Youth and Missed Opportunities

I’m not complaining. At the moment, despite having to care for a German Shepherd who has just been neutered, my life is relatively easy and blessed. I have a wonderful home, a way to bring in an income and a loving wife. Domesticity has never been better for this 42 year old, unusually tall and oddly shaped male. For a lazy guy- I have done well enough (by lazy I mean an absence of inner motivation to commit myself to things that earn an income). I have always preferred the world of dreams- especially in my youth.

If I could be young again (by young I mean in my twenties and early thirties) I would wear more black leather, I would dye my hair more often, I would paint my nails various colors, I would explore more, I would challenge authority more, I would commit myself more to something strange and out of the box, I would madly pursue my dreams and nightmares- I would be much less fearful than I was. Youth is not a time for missed opportunities. If one is lucky they will have middle age and their elderly years for that.

Youth is a time of potential/opportunity/rebellion and instead of diving head first into these things, I stuck my feet in. Maybe this is what happens when an aspiring artist/writer is raised in the typical middle class, suburban, nuclear family paradigm. This often makes it more challenging to go against the grain because there is so much pressure to conform. When the kid who was raised in a middle class, suburban environment does try to go against the grain and do something unusual or unconventional with their life, they are seen as a failure. A confused soul. Someone given to reckless abandon. Irresponsible. These feelings of failure and judgement from others can often turn into disempowering anger and despair. At least it did for me.

I wanted to be as outlandish and unusual as possible when I was younger. I did not want to be like “them.” I wanted to tear down the world as it was and reconstruct it in strange, less mediocre ways. I never quite found the drive and courage to go all the way. Somehow my parents opinion slowed me down. I did not have their support to pursue my desire to be an artist and writer and somehow I allowed this lack of support to cause me to doubt my own capabilities and talents. Instead of spending my days trying to turn my youth filled dreams into a tangible reality, I kept them in the back of my mind as I spent all my time buried in novels, dead end jobs and sitting on street corners smoking cigarets and watching the world go by.

Now that I am older it is more difficult to pursue certain ambitions that really do require complete immersion and dedication. One thing that I did not factor into the getting older equation was a dwindling of energy. In youth energy is as electric as lightning. It is an energy that has the quality of an obsession. It can cut glass. It is pure and positively charged and it is this energy that has the potential to break the individual out of the societal box that our entire global culture is designed to keep people in.

In many ways my youth was a missed opportunity. My depression, self doubt, fear and rage kept me from fulfilling my potential. I had great times and have wonderful debauched and poetic memories- but I also have regrets. Youth is a time to not be tethered by other peoples expectations. It is a time of freedom, a place of potential where a person does not have to explain themselves to anyone. It is a time to break glass and not worry about cleaning it up. The difference between those who accomplish their youth-filled dreams and those who do not is simply a matter of confidence, dedication and courage. I myself never did wear all that black leather, I never did paint my nails various colors, I never did dye my hair, I never did madly pursue my dreams. I did not understand what I get now- the entire point of youth is to inhabit and pursue the world of dreams.

The Success Man

I have always wondered what exactly success is, feels like, tastes like and looks like. Is success having a roof over your head and food in the refrigerator? Is it being able to pay your bills? Is it staying true to the cravings of your soul, the images in your youthful dreams? Does it look like that guy driving around in the newest Audi, the actor on the screen or the rock star being idolized by thousands of adoring fans while on stage? To be honest, I am confused by exactly what success is and what it means. Through trial and error, I am at least confident saying that I know what success is not. Success is not having to earn a living doing something that has little to do with your dream. Success does not involve too much compromise and/or settling. Success is not having to ask your father to take you clothes shopping when you are 40, unemployed and shackled with a large amount of debt.

But then again maybe success is a state of mind, a way of thinking, a belief system. At least this is what I am hoping is the case. In my life I have had two serious dreams that have not born serious monetary fruit or worldly attention. I wanted to be a professional tennis player when I was younger and then after I started reading and drinking more I decided to trade that dream in for the dream of being a writer/painter. Despite the fact that neither of these dreams have yet to work out (the only real chance I have of achieving my professional tennis dream is maybe getting to compete some day on the senior citizens professional tennis circuit), I still try to keep my spirit up and convince myself that I have indeed been successful. After all, I have a beautiful and loving fiance, a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, nice clothes hanging in my closet (even though these clothes seem to be food for moths), a newish fully owned car that works (but that I struggle to afford), various opportunities, positively influence a few people in my lifetime, good working headphones and an iPod filled with a plethora of good music. The current NOW of my life is really good- but is it successful?

Often times I feel this inner void that sneaks up on me. I try to fill it in with various foods and things, but the void consumes these things faster than I can chew them down or purchase them. What is this void? From where does it come? Shall I call it existential? A chronic feeling of dissatisfaction that is the result of not fully living my dream? Is it not fair to say that our consumer society has been built upon temporarily satisfying and alleviating these failed dreams? Last night while I was lying in bed I found myself in a bit of a funk. I get into these funks whenever I think too much about what I do not have, what I have not been able to achieve. I ask myself if I am doing with my life exactly what I want to be doing, am I doing what I was born to do? I also wonder if I am seen by others for who I am, not for who I have to be? Are there a lot of should of, would of and could of thoughts running around in my mind? I was also thinking about what Jay Z (one of the wealthiest and most successful black men in the world) said about ordinary success. In an article I read he talked about how he feels sad for people who have to go to work everyday to achieve ordinary success, the same kind of success as the majority of other people. Jay Z discussed how he feels particularly sad for those individuals who have to pursue ordinary success because their dreams did not work out. Tell me about it.

“If you could be doing exactly what you wanted, what would it look like?” my fiance asked me as I lay besides her in bed. “I would have a decent sized painting and writing studio, no debt, no obligation to go to a job and would be able to be immersed in my creative work and earn a living pursuing my creative aspirations.” “Is there not a happy medium you could find?” she asked. “What do you mean?” I replied. “I mean can you not do your work as a therapist so you can pay your bills and help others but also spend an equal amount of time doing your writing and painting?” I found myself feeling frustrated by this suggestion. Aggravation grew in my chest as I thought about what little energy I already have left. I wanted to say “do you really think I have the energy to work as a therapist and also seriously pursue my artistic work?” Instead I just took a deep breath and let it out. I then figured out what success might be- getting to spend the majority of your energy on doing the work that you want to do, getting to be engaged with your life’s work/purpose on a full-time basis. Basically, not having to find a happy medium.

I suppose this may be why I envy certain actors, musicians, writers and artists- they get to make a living doing their life’s work and do not have to return to graduate school, go into serious debt in order to build a decent and worth while career. Their soul work is acknowledged in the world, not just in the privacy of their own minds. As I turned out the light and shut my eyes to go to sleep, I realized that I am the one who has made certain choices in my life. Sure I may not have had parents who supported my dreams but maybe I never believed strongly enough that I was capable of achieving whatever I put my mind to. Maybe I smoked too much dope. I doubted myself and did not do all I could of done to turn my dreams into some kind of tangible reality (here is an example of one such could of statement I live with). Such is life- it is the deck of cards that I have been dealt. I am almost 41 years old and about to embark upon a new career as a psychotherapist. Being a psychotherapist did not enter into my youthful dreams but I figure that it is better than waiting tables. No, I do not consider myself a success man, but I am open to the idea that maybe some day I will. In my back pocket I still carry around a wallet sized portion of hope that I have enough time on earth to see at least a part of my youthful dreams become a reality. I will keep doing my part, keep showing up, keep writing and painting and keep remaining open to possibilities and inspiration rather than compartmentalized by a profession. However, now I may just have to begin to work on finding a “happy medium.”

The Desk Chair

It is two in the morning and I am not yet ready to go to sleep. I am feeling some anxiety that has been floating around in my head all day like an alarm clock that will not stop going off. But I am not up because of my anxiety- I am up because of my desk chair. I bought my desk chair this afternoon and after an hour spent assembling it I have been sitting in it without getting up. My wife served me dinner in my desk chair, we watched a movie together (I was in my desk chair and she was on the couch) and I even shaved while sitting in my desk chair. I am not sure if my anxiety has anything to do with the purchase of the desk chair, but I do know that this is one of the few places that I feel comfortable and safe at the moment. I am not intending to get up and go to bed any time soon.

It must happen to every man at some point in his life- a desk chair that is. For some men desk chairs come earlier in life. There’s not all the stigmas and negative feelings about what desk chairs represent for these men. They instead see the desk chair as a kind of throne, a seat of upward mobility- a vehicle in which to attain status and success. I on the other hand had a different relationship to desk chairs. I saw them as vehicles for mediocrity- a symbol of the corporate beast that devours men’s souls. I ran from desk chairs in the same way someone would run from a rock that was falling from the sky. I studied, wrote and did my reading on couches, park benches, kitchen tables. Any place but in a desk chair. I believed that if I sat in a desk chair it would not be too long before I had a tie wrapped around my neck and a brief case by my side.

I realize that my feelings about desk chairs may have been slightly delusional and/or extreme- but I was on a mission. I wanted to be a great painter, an important writer, a poet and a beatnik. The world was breathing down my back to conform and I needed to do what I could to keep the world from making me into one of “them.” But as I have grown older I have felt the desk chair pulling me in more and more as the days have flashed by. I have felt my back become less limber from the years spent sitting in uncomfortable wood chairs with rigid backs. Ideology wears away just like paint and last week when I saw a particular desk chair for sale in a store- I tried to convince myself that I did not need it.

There are several people who I know who spend their days and nights in their desk chair. Through experiencing many different kinds of desk chairs they found the one that fits- and once they found the one that fit, the chair and the man were a match. I always thought that these particular men had traded in their youth filled dreams for a desk chair. After years and years of struggling to make their dreams into a tangible reality they reached a point in their mid thirties where they realized the path they were on was no longer worth the sacrifices they had to make. They became humble, quieted their egos and found a well-fitting desk chair. Some of these men went back to school for a graduate degree. Some found a professional job. All of these men spend at least eight hours a day in their desk chair.

I have been in my desk chair for well over ten hours so far. Like I said- I feel safe and comforted here. There is something meditative and calming about sitting in this desk chair. But then there is also my anxiety- an anxiety that seems to be resisting the desk chair. Maybe I am anxious because the desk chair represents the next stage of my life- a stage of adulthood and responsibility that never really entered my plans until about six months ago. Or maybe my anxiety is the inner young man in me throwing tantrums at the fact that I have purchased an executive desk chair. Whatever the case may be I am comfortable here. The September wind is blowing outside my open window and the neighborhood in which I live is sound asleep. My desk chair and I could sit here together all night like two lovers getting acquainted before they begin the next stage of their life inextricably linked together. It happens to the best of us.

The Karaoke Singer

I swore that I’d never sing karaoke. Never. I looked upon karaoke as a sin against the holly temple of music. A bastardization without conscience. Karaoke singers were desperate people who were all motivated by failed dreams. No, this would not happen to me. But then I found a part-time job.

I was bartending in a restaurant/bar that had karaoke every night after nine pm. Around eight forty-five in would wonder aging dancers, opera singers, blue-collar laborers, pale politicians and a plethora of other oddballs. The occasional college crowd would also wonder into the bar after nine, not as much to sing but more to drink and laugh at other people singing. I would pour all of them drinks and watch people congregate around tables where they would browse through large books that had lists of all the songs they could sing. The well dressed maestro of the karaoke nights was an aging opera singer who dressed in dark suits and had recently suffered a heart attack. He would sip his red wine and say through the microphone “welcome to karaoke nights at La Casa. Order drinks from your caring bartender Randall so you can get some liquid courage and come on up and sing your song.” Once I asked him if he could stand the sound of his voice coming through the large, muffled speakers and he said with a smile, “I love the sound of my voice.”

I always felt a certain resistance, disdain- a smile that did not want to be born across my face as I served these wayward souls their drinks. Slowly I would watch them trickle up to the stage where they would sing their favorite song in a lonely corner filled with shame and humiliation. But as the first hour passed and more booze was consumed, shame and humiliation turned into confidence, courage, laughter, momentarily fulfilled dreams and loud cheers. My ears ached, my love for music was severely challenged and I swore I’d never sing karaoke.

Secretly I have always wanted to be a singer. A rock star. I have dreamed about standing in front of thousands of people all of whom were being transported to a higher state of consciousness through my voice. As a child I would dress up like Michael Jackson and sing alone in my back yard where I would pretend that all the plants and trees were adoring fans. As an adult I rarely sing anymore- that is until I started singing at the karaoke bar.

I quit working at La Casa because I could not handle the many hours that I had to spend standing on my feet listening to various out of tune strangers sing Queen, Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears and Elvis songs until two in the morning. My lower back was punishing me for all the pain radiating through my ears and down my spine- so I had to go my separate way. On my last night bartending at La Casa, two aging dancers (who were without a doubt beauties in their day) dedicated a Wham song to me, “the quiet, handsome, sullen, long faced guy behind the bar.” They swayed their tight hips and fake boobs to “Careless Whisper” as they pointed their fingers at me and waved goodbye. Again, I swore I would never become a karaoke singer.

A few weeks ago my wife and I went into a Brazilian bar not far from our home, to have a drink. I had no idea that after nine they too had karaoke and as the host put a book on our table from which we could choose whatever song we wanted to sing- I looked at my wife and said “let’s go.” But she is more curious than I. Less threatened by karaoke and more accepting of all different kinds of people. She pointed out to me in the song book many of my favorite songs and dared me to sing one. I said “no way.” I said no way several times but my wife is a genius at getting what she wants. I did not consider that my constantly full glass of red wine were several glasses that my wife was secretly replacing with the empty ones.

My wife knows that I have a secret dream to be a rock star. She knows that I live a life of quiet desperation. I have not directly told this, she just knows. Women. She kept telling me that it would be good for me to sing in public. A kind of release, she said. No way. But the rust around my stubbornness was feeling loosened up by all the wine I was drinking. When I noticed “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” by Joy Division in the song book- I suddenly felt the desire to sing come over me. A possession of sorts. “What would it be like to sing one of my favorite songs in front of a crowd?” I wondered. Granted there where only six other people in the room but they all were singing tacky pop songs and I wanted to sing something good. Something with culture and soul in it. I would stand out by singing an obscure new wave song from the eighties and the crowd would take notice. They would appreciate my deviation from the norm and they would applaud. Loud. They would love me. I was a rock star that night- thanks to the liquid courage and my wife.

I do not want to go too much into my performance that evening because there was a lot of hesitation and fear. I was wrestling my demons. I pinned most of them down. Once I finally made it to the stage I was slightly shaking and I noticed that at first my voice cracked a lot. But once I got into the song- things changed. My voice lowered, my back straightened, my arms moved, my eyes opened and I was the living incarnation of Ian Curtis singing his own karaoke song. I sang several more karaoke songs that night and the host had a hard time getting the microphone out of my hand. It was a bit of a struggle. The crowd could not stop clapping.

I return to the karaoke bar two or three times a week. I make lists of songs that I want to sing. “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran, “People Are People” by Depeche Mode, “Hold Me Now” by The Thompson Twins, “New Song” by Howard Jones, “Every Body Wants To Rule The World,” by Tears For Fears. These are just a few of the songs that I love to sing. I can sing these songs again and again- until the end of time. On the karaoke stage I am man not only acting out my rock star dreams but I am also reliving the best era of my life- the 1980’s. I dress just like I did back then. I wear all black, I aqua net my hair straight up in the air, I put on my clip on earings, black chinese flat shoes, black eye liner and I appear at karaoke nights like someone who has been transported forward in time. Sometimes I even wear my long black trench coat with a New Order patch on the back. Lately it has been too hot out for black trench coats despite the demands of style, so I just wear my black tank top, which displays my tattoo of Robert Smith’s (lead singer of The Cure) profile on my left arm. I stand on that stage without the shame and humiliation that I remember haunting those first few karaoke singers at La Casa. Fuck that. I do not have time for such life denying emotions. Instead I own the stage, just like I used to own my back yard when I would lip sync Michael Jackson songs. Even though there is rarely ever anyone in the karaoke bar- I stand on that stage as if it was a stage in a crowded auditorium. The host hands me the microphone, the lights go down and I watch the lyrics begin to walk across the television screen. I sing my eighties songs in front of large crowds of imaginary adoring fans. They are all listening to what I have to say. Wanting a piece of me. I am a young man again, with sweat drizzling across my face. I hold my hand out giving fans the opportunity to touch apart of me. I dance and sing my soul out until it is someone else’s turn to sing a song or it is just so late at night that the karaoke host is ready to pack up his stuff and go home. I never thought this would happen to me. Never. But it is one of the best things that ever did.

Other People’s Houses

I enjoy looking at other people’s houses. I imagine what my life would be like if I lived inside. I look at all kinds of homes- but I especially like the nice ones. Every evening I will go for a walk and observe houses. I entertain thoughts about what these people must do to afford such nice homes? I love seeing the various ways that people decorate their homes and I enjoy looking at the landscaping in the front yard. Sometimes I will look inside a front window to see how the residents have decorated the inside of their homes. When I feel like seeing homes I have never observed before I will drive to distant neighborhoods and walk around for hours. There are few pleasures that I enjoy more in life than seeing a well decorated home for the first time.

I love modern and Victorian homes. I love welcoming homes that have a lot of plants, cats and benches out front. I enjoy seeing homes that are painted in unusual colors and have obscure art outside. I enjoy looking at bohemian homes that have been given an individualized flare by their artistic owners. Homes that are loved and built with an attention to detail often take my breath away. I love staring at every inch of these homes in the same way that I would observe a beautiful lady. I find myself filled with a certain “homey” sensation when I stare at other people’s houses; a sensation that fills my body with feelings of comfort and ease.

I often will get as close to a home as I can so I can peak inside. I am interested in the interior design of other people’s houses and I am curious about what kind of furniture and art rests inside. I want to see if the home owner has a book collection and if so I want to know what kinds of books are sitting on their shelf. I try to make an effort to make sure that no one is home when I am looking through windows but I can not always be sure. There have been several occasions where I have been innocently peering through a window, enjoying the interior design, when suddenly I was noticed by a resident inside. On these occasions my plan is to yell out “sorry” and run as quickly as I can.

I have always enjoyed architecture. In college I wanted to be an architect but I could not handle all the math. My parents also shared my love for architecture and home design. As a young boy and teenager every Sunday my family and I would go for long drives around various neighborhoods. We loved looking at other people’s houses. We would  stare at the various homes as we drove very slowly by each one (after years of driving around and looking at other people’s houses on Sundays my family was given the nick name “The Stare Family”). My parents were gathering ideas from other people’s houses and imagining ways that they could redecorate their home. I on the other hand was dreaming about the beautiful and stylish home that I would one day own.

I currently rent a two bedroom house. It is rather cheap and ugly house with not much thought or imagination that went into its design. The front yard is filled with plants that are dying, paint chips that have fallen from the side of the house and a decaying fountain that no longer works. The inside of my house is not as bad as the outside. There are hardwood floors, nice white walls and a relatively peaceful back yard. I don’t really have the money to furnish my house nicely so my wife and I have had to use our imaginations to make our house into a kind of impoverished bohemian oasis. We have birds that help drown out the outside car sounds and a leather couch that helps give our box like living room some modern charm- but for the most part the inside of my house is rather simplistic. Since I currently have a lot of free time to wonder, I spend a lot of time meandering around inside of my house. I think about ways that I can make my rental house a bit more charming (like the homes I enjoy looking at). I buy plants, re-arrange a lot of furniture and hang various art on the walls. I clean the kitchen and bathroom at least once a week but I never feel that “homey” sensation that I get when I look at other peoples homes. This is the downside of being a renter- you never really feel like your house is your home.

When I walk around neighborhoods, staring at other peoples homes, I still dream about owning a home of my own one day. Like my parents twenty-five years ago, I too am getting ideas for the house that I hope to one day own. Just yesterday I walked around San Fransisco looking at all the various urban and Victorian homes. Some people who are home owners in the city have a sense of design and aesthetics that I rarely find out here in the country. I take everything that I like about other people’s houses and add it to the construction site in my mind where I am building an imaginary home of my own. This home is a modern house and has small hints of all the houses I have ever loved. There are wooden benches in the front yard, a pebbled driveway with a working rock fountain in it and tall glass windows that let in the sun light. There is a hammock in the backyard, redwoods growing on all sides and solar panels on the roof. I have beautiful art on the walls, comfortable couches, fish tanks and dozens of book shelves filled with classics.  There is my writing desk that is up against a large window that looks out over the sea. One day I hope to build this home in the material world but first I realize that I need to find that darn tree that I have heard so much about where money grows from branches instead of leaves. For now, I suppose I am content enough walking around for hours and looking at other peoples houses.

I Am Not Franz Kafka?

All through out my twenties I thought I was Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883- June 3, 1924). He was skinny, tall, introverted, alienated, intellectual, dark-skinned, well dressed, nervous, dramatic and Jewish. So was I. Kafka had a deep longing to be a writer and so did I. He loved literature, his sister, women, exercise and hated his job- just like I did. Kafka had a father, Hermann Kafka (1852-1931), who was a huge, dominating, worldly, loud, overbearing, oppressive and successful business man- just like mine. Kafka wrote “Letter To His Father” in which he spoke of being profoundly affected, both physically and psychologically, by his father’s authoritative and demanding character. I could have written the exact same letter to my father and I often did (I would copy Kafka’s letter and put some sentences in my own words and then mail a shorter version of “Brief an den Vader” to my father). So many things seemed to indicate to me that Kafka was just like I or I was just like him. I deeply related to his short stories and read and re-read his novels America, The Trial and The Castle. His novella, “The Metamorphosis” felt like the perfect metaphor for my life.

One of the difficulties of aging is that as years pass one begins to realize the misguided thinking of ones youth. One sees how much of their behavior was a fervid rebellion or unorganized folly against parents, orthodoxy and attempts to control- no matter how much one thought their behavior was authentic, ideological and revolutionary at the time. The joys of youth are hidden in its naivety, in youth’s ignorance of the root cause of behavior (I miss those days). As I have traveled through my thirties and am nearing my forties (shedding some of the anger and idealisms of my youth) I am beginning to realize that I am not like Kafka at all. At least I don’t think so. On the 18th of June 1906, Franz Kafka received his Doctorate of Law. He went to work for a large Italian insurance company where he worked for a year before quitting. Then he found a job with Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia where he worked for the next fourteen years of his life. I have never worked this long at any job with such uncompromising dedication as Kafka- nor would I want to. Kafka was a diligent and reliable employee although he often complained that he “despised the job.” His father often referred to his son’s career choice as “Brotberuf,” literally meaning “bread job,” a job done only to pay the bills. I would never want to imagine living like this.

I am not a Zionist. I have difficulty relating to those who are. It is not clear if Franz Kafka was a Zionist (I think he was) even though he sympathized with the Jews whom he thought deserved a homeland in Palestine. I have very little sympathy for Israel whose government and military is committing and has been committing for years daily human rights violations against the Palestinian people. Kafka would certainly not condone Israels current militaristic behavior but we would certainly have differing opinions about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the Jewish diaspora- were Kafka alive today. Even though there is not a lot of “Jewishness” in Kafka’s literary work- Kafka was very interested in Yiddish Theatre and Yiddish Literature, whereas I find these two art forms incredibly dull. Judaism does not appeal to me as it did to Kafka. Kafka read the Talmud daily and the few times that I have tried to read the Talmud I have fallen asleep.

Kafka was a very spiritual man and so am I. However, Kafka’s spirituality was very philosophical whereas mine is metaphysical, almost verging upon the new age. Gustav Janouch, who would often visit Kafka at work and then record the things that they talked about (which was later published as the book “Conversations With Kafka”) said that Kafka was a saint dressed in businessman clothes. Kafka often spoke about the virtues of patience. I have a tendency to be impatient. I have always wanted what I want now but Kafka once said, “Patience is the master-key to every situation. One must have sympathy for everything, surrender to everything, but at the same time remain patient and forbearing.” Kafka was simply talking about the Buddhist idea of “letting go and being in the moment.” Unlike Kafka, who is said to have been a master of being in the moment, I am almost incapable of spending more than a minute or two in the “now.”

Kafka once said to Gustav while they where on a crystalline autumn day walk, “there is no such thing as bending or breaking. It is a question only of overcoming, which begins with overcoming oneself. That cannot be avoided. To abandon the path is always to break into pieces. One must patiently accept everything and let it grow within oneself. The barriers of the fear-ridden can only be broken by love. One must, in the dead leaves that rustle around one, already see the young, fresh green of spring, and wait. Patience is the true foundation on which to make one’s dreams come true.” I happen to completely agree with this sentiment. I often practice this way of being myself and talk about it with others. The major difference between Kafka and I is that when I say something like this to people they look confused or take me for a new age freak. But when Kafka said the exact same thing- it gets recorded and written down in a book! I am not complaining, nor am I jealous of Kafka- I just recognize that Kafka and I obviously have very different ways of enunciating and expressing our ideas.

I have always enjoyed working nights or staying up late into the night. It is strange to me that Kafka would say something like, “working at night is very bad for one’s health. And besides you tear yourself out of the human community. The night side of life becomes the day-side for you, and what is day for other men changes into a dream for you.” I find this strange because I know that Kafka would often return home from work at three or four in the afternoon, take a nap, eat dinner and then write until late in the evening. He had to be at work before the sun came up, six days a week, and he would very often only sleep two or three hours a night because he would stay up slaving away at his stories or novels. I myself often work as a waiter when I cannot find any other way to make economic ends meet (also one benefit to working as a waiter is that I can have my days free to write, paint, read or do whatever I want). I enjoy the nighttime hours that allow me to feel separate from the normalized nine to five “human community.” A writer is often an outsider anyways- and my work as a waiter often confirms my outsider status. Kafka may disagree with my chosen line of work and tell me that I am selling myself short or that it is bad for my health to work late into the night- but I could easily turn the situation around and call him a hypocrite.

No, I am not Kafka. Sure, if someone compared our biographies they would find superficial similarities. Kafka was a health nut and so am I. Kafka was continually dependent on and exhausted by his fathers support, so am I. Kafka had issues with sex, intimacy and choosing between the writing life and the domestic life- so do I. Kafka liked to draw, so do I. Kafka prayed, I meditate. Kafka loved the streets, palaces, gardens and churches of the city where he was born and I love the rolling hills, smells, trees and avenues of the city where I grew up. Kafka was too shy and reserved for friendship and sometimes I think I am as well. Kafka talked about the coming age where the world would be populated with robots, catastrophe, bureaucracy and “chains that can not be broken because there are no chains that can be seen.” I am living in this age. Several years before the holocaust occurred Kafka said “we live in a morass of corroding lies and illusions, in which terrible and monstrous things happen, which journalists report with amused objectivity and thus- without anyone noticing- trample on the lives of millions of people as if they were worthless insects (Fox News comes immediately to mind).” I feel like the same thing could be said about the world in which I currently reside. But even with all these similarities between Kafka and I- I am no Franz Kafka.

“Man does not grow from below upwards but from within outwards. This is a fundamental condition of all freedom in life,” Kafka said to Gustave one day as he was buried in paperwork that was stacked up in piles on his desk. The room in which Kafka worked was filled with rows of desks and Gustav sat in a chair besides Kafka’s desk listening to him talk. “It is not an artificially constructed social environment but an attitude to oneself and to the world, which it is a perpetual struggle to maintain. It is the condition of man’s freedom.” Gustave could not help but think that Kafka could be an enlightened being hidden away in the machinations of the bureaucratic work-a-day world. I myself need to find an “ordinary” job so that I can afford some financial security in my life. Like Kafka’s dreams, my dreams of being a writer have not quite worked out and lately, I have been realizing how much my consciousness or my thoughts determines the reality that I experience. I am starting to get glimpses of how it is my attitude or way of perceiving that creates my reality. As much as my intellectual mind wants to disregard this spiritual truth- I am starting to understand how this is really works. But still- this does not make me Franz Kafka.

Through out my twenties I never saw Kafka as a guru or a beholder of deep spiritual wisdom. Now I do. Instead I saw him as an existentialist- a victim of a society that constantly tried to tear him away from his art. I related to Kafka’s struggle against his father and his constant attempts to be taken seriously as a writer by his family, friends and the surrounding world in which he lived. Kafka only had a few short stories published in his lifetime and was virtually unknown as a writer and human being. Kafka would often go to soirees or intellectual gatherings and read his stories out loud to those few people who were willing to listen. I, on the other hand, keep a blog in which I write stories and essays for the few people who are willing to read my work. Kafka struggled to balance his literary aspirations with his career, his parents and his relationships with women- I do the same. Without question- Kafka suffered and struggled through out his life to create the body of literature, which is now known as some of the greatest writings of the twentieth century. Even though he demanded that all his work be burned upon the time of his death- his friend Max Brod ignored this final wish upon realizing how great his writings really were. I myself would never want my work destroyed after my death and I have every intention of being a well-respected writer long before I am gone.

I am not Kafka? No I am not. The more I write the more I become more aware of the naivety or mistaken thinking in my twenties. Maybe one might disagree with this because the superficial similarities between Kafka and I outweigh the differences. Kafka slept with his window open, and so do I. Kafka believed in the power of prayer and so do I. Kafka tried hard to please his father often sacrificing his true self- so do I. Maybe I am Kafka and maybe I am not- but it is pretty clear to me that I am not. Above my desk hangs a picture of Kafka and a quote from Kafka that I read every day. It brings me comfort and validation to know that someone from the distant past understood the truths that I believe in today. The quote says, “Just be quiet and patient. Let evil and unpleasantness pass quietly over you. Do not try to avoid them. On the contrary, observe them carefully. Let active understanding take the place of reflex irritation, and you will grow out of your trouble. Men can achieve greatness only by surmounting their own littleness.” After reading this I always take a deep breath, hold it and think, no I am definitely not Franz Kafka. Then I exhale.

At The End Of A Rainbow


Ever wonder if there is really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?

It had been raining for a week straight. Streets had become shallow rivers and plants were drowning in excess water. A dusty shade of gray had colored in the sky until yesterday, when the clouds decided to break. I was sitting at my desk trying to keep my mind off the dismal weather outside. A pen drawing of a nude woman sat unfinished on my desk for hours because I was having difficulty staying interested in it. I had the radio on and repeatedly looked up from the drawing and stared out the window. I watched the rainfall and my spirit took delight in the birds that I saw sliding across the wet sky. Then it happened. The sun began cracking through the gray colored sky like an eye that was struggling to perceive the divine when off to my right I noticed something that I was not used to seeing through my window. What was taking shape right before my tired eyes- was the birth of the most resplendent rainbow I had ever seen.

The colors of the rainbow began to form gradually and then grew into bright vibrating hues of red, yellow, blue, green and violet. I sat mesmerized at my desk watching this creation of nature unfold in front of me. For a moment I was reminded of the rainbow flag that was used in the German Peasants war in the 16th century as a sign of a new era, of hope and change. So much awe overcame me that I had to go outside and watch the birth of this rainbow without the obstruction of a window. I noticed other residents of my neighborhood coming outside their homes and observing the same thing that was mesmerizing me. Bicyclists, dog walkers and joggers all stopped to watch the uncanny sight. The luminous rainbow covered the entire length of the city in which I live and owned the sky like a majestic doorway into some unknown place.

After ten minutes or so of staring at the rainbow, I slowly lost interest and decided to come back inside and finish the nude drawing. Even though what I should have been doing was spending my day looking for a job, I am a master procrastinator who will find the most obscure ways to distract myself from what really needs to get done. As I worked on the women’s hips the idea that there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, popped into my mind. As a child my mother, my grandmother, a baby sitter and several of my teachers had often told me this but as I grew older other adults told me this idea was just a myth or a superstition. I believed these adults without ever really checking for myself to see if they were right or wrong. Now, however, I was in a different predicament. I was a thirty-eight-year-old man, a victim of the great recession who was out of work and unable to pay next months rent if I did not find some money fast. When the thought occurred to me that I should go check and see if there really was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow– I said to myself “what the hell- I got nothing to lose.”

I am an average, lower middle-class man. I am a dull man with very few friends, who would rather not work be left alone so I can read books. When I found myself putting on warm clothes to go on a long journey in the cold and emptying out my backpack to take with me (just in case I did find gold) the thought did occur to me that maybe I had lost my mind. “Maybe I already lost my sanity months ago and this is the real reason why I am broke and having a hard time finding a job,” I thought to myself. I tried not to listen to this judgmental voice of mine and just focused my attention on what I remember my grandmother saying to me many years ago when she showed me my first rainbow. “The end of the rainbow is further way than you think, but if you keep on walking really far you will be rewarded by finding the most beautiful pot of gold right where all those brilliant colors touch the ground,” she said to me.

It must have been below fifty degrees outside when I began my “end of the rainbow” search. I threw away the naked drawing I had been working on and fed the cat before I left. I had an empty backpack on my back, thick gloves on my hands, a wool hat covering my ears and the anticipation of an excited child inside my rapidly beating heart. As I walked I imagined to myself what my life could really be like if I found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I would be able to not only pay my rent next month but also never again have to spend sleepless nights terrified by what I was going to do if I ran out of money. I would not have to eat beans out of a can anymore or tell my wife that I cannot afford to meet her for lunch or dinner. No more frozen food. No more ripped socks and old underwear. No more jobs and bosses I cannot stand. No more suffocating anxiety every time I spend more than a dollar. If there is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, I told myself, I will be free.

These thoughts caused me to walk faster. I could feel anticipation in my feet. As I walked I noticed more people stopped in the streets, watching the rainbow in a state of awe. I however did not bother to look up. I had both my eyes set on one place, and one place only- where the colors of the rainbow touched the ground. My grandmother was not wrong when she told me that I would have to walk really far. The closer I thought I was getting to the end of the rainbow the further away that it seemed to be. When I finally felt as if I had reached the end- the rainbow moved a little further from me. After an hour or so of walking frantically I was exhausted but determined not to give up. The thought did not occur to me that the end of the rainbow could be an optical illusion, like a pool of water in the middle of a hot desert. Had that thought come into my mind- I may have given up.

One belief that I have never let go of is that all perseverance is rewarded in the end. It must be! With this belief buried deep in my heart I kept on walking towards the end of the rainbow no matter how many times it seemed to shift. I walked off road and went through horse stables, ravines, cornfields and forest areas with thick overgrown shrubbery. I felt like a warrior on a mission that I would never surrender when in reality I was just a man who really needed money.

As I walked out from a claustrophobic cornfield that threatened to burry me alive, I finally came upon the end of the rainbow. There it was before me touching down in the middle of a dirt field in the middle of nowhere. All around was nothing but miles and miles of wide-open farmland. The end of the rainbow was not more than half a mile away from me and without a moments hesitation I began to run across the field with the slow speed and tight muscles of someone who has not exercised in months. I was willing to die for what could be at the end of that rainbow. I felt terribly out of breath as I ran but I forced myself to run faster because I was afraid that the end of the rainbow would get away. But all my determination paid off, because right when I could run no more I stood directly in front of the radiant colors of refracted light. I had made it to the place where “the brilliant colors touch the ground.” But my grandmother failed to tell me about what would happen next.

It was not until I was finally able to catch my breath that I was able to see what was in front of me. A young woman, no older the twenty-five, was rainbow bathing in the nude in the center of the rainbow. It took me a moment to see whether or not what I was seeing was real or just the result of an exhausted mind. Sure enough, when she sat up and looked at me with a bright smile I could see that what I was seeing was not an illusion. She was lying on a red towel that had the word “Hawaii” all over it. She watched me as I watched her until I finally got the courage to say to her, “excuse me. Ah….I do not mean to bother you…. but did you by chance…. find a pot of gold in there?” I knew that what I was saying must have sounded ridiculous, a little insane but she did not laugh or seem in the slightest bit surprised by my question. She just stood up and said to me “why don’t you get undressed and come in here and see.”

I felt my throat tighten up. I was shocked. The young woman was too beautiful, so perfect in every way that I felt like something had to be wrong. Things like this just do not happen to me. I was much older than her and could not understand why she would want to see me naked. I was slightly embarrassed but again I reminded myself that I had nothing to lose. The young lady stood there in all her nudity, patiently waiting for me to make up my confused mind. I was still thinking about the pot of gold. I so badly wanted the money. “Maybe it is hidden someplace in there, maybe she is hiding it,” I thought to myself. So like any desperate person would do- I said what the hell, got undressed and walked into a rainbow. She reached out her hand for me and I walked in just as naked as the day I was born- except for my wedding ring and the backpack in my hand (just in case I was going to find the pot of gold).

I remember reading someplace that the ultraviolet light put off by rainbows was beneficial for skin cells and blood. The light was filled with vitamins D, K, E, C and numerous antioxidants. I was comforted by the thoughts of these health benefits (since I have been struggling with some health challenges) as the young woman held my hand and escorted me towards her red towel. One of the only things she said to me during our time together was “there is no need to talk. Just feel and allow yourself to let go.” When we sat down side by side on the towel I tried not to stare at her naked body. I could not tell what mesmerized me more- being besides an exquisite naked young lady or being inside a rainbow. I also could not tell if it was the warm rays of a rainbow heating up my body or if it was my nervousness that was making me warm. The young woman started to rub my back with the palm of her warm hand and then whispered into my ear “lay back, let go and feel.” It was at this moment that the thought- “maybe she is an angel,” ran through my mind.

I followed her directions since I was in no condition to argue. I was a little concerned about getting an erection but I took my mind of off any sexual thoughts by visualizing a pound of ground beef. She lay down besides me- so close that I could feel her skin breathing. Together we lied there, not saying anything to one another, just feeling the warmth of the rainbow. Slowly I felt my eyes close and my heart slow. For the first time in months I felt my mind become still and my body felt at ease. I was hovering someplace between bliss and relaxation, feeling the individual colors and mist of the rainbow nurturing my skin. I was not cold and there were no thoughts about needing money frantically swimming around in my mind. I could swear the sun was shinning and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue. I did not worry about anything. For the first time in months- I did not think about how I was going to find a job or what I was going to do. Everything seemed to become silent except the exquisite sounds of the vibrating rainbow. The last thing I remember saying was “wow!” before I finally let go, let go, let go, let go.

When I opened my eyes I was lying naked in the middle of dirt field. I did not know if an hour or days had passed. Cold rain was falling on my body and there was no longer any an inch of sun in the sky. I looked around and all I could see was miles and miles of farmland. Besides me was my empty backpack and a few feet from me were all of my clothes neatly folded and placed in a pile The young girl was gone and so was the rainbow. I was shivering from the cold when I got up to put on my wet pants, shirt, sweater, and shoes. I looked around me to see if anyone else had witnessed what had just happened. No one. I put on my wool hat, gloves and backpack and started walking out of the dirt field. I did not feel sad, frustrated or confused. In fact I did not feel any negative emotion at all. I simply felt each step I took and listened to the raindrops as they fell all around me with a deep sense of satisfaction. When I finally made it back to the road I turned around and looked at the field that I had been lying naked in. It was at that point that I thought to myself, “so that is what they mean by a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.” I smiled, took a deep breath and began my long journey home.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States

I have decided to run for President of the United States. Sure this may come as a surprise to some you, but I am serious. The idea came to me while I was driving home last week from a job interview that did not go so well. I was thinking about the current condition of the United States and how to re-build it from the ashes. Then a voice came into my head that said, “what this country needs is the most unlikely of political figures to wage a grass-roots campaign and rise up as a representative of the people to become President… and if anyone could be this person- it would be you.” Even though I was arrested for shop lifting when I was fifteen, cited for civil disobedience when I was twenty-one, caught having an affair when I was twenty-five and have not ever had a steady job or made much money in my life- I still think I would have a chance. I am tall, moderately handsome, articulate, creative, honest, well-read, open-minded and I have a very unique vision of what the United States can become. “You are right,” I said to the voice in my head, “it would be me, but I would have to get over my fear of flying first.”

I would run for the Presidential term beginning in 2016, at which time I will be forty-four years of age (a good age to be President I think). By waiting to run for the 2016 Presidential elections, I can wait it out a bit and see if the world really is going to end in the year 2012. If there is an apocalypse on the horizon- I do not want to waste my time studying, campaigning and raising money for a Presidential position that will no longer exist. So for now I am just getting the word out, materializing my vision, working with a therapist on resolving my fear of flying and getting in better physical condition so that when the time comes for me to run I will be ready.

I told my wife about my decision to run for the Presidency and the first thing she said to me was, “I think that is a terrible idea.”  When I asked her why, she simply said, “I do not like that idea at all.” I opened a bottle of French organic wine that I had bought for the occasion, and tried to explain to her my vision for a future America. She was not terribly interested. I told her the story about when I was sixteen and working with a Psychiatrist (who had me on all kinds of medications) twice a week. One day the Psychiatrist asked me what I really wanted to do with my life when I grew up. When I looked him in the eye and said that I wanted to become President of the United States, I saw tears of pride roll down his cheeks. “I knew that was what you were going to say,” he replied. My wife was still not buying my Presidential aspirations.

After finishing two bottles of French wine together I found out the real reason why my wife was unhappy with my decision to run for the Presidential office. She has no desire to be a first lady. I tried to tell her all the wonderful things she could do as a first lady- start inner city art programs, educate Americans on the difference between good art and bad art, make the showing of Fellini and Bunuel films mandatory in high schools and start video art programs in universities across the country. “You could help wake Americans from their money and status obsessed slumber and educate them in ways that would make them cultural citizens of the world!” I said to my wife but she was not interested. The only response I got from her was, “I am not going to be a first lady, never.”

This is a slight set back since I have no intention of divorcing my wife. Maybe I could have a stand in first lady or no first lady at all? Whatever the case maybe, I am determined to find a resolve to this issue. I cannot ignore the voice that I hear every night in my head, which says over and over “ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.” I see myself dressed in a finely tailored suit, hair back in a ponytail, walking into a room where numerous people are giving me a standing ovation. I wave, shake their hands and for the first time in my life feel like I have finally made it. After the long uphill climb, the years of suffering and disappointment, the anxiety, the economic struggles and indecision- I have finally found my place on top of the mountain. How can a man give up on a dream like this?

I already have twelve guaranteed votes and by the end of the week I know I will have twenty. People already believe in me and if I can continue to gather twenty votes a week for the next few years I will have a considerable backing. Even though I am currently unemployed, am having a terrible time finding a job and may not have enough money to pay rent next month- these twelve people who have already given me their votes are keeping me moving forward every day. I will stand on street corners, go back to school and get a master’s degree in Psychology or History, fly in airplanes, stop sleeping in until eleven every morning and do what ever it takes to make myself a dedicated servant of the people. It is for them (and the voice in my head) that I am determined to win the office of President of the United States in 2016.

One of my very popular x-high school students (I quit teaching high school last year) has already promised to be my Campaign Manager and I have another x-high school student whom I might be able to convince to run with me for the office of Vice-President. She is African-American, a woman (well at the moment she is seventeen but by 2016 she will be a woman) and very intelligent. These three attributes- black, female and smart always get the votes in America. So, I am confident with her on my side and with the grass-roots team we will be able to assemble, that I will have a good chance of becoming the first Jewish American President of the United States in 2016 (as long as there is not an apocalypse in 2012). Now, I just got to work on convincing the wife.

A Writing Disorder.

photo.jpg I once wanted to be a Writer. I thought about writing every minute of every day. I exhausted my thoughts with words and dreamed of epic stories that I would one day tell. In my sleep I could smell stories and while awake I carried a pen with me every place I went. I purchased empty notebooks which stacked up on my bookshelves. I read all the classics, fell in love with the beats and drove myself crazy trying to live like a bohemian. I dressed as I thought a writer should dress and shaped my words with the pretension of a man with something to say. I had epic vision of numerous novels that I would one day write. I drank in bars and argued about Joyce’s prose style and the validity of Borges. After the sun set I rummaged my way through book stores and strip clubs searching for inspiration. I smoked cigarettes and talked with a drawl while watching ordinary mortals waste their lives away at day jobs. I never wrote a single word.

Now in my middle years I could give two shits about being a writer. I drink less than I did years ago and am never awake to see the sun rise. Meditation is my daily practice and I seldom set foot in a bookstore or strip club. The prose style of Joyce is as uninteresting to me as the sex life of a squirell and I have a tendency to wear the same jeans and t-shirt for a few days in a row with no concern for how I look. Smoking is a habit I no longer abide by and hanging out in bars is as exciting to me as playing golf. I read some fiction but most of my time is spent thinking about anything but books. I am completely unconcerned with the act of writing or becoming a writer- yet I am unable to stop writing. I write almost every day and there is no sign of a word or story shortage in sight. Strange how things resolve themselves with time?

One Hundred Years Of Solitude.

It was a strange thing to realize my solitude. I was confronted with it as if hit by a wave. Decades of hours and minutes ticked around in my head and days gone by re-lived themselves through a window I was looking into. There I was, a man in a black coat saved by his ability to write, yet fully aware of the nascent attitudes of the multitudes who refuse to read. I looked at my face reflecting in the window pane and noticed lines on my ears and hairs on my forehead that I had never recalled knowing. It was ironic to be looking at me when I was someone I had never known. Trepidation creeped up my spine like a lingering waiter and I suppressed two tears that could not wait to come pouring out. I left a time past alone in the window and went to the bathroom which is my favorite place to think. I watched grease form around my tub as if it was trying to tell me something and noticed a horrible ring around the toilet that could only be the result of months of neglect. A beetle made its way and I swore it was Franz Kafka reincarnated in my bathroom sink. I refused to let him live out his rotten life again so I turned the water on and watched the beetle fall away into the void of a bathroom drain.

All is well that ends well is what I often hear expressed behind closed doors and in graveyards where spirits refuse to say anything else. In my bathroom the sounds are rather extinct but as my solitude becomes more material I am willing to listen to the voices which are not there. Now you may think that this is the brink of madness, but I refuse to let a wrongful judgment come between the reader and myself. It is only the realizations of a man well aware of the nature of his malformed appendages that is willing to think of things in this way. Alone, in a bathroom a man is capable of such great feats that even the greatest of Greek gods grow nervous. I have a tendency to come up with my most profound notions while sitting on the pot, but my own solitary reality was never one of them. I was all too forlorn to come up with anything unique so I brushed my teeth, sorted out my hair in the muddied mirror and pretended that I was a holly man who was sound asleep.

In the kitchen I made tea and dealt with the cards that had been given to me. It was not a bad hand but I was disinterested in playing the game. My birds cried for air and so I set aside the card game and released my birds into the darkness of mid-day. Old faithfuls flying free with yellow stripes and furlong sweaters reminded me of my youth- a time when I could run far without fear. Now I sweat at the slightest notion of a jog and wonder away hours exhausted by the thought of my own solitude. There is air to breath but I am to busy worrying about a time when I will no longer have to worry about breathing. My birds elucidate on various themes as they wonder around my house afraid of a flight which has denied them in the form of a cage. One bird imparticular refuses to fly to far and the other does not mind the low ceiling that averts its flight. I suppose all is well that ends well so I put them back into their cage and remove myself to my writing desk.

On my writing desk are a few pens that refuse to speak and a pile of ideas that have not been written. My heart speaks of times that may never come if these ideas are not given ink, but for some reason my laziness refuse a potential that knows not what to do. It is an errant idea but one that I fool with now and then, if anything to keep my mind entertained behind the sheets which are dirty and cold. A mind is like a container in which dreams float. There are boats made out of tissue that carry these dreams around in the bloodstream. Sometimes these dreams touch the heart but most of the time they remain lodged in the head. All of my dreams have collected in my heart and after too many years of solitude, I am finally starting to realize that it is time for me to take this stack of ideas and mold them into form. It may take years, hundreds of years, but it may be that when we no longer know what to do, that we have come to our real work.

Sex Life Of A Man Without One #12.


Lately, I have a tendency to write and watch pornography in my sleep. I sleep walk as well, but writing and watching pornography, all while I am sleeping is new to me. Last night I composed my latest blog entry,Dream Time- while asleep. Reading it today I was a bit confused as to how it got on my site- but then I recalled that when I awoke this morning I found my computer on, and my WordPress blog on my computer screen. This allowed me to conclude that I must have been writing in my sleep. Dream Time is not the kind of entry that I would normally write and it does indeed reflect the dreaming mind of a man who is asleep.

I am no stranger to doing things in my sleep. Those of you who have read my earlier blog entries are aware that while sleeping I have rang my neighbors doorbell early in the morning while in the nude, driven my car in the nude, taken showers and tried to have sex with my wife. The other evening she found me asleep and naked with an unmistakable erection- watching pornography on my computer. I was unaware of the fact that I was aroused but remember dreaming about the sexual interactions that were taking place on my computer screen. It was like a wet dream but I did not have the opportunity to cum. My wife woke me up with a pronounced “hey!!!” and a forceful nudge to my left shoulder. I was stupefied to find myself in the nude stretched out on my desk chair watching a women with a pony tail, wearing pantyhose- spitting recently swallowed semen out of her mouth on my computer screen. “What is this?” my wife asked mortified by the grotesque sight before her. “I was sleeping,” was all I could say in my state of utter confusion. “This is absurd!!” she said twice while turning off my computer. I felt shame, despair and humiliation all rolled up into a small package and stuffed into my mouth.

And now the blog entry written in my sleep. This is a strange occurrence. I am not normally concerned by the things that I do while sleeping, but I would like to keep writing to my waking hours. When I am sleeping I do not consider myself to be as good of a writer as I have the potential of being while awake. I may write things that should not be mentioned or incriminate myself in ways that only come out while unconscious. This is all very concerning. I have read Dream Time a dozen times today and am startled by the clarity of images and the strength of the narrators voice, who is a man asleep!! So starting this evening, I will take my computer and put it someplace that would be difficult for a sleep walker to find. I am also going to install a combination lock on my bedroom door because it is impossible for a sleep walker to remember numbers. My wife will not approve, she will say that it is a fire hazard- but how much longer can this madness continue?