Date: Mon Aug 2, 1999 11:19:11 AM America/New_York
Well, you SHOULD get invited for the Annual Summer Wind event, Karen! Let's tell Sue to tell Skip this just must happen. You are the only guest, to my recollection besides us, to have been invited more than once during the photographed years! Did you know that? I haven't heard any fresh plans, but Skip has put the whole thing off to September because Sue told him we'd be gone TWO weekends in August. But when I heard that the crabfeast was scheduled for August 7th, I told Sue we'd truncate our vacation by a day or two so we wouldn't miss sharing crabs with Grace & Karen (having been scheduled to be on Fripp Island SC August 7-15). Now it seems like this whole summer has gone whacky with crumpled plans and the sort (remember the Fells Point gig?). Alas, we should definitely be in South Carolina on the 14th, but how about sometime in the last half of this month?
Looking ahead for us, in this always busy favorite month of mine, Sunday September 5 and Saturday September 18 are already booked for some short daytripping out of town. And I think Cap'n Bafalis is eyeing September as well. That first year we went, in 1995, remember, when our friend Jack and your sister went it was rather chilly on a Sunday afternoon, but it was still loads of fun even with Char in absentia.
I don't suppose we will host our annual September backyard feast this year after last year's fiasco with the boys in the hood crashing ithe late hours and resulting in my brand new camera getting swiped, but I dunno yet. Last year's was sort of impromptu, and...
Well thanks for your sweet note KS. Miss you and hope we find some nice afternoon to get crabby together very soon...
Jack and I bickered on and off which culminated in a ridiculous fight on Sunday. I was upset like I've never seen before; sobbing, vomiting. Of course, he says mean things and then ends discussion. Jack is more willing to sever ties with his closest relations than to admit he's wrong. What he doesn't realize is that in any relationship (friendship, love, whatever) right and wrong don't mean much. It's all compromise and forgiveness and humility. I think I've finally come to terms with this. There is no way to fix it. He is malfunctioned. It still hurts me like no tomorrow. No sign that it bothers Jack. I don't think he really cares.
Ho hum. Yes, it appears Jack really doesn't care. He lurks, he charms, he buzzes to a strong inner core that allows him to survive the petty trivialities of life like truth, honesty, genuine compassion for others outside the projection of his own visceral desire and whimsy.
I realize that you've had to hear this crap for nearly two years. I realize that you may still think I'm singing the wolf song. Maybe. But, I've got a piece of space with a lesbian coworker and a straight simoan babe (who's into bondage/leather shityour kinda woman). It sounds great. Low cost of rent which includes maid service. Great neighborhood. No lease. No credit check. I can get on my feet and hopefully have my own place within six months. I may even just take over the house eventually.
I haven't minded being there for you Landry. You have helped me by proxy in my struggle to regain what was lost in the floods of rogue consciousness I'd embraced in the likes of that whole rock scene. This heavy dose of messianic complex persuading me I had been put into an influential office was no match for reality, either. You helped me clarify the issues by holding a mirror to the exploitative flames in my own life I had finally resolved to escape after long being too weak with misplaced sympathy and unfocussed identity gratification (usually in the form of self-loathing) to snuff out once and for all, and Jack's self-imposed exile helped accelerate just such an initiative for me to clean house, such were the powerful corrosions of these rather reluctant friendships and epiphanies. It took bold strokes of error-thwarting cross-examination over long agonizing months to reconstruct enough of that previous, more contented, abundant self I knew myself to be, was born to be and would die to recover, after being completely sucked dry of soul and self-respect by those who would call themselves my friends with their lies and their mayhem as I became in my public image the polar opposite of the original.
We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite’s mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or fail to reasonand we can’t find the cause, since we can’t understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this.
These past two years have been a steady scratching at the blackboard of independence as I have sought a return to the finer intelligence of my youth, my own strong and moral twenties (excepting the three years of my horrendous first marriage from 18-21), an intelligence I carved up into tiny pieces for empathy's sake and flung to the winds of aggressive discord and poisonous irresponsibility in my thirties as I lived through the dark storms of personality presenting themselves to me as cool, hip, and aimless reaction when in fact I had been fooled into living FOR others, and not FOR myself, and have as a result drunk and eaten myself into the cloaked miseries of poor health and civil oblivion. Jack however has mastered selfishness, perhaps is even hardwired for it, but instead of using this mastery of self for good he seeks the evil path and manipulates others less savvy with the methods of selfishness to prop himself up in all his own imaginary glory. Such skill to deceive, such aptitude to thwart others. It's a handsome package delivered with the gale force blitz of a strong personality stalled for reasons of its own frailty. May find its source in childhood or early adulthood when he was in prison for drug possession. Current drug use may also be a factor. But keeping to the rational, let's neutralize biographical and biological impulses to focus on ordinary choices ordinary actors are required to make in order to express one's impulses or lack of them for personal and social cohesion.
Allow me to quote from Ayn Rand:
"You think the world is essentially a mixture of good and evil, and one must compromise with the evil, and you're sick of that, so you're giving up the world? Nonsense. Evil, by definition (if we have made the right definition), is the impotent, the impractical, the powerless, that which does not work. So it is no threat to us, it cannot stand in our wayunless we permit it and help it to do so. It cannot poison the world for usunless we carry the poison and spread it. The parasites cannot exploit us or rule usunless we voluntarily agree to be exploited and hand them the tools with which to rule us.
"Let us withdraw the tools...
"We permit it, and we have suffered this long, for one essential reason: the generosity of the creator. It is our nature that we wish to give, prodigally, recklessly, because we know the sourceour creative energyis inexhaustible. Being self-sufficient, we cannot conceive of dependence, so we are modest in relation to others, we never think we are indispensible to them or superior, because we do not consider THEM indispensible or superior to us. We act as equals toward equalsand an exchange between equals is a proper, natural activity. We are glad to give because our creation is a discovery or embodiment of truth and when others respond to truth we welcome their response, we are happynot because of the good that it does THEM, not because their approval gives us pleasure or is of any importance to usbut because their response is a victory for truth, that what we welcome is their entrance into OUR world, into that world we know to be good and true.
"We see no danger in givingwe think we're giving to men as rich as we are; we think of it as gifts not alms. And whenever we come up against an inferiorthat he is an inferior is the hardest thing for us to believe; we see the evidence and we think it is a misunderstanding or a temporary misfortune that has affected the man; then we throw ourselves to the rescue, we give, we help, we let him lean on us and bleed us, we carry himwhy not?we say, we are so strong, we have so much to spare. We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite's mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or reasonand we can't find the cause, since we can't understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this. Almostbecause no power on earth can really make us believe this; we are men of truth, we cannot fall that far into lying; and since our talents, our creative energies, are our sacred possessions, the source of our joy for living, we cannot permit so great a sacrilege against them."
"We allow ourselves to become torn. In a vague, unstated, indefinable way, we begin to feel we must atone for something, make amends to someone, pay someone for something in some manner. What? We don't know. We can never know. We refuse to admit to ourselves the truth in a clear statement: that we are being damned for the best within us, and that the creature making the accusation is small, inferior, and truly evil. We are generous, and do not pronounce such a judgement upon a fellow human being. Hatred and anger are unnatural to us; contempt for a human being is totally unnatural to us, perhaps impossiblebecause we think and act as if we were dealing with men, and it is not proper to despise men, we are worshippers of man, because WE are men and this is the logical implication of our self-reverence. One's opinion of mankind comes from one's opinion of oneself, which is the only first-hand knowledge of man one can have. The man who respects himself, will carry the respect to his species, to others. The man who despises himself, with good reason, carries the contempt, the malice, the hatred, the suspicion to all humanity. We, the creators, cannot conceive of this. We are bewildered by the parasite's malicewe do not even recognize it as malice, because we don't really know malice.
"But so long as, for any reason, we do not recognize the truthwe are bound to fail and to suffer in the whole sphere and in all our actions where we have left this truth unrecognized. Our generosity is a good motive? NOTHING is good if it motivates lying, falsehood, or evasion. There is no morality except in an unbending, absolute recognition of the truth, in relation to everything; an absolute will to find, face, and grasp the truth, to the utmost of our capacity, then to act upon it. Nothing is moral but this cold, ruthless, rational pursuit. But we have not faced or recognized the truth about the parasitesso we fail, we're helpless, we're disarmed, and they've got us. Did they win over us? No, we won the battle for them. They rule the world? No, we handed it over to them. The guilt is ours, but not in the way they think; in the exact opposite way. The guilt is that we refused to see the truth about ourselves and about them."
The preceding few paragraphs are fetched from THE JOURNALS OF AYN RAND (Dutton, 1997) pages 399-401. While Rand is often a bit too pretentiously black and white, she offers a wide berth of gray as her lengthy journal characterizations of personalities from her two major novels, THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED attest. She admits imperfection, her superman is a cold human being, a product of severe intellect and resolve, but worldly success is hardly the criteria for recognizing this true man. She is unabashedly anti-collectivism and opposed to such mundane concepts as self-sacrifice and herd instinct, of course, having been sharpened by the catastrophic blades of Soviet Russia in its rush toward dialectic materialism, escaping to America in 1926.
Writing in 1946, Rand continues to plot her book, suggesting that the great minds, the individual genius, the prime movers should go on strike:
"This last form of striking always happens when gifted men find themselves in a morally corrupt society. And such a society is always collectivist, or on its way to collectivism, because morality and individualism are inseparable. The degree of individualism in a society determines its degree of morality. In effect, the gifted men find themselves dealing with men and conditions THEY DO NOT WISH TO DEAL WITH. So they do one of three things: (1) they do not function at all and become drifting, aimless bums; (2) they function in some field other than their peoper one, and produce only enough for their own sustenance, refusing to let the world benefit from their surplus energy; or (3) they function in their proper field but produce less than one-tenth of their actual capacityit is a strained, unhappy, forced effort for them with their disgust against the conditions under which their energy has to function."
As you can see she, like all fingerpointers and none of us can claim to be otherwise, muddies the puddle of clear passionate labels soon enough. It's like the biblical metaphor that JC will return as an avenging lion, while at the same time, we are informed that archrival Lucifer not only presents himself as an angel of light as if he were some passive lamb or man of peace but that he too, is a roaring lion out to ruin men's best intentions. How in damnation are WE MERE MORTALS supposed to figger out who is playing what field and when?
I get home. Jack ignores me. He is playing Nintendo, empty bowls in the sink. His appetite, his life, all unphased. I realize: he doesn't give a fuck. I do the bills in the bedroom, my stomach in knots. I try to talk to him but I am the recipient of grudge silence. Jack would rather sever his arm rather than apologize to it. I think: I have no enemies. I have never stopped talking to somonenot even ex lovers. Jack has turned his back on you, Gabe, and others I'm sure I don't know about with not so much as a sniff. Less than two years in SF and he already has a list of people he does not talk to. This is wrong. I don't understand it.
The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of “friends” and “locales” have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others.
It's unfair to characterize Jack as a thoroughbred parasite. But let's not mince words or hide behind veils of superficial morality. Let's call a liar a liar. Jack certainly fails the truth and honesty test when it comes to pure genius, preferring to mindfuck and aggravate his closest friends while sucking up to the famed and the fortuned as an extension of his own greater self, a role I too embraced in those awful years of socially incompatible boredom unleashed upon the worthless rock scene of noise pebbles and strutting egos. But I differ from Jack. He hides behind the facade or the appearance of not needing others, proud in his aloof aloneness but he truly can't survive without the social contact of the scene. I meanwhile parade around in a foul attempt to need everybody when really I am quite uncomfortable with people of any scene (with the possible exception of my wife), and prefer my aloneness, and feel self-worth only when alone, an escape from the weariness of conflict inevitable with the approach of the smug and the self-satisfied.
Oftentimes the philosophical canvas of well-mapped minds seems painted in pure black and pure white rhetorically-enhanced pigments, but Rand is quite robust in flushing out the multitudes of gray failures in her vibrant palette of undisguised potential. She writes of the trickle down "theory of greatness in practice" long before the writers for Herr Reagan took up the mantle, using these words:
"On the basis of this beginning, the story proceeds like this: The prime movers say to the world, in effect: "You hate us. You don't want us. You put every obstacle in our way. Very wellwe'll stop. We won't fight you or bother you. We'll merely stop functioning. We'll stop doing the things you martyr us for. AND SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT. The complete statement of the strike's objective is this: We have had enough of your exploitation, persecution, insults, stealing, and expropriation. Go ahead and try to exist without us. We will not come back until you recognize and acknowledge the truth of the matter. Until you admit what we are, give us full credit for what we do, and give us full freedom from your chains, orders, restrictions, and encroachmentsphysical, spiritual, political, and moral. Until you accept a philosophy that will leave us alone to function as we please. Until you take your hands off usand keep them off. We ask nothing but the freedom to work and live as we please. You will get gifts and benefits from us such as you can never imagine. But you will not get them until you leave us alone ..."
I'm kind of afraid of his recent behavior. I feel that if left untreated, it could turn into physical abuse. I feel that he is trying to alienate me from other people. The first step in physically abusive relationships. However, I don't think Jack is the kind of person to hit women. You would have told me that if so, I think. I think he's too lazy for that. I do not like the person he's made me become. It sucks. It hurts. It's no fun. It's pathetic. I am not me. I hate him. I never thought anyone could be so, so selfish. He doesn't seem human to me. How sad for him to be so gripped in the terror of not winning; of being wrong to be willing to toss aside EVERYONE. It really creeps me out. I look at him and think, he really doesn't get it. It's so very sad.
I'm not sure where this leads us in the matter at hand, Lynn. Most of us tend to see ourselves in the best possible light, or the worst. More typically, we flipflop on a rather consistent basis. This is our weakness. Nobody MAKES us flipflop. In our laziness and our weakness we think in terms of whatever suits our purposes of the moment, and adopt circular tautologies which reassure us that our past has no relationship to our present, unless of course we can glorify or punish ourselves as a helpless nonsensical victim of our past. That is the great lie we tell ourselves. Even Ayn Rand overestimates the ability to succinctly reverse the biological powers of entrenched thinking. We train ourselves to be weak and useless by referring to our decent motivations as signs of our goodness, of our moral strength, of our willingness to sacrifice. Piffle, irrelevant associations of the assaulted mind, useless in the arena of real activity. This trench warfare of oscillating between momentary truths rather than relying upon rational convictions is where we continually make our mistakes. And these mistakes, like firebrand molecules of self-destruction attach themselves to other mistakes, and we are rendered more weak and more useless than we were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Each detail of our psychology and our intellect, each philosophical concept and practical action must be analyzed on an individual basis, just as we wish to be anlayzed on an individual and not a collective, herdlike, stereotypical basis.
No doubt you still cling to Jack for the very same traits which inspired you in the first place. But you are not the same person anymore. You have been stripped of something precious, now replaced by the revolting chaos of petty lies, failed opportunities, and habitual belittlement slopping over from the other, as you struggle to bring order to that collectivism which is a relationship. It is probably a one-sided trade because of the competing natures involved. Because you are a doer, and not a mere parasite, you have inherited only the foreign, the unbridled unashamed chaos of the other. The excitement, the expansive thrill, and most importantly, even the quiet joy of living, you already possessed. The other would not, or could not add to that in any estimable portion. The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of "friends" and "locales" have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others. It is these traits that keep Jack from dwelling at the far ends of the spectrum and deep into the gray of the mundane world as his genius is wasted on his desire to remain a "pampered" child, a desire I simply cannot fully comprehend, since responsibility and harsh realities were rudely thrust upon me and my organizational mind at a very early age, an oldest child of a brood of six in seven years, a ballplayer, a Boy Scout, a school leader.
hat former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions.
So this remains your call, Landry. Few of us are pure evil. Jack is not that much fun beneath the surface, but he's not pure evil either. However, let me acquaint you with the idea that the brain, the organ of the mind is indeed as valid in terms of physical flesh as the face or the arm, and is quite capable of being physically abused. A face wound might heal in a few days. A brain wound may never be healed if the thinking process is cajoled into repeated faulty reasoning while in mortal combat with an opponent who will stop at nothing to cloud the issue and win at any cost to truth and integrity.
But in the effort for full disclosure, let's just be clear that although I have no trouble with communication, psychological analytics, or philosophical resolve, I'm nothing close to being a well-balanced gentleman myself. In terms of dirty laundry, since being a charming, disruptive, manipulative teenager myself, I have clearly proved myself to be a tragically flawed creature because I have lived through enough evil, unable to properly marshal trending ethics and civility in both postulate and axiomatic form. To my credit, as a thinking artist, I have boiled too many thoughts, lusted after too many sad acts, and whacked too many skins, thick or thin, black or white, junk or genius to act as any judge of another except how it affects my own fragile but confirmed need for playing the hand I am dealt. I have been spoiled, soiled, and counter-foiled when I had little or no chance to win. I have transformed myself into a priest or a wizard when I had little or no opportunity to lose. I have always known the difference between the two, but few I have ever known have ever possessed the power to listen to my problems with life and liberty beyond the first few syllables, and so I've often had to admit for the sake of the herd, that I'm nothing but a mute with a speech impediment, ready to crack a one liner, slug back a beer, call the punk rock bluff, embrace ritualized chaos in public, play the brute to mask my own boredom, self-doubt, and determination to overcome the sorry past by fitting into the sorry future. That former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions. Jack is also a fan of science fiction and robotics. I wish you two the best possible...
Repair to Søren Kierkegaard's frosty titles, Sickness Unto Death and Fear and Loathing, for additional source materials.
Susanne's a pretentious whiny whirly girly mess. Except when she's a curvy but slight, thin-shouldered sexy kitty crawler with plush red lips bouyant enough to float across the Atlantic, a whimpering adorable quick-eyed fashionista, edible, noisy, and nasty, but I tell you whatJack Jack Jack, nimble nimble Jack, always finds a way to look really stupid and callous in the way he treats his relationships. But then again, this is me talking, and after 40 years of loving everybody with a howdy doo I now seem to find everybody a miserable waste of life force, especially those who rush in wearing the rank of friendship. Kerouac debatably wrote the first great modern friendship story. I must be writing the story of what a gross clusterfuck friendship can really turn out to be...
Sorry Jack didn't work out. He simply doesn't care beyond the next energy burst. He's always just an upbeat away from another potential friend, that easy touch. Having nothing and doing nothing seems to present him with that advantage. I think Jesus said something to that effect. But Jack rides the great dragon of lies. He tells an outrageous lie when a simple truth would get him closer to his mark than the fiction ever could, but, hey, that's Jack's security blanket it seems. Lie until it hurts, and then make up new ones. I've known him a decade now, and oh well...
Been working with Photoshop Actions batching routines today. WOW! What a wonderful feature. I can convert whole folders of say, a hundred TIFF grayscale graphics into JPGs, add a tint, resize, blur to smooth out edges, and save at a certain resolution, ALL BY FIRST HAVING PHOTOSHOP RECORD MY ACTIONS DURING ONE, and then executing for all the others. To watch one's computer open up files, add tints, resize, save into specified folder, close, and then open the next one is simply what power computing is all about!!! Then I simply grab that folder, and drop it onto a namechanging shareware program I recently picked up and it will standardize all the filenamesoperations that I used to spend hours, days, even weeks hardclicking now accomplished in minutes. Sweet Macintosh!
Leave the bastard. Kick him out into the fruity liaisons of territories still in contention. That seems to be all Jack can produce of himself. Man I grieve knowing all the potential Jack holds in his little finger, and could possibly manage into greatness, yet he continues to fuck up. You can imagine how stunned I was, the first time we ever met, when he remarked out of the blue in priceless gravity that he wished he could be like me...
I now suppose he was right, once upon a time. I am me, he ain't.
That was some strong detail you suffered, dahling. Jack is a real ass, I'm sorry. Frankly I love you, not him, although Gene Wilcox and I were just watching Jack coordinate a video shoot we made back in the day, blah blah...and still recognize the power of Jack's presence...
I wish I could add more to the record but I'm not only tired, I'm on the tail end of an 18 hour drunk. Gene, who thinks, argues thinking he is, but ultimately agrees that I, not he, is the baby Jesus, whatever that means, is still here passed out on the couch...
Hate Jack if you gotta (you'll have to stand in line, as I've noted I was there first), but a world without relationships, or a world without men, ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Despite all my clamor, and the recent dismissal of two of my supposedly closest friends after what was to be a very happy holiday turned to mud, I have always and will always yearn for the trusting, giving, mutually satisfying relationship, on either level, friendshipping or loveresque. I've always desired what I've understood as the near perfect union of Will and Ariel Durant, authors of that multivolumed set of THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION.
Won't burden you with the details here as you may already know the tale, but they really set the standard for all time. The other (one I'm seriously considering) is the 12th love tragedy of Abélard and Heloise. Yes, I'm thinking of castration, end of lust, fixation on the feminine, finish the task started by nature with the cryptorchidism I suffered as a youth, commiserate with the pets who suffered the blade, just to allow myself to focus more in working out the philosophies and poetries I know the world needs to hear JUST ONE MORE TIME, no, I know that's not the case, but I just want to explore the terrain. The surgery might actually lead to an improvement in the direction of my thinking about the clutches of gender and guts, but chances are this sentence will probably end any further discussion of it. Read it how you will.
Glad to hear you're back in the saddle (the workplace, not Jack's cockadoodledoo). I was beginning to worry about you.
Bracken just spilled outa here. Using MacLink Plus to convert his DOS MS Works pages into Mac MS Word docs. We added an extra step taking his Works to Word 2.0 DOS, but we've been losing quite a bit of formatting, and Len isn't looking forward to handsetting it again. By staying in Works, we are hoping the trip straight to Mac Word 5.0a will take hours off our stress times and put smiles in all the right places.
Hey Landry, just a short one to tide me by. Hope your spirits are just where you want them. I'm afraid my friends are beating me up again with their shit for sherlock behaviors. Tim's hanging on by a thread. I asked Steve to stay away. Jennifer will be arriving Saturday for a romp until January 3rd. I wonder how much of her delightful self I will be able to gratify without cracking under the strain of the "oh so coy" gone beserk! Thanks for the card, and merry mucking to all concerned. Hey, I've got Jack's autograph stashed somewhere in a stack of cards. Why would you need it?
I loathe bitterness in any creature, but why do these [punk] actors continue to abuse my natural good humors? What am I doing about it? I guess I'm trying to shake free with an abrupt refusal to step into their fly splat worlds anymore. I gain nothing but aggravation working either side of the equation as I have been known to do, neatest of the neat, noisiest of the noisy. But day after day, year after year, I am forced to choose between an "in my face boredom" and the "sheer terror of the bingeing without consequences".
But the consequences DO EXIST, and even now the Tattooed Elephant is buckling under the weight of these riotous friendships with little or no solid justification, just the dead weight of momentary blather sticking to our ribs. I'm sick of it all, exhaustion confirmed, and them who have or will continue to pursue it...
(and the buzzard winks trying to get a piece of her. She's enjoying the attention, but she's not as easy a target as they might beg to think, and will make them work for every inch.)
We are supposed to be taking a limo out for New Year's Eve, courtesy of Skip Bafalis, a partner at Sue's firm. Two potential complications: no driver has been found, and Skip the owner was rushed to the hospital Christmas Eve, spent the whole next day having exploratory tests run to no conclusive end. He was released sometime yesterday. Still no solid lead on a driver, but bangedup Sue has a maybe or two up her sleeve.
Steve was originally invited, well, he sorta presumed he was invited by default, but last weekend he brought much chaos to this house, and has perpetuated it by further examples of his mute reckonings. Say anything, do nothing. A mile a minute flows off his tongue, uh, followup, what's that?
But neither Sue or I are in our middle to late 20s, or even 30s. Get a grip people, get a gashwhipping grip upon yourselves, and know that you are talking to someone who knows what it is all about. This is a private home and studio apparently shy of staff beyond the principles. Keep the puns in the pants. I can't care anymore. There is no other interpretation.
Tim has been cashing in on street crack, bringing crack dealers and cracked friends to the D-house. A fucking idiot, pimping that shit here after I had made it clearly an uncool deal! The handwriting's in the till that I will probably smack him with the pink slip by early spring if not sooner. He doesn't want to leave, and he doesn't want to lose his lifestyle. I can't blame him, but nobody can plug Tim's life better than himself. And you know me, "I'm a very possessive asshole. I'm trying to bring order to this mess I call my life of peers and all I get from this friendship ring is a future filled with agitation, no no no no peace essence at all."
I am scheduled for a battery of five or six tests in the new year, including brainwave and brain physiogomy scans. Full blood work. Doctor seems to think my problems are neurological in nature, neck and nerve pinchings rather than a brain tumor, but I'm testing the whole noodle kaboodle to rule out the latter. Brain cancer is dropping folk in high numbers in the late 90s it seems. I may or may not be one of them. Most relative I suppose is mother's younger sister Kitty, who died in February at 52 of said vermin.
So all in all, things are rather normal with the Dollhouse ground zero gang. Abused by friendship, alienated from most of the family where it really counts, I only find comfort, despite our plethora of well-inventoried flaws, in my baby baby baby sue...
Lynn, why do I despise the noise when so many seem to embrace it? The problem is not the noise and chaos itself. That I handle quite well in dosages I administer to myself with the greatest of ease. Achievements GT are legendary. But I know I can no longer riot as persistently as this class of 1996, and I want out. Of course Sue loves Tim, Tom, Steve, Jack, Mouse and whomever no less than I, and she DOES LOVE rent day, but something has got to give, me or the outside world. And she said three times denied, three wishes granted. I mean, what is the meaning of meaning if we scat in our own master's house, and act like, uh, catch ya next time, anywaze?
Many times I have asked folk to arrive on a date and at a time I specify. Many are the times when playing it by ear is the only game friends will play. Well, I've rolled that carpet over. I've had my fill with self-gonads at the expense of my own overwhelming desires that I continue to put aside in order to entertain yet another stiff torture at the wiles of the wolfpack.
That’s the way it is among all of us, bound by handshake uselessness & special moting, too offcentered to get much more done than self obliteration one adult beverage after another, word gaming for prizes void in several states, and ogling sessions that defy a national screening; we, the slurfish leisurely class, spamming the spectacle dot dot dot.
I played the idiot punk quite fantastically. That role is a part of me, now. The world will not soon forget that part of me, but geez Louise, this ain't a bar, or a hotel anymore, although I'm not exactly sure when we were penciled in for those tours of duty, it is certainly a reality checkpoint. But neither Sue or I are in our middle to late 20s, or even 30s. Get a grip people, get a gashwhipping grip upon yourselves, and know that you are talking to someone who knows what it is all about. This is a private home and studio apparently shy of staff beyond the principles. Keep the puns in the pants. I can't care anymore. There is no other interpretation.
Do I sound mad as a Mississippi monk on morphine? dear pets? After all these words of banishment I now contemplate staying home in exile even should limosine wax available, wave as the gag orders go their own chauffered way, as I stay back to protect my dwindling investments and bruised heels, aching heads and breaking shoulders, keeping my own puns to the grindstone...yuck what a miser of energy, spirit, and tailwind. But conservative reckoning is a day I must endure, and will embrace as a grand homecoming, despite all the kidz who would steal my middle age thunders kicking me in the shins when it's my pain they can't stifle.
Bottom line: I am tired of being treated as if I were both deaf and mute as my memory reviles and reputes the waste of conversation which never engages real meaning for longer than any particular drunk and hangover harry. At least when I remake the bed in the morning I know I feel better for it, and meaning is multiplied into dividends. No so with a three day drunk where nothing is everything and reality quotients are deemed counterfeit in a fuzzy display of carelessness and forgot me knots...
Bitter blizzard of sins my own carelessness purchased on credit and oops, a ditch. The barge of Bob's party proved that friendship resolutions are best kept at room temperature. Tilting ambition quotas task me as I crumple, long too busy with luck sucking. Periphery bucks buckling. File jitters fluttering. Poor judgement furniture. Pass or fail remarks. D-house or bust. Ain't got the holy chimes to tell everybody everything I know about them, and ain't got the battle bones to listen to all their own rants and riddles about it. Too tight. Too loose. That’s the way it is among all of us, bound by handshake uselessness & special moting, too offcentered to get much more done than self obliteration one adult beverage after another, word gaming for prizes void in several states, and ogling sessions that defy a national screening; we, the slurfish leisurely class, spamming the spectacle dot dot dot.
Sick and tired of the never-yielding pap. Oh I love my spanking fresh weekdays. Short? You betcha, but my sanctuary for creative work that makes sense to me as I lay in store against the coming weekend of friendship madness.
Bracken just spilled outa here. Using MacLink Plus to convert his DOS MS Works pages into Mac MS Word docs. We added an extra step taking his Works to Word 2.0 DOS, but we've been losing quite a bit of formatting, and Len isn't looking forward to handsetting it again. By staying in Works, we are hoping the trip straight to Mac Word 5.0a will take hours off our stress times and put smiles in all the right places.
I'll keep you all jigged on the fleet fool nostril. Which reminds me of then and now. What do you call a fool in the mirror? A loof...
In response to the comments on my offhanded way of saying the Fillmore was sort of famous—I know what the Fillmore represented to the 60s and if you people really knew me you'd know that I don't really care about that. Especially anything associated with the Grateful Dead. When we were there, I wondered aloud to Jack what the Fillmore was BEFORE Leary and the Dead. I imagined jazz and dressed up ladies, Mambo music and dancers. My interest in SF was prior to the whiny baby boomer hippie types. I first really became interested in this city (aside from watching The Streets of San Francisco as a wee crawfish eater) when I read The Mediterraneans by Jack Kerouac. I liked the SF post war where rebels were hard to find and there were coffee houses and poetry and $.25 beers and Charlie Parker. I think ultimately the 60s "movement" won't amount to much in American intellectual history as the arrogant baby boomers want to believe. I think it was kind of interesting, but how much art and poetry do you remember of that particular time.
That's just one girl's opinion.
Hey—this guy Jack works with rode the bus with us this morning. He was kind of chatty in the surfer kind of way. He said that he was reading Burroughs last night and all of a sudden, his lens popped out of his glass frames. He thinks that there was some weird energy coming off of the Burroughs.
I like the dollhouse appellation for your house. Very appropo. Interesting analysis of Jack and his "can dish it out, but can't take it." It is something I am learning in our cohabitation. He's also very adept at making a good first impressions; then when you're hooked in, everything changes.
There have been some rough spots, but for the most part, things are going pretty well between us. And, I can't blame any troubles all on Jack because I have my own baggage to deal with that doesn't make me the most pleasant person in the world. I can be negative and I stress out about EVERYTHING. I have been trying to let some things slide but it ain't easy. It's kinda tough, when for so long all I had to think about was me. If I didn't have money or if I fucked something up, it was me and only me I had to answer too. Now I have to deal with someone else fucking up or me fucking them up. It's a little tough. Plus, I had to adjust to living with someone else. When we were in DC, it still felt like Jack was just a houseguest. It was still my place. That ain't the story anymore. But, in spite of the little failings, it is still a good thing. I'm not anywhere near hanging in the towel yet. I'm sorta ready for the long term thing. I just don't know if I really get into the relationship thing. I mean, it sounds nice, and I like the concept, but the reality has always been a problem for me. It's a growing up thing.
We don't have much in ways of furniture. We are finally at a financial peak where we have paid off the move costs and we are collecting our full paychecks, so we are ready to shop the yard sales of the SF queens. Those gay guys throw away or sell cheap some really nice stuff.
That reminds me, I was concerned about Jack's homophobia and somewhat racist attitude and how it was going to connect with this oh so PC city. But, he seems to be doing fine. The only people I knew living here are gaytwo gay guys named Michael and Celso and one lesbian named Booooooo (has to be seven ohs). I think he is one of those people that only takes people on an individual basis. He seems to warm up to people pretty quick without making any judgment on them; yet he can't seem to work it out in his head that the stereotypes he believes to be true are a lot of times not.
I find too that the work environment is much more civilized here. People have a sense of humor about themselves and don't stomp around thinking they make the world go around. And, I don't have to listen to conservative assholes like at my last job. Here, I probably sound like Rush Limbaugh to some of these granola heads.
We do live in a somewhat "brotherly" neighborhood. A lot of guys like to walk by around 2 or 3am blasting their radios they have slung over their shouldersI thought that big radio thing had gone out of fashion, guess not. They yell at each other in the streets a lot too. Some things are universal.
San Francisco is a frontier town in a lot of ways. It's like things on the east coast just didn't make it out here. Too far. Sorry, we don't have that here. I still like the town because of the more relaxed atmosphere and all that, but I appreciate DC a lot more. DC actually has a really active art culture that I just took for granted. And, in spite of the Nazis that have their grips on the taxes and government and stuff, DC is pretty hip and loose. However, I will never pine for another winter like the last one. The weather is fabulous, and I don't ever want to experience uncomfortable heat or cold again. I find that people don't get into much intellectual talk here, either. I miss that. Perhaps I just haven't found the niche yet. After all, those Beat Poets were here a long time ago. People seem to like mundane music, movies, etc. I don't understand it. There is more to life than just being laid back. There has to be some brain stimulil. I liked being able to get into it with my fellow DC-ers. I also miss the friends I left.
But, I am making more money and I paid off most of my debts, so I am now in the position to take some art classes and stuff and perhaps take some trips. I find too that the work environment is much more civilized here. People have a sense of humor about themselves and don't stomp around thinking they make the world go around. And, I don't have to listen to conservative assholes like at my last job. Here, I probably sound like Rush Limbaugh to some of these granola heads.
Anyway, I gotta get back to work. Write much. I'll read. I'll respond.
Date: Sat Feb 10, 1996 9:56:24 AM America/New_York
Space, as a follow-up on that friends dilemma, I know my assessments can appear harsh and wicked at times, but as much as I would like to detract or sugarcoat them, my perceptions are as real as snow on top of Mount Fuji.
Sue spent a couple of hours on the phone last night with the seventy year old mother of one of my closest "friends". He is 29, and except for the two quarters of Wooster College partying til he dropped and flunked out, and a three-week stint in a crack house he fled to after on our advice his parents kicked him out a couple of years ago, he has never left the roost. He was educated at the finest catholic highschool in the city, studied Latin and Philosophy. His father is a retired attorney and a daily drunk. They live only a few blocks from us in a hell hole dominated by two stupid dogs, a Rottweiler pup as huge as he is moronic, and a hapless, mixed female shepherd. The son is a complete mess. Used to work as a bike courier until his own drunken ways led him to fracture both collarbones in separate accidents, and a few other minor breakages, all during after hour blackout events. He is the penultimate sponge because he is always borrowing on money he'll never make, as he soaks up the little he does make shooting heroin junk. He worked a year with me on a land surveying crew as my rod and chainman after I convinced him to leave his carpetlaying job he despised back some eight years ago. He was already a hardcore drunk and pot addict at the time, but he managed. Now he is seemingly without redemption.
Name is Shipman, but we call him Shipwreck when the fevers run high. He actually prefers to answer to Satan, a moniker slapped on this fellow by his courier buddies years ago. I refuse to oblige him with that one, and sneer when he boasts of it. I've tried to interest him in my world of computers, as he told me he had considered the writer's game when I first met him about a decade ago, and while he feigns some level of interest, he is always plotting for the next hit of whatever he can get, and soon enough just becomes a bothersome irritant in my coif as he fumbles for a beer, his can of tobacco and papers, and then some punk rock tape he brought over. Don't get me wrong. I am not badgering anybody about their chosen lifestyle, and my own list of alienated turbulence has gotten me banned from more than a few places, but there is a time and a place, and Tim, like a few others who stampede over to our house once what little money or excitement has expired in their own sweep, seems to think that my domain is simply an extention of his own. I just don't get it. I can scream and yell, politely doff my cap, or post my 95 theses on the door like Martin Luther but all I get is resistance to my way of doing things in my own house by a bunko squad of starving for sanity goons who embrace the full & feisty shadow of decadence unlike you or I ever have or ever will. Is just not my scene. Each to his own. I moralize, but keep my judgements to myself, as I try to get along just to get along.
Why do I continue to greet them as friends? Because they are simply here tracing the same circles in the air as I do? Because they "act" like they care about me? Because they suffer me and in fact rally around my own deficiencies and eccentric dalliances, applauding me as some kind of skewed pied piper while they simultaneously try to trash what gives me strength? Because I am painfully needy of friends even though I'm not shy about drawing heavy lines in the sand to distinguish me and my psychological inheritance from theirs?
Why do I continue to associate with them? Well that questions hints at some earlier post you made concerning the definitive parameters of what we generally call friends as you were searching for a word that indicated a relationship less than friendship but more than acquaintanceship. Perhaps the word we were looking for was indeed "associate" which implies to my reckoning a deeper involvement than one might expect from a periodic acquaintance.
All of which leads me into the topic of my second (or first closest, longest?) "friend" in DC or anywhere for that matter. Jack is a guy who lives to enhance the facts and residuals of his own life. The guys is as sharp a wit as I've ever known, and not too shabby with an occasional keen insight. He's scientifically grounded, knows electronics, and music. But he embellishes way beyond any reasonable doubt anything he says about himself with absolutely no hint of shame or embarrassment that a knowledgeable someone standing right next to him could ever contradict his version of the truth.
I have a brother and a mother EXACTLY like this! We're not talking about slightly shaded differences of opinion, or faint fuzzy details reshaped by the moment at hand, no, we're talking full blown unadulterated lies and exaggerations no one who knows him, and we all do after a few weeks, can believe he has the gall to utter much less try to convince us or some stranger is the dyed-in-the-wool truth of the matter. And Jack is a "friend" to every star he's ever laid eyes upon. Bosom buddies who'll do anything for him, and with that kind of power he'll make any newbie coming down the pike into a star. Oh yeah, Jack's the great talent manager wannabe. Another on again off again pal of mine Scoot suffers the same delusions. These are not mere exaggerations these guys deploy. They spout off spectacular impossible schemes as a conquering device, so as to enhance their own self-images as a way of manipulating those they wish to conquer socially. Final word? They tell lies. And those lies spread from the obvious image-manipulation techniques into other areas, all of which trouble me beyond resolve. Why do I continue to greet them as friends? Because they are simply here tracing the same circles in the air as I do? Because they "act" like they care about me? Because they suffer me and in fact rally around my own deficiencies and eccentric dalliances, applauding me as some kind of skewed pied piper while they simultaneously try to trash what gives me strength? Because I am painfully needy of friends even though I'm not shy about drawing heavy lines in the sand to distinguish me and my psychological inheritance from theirs?
It's a queer world I know here in DC. I hope I survive it.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""