What I Think Is Funny About Fun

I have been on a fun fast. No more fun for me. Not for a while at least. I am as fed up with fun as I am with my dog who does not seem to understand that my bedroom is not a bathroom and that the toilet paper in the bathroom garbage can is not food. After more than two decades spent in wild pursuit of fun I have decided that I want nothing more to do with it. Epicurus, the first great theoretician of pleasure, defined fun as the absence of suffering. He said that a person was having fun to the degree that they were avoiding suffering and since in the long run fun often brings more unhappiness than happiness, Epicurus advised people to cultivate prudence and modesty rather than always trying to have fun. So I have heeded the Epicurean call, put my dancing shoes in the closet and tossed out the three beers and bottle of white wine in my refrigerator. I have told my wife that I will not be having any fun for awhile, but she does not seem to understand.

I was fourteen when I first became obsessed with fun. Up until that point in my life I had not had much fun. Between all the bullying at school, the problems at home and the insecurity and fear that I carried around with me like a heavy backpack, I was too depressed and forlorn for fun. But when I was fourteen and in the back seat of my fathers Mercedes I got my first glimpse of what fun could be. My father was driving and my mother was in the passenger seat. My sister sat by my side in the back and we were on our way to spend a nice Sunday afternoon at the San Francisco modern art museum. We were driving down Broadway, a street lined with strip clubs, liquor stores, a few books stores and some prostitutes. Immediately I lifted my forlorn head, my eyes opened wide as I for the first time saw a world that was completely different from the suburban country club in which I had been imprisoned for many years. I saw the neon nipples that flashed outside of strip clubs, the bare legs of the women who sold their bodies on street corners under the XXX’s that would come to be the object of my attention for many years.  I still remember what it felt like to be sitting in the backseat of my father’s car, longing for the day that I would be old enough to transgress my depression away by having fun in this perverted, subterranean world.

Once I was eighteen years of age I spent my every free moment wandering up and down Broadway. I would get intoxicated in back street bars while trying to read a Jack Kerouac novel (to this day I am yet to finish one from beginning to end). Reading was not as much fun as drinking, watching other people and dreaming about the sexual possibilities that lingered somewhere “out there.” When I had the money I would wander into darkened strip clubs where women would rub there semi-naked bodies against my shivering flesh and ask me to buy them an expensive drink for the time they would spend with me. I was in love with this pornographic cabaret world in which the conservative reality of my parents seemed to disappear. The objects of my desire were all around. I was young and in love with all of them and all I had to do to get them to sit on my lap without clothes on was come up with a certain amount of money. For the first time in my life I was having so much fun that I was rarely able to sleep. Drunk and stoned, wandering from one seedy bar and strip club to another, while writing bad poetry in a tattered journal, this was so much fun. But the funny thing about this kind of fun was that one afternoon, slightly hung over, I walked out onto the street for a cigarette and realized that I was suddenly thirty-four years old.

Most of the friends I had grown up with were married with children. They were already indoctrinated into the world of careers and mortgages while I was still pursuing fun in the form of a naked women, dark bars and bad poetry. I had beatnik aspirations that I felt legitimized my hedonistic lifestyle, but when I was standing on the side of the street that afternoon realizing that I was suddenly thirty-four years old, I also realized that I needed to find a better way to spend my time. I may have thought of myself as a kind of perverted beatnik but it was now the twenty-first century and beatniks had either become bums or artifacts in a museum someplace. My realization struck me like a hot flash of electricity as I looked at the Beat Museum that sat across the street from the strip club where I spent most of my time. I put my cigarette out, swore that I would never smoke again, threw my tattered notebook in the trash and walked away.

Five years have passed since that frightening afternoon and the XXX symbol is no longer the object of my attention. During the past five years I have had to find other ways to have fun. I started doing Yoga until I hurt my neck after getting stuck in a head stand. I learned how to power walk, which was fun for a while but then became a boring way to pass the time. I took up the art of wine drinking and cultured my palate by eating at fine eating establishments. But like Epicurus said the more I pursued pleasure the more miserable I became. When I would have fun I kept wanting to have more fun. It was just like my days spent cocooned away in a strip club- I could never get enough and always was left wanting more. The cycle of my fun addiction was vicious because as much as I tried to have fun and not think about the future, I knew that the fun I was having was short-term gain for long-term economic and psychological pain.

So no more fun. I have been fun free for seven days now. I now do other things with my time. I can find pleasure in smelling a flower, going for a slow walk on a rainy day or spending hours alone in my room writing these ridiculous blog posts. I can sit in meditation for hours on end. I can have prudence by being content with what I have and restrain the constantly nagging desire to go out and get more. I would be lying if I did not admit that there is still this constantly lingering desire within me to go seek out a den of iniquity where women are waiting to intoxicate me with their seductive curves. I often find myself longing for the bare legs of a woman to be wrapped around my chest or the bleached hair of a young lady, who is much to young to be sitting in my lap, blanketing my face. But unlike when I was younger, I now have the inner muscle to stop myself before I let myself go in hot pursuit. I can take deep breaths, recite my cooling mantra and allow my urges and impulses to pass away into the never ending void of time and space. I am proud to admit that I am now old enough to realize that the funny thing about fun is that the only way I can get enough of it is not to have any at all.

My Sister The Slut

My sister is a 37 year old slut. I have not always been aware of this- but recently it has caught my attention that this is the case. On several occasions I have spent time with her in parks on nice sunny afternoons. We lay out a blanket and I am always surprised because she suddenly takes of her clothes and wears a very skimpy bikini. I am surprised because we usually spend time together in popular parks where there are men all around playing bongo drums, doing yoga, playing frisbee or just hanging out “surfing for chicks.” I myself have always been a bit uncomfortable hanging out with my sister when she is wearing a bikini. I see more of her than I want to and I am also unsettled by the amount of men that become fixated upon her bare body. Often, I would just chalk her modesty up to a desire to receive a tan- but lately I have realized that there is more behind her bikini wearing motivations.

My sister is a medical doctor and spends most of her weekdays dressed in nice suits usually covered by the traditional white Doctors smock. She is an attractive lady with long brown hair and golden brown gypsy skin. She is well educated and has a tendency to drink and smoke a little too much. She lives alone in a lavish city apartment with her cat who is on heart medication. My sister is often going on dates with strange men who she meets on-line and in the park.

My sister recently told me that she has met at least twenty men in the park that we like to go to, over the past two months. When I asked her how many of these men she has gone on dates with she told me “all.” I was shocked since I have always considered my sister a rather conservative sexually repressed professional. When she told me that her idea of a date was getting a bottle of red wine, some weed and staying in and watching a movie- I knew something strange was going on. My sister was seducing these men and then having her way with them in the privacy of her own bed.

I do not know why I am surprised that my sister is a slut. I come from a family that has a long lineage of sexual perversion. My grandparents and parents were swingers. I myself was addicted to prostitution and pornography for many years. Now that I am married my sex life has become more non existent but I am able to maintain some sexual relevance by a masturbation habit that never gets boring. After all the afternoons spent sitting with my sister in parks it never occurred to me that she to was acting out her deep and genetically acquired sexual perversions. I was naive not to see the motivations behind her bikini and body oil. I was also naive to distrust my own feelings of discomfort that I felt when ever she was dressed in a bikini.

I recently found out that on warm sunny days my sister goes to a particular park in the city and sits in the sun wearing nothing but her bikini. She smokes cigarettes and does all the paper work that has accumulated from her day job as a doctor. Her office has become the park and she is always trying to get me to meet her there when I am done with work. But recently I have been staying away. I do not want to face my discomfort around the fact that my sister is wearing a bikini because she is trying to hook and reel in men like a fisherman awaiting some stupid fish to bite the bait. I do not want to face the fact that my sister is a slut and possibly using me as bait to capture the jealous attention of other men. After all I am an usually handsome man and the two of us together have often been mistaken for super models. So I am staying away from her and the park for a time. I am trying to make due with this knew realization about my sister and find out if there is some sort of way that I can convince her that she is traveling down to wrong path.

An Invitation To A Beheading.

I used to love sitting alone in a chair and reading a good book. Nothing brought me greater pleasure. I would read a novel a day while enjoying the background sounds of birds chirping and cats meowing. Nothing was as effective in diminishing my stress and anxiety as a good book. No matter how bad the conditions of the world or my life- the printed words on a page could lift me out from my psychological squalor and re-plant me in a space of wonderment. I look back upon these times with utter envy. I even become emotionally enraged towards the man I was in my twenties. I am not only jealous of the large chunks of time that he had to drift of into the pursuit of knowledge but I am furious that it has all gone away.

Now I cannot read a book without having to get up and do something after twenty minutes. I become aggravated, nervous and I am distracted by these demons that seem to be hovering over me and disrupting my concentration. My thoughts begin to race and I struggle to stay focused upon what ever story or non-fiction work I have chosen to read. But no sooner than I can get past a few pages is there the loud voices of little demons that whisper scary things into my ears and poke sharp objects into my chest making me fearful what might happen next. I try to tune them out and push them away with positive visualizations or a smile- but they are ferocious and do not easily relent.

I know nothing good lasts forever, but there are still so many books left that I want to read. I want to return to that time when I could read peacefully for hours, day upon day- without the little brats whispering in my ear: “is your heart beating irregularly?” or “shouldn’t you be doing something more constructive.” Some times these little demons keep shouting things at me like “watch out, watch out- your head might explode!!” or “run, run, run for your life…death is coming, ha ha!!” My own inner monologue is not loud enough to silence these intruding voices and rather than continuing to read I give up and go do something else.

I have not been able to read a book from front to back for months. These little intrusive demons are getting the best of me. They also sneak into my head when I go for walks and drive my car. If I am not constantly reciting a mantra in my mind or singing a song- they will sneak into my silence and cause me great anxiety and grief. The little demons are wearing me down, forcing me to drink more wine and taking me away from the one thing that has always been of great importance to me- my intellectual life.

Without my practice of diligent daily reading my intellectual acumen has become as watered down as a cheap cocktail. I have not been able to think or write upon the great themes of philosophical dialectics or cultural theory like I had once planned upon doing. I have not been able to write great novels that compare with the best of works by Tolstoy, Kafka or Bernhard. I have not been able to go into my career as an honorable college professor who specializes in Ontology and Samuel Beckett. Rather- to defend myself against these little demons and attempt to save my own life I have had to go towards the New Age. I have had to practice meditation, do Yoga, recite mantras and start wearing beads and stones to defend myself against negative energy. I have had to seek out healers and been told by many that I must get out of my mind and start to become more grounded in my body. The very thing that I put so much work into cultivating has become my demise. My intellect has become the very portal from which these demons can access my nervous brain causing me such scary afflictions as to make me consider taking medication. These voices and disruptions get louder and louder every day- if it continues I may send out invitations to my own beheading.

photograph by Keith Purdy.

Electromagnetic Freak #3.

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

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

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

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

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

The Bullshit Guru

I will tell you a story until you believe it is true. At a certain point there will be doubt and apprehension but as you continue to listen to my words your ability to resist my bullshit will be undone. I do not know if it was a gift that I was born with or a skill that I have cultivated over many years of lying. True I come from a long lineage of bullshit guru’s but I believe my abilities surpass any genetic predisposition. I have made bullshit into such an art form that the world has become my ashram and all the little people in it my devoted disciples.

If magic could be explained, would it be magic? I do not know why my bullshit is believed by all. The stories that I tell are organically ejected out of a mind with little consideration of principle or limitation. I speak my mind and usually it is a cleverly interpreted lie. How I got this way I do not know. Sometimes I believe it stems from a deep seeded love for the fictitious and all things literary. At other times I feel as if my bullshit is nothing more than a symptom of boredom. Nonetheless my intentions are good, but what they are I am not quite sure.

If you leave me alone in a room for ten minutes with a group of a dozen strangers chances are I will have them thinking about things they had never considered. We would speak about the nature of self, the way to find inner happiness and the practice of truth. I would talk to them like a man who knows the answers and has traveled the path. I have counseled many wayward souls and steered them back upon a course that I know not how to direct. I speak about things that I can not practice. Sure there is nothing unnatural about this- but I speak like one who knows. Because of my fictitious fallacies I have followers from all around the globe who come to me with questions ranging from the simple to the profound. I council Bloggers on ways to cultivate concentration or imagination so the quality of their being will grow complete. The irony is I know not what I speak off- I simply speak and out comes the freak.

The other day one of my sweet devotes deemed me the bullshit guru. She told me that I was full of it- when she caught me in a tale that she knew to be untrue. She knew that I had yet to attain the level of enlightenment that I was speaking about since just the other day she had to lend me a xanax because of an anxiety attack that rendered me helpless. “Even though it is bullshit,” she said “I still like your stories. So I will continue to speak, to council and to blog until my bullshit has grown so constipated that nothing no longer is willing to come out. Feel free to seek me out for words of wisdom in your time of need.


The Big Sleeper.

me I have something deeply intimate to share with you. It is not necessarily information that will change your life in any way, shape or form- but I believe it to be important enough to share with the world. I am not necessarily proud of this confession, nor am I ashamed. It is simply a fact of my life that has become real enough to integrate itself into my way of seeing the world. My confession is simple: I am a big sleeper. No knew news to anyone who may know me. I live for sleep. I not only live for sleep, I work and strive for sleep. I am always traveling towards sleep. I am asleep a good part of the day and night. Sleep has become the only activity which makes much sense to me. All else is vanity.

I sleep on average of twelve hours a night and nap two or three hours during the day. There is not a person whom I am close with who does not hound me about the amount of time that I spend asleep. I will have plenty of time to sleep when dead or I am wasting the best and most productive years of my life- they pontificate at me. I listen with an open heart and sympathize. They are unable to understand the joys of elongated periods of sleep. I have never possessed a strong motivation to become one of great stature or to do things with my life that would move mountains. I prefer the slow contemplative life that seeks to absolve itself through reflective activities that negate the importance of action. I spend hours sitting in chairs trying to understand the body that I am sitting in. I focus my gaze on a sky that opens up eternity and I try to weigh my significance against this wide open space. I talk about the futility of action and follow the sun as it makes its course through the day. I often wonder if I am wrong in my conclusions but care not confuse myself more about what may be the correct answer. I eat little and dream about a time when I will live closer to nature and hear less human sounds. I wait patiently for the sun to set so that I can start preparing for my nights sleep.

When I am asleep my mind is at peace. I become a Yogi who is able to stop thought and exist clearly outside of time. My mind becomes so focused that there is no focus at all- I become a thinker without thoughts, a dreamer without dreams. Nothing interferes with the quality of my sleep other than a few noisy footsteps echoing forth from my neighbors upstairs abode. There is no worry coursing its way through my arteries, no fear trying to underestimate the quality of my experience. I am what some Guru’s or spiritual teachers may refer to as existing in a place of bliss, pure awareness of the nothingness of being. Sleep is my meditation, yoga and ashram. It is my temple and retreat center. It is my state of harmony and act of devotion. In sleep I am a fully enlightened being. It is only when I awake that I become the fool.

Many of you may feel as if I am sleeping my life away. I respect this claim but would retort by asking, are we not sleeping our life away anyways? Is life not one big dream? Do you not notice how quickly the future mutates its way into the past? We are all asleep in one form or another even while awake. There is no rhyme or reason to the paths we choose to roam while sleeping or living upon this earth. There is only time and the choices that we make about how we will spend this time. Some philosophers choose to spend their life sitting in a bathtub with books and a bottle of booze. Some choose to live in burrows beneath the ground. I choose to wrap my self up in the comforts of my blankets and sheets and fall away into a state of elongated peace.