I happen to be a lover of breasts. I am also adamantly against bombs. This morning when I was on a walk and dealing with various thoughts of impending doom- I had an idea. Why not start a non-profit organization called Breasts Not Bombs? The value of the idea was greatest in its ability to get my mind off of obsessive thoughts of impending doom. Rather than thinking about my own death, I was able to focus upon the visual imagery of breasts. These breasts belonged to no women in particular but rather they were universal breasts belonging to all women.
As I walked through the park with an image of youthful breasts swinging around in my head- I found that the anxiety that I was suffering from moments ago had passed. There is something about the image of breasts that calms the central nervous system. Breasts are nurturing, comforting, cooling and there is not a person on earth who is not calmed by the presence of a breast. I was suddenly able to make sense of my chronic desire to look down women’s shirts or seek out strippers and stare at their breasts. I am seeking repose or release from the chronic anxiety that seems to be upon me day and night. I am looking for breasts to calm my frazzled nerves in the same way that a person who is about to drown searches for a life preserver.
As I watched the morning sun come up over the tall looming redwood trees I realized that I not only had an erection but that a non- profit organization like Breasts Not Bombs could possibly save the world. It was the German Psychiatrists Wilhelm Reich who said that “if man could just have a daily orgasm or be allowed to fondle a naked woman everyday, then all the wars and terrible violence of humanity could be avoided.” Men would not want to fight- because the release of sexual energy would allow them to feel rested and calm. Myself, being a daily orgasamer, happen to agree with Reich’s theory. I am a very non-violent man who has yet to throw a punch or harm another fellow human being in any direct way. I have always known that this is mainly because I am always thinking of naked woman and masturbating. If Breasts Not Bombs could stimulate this same feeling in the majority of men on earth- than maybe I could find a way to avert the constant violence on earth that I so strongly stand against. This could win me the one thing I have always longed for- a Noble Peace Prize.
I would have to find thousands of woman who would be willing to not only walk around with out shirt and bra but also be willing to allow men to fondle their breasts. These woman would have to be connected with their maternal instincts and realize that what they where doing was sacrificing their own sense of feministic decency for the larger good of humanity. By allowing men to play with their breasts- they would be effectively changing if not saving the world. As I returned to my home ready to begin the work of establishing my own non-profit, I grew a bit disconcerted with my ability to gather so many women who were willing to sacrifice themselves for a larger good. In our contemporary American war culture, where breasts have become taboo and hidden from view like the Dead Sea Scrolls- how the hell would I find a thousand women willing to bare their boobs and save the world? I have always believed that where there is a will there is a way….and the rest of my day was spent creating a plan to make my will a reality.
The difficult thing about being a Storyteller is finding the time to write. In our post industrial technocratic society man, woman and child are subjected to a fate similar to the wrath of God against Adam and Eve. We must work by the sweat of our brow, labor away all of our vital energy so that we can afford to maintain a semblance of dignity and pride. It is an unusual condition to be wedged between because most have become so habituated to this way of being (working) that they see no alternative. They have learned to love the hand that enslaves them and decry a life without hard work ( a classic case of conditioning). After all we know that the majority of hard workers are working hard only so that they do not have to be left with the time to take a deep look into themselves. They find their identity within their work because what is deep within them is devoid of substance. This is a catch 22 situation. You work hard and you loose your self but without hard work you loose your house. This is the great modern modern dilema- how to find the time to live your life.
Since, I have been working full time as a Teacher I have found little time to write. I long for the days when I posted upon my blog every day and read with great anticipation the comments that followed in return. I was telling my stories and people around the world were responding to what was told. As a Storyteller who has been burdened with the naging desire to write, tell stories and be heard (psychologists tell me this is because my parents did not listen or pay attention to me)- the outlet of a blog has been heaven sent. But now because of the curse of “working by the sweat of our brow”, I have had to labor away all of the hours of my day and night educating young minds about how to avoid getting stuck in this consuming rat race. We talk about ways to make a fortune before the age of twenty so that they can buy an island and live far away from this synthetic life-denying culture that us humanoids have created. We find critical solutions for problems of “work-addiction” and plan strategies for ways that I can escape from this society and join a race of people who live more in harmony with life rather than the preoccupation of working.
You may wonder how this has anything to do with being a Storyteller, and I would respond that it has everything to do with being a Storyteller. In societies that are consumed with progress and work the first species to become exiled our expendable are the Storytellers. The workers or citizens of these corporate republics do not want to be reminded of their servitude, their complete dependency upon forces outside of themselves. This is why Plato exiled poets from his Republic. “The poets will allow the people to see the many ways that the established government must manipulate the citizens into the cave and away from the light of humanity,” he said. This is what the Storyteller does- he/she makes people more human.
But I no longer have the time to write or spin stories in my head. I have been drinking more and sleeping less. All of my usual creative outlets have been plugged up by work. Time seems to have shortened. By the time I am ready to read and write my eyes refuse to remain open and willing to follow the words which exhaustion has caused me to read and write backwards. This is the world that I have found myself within, and yes it is the very dynamic that seeks to exile the Storyteller from the very body it resides within. Sometimes late at night when I am lying in bed, I can feel my body shaking and becoming tense. I grow restless and have difficulty staying still. It takes me hours to fall asleep and I know that these systemic sensations are the result of my inner Storyteller trying to escape from my body so that it can go some place else where it will have the peace, light and time to tell its many tales.
I am a man who is being squeezed from the inside out or maybe the outside in. I do not know which comes first- the outside pressure or the inside pressure, but if Karl Marx was right when he said that society determines the behavior and health of man/woman kind- then it is the the world that is squeezing me. Between the pressure that the earth is placing upon human beings to change or be eliminated and the pressure that government is placing up the individual to pay up or go broke- the outside is squeezing me like a balloon which might just burst. Between rising gas prices, food shortages, recessions, depressions, wars, deficits, unequal distribution of wealth, rising costs and poor environmental conditions, my chest feels as if there is a large leather belt buckled tight around it. My fingers and and toes pulsate and I have noticed that my face has grown pale. My vision is clouded and I can constantly feel my heart beating. The stress of the world seems to have nested upon my skinny left shoulder.
I have noticed that I am not alone. I have noticed many suffering from similar ailments and running around desperately searching for relief (yoga, meditation, eating, drinking, consuming). People do not seem to be getting along, wherever I look another relationship has ended, another person is struggling to survive and another person is experiencing some kind of transformational event that is threatening the sanity they seem to be slowly loosing. All around me people seem squeezed. I can see it in their eyes. I can hear it in their voices and I can certainly feel it in my gut. Human beings are fighting for their lives.
I have heard it said that 2012 marks a monumental time in the history of our planet. Thousands of years ago Mayans have predicted that this will be a time of great transformation that will result in change that our human minds can not currently fathom. Physics believes that the closer time gets to an end the faster it gets- time speeds up. Along with the sppeed up of time comes a kind of constriction and anxiety within all those who are subject to this elevated blood pressure of time. Animals (humans) become more frantic and stressed, things start to break down and people feel squeezed. Like there is not enough minutes in the day. Chaos can ensue.
It is my belief that the earth is experiencing symptoms of this larger breakdown. The sky is literaly falling and some see it and others have managed to distract themselves enough so as not to have to deal with it (but they still feel it). Others feel the squeeze. There is a pressure upon us that seems to be forcing us into submission, to the transformation that needs to occur within ourselves and upon this planet. Maybe being squeezed is not so bad. Maybe I can look upon my pulsating toes and finger tips as a gift from the universe in which I have accidentally found myself living. Maybe I am being forced to awaken to what is going on around me, outside of me- and change what is taking place within me. After all, physics tells me that I am just a microcosmic reflection of a larger macrocosm…if I can un-squeeze myself- than maybe I can un-squeeze the world.
I noticed a sign in the window that said “sense of humors for sale.” I thought that this was a rather awkward thing to be selling and my interests were aroused. I went into the small store that was poorly lit and had many shelves without anything upon them. The walls were bare and no one stood behind the counter. There was an eery feeling that ran through the vacant shop and as I turned around to leave I was startled by a voice from the back that said, “good afternoon young man, can I be of some assistance.” I turned around and noticed a tall skinny man who looked similar to me standing behind the counter holding an unsmoked cigarette in his hand. “Yes,” I said- “I am curious about the sense of humors that you have for sale.” “Oh yes, I believe we have one left,” he replied looking up at a shelf that had nothing upon it but dust. “Would you like to try it on,” he asked?
The dressing room was illuminated by a yellow neon light and there were no mirrors on the walls. I commented upon this to the salesman who continued to smoke his un-lit cigarette and said “we do not sell anything that you would need to see on, so why have mirrors I ask you?” He seemed a little defensive so I asked him another question. “What kinds of things do you sell in this store?” he looked at me with an expression of annoyance and replied, “why don’t you try on the sense of humor and then we will talk.”
I put the sense of humor on by rubbing a very cold cream into my chest. He wanted me to take off my pants as well and rub the cream into my legs but I felt uncomfortable getting naked in this strange environment. I rubbed the cream all over my chest and arms and then was given a cloth to wipe off the residual cream. “Give it a few moments and then you will notice a change. The cream that I gave you was a starter cream. The effects only last a few minutes. If you decide that you would like to purchase a sense of humor, we have a permanent cream,” the salesman said to me as he motioned me over towards a chair where I was supposed to sit and experience the sense of humor.
Within seconds of applying the cream I started to notice a chuckle in the back of my thought. The salesman put up various pictures on the shelves and asked me to observe these photographs. There were photographs of Hillary Clinton, villages destroyed by bombs, a soldier in Iraq carrying a very large gun and of George Bush and John MacCain. There were also photographs of prisoners being tortured, the atomic bomb, people suffering from starvation, animals stuck in small cages, two men having sex with a woman, hospitals, ghettos, a man begging for money, and a dead body that seemed to be so violated that I could not tell if the body was a man or a woman. The salesman also placed white pieces of cardboard on the shelves that had words like CANCER, DEATH, POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, GREED, GLOBAL WARMING, CORRUPTION and INJUSTICE written on them. The salesman said something like “now feel free to take your new sense of humor for a test drive,” and then he walked away. I sat there alone in the cold room and observed all many photographs and words for a few seconds- and then it happened.
The laughter was so intense that I was unable to control it. I laughed like I had never laughed before in my life. There was a feeling of great release that caused all of my stress to dissipate into thin air. All things that normally were causes of stress and despair for me seemed to no longer cause me any aggravation. I looked at the photos of George Bush, Hillary Clinton, the soldier and the dead body and my normal feeling of constriction and anger seemed to vanish. All I could do was laugh. I could see the humor in the ridiculousness of human behavior and I was able to laugh at all the ways that we take ourselves SO SERIOUSLY. I saw the ignorance that most human beings seem to suffer from and all I could do was find this ignorance very funny. When I looked at the words my laughter increased because I was able to see how funny it is that human beings create the very things that they fear and do not want the most. I could not believe how funny all these realizations were to me. I saw the whole divine human comedy in which we are the actors on a stage creating our own tragedy. How fucking funny is that!! We do it all to ourselves and then think that we are free!!!
Finally, after my allotted period of time was up, the salesman returned into the room and began taking the photographs and words off the shelves. “You can take off your sense of humor now,” he said as he still held the un-lit cigarette in his hand. The moment he said this to me my laughter halted as if someone had suddenly applied brakes. I wiped the tears from my face and tried to compose myself. “When you are ready please meet me back at the counter and we can talk,” he replied as he walked into the back room. I sat in the chair and tried to assess what had just taken place. I felt what turned out to be a pulled muscle in my upper back (from laughing so hard). I took a few deep breaths and decided that I wanted to purchase a sense of humor.
“We sell all sorts of potions and creams. Not only do we sell sense of humors but we also sell, happiness, IQ’s, ambition, sex drives, maturity, wisdom, feeling successful and we just ran out of love. We sell what we can to make life more worth living or should I say to make life more enjoyable. That is our intention- however, not many seem to want to purchase what we have for sale. It is almost as if people have become so attached to their suffering that they fear change. They are addicted to the way things are because that is how they think things are supposed to be. Little do they realize that we human beings have it all wrong. We have been conditioned to suffer and we do not even know it,” the salesman said to me as he sat on a stool with his arms crossed. “How much does a sense of humor cost,” I asked? “I can sell you the cream for $75.00 and it also comes with a one month warranty. If for some reason you find that it is not working for you- you are welcome to return it and I will give you your money back. I think this is a good deal because after all a good sense of humor is priceless.”
I know this may seem strange but I am suffering from a moving nipple. It is my left nipple and it gesticulates and twitches like a firecracker. At the moment, the uncomfortable movements of my nipple have become chronic with little intermission in-between. This discomfort has become a part of my life, another bewildering ailment that I must learn to live with.
My nipple began to move after I was in a very upsetting argument with my father. He was in a hospital bed recovering from a surgery and we managed to fight with one another about what, I cannot remember. Consumed with guilt for upsetting my father during his darkest of hours- I left the hospital in a terrible state of mind. The stress was causing my chest to constrict and I remember having difficulty breathing. It was when I turned on my car engine that I noticed my left nipple beginning to twitch. I placed my right palm upon it, as if I was trying to comfort my broken heart. I drove off into the night trying not to think about my moving nipple. Little did I know then that this was the beginning of what would become a full-blown dis- ease.
As the days passed my nipple picked up speed. The twitches would come in unpredictable spurts and I was often forced to have to sit down and try and relax when the episodes would begin. The twitches turned into strange gesticulations that would wake me up at night and force me to place an ice pack on my chest. The moments that my nipple would not be moving became like tropical vacations for my weary mind, which was being over worked by the torment of my moving nipple. The sensations were like aggravating tickles combined with what felt like pinpricks that seemed to leave me feeling like I was a man being slowly crucified from the inside out.
As the weeks passed my moving nipple became more chronic. It rested little and began to control my every waking hour. I had read some where in Greek mythology of a character that had suffered from a very similar ailment as I was. His moving nipple became so violent that it slowly began to make its way onto his forehead and announce all of his private thoughts to whomever was around. Not only did this character suffer the humiliation of having a talking nipple on the center of his forehead but also he was unable to think without the nipple revealing his every thought! Of course it is not difficult to understand why this character took his life by forcing his lover to cut off his head. Once he was decapitated the nipple did not stop talking for over an hour- it told his lover of all his previous affairs!! Ever since I have read this tale I have been terribly worried that my chronic gesticulating nipple is going to break free from its root and make its way onto my forehead!! If the world were able to hear my every thought I would certainly loose everything that I love!!!
Last week I visited a Doctor who knew not what to make of my condition. He told me that he had never seen anything like this before. He recalled reading in a medical journal many month back about someone who had suffered from a similar ailment for most of his life- but he could not remember which medical journal it was in. The Doctor wanted to put me on some medication to see if he could relax the tissue but the side effects for the medication seemed to great to take the risk. My Doctors conclusion was that I was suffering from a stress-induced ailment that was causing calcium build up around the nerves of my nipple tissue-, which is putting pressure upon my nipple. The ensuing twitching and gesticulation is the result of this pressure. If it did not go away in a month he recommends surgery.
In the mean time I still have to live in this world. I have to make a living so that I can continue to have a roof over my head. As much as I want to hide away in my closet and write poetic lamentations all day- I cannot. I have a mouth to feed.
It is not difficult for you to see my ailment, or what I have come to call my crucifixion. There is what appears to be a constant vibration and rotation under my left shirt pocket. When people notice this they immediately ask me if I am okay. I tell them that I am fine, that what they are witnessing is an annoying muscle spasm. My high school students make fun of me and refer to me as a freak. They all want to touch my nipple and when I let them there are loud uproars of “EEEEEEWWWW,” or “That’s so disgusting!!!!” Whenever I go out into public people stare at my nipple as if they had never seen anything like this before. I feel like an aberration, like all eyes are condemning me to constant judgment. Now I know what it must feel like to be a big-breasted woman.
The only thing that I can do is learn to live with my ailment. Every night before bed I put a chamomile cream upon my nipple, which seems to relax it a bit. I also wrap my chest in a towel before bed, which seems to reduce the annoying vibrations of my moving nipple, allowing me to get some sleep. There is nothing that I can really do (besides having my nipple surgically removed) other than accept my current situation. I see this condition as an opportunity for me to deal with the various causes in my life rather than the effects. If I can learn to change the stressors that have caused my moving nipple than maybe over time my nipple will stop moving. I believe it was Pascal, Socrates or Emerson or maybe Nietzsche- who said that an unexamined life is a life not worth living, so I am examining my self- trying to understand the various ways that I have caused my own dis-ease. Maybe, through this process of self-examination, I will eventually become the only man who can set myself free.
I just received notification for an award that I received today. The award is for ” Blog With Least Amount Of Weekly Readers” and I must say that I am surprised. I have always thought that having ten to twelve readers or “hits” a day was fairly decent. I was proud of my weekly rating of around seventy hits. But when I received this award for “Blog With The Least Amount Of Weekly Readers,” I did some research. I found that successful blogs receive over 10,000 hits a day and mediocre ones receive at least 500. 500!!!!! Since I have started this blog I have gained many awards for things like “Most Ridiculous Content,” “Most Depraved Blogger,” “Blogger In Need Of Most Psychological Assistance,” “Least Commented Upon Blog,” and so forth- but this most recent award has really opened my eyes! I mean I have been writing, laboring and living in the dark thinking that ten or so hits a day was decent!
All I had to do to receive the reward for “Blog With Least Amount Of Readers” was push a button and what I won was three private phone consultation with a blogging service that could help me acquire more readers. It is a pity prize, a reward that is intended to patronize the awardee. So I will not follow through with receiving the free consultations but I will ask one final time to Please….stop giving me these humiliating rewards!! I write not to be awarded but rather to release my numerous thoughts and emotions into the digital void hoping that some semblance of a life form will answer with various solutions for my existence here on earth. Some days, I stay away from this blog because I am afraid of what I might say and instead decide to keep it all in. Now that I know that 10 or so hits a day is nothing to be proud of I may change my strategy…but like I wrote in the awardee comment box when I accepted this last award “It is not about quantity…but rather quality. If I can affect only one reader with the things I write than I would rather have one reader than 10,000.” But Please….to whomever this may concern- NO MORE AWARDS, please! These awards are causing me to question why I spend my time blogging and taking a toll upon what little self confidence I have left (please read my last post entitled “The Trappings Of My Mind” for more information upon my psychological state at the moment).
“Do you like to sing in the shower?” one of my students asked me in the middle of class. It was an innocent question and little did I know that my reply might cost me my job. The class was being observed by three education bureaucrats, who sat in the corner of the classroom with laptops on their legs, into which they took notes about my class and my teaching abilities. The school I work at is trying to receive more funding from the state so the bureaucrats came to evaluate the school and see if it was worthy of extra funding.
“Of course I do,” I said. “What song?” she asked. “Beat It,” I innocently replied with out thinking first how my response would be interpreted. It was an honest reply after all- I have been singing “Beat It” in the shower for most of my adult life. I did not realize that I may have made a fatal mistake until I noticed the hanging jaws and the looks of dismay on all three of the state bureaucrat’s faces. They looked like three people who had just seen a ghost.
“The song by Micheal Jackson, you know beat it, beat it…no one wants to be defeated,” I sang as the class laughed and made all kinds of comments like “I’ll bet you beat it it in the shower” and “do you have a thriller after you beat it?” Trying to silence the class while digging myself out of the hole that I had unintentionally dug for myself I continued to explain that it gave me great pleasure to sing Micheal Jackson songs in the shower. ”They are just songs!!!” I said trying to imply that the thought of masturbation in the shower never occurred to me. One of my students, of course had to shout out- “I’ll bet it brings you great pleasure…… Teacher.”
For the rest of the class period I was terribly uncomfortable. The three bureaucrats in the corner did not look at me once and seemed to be no longer writing things in their laptop computers. I tried every which I knew how to prove that I was an exemplary Teacher- rather than some perverted pedophile- but I am afraid that the hole was to deep to dig my way out of. Students continued to heckle me about beating it in the shower while I lectured about the bad luck that seemed to bring about Romeo and Juliet’s death. Little did I know that I was also talking about the bad luck which might just cost me my job.
After school I was called into the Principle’s office where he sat me down with an abrupt and angry gesture of his hand. Immediately he looked into my eyes and said, “the state administrators told me about the sexually suggestive remark you made in class today and the ensuing inappropriate remarks that your comments provoked in the students. The administrators are very concerned about the level of Teachers that I hire at this school because of your suggestive comment. Now we may not receive the money that we need from the state unless you are willing to be subjected to investigation by the state to guarantee that you are suitable to be teaching our children.” I tried to explain to him that Micheal Jackson was one of my favorite performers and that I really did sing Micheal Jackson songs in the shower. I tried to tell him that my reply had nothing to do with masturbation- which was the farthest thing from my mind. He replied, “as a Teacher I expect you to be able to draw the boundaries between appropriate things to say and inappropriate things to say. You are a role model for the students and I trust that you have the skill to think before you speak.” I wanted to say that we should be able to be open and honest about everything rather than walking around on egg shells and deciding what is appropriate or inappropriate for others- instead I put my head down and apologized for my lack of tact.
While walking to my car I could hear students singing “beat it, just beat it,” while they made suggestive sexual motions with their bodies. One of my students yelled at me, “hey Teacher don’t beat it in the shower too much- you might grow hair on your palms.” And then there was a loud sound of group laughter. I got into my car and wanted to get away from the school as soon as possible. In my head were the final words of the principle who said, “Myself and the board of directors are going to re-evaluate whether or not you are going to be kept on as a Teacher or given a suspension until the investigation. I know that you are a good man but I question your ability to be a role model.” As I left the school property and turned onto the main road heading in the direction of my house- I started to cry. “Why was I always the one???” I repeated over and over as if I was seeking an answer from the universe. Then to calm my nerves I turned on the radio, which ironically enough was playing a cover version of Micheal Jackson’s “Beat It.” It was being performed by a high school choir from Nebraska.
What little money I once had seems to have dissolved with a speed that not even entropy could compete with. Now you may all be thinking that entropy is a slow and gradual process, but I would argue that this is true until you have reached the end. Then entropy feels is if it had taken no time at all to move towards an end (it is like how older people say “my life has passed so quick!”). I once had money, plenty of money- but now my bank account is a few dollars away from a negative balance and there is little relief in site. It all happened so quick.
I have never been a terribly ambitious man. I have lived my life with a certain contentment that has always worried my father and made me into a man with little accomplishments- if any. I have taken each day as a thing unto or into itself and worried little for another day which everyone has always told me will follow. I have kept to myself and cultivated my own rose garden but now in my 36th year of life it seems as if this rose garden is in jeopardy of complete destruction. I have not the money to afford the soil that I need to harvest my beautiful roses. Instead I have been using compost- and it is no longer seeming to do the trick.
Money has always been an issue in my life. My parents have always had lots of it and I have seemed to struggle with cents in comparison. I have been waiting for fame to strike like a desperate man who is watching a clock move at a speed, which seems to suggest that the clocks batteries are about to die. My financial woes have been comforted by a perpetual thought of impending fame, which so far has only been a gross delusion of my misguided mind. “Tomorrow,” my mind says- “you will write a novel or be discovered to play a role in a film that will abolish all of your financial burdens, so don’t worry about today- just drink a beer and relax.” It is as if my mind has made me believe that one morning I will wake up and wealth will be waiting for me upon my door step. All I have to do is sit back, relax and wait for it to appear.
Meanwhile my wife is in a state of perpetual frustration with me, my car is not working because of $1,500 dollars worth of work that needs to be done, the price of gas has gone up to $4.00 a gallon, the utilities bill is collecting spiderwebs, my rent check bounced, the minimum balance due on my credit card is $517.00 because of 17 late fees, the price of food is causing me to have to eat cheap processed food which is in turn affecting my health, my cat is eating a cheaper form of cat food which gives him bladder infections, I am depressed and underpaid at a job which I will not be able to keep because it is taking up to much of the time I need to be working at another job making a better income. I am finding it difficult to ask others for help (although I am going to write a letter to the President asking him if he can give me a job writing something for him) and I try to not think about my ailments by spending my time staring at a wall, drinking beer, watching pornography and reading books half way through and then putting them back upon the shelf.
I will write for food (preferably organic) or money. There is nothing that I will not write about nor do I care if my name is used. I will write and then you can use your name and I will not say a word to anyone about it. I have been practicing the craft of writing for years always knowing in the back of my mind that it is a trade that I could use if everything in my life went bad. Of course, at the time I thought that this would never happen because I was young, idealistic, stoned and certain of my greatness. Now I am older, pessimistic and swimming through my own personal recession, which seems to be slowly breaking down the structure of my life. These are desperate times, especially for a man such as myself who has little ambition to do anything and only wants to be able to say at the end of the day (with a copy of Mark Twain or Thoreau’s Walden in my hand) that I did the best I can to live my life as a free man. I am living in America in a time where truth seems to have been turned on its head and all citizens of this country are living inside an irony so great that it is swallowing everyone alive. So please remember- I will write for food or money. I can not spell very well but my hope is that you have enough money to not only afford me but also an editor.
I’m a mess. This morning I awake with my left foot swollen to three times its size and my wife crying in the bathroom. Our electricity is going to be shut off in three days because of unpaid bills and our cat is suffering from fierce scrape wounds to the nose and head. Last night at dinner my wife and I spent two hundred dollars because we drank and ate so much so that we could forget about all the difficulties present in our life. It was fun but now we are both hung over and broke. My house is cold and my job is starting to give me chest pains. If only I could jump into a hole and bury my head. I am a mess,
…..my father sent me an article today about debt. I have more debt than a mountain has weeds. Sending me an article on debt is like sending a cat and article on language. A cat has no words to speak and I have no cash to pay off my debts. I wrote him back a letter telling him that if he wants to help me with my debt, send cash, otherwise let me be. My car has two big dents in it and every time you push on the brakes there is a sound of metal. My wife is frustrated with me for the large amounts of stress my way of life brings to her. If I was only able to find a way to have balance and be happy, she keeps telling me. The roof of our home allows rain water to fall on the floor and currently some workers are banging away beneath my desk trying to fix an broken floor beam. I feel as if inside of me there is a boiling pressure cooker than at any moment could pop. I am a mess,
…I have rent due and not nearly enough money to pay it. My refrigerator is filled with aging food and my liver is aching from all the booze I have been consuming. Panic attacks have been a daily occurrence and usually before bed at night I think about death. I am filled with unmanifested dreams and am always feeling like nothing is good enough. My wife cries in the bathroom all through out the day and the only solid pleasure I seem to be able to find is masturbating to porn on the internet. My chest is always tight, my mother is always concerned about my well being and I am three years away from being 40. I am a mess,
…I nap a lot ion the afternoons and have a hard time climbing out from bed. I do not remember my dreams and I often eat burnt toast for breakfast with a boiled egg. I am addicted to email and have been writing people that I do not even know for help. Yesterday, while driving across the bay bridge I had a terrible panic attack which made me feel like death was sitting upon my shoulder. I tried to jump out from the moving vehicle, but once again my wife saved my life. I have experienced very little success already I have been afflicted with two chronic diseases, one which could be fatal. My wife and I seem to fight constantly and I can not stop looking at other women because it is another form of fleeting pleasure for me. I spend all my money on books (that I never read) and food and often dream about prostitutes and flying through the sky. The mattress I sleep upon is old and almost undone and my bedroom collects dust like a garbage can collects trash. I am a mess,
….my sister is an alcoholic who thinks that Arabs are going to take over the country. All around me are signs of affluence but I struggle for every dollar I earn. I am underpaid and overworked and like all lower income people I am taken advantage of time and time again. I am tired of it all and seek out a solution. I think about suicide, killing sprees and self mutilation but none of these answers would I be capable of performing. All day I have been looking for another job, but there is nothing I am interested in doing. My back hurts from writing out my soul so much and I am suffering from chronic diarrhea and palpitations because of my nereves. All I want to do is eat and drink to forget about the pain. I go from meal to meal as if I trying to erase the desperation that I feel in between. There are wars being waged, poverty all around, starvation and injustice walking through the air and I am a mess. Such a big mess that I have no clue as to how to clean it up,
….I have thought about buying guns, mops, towels, and blankets all to clean up the mess that I am. I have thought out self help solutions and consulted with great gurus. I have prayed, meditated and walked on pilgrimages for miles a day. I am out of shape, winded when I walk up stairs, afraid to ride my bike because of various cardiac issues and wondering around my home like a zombie who has been beaten by the struggles of the world. If this was not enough I see ghosts, spirits and can look deep into peoples souls. I know what you are thinking before you think it and I am aware of the truth. I can see through time and I know what the future will bring and so I try to preoccupy myself with various forms of pleasure and sleep so I do not have to think about it. In one more day I will be done, done with this way of living. I will change and do what I have to so that I am not all messed up. I will use a broom or mop and clean myself up so that you will see all that I can be. I will get a haircut and seek out the help of psychologists and chiropractors. I will brush my teeth put on my best face and find a decent job. I will stop complaining about my situation and accept all of this as the way life is. I will stop envying the sucess of Brad Pitt or Johny Depp and try to enjoy my job as a Teacher, my bank account with a small balance and my freezing cold home. I will think positively and learn to identify my good feelings from my bad ones,
….in one more day I will become a man of miracles…. but today just let me be a mess.
People are always telling me what to do. Do not do this, do not do that or it would be better if you did this or why not like that? It is getting tiring and I get it from all sides: wife, parents, sister, boss, government, police and in-laws. It seems as if I may be incapable of making decisions on my own without first being told what to do. In fact, I am so habituated to being told what to do that I believe that I have become fearful of thinking for myself, because I am afraid I may fuck up. After a lifetime of being told how and what to do I have reached a point in my adult life where I have no idea what to do anymore. Instead of doing something I have resigned myself to a life filled with doing very little- in the hopes that I can avoid having people tell me what to do. I have become what my mother feared would happen to me- a passive participant in the days of my life.
My father is infamous for his need to control. It is impossible for a person to go to the bathroom without my father telling them how this should be done. My father’s intentions are good but his words have hurt more people than a burning building. Growing up under his tyranny has caused what is a fatal blockage in my own decision making process. All of my life, and still to this very day- I am a grown man who is a little more than a reaction to being told what to do. If you ask me what we should have for dinner, I will reply- “I don’t know. You decide.”
Most lessons in life seem to be hard to learn. We have to err, to mess up, to fail in order to slowly understand how to get it right for ourselves. This is what I call the process of education (far more important than anything we learn in school). When we are always being told what to do (because someone wants to control our behavior) the process of education is stunted- blocked. What you get instead is an individual afraid to think for him/herself, to mess up on her/his own- to find his/her own way. This is what I call conformity, and these sorts of individuals become loyal corporate executives, lawyers, doctors, politicians, employees- you and I.
As a result of a lifetime of being told what to do I have become a stubborn non-conformist. I have fulfilled no ones expectations of me and am afraid of the idea of doing so. I have worked in offices, restaurants, mortuaries, shoe stores, record stores, schools- trying to hide from the shackles of a career and going through jobs quicker than the time it takes most people to eat lunch. I do not pay parking tickets, I do not respond to creditors, I do not listen to the police, I do not pay my taxes (especially when the money is being used to fight a war) nor do I do anything else that I am told to do. Instead I do nothing. I eat, sleep, write, paint, go to work at a job that I am soon to quit (because they will not stop telling me what to do). Even though my wife, father, sister, mother and society all still try to tell me what to do- I have learned how to shake my head, smile, say “okay” and then proceed to do nothing at all.
I have decided to sleep away the rest of the day. All morning I was searching for the way, the path, the Tao. I was told to look for it in sound, smell and touch. In all these things I came up empty.I grew frustrated. I wondered around thinking about non-being and effortlessness, but found myself having to make great effort to become nothing. All I wanted was to be done with time, to relinquish the jaws of time from the hold it has upon me. I wanted to surrender myself into the greater unifying principle of space and nothingness but I had chest pain and was worried about my bank account. If I could only be fully present in the moment, which at times I am, than maybe I would see the way, the path, the Tao more clearly. Maybe I would unlearn everything that I know and become the absence that Taoists refer to as enlightenment. Over and over I repeat passages:
Do not talk about right and wrong.
Everyone should sweep the snow from his own door
And not be concerned about the frost on another’s roof.
Over and over I tell myself, “refine the self,” but then I find myself looking up the skirts of stray women and suffering the terrible fear of death. My mind drifts as vagrantly as a piece of tissue blown by the wind. I want to uncover or unravel deeper mysteries but I also can not stop thinking about my next meal or the desire to be rich and naked and stuck in blow job orgies sipping wine. The Tao does not come easily into my mind. “Be done with mind,” certain Taoists tell me but my mind keeps me in a state of anxiety and longing and without this discomfort how would I know I was me? So I am an impatient Taoist and all my wanting and waiting has made me tired to the point that I have decided to spend the rest of the day asleep in bed. We will talk more about this later.
My mind is always creating assumptions, but are they true? I am perpetually surrounded and perturbed by a sea of electromagnetic radiation and I feel the effects of it upon my body, mind and spirit. These micro-waves are difficult to avoid when one is surrounded by creations and emanations of a modern technological society. I do what I can to reduce the exposure to radiation, but my attempts are mostly futile. Day by day the physical symptoms that I experience mutate into a more advanced form and the more I talk about my physical symptoms being the result of electromagnetic radiation, the more I wonder- is this assumption true?
If I discuss this subject with ordinary people they have a tendency to think I am either loosing my mind or suffering from a form of hypochondria. These judgments and accusations have caused me to questions my own inner truth. Often times I am told to “sit with my discomfort and be willing to be uncomfortable.” “All my life I have tried to avoid discomfort,” my mother said when I complained to her about my illness, “now you have an opportunity to be fully present and comfortable with your discomfort.” It is hard for me to understand how I can be present and comfortable with the zapping sensations that cause me palpitations, tremors, dizziness and nausea. When I am infected by these sensations I become fearful and worried. “Now you can learn to work with your fear,” my mother always responds. She has been taking a mindfulness meditation course once a week and I fear that her spiritual concepts and Buddhist rhetoric may be removing her from the reality in which I am stuck. I have decided to stop consulting with my mother for the time being.
I have also decided that I am suffering from a modern day ailment called EMRSD (Electromagnetic Radiation Sensitivity Disorder). This diagnoses is yet to exist in any medical reference books but I guarantee you that it will some day soon. People like myself are Pioneers, we are on the cutting edge of a whole new era in disease and syndromes. Symptoms and various forms of discomfort and disease that are a result of the growing use of wireless technology- are in the not to distant future going to be one of the main causes for seeking medical attention. We are currently lab rats, subjects in the laboratory which is our world. Subjects (or victims), like myself (and many others who have contacted me) are some of the first pioneers to experience the disturbing side effect of electromagnetic radiation (side effects include- zapping sensations in the brain, dizziness, nausea, palpitation and tachycardia upon falling asleep which causes one to be shocked awake, difficulty getting to sleep, vivid nightmares, hair loss and prolonged erections in men- just to name a few).
This morning while I was sitting in meditation I experienced the unpleasant zapping sensation and rapid heart beat. I cleared my studio of any devices that may be emitting electromagnetic radiation. I removed my cellular phone, laptop, digital clock, radio and cat. I sat in the lotus position and slowly fell off into a feeling of deep relaxation. Right as I reached a point of calm (a state which Buddhists call Samsara) I was zapped (shocked) back into my body with the feeling of a rapid heartbeat causing my mind to grow anxious. After I calmed myself down I tried again to continue my mediation but was again zapped back into reality. In an impulsive act of frustration I threw my meditation cushion out the window and screamed out “what the hell is going on!!!” This unpleasant zapping sensation while in meditation, has been happening to me through out the week. It is a newer symptom of the illness that I am convinced I am suffering from- EMRSD.
Sleeping with my windows open has brought me some relief at night but last evening the unexpected happened. I was awoken by what sounded like a sniffling beast smelling my feet. I was too afraid to open my eyes and lay there like a corpse trying to figure out what the cold and wet sensation was that repeatedly kept touching my bare feet. I new it was not my cat or wife, both of whom were asleep beside me. When I garnered up enough courage to open my eyes and see what it was, my reaction was a surprise to not only myself. I let out a terrible scream and jumped five feet into the air, causing my cat to fly off the bed in a panic and my wife to sit up screaming, “what!! what is it”. My body went into fight or flight mode and I ran for my life into the bathroom where I locked the door. My wife came running after me in a state of shock and concern pounding on the bathroom door telling me that “it is gone!!! it is gone!!! it ran out the window!!!” A raccoon had come in through the window I had left open and decided to scare the shit out of me, my wife and cat. Electromagnetic Radiation Sensitivity Disorder is making me feel “edgy” in more ways than one.
This incident does not diminish the fact that there has been some improvement in my condition. Sleeping with an open window has been helpful. My perpetual erection has gone down and I am currently not suffering from vivid dreams or rapid heartbeats before drifting off to sleep (knock on wood). Electromagnetic Radiation Sensitivity Disorder is a real ailment- one that I am sure thousands of people suffer from. I want to believe that my assumptions about my symptoms and their cause are true, but currently I am living in a world where profit and technological advancement seem to be more important than the health and well being of individuals. If we (consumers) found out that the technology we are dependent upon is slowly killing us or causing us various forms of dis-ease, then these large corporations would go broke or have to find healthier ways of creating products. Unfortunately, it will take decades before this is the case. By then it may be to late for many who suffer from EMRSD and diseases caused by the technology we all use. So it makes sense that information is being pushed under the carpet, supressed and then manipulated so that people such as myself who experience the negative effects of modern technology are caused to question their own assumptions and feel like sickly freaks. It is the nature of the business, a sign of the times.
I am not of this world, nor do I belong in it. I am a stranger in paradise, an outcast marginalized by the rules and norms that I seem to have trouble accepting. The standardized modes of operation make me feel standardized so I always find myself running away. Humans do things in particular ways. I suppose the desired result is order and control. Through my many meetings with Heidegger, Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel and Schopenhauer I know that order and control are mere fictions of the mind which deny the individual the full experience of life. So I run. I detest. I quit. I lament and for thirty six years of my human life on earth I have stood alone in doubt of all systems which seem to deny me my soul. I am not of this world, nor do I belong in it.
For the past few weeks I have been teaching at an inner city high school. They recently asked me if I would not mind sending them my profile (degrees, experience, interests) and then they would link this to a personal web page for Teachers that they are in the process of creating. I told them that I was uncomfortable with this idea. I told them that I was not interested in the arrogant art of listing my credential after my name (which seems to me to be a modern phenomena. Example Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. or Betsy Small, M.A). I prefer to remain one with the people, incognito, not displaying my credentials or experience upon my sleeve. Now my job is in jeopardy, I have offended several Educators who take pride in their graduate degrees and I have separated myself further from the crowd. All the things that one most do to fit into this modern world make me feel as if their is not some sort of ploy at hand to kill our dreams and marginalize each human into a submission in which we can never climb out from. So I run. I lament. I quit and I am always saying in the back of my mind “beam me up.”
If there was life on other planets do you think they would be sensitive to my situation? I consider myself to be a rather unique humanoid who would be a prime subject for some kind of abduction (they could study my brain and all the multifarious form of rebellious and unsatisfied neural transmission that cause anxiety, fear and aberrant thoughts). I am not offering myself up to this sort of experimentation- but sometimes I wonder if it would not be a better option than the fate of a human living on earth. Maybe alien abduction would offer me away out from the rules and norms that keep me stapled to way of life that feels tormented by Sartre’s concept of “No Exit.” So I run. I lament. I quit. And I write. I am not of this world nor do I belong in it.
A month ago I was working a few days a week in a very busy restaurant. My duty was that of a Waiter and I did my best to please the upper class families who dined in the establishment. One of the duties that all Waiters had to perform was making milkshakes (chocolate and vanilla) for the numerous children of the rich (and occasionally a few adults). When the restaurant was busy, which it frequently was, making milkshakes was a task equivalent to a trip the dentists office. It was painful and extremely messy. Here I was- stuck in a job where I was running around like a chicken with his head cut off making milkshakes while I had screaming customers waiting for water or food and the kitchen yelling out my name because the food which was waiting for me to take was getting cold. It was a no win situation which gave me chest pains and palpitations. But I did not care about this. The only thought that seemed to pass through my aggravated mind other than this sucks, was I can not believe that I am 36 years old making milkshakes. After two weeks on the job I quit and told the owner that I found the milkshake making duty an insult to my pride and well being. He just looked at me with a frown that seemed to say “you ain’t gonna have an easy time in this life.” Beam me up!!!
Sometimes I wonder if my dedication to being a writer and painter is not self sabotaging me into a life of poverty and making milkshakes. Of-course, I am aware that contentment and happiness all come from within. Of-course I know that if one is content with their life within, then making milkshakes or representing myself as a high school Teacher with a Master’s degree should not matter. Whatever I do should be a reflection of my inner-well being, despite the job. This seems to be the equation that is accepted by most spiritual practitioners- and I do not disagree. But I have a sensitive soul that feels easily compromised if put in certain situations. My soul shouts out at me that I am not representing it well enough and my body reacts to this revolt. I live in a particular era that seems to be based on the concept of compromising one’s soul in order to have inner and outer peace. Maybe what this life is all about is compromise….and this seems to be a lesson I am having difficulty learning. So I keep running, writing, lamenting and dreaming of a day that I will be either abducted by aliens or I will write the great American novel and move to Spain.
This blog has been nominated for and given numerous awards. Every other day seems to bring a new nomination or award. I am the only Blogger that has been nominated for so many awards but yet maintains the least amount of interested readers and an all-time low number of comments. Some of the nominations have been for terrible writing style or offensive content but most of the awards I have received have been for worst blog. I am constantly asked by other Bloggers why I write the things I write, what purpose does it serve? I am inept of answers other than the simple response “because it is fun.” But all this fun is bringing me down as the awards keep pouring in. Just this morning I found out that I was nominated for two more awards, all of which have done nothing for my self-esteem. Please, no more awards.
Who would of ever thought that expressing the deep penetralias of my imagination would provoke an onrush of so many awards. I began this blog in the same way that someone would begin therapy. I recognized that I was in need of help and thought that I could either attempt to put my life down in words spoken through the vernacular of stories, or I could continue to suffer in my own private cerebral membrane. I new that I needed to come out of my shell and had remembered the therapeutic effects of writing that a short story teacher I once took a class from- often talked about (even though he had fallen into the rut of alcoholism and animal fetish). I took to blogging like a infant takes to a mothers breast. Stories of perversion and psychosomatic breakdown came poring out of me like lava from the mouth of a crater. Now I am hardly able to control the flow. Bloging has become for me like any other excretory process- I have to do it and if not my health will fail.
So here I am again clearing my body and brain of various thoughts and condemnations I have been feeling this morning. Receiving all the awards that I have has been surprising since I set out not for accolades. The other day I received an award for Least Commented Upon Blog. I never knew that such awards existed but once I received the award for Most Degenerate Content (the award was given because the judges felt that my blog lacked any moral integrity), I realized that any kind of award is possible. There are people in the blogging world with nothing to do but give out ridiculous awards to Bloggers like my self who have nothing to gain from these awards but a lowered sense of confidence to continue writing (and a feeling of isolation because I can not share these awards with my mother, father, sister or wife because it is to embarrassing). To all such award creators who seem to lack a life of meaning- please, NO MORE AWARDS!!
My last entry, The Great Leg Trap, just received two awards, this morning!! I awoke and found in my email the awards which come in the form of a brief letter explaining why I have been chosen and a widget that is offered to me so I can post my victory upon my blog. I have no desire to show off my accolades (like a general does upon his sleeve or a business man does with the quality of his tie). I rather write humbly without any disturbing widgets mentioning that I have won awards for things like “Offensive and Godless Content,” “False Tagger,” “Blogger Most In Need Of Psychological Treatment,” “Defiantly, Worst Blog,” and this morning “Most Ridiculous Entry,” and “Most Failed Attempt To Be Funny Entry.” There is no economic compensation for these awards other than the recognition that comes from humiliation.
So please, I would like to ask all of you who create these absurd award contests for Bloggers like myself to be victimized by…NO MORE AWARDS. It is really starting to affect my self esteem and I am questioning the things I write more and more. I am wondering if there is any point to continue on writing since the majority of my efforts are derided by your ridiculous awards. I have noticed that each time I receive an award I become more depressed and unwilling to write. The corner stone of good writing is in the authors ability to be absolutely honest in whatever he or she writes, and my ability to do so is being compromised by an insecurity that is beginning to form. Each entry that I write I have trepidation about publishing because I am afraid to see what kind of award it will receive. I have even started to delete certain blog entries because I feel they are certain to receive an award that will only increase my despair. Life is hard enough. This blog is only an exercise in cultivating mental health for myself, nothing else!! I do not want your recognition and I certainly do not need these ridiculous widgets!!. So please, I beg you from the bottom of my heart….NO MORE AWARDS!!!!
All my concern over sex, hookers, guilt, shame, money, health, spirituality, the environment and my car has taken its toll on my mental health. I was once a motivated young man with grand aspirations of fame and fortune. Now I sit at home, day after day with an empty bank account and an obsession for transgressive bliss. I stare at pictures of naked lusty women on my computer as if they could offer me a chance at salvation, but I know full well that I am escaping from the reality of “the job.”
I am not a big fan of “the job.” The only work that I really like to do is paint, write, read, meditate, sleep and look at the Craig’s List Erotic adds. Working to me is a labor which strips me of the time that I could spend doing the things I love and puts me into contact with people that I would normally never want to talk with. Work as a violation of the life I am trying to live. But rent is due in a few days, I have skipped many meals due to lack of funds and my wife is getting fed up with my habitual claim “that I have no money.” “Well you need to get a job,” she always replies. “I really do not want to get a job,” I retort. “What, are you just going to stay at home all day writing your ridiculous blog and expect that checks are going to show up in the mail?” she replies straightening her back bone like she is preparing for battle. I am wounded by her assault on my blog which I spend many hours preparing for distant readers I will never know. “The blog is valuable work, don’t pick on the blog. Pick on me and the fact that I do not want to Teach High school anymore, nor do I want to wait tables. There is nothing else that I am qualified to do and I have no ambition to do much at all,” I sob at her. “Well, this full catastrophe living has got to end. We have rent due in a few days and we need money for the bills. I can’t afford it all and we are going to be out in the streets if you do not get a job!!”
I could not disagree. I needed to find work. I had been applying to various jobs every day online but no one was biting the lines that I sent out. Each day I look at my email hoping that there will be a response but there never is. Just empty space. Sometimes I spend hours writing back to employers who have not taken a moment to respond to me. I write that it is bad karma not to respond to an email but that I understood because it was probably only a reflection of the way in which they treated themselves- with no respect. Sometimes I will get a screw you back or a what would you know about karma, you are out of a job? But every day I put one foot in front of the other and try to maintain faith that every thing will turn out well. It is important to be centered when you are engaged in full catastrophe living.
“You need to get up, take your resume and go around to various restaurants and hand it out. You can not spend the majority of your day writing away on your blog. I will not allow it.” This is how I awoke this morning, my wife standing over me with a stack of unpaid bills in her hand. I felt a stabbing pain in my chest as I made my way out of bed and asked her to heat me up some water for tea. In my office there was a stack of freshly printed up resumes on my desk, with a note “I have complete faith in your ability to find a job.” I thought that after I published my first book of short stories, that the writing life had belonged to me. No longer would there be worries about work and economy. I would be able to write for a living and not have to clear another table or teach a freshman how to read. I was free and I was also wrong. The moment I thought the writing life had begun was the moment that full catastrophe living kicked into first gear.
I dressed in a nice black suit, put gel into my hair and headed out into the rain with a stack of resumes wrapped in plastic under my arm. I went around to three or four restaurants all of which took my resume with a quick glance and sometimes a few questions. One lady asked me what I like about working in a restaurant and all I could do was smile and wish her a good day, as I made my way out the exit. I handed resumes off to a woman at a real estate office, a manager at a record store, the post office and a doctor’s office. Any place where money could be made. When I returned home that day my wife had opened my unemployment check which had come in the mail and said to me, “you are lucky again.” There was enough to cover the rent and bills and a few hundred bucks left over to feed my personal fancies. The rain was coming down, it was dark outside and I retired to my office to start writing this post. As I turned on the computer my wife came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “what do you want for dinner, it’s my treat.” I looked up at her and said “whatever you would like.” I had not eaten all day and any food sounded nurturing. I gave her a kiss and as I looked at her I said, “see, full catastrophe living isn’t so bad after all.” She made no reply.