Of Entropy and the Divide.

Every theological argument ends with my opponent telling me to “just have faith” or explaining that they’ll “pray for me.”

Politics? It never used to be like that.

Now, however, every political argument ends with my opponent explaining how “if you don’t like this country, then just leave,” or how I can’t even talk about this or that because I have a penis or Caucasian skin.

I have no party, it seems. I am an all-party pooper.

Reason? Discussion? Empathy? All of it is evidently out of style — left and right wing, red and blue. The divide has grown so wide, the chasm has stretched its yawn to such a degree that those on one end of the spectrum cannot even hear those on the other.

This, I think, is the entropy of civilization that George Carlin once spoke of.

Sometimes I wish I could stop paying attention.

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Monica’s Rut.

As I walk in the door to begin my shift, a young coworker is changing the trash, and as I go to throw away my coffee her eyes meet my own and she tells me she’s upset. Naturally, I ask her why, and she responds by telling me I should look at Monica’s face.

Monica is a shift manager and a rather unique woman, to say the very least. Though I’ve never been good at judging age, she has three daughters and a few grandchildren. Her life has been riddled with drug use, criminality and prison time, and she’s currently a pill-popper (and snorter), often engages in heavy drinking and on occasion cocaine — which used to be her drug of choice, though, as she has told me on a few occasions, she gave it up long ago. When I asked her how she managed, she told me, quite blatantly, that she just began using other drugs.

While a hard worker, her work patterns are inherently chaotic; she is a dedicated multitasker who is not very good at multitasking. She often sings songs at high volume, typically ones she has created on her own, and is known for her dancing and for mishearing what others say as something far more absurd and perverted — often amusing, but not when you’re attempting to have a serious conversation with her.

She has a live-in boyfriend, Chuck, who is out of work because he hurt his back; he’s addicted to pain pills. She supports him entirely, and as a token of his appreciation, he consistently steals money and drugs from her. They’ve gotten into mutual fist fights that also involve breaking furniture, biting and pulling each other across the floor by the hair.

So when my coworker told me that I should just look at Monica’s face, that was really all I need to hear.

As I walk behind the counter on the way to clock in, I say hello to Monica and take a look at her face: black and blue like rotting fruit, the bill of her cap pulled to the side to hide her shiner in the shadows. I turn away and walk to the touch-screen in the back to clock in. When I go back up front to change trash, I ask her the question I’ve asked two or three times before.

“What the fuck happened?”

Chuck and her got into another fight, she explains. He ran out of pills, went into withdrawals, borrowed money from a friend, got drunk, beat the shit out of her and subsequently attempted to smother her with a pillow — and she tells me all of this in that “shit happens” sort of way that at once blows my mind, enrages me and plunges me into the depths of depression.

This time, though, she refused to fight back, she tells me, as if this is a heavy leaf she’s turning and the clouds are parting now and it’s all rainbows, cheesecake and blowjobs. I tell her that what she needs to do is to get the fuck away from him, and when one of her beautiful daughters — the one out of the three I honestly really like, as she’s an intriguing cocktail: compassionate badass — comes in and goes up to the counter later on in my shift, I beg her to convince her mother to leave.

This isn’t the first time I’ve expressed this to her. I more or less said this the last time she came in, which was the last time her face looked like this thanks to Chuck.

In a conversation between the three of us later as we’re all standing outside in the cold, Ohio rain, Monica proceeds to provide the usual excuses as to why she can’t just up and leave or kick him out. How if he catches her in the process of moving or she tries to kick him out or she calls the police that he’ll start wailing on her again, even kill her. I feel the pain of her daughter as she says all this. I tell Monica she should save up money and buy some muscle to protect her in the process, or get him sent to jail for a day or two as she, with some help, can throw her belongings into a U-Haul and get the bloody fuck out of dodge.

She won’t. I know she won’t. Her life is filled to the brim with physical abuse, psychological manipulation, and wide-ranging drug use. This is the only way she knows and as horrible as the path any of us may be on, at some level we all seem to fear change.

I grew up differently. Though it appears very unAmerican of me, its true: I was never physically or sexually abused as a child and my parents never divorced. There was no drug use in my family save for the occasional alcohol and my maternal uncle, who used to smoke. Only as I grew older did I discover that what to me was normal was, in fact, rather atypical.

The kind of lives — childhood and adulthood — many if not most of the people I’ve encountered in my life have lived and are living, especially in this cesspool of a town I work in, are depressing and enraging, to say the least. I can’t seem to do a damn thing but listen to the stories, offer suggestions, and try not to be a hypocrite and fall into the same traps.

I stopped drinking, but I still smoke cigarettes, cannabis, and take the occasional muscle relaxer or psychedelic. I’m not judging her, I just worry about her. But its none of my business, and maybe I become too emotionally involved with people. Give too many shits. Put myself in a position that’s not really my place.

Maybe I just need to leave this job, get out of this town, and never look back.

Revelations of Father Godless.

“Just a few seconds away
from everyone, everything.
Just a few seconds away.
A second of your time
and an inch of my own space.”
— Just, Mudvayne.

It’s not that I dislike people — individual people, anyway; groups are another matter — it’s just that I have a people tolerance that is exceeded all-too-easily. Even on my brief smoke breaks at work, more often than not, I hide in my car. Far before my work shift ends I’m ready to go home and be alone, to replenish myself in solitude, to find my center again as I allow the isolation to rejuvenate me.

Being alone, specifically in my own environment, seems to be the only way I have the vaguest chance of feeling relaxed, the closest approximation I can get to a state of personal freedom, the closest I can get to ripping away the masks and being me. Otherwise, I always feel trapped, always feel fake and suffocated by the persona. It almost feels that from the time I leave for work until I return to my third-floor, one-bedroom apartment that I’m holding my breath and forced to remain underwater; only when I lock and bolt my apartment door behind me can I exhale and get my rhythm back.

I’ve always been this way, and I had a smidgen of hope that it might get better as I got older, but that hope has been obliterated: I desire — nay: need — solitude now more than ever.

I am what the NLPers would call incongruent with respect to socializing: in the moment, hanging out with friends after work or on my days off sounds all grand and fucking dandy, but as soon as the time comes — even if I only made plans half an hour prior — I’m bickering inside my head as if someone is forcing me at gunpoint, as if I didn’t make the vow to hang out myself, annoyed to all high hell and frantically looking for some way out of it. I used to just not show, at least if plans were made far in advance; on better days, I’d call or text to cancel, often with some bullshit excuse. Now? More often than not, I just dodge that whole initial process of making plans, unless it’s that whole, vague, “Hey, we should get together and have some coffee sometime” stage of plan-making.

Why am I like this? It’s not as if I don’t want to hang out and nurture my connections with specific people, it’s just that I feel on overload. I’ve heard references to sensory overload, and that’s certainly something I’ve noticed, but in addition there is the emotional overload. Be it a delusion wed to a sensory hallucination or not, I consistently feel an energy around people (much how some claim to see auras around people, though in my case it is not visual at all but more akin to an electric-like, kinetic/tactile sensation) and feel as though I can feel their emotions as our energies mingle and resonate. Not only do I often find myself taking on the emotions of others as if they were my own, but on top of that I have my own intense, emotional reactions to those sensed emotions to deal with.

To some degree this can be explained by what is known as “psychological absorption,” Joseph Campbell’s explanation of how a child playing “as if” their play were real can result in a “seizure” by the fantasy, at which time the child comes to react to it as if it were indeed real. This is why good stories provide at least one character you can identify with, as it sort of hooks you and drags you into the narrative — be it in the form of music, a book, movie, or television program.

Someone gets punched and you wince; a circumstance a character is in is awkward and you involuntarily feel your own skin crawl; a touching moment brings tears to your eyes. This phenomenon is so effective that one can train for real behavior through “covert conditioning” — by means of generating elaborate daydreams dealing with practicing the behavior.

Even so, strange events in my life betray some other element, seemingly telepathic, when it comes to actual people in authentic circumstances. In other words, it doesn’t seem to be entirely wrapped up under the heading of psychological absorption.

In any case, it never ceases to overwhelm me and the only hope I have of returning to my emotional and cognitive baseline is to isolate myself for a period. And recovery time appears to take longer than the damage that makes its necessary.

Much of this overload derives from the fact that I am evidently the kind of person that most people trust very quickly and feel fit to spill their thoughts and emotions to. Strangers have divulged secrets to me, often stopping in the midst to say — at least as much to themselves as to me — how they don’t know why they’re telling me this, as they’ve never told this to anyone, right before continuing with their verbal cascade. They know I actually give a shit, perhaps, and that I’m listening, retaining, contemplating what they say and are not likely to betray the confidence. I’ve had a few slip-ups in my life, as is to be expected, I suppose, but generally I keep my mouth shut. And I’m not complaining about this, as it provides an unofficial social function for me, a sense of purpose — but I need to run away, process and recharge even more so due to it.

I’m fucking hypersensitive. Every emotion is extreme, every thought slices through my brain like a serrated knife, every reaction is an overreaction. Apparently, it’s just the way I’m wired.

My monk-like, isolationist tendencies, along with the fact that during social hours I am a walking confessional, has often made me think that I would make a good priest — there’s only that whole atheist factor that gets in the way. I also have memories of being a priest in a former life, which may have some relevance. But I also remember staring into the mirror, hating myself and holding a gun to my head, which is just another indication that such a path just isn’t my own.

Venus RX.

Everyone always seems so obsessed with finding the right person, with finding someone they are “meant to be” with, as if there were suggestion that some master designer fashioned souls in pairs and it was our duty as incarnated beings to find what truly constitutes our other half. I have a difficult time swallowing that, as it has the distinct aroma of excrement.

Often enough, even when people are fully convinced that they’ve found that “right” person and even proceed to marry and have children with that person, they wake up one day in much the same way one might after a night of heavy drinking — wondering where they are and what the fuck happened. And, as it slowly but surely creeps back to them in painful flashback snippets, they find they actually don’t even like, much less love, the person that once felt so incredibly right for them.

It’s the honeymoon effect followed by a massive comedown. The first two years that a couple is together, if I remember correctly, their brains are flooded with chemicals that essentially make them addicted to one another — which is why an early breakup can hit you so hard with withdrawal symptoms.

Where’s that support group?

After two years, those chemicals go away and other chemicals rush in, but their effect is different. The Other no longer makes you high and you are now more apt to see their faults rather than view them through rose-tinted glasses; you have to work at the relationship if it is to be both healthy and long-lasting.

That may not even do the trick, however: even if you both once fit one another, one or both of you might have grown into different people. Mister or Misses Right may just be Mister or Misses Right Now.

Read Silverstein’s The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. It’s all there.

I think a lot of people mistake the two-year honeymoon high for love, which is why they think the love is gone once the high fades, but it wasn’t necessarily there to begin with. It seems to be the case that what we generally regard as love comes after that initial period, however, and doesn’t involve “height” as much as depth. If that depth isn’t there when you come down and if it cannot be developed, you might stick around in the hopes that the high you mistook as love might return. You might even break up and get back together again constantly in the hopes of regenerating that high. Or you might stay with the person, miserable, either because you’re afraid there’s no one else or at least no one better and you simply don’t want to be alone — and being married, particularly with children in the equation, makes the circumstances even worse. Roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce, but that isn’t counting the miserable marriages in which two people remain together “for the sake of the kids” — as if two miserable parents living under the same roof is somehow healthier than having two happy, separated parents.

The best you can do in a relationship is try for depth. If it’s not there and cannot be nurtured both ways, it’s not real, it’s not worth it. You’re better off alone, because being with someone who truly doesn’t care for you, or for whom you truly don’t care for — being with someone who you truly don’t know and who doesn’t truly know you — is unconnected company, and that, rather than being alone, is what will truly make you feel lonely. And there are a lot of lonely relationships out there.

Being alone isn’t so bad — at least if you’re wired like me, anyway. It can suck not having someone to show off, cuddle with, make out with and aggressively fuck, but if you can’t handle solitude, you’ll be driven into someone’s arms simply because you’re afraid to be alone. You’ll feel that you need somebody, anybody, rather than want someone in particular, and that, from what I’ve observed, only results in misery and chaos.

Am I bitter? Perhaps a little. Maybe it’s because I have a Venus in retrograde in my natal chart — or maybe it’s because I’ve spent far too long paying too much attention to the people around me, listening too long to the people that spill their souls to me so consistently, not to be more than a little disillusioned.

In any case, happy early Valentine’s Day.

Dream of a Vanishing Drive.

2/2/18.

In the dream, I was at my parents house at night and had to leave for work, but when I went outside, my new car was gone. I looked everywhere, but it had apparently disappeared. When I went back inside and told everyone, no one seemed to care about how mysterious this was, how fucking frustrated it made me.

Eventually I went back outside and, to my relief, found that the car was there again. Wasting no time, I hopped in and started it up, noticing the time in the process — I was not yet late for work, as I had feared. I then started honking the horn to alert one of my sisters (or some girl) inside the house that I was ready to leave, as I was supposed to give her a ride. She didn’t come outside, however, and I was determined not to leave the car again in order to go get her, fearing it would once again vanish, and so kept up honking.

Somehow, I ended up going back inside anyway, only realizing once I was in there that I had somehow absent-mindedly left the car despite my fierce determination not to do so, which endlessly frustrated me.

Once back outside, my suspicion is confirmed: the car is gone yet again. I also vaguely recalled how something else had mysteriously vanished earlier in the dream, though I’ve maintained no memory of what it was.

There are a few things I noticed about this dream. First, I’ve been reading the first book in David Paulidies’ Missing 411 series for the last day or two, which I received through the local library. It deals with mysterious disappearances of people from national parks, which likely inspired the disappearing car (and whatever vanished earlier) from the dream.

My fear of being late for work in the dream might have something to do with the fact that I called off work Thursday night. I’ve been trying to stop drinking, but I was angry and depressed and caved in, only to drink too much on Wednesday night and pay for it due to my utter stupidity when I work up early on Thursday evening for my weekly third shift. I was horribly hungover; my head was spinning, I was constantly vomiting. The last thing I wanted to do was call off work, but as the time to take my shower and leave approached I didn’t seem to be getting any better, and my frustration with myself grew to a fever pitch.

There was a moment at the end of work on Wednesday when I found myself in the third-person witnessing perspective, observing my thought processes as, while I mopped the dining room, I attempted to justify buying beer on the way home. It was as if I was watching some automatic program playing itself over in my head, which disturbed me. I then found myself following through with it — much like how I suddenly found myself leaving my car behind in the dream to go back inside the house.

Trials of a Vicious Belly.

Narrowing tunnel,
flickering light at the end.
Feeling black and blue,
and all I ever see is red.

S’pose it’s a step away
from being blind with rage,
full participation in a world
that’s clearly gone insane,

but being constantly bruised
is certainly taking its toll,
my blue is getting darker;
my black, siphoning my glow.

Fallen into lifting my lost soul
with spirits, herb, and pills,
dragging out the end in denial,
efforts to postpone the kill.

This way of life, it’s just dead.
One way, or the other,
or reconcile heart and head.

Clenched teeth, sharp tongue
viced ‘tween stained,
once pearly whites.

Blood boils, nerves on edge,
oscillating between
this lashing out,

swallowing my pride,
bloating my already vicious belly.
There has s got to be a better way
and I need to find it

before I go
irreversibly insane

and there is no way to stop,
circumvent or destroy it.

39/14.

Need a new hell. Must breathe
in fresh sulfur.
This brand of relentless torture?
No offense,

it just doesn’t do
it for me anymore.

So, update the resume.
Get work history ready.
Mind to ink, ready to bleed
out on a forest of applications.

Thirty-nine:
this could be your last chance.
Nearly fourteen years
imprisoned here:

don’t let
this be your fading hope’s
death sentence.

Done With the Numb.

Managed to escape
and rest assured,

I’m never going back.

Made me so small.
Could’ve squashed
me like a pesky insect,

and I’ve been
there before.

No empathy.
Devoid of compassion.
Seems to be universal,
to be so cold
and calculating…

I embody
your counterforce.

My soul
was just marinating,
for I had
to feel it all, straight

through
to the marrow
to know,
and now I know:

You’re too empty,
I’m too full
to fill the chalice
I’ve apparently become.

I feel too much,
a fucking sponge,
you clearly feel nothing,

either entirely hollowed out
or you’ve grown
too numb.

Sorry, no sympathy
for me available
in your present capacity.

I’m not just going,
it’s passed the end.
I’m gone.

Fade to black,
roll credits.

It’s over.
Done.

In a Body of Dying Weight.

As the sun dives,
the lights
are on
and everybody’s home
in the mosh-pit
chatterbox
writhing between
my temples.

Try and exhaust
the mind, but every morsel
tossed in its direction
does nothing to satiate;
it only serves
to feed mental momentum.

Work on exhausting
the body, but how many times
can you masturbate within
the span of a single evening
before the damned
thing packs up its balls
and leaves you?

Tea
and other herbal remedies
coupled
with meditation
and relaxation exercises
fail me again.

Always up
during downtime.
Occasionally even awake
within
the subjective space
of dreamtime…

and as the sun ascends,
burning
my sleepless eyes,
so alive

in a body of dying
weight, I pry
peepers open wide
and drag

worn soles
through or around
another unforgiving day.

Restoring Factory Settings.

1/13/18

Pleasantly high and alcohol free, I listen to a hypnotic video on YouTube that aims towards removing unwanted hypnotic suggestions. As I do so, imagery pops up before my minds eye. I watch it all from the witness perspective. Sexual images emerge and fade as well as images of the stars, reminding me yet again how badly I want to lucid dream so I could feel the experience of flying through space again. Finally, I see imagery depicting the violent, consuming waters of a flood inundating the land, destroying things and carrying the scattered remnants away. When I awake, I feel considerably better, more together, more myself than I have in some time.

I listen again the following evening after smoking some cannabis and drinking some Kava tea. Again I recall having had seen apocalyptic scenes of destruction, though this time I’ve retained no memory of what those scenes entailed, or even if they depicted the same flooding scenario.

I presume these scenes are symbolic, of course, or at the very least hope they are.

While the drinking has become less frequent, I tend to overdue it when I haven’t drank in awhile, embracing some lame excuse that brings me back to it, where I subsequently make up for lost time. On such evenings, my brain reverts to writing poetry that I hardly remember writing, if at all. It also seems that alcohol and pot as a cocktail is what elicits my state-dependent tendency to revert back to the erotic hypnosis videos — otherwise, there is no issue staying the fuck away from them. No booze, no problem.

One wonders just how I developed this tendency towards watching and listening to erotic hypnosis, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it was my own manner of upping the ante with respect to porn. I’ve read before how I’m not alone, at least in the most general way: one watches moderate porn, but after awhile suffers from the law of diminishing returns and is then inspired to watch more extreme forms of porn. Erotic hypnosis became the higher rung on my stairway of perversion. The sense of intimacy provoked through sustained eye contact is what drew me in to Hypnotic Haylee and from then on it just got out of control. I began watching other erotic hypnosis videos — always seductive female hypnotists. I was always careful to avoid the exceptionally dangerous and cruel ones that degrade males, absolutely enslave you or try to program straight men such as myself into being homosexual. Even so, who knew what subliminal suggestions were present in any one of those videos? Who knew if a seemingly innocuous erotic hypnosis video might be a Trojan horse?

I tried to transition back to regular, mundane porn while drunk and high, but while drunk, it just wasn’t the same. As a consequence, I started looking for hypnotic porn videos on Porn Md. — and I found them.

Most of these were “alpha male” videos, which I thought might balance out hypnodomme videos. Last week, I came across one hypnotic porn video that seemed innocent enough but fucked me up royally. The following morning, I felt gross for some reason — brain-raped. Who knew what it might have infected my mind with? This shit had to stop.

I’ve managed to keep away from them for over a week, dodging even porn, falling back on old school still images to get my stupid rocks off. Two days ago, I decided to try to find a hypnotic video that would reverse unwanted hypnotic suggestions –and found one.

It seems a worthy form of experimentation not only because of the frightening hypnosis videos but because of how I feel certain television hypnotizes us all with who-knows-what and perhaps it might have some effect in posthypnotic suggestions implanted in my mind by those inhuman creatures…