Archive for February, 2002

discovering america

Tuesday, February 26th, 2002
discovering america

And why should we believe that this is true.  Why should we believe, just because they say they’re going to close the propaganda office, that they actually are going to close the propaganda office?  “We have decided not to lie.  Honest.”.  It’s like an Escher engraving?the hand drawing itself.  The act of drawing, and its result, are both part of the two dimensional image produced by an unseen artist. 

I’d like to think that I can see everything there is regarding the intrigues and deceits of government, and on a warm summer night near the shore under stars I can believe anything anyone tells me.  But in the harsh light of a cold dawn, my overlooked suspicions have often been confirmed. 

We are not a noble nation.  We are not a righteous people.  Least of all are we fearless.  We tolerate pronouncements of assassinations and kidnappings for the sake of, what, peace?  safety?  in the name of ‘truth’ and the American way?  After they float those balloons successfully, we have the gall to squirm with discomfort when they tell us they are going to lie.  (!).  What is it exactly that bothers us about this Office of Strategic Influence?  That it promulgates and disseminates lies?  Hardly.  We take those easily, with tea and lemon. 

Institutionalizing the culture of deception which exists in government lays bare something raw and sore?our collective conscience.  That’s the only problem we have with the OSI.  Just give them an out of the way office, bury their budget within another, and for crying out loud, do not outright tell us about it! 

Myth precedes reality.  Joseph Campbell taught us this.  The myth of a New World preceded its discovery.  On an uncharacteristically optimistic note, I’d like to suggest that the myth of America will one day become a reality, too.  It will be a nation of free people gathered under principles which affirm the significance of the individual, and promote the inclusion of all.  There will be diversity imbued with equality.  America then will hold as its only might the truth, and will have learned how to rehabilitate sophisticated thugs and power-mongers like our present day politicians, enabling them to participate productively in the collective soul of America.  We will then stand as proof of these wild imaginings, rather than stand as we do now, as proof that such things are nothing but wild imaginings. 

Coffee, dust, and me.

Sunday, February 24th, 2002

Coffee, dust, and me.  What the hell am I doing here? 

“This’ll do,” has become my motto, even my personal vision statement.  It has applied to boyfriends?that’s whoever is currently sleeping in my bed.  There have not been many.  It applies to whatever the waiter actually brings, as opposed to what it was you ordered, because you never decided what you really wanted anyway.  It applies to bad jobs, to stagnant lives, and to any event that you don’t want to be bothered changing.  “This’ll do” is a universally useful utility for settling and stilling, which is the opposite of stirring and agitating.  Neither extreme is better than the other, they both have their advantages.  Only, I never choose the latter. 

Lately, I have been getting an eerie sense of things.  Once or twice, when talking idly about unimportant things?office chatter?and reference was made to specific geographic locations, I got the distinct feeling that I won’t be going to them.  Not with any particular forboding, just a sense that the limits are closing in and the possibilities diminishing, as they do in everyone’s life eventually. 

Some things are relatively certain without the aid of clairvoyance.  NASA is not likely to enter me in its astronaut training program, for example.  I’m never going to enter the military (not that I ever wanted to, except for the men), so I’m never going to fly an F16 or drive a sub.  I don’t seem to be in proximity to any opportunities that would take me to other continents; a stint as foreign correspondent seems unlikely now (not that it ever was likely).  There are not even any stints as a foreign tourist on my horizons.  A career as a celebrated chef is less than likely.  Same with surgeon.  And airline pilot.  An acting career is a little different; I’ve survived my whole life by acting, and it just wouldn’t seem right to make it a career.  No such possibility is imminent, anyway.  A future as an olympic athlete is out, too?except maybe for curling.  The sweepers and the throwers in that sport seem to be in awfully good shape, though I can’t see why they need to be. 

Careers aside, many untried pastimes (and even former ones) seem unlikely now to start (or resume).  Skiing was my absolute favorite thing to do, up until high school when my mother stopped me.  She thought it was dangerous.  And when I resumed it in my mid-twenties I was sure my legs wouldn’t take it and I’d fall, make a fool of myself, and have to repeat my fourth grade ski school as a remedial.  After so much time away from it, my first run was absolutely fucking fantastic, and I didn’t have any time to worry about falling.  Riding a bike. 

Speaking of riding a bike, sex?which is often compared to that activity?seems to have been over for a while.  It is problematic for me, anyway.  Intimacy is just too much work, and sex with strangers, while it has not lost its appeal, is simply not allowed anymore.  Sigh.  There is fantasy (or memory) and, of course, latex.  I’m refering to latex in its solid, cylindrical form, not the thin, sheath-like form which is slightly more acceptable to talk about.  Despite its comendable silence after the act, the solid form leaves a lot to be desired.  Now that I think of it, both forms?the dildo and the rubber?leave out an awful lot.  Or maybe I’m just wanting something from sex that I shouldn’t want.  Sigh, again. 

Today, I’ll go to work.  Supper will be a pizza or a sub, and more coffee.  Tonight, I’ll come home and reread this, and like parts of it, and wish I spent more time rewriting other parts.  But I won’t rewrite anything.  Then I’ll visit some favorite sites, maybe tweak Greymatter some more, listen to the BBC, have a snack, brush my teeth and go to bed.  I might clean my apartment someday before I die. 

I might not. 

thaw

Saturday, February 23rd, 2002
thaw

He was an unkown man to me, but there was something in that face, a humanity and grace that informed and illuminated whatever character he placed upon it.  His face was honest and genuine, with a hint of painful history yet revealing a clear optimism.  John Thaw was something rare among actors.  He was real. 

Acting, at its best, is about becoming real.  One does not achieve authenticity in a role by compressing one’s personality down to an invisible speck, and assuming an artificial personality.  A good actor finds and magnifies that speck within him that is the character he seeks to portray, giving it such force and prominence that we lose sight of the actor, and even forget he is acting.  A great actor does exactly the same thing?but he never disappears; the actor remains himself the whole time, yet the character he plays is absolutely and undeniably real.  They are two as one.  John Thaw was real when he played the sometimes cranky, sometimes contemplative Chief Inspector Morse.  This makes his passing all the more difficult; he was not a stranger to us for his being an actor, he was not an unknown person behind a role.  Such is the value of being a great actor; he gave of his substance, of his treasures, he gave of his most deeply held self in his craft?something I find hard to do even for those I love.  John Thaw showed us how to give, simply for the love of giving. 

I wish, right now, that he had not been quite so real, for I would prefer not to feel the passing of such a one as he.  How would I handle it if I were real?  I would acknowledge the sad loss, and go to work…

What do I do?

Thursday, February 21st, 2002

What do I do? 

Sleep.  Wake to my computer’s choice of music, Nils Lofgren, Shine Silently.  Avoid thinking, start to make coffee.  Fold-up futon, enjoying Nils.  Let daydreaming overtake me as I stand in my ripped underwear in the middle of my cluttered dirty apartment?a waking dream.  Resume sequence when I hear gurgle of coffee maker.  Shine Silently ends abruptly, in mid flight, as I pour perfect liquid into coffee carafe, in mid stream, and is replaced by Styx’ Show Me the Way.  Seal carafe and retrieve from it a cupful.  Pad over to ‘cockpit’ (I love that word), replay Shine Silently (complete version) and delete incomplete version from playlist.  Begin to write. 

Hit wall.  Seek diversion.

Start to edit everythingMost playlist to remove entries for incomplete music.  Become entangled in an effort to resort all 1342 entries by song title using a plain text editor.  Employ regular expressions in an unsophisticated attempt to rescue myself, similar to throwing a fire extinguisher at a fire.  Give up.  Get more coffee.

Resume writing.

absolutelyEverything

Tuesday, February 19th, 2002

I’ve not moving.’,CAPTION,’blogchive.burgwinkel.com’, HEIGHT, 15, LEFT, BELOW);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>recently learned a little bit about boundaries; a little about what is mine, and a lot about what is not.  Wanting what you do not have is the great American pastime, and for some of us it was a prerequisite for survival in childhood.  I was taught to be very good at wanting what you have, taught to believe with my whole heart that I needed what you had, and that it was perfectly appropriate for me to give you whatever you wanted in exchange for it.  The problem is that we cannot exchange parts of ourselves, romantic rhetoric aside.  The substance of us, defined by our boundaries, is indissoluable and inseperable.  We can pretend to use it as so much coin for emotional commerce, but it never, never leaves my possession, and no matter what I’d like to think, I cannot take possession of any part of you, even in exchange for all of me. 

I was taught that there existed just such a market for the real estate of me.  I’ve known for a very long time that it was a game, but the threats in my early life?that I’d be abandoned if I didn’t play?have laid deep tracks in the now hard-baked muck of history.  Changing the course of this early begun, and decades reinforced path is like trying to send the Mississippi to San Diego Bay. 

I am me.  I can give you any part of my heart and soul, and trust you to take possession of any (or every) part of my life, but it remains me, and if you damage any of it, I will feel the pain, not you.  I have sought to escape responsibility for these parts I give you by taking responsibility for parts of yourself that you give to me.  If I feel your pain I won’t have to feel mine, you will.  This was diligently taught to me as the way in which one behaves who is good and kind.  Others are selfish and despicable. 

I have learned that it is insanity.

I don’t want to take care of myself, I want someone else to do it.  I don’t like me, I want someone else to do it.  I don’t like my life, I want someone else to live it.  I don’t like my body, I want someone else to take it?and completely give me his.  I don’t want to live, I want someone else to live instead of me.  These are all lies.  At different times, I believe each of them.  On particularly dark days, I believe them all.  In the end nothing will be lost, nothing destroyed, nothing will be annhilated.  All sorts of limitless evil can be threatened, and everything can be feared, absolutely everything.  But in the end I will be me, and you will be you, and the sum total of our experience here will be the feelings and emotions we inspired in each other.  That will be all there is. 

That will be everything.

a gray matter

Monday, February 18th, 2002

I have been spending the day implementing a greymatter version of my blog.  There’s nothing there just yet, except attempts to make all the lines and colors look right.  You might want to visit noahgrey.com to find out more about greymatter, and about who made it.

There’s a good chance that once I finally understand how it is all supposed to work, I will continue to use blogger to publish because (despite my antisocial leanings) I like the connection that blogger provides to the whole mass of other blogger-published bloggers. 

cornerhost

Saturday, February 16th, 2002

Moving webhost.  New info is propagating throughout the internet and DNS databases are seeking equilibrium.  Magic.  If you can’t see this, you won’t know why.  If you can see this, you have no need to know.

A giant bamboo dildo

Thursday, February 14th, 2002

A giant bamboo dildo used in the sexual assault of a woman is a weapon, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Tuesday.

I hate to seem prudish, but how can this even be debatable?  How is it that the appeals court, which reduced the man’s sentence, was able to say that the baseball bat-sized instrument used in the sexual assault was not a weapon?  Is there some sort of sick sexism going on here?  Was the thing NOT a weapon because it was NOT used against a man?  Was it not a weapon because it was used by a man in a sexual assault against a woman?  Was the blushing, bashful Appeals Court so embarrased by the way it was used, or so uncomfortable about the term used for it?dildo?that that they actually chose not to look at it in the cold light of reality? 

The appeals court opinion which revised the original sentence should have been titled, How to Commit Assault with a Giant Bamboo Stick, and Get Off with a Dildo.

ooops

Wednesday, February 13th, 2002

In an effort to prevent my precocious little computer from overwriting my published blog with my local test copy, which looks crappy (I mirror this site on my local hard drive, sort of), I deleted the test copy.  During its routine FTP session sometime around 5:00 AM this morning, my machine noted the local deletion of blog.htm, and dutifully deleted it from my web server.  Thank God (and Ev) for the miracle of blogger.  All is back to normal. 

The only problem with the world is people.  😉

This isn’t true, either.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2002

This isn’t true, either.  It’s not even troubling.  In the least.

I think JFK, Jr. died accidentally, too, even if they did send a Navy task force to recover the evidence.  Of course Teddy did publicly ask for the Navy’s help, but then Teddy is a broken man, living on someone else’s permission, surviving his brothers by some fiendish fiat.

I don’t trust this government as far as I can throw a battleship.  Sorry, but it’s true.

news

Tuesday, February 12th, 2002
news


I thought this immediately when I heard that the former vice-chairman of Enron had supposedly committed suicide; that people in power are corrupted, that any appearance in them of high-minded enlightenment can reliably be attributed to the success of their deceptive skills, and that Vince Foster didn’t commit suicide either.  This does not smack of the kind of high-salaried journalism we have learned to trust, and that is precisely why I am more apt to trust it.  If the journalist has ‘access’, I want to know why.  I am suspicious if he lives comfortably and fits seamlessly into the media matrix that is the perception management industry.  On the other hand, if the writer has naught for sources but the working poor, and the unknown commoner, then that writer’s words are the ones I want to read. 

magnetic induction, downdraft® hearth is’,CAPTION,’jennair.com’, HEIGHT, 15, LEFT, BELOW);”>

Journalism has joined the World Wrestling Federation in its contempt for truth.  The most successful newspeople have learned what needs to be presented as truth, and participate fully in the deathwork of doublespeak, and they get their mansion in Georgetown.  The truth is not there, as if you need to be told.  But it really is so much easier to believe it, and participate too…  I mean, what the hell, what does the truth really matter?isn’t it all relative anyway?  Wouldn’t you prefer a Camry rather than a bus pass?  Isn’t it nicer to be standing in front of a Jenn-Air rather than standing in a line at a soup-kitchen? 

I really hope that whatever we have lost in our acquisition of comfort isn’t killing something vital in our soul.  I’ve heard no news to that effect, and so I fear it is probably true.

Step back

Monday, February 11th, 2002

Step back and take a look at who we are.  It will only take a minute, but it is worth its weight in days. 

maryWrite

Sunday, February 10th, 2002
maryWrite

I want to write like this.  Or maybe I just want to have a life to write about.&nbs.  Some desperate smash-the-mug romantic rage accompanied by some discouragement at work and some genuine, tangible toilet-overflows, can’t-pay-the-bills depression?mmmm, that would be living!  Instead…

The Major Deity visits me at work last night, while I am pining over the memories of boys who once I worshipped, and He stands there, budda-like with his chubby hands folded across the dome of his belly, gazing at me with a grinning expression that says, “I know there is something you want.  Just ask me.”.  MD and I have played this game before.  He is going to trick me again?he is a tireless trickster?but I must be in a teachable moment and he is, if nothing else, all about love and compassion, so I allow the trick to proceed.

“I want you to send me a young man who will love me.”.  I know from past experience that I should be more specific, such a generalized request will get me into trouble with the Major Deity.  But things at work are, just then, rather frantic, and there is no time to polish my legalese before submitting my request.  I am sure I included the concept of ‘cute’ as a descriptor in my psychic communication with MD, and I may even have asked that the boy-gift only want me instead of love me.  Love is not actually on the menu at this stage, that would be like a restauranteur presenting Gas and Indigestion as an a la carte item.  It comes later, if at all. 

Then, the admission of my desire obtained, the Major Deity smiled?no, he grinned, a little too much?and went away.  Now cut away to a cold black night as I pump my bicycle up the hill to the doorway of my house.  There is no one in sight except the dark outlines of two men walking down the hill toward my house.  I fantasize that one is perhaps an enemy who wants to kill me, perhaps it is Bernard (another story).  I manufacture a need to get my bike and me through the door quickly and away from this threat which, while it isn’t really lethal, it is worse.  They threaten to socialize.  iyeee! 

They are a late-thirty-something man, and an early-twenty-something boy, very early twenty, he could even have been very late teens.  From some elsewhere heaven, MD watches with glee.  They are now on my side of the street.  They are looking at me.  I am fumbling at the door like a damsel squirming helplessly on railroad tracks.  Now they have turned onto the little walk that leads to my door, to me!  Before I am able to flee through the front door, I can feel the 19-ish boy close behind me.  He stares at me, transfixed I’d like to think.  I am about to let go of the first door as I wrestle my bike through the second of my building’s double doors.  I have to say, “Got the door?  He wakes. 

The obligatory next line is, He is beautiful.  Major Deity has played this trick on me so many times, that that line is getting worn out.  Alas, it is true.  Sparkling dark eyes, perfect black hair with a glisten of gel, fine eyebrows and long lashes, and fascinating lips, not pouty at all, but pink?and waiting.  He watches me intently.  I think I looked at the thirty-something man, but I can’t recall if he even had a head.  The man was a present non-entity as the boy watched me.  The man is aparently my downstairs neighbor, although I thought my downstairs neighbor was a young handsome blonde.  I saw the blonde once when he brought his departing guests to the door as I was entering, again, with my bike.  The blonde had smiled a remarkably disarming smile at me that left me much like I am now, pondering what could have been.  And now I wonder where this thirty-something neighbor gets his friends. 

With a look of hopeful innocence, the 19-ish beauty stood at my neighbor’s doorway after my neighbor had disappeared within, and watched the whole while as I ascended the stairs out of sight.  I could have smiled.  I could have winked.  I could have gestured for him to follow me, neighbor be damned.  When I got into my apartment, I turned to the Major Deity just in time to see Him glance away.  He had a smug look. 

depressed, and worried

Friday, February 8th, 2002

I am depressed, worried, and angst ridden.  I am also pathetic, aging, sagging, washed-out and energy bereft.  Every cell in my body has been pickled in caffeine; if not for the artificial stimulation, I probably would have died months ago.  Needy and infantile, I am a ten year old who happens to be forty-three, with no idea of who I am supposed to be now. 

The flow has reversed.  Once, I benefitted from the kindnesses of those who saw me as young and innocent?a babe inspiring the care and concern of strangers.  Now, I am the one who is concerned and caring for the rare babe who appears, needful.  in my vicinity?and I have precious few resources to draw upon for the benefit of a needful one, even if he is me. 

A twenty year old called detox last night.  He’d been in only one other detox before, and he’d never been to the one where I work, unlike most of the people who call me.  His voice was soft, almost sleepy.  His drugs were heroin and OxyContin, and he’d just had a few OC’s.  With an incongruously gentle voice he was trying to express a desperate need.  Here still were the old life-fears which we all encounter, fears that made the escape look so good to him a couple years before, magnified now to a nightmarish scale.  Added to that are new annoyances like, where will I sleep tonight?  and where will I get some stuff when I get deathly ill?  and who will I get it from?  and will it be safe, because I know I will do anything for it.  In the background a woman’s voice, his mother, screams obscenities at him.  It can be difficult to hear, but between his softly spoken words is a real fear, and a question, sometimes asked half-hearted; I can’t do it any more?can you help? 

No, actually, I can’t.  But I happen to work at a place that will take him out of there for a few days, and provide a brief interlude of structure while postponing the dope-sickness.  We don’t really eliminate withdrawal symptoms, we just soften the blow with methadone, and two days after he leaves us he’ll be sick, but not as sick as he would have been without us.  That’s not helping much, I know, but that’s not what we really do at a detox.  We don’t cure the agony of withdrawal, nor the agony of life.  We simply show people that there is another way of dealing with it. 

We try and make them see. 

“I got a car, I can get there,” he says unconvincingly, after I tell him he has a bed.  “Don’t do a thing,” I say.  “Just stay where you are.  I’ll get a driver to pick you up and bring you in.”.  That’s one of the best things about my job; somebody calls needing to be rescued, and most of the time I can send them a real human being, anyplace in Massachusetts, and that alone probably saves a lot of lives. 

I see him just before I leave for the night.  The driver has just brought him in.  “You’re the one I talked to on the phone?”  he asks.  He thanks me.  He’s young, cute, and despite everything, sweet and innocent.  We are all sweet innocents, whether we’re young and cute, or not. 

We just don’t see.

nuts

Thursday, February 7th, 2002

What am I, fuckin’ nuts!?!  Well, yes.  I am. 

This, dearies, is the ugly side of a DSL addiction.  There is no treatment.  If there were, I would not want it since I already know what the treatment is for most addictions?I work at a detox.  Besides, it is easier to keep using the twisted pair, especially now, since cancelling my pending DSL install now will cost almost as much as going through with it.  (Now fade-in Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light.). 

I looked at 2 apartments yesterday, one too big, and the other just about right.  $1050 and $975 respectively.  Are landlords in this dumpy city fuckin’ nuts too?  Well, yes.  They are.  Only they also own the property.  They are salivatingly unaware that Worcester rental prices are not supposed to be as high as rents in Boston or New York.  However, no penalty will be exacted for their blithe gouging, for I have not the means to penalize them, and I have no faith that the open market will be Robin Hood for me. 

If I don’t eat for six weeks, I’ll maybe have enough for shelter and DSL.  Maybe. 

So, does anybody want to buy my teeth?