Monday, April 23, 2018

The trouble with ease

The problem of me not wanting to write recently isn't CS, nor is it my job, nor time away from my job, nor returning to it, nor any other reason I may have cited in my last post. The problem is that I've become reliably happy. I struggle with feeling pleasure from time to time, though that alone doesn't make me unhappy, usually. Pleasure and happiness are not nearly as related as I had believed them to be. They are connected - that seems apparent - but not dependent upon one another, or not entirely so. Feelings become their own dominion as they age and declare whatever distance from other sensations.

It seems; it feels. 

I can endure almost any emotion or sensation for a while, about thirty days or so, maybe sixty. After that, I get bored, then sometimes subsequently dangerous. This is the first time that I remember being consistently contented in decades, which is of course unforgivably boring, lacking any vestige of redeeming vice. 

My life has flattened considerably; apparently it was what was needed. I'm not sure if I've tried to aggravate the circumstances of my own life, or if some inner mechanism - a gear with a broken tooth or two - has caused me to live life the way that I have. Nothing runs smoothly for very long. I've thrived on inconsistencies, all the while bemoaning the chaos in smirks. One thing I've never been expected to endure, nor prepared for, were moments of extended satisfaction or contentment. Now I'm trapped.  

It would be easy to blame Rachel - I have before - but that hasn't brought me any cheer. Who knows what either of us had hoped for in that regard. Our recriminations failed, also. She has been a significant part of both my happiness and its nemesis, of course, but she can not alone account for any of my feelings in totality. Imagine if anyone tried to make her answer for me and the tempestuous whimsy that has marked the last twenty of my years. That would be absurd. 

I've documented my life in detail here with reasonably understandable inaccuracies. This started when she and I were newly married, through our move to Sonoma, the birth and early life of Rhys, our divorce was in there, the boy's growing up, our reconciliation, and now it has become a family vacation travelogue. Perhaps it is a good time to stop. What more can be said now, or anymore. 

I'm not sure what good it has done me. It has functioned in part as a tool for self-analysis, though I'm not sure that I hit any of my improvement benchmarks, or if there ever were any. I outgrew some of my licentiousness, and a handful of my more favored sins. I watched in horror as I grew up, like a newborn taking its first wobbly steps across the mind. It was fun. I've tried to remember to laugh at myself. I hope that is part of what I've done. If not, it's what I meant to do. I remember giggling along many mornings.

People worry about social media platforms having betrayed their privacy. Look at what I have willingly done to mine, here and elsewhere.  

The truth shall make you free, from what I wonder - the creditors or the credit, the debtors or the debt?


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An opposing concord

Not sure what happened, but I don't have much energy to write here any more. Nothing to say and no joy in saying things that don't matter, even to me. It could be because CS has stopped writing. Perhaps waking each day and reading his post and writing my own had created a habit or ritual that now seems cracked, in need or repair or a discarding. 

Or, perhaps it was returning to work. 

Possibly a touch of recurring anhedonia, the likeliest of causes. I have struggled deriving any pleasure lately, more than a week now. Always dangerous periods to navigate. Out of habit I often blast my senses with treacherous intoxicants, trying to remind myself that I am alive, or to obscure the loss of sensation. To test it, to push it into a familiar corner and then bully it.

Perhaps I need a sabbatical from this now, from trying to organize the world around groups of words. As if.

I spoke yesterday with an old friend, he reminded me that I've been suicidal. What can one say about such things. I'm still here and no longer feel that way, though also know that those feelings are never very far off, never entirely so. Thoughts of my own childhood have been stirring some sadness within me lately. Beauty is loss, youth doubly so. 

Mentions invoke and invite the common hex of a sullen mind. Of the curses to endure, a memory of having once been funny strikes at the bittersweet bell the loudest, most boldly. Much of life now leaves only aftertaste. Doubly so. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Tough Titties"

(My Source of Sleep Deprivation)

Sometimes having a child sucks. Love does not compensate for a lost night of sleep. Most love is supplementary, it doesn't replace the satisfaction of basic needs, like sleep.

The boy came into my room last night after I put him to sleep. I fell asleep in his room for a little while, made it to my room at an unknown hour, then was awakened by the boy around midnight. That was all the sleep I was to get for the night. Maybe three hours. Kids - they're not exactly roommates, are they?

So, I finished binge watching Wild Wild Country, a new-ish documentary on Netflix about the Bhagwan Rajneesh and his crazy crew. It's worth watching.

I saw no footage of children on the compound in Oregon, so maybe they slept happily there. They frowned on the basic family structure and instead opted for a form of free love that sometimes left bruises and welts on the flesh of the believers - on this point I thought they were maybe onto something purposeful - but the filmmakers didn't address the aspect of family life on the farm very much. I saw no kids in the archival footage. Had a handful of children died from a mass suicide or government takeover then it would have been all that we would ever heard about. 

This cult stared down the state of Oregon and practically begged them to try a hostile overtaking of the ranch, which I thought was pretty fucking righteous but the whole thing fizzled out with Osho on the run in a Lear jet. Nabbed in Charlotte, turned over to the feds for voter fraud or something equally absurd, but it was enough to boot him back to India. 

If you'd like a dose of his spiritual wisdom then he is speaking at the beginning of this track - one of my favorites from the early days of what regrettably came to be known as progressive house, a dirty word in what used to be my world. Or, a great word by the true believers of its message of celestial perfection attainable here on earth, in a nightclub. 

I vaguely remember all this happening when I was a kid, but coming out of the 70s when passenger planes were being hijacked every other day and cults were popping up like pimples, it was not a tremendous blip on the radar of puberty. Watching the doc last night made me want to participate more fully in a sex cult, though. The leader's secretary seemed like a freak. Sheela. A real firecracker - a wire-tapping, bio-terror having, braless loving, cult organizing, always dressed in red, sexual freak. My kind of chick - a dynamo that chooses to live life on the edge, of prison. One got the feeling that something was definitely about to happen next.

Oh, my beloved Sheela, I would so cult with you...

If the internet were a more perfect place then we'd be able to ask Squeaky Fromme what she thinks of the Rajneeshees and their brand of cult-sex-violence, maybe find out of they're just a bunch of fucking lucky amateurs or not. When you are left with unanswerable questions best to rely on the self-made experts of enigma. What would little Squeaky do.

(Sheela, my secret crush)


Saturday, April 14, 2018

The First and Last Lines

All I have are vacation photos right now. Hate me, if you must. 

I had hoped that by now someone else's family would hire me to be their personal family photographer. All that I have done is build out my portfolio for such a position. Yet no offers have arrived. 

The first and last lines of any post here are often the most difficult. I started today with, Don't tell anybody, but every now and then I like to have a drug problem. 

Mom's out of town, so I thought that some might take such a statement too literally. It stemmed from a playlist I'm listening to made by a friend, all downtempo stuff, like 154 hours of it or something. 

Well, it all just had me thinking about seizing the day, or something, I guess.

I also tried: I don't think the love of money is the root of all evil. Masturbation is also in there. 

And: Trump supporters wake to find America not always first.

I guess that's what Facebook is for now. People seem angry about something that should have never even surprised them. They believe their privacy has been violated. Had they created some bullshit alter-ego for use with Facebook or any other social media platform then they wouldn't be in this problem. Most people's biggest mistake is in trying to be right rather than being absurd. Few things will make you seem absurd more quickly than trying to be right online. Even trying to live within a quanta of truth is preposterous. But they never seem to make the leap and connect their behavior with anything other then the presumed righteousness of personal candor. 

Now they feel betrayed. If Facebook had only given us some sort of sign what their intentions were. Some little hint embedded in their ever changing privacy policies. 

If I were a fledgling dictator then I would use the list of compromised Facebook accounts to purge voter registration lists, but that's just me. As dictator it wouldn't matter very much, it would be more of a symbolic gesture, for my people. 

Oh yeah, my account was compromised. I received a notice from FB letting me know that one of my friends used a game that gave away all of my vitals. You can imagine my shock and horror when I realized that the below picture was now going to have to be a part of my public persona. How will I explain this to my son, I wondered. 

It was in the 90s, son. No, not the nineteen-nineties, it was around 90 degrees or more in the shade, but there wasn't much of that to go around. In my day we used to have to walk across the playa. Uphill, in all directions, etc. 

But daddy, why is that desert man-queen wearing mascara?

Because it makes him feel pretty, I guess, son. 

It's true. I have no idea how I'll explain things like "Pat" to my son. I'll confidently mumble my way through something about body image, genetic variations, and the important role of personal choice. 

The truth is in there somewhere. I'm certain of it.


Friday, April 13, 2018

It was a low-light accident

Reminds me of much modern art I grew to revere, though mostly only after reading, as an adult.

I staged the image, left the shutter open too long without that explicit intention. Having her stand in the light created the circumstance that created the image. Circumstances often do, though this time maybe more so. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

An attack on our country

Half of the country doesn't want to be wrong, the other half correctly insists on always having been right. Everybody ends up with a piece of the pie - half for the Hatfields, the other half goes to the McCoys. 

Or, maybe the deep state meets deep pockets. Who knows. 

I want to see that fucker brought down mostly for my interest in Shakespeare. I missed out on King Nixon, so this is my time. Every generation gets their villain at the top. I can't decide if he's a Lady Macbeth, a Claudius, or a Richard III. Maybe two little tiny handfuls of each, with an unhealthy touch of King Lear thrown in to keep things surprising and saucy. 

He might be a Titus Andronicus in a month or two.

I tried to stop writing about politics - or more, specifically: Don T. - but this is just getting too fucking good to ignore. Over 100 criminal charges already filed in the independent investigation. Where there's smoke there's usually some barbecue. Both sides seem to be eating this shit up with lots of napkins - one with relish, the other with the sweet taste of disgust. 

He'll get what he wants one way or another: to go down in history.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The decade of retrograde

Why does the image of someone holding their arms out in a crucifix position, especially when inverted, cause me unsettled feelings. I like it, and even think it's beautiful in its own way, but it bothers me. I have tried to be a good atheist. I swear it, but something lingers in the orbital pneuma, a reverence for death perhaps or sacrifice. Reverence or fascination; I don't know. Perhaps it is that the image is my son.

Maybe I spent too much time playing with Ouija boards when I was enduring puberty. Who knows.  There was some retrograde going back there for a decade or two. Mercury, etc.

I was thinking about something I said, I mean wrote, here a few days ago concerning the amicably suggestive nature of psychics. It occurred to me that everybody wants to believe that their lives have consequence. People argue one another to try to establish it, others fret the desperate sense that there is none. But a psychic lets you feel the idea of consequence for your own life, then imbues it with some connection to the universe. Who doesn't like a bit of that?

I have tried to be a good atheist. That made me smile.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Arbeit Macht Frei

I had hoped to be done with vacation photos, at least for now, but that's all I have. So, here is one of the boy walking around an ash field next to a massive volcano's caldera. I like it - texture without statement. It evokes something without saying anything, perhaps. 

That's why I like it, anyway.

I am back at work today. The world didn't collapse or explode without me, which is of course disappointing, for them to go on without me, as if.  Others should need me more, sort of. 

I'm never sure if it's preferable to be needed or to be anonymous, involved or unnamed, desperate or desperate to depart. I suppose that everybody is a bit of both or fluctuates between the two, else romance might be less complicated, or maybe even much more impossible than it already is. 

Not my romance, I mean yours. Your relationship has problems; I don't know why. I could tell you a partial reason, or make a plausible one up, but you wouldn't believe me for very long. You'd find me interesting for a while because I would be talking about you, like a psychic that notices essences which please and fascinate you. 

That's why there is never any end to discussing the issues of love - people don't change, they adjust. Those adjustments are never good enough for very long. It's called "growing apart." It means that someone is getting bored when they're not feeling provoked or becoming infuriated. Love arouses little curiosity concerning the self. Who among us was born imperfect in this regard. 

And infidelities. Those are a problem that often follow other problems. People are unreasonable. They expect others to change for them. If you wish to be left alone then eventually you will be.   

We should ask the citizens of the Planet of the Apes how they did it, then model our new world loosely off of theirs. All we know with certainty is that ours is broken, paradise is tomorrow or the day after, hell is eternal yet somehow ever connected to the sins of the new and the now. 

It makes no sense. The next best idea will be ideal, faultless until the thinnest of cracks appears along the outer curve of the crystal, presaging the need for its shattering. The past accessed through splinters, cinders, and shards, each sharper than ones that arrived before, until distance becomes soft, dull, lost, or out of focus. 

I was listening to a song called Eternal Recurrence as I wrote that last paragraph - blame it, blame time, blame anything but me, blame yourself for having listened, blame the volcanoes, blame the apes, blame the love, condemn the dust, the grapes, the vine, don't change but jesus please adjust. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

... jiggity-jig

(Mom, the boy, and the blissful pacific)

Home again, home again.  They're my friends; I made them. Already sidetracked by Bladerunner. 

That was the first sentence of today's post and already I am losing grip on my subject. How do I do it? 

Well, it's easy, you see... just commit to maintaining a scattered focus in the mind. It's sort of the opposite of meditating. 

Be that as it may... We returned from vacation in Costa Rica yesterday. It was two days of travel from the time we left the beach. I used to be better at travel in some ways - less anxiety about dying, now - but worse in others - I dread the time lost more. It seems arduous, losing the hours and moments of a day. The tax of time's passing. I suppose that temporal forebodings are the occasional byproduct of aging. Or, can be. Be that as it cliche... time isn't the subject of today's post ,either, or at least not explicitly. 

What am I trying to write about here? I guess I'm just wanting to finalize the journey portion of this series. 

We returned, there were details to relay, but none that jump to mind now. 

I wanted to write about the rains while we were there. They were something. Maybe tomorrow, when my mind has dried out a bit. I drank for a week straight but avoided any on the way home yesterday. Though I still feel as if there is a slight cloud of hangover hovering over my mind, a storm made from choices. 

Drink is something that the smart and dull alike can disagree on. 

I have to run to get something to eat and go for a bike ride. I must try to step back into the routine of living. Or rather, the routine of my life. Tomorrow I return to work, like all you other schlubs.  


Friday, April 6, 2018

A modest family vacation slide show

There used to be a time when families would go on vacation and then when they came back there might be a slide show for the presumed pleasure of the neighbors in which the authority figure - so often the tyrannical and patriarchal father - would dispense his enforced wisdom and voice his laborious tales concerning the minutiae of their trip. Luckily there were some people even then, neighbors - I mean the 70s and 80s - usually another tyrannical father, fueled by booze, who was willing to be openly irreverent in the face of such collective domestic stupidity. 

Yet that is how I first remember experiencing the idea of travel, and its associated jealousies. 

So that's what today's post will be: a family vacation slide show of sorts. It is best viewed by projector onto a white wall with the occasionally blinding white frame where I forgot to add a slide correctly. Your entire family should sit at strict and quiet attention when viewing these priceless images. Imagine my reassuring voice reciting the lead lines for each, like a slightly depressed and American version of David Attenborough. 

Here is my son telling me not to take his picture when he's taking a poop and playing with Legos.

Here are our Costa Rican friends, Leo and Eles, whom we came to visit.

Here is mom, happy about being on vacation.

And here is the only jungle god that I was able to find who was worthy of my reverence and worship. I spent all of my time mumbling incantations towards it, burning incense, trying to appease its occasional volcanic anger.

As usual, I was more than prepared to throw a virgin into a volcano and spent my time near the pool searching for one, demanding to inspect the hymen.

There is a shop on the way off the peninsula that sells these stone gods, so that I might be able to better worship at home, or from afar, also.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Osa Peninsula

(I didn't take this picture)

We made it. A full day in the car driving through the impressive mountains and jungle. I have been to Costa Rica many times before but tend to visit the central and northern coasts because that's where the parties that I have played have been. Never having been south of Quepos before, to my memory. It's not as if I have necessarily avoided the more touristy southern areas but that has been the result of me being brought here by friends who do so. Now I feel a little bit cheated by their choices, though that is of course ridiculous, the places I have visited have always been very beautiful. But nothing like this.

There were torrential rains last night as we were preparing to sleep in our jungle cabinas. A close lightning and thunder strike sent the boy jumping into bed with fear though that subsided quickly with me holding and assuring him all was safe and well. He thought that he would not be able to fall asleep with so much sound of rain and thunder, but that was not the case. I told him that I found the sound comforting and easy to sleep to but that turned out to not be the case, though my sleeplessness might be caused by any number of things, notwithstanding the rain. 

The result is always the same - my mind races with anxiety. I got up sometime well after midnight and ate a few Xanax, hoping for the best, but the best was not to be. They only committed my body to a style of lethargy. My mind was able to dismiss them easily enough with its usual runaway reveries and celestial concerns. The jungle rain and darkness providing the screen and soundtrack upon which they could cast their horrors and summon them to life, ratifying the endless unscripted acts with only minor climax or denouement, though boundless conflict staged from the merest fragments still lying around in the folds of what was once my own mind.  

I would write more but I am on vacation. There is a bar near the restaurant that overlooks the valley that leads down to the ocean. It is an arresting view. They make a type of margarita there called the Mexicana, with pineapple juice and just a touch of grenadine. These help offset the beer nicely, and they seem to simply sing with the pharmaceuticals, like a choir made from the auditory fecundity of nature, now everywhere enveloping. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Teaching the puppies some English

The boy is making lots of new friends, and learning that dogs in Costa Rica understand Spanish mostly, but he is able to make good friends with them anyway. 

Yesterday we had a fish luau, we cooked a variety of seafood in an earth oven covered in banana leaves - salmon on halved passion fruit, crabs, shrimp, mussels, onions, assorted veggies. I'm certain there was even more than that but my mind has emptied in retaliation to me gorging my stomach with all of it. There was a case of beer in the refrigerator yesterday and now there are none left, etc. It was all so delicious and went down so easy with the cold beer. 

Now we are all getting a slow start this morning. There will be a winding mountain drive that might not sit so well with all of the buttery fish and seafood, and all of the missing beer.

Here we are on top of the cloud cover, at the volcano Irazú, before all of the seafood and beer. 

There were no more pictures taken once we had entered the murky digestive underworld. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Irazú Volcano

Not much time to report today. We are heading out of Cartago early, where we have been staying with friends, to head towards the coast. We will spend one night somewhere before traveling south to the Osa Peninsula, where we will explore the jungles and beaches for another two days.

Yesterday we drove up to Irazú Volcano, a place that I have tried to visit in the past though unsuccessfully. You must get there in the morning most days for it to be clear enough to see the dual calderas, which we were able to do. I have some pictures on my camera but am lying in bed, pre-coffee, and I will not get up to deal with them now.

Here are two that I found online that give you pretty much all the idea that you need to have about it. The volcano is known locally as El Coloso because of its history as being active in the past, and somewhat terrifyingly so.

The waters in the caldera were not purely green yesterday. They were a variety of colors, but with one glance you could see that they were very mineral rich. They were far more interesting to look at than the picture above shows, but not enough for me to be anything more than lazy in this moment.

It famously erupted when John F. Kennedy was here visiting in 1963. I have slept in the room that Jackie and John also slept in at the old US Ambassador's mansion. It was bought by a friend of mine and I would stay there often when I would visit in the late 90s and early 00s.

Okay, nothing much else to report. It is coffee time now and then we must get on the road for our next place. I have no idea if we will have wifi there or the place after that. You will have to keep checking here to see if I have again updated my mostly stationary travelogue.


Monday, April 2, 2018

In the hills outside San Jose

We both wondered why, afterwards, we chose to take a red-eye flight from SF to connect through Panama to get to Costa Rica, but it was too late for questions. We arrived with varying degrees of fatigue expressed in grumpiness that is both familiar and yet unique to the individual.  

There were presidential elections here yesterday and everybody, at least among my friends, was very worried that the "other guy" might win. He is an evangelical, whose wife often prays in the tongues of gibberish, that has espoused some unsettling Trumpian political ideas. He ran on the "return to appeals of the past" also. Some in his camp have mentioned the death penalty for homosexuality, etc., so his "return" seemed more complete, reaching back all the way to the male-on-male abominations of Leviticus. 

As many of you who read here must have already known or assumed, the editorial staff at this site denounce the abomination of any and all sexual acts that do not result in procreation, or those that are not properly ended with the uttering, Praise be to Allah the cherisher and sustainer of the worlds. 

The novelist and ex-rock star, the more liberal minded candidate, Carlos Alvarado, won instead last night. This set everybody at ease for the remainder of the evening where we cooked at home and ate dinner at the kitchen counter drinking wine, listening to music, and telling stories. 

Today we will bring the boy to go see a volcano and an animal shelter/preserve that has been recognized as being among the best of its kind worldwide. I will explain that I have connections to Trump when I apply for a big game hunting license.

Tomorrow there will be something different, maybe the beach. There is very little to do in San Jose, at least what I am aware of, though perhaps I would not make the best tour guide, having spent all of my time here previously playing house and techno records all day and all night, trying to fashionably establish my reputation as epitomizing the temporal forever.