July 13th, 2004


Fat man in a rainstorm: Umbrellas, he said, are the enemy of the authentic life

I dropped 3 pounds yesterday. Just like that. I say this not to brag (You don't lose 3 pounds in a day if you don't have a lot to lose, and I'd been plateauing for a couple of weeks) but to explain. I think that the weight loss is interfering with my writing by sapping my energy. I'm losing faster than I'm supposed to, and I'm being forced to take naps at around 5:30 to try and recharge myself. I'm not hungry, but my blood sugar is low, and some poor eating decisions aren't helping things (I'm not spreading the food out enough during the day.) This is important for my health, and I'm getting cardio to make sure my metabolism doesn't dive off a cliff, but it's very difficult to stay focused and get work done when your eyes are shutting and you feel light headed. I'm trying not to rake myself over the coals for that.

I bought new shoes today. New Balance, made in the USA so no complaining about Thai kids, alright? I almost got some blue shoes that would have been nice but totally out of place on a dweeby white guy. Instead I got black, which are fine.

I don't understand people who don't love the rain. I don't merely mean those who hate it, or dislike it, or are ambivalent. I am including those who merely like it. For my own part, there is nothing that makes me feel all is right in the world as much as a heavy rainstorm without lightning. There's something in it that transcendes magic, it's magnificent in ways that art, philosophy, laughter, or even love simply cannot match. It stimulates all of the senses and faculties. Touch becomes overwhelmed after awhile and relegates the rain to the back of the mind, the first few drops felt so intensly soon replaced by the abstract knowledge that there is indeed water falling from the sky but little detail about much of it is falling on you or where. You remain aware of the sense of cotton clinging to your thighs and the wetness squishing beneath your feet, but the individual drops vanish into one another and turn from rain to storm. Sight percieves it as darkness, interupted by little lines flashing by, the drops falling too fast for their shape to be determined but not fast enough to make the eye believe that they are not there. Occasionally one runs down off the brow and turns everything into a sparkly blur, a tear from the sky refracting the outside world. Taste is salt and wetness, the rain runs down the groove above the lip and sneaks between the pink guardians of your digestion tract. Your skin oils come with it, diluted but distinct on a rough red tongue. Smell is the most inconsistant, for the rain has no smell of it own. Instead it activates the latent scents of the cityscape, stiring up sewage and spilled soft drink alike, the odors flowing across your nose as you walk, inspiring wrinkles of disgust, deep whiffs of pleasure, or emergency mouth breathing depending on the substance and your mood.

It is with sound, however, that the rain makes its greatest impact. It muffles the world, the white noise making everything indistinct and beautiful. It can be dangerous in the big city, you get into a trance and don't notice the cars or their horns as much as you should. I had to leap out of the way, splashing down into a puddle. It was unnerving but also somewhat exciting. Headlights in the darkness and the rain, a beeping horn, a jolt of fear, then a hop skip and a splash to safety.

The best thing about the rain is the way it progresses. First you hear a couple drops, see a splattering of water on the pavement. Then it starts hitting your hair, almost a tickle at first, faint enough that you're not completly sure whether you felt it or imagined it. Then the first trickles start to drip down off your hair and on to your forehead and it begins. Your shirt starts to cling to your body, wet cotton and skin meeting in an air tight seal. The water flows into eyes, nose, and ears, spots of hypersensativity on a now wet face. Then it's pants and shoes, heavy legs and squishy steps. Pretty soon you're completely soaked, and the rain no longer feels wet, just heavy and rythmic on your exposed body parts. The final step is when it soaks through everything, and you feel the coolness around your cock, like a slim hand caressing you in your most sensative areas. Water is often traumatic down there, that first moment of contact in a pool or lake can be absolutely dreadful, but the rain sneaks in so slowly and subtly that there's no pain, no shock, just a gentle awareness of the cotton contracting, and then light pressure.

I don't understand people who want to skip the experience. They scuttle under awnings and wait with irritation, or grab umbrellas to block out nature. I understand that there are risks and losses associated with being soaked. Expensive clothing can't handle it, books and CD players get ruined (I know from experience), if you're going to a formal destination then you arrived disheveled and unpresentable. I recognize all this, but life is fleeting. How many really good rainstorms do you get a year? How many opportunities to walk underneath clouds as they unburdan themselves and whisper secrets in your ear? How many times do you get to feel the wind whip through your sodden clothes like they weren't there and rake your skin beneath?

There are precious few things in this world worth more than experiences like that. There are few moments as vivid and complete. It's something to be cherished, not avoided. We spend so much of our lives on absolute bullshit, we can take an hour to walk a mile in our great great great ancestors' shoes and let the rain envelope us.

Conservatives confuse me. William F. Buckley is raking Ronald Reagan Jr. over the coals for speaking his mind about politics, basically suggesting that he should keep his whippersnapper mouth shut. The 'kid' is in his 40's. He has the right to say whatever he likes, and it's no wonder people are willing to listen. If a liberal ever jumps ship the conservatives are more than happy to trumpet him around, but when a conservative manages a coherent thought and realizes that he is spitting on the founders' graves by supporting the ass backward GOP and its 6th grade educated backwater Southern constituency, they turn on him like sharks on their wounded. It's not that surprising, since the modern conservative mind is cold and reptilian, filled either with greed or the kind of ignorance and stupidity one finds at the shallow end of the gene pool and in church on Sundays. Meanwhile Thomas Sowell in the course of his column complained about how Europeans overpay their soldiers, calling it Featherbedding.

Oh yes, I MUCH prefer our system where the men and women expected to die for our country sometimes have to turn to Food Stamps in order to feed their families. It's much more important that delicious graft goes to the corporate sponsers of our war than that an army wife be able to give her kids nutritious food. Of course to be fair I'm sure Sowell doesn't like our troops being on foodstamps either. What a wasteful government program that is. They should just be allowed to starve to death like the poor filth they are. The troops themselves get that delicious Haliburton grub. Fuck the families, they're just dead weight. Let them eat Cake, motherfuckers.

I'm pretty sure that Bush and Cheney would be happy to let the troops die for political or financial gain. If it wouldn't inspire outrage they'd let the Iraqis have as many young Virginia farm boys to slaughter as they wanted. Heck, for enough cold hard cash I'm sure that the Republican dream team would kill em themselves. Walk right up to some unsuspecting Staff Sergeant and blow his brains all over the wall. For another $10k in soft money they'f make him beg for his life before they'd do it. What's the real moral difference between that and leaving thousands of 19 year old boys screaming for their mothers, holding their intestines in their hands after a roadside bombing? What's the real difference between that and making our soldiers sitting ducks for terrorists just so we can grab some oil. Every piece of shrapnel embedded in a young man's eyes so that he'll never see again, every spray of arterial blood covering the windshield of a humvee, every limb that needs to be amputated because it's so badly mangled every missing ear and nose, every breath that the casualties won't ever take, every song they won't sing, every child they won't have, or know, and every tear this country will shed...it has a sponser. It has someone who decided that those particular young lives were worth less than the oil contracts and political gain to be had by falsifying a war. It is clear now that the Intelligence community told DLG what he wanted to hear. It's clear that he accepted that and went ahead with what he already wanted to do. It's clear that he weighed the lives and families of the soldiers with about as much importance as you or I would give a gnat, dooming thousands so that his well heeled friends could become even more well-heeled. There are cargo holds full of flag-draped coffins that they don't want us to see. There are young men in burn wards screaming for more morphene so loudly that their voices go hoarse, that they don't want us to hear. There are hacked off heads and arms and legs that they don't want us to weigh. The American soldier is a pretty picture for the war, but god forbid we see the dead ones. God forbid we see the fresh graves and the fallout.

I'm not sure what the difference is between sending them to die on foreign sand and pulling the trigger yourself. I guess one is less messy than the other. The moral responsibility is still there, even in a just war. These are boys that it is your sacred fucking duty to protect by not using them frivolously. These are American citizens and their lives are paramount. Unless your name is Bush and you've grown up with millions of dollars in the bank and not a single thought in your head.

At least the soldiers aren't overpaid though. That'd be a real sin. Waste of public money, something the Republicans are VEHEMENTLY against unless it benefits their friends. In fact, that the soldiers have to be paid at all is the real tragedy here. They should die from the generosity of their heart as a gift to the plutocratic class. That's what they would do were there any justice in this world. Lazy poor bastards.

On a lighter side, I suggested in iconoclast's journal that Kerry should divorce Theresa and gay marry Edwards. I think this would be a pretty good idea. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of it. While it's not going to happen, I wonder what the political fallout would be. Would it really be that damning? How many people support Kerry and not gay marriage? I realize that a gay married candidate would energize the Republican base but it might do the same to the democratic one. One thing's for sure, it would be a memorable campaign. Plus Kerry's not going to get a more beautiful spouse. Good deal for him.

P.S. I know I critique the Republicans a lot and not the Democrats. That's not because I think the Democrats are pure and good and right. I think they're scum. I believe in fiscal responsibility, legislating for individuals not groups, and all sorts of other stuff. The Democrats are also spineless, out of touch with the common working man, and beholden to the Teachers union among others to the great detriment of our society. The thing is, choosing between the Democrats and the Republicans is like choosing between OJ Simpson and Charles Manson/Jeffery Dahlmer to babysit your children. Neither are attractive choices, but only one of the choices is likely to cook and eat them.
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows: Raining in Baltimore