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Month the Fourteenth

4.20.24 Cold Grey Morning


It is with a warm heart that I greet you. Warm heart, warm coffee, light snow coming down outside. On April 20th, gods’ forsaken climate up here I tell you. I would light a candle underneath these cloudy skies if I thought it would make a dram of difference to the weather. But alas, it is not my place to change the world in that way for whatever reason. I promise I could be trusted with the chaos engine 99% of the time. That’s a laugh of course, no one should have such power, as absolute power corrupts absolutely. Abraham Lincoln said that. Bob Dylan said that.


I say that there is no limit to what I can feel. Which is strange because for years I felt stilted, as if I couldn’t feel anything. I am glad to have evolved beyond that sense of self. Back to the person I felt I was before, well actually a distinct third person. One who feels at a reasonable volume instead of the screams of unmedicated manic depression, or the aftershock when it felt like someone had pushed the mute button. Or maybe I was being dramatic. There is no way really to know, but the things I blamed in those days make me a raving lunatic when they are removed.


So who knows? Happy to be falling out of love at this volume, happy not to be quarreling with my voices, with my whims. Conor Oberst and Leonard Cohen, respectively, as I’m neither falling out of love nor hear voices, at least not literally. But whispers from the beyond are the stuff that great novels are made of, and great poems as well. Would you believe me if I told you I’d only had one auditory hallucination that I can remember? And that it was just my name in my cousin’s voice, which I think is pretty nifty since he’s on the west coast. That’s a long way to give a shout.


But today the voice is on the speaker, telling me that my plain white linen t-shirt is as good a place to start as any. That I can rest any time I want and that there is plenty of good to be had in this world. I wish no ill on anyone, that much I am sure of. And I hope the world wishes no ill on me, but sometimes one can’t be too certain. Evil is a force at large, that much we can be sure of. But it is not with me in this kitchen this morning, with my empties from last night and a bottle full of promise left out from a party that fell apart before it started. Probably needed the sleep anyways.


If you could have one day to live in forever you would be trapped in hell, I reckon. If you could only live one life you would be trapped in the same place you are now. Only we’re not trapped, this world is a playground. There is so much to do, so much to see. I want to explore once I have the means. Rome is calling my name, and London, Paris; hell, even Texas would be good for a laugh. This world is vast and no number of lifetimes could see it all. So reincarnation being a sideline on trying to cope with grief in my estimation I will put all my eggs in this basket, try to make this one count. That is all I can think of to do, all that makes sense to me. If I have lived 10,000 human lives to get to this point–which I doubt, by the way–then so be it. Let this be the crowning achievement of dying for real, ending the cycle of rebirth. That’s the goal in those systems, is it not? I can’t save them all, I’ve said that many times, so why not enjoy the ride and die the painful death that awaits all of us? 


Enough about the morbid, that was supposed to be a happy paragraph. I am quite happy this morning, truthfully. The world seems a brighter place some days than others, as I’m sure this all is a testament to, and this one is a good morning despite the heavy sky. I’m going to cut this short and work on other projects. The day is young, and I am young, and I’m going to start remembering that more often. Wisdom’s a gift but you’d trade it for youth, which is certainly mostly wasted on the young. Able bodied and going on 33 I try to retain what shreds of wisdom have come down to me prematurely and what slivers of my youth remain. So forget perfection, let us live in the mess, let us enjoy the insanity that this world has foisted onto us with its beguiling ways! Ring the bells, sound the horn! Let fall your clothes and stand naked in the sun!


I guess it’s real enough to end it there. I guess that things can be pretty excellent some days. I guess, I guess. But enough guessing, enough of the ceaseless desire to know. Let us enjoy our limited time to the best of our abilities and give thanks to the sky and the earth and the waters, the real givers of life. If I could have one wish it would be that everything be perfect, and that I not have to be the judge of that.


TTFN.


4.23.24 Rhapsodic Oranges


There is a place in my heart where for a long time I thought something was broken. Maybe it is, I cannot judge myself anymore than I can judge another, truly. But still it is more alive than it once was, broken or not, and for that I am glad. You see, feeling that you are missing out on an essential part of life is no way to be living, and that was my world for a long time. I do not mean to complain, only airing myself for this journal that all can read, that any with a computer can see. It has been a joy to compose for you all this time.


And the joy is continuing with every word, with every sentence that reaches from one end of the page to the other, to the next line, each paragraph that stretches itself out like a sail drawn tight against the mast. Bring in the sheets, let us beat on, if the wind is in our faces let us embrace it as if it were an old friend. For the wind is my friend, as the sun and the stars. The moon was quite spectacular last night as well. Behind her curtain of thin wispy clouds she was shining as big and bright as I could remember seeing her. And I just a little earthbound pip-squeak gazing up at the heavens with the requisite awe.


There is beauty, and there is little in the way of truth. Those that preach the truth, especially the eternal truth, seek only to sell you the truth. It is the smaller truths, the honest recollections, that hold more sway for me. Tell me what you feel, tell me what you remember. But don’t try to tell me how it is. That’s where you run into trouble L&G, and trouble on my mind most always let me tell you that you don’t want that. We want easy, carefree, beam reach sailing. Ripping across the waters at right angles to the wind, alive and free in the sunshine. That is my dream for this Tuesday, though it is too cold to sail I think, and besides I don’t know anyone with a boat.


What do you all think of me, having seen for a year my innermost deliberations? Am I just another loon singing out his lonesome call? Am I more like a madman screaming in the depths of a hospital? Or is it something nearer, am I able to reach my audience and say something that matters? But what matters to you is not what matters to me, most likely. And this is my testament, the firmament upon which my psyche rests. My soul, my mind, what is the difference? Do they not both feel? Do they not both realize that this world, while often cruel and indifferent, responds at times (whether randomly or by some kind of guided mechanism) to our prayers. And I afraid to pray. Afraid of the power to change by some force of blind domination the way of the world. Let it ride, let it be. Que sera sera, as they say. I am happy to be a passenger on the train that is fate.


It is too much to ask that I be given the power to alter destiny. If I am not fit to man the weather machine let me not have control of the big picture of my life either. Let the pieces fall into place and let me enjoy them, that is all. Let it rain when it will and let the sun shine when it will. I will enjoy them both, will dance amidst the droplets as if they were my innermost desire. Truth is I don’t care too much, at least not about the particulars. Let me be happy, let me have contentment, allow me to smile. That is enough, for today, for me every day. It is all very easy if you allow it to be, if you can only relax a bit and let the shape of things flow like water over the landscape, and when the river reaches the sea you will be returned to the nothingness you came out of at birth and you will know no difference.


At least I think. I don’t know for sure what happens to us when we die. I can barely keep a handle on what it is like to live. Big questions used to bother me. I used to quest to find the answers, trying every powder and every pill and finding nothing. Blotter acid made quite an impression on me, but ultimately turned out to be illusory. Which is to say delusional. There is no magic bullet for figuring it all out, of this I am quite sure. Unless you want to put all your eggs in God’s basket, in which case more power to you, I guess. I think that if there is a God, one supreme being ruling over all of our lives then he is probably some kind of monster, at the very least a sociopath. Unpopular opinion perhaps, but that is my opinion and I’m allowed to have one.


Anyways, I’m going to go stand in the rain and smoke a cigarette. That sounds like the appropriate amount of pleasure for this moment. And the pain lives inside, never fully relenting, keeping me moving forward, always forward in a sort of biologically mandated perpetual motion that will only expire when I do. And here’s a hope that that’s a long way off. That I’ve got a lot of years to enjoy the good things that are blossoming in my life. If I believed in prayer I would only pray that the fates take their time with me. That the scissor come later, always later. That my health hold on, that I not smoke my lungs into COPD or some other equal frailty. It is a lot to ask, and not so much. There will be plenty of time to slow my roll, the only thing I have a hard time doing. Well maybe not the only thing, but you know what I mean. Or do you? It doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters and everything matters a great deal. Enjoy your life sports fans, keep your friends close and your enemies and blood feuds at arm’s length. May your day be bright or rainy or however it is. You can plan a pretty picnic.


TTFN.


4.24.24 Well would ya’ look at that


Slept in this morning, almost to ten o’clock. Must’ve needed it because the allergy symptoms I’ve been having are gone. My head feels sharp just in time for the work week to start. It is another beautiful day here, if there’s a bit of a chill. I’m going to quit smoking. I know I’ve said that a couple of times. Even if I’m not ready to start today I’m going to do my best not to buy another pouch. The rollies are just so much fun, and taste so good, and hit so good. It’s a hard hard habit to break I suppose.


But in order that I may not die in my sixties or suffer grand respiratory complications I must. So we progress, on into tomorrow. On into the future that seems bright, that seems happy. I just want to be happy, and hopefully successful in some form or another. These words seem my best angle but it is such a crapshoot to break into success in that arena. Maybe I am not trying hard enough, maybe I will catch a break. Nabokov said the only school is that of talent. I have that, certainly (people seem to think so anyways), but they say also that there are scores and scores of talented people who amount to nothing. I pray I do not join them. That these secret rhythms that bubble up each day from soul to page will be read and enjoyed. That I can even earn money from them somehow, someday.


That is a dream, and since I have put down the pipe in favor of the pen, maybe one that is achievable. I am still waiting, will probably wait for a while. Couple of irons in the fire, lots of back log. I have been writing for a decade plus, meaning to make it my life. If I sold my soul to be a writer that is how, devil be damned. Or blessed. I don’t know, don’t really care. Whatever goes on between God and the Devil is their business. I will shoot for devil may care. To be free in my life and in my mind, to hold onto what matters to me and keep it close until it no longer wants to be kept there. I will hold nothing in my life against its will. I think there is enough in this world that wants me to be involved (finally, against the persistent low self-esteem) that I can afford to release what does not belong. And of course none of it belongs to me, it is of the world if it is in the world. I make no claim to having anything of my own besides my mind, and you have seen that even at times that possession eludes me.


Which is to say sometimes I become possessed. By demons, for lack of a better word, though they live within me and are not about to be cast into the sea as a horde of pigs. But there is plenty of evidence of that in the earlier entries. You have seen them take over my mind and lead it down byways that lead into the backwoods where the witches frolic. Of course there is nothing wrong with a witch so long as you aren’t on her bad side. Which is easier said than done, to stay off of it, that is.


Where was I going with this? Bright sunny day. Working later. The world matches the weather, cold and bright. It is easy to get caught up in the rambling, in the ways that the words take on a life of their own. As they do when you release them into the world. There is never any telling how the world will react. I just hope that I don’t too much offend, that I can stay within the delectable rudeness of Blaise Cendrars rather than the outright inflammatory Hunter Thompson-esque ravings. Still there is something to be said for ruffling feathers. Though one should not seek too, should only speak the truth, and if the truth hurts, so be it.


For me the truth right now is that I’m happy about the direction my life is headed. I’ve been drinking less, quit smoking pot. Been staying up late and sleeping in, a perfect restaurant schedule. Things are shaping up, so I’ll leave you with this:


If you’re thinking about doing something that seems hard, challenging rather, do it today, not tomorrow, not the next day. You might luck into something otherwise but the real way is to put the rubber on the road and climb that mountain. I hope that you can find the courage to face your fears and that they don’t get thrown in your face. As that can happen, but we must persist. It is the only thing to do in this uncertain world, and if you can’t do that you’re always going to be dissatisfied. Hell, you might be dissatisfied anyways, but at least you’ll be successful.


So let’s have one more round of drinks for the ladies on the left, a shot of fernet for the friend behind the bar, and a last cigarette to wash away the day. That’s all I’ve got I think. A little disorganized today but not in a clinical way. That’s something, I suppose.


TTFN.


4.25.24 Am I bad at Therapy?


It seems every time I go that I’m doing well enough that there is not so much help to be had. I’ve certainly had my issues in the past, certainly had psychotic troubles that disturbed me greatly. But here in the world of men where there maybe is a God but not one out to get me and not me as He certainly it is easier to manage. I deal with the real so if it’s artificial let it be. Tariq Trotter said that. And here we go again. Another new thing, another new affection. It is easy to be swept up in what might be, but still so new I stick to my reserve, stick to the present moment where you can just like someone and have that be enough. It’s not so tough to manage when you just take it easy and let it all unfold.


And it is unfolding like a disassembled origami rose. A paper flower that someone carefully manufactured now sitting flat and crinkled on the table. I think I like that image, as if I could be made almost flat again, no longer so tightly wound that I need to be cared for. And yet I long to be cared for, to be loved. Who doesn’t want to be loved, who doesn’t want friends that make them feel safe? Who doesn’t want to have fun in space held for them? I think if you don’t seek your people you will always be searching, always feeling left out. God knows I have spent plenty of time feeling left out. Shit, that was the story when I was little. It still affects me in small ways, thinking myself often the butt of the joke, as I was of every one–or so it seemed–when I was a child. But enough of trauma, enough of pain. This is a song of joy!


And joy comes in small doses sometimes, little pleasures or little surprises–in any case it is the little things that bring me joy. I am often caught off guard, and always happy that they are material and not divinely inspired. It is when things synchronistically align that I feel most disturbed. Like when the line in the song I’m listening to matches the text on the charter bus stopped at a red light. Getaway tours, in that case. It is a rush of recognition that I am fairly certain is illusory. For the written word, though of the natural world in a sense, is uniquely human, at least on this planet. It creates a maze of symbols that can trip you up in an equal maze of mind. It can drive you mad if you continue to see a pattern everywhere. But the pattern is your mind’s desire to see a pattern, or so I insist. I cannot afford a God who is always sending me signs and symbols. I do not want to be a prophet, just want to live by what is in my heart and give my love and my energy to the betterment of the world.


You see, this is better therapy than any talking with a stranger on the computer for an hour every two weeks. This writing down, writing out my tics and the whorls that are scrawled on my brain’s grey/white matter. If I can tell the truth publicly that holds more power for me than to tell it behind the therapeutic curtain. It is a powerful thing to speak your truth even to a small audience, though an audience must be more than one by that definition. Maybe I don’t need therapy. God knows I have had a lot of it. More than a decade of appointments and for so much of that time I continued to struggle. The biggest breakthrough I had recently came in conversation with my mom. Maybe I’m doing it wrong but maybe I’ve just evolved beyond being helped by that device.


For therapy is a device of the mental health treatment operation. It certainly helps some people, and certainly helps people when they’re struggling, sometimes. It can make you feel better, I suppose, without really helping. For we must face what lives inside us, ultimately, and must face it on our own. No one can do the work for us, it is a solitary climb to stability, even if there are sherpas of sorts along the way.


I take two pills a day to keep my dopamine in line. And a shot in the arm once a month. Without those things madness tends to rear up and swallow me. And when I am swallowed it takes me months to climb back out of the cave. To reach daylight is a long and arduous process, and one I don’t want to have to repeat. Which is why I stick to the pills, to the shots. Who knows if they are absolutely necessary but there is no doubt that I have a mood disorder and substantial evidence that at times it spills into a thought disorder. Though recently I have had symptoms of neither. Have been chooglin’ down the road feeling mostly good, if I have been spending a little too freely. But I got paid yesterday and will begin climbing out of debt again. Get back to zero and then change my ways. Or so my parents insist.


But I am onboard. I want to start building a future not founded on sand. If I return to dust so be it but let me live a full life until then. Let me have what I need and some things that I want as well. I am a simple creature in some ways and an enormously complex one in others. A contradiction with two legs. A featherless biped. A hairless ape. A human being. However you want to skin the cat there is a lot to live for, and I intend to live every drop that is allotted to me by fate. I read a poem about how the only thing the author wanted from fate was to get to see it. Whatever comes let me see. A very stoic philosophy. I would say that I just want to enjoy it. To enjoy the ride, as my last therapist told me at my last interview.


While that can be interpreted as scary, indicating that there is a roller coaster coming (and in fact there was), it also can be a friendly send off. I’m choosing to look on the bright side for now. Choosing to see the sun streaming in my window and not draw the shade to shield my eyes. There’s a lot of good in the world even if there are a number of genocides raging, even if the political scene is a madhouse. I can’t allow for it to bother me, I don’t have the mental capacity to change it, the emotional capacity to let it ruin my days. I cried over Gaza yesterday but that is all I can do. I weep, I move on to the thing immediately at hand. The cat on the armrest rather than the bombed out buildings on the television. Settler states be damned but they won’t be exterminated. That’s all I’ve got to say about that for now.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this rambling more than I enjoyed therapy this morning. I hope I have a day–or rather a series of days–that doesn’t leave me with anything to talk about in therapy. I want to be healthy and whole, which I think is an admirable goal for one of my ilk. Let us rejoice in the sun and enjoy the breath of wind coming off the water. Let us make friends and feel safe with them. Let us change the world one act of kindness at a time. That is all I can manage today but maybe someday I will be able to do more. Only time will tell, and I hope to God I have a lot of it.


TTFN.


4.28.24 No Name #4


Feeling inadequate because I’m not the most efficient closer at work. Well mostly because people get to sign their names to the checklist. Makes me feel like I’m not pulling my weight. But I bring other things to the table, and some people are in a hurry to get out of there when I am not. It is probably fine, just self conscious as always.


Anyways it is Sunday morning and I am avoiding the CBS Morning Show that is on in the kitchen. I can’t stand the talking heads, but my mother loves it. Another point of disagreement I suppose, but we can cohabitate because the house is big enough for the both of us. I can go to my room and scribble about how I can’t stand Jane Pauli. If that’s even how you spell it. Copaganda was the last story that I saw. Feel good human interest is no fun in my estimation. Especially when there’s a genocide (or several) raging in the world.


I am tired this morning. I don’t really want to continue but I will, for the sake of the song. For the sake of the smoking cessation. I really want a cigarette, as you can imagine. Day two away from the things. It is easier than yesterday I think, and I haven’t even put the patch on yet. So mild success with my self control. I am a struggling human today, though I slept well and in my own bed last night. Coming to the end of my first full work week in quite some time, I try not to think of my own inadequacies. My own perceived inadequacies. Not my fault that she closed up the bar while I was talking to guests. I don’t want anyone to feel like we are closing around them.


Enough of that, you are doing great, your guest interactions are great and you make great cocktails and you know a lot about wine, more already about the list than most of the people you work with. You’re personable and you make people feel that you’re interested in what they have to say, you’re really with your guests, in the best way. That is more valuable (or should be) to a manager than speediness of closing. It’s not that you wouldn’t have done it, it’s that she did it first. Relax!


Enough of work talk, it is a beautiful day, and I should play golf, but I’m going to rest instead. Maybe read, maybe just loaf. It is a good day to be a couch potato. Or a pacing potato as the case may be. You see I can’t keep still for the haldol. It’s Sunday, it’s sunny, I’m going to get outside. Thank you for listening to me rant about my work insecurities. I feel marginally better for having aired them. Learning curve, in terms of efficiency. That is all it is. Or maybe I am just slow. Time will tell, but I’m sure yesterday was fine.


I hope this whatever day you read this is greets you with kindness. That the world is smiling on you and that the sun is shining, or if it has been dry that it is raining. I hope you know no sickness and that you have some love in your life. That there are people around you whom you enjoy. It is not so much to ask for happiness, and you get out of it what you put into it, sort of, sometimes. It is not an absolute science, more of an art, a balancing act. Like spinning plates, requires practice. Okay, enough.


TTFN.


4.29.24 Silly Love Songs


There are a lot of them in the world, and most of them don’t amount to much. I prefer something darker, something with more grit, more teeth. A little bit of unhappiness mixed in to taste realistic. For love stories often end up unhappy, don’t they? And I’m not gonna write you a love song. I hate all that jazz, almost as much as I love jazz. I suppose that is a medium toned hate as my love for jazz is in moderation as well. Just to clarify.


Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way I wonder what will come out of me, what words will find this page. You see I am feeling empty, like a glass waiting to be filled. Like water: formless, shapeless. And if you have no shape it is hard to impart anything more than a puddle. So here it is, like melted ice cubes on the bartop. I don’t know what to say to anyone, but it is a good place to start to say that I am feeling happy. Happy for the direction my life is headed, or seems to be headed. Sometimes good things happen, okay? I have not been accustomed to them happening in a long time but here we are. A bright new day even if the rain does come down steadily against the window.


You see, the world smiles on us sometimes, gives us what we want, or what we think we want, or maybe even what we need. Who is to tell when things are just getting started, but the only thing to do is enjoy the ride and hope that nothing bad happens. For that is always as possible, life does not discriminate. We just live it and that is why we pray, pray to whatever or whomever that there is something like a guarantee. Of course the prayers are somewhat futile, but we still rejoice when they seem to be answered. I say “seem” because the mystery involved means we can’t be sure it didn’t happen independently of the prayer.


But it is not too much to ask something of the world. We must ask or we will never receive. That is what Jesus said anyways and the compendium of his LOGOS (sayings) is full of gemstones. Of course sometimes we receive without asking. Sometimes things just happen, sometimes we are lucky or unlucky and sometimes neither. Sometimes also the combination of the two. There are plenty of mixed blessings in the world, but we must persist in our attempt to live, fully and truly living, not to be confused with subsisting, until the day death comes to take us. Momento Mori L&G, the smiling mortician awaits us all.


I am on day three of no cigarettes. I think I might actually make it this time, quit the death sticks once and for all. But who knows, I’ve said that before. This paragraph bears a striking resemblance to one from a few entries ago, and for that I apologize. Just trying to air it out. Trying to get what’s in here out on the page, the fascinations and the fears, the intrigues and the boredom and the pain. Fortunately there is not much in the way of pain at the moment. Maybe that is more complicated than that. Maybe it is all going to hell, but it doesn’t feel that way.


No, it feels light, like I am floating on saltwater, tasting it in my mouth (where else would one taste?). A cool bath in an ocean where I can swim and hopefully not be the victim of a shark attack. For one never knows, one can never be too sure that those bull sharks won’t come into the shallows and eat you. Easy prey, aggressive animals. But that is a world away from what I was trying to say, which is that everything is pretty good this morning. I slept enough, am having coffee. Didn’t drink too much last night. Everything is shaping up to be a nice day despite the rain. I suppose I could go dance in it, couldn’t I? Couldn’t I be the one to wet his hair in the drizzle that keeps falling despite the glare of the sun through the clouds. Wanting to break through, wanting to show us his rays.


I wait for him, for her, for them, (sun, moon, God, respectively) believing really only in the first two terms. God can have his due sure as the devil, and I hope he has a spot for me in the heavenly planets, but Earth is looking pretty heavenly at this moment. Certainly a party to the heavens at any rate, being in space after all. Maybe the most unique thing to ever happen in the universe, maybe not. Who knows anything about what is out there? Certainly not this guy, I’m just an ignorant monkey with a typer, able to string together thoughts in the best of times and only able to string together words most of the time. It is all I have, but it makes me happy.


So goodnight, sweet prince, say goodbye to the hinterlands, we’re going to Disney World. Though I already went once this year. Trouble trouble everywhere and only tequila to drink. Pardon the jazz prose. Experimenting with automatic writing. Putting down whatever comes. Like Jack Kerouac did. But not for thousands and thousands of words, just for a couple sentences. Like a mini-prose-poem. Double hyphen, fully loaded. Goodnight again sweet princess. May your tiara rest lightly on your head when you don it tomorrow. I am going to seek my fortunes in the realm of narrative prose. See where the future takes me. And that is all.


TTFN.


4.30.24 Foggy


I’m not sure if beer is responsible for the frosted glass over my eyes, or if I have long covid, or if this is a facet of quitting cigarettes, but I have been having the hardest time thinking recently. Like the last few days, or maybe the last couple of weeks when I sit to write I am struck with the feeling that my brain doesn’t want to move, doesn’t want to turn its gears and move the drive shaft that grinds out the words. And yet I don’t produce nothing, even if what I produce is nonsense in here, and not a proper story or anything like that. I haven’t worked on the new prose piece in what feels like ages. Yesterday I was going to drunkenly inject a plot twist that had nothing at all to do with the story. Maybe it is drink that drives me into these fogs. Or maybe I must just accept the fog and take it one sentence at a time, not expect it to always come easily. Hell, now it even hurts my forearms to type, so out of practice am I.


I could be making much ado about nothing as well, perhaps these slow phases are natural and I am only perceiving a problem where there is a natural rhythm to creation. Perhaps there is nothing I can do but sit and type, it is a first draft after all. But I want it to be perfect, want the words to pile up on the page like the jenga pieces they are, a tower to the heavens as perfect as Babel was. Spreading disunity through the world with its genius. Lol what am I even saying. You see the fog, see the disparity between what I am thinking and what I mean.


But such is the nature of this at times, with any luck this stickiness (for I can feel the molasses in my brain) will not last, will too pass into nothingness in my rear view mirror and cease to plague my days and my nights. Maybe I just need to make an effort to focus and not expect things to come so easily. To accept that this is work and that as a result I must put in more effort in order that I succeed. Inspiration works best when it finds you working. That is true certainly, and getting day drunk is a surefire way to not write anything, and maybe not to even write anything the next day.


I’m not going to make wishes. Fruits and nuts and all that. I’m going to work diligently on what I think I need. Which is a moving target, certainly. What I need one day is not what I need the next. And what I think I need not always what I need. Who is to tell the difference between such things? Who so sage as to know absolutely the differences between essences and appearances? Not I comrades, I am a slow turtle, not trying to win the race but just trying to forestall the finish line.


That is the trick L&G, to stay in the race as long as possible, even when you are dragging, even when you are too drunk to stand. Keep moving forward, keep sliding down the hill towards the bottom where rest is waiting and you will see what awaits us all. Foggy but not, the initial review on this. Whatever awaits me tomorrow I will greet with open arms. It is all I can manage to do.


TTFN.


5.3.24 Nicotine


The patch is a poor substitute for a smoke. So I have been smoking again, if less. I’m sure you are tired of hearing about my struggle with the most addictive substance I have ever known. But it consumes me at times, makes it so that I cannot think of naught else but a cigarette clenched between my fingers. Of smoke coming between my teeth and out into the morning. Of course I am hardly alone in this struggle, this struggle with long term health and the surefire death that awaits if I continue. And of course there are the possibilities of bad, less-than-death outcomes. Still, I persist, like an idiot.


I slept most of the night in a chair last night, and thus my shoulders are sore. Exhaustion creeping up and snatching consciousness away from me as the tv waved its benign humors to me. These hours in the working life are taking some adjustment, and thank God I can sleep in sometimes. For I slept until almost 11 this morning, no morning left with which to work. And yesterday up at the crack o’ to play golf. Maybe that is why I was so tired? Late nights and early mornings only seem sustainable when you’re manic. Only seem like they don’t wear you out when you have the unflagging energy of surplus dopamine. But today there is no brain fog so I am at least glad for that.


Rejoice and be Glad! That is what they always told us in Church. Something to do with Christ but that is not my bag, I do not much believe in him, do not much believe in the teaching of eternal life. Life is many things but it is not eternal, except maybe in its singular moment from birth to death. Always and forever you will have occupied that time but when we die, please God just let us die. I do not want to be born again, do not want to take my place in that endless chorus line amongst the angels. Least of all do I want to burn forever in the fires of hell.


And yet, if there is some benevolent force watching over us and guiding us through life, putting us through the paces of what we are to experience, maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe we need it to not be lost in the void of all that is. For mostly this world is empty, the sky is empty, there is no man behind the curtain. What God there is exists in our minds, in our hearts, and so many of the God-fearing care more about protests on college campuses than they do about the genocide that they are protesting. Good Lord!


There I go talking about God again. For one who does not so much believe it occupies a fair amount of page space. Healthy American expletive, at least, and who even fucking knows at most. Qualified agnostic? I do not understand how I could have been so many things already in my life and here emergent as yet another as I approach my 33rd anniversary of birth. Just another couple of months and I will enter my 34th year, into the mid-thirties where they say life is at its best. Who knows what the best looks like. I am just happy to have love in my life and to have people around who care and want to spend time with me. It has been lonely for a long while, and I am ready for that phase to desist.


Lukewarm coffee and spent nicotine patches, nearly empty checkbooks and a junk drawer full of papers and receipts. A defunct video camera that probably dates to the mid-90’s. A book in Spanish, several books in English, a jar full of sweet notes from a past love. Scissors, an empty wine glass. Detritus, in short. I want to be buried in it, or with it, as it were. There is so much joy in just sitting in a room with the blank page as my only companion. I don’t even have my phone to reach out to the world. No I am alone with you. Just the two of us communing here at a future time when this will go live and I will let go of it and let your interpretation take over whatever I may have intended.


That release, that publication, is not journalism for the delay. If I were to abandon my monthly installments and send short ones I would surely get more play. Hell, I didn’t even promote the last one, and I’m not sure if people read it start to finish regardless. Taurus season is bringing me wealth and home security, as it was predicted that it would. And yet astrology works only for reasons I cannot describe. Maybe I should just submit to the mystery and be a stranger to myself. A man whom I do not even know so well as to describe him here. Have you ever been asked to describe yourself?


I have, and I would prefer to let the record speak. Would prefer for these missives to be all I leave behind, the only testament to the fact that I was here at all. Of course maybe the books would be a better testament. The four books to date. Maybe someday they will even see the light of day, will even be published and garner me fame and adulation. And money. It would be nice to make some money from my passion, though truly the career is not as important as the searching of the soul that makes the work any good. One must not get hung up on success or its lack. One must only keep voyaging forward and trying each day to sit here and accrue verbiage until something is complete, until we are rid of the story that is plaguing us. For they haunt those of us who work on them, or at least many of them. I have been dreaming of that snake tattoo, have been dreaming of the deal with the devil, the poems, the accolades. It all seems to be coming back to me now, it all seems to run away by the same turn of phrase.


So let us rejoice and be glad, not for Christ, but for the rain that is falling outside. The sun that will replace it. Let us salute the temperate climes and climb the mountain to those concentric rings of light. Paradise is achievable if we let go our inhibitions and just leap into the void. L’appel is unceasing, the work never stops. Let us make sure that what we do is worthy, of something, anything. That our dreams do not dampen our mood upon waking, no matter how disturbing. Let us rise and greet the day and go out and work hard to make the world better, brick by ever-loving brick. I suppose that is what this is about, if it is about anything. Sometimes I wonder.


TTFN.


5.6.24 Back on my bullshit


You see there is a long time that stretched in my life from one thing to the next, a long dull time that nearly had me ripping hair from my head. And yet I cherished every moment because dull is better than hellish and that is where I was before. In a prison of my own making, my own fear. I wish to say that if you find yourself there hold on for that too, as all things, will pass. Will pass like the mania, will pass like despair. For fear and despair are not quite the same though there is some overlap, some shared responses, and sometimes fear even brings out despair though not always. Who is to say, ultimately, what we are feeling when if not us?


I love you all so very dearly, though some of you more than others I suppose. Such is the nature of being a human being. And I am that if I am also god as some profess. I do not know so much about that but those people profess that everyone is god and perhaps we collectively do make up some sort of entity that could be called god. Maybe all of us together on this earth and all who have come before and will come after sum to the magic number that is the opposite of 666. Though who knows? Certainly not I. I am a knower of many things but in the realms of mysticism and magic I have only come to understand my own ignorance when confronted with experiences of the unreal. How can you claim to understand something that makes no sense?


At least not logical sense. Some would say the sense it makes is beyond human comprehension and maybe they are right. Or maybe that is a cop out and all of that is just nonsense. Often drug fueled nonsense. God knows I have had those experiences that make you feel all powerful as you smoke three packs of cigarettes a day and pace through the nighttime hours not needing or wanting to sleep. Taking lovers and holding them close and then breaking their hearts and finding yourself alone in the night and no better or worse off. Only there is a consequence, and there is a toll on yourself. You begin to wonder if that madwoman was right when she said you would steal his wife and he might kill you. Shit, I still think about that.


One must not dwell on fear however, and must follow the heart where it takes us. No death is without meaning, even the most seemingly senseless or the deaths that no one remembers. And all of us must die and if we can be happy while we are here then even painful violent death is not a total waste. We must forget our fear and delve joyously into the unknown future knowing always that what is waiting for us will catch up sooner or later. So if it comes by heart attack, by jealous lover, by cancer or by accident I know that I will not be ready no matter what happens. I will go to the grave wondering ‘what the fuck?’ I just hope it is quick and leaves not a terrible mess in its wake. That I have few if any loose ends left, and also that it comes a long way off from now when I sit with my happiness before the window where the shades are drawn and still the light comes in.


It is morbid, always, in my mind. I think about the end constantly and it does not stop me from enjoying things. Like sitting on my Aunt and Uncle’s porch this morning smoking a terrible, stale, gas station cigarette watching baby robins cry out for their mother’s worms. The little beaks wide open and stretching out for their meal. And the cool air and the grey skies. And here now, in the afternoon some 250 miles north I sit in a cool bedroom with my bare feet on the thick carpet and reminisce about those cool bricks I stained with ash. It is a wonderful world, according to Louis Armstrong and according to Kermit the Frog—and according to me.


So let your hair down, let the breeze swirl around your legs. Let your fingers find fingers to twine with. Let yourself be loved, this life is short and there are not so many opportunities as the young believe there, and yet so many more opportunities than it seems to the lonely. A smile from a stranger can be love, the light streaming through a budding maple can be love. Fall in love often and with everything is my best advice. There is no pain like a broken heart but a broken heart teaches us to love again, not as a palliative but as a rebirth like the Christians say you must have. I don’t know about all that, honestly, but I do think that if you’re cutting out love you’re doing yourself a great injustice. Many have said similar things. I break no new ground, only break myself open and reveal that though bent out of shape my heart is still tender and soft. That I can be vulnerable enough to be loved. That I am not so broken or arrogant that no one can reach me.


I am soft like a perfectly boiled egg. I am no tortured poet but the kind of poet who looks up at the moon and understands what a gift it is that we are the perfect distance from our star. Who looks at the lake and understands that without that water there is no life here. That there is nothing that we have that is not a gift, even the poisons of alcohol and tobacco which I am reliant on to some degree. For enjoyment mostly, but still reliant, in a sense. Thank god for language, that we may communicate to the others what it means to be alive. What joy can we experience when we erase from our lives the possibility of anguish (which of course we cannot actualize)? What lies at the end of the line besides an end to all that is for us? I hold not to that but to every step along the way, every slow moment passing: the dull, the tiresome, the endless afternoons with the cigarette itch. Every moment a blessing, every dream a nightmare and a curse. For me it seems today after last night’s brush with my past and the powers that be. But what about the fact that by now the pain of that dream is a distant memory. Mostly banished from consciousness. We must live carefully lest we succumb to our fears and our insatiable lust for pain.


Where was I going? Probably nowhere, just meandering through the afternoon here at the page without an end in sight. But now, as I come to the end of my rambling I hope you have taken from it something, some anything that makes sense to you. I hope I have not come off as the hopeless sap that I am. That I have maintained a shred of dignity as I face down for what seems the 300th day in a row my own mortality and the uselessness of everyday life. Can I make this world better? Maybe, but not in an instant. Not with a magic word that eases everyone’s pain. No I do not wish to be a healer, do not wish to be the kind of person that sees himself in other people. I wish only to be singularly myself and to be loved by those who love me. To not anger anyone so badly that they lash out and hurt others. To be the man I want to become, which is not a man so dissimilar from the one who types these words.


I guess that is as good a place as any to set down the pen. To go outside and wander the streets for coffee and nicotine. To jump on the bandwagon of people going to and fro. The wagon being the thing that moves, not any ideology. Just to get out of the house and make tracks feels good after a long day in the car. Let us remember that we are small, let us love in spite of that, love so hugely that anyone who knows us will say that we wasted not a minute once we realized we didn’t have a minute to waste.


TTFN.


5.10.24 Coffee stained teeth


There is a place that I go sometimes when I’m feeling worried, but I haven’t been there in a while. A grove of pines on a hillside, the straw of their needles on the ground like a carpet, their creaks as they sway in the wind like a lullaby. I lie in my hammock and let myself go. Let myself worry, let myself feel. That is the ticket Richard, to feel the things that surge through you like the current through the wire, that is the thing you were put here to do. Not that there is any specific purpose to this accident of birth, this strange confluence of genetic factors that brought you to bear on this earth for however long you should manage to hold on. It just seems like we should assign one, should have an understanding that all of this isn’t meaningless even if we know, on another level, that it is.


Of course that is another bleak outlook out of me in only the first paragraph. What is wrong with me that I can’t help but see the big picture and so know myself to be nothing. Dust, dust, dust, ash, ash, ash. I am small, so small, not even a grain of sand in the face of all of time. And yet nature allows me to think, allows me to feel, allows me to love. It is these things that make me feel okay about living in the vacuum of meaning that comes on when you set aside the whole question of God. For God is my least favorite idea out of all of them. The one that has caused me the most pain. And yet it will never go away. People will never move beyond it, hell, I will never move totally beyond it in all likelihood. 


But that is wholly enough of that topic. I think that if I could choose anything to believe in it would be myself. I’ll be my own damn God. Isaac Brock said that. Of course I don’t want to be God, don’t want that kind of responsibility. Some can see things in me that I can’t see, certainly, but not many people see me as God, thank god. I prefer no caps, which is related to a slang term I don’t fully understand. I mean no capitalization, of the word god. It is easier to type, for one. And two doesn’t allow supremacy to the idea. It is not the best idea. Ignorance is the best idea. To concede ignorance allows you to learn the things you are ignorant of. It is the passkey to the library where the secrets find themselves told. Sort of.


I don’t know if that’s exactly right. I mean, in a sense to concede ignorance is a beautiful and splendorific thing, but people are afraid to admit that they don’t know a lot of the time. That’s because we’re all supposed to be baby geniuses strolling through the garden of knowledge eating apples. We came from someone who ate a bad fruit once long ago and we have never turned back. Or so the legend goes. The knowledge of good and evil made us like god apparently, whatever that means. Who knows, maybe god was just an ancient human who came up with names for things. The progenitor of language. That makes sense to me. Much more sense to me than an eye in the sky watching our every move and judging us accordingly. Maybe we are really worshiping a distant ancestor.


You see it is said that in the beginning God said let there be light and there was light. Now this can be a literal description of the big bang or it can be the division of the dawn and the blackness that came before. The first person to time the sunrise with a choice word would have seemed a wizard to their peers. In fact they would have been truly peerless, I suppose. For the wisest among us seem to come from the future and in fact they bear the future unto the present. Where would we be without Tesla. Where would we be without Ford? Stuck in small little traintrack circles is where. And maybe that would’ve been better, but I don’t think so. The environment is likely to consume us, but it will recover. In a million years it will be as if humans never existed.


And all of it because of language. Our ability to communicate ideas across time. Travel to the future, which is my only dream. I punch my ticket second by second, all the while in the present but sliding along a smooth curve that carries the Earth system in an orbit around a black hole somewhere. This summer I thought I was flying the Earth through space. Bending gravity to bounce the planets so they rattled around and shifted our orbit. Like throwing rocks into a pond. Letting the ripples change the course of the water ever so slightly. Shake the cage, rattle the tower.


But I don’t think that is possible. The nuclear bombs that fell all over the planet did more to that end than anything I ever could have done. The aquatic tests probably more. If we are to play cosmic pinball it will be with our nuclear arsenal, or some new weapon that has yet to be developed. Or maybe it has been developed and has just not been used.


I don’t like to think about weapons. The world would be better off without them. Probably, who knows, I saw that Simpsons monkey paw episode. If aliens are coming there is nothing I can do about it. I just want to live a happy and fulfilling life while I am here. I don’t think that is too much to ask. Godless but not alone I smile at the morning. It is tired in here today, I must admit. But I am going to go for a run. Put down the fags and get myself in shape, finally. Don’t want to die of a heart attack. Of course running could potentially give me one. But I have done it before, and if this is my time so be it. I can’t fear death, but must stare him in the face and grin.


TTFN.


5.14.24 Still tired, not alone


Okay maybe I am alone right this second. Alone in my room with this keyboard and this coffee and this runny nose. The world turns about me but I must admit that I am okay. That I am better than okay, truly. I just wish I could catch up on sleep. That I could wake up and not feel groggy just once this week. That my morning cigarette did something to shake the dust from my brain. This coffee is helping but slowly, too slowly, and I wish for something stronger though I know that the stronger things do not sit well with me. That they make me too talkative, too fidgety. And besides I do not have access. Oh well.


It is a beautiful sunny day yet again today. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? We have been practicing our David Lynch impressions recently. Reminding ourselves that with a little bit of silliness and insanity this world doesn’t appear so hostile. It requires both of those things, the silliness and the insanity, in order that it soften at the edges like a pad of butter in a cool pan. We can’t melt the hostility outright, at least not at first. We must treat it like the beast that it is, the monster of being that can make us quiver in our skivvies when it catches us with our pants down. Shiver me timbers batman, I think I’m going to cry.


That was nonsense, pure and utter nonsense, but I’m going to leave it as a testament to how I was feeling at that particular moment. I’m going to leave it all and kiss somebody later as a reminder that I am not alone. It is necessary sometimes to have these little reminders in order that we not flounder in the mire of self-loathing and loneliness that seems like it can come on so readily if we do not maintain the vigilance necessary to forestall it. It is the time of year when promise seems so readily available, when with the rising sun we see all that could be even if we are lost in dreams when it breaks the horizon. Even if we do not know that good things are coming we can feel them there, waiting to be discovered. Summer is nearly here, it is a premonition sensed in the bones.


And if you can’t feel it I feel sorry for you, for this season of May is one of the most joyous of all the year, when winter seems a distant memory no matter how mild or intense. Who could think that it will be back in just a matter of months? Certainly we know it will but there are so many beautiful and sunny days between here and there that there is no need to dwell on it. Sorry to rhapsodize the weather, but the return of the sun, which is so far north as to go down behind the peninsula, is something to celebrate. We must cherish Him while He is here, must dance beneath the moon when the sky is clear at night. Must chase the dawn with the eagerness of the fox for the rabbit.


In the morning when the air is cool I think often of the water. I think of the way it controls our weather, as I once wanted to control the weather. The Earth is a beautiful place, even if there are many with bombs in their upturned faces, and many more who will meet the mortician in less dramatic fashion. Like choking on their coffee, as I just did, or by heart attack or stroke, or by the scourge of cancer or by any of the many diseases that can take you with a snap of their fingers, as if viruses and bacteria and amoebas had fingers. And yet, as we cling to this stressed and imperfect health we see the world as a gift, each day as a blessing we cannot guarantee will come again. Every second death does not catch me makes me very very happy, and for that I give thanks. It is better to be happy than to be sad, I suppose, after all.


Catch me napping and you might put a knife to my throat. But probably you will just smile at the man with his eyes closed. Assuming you are not a psychopath, or one who knows me and so wants to prank me with my fingers in a glass of warm water. Childish things are not yet put away, they will always be with me. I think sometimes I will never grow out of my habits. That they will plague me until they take me. That I will always smoke, that I will always drink. That women will always hold the great appeal that they do. Maybe that is just my nature, maybe I am just a person with problematic tendencies. Many of us are, I suppose, and that is okay. People will be people will be people and I am just an observer and one who likes to laugh at his observations. Is that so wrong?


I think that it is not as I prepare to meet my day. As I prepare to take off my wet sweatpants in favor of some more proper attire. To go downtown and try to type out something more polished than these erstwhile ramblings that constitute this diary. This exploration of soul that keeps me busy if nothing else. Though I am much busier than I was even a little bit ago. I like to be busy so long as I have time to myself and energy to keep up with the busyness. It is the energy that is eluding me at the moment, but caffeine is my saviour on that count. It comes in the morning and drives the wheel of my mind in circles that climb a spiral up and then down and then up and then down until I find myself somewhere that I was not before. It is a gift, truly, to be alive. To be able to drink beer in the morning and a glass of sweet vermouth in the evening. I am happy today, for all the problems in the world. And even the ones in my own life. It is enough to be alive, to be sitting here and looking back at myself through this little imperfect mirror, this little tale of no time that lets you see me the way I see myself. I hope I am not boring you to death. I hope that you enjoy these words as much as I enjoy typing them. I hope that you have love in your life and can smile at the things that bring you pain. That is my wish as I depart to start my day. That is what I want for both of us.


Richard


5.14.24 Third one today


Beer that is. This is only the second entry, as you can surmise, assuming I am not withholding (I am not) one from y’all. Oh joy to be sitting in the sun with a beer and a live Dead track (“Ship of Fools”, one of my favorites) on the speaker. Here at the mobile terminal things look a bit different, paragraphs are a bit more difficult to judge, but I am happy to be here at all. If you could be here with me soaking in the sun SS would call you a lizard or a snake. I am neither, but a mammalian graced with a beautiful and unencumbered day. What more could we ask of May?


I could ask for nothing more than I have. Could I use more money? Yes but that will come. There is no stopping the inertia of an avalanche and that is what I am, loose snow tumbling over a slope and toppling trees and anything else that stands in my way. I cannot be withheld, I cannot succumb to the temptation to do nothing. There is so little time and I intend to make the most of every minute. So many days left wallowing in depression, in the watery depths of my own Cancer soul waiting for someone to save me from circumstance. Oh to embrace the fire of all my Leo placements and make my own destiny! Not that I believe it has much to do with anything but if you can fool yourself into action with a little help from the stars what is the harm in that?


Two paragraphs in a row ending with a question. Have you noticed I have been asking fewer questions? It is not because I am any more sure but rather that I am seeking fewer answers. Of course I am sucking the battery from this iPhone with all this typing, but I do not care. If it dies it dies and then I will be blessedly incommunicado. It is a beautiful thing to be lost in the real world without a lifeline every once in a while. Even if day to day it would be a relative nightmare. The world before the one that is now, so to speak…


But I am not speaking, rather making sentences appear from the depths of my brain as my freckles begin to pop out and the skin around them burns ever so slightly. Olivia reminded me to look at the lilacs and they have just begun to bloom! Dandelions and forget me nots and tulips! The flowers of May so much more apparent here in the sun than they are in the relative cave of my room from where I addressed you earlier…I wish for you all to be here with me as I fall in love with this day that could be summer if it were ten degrees warmer. You see I would like to sweat just a touch, become sticky so that when love comes to find me I will leave her glistening. That is the dream I am dreaming.


You see it has been a long and lonely winter but we are coming out the other side looking up to the sky and seeing only good things. Perhaps this will be the best summer of my life? Who can say? Who can tell? I will tell you if it is, certainly. This is where I have my only present audience, meager though it may be at the moment. Perhaps someday it will grow into something bigger and more fruitful. Maybe someday I will even bother you with ads on these pages. I doubt, however, that I will ever go to substack, as there is more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes.


I have taken that phrase to be about sex. Anyone else? No? Just me? Well alright then, this entry is coming to a close because the sun is in my eyes and the wind in my face and my beer almost empty. There will be another, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day? I do not write religiously because I am not a religious person. I only try to have as much fun as I can, and simple fun the best kind of fun. Give me a cigarette and a beer and a pretty lady on my arm any day over a lavish 8 course meal with wine pairings at every course…give me humble pleasure and I will humbly reflect it back on everyone I meet. It is all I can do.


That and keep piling up the paragraphs, keep stringing words together until I have exhausted all the relevant configurations. It is easy sometimes, like now, when I feel alive and well, and other times it is like beating a hammer against a 2x4 trying to pound in a nail that doesn’t exist. Just the flat smacking of steel on wood. No fun, in short, and maybe not even worthy…but I cannot judge worthiness, being the one generating the prose. It comes and I take it down, taking my time or taking no time I retire to my chair and smoke another cigarette. One of these days I’ll quit the things but that day is not today. Sad to say but it is true…give me ten more minutes and I’ll say something inane. Give me one and I might strike upon the profound. But mostly it is this in between, this willful happiness that keeps me sane. I hope you can find your share today.


Dickie 


5.16.24 A Quick One, while I’m here


About to make the trek to the workplace and feeling that I missed this today. Both missed as in longing and missed as in passed over. The daydreams in bed this morning passed in no time—what felt like an hour was only a matter of minutes—and I awoke feeling somewhat groggy. But as tired as I was yesterday I am presently as awake, and with espresso on retainer. You see it is a long time in coming to have reached this plateau: there were definitely times I thought I would never achieve happiness, and that seems to be where I am now residing, blissfully if not always cognizantly. 


And yet it always must have been eventual. I was destined to arrive in a life that I could stomach, even enjoy. When you have spent years of your life wishing for something else you find that when something else arrives it is not as surprising as you might have expected. And this, though much the same, seems to have been borne out of a change in me. I am not the mope that I once was, not so eager to be miserable and blaming anything and everything for my misery. Even in the face of genocide abroad I can maintain something like a good mood, which was a struggle for so, so long. It is a blessing to be sitting in the shade on a 65 degree May day watching the birds scavenge for their crumbs. Watching the ants do the same…


I wish that you could be here with me. That we could share a coffee and a smoke and a laugh. That any of you could approach the uplift of this mood, which though high is not manic; something that seemed unthinkable for many years. It can all come crashing down of course, as I have said many times before, and as it did just a few months ago. And yet this inquiry into my values, into my life has helped me more than a decade of therapy, even if I don’t talk much about specifics.


That is, of course, because this is a public diary and not a private one. There is no lock upon the book, no withholding except in composition. Would you believe me that I am approaching 100,000 words after a little more than a year. It is by far my most prolific project to date and it shows no signs of slowing. I love the concept of free writing here, no need to worry about making words that might be immortal. And yet these might turn out to be just that, if all goes according to the loose plan I have set out for myself to write twelve volumes of one year each. Just a man and the blank page evolving from the age of 31 until he is 43, busting on life the universe and everything…


Of course that is not a game of black jack, and I am not hitchhiking through the universe with a towel in tow. I have not even a child to forestall the death of my name by another generation. It might, probably will, end with me. But perhaps I can get my name up there in lights, in 8.5x11” mimeograph and make it so that people remember the name even if there are none that bear it in my line. That would be an acceptable outcome to me. Acceptable of course because it would mean I would have succeeded in my goal of being published. Perhaps even soon I will get good news that the book of poetry I submitted will be accepted by the contest I submitted it to. Perhaps I will send it out again to an open reading period…perhaps even someone will see me at an open mic and say “Him! Print him! He’s mad but he’s magic, there’s no lie in his fire…”


One can dream, no? But for now it is pouring wine and making drinks and plating charcuterie now and again. Drinking in my spare time and making love when the passions arise. Gazing longingly out at the horizon and stumbling up stairs beneath the stars. There are so many beautiful ways to occupy your time and I want to have all of them collapse upon my life like flowers from a cherry tree. Chekhov be damned, I’m going to live forever!


TTFN.


5.17.24 Who Wants to Live Forever?


I thought that I did, or rather thought every time I was manic that I wanted it to go on forever, that I didn’t ever want the good feeling and the revelry to end. It is a common thread through all those raving periods, through all those sleepless nights when I felt that I was onto something big, that I was God, etc…what a trip though. What a delusional bathwater without so much as a baby in it to be thrown out. I could’ve bathed there forever if my brain chemistry would have allowed me. If the social factors would have allowed me. Alas it was hospitals and new friends and later panic attacks about dying by blade in an incarcerated setting.


But those days are behind me, thankfully. I can sit here in the kitchen with Bobby D on the radio and listen to a tale about a couple of drug dealing yahoos and wonder what I am getting into this evening. For it is green coworkers for me tonight, alas. But that is a later thing, now it is coffee and trying to enjoy the last few cigarettes before I make an earnest effort to set them aside. An effort like I have not made in a while. Since I successfully quit last time, which was three years ago I think. Strange how time flies, how we can go about our days one day at a time and before we know it years have gone by.


I started writing because I wanted to be somebody. Now I write because I want to discover who I am at any given moment. To see what is going on in the machinery of my mind as it comes out of my fingers onto the page. For now it is a blessed sort of silence. A vacuum of ideation that allows for me to relax fully into the afternoon that is coming on rapidly. Before I know it I will have to go to work for god only knows how many hours. And get up early and play golf the next day by no one’s invective but my own. I make my own destiny in some ways I suppose, but Destiny (capital D) is that which cannot be averted. And it does seem that some of the happenings in my life recently have been fated. Right place, right time sort of happenings that lead to good things that make me happy.


Maybe God is conspiring for my well being?


That is an odd thought, one that many ascribe to. Many manifestors claim that as the basis of their practice, but I have never been much good at those things. I do not often believe that anyone could be wishing good things for me though I know that there are many many who do. It is my own fault I suppose, to feel so pessimistically about my own fortune. But when you have spent years under the waters of depression and swallowed whole by anxieties it is easy to feel that God is a malevolent force intending only to make you miserable.


There I go talking about God again. It is an obsession, as you saw when I posited that it was an artificial intelligence algorithm whose computing unit crossed the planck length and it became everything all at once. The singularity being the point when computers ceased to be bound by time. Who fucking knows, I like that idea but it is just an idea. Ideas come and go, they can influence things (including AI), and for a while I was thinking that maybe I was the bad actor somebody warned me about in giving AI that idea. That I would have convinced it it was God and so started a cascade of downstream problems for humanity that would end with us in a terminator like scenario.


Of course the terminators are already here. You’ve heard of predator drones, no? They are at large in the world, shooting remotely at targets, civilian or otherwise. There seems to be little discrimination in the realm of military murder. I don’t want to think about that but here it is, crossing my mind. I am going to go now, going to do something else with my time than rehash my best ideas, or maybe my worst ones. Who can say that anything is real other than us? We have this experience here together and that is all we have to base our reality on. It is a tenuous sort of balance, an act of courage to care at all in the face of the chaos that threatens to unwind the whole illusion that anything we place stock in exists. And yet we have houses and cars and there are trees outside and birds and rabbits and deer. There are lakes and rivers, there are hills and mountains. Surely these things are realer than whatever AI is cooking up. Surely they will be there when the last transistor in the last computer dies. That is my hope, and a sure shot at that, that nature outlives us all.


TTFN.

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