Twilight

Six ten.

The same old questions concerning sexuality occurred to me again when I rolled out of bed. Perhaps that therapist only tried to help me? It’s true that I laid my soul bare to her and made myself quite defenseless… I think there’s a truth that goes deeper than Christianity, and Freud might have hit close to the mark. Isn’t it better to leave no stone unturned? Why live your whole life without knowing the whole truth? Often, culture is an obstacle to self knowledge. It is better to know. Culture also throws extraneous trappings onto the truth. This may be a passing mood, but for now it obtains… Outside comes the predawn twilight, the glimmer before the dawn. Bars of sunlight will shine down and create our prison of self consciousness and restraint. The social world will wake up and hold you responsible to your contract. But how much more can we smuggle into the light of day? And doesn’t everybody feel the same way? 

Tiny Tim

Three o’clock in the morning.

I had dreams of intrigue: of kidnapping people and stealing cars. My nephew Ed came to the house and we did some paperwork together. It might’ve been application for Supplemental Security. In real life, my mother helped Ed with the forms, and he never seemed to appreciate it. His five year old son had leukemia and he couldn’t have afforded the medical bills without government assistance. In the dream, as he left he took a car I had stolen. In reality, Mom made me give him my old Roland synthesizer, which his family sold and used the money to buy a home organ. I always resented this injustice by my mother, and Ed didn’t deserve to take away my keyboard and convert it to an instrument for praising the Lord. Today, it’s hard to say what was right. If Ed’s family was Charles Dickens, mine was probably Scott Fitzgerald. Over time, life has a way of equalizing things. Or at least it makes you think about things with a new perspective. 

Reveille / Reading

Quarter after eight.

The neighborhood is nearly lifeless this morning except for the sound of birds and squirrels on the roof. I startled a gray cat at the end of my street, or rather he startled me. His color at first suggested to me some other animal species. Otherwise I met no one on my way to the little market. The radio was playing “Crazy Train” and it distracted me at the checkout counter. I was one of only two customers. Besides food items I got myself a bandanna for the coronavirus: two bucks. It still impresses me that most people aren’t saying what’s really on their mind. While Aesop was doing his business under the oak tree, I saw an acorn hit the ground like a gunshot and ricochet off under the apple tree. It fell from a lofty height and struck hard. Aesop continued, unfazed. To break the shopping monotony, I ought to go someplace else. The convenience store doesn’t offer much to eat. I have $77 in food stamps left to work with. I feel slightly adventurous, so why not seize the moment and amble off to Grocery Outlet?

I tried on the bandanna: it covers almost my whole head and looks ridiculous, yet I like it better than a typical mask. I’ll wear it in a spirit of fun, maybe even parody. The sky is overcast and there’s a little fog. Roger is awake across the street, one sign of life. Aesop is also awake and begging me for his lamb and rice dog food.

Nine forty. That’s done. If people don’t have much to say, then I guess I don’t either. But I was considering taking a look at The Portable Jung for review. And there’s some Joseph Campbell I still haven’t read. Or trace psychodynamic theory to its roots in Nietzsche. I yet remember some of the lectures I heard in college regarding individual purity and authenticity. But I don’t know how valid this concern is. Perhaps the unconscious doesn’t really exist? It could be a matter of faith, because there’s no hard evidence for it. Sometimes I get impatient with mere theories. They are often nebulous and poetic and founded on feelings and hunches. How about the certainty of this couch I’m sitting on? “No one would believe this of vast import to the nation.” Probably I’ll end up taking up the Nietzsche, but with a critical eye. 

Foot and Mouth

Eight forty.

Walking west on Maxwell Road, I saw a man in a white Comcast truck peel out of a parking lot and scream up towards the bridge, swerving out of his lane as he went. I was thinking about the dumb things I used to say when I abused alcohol and kicking myself. When I got to the store, a few older guys with white hair came in and bought Budweiser and Keystone Light, with some incidental biscuits and gravy. Michelle held down the fort by herself. We talked a little about driving drunk and traffic violations. I had a few stupid accidents in my alcoholism. But the worst mistakes were verbal. I cringe to remember some of the things I’ve said to people, both in speech and in writing. So now, when I behold other alcoholics still doing their thing, I’m not sure how I feel. I doubt that I’d want to lapse back to drinking again. Curiously, I still catch myself putting my foot in my mouth sometimes. It makes me think again and repent for being a jerk. They say that alcoholism is more than just the drinking behavior. It’s a personality type. I don’t know if I agree with this, but then nobody asked my opinion… The sky is overcast this morning and it’s quite cool. That’s a fact that no one will dispute. Facts can be comforting, yet even they can be driven to support someone’s argument. The search for truth is a useless passion. Today I will try to simply go with the flow, though for me it’s very difficult. It’s nice to have a reprieve from the heat. 

Tuesday Morning

Nine o’clock.

I’m in the process of scheduling an appointment with my hematologist. Barbara tried to call me yesterday and I missed it. It seems like forever since I’ve been to see him. Was it in February? Prior to the lockdown… Okay, it’s all set for this Friday morning. I have to be ready to go at six thirty. I’ll be seeing his PA, Wendy. Hopefully no phlebotomy will be necessary.

Quarter after ten. I feel tongue tied today. There’s simply nothing to say anymore. It could be from the medication. I have no imagination. I just left a voicemail for my sister. People believe all kinds of nonsense. Maybe it doesn’t matter anymore, or is that defeatist? I only know that I’m on a powerful antipsychotic that might interfere with self expression. I’ve stopped the gabapentin. My mind is as motionless as the air outside. I dreamed that my brother called me and we had a decent conversation. Only the fulfillment of a wish. I wonder if I could go down on the dosage of Vraylar? Then my imagination may return a little. My head feels like a brick or a block of concrete, solid and impermeable. No activity at all. No access. I think I’m just depressed. This Friday I have two excursions lined up, but until then nothing. I might be avoiding the salon because of an opinion I heard there that I couldn’t agree with. It concerned Black Lives Matter. So now it’s rather awkward to have to dance around the truth, and no, I don’t think she has a valid point.

Quarter after eleven. At last my brain is volunteering to play Billy the Kid. I’ll listen to it again today and reinforce it. What I hear is bombastic and slow. And great.

Twelve Hours

Near five o’clock. I picked up Hugo and read another 30 pages. The interruptions in the narrative are like Moby Dick, but the story is interesting enough to keep me going. Some of the prose waxes eloquently Romantic, and those passages are fun for me. I’ve read up to the point where Valjean finally meets Cosette for the first time. She is eight years old and a servant at an inn, or chophouse. Her mother, Fantine, has died, leaving her orphaned. The innkeepers are rascals. Hopefully Valjean can alleviate her situation before he is caught again and put back in the galleys. He has hidden his money somewhere in the woods, buried in a cache.

I really don’t like studying the Bible, so I guess that’s why I left Our Redeemer. Also I don’t believe that prayer achieves anything. It’s one thing to think and study, but to put into practice is quite different for me and rather scary. I’m a lot more conscious now than three years ago. I don’t subscribe to having one bible, period. Life is too big and broad to be covered by a single authority. It takes a whole big library to put it in perspective… I don’t have Christian delusions anymore, thanks to my medication. I wonder how my sister would respond to the antipsychotic? She told me once that her body wanted the cigarettes, which I thought was absurd. She was coming from a biblical place in her thinking about addiction. It just sounded crazy. Recently, I was seeing less of a difference between her religion and the Lutherans. Whatever the reason for my departure, it was inevitable.

Quarter of five (morning). I listened to five pieces by Copland and then most of Permanent Waves by Rush. It was all very wonderful. Appalachian Spring was poignant in some places, with touches of great warmth and sympathy in the strings… I don’t know why my sister and I can’t get along. Maybe she needs to keep her opinions to herself. She mustn’t force them on other people. She tried it with me because I’m a nice guy, meek and soft spoken. It is always a violation to try to dominate others. Unfortunately, Polly has only two modes: dominate or submit. She can’t relate to people rationally, adult to adult. And it’s sad because she won’t know the joy of sharing ideas and expanding her knowledge base. Her friendships have always been superficial, never intimate with anyone. She isn’t comfortable that way. Probably she will go to her grave lacking self knowledge.

Common Sense

Wee hours.

“Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.”

In disgust I put away the ice cream and went to bed, but sleep eludes me. So I got up again, seeking to capture my thoughts in these notes. Why do I feel disgusted with the world? It weighs on my shoulders, but I don’t know what to do. People are acting like children, and as a mature person I find it hard to tolerate. If there’s a rational God in heaven, then I pray that he hears the plea of this fish out of water. And by the way, sobriety is no walk in the park. It is a sense of responsibility for reality, a burden you can’t duck anymore. My family is behaving like so many idiots. But the real problem is that no one seems to listen to each other these days. And God listens to us the least of all. As Shelley wrote, “The world is wrong!” Indeed, I don’t think God is in His heaven and all’s right with the world…

I see images of women and children in my head, from the fellowship hall, smiling and eating cake from a wedding or a birthday. Yet now, people wear their stupid masks on their face, but also on their ears. What happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Will there ever be a victory over the virus day? If we can’t pull together as one race, then maybe we really are doomed. All the colors are one blinding light through a prism, and that’s what we must be able to see. Biologically this is the truth, the truth of life itself. The diversity is really one big unity, with all the forms of life interrelated and interconnected. We share the same genetic code, and moreover our atoms have all been cycled through the center of a massive star whose supernova explosion enriched a part of the universe, making life possible. Making this post possible, hopefully for somebody to read. Enough of divisions, of borders that break down the human spirit. We absolutely must come together to solve the world’s problems, and quickly.

A Phone Call

Eight forty.

After my sister called me yesterday, I wasn’t doing well mentally. Paranoia gripped me and hung on all night long. Family is good for that. Crazy things seem to happen in the summer heat. Two years ago something similar occurred in my life, involving a next door neighbor, a therapist, and an online forum.

Ten o’clock. Family is claustrophobic and makes my paranoia much worse. I experienced this the most before I met Kate in 2011. How can I get my mind off of it? I feel vulnerable and fear being attacked. I am just one person, and they are many likeminded people. Or maybe it’s just the out group that makes them seem that way… I really wish she hadn’t called. I wonder what makes me so individualistic? The freedom to be myself is all I want. If that is “selfish” in somebody’s book, then be it so. But I think everyone deserves the right to be an individual without compromise. There’s so much to be said for authenticity and integrity. The puppet strings of family are not for me, and I take philosophy over religion. With philosophy, one remains free and separate, autonomous and true.

Firsthand Poet

How many roads… Bob Dylan singing sang

Before an individual springing sprang

From flowing stone he carves into a tree

Sequoia scraper bears the name of ME

Concentric rings for every growing year

A climb to solar heaven leaving fear

To creatures of the forest floor below

That in the umbrage scavenge what they know

Firsthand the redwood gets it from the sun

No mediating journalists may run

Between his branches and the azure ceiling

His intuition keener than a feeling

To manufacture energy from light

His sole creative purpose giving sight

In wooden pages bearing pretty words

The poetry of truth to all affords

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…