Tuesday, April 25, 2017


In HBO's Westworld, there's a scene where one of the hosts, androids who look and act and behave as humans expect humans to, scampers loose in the wilderness and is finally caught by staff. As they try to subdue the host, he picks up a very large boulder and then begins pounding his own head with the boulder.

I am at this place again.
I wanted to bash in my head this morning with a rock, a large one, while I let the goats out to eat. I was waiting on Colleen to take me to work.

Sometimes when we fight, I have visions of doing all kinds of violence to myself. Sometimes I do go through with it, like punching the pool table. That's very painful and leaves swelling in my knuckles. Or slamming my hand down on the desk. That hurts a lot, but it spills things all over.

For a long time after my Event, I handled the rage by finding some place to put it. I think with all of the stress and disappointments I've been experiencing this semester, my patience and resources are all spent.

I am an asshole. I think it's sociopathy. I think it's a gradual erosion in whatever has kept me steady. Happiness is rare, and usually involves something other than people. The pileated woodpecker I saw this morning, who tore apart some of the trunk of this old dead tree across the street, laughed out as I smiled at it. Watching Atlanta, the younger goat, watch the red fox, that makes me smile inside. The way foxes move is very beautiful. With animals and plants and insects and the wind and the clay, I don't feel weird or like an asshole or victim or victimizer. Silent observer, I don't have to lie or lie-through-silence, since there's no expectation of being anything other than what I am, which is lately an uncaring, frustrated self-abuser who takes it out on people and fragile objects.

I didn't get a ride home. I told Colleen to stay at work. She wanted to drive the thirty-five miles (one way) to pick me up and take me home. I was already set on walking (twelve miles).

I got off at 6. I got home at 9:44PM.

I saw a lot of things on the way that I don't normally see. But more than that, I smelled a lot of things and heard different birds. I ate an apple Colleen gave me for part of my lunch on the way back. That was nice. This little Hispanic girl and her even littler sister were playing in the brackish water of a ditch. Two black men drunk in their own yard: "Hello, young man! How you doing?" "I'm doing well. How about you?" "Ab-so-lutely Marvelous!" I pointed back at him, said "That's it. That's it!" He gave me the finger guns and smiled. Three trains passed me on the tracks. I tried to talk to ghosts. I spooked a family of Things in the woods. The lightning bugs, if they are that, are not blinking but staying lit. They sometimes look like eyes, not bugs. Someone's spray-painted a glow-in-the-dark cross-hatch bulls-eye near the railroad crossing near my street. A bunch of cops and people in T-shirts all with the same logos were sitting in a parking lot, just standing around with one of the cars displaying emergency lights. I saw the Big Dipper right up in the sky. A child's toy phone and lots of other litter far away from the streets but next to the tracks. A used condom in the roadway next to the Koch chicken plant. A nice large black woman said hello to me and said "It is a beautiful day!" The construction site where they tore down hundred-year-old oaks to put in office space that will stay unused and unleased, alongside a dental place with diversity-approved smiling children advertisements.

My body hurts, especially the thighs and hips, and now my upper back between my shoulders is starting to announce itself. The feet have blisters already. The shoes weren't so good, but then I haven't ever walked that far before. I haven't done a lot of walking at all.

A lot of disappointments. They just keep piling up.

My disappointments come from expecting too much. Again, maybe I am a sociopath and don't know really what goes on inside people's heads or hearts. I can't keep getting frustrated. Frustrations lead to violence. I want to get away and go away, but it's no use. I have to sleep with Colleen. I have to see my students. I have to be out in public. I have to keep coming back to people who want to know what's wrong, what to do, how to help.

My Dad said that I used to talk all the time when I was a little boy, and I remember writing this one story about turkeys for a class around Thanksgiving, maybe second grade. It was three or four pages long. Other kids wrote that many sentences. It was about the time I became a teenager that I stopped talking to them.

There was a family who came in to get their passports. They were all laughing, telling jokes off each other. Handsome sons, disposable wealth, decent cheer. The fifteen-year-old couldn't stop laughing and smiling for his picture, and when I did get the shot, I thought he was amazing. A little Hispanic boy, fifteen-months-old, couldn't stop crying and trying to get back to his mother's stomach for me to take his picture. Three sons and a daughter, the oldest son able to translate my instructions into Spanish with diction and sense well beyond his fourth-grade peers. I see this more and more. I observe so much unfolding around me.

This is the last week of the semester. I burned up my self a while back. The students this semester were for the most part disappointing, with a few —always a few— who truly stood out. I am asking too much. I am expecting too much.

The problem is me. I lost myself somewhere. This body keeps walking, observing, taking in and breathing. The heart, I felt it before, it comes and goes. The bile, I know it will come up and out and go everywhere. Then I'll really be hurting myself. Then I'll really do something to leave yet another scar on my body and soul.

Do you know who I am? I don't know who I am. Do you care about me? I don't know how to care about me. I inherited my mother's narcissism and my father's withdrawal, my mother's temper and my father's sensitivity, my brother's voice and my brother's fists, but where am I in all of this? Amidst all of the experiences that come into me and become part of me, like the XXX Vitamin Water I drank from QT on the way home tonight, what is the thing holding them together, for this moment, and becomes me?

If the world is so obnoxious with its stench, it is because it's my nose. I must change my nose to change me.

I wanted to punch out the faces of those smiling diversity-approved kids advertising tooth surgery. Where there had been beautiful old oaks, there is now pine lumber rearranged into a frame, which will eventually hold mostly white kids and their indebted parents. I flicked off the building. I have been doing that more and more. The long line of cars sitting at the red light, not realizing they could just turn right and turn left to get to school, I flick them off. Some of them are likely coworkers or students of mine. They are not thinking.

If I change my finger, I cannot flick them off any more.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I am not trying to be clever or careful. I know I'm being an asshole more and more, but silently or patiently bearing with all the misunderstanding and miscommunication has stopped working. My silence is now a lie. My inconsistencies proof of my deceit. My constantly changing and unstable moods both explanation and symptom of my sins.

I don't want your sympathy. I don't want advice. I don't want to bash in my head with a large rock, right now, but I did just read about an old man (ninety-five years-old) who tried to bash in the head of his wife (sixty-five years of marriage). My mind immediately jumps to Frank-n-Furter saying "It was a mercy killing." True love is a wild thing. Even God, they say, out of true love for someone else kills His Son, Who gives up His life not only for the Father Whom He loves but for all the various people who believe He did this for them.

If I loved myself so much, would I bash in my head and end this? Not as an escape, not as an end to the pain of my own self-inflicted derangement. But as love giving itself over to end the suffering of another.

Sometimes when I see the tiny little pebbles next to the road, I wonder about the tiny little pebbles clinging to the side of the asteroids tumbling about Saturn's rings. I wonder about the endless amounts of tiny pebbles on the endless amounts of tiny asteroids tumbling about in space, in other galaxies, in other temporal lightcones within this universe, and here in this tiny region of the endless expanse, I see these ants maneuvering around pebbles carrying indiscriminate yellow or grainy pieces of something in their mandibles.

Then when I look up and see Orion setting, I wonder if there are tiny little ants winning the GREAT ANT WAR where they are.

The laughter of little kids.

A woman crying into her cellphone, face reddened and so very helpless, in a public library, on a public computer, and no one free to tell her that this too shall pass.

I stink of sweat and pain and chemical exhaust. My body is cramping up. My ass has vanished. There are noises outside I cannot pick out.

I used to hide behind trees, too, but I was watching my crushes from there.
I started to hide inside myself, since that seemed easier for watching.
Inside, there are places none of you will ever see, because there's no one there to explain it.
Outside, there are places none of us will ever see, because there's no way there to find it.

If there is no way for the Outside to find the Inside, and no one for the Inside to explain it to the Outside, the best we have is faith.

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