I’m Searching For A Cure.

I have a new perspective I would like to share. It may change the world- and your life. It is a rather simple perspective and will take only a brief time to apply to your life. We can all learn how to build upon this perspective to create a better life for ourselves and our family (if we still have one). My perspective is rather unique. It is based upon years of struggle and unfulfilled potential. It has been cultivated like a fine wine through the several circular evolutions that have gotten me to where I am today. It is a perspective that is based upon not just love but also hate, not just right but also wrong, not just you but also me. It is a perspective that comes from my heart and I would like to share it with you.

What exactly this perspective is I am uncertain at the moment. I am patiently awaiting its arrival and the moment I receive it I shall let you know. It would be nice if this perspective was something that you could use to transform your own existence into that which you most desire. If you could use this perspective to free yourselves from poverty, pain, debt, illness and addiction than my expectations will be fulfilled. I know that this perspective can somehow change the world and save it from collapsing in upon itself- but I just need to find it. Time is of the essence. As a species we are struggling to survive and I feel the great burden of being able to come up with a solution sooner than later.

I spent the afternoon in the library searching stacks of books for this perspective. I found tidbits of wisdom such as “learn to identify a good feeling from a bad feeling,” or “we create our reality by feeling not thought.” I tried to incorporate these ideas into my own experience but all that happened was I became hungry and wanted a beer. I searched on the internet for various perspectives that could somehow provide the solution- but nothing appeared upon my screen that seemed to be adequate, other than Oprah’s recent interviews with Eckhart Tolle and a few things by Deepok Chopra. Today I will search no more because if a perspective is to take form in my mind- I feel like it will happen without the involvement of my own will.

It is terribly important to me that I offer you a perspective that will change your mind, give you hope, reunite you with your soul and start you off upon a path that will fill your life with meaning and purpose (this is ultimately the revolution that I would like to wage). I want for this perspective to do the same for me as well, but I am willing to sacrifice myself for other peoples enlightenment. As soon as this perspective come to me I will write a blog entry entitled, Perspective Found, but for the time being, while I wait I am going to go sit in the sun.

The Outdoor Furniture Salseman.

I want to take a job selling outdoor furniture but my wife is unwilling to compromise. “You are a Teacher, and there is no way I am going to let you sell yourself short by becoming an Outdoor Furniture Salesman,” she told me with determination in her eyes. “Why would you want to do this to yourself,” she asked? ” The only response that I could muzzle together was “I have always wanted to sell outdoor furniture.”

Some of my fondest memories of youth include outdoor furniture. Sundays would be spent sitting out back with my entire family. We would drink lemonade, eat burgers from the grill and swim in the over chlorinated pool until the sun set. When you sat on the furniture dripping wet a certain aroma was given off by the furniture which I can still sometimes smell. When I am around outdoor furniture I feel young again, without any health concerns and without a care in the world. I become relaxed and nostalgic- recalling the days when I was a happy young man.

Now that I am older and all of my childhood is practically buried six feet under- I am desperate to again feel the pleasures of my youth. When I went into Osh Outdoor Furniture Suppliers for the first time I was only looking for an outdoor chair to stick upon my deck. As I browsed around the tables, pool chairs, umbrellas and pillows I immediately felt intoxicated by the smells and memories that were given off. I remembered a past I had all but forgotten. The Sundays spent out back with my family, the evening barbeque’s, my first sexual experience on the pool chair, catching my father and mother kissing beneath the umbrella besides the fire pit- all these memories and more came at me like a fierce wind. I felt a joy in my heart that had not been there when I walked into the outdoor furniture store. Without even purchasing the chair, I went up to the check out stand and asked the older gentleman behind the register if I could have an application for a job. I filled it out in the shop and was called in for an interview the following day. I was hired on the spot when the manager asked me why I wanted to go from teaching high school to working with outdoor furniture. “I want to work with outdoor furniture because it makes me feel young again, ” I said. To which he replied, “I can relate, that is exactly why I work with outdoor furniture as well.” We shook hands like two men united by a common desire- to be young again.

“I understand that you want to feel young again, but why do you have to go to such extreme lengths to do so?” my wife asked me in desperation. “Unless you have had the same experience with outdoor furniture as I have, it is to difficult to explain to you. It just feels like something I need to do.” “But what about teaching? Are you just going to quit and tell your students that you are leaving them for outdoor furniture.” My wife had a point, I do not think that my students will be happy about my decision. “They will get over it, besides as we get older we forget everything anyways…do you still remember your high school teachers?” I asked hoping that she would agree with me. “I remember almost every single one, even the ones who could not handle it and quit. Just think- you always will be remembered as that teacher that quit to go sell outdoor furniture.”

I decided that I would sleep on it. My wife was planting doubt in my head and I was afraid that the repercussions of my decision would be greater than I was aware of. I longed to spend my days in the presence of outdoor furniture. To describe pool chairs and umbrellas to costumers seemed much more gratifying than explaining nouns and verbs and the Great Gatsby to high school students who were incapable of listening. To smell the scent of outdoor furniture rather than the sent of fake cologne and dirty lockers, what more could I ask for. As an Outdoor Furniture Salesman I would be able to spend my work days reminiscing about the pleasurable past of my childhood which is now forever gone. I could remember the faces of those that I loved who have now passed on and once again swim in the pool of my childhood. I could be sitting out back with my grandfather one sunny June afternoon and listen to him say to me again and again- “enjoy being young kid, because when you get older and enter the real world, it’s a bitch.”

My wife threatened to separate from me if I took the job. Before I was even awake this morning she rolled over on the side of the bed and said, “I will not be married to a man that is constantly undermining himself and not living up to his fullest potential. I will not sit by and watch you destroy your life because you want to spend your days reminiscing about your childhood. That part of your life is gone and if you take this job as an Outdoor Furniture Salseman, than I will not sit by and watch you fall.” I was half awake but already frustrated by her perspective. Right when I was about to respond to her the phone rang. She answered it and then looked at me and said, “It is Osh Outdoor Furniture, they want to know if you made a decision.” She handed me the phone with a stern look that seemed to say you better not. I looked at the clock and it was almost noon.

Man Of Miracles

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.

Stop Telling Me What To DO!

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.

How To Loose 65 Pounds Without The Long Wait!

The six months prior to my wedding- I was a nervous wreck. Anxiety is something that I had lived with since being in my mother’s womb- but the panic that can often follow chronic anxiety was a new addition to my life. The very first panic attack that I ever had came only minutes after I proposed to my wife in the cemetery. As we sat on a rustic ledge that overlooked a beautiful turtle pond my throat swelled up and my insides began to shake. I felt my heart skipping around in my chest and before I knew what to say the thought, “I am going to die,” zapped my adrenaline into 5th gear. I ran through gravestones and daisies like a man who was literally running for his life. When my then fiancé found me hyperventilating besides an eighteenth century gravestone- I was already suffering from the affliction that would significantly reduce my weight.

Prior to asking my wife if she would marry me, I was 65 pounds heavier than I was at my wedding six months later. I rarely engaged in any form of exercise and I loved to drink beer from breakfast till bedtime. I reproached any attempts to confine my dietary choices to the category of unhealthy living because the choices I made were my own- and I was an adamant individualist. My pre-marital days were filled with creative explorations and I was determined to live my life with the determination of the great artist that I believed myself to be. It was only when I began to think about inviting the tradition of marriage into my renegade existence that I began to feel the strange sensations, that some call fear, develop in my body and mind.

After my wife and I were engaged I felt the expectations from in-laws and my parents gathering heavily upon my shoulders. I felt the fear of change begin to set up camp some place in my brain. I was concerned about how I would continue to live like the great artist that I considered myself to be when I had no money in the bank and a resume that was shorter than a paragraph. My dreams threatened to cave in on me and my access fat was the first part of me to run away.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing that will reduce one’s weight faster than panic and anxiety. When the brief attacks come on, the shit is literally scared out of you. I would be constipated for days and then when panic attack overcame me I would find myself shivering from fear, on the toilet- downloading a weeks worth detritus. As the attacks grew more frequent so did my bowl movements. Everything I would eat would stay in my stomach no longer than my intense fear would allow. But what was I so afraid of?

Death. For as long as I can remember I have been afraid of death. The thought of the mysterious non-existence of me has sent shivers running down my spine and prayers rambling from my mouth. Whenever I felt the presence of a strange sensation upon my timid body I became (and still become) terrified that this may be the key that unlocks that eternal door. The extinction of my self, of all that I pretend to be- has rendered me powerless when it comes to accepting this natural transition. Some place deep in my hard wiring marriage seems to be wired to the notion of death. In marriage I somehow managed to think that a part of myself would become extinct. I feared the loss of my rugid individualism because like Nietzsche always said- tradition has a way of destroying all things individual.

The thought of loosing myself and changing- rattled my nerves. Over the many years of living for myself only- I became attached to my way of being. The thought of having to change the way I lived my life made me fear what the future would bring. Someplace deep within me I welcomed this change but on the surface domesticity was a nightmare that I was yet to reconcile with. Every day that the wedding grew closer was another pound lost. Butterflies took up to much space in my stomach and my throat seemed to be closed for business. I lived on a diet of pineapple and wine and I prayed like a man who was soon to fall off the side of the moon.

Thanks to my six months of fear, worry and concern I was able to loose 65 pounds. Besides all of my frazzled nerves and my graying hair I was the mere image of perfect health. On the inside a daily war was being waged between the forces of life and death- but on the outside I appeared picture perfect. My wedding went over well with numerous complements about my new figure and lots of requests for advice upon how to loose weight so fast. At my wedding I was in to good of a mood (I threw caution to the wind and drank and danced as if it was my last night on earth) to bring up the subject of panic and anxiety so I said I would write a book about how to loose weight without the wait and then send them a free copy. There was a sign up sheet in the lobby.

One year after my wedding I am still yet to write the book or put back on the weight. Married life has not assuaged my fears and worries but it has given me a steady partner to share my suffering with. With marriage I have also become more aware. The decisions that I make (I no longer drink beer all day and I payed my taxes for the first time, much to my discontent!) not only affect me but also the love that is shared between my wife and I. Even though my fear of death and change is just as strong as it was before my marriage- I have found that the tradition of marriage has given me not only a smaller waistline but less time to focus upon my fear. After all- the tradition of marriage demands family and home ownership and with my nervous disposition I have had to spend a lot of time reading self help books, meeting with therapists and taking meditation classes. I am trying to get into some kind of physical and psychological condition so I can play at being a responsible married man who has found the secret ingredient for rapid weight loss.

Why Women Talk To Cats

I have always wondered why women talk to cats? Ever since I was a child I have took note of this strange phenomena. My grandmother would sing in Yiddish to every cat she passed by and often formed relationships with certain ones that she would invite over to her house on Sundays. Both my mother and my sister always talked to cats and I remember growing up with the both of them more preoccupied with talking to our two cats then they were with talking to me. I became annoyed with my sister and mother at a young age because whenever they would begin a conversation with cats it would be in a whiny childish high pitched tone that even as a young man I found concerning. But as I grew into the man I know seem to be today, I noticed more and more women who talked to cats.

Maybe there is a closer connection between the feline constitution and the feminine constitution? Maybe women are more tapped into the sensitive and delicate world of the cat? I have always thought of cats as very emotional creatures, and if it is true that the female is the most emotional species on the earth than this would provide an interesting connection between cats and women. I often wonder why it is that women have always talked more to my cats then they have to me, and I am just starting to learn that the answer to this may be less mystical than I have always imagined.

I have had girlfriends, wives and mistresses all of whom talk in strange childish tones to cats. They stop everything that they are doing and talk delicately with the cat as if it is their baby. They ask the cat the same questions that they would ask a human being. “How are you doing today Lilly?” or “Do you like the way the tree smells?” my wife always asks our cats. I think to myself, “does she expect that the cat is going to say I am fine thank you, and yourself?” or could this be a sign that my wife may be loosing touch with reality (since Alzheimer’s does run in her family). However, I try not to judge and I just presume that she feels good communicating with cats, just like all the women I have ever known.

Today I was walking home from the bookstore when I happened upon a rather attractive women dressed in a tight black skirt who was talking to a cat. The cat rubbed its feline fur all over her ankles as I heard the lady saying, “why are you such a nice cat…why are you such a nice cat? How come you are so beautiful and smart?” I waited for a moment to see if I could not hear some kind of response from the cat, but I heard nothing. My curiosity got the best of me and as I passed her I stopped and said “Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?” “No not at all,” she kindly replied. “Why are you talking to a cat?” I said. She seemed surprised for a moment and then provided me with a vague answer, “because I love cats.” I thanked her for her vague response and continued on. As I got a few feet away from her she added, “don’t you know that cats are a woman’s best friend?” And then everything made sense to me.

If dogs are a man’s best friend than why not assume that women should also have a four legged creature to call their own? Cats are not only independent and patient but they also embody some of the finest qualities of the female species. They are not only graceful in their movements but cats carry themselves with a kind of confidence that seems to be a familiar trademark of most if not all women. Cats are proud and seem to embody a certain warmth that I have only found before in the womb and women. If cats share certain qualities in common with women that define their relationship than what may this say about man and his best friend- the four legged beast?

So women talk to cats because they have something in common. They share a spiritual alliance with the feline species that no scientist could ever understand. Both cats and women get something from one another that no other source can provide. What this is I am uncertain, but I am willing to admit that it may have something to do with love and respect. When I returned home from my walk to the bookstore I found myself greeted by my two cats, Lilly and Monk. Before I realized what was going on I found myself asking them both how they were doing and what they were up to. Suddenly I realized that I too was talking to cats!! For a moment I contemplated what this realization could mean- but I sat down with both cats upon my lap and they both began to tell me about how men and women have more in common then I might think.

The Man Who Pissed A Miracle.

    Three weeks ago I peed upon a large plot of dirt that was located behind my parents home. I was locked out and had to go. The large plot of dirt was the only piece of land on my parents property that was not touched by landscaping. My father had wanted to build a Japanese tea garden on the dirt plot but because of the recent economic recession he had decided to wait it out. I was in my parents neighborhood that day (I went to a job interview) and I decided to stop in. Not only was I hoping to borrow some money but I desperately needed to use the toilet. When I found no one at home- I had no choice but to pee on their small piece of land.

When nature calls it is difficult for man or woman to ignore the call. The twentieth century was filled with magnificent inventions that attempted to bypass natures call. Somehow humans thought that if they could be ingenious enough to trick nature then maybe they could be in control. I however have difficulty ignoring the call of the wild. I prefer to listen and respond when necessary. Possibly a great deal of my anxiety stems from the fact that I am too tuned into nature but this seems to be a disposition that I was born with. That day under the sun and in the quietude of my parents back yard, I peed without any thought about the personal violation I may have been committing. When I was finished watering the dirt I zipped up my pants and drove back to my home.

Today I returned to my parents home and was stunned by what I saw. In the very plot of dirt where I peed three weeks before grew a gorgeous lemon tree. My father and I stood in silence under the spring time sun staring at this lemon tree that had grown over four feet tall- in no time. Full grown lemons sat perched upon the end of its branches and a yellow hue highlighted the trees fluorescent leaves. For a few minutes all thoughts about my peeing in this spot three weeks before escaped me. I asked my father if he was sure that the gardeners did not plant this tree. He told me that he was cutting expenses for the time being and one of those expenses was the gardener. No one had worked on this land for months. My mother came out with a cup of iced tea in her hand and said “isn’t it amazing!!” I looked at my mom and said, “how could this be?” My father picked a lemon from the tree and handed it to me. It was the most beautiful lemon I had ever seen. I could smell it before it was in the palm of my hand. “Amazing,” was all I could say.

And then I remembered that three weeks before I had taken a piss in the same place where the lemon tree now stood. I questioned myself for a few minutes trying to convince myself that the tree must of been here before I peed. It was not. There was no way to explain what was before my eyes other than that my urine had given birth to this lemon tree. How this could be escapes my rational mind but I remember when I gave a urine sample to my doctor a few months ago he told me it was the most nutrient dense urine he had ever seen. “It almost reminds me of lemon juice,” he said. I thought nothing of this remark until today. As I stood besides the lemon tree with my mother and father I was shocked by the possible power of my pee. I wanted to tell them that I may know the reason why the tree is there. They may be upset that I peed upon their valuable land but when they found out what their son’s urine could achieve- all hurt feelings would possibly turn into an emotion of awe towards the holly man who was their son. Finally they would think that after 37 years of failure on earth- I had made something out of myself. As my mother stood there repeating, “incredible” over and over- I remained silent afraid that if I took the risk and told the truth as I saw it I would never be allowed to come home again. My father went inside and got his camera and for the rest of the day I pretended to be as surprised as they were about this strange lemon tree that grew from my pee.

I Swallowed My Wedding Ring, Part 2.

I returned home from the hospital a few hours ago. It was a minor procedure. Since my own digestive system was incapable of removing my wedding ring I had to rely on modern medical techniques to do so. I was subjected to a metallic probe (with a camera) that was inserted in my anus and then loitered around my intestines until the wedding ring was found stuck in a pocket of my colon. The probe delicately latched on to the ring, dragging it out from my system in the same manner that a baby would be removed from the womb. The pain was slight since I was heavily sedated (and still am) and I was kept in the hospital for a night following the procedure to make sure my colon did not go into frenetic spasms.

My Doctor has asked me to spend the next few days in bed. He wants me to drink plenty of fluids and remain lying on my back for at least twenty hours a day. His concern is that since my wedding ring was stuck in a very narrow pocket of my colon there was some bruising done. The colon is a very sensitive organ and his fear is that it may become swollen as a result of the trauma. This is why I am only allowed to eat fruit and drink water for the next week. When I was leaving the hospital my Doctor asked me if I had learned anything from this experience. “I have learned to keep my wedding ring out of my mouth,” I said. He looked at me as if he was waiting for a more insightful reply. Did you learn anything else?” he patiently asked. I thought for a moment and replied- “to love and care for my wife for the rest of my life.” This answer came from some place deep in my gut, rather than from my mind. It was as if the Doctor had implanted in me the knowledge that I had been given a second chance to make my marriage work. “Swallowing your wedding ring may have been a blessing for your marriage,” the Doctor said with a smile and then disappeared from my room. As my wife pushed me in my wheelchair out from the hospital I could not stop telling her how much I loved her.

I am still very tired and must return back to bed. I have only gotten up to write this brief entry. I wanted to let you know that this terrible story has had a happy ending. Even though I am still high on various pain medications, my wedding ring is back upon the safe confines of finger. My wife has been caring for me and despite my weak condition- we have made love twice. I have pledged my renewed love to her over and over and thanked the heavens above that this chapter in my life has had a good ending. While lying in bed I have often thought about what would of happened had I never swallowed my wedding ring? I may have not just lost my wife, but also this love which now floods my heart- in holly matrimony ofcourse.

I Swallowed My Wedding Ring.

This evening while I was sitting on the couch reading a novel, I accidentally swallowed my wedding ring. You may be wondering why, or how? Well, I believe that I suffer from certain oral fixations or obsessive compulsive disorder. When I am writing or reading I seem to need to have something in my mouth- constantly. Tonight I pulled the ring off my finger with my lips and sucked on it in my mouth as if it was a candy. I stuck my tongue through its hole and ran it around along my teeth. I was not terribly aware of what I was doing since I was so engrossed in the book I was reading.

My wedding ring is made out of one ounce of white gold. It is a thick ring that rests on my finger like a small weight (reminding me of my eternal commitment). How I managed to have it in my mouth without noticing boggles my mind. I first became aware of what was taking place when I felt the metallic sensation of the ring passing down my throat. I choked for a moment and then started to cough when I realized what I had just done. Panic came over me and I ran into the bathroom and tried to make myself vomit. I thought that I could die as a result of swallowing my wedding ring. I thought about my obituary- man dies by swallowing his wedding ring, as my whole body began to shake. When minutes passed and I was still alive but unable to regurgitate my wedding ring, I called my wife into the room and told her what happened.

As she stood in front (I was on my knees in front of the toilet bowl) of me aghast at what I had done, I felt the a cold metallic sensation skipping around in my intestines. I was not sick but terribly uncomfortable. “You are so absent minded! You forget to turn off the heat, to feed the cat and now you swallow your wedding ring!! When are you going to get it together- you need to wake up!!!” I knew she was letting off steam so I allowed her to freely vent. She had spent her last two thousand dollars to buy me this ring and now I had just swallowed it. As far as she was concerned the ring was gone, buried in the penetralia of my intestinal regions. “Baby don’t worry, I’ll either shit it out or have it surgically removed,” I said to her as she dropped to her knees. “When are you going to wake up!!” she kept repeating as I sat on the floor with my hands on my stomach and a feeling of anxiety in my chest.

My grandmother always told me that if I was going to be a reader of fiction, that I should prepare myself for not being in the world. What she meant was that a symptom of reading fiction is being absent minded in day to day life. My grandmother felt that fiction readers (and poetry readers) lived in a world of thought and fantasy rather than reality. I disagreed with her until I was in my ninth year of reading fiction every day. I started doing stupid, absent minded things like rear ending cars and forgetting to pull up my zipper because I was thinking about the plot of a book. But now I have swallowed my wedding ring. This act of mine makes me feel like my grandmothers words were a prophetic warning.

My wife was able to get control over herself and called a poison control center. They told her that if I do not poop out the ring by tomorrow morning that I should go to the emergency room. They recommended that I eat prunes and lots of fiber to move my bowls. My wife slowly came to a state where she could take pity upon my state and began to treat me like a man who needed help. She made me prune tea and put a blanket over me while I lied flat out on the couch. She has been rubbing my head and cynically uttering comical comments like “you are so silly.” I am yet to poop out the ring but it is my hope that after a few more cups of prune tea and a good nights rest that I will be wearing my wedding ring by lunch time tomorrow.

The Fly.

images1.jpg I am trapped in this body that seems to be changing or aging at a rate that I can not control. With a life span of three to five days- there is so much to be done. Since my birth I have been happily confined to this labyrinthine Victorian home that has harbored generations of my family. We spend our days buzzing through ancient hallways made out of pine wood and we tan ourselves up against thin glass windows filled with sunlight and heat. The windows reflect our infernal images back upon our dilated eyes revealing an ugliness that I am just starting to come to terms with- and I am already three days old. My mother always told me that if I did not come to terms with my image in the window by the time I was three days old- I would never find peace.

With two days left to live there is so much to accomplish (I am confident that I will live to the ripe old age of five days…maybe even six). So many rooms to fly around in, so many walls to investigate. The home in which I was raised is filled with various plants and antiquated furniture so enjoyable to fly upon that I gladly forget that more than half of my life has been lived. All of the pressures involved in being a fly (the pressure to reproduce before my old age sets in and the pressure of flying enough in my life so that I can die with a felling of fulfillment) seems to become mitigated by the pleasure of resting upon a silk arm chair or an aloe plant and reciting the verse of Emily Dickinson. If you had told me that being a fly would involve such a great desire to do and see things I would have thought you were nuts. When I was young I had always thought that flies were anxious little creatures with a spasmodic will and a pestersome bzzzzz. Never could I have imaged the wonder filled world of the fly I have found out about in my later years. The beauty of flying naked and weightless through long hallways and landing upon warm afternoon windows. The beauty of crawling along ceilings and landing on the heads of humans. Tears come to my eyes when I think about how much there is to live for.

I keep to myself most of the day perpetuating no rumors about fellow flies. I spend a lot of time sunbathing upon the guest bedroom window. There I can be left alone, freed from the frenetic activity of fellow flies. I can clean my nimble legs and antenna and design ways in which I will fly to the moon on my last day of life. I am able to dream of other worlds where spirit flies still live and roam freely through hallways and furnished homes. I imagine my ancestors watching over me as I make my way through out the various rooms. Being a fly requires a strong constitution- when you are allotted only five days to live, the fear of death can be crippling, but even more so the awe of life can become overwhelming.

I make my way alone most of the time. It is true that my only purpose for living is not simply to spend my days in such a perplexed state of awe. I have my biological obligations to fulfill. The need to perpetuate my species weighs upon my soul to such a degree that I am not able to spend the days in mindless contemplation like I once did when I was young. I feel as if there is something more important that I need to be tending to. Before I come upon my final day- it is pertinent that I find a way to bring forth another me, a next of kin. Through this process of reproduction, us flies find immortality. This is how we make sense of our three to five days of life. We reproduce, and through our children become immortal. Like my father always told me, “A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.”

Even though I have been hard at work searching for a female fly to mate with- I have come up empty today. Night is almost upon us and after dark I have a tendency to stay put for the rest of the evening. I find particles of food (usually cat feces which I love) in various places and then rest in a safe spot until the heat of the sun returns to the windows. Tomorrow will be the fourth day of my life- what most flies refer to as the early evening of a flies life. I will spend the day searching for a mate- and into the evening if I must. If the midnight hour falls and I am yet to find the one who will give my child a chance to be born, I am willing to resign myself to a life spent alone, in awe- upon a window. Others may think that I have failed in my purpose (or utility) but I am willing to accept the responsibility of not living up to others expectations. It is a small price to pay for the hours of wonder and solitary pleasure I have experienced being a fly.

Electromagnetic Freak #3.

Last night was one of the more tempestuous nights in my life. The past week my EMRSD (electromagnetic radiation sensitivity disorder) has been very manageable. I experienced only small amounts of symptoms which seemed to bother me little. I was not hassled by the zapping and palpitating sensations nor was my body chronically filled with a buzzing vibration. The feelings of impending doom were lessened and I was beginning to posses the hope that I may possibly have the chance to live a normal life free from EMRSD.

Despite the fact that I have been keeping my wireless exposure to a minimum (I no longer carry a cell phone, I avoid areas where there is a lot of wireless or cellular activity and I limit my internet use to one hour a day) and maintaining some control over my stress and fatigue- last evening all of my symptoms returned like a force of nature. I drank a Belgium beer before calling it a night- despite alcohol being a main cause of palpitations, I have found that the booze helps me sleep. Outside it was raining and the cold air coming through my open window felt dry and electric. Little did I know that the heavens were soon to release a thunder storm, the likes of which I had not lived through before. As I was about to drift off to sleep I was zapped awake by an electrical sensation which caused my heart to race and beat irregularly. I was able to calm myself down enough so that I could fall back into the wonderful world of sleep. But sure enough I was zapped awake again with what felt like an electrical discharge to my brain and heart. My heart raced and flipped flopped like a car engine that was stuttering to a start. My fear and frustration got the best of me, so I climbed out of bed with a heavy heart and went to the kitchen for water (which I drink a lot of because I recently read that tap water in San Fransisco and the surrounding bay area contains trace amounts of sex hormones and anti-depressants both of which I need).

A flash of bright light startled me as I was drinking a glass of water over the sink. This minor shock again caused my heart to race and my mind to unleash scary images of me dropping dead on the kitchen floor. Then there was a loud roar of thunder as if the heavens above were trying to tell me to stop thinking such horrible thoughts. I did some deep breathing exercises in my dark living room which smells like a combination of cat piss and bleach. I burned some sage and did a Yoga pose but the smell sent me back to bed (I am convinced that the sour smell is from an undetected gas leak in my home which is contributing to the symptoms from my EMRSD).

My wife was snoring away soundly in her sleep as I struggled to remain amongst the living. I took deep breaths and remained lying upon my back as I listened to the sounds of thunder and rain that sent my sensitive heart into occasional spasms of fright. “Why am I so sensitive,” I kept repeating over and over to myself as I tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable spot on the mattress. I could feel my heart beating in my ears and pulsation all around my neck and arms. “Why has God forsaken me!!,” I wanted to cry out into the night but instead I tried to calmly reduce my anxiety by repeating a mantra over and over in my fear filled head. As I began to drop off into slumber I experienced some minor zaps and a few thunderous shocks but nothing that threw my heart into a spasmodic sprint. Eventually I was able, after hours of struggle, to join my wife in the world of silent slumber.

This morning I awoke with the relief of one who has just survived a life or death situation. I was overcome with a joy to still be living. Everything looked as if I was seeing it for the first time. After my usual breakfast of yogurt and bread I did some research on the Internet about electromagnetic radiation sensitivity disorder. My concern was that years and years of weekly zapping was weakening my heart. I found information that reassured my anxious mind but also I found a strange article that unsettled it. It was about a woman who suffered from the same ailment as I. Not only was she sensitive to wireless and cellular technology but her condition was aggravated by the weather- especially thunderstorms. During such storms she experienced terrible zappings, palpitations, irregular heartbeats and a racing heart beat that normally sent her to emergency rooms in a state of fright. I suppose I feel some relief in knowing that I am not alone, but today I have been depressed. Knowing now that my EMRSD can be aggravated by the weather has made me feel as if there is no escape. If it is not one thing it is another.

On Being Tall.

photo.jpg I am unusually tall, however, I have recently figured out reasons for my overly aggressive anxiety that seems to annoy me on a daily basis. All of the life that I can remember, I have suffered from tumultuous bouts of anxiety. As I have grown older and taller my anxiety has grown right along with me. I have sought out the assistance of psychologists, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, astrologers, chiropractors, meditations teachers and prostitutes. At times certain modalities have been more helpful than others but for the most part my tempestuous anxiety has stalked me like a revengeful lover. I have been held victim by an anxiety so strong the the most menacing of closet or basement monsters pails in comparison.

I am close to seven feet tall which means that I rise quite high off the ground. All of my life I have been on the taller side but I really began to notice the distance between my eyes and the ground when I reached six foot five inches. My grandfather and father both suffered from a terrible fear of heights and until recently I was unaware that I had inherited their affliction. The other day someone said to me “is it not terrifying to be so high off the ground and looking down to see such a vast distance?” And then a little bulb went off inside my mind- this is the cause of my years of ANXIETY, a fear of height!

Being unusually tall in a society composed of mostly medium height people creates a feeling of separation inside of me that only sitting down can resolve. Granted I have noticed that some of my more peaceful moments have been while sitting in meditation. Normally I feel like a man dangling from the edge of a cliff dramatically fearing his fall…I can see now why I find such a respit while composed in the lotus posture- I am close to the ground.

I am told that anxiety is the result of being disconnected from your body, but has anyone ever consider that anxiety could be caused from being to high up in your body? At almost seven feet tall my mind is terrified by the space between it and the ground. Always looking down upon people makes me feel like I am not apart of them. Sometimes I feel as if I am suffering from complete disconnection- a head hovering high in space chronically dealing with a condition called being really tall. And so I have found a reasonable panacea for my anxiety. In the words of one of my students, “just don’t look down and you’ll be all right.”

Dinner With My Wife.

I had a miserable dinner with my wife tonight. We fight like addicts, unable to relate in any other way. Night after night another argument occurs as randomly as changing weather. An inability to relate keeps us separate and keeps my heart sore. Tonight I expressed some feelings that I have about my job. I expressed apprehension about working as an English Teacher because of the low pay, my inability to spell, my inability to grasp the rules of grammar and my disdain for Shakespeare and The Great Gatsby (which I have to teach). I told her that I felt like what I had to do to work as a Teacher was standardize my mind and teach things that the state mandates that I teach despite the fact that I find it all terribly uninteresting and irrelevant to life. Lately I have been experiencing a lot of doubt about my work as a High School Teacher. Is this what I really want to do with my life? Long hours, little pay and not much glamor or reward? I expressed these sentiments and more- and the reaction I recieved from my wife pissed me off.

Love is based upon the ability to connect. If there is only a remainder of love than connection will be difficult. One firm symptom of a fading relationship is the inability to connect- which means dissolving love. The moment my wife started to fire back at me I felt my blood pressure raise. My heart skipped beats and I drank more wine. I became angrier by the minute. “We all have to do things that we do not agree with in our work…this is a realistic part of the society which we live in,” she began. “You just need to commit to something and stick with it. I believe in you and I think you have great potential as a Teacher, but your excuses and apprehension piss me off.” Her voice went up, “I know that you want to be a Writer and make a living that way but you have not done it and frankly that is not the way the world works. You are a great great Writer Randall, but you need to really start thinking about how you are going to make a living. If you are going to write novels, great- but you have not yet, and you are almost 37 years old. You need to get it together and figure out what you are going to do. If you do not want to teach than you need to come up with a game plan really quickly!” “But Kurt Vonnegut worked as a car salesman all through his forties,” I replied. “You are not Kurt Vonnegut.”

My blood began to boil. I began mumbling “bitch” under my breath. I could feel my heart rapidly beating and then the words came rushing out of my lungs. “Your attitude is not helping my confusion,” I began- “I am just trying to talk to you about how I feel. This is not about you and how you feel. I feel like I always need to keep the truth of my feelings repressed because if I open up to you and talk to you about what I am really feeling you get angry or mean. You can not handle the truth and it pisses me off!!” My wife began to roll a cigarette, “I am just so tired of your lack of clarity, your inability to stick with something and make something of your life!!” “Bitch,” snuck out of my mouth. I was feeling unheard and unappreciated (I wanted to mention the years and years that I have spent writing short stories and making paintings. I wanted to tell her that my stories and paintings will be appreciated by the masses long after I am dead. I wanted to remind her of the legend that she was sitting across from, but I slandered her instead). I do not often call people names but I could not help expressing the sentiment. “What did you call me, why don’t you call me that to my face,” she said as I excused myself from the dinner table. I came into my studio and tried to get control of my rage.

For the past twenty years I have been trying to figure out what to do with my life. I have written many short stories, thought a lot about writing plays and novels and painted many paintings but every other pursuit in my life has failed to keep my interest. I have worked as a Waiter, Shoe Salesman, Mortician, Ticket Salesperson, Teacher, Tutor, Pizza Maker, Dog Walker and Administrative Assistant. I am as dis-interested in a career as my cat is in hanging out with dogs. I am a man alone on an island fighting his own cause, waiting for great things to happen while swimming through the sea of society with barley enough money to make it through the day. If only I could figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, then maybe my wife and I would get along and my heart would stop hurting so much.

Push Cart Sallie

image_035-192x143.jpg I find women who are pulling shopping carts filled with empty bottles and cans to be highly attractive. I do not know from where this sexual excitation arises, but it may have something to do with my first experience with a prostitute. Her name was Push Cart Sallie and I met her while walking down a back alley in San Fransisco. She asked me if I had a cigarette or weed and I could not deny her since she also showed me her large breast which was hanging out from a ripped and stained white stretch shirt. She did not seem to be a day over forty and her physique resembled that of a model who had fallen down deep into the suffocating realms of addiction. Utilizing all of my lung capacities to take a deep breath when she asked me a question that I was to young to deny, I handed her a smoke. Yes, I wanted a hand job for five minutes and five bucks. We disappeared between a dumpster that had a tribe of pigeons scavenging for food all around it. The sun radiated down upon my penis as she pulled on it with her hands that suffered tremors which are a direct consequence of forgotten dreams. My first orgasm with a prostitute was one in which I happily came all over a pigeon loitering upon my feet.

Ever since this encounter with Push Cart Sallie I have been unconsciously hoping to replicate my experience every time I see a women pulling a shopping cart filled with empty cans and bottles. I have reached a point that no matter what the appearance of the women may be, I find myself becoming sexually aroused just looking at the way her body pulls the cart behind her or pushes it forward. It is a symbiotic chemical reaction that takes place in my brain whenever I am confronted with a woman and a shopping cart. I do not know if it is a deep longing for my lost youth that I hope to regain through recreating my first experience with a prostitute or a disturbingly unacceptable sexual dysfunction that I am suffering from. Whatever the case may be, twenty years after my experience with Push Cart Sallie, I am still searching for her in back alleys all over the world.

The Impatient Taoist

 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.