How To Stop The Mind From Having Thoughts Of Impending Doom.

Maybe I am alone in this one, but does anyone ever feel as if their mind is playing tricks upon them? Do thoughts: negative thoughts, bleak thoughts, horrifying thoughts, terrorizing thoughts- ever enter your mind without your permission? Do they cause you to shake and tremble at times- as if the end is all to near? Do these thoughts keep you awake at night, force you to drink and keep you confined to your house on certain days? Do the thoughts prevent you from traveling, loving and experiencing joy? I could go on and on but for the sake of my own anxiety I will stop here. I will stop here because I have pointed out enough symptoms of intrusive or unwanted thoughts of impending doom.

I once knew a devout Buddhist who told me that thoughts of impending doom should be welcome to one. We should be open to them and celebrate them because they give us an understanding of our mortality, which in return allows understanding the impermanence of all phenomena. Train the mind he said- and you will be free. Years later, I have trained the mind with therapy and meditation but to little result. Thoughts of impending doom grab me in the moments that I am least prepared and send me into a mystical flight of fear that I am convinced (in the moment) I will not survive. If I have these thoughts while on a bridge- I will avoid the bridge- if I have these thoughts while in bed I will sleep on the floor. If I have thoughts of impending doom while on a walk, I will try to avoid walking. It seems as if I am becoming more knowledgeable about avoiding my life than I am about living it.

I have had thoughts of impending doom for many years now and I thought that by now I would have the answers about how to control these antagonists or even better- abolish them from the mind. But I am no where closer today than I was five years ago in understanding how to live free of such anxiety provocations. I have learned to accept my fate as a man whose mind plays tricks upon him without any concern for his wellbeing. I have come to see my mind as a mass of tissue that is committed to destroying my bodies tranquility. Just today while I was on a walk in a cemetery I suffered a sudden burst of negative thoughts that sent me to the ground where I tried to gain control of my self. I was convinced that I would die and I muttered a few words of a prayer. The thoughts passed and I returned home to do some research on the web about how to stop the mind from having thoughts of impending doom.

I came upon an essay by Martin Luther King. It was an essay about overcoming fear and it talked about courage as the only way to overcome fear. Martin talked at great length about the courage to face death as if it was upon us now. I thought about this idea of courage as being a possible palliative against the thoughts of impending doom. After all- it takes courage to suffer the fate of a silent fury that has no desire to let you be. It takes courage to stand up to your doomish thoughts and convince yourself during your darkest hour that every thing is okay- maybe. I wonder if when Martin was dying from a bullet wound he felt fear? Or maybe he was courageous in the face of death- and rather than holding on to this thing called life he was able to let go, with courage.

And this friend’s maybe the answer. Let go. Accept your fate with courage and with each thought of impending doom- let it go. Now I have never been able to do this and I would be a hypocrite if I said I could. I can’t and I won’t. Letting go is something I seem incapable of doing because I am a Jewish (Jews have a notably hard time letting go. Why this is I am uncertain). When I feel death to be near my knees rattle and I loose control of utilizing any of the wisdom that I have gained from reading, workshops or therapy. I become terrified; because I do not want to die, and I hold on with the force of a man that is unwilling to let it all go. And I wonder is this my main problem? The root of my chronic thoughts of impending doom? “ It is only in courage that the man/woman who stands rooted in fear can be free,” Martin said. “And freedom is only the ability to walk through your fear.” Maybe I’ll just avoid walking for a while.

Stuck In High School!

After 37 years, I am still in high school. It is a mystery to me how this has become my life. After all I do not know if being stuck in high school is the epitome of the American dream or a nightmare. Maybe I am repaying a karmic debt from a past life or maybe I am paying penance for the things I have done in this life- what ever the case may be, I am still stuck in high school.

I am currently sitting in a history class while students are taking a written examination that I designed with the intention of making test taking entertaining. Occasionally I hear small explosions of laughter as students read some of the more comical questions that I have inserted in between the more serious ones- “how many times a day did Abe Lincoln masturbate?” For the most part the room is so silent that I can hear the hum of the freeway which sits just behind the school. I am the Teacher of these students but at the moment I feel like them- stuck in a place that I do not belong. I am always perplexed by the similarities that I find between myself and my 15 and 16 year old students. It is true- I am twenty years older than most of my students but like them I am still pre-occupied with sex and what I am going to do with my life. It is as if a large part of me is yet to grow into this thing I often hear referred to as maturity. I feel as if I have never left high school, my body has aged but my spirit or soul is still stuck at 16. It is a difficult phenomena to explain- but as I sit here writing in my notebook and my students are taking their examination- I feel strangly equal to them. It is as if we should all just be friends and ditch school.

When I was in high school, the first time, I was an apparition. You could see my physical body but my soul was some place else. I was stoned most of the time and Teachers only knew my name because I was the tall lanky guy in the back who never spoke and was seen by all as being weird. At school dances I would get drunk on liquor that I stole from my fathers bar and stand in a corner trying to spy on couples who were making out. Sometimes I could be found lying in the school hallways, broken down into an agitated state of tears crying out “get me out of here!” I did not read a single book nor did I do more than was asked of me. I was preoccupied with blow jobs and death and not once did I get a grade that was higher than a C. My father had to pay off the principle to let me graduate after 6 years of high school.

Now some 20 years later I am still stuck in high school. Somehow the fury of the fates or divine consciousness has managed to transform me into a Teacher. It is like a great magic trick that has been performed in front of my eyes. The trick is on me and I stand there trying to figure out how the magician has created the desired effect. I am perplexed and can not seem to come up with an answer. I am in a state  of absolute dis-belief. How did they do it? It just makes no sense.

Squeezed.

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.

A SENSE OF HUMOR FOR SALE!

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.”

The Man With A Moving Nipple

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.

No More Awards, Please!!

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).

The Trappings Of My Mind

My mind has been doing things without my permission for the past few years. It began with very subtle thoughts such as “you should steal this,” “you are a failure, “you can’t breath,” or “you might have this disease.” I tried not to pay much attention to the workings of my own mind by smoking weed and drinking two bottles of red wine every day. Whatever it took to put these mischievous thoughts out of my mind- I did with a passion. But life went along as it normally tends to do and everything changed including the thoughts in my mind.

Now I realize that all human beings suffer from the condition of negative thinking but I believe there are variations of effect. Some people are able to immediately transform their negative thoughts into positive ones and others are able to ignore the thoughts that enter the confines of their own mind. Others, who are not so fortunate- may be dominated, overcome by the negative thoughts that their minds generate. They look towards food, drink, chemical substances, television, film or novels to distract themselves from the negative thoughts that have a tendency to colonize their minds. These distractions work for an allotted period of time but the negative thoughts seem to return with a fervor and force that no amount of inoculation can put down.

This is where I have found myself these days. I have met with nueroscientists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, and healers all to try and garner some support around gaining some control of my own mind. I have done daily exercises to turn down the left side of my brain and turn up the right side. I stand on my head every day for twenty minutes and I eat alot of fish which has been said to balance out the right and left hemispheres of the brain. But still at different times of the day the negative thoughts come at me like a wave which is determined to drag me under. What is a man to do when his own mind is working against him?

The past two years I have made many changes in my lifestyle. I no longer steal, cheat , lie or act without a motivation to be loving (most of the time). I exercise every day and I make every attempt that I can to sing or hum when I walk and to meditate when I sit. My hope has been that by using my mind in positive ways the negative thoughts would start to fade away like fog around noon time. Instead, the better and more hole I become- the more intense is the volume of my negative thoughts. It is like there is a devil in between my brain cells.

Nowadays, my negative thoughts seem to have been mainly centered around death. Every time I get comfortable or relaxed there appears in my mind an agitating thought about my own death. I see myself dying in various fashions and the thoughts are so vivid that the ensuing apprehension and fright stimulates my heart to beat rapidly. My body constricts and I have to fight against the impulse towards flight. The negative thoughts have become so frequent and strong that I have almost rendered myself powerless in controlling them. When a negative thought comes in which I see myself having a heart attack or being hit by a car, all I can do is take deep breaths and tell myself to relax. What is a man to do when the most dangerous place on earth is within his own mind?

When I sit in meditation, drive my car, go for walks or do just about anything- I am filled up with these intrusive negative thoughts. They scare me out of being ambitious in my life and instead I feel pity for the man I have become. I have grown depressed and conquered by these thoughts which have invoked a silent fear which resides just beneath my chest. There is really no place that is safe for me so I have taken up prayer (I am still trying to figure out to whom I am speaking). I eat less and take foot baths before I go to bed in the hopes that this mini baptism will perform the miracle of eliminating these negative thoughts. But instead my mind is a living entity that has its own set of rules which I am to weak to defend against. It is like the nueroscientist told me “as a result of many years of suffering from anxiety, worry and hypochondria-sis your left brain is at war with your right brain.” “What can I do about this?” I asked him. “The only thing that I know of is prayer,” he sternly replied.

So I pray, I sing, I stand on my head and I try to act with an intention towards love rather than hate (most of the time). I am doing all that I can to gain control of the workings of my own mind without giving myself over to medication, surgery or a Buddhist monastery. I work hard not to manifest the fears that I carry around inside my head and I have even started volunteering some of my time (to keep my mind off my thoughts) to help suicidal illiterate soldiers who have lost limbs in the war learn how to normally function in society. Sometimes when I talk to these veterans about the war which is raging in my own terrified mind they seem to be the only people who understand what is going on. “Ya, it is like a kind of post traumatic stress disorder that you are suffering from,” one soldier told me who had lost both legs in Iraq. ” “Rather than fighting in an actual war you are suffering from the terror that your own mind is generating…you are in a perpetual trap,” the soldier said. I could not have agreed more with his comment and to this day all I think about is how I can survive the trappings of my own mind. “What can I do?” I always ask but no one seems to know. “If only there were more answers, I would not be in the situation I am,” one suicidal soldier replied.

“Beat It”

“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.

Will Write For Food (Organic) Or Money.

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.

Teaching Naked.

For those of you who know who David Sedaris is, I thought you might want to know that I have been reading his short stories to my ninth and tenth grade English classes. The response that I have recieved from the students is one that I could have never for seen. Not in my most wide-eyed imagination could I have imagined the effects that David Sedaris’s various short stories could have upon a very simple and conservative high school in Richmond, California. I am inclined to think that the worst is yet to come.


After I read my students the first short story from David Sedaris’s collection of short stories that is entitled “Naked,” the response was one of disbelief. The students thought that David was a “weirdo,” but for some reason they wanted to hear more. We discussed the nature of repression and the daily prohibitions that are set up to restrict their youthful minds from traveling into certain “inappropriate” terrains. After I read them a second short story the feelings shared by all the students were mutual- David Sedaris was writing about things that they thought about but were not allowed to talk about- or else they would get grounded or kicked out of school. After I read my students the short story entitled “Cyclops”- the students were hooked. The forces of liberation were spun into action and there was money being placed into my hands by students who begged me to buy them a copy of this book.


I was apprehensive. I did not mind reading these stories out loud in class, but I felt that buying them copies which they would own, might be taking to great of a risk. Not only could this action set in motion the early corruption of young conditioned minds but also if the administration found out that I was buying students David Sedaris books I may loose my job. So I photo copied various stories for students and soon these photo copies were selling for ten dollars a piece on the underground high school black market. Students tried every which way to steal the copy of the original book from my bag and a couple of times they were successful and I had to chase them down. A fever had become full blown and the cause of it was David Sedaris.


I have had to stop reading these stories to students. I feel my job may be in jeopardy. Since I started reading the stories more students have been expelled from school than in the entire history of the school. Students have started smoking and drinking booze while at school. They have also been running around the school with various articles of clothing taken off while screaming ridiculous things at the top of their young lungs. Students have started swearing at Teachers more and one Teacher quit because students would not stop asking her what her vagina smelled and looked like. I am afraid that every thing that these young minds have had to repress in order to stay in school and not get into trouble at home has come out with such passionate force because of David Sedaris’s short stories. These stories have unlocked something primordial in these students that has even caused one of my best students to rip off her shirt in the middle of class and scream, “Teacher, lets get naked!”


Like my students, I am also subjected to a good dose of unhealthy repression. In order to maintain a legitimate position in society one has little choice unless they are wealthy and or famous. So I keep my sins mostly to myself and hope that my lusts and desires will simply drown under the mass of cerebral tissue that keep them hidden beneath. But when my student ripped off her shirt and yelled out “lets get naked,” something primordial within me exploded and I to experienced a coming out that had a force and volition that not even I could apprehend. “What the hell, why not!!” I screamed out with a feeling of freedom that I had not felt since I was young. I then proceeded to rip off my clothes as my entire tenth grade English class joined me and got naked.

The Cricket Who Talks To God

2066_1.jpg What is it that I can do that can help raise the consciousness of humanity? How can I- an underpaid high school teacher who suffers from anxiety and various health ailments participate in the evolution of human kind on earth? I realize that these may be big questions but I also realize that they need to be asked, now. I have often heard it said that humanity is at a vital turning point in our history upon this earth. Many of my high school students justify not coming to class or doing their homework by saying that the world is going to end soon anyways, so why worry about school? Sometimes I find it difficult to argue with a perspective that I find may be true- but I try to keep my mind upon transformation rather than liquidation. If I only had some version of an answer then I could cleanse and heal my mind by writing a book and traveling around the world doing consciousness workshops- but I am afraid that there maybe no answers, only cricket’s who talk to God.

There is a cricket that sits upon my deck day upon day as if it is in a deep state of blissful meditation. I am convinced that this cricket is praying to God. It seems to be that the cricket is channeling some kind of divine energy for the sake of all life uponn earth. I have tried to communicate with this cricket in various ways, but each time I get close to connecting I am met by a strange energy which feels like an electric shock. So I keep my distance and pray along with this cricket at certain times during the day.

The cricket seems to be staring at the sun with its eyes wide open. Be it that I can not stare at the sun I keep my eyes shut and do what certain Harri Krishna’s refer to as sun divining (it is when you stare at the sun with your eyes close and feel the heat against your closed eye lids). I ask the cricket if he/she/it can take a moment and listen to my prayers and then relay them to God. There never seems to be any form of communication that suggests the cricket is unwilling to do so, rather I feel like he/she/it is saying “okay go ahead, lets hear it:”

I feel so blessed to be alive, to be breathing and free from a hospital bed or jail cell. I feel so blessed to have all of my family alive and well at the moment because I know that at any moment this will change. We never know which time the phone will ring and bring news that will forever alter our lives. We never know when our own lives will be altered in the blink of an eye. Everything is always changing and it is this movement that keeps human beings terrified- living in constant fear. How is it that we can be free from this fear, let go of our constriction and tension so that we can live with and in the chaos without terror…with peace and health and wealth? How can I participate in giving something to humanity that will help us evolve out from our fear and into a state of connection to gratitude and love? How can this be done? Fear is destroying us and the natural world- quicker than I could ever imagine….what is the answer. I am asking for an answer that is greater than just recycling, going to protest marches and workshops on weekends and doing Yoga. If you tell me I promise to give free lectures around the world. I will spread this answer like a wild fire. There is no greed here, just my will to save myself, the earth and all those who live upon it. Thank you for listening and considering my prayer, peace…Amen…well maybe there is a little greed.

When I am finished with my long winded prayer the cricket is in the very same position that he was prior to my prayer. I do not know if he received and relayed it to the appropriate authority, but I suppose this is where the power of faith comes in. I offer the cricket some water or wine and when I get no reply I leave it alone in what looks like a state of divine rapture. This is a cricket without fear…and I want some of what he’s got.

This evening I went outside to see if the cricket who talks to God would not be interested in relaying another prayer for me. I opened my front door and noticed the cricket was not in his same spot. I felt a sadness come over me that I had not felt in some time but then I remembered that nothing lasts forever. I looked up at the moon and took a deep breath and then went back inside. I decided that I would make a nice dinner for my wife and I- and as I took out the fish from the refrigerator the phone rang. It was a trauma nurse in Los Angeles telling me that my mother in law is in the intensive care unit and in critical condition. The doctors were awaiting the results of a Ct Scan that would show if there was internal bleeding, hemorrhaging and a broken or fractured spinal column. A speeding car cut her off while driving on the freeway and she lost control of her automobile and ran into a tree. When I got off the phone I put the fish back into the refrigerator and went outside to search for the cricket before giving my wife the news.