Things have not been going well for the mother of my old friend, and he told me a couple days ago that palliative services would be reaching out to him. She was flown to another hospital, along with an iron lung, as a kind of last ditch effort, but things are not looking very good. I know that this old friend feels almost completely let down by everyone, and it sounds like for over a month now he has weathered this all himself, with little support. I have reached out to him multiple times a day. The experience has changed our relationship somewhat. People often have no idea how hard something can be, until they have to deal with something hard. Then they begin to understand, a tiny bit in my case, what someone else might be dealing with. Yesterday this person remarked to me that it goes straight through them now, during this, when someone says something as basic to them as "how are you?" as a means of greeting. Once I was staying at this person's boyhood home, with his mother and his father, and his brother, who has since passed on, also having died of a drug overdose, like my sister. This was a long time ago--1999, in fact. And his mother told my friend after that it must be really hard to be me, because I wouldn't find anyone remotely like me. That remark has always been kind of haunting. In 1999, I was very different from what I am now. I was mostly an idiot, or what I would now view as an idiot. But she picked up on that. Anyway. I have tried to be helpful, which I can be somewhat with my counsel, because I know things, life things, wise things, and they make something of a difference, but the situation has sapped this person, as well it would. They have been sleeping a lot, and literally staring at walls, and I have said you can't give in to that, you must give the mind tasks, even if they are small tasks, give it one after another. Listen to a podcast and learn something new, read to your kids, watch a film with them.
His situation has caused me to think about my own childhood. I've been so unhappy for a long time now. I was always so different from everyone, and that is horrific, and then this phase--I don't even know what to call it--began in 2012, first with Molly, and then, of course, infinitely worse than her--which is saying something, as she was a person of pure evil--with publishing. They were related, at first. Molly did what he did, and I launched myself not just into my work, but into a historically unique form and rate of artistic development. In some ways, it was a reaction to what occurred in my personal life. Had Molly not done what she did, had I not evolved as I had after, in ways that are both exceedingly human and what one might think of as post-human, as though I am from and of another place, I wouldn't be able to do what one would read about me doing in these pages. Thousands of works of art would not have been made. I would not have the capability to inhabit so much. Is that good? As I grow, get better, I am hated more by an industry. It gets harder. Well, it doesn't get harder at this point--we've hit total hate, the saturation point. That cannot get worse, which is also freeing, in some ways, and, ironically, gives me more of a chance. There would not be the largest body of work an artist has produced, and the most varied, which is all there for when and if this ever turns. It would be good then, paradoxically, and I could even say, if this worked out as I am trying to get it to work out, that miraculously it was all actually worth it, considering what happened ultimately. But pre-turning, or if it doesn't turn? It's not good at all. It's like mainlining hell. Or being tied down as some demon mainlines hell into you.
But when I was a kid, I was very happy. The way I grew up, too, factored directly into the artist I became. I grew up with art and nature. Not because I had parents who were like, "It's time to grab a book and go on a hike," but when I grabbed a book and went on a hike, they encouraged me, talked about it with me, showed an interest in all of my passions. I grow a lot--daily--but I am also consistent in strange ways in that what I loved then is often what I love now, what I look forward to loving more later, hopefully when I am out of here and living in a place in which I wish to live. You cannot overstate how important the manner in which I grew up was to my artistic development. The link is direct. Now, other links are as well, but that's one of them, and it's a big one, a link of chief centrality. I was developing modes of experiencing the world and processing it, complex modes, and their early development was crucial in those years. If you're going to know what I know, you have to get started early on it. It's not a case of one day you say, "oh, shit, I get it now, how life works and all of that." My parents helped me start early. My mom especially. She was really there for future me in those years. Which makes certain other things ironic, but the truths about my childhood no less true, salient, or important.
So that has been on my mind with my old friend. Our relationship is just too altered after too many things to be what it maybe once was--for a time--because when there are elements of behavior and treatment reminiscent of what I experienced with Molly, and what I experience with publishing, I just can't come back from that and won't return to it and it's not like it has ceased anyway. Never. It's not possible. And I won't. I'd be more likely to if you woke me up every morning, dragged me out of bed, and raped me for eighteen hours, curb stomped me, then threw me back in bed before setting your alarm to do it again the next morning. I am abused a lot. I have been abused a lot. Every day I am abused. But there are forms of abuse that are just different, and those two forms go beyond anything else I could experience--hell, if you murdered me, that would be lesser, or if you physically set me on fire then cut my scabs open with Fiskars as I tried to recover. That's less than Molly stuff or publishing stuff. It's not close.
But here we are. I didn't work out yesterday. I ran a few miles Tuesday, walked five Wednesday, but it's time to get the body moving.