Journal entries (February 16-29, 2012.)

Thursday, February 16th–Well, fuck it.

My plan for a big Spring Cleaning has been stillborn.

There’s too much to do, no room to do it in, my back is not up to the task, and Belle keeps getting underfoot and I’m afraid of her getting crushed by falling boxes.

So much for that.

Friday, February 17th–I slept until after 3pm. It was rainy and drizzly all day. I called HHS to tell them about the courses I’m going to take (in case that affects my status), and to check on my SNAP renewal packet, which they said they sent, but which I’ve not received. I didn’t get around to reading today.

Saturday, February 18th–I slept until about 6pm or so. I had three massive bowel movements within the first three hours I was awake. I talked with James about the computer courses I’m going to take. I read some more in “Revolutionary Road.”

I looked up the Facebook page of a friend I’d not heard from in awhile, and with whom I’ve not gotten along for some time. He was unsympathetic when Fred died, has been unsympathetic to my job woes and psychological problems of recent years, and firmly [opposed me in certain other conflicts I’ve been having]. Those alone are unforgivable offenses. I’ve not seen him since he came through Austin in 1999. At any rate, I saw on his page that he recently visited Austin, though he didn’t contact me. I have mixed feelings about this.

Later on in the morning I [learned of the death, a few years back, of someone who had been the cause of a fair amount of trouble in my life].

Sunday, February 19th–I got into arguments over politics that got me worked up and annoyed. I read. I played with Belle.

Monday, February 20th–I slept until about 9:30pm. The planned dinner with [….] didn’t happen because, as usual, he was too busy.

I argued with an old friend over politics. [He said something dismissive about me that made me sound childish.] Naturally, that enraged me.

It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that I’m going to have to cut even more people out of my life, if that’s even possible.

Many of my friends and I have much less in common now than we once did. Our values differ greatly. I hate some of their spouses. We argue politics constantly. We want quite different things out of life. I feel [as if some of them are] pulling me down, holding me back. It’s not enough for them to abandon their own dreams, they must try to get others to abandon their dreams as well. Some seem resentful, critical, and dismissive of my ambitions.

Tuesday, February 21st–I slept until 10:30pm.

I took Belle for a walk, and as we were heading back to the apartment I could tell the cranky old woman next door had recently opened her front door, as the air directly in front of it was filled with the sour, acrid pong of [her dirty body].

I have been angry pretty much constantly for days now.

For the last couple weeks I’ve had the nagging sensation that there’s something I should be doing that I’ve been forgetting.

Wednesday, February 22nd–Tuesday drifted into Wednesday. I farted around, read, and mostly stayed awake because James said he might buy me dinner.

I was exhausted and cranky by the time James finally came around. We went first to Fry’s Electronics, and in the parking lot we passed a pickup truck festooned with Texas A&M Aggie bumper stickers and an Aggie vanity license plate that said “THMBSUP.” James said:

–You used to live there. What does that mean?

–Fuck if I know. Those fucking Aggies live on another goddamn planet.

–The guy is standing right there beside his truck. He can hear you.


Then, inside the store, he began muttering answers to my questions. I asked him to speak up, and he responded with some nonsense expression, because he was getting annoyed that I was talking while he was searching for electronic parts. So, pissed off, I shut up until he finished, after which I returned to the topic, but he refused to give a proper answer, saying that if I didn’t hear him after he said it twice he wasn’t going to answer again, but merely say nonsense.

We had dinner at a place called the Austin Diner. The music was too loud, the service was a bit lackadaisical, the waitress spoke in a many that was impossible for me to understand, but it was an enjoyable enough place, with decent food. James said it’d be a good place to hang out if we wanted to edit one of my books, since the wait staff wasn’t going to bother us.

I finally got to bed around 10pm, after being awake 23 1/2 hours.

Thursday, February 23rd–I awoke at little after 7:30am. Around noon I went to Petsmart and the dollar store.
I finally finished “Revolutionary Road.” It was an agonizing read, because it hit so close to home. It tells of a young couple in the 1950s, who hate their suffocating suburban environment, their boring, unimaginative friends, the staleness of Middle American society, their unfulfilling roles in life, and so they make plans to leave it all behind and move to Paris. But will they actually be able to escape?

I’ve been making myself sick with exactly the same thoughts for the last six years, and coming no closer to in any of that time to making my own escape. Perhaps this book had something to do with why I’ve been so angry and on edge the last several days.

At any rate, the book was well-written, with excellent observations and portraits, a wee bit too long, but otherwise a good read. I’d like to see the movie they made of this with Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet.

Friday, February 24th–I woke, [dreading an e-mail that I wound up not even getting].

I sorted through a stack of papers, just as I had done yesterday. Again, I wound up tossing over a ream’s-worth of them. I puttered around, then got a notice that said I’d posted my limit for the day on Tumbler. I got bored, then decided to go to my bed and read, starting Genevieve Brisac’s short novel “Losing Eugenio.” I got overwhelmed with sadness and depression, and felt as if I wanted to cry–well, I’d felt like that for awhile. I read, then got tired and decided to nap with the overhead light still on. I wound up sleeping almost six hours.

I had a nightmare which left me, as usual, scared that I was sleeping with my back to the front door. I also had a dream that I was an older, very solemn and serious Johnny Cash. I’d just spent a lot of time straightening up a bunch of belongings when my band and crew decided to pull a prank, and upended a trailer I was in, almost pushing it over into a swimming pool. Then everyone waited to see about my reaction.

Saturday, February 25th–I puttered and read in Brisac.

Sunday, February 26th–Saturday turned into Sunday. I watched “L’Amour Fou,” about the relationship of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. My computer started spewing spam again, so I shut it down and tried to contain and stop the problem. That put me in a panic. I retired around 6pm, not even bothering to attempt to watch the Oscars.

Monday, February 27th–I woke earlier than I wanted to get up, walked and tended to Belle, then decided to go back to bed, where I slept for three or four more hours. I woke with that special sense of dread I always have when I have computer trouble.

James and I conferred on the state of my computer. He thinks he ought to take it Friday and completely wipe it to remove whatever virus I may have inside. He was annoyed about my ignorance of certain terms, and sent me some tutorials on file maintenance which I only partially understood.

Around midday I went to HEB to pick up a few things. I messed around with some official paperwork for the City and HHS, and I tried to sort and clean and toss some stuff in the living room and pantry. I finally finished reading the sad little book, “Losing Eugenio,” by Genevieve Brisac.

Tuesday, February 28th–I woke slightly before 10am, hot and sweaty, with a sense of dread and despair. Belle was not in the bedroom, nor did she come in when I stirred. I quietly got up and found her sprawled across the living room floor. I couldn’t see if she was breathing or not. Then her head twitched. I went into the bathroom, and soon I heard her shaking her head, and she joyfully bounded into the bathroom to greet me.
I seem to be turning into “Crazy-Screaming-In-Public-Guy.”

I went to the UPS Store across the street to photocopy and mail some important paperwork for HHS and other agencies, over which I’ve been rather stressed the last few days. Since I’ve been developing social anxiety with agoraphobia, especially over the last year, even a little chore like that is stressful for me.

I was making copies when two people in a row entered the store. Both did so like the star of a sit-com, pausing at the threshold for the studio audience applause that always accompanies the star’s arrival on the set and  “Honey, I’m home” first line. This pause, however, let a strong wind into the store, and ruffled my papers the first time, and sent them flying everywhere the second, after which I yelled out, “GODDAMMIT!,” and went scrambling after my papers. The offender didn’t apologize, and I felt like a crazy person. When the cocksucker left he did warn me he was leaving again, at which point I said I think I had control of the papers now.


I started Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Case of the Gilded Lily,” but got tired and went to bed earlier than usual, partly because I’d received a notice that my privacy will be violated tomorrow by maintenance men installing something called a Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor in my kitchen.

Wednesday, February 29th–I woke earlier than I wanted to, needing to piss, and afterwards tried unsuccessfully to go back to sleep.

I spent much of the day dreading the arrival of the maintenance men, and also puttering around my apartment, cleaning here and there. I tried to copy some files and photos onto disks, but had mixed success.

Davy Jones of The Monkees died.

The maintenance men arrived after 4pm. I had to hold Belle by the collar. She picked up on my anxiety. The first stupid, careless, clueless maintenance man just left the goddamn front door wide open for about a minute before it finally occurred to him to close it. Had I not been here Belle would’ve surely gotten out, run off, and probably been killed.

Naturally, in the process of installing this thing in my kitchen, the maintenance guy made a filthy mess of a counter I’d just cleaned.

Later on in the evening I drifted into the despair and depression that has been characterizing my recent months.
I read more in Gardner and retired after 1am.


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