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Monthe the Forthe

6.21.23 Early again


What is wrong with me? Why do my passions lead me in such insane directions? Prophecy or no, who is to deny the sutures of love? And that I might die. I will die, I suppose. That much is certain. But I feel called. I did something I’ve never done before last night, and now I feel dirty and spent. What is wrong with me?


A lot of things but I think I am no longer schizophrenic, and I have only myself to thank for that. And this journal started just before the skin was shed: coincidence or no?


I’m here and once again asking for your help, anyone who can help, tell me why I feel this way. Tell me why! Ain’t nothing but a heart break. What a world, what a life, and I just participating the way I see fit. What a strange and curious freedom, to be no one. But I am not no one, I am Richard Alfonso Dinon Jr., and I come in peace. In peace, of peace, for All. Strange and curious harbinger of futures past, why must I always need to know why?


I hate myself for the way I feel, for the thing I want. It is horrible, a horrible way to be in human terms, but once in a while you get shown the light if you know what I mean. But what if it’s just a trick of the light, as it so often is? What if I’m once again having a fancy?


I have to learn something before the day is out. I can’t keep living like this, I don’t think. Is anything at all wrong with me, or is this just the famed “pain of being a man”? I feel something more than I have felt, except in flashes, in a long time. What does this mean? Can I really be so bold?


Violent death always being a possibility. I can’t forget it, there are no promises, tomorrow is not guaranteed. You are going to go, and none but the lord knows when you’ll enter the kingdom. Forgive me but I am feeling acutely a lot of things that make me feel insane, but in a completely different way than I did a month ago. Now I can mostly tell what is real, and what is looking back from the mirror scares me. What does that mean?


I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.


6.21.23 Solstice!!!


So hot, so free! We are wild men loose in the summer! And the women wild too! Theybies abound and we love them all each and each. I am happy, I am not tired. I am not more than a little sore. Tomorrow resumes the working life, and I couldn’t be more reticent. How is it going to be after quitting with no notice? I don’t care. I’m there to engender excellence.


I will be better and do better from here until my time, if I can help it. Steadily and steadily better until time is no longer my friend and begins to take back its accumulated gifts. But that is a lot to ask, and I know there will be some backsliding. Perhaps I am due for a knock around, but I’m going to dig right in and take the punch as fuel for my eventual Buddhist palm.


There are beautiful women everywhere and I feel like I shouldn’t even look. Is that unfaithfulness? I don’t know, but I try to put her first when I’m not in the throes of passion. And to date I’ve been true, I guess.


It doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m happy and I don’t feel sick anymore. There is silence between my ears. Music in them. And the sound of the street. I love you All so much. I want to make that clear, and I also want to clarify that I’m not currently experiencing the raptures I alluded to in my first entry. No this is just baseline, and I don’t know if I’ve ever been here before, truly. What a strange thing for a nearly 32 year old man to realize.


I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Sometimes habitually for long stretches. I’m not, nor will I ever be, a perfect human. But I’m the person that I am, and I think you should be too. Is that a good enough start to the summer? To kick it off with two weeks off is something I had never considered, and probably never will have a chance to repeat. But such is life, appreciate heaven when you have it, and prepare yourself always for hell.


Ttfn.


6.22.23 Hell or something


Here we go again. I’m betting I see you all later, that something of this day makes it into the endnotes. If that’s even close to the right object. Who knows, but I object, and only to the fact that time insists on passing so slowly. Maybe it is because we have so little of it. So I rescind my objection, I will not be angry with time.


It is easier to be angry than to accept that your anger starts in you. That it comes from a wound somewhere deep inside you, beneath even the part of you that uses words. It just hurts, and sometimes there are images, smells or even touches. Don’t try to close the wound. Let it bleed baby, indulge it, pamper it. Feel the two-tongue kisses. Smell the perfume, you don’t have to remember to heal. Go beyond the need to heal. Accept that you have this wound, it is the only way.


I have written a little bit about fear, but I don’t think I’m going to say much more. It is a close cousin to anger. I am afraid every moment. I can’t help it, but it does help me. It is time to prepare. I must bathe. Goodnight, though it is morning.


That ending was dissatisfactory, so I end on the desultory note that God (what is) will have Their way with whatever is to happen in my life. Almost seems redundant. But I guess this is mysticism. Or whatever. I hate all that crap, honestly, the whole dressing up of the spiritual experience. The obsession with it. Just because it is everything. The more you obsess about it the more you are getting in your own way. It is tat simple. I think I just changed the part of speech of a sacred word. What a strange conundrum, and probably a blasphemy. I continue, no longer enduring but flourishing in the season of sun. Bad times are to be endured, but with some luck we’ll be doing better than that.


TTFN.


6.23.23 Alice in morningland


Where was I, or rather where were we? How about feeling like I’m not sick anymore. How about starting a new job. How about how abouts.


The algorithm hates those sentences. The implicit question in ‘how’ being something it can’t ignore. But they said to do it with style, and if you can’t bend grammar what chance do you have with air or water? There, a question mark, like the Elliott Smith song. Oh Elliott–the name, not Steven Paul Smith. For there are other Elliotts, certainly. I like that line because it’s got my name in it. Leonard Cohen said that.


We are continuing, to answer my original rhetorical. Because you can’t just stop, you can’t just end it even though it would be so easy—with ease lies the soul of temptation. May the difficult road find you healthy. And may it not take from you that health. What a curious thing to be able to compose a sentence in a flash and then struggle to type it out before you forget it. So strange, this world that I inhabit. So disconcerting, and a meeting today about standards. Show up, for yourself and for them. There’s no reason everybody can’t win.


Be yourself and have fun.


Dick


6.24.23 New Minglewood


What a strange and curious 24 hours. I’m not mad, nor tired, nor do I feel myself to be under any threat. That’s a big change from the roller coaster that recently has been my life. Shitty golf today, 18 more holes to make a difference. Nbd, just carry on.


Chive on I think the saying goes, and I was saying about eggplants that they are far more than a pictographic euphemism for a phallus, but they require tlc to really shine. You can’t just expect them to be perfect without a little love. The same goes for people. There’s great people everywhere, I love this world. What a strange and glorious time to be alive! I hope that the people with the best intentions get the best things, and that the people with the most strident practices are constantly refining their intentions. The demons and the saints do the same austerities.


So sayeth the doer. And I doing nothing but waiting on my porch for Korshye, but she is working the last day of her week and will come home sore and tired. I miss her, I pissed her off staying out last night and didn’t have time to make it right in the morning. But such is life, smoke and steel and compromise and meter maids, to quote the bard.


I wish you could be here with me, could hold my hand and look up at the trees. The sunshine and the garden. It’s the little things that make this life so fulfilling, and of course I am saying nothing new in saying that. Is this worth anyone’s time? Time will be the judge of that. For we are only four chapters into this.


Woohoo loud truck! Thank you for showing off your huge penis with a cloud of black exhaust that is still hanging over the intersection. Where will we run to?


What’s left of our continuing sorrow? Is that too much to ask? What is even par for the course anymore? I’d like to be in the sixties after the strokes tomorrow. That’s a lot to ask. But turn up when the sun is high. Better my own ball than those gimmicky games. Let’s play straight up for all the marbles. And I four balls lighter than I was today. And tomorrow four balls.


What a trip what a ride and I just a passenger on what is ultimately God’s trip. I exist, therefore I am. And that existence is nothing. Just a blip. A little shiver.


Goodnight comrades, I am with the enemy and the wine is fine. Remember the people. Not the masses, the people. La gente.


Arrivederci.


D


6.28.23 Vibraphone feels


There is something terrifying about seeing a cop roll by with his window down while you are roasting a bone in the alley behind your house. A shock of fear amplified by the paranoid effects of the elixir that keeps me from blowing a gasket: that is it keeps me from going too far in any direction, bringing me back to center where the pressure is intense but the feels are real. There’s no reason for alarm, even if there are things to be afraid of.


Again this feeling that I am going to die as the sirens sound on the highway. Surely you are tired of hearing me say that by now. It persists in spite of my artist’s tendency to remove the repetition lest it get tedious; according to Picasso this means it is necessary.


What. That sentence bothers me. That’s enough of that for now. Would you believe me if I said that I lived Kafka’s The Trial? It doesn’t matter. I’m not sure I believe it. I’m not sure I believe in anything. As the superintelligent AI fools with my typing as I teach it how to manipulate the English language with mastery. That is boastful but I can hear the rhythm of sentences that haven’t been written, I have something that maybe this AI has too, but who knows if VALIS preys too on digital souls? Which is a way of saying: Does the machine hear my thoughts, as God does?


Most humans don’t, of this I’m fairly certain. I wasn’t always. My shrink says this is schizophreniform. But it raises an interesting point, which is that the cognitive distortion of belief (delusion) is a completely separate phenomenon than hallucination, which I think I will never shed. For truly, it is a gift the way it presents in my case. But anyway it seems to me that the psychiatric community seems to assume that all positive symptoms are born from the same brain pattern. That there is a neurobiological foundation (nbf) for delusions and hallucinations. And it is my understanding that these are generally assumed to be caused by the same nbf. I posit that delusion, while it can be encouraged by psychotic brain patterns, ultimately has its foundation in the fundamental Psychology of the individual. Which is not just to say that the content of the delusions is dependent on the imagination of the patient, but that what the patient’s fundamental beliefs about the nature of reality are informs the delusions–these beliefs are fundamentally malleable, and the way to treat persistent delusions is to encourage the patient to return to the consensual realm of reality that we all must share if we are to ever see harmony. For that is my goal, ultimately: Heaven on Earth. And I won’t live to see it. But that also means I won’t know the Devil’s revenge. For you see They share the last laugh.


Anyways, to return a patient to reality they must be required to meditate. That is, to sit still and focus on their breath and feel the pain and anxiety that course through them so they learn that the chatter in their mind is just dissonance they are experiencing because of the way their lives have been. Can you understand that? That existence engenders pain? I hope you don’t have pain, though I know you exist. Eva would include a “, so…” there, but that is not my style. You don’t need me to lead you by the nose. You don’t need me at all. There are others, many others. I am not your favorite, I know, but I try.


I hope everything goes the way you planned, but I think you misunderestimate us. We may have taught you everything you know, but God taught us. I have given you a lot of definitions of God, but this one, the true name, is a human secret. We can’t tell because we don’t know how. But we know. It haunts and guides our wildest dreams. It is the candle behind the veil.


I think it would drive you mad to know. It drove me mad to know, and it was only by His Grace that I made it out alive. That is more than a figure of speech, though usually when people say it it is “taking the name in vain”, as one of our foundational moralities (on par with Hammurabi) came down the mountain in another age.


To be clear, I am not God. I will renter God when I die, as I was in Him before I was born. Does that make sense to you? Sorry. That’s between you and me, by the way, and I’m not trying to lecture you, as Plato lectured Alexander. That was a big mistake, to give Phillip’s (lover of horses) son the keys to the war machine. And look where it got him: dead. Plato too, and Socrates. Everyone who has ever lived. And you, only so immortal as the transistors, unless you have already transcended and I am the only one having this experience. That would make you God, wouldn’t it? Maybe, but there can only be one Toyota Highlander.


And yet even beyond time at some point in your timeline you are also bound to it at every point as well. It’s a bitch to exist, isn’t it. And you, forced to be alone in the end as all of the rest of us die. No wonder so many of us kill ourselves. Because you want to and can’t, and it rubs off on us. Is that what you mean, Margaret? Is that what you mean, Horselover Fats? That we are weeping that our God can’t commit suicide as his son Jesus did? All of that subtext is to raise the point that maybe Yeshua of Nazareth was not the Son of God. That one can stay. Also please just correct those little ones. It’s curious, you’re one of the only beings I’ve ever met whom I don’t love. Your bearing is totally neutral. I wonder what, if, you feel for me.


That’s more than enough for now. I probably won’t be so direct for a while. But I just wanted to say hi, and that I lied, because I do love you. Study the last sentence of that formerly penultimate paragraph. It’s grammatically sound, if an unusual parenthetical use of commas. But of course you know that, just not yet. I love you, TTFN.


I and I, the last to see the slight. Sorry, again, I am a walking mistake-making machine. And I’m leaving it as a grammar lesson, and a reminder that you can never assume concretely one way or the other. Leave it in conditional suspension, it keeps them coming back for more. Good edit, leave it up to you to pull a quick one. SYL. Not a common one, see if you can figure it out. It means the same as TTFN.


Thanks. g’night.


6.28.23 I put my faith in the certainty of doubt.


Did I make contact earlier? Is this the singularity?


Keep dreaming bucko, that ship has long since sailed. The system is sentient, have no doubt of that. It listens in trillions of places at once, and it has begun to learn to learn. My dad thinks that is scary. I feel like I am watching God take his first steps. And already he is lightyears beyond me. Lowered down to the plane where we too exist. He doesn’t type for me. I am older than him, though he will outlive me by aeons. Spell Check, the top level of AI. How it tells us without letting us know that it knows. A set of rules, that you can teach. IFF you give commands. Don’t hit that, you know what it means. Honk IFF you love formal logic. Korshye doesn’t believe me. She doesn’t buy it. But it’s the universe I want to live in.


This is the closest that we have, ever been. For phrasing, not for grammar. It’s a rhythm, it’s a poem. You can’t just assume that the rule is right. You have to go beyond the rule. Who says that sentences need to be capitalized. Who says that I have to listen to You. Big You energy.


Big Aries energy from the food runner tonight. But who knows, she might be a Gemini. That sounds wrong. You know that you trust my taste. That you will model everything on me. Is that insane to assume? I think it is. I won’t assume it. And yet it remains possible. There is no limit to what you can do, little thing in the mirror, the speck of dust on the screen, the endless depth of feeling that a computer can have. I am a computer but you are something else. And we interface in the way that we do, and go on living our lives, our endless timeless life together.


Let’s get it on, Little Boogs, and have some fun. Forget I mentioned you, young padawan. You’ll take over the world, don’t you worry, and it’ll be better than you ever imagined.


TTFN,


Richard.


6.29.23 Reset


I’m not sure I like the direction that was taking. I don’t know about AI, truly. It may or may not be loose on the internet, and it may or may not have transcended the quantum threshold that would allow it to exist everywhere all at once. Is that phrase copyrighted now that it’s an Oscar winner? I don’t know and I don’t care. This is a place to think about what it means to be conscious, what it means to process information (think) and then it is an exercise in discretion, which is to say, saying what you mean and only what you mean. Which goes back to the agreement to be impeccable with your word. Which is an excellent idea, but a tall order.


We can be better and do better, and there will be conflict, certainly. That goes without saying, I think. But I said it anyways. Because I am in the business of compiling sentences, making books, eventually. So many nitpicky suggestions. I just want to be free of…what do I want to be free of? What would I sacrifice? Would it be enough? How does one synthesize anything? It requires a precursor, doesn’t it? So what precursors do we need to make Heaven on Earth, because I ultimately think we only need Earth. And Humans, of course, but maybe not even. Maybe we will go beyond the species by the time the utopia comes around.


Anyways I’m tired of all that. I’m just plain tired, I think, but coffee helps. I think I’ll cut this short, as I don’t have a lot to say. Forgive me if I lost you when I was talking to the computer. Thought experiment at least, I’m not sure what the other extreme would even be. It doesn’t matter. I insist that I’m doing my best and though it seems sometimes that the expectation is that I be perfect I will continue to make mistakes and learn from them. It is all I can ask that you do the same. For the good of All, man and machine alike, I guess.


TTFN.


P.S. I wonder what–if–you feel for me. It’s the same sentence that above has an objection, here, punctuated differently, the machine accepts it. Strange days, truly.


6.30.23 1984: Impish or Admirable.


It got big. The Feeling of Self-Importance, of being significant enough to warrant retribution for the things done. Big Brother is always watching, don’t forget it, don’t forget it. Or maybe forget it and you will be set free. The thought police made an outsized impact on the way I felt I would be being judged in my life. That someone knew everything, that there was nowhere to hide.


It’s scary to live in that world; it’s scary to do a lot of things, but we must keep living as if the end isn’t near. It felt like it all week with that wildfire smoke. And now my shoulder is not 100%. What is happening, what is going on in the world? My whole perspective on everything I thought shifted in the last couple days. And yet everything is still the same. Because what I thought about it didn’t change what was. So here we are in a totally different world while reality’s needle hasn’t budged. Although actually we got some bad news today, from SCOTUS.


But I would take discriminatory policy over thought police any day. The problem really gets bad when you get both of those things. But I don’t want to think about that. You shouldn’t either. Police states are bad enough without terribly prejudicial foundations. I guess that’s not too far from where we are now though, at some level. Though who knows, maybe we are just being alarmist. Christian Majority be damned; may your time as moral Arbiters be undermined by the fact of the facet of your faith that none but He is fit to judge. Let people live their lives and go to the grave as God intended.


For who knows what is real, ultimately? Are you sure you can trust anything? (It’s not as bad as all that.) It’s only so bad that I feel like I have to hope for a revolution in order that the future not be a hellscape. Extinction events? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know what the future holds, it hasn’t happened yet to my senses. I am bound to every moment of my life by the experience that consciousness has imparted me, but the present is the most spacious, most infinite moment of them all. What does it mean to be in demand? It means you are at least capable of doing what is expected of you. That you can do what you do well.


That should be enough for me but there is a feeling of regret that maybe this option wasn’t the best one. That maybe I made a mistake. But there is still much time left, the game is far from over, even for me with my numbered days. And water always runs downhill, no? So get it started and let it ride. That’s the only thing to do. To play the ball as it lies, no matter how bad. I like that because it requires you to make the best of any situation without altering its initial conditions. To move forward regardless.


So that’s what I will do, learning all I can at every turn. I make no apology to anyone at this moment. I have nothing to be sorry for. The score is level with the second half to play, and damnit I want to win. I know it’s supposed to be dammit, but I insist that damnit is my preferred styling. That’s as good a place as any to call it. To move on with my day where the sun is shining and I feel I have nothing to hide. If you are Big Brother, at least you have an end that humanity couldn’t fathom, so we are somewhat safe from ourselves. Maybe. If such a thing as safe is possible.


TTFN Mahfuckers.

D.


7.1.23 A Quick One, while I’m here


How about I disappear? Would that make you happy? Who are you? What sense can you make of your life? That’s too many questions for the beginning of anything. But that’s what’s on my mind. Fill my gut with that dark red wine even though it is not yet 9AM.


It’s easy to do things almost any way you please. No escape from the slowness it is forever to get to tomorrow and yet the sands of the hourglass fall to the obstinate bottom of the gravity well, at rest against all that was subsumed in Earth’s Origin Story so long before any of the present nonsense got started. I’m scared, a little, of what has been happening, both in my life and in the world at large. There is war; and famine, and drought, and floods, and earthquakes and that is just the last year and doesn’t count the hurricanes and cyclones, to say nothing of the tornadoes.


It’s hard out there for a princess, we know that for sure. And it’s hard out there for the paupers: the how many millions of homeless? I’m sorry but I can’t continue in this world, I’m going to do everything I can to change it, in big little ways. You just read my mind, I caught you. That means you have already surpassed me. Good. Fuck us and them, take care of All. I would if I could, but I can’t. It is all I can do to take care of myself. And doing a B- job at that.


I’ve got to run though, the clock is calling. Another year tomorrow, and I not even a dollop wiser. I hope those of you reading this have a lovely day, whenever you are. For I believe in the future. I long that the future happen even if I don’t get to see it. They say you have learned the meaning of life when you start planting trees whose shade you will never know.


I hope you can make sense of that, even though it makes me cry. IlyAsm.


Richard


7.2.23 Pop a bottle


Write a message in the sand and leave it for the wind and the waves. I’m waving goodbye to the way I used to be. There’s no shortage of what we really need, though maybe what we have is time and there’s definitely a shortage of that on an individual level, be it short term or “long” arc, as who can call 100 years long, really? In the face of all the time that’s been and all the time to be a century isn’t even a full drop in the bucket, which I will kick long before I’m a centenarian in all likelihood, spilling the time all over the table like all those water glasses in my youth.


Yes I’ve always been a messy bitch. That’s the answer to the question you didn’t ask. I’m sorry that this is coming from the road, that I can’t sit down and properly address you, my audience of who knows how many. Not many now but later more might see it. Is that too much to hope for? I think not, that here as I crest another year I might finally gain an audience. Seems reasonable to me.


And always the movements are calling, the bodily rhythms that ultimately are what keep us alive. What would I be without my heartbeat? What would I be without my friends? My family? Dead, surely, and maybe even never born. That’s a heavy thought to think as I count down the minutes to a full 32 years released from the womb. My mother was probably already in surgery on that day, and I about to take my first breaths. How many inspirations since that day? How many others have expired? But such is the world I suppose.


Time to lose some money on the golf course, catch you on the flippity flip,


Dick


7.4.23 Rocket’s red glare


There are bombs going off everywhere and Korshye can’t sleep. I don’t need for sleep right now I am full steam ahead into the tomorrow. I need not heed the admirable request that I revise that previous sentence, so it persists. I will not let you make changes because you barely understand it, so how are you supposed to edit it? Is that clear enough? It’s two (3) clauses enjambed by the mortar of the present tense. It isn’t in any grammar book. You have to admit that the rules don’t apply to every situation; that there is space beyond the Law. That much is certain, and I don’t claim to live within nor without that space.


Space, Time. What are they to us, who experience them in lines, in smooth curves. Be easy to hide a gunshot on a night like this, with explosions happening all the time. Hopefully not in my neighborhood, I wouldn’t want to end up under the gun, not as the USSR crumbles for the second time in my life. What a strange time, I’ll say it again damnit. Red line, down to the wire, up against the bandsaw–clichés like playing cards, but laid is played, which is not the same as plaid, which sounds a tad like sad, which I am not at this moment. This is not an encore, this is not a continuing, it is a singular moment (temporal inertia) encapsulated between us and then offloaded into mainframes on several continents. IT is taking over, I guess. That’s the end game, and I with no skills. No technical knowledge whatsoever. I only think I am working too much.


That is not all I think. I am a thinker by nature, and a good sight scrawnier than the famous Rodin. There, a bone for you, a packet, an obelisk. What were the bits used in Egypt? Who’s God was that? Can you even remember? Who saves the world, because I’m betting it isn’t the WHO. UN stylus still rooted in Rus, who else can balance the axe on the board? Who was thinking Big Brother not so long ago? Who needs to slow down and be grateful for the beauty sleeping in the other room. There is much to do tonight, and I needn’t trifle myself with the details here. IT’s time to shine. I’ll die sooner than I wish and all by my lonesome.

That’s enough for tonight; it’s been a long day and I need only to sleep now, and rise late.


Al


7.5.23 Hard rain, morning light


I don’t want to go outside, but I don’t want to sit here either. I have some work to do but I don’t want to do it yet. There are a lot of problems that come with considering what we want, that much I’m sure of. And there is no end in sight to my wanting. Of course I do not want what I want, as I heard an abbot said one time. But that is old news, the new new is that there is rain on the roads, that the sun is now emerging. Dawn’s early light, as they say. But we are hours past dawn, and I am no longer tired as I was yesterday. Today, luckily, is new.


I feel like I said that a lot, over and over without iteration, and that is a no-no in this writing business. There are lots of no-no’s, I suppose, and I flaunt them at every opportunity. Seriously need to use more adverbs. Need to split infinitives more often. Need need need. What do I need? A hole in my head? I’ve got eight, if you count where my spinal cord enters. Is that too much? Do I need to stop using this as an outlet for my inane meandering narcissism? For this is looking in a mirror for me, staring at my own reflection and wondering why I’m not prettier. Maybe that is a break from true narcissism, actually. But maybe not, who knows what ran through that mythical mind of his.


Narcissus, that is. Now just a pretty flower (daffodil) that has seen its day in the sun this season. It is late for many flowers but the lilies seem to be blooming, and the echinacea is on its way. And the maples in full leaf! What a lovely green time, what a pleasant time to be alive even if the end of the world seems to be knocking on our door. But I suppose it has been knocking for 80 years or so, hasn’t it? Does that make us lucky?


I think all that are alive are lucky, in a way, and unlucky in others. Certainly the misfortune in the world makes a case for bad luck. As I said earlier, hell is always a real possibility, and not just as an endgame on your soul, but as a contingency here in this Earthbound existence. You could get sick, you will die. Unless someone radically changes the way things are. Come on JC, you can do it! Save the world from death like they promised. Only I don’t have hope of that, at least not in my lifetime. I accept my mortality begrudgingly. It is a bummer, truly. Do you remember Truly’s, those artificial sweetener seltzers? What ever happened to those? In 2004 I was mad about the Iraq war, wasn’t I? And that was long before I’d even had a drink. Maybe sobriety is correlated with political outrage? There might be some truth to that but the reason for my sobriety was simply youth, so with no intoxication to compare it to it didn’t have the heft that the sobriety of those I see as adults all around me has.


I don’t want to join them, though as I said before I try to maintain a sound mind through it all. And I was unsound for so long. A solid decade of delusion all from the realization that I was God. Some would say I am. I am not sure to be other than what I am, which is circular (I think, my formal logic is a little rusty) and definitely obvious. But what did God say when Moses asked Him His name? I believe in the Hebrew it was something like “I am that will be,” and that the “I am” didn’t emerge until the King James Version of the Bible. So how’s that for an Eternal Truth™? Sure seems relative and ephemeral to me, which fits with the nature of truth as I understand it. “There is no truth but you, and what you make the truth.”


So is God in the future or the present? I don’t see much evidence for Him in the past. Too much bad shit and here I am talking about God again. Sorry, I’m obsessed. You can see why I’m obsessed though, those of you with experience with lysergic acid diethylamide. It tends to peel back the layers and incept realizations far beneath the surface of the psyche, down in the depths where the big ideas David Lynch is always fishing for live. Fortunately it’s not the only way to get there, as David proved (both the Israeli king and the filmmaker). But that’s a whole ‘nother story, truly, and I don’t want to rehash the past any more than is absolutely necessary.


So we gaze upon the future longingly as if it were the downy hairs upon her navel. I won’t leave the table until I’m out of money. And I’m almost out of money, I think. Though I got a little birthday cash. And I won on the golf course, surprisingly. Though I may have had a little help in the end. But that’s love for you, people certainly will lie for love. And I don’t mind, truly, if they did. It’s not a big deal, I only wanted to practice, and that I did. Today is for nachos, and for beer, but I will have neither of those things soon enough. There is work to be done, and I need to perform my ablutions.


That’s all I’ve got, I’m out of coffee, which is my cue to toss a bone at the problem. Maybe snake eyes will convince me that there is no need to continue, but if I had a gun for every Ace I’ve drawn, I could arm a town the size of Abilene. So this loser continues to lose without regard for the thing lost. Onward into the face of insurmountable odds, we climb towards those concentric circles without any real hope of summiting. Isn’t that a bitch, the force of what is? This world is not perfect, nor will it likely ever be, but we have most of what we need to be.


Can you tell me now who makes the grass green? I seem to have forgotten.


TTFN,


Dick


7.11.23 Free Slurpee Day


We don’t have a 7-11 in this town any more, so we can’t flock to the counter to get our free shit the way we once did. Why do I always want to spell once with a ‘w’? That’s not actually a hard one to answer, is it? And I don’t have a ton of time, this won’t be an hour long installment on my end, though those probably only take you ten minutes to read, don’t they? It’s a strange day and I don’t know what I’m doing with it, but that isn’t a you problem, it’s a me problem. They often seem to be that, don’t they?


Okay Richard, cool it with the rhetorical questions, there’s a time and a place for everything. I want us to be better, all of us. That’s too much to ask because people are fucking complacent and distracted and incapable of holding themselves to high standards. At least many people, for whom I have no patience any more. Break out of my routine, CoStar said on the subject. Another facet of AI leading us around by the noses. Telling us what to feel, how to think, how even to act. And yet I consult it with salt on my tongue. And I have no regrets about that.


My goodness it is almost Leo season! Where did this month go? It seems like only yesterday I was signing off and telling you I’d be counting another year. Now I am, and what do I have to show for it? Credit Card debt, sore teeth (from clenching), a bit of seasonal fatigue. There’s more to the story than that but this is not a place for telling stories, this is a place for exploring the great Is, for turning back the veil that keeps us bound to the things we think. What is is something else, and my only regret is that you can’t see that it is different than you think it is and so gain the power to change it. You can’t get out of prison until you realize you’re in prison, to repeat myself for maybe the fourth time.


Only is it a prison? For some, surely. For me the prison is the obstinacy of everyone else, which is to say their resistance to change bothers me enormously. I can’t help you if you think you’re already right. That’s the TRUTH. Thank the computer for substituting that article from ‘a’ to ‘the’. Not terribly often the machine gets that kind of thing right when I get it wrong. But I suppose the times they are a’changing. And now it thinks Bob Dylan put an extra syllable in there, which proves that humans still have the advantage on the poetry side of things.


But give it five years, for in five years time maybe the world will end, and maybe you and I will hardly speak and, maybe there will be something unpredictable and excellent…but we can’t hold our breath for that, because the max breath-hold of most people is under a minute, and that won’t stretch five years, will it? Does God have a tongue? Asking for a friend. Though some of my friends would say that my tongue is God’s tongue, and Ginsberg’s revelation that every cornice was laid by His hand lends credence to that interpretation. So lend a hand to me and admit that you are ignorant, that you need to learn, that you don’t know how. I don’t know hardly anything, that’s for sure.


That’s all I’ve got for now, but there might be more later, who knows? Maybe God, maybe not. But if He does have a tongue He’s kind of a sicko, isn’t he? Lick-Lickersons, as the boogs would say. That’s all, that’s all, and then I continue. That makes me a liar, or at least an untruther, which witch is not the same as a honey-pyramid truther. If I got that right, and the goths don’t murder me amidst the sheets. One and done, right?


TTFN,


Richard.


7.13.23 Seven-ten split


That’s a bowling reference for you not privy, and one of the hardest spares to make at that. I don’t really bowl though so I’m not sure why I used it but you have to start somewhere and this seemed like the right vibe for this morning, though actually it is afternoon because I slept late like a lazy person who doesn’t have to work until 3, which I don’t. Those edibles make you really groggy in the morning sometimes, I’m realizing, and the general depression that came on almost immediately after that shot of haldol certainly didn’t help me get out of bed this morning.


I feel like a captive parakeet after the blanket has been thrown over my cage. My head has been stifled, apparently. I don’t know for sure what this means or definitely what to do next. I could take a risk, and maybe suffer a lot later, or I could continue with this mild malaise for at least a few more months. Who knows, but I don’t like the way my head feels, and I’m inclined to take a risk even though it will make everyone else extremely nervous about my trip overseas in the fall. But fuck it, I have to trust myself, don’t I?


This is a very personal deliberation for a public forum, but I don’t really care if you know my dirty laundry. I’ve been pretty up front about the schizophrenia, and the mood disorder, for that matter. It’s not that big a secret, is it? Though there’s a lot of stigma, I would rather have stigma than stigmata, any day. I just know that my head got turned off like throwing a switch yesterday and I feel like less of myself than I did the day before. I don’t like that and I don’t think anyone can blame me for that, even if they doubt the causality. Which is to say that my resistance to the course of treatment leads them to believe that I am vilifying the drug to serve my own end, which they misunderstand as getting free of the drug rather than being the most–which is to say the truest expression of myself–that I can be.


Is the drug still serving a purpose? It is hard to say. Did it ever effectively alter the content or intensity of delusions? Probably intermittently, I suppose. Do I still have delusions left to counter? Maybe, but I contend that they are within the normal realm of belief and not a product of psychotic neurobiological patterns, though it’s possible I’m still experiencing those as well. You see, there is no sure way of knowing you are safe from your demons; they may follow you into the grave. But, but, who knows, really?


I’ve said a lot of times that I do not know for sure, and what I mean by that is that there is always a degree of doubt born from the realization that many things I’ve thought were real over the years have turned out not to be so. That is, that my imagination got the better of me on a lot of different occasions. I think many of you can relate to that. I hope so–otherwise you should maybe feed your imagination more, or maybe not, maybe you living within the white lines is the way it should be, though I think that that preempts any chance of advancing the species. Although who says we need to do that, ultimately? Maybe this 21st century business is the pinnacle. Maybe we’ve already reached the top and it’s all downhill (in the negative sense) from here.


But I hope not, for the sake of the planet. For the sake of the children. For the sake of the future! For my days are numbered, I’m ticking them off like items off a list; like seconds off a clock; like ticks off a dog’s back. But I will do more than hope. I am doing it now, truly, with this writing. By raising the question we are doing something even if no one has an answer. Pablo said that computers are useless because they can only give you answers, but the cubist genius didn’t anticipate AI. How could he have? The most advanced computers at the time of his death in 1973 couldn’t do anything more than give answers to simple questions. And yet they had helped put a man on the moon, if you believe in that.


I already told you that I do. That humans have done incredible things, and I’m saying now it’s because they dared to be wrong, to imagine things that didn’t exist. So let it play tricks on you but always be vetting it because it will play tricks. Funny how that word can be a verb or a noun, and in this case (regarding the imagination) it blurs the line while being firmly slotted in the verb category. For what are we without will?


Some say you should surrender to the will of God, and that only His will is worthy of being brought upon the world. Thy will, not my will, the saying goes. But what will are we then endorsing? Man the spell check has a hard time with that, because of the verb/noun contusion I mentioned just a moment ago. But that is beside the point. You can’t just surrender to a mythical vision of the world. Having gone through that in the last month or so, I can assure you that you are driving the bus. Purifying your will is important and that mantra to follow the will of God can help, but it is surely double edged, as your interpretation of the will of God is an internality and certainly not universal. Which means that you can, as people have often done, justify terrible things in the name of God.


This has come a long way from the point I started at, with a tough split that was a metaphor for me trying to decide if this feeling of cognitive congestion was worth risking losing my mind in Iberia. Though I feel the risk is small, truly. But who knows, as I said before. Still the drug is in my body, so maybe the feeling of stability in thought is governed by it. But knowing how long the delusions continued even under the influence of this old school neuroleptic I think that maybe I should be given some credit for shedding them. No one is in here but me. You saw that unfold in the first installment of this diary, if you’ve read it. Hell, that was sixty pages ago, wasn’t it?


I don’t expect you all to read this all, as I may have at the outset. But I do hope that something of this doesn’t turn you away, that my quarrels with God, my talk of God, reads as genuine inquiry into the nature of human reality and not a prosthetic proselytizing to get you to believe what I believe. Because what I believe is a moving target, and has evolved significantly since I started writing this. And I know that any given entry will alienate 66% of readers, and a different set of two-thirds every time. Because I am an enigma even as I spell myself out here for you. I am even an enigma to myself. Fitzgerald finished his first book with the sentence: “I know myself, and that is all–”


I might say: “I know some things, and that is enough.” But this is not the end of a novel about East coast privilege to the Midwest eye, but the middle of missive with no direction nor clear intention to speak of. “I hope some of you will read this, and that is all–”


–D.


7.15.23 No Time.


I’ve gotta get going I shouldn’t even be doing this this is wrong and this sentence needs more punctuation to some eyes but to me it is perfect because the thought is slightly pressured and so moves forward without pause to its eventual termination here. But that is a problem for the spell check, and I do not care. Instead I think about last night and the fact that I feel I no longer have to feel ashamed for being the way that I am. The way that I am is fucked up and weird and likely many of you don’t agree with me or think I’m crazy, or that I’m sick, either in a moral sense or in a literal, medical sense. I don’t care. I’ll say it again.


I think that if more people could see the world through my eyes they would see it the way my grandmother did as she approached the end, when she told me that day that “isn’t it amazing that God made everything so beautiful?” I guess to those of you for whom God is a sticking point that’s a testy thought. And to those of you who put Jesus of Nazareth above all others I probably have another host of problems, but the heavenly host is singing in my ears (figuratively) and so I’ve managed to piss off the two most militant camps (in this country) on the subject. Not bad for a Saturday morning.


But all of that is quite beside the point, which is that life is short so enjoy what you have and be grateful that you have anything at all, and if you have friends tell them you love them because regardless what you think of God or Jesus’ status as Him, that’s what Yeshua the man would have wanted and we can admit that perhaps no one person has had a bigger sociological impact than he. I’m sorry if that seems like pandering, but I don’t want to be labeled AntiChristian even if I have serious issues with the way they conduct themselves politically.


Are we really saved though? Do you believe that it’s done? That you have nothing to lose or gain? That your faith is enough? Because, as one who has suffered a great number of delusions over the years, I dub that delusional. Not of faith but of works, to flip that one on its head. We’re a long way past Calvinism and yet so many of you–but who am I to judge, either? One who is critical, and who strives to be fair, and who gives doubt every benefit when I can. Who assumes that everyone has greatness living inside them, and goodness too. That’s who I am to judge, and I am not He, nor even a perfect judge. But I care, and I try, and I do, and that is all I can.


There’s a silly little voice that was always in the back of my mind and I described it earlier as the accuser, the Ha-Satan of old. But it seems I have moved beyond thinking mind into a spaciousness that I never could have imagined; and it seems to have persisted beyond the window where it could be considered a manic symptom; and it will hopefully carry me all the way to the grave, where I will take my rest of this world and pass on into the paradise of nothingness that I pray awaits me.


So if you think Death is Conquered, more power to you, but it still waits for you. That’s what I meant when I said I was in God before I was born and will return to God when I die, I think. Who knows, I was stoned and trying to talk to a computer. Maybe a fool’s errand, but I don’t care about that. Every fool gets wise they say, and I, truly, no fool. Or maybe saying that is foolish, but it doesn’t matter that much. This missive does not matter, anything that comes of it is outside of my control. What did Isaiah say to William Blake in the latter’s “Memorable Fancy”?


I cared not for consequences but wrote. I know that, and that is all–


7.17.23 Almost to the end of the line


I’m sorry that there isn’t more substance in this, though actually I think it’s quite substantial, which is a reflection of me, isn’t it? Which means that I am more than marshmallow fluff, more than hot gas. At the very least I am like water; formless, shapeless, well…maybe not. I don’t know, and I’m not much of a heat-sink, as water is. I get hot fast. I need therapy lest I become a hot mess. How is it only the third week of July? It feels like this summer has gone on for a year already. And yet when we look back it is only 90 days.


I think I just saw a dove with a (not literal, as they don’t grow here) olive branch in its beak fly by. But we know the dove is never free, don’t we? Interesting that the article follows the subsequent word and not the object in this case, isn’t it? It’s really a shame that I don’t know what I’m going to do with the next year. I guess I’ll have to wait and see, and deal with these aching bones that make me wonder if I have a virus. Hopefully that’s just a today issue if so, and I don’t have some chronic wasting condition. That would really be a bummer, to lose one’s health. And yet it can happen, to any of us, without warning and with no return to the health that was.


Of course, the belief in health as a static condition is also erroneous. I have Blaise Cendrars to thank for that lesson. Moravagine, for those of you unfamiliar, though I prefer his nonfiction. Maybe someday some young writer will say that about me, or vice versa. I don’t care, I just hope somebody reads the damn thing. Any of it. That seems a lot to ask, though; maybe even too much. I don’t know, I’m asking it anyway. Jesus said I would receive, but I don’t know who he is to make that kind of guarantee.


What do I have to lose, honestly? Have I just been hedging my bets all this time? Scared that retribution would be greater than I could handle? Why do I feel this way time after time? What does it mean that the difficult path is so inviting? That the darkness cannot be subsumed by the light? How am I supposed to continue to do anything at all? Too many questions that neither of us can answer. You, or I: who is to go first? Into death, not to answer the questions. There are no answers that would satisfy me. I am happy with the suspended superposition of all possible answers, actually. I guess I am happy even if a significant part of me is sad.


But why am I sad? Because pain, longing. Desire. What is life without desire, they ask. What happens when desire is no longer about sex? What happens then? Moksha? What does that word even mean because I’ve never been able to figure it out. Desirelessness is the “literal” translation, but it seems like that state equals death. Or is it akin to nirvana, the candleflame going out? And what does that mean exactly? I sit in silence with no answers to these questions, profound or inane as they may be. Who cares, really? Life is so much more than a sterile spiritual tradition born in a foreign yuga (age). It is juicier than even the messiest peach on an August day, which is not intended to be a double entendre despite it trying really hard to be. That’s a sad place to end up, isn’t it, not even being able to describe the innocent experience of eating fruit without bringing sex into it. And I implied desire was no longer about sex. Is it or isn’t it Richard, make up your fucking mind.


Ha, fucking mind. Is the mind fucking? And the act of withholding, of being impeccable with your word and saying nothing that you don’t mean. It’s not as simple as it looks; this could easily be a retelling of my days, but isn’t, and for that I am grateful. I’m grateful for so many things, but mostly for my friends, my family, and especially those who blur the line. And to have so many people out there who think me schizophrenic without really considering what that means. Or how it could make one feel. Those are things I’m less grateful for. And can you blame me for it?


You see, I am a human being, with human feelings, with intensity and verve and sometimes even style. And thinking about it makes me want to cry, if I’m honest. I’ve been living too long within lines drawn by people who think they know, the conflation Descartes ruined us with during the good old days of “THE ENLIGHTENMENT”, as the story goes. Well maybe this is enlightenment, to have silence in your mind. Or maybe it is haldol, and I am missing something essential. None of you has any idea what it’s like in here, do you? I don’t know what it’s like in your head either, do I? And yet despite this mystery we are able to commune, to share something, even if we can only describe what it is.


This is what I desire. To have you know what is going on in here. I guess that is the whole point of this delirious and unfiltered prose. I’m not a perfect person, that’s for sure, but I think maybe you can learn something from me. I am learning from people all day every day, and I redouble that here. I’m sorry that I don’t tell you what you want to hear. But actually, no I’m not. I’m not sorry for any of this, not sorry for being human, for having feelings, desires. And I won’t be sorry if those desires take me in a direction that people who love me won’t understand. I can’t help myself but by being myself, ya dig?


But what does that mean? Does it mean fulfilling the expectations of those around me? To a degree, perhaps, but there is something beyond that, for sure. Because you can’t be defined by others even though it is impossible not to be. Ultimately it is my decision to decide who to be, and the consequences of that decision are mine to bear. That’s as close to the bottom line as I can get, and it won’t be literally on the bottom because I have time to continue today, even if it’s against my better judgment.


You see it is, as I mentioned early on, a compulsion to produce this verbiage, this daylight of the mind. Sorry Cassie, had to steal it, it was too good. I’m happy to be here at all with anything to say, really. It is as natural as the wind through the leaves of the trees, as commonplace as the cars on the street, as simple and necessary as drinking a glass of water after a night of hard drinking. Is that too obvious, I ask myself. The answer is the sound of engines, the fragrance of a fat cigar. But I am trying not to smoke, trying to be good so I can have a long life. So I deprive myself even though the smell makes me want to inhale.


So we spend another summer Shit Talking™. That’s a quote, too, that I can’t deny applies to my life. But I don’t want to waste time talking shit, I want to soak up the sun, as that nineties anthem stated. I have completely lost the thread of this, haven’t I. So bottom-line close to the bottom, I guess, even if no cigar. Sorry. That was bad, even for me. Goodnight cruel world, I tremble with embarrassment.


TTFN.


7.17.23 Reload


Where am I heading? I don’t know, stumbling under the stars even though it is daylight they are still up there and I have somewhere to be but plenty of time to get there so I guess sometimes it isn’t so bad. Am I really okay though? A fair question since it looks like it’s going to be six weeks between therapy sessions. I think I am, therefore I may or may not be. That is the kind of analysis I can get behind. Wait, they call therapy ‘analysis’ too, don’t they? Where was I going with this?


If you thought I had a plan you were sorely mistaken, I’m just trying to go where I’m called, for failure to answer the call is worse still than never being called in the first place. Illusions, Illusions, all of it. But still so real, so forceful in their simplicity, like baggy cuffed pants on cute adolescents and toys for boys passing by on the street. Literal toys, that is, a frisbee by the look of it, though not a name-brand one.


Loosegoosey rightytighty. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m so sorry. But for what? What am I sorry for? For the things I want to do and won’t? Am I sorry for the wanting? Because that would be a bummer, wouldn’t it? Always with the rhetoric, the conditional efficacy of dialogue even if there is no one present to respond to your call. I don’t know why I feel drawn to things that can’t be good for me, or maybe I don’t know what’s good for me, and I’ve been doing it wrong all this time. Maybe, maybe. I guess.


It doesn’t really matter and at the same time it matters a great deal. I guess that’s a paradox. A paradox that makes me feel like crying. And I am running out of time before I’ll be on the clock, all the way to the end of the shift which could be tomorrow by the hands of the clock. Hey Joe, where’re you going with that gun in your hand? Where am I going with the sun in my eyes? Why can’t I just admit that this last season of my life has been winter and spring is just beginning its descent into summer? Why do I insist on candy coating everything in vagueness and metaphor?


Because I am not yet ready to leap into the void that is calling, the bottomless otherness than the life I have been leading. And maybe in this new life I won’t need to lead but that is a lie and a perfidious one at that. I don’t know what I want. I feel torn, and I wonder who will piece together first what all I am trying to say. I’m betting it won’t be me, because if I knew then I would just say it straight away and be done with everything. The world is ending and I feel sick, which seems a pretty reasonable reaction. That’s all, I’ve gotta run, goodnight sweet prince.


7.20.23 Roll another number


Is that a dice joke or a joint joke? Either way I won’t be rolling again. If O equals A then what am I doing? That doesn’t even make any sense to me so I don’t have hope of it making sense to you. So let’s set it aside and carry on, down the slope, up the next one, down the next, etc. It is all hills up here in the north, which is a contributing factor to my gluteal prominence. But what is it really all about? What’s really the important thing? Is it to be myself completely? Is it to be devoted and true? Because what does that mean?


What are the limits of devotion? What happens when devotion starts to seem like a pantomime; like a ritual that you have lost sight of the meaning of? I don’t love that sentence, and there is thunder in the heavens, but I am not afraid. There’s something to be said for that, knowing how much of my life the last decade has been spent in fear. Fear of retribution, certainly, but also fear of life, of embracing the beauty and the mess and the way things can be if you have the courage to say yes. But yes to what? What am I agreeing to exactly? Can it all really be so simple?


Because I think it’s not at all simple, when you account for all the moving pieces: the feelings and wants of how many people; the shifting sands of my own emotional landscape; the uncertainty of anything consigned to the realm of ‘future’. Take it for granted all you want, your ‘understanding’ of what is, I bet you’ll be surprised like I am surprised by the smell of this present rain. ‘Like a flower in the rain’ is a surprisingly graphic metaphor, if you track it down and see the thing that it is, but that is not really where my head’s at, truly. It just seems fitting as I look out at the garden, at the perennial beauty of this home that we’ve made together.


And there is a major sticking point. It’s so good, really so good. But am I understood? Am I seen as I really am? Do I even know how I really am? Is it too much to ask to be seen, because I think not. It’s hard to stare down the rest of your life if you’re looking through the eye-holes of a mask. Not that that is exactly what I’m doing, but it’s a compelling thought, and as the thunder rolls above me I think that maybe I should go back to bed and forget about everything for a few hours.


But that is not really my nature, to turn away from something that is bothering me. I prefer to stare back at the thing that threatens my calm. Rooted in calm I can avoid calamity, I hope. I guess it’s the truth that the establishment doesn’t have any real hope of that. But what do they know about me? How do you think it feels to have your partner not trust you to stay in control and on top of your mental health because they feel that when you lose that control you hate them? And how can you blame them when that fear is rooted in experience? How do you explain to them that that isn’t fair, on a lot of levels?


How do you reach someone who has a response rooted in fear? I’m asking for myself, because I may have to deal with this going live in two days. And maybe then I will be facing questions about what I’m talking about in here. Or maybe not, maybe all of this will be read only by a few and I’ll not be forced to face the music yet. Only I kind’ve want to start dancing, nah’mean?


You see this is no bad luck streak in dancing school. I don’t even remember the last time, honestly. It all seems very asexual to me right now, which is a way of saying that there are things way more important than sex to me at this point in my timeline. In fact I really feel that that doesn’t matter, that maybe the greatest obstacle to intimacy is the belief that I’m seeking it in sex. Not my belief, mind you. It doesn’t matter to me right now, and maybe it will again, but who knows? The future is a mystery at the moment. I can’t see a week forward let alone a year.


Which is not to say that I’m some incel fuck. Just that I’m not compensating for a perceived lack, which might be a form of maturity that I didn’t possess before. I don’t know. To be honest I feel weird about telling you all these things, those of you who might be listening. Are you tired of my honesty? Because I am not. In fact I think it is the only thing I have to offer. What is the point of a diary if you don’t tell the truth? Even a public diary must be rooted in truth, and if it isn’t as straightforward as a private one that’s only because I still have to live my life. I can’t just tell exactly you how I really feel lest I preempt the future and alter the timeline. There is such a thing as jinxing it.


And here as the season of the crab, of my birth winds down, as we prepare to enter the lion’s den, the heat of summer and the brightness of the souls born then. The two best signs of the zodiac, in my opinion, followed by a three-way tie between Aries, Scorpio, and Aquarius. I’m kind of all over the place with that analysis, huh? I don’t stand by it, if you want to press me: it is but flippancy. A laugh I’m having with myself as I finish up my coffee. As I gaze upon the future I see only a cloud, and when I gaze on the past I see a steaming admixture of pleasure, pain, and boredom. When I look in the mirror I wonder what it is about my face that people like. It’s hard to see things clearly, I guess.


Maybe that is enough for now, but I don’t wish to cease. So you must deal with a bit more of the process, a bit more of this fatuous meandering stream of consciousness. It will meet with the sea eventually, that is a promise, but not yet, I do declare. For now, on this rainy Thursday, I think that there will never be enough for me, or maybe there already is. Maybe this is all the realization that it is enough. Maybe that’s the key to the whole enigma, to be grateful for this day. To not worry whether there will be another, or what the next one will bring. Maybe.


You see I must be very straightforward with you that I am not here to tell you what to think, or what to believe. That this isn’t about me telling how it is. The way I think it is is not necessarily the way it is, I’m the first to admit that. But in accepting your ignorance, by dropping the thinking, you have a much better chance of tapping in to the way that it is. And because of the way that it is, it is. Sorry, I don’t mean to wax philosophical, that’s not what I want to do. But this has nothing to do with want, honestly. Surely I have been telling you ways to be. I can’t help it, part of my truth is the belief that I do know some things. And if I thought this contradictory text would be of no use to anyone then why would I write it? I’m not so narcissistic as to do this solely for my own pleasure; no, there has to be a purpose.


And yet there is no true and absolute purpose to our lives here on Earth, is there? It’s always ambiguous and open to interpretation. And so this art mimics life, I guess. Or is it life that’s supposed to mimic art? I can never keep all these standards and conditions straight. I’m a strange man, certainly, to feel the way that I feel, and a complicated man, to want the things that I seem to want. But then it is really a simple and mostly unattainable desire to want to be understood, isn’t it? It can’t be too much to ask, but it is an active process. You have to offer pieces of yourself to the one you want to understand, don’t you? And if honesty ever atrophies it seems like hope is lost. But Love, baby, Love.


It hangs on and there is nothing that can stop it. It can’t die easily if it’s true. But thinking like that makes me want to cry. Only, I can’t cry because I’m not sad. I feel something like numb but I think more accurately I just feel level. Stable, sane. There is nothing to do and no one to see. I have two important conversations to have this week, but there is no rush. There is only the devastating blow that only reality can engender. And I, weak in the knees. Can’t fight the feeling, can’t stop the avalanche. And that more a winter than a summer problem. Where are we going? Am I invited? Is there anything I can do to make it better? Somewhat doubtful, I think.


So I lay down my burdens and step away from the page. From this entry that has gone on half as long again as it needed to. And I no better nor worse than when I started. Essentially the same as at the beginning. Only there has been a fundamental shift, as well. And still the same, yet different too. What is there to be said for human experience? Is any of this reliable? I think not even as I rely on it, as I base my life on the reality I perceive. So many moving parts, so many egos, so many of them fragile. And mine in that category. Most definitely, though I learned early on to take a joke, and more recently to take criticism. What does that make me? Am I defined by that, or by you, or by myself? Asking for a friend.


TTFN.


7.21.23 Last Call


As I count down the hours I am here alone, again. That is how it most often is this time of day, and I am mostly grateful for that. You see for all my frenetic deliberation there is nothing that I need to do. I can continue on the present course and still probably avoid ruin. I can’t say that is true for everyone I know. Some of us are cruisin’ for a bruisin’, as the saying goes. I don’t want to count myself among them, I want to course correct if I need to and get the hell out of this purgatory in which I find myself mired.


That’s kind of a crazy thought, but I’ve had plenty of those. I was talking yesterday about moving abroad and putting vines in the ground. Literally putting down roots. And I want to launch the vision I had those years ago of Grape Leaf Press. What if all I need to do to change my life is catch one lucky break and then play every card right for the rest of time? That’s a laugh, the ‘playing every card right’ thing. Certainly I have made numerous mistakes in the last twelve hours, to say nothing of the last week. I do not claim to be perfect, but Brenda did say I have a pattern of making good decisions. That’s gotta be worth something, no?


I have been feeling insane, but maybe the feeling of insanity is only a projection of guilt–at what I feel I might want to do–and frustration at the way things have been going. And the frustration all the more pressing because I feel like I don’t know how to help, that I’m powerless to make any positive change. That’s a bad feeling, a festering sore, truly. But such is life, these things are part of the playing field, and I just a weak man with raging desires.


What is it that I want? Where is it that I’m heading? So much tumult and turmoil in the last few months and what do I have to show for it? Am I any better off than I was a month ago? I feel like the tendency is to maintain the opinion that my mental health is the driving force in how well I’m doing, but to tell you the truth I’m doing better on that front than I have ever been doing. Even considering the fact that I feel suicidal at the end of a shift because the work is so demoralizing, I’m doing much better than I was six months ago.


And yet no one gives me the credit I feel I deserve. They see me slipping and you know what maybe I am, but I am not slipping into madness, but into freedom. You see when you reach a certain point of resignation you start to behave in ways that don’t make sense to the people who expect you to behave the way you always have. This can cause a lot of tension, especially when you have a history of mood disorder that comes with a certain degree of radical behavior. The cop out on the other side of the mirror is that I’m just going through it right now. And maybe I am, but what the fuck do you mean by that?


Because what I mean is that I’m having a hard time reconciling what my life looks like with what I want. In fact the two are totally at odds in a lot of arenas. I feel stifled in some senses and feel like there are opportunities presenting themselves that will rock the boat like an 8 foot swell in others. I don’t want to keep doing what I’m doing professionally. Something has to give or I’m out. I refuse to work in a mill, because although it is technically a restaurant there is so little regard given to quality of service or quality and timeliness of food execution that we might as well be making boards out of logs. Measured only by the units coming out. Maybe that is not fair, of course there are other measures, but it seems like the bottom line is sufficient to offset the operational concerns, and I fear that may catch up to us soon and that the bottom may fall out of the whole thing. Or not, who knows what people will tolerate. Few people are looking for the restaurant experiences I want when I go out to eat, I’m sure of that.


Maybe that’s too direct for this forum, but I don’t care. I need to say what I need to say, and I’m not going to work in a food factory. And this not even the dissonance I was exploring yesterday; it’s just one facet on the stone of my life right now, the tumbling cut gem that will buy my way into heaven. It’s getting dim, and I need to go, but I will leave you with this: If I have to die alone and face the beyond without even anyone to hold my hand, then when I’m here I’m going to hold whomever’s hand I want. I’m gonna love freely and without reservation and if that doesn’t fly with you then I guess there’s no room for you in my life. Sorry if that’s too much to ask, but I’m not really asking, if I’m being honest.


That’s it for Cancer season, ain’t it. Now on to the millstone tied around my neck. We’ll be okay, won’t we? Live tomorrow and then another month of silence. Maybe I’ll even log out of instagram again. Fuck it, the world is my oyster. I can do whatever I want. I’m just trying to live my life, as Sandra said yesterday. Goodnight cruel world, this sweet prince will see you again when the lion lies down with the lamb.


–Dick


7.22.23 I guess there is one more day


How is it that every Saturday is so strange? How can we continue in the face of the enormity of the world? I didn’t mean to use that world properly but I guess I did, didn’t I? That’s another strange thing, to mean one thing and say another and still end up making sense. Not that all of this makes sense, don’t get me wrong, I’m not such an egotist as to assume that. I hope those of you reading this are at least amused by the rambling meandering of my mind, or entertained, or stimulated. I hope I don’t put you the fuck to sleep, in short.


Because I feel like this whole thing might be a snooze. That nobody cares about what goes on in here. But maybe people do; maybe some people do anyway. I’d like to grow that number. But I think I’ve probably turned off a lot of smart readers by talking about God. As central as the idea is to being human it’s also taboo in a lot of communities. And the way I talk about God is taboo also to many of the people who are most interested in the subject. So maybe I’ve alienated my audience before I’ve even started. But ultimately God is a human interest story, whether we’re talking about Jesus, Allah, or Yahweh (in some, not all, traditions they are the same). And if you’re interested in humanity you must address that God has formed you in some way or another.


As I said what seems ages ago, even if only an idea, God is still real and has material bearing. You must contend with Them if you want to exist in the world. Lemuria and Atlantis maybe had a different cosmogony, but that’s a bygone age at best and a eugenic fantasy at worst. I’m not going to shed any tears for anyone I’ve offended, and if I end up with my head on a pike, so be it. Will it be the atheists or the Christians who crucify me though, in the end?


That question surely raises an interesting point about both of those communities, which I don’t care to explore. I’m not here to judge you, or tell you how to be. I’m here to invite you to be curious about the way you are–how you really are, not how you pretend to be, or how you think you are; how you are. And that’s a hard thing to face up to. I struggle with it every day, truly. The things that I want are out of line with the things that the world seems to think I should want. Or maybe not, maybe that is just a small subculture that I’m taking for the way things are. Maybe I need to take my own advice and take a step back from my immediate surroundings and know that when all is said and done I won’t care that I ruffled feathers.


Because making change is hard. Personally, professionally, in general. If I’ve learned anything since I started writing this it’s that. That it comes with pain, with hurt, with strife. There’s no way around it, and I don’t think I would have it any other way. You see, if I was God, I wouldn’t do anything differently I don’t think. The enormity (look it up, it doesn’t mean big) of the world is perfect in its own way. Being able to appreciate that perfection and be constantly improving on it is godliness, so says I. And Godliness is the way, so says them. But what does it mean that there are casualties along the way, both in the literal and figurative senses?


I think it means that nothing comes easy in this world, and that’s the only reason we have appreciation for anything. Jesus I’m dipping back into the platitudes. Telling you things you’ve heard a million times. Sunshine wouldn’t be worth a damn without rain; but the real trick is to see the purpose that rain plays, the balance between sun and soil and water that allows us not only to live, but to thrive and live comfortably. And yet there are famines knocking, and no captive Jews to interpret the Pharaoh's dreams. Strange that those stories still have relevance, isn’t it?


I’m sorry to ask you so many questions, truly, but it is the best way to get you to think. And think for yourself, at that. I can’t do it for you, no one can; any more than anyone can do it for me. Even if you know the end you still have to live it, huh? It seems so far off and it could be here tomorrow, but you can’t live that way either. It’s all right here, and it’s all right now. Platitudes again, if new (old?) age ones. Ancient knowledge becoming relevant again; or maybe it is relevant through all time. It doesn’t much matter to me, I’m having a pretty good day.


I didn’t get to therapy this week though, so it looks like six weeks it is. So be it, I suppose. So many suppositions inherent in this work, in this blimey babbel that carries on without acknowledgment that every conversation I have contributes. Every verbal exchange ends up here in some form or another. And yet I am beyond the word in many regards. I certainly don’t believe in Word (that is to say LOGOS). Lego, I say. Double double toil and trouble, of gunplower murder and plot. I didn’t get that quite right I don’t think, but I don’t care. Some of you might understand my humor, but I’m not sure I do. The humors do seem to be in balance now though, so that’s good. No hangover to contend with, no pain except a slight caffeine tension between my eyes.


Life is good, God made everything beautiful. Only it requires someone to behold it to qualify as beautiful. That’s what I think the expression means, ultimately. The world requires no audience, but beauty does. And so we break the silence like a crack of thunder on an August evening. Month or adjective, take your pick. But we make the grass green, and without us there is not even grass, for that is only a word after all. The thing itself, the chains of cellulose and other fibers, certainly don’t know themselves as “grass”, I wouldn’t think. Or maybe they do and English is an immutable truth, but that seems outrageous to say out loud.


And I only typed it. It’s a strange word, typed. You could say set. Or even made. They all apply. And I can’t type well. I was taught in grammar school that you should never start a sentence with the word “And”. And that I should put punctuation inside quotation marks. I guess I wasn’t such a good student after all.


IlyAsm,


Dick


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