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Saturday 7/10/21

* Out of bed, immediately at work. Every day. Haven't showered in two days. Haven't eaten in a day and a half. Work, collapse, get up and work. I'm worried about whatever the hell is wrong with the shower and the piping, I guess.

* I looked into an MFA membership and they raised the price to $90. I have to find a way to get my memberships. The museums are sanctuaries for me, and along with the Brattle, they are the only places I can go to that are vaguely social, though, of course, I am alone at them.

* I read these accounts of people who do awful things. Then I come around a year or two later and look in on those people. And they've done some dark deeds. But you'll find from their social media that life goes on for them. They have friends and people who support them. They can be rapists. I'll recall the comments from some people at an earlier time, which expressed the presumption that the person would all but live in this dark hole in the ground, alone. "Enjoy never having a single friend," that kind of thing. And there was a time that I would have linked the worst behavior with being totally alone. I do it now, in a way, when I try to better understand how I am totally alone and disliked. I think, maybe you're the worst person there has been, and you're not able to see it, which is another failing you have. Because no one is alone like you. No is hated like you. No one fails to engender any support like you. You're a man who can write a book, put the cover of that book on social media, and people make a decision--your family, people you've supported, your cousins, uncles, aunts, people you've worked for, people you've helped--to say, "nope, I'm not even going to show the bare minimum support of hitting the like button for that photo of Colin's book cover." So much so that you have to take down your social media, because seeing it all the time, how you're treated differently than anyone else is, hurts too much. So are you worse than anyone? And you're so bad you can't see it? That's my nature--to blame myself. To try and take responsibility. At the same time, I know you can be a devil, and that won't stop you from having people and support. They can know you're a devil. And also, I know I am a very good person. And in ways that few people are. I know that is part of the problem. But I still feel it and I wonder if it's possible, in this situation I am in, to not constantly ask, "What the hell is wrong with me? Am I the worst person ever?" Even though I also, rationally, know what I am. There is rational-knowing, and there is a kind of feeling-knowing. They can act as if they're making an attempt to contradict each other.

* It hurt me a great deal with that family I helped out. Sometimes I have nightmares about it. Most of my nightmares are about people who were meant to be kind to me. I still have Molly nightmares, too. But those were people I showed nothing but kindness, patience, tolerance, and love to, for whom I did a lot. I gave time, energy, friendship, guidance, counsel, money. And they just left me alone on that Thanksgiving. When I was supposed to take their kid to the ballet the next day. There was never any explanation. Writing the letter to the building board so that the child wouldn't have the emotional support dog taken away from her, which they got without going through the proper channels. Helping her with her depression. Her panic attacks. Helping her with her writing at the Starbucks. Sitting with the dog when I had work to do, to make sure he didn't have some kind of attack after sneak-eating chocolate again. I did a lot for those people, and I cared about them. And then they just did me that way. And there wasn't a single thing that I did wrong. That wasn't damn saintly. It is typical. With me. I am always the common denominator. When you're always the common denominator, it may be impossible not to try and blame yourself, no matter how smart you are, no matter how much self-awareness you have. In part because you know that no one else, anywhere, is always the common denominator.

* I think people require someone like them. That encompasses a lot. But what you can't be, and in many ways, too, is completely unlike them as to be a different species. Even if--especially if--you are completely unlike them in ways of good attributes. In time, there will be wrath, envy, and a shame they feel that they're not good enough, not doing enough. They can't remove themselves from their lives--so they remove you. Or they treat you so horrifically, that you have to remove yourself. Then they call it something else. They build a narrative. It's funny that everyone is a kind of writer now, in a way, but hardly anyone writes the truth. Even in their thoughts, with what they decide they'll believe, because it's easy and frees them of responsibility and accountability. When you are freed of these things, you don't have to work. You don't have to look in the mirror. It's hard to look in the mirror. I might know three people capable of it at all. I might know one. I might know none. People want to be a callous. They don't want to be a nerve. They can't handle being a nerve, and they don't have to feel anything, or face anything, being a callous. Then they just lie to themselves. And when you lie to yourselves in a society that is now built upon everyone lying to themselves, you meet no resistance. You're free to keep on truckin' with the lies. It's part of how you fit in and have people. It's what social media is for. The person who does not lie, and does not lie to themselves, becomes an enemy. Now, someone else might say, "that's not my enemy, that's my son, that my sister, that's my old friend, that's my cousin," whatever it might be, so when the disconnect exists, when the relationship has died, or has become corrosive, abusive, deleterious, dangerous, life-extinguishing, because of that first person, they are going to have to find a way to blame the other person. Or else they'll have to be a nerve. They'll have to look in a mirror. And that, above all, is the last thing they want to do, can do, are willing to do. When a good life, a virtuous life, a heroic life, a life fully lived, in every way, a life of strength, purpose, talent, patience, courage, is modeled--because that is how people experience that life, as a witness--in front of someone else, there is a kind of process of attrition. I've always experienced this, but more as I've evolved. Gotten better. I experience it in some basic ways. For instance, no one likes someone who is always writing. Who gets up every day before dawn and keeps trying. People don't like that. That's just the truth. They don't like that that person has none of the things they deserve, while they have an easy life, a big home, and they don't do anything. You will pay the price for that. They don't like when you do more good things they don't do. That you just walked twenty miles. You represent this elite standard they'll never come close to. And people don't want that person. What they want--what they need--is to see them fail. To see them hurt. To see them alone. To know they are near the edge, and, when they can--though they call it something else--stomp on their hands to try and send them to their death. They justify it with lies. They say, "well, she's an ungrateful brat," or whatever it is. But they are also lies of the darkest hues. And on some level they know this. And it picks at them. Is akin to that eagle who eats that fellow's liver, that grows back each day, only to be eaten again. I do not suppose. I do not conjecture. I know. And I experience. I live this. It is the reality with which I grapple, or should I say, try to find a way around, while also not trying to twist reality into something it is not. There is nothing that a person can't lie to themselves about. The greater the significance of what that thing is, the more it entails, the more it says about them, the more they can lie. But what happens is, underneath that level of the lie, there is the faint, beating pulse of truth. They know in a way. A felt way. Not as words that they move about in their brain, examine, say to themselves. Ponder. But a way that is just felt. And it's unshakeable. They have to treat you harsher then. They have to hate you. They have to banish you. The id is pressed into service to attack you. It gets clever. It tries to be subtle. It tries to make it about you, so that you will blame yourself, so that they don't have to consider themselves. That id will play upon your defenses being down, because you have no one. You don't have the most basic things and forms of support that others do, no matter how wicked they might be. And if you say anything in protest, if you say the barest inkling of what is true, that hate will increase. They will want nothing but your total destruction. But they'll call it something else. And if you object, you're an even bigger monster. So you have to decide: do you take it, do you lie, do you find a way to blame yourself, do you commit awful forms of self-abuse, so that you can have that person, these people? Because you are human. And can anyone be totally alone? Without hope? No matter how strong they are? That goes against being human. And then someone who never thinks, never reads, has never immersed themselves in ideas, in art, other viewpoints, superior intellects, learned what other people have to say via those creations, people who could not take a five mile walk alone with their thoughts, who spew whatever about politics, experience the world only via soundbites, and what a media pushes, tells you they know, but you don't, when you are infinitely beyond everything they are, could be, could ever imagine. I think that's a path to death. But where I am now, is also a path to death. And when I say how I'm always terrified, that's really a big part of the reason why. I just see that same path wherever I turn. And I'm doing so much turning, and fighting, and trying, and looking for that path that takes me out of this bespoke Hades. The one that is not about death, and is all about life.

* I wrote a beautiful country ballad called, "Clean Up in Aisle Anal." Kidding! One has to fight to try to laugh.

* But I did write this: "My wife Andrea has a strange way of trying to compel me to do what she thinks is right which reminds me of those people who set their clocks earlier due to their habit of running late. But she’d be someone who put the clocks thirty minutes ahead rather than what I assume is the standard five. I’ve wondered if you can move the truth forward, as if it were a form of revolving debt, or it has to come about naturally in its own time, which would make it a bit like taking a shit. My dad used to say, “lies are free, but the truth will cost you,” like he was a bold purveyor of neglected knowledge setting up shop way out on a prairie where some plucky settlers had finally dared to wheel their wagons."


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