Journal Entries (September 8-14, 2012).

Saturday, September 8th–Was it today I had the dream with James and Nyssa or the day before? Anyway, I had some special powers and abilities in this dream–all the result of Divine inspiration, and I went everywhere carrying a Bible, dog-earned, bristling with book-marks, and filled with passages marked with colored high-lighting markers. But I was for the most part house-bound. My two chief disciples were James and Nyssa, and they did most of my foot-work for me.

Well, it seems James and Nyssa failed to follow my instructions or something. Anyway–something went wrong, and even I wasn’t able to fix the problem. James and Nyssa fell into great poverty, so much so that they had to move into a homeless shelter, and were naked except for the blankets they’d been given in the shelter.

I had been separated from them due to the economic crisis we’d fallen into. I found myself on what looked like the SHSU campus, at the bottom northeast corner of Old Main Hill, on the street. I joined the SHSU ROTC program, not because I agreed with anything it stood for, but in order to get the uniform and other free things. I spent a good deal of time swaggering about in the uniform, though I was sorry it wasn’t more formal and dressy.

Eventually, James and Nyssa and I found out we could eat for free in the cafeteria, so we went up there. I think it was the now-demolished Kirkley Cafeteria.

…………………..

I woke in the afternoon, did the usual rituals, finished the tutorials for Word Press 3.3, read in Jones, watched Clinton’s speech (which I’d only listened to, originally), then read a little in Douglas before bed. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house and go grocery shopping.

Sunday, September 9th–I woke in mid-afternoon. I gave Belle two walk–one of normal length, then another out and around the shopping center and office park across the street. The latter was to tire her so she would remain semi-calm while I made my reluctant trip to HEB.

My shopping expedition proved stressful, and though it was somewhat cooler out, I got very hot, stressed, angry, and upset, and felt on the verge of tears for quite awhile after getting home.

I came across scans of the 1967 FAO Schwarz Christmas catalogue, which included my beloved castle, my favorite toy from childhood. I let out a loud howl of pain when I saw it, because when I was a teenager my father threw my castle on a pile of wood with a bunch of trash he was burning, as I stood by crying and pleading with him not to do it.

Later on, I did tutorials in HTML and Adobe In Design, watched Godard’s “Film Socialisme,” and read in Jones.

Monday, September 10th–I had one dream where I was at a resort or national park, wilderness park, or something like that. There were mountains and lodges and hotels everywhere. In a hotel rather like San Antonio’s Menger, I ran into my friend T___ P___, but we went our separate ways.

Eventually I wound up wandering in the woods, possibly seeking to escape someone. I walked down a steep wooded slope, then suddenly realized I was just feet away from the edge of a very deep precipice, with rocky crags, waterfalls, and other features such as that. There was a steel cable lashed between the trunks of the trees, and the force of gravity was so intense that had I not held onto that cable, I would surely have fallen off the side of the mountain and into the crevice.

In another dream it was night-time, and I was wearing, I think, pajamas, and was walking barefooted down Guadalupe Street, near where I lived. I’d never do that in real life, especially considering how filthy that street is. I’ve even seen homeless guys vomit onto it before.

Anyway, time played into this dream somehow. I needed to get to a certain place at a certain time. I found a bookstore that was more or less near the old Half-Price Books location. I couldn’t tell if it was closed or not, because the store had a huge wooden door and no windows. But there were carts of books still out front on the sidewalk, so I assumed the place was still open.

……………….

I woke around 4pm. After walking and feeding Belle and myself, I went over to the UPS Store to mail my vet prescription to Foster and Smith vet supply house. The new UPS Store employee was sitting at a computer, doing personal business, and didn’t bother to look up. I didn’t clear my throat, but I did rattle my envelope and shift my weight from one foot to another, and try to look around corners to see if any of the other staff members were around. None of this registered in her peripheral vision.

Finally, another customer came into the store, and this girl looked up, looked bewildered, looked for other staffers, then got up and waited on me. After that, I got some more groceries at the dollar store, and came home, hot and irritated. Belle got very loud and rambunctious and made me very nervous and stressed out.

I got some notices for state jobs in editing. They paid okay–better than I’ve ever made before–but not as much as I’d like to get. And they looked very boring. If I were ever interviewed for one of those jobs and the interviewer asked, “Why do you want to work for us?,” I wouldn’t be able to give a decent answer.

After my shower, I worked on tutorials for HTML and Adobe In Design. Afterwards, I read in Jones.

God, how I dread what I have to do this week: fast, then go for blood work….

Before bed I read in Douglas.

Tuesday, September 11th–I slept until 6pm. I forget what I dreamt. Almost immediately I began thinking of those two state jobs I read about yesterday, editing jobs which I really wouldn’t want to do. And though I don’t intend to apply for the jobs, I fell into a depression over them, thinking of the kind of boring life I’d have if I got one of them.

I had a message on my answering machine–a pre-recorded call: “This is Governor Mike Huckabee, calling with a brief survey. Are you concerned about American liberties and freedom?…” My response was two-fold–first, “FUCK YOU!,” second, “I’d like to see you severed head on the end of a fucking pike!”

I stressed over this and that. It took me several hours to calm down Belle, and then I took her out for a brief walk, during which I got the mail. There was a time-sensitive letter from the Food Stamp people, and I went into a panic all over again. It turns out it was an announcement that they plan to call me Friday between 9:30 and 10am to discuss my case.

I did more HTML and In Design tutorials, then finished L. E. Jones’s “Georgian Afternoon.”

This unjustly-forgotten delight is the third volume of the memoirs of Sir Lawrence Evelyn Jones, 5th Baronet (1885-1969), and covers roughly the period of 1910 to the early 1950s. It discusses Jones’s life in business (first in prismatic glass, then in investment banking), his experiences as a soldier and prisoner-of-war in World War I, his recuperation in the south of France, his hunting trips in Scotland, his life as a country squire in Norfolk, the end of the country house era in England, and his peculiar experiences as a writer of plays, journalism, essays, verse, political opinion, religion, and memoirs.

His sentences are almost architectural in their elaborate construction; no one writes or speaks in English in this manner any more. And even if you disagree with some of the things “The Major” says, you can’t help but be won over by his charm, erudition, and gentle good-humor.

Wednesday, September 12th–I had a few dreams. In one I was giving a campus tour, which turned romantic….

Another was a film about a week in the life of the late William F. Buckley, Jr. (He wrote several books on this subject.) It basically came off like a really embarrassing reality TV show.

He checked into his hotel, then went up to his room, which was done in a prison theme. He was abused by a couple of foul-mouthed “wardens.” Later, they followed him into the shower and kept up the verbal abuse and prying into his life. I was most shocked that Buckley agreed to appear naked on camera (albeit covering himself with his hands), and that most of his body was covered with very thick, dark hair, rather like an ape.

Fortunately, the dream ended.

………..

I woke about 2-something, needing to piss, tried to go back to sleep, was joined by Belle, and finally got up around 3:30pm. Almost immediately I was beset by fear, panic, and anxiety, to the point I felt like crying, worrying about all I have to do this week: the concert tonight, mailing off two checks, the fasting and blood test Thursday, the early morning call about my Food Stamps Friday.

I had thought those construction cocksuckers had finished working on the apartment complex, but it seems The Powers That Be still have more money to throw away, and instead of spending it on something useful, like better exterior lighting, or more pet poop stations, or even door knobs for the doors to their exterior utility closets (which flap and smash back and forth in a good wind), they’ve decided to put up fences (and no doubt inconvenient gates) around the dumpsters.

I don’t know why they’re being so selective. Most of the fucking complex is an eyesore–the outdated buildings, the parking lots, the parking shelters, the cars, the residents. Why waste money screening the dumpsters?

I eventually left the house and headed for the bus stop. I was definitely having a panic attack, and my heart was pounding in my chest. The bus arrived just as I got to the bus stop.

I calmed down somewhat, then had a hell of a time getting to Antone’s, due to road construction on Colorado Street. I was the first patron to arrive at Antone’s when they opened the doors. I’d not been to that particular location, though I went once or twice to Antone’s when it was up on Guadalupe in 1994 and possibly also in 1993.

I visited with D__ and his band members for an hour, had two Shiner Bocks ($7, plus a $1 tip that I resented giving), listened to D__’s show (three songs/fifteen minutes), then took my leave, and very quickly got a bus back north. I got to my neighborhood, bought some groceries at Randall’s, and headed home.

(During my talk with D__ and his band mates, one of the other guys admitting to playing French horn in high school. He was inspired after seeing John Lennon holding one on the cover of “Sgt. Pepper.” He didn’t realize it’s one of the hardest instruments there is to learn.

He said, “I just figured you stuck one hand in the hole at the bottom, then flicked your tongue around like this.”

Paraphrasing Slim Pickens in “Dr. Strangelove,” I commented, “Hell, a feller could have a purty good weekend in Vegas with those skills!”)

[Seeing D__ and his band was fun, but as I feared, the trip to and from wasn’t.]

Anyway, as soon as I got back inside my apartment, I tossed Belle a rawhide chew so she’d concentrate on that and not on barking. I needed to go to the bathroom very badly, you see. After that, and after I’d arranged some things in the kitchen, I got Belle’s leash and harness.

She happily ran over to me from her fort, rawhide chew still in her mouth, and I bent over to try to put her into her harness. But she decided she wanted to go back to her fort and chew on the rawhide some more. I called her back, and she returned, still with the rawhide chew in her mouth. This went on about three or four times, causing me to start laughing. Then she finally decided to put down the chew and go walking.

Thursday, September 13th–Belle woke me around 10:20am, almost two hours before my alarm. I got ready and decided to go early to the clinic for my blood-letting–I could not do otherwise, due to how weak I was from hunger. But the computer update last night fucked up my computer, and it took over twenty minutes to get it up and running again. Normally, I’d have left all of that until after I came back from my appointment, but I needed to look some stuff up before leaving.

Anyway, I got down to the bus stop, had a short wait, and took one bus that carried me all of about three blocks. Then I waited for about thirty minutes by the Target in a light rain which brought in its wake a terrible wave of humidity.

I finally got the bus I wanted, went to the clinic and into the blood lab. Some hick woman was getting poked. He disheveled husband, in a tie-dye T-shirt, sat in the small waiting area with me. I concentrated on my index cards so he’d not be tempted to try to talk to me.

When it was my turn, I explained to the attendant that I tend to black-out and go into convulsions when my blood is taken if I’m in a seated position, and that I have “rolling veins.” So I needed to be taken somewhere I could lie down. Another woman came into the lab after me, and for some reason, the attendant decided to wait on her first. But when another woman came in just as we were leaving to go to another part of the clinic, she told her to wait.

The blood-letting was time-consuming and painful, as it always is. the attendant couldn’t get blood out of my arm. Then I remembered that the last time she’d waited on me she’d wound up getting blood from the back of my hand, so I suggested that, and that blood flowed perfectly.

But because of all the delays, I missed my bus, and had to wait almost one whole hour for the next one. I had brought along eight little peanut-butter-and-cracker sandwiches to try to get a little food in me after the blood-letting. I noticed some little ants down on the ground were greatly enjoying the crumbs I was dropping, so I took part of my last cracker and crumbled it up and gave it to them.

They seem over-joyed. I watched them swarm over the crumbs for awhile, then decided they were probably in danger of getting stomped on by future bus stop visitors, so I moved the crumbs to the nearby grass, and led the ants to the crumbs.

The whole incident gave me more deep, abiding satisfaction than most of what I’ve done in my many jobs over the last thirty-two years.

I finally got back to my neighborhood, cashed a check at the bank, mailed off some bills, and went grocery shopping at Randall’s (even though it has a poorer selection and higher prices than HEB, I just didn’t feel like walking that one extra block to go there).

I got home very hot, angry, hungry, and stressed-out. Belle barked her head off at me. I had two phone messages–one from the shrink who is supposed to give me Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and another canned survey from Mike Huckabee.

After I showered, I sprawled on the bed with Belle. It took me an hour to finally get up, turn off the lights and phone, and properly go to bed. I slept until 10pm.

Friday, September 14th–I got up on Thursday night at 10pm, walked Belle for a bit, and ate. It seems to have been raining since the afternoon. I did more HTML tutorials, and finished those for Adobe In Design CS6.

I found a detailed and boring document online from DARS, outlining the procedures it takes for “Vocational Adjustment Training,” and the whole thing sounds upsetting and ghastly.

I farted around, then began to fade, but I needed to stay awake for my important call. At 9:30am, while I was reading about the Krupps, the German dynasty of industrialists and war criminals, I got the call I’d been dreading from a functionary about my Food Stamp eligibility. The call went very quickly. I answered a few routine questions. The lady seemed especially interested in the arrangement I have in getting dog food and vet money monthly from Belle’s former owner. Then she told me I’d been re-approved (for another six months coverage, I supposed), and that was that.

So my ordeals for the week are over. Next week I have a doctor’s appointment and may have to meet with a therapist for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or at least set an appointment.

Shortly after I dealt with this call the story broke that someone had called in to UT with a bomb threat, claiming to be with Al Qaeda. The same thing happened at a college in North Dakota. The campuses were evacuated, but I was so sure these were hoaxes that I went to bed, read awhile in Douglas, and retired around noon.

I woke about 6pm, still very tired. I puttered around for a couple hours, then, for some reason, moved the over-stuffed bag of garbage from the top of the clothes washing machine to the kitchen. In the process, an empty canister of Pringles chips rolled out of the top of the bag and fell behind the washing machine. I didn’t like the idea of having garbage back there, especially since I was afraid it could catch fire, so I spent about fifteen minutes or so trying to fish the damn thing out.

The canister was wedged behind the washing machine, which was in turn set inside a rather tight niche measuring about 3.5 feet by 3.5 feet. I had to move all the shit that was stored to the sides of the machine (hat rack, folded boxes), then throw my giant belly up on top of the washer, like a walrus coming onto the shore, so I could crane my neck back there and see exactly where the canister was located.

The tight space and all the tubes and hoses in back magnified the problem. I tried to move the damn thing with a broom handle, and eventually got it loose using two bamboo poles and a yard-stick.

Afterwards, I read, and took a nap from about 8 to midnight, with the bedroom light still on.

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