There has been an epidemic of flies around my house. What used to be my favorite thing to do, sit in my backyard and sun bathe while reading a book, is no longer something I am able to do peacefully. Flies flock to me as if I had some kind of magnetic appeal. They crawl around on my chest, my neck and a few have found their way into my various orifices. So last week I had enough. I bought a fly trap. As much as I try to abstain from killing any other species I figured the world could do with a few less flies. What was the big deal? I mean they don’t think and feel, right? I hung the fly trap up in my backyard, which looked like a plastic iv bag filled with brown-ish water. I used one of my shoe laces to hang it.
After a week of hanging in my backyard the fly trap became a fowl sewer of fly corpses. The smell was putrid and noxious, almost too much for the human nose to ingest. So today my wife made me take it down. Inside worm like insects were beginning to grow out from the more than twenty thousand fly corpses that were contained in the plastic bag (I know the number of flies in the bag only because the fly trap was filled to the rim with dead flies and on the front of the fly trap it says that it catches over 20,000 flies). I put on plastic gloves, wore a mask over my nose and used a scissors to cut the fly trap down. Once I had it in my hands I walked it over to the trash can. As I was walking I could not help but look at the massive amount of flies that were deceased inside. A few flies were still alive but soon they would be dead as well. I was reminded of the holocaust and as quickly as the association came into my mind- the fly trap disappeared into the trash can.
I took off my gloves and the mask. I put the scissors back in its rightful place and then went and sat in the wood chair in my backyard. I watched as a few flies landed on my arm and a few more hovered around some of my dogs excrement that I was yet to pick up (my wife has been giving me a hard time about not picking up the dog excrement on a daily basis, since I promised her that I would when we got the dog). As I was staring at the flies I wondered if I would be entered into the fly history books for all the flies that I was responsible for killing in my backyard? Would flies that are yet to be born one day view me in the same way that I view Hitler? A chill ran up my spine and I was suddenly aware of what I had done. What started out as a simple act may cause me to be known in the fly world as a genocidal maniac. I have always wanted to be remembered for my writings or doing something of value in my life- but now I may be remembered as a man who murdered thousands of flies in a fly trap! I took a deep breath and stopped my mind from entertaining this horrible thought. I got up, cleaned the dog poop and then went inside.
I am obsessed with doors. I have walked for miles upon many miles and spent years upon years- staring at nothing but doors. The way doors are crafted and the permission that they grant the viewer to imagine what may lay behind, give me an animated sense of being alive. I love the way doors swing and hang. When I am watching a door swing or sway upon its hinges it is as if I am watching a beautiful women seductively pull back articles of clothing that slightly reveal glimpses of forbidden flesh. A potential is revealed and then hidden.
I am a man who is drawn to doors like sailors can be drawn to sea. I am in love with the concept of a door. The way doors separate realities and tempt the mind into a certain curiosity. Doors alter moods, depending upon whether they are opened or closed. They hold the key to the riddle of the universe- all we have to do to is walk on through to the other side.
My obsession with doors grew out of a brief relationship with a woman whose father was a door maker. He specialized in making doors from Southern Spain. The doors had a Moorish quality to them and were always carved with seven sided stars and Arabic writings. The doors were large enough to allow elephants to walk into or out of a room. Aliza’s father was also a man obsessed with doors and after he was long asleep (his wife and he slept on a mattress which was set upon two 18th century doors that he brought back from Barcelona) we would sneak into his door studio and make love on the various kinds of metal door carving equipment. I remember the cold of the equipment against my bare butt as I lifted her upon my legs and made love to her in the dark. Aliza taught me all that she new about doors. We would spend days doing nothing but walking around the tree lined neighborhood in which she lived examining the various kinds of doors that separated families, friends and strangers from “experiences, perceptions and realities.” When Aliza left me for another woman the last words she said to me upon slamming a door in my face was “my doors are shut.”
I managed to steal an antiquated book about doors from Aliza’s father before leaving the door studio for the final time. My heart was in pieces and I had tears in my eyes as I ran off with the book under my jacket. I read the book at least a dozen times and got over my broken heart by traveling around America on a bike and examining, studying and documenting various forms of doors. I took photographs and documented over 10,000 doors in sixteen journals that I tugged around with me in a heavy suitcase. I stayed in Philadelphia for months amazed by the various kinds of colonial doors that seemed to exist in excess. I worked in a strip club during the evenings and documented doors during the day. In one form or another I have been doing this same thing for the past fifteen years. I have over two hundred door documentation journals. I hope that one day not to soon my obituary mentions that I am one of the most important Doormen of my generation.
A Doorman is not the standard and accepted definition of a man who opens doors for you. Rather the term Doorman goes back at least 2100 years to antiquity where a minor Greek Historian by the name of Herodumus wrote the first collection of writings on the theme of doors. He defined a Doorman as the connoisseur of the study of doors whose fascination with the transcendental architecture of doors burn like a fever in his soul. He spoke of the Doorman as one who searches with unrelenting fervor to find the secret or “alternate reality” that can only be revealed by passing through a door. This is the alternate reality that Aldous Huxley wrote about in The Doors Of Perception– another book that has deeply inspired my search. Huxley spoke of doors as a living form of matter that have the absolute power of separating and joining one reality to another. It was Jim Morrison who was the twentieth century’s greatest devotees of Herodumus’s manifesto of the Doorman. He took Huxley’s challenge to break on through and started a band that was dedicated to investigating the mystical apparatus that we refer to as a door. Morrison made doors spiritual and sexual. The textures and structure of doors became more detailed in American society (1969) after The Doors became on of Americas greatest rock bands. It is to Jim Morrison that I will dedicate the great twenty first century book that I plan to write about doors. It will be called The Doors.
For now I am swamped with perpetual thoughts of doors. I see them when I sleep and I am always trying to find ways that I can sneak behind them. No matter if it is a Cabbala door, a Mulligan door, a Moorish door, a Rotunda door, a Franklin Colonial door or a simple 4 by 4 American Suburban door- I am always wanting to break on through to the other side. I am like a Scientist who wants to prove the existence of God by finding the one door that reveals all of his/her or its equations. Like the Door maker whose daughter I long ago copulated with- I am convinced that all the riddles that confuse and confound the human species can be immediately unlocked by the transcendental power of a door.
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.
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.