Fri, 17 Feb 2006

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interim

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I don't understand it. My brain is, I think, locking up on me. Or I'm just getting old or something. It's terrible.

One thing I've noticed is that I don't have the patience to figure out subtlety. Not that I was ever one to appreciate subtlety. As many have pointed out, I'm probably the stupidest smart guy they've ever met, and sometimes you need to come at me with a large blunt object to get the point across.

But I miss, mostly, the joy of crafting subtlety. It takes something like it to write, certainly, poetry, but really, it takes something like it to write at all. I vaguely recall some joy in being able to tease out the exact words I want, being able to arrange them in particular phrase and sentence structures.

Maybe it's because my job involves the dreaded task of "documentation." Indeed, I do need to exercise a certain amount of descriptive exactness. The task of finding the correct adjective simply becomes another chore, not something I can do at leisure until I get it exactly right. Most of the time, I am forced to use approximations, of using words that are "good enough," usually just barely.

As I've anticipated, "documentation" has made some parts of writing excruciatingly tedious.

I suppose that it was a double-edged gift that I realized that I still needed to exercise precision in my words. While writing poetry and prose, this is much of what I like about it, but in writing these utilitarian notes, it just becomes another odious task. It's terrible.

Anyway, the other thing (if you haven't noticed yourself on reading this ramble) is that I realize that I've really lost my control of being able to keep my thoughts in order. If I reflect upon the past week, if not the past month, I feel like I've just been staggering like a drunkard from task to task, no dedicated, sustained rhyme or reason in anything I'm doing. Like, I brought with me all these maps that I wanted to work on, or something. It was never really clear what I was going to do with these things. But I haven't done much. I started, but then it didn't grab me like sometimes these things do.

I don't remember the last time I was engrossed in an activity.

Sad.

One other thing that has happened is that I have become rampantly and perhaps morbidly anti-social. I have not returned a phone-call for nearly a week now. I haven't gotten in touch with friends I said that I would visit. Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with me?

My vacation is more than half-way over (although, in all fairness, a good chunk of it was spent getting over illness) and, to put it quite simply and bluntly, I haven't done jack shit.

20:42:06 17 Feb 2006 > /soul > permalink > 2817 comments

Tue, 07 Feb 2006

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neverending

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It's been several days since I've gotten a decent night's sleep, what with this irritating non-stop cough. I caught the cold or maybe the flu about a month ago—the whole nine-yards—runny nose, congested sinuses, fever, muscle aches. As expected, that got better in about a week, but ever since then, I've just been coughing and coughing and coughing. It's gotten to the point where my chest muscles are actually sore, and I don't think I've slept more than 2 hours in row uninterrupted until today, and that's only because I was completely exhausted. (On Monday, I had woken up at 4:30 am, didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 am, then had to get up around 3:30 am today. I didn't go to sleep until 11 am today.)

But I feel like there's been a ton of stuff running through my head. I feel like I have a million and a half things to do and no where near the amount of time off that I'd like. (I get two weeks off from work starting Thursday.) There are so many things I'd like to work on.

But enough whining. I think I'm going to just call it a day and try again tomorrow.

23:06:30 7 Feb 2006 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Thu, 19 Jan 2006

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not enough time

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Despite my best efforts, hours completely evaporate like fog burning in the morning sun. It doesn't look like I'm ever going to catch up with anything that has left me much too far behind. Love, money. Hell, even sleep, health.

Everything always slowly falls apart. It is rare that complete meltdowns, spectacular collapses occur.

What I need is some sunshine, a warm beach, a guitar, and a bottle of tequila.

But then again, when was the last time I actually ever got what I wanted, without any catches or strings attached?

Bitter is an understatement.


One must blog with caution at 1 am in the morning. All sorts of weird thoughts spring up, things that I haven't had time to ponder. I can't help but wonder what kind of life I'm leading where it is a struggle to even get everything off of the floor. I feel too much like Sisyphus these days, rolling, rolling, rolling that stupid stone up the goddamn hill.

The main problem is that it really does never get any easier.

All the while time has its way with me.

Am I ever going to fucking learn, or am I just doomed to go headlong into the abyss, never doing anything more effective than cursing fate to the horrific end?


It's a dirty trick, is all. There is no destination. The end is the moment you stop breathing.


There's a reason why it's all about the journey, you know.

Everyone's final destination is pretty much Earth, elevation -6 feet.


So it was probably a mistake to stop taking those anti-depressants. Sure, they weren't really working, but, surprise, surprise, it turns out that unfiltered, unfettered reality is a hell of a lot worse than even my dark imaginings.


(NOTE: this is not a cry for help. I've tread this fine line between ideation and action for quite a few years, and it'll take more than a few deep dark thoughts to make me go over.)

But I can't help ponder the fact that my ancestors pretty much invented going postal. Do you know what running amok means? It's basically the Southeast Asian form of suicide, kind of like the intellectual opposite of sepukku. Whereas the Japanese form is all about offing one's self with the most minimal impact to other's sensibilities of honor and cleanliness, the Southeast Asian form is, to put it bluntly, about taking out as many bastards as you can before going down yourself. Things like this can never turn out well.

Neuropsychologist Steven Pinker talks about a built-in doomsday machine inside each one of us. Somewhere within the neural circuitry is a kind of self-destruct mechanism. This is the emotion of grief, and when someone pushes the shiny red button, the nuclear aftermath is known as depression. What is interesting is how this self-destruct mechanism varies culturally.

The Western method invariably involves pharmacological agents or firearms. The Southeast Asian method involves getting out your bolo knife, strapping on some leather armor, and going to town.


Anyway, as you'll notice, I'm going in circles here. I don't know if its the hour, or if I've simply had too much to drink today, but I figure there's nothing positive that can be wrung out of this entry today. We'll try again tomorrow. Yeah. Maybe.

This sucks.

00:57:55 19 Jan 2006 > /soul > permalink > 981 comments

Tue, 10 Jan 2006

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pissing time away

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Well, would you look at that? Ten days gone already?! Time flies when you're experiencing madness.

08:57:36 10 Jan 2006 > /soul > permalink > 686 comments

Tue, 27 Dec 2005

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the turning of the year

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As I get older, I think I get more resistant to learning anything new, despite the fact that I know that I am currently in an extraordinarily maladaptive state.

I give up. Just let me lie here and rot for a little while. I'll figure everything out later.

But, as they say, time waits for no one, and I figure I've got to look back sometime.

You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've come from.

It's soon time to make resolutions, to ring the new year, to start with a new slate, but I know myself too well. I've never managed to keep a resolution past January 31, and is futility really all that bad if you accept it for what it is?

Never before have I been caught in a horrible loop of "been there, done that." It is all too easy for me to look ahead and prognosticate that any changes that are bound to happen are also bound to be bad.

Is it really that healthy to always prepare for the worst? I am reminded of a particular passage from Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk (which I blogged about once upon a time.)

With my eyes closed, I ask if she knows how this will all turn out.
"Long-term or short-term?" she asks.
Both.
"Long-term," she says, "we're all going to die. Then our bodies will rot. No surprise there. Short-term, we're going to live happily ever after."
Really?
"Really," she says. "So don't sweat…. Can you just relax and let things happen?"
I ask, does she mean, like disasters, like pain, like misery? Can I just let all that happen?
"And Joy," she says, "and Serenity, and Happiness, and Contentment…. You don't have to control everything," she says. "You can't control everything."
But you can be ready for disaster….
"If you worry about disaster all the time, that's what you're going to get…."
The whole world is a disaster waiting to happen….
"No matter what happens," [she] says, "no matter what you do… it's the right thing."

And I think I've said this before, and it just continues to worry me: I can't feel a goddamn thing. I mean, I can sense misery and pain and suffering and hopelessness, but I don't think I can experience them anymore. Sure, it's a coping mechanism, but the sad fact of the matter is that I can't seem to experience anything. Oh, sure, I've had momentary lapses of joy now and then, but you know that sort of contentment that gets you humming, makes you look forward to the next dawn? That, I don't know a damn thing about. That carefree, innocent glee that all kids at least are capable of. I don't remember the last time I felt that. Deep down inside, I know that once upon a time I did, but I really lost the habit of it. I've been worried about the future for so long, all I really know how to do is worry. About things that I have absolutely no control over.

The first step to dealing with tragedy is acceptance. But I think there's got to more than that. It's like watching your house burn down, or something. I mean, yeah, at some point you have to accept it. But what is it, what is that emotion that makes you determined to move on, to rebuild? That's what I'm missing. I've learned the trick of living with the ongoing tragedy of the universe, but I haven't picked up the technique of starting all over again with full vigor. We all know that all things go to shit eventually, but I feel like most of the human race is able to build anyway. Sure, some of these people are probably deluded or insane, but I think there is something wonderfully innately human in that—the ability to keep going, and not just survive, but excel, even in the face of horrible setbacks. I really don't know how to do that. Sure, I can keep going, but it's nothing more than short-term survival. The long-term is nothing but this bleak, featureless haze, of the same thing over and over again, death and decay, and the long black darkness of eternal sleep.

You know there's something wrong with you when you're only 29 years old and the only thing you really have to look forward to is death.

But I'm too jaded to think that I can turn things around in 2006. I mean, yeah, you've got to start out small. Tiny steps.

There's gotta be more to life than this, right?

00:10:10 27 Dec 2005 > /soul > permalink > 648 comments