There are so many different voices inside my head, that I have decided to give each one of them a name. I was told today that if I was able to give these voices a name- my thoughts would have less power over me. My inner demons would no longer control me in the same way that they have for the great majority of my life and by naming my inner voices I will begin to win the battle for self control. A man in my current position has little to loose by taking on such a trivial exercise and no matter how cheesy or ridiculous I feel like this move to control myself may be- I am more than willing to give it a try.
One of the more prominent and controlling voices in my head is Hank. Hank is a son of a bitch. He is a bit of a slob and it seems as if all he wants to do is get drunk, go to strip clubs and drive around for endless hours searching for prostitutes. Hank loves women and immediately objectifies them. He wants to do all kinds of perverted things with them and becomes so preoccupied with these perversions that he can think of nothing less. Hank thinks he is very handsome and loves masturbation, pornography and hand jobs. He is willing to gamble away all of his money and relationships on slot machines and whores. Hank loves to read novels, write and pretend that he is someone who he is not. He enjoys hanging out in Asian massage parlors and listening to jazz. Hank is impulsive, angry, seductive and cunning- and if he does not get what he wants he falls into a depression that seeks to punish everyone else around. Good old Hank.
Then there is Eddie. Eddie is a rock star and a cultural icon. He is dark and mysterious and wants people to acknowledge him for the great human being that he is. He is a social and political activist who wants to make music that will start revolutions and empower the powerless to get off their ass and exercise their rights. He is shy and at times a loner but he sees a bit of himself in many great rock icons both alive and dead. Eddie loves to rock out and move his body in seductive ways. He wears his hair long with Levis blue jeans, punk rock t-shirts and an army jacket. Eddie likes to drink beer and wine, smoke an occasional cigarette and dance around in his living room- pretending that he is on a stage in front of thousands of adoring fans. He thinks that working a day job is beneath him and his greater purpose is to be Eddie. Eddie is definitely tooooo cool for school. A true rock God.
I don’t know this voice very well but he is still present in my head. For lack of a better name I will call him Richard. Richard wants to be rich. Whether it be through writing novels, making paintings or being an Entrepreneur- Richard desperately wants to be economically successful at something. Richard tries to be content with the things that he has but he is always longing for nice clothes, a BMW, a modern architecture two bedroom house, two dogs, a mistress and enough money in the bank to register himself at a millionaires club, have a nice wine cellar and never have to work for anyone else again. Richard envies those who have riches and fame and, like most Americans, holds on to the chronic dream that some day he will be one of them. In the meantime Richard tries hard to make people think that he has more money than he really does and comes from a wealthier family than he really does. Richard writes his father emails that say things like “I am unhappy at my job because I am not being payed what I am worth. I really want to make a lot of money so that I can join a country club and afford nice things.” Richard wants to make his father proud by accumulating material possessions. He wants to have children but he is ashamed of what he has not accomplished- but tries to convince himself that he has done enough. Richard is a real mensch.
Lastly there is Randy. Randy is a teenager stuck in an older man’s body. He exists in a perpetual state of fear, anxiety and panic. He fears that the end of his life is always near. Randy feels like a stranger in the world and is yet to figure out what he is going to do with his life. He is gullible and at times naive and is always looking for a way out. He is afraid to fly, drive over a bridge and be to far away from his home. Randy is a hypochondriac who is terrified of loosing control, a neurotic egomaniac who is deeply affected by his own problems. Randy is always broke, unsuccessful, negative and restless.He is loving but dis-honest, insecure and self conscious. Thoughts of impending doom, chronic anxiety, health problems, fear of intimacy and the end of the world scenarios walk with him wherever he goes. He desperately struggles to figure out ways that he can flee from every situation. Randy is a procrastinator, frozen by fear and addicted to fiction. A jack of all trades and a specialist of nothing. Randy should take Paxil.
These are the central voices that rule the inner narrative within my head. There are other voices like Lance who longs to be spiritual, vegetarian and meditate every day and Henry who wants to become a red neck, buy shot guns, grow a beer belly and live in a trailer in the country. Now I know that in Buddhism it is said that the voices inside our heads are just projections of our ego. They are illusions, impermanent- and who we really are is immortal and way beyond the idea that we have of ourselves. However, the voices that I listed above are the ones that control my every waking moment. Some are there more than others but none of them am I yet able to turn off like a radio or television set. Each day I struggle to be free from these mental flees, and someday when I finally find a way………………………………..I am afraid, it is then that I will have nothing left to say. I will be peace.