One o’clock. I just got back from Bi Mart, where I picked up my prescription. Good to see Shawn and Jeanine. Today has a weird vibe to it, though. I was thinking about how life could have been different if I’d never started drinking. Maybe something would have intervened in my relationship with my mother. As it was, I was trapped and stuck with her. I also thought of how my brother associated me with my dad, which was very unfair. He considered me a miniature replica of him, but I never liked my dad.
Quarter of four. My day is not going very well, mentally speaking. I don’t have much control over my memories, and these things in turn come to control me. I need a stronger ruler over the populace of my mind, all the remembered feelings and states from the past. Probably the heat has much to do with it. And I feel alone and lonely, at the same time that I’m overborne with public opinion and expectations. It was rather odd that I bought a textbook on sociology, for my personal instinct is to fight that kind of mentality. Life at the individual level has always made more sense to me than trying to grasp the spirit of the age. I guess I’m going through some growing pains. For a long time I believed that my only problem was agnosticism; but no, there’s the datum of society to reckon with, from family units outward to the globe. I haven’t managed very well with my family, and maybe I’ll never be popular in any capacity. But at least I won’t die alone and friendless, an old drunk living in a hovel like The Mayor of Casterbridge. I used to believe that my doom was sealed, and I would drink myself to death. Evidently the stars had another plan for me. What that destiny is will not be clear until my life is played out. I’m glad, however, that Thomas Hardy didn’t write the plot!
Quarter after eight. Just thought I would look in my heart and write. S— wrote of a full moon in summer that she could not see but could feel, one that woke her from a sound sleep at 5:07am. The time of my “Honeymoon” post was 5:08am— Pacific time, but still rather curious. I rummaged among my boxed books and found Hardy’s Jude the Obscure and compared it with the second copy I had. The first one was published prior to the takeover by Penguin Random House, hence worth more to a collector. Then I googled the Sidney sonnet regarding looking in your heart and writing… and found it appropriate to what was on my mind. I mean to ask S— if she’s ever thought about someday getting married. The question is harmless enough. Noncommittal on both sides… I think it was Balzac who carried on a written correspondence with a woman for 15 years before finally proposing to her. And most people know the famous true story of Robert Browning’s elopement with Elizabeth Barrett. He fell in love with her through her poetry… I must be dodgy from the moon, but it feels all right, and I’m going with it.
I just thought of Jude the Obscure for some reason: perhaps a man with schizophrenia in a low social position is destined to remain low. Would that be the desire of nature? Or is that really justice? Do I have a say in the matter? Life is not a Thomas Hardy novel, thank goodness. If it were, then the booze would’ve killed me already. As it is, I feel stranded in a parallel universe outside of my old shoes, a sort of limbo, or better, on top of Mt Olympus for the gods to judge my fate. It’s as though there’d been an intervention on the part of Pallas Athena, spiriting me up to the court of the gods for a decision. The old natural me has been left behind like an empty shell— the same way as John Carter when he was teleported to Mars in the 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. Now I begin to detect a plan in all my actions since starting my blog three years ago. The disembodied spirit that is me awaits the verdict of the powers that be, and from there, who knows what might happen? Not a Thomas Hardy novel: the story is mine, and I also am the protagonist. As author and hero both, I write my own destiny, not on Mars, but here and now on earth…
Mermaids: the elocution of a saint
In time forgotten I read in my bed
Pug at my side, so ugly he was cute
And life was not so rough as then it seemed
The room had been my dad’s outfitted with
A rack of fishing poles and chests of drawers
The rug was brown the curtains floral orange
Above the dresser were a lamp and mirror
This was the room where I read Thomas Hardy
Nine years ago and marveled at his power
I hardly read a book for being drunk
Every other day I could afford
And now a memory is all that’s left
Of the master bedroom where I used to read
The poetry of Hopkins densely packed
With adjectives so colorful as if
The music of the words sufficed the poem
I see how I’ve been transformed since doing all the right things. Also WordPress is rewarding me for my hard work. It has indeed been hard coming back from schizophrenia and alcoholism. The latter alone was bad enough, but schizophrenia carries a negativity with it to the point of despair. Somehow I didn’t give up. My family forsook me but I didn’t surrender. I still had hope, courage, and strength that came from I know not where. It was like Aristotle’s prime mover: simply the desire to be actualized. To become real. The reason I love Thomas Hardy’s tragedies is because they challenged me to prove his vision wrong. He is a writer of great power and persuasiveness, creating a whole little world, a county called Wessex, which is under his complete control. But Hardy has had his say. Now it’s my turn to make a statement in his face. Life is not all tragedy. There can be happy outcomes too. But I have Hardy to thank for inspiring me on the comeback trail. I read The Mayor of Casterbridge nine years ago and thought it was the best novel I ever grappled with. It made me want to write an antithesis to it. I believe that antithesis has been my life ever since…