Archive for September, 2002


Saturday, September 21st, 2002

I’m afraid of you people.  Don’t you know that?  No.  How could you?  I think I hide it pretty well, and I almost never admit it.  In fact, most of the time I deny it, even when nobody’s asking.  Just by being whole, functioning human beings, you scare me.  And even if you are not whole and functioning, you still look like you are to me, so you still scare me.  If you reveal that you care, that you’ve invested even a pennie’s worth of emotion in me, then you scare me more.  How am I supposed to handle what you’ve given me?  How am I supposed to give you anything back?—or maybe I am not supposed to treat it like an exchange, or am I?  And if you are an authority figure, if you’re a cop, or a boss, or bigger than me, or more scared than me, or as angry as me, then I’m going to start out so terrified that I’m going to have to hate you just to hold myself together. 

And if you never notice the panic that I’m in, and never see the hysteria that I hide inside, and if you treat me like the whole and functioning human being I pretend to be, instead of the trembling, quaking, crumbling, sandcastle that I am, then I’ll try and make you go away.  I can’t disintergrate, I just can’t.  So I’ll try and make you go away, even though I don’t want to, because I don’t know what else to do. 

I’m sorry. 


Saturday, September 21st, 2002

I absolutely love chaos, which is nothing more, really, than the potential for disaster.  Opportunities for disaster fascinate me and draw me in.  I can’t resist sticking my fingers into fan blades.  I used to play with matches before I was a firefighter.  As a kid I would never be able to keep my balance when walking on the shiney polished rails of the train tracks in the woods, but I would always try—especially if it was raining. 

I suppose I am lucky; I was never knocked unconscious falling from those rails.  I was never run over by a train while lying helpless in its path.  I never burned the house down, and I never lost a finger, though I did get a nasty cut from a fan blade once. 

I don’t want to die, but I do want something to kill me, something that is not in my control.  I want to be in the path of disaster, then I can stop feeling guilty about everything. 

The guilt comes from… well, I guess I am going to try and figure that out right now.  I’m not sure I know.  One thing I have always known is that, without help, I am completely oblivious to the things of which I actually am guilty; neglecting friendships, shirking social obligations (like failing to acknowledge birthdays, not sending thank you notes for kindnesses extended to me, and seldom buying Christmas presents), and never cleaning the house.  Just your basic, run of the mill irresponsibility.  I have stopped being stunned by my inability to maintain even casual relationships.  Oh well. 

However, I am hyperconscious of things for which I am not guilty.  Years ago, someone cut the cable-TV cable coming into my building.  I noticed it and told the landlord.  I was surprized nobody else mentioned it before me.  Does no one in my building watch TV?  I don’t even have a TV, and there I was telling the landlord somebody cut the cable.  Maybe it was my imagination, but he appeared to suspect that the vandal was me, even though he thanked me for bringing it to his attention.  We all know how paranoid I can be.  The point is that if there is a remote suspicion that I might be guilty, then for me there is no distinction between being guilty and being innocent.  If you suspect me, then I behave as if you are right.  I despaired long ago of ever standing up for or defending myself.  I gave up all hope for justice when I was a little, little boy.  Besides, if everyone believes I am guilty when I am not, then I can enjoy the balm of a potent self-pity.  I am addicted to self-pity, as you know if you have read any of my writing here for the last four years. 

There is four hundred and ten dollars missing from the safe at work; my department has custody of the safe.  Of course I am feeling that the irresponsibles who run my workplace are blaming me in the backs of their minds, or in confidential whispers between them.  Paranoid, see?  The management is irresponsible because despite repeated losses from the safe, they have maintained a flawed system for monitoring its contents, which is always at least $1000.00, and often much more.  A hundred bucks was lost three months ago. 

In the $410.00 case, it appears that the page in the inventory book (which tells us what is supposed to be in the safe) was removed along with the envelope containing the $410.00.  As a result, the individual responsible for checking the safe’s contents has no way of knowing that anything is missing.  The individual responsible for checking the safe yesterday during the 3-11 shift was me.  The displacement—let’s not say theft, yet—was discovered today when the patient to whom the money belonged was being discharged.  The best I can say is that the contents of the safe matched the inventory record when I checked it yesterday; either both the money and the inventory page were in the safe together, or neither was. 

The hospital’s policy is that two people check the safe’s contents against its inventory record at every shift change.  This seldom happens, partly because the place is chaos and no two people can be spared simultaneously to go off and do the inventory, and partly because most shift changes do not overlap.  When one arrives, whoever is being replaced promptly leaves.  Now, I suppose I could refuse to accept custody of the safe under those conditions.  But my employer counts ‘friendliness,’ and ‘cooperation’ much more highly than competence.  Such a refusal is not an issue I wish to press because my employer has no difficulty promoting an unworkable policy, and they’d probably fire me for insubordination—I am of the opinion that they just generally don’t like me.  Paranoid, see? 

Regardless, the conditions under which the $410.00 was lost could not have been prevented even if five people were checking the contents simultaneously.  There was no evidence in the inventory record that it was supposed to be there, so nobody would have any reason to suspect it was missing! 

Do you think I am obsessing on this?  If not then allow me to correct you; I am. 

Do you wonder why I continue to work there?  Let me refer you to the very first line of this entry; in fact, let me reprint it here:  I absolutely love chaos, which is nothing more, really, than the potential for disaster.  The potential for disaster is extreme in the office where I work.  Perhaps that is my delusion, but as I see that we are out of time for todays session, I will have to take up that issue next time I show up for therapy. 

I am out sick today, normally I’d be at work right now.  Instead, I will go and try again to expell some of these abdominal cramps, then I’ll take a hot shower to counter the chills, though that will probably trigger the sweats… 

Who knows, maybe I’ll die.    : )

feathers in bed

Thursday, September 19th, 2002

I will never understand the schedule of angels.  Tuesday morning I was awakened by the angel, wrestling with me inside my brain. 

The remedy is simple, if not exactly holistic; take 3mg. of Ativan, then lay in bed and hold him down until we are both unconscious.  When I wake ten hours later, he is gone.  I don’t know why it works, and I don’t know why he leaves.  Maybe he just gets tired of waiting.  Or maybe there is another reason; I’ve never known why he comes in the first place. 

But why come on Tuesday morning?  That is the one day, in my particular schedule, when calling in sick looks suspicious.  I have Mondays and Wednesdays off, so a sick day on Tuesday makes for a neat little three day furlough.  That’s how I think it looks to everybody else, everybody who is at work, wailing and groaning and gnashing teeth.  Then again, I do tend to be a little paranoid. 

There exists an incongruity between my spirit and my flesh, and when I surrender to the angel’s visit, I allow the energy—the electricity, the light—to flood my brain and flush clean the repository of my soul. Thus is my body injured, wounded and spent, but my spirit is renewed. One day, the angel I defeated Monday will defeat me for the last time, and, enfolding me in his wings, will carry me to congruity, once and for all.

So who can know the schedule of angels?  What duties and responsibilities do they carry?  If I truly understood the ethereal creatures, I might realize that angels are utterly unburdened and light of heart.  That’s why we think they have wings.  Truth is they simply do not have weights. 

judicially cognizable rape

Wednesday, September 18th, 2002

From the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly:

James J. Kelly, 73, of Leominster, received a myriad of appeals and stays for a pair of 10-year sentences for rape and a five-year sentence for indecent assault and battery.  He was convicted in 1988 in Worcester Superior Court in connection with the rape of a former Leominster woman, Debra Hagen, three years before.  Following his conviction, Kelly collapsed and was hospitalized and his first sentencing was put off.  An unusual cycle or events including lost court transcripts, new appeals, stays and continuances resulted in Kelly’s freedom.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Cordy, in his majority opinion for the court, went on to chastise the Worcester County District Attorney’s office for the lack of action in getting Kelly behind bars. 

Justice Cordy further wrote that “the victim of a crime does not have a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution of another.”  Heaven help every victim of crime in Worcester County.  They must not only forfeit to the District Attorney’s office any interest in the prosecution of the crime against them—which is nothing new at law but still is somewhat counterintuitive.  Further, they must entrust their grievance will be adequately redressed by the 26 year-old political machine that is Worcester County District Attorney John Conte’s office, a machine of dubious integrity and flagrant incompetence. 

Somebody obviously thinks that James Kelly should not do time for rape.  Since District Attorney John Conte is the only person responsible for making sure that the sentence against this convicted rapist gets carried-out, and since Conte has failed in that regard for over fourteen years (Kelly was convicted in 1988), then I think an appropriate punishment for his obstruction of justice would be if Conte and Kelly went to prison together. 

They probably have a lot in common. 


Saturday, September 14th, 2002

johnsBridgenearSm.jpg (90K)
This struck me yesterday when I saw it, just a glancing blow, a tragedy in the news—there are so many.  But it really hurt.  Still does. 

One survivor. 

How do you go to work everyday for months with fourteen friends, isolated together in the Maine wilderness, isolated together in a foreign country, your family half a globe away, isolated together by your language and your culture, and then one day return alone from the woods? 

happy birthday, world

Wednesday, September 11th, 2002

Time for bed.  I’ve managed my anxiety by staying up good and goddamn late.  Thousands of innocents remembered; a nation’s innocence, gone. 

I am 44 today. 

perchance, to dream

Sunday, September 8th, 2002

I am waking from a dream in which I am laying on a warm beach, in a warm breeze, and all around are serene-looking people who glance my way with warm smiles. The breeze is good. The sun is hot and the air moves over my skin like a giant fluffy comforter. The azure waves drape themselves on the white sand and expire with a soothing hussshhhhh-sound, willing victims of their passion for the shore. The air itself seems to glimmer and sparkle brightly like the shining surface of the sea, and I return the smile of a kind-looking man who strides across the sand, lithe and graceful, nearby.  Everyone moves with grace in this dream, and there are no couples on this beach, no exclusive groups, just gentle individuals moving about in peace and contentment. 

The breeze picks up, and some sand blows onto my skin.  I consider moving to brush the sand off, but I am too lazy in the warmth.  The breeze becomes a wind, and looking around I notice all the peaceful souls have gone somewhere.  The sky is getting dark, and I decide I must force myself to move, to try and follow my charming beach companions to wherever they have gone.  At the instant I try to sit up my entire body is jolted throughout with a terriffic pain, and the sand now is black, the sky, night.  Wind howls and I writhe as the pain engulfs me, my brain throbs, my eyeballs feel as though they are about to explode.  My limbs are worthless, flopping about as I squirm like dead things that have been attached maliciously to weigh me down.  Though I am already wailing in my mind, I begin to feel the vibrations in my throat as I start to scream. 

My eyes burst open as my voice echoes back to me from the cold black wind.  I am naked, in a snowfield, in a blizzard on a black, cold night.  I despair my loss of the peace, the warmth, the love and the comfort of the sunny beach as the last remnants of it recede and are extinguished in icy blackness.  My scream of pain becomes a cry of rage; how can reality be so completely different than what I thought it was?  How could I have been so thoroughly misled?  Who did this cruel thing to me? 

When I wake I am crying, and my pillow is damp with tears. 


Friday, September 6th, 2002

The original entry here is gone.  I can’t stay pissed off, no matter what you’ve done to me, because it hurts too much. 


Friday, September 6th, 2002

Got less than an hour today, will go as far as I go…

68.  Teresita M., who used to scare me she is so intense, who I now know is committed to love both first and last, no matter what else comes in between; for continuing to be my friend despite my irrational behavior, and for being courageous in a terribly, terribly scary world. 

Only one.  How lame am I?  Don’t answer that.  Gotta go.. 

just a link

Thursday, September 5th, 2002

a hundred loves, all in one spot.

nice ass

Thursday, September 5th, 2002

Of course that’s not all there is at  I mean what good would a great ass be without a heart and soul attached? 

Nice heart.  Nice soul. 

I love…

Wednesday, September 4th, 2002

61.  My mother; because I know she did the best she could, and she loved to the absolute limit of her capacity, and because I am no different. 

62.  Judi, my friend, coworker, confessor, confidante, and would be lover (if I was straight); for coming to me with some of her most private conflicts, and trusting my advice, and for allowing me to do the same. 

63.  Joe V., from Germany of late, who was the perfect lover, who offered things more precious than I believed I deserved; for being intelligent, scarily perceptive, passionate, intensely conscious, huge-hearted and beautiful inside and out, and for shaking up my world. 

64.  Ned Martin, who was the voice of summer, a Red Sox announcer heard on my father’s AM radio on lazy afternoons and warm nights throughout my entire remembered life; for his quiet style and unpretentious class, for never making meaningless noise during games, and for conveying some of baseball’s gentle beauty by allowing significant silences seasoned only with the idle sounds of a waiting crowd.  Ned Martin died July 23, 2002. 

65.  My uncle Joe; for killing me, thus enabling me to know life from an uncommon perspective. 

66.  Don W., who you may remember from the story of Billy the ‘oil-drum pilot’; for being young and innocent and scared and needy and angry and lonely and sad, and for never losing hope, despite all this. 

67.  I learned from Joel that most everyone is good and kind, but few are brave.  Most people hide their hearts, and hide from others’ hearts.  And most people never knew the astounding joy and stunning agony of loving Joel.’ 
        –from joe:3/16/2000′,CAPTION,’journal entry’,LEFT);” onMouseout=”return nd();”>Joel L.
, who I fell in love with, fought with, and became so angry at that I decided I could never see him again, and who I then missed being apart from so terribly that I decided no amount of anger would ever separate me from him again; for giving me his heart and allowing me to try and fill the empty spot there, and for his pure and innocent love by which he inadvertantly saved my soul. 

will this ever be done?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2002
…  But we learned more about life than most.  I don’t mean we suffered more, only earlier.  We finished lessons that some might never learn, lessons that for many don’t start until adulthood.  We knew the end in every beginning, the pain in every joy, the darkness created by every light, and we recognized our own soul in every creature we ever met?from insects to humans, and even including monsters.  We are atuned to agony wherever it occurs and our reflex is to share the sufferrer’s burden without hesitation.  We have cast temple-bulging screams into the night demanding a loud and clear Spiritvoice to sustain our hope, forgetting in our panic that it speaks only in whispers, and it has never failed. 

And miles to go before I sleep… 

56.  chiphi2x, aka Mike M., a web designer who lit a fire here without ever coming any closer (physically) than a thousand miles; for being frantic, restless, sometimes manic, sometimes depressed, and always intense, for struggling and crying, for soaring and shining, for letting me read into him, for inspiring a piece of my best writing, and finally, for quite unexpectedly responding to it. 

57.  Mentioned in the same old journal entry as chiphi, JP (short for John Paul), a college student who was beautiful, and interested in being my friend; for offering a lot more than I dared accept, and for giving me the time of day, which even then, long ago, was unbelievably late. 

58.  Nelson Mandela; for enduring, for distilling through decades of suffering a faith priceless to the world, and for being free

59.  Cat Stevens; for every whisper he has ever recorded, for his gentle heart, and for treading lightly on this life. 

60.  Jim Lonborg, the Red Sox pitcher with the spit stain on his shoulder; for carrying us on a dream like none we have ever dreamt, a season of winning so precious that one might feel more fond of it than victory. 

I know I promised.  I’m sorry.  There’s only forty places left in the list, and I have at least 400 whom I love from which I must whiddle away 9 out of ten.  Takes time. 


Monday, September 2nd, 2002

48.  Denys, the Canadian boi responsible for 14thBrother; for generously sharing his passions, joys, heartbreaks, hopes, doubts, insecurities, lusts, loves, and in short his whole heart without charging a penny or demanding anything in return, and for underestimating how precious are the things he does, and for improving my world. 

49.  Jack, the guy I gave the rope to when I decided I did not want to die; for coming and taking the rope, and for a whole lot more. 

50. Dr. Peter Duesberg who helped me eliminate a threat different than the rope, but no less lethal; for being a man for all seasons, and for simply doing what is right. 

51.  Bernard, the most beautiful black man I will ever know; for letting me touch him—both body and soul. 

52.  John, the old grey poet; for being as dependable as the dawn, for being wistful, mirthful, and ever optimistic, and for being as warm and kind as a cup of tea in a cozy bright kitchen when all the world around seems to be having a dreary grey, cold and drizzley day. 

53.  Tim Reed (his web-pseudonym), a beacon soul and breathtakingly good person who I would trust with my life; for being a pure heart when I thought none existed, for always having the truest of intentions, and for uplifting others in his every interaction. 

54.  Cheryl S., a beautiful mind with a scoop-shaped heart; for scooping me up, and saving me. 

55.  Ed R., a counselor where I work who has the courage to put his feelings where it counts; for always being happy to see me, no matter what, and for giving love with the reckless innocence of a child. 


Sunday, September 1st, 2002

Such a list as I am in the midst of making is like emotional yoga, stretching and limbering heart fibres, wringing-out tears to wet my pillow.  I don’t know where it goes.  I don’t know what the point is.  I do know that it hurts. 

But the hurt is not a bitter fruitless agony, like pancreatic cancer.  It is not a destruction of me, it is reclamation of me.  This list returns to me parts of myself which I left abandoned in storage, for…  who knows why; out of fear—certainly, for the temporary comfort of preventing tears—absolutely, for the convenience of neatly stuffing out of sight the clutter of real life—no question.

I don’t regain any of the lost days, I can’t resume any of the loves that could have been more, and I cannot retrieve any of the opportunities that I lost to the one continuous mistake of my imperfection. Regaining, re-doing, rewinding–none of this is the point; seeking perfection, too, is futile. 

My goal—if I have one, and even that is evolving as my list grows—is to plunge in, like a Swede dashing from a sweat lodge to an icy pool.  Or maybe my goal is to finally leap off into unsupported space, in completion of the urge described by Carl Jung: If there is a fear of falling, the only safety consists in deliberately jumping