Three thirty five. The afternoon is already deepening to dusk. There’s an irrational thought process at work. If I get drunk, then Kate will return as my friend. It’s a form of sympathetic magic such as primitives use. This reminds me that I should read The Golden Bough, a great expose on superstition. Anyway, nothing, not even magic, can bring back my lost friend. It doesn’t work! The transfer of power to the Democrats is meaningless to this end as well. Accept that Kate won’t be coming back and forget about it.
Four thirty five. I searched through some boxes of books and found my copy of Frazer. It’s kind of a dangerous book to someone like Pastor, who had no answer when I compared prayer to magic spells. This was the beginning of my loss of faith two summers ago. Well, I can’t help that. You know what you know, and it can’t be reversed. Probably every summer is going to be a period of skepticism and doubt for me due to that first time in 2019… As for my imitative magic regarding Kate, I caught it and I can dispose of it. Changing my mental state doesn’t alter the objective reality. I can try all kinds of conjuror’s tricks, to no avail except as a delusion. The past remains in the past, and the present is today. It happens to be November and we happened to elect a Democratic president, yet history will not repeat. The fact is that I wish very strongly for Kate to come back, and wishes drive every kind of dream and attempt at magic, every sacrifice, and every prayer. Every delusion! But we learn to negotiate the world as it really is, ultimately getting over the pain of loss.
Two thirty. The rain may not materialize today, or even tomorrow. I tried three times to call the middle school and finally decided to wait until Monday.
It’s okay to soul search through writing. By four o’clock I may get a second wind for my thinking. Perhaps it’s uncharitable not to fib sometimes, but I think my sister supports my honesty. It does damage to later find out you’ve been lied to. My brother hurt me the same way he hurt Polly, and one night dropped the bomb, saying he despised our mother. Was it a bomb or a gauntlet he threw down? And at the time, in 1993, I was not well mentally, hence it was a low blow. I spent a sleepless night down in his basement, alone with this new secret. I remember reading Women in Love that summer, and listening to Aaron Copland. Appalachian Spring ran through my brain that night. Subconsciously I had to make a plan. And whether my parents were worthy of my devotion could be irrelevant. Mostly they were pretty dull and selfish, yet what they had, they shared with me. We lived a comfortable life at home, so I can’t complain.
Quarter of five. I suddenly noticed that it’s been raining. I hope we get a lot more… I sort of miss being a hedonist back in the day, but life probably wasn’t as honest then, nor as ethical as today. My last girlfriend and I were quite voluptuous, and my alcoholism fueled the fire of desire for a few years. Of course I miss those days! We had a great deal of fun, though we were indulging ourselves with sensation. Like everything, it was fated to come to an end. Or at least, everything physical is transitory, raising the question of what can be eternal and imperishable. But she and I also shared a rational love for one another, and I learned from this that the marriage of true minds is indispensable. Then, the alcohol nearly finished me, forcing a new mentality and lifestyle…
Wee hours of Sunday. I gave Aesop the flea medication, so now he’s being kind of quiet. My mind now confuses S— with K— because of the laptop. So I wonder why I bought the computer in the first place. It could be due to the election year, which arouses hopes and fears for the future— guided by the past. I’d love to see the Democrats win this time and oust the tyrant in office. I’d love to feel so free again. I would be dancing in the streets with a lot of other people. It doesn’t mean I’ll be free to drink beer, but there are better things than alcohol. Music and love, for instance.
Seven forty. It’s too early yet to know how I feel this morning. One thought on my mind is that life without love is not worth living. My sister would say I pity myself, and that romantic love is selfish and lustful. But I don’t need her opinions on love. Her mind replays the same three or four ideas constantly like a broken record. Sometimes I doubt her humanity. She turns her circumstances into prescriptions for other people like a moralizing moron. I used to do that too, when I was twenty. Maybe I still do it to a degree. But I hope never to be a doctrine person… Today will be mild and sunny. Aesop is still rather quiet from the flea medication. Tomorrow I can brush his coat. My feet are sore from much walking in hard, heavy shoes. The story of our lives.
I’ve just about had it with everything. What makes a person happy or unhappy? For me, it certainly isn’t money. The richest tycoon in the world might not be happy if he’s alone. It’s supposed to be 94 degrees today. We’ll survive it. What makes people happy is community and togetherness. Something snapped in my brain after the last service I helped with. It was the injustice of the Last Judgment and the whole idea of the Second Coming. Christians actually wish for it to come, but I want life to go on as normal. I think that is the issue that forced me to make a decision. I may be un American in rejecting religion. Dunno. It seems very stupid of us to reject science. A while ago I thought of the struggles of Ayn Rand in this country. She hit a wall with American intellectuals, who were inclined towards mysticism. I should take down my book of her essays and give it a read. Maybe then I won’t feel so alone.
One o’clock. So much ambiguity surrounds certain kinds of morals, yet some people are so complacent in being right. They get the answers from a book or from a church— or from their heart, but everyone’s heart is different. I suppose it’s my having Moon in Scorpio, but I crave a passionate love before I die. Lust is the sin I can’t overcome, ordained by my stars. The world seems to forbid it. Obstacles are everywhere I turn. Still it requires more grit and courage to fulfill my dream. So much for reason and science when I resort to the zodiac for reassurance. My birth at the time that the Sun was in Capricorn and the Moon in Scorpio has resulted in quite a singular personality. Or is this merely a way of shirking responsibility for my identity? Sometimes I wish I knew how to cast a horoscope using an astrolabe and all the traditional tools of the astrologer. But one still has to take free will into consideration. I don’t know. It’s just another strange day in a strange new age.
Six o’clock. I feel a lot better now than I did yesterday at this time. Even the very worst feelings are temporary. It doesn’t bother me that music hasn’t worked out so far. I have other activities to keep me happy. I didn’t buy a soda today, but got ice cream instead. Vanilla bean. Aesop was pretty good about letting me take out the trash. Someone’s ideas got under my skin and did some damage for a few weeks. Now I don’t remember whose they were, and right now I’m free from guilt. Opinions are like buttholes: everybody has one. I don’t believe in filtering out every undesired thought that occurs to me. This is unnatural. It is more human to acknowledge every impulse in ourselves. It is more vital. Rational restraint and control over your mind is a conservative thing. Funny how Eve and Pandora, those who released all the evils in the world, were both women. They had a liberal curiosity that men were suspicious of. The kind of man I admire would be someone like Walt Whitman, whose feminine side was as active as his masculine. Dunno; without curiosity, life would be rather boring. If you leave so many avenues of the mind unexplored, how much will you have missed at your deathbed? The wise person is the one who knows himself.
Nine fifty. There’s just a light rain shower going on, not enough for me to bother with an umbrella. I wore my black rain jacket and put up the hood, making visibility difficult. The June morning has a curious blue glow. Maybe the glow comes from me. A guy on a cruiser bicycle passed on my left, looking a bit wobbly. I made extra room for him on the sidewalk. Going by Randy’s car lot, I smelled perfume or something else sweet, so I turned to look for a presence: no one. Presently I entered the store. Michelle asked me how it was going, as usual. Cathy was helping her cashier because it’s Friday and business is a little heavier. I spent not much over five dollars on cottage cheese and a huge ginger ale. Thankfully they are taking bottle returns again. Cathy had on a mask and gloves. It’s weird to see someone smile through a mask. The only indicator is the wrinkling of the eyes. An older male customer was buying lottery tickets. He quipped to another guy, “It only pays if you play!”
About a year ago I asked Cathy if she was available, and she left me dangling. Now I suppose she remembers that, but neither of us alludes to the question. At least she behaves quite normally when she sees me. Her face, when unmasked, reminds me of two other women I’ve known, especially a coworker I was attracted to. Her hair is dark brown, often carried in a ponytail or a braid. She has dark eyes. She looks to be in her late thirties. Otherwise I know nothing about Cathy. She just seems like a nice, wholesome person. I like her.
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 grew tired of trying to sleep. There’s a question on my mind. It concerns love and marriage, and how to go about it. Many women insist on marrying before there’s any sex. The problem with this is that they might refuse to have sex after tying the knot. Is it worth the risk? I read Jude the Obscure twice, and its lesson was not lost on me. The legal complications of marriage may not be worth the hazard. You stand to lose everything that you own. Women love this arrangement, but men such as I have to be very careful. As it is, my situation is quite safe. (I just had a deja vu. I’ve written this before.) Do I want to mess up my security for the sake of Eros? What if the sex isn’t very good? I tend to get bored easily. Maybe I should just forget the whole thing…
I’m glad I made the phone call to the middle school this morning. I anticipate the fall, when I can go visit the scene of a lot of memories. I don’t know why I waited so long to plan this. I’ll be doing it not for fun but from fascination. Why did I read so many books by Edgar Rice Burroughs? I don’t remember a single sentence that he put together. Something about giving vent to the victory cry of the bull ape. Or Lin Carter? “Night hung like a black curtain over Stygia.” The thought processes of my teenage mind were very different or maybe nonexistent.
Midnight hour. My heart recalls a girl named Kathleen, however. All the boys in my class remember her. It was the kind of crush that made me nervous and anxious beyond all reason. If only I had declared my feelings to her, I’m sure she would have been kind. Instead I froze like a deer in the headlights, went catatonic in her presence. Absurdly, I came to resent this girl who could inspire such emotions and daydreams. Kathleen simply existed; the emotional turmoil was my doing. It was easy to get that confused. I dared talk to no one about my crush, so I just ate my heart out. She was destined for great things while my road has been a lot rockier. Maybe I had some foresight in this regard, and for that reason, hung fire. The take home lesson is that no one else can do your love suit for you. One must be proactive.
The rain provides a comfort on blue mornings
Softly taps the metal patio cover
Salves a bleeding heart crying for mercy
Month of May I recollect my lover
If poetry has sorcery to summon
I conjure you in body and in spirit
Formulate a mantra to your heart
Praying that your mental ear will hear it
I call you from the heavens past the rain
Beyond the clouds to the immortal ceiling
Toward the limits of the brain I strain
Until its breakdown in a well of feeling
But what would be so bad about emotion
Should logic fall apart out of devotion?
My verses nothing more are than a potion
And your reply is to my heart a lotion