I read a lot of medical studies. They're germane to what I want and have to do. I must be healthy in order endure this ordeal and keep going, and I must live a long time so that I can do everything I need to do and wish to do when the ordeal is over. I pick out useful parts that may help me. Other things I just find interesting. Regarding the latter, people begin to lose memory in their thirties. That will never happen to me, but I do see it all around and with the people I know. When we talk, I'll have to wait for their brains to function. There are these gaps in their speech where they're searching to remember something that they can't, and they're not aware of the length of these gaps, which tells me that they experience them with others, and this is a normal way of speaking now for them that no one has ever mentioned because it's the status quo. While I am waiting I could drop and do fifteen push-ups. Talking to people is painful for me this way. The pace. They go so slowly, think so slowly, recall so slowly.
I had told my little neighbor to drink tea as well as water when she had the COVID. She still has it. I send her a text each day asking how she is feeling. She has a lot of anxiety and other issues and doesn't know how to behave, so she'll answer but you'd think she's only capable of talking or thinking about herself. I say she doesn't know how to behave but that's on account of psychological issues rather than mental ones, by which I mean, because she doesn't not know. She does know. She's too smart not to know. Other factors, though, put a stop to that knowledge and appropriate conversational conduct coming through. Not always. But quite regularly. Anxiety, depression, more anxiety. That's a lot of people, and people without her pronounced mental component. It's "normal" and then it's the norm. How people are. Society then adapts by devolving. We've spoken often about how no one actually wants entertainment, or art, or humor; they want comfort. What is comfort? Comfort is seeing someone like themselves. They want people who talk like they do and think like the do because that helps their self-esteem by not hurting it. Not building it up. By not raising questions and doubts. This explains every single thing and person that is now "popular." Anyway--I suggested the tea because of how good it is for you. I have long drank hibiscus tea for my blood pressure, and now I drink large amounts of green tea as well. That also helps the heart and helps with cholesterol, as does black tea, which I will be drinking more of. In some ways, we have a lot of control over our health just by what we drink. That's an option you can elect to take every day that will help you, just by swallowing a fluid. Isn't that easy? Why wouldn't you do that?
I read through some comments about cheating on Twitter early this morning. People are just not human. They're a lower form of life. They're simple and stupid. I don't believe that if ants could talk they'd sound so dumb as most people. And they lack moral standards. There's a near-total absence of character in our society. Look at what people are okay with. I'm not talking about tolerance. I am talking about the excuses that are made for so many forms of terrible behavior. We don't have connections. We don't have real relationships. We don't have healthy relationships. We are with the people we are with--at every level of relationship--for the wrong reasons. Thus, we will allow and accept anything, and will allow and accept anything from ourselves, with our behavior. To see people play scientist, though, is something else. Then again, to see scientists play scientists can also be something else. Cheating will be explained as an instinct, and that's how men are, they are programmed to try and procreate with as many women as possible.
That's not why people cheat. There are all kinds of reasons. Usually it comes back to them. Not always. As a rule of thumb, though, it does. What they lack and cannot themselves give. Or locate. Affection. Vulnerability. Self-esteem. Interest. Depth. Anything compelling. Newness, by which I mean, that tomorrow's conversations will contain ideas and modes of expression that yesterday's did not. People just say the same dumb shit every day. Of course they get bored with each other. They offer each other nothing in any real way, which is also what they offer themselves, and even then, they don't do a damn thing about it. They follow Dave Portnoy. They get a BLM filter. They crave victimhood. They get "political," which is synonymous with stupid, and "political" doesn't mean political. They were in the relationship for the wrong reasons in the first place, which, again, is most relationships. Most marriages. I don't know many people who married someone for what I'd call the right reasons. They were flimsy reasons. And reasons of fear. Wanting not to be hurt again. Because so and so was "hot" and tolerable, and after being with a number of people, and being with a couple others while cheating on the eventual wife, they "picked" the latter to marry. They're bored. She's the same way. They do whatever. Call it whatever. It's too much hassle to do anything else. Uproot a life. Then there are kids, who are parented in lazy ways. Autopilot ways. Other outlets are found for things like smart conversations. Meaning me. People marry young because they don't want to get hurt out in the world. People marry to fill a void. Because they don't want to be lonely. Because they could never get the girl and this one's out of their league ordinarily, and she has her reasons, too. The wife of one family member got a green card. He'll bore people about politics and he'll bore them about sports and he knows nothing about either, but the people he is busy boring don't know either. They're just waiting for their turn to talk, which is what most relationships and interactions now come down to: "When is it my turn to talk?" No one is listening. They're working on their material in their head. What they will say. How they're going to try and pass off some new phrase they keep seeing as their own ("now do blah blah," "Tell me you haven't watched football without telling me you haven't watched football"). They're not present. They never are. They have no idea what being present feels like. That is one of the many reasons why there is no one who writes well right now. You have to be present and have mastered the art of being present, because it is its own art that is brought to bear on that other art. They join.
It was pretty obvious what happened with this family member. Obvious to him? He doesn't want to think that. He can't. Then what do you do? So he calls it something else. Signs the kids up for Little League. Tries to live through them. Calls that something else, too. But also wouldn't even be able to share with them the first thing about baseball but he'll drone on and on to you at a gathering until you curse nature for having made ears. But that's not what it's about, is it? The sharing of real knowledge with his kids. And nor is it about union and growth, and crucial questions of "How can I help you develop today?" and "How can I in turn help myself develop?" and "How can we develop together?" Those questions are never asked. And questions that are never asked can never be answered. Answers may not be everything. But they do get you to everything that is everything. The questions I just cited are the crucial questions of the best relationships. You know what else they are? The crucial questions of a work of art. Try and ask them about any of the pieces from other writers--that "other" doesn't make any sense, but you know what I mean--I share on here. Try and ask them about "The Donkey at the Gates of the Kingdom of Heaven." It's silly in its impossibility, isn't it? You might as well instruct someone to throw a fistful of air across the room.
We must understand: For almost everyone, life is a process of calling things something else. In other words, not what they are. What's that you say? You're an exception. Okay. So you're an exception. Put down your club that you wish to hit me upside the head with. We have a tendency to believe we're being referenced and then put down--to the most extreme degree--when someone has said something true, and we are worried it applies to us. Because we worry that it is us and not someone else, we take it to the furthest degree, and because we are so vulnerable when it comes to the truth--or so we think--we want to blame the person who has said it, and demonize them to spare us. Say something true to someone, and they're apt to say they've been attacked. Note their language. "Attacked." When I say things about people in publishing on here, what do you think they think? It's all true. It's all presented factually. It's laid out and spelled out. Airtight proof and reality. But they believe there has never been a more vicious attack in human history than what I've said about them. They think this in part because they also know--as do I, as do you, as does everyone who reads these pages--that what was said was completely true and is true about them. For the subject themselves to read that is for them to be shook through their core and soul more than anything else ever has shaken them. It's a them thing. A them thing via someone holding up a mirror. The mirror reveals what the mirror reveals. Do they fault themselves? They already hate themselves and know the truth, despite their hubris and how divorced they are from reality. They do know this truth. Their life is an attempt to try to hide it. If their life has a purpose, it's that. That's not an actual purpose. But it is the purpose of a David Remnick or a Christopher Beha. Do they fault the mirror? They knew the mirror existed when it was not in the room with them, but that's different than having to walk past the mirror, or stand in front of it. Or do they fault the person who brought the mirror to them so that they had to look? The answer is provided with question three. We can also add in that they now know that many other people will be seeing what the mirror reveals about them, which is what they've never wanted anyone else to see, including themselves, even as they couldn't help but know it. It's the fundamental reality of their lives. What they most are. What they've long feared they most are. Their ultimate guarded truth in the whole of a life you could fit in the space of a closet in the terms of its purpose, value, and legitimacy. I've simply shown that truth because their years and years of bigotry and abuse made it so that I had to.
But why are we so worried that something applies to us? Let's say it did apply to us. Okay. Do something. Fix it. It's not a death sentence. It's an opportunity. But what we want is not to have to do anything. There is no blister. Not that there's a blister to lance. You lance it. The skin heals. If you are that exception, then I'm not telling you something you don't know and experience. But if that's how almost all people are, then what are people going to want? What will they consume? Who will they support, follow, award, reward? People who do the same thing. Until that finger of which I'd written before--or the stick, if you prefer--is stuck between the spokes of the spinning wheel, this is how it is, this is how everything in human life devolves. Health, happiness--which becomes more and more an illusion--friendship, connections, relationships, minds, bodies, psychological states. The human species. Decency.
My journey--my quest--is largely about the wielding and deployment of that stick, and then what will happen when that one wheel stops spinning, and another starts to, but in the opposite direction.
Humans don't have instincts. I don't believe anyone knows this, or it seems that way. But it's reality. People want humans to have instincts, because that reduces their responsibility and culpability, and it always gives them an excuse, or very often, certainly. I won't try to say it to anyone anymore, because they think of course we have instincts, that's a given, and I don't want to have a painful conversation with an ignorant person who is the worst kind of person with whom to argue. I have a cousin like this. She's an old maid before her time. What I mean is, she'll always be alone, and you knew that when she was twenty-seven. Not because she stands apart and she's brilliant and she's looking for that very rare, special person. She likes It's a Wonderful Life, but if you try to talk with her about it, she's going to go on and on and on--projecting--about how sexist it is that Mary is frightened when she sees George as she's leaving work in the alternate reality sequence. She says it's so misogynistic, that because Mary is not married to this man, she's this pathetic figure, never mind that she's not a pathetic figure at all. My cousin is herself a pathetic figure. She's also rude and selfish. Not dumb. But she learns nothing, reads nothing, knows nothing, and despite her degrees, makes no attempt to alleviate any of this, and never will. It's how she'll be when she dies.
George comes upon Mary like a crazed man, out of the darkness. She looks frightened. I'd be frightened. That's not sexism. That's a scary guy with wild eyes advancing upon you and saying your name in the December night and it's already been dark for three hours. But we also don't know where she's at in life. She may be depressed. Like so many are. A lot of people if you took away their primary relationship would be screwed. They'd have to get a replacement in short order. They can't be with themselves. They have nothing. At least they get regular sex in the relationship. They can tell themselves they have much. Again: Life for most is a repetitive process of calling things that which they are not. Mary may not be ready in her own development to meet or be with the person who would make her happy and whom she'd make happy. What my cousin is obviously doing is projecting. She will be the old maid--which isn't an age thing--that Mary never was, or we don't know that she ever would have been, even without George. But she makes it about "men are bad." Because my cousin is an actual sexist, on account of her own feelings about herself. It's also a defense mechanism. She used to bring up this point to me every time the movie came up, like she never had before. She didn't even remember. She used the exact same language, too. (And what were we saying about memory?) Almost impossible to talk to someone like this, who is typical of many people. Who could talk to them? Someone who says, "Yeah! That was so sexist!"
They don't want to be correct; they want to be agreed with via an echo, because their self-esteem is built on those echoes, which is to say, they have no real self-esteem nor even a viable true self. So when people brag about how many followers they have on Twitter, this is really why and it's also what is happening, and how that dynamic--for lack of a better word--works. It's not because they're smart. It's not because they're decent. Entertaining. Funny. Or that anyone in the world truly cares what they think or say. It's because of this. They represent the echo. That's all. They're not even viewed as a person, let alone a thinker, a great writer, a comedian, etc. They're a simple, valueless--in terms of true value--echo. That's what people want--their own voice coming back to them, no matter how wrong the statement is. Could she meet someone and marry them? Sure. But he'd be that same way, and he'd have his motives to be with her, which would be far, far different than healthy reasons. Then what do you have? You have most marriages, but nothing else, really.
We see phrases about instincts all the time. "She has great instincts." She doesn't have any. I don't. You don't. None of us do. We have desires and emotions and thoughts. We have wants and needs. But we don't have instincts. We are humans. That means we have something else, and that something is called free will, which is the opposite of what an instinct is. It's up to you. Whereas, for the mallard, it isn't.
People who stay up late are more likely to have heart issues than people who are early risers. Do you know why? Because they tend to do less.
Walking, working out, and reading fiction make one less likely to suffer from dementia. When you walk you think. There's not much else to do. The more you think, the better you get at it. Fiction requires the reader to keep track of characters. Items move around, and the mind is tasked with remembering those movements. What's interesting about this is what it says about fiction v. nonfiction, but not about my fiction v. nonfiction. There is no fiction worth reading right now. There is nonfiction to read, but that's because of what it's about. The facts it might contain. It's not about the writing. You never read a piece of nonfiction right now and view it as art that you can reread. Reread often. You might get a competent presentation of facts or information. But that's it. And when that has been processed, what is left? You're done. That's what there was. I do not write nonfiction this way. I don't write anything that way. I didn't write this journal entry that way. One is never done even when one is done.
Ran 3000 stairs each of the last three days. Did so today in the rain.