Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Couple things. Heavy Whipping Cream is not the same as Half and Half and can not be used in the same way. I know that now. It is well to have learned that lesson on New Year's Eve. I would not wish to bring that heavy ignorance into the following year with me. Best to leave it in the past, where it belongs.

As for the picture above, sometimes it is easy to forget that not every person that knows me is a friend of mine on a social media site. Some people keep up with my topsy-turvy inner world here, instead. I had posted that picture on Facebook on Christmas Day (after somebody reminded me to do so) and it was a hit. The classic and timeless image of a boy on Christmas. What fun.

Well, I don't have much to say this morning. I slept in late, for me. I was up until around 10pm, practically an all-nighter, for me. Now, I will coffee myself up for the gym, prepare for the day ahead. It is the last of its kind, we're told.

Very few events on the calendar reveal how absolutely asinine people are, or can be. They will denounce the previous year as if the Gregorian calendar, of all things, is to blame for their current sorrows. We are meant to understand that the year brought them some known misery, but they are strong and will overcome it all, with the help of the rapidly advancing next year, a time that they are greatly looking forward to and will prove it so by achieving a mawkish level of revelry and intoxication sometime later today, building up to a crescendo at midnight.

The only shame on this day is, apparently, not having a lover to kiss when the clock strikes doom for the past and cheer for the future, a thing that it does each and every second if we are to understand and believe the message of this moment. This yearly Cinderella story in reverse grips the minds of most Americans, though oftenest in the form of the lottery. 

One of my most perverse joys is asking people to pray for me. Sometimes I'll reference some ill boding online, without specifics, and those who do not know me well enough will fall into my venus fly trap-like snare.

There was a study that once showed that having people pray for you, at least among believers, was bad for them. Once they found out that their loved ones were praying for them then they believed their condition to be worse than it was and sometimes resulted in their decline, or demise. More often than when people were not praying for them, or when strangers were, or when they did not know that anybody was praying for them.... So the science is in: prayer is dangerous.

I might be overstating its negative powers, but here is an article about the study.

Apparently, the best thing to do when a loved one is sick is to let them know, often, that nobody at all is praying for them.

This time you're going to need to save yourself.... Only you can worm your way into heaven this time. 

Bah! Volkswagen Humbug....

Current Unix Time: 1388497564 (UTC)


Monday, December 30, 2013

Wild Planet

Well, the quiche lorraine was quite good, from yesterday.

I can't say the phrase "quiche lorraine" without thinking of the B-52's album, Wild Planet.  

Fuck!… Was that really only 34 years ago? If I had saved only $1 every month, instead of buying that album, then I would have $408 right now….. I am living in my own Private Idaho

Where do I go from here to a better state than this?

Watching that video now it is difficult to determine if they really loved surf rock or they were merely aping it in kitsch parody. They were from Athens, so both, probably.

Fred Schneider: I know very well that there's a New Wave going on, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to shave this mustache off. This was a gift from Mr. Freddie Mercury himself. Also, I should remind you that this mustache got us on MTV. 

The brunette in the band, I forget her name, looks like she wandered into this video-shoot from the last official press gathering of the Manson Family. They cleaned her up a little, taught her one line of the song and then told her to dance as if she was on bikini beach just after dosing her with the last drops of the liquid acid they had in the eye dropper that had been lost for a week and a half before they finally found it at the bottom of the cooler in the van that day.

But she makes the most of it, just watch.

Somebody has definitely flipped her kill-switch.

My kinda' girl. Towards the end, the redhead gets the signal also. You can easily spot the moment that the message is received and understood.

But if you can not, then it is precisely 2:48. 

The only choreography done for this video was at the very, very end of the song when they told ol' Bouffante Fromme to stop dancing. They had to get it right on the first take. The importance of this moment can not be over emphasized.

Okay, I did a search, to find the pic above. Her name is Cindy Wilson, which ties neatly into the Manson myth.

Geezus. I just got back from the gym. I had to listen to Sonic Youth's Dirty to get that Private Potato song out of my head.

Well, the quiche was good, anyway. Then, we went on a winery tour, Benziger. They told us about biodynamic farming techniques. I had promised myself that I was never going to go on that tour again - I've been about seven times now - but it was better than doing nothing, and my friends were going. I had brought a 35mm film camera with me. I figured that I would take some expensive pictures that I won't see for a month or more. I only realized after the fact that I had brought all black and white film.

Oh well… We'll see…..

At the end of the tour they led us all to the tasting room where everybody tried some of the wines. Benziger wines have never been my favorite. But I engaged in the obligatory conversation about my abstaining, which a friend callously referred to as "teetotaling." I am not now, nor have I ever been, such a thing and am more than happy to prove it the next time I get sick, or any given morning. I have no objections to NyQuil and Listerine. I sip three or four pint glasses of each whenever I feel a cold coming on, as a preventative measure, etc.

Only Costco knows my true secret burden.

Well, no. I am merely hoping to avoid abject bad-boyism, through the specific strategy of not drinking. I have no current plans to export my behavior, nor model for living, to others. 

My self-help book is only one word: Help! 

But at least I wrote it.

The longer I go without alcohol in its social form the more I begin to see how deeply it affects many people, whether they believe themselves to be drinkers, problematic or not. Once you are known as "the person who does not drink, who used to, a lot..." then people will often discuss their drinking, as well as their relationship with one of their parents, with you. This invariably includes how they feel about that parent's drinking, and the effect it has had on them. It is always just one parent. They will mention the other, to present a seemingly fair and balanced view, but their interest will focus on the troubled one. It is, predictably, the father with men and the mother with women, though not always.

There are some who, also understandably, will not discuss either parent's behavior or relationship to alcohol at all, but every so often you can detect an uneasiness about the fact that it is being discussed in any form. 

Not everyone. Not everyone.

They are difficult conversations to have, with occasionally difficult details to hear. I said a few weeks ago that I find myself to be more empathetic now that I am not drinking. It is all true. Some of these parental details are deeply disturbing, even when they are not horrific; little facts that have accumulated or become significant to the child, a child that is now an adult, confessing things to me. 

Many people have them. You can see how these memories shaped the early idea of the person, and how they now linger or even possess the adult. You note how carefully they hold and carry these memories, in what fashion they are presented, in what expectation of response. 

Nobody that was even adequately raised, with a bare modicum of love, wants their life to turn out badly. Nobody, I don't think, starts out hoping that things go wrong for them. But part of coming of age is a testing of your limits, and also the limits of others. Then, the test becomes your own personal definition of you, where it is finally insisted upon and then regularly proven. It hardens around the person, becomes constricting, restraining.

Phrases like "fierce independence" spring to mind, one borrowed from a close friend. The terms that one uses to accept, adopt, or embrace their various stances. The stances become the person, then the persons' congregate for the purpose of reaffirmation. A roomful of similar stances, all proving their utter uniqueness to one another. Sometime long after you've realized it, the stance may have replaced the authenticity of what you had hoped to embrace, to become; a rebel without a revolution.

Best to fall in love, hobble together some semblance of a good life of your own. That is best.

It is either that or living underground, like a wild potato.

Don't go on the patio!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Also, I dream

What next? Wait for another new moon... again, I guess.

Some friends are in town. I will go with them today and eat brunch at The Girl and The Fig, a popular local restaurant, country food with a French passion, says the slogan near the door. 

It's good. The quiche, they say, is great.

I went to see "Inside Llewyn Davis" yesterday, alone. It was a disappointment. A few people had told me that it wasn't very good and I wanted them to be wrong. But wishing was not enough this time.

I saw, again, the trailer for the new Spike Jonze film, Her. He seems to be growing up a little, sadly. Joaquin Phoenix is and always has been useless. Scarlett Johansson has a wonderful voice... but none, I think, do there embrace.

I'm not sure what it is with people here. They have a slightly different set of standards which they operate under. It's very strange. They seem to expect others to respect their individual space but they have no problem testing, or invading, the space of others. I don't know how to adequately communicate to them that my intimate space represents a much larger area than most.

Hugging strangers does not always result in the desired outcome. It is perhaps the likelihood of my paraphilic joy which alarms them.

The last time that I went to this same movie theater, to see Nebraska, I sat towards the front of a relatively empty theater, as close to the middle as I could get, in a completely empty row. A woman decided to sit down right next to me. I'm amazed that she didn't try to sit in my seat with me. 

Understandably, she also wanted to sit near the center. It was my mistake. I know this. I should have sat slightly off to one side if I wanted the convenience and luxury of having an open seat next to me in a nearly abandoned theater. 

This time, I sat off to one side and put my jacket on the seat next to me, which still wasn't in the center. A woman marched all the way over to where I was sitting, again in an empty row, and asked if the jacket was mine. I responded positively and she then asked if I could move it. I happily complied. I picked up my jacket, sat down in the seat in which it had been lying peacefully and then sat it on the seat next to me, safely on the other side, away from her. She didn't seem to like this but it still didn't send the appropriate message, or didn't send it strongly enough. She sat down next to me and then tried to raise the arm rest. I explained that my disability prevents me from being able to sit up straight without assistance, that I have periodic upper-head paralysis. I warned her that if I fell asleep on her shoulder not to disturb me, it is a rare form a narcolepsy that is like sleepwalking in a karate movie.

Well, I just deleted a long passage. Oh well, this site is perhaps not ready for it.

It wasn't nearly as bad as I have described - the woman in the theater - but it also wasn't far off, either. I asked her if the movie got really scary would it be okay if I held her hand.

I received two packages from the world wide web yesterday. Both were the wrong product. Books. That is the expected result from amazon.com around Christmastime, I guess. 

Just hurry up and send out packages to addresses that appear on this screen. Grab boxes, use the printers. Move, Move! Time is not the Easter Bunny, now get to work!

Lately, I am engaged in the nearly religious daily observance of chucking money at the internet demons, trying to appease them, to get them all back in their bottles.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A new moon

My life is strange. I would growl at it if I found it outside.

I used to work the overnight shift in NYC. It was a lonely time to be awake. I would sleep anywhere from about 1 pm until 9 pm. When I awoke I would ride my bike up 2nd Ave. to the corner of 59th St. and 5th Ave., weather permitting. The wind would blow across from the East River in darkness. I was a true champion, crossing more than one hundred intersections a day, at the highest speeds attainable by bike. A death blur.

Sleeping in the day, I had unplugged the buzzer to the front door so that nobody could ever bother me, except by choice. Delivery persons would ring every apartment in the building expecting that somebody would just buzz them in without checking to see who it was. They were often right, or lucky. It is the New York way of things. Few spoke the same language well. The delivery people would act as if everybody in the building was lucky to be getting anything delivered. Small matter if it was meant for them or not. That they weren't just leaving it on the front doorstep to get stolen was considered an immense courtesy to all, for some reason. They did their jobs so begrudgingly even I would have to remind myself that they got paid for it at all. It seemed as torture.

People often talk of the coldness and desolation of that city. They really have very little idea. Films barely convey any of the truth of it. The streets at midtown were completely deserted after midnight. Encountering anybody in the night was almost always a deeply offsetting experience. Simple existence becomes suspicious, unexpected. The inevitable question was always first in both people's minds: what are you doing out here, why? 

Only drunks say, "Hello There!" at that hour. The occasional group of expensive prostitutes, escorts, usually in groups of two or more, just coming down from many flights up, whispering, heading to the corner for a taxi like a single six-legged sex monster. It was always an absorbing discovery of sorts. The loneliness would briefly disappear and then somehow double in just a matter of minutes. You would watch them even after they were gone, remembering the smooth bare legs, the high and tight colored skirts, heels clacking out an erotic dance rhythm, all getting into the car together. You would imagine giggles, and more. 

What fun, you might think. They must be so cold, you might think.

In the winter it was impossible. It would seem perfectly still until you had rounded a corner at the end of the block, a chill would move through you as if you were already a ghost, dressed in even less. The only warmth for some is money. 

My life is like that again, though not quite as cold. I am awake for long hours through the middle of the night. There are no escorts getting into cabs, only the occasional tweeker, barely a female, possibly eager to prostitute themselves in any number of ways imaginable, but alas, there are so few takers under the stars.

I just went to the 24 hour grocery store to buy a cold coffee, the only kind they had, and I realized that I continue to make choices which leave me increasingly alone, isolated from other people. I work long days by myself and am awake for strange, elastic hours through the night.

I need my own place. A place in which the minor bites of time might matter less, where I will only feel the seasons slip past, one by one.

As I returned from the store, I spied the balsamic crescent moon rising just before the sun. A lopsided smirk in the sky. It will darken even more in the next few days. On New Year's night it will become new, invisible to all but a few.


Friday, December 27, 2013

"The world drags me down"

Oh, fuckness... At the end of the day on Friday I started browsing videos. I came across one that really brought back some jagged memories, as if glass was shattering around me, a real humdinger.

My god, I felt it, for a few slim minutes it made me ache and yearn to be again. I was ready to leap in the car and blast as fast as I possibly could, as much as I could, with whomever was willing.

Who would match that desperation.

Of course, there wasn't anywhere to go, nowhere that would take me, nor understand, nobody that would jump up and twist up and tear up with me and agree, and agree, and agree, until we were high, and high again, again and again.

I calmed down from there, and then even more from there.

Within a handful of lost minutes, on a sunsettting Friday, I was listening to the late 80's Neil Diamond alternative equivalent.

I was so ready to be stupid, with anybody, for three or four consecutive minutes. I held that much.

Oh fuckins, where did it all go, and so fast? Not the stupidity, that still lingers mightily, but the youth that allows it all to parade so eternally unquestioned.

At least for the length of part of that first video I was back there again, some suburb ring of the outer parts of Orlando, wishing and wanting to be anywhere else, as soon as possible.

It took another ten years or more before I did finally leave. I would call it an escape but it wasn't. The city was about as sick of me as I was of it.

Escape, that's a fun idea when you don't know where to go. The feeling of anywhere is powerfully seductive, in short bursts.

I know that now.

"Fate, up against your will…."



Confessor Cusick, B.S.

No time to write today. It's too bad, I have much to express. The gym has a way of clarifying thoughts that might otherwise appear jumbled. 

They would appear that way because they are. My musings are always an untidy heap.

A friend once suggested dictation software. I might try it. How funny, or perhaps disastrous, would an "extreme cardio" post be? From sleepiness to breathless desperation in 20 short minutes. 

Caloric impact of each post : -450 calories.

My Oprah awaits….

Yesterday's post got a fair amount of response. I got quite a few emails.

People just love a confession, from a confessor. 

Discussing one's feelings about alcohol has a powerful effect on some. Rigidity of opinion seems to be the salient trait, and many are willing to present theirs. It is useful, and makes the subject seem less taboo. A differing of opinion is not necessarily indicative of difference in character, or a paucity, but it sure seems that way sometimes. There is an insistence with certain subjects.

People need to believe what they need to believe. There is little getting around it. Everybody learns to navigate a very familiar course, shocked at the suggestion or discovery of an alternate route.

Eureka, Archimedes!
Eureka, Jesus!

Eureka, Eureka!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

And so this is Christmas….

I've mentioned here before that I am not currently drinking. After several decades of imbibery I have undertaken an experiment of sorts: to gauge how well I handle emotions when not on fire with them. The holidays have been unique, so far, either because of this or in spite of it. "It" being abstemiousness and measured temperance, I guess. 

Drinks are counted in pints, glasses, or shots while self-control is counted in days. 

Doesn't seem quite fair. It's no wonder that the tally runs so high on the one side. If I wanted, I could calculate my sobriety in hours, or minutes. That would at least level the playing field a bit. If I calculate just the hours of 82 days it is currently 1,968. Irony, that. But they keep adding up, those hours. 

All of the words which indicate sobriety seem to indicate seriousness to a fault. It is perhaps this that gives abstaining such a stigma, one becomes a pariah of solemnity. That, and the fact that most abstainers actually are very serious about their abstinence, and are social pariahs. 

I am not - I do not believe - yet. 

I'm enjoying it, somberiety, but I do miss drinking a little here and there and do not consider it quite the evil that I have been told it is. There are those who refuse to see it any other way.

Alcohol is not evil, some people are fucked up, that's all.

The same people that have problems with alcohol also tend to have similar problems with drugs, food, sleep, sex, anything that can be abused, and interacting with all other humans. It requires very little background in science to find the constant among those variables.

But that's not what I wish to write about today, sort of.

Well, one last thing on that point: When you abstain from drinking it can be useful to spend social time with others who also are not drinking, because you are outcasts and belong together. But the problem is that these people are fucked up, truly. They spend much of their time talking about how hard it is not to drink. Like, on the holidays. Seconds later (or before) they will talk about how difficult their lives were on the holidays when they were drinking, and what complete asses they had regularly made of themselves.

If you ask them the simple question, "Which is worse on the holidays, drinking or abstaining?" they will answer immediately, almost angrily, that drinking is much, much worse. 

Most people can draw a very simple conclusion from that answer, others can not. 

It is bizarre, to say the least, and likely indicative of a very serious problem. Though the problem is not with alcohol, per se, but instead it is the inability to reason as an intrinsic function.

I have not yet evilized all of my drinking experiences the way that some might wish me to. I recognize that many of my problems do not disappear when I stop drinking, quite the opposite, a clarity forms about certain issues that is staggering, one at least as staggering as drunkenness itself. 

So, I have no need to then demonize alcohol. That does not seem to be the problem. I am.

This is not what I had hoped to write about today. Where did I go wrong? Ah, I see it above. I got sidetracked with the subject of drinking in the first sentence. I just wanted to make clear that I did not struggle much over the holidays while desisting demonic intoxication. 

But an entire day with nothing to do does make me wish to have a few glasses of wine, which I did.

I don't mean that I had them, but that I wished to, briefly and intermittently. 

I hear people talk about various strategies towards teetotalism, and most of these tactics involve not drinking. I am curious about alternative methods, ones which include occasional drinking.

I wish to experiment with spasmodic dipsomania. 

One thing that seems to be a recurring theme among the systematically clear-headed is that one must avoid "that first drink" if they wish to maintain anything that resembles dignity in the form of sobriety. I question this. Though not for them, but rather for me. I have no problem believing that they are possessed by a drinking malady. It can be detected in the stories they tell. It's in the details. 

Which is worse, drinking or abstaining? Here is one instance where use of the faculty of reason might be handy. 

In general, my life is better when I am not drinking. But we do not live for generals. We often live for moments, and are roundly encouraged to do so.

The irregular question is this: will drinking make this moment better? The answer is quite easy: sometimes, yes it will. But what of the moment that follows? This is where it becomes more difficult to evaluate, and reason begins to interact with something else; fantasies and fears, memories. 

Those that live in danger of predicting doom for themselves should avoid anything that encourages doom to unfold in fact. Some must fight the paths toward ruination the way that others fight off poverty, with constant effort. 

I am convinced that there are some among us who are entirely helpless in this regard. I have met them. Also, there are others that struggle and struggle, quietly or otherwise, to achieve something close to normalcy. Yet still there are others that enter and exit periods of doom in which they must be ever careful and aware to make it back out safely.

Then there are those that needn't worry about such things. Their sense of self is well established and is safe solely because it believes itself to be so. The belief in a thing creates the thing, doom or worth. It is true and continues to become truer.

I am tempted to use the word "begets" here, so I'll stop.

"Morality does not help me. I am a born antinomian. I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes." - Oscar Wilde, De Profundis


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I observe the holiday

We went to a church service last night. They walked a pregnant camel in who promptly shat on the carpeted stage that they call an altar, then sat down. 

I could not help but quietly and reverently agree.

I am up early on Christmas morning. The excitement is bearable. 

The house is still, the lights dimmed, the tree lit. It is pleasing, like a fire that has died down to a charmed glow. It looks as if the abominable snow saint has already made his magic visit. There are many offerings to the tree. It is nearly surrounded. It would be fun and exciting if King Kong reached in and grabbed everything right now, a'la Fay Wray. 

I await the boy's arrival and excitement. It is for that in which I am mainly looking forward. 

That, and the all-day feasting. Ham that was described with impressed hand gestures, holding an imaginary tree-size pig leg to elucidate. The eyes told the story of the licking of the lips. Then, later, prime rib that was ordered through the services of a special butcher, secret deals made, animals hired to transport the sacred slice, moonlit desert crossings, all-night belly dancing and untold wantonness... tents, drums, etc.

A carnivore's delight. Today, I will be bathing in animal fats. Tomorrow, you will no longer recognize me. I will have returned to my luckless pagan ways. 

But today... I will wander and wallow as an unjinxed gypsy. 

In addition to being a hungry wanderer I will also be a typical father, trying to take pictures of the boy, to capture his excitement upon the magical discovery. I will do my best to preserve that which I can.

I was going through my old photo library this morning, thinking back. I came across the very first pictures of Rachel when she was pregnant with our son. That it was a boy, well, we didn't know it at the time.

The image still excites me; the partial knowledge, the growing expectations. I look at it and I want and want and want, and I also wish.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013


(… to the world)

You don't have to be an atheist to be suspicious of Christmas, but it sure helps.

It's not so much that people trot out their mildly festive sanctimony and ritual, it's that the version that they choose to bring is so thin and seemingly unequal to the task. I'd almost enjoy the holiday more if everybody ramped it up a bit, really brought their God A-Game. Sort of a Crusade-style holiday: beatings, intolerance, blood thirst, bargains and savagery, impulse acquisitions, the bastinado, all of it. Like Walmart, only somehow grander in scale, broader in scope, more culturally penetrating. 

The parking lot of the local grocery store is the best place to gauge the soul of the holiday. I spent about an hour yesterday at lunch driving around and pulling into spots and then pulling back out again, waving at people out of my window, wishing them seasonal mirth. 

I'm in the spirit though, truly. I even sent out Christmas music, just to give you an idea. I bought presents. Well, in truth, I bought none, but I paid for presents to be bought by one who enjoys the process of shopping much more than I, and is far more accomplished at it. 

My benevolence knows when to take a back seat, enjoy the view, the ride, etc.

Okay, I wish all those happiness who also wish it for others.

In that we are not so dissimilar, the Christmasians and I.


Monday, December 23, 2013

In the morning the trees are all disappeared

Yesterday, a Christmas party. I ended up on the floor, watching kids play.

Reflections upon childhood can be dangerous. Change is loss, gain is loss. It is too easy to regret, to wallow, to opine. You'll see.

Rhys will be two soon. The months are over, now start the years. There is already so much that will never return, so much gained, so much expectation. There is little tragedy more magical than youth, or as tender.

Selavy wrote about the mixture of pure and impure longings of all young boys, the terror of which I am still possessed, taken with the recurring idea.

We had a very small family. There was no Aunt Thelma in whom to desire, or wonder. Our family consisted of my mother, my father, my brother, no more. When my mother passed away the glue that held our family together had also given its grip. We were three men who seemed not to need one another. So it seemed. 

As I reached that "curious age" neighborhood women became the object of my mostly innocent attention, the spirit of my inquiry; the perennial fascination of femininity, a yearning to know things, to espy and to possess secrets, to make such secrets of scant knowledge and hopeful experience, to charm and be charmed, to approach the hidden, the sacred. To view and wonder - the enigma about enigmas.

Each subsequent want in life is somehow still attached to this. The aspiration to travel, to experience; intoxication and its hunger. Love. Through the glimpsing of this time I came to sense the impulse of music. I had waves of learner lust, unwanted innocence. I became eternally consensual, a beginner.

Not knowing what else to do I exuded a strong willingness to love, to prove. It became me.

It struck. I could not get shed my virginity fast enough or more thoroughly. It seemed a lingering malady, a thing in which to be deeply ashamed. It held something far worse than value, not in the way that any potential counterpart's may have, or may have had. Mine could not be lost, it had to be transferred into something else, given up in the most fantastic secret ever told, by one hardly capable of telling it. You should have seen me try and try.

Once, I found a place where the step-mother of one of my friends could be watched showering. It was a sacred, erotic place. I only saw her through frosted glass, but her nakedness was eternal. The obscured glass, which seemed a damnation at the time, only added to the mythic experience. I remained loyal to her image. I can recall it easily now, like a scene from the greatest film ever made. The less formed a thing the easier it is for the mind to hold unchanged, to cherish, to caress. Nothing, it seemed, could be more beautiful than the almost known. Nothing enchants quite like suggestion. To view and wonder upon my first true mystery.

I disabused myself partly of that notion once I caught sight of a magazine in which the riddle became touchable paper, flesh in the second dimension. Though I remain fascinated with a woman showering. It is not self-pleasuring, but it seems impossible, next to impossible, not to be.

Why not, I cried and cried. Why not?


The largest impediment to love, it seems, for me, is when I lack the component for self-discovery, that moment of honest inwardness, the unexpected acceptance of what I would wish to deny.

Not the one in which I am standing in the grass peering in towards the liquid language, but the reflection upon it, its strength over me, its limitations. The wondering about the knowing … the knowing acceptance of what I would wish to deny.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

The hairy bikini bandits

(© all wrongs reserved)

A friend offered to write about my life right now, since I can't. I think I'm going to let him. That should be fun. Who does not take interest in their own life? Even suicides will often leave a note of explanation. 

When one does not know what else to do with something: fictionalize it. That will be fun. Or better, at least, for a little while.

The picture above is the proposed cover.

We have not yet settled on a title.

I tried discussing suicide with a friend recently. Bad idea. I spent the largest portion of the conversation explaining that they had "nothing to worry about," that I am going through a difficult time, and discussing suicide, as a phenomenon, shouldn't in any way….

Ok, I see now. It's probably a bad idea, discussing it.

All of my friends, except one, are reluctant to call for help when it pertains to me. That one friend is not only willing but seemingly eager to do so. I only hope that I finally get the help that I need. 

Perhaps "reluctant" is not the right word. Perhaps a "need for help" is not the right phrase. Perhaps.

Jesus. I should stop writing so cryptically. It is only a few days before Christmas. I am going to scare away the holiday revelers that come here to shop. 

I need to go get a coffee, and then go to the gym.

I will leave this much unpublished and come back to it later, see how I feel.

One last thought: I just want a nice blonde that I can administer spankings to, right now. Like the girl in the picture above, but blonde, or brunette, and giggling about it. 

Coquettish, kittenish, demure, etc.

Is it wrong to say "girl" in this context? Or "blonde"?

Seems strange to spank a grown woman… particularly a brunette. 

They have rights, you know, and they barely even did anything wrong.

Why does it seem that there should be a legal difference between blondes and brunettes? Blondes should enjoy a slight advantage. Why can't we institute that into law? 

The people who are against this would be the strongest argument for it.

Four words: First Amendment, Duck Dynasty...

Okay, I am back from my caffeine adventure. I should delete the suicide and spanking parts, and the parts about obvious inequality and legal advantage for blondes.

Just to let you know, it did occur to me.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Think, differently

I had a strange dream that awoke me, left me wondering. I was suddenly somewhere with a few friends, and also the Dalai Lama. My friends had to do something and so I offered to help, an offer which involved giving the Dalai Lama a ride some place that he was meant to go next. My friends got very dream-serious and looked around at one another, then at me. They told me that once I take responsibility for His Holiness that I can not shirk that responsibility until it is complete. It is a great honor. I have to wait until somebody takes him from me, also accepting that same responsibility. This could be minutes, hours, or years. It could mean the rest of my life. I spent a few dream moments contemplating that.

It woke me up, dear Ebenezer. 

I've never been a fan of the Lama, nor of many supposed spiritual leaders, at least recently. He seems particularly insidious because he preys upon the innocent sensibilities of those who wish to mildly renounce western religions to embrace the otherness of eastern religions, but don't wish to be entirely irreligious altogether. He is a nearly perfect fit, and as such, a nearly perfect fraud. Most of these people fail to realize that their ability to freely choose among religions is mostly a western invention and not some alluring, time-tested gift from the east.  If "invention" is not quite the right word then at least it is mainly a by-product of western culture and the developments associated with it.

The Lama has always struck me as an enormous gonif. Though certainly he is occasionally capable of pumping out an internet-savvy quotation that appeals to the minds of people who require only conciseness and clarity in their spiritual pursuits. That is to assume that the quotations that I have read were even written by him, or even read by him at some point. He is a pure media machine and he very likely has ghost writers. 

If we are, in fact, to believe in his holiness then the belief that a ghost of some sort is speaking through him is to have made the very smallest of intellectual leaps. For what is the concept of a ghost but the spiritual manifestation of another, its continuance, or even rebirth in another. 

That is his claimed essence.

His Highly accepts financial donations from known murderers as well as having openly advocated for India's nuclear capabilities. Not their nuclear power program, but the other one, their increased nuclear armament ambitions. Such is the nature of his eternal saintliness. His persona is impure fabrication and there is absolutely nothing accidental about it, no more than his robe or the inheriting of the occasionally worn yellow hat.

But he seems like a nice enough fellow. I'm sure that he and I would make quite a lot of money together, given the chance.

All that aside, the dream gave me a sense of something that I haven't had in a very long time, the sense that to serve others is a task worth undertaking. To try and help, somehow. In the painful darkness and confusion of life perhaps I could somehow lessen the pain of others.

If there are greater rewards to be granted by helping than by taking then I would like to be the lucky beneficiary of those riches. I am greedy with the idea, possessed by unseen wealth.

For many years I have felt that my own survival was a form of charity. That by keeping myself from becoming a penniless compassion case that I was saving some people somewhere a reasonable amount of hard work, a benevolent act in and of itself. 

I am often found wobbling towards being a bindlestiff. 

But no, that all ceased being moderately true throughout the last 5-7 years. Now I am able to take care of myself under most circumstances. There are always a few instances that spring up in life unexpected which leave me surprised and ill-prepared, but for the most part I only eat cold soup when I choose to.

But it is not just about poverty. The dream left me feeling something else.

I am becoming more devout as I age. Not devoted to any religion or spirituality set but instead to my time, to the self which I know as mine. I awake alone each morning and I am free. Depending on how I spend that time it tends to determine how long throughout the day I can preserve that state of being. Some days I can make it past lunch. 

In the evenings there is the return to sleep, the lying down alone as even more freedom approaches. It is never enough, yet somehow too much.

I have learned that I should not fight for freedom, because I just might win and it will all be granted, and with far less struggle than I would have guessed.

I want a very different life. I just don't yet know what I'm willing to do to get it, or what effect getting it will have on me.

"I am tired, I am weary, I could sleep for a thousand years. A thousand dreams that would awake me…."


Friday, December 20, 2013

The moon's residue

I awoke again in a different place. My life was upended in both the big and little ways. Pieces so small that they could not be seen falling, not found until they had landed, collected; gathering slowly, felt at first, suspected before seen. Dust from an old house, covering most the things that matter, settling evenly then gathering in corners. The smallest particles accumulate, descending unseen in sleep. The winds of a whisper. 

Impossible not to touch, impossible to prove, important to finally gather. Imagined ghosts made only of dust, dancing through shafts of light.

There had only ever been a semblance of normalcy, a simulacrum in false reflection, a story told to a story. One learns to suffer it all.

Emptiness is the most convincing of arguments. Impossible not to touch, impossible to prove, important to finally gather.

The moment came that my life shattered like a dish. Suddenly and with a ceramic crash that was thicker than glass. It was over as it happened, in the silence whistling just before. Nothing would now be placed upon it. Dangerous - though not much - shards too large to be ignored, some too small to be found. 

Then, it had become impossible to remember a time when a loving parent or grandparent would wish to hang it on a wall in pride, the way that they used to. There were these special mounts with clips and springs for just such a purpose. Then.

It was the nicest plate in the hallway.

"… I knew I would regret it, but sometimes regret can be as great a thrill as the actual act itself." -CS


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Occupy My Space

Well, it turns out that one of the members of Half People, from my post yesterday, is a friend of a friend. That is what it is like living in such a small community. I'm not sure if being half of Half People qualifies them to be quarters or not. She has another project called Static People. It must get crowded with all of those halves.

If they all did a happy project together they could call it: Cashews.

But they are the cool local punk rockers. Hopefully they have a sense of humor about themselves. If not then no damage can be done, nothing can be hurt, and even less can be helped. This is what my punk sensibilities would tell me.

Well, I had a subject for today's post but now it has slipped my mind.

Oh yeah, we went for a car ride up to see snow last weekend, to the Tahoe area. Rachel had taken Rhys last year and he had a lot of fun, so we figured we'd try it again.

On the way there, heading north up the state we encountered what you generally will when traveling on an interstate. There were lots of Denny's restaurants, gas stations and big semi trucks. At one point in our trip we came upon a specific hillside that had the light brown grass that is famous in the region. It was cut so that a message could be read, for all to see.

"Occupy My Ass"

I thought this was pretty funny and it clearly seemed to be a message from a landowner responding to the nature of the Occupy Movement which had famously made the news in this area only a couple of years before. 

We were just south of Davis, where the incident occurred with the pepper spraying of students.

The image seemed to galvanize the feelings of many when they saw it. There was a very casual misuse of a harmful chemical against students who were being told that we, as a nation, were going to war against those who might engage in the misuse of chemicals. 

That is an oversimplification, of course, but that was a component of what made the image powerful and memorable. The establishment seemed quite blasé about their use of anti-riot tactics as well as their clear overreaction to a peaceful protest. 

First Amendment questions began to float in the air afterwards, once the pepper spray had dispersed. Excessive force had become part of a larger pattern, an accepted larger pattern recognized across many parts of America. 

Now, UC Davis is in the middle of nowhere, yet known for its liberal politics. The police chief of Davis had claimed that the students had the police surrounded and would not let them move. It was practically a case of  kidnapping, from their perspective. The police were clearly in danger and needed to escape. This was claimed even though there were multiple images and videos showing Lt. Pike casually dousing peaceful students.

Many people that I talked to believed this incident to have occurred at UC Berkeley. It seemed to elevate their sense of shock and indignation that this type of thing could happen at the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. But no, it was far up in the sticks. These students are not smart enough to be at Berkeley. Just look at them get pepper sprayed. What stronger argument could there possibly be for them being at Davis?

Well, it wasn't really my intention to write about the Occupy Movement and its de-centralized goals.

What I thought was funny was the "Occupy My Ass" statement. I doubt that the creator of this stroke of genius gave much thought to its possible alternate implications. 

Or, who knows, maybe they did and thought that was funny also. How, exactly, would one go about occupying somebody's ass? If they had been invited.

I thought that "Occupy My Rifle Scope" was much better and probably embodied the sentiment of the creator more fully, though it also required more effort and space to cut into a hillside. I didn't want to believe that this was a lazy landowner. I had little evidence either way. 

Landowners usually like to steer clear of litigation and prosecution. I mean, most people like to steer clear of prosecution. Some people invite litigation. 


The officer pictured above, Lt. John Pike, was never charged with a crime. 

Instead, he was awarded $40,000 in workers compensation for the psychological trauma this incident caused him.

Somebody must have occupied his lawyer's office.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Half Persons, will travel

(Roots, the musical)

I like living in a state in which there are standards, but California is demonic with them. It gives you some insight into the mind of the Californian. Every demand appears at first as a suggestion. They always seem to find a way of using standards against people, not for people. 

The state mottos is "For Your Own Good..."

I'll need to watch Brazil again soon. It is a documentary on the region.

I took the day off from work today. I have a bunch of errands to run; the dull, administrative busy work of owning a car. My tags are expired, the engine light had turned on, it needed a smog check, and the state of California frowned on all of these things, though not equally. 

I tried taking the car to a shop to get the engine light looked at. They informed me that there was something wrong with the cooling system but they weren't able to tell me exactly what was wrong, though they hinted that it would be expensive and demanded that I bring it back to them today. They told me that they were doing me a favor by letting me take the car at all. There are rules.

I drove the car into work and the "check engine" light was off. They must have fixed it, I thought. I had better stop by the smog check place and get the test while my luck holds, I also thought. 

The smog people said that there was nothing wrong with the car but that I needed to drive it for about 50-75 more miles before they could give me a passing certificate, the computer's data banks were blank. The battery must have died, I offered. My wife also drives this car and she has some questionable maintenance practices, I added.

I stopped there, not wanting to draw any additional unneeded suspicion towards myself. Blame the wife. Good idea, I thought. Nobody questions that wisdom. No mechanic anyway.

I drove the car home and got a call from a friend who told me that the "check engine" light was from a faulty oxygen sensor. It is a common problem with Volkswagen Beetle's from around that time. He had access to the internet and wowed me with the details and the facts. Trust the facts. 

The phrase "faulty oxygen sensor" sounded dangerous but it's not as if I was trapped in Apollo 13. I kept the windows down hoping that would keep the "check engine" light off a little while longer.

I'll take care of it today: cooling, smog, oxygen and all.  

All of that and the broken camera, as well.

The guy whom I bought the camera from is a complete asshole. I mean that he is all parts anus, nothing more, nothing lacking in terms of fecal evacuation area. He's just a condescending hole that seems to be intentionally misunderstanding everything that I am writing just so that it gives him a chance to dismiss me and my understanding of the product that I purchased from him. He is a shit-filled flesh tube. The logical end of the process. The rectum, the colon, the sphincter and all.

I am tempted to post it all here just to get a fresh perspective on it. 

I am determined to fix the camera myself and write him an email today as well, instructing him on precisely how to speak down to somebody that is well deserving of it.

I'll wait until that last salvo before relaying any more of it here. I have standards, etc.

I could create a new subsection of this site dedicated to disappointed purchase letters

I tried to be nice, truly. It just didn't work. Or, it doesn't work as often as it should. Sometimes I feel as if everybody speaks the Russian taxi driving language: we all get out of our cars with hammers, bats and tire irons while our dashboard cams are rolling, then we settle things peacefully and usually within a few minutes, just as the asteroid explodes in the sky. It is much easier to gain a sudden understanding of one another as reasonably flawed humans when the other option is certain pain and disfigurement, and even further flawing, that of the intentional sort. 

When given those two choices it is quite easy to be sensible. Like, with Russians, for example. What a bunch of affable spudniks.

But they don't know why they are funny, like monkeys on roller skates, or musicians.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The War on Commission

(The War on Reindeer)

So, I sent the seller of the camera a response last night, explaining that there was a loose piece when I got the camera and that I took a picture of it but there was no way to upload the image as part of the response that I was making.

He wrote back while I was sleeping, explaining that this is a film camera and there is no way to upload anything from it.

Is there no end to the imbecilic confusion.

I wrote back that I understand this to be a film camera, and that is why I bought it, but that still doesn't explain why I can't use it with either iTunes or Instagram. I also complained that it was heavy and bulky compared to all of the other nice cameras they have at the T-Mobile store, that it doesn't even fit in my back pants pocket and gets a terrible cell signal, I could barely hear my girlfriend when I called.

No, I didn't. I should have, but I just want the camera to be fixed. 

A friend informed me that it is very likely the focusing screen. As long as the latch that holds it in place is not damaged then I should be able to fix it myself. I really shouldn't have to and I am tempted to have an expensive repair shop do it just to teach this nincompoop a lesson. Though that would also mean more time out of my precious, evaporating life.

Time that I could be describing my online misadventures here, to you, as part of my ongoing War on Omission. 

(The War on Used Camera Shops)


Monday, December 16, 2013

It is risen!

(The Full California Cold Moon)

Don't listen to what ol' Carne S. Labia has to say about it. He is confused. 

Tonight is the real deal. It becomes full for everybody that matters in about four and a half hours. 

He will believe that it is tomorrow night. He will calculate wrongly again, if at all. 

He will believe all the mistaken people, media types.

I had a little heartbreak tonight. I got a package that I had been waiting for. A Nikon F100. Right away when I pulled it out of the packaging I knew something was wrong. The little piece that converts the reflected light from the mirror through the pentaprism so that it becomes a square image in the diopter was just floating loosely around inside the camera. It is visible in the picture below. I don't know what it's called and I don't feel like doing any research.


So, there goes my dream of having a full-frame camera…. a genuine 35mm film beast. 

Well, I have another one. But this new one, the F100, was much nicer.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. I was very excited to try out my lenses on it. To gain a feel for something different.

For now, anyway.

Nikon Fuckit100.

- I've decided. That's the group that I want to be in: God's mistaken people.


Bokeh pleases Him

I need this lens. It would increase my artistry.

Everything that I look at now becomes about having a full-frame camera. A crop-frame only has two (mainly one) advantages. You have to want this one quality unwaveringly for it to even be considered an advantage: your lenses always appear to be zoomed in closer to your subject by about 1.5X. They're not actually zoomed in, but they always appear to be. It is only a decreasing of the angle of view, sort of. That you are using more pixels for a smaller area confers other possible advantages, arguably, as the pixels used are also smaller.

The secondary advantage is related to the first: crop-frames can be useful for photographing children from a distance, much like sports photography. I suppose you could also claim that crop-frame cameras are smaller and lighter.

Convenience, we're told. But we are hard working stewards of Christ. Convenience is akin to sin.

These crop-frame cameras are the impoverished version of owning a nice telephoto lens, with no way of zooming back out except by walking backwards, away from your subject.

Not the strongest selling point for me, particularly if I want a wider frame and to take advantage of my lenses as they were designed to function (even with potential issues like vignetting and chromatic aberration).

All of the lenses that I own, except one (which is a very nice lens for what it is), were bought with a full-frame camera in mind, a Nikon.

The image created from the lens shown above would benefit from a full-frame camera (which it was probably taken with) and be reduced by a crop-frame, as the distance from the subject and the blurred edges of the photo (bokeh) add greatly to the quality of the image.

The advantages of a full-frame camera are many. The easy list is this: the intended depth of field for each lens is as it should be, it is the 35mm angle-of-view digital equivalent, larger pixel size spread out over a larger image sensor.

Downside: $2800, approx.

I doubt that anybody that comes to this site to read regularly has even the slightest interest in today's post. Let me see if I can appeal to their Christian sensibilities.

I am not asking for donations. I am demanding them. This site has just become a paid subscription site and I will be expecting back payments. If everybody that had come here had paid only $ 0.01 per page read then that camera could already be mine and I could be using it to glorify God.

Let the guilt of this knowledge settle in right now. Feel it moving through you like the long-tongued serpent of Satan.  Then, get down on your knees while touching your computer screen and write a check out (c/o The Sean Q7" Church of Infinite Soul, Inc.).

Don't think too much about it! Pondering is the devil's position, the Prince of Dark's profession. Don't let Satan creep back into your heart second-by-second.

Instead, why don't you feel the goodness of God's warmth move through you and know deep in your bosom and belly that God's gifts back to you will be increased ten fold in the blessings, monetary and otherwise, that will come into your life. What better insurance could you possibly have against cancer striking someone in your family? With God on your side you can sleep safely, knowing that the evil one can not touch you or your little loved ones with his wicked fingers.

Now, are you going to let your own love of money keep you from entering the Kingdom of Heaven? That money's not going to do you any good burning in the eternal lake of fire. You're telling me that you'll stand in front of God on judgement day and have him ask you why you didn't give when you had the chance, when he spoke his message directly to your heart…?

A friend suggested preaching. I'm just practicing to see how it feels. It's spooky how easy it is. I'm a natural-

Trust in the Lord, LLC, etc.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

An exercise in inner voice

(carrying, while I still can)

I have to get out of my head. I am spending far too much time there. It rarely works out to my advantage. When it does it is still quite a danger, perhaps then most of all.

I've started a few paragraphs already this morning and the above is the only one that remains. It seems that I can not delete my thoughts fast enough. They keep appearing in front of me. I can't take many of them any more. I have too much going on inside and no adequate way to get it all out. Reading out loud what I have written is embarrassing, on any day, but today especially. 

Talking about myself doesn't help. It only seems to deepen the laceration, to tear open the wound, then in pours the concrete. I am just openly picking at a few scabs here, to verify that the healing process continues, to make sure that it is still happening just under the surface. 

Oh my, underneath, look how it recovers anew. 

Victory from the inside.

But fuck... I had the temerity to use the word "exile" to self-describe yesterday morning. What gall, when considered up against almost anything, like: the rest of the globe.

But what else are we to do? One can not always read the news just to feel better. And I am not too far off from living in a tent, a one man refugee camp.

It's because I am only talking to myself here that I feel that I am alone. You need the voices of others to carry with you. I do need other voices.

Life can be miserable, get used to it, I say. Not the misery but the strong possibility of it, its ever close proximity. Life doesn't have to be wretched, I remind myself.  It's not a requirement, but it can be

The best preparation for misery is by being happy. If you can swing it then it is a pretty good weapon against approaching darkness. It is easiest to get back to a place that you know exists. Having some direction helps.

But my happiness is too much dependent upon others. I see that now. I am often only begging to borrow it. Its expected return arrives unannounced. Just like Jesus, a thief in the night. Living in debt is quite easy. We're all used to it.

It is so easy to be forgetful, impossible to forget.

If you want to feel silly just like me then read this post aloud, you'll see.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

… or choking

(new dawn treatment center)

It is oftenest when I am near others that my strangeness becomes impossible to conceal.

Little things. It is just the stuff that I say, my reaction to the talk of others. I can't seem to let an obscure reference remain that way. Everything I say seems to somehow be rooted in a time that is decades previous to everyone else's frame of reference. I am caught oddly trying to cast strands to draw the past into the present. Surprised at confusion.

There is that, and my sleeping patterns. 

I went to a company off-site event, with all of the new people that I will be working with. They are not actually "new" to me. I have worked with all of them for some time, though not on this "team."

We all went to a great seafood dinner last night where we ate crab and ceviche and mahi mahi and Portuguese fish stew, and lots of fried stuff from the depths. When we came home after dinner everybody gathered around in the living room to watch a movie. The original Friday the 13th was on and it seemed to appeal in a general, almost kitsch, way. At least in terms of irony and poor taste. 

I tried.

After about 15 minutes of watching Kevin Bacon conduct his unique version of acting I went to sleep. I felt like I was being tortured being kept up so late, out of a sense of obligation. It was probably only 10pm. I slept in until the luxurious hour of 4am.

Two mornings in a row now I have woken up and felt as if I've had a hangover. It's just been the sudden change in sleeping patterns, the disruption of the shifting of the circadian rhythms, but fuck…. I don't miss feeling bad like that, at all. 

I havent drank anything in two and a half months now, alcohol that is. I've had lots and lots of coffee and the occasional glass of water. The first month I felt great. Now that feeling has worn off and I am starting to notice how boring life can be. Time drags on. You have to learn to face emotions other than remorse, and there seem to be a fair amount of them in waiting.

It's exhausting.

Remorse is too strong of a word. I suppose it is more of a low-level guilt. It is mild and usually non-specific. Though sometimes sharp memories will find their way through, bursting the milky membranes that exist between daily drinking, sleeping, and then morning consciousness. Their sharp edges announcing themselves in flashes of regretful memory, pangs from the recent past.

That feeling. 

You spend so much time contending with your own questionable behavior that you don't have much spare time to experience any other internal sensations. When those perfectly normal emotions finally do arrive they are awkward and ill-fitting. They seem so odd, unnecessary, and large. That others possess them as being fully developed and functioning attributes only make them seem that much less desirable.

That's what I'm calling boredom now. That sickening normalcy known as health. The tedium of rediscovery and reinvention, an unfamiliar world in which I can no longer rely on mistakes made in perpetuity as the sole basis for personality. It is the developmental equivalent of learning to want to go to the mall, and being happy about it. It's supposed to be like a lobotomy that works, a process that we can all be proud of.

Though, the other night a friend noted my increased capacity for empathy.

Jesus man, keep your voice down... You'll ruin me with talk like that. 

He went on to describe the unwelcome drinking habits of others. I was riveted. I had to admit that it did sound like a familiar pattern of reprehensible behavior, but it didn't make me want to drink any less. Not that I need any props or encouragement. I do not have cravings. I simply get bored. Time moves much slower in the abstemious mind, it becomes noticeably more difficult to tolerate certain others. Though counter-intuitively those "others" were only recently your favorite people. 

Your new friends are miserable, often using phrases like "my recovery" and "be careful…."

In short, sustained or attempted sobriety makes one a sanctimonious, meddling bore. It is the default tone of that struggle.

The sanctimony is not a required component, per se. It creeps in to replace the omission, filling the vacuum of behavior created by the absence of intoxication. It pours in as sands from the hourglass, bringing with it its coarse language of betterment, improvement, and the new self. 

You find yourself unexpectedly talking about things in a way that only abstainers do. You adopt their phrasings for certain moments and situations and it is all quite off-putting, but you can hardly stop yourself. It is your new, fresh shame and burden to bear.

Jesus knocks louder than ever at the door and you're just trying to talk over the racket. 

You keep thinking, Maybe it's not Jesus. What if it's Keith Richards out there instead? 


You can hear the vague tones of denial and disapproval inserting themselves into unwanted moments. If it were only dismissiveness then it would be fine, but it is also the voice of specific longing, which only hints at the deep inner hypocrisy, a tone that no one enjoys or endures for long. 

You just love to parachute, but you also love the earth. Nobody who likes to drink really wants to stop drinking, they only want drinking to stop being such an issue, a problem. They always want earth beneath them when they jump from a plane, even if they can't see it, they want to know that it is there, and in which direction. They don't want to have to think of these things, they want the world to work the way that it is supposed to. Few jump from a plane genuinely wanting only endless clouds and sky, and directionless falling. 

The teetotaler must find things in their new life that they can hold up and then overvalue for others, to try to convince themselves of the worth of their alternatives. To insist upon them. 

It's all true, of course. It's just not very convincing. There is nothing seductive about abstinence. I feel like I am walking through life wearing a condom that I can't stop talking about. 

But the stories of others' skydiving adventures are almost as boring as the telling of their dreams, which is almost what I'm doing here. 

That is what listening to abstainers is like: like hearing about the experience of surviving a jump, of being proud of still living.

Or, telling the story of going to the store to buy lottery tickets.

Hold on now.... You jumped from the plane, and then fell for a while, and then landed? But you're okay now, right? Oh good, lucky that, then. It must have been the parachute that saved you.

But wait, you say you went right back up and did it again? Only to survive to tell us about it now?

That's really something. You are one crazy mother-fucker…

It is true torture for one who prides themselves in ostracizing those types of people. You have become the rigid phony in the room, the one that you used to sniff out as passing game, the sublunary story teller… you exist without the use of your self-deprecation mechanisms in place to save you, to astonish yourself and others with inner subversions. You have the head of a familiar fool and the body of a naked midget. 

Self-deprecation works quite well with mild self-abuse. One art of life concerns the balancing of your abuses. Conflict resolution need not always involve others, etc. If you try to convert the quality of self-deprecation to abstaining, and rely on it as a social device, then you just make people uncomfortable, or worse. It's like asking people you barely know to openly feel sorry for you. It removes all humor from the joke.

But the increased capacity for empathy also - perhaps mainly- applies to self, it seems to be sourced there.

So, there is that: the compensatory qualities of the exile. The silence that follows the laughter that follows the witticism, or jest, or joke, or joking.