender roles and stereotypes are mostly fictions made up by society. Not even psychologists are very perceptive of this artifice, but believe that men are men and women are women. Worse, they assume that men with anything feminine about them must be homosexual… I think my dreams about Diana’s family are innocent with a childlike innocence. What do babies perceive, I wonder? Do little boys want to put on lipstick? Do little girls want to use tools? Who’s to tell them otherwise? In my utopia, these distinctions of masculine and feminine wouldn’t exist. Everything would be free and equal, and what the baby sees is what the grownup would see as well.

Encounter

Four thirty.

My iPad is now up and running. It’s a much bigger tablet than I expected. Takes getting used to. The setup took about 45 minutes, but it was quite simple… My experience of life feels so much different from anything in my past. It’s as if the self of being in grade school had been progressed to today, bypassing all those alcoholic years. Those were illegitimate, distorted by the essence of a chemical. I feel like a sixth grader again, full of vague, inarticulate thoughts. I had a lot of strange dreams last night, about the unreason of friends I’ve known, with some very basic drives, even homosexual. Of course, the illogic was mine as well, if not totally. A lot of the hostility between people arises out of the desire for each other we deny. Society doesn’t allow these feelings. I think it’s especially difficult in a bucolic State like Oregon to be a human being. We have only two large cities, and the bigger one dwarfs the other one. The therapist I used to see was from Indiana. She opined to me that Oregon sucks, and I didn’t disagree with her. In fact, maybe I said it first. By an odd trick of chance about a week ago, the taxi ride I was on stopped at O—— Counseling downtown, the location where I used to have sessions. I don’t know if my weird dreams were inspired by this encounter or not. I kind of regret that I curtailed sessions with Sheryl. It was out of fear that I bolted. Was she really the scheming mean person I labeled her to be? I’ll probably never know now.

Speak to Me

Nine forty.

Insipid look to the day when everybody is in lockdown. Nature’s aspect hasn’t changed, but it feels different because people still aren’t talking very much. My chief regret is how Victorian our society is, how repressed and prudish and wasteful. D H Lawrence would spit in disgust while we miss opportunities to love each other in the Byronic way. Now, for some of us, there will be no more chances. Katherine Mansfield wrote brilliantly about romantic love as well. What are we doing to ourselves? Why is there always this chastity belt on our hearts and minds? When you see the love of your life pass by, do you stop her and tell her how you feel, or like a fool do you let her go? It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, just go for it as nature intended. If she says no, you wait for the next love of your life. But someday, like maybe today, there will be no more loves. Someday it’ll be too late. And then your love dies within you, having no place to go. Sometimes we have to break the rules in order for progress to happen. We break the rules in order to establish new ones. The least we can do is unlock our lips and speak our thoughts and feelings. Don’t let your heart wither away and crumble to dust. Let no words be left unsaid, nor notes unsung. For once, let us say the things we mean.

An Urban Yawp

Five thirty. We’re going to jam on the 2nd, a Sunday. Mike is giving me a ride to the rehearsal rental. I’m supposed to pitch in ten bucks, so I’ll have to use an atm. It was an enlightening afternoon. I really liked Ron, and he says that Mike is a good guy as well. My walk to and from Black Rock was a time of feeling expanded. Eugene all of a sudden got gigantic in one day. I feel a little uprooted even though this is my hometown. I barely recognize the place, though most of the buildings and other structures are the same. The difference is in the quality of the people I see today. Eugene has become urban, after an eternity of being run by redneck people. I must say I love the way it is changed. I don’t want to turn back the clock like the conservatives I know. The influx of people from all over the country is mind boggling, and it’s also occurring in Bend. I just never noticed it before… The people are indeed more intelligent than the native hicks I grew up with here. And while I’m loving the change, my sister must be hating it. I couldn’t stand my next door neighbors John and Rhonda. They finally moved away in June 2015. The day I decided to quit drinking, I realized that everything was different now, with those neighbors displaced. Is it possible that I will finally be free from the redneck attitudes I was forced to grow up with? It seems like an act of divine providence. The State of Oregon nearly killed me with its rustic people. Sheryl the therapist told me that Oregon sucks, and I agreed with her. And perhaps she was right about my sexuality. As Eugene grows bigger and better, it may be ok to be a homosexual.

Wednesday evening was interesting as the night was falling. There I was standing on the corner of the cul de sac at Laurel Hill, waiting for my taxi. I felt abandoned and helpless, yet I knew I would be all right. I was thinking about how I might be gay, and it scared me. Across the street from me stood the Even Hotel, where the windows were lighted and where strange people were staying. I felt alone in a hostile world, but part of that strangeness was internal. The alien, the foreigner to me was my very self. I felt like Walt Whitman preparing to sound his barbaric yawp into the night. And then I was driven home by a former meth addict. She said she was just as night blind as I was. Nothing else of great pitch and moment happened, but Aesop barked at me when I got home.