Thursday, April 30, 2020

It Must Have Been The Roses

By now you should be able to tell which computer I am writing posts from - work or home. Home is where I keep all of my family-oriented images. 

Jesus, I thought that I had made a little progress playing Grateful Dead songs. Nope. I tried to go back to them today, expecting to feel as if I had been invited back on tour in '77. But no, instead I was promptly ejected from the stadium parking lot. They can play very smoothly when the skeletons take them.

I probably should not have bought the 12-string guitar. I don't play it much. I should have bought a banjo or a Spanish/classical acoustic. 

My friends are all cracking. The pressures are much and many. I am keeping the extremes of my worries quiet most of the day. As always, it is at night when the mind-forg'd manacles come climbing down the chimney. I look at pictures of naked women to distract myself.

That's not even true. The truth is more banal. I watch series-after-series of adult animation. For a while I was reading well and often, but then I started Knausgård's My Struggle. It lacked something that Houllebecq did not. Knausgård starts to feel like a disciple of someone after a while, maybe a hundred pages. Not someone admirable, either, more like Deepak Chopra. You get the feeling he is trying to resolve something that, in the end, you aren't going to care very much about, and it won't be resolved anyway. You will have spent months listening to someone's intermittently interesting and occasionally fascinating inner monologue, then they'll ask you to leave. 

I could be very wrong - he is a highly regarded writer. 

I became interested in Houllebecq's characters and their circumstances. That is the only thought that I am trying to form. 

I will try to come back and write some more after dinner. We'll see. 

Nope. I came back after dinner, read the above, and surrendered. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This is here

I'm not alone and do not imagine very well that I am, or what that would be like. I envision general and specific aspects, but they are not united in the continuum of living. There is a better word than that. I am too lazy to think of it. Imagination lacks the banal thoroughness of the moment, or it can. It is this instant that has warped from recognition, still beset by then and when


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

There is no refuge left

(Oct. 2018 - Disneyland)

This picture has no relationship to anything. I just happened to come across it. Every picture seems to get further away from me, lately. I worry about the future in a way that I used to only worry about my own life.

People that work hard often have less left to tell, less to say, but never short on screams. I've been working hard today. I ask myself why, but I already know: for the perceived security of money. Watching significant portions of it disappear with the market has not helped. Spending money to buy things I want has not helped. I don't want very much. I want more of something. Though I don't quite know more of what - leisure, love, leather, lust. 

Yes, Red-Headed Woman. It says some of the things that Raquel likes to hear. Or rather, she likes me to sing it to her while The Boss is also singing it in the background. That is what I tell myself, anyway. She is tickled by it and by a very small handful of other songs by him. The Boss. It makes her happy. She also sings along and smiles with her big green eyes.

They can see every cheap thing that you ever done

Sunday, April 26, 2020

12 parsecs

The Millennium Falcon is complete. It took us about three days, off and on. An oddly satisfying enterprise, though I tend to doubt that I would get as much joy repeating a similar act too quickly. Most of what made me happy about it was just sitting with the boy and sharing enthusiasm for it. 

I've held off drinking wine until just now. I mean, just now, today. I gave a neighbor two hundred bucks and he gave me a case of a red blend wine that was not bad, a case of Pinot Noir that was slightly better, and half a case of assorted but altogether nicer wines, all but one of which Rachel drank. They were sparkling wines, so it was her thing. 

The drinking of wine has rendered me tired most of the day. I have grown tired of being tired, but what the fuck else is there to do? I have been smoking opium, also, but it is of poor quality. I thought that I was smoking it wrong. Getting the perfect temperature is not always easy. So, there has been Xanax, edibles, and hash sometimes, as well. Time has become a flat, meaningless oval filled with rotating glass shards of death and suffering. But, you already know that. 

I was here to report on the good news to all of creation, the gospel, as it were. 

There was one moment today where I explained to the boy why we love Han Solo so much That... he went from being a self-interested smuggler to participating in a group for the common good. We get to see something mean more to him than what we had been led to believe, up until that point, that he was capable of. He was the Keith Richards of the the Rebel Alliance. I reminded him that Princess Leia and Han Solo also had a child together, then a falling out, and that the child they had was evil and stupid and snotty, but that we need not maintain any comparisons or consistencies with their galactic story and ours. 

I was probably confusing the poor lad. He has always believed me to be Darth Vader's father. 


Call in the medical doctors

I've been calling people and playing songs for them on the guitar. It's true. It is part of my new remedy for loneliness: drunkenness. I struggle remembering the lyrics and it is as if I am discovering the chords for the first time, always, but singing songs is what it could be called by reasonable people.

The LEGO Millennium Falcon project is about halfway complete. Did I mention that here? I bought the boy the "beginner's" version. I only call it that because there is one that is far more advanced, and expensive

Here, I will post a picture. I know how much certain readers here love the very literal use of photography, especially combined with projects involving children. 

This one combines all three of the most cherished and beloved things - photography, children, and Star Wars. It has been fun and distracting. It is satisfying to watch it form. LEGO kits have only taught me one thing but it is apparently a lesson that I need to be re-taught often: go slowly and verify each stage. It is easy to rush and only realize later that you did something slightly wrong. But slight wrongness is all that is required for significant future failure. We've had to disassemble and reassemble parts a couple times now.

Like many, I am wondering when life might return to some version of normalcy. Our vacation in the camper seems more than a year ago. It was just over a month. Online I am watching the experts among my circle of friends debate the merits of opening America back up for business. I try to point out that very little has changed if you have Amazon Prime, but people get angry at me because I'm not taking their political prescriptions and resolutions seriously enough. I'm starting to understand why people don't trust the government. The other day, the head of the executive branch of government invented some speculative treatments for the situation with common household cleaners and intravenous sunshine. It was like listening to me play the guitar and sing, just free and unscripted and disconnected musical magic to the ears.

If that sunshine can get in your bloodstream, well, you just never know. We'll have the medical doctors look into it. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The metaphor of pussy walking freely along the beach

I am fluctuating regularly forth and back again between feelings that I do not care for and those which I can not bear. There are occasionally fits of unexplained joy, mixed in, though increasingly forced. Each time I have one, I can tell that I am prepared to announce its arrival. As if joy functions predictively, with honest whispers to the eyes. I scream to my counter-parts that I am okay, also.

Difficult times; focusing on work. 

Or, I am happy. Or, I am manically involved in any question raised there at work, fearful of my own possible or noticed or obvious misstatements; apparent lack of knowledge in any area; eager to offer my obvert version of truth; as soon as possible.... in the conversation, that has graciously left me. 

My increasingly irrelevant observations matter slightly less and yet more than the civility in conversation that those same observations breached. Of the unexplained need, there was still the needed.

People can't hear me. I am apologizing while they are trying to tell me that it's okay. 

I will go days without anybody seeing me. 
Trying to work - working, ineffectually. 

I would be ashamed if anybody at work was managing this crisis worse than I. I am a crisis expert.

There are limits to the training for specific crises scenarios. But in a crisis, you still get the ideas. 

I have gone years; I will go days.

Who amongst us can claim the deservedness or undeservedness of living such a life? If we are able to briefly prove the value of our cries, who has the possible time to listen?

I meant: whom.

In a crisis, it is the whoms to to which we must address our unknown rescue. 

I have gone years; I will go days.

I will go days.


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Rebel Without A Mask

I am trying to keep my head down and do a good job at my new job. Things are going to get tough for many people. That much seems clear. People are becoming mean-spirited. Who knows why - minor inconveniences, I guess. That, and fear. I have seen people be such tremendous self-entitled assholes; at the grocery store, to tired and fearful employees. For no apparent reason. When they finally pass the law that says entering someone else's personal space is a form of physical assault then I am prepared to break the bones in my hands on some dumb mother-fucker's face. Maybe I won't wait for the law to catch up to what is right and just and deserved. That's how occasionally tired I am becoming of some people. I don't want to say there is a "type," but there is. You know they are that type as soon as they start to hint they might be. It has been a few years since I've punched anybody. I only miss it when it doesn't take more than one. If you have to swing or jab more than once then the adrenaline takes over and it's not as enjoyable. Just one punch right to the eye socket or nose. It does not need to knock them out or even down, only back, not even that far, but far enough to know they don't want another. That's how I've been feeling about some people lately. How are things going with you? 


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

We see the tunnel at the end of the tunnel

I'm just fucking tired. The dog keeps getting out. It's never a good time for it. I have no choice to put off going to get her. Every time she escapes my life becomes more exciting. But I don't want my life to feel exciting right now. Excitement doesn't feel good. It feels forced. It is forced. 

Everything feels forced upon me right now. Every time I blink there's some new thing that I'm supposed to be doing, with fewer and fewer older and comfortable things to do. I just want to lie in bed and to be left alone, all day, maybe with some music. I want to read. I want a glass of wine. 

I could sleep for a thousand years.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Easter Quarantine

The only thing that alcohol ever has the chance of improving is the moment. It's not a guarantee. I tried to extend the feeling of elation that comes along with the onset of alcohol since Friday. It just made me tired.

But Raquel made a truly heroic Easter dinner. I mean, she went all-out - prime rib, beet and goat cheese salad, potatoes and gravy, cheeses and breads and crackers, bottles of red wine, bourbon, cake. It was glorious. Now I am so very tired. The bourbon, in particular, seems to have enervating properties. 

We had guests - 2/3rds of a family that is going through a divorce. We took all the precautions that we possibly could. The kids were not allowed to touch each other and had to wash their hands in perpetuity. The picture above is the closest they came to each other all day, except when we were all sitting at the table sneezing towards each other. I drank wine at dinner, to let the bourbon wear off a little. 

Raquel and I got along swimmingly - sex, flirtation, affection, all of it. A break in the clouds of quarantine.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020


I'm starting to get Stockholm Syndrome for Rachel. 


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Civilized World

Every time that I reach a place of acceptance some part of me screams that is only because I've stopped paying attention, and it is at least partially true. One must look away from the incidence and death rates, even as they are starting to look encouraging. Meaning, this might not be the apocalyptic epidemic that it could have been. 

I have been tempted lately to use phrases like the civilized world when discussing it, just to take on that Ann-Coulter way of speaking. I try to get my friends to laugh at recipes of undercooked bat, but there are fewer and fewer takers on such lines of humor. Suffering does not produce immediate growth, it seems. Its fertilizing properties must occur mainly in reflection. 

To help the conversation along, I'll ask if the virus has affected any of the savages yet, and does anybody have any ideas as to why not? Now is the time to suggest genetic differences as a primary risk factor. It's starting to look like being an Italian-American was one of the dumber things anybody could have done, but my math-based models are not yet complete. There might be dumber people still out there waiting to be discovered. Being a German is, of course, suddenly much more appealing. I'll try to mention that as closely as possible to any mention of "national success" and "national unity" and "viral supremacy."

How do you explain the success of the unified national response from Germany?

Jesus. I will stop. Somebody will find this and not understand that I am kidding. Science tells us any coronavirus should not affect the Irish as much. They have not had a High King since the 12th century. Why, you might ask, aren't more scientists looking into this obvious connection? The answer is really quite simple: political history has not yet been shown to be an effective strategy against viruses. I maintain that they're just doing it wrong. It is the appeal to history that unites a people. Give them a shared meta-story and they will happily kill their neighbors to make it appear true. 

Fuck, even when I try to stop, I can't. It's because I've been online arguing with a conservative, so I have rehearsed these types of responses. Whenever he talks about the success of Trump's Chinese travel ban, I'll try to work in something about building a wall on our southern border as a sensible pandemic deterrent, etc. He only notices about half of them. He gets suspicious if it seems like we're agreeing on anything. It rots my mind, and what's left of his, but what the fuck. 

Some experts say that Trump's Chinese travel ban encouraged American nationals to rush home from the infected zones, with no tests awaiting them upon their arrival at America's shores. 

Voilà! Ol' DT does it again. 

He always seems to find a way of making matters worse while still appealing to his base. It seems irrational until you look at his defender's responses. They are still touting his travel bans as a success, even though infection rates would indicate otherwise. I had to ask one friend about 25 times yesterday: Who is responsible for America's federal response to this epidemic? before he would finally admit that it is the president. 

He kept asking me what I would have done differently. I said: testing

Then, I had to ask why he felt America had more confirmed cases, by double, of any other nation. That's when speculation was suddenly permitted in the conversation. Something about Obama and Pelosi and Schiff entered into the equation. No surprises there. The president can not possibly be responsible for all of the disaster he inherited and has to live with every day. The logic is suffocatingly air-tight. 

Ah well, this is not the time for bitter partisan arguments. This is a time that we should rally around our leader. Anything less would be un-Amerified. 

I don't know why they're sending Americans $1200. Those Americans should be offering to pay an extra $1200, from every paycheck, to the conglomerate closest to their hearts. 

Maybe we can start a bailout movement: Thanks For Your Corporation!


As good a time as any

(Rockaway Beach)

I am starting to enjoy this time in quarantine. The time that I have spent with the boy has been golden and mom and I are coming around to a period of sweetness rather than what we had been trading in - mild but persistent acrimony. What started out as some significant losses in the market have turned around considerably from a single biotech investment I made - CYDY. You should buy right away, because they're going to either be bought out soon, or some of their pending patents will get approval. It hasn't flattened my ledger books out completely, but it has offset some pretty serious losses elsewhere. It's a crazy world. I hope I die quickly. There's only one way to guarantee it, but I'll give myself time to negotiate and conduct more market research. 

I have loved my life, it has been filled filled with laughter and cravings in nearly equal measure. I remember lying in the grass and reading books, music arriving from a distance. I remember being carefree. I believe that I'll know how to return. 


Saturday, April 4, 2020

There is a pic, at least

What can I possibly say today. Nothing much has changed. We stocked up on groceries today. We went to Costco. The line stretched all around the enormous building and did not look to be moving quickly. Instead, we went to Target and then to the grocery store. I went in to Target and Raquel went in to the grocery store, so we double bought a few things. 

This is the least interesting post I ever remember making. What can I possibly say today. Nothing much has changed. 

I like the soft-focus pic of the boy. It being over-exposed adds something that I like. There is that. 


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Women are Tiny Houses

Richard Serra. That's how this isolation has me feeling, sort of. The inescapable menace, threat. The scale destined and designed to dwarf the individual that gets near, or is consumed by it. 

Raquel and I haven't exactly found a coherent way back towards our normal selves. I have to imagine that everywhere there are couples that wanted to divorce, and then this. It provides them a common enemy, though I have to imagine that a renewed sense of affection and gratitude may not be the automatic result in such a situation. There must be renewed questions about the financial concerns and uncertainties of divorce. Everywhere there are people suffering on every level. People get the hell they ask for, the hell they permit. Some of them just get an unimaginable hell without ever having done anything special to deserve it. Would you like to also hear my opinions on pain and death?

I had hoped to write something sexy, or maybe even affectionate, about Raquel. These pictures remind me of another time with her. They were taken at the DIA:Beacon. We took the train up the Hudson one day. Post 9/11. Pre-Covid. Before Christ.