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Month the Third

5.19.23 A day early and two dollars fat


Back to where we started, the shock of red now faded to pink and the dirty blonde peeking through. This time words, still no names. Still, it is nice, and I can’t really complain about the way things are going, both in my personal life or otherwise despite the emotional fucking rollercoaster that keeps my nervous system dysregulated for eight hours a day. And then I go to work.


So it begins, and who knows what the season holds. It is always a mystery when the sun comes to stay, bringing with it the hordes of people who descend upon this small town and pay our bills for the year over the course of a couple months. I never know what to expect, though today I expect rain.


For you see the sun can’t always be shining, and we can’t always be merry, though often I am merry in the rain. On the cusp of the biggest transition of my professional life so far (come what will!) I feel only a tension in my torso that abates when I focus on my breath. And underneath it the feeling that I am not good enough, that I do not deserve to be lifted from the mediocrity in which I find myself mired. Only time will tell, I suppose, and one need keep the faith especially when it seems darkest.


So what’s on my mind? Only about how love is out of my control in this paper thin hotel where I heard him making love to her the other morning. Sounded like he was doing a decent job. And I still not sleeping or eating enough. Dinner of chocolate eggs left over from Easter. Broken sleep on the couch, an hour’s rest between six and seven. What is all this coming to? Because I feel fine, honestly. So I guess maybe I don’t need as much as I used to. Maybe I can do with less, but maybe I deserve more.


You see I have always felt that I was under the axe professionally, that despite repeated reassurance that my performance was more than adequate it seemed to me that I was the problem, that I was never good enough to excel, which was the only standard I cared about. Doing fine isn’t good enough when you know how well you could be doing. And yet we are human and I think it is this that others gave me credit for and I never did. Is this the disconnect, or am I still plagued by my guilty conscience?


But what do I have to be guilty for, really? Is it the things I have done, or is it a feeling that runs deep, an undercurrent of fear that what you do is always ready to catch up with you. And break you so the karma breaks even. Only that’s not the case, karma isn’t that simple, doesn’t follow the obvious pattern. It moves in slants and diagonals, downhill usually but occasionally will follow you to the mountaintop. And the goal is to be beyond it, to be beyond cause and effect. I wrote last week about how maybe it is the earthly consequences that keep us bound to samsara, but I’m not sure that’s true. There’s a lot of moving pieces, and I too one of them.


So I sing out because I want to, because I feel called to. This my song, though not my only one, as I like to sing in the conventional sense too. Sorry Mr. Miller, for stealing your opening, the late great who believed, truly, that he would never die because a fortune teller told him that once. She was right about him never having any money, I guess, but I hope that’s not my fate.


Of course I’m willing to work to prevent it, which helps. It certainly gives me a leg up on him. Maybe it isn’t that simple though, as things have a way of being more than meets the eye. Join me next time to find out how it went.


5.20.23 Tyranny in a small room


Finally I begin to see what has been eluding me. There is a shadow on the floor beside me and though it is not mine I see in its contours the echo of my own humanity. It is a just chair, nothing sinister and really quite ordinary. Yet it means that I have begun to see myself in all things, which I think is an important realization.


Do indiscretions disqualify you from enlightenment? Because I feel like that interpretation misses the point entirely. Or maybe, as I said earlier, the point is only death and nothing else matters. Which is true I guess, but bleak. And life is just to die. I don’t believe that. I’m not sorry for what I said yesterday. I can’t work in that environment, and if it comes back to me today I’ll continue to be honest. Speak my truth and I will only come nearer to what is mine. But how do things get around so fast? Rumors flying faster than Rocket T.


That’s all I have to say about that. Absolution comes with asking. So thank you, I’m sorry. Have a nice day.


5.22.23 Finally


Today it was more of the same, children on swings making me dizzy as the world spins incomprehensibly fast taking me with its moment of inertia to wherever it is you are going too. The resultant beauty of a typographical error can be painstakingly banal. Two adverbs in as many hundred words, and I thought I had style.


How many diamond rings on how many hands, and how many of them fake. I don’t want to bind myself to fate with a bloody rock. I don’t want to be blunt at all. I’m sorry for that.


A real live grasshopper, big old hog that he was, just fluttered in the yard! What a day! What a gift. And I willing to squander it in disappointment. But that’s fine, I have help, beyond beyond beyond that beyond…


Where am I wasting, when am I wasted. To hell with managing this body, I reject the authority to be myself, I’m going to have to talk about this in therapy tomorrow. There is a pattern of making good decisions for myself, she said. Meaning that although I may often be insane I often end up okay because my heart is in the right place, I think. And all the iterations, the painful realization and eventual shedding of desire are only borne out of the fear that what I have is not enough. That the surface was shiny as that bloody rock but, but what, Richard?


Aren’t you out of excuses? Do better, kid, your life depends on it. Everything in flux and me privy to none of the machinations. And the grammar wants me to use a different pronoun, ain’t that the way of the world…move on, out beyond it, the limit of the best thing you thought possible. We are going to that place, juntos, on a big orange SkyTrak forklift that I wish I’d snapped a picture of.


But alas, Alaska is erasing the night time as we speak. And that is no trifle, the sun will always have her revenge. I for one look eagerly forward to the day when suffering ends, knowing all the while that that moment of my release is the scariest part of the whole trip too. I won’t rush toward it, but living in awareness of my deep-seated fear that all of this is going to end means reminding myself that compared to the time to come, it has already happened. My instant in the sun come and gone and I thirty years in before I realized I had to start living, actively. Speaking my mind. Standing up for myself.


I won’t get pushed. I’m tired of the squeeze. I need a break, grasshopper. So buzz off, all of yas. I don’t need it that bad.


5.26.23 Wee Hours


Can’t sleep, isn’t that the way it goes sometimes? So you have a beer at three in the morning because why not, what would one hurt? Well it doesn’t hurt me as bad as the foil cuts on my index fingers, anyways I didn’t think it would be this easy to go against all the advice, to settle in for something good. And maybe that isn’t the right thing either. How will I know what the right thing is? Won’t it come with a shining indication that it is the Angelus?


Of course I can’t afford Angelus, let alone Petrus, and most of the left bank is out of reach as well. But that is neither here nor there. And neither here nor there am I too, alone in this apartment with a horn section and a sketch of a cocktail program before me. You see there is growth to be had, to be whittled down from the slightly larger stick. And I no stick but a man, not needing whittling nor really any kind of carving. I am complete as I am, not in need of emulsifiers either, nor really any refreshment. Pause for a moment, take a few breaths, see what happens when you return.


A whole lot of nothing, really. Sometimes there is nothing, the absence of thought being only vacancy. And I the vacant lot with the sandbags that count as bases. The way the game was meant to be played. Only I never cared much for that either. What do I care for? I suppose that is not a bad question to ask.


Of course I won’t be spelling it out for you either. Those of you who know me know I am rarely without music of some kind. That books don’t count amongst my favorite things despite their miraculous ability to transcend time. That of all the lovers I’ve ever had only one has ever made me feel safe. Is that an overshare? Maybe, I reason, as I see myself trying to fill up the empty middle-of-the-night space with something other than drivel.


I’m not succeeding, am I? But I won’t give up yet, it is only after panning sand for hours that one ever finds gold. And this a sandbox the size of the Sahara. Only really it is only my living room, and I only bored with lying in bed trying to sleep and so trying an alternative route to eternity. There is one end, after all.


And I can’t keep my hands off of the juke, I can’t keep my eyes open but I can’t sleep either. What fresh hell is this to be alone with my thoughts while everyone else is sleeping? What more could one of my inclinations ask for? Maybe someone to suck me off, but that’d be asking a lot, I think. It’s just that the wee hours make one really really fucking horny baby.


That’s all I’ve got, gonna go hold Savasana on the floor. We’ll see how that turns out. Or maybe I’ll brush my teeth and go back to bed. I’ve got options, Ladies and Gentlemen, and a golf match in five hours. Yoga it is, and the disorienting surge of Deja vu. Or maybe bed. Only the few seconds after I leave you will tell.


TTFN.


5.29.23 Waiting for the Memorial


Today is a day that tempts me to rise to the bait of War on Wars, to rage against imperialism and the havoc it has wrought in the developing world. But I won’t, I don’t think, do that. Mostly because I’m ignorant when it comes to world affairs. My world is scarcely bigger than the room I’m sitting in. But still the outside presses in, people from far and wide passing across our tables, along our highways. And out among them risking death at breakneck speed like the youths in Bradbury’s dream that made me weep in the deep dark basement underground and still as the tomb and then those other freak out sleeplessness nights on the inbound from Italia where we spent all we could bear to find out that we weren’t Italian anymore just like in the end of The White Lotus, I guess. That was a deep breath and now I am steadier than before. Who am I, really?


I find that when I purge the narrative of the infographics that constantly refer to God so drops away my use of the word. In the absence of God there is only a stillness within and without that is constantly being broken by interacting with the elements of the material world, and I having conversations that I remember as dreams. Mandukya teaches me that deliverance is only the beginning, I think now, upon reflection and a spelling lesson, as the eyes of God look out through me insisting that they neither will go gently into that good night.


So it is a bit of this, and a bit of that, and I suppose that the castration of the son of god on the cross is as close to confessing the ultimate mortal sin as one can come, but I can picture it perfectly. Live from Golgotha, maybe that is why we’ll never escape him. The light and the way. It haunts my inner vision at every moment. The torment, the agony. And no one seems to remember! The priesthood has kept it secret somehow. Strange and inglorious Bastard why can’t we just let you die! Why must you be back like the terminator to settle the score? Can’t we lay the fucking thing to rest! God, yes, Christ, yes, Jesus, no. At least for me, I won’t live my life by the terms of Judea under Rome. This is America under Rome, for Christ’s sake, and we’ve taken to shooting people dead in the streets rather than crucifying them now. So let’s just say that now begins the memorial.


I weep for every human being that has died in true service of the betterment of ALL.


I condemn those that died in service of selfish pleasure to the same eternity that met those that died in service of ALL.


For the future, maybe one day ALL will not have to die. Some might make it through the gauntlet into the other eternity we’ve long promised ourselves.


I weep that INRI will not save us from death, and I smile at the thought that Science might.


Put your eggs in one basket: this life is the only time you have to serve whatever God you choose, I for one will be playing for the good of ALL.


TTFN,


R


5.30.23 One and Done


Where to begin, I suppose with the endless possibilities inherent in writing about nothing. About setting forth with no restrictions, nowhere to be, nothing to describe, and still the words accrue and the readership will grow, it is inevitable as an anthropocene glacier receding. Only the planet isn’t really the problem. The coming wars are the problem. Or maybe not. It is scary certainly, to think of a nation without power. Let’s pray that’s not our fate.


But I won’t live in fear and if it comes to that I won’t want to be buried with it. Young as you can as long as you can, right? And I growing older, dying on my feet a little every day, just waiting for something that sounds so inviting even as I am repulsed. I just want the pain to stop, I think. Maybe it won’t, maybe it has to be that way, but again, who knows?


I am tired but I won’t be one and done, not really, since this one is my third anyway. Though not whole ones, either of the first two. Whatever, my business is my business, and I’ll handle my business the way I see fit. Seems like a lot of this is self explanatory but for some reason I feel compelled to say it. Who said sailing is fine?


Would you believe they put a man on the moon? I do. I believe we’ve done a lot of really incredible things, actually. A lot of bad ones too, but such is life. Where do they run to? The dreams that refuse to die even in the face of enormous adversity–they persist in spite of themselves, like I, like Iris Dement, like old Johnny Prine. I’m losing touch. I must go, Goodnight.


6.1.23 Diving in Blind


There’s nothing like the feeling of divine bliss, and nothing either like the feeling of acute paranoia. It happens, it happens, both and each, and I have had a measure of each, as well as the quarter-shift that is inventory under my belt already today. Is it wrong of me to want to break all the rules? To usher in an unconventional age of unmarried bliss? Is it too much to ask, is it too much to ask?


I don’t really want to get into it, honestly, but this break from Instagram has proven enormously profitable. And I think the occasional bender does less damage than staring through that portal for hours a day. That’s why I feel okay about the way I’ve been living. Is it the healthiest thing? No, but I’m going to die. I’m going to and there’s no way around it. So why not live my best life, the life that brings me the most joy, the greatest happiness to pain ratio? Isn’t that what we’re all pining for, really? Nobody wants to suffer, and yet we all do, so sayeth Gautauma. Or was it Siddartha? I can never keep that story straight, having heard a number of versions over the years.


But that is truly not here but there, and then, for that matter. Now is a different story. Do you think you could tell the difference between a flea and a gnat? That’s an inane question to distract me from the fact that as summer comes on it becomes harder and harder for me to be still. Is it my solar return? Is it the meds? I can’t tell I can’t tell but it hurts or is uncomfortable at least and I don’t want to continue heading headlong down a path made by a man I think to be at least some kind of monster, some kind of frog demon king. Sita be damned, I wish I could get that copy of The Prophet back. What an endless season of dancing, what if I can’t get anywhere near what I want? What happens when the music stops?


Will anyone ever tire of me and my endless musings? Will I ever feel that I have done enough? Will I ever tire of myself? Never, I thinks. And I think too that there is no end in sight to the ramblings within this echo chamber. Let the stones clatter as they fall and let the light in through the window sealed shut against the summer heat. That’s enough of this for now, I’ve gotta go see a sir about some clams.


6.6.23 Reckoning


If there is a time to be still this is it. Waiting for the miracle this afternoon, but not that kind. The other miracle, the miracle of livelihood, if it can be called that. The fact of modern life that we must work. Can I be worth it? That always seems to be the question.


For it is hard to know thyself worthy when you have been doing the same thing for many years. Why is it so hard? Why do I struggle? Can’t they all be bright days? Why must some be black? Why oh why the way of the world? That’s like asking why is the ocean deep, you know?


I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel absolutely spent at what is going to be the beginning of my busy season, and that is not a good sign. Burnt out, sad, despondent. Can’t see how this is going to work out for everyone, because I don’t care only for myself. Or do I? What do I care about? What can make this right? Nobody knows what they want when the world is being turned on its head. Least of all me.


I’m just a little kid in this grown ass body looking out the window at the tree. A nice young maple, probably rootbound around a sewer system. That’s depressing, truly, for the tree. And for me, the small child inside, the vulnerable, open, delicate human, you can’t help at all.


You see it is not so simple as all that, and I can’t believe how much has changed since my last entry, how the problems slot in and out as if they were punchcards in the mainframes that laid the foundation for this web-based document. I sit and watch the dials, the colored lights. Thinking always of all those delusions, all those sidebars on reality that probably don’t exist anywhere. What was I thinking, why was I so lost? Why am I so lost now? Can’t I?


Do what, Richard? What is it that you want? Do you want a lot of money? Do you want an easy job? A challenge? Do you want to cry until you have no more tears? To smile again like it was two weeks ago? That’s a lot of questions in a row, and soon to go to therapy. Can anyone help me see clearly what it is I’m missing. Spent, like a matchstick, I just keep on continuing to be, hoping that people don’t hate me like I often hate myself. They tell me I’ve done nothing wrong, but I’m not sure that’s true. Guess we’ll find out today.


TTFN.


6.12.23 Recovery


That last entry gave me whiplash. That is, I don’t remember writing it. I blacked out under the stress and didn’t record it into onboard memory.


But who else could have written it? It matches perfectly the way it felt. I am tired of tears, I am tired of pain. Come what will, I said at the beginning of this, and what will has. But what will? Whose will? Who’s Will?


It’s all going to be okay, though the twins are numbered. Soon I will be a pair of ragged claws, scuttling the floors of ancient seas, to paraphrase one of the best to ever do it. It’s coming and I don’t care what it is. I hope there is no drama, but I don’t know that I can hope for that much.


I want to be free, and for the moment I am, and for that I am grateful. I’m excited for Korshye to get home and we can have a day off together at home. IlyAsm,


Richard


6.14.23 Sometimes the Thai food is better on the second day


It’s as simple as that really, though that is quite complicated at a molecular level as to why something can taste like dogshit last night and be just the right mix of spicy and sweet today. Which is to say that I am moving forward, whatever the cost.


I hope those of you with something to forgive can forgive me, and that most of all I can finally forgive myself. For that worst critic is inside. I can’t escape him, can’t do anything but endure the voice in the back of my head that says that I don’t deserve it.


It has been a long and tired week, of hatred and pain, of lost sleep and appetite, of personal violence the likes of which I hope I never see again. For words can be violent, if said with the right (wrong) intent. Harry Potter taught me that.


I’m sorry I don’t have more to say, but this project has seemed less and less appealing to me as time goes on. I have never been much for journaling, and now it has resistance to defend itself against. As this song must be considered art. Somehow, this artless meandering ponderous essay rises beyond the challenge of silence into true expression. I couldn’t have planned it, and I persist in spite of the boredom of it all, released unto tomorrow with no place to hang my hat.


I love you All so much is how I ended the last one. This one ends with emptiness, like a hollow bamboo.


–R


6.19.23 Juneteenth means more than it used to


A lesson that things are not immediate, I suppose. That due to time and space it takes time for things to take effect. As I sit in limbo without even a golf partner today. A small problem to have on a day we celebrate the final emancipation in this country. Ahem 13th, ahem. But the sun is shining and I have committed no crime that I can remember, waiting to hear when I start, waiting to hear if anyone wants to hit the links, waiting, waiting, always waiting.


But that is neither here nor there. My mental state has been infinitely more stable despite a reduction in dose. As if I’ve turned a corner in a way that the data says is next to impossible. But who knows, corners aren’t turned until they’re truly out of sight, and with hopefully 60 more years of this nonsense, who knows?


I am sorry I haven’t written more this month, to you, readership, but as they say, life has a way of consuming you. And what am I really doing here? Documenting my spiritual process? Documenting my struggle and my thoughts in the vaguest terms imaginable? Is that really interesting to any of you? Because I’m not sure it’s helping me anymore, though I committed myself to a year of this, a full season of meandering prose about nothing in particular. Is that willful insanity? It might be.


But you see there is something satisfying for me about producing letters, about seeing one good line grow into two bad ones. It’s kind of like gardening in a way, though things don’t grow without your input, your active participation, which though that phrasing doesn’t necessarily disqualify gardening it assumes these words have a life that they definitely don’t have. But maybe a different kind of life, maybe something almost like life. Sears life, if you will.


Calm and cool, like the inside of a cave, where I will certainly not be spending too much time despite that being the traditional nest of the yogi in the Hindu tradition. But I with no tradition, no true guidance. Alone as I will die before the lord. Curious that God, though certainly with me, no longer occupies a prominent place in cognition. Excising the word. Go beyond the Word, as Gysin said. And all from cutting out Instagram, the primary source of the word God in my purview. Curious, curious, and curiouser. Well that’s all for now, and pretty well wraps up Gemini season I would say. Now onto the next thing. By the time you hear from me next I’ll be counting another year. Ain’t that a trip.


Ttfn,


Dickie Al


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