August 14th, 2001

pod

All TOO Easy

Wow. We got up there last night at around 11:30. The car ride was actually half pleasant, my mother behaving more human than she has in years. It struck me as we were travleing up there just how long it had BEEN. I mean this was a place that I used to go every weekend when I was little. A place I was dragged would be more accurate, but a significant part of my life. Part of my identity, who I was. I was in little league up there, did horseback riding, watched most of the movies I saw, and had specific country friends.

It had been almost six years since I had last been up there before last night.

Six years. I can't even imagine how that happened.

We got up there and things had changed. The house had been painted yellow where it used to be white, the statue in the middle of the yard was grown over, and perhaps most poignent of all, my swings from when I was little had been taken down. Now granted I wasn't exactly planning to use a bunch of swings meant for a 12 year old, but to see them all lying in a pile on a picnic table effected me strongly. It looked like a child had lived here and been forced to move out so quickly that he had left all his stuff behind, only I was that child and it was basically true. My father's death forced me to leave the country house and I left more than just physical items behind. I left a whole aspect of my life, a whole slew of activites and aquaintances, and a lot of emotion.

It only took me 7 minutes to find the cat. I went upstairs to my room after searching downstairs, flopped down on my childhood bed, and heard a rustling in the closet. When I went to check it out the cat was there, looking at me with bored eyes. My mother said that she searched that closet. She said that Bob had searched that closet. That John and his son had searched that closet. The cat was right out in the open. I don't know what to think.

I didn't get to be a hero, I just got to be a considerate person who convinces someone to go back and search for the pet and who the pet responds to. Essentially a nice guy. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that.

I slept much better than I have for awhile. My bed upstate is much better than the one down here. I had a strange dream. I dreamed I was on a basketball court watching a kid shoot hoops by himself. He was pudgy and around 17 or so with a yellow shirt. He looked a lot like me, but he wasn't me. Perhaps a version of what I would have been like had I not changed and evolved between the ages of 14 and 17. Anyway he was shooting hoops and some other, older kid came by and the dream's narration told me he was a local thug. So the thug started shooting hoops at the same basket that the pudgy dorky kid was, and the dorky kid was doing better than the thug who eventually got his ball caught in the basket. So the dork dislodged it with his own ball and the tough kid challenged him to a fight. The dork sort of shuffled over and asked the tough kid if he could tell him how to fight. The tough kid knocked out a few of the dork's teeth and took his ball and left. The dork looked after him not so much hurt as lonely.

I'm not sure what it means but I think it has to do with my own internal struggles between two extremes of my personality which are both unhealthy.

After I woke up I went for a walk, up the mountain towards the graveyard at the top. It was incredible, I was out walking and there were so few people around it was something that I really needed. The forest was a brilliant and thick green and the fields were covered in beautiful purple swampfire. I felt vibrant and alive.

I thought about things. About the fact that part of my fear in going upstate was erasing the memories of my dad up there. About the fact that they are fading anyway as life marches on. About all the work that needs to be done on the house and the fact that I could do it and enjoy it but that it would feel like I was pushing out my father to take over those tasks. About all the work that has to be done on me but that it would feel like a betrayal of my dad in some ways to thrive without him.

About how beautiful America is.

I saw some horses grazing as I walked back down towards my thought. The air was cool and there was a mist forming on the mountaintop. Things were more ordered than I had remembered them. The graveyard was neat and small.

Life goes on with or without you. Dead people don't deserve to be at the head of the table. Bad things happen to good people.

For some the experience of watching horses gallop and birds soar overhead and beautiful waving fields of corn all around might convince them that there WAS a god. Instead it made me believe that there doesn't HAVE to be a god because the world DOES have good places in it.

I am going to learn how to drive. I am going to start spending time at that house, start learning how to have a balanced life, start learning how to live.

I really want to.

I want to DO things. I want to let the good part of me shine. I want to let the leader, the genius, the teacher, the nurturer, the fighter loose. For the first time in a rather long time I feel the longing to fulfill my potential, if not the capacity.

On the way up to the country my mom said that she thinks that females are the superior gender, that males had a chance at running things and they fucked it up. This is an attitude I've gotten before from her. It might have something to do with my messed up attitudes towards women. Might have everything to do with them.

When I saw the swings taken down and the teetertotter on its side and sunken into the mud I thought about how sad it is that I don't feel like I'll ever have a family. Houses, and I'm pretty sure I want to live in a house and not an apartment now, cry out for children and occupants. I will live alone.

Jeff never had a family and he seems okay. Well his situation is complicated and it would be extremely inappropriate to discuss it here, but maybe all my stupid antiquated notions of nuclear families and parenthood are bullshit. Maybe Bill Mahr is right.

There is so much I have to do and I am tired. I had this written out so much more poetically on the mountain top but with all the hassle of living it slipped away before I could record it. That's okay. Life goes on and I need to stop letting it flow over me.

I Need to get out there and be myself in a way that is constructive. I need so much.

One of the first steps I need to take is to not worry so much about what other people think of me, so I am going to resolve from here on to write this journal only for myself. Other people will still be welcome to read and respond and I will take note of their comments and respond, but I can no longer afford to worry about the amusement of some sort of audience. So I write this paragraph not to alienate but merely to explain that if the future entries are fractured or uninteresting, that's okay with me. Not that you care. Not that you have any expectations. Not that you think about these things. But I wanted to say it anyway.
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Jonesin' for your fix of the Limp Bizket mix

Okay ladies and gents, it's time for another fun episode of ANSWER DR. X

Dr. X asked me what I thought I had learned about him. That's a complex question. On the one hand there are a bunch of facts that he has tossed my way, but that's not all. I'm a pretty intuitive person and I tend to make fairly accurate guesses as to the hidden truths behind what people say, I dunno maybe that sounds insanely arrogant and of course I'm not psychic or always right, but for better or worse I have formed certain opinions about Dr. X. And it is just interesting to me how much I feel that I have learned about him from what he has said in his comments about ME.

Whether these are good or bad things? Who can say. I don't think that he's a murderer or an N'Syncher. Beyond that extreme of depravity there are just shades of grey.

Dr. X made an interesting point about not making a safe choice of an unhappy life out of fear of not being able to find better. I agree in principal but live the opposite way in practise. There ARE no guarantees and if you sacrifice and hold out for something good it may never come. Does less bad=better? Who knows. In trainspotting they say "Choose Life" but I don't think that it's really life that you have to choose. It's a choice between safety and putting it all on the line. The problem with putting it all on the line is that it IS all on the line and the line COULD snap. Any risky fun activity involves causualties and I think you have to be either stupid or faithful to believe that you can't be one of those casualties. Is that a risk you are willing to take?

Dr. X said that he is less likely to say bollocks than to start turning cartwheels. I believe that is a very british way to phrase something because it presupposes a rather formal and old culture. The ironic thing is that when I read that, at first I thought, in my Americanism, that it meant that he was prone to turning cartwheels in place of cursing. I have met people like that. I don't know, it just seemed like a British way to phrase it and as everyone knows, the Brits are a source of endless interest to a lot of Americans. We are culturaly descended from the dregs of their society, the unwanted parts. Well not so much anymore, but back when American culture was less fractured and multi-ethnic, the American culture that I still embrace.

Swearing is an interesting topic for me. My father taught me that there was no such thing as an inherintly bad word, just people who were too stodgy and get too easily offended. I have always taken this to heart and I curse with alarming frequency to some. Just to set myself up as an easy going tytpe who doesn't put much value in decorum. Which I am.

As for the last question Dr. X, the answer is that it was an attempt at a rather wry commentary on the power you give up by choosing to communicate via email and not the journal response function. Privacy like that means you lose the power to define yourself to any other possible readers. It was also a subtle attempt to get you to perhaps come out in the open as it were, so people could see both sides of these little conversations instead of just my side. I guess it was a petty and manipulative way to say that but I guess I can be petty and manipulative. I'm sorry, you can feel free to communicate however you wish. My experiment failed....and that's okay.

P.S. you're not S&P but you are an I. That one's just for you good Doctor.
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