Journal Entries (October 27th–November 2nd, 2012).

Saturday, October 27th–I woke about 7:25 or 7:30pm, and got up around 7:37pm, albeit reluctantly. I took Belle on several walks. It was colder outside and I turned on the heater for the first time this Fall. I watched the 13th and final episode of “Civilisation,” along with the DVD extras.

Some really annoying, tiresome, pretentious person was on the Tumbler, whining about wanting a sex-change operation. Is this the new fashion now? If life doesn’t work out for you, blame the problem on your genitals?

Sunday, October 28th–At some point I dreamt about hanging out with Cornell West, the black intellectual. Later, I dreamt that I wound up somewhere rather like a chapel, though there were elevated seats and tables such as you’d see in a bar. There was some event about to happen. Reporters and photographers piled into a side entrance, and I was one of the ones who was supposed to get up and see what was happening, but I didn’t want to, because I wasn’t formally dressed.

I saw some people moving in the back of the room. I think I saw some young women I was supposed to know–possibly ones with whom I’d gone to high school. In addition to their usual occupations, they worked as models. (This is impossible, since every I went to high school with is either dead or middle-aged, and from the photos I’ve seen everyone’s aged badly.)

And then I found myself at the bottom of a depression in the ground. There was some sort of emergency, and I didn’t have time to run around to the side, go upstairs and up to the main ground level–I had to scramble up a steep diagonal wall of rocks laid out in a stair-step fashion. (Only after I woke did I realize that this corresponds exactly with the appearance of the wall of the “moat” outside my apartment.)

I woke up about 10pm.

Monday, October 29th–I’m running out of food. I will, however, have enough for my meals until I get my next Food Stamps payment on the 7th, but I really have nothing to snack on, and no money for it. I may get some birthday money in a few days, but I was hoping to spend that on stuff like underwear and T-shirts, since my clothing is getting rather threadbare.

I puttered around all night, read up on the news about Hurricane Sandy, and eventually watched “Tension,” with Richard Basehart.

Around 8:30am, M___t sent me an e-mail, telling me of a job opening in his company which, predictably, he described as a “foot in the door.” (He’s often told me about menial jobs that were supposed to turn into something better but never did.) I immediately had a panic attack.

I read about the job–telephone work, customer service, dealing with irate customers and stressful situations, ten hours a day. Nothing about it appealed to me. It almost perfectly described the sort of work I didn’t want and wouldn’t do well in. Then I looked up his company web-site. Though there are offices all over the world, and quite a few job openings, there were no jobs anywhere in which I was either interested or qualified.

But I did think it interesting, psychologically-speaking, in how quickly this proposal threw me into a panic attack that lasted about three hours….

Anyway, I puttered for awhile, and read in Genet before retiring in the early afternoon.

Tuesday, October 30th–The Sixth Anniversary of Fred’s Death.

I dreamt I was in another old school building, walking down a circular staircase with grey marble steps. I saw sinks here and there (or were they water fountains?), some even on the curving walls of the stairwell. But none really were deep enough to hold water and none seemed capable of being plugged up.

I went downstairs to what seemed to be one of the entry halls, and looked around. I saw through an open doorway into a class of all males–jocks, I believe. I saw a piece of wall without hinge or doorknob that I suspected–correctly as it turned out–to be a blind door. I pushed against it and found an old and filthy lavatory that I assumed must’ve been used by the janitor. I also saw the doors to the mens’ and ladies’ restrooms.

I produced a yellow plastic tub, about ten inches wide, fourteen inches long, and eight inches deep. (In real life it is a relic stolen by a family member during a hospital visit thirty-five or forty years ago, and has been put to a variety of uses over the years. It’s now in my apartment somewhere.) Anyway, I set this tub down into a sink in one of the shallow sinks in the school entry hall, and began filling it with water, so I could perform some important washing of some kind.

Just then, it came time for class change, and students began milling in and out of the entry hall. Someone, maybe a jock, teacher, or administrator, took offense at my ablutions, and began to make a big thing of it. A crowd gathered. I decided to kick the dispute up to a new level, and picked up the tub, dumped the contents on the front of my opponent, and then stood staring abjectly at the floor, like a mental case. I figured if I looked sufficiently out of it, someone in charge would extricate me from this mess, and try to excuse my behavior as being that of someone who is too disordered to be responsible for his behavior.

………………….

I woke about midnight and got up about twenty minutes later. I took Belle out and was struck by the eerie quiet.

The mail brought bad news. The IRS wrote me back at long last. It decided I’d not over-paid or under-paid, but also that they owed me no refund. I cannot see how someone who earned less than $3000 last year would owe any tax at all.

I got a birthday card…with some of the month’s checks, but no birthday money. So there goes my chance at some food, and new underwear and T-shirts….

All of this plunged me into a depression.

I fed Belle and myself. She remained insatiable.

I showered and gave Belle a good going-over with the flea comb.

I took her out for another walk, but within a short time, she suddenly turned around and headed to the house, her mouth set in a certain way I’ve come to recognize. I knew she was trying to sneak something into the house, and after two tries, I pulled out a turd from her mouth and tossed it away. We went inside, and she spat up part of another turd, so I threw it away as well.

Later on in the morning, I adjourned to my walk-in closet for the annual ceremony commemorating Fred’s death, complete with music, candles, prayers, holy water, and incense.

I e-mailed M___t about the job, trying to explain as diplomatically as I could why I didn’t want the job he mentioned.

I saw a headline: “Superstorm Sandy: Millions of Americans wake up to devastation.” Christ, I wake up to devastation every day of my life.

I listened to the DVD commentary for “They Live By Night.”

I retired around 8pm.

Wednesday, October 31st–I think my first dream of the night had me wandering around in a nightscape. Someone in a military uniform, possibly in the style popular between 1910 and 1940, was following me in the shadows, and finally leaped out at me. I screamed and woke.

I had a dream where I swaggered into something akin to a hotel in a Third World country. It was very hot, and I had a British accent.

I found myself watching a World War II movie about a commando group working behind the German lines. Tobey Maguire played an American pilot. There was a young woman in the cast.

There was a final struggle, which seemed to involve a fight out on the wings of a plane that was in mid-air–a fight with the second leading man (a blonde German who was fighting for the Allied cause) and one of the villains. During this the German admitted that the young woman was now carrying his child. Then I think the German killed the villain.

Meanwhile, Maguire was trying to fly this plane, which was damaged and low on fuel, into a very small opening in a forest. Here there was a friendly village with residents who were sympathetic to the commandos and their cause. He just managed to make it. It was a rough landing, but the plane didn’t crash.

As soon as this happened the movie wrapped up. I found myself in a fast vehicle speeding through a jungle. Here and there along the road were clearings above some bushes and in front of some trees, where text was flashed up, explaining the fates of various characters in the movie or other plot details. But the vehicle I was in was going so fast I couldn’t read the text before we’d sped away.

The jungle turned into the back end of the hotel, and I walked out the front door again, out the porte-cochere, and got on an adult-sized tricycle, intending to ride away somewhere and go buy myself some provisions and toiletries for the night, since they weren’t available in the hotel.

Some local men, who seemed to be Hispanics of some sort, came up and tried to sell me cheap crap I didn’t want. For some reason, I was carrying in my right hand a damp and dirty hand towel. I forget how the conversation ran, but I reluctantly decided to buy two cheap packs of cigarettes off one of the men. (It’s odd that I quit smoking ten years ago this December, and have not been tempted to smoke since then, but I often smoke in my dreams.) I decided to set up a lab somewhere and test these cigarettes–at least the first one on the left when I opened the pack–just to make sure the locals weren’t trying to poison me.

………………….

I woke up at 5:41am. The day was spent almost exclusively going through the over 400 pages I have open on my computer, and deciding what to do with them–copy and paste articles or URLs, close them, leave them open, or what.

Something I ate disagreed with me and I had diarrhea for awhile.

NOVEMBER

Thursday, November 1st–I woke after 8am. I puttered, did tutorials, and listened to the DVD commentary for “Where Danger Lives.” I had cheap dollar store red beans and rice for the second day in a row, and explosive diarrhea as well, so I’d better lay off them.

Friday, November 2nd–I had a dream where I was in a room with a few other people and said something blasphemous. The door flew open, and there stood the frightening figure of an Eastern Orthodox priest, with a forbidding countenance and big black beard.

I was about to scream in fear, but just then I thought to change him, and almost as if by magic he turned into a woman wearing a burkha. And then, to make her less forbidding–snap–her tits were hanging out, and then–snap–they were old and wrinkled. What had almost scared me now made me laugh.

I dreamt a young friend of mine approached me for help, as he wanted to become a writer. I was flattered, but then I discovered he wanted to write erotic fiction, specifically short stories for erotic fiction magazines that were available for sale at convenience stores. And then I learned the main thing was that he was too embarrassed and felt himself too young to buy such magazines (he wasn’t–he was very much an adult), and wanted to know if I’d go into one of those stores and buy the magazines for him.

…………………

My 49th birthday.

I woke in mid-morning. I made myself a larger-than-usual breakfast, then went out to run errands. I went to the bank, and then over to Randall’s for the last day of early voting. The line to get in was over 150 feet long, and stretched along the front of the strip center and out to the feeder road. I waited about an hour before I finally got to vote.

I also ratted out some rather rude, noisy, pushy ass-holish campaigners who were waving signs in protest against a proposition that would fund a new medical school and teaching hospital. A few of them crossed the line they were supposed to keep behind, and went up and bothered the voters. I asked an elderly poll worker about them, and he went and scolded them.

Later, I heard someone using a bullhorn, and about fifteen minutes after that a poll worker who was talking on a telephone asked me if I’d seen any irregularities or heard a bullhorn, and I told him about the campaigners. I hope those pricks got arrested.

After this, I went to the dollar store and the UPS Store.

I got home, had some dollar store snacks, and very soon there-afterwards had another attack of diarrhea. Then I took a shower, dried off, and before I was even able to dress had yet another attack of diarrhea, and broke out into a sweat. Eventually this passed and the rest of the evening went okay.

I got on the floor for awhile with Belle and massaged and rubbed her, and read in Genet. Then I listened half-heartedly to the DVD commentary for “Tension,” and started Alan Maass’s “The Case For Socialism” before retiring sometime in the wee hours.

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Journal Entries (October 20th-26th, 2012).

Saturday, October 20th–I had another one of those dreams where I was threatened by some ethnic baddies. I forget the details, though. Then I was at some open pavilion on a college campus, in the wee hours of the morning. I had Belle with me and my long-deceased cat, Poose, as well as my camera, tripod, and possibly some other camera equipment.

The pavilion sat on a rise, surrounded by city streets on at least three sides. Poose went missing. Some ethnic baddies threatened my animals. Some pompous, pushy, rude young photographer also took offense that I was hanging out at this pavilion. He planned to shoot there, and I think he threatened me as well.

The young photographer left behind his camera bag, equipment, and props (including boxes for the models to pose upon and pieces of cloth with which the boxes were to be draped). He went off somewhere, confidently assuming he’d scared me off and that I’d not damage or steal his equipment. But I wasn’t going to leave until I found Poose. (Belle was being pretty quiet, sitting down, with her leash on.) It eventually got to be around 4 or 5am, and the first of the morning traffic began to stir in the streets surrounding the pavilion, but I wasn’t going to leave until I found Poose.

………………………………

I woke at 10:59am. Within slightly over thirty minutes I was overcome with a desire to cry–why, I have no idea.

During my first walk with Belle, I was approached by some Japanese kid who’d just moved in. He seemed scared of Belle, and backed away from her so far he almost fell off the edge of the hill–a slope paved with level after level of rock, going down about twelve feet. At any rate, he was having problems with an ant infestation and asked me about it. I took longer to reply than was needed, and I wasn’t entirely sure he understood everything I had to say.

When I took Belle out a second time, I ran into that neighbor lady with the two little dogs, and we talked a bit.

She is regularly given “pee pads” by a neighbor. They are used on an old man I see around now and then. He’s in a wheelchair, looks to be dying by degrees, and is often left outside in front of his apartment in his wheelchair so he can smoke. When he sees me and Belle he waves and calls out greetings.

Anyway, the family gets more pee pads than the old man can use, and they pass the extras on to this woman with the dogs. And she had more than she can use. So she passed her surplus on to me. We’ll see if they work better than newspapers spread atop plastic trash bags.

But while I was talking with her, one of her upstairs neighbors, a young man, was in the process of moving out. He asked her for a Phillips-head screw-driver and a pair of pliers. She said she had the former but not the latter, and went inside to get it and the pee-pads.

The guy went upstairs with the screw-driver, found it didn’t work, and it turned out he wanted a regular screw-driver, but had gotten the name wrong. Then he asked me if I had a regular screw-driver, and I said I thought I did, along with a “Leatherman” multi-purpose tool that had some pliers on it.

He followed me to my building. He asked what kind of dog Belle was, wondering if she was a Cocker Spaniel. I explained that she was a Basset Hound, and he said he’d had a Cocker Spaniel when he was a kid.

I said I’d go into my apartment and look, and eventually found both tools. And though he was standing outside the building, the guy asked which apartment was mine, and I said it was the one with the two index cards next to the door. He seemed a bit of a dunce.

Loaning this guy tools was a mistake, and I should’ve known better. I remained in a state of panic for quite awhile, dreading the guy showing up and knocking on my door or ringing the door-bell. I also kept my pants on, which was most uncomfortable. As it was, the guy never showed up.

I started tutorials for Abobe Illustrator CS6, and found that frustrating as well, since the narrator had a smug, stuck-up voice that annoyed me, and one of the videos ran over four minutes long. Since I had to stop every four to six words to copy down what he was saying, it took an eternity to get through the video.

Finally, after I’d been waiting about six goddamn hours, that guy showed up at my door with my tools.

He had an oddity about him I’ve noticed in a few other people: his fingernails seemed incorrectly-placed. Whereas most people have fingernails that extend to the tips of their fingers, with this guy, there was about one-fourth to one-half of an inch of flesh between the tip-ward edge of the nails and the fingertips. The nails looked to be sunken into the flesh of the fingers, and the tip-ward edges were rough, jagged, and torn, and basically useless for the limited purposes fingernails have.

I watched episodes Five, Six, Seven, and Eight of “Civilisation,” and retired around 3am or so.

Sunday, October 21st–I had a dream where I turned a corner and suddenly saw Kirkley dorm before me. “How is this possible? They tore Kirkley down,” I asked myself. Then I wandered around exploring, but I forget what happened next.

…………………

I woke initially around 10:20am, but that was too early, so I just pissed and went back to bed. Then I was finally awakened at 1:45pm by a persistent hammering, which I think was coming from the white trash downstairs–probably putting the finishing touches on their meth lab.

I spent most of the day puttering around. I did some tutorials and washed clothes, but I decided to give “Civilisation” a night off. I was too stressed out at the proposition of my appointment tomorrow.

At one point I walked Belle around the block. At the exact spot on Jollyville Road where I was assaulted a couple months ago, where I spied the car thief about a week ago, at the light pole on the bridge, I spotted something on the pole out of the corner of my eye, doubled back to see it closer, and saw one of those street art-style black and white stickers on the pole, close to the ground. I couldn’t make out the writing, but the picture was of H. P. Lovecraft, the reclusive horror writer to whom James is so fond of comparing me.

Monday, October 22nd–Belle woke me up today–her birthday–thirty minutes before my alarm. I walked her, then prepared a birthday breakfast of chicken white meat with buttered carrot medallions.

I spent a long time stressing over my DARS appointment, and developed a full-on panic attack.

I had the usual two nasty bus rides to North Austin.

I went to a convenience store and bought a bottle of orange juice and a bear claw with my Food Stamp money. I consumed them inside the store, staring out at the run-down, tacky neighborhood.

I went over to the DARS office, took over two uncomfortable chairs, and twisted my body around so I’d not have to see or have any contact with the other people in the waiting room, and went over my papers for thirty-five minutes.

I noticed a case worker moving from room to room, dragging his right leg behind him, his right hand and forearm, curled up like a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s.

After all of the other patients left the waiting room, I noticed two similar prints of paintings on the wall opposite me. Both featured two clumps of trees. Those on the left side of the pictures were in summer foliage, while those to the right of the pictures had autumnal foliage. The picture to the left had the word “demain” in faint script across it, while the other was labeled “aujourd’hui.” Naturally, I tried to over-analyze this, wondering what the “tomorrow” and “today” message meant, and if the person who decorated the room thought there’d actually be a lot of low-income patients coming through there who knew how to read French.

Finally, my Case Worker came in the front door, said she’d just be ten minutes (it was closer to twenty), and then called me into the back.

She started with the usual pleasantries and asked how I was, and I confessed I was in very bad shape. Talking 90 miles-per-hour the whole time, I explained how stressed I’ve been for weeks on end, arguing politics with friends, having bad dreams about being persecuted. I also told her what medications I was on and how that one mood medication had been such a huge disaster, and that I was terrified about DARS and what awful job-related things it might force me to do.

I told her about that vocational adjustment training protocol I read online and how traumatic it sounded to me. At first she said I must’ve been reading some other document from some other organization, but then she pulled the exact thing up. Then she told me it wasn’t as unpleasant as it sounded, and that I wouldn’t necessarily have to go through it.

She read me portions of that psychiatrist’s findings, which sounded rather vague and superficial, though she did say I would benefit from having a medical doctor treating my Hashimoto’s Disease and a psycho-therapist treating my psychological problems. Apparently the therapist wrote that I would benefit from being educated in the connection between medical problems and mental health, an observation I found condescending in the extreme.

I think overall I shocked her. She looked rattled and even a bit frightened by how stressed-out I was.

She was even worried that I might have such a major problem with social anxiety that I might not be able to work any time soon, and that DARS might have to drop me….

I said one of my major goals is relocating out of Texas, but when I look at jobs out of state I don’t see any that seem as if they’d pay to move me. She said her experience had always been that when she wanted to move for a job she always had to pay for it herself.

So the game plan is this: 1) She would call that therapist I met with a few weeks ago and arrange five cognitive therapy sessions for me. 2) I am to call Lone Star Circle of Care and try to get on their schedule for fifteen sessions. (I later found out that fucking place is way the fuck down in South Austin–very much out of my way.) 3) I am to go to a website called Onet and look at possible job descriptions that interest me. 4) She might refer me to a place with the silly name of “Choices” for a vocational evaluation.

I practically ran to the bus stop, but had to wait at least twenty minutes of more for the bus. There was a similar wait for the last bus at the North Lamar Transit Center.

I paced up and down. A small young black woman with short hair walked alongside me for a few seconds, and gave me an unsettling Grace Jones glare.

On the last bus I was sitting in the back, facing a huge, round young black man. He stared at me with expressionless eyes, and I realized this fit perfectly the description Ian Fleming gave of Mr. Big (also big, round, fat, and black) staring at James Bond in “Live And Let Die,” which I read recently.

When the forward-facing seat next to him freed up, he scrambled to his feet and took it. Presently, he began fishing something out of a plastic bag, and bringing it to his mouth. I thought at first he was secretly nibbling on a piece of beef jerky, but then again, he didn’t strike me as someone who was particularly worried about getting in trouble for violating the bus’s “No Food and Drink” policy, and so, would not be keeping his eating a secret.

It was only when I noticed him stealing looks over his shoulder at me and possibly other people, that I realized he was fixing up some blunts. I live such a sheltered life, this was the first time I’d ever seen such a thing done. Thereafter, I made a point of looking away at other things in the near and far distance, so as to not get him paranoid or violent.

I de-boarded in my neighborhood, went to McDonald’s, got myself some $1 fries, and two $1 hamburgers (just meat and buns), as an apology treat for Belle, since I really hated being away for any part of her birthday. I ate the fries on the way to a convenience store, where I bought a big Slurpee.

I got home, walked Belle, then cut up and fed her the birthday burgers. I cleaned up the newspapers upon which she’d relieved herself in my absence. I put down more papers (mostly Capital Metro city transit maps), and then spread some of those pee pads atop the maps.

I took a much-needed shower–it was a hot day and my clothes had that fecal stench that I always get when I ride the bus into poor parts of town. Afterwards, Belle sprawled all over the bathroom floor, letting out loud farts that sounded like the creaking door at the beginning of the old “Inner Sanctum” radio show. When I left the bathroom I saw Belle had plopped diarrhea on and off the pee pads. I cleaned them up, then, while walking into the living room with fresh socks on, I stepped onto a pee pad that held, bowl-like, a full load of pee.

I watched the last Presidential debate, then listened to it again right afterwards. I had a brief communication with James, telling him about my appointment. He re-iterated his belief that I need to get a full, formal diagnosis for my mental problems from a well-trained professional, but as usual, he offered no suggestion as to who would pay for it.

I was too tired for a tutorial or Kenneth Clark, so I read a bit in Genet and went to bed.

Tuesday, October 23rd–I had numerous dreams, but all I remember was me trying to avoid a room full of chattering people by hiding in a small dark room next to it–possibly a bathroom.

Not much happened today. Belle received a nice birthday card from “Momma C,” with $10 to go towards the purchase of treats. I did tutorials which seemed to take forever, then watched “They Live By Night.”

Wednesday, October 24th–I apparently had a repeat of some dreams where I found and was carrying around some cryptic pieces of paper. I was back at our old place in Conroe Texas, making the rounds of the property. Lots of trashy people in trashy cars had driven onto and parked on our property. One car looked abandoned, parked atop a small pile of earth with its doors, hood, and trunk left open.

Where did all these disgusting people go? Were they my grandfather’s beer joint friends?

Later I was with him, sitting in a car at night. I noticed eerie lights coming from the back part of our property, the part that I was always terrified to go to after dark.

(From childhood and on into adulthood I thought, with some justification, actually, that there were bad guys or monsters or something back in that thicket that meant me no good. Indeed, even though I’m now middle-aged, I would be afraid to go back to that place after dark, even if I had soldiers or a SWAT team with me, spot-lights shining all over every inch of the place, and high-powered weapons in both of my hands. That’s how intense and persistent my fear of that thicket has remained.

Actually, I should explain one of the main reasons why I was scared of that thicket. We moved out to that property when I was ten. I lived there full-time until I was eighteen, and off and on until I was twenty-five.

When we first lived out there, my father was a band director at an inner-city high school in Houston. One day, the school had its annual race riot. My father locked his students in the band hall and told my mom that she and I weren’t to come down to the football game that night to watch the half-time show, as we usually did. In fact, the band got escorted on and off the field that night by Houston Police.

So my mother and I were out there in the country in the little trailer house where we lived prior to building our house. We had already built a large storage building on the back of the place, and just outside of it was a mercury vapor light on a pole. There was no other light on the property at that time.

In the dark of night, my mother and I clearly heard someone beating on the walls and door of the storage house and calling out.

Naturally, it scared us shitless. Even though we had guns, my mother wasn’t about to go out there and investigate.

Instead, my mother telephoned our next-door neighbor, Mr. H___, who was an ex-FBI agent, and he came over with his rifle and looked around. Presently he came up to our house and said he didn’t see anyone, but found plenty of footprints.

A few weeks later, on a Sunday morning, my mother was doing dishes in the kitchen when she saw a car pull up on the road out front. The driver fired a few shots point blank at the house, and sped off.

These incidents created in my mind a firm sense that we were in danger on that property. After I went off to college and my parents moved away, my grandfather stayed on the place, and when I stayed with him I would often venture out late at night to the main store house, to look over the possessions I had stored there. I always took a flashlight and a gun. I kept the two doors of the building wide open, the lights on, and a radio blaring loudly to warn off potential intruders, but I was scared every minute I was out there, absolutely sure I’d look up and see a malign face poking around the door frame.

Many years later, I reconnected with my oldest friend, the next-door neighbor whose father was Mr. H___. I told him about my fears about the thicket and the intruders, and he filled in the rest of the story. It seems I was the last person to learn the truth.

Mr. H___ was in charge of security for Southwestern Bell, and in the early-to-mid-Seventies was investigating some crook for mail fraud, wire tapping, and a variety of other crimes. The crook got Mr. H___’s name, and found out he lived in the first house on the left on Old Highway 105, just north FM 2854 in Conroe, and he sent out some bad guys to, if not kill him, then at least to scare his family.

Mr. H___ did in fact live in the first house to the left up until late 1973–at which point my family moved onto the property between Mr. H___’s house and the corner. The hit men had the right address–but the wrong house. Mr. H___ soon busted the crook and sent him off to prison. {As I recall, Mr. H___ and some other men were hiding in mail sacks right before they made the bust.} In the trial the crook revealed the harassment campaign, and Mr. H___ told my parents about it soon afterwards. But no one bothered to tell me.)

…………………….

In my next dream I was back at SHSU in a dorm room in Kirkley, trying to deal with having a room-mate. I wandered out into the hallway and started crunching numbers, and realized my family hadn’t given me enough money to get on the Meal Plan. How would I eat that semester? Then I went back into my room.

In another dream I was at a lake in the country, possibly in the Adirondacks. My father was a guide or something by the name of “Tom Vanderbilt.” I found mentions of him in the indices of books and in newspapers. When I looked up the reference I learned that my father’s bosses were sabotaging him, screwing him over financially, and systematically destroying his boats and canoes in order to get him out of their way.

……………………

I got up in mid- to late-afternoon, went over to Petsmart, and after an extensive search for dog treats that weren’t from fucking China, I settled on a foot-long treat made of woven rawhide, along with two small Halloween-themed treats. Then I went to the dollar store and got a few things for myself. There was a notice on the front door saying they had discontinued selling balloons for the time being “due to the national helium shortage.”

(I had no idea such a thing was going on. And who the hell is using all of our helium? I joked to the clerk–another case of trying to talk down on a level that the hoi polloi might understand–that probably when everything goes to shit all the leaders of the world will just fly off in big balloons.)

On the way home I saw two more of those Lovecraft stickers.

Later in the evening, I took Belle on another walk, and met and got into a fairly lengthy conversation with an older lady, Frances, and a younger woman, whose name I’ve forgotten. It was very late before I got to my tutorials, and I had to quit halfway through because I was getting tired and the instructor just seemed to be babbling gibberish to me.

Later on, I watched “Side Street” with Farley Granger, and read a bit in “Breakfast With Scot,” before retiring after 9am.

Thursday, October 25th–I dreamt I returned to the backward, benighted region that is East Texas. I was in the company of three to five other people, including my “pseudo-parents.” By this I mean there were two people who in the dream were supposed to be my parents, but looked nothing like the ones I had in real life. Paradoxically, these pseudo-parents weren’t actually seen in the dream–they were just vague, amorphous figures glimpsed out of my peripheral vision. There presence was merely felt.

Anyway, we were going to visit country singer George Jones, who was supposedly a friend of my parents. We arrived at his farm, and spent some time inside a dark, old house, but I don’t recall ever actually seeing or meeting Jones.

The main thing I remember about the farm was that all of the female animals there were abnormally fertile, with a huge number of offspring, so there were constant comments about how the male animals on that farm were having lots of sex. We even made a comment as we were driving away, about one male animal (of what kind?), who was sitting in the open window of a barn by the front gate. We said the poor fellow looked exhausted from his duties.

We turned left out of the gate and onto a country road, but just as we did so, some white trash guy on a bicycle turned onto the road from a minor road opposite from the Jones Farm, and cut right in front of our car. I was furious, and commented, “How DARE that white trash filth cut in front of our car?!” I was in the front seat (though I doubt I was driving–I don’t drive in real life, and I really don’t have dreams about driving), and someone in the back hissed quietly, “I think he heard you!” “Well, good, I hope he did! He has no business getting in our way. Who does he think he is?”

(The cyclist was probably in his thirties, with long, stringy, dirty blonde hair, dirty, disheveled clothes, and the hard, ugly, angry features that indicated poor breeding, a poor diet, incarceration, substance abuse, and an inordinate amount of time spent outdoors.)

We drove on about one or two miles, stopping at a building where George Jones was doing a concert in an hour or so. It was a low, one-story building with white shingled siding, measuring maybe 125 feet long and 50 feet deep. It served as a community center, music venue, and store.

The stage was set up, oddly enough, opposite the entrance door along the long side rather than at the end, and much of the room was filled with folding metal chairs. We lined up to buy tickets in front of the stage, and I noticed along the walls white folding cafeteria tables, holding a variety of objects, and fruit crates, which were jammed with dusty, worn books which were for sale.

I noticed back and to my left out of my peripheral vision, the white trash cyclist, who was carrying a tire tool and was in the company of one friend. I knew immediately he wanted to hurt me. I made no attempt to alert my party as to my danger. (In real life, my parents would’ve almost certainly sided with the cyclist over me, and scolded me for my hatred of and snooty contempt for white trash. I was always the snob of the family.)

My pride was at stake here, but I also realized that I was scared of this guy. It enraged me to be scared of someone I considered to be so very much my inferior. I noticed what looked to be an over-sized clarinet on the table to my right. I thought if I had to fight this guy I could possibly use the clarinet as a weapon.

I forget exactly what he said to start our talk, but I wasn’t sure that he actually did hear me call him white trash, though clearly he picked up on my contempt for him and wanted to humiliate me. No, apparently the problem was that he resented strangers in his neck of the woods. I didn’t actually apologize, but I sounded more apologetic than I’d planned.

I explained that my parents were friends of “Mister Jones” (I thought adding the title would sound respectful, even though I despised and felt contempt for all the people in his locality–God, how I hated having to humble myself before this filth!), and I said we had gone by his farm to visit him, and now had decided to stay for the concert.

I don’t know what else was said, but the tension was high. I expected the guy to strike out at me at any second (he and his friend had already taken their seats in the front row while I remained standing), and he was definitely making me squirm. It took an incredible effort on my part not to reveal my anger or contempt, and I was worried I was showing too much fear and cowardice. I was filled with rage that anyone so far beneath me was daring to put me in this position. It was intolerable!

Finally, in a sarcastic tone of voice that left a great deal implied, he set down terms by which we would thereafter get along. He wanted to seal it with a handshake. I don’t even like having physical contact with clean people, and this guy was filthy in every sense of the word.

But I reluctantly took his hand. He twisted my wrist so that the back of my hand faced upwards, and he leaned in, hocked deep within his throat, and spat out a prodigious amount of yellow-brown spit all over the back of my hand, which then spilled over the sides and down my fingers. This, he indicated, was a local custom for sealing pacts. How I hid my revulsion I cannot imagine.

Finally I disentangled my hand from his and let the spit drip to the floor. I gave a weak smile and made a comment that he must’ve had fried eggs for breakfast. His fake smile disappeared, and I could tell I insulted him. I gestured to his friend, who was sitting to his left, and indicated that I meant the consistency of his spit indicated he’d probably recently eaten greasy eggs. The friend muttered this into the guy’s ear and he seemed to understand.

I then looked around for something upon which to wipe my hand, and the guy seemed insulted again, but I gave some lame explanation that I needed to have dry hands for something I wanted to do. I wiped my hands, then set about exploring the crates of books along the walls, and the guy seemed pacified.

But I slowly made my way around the walls and out the door, with the intention of going back to the place where my party was staying, and returning during the concert with guns. I also needed to thoroughly cleanse my hands from such a disgusting profanation. A mere washing with soap and water wasn’t going to be enough. I’d need rubbing alcohol, possibly bleach, holy water, and I don’t know what all else. And I’d have to wash in a ritualistic pattern, in combinations of three and six, washing myself over and over again until I was reasonably satisfied the filth was expunged from my flesh.

And as for the killing? I would either stride into the music hall in full view of everyone, go up to the front row, and shoot the two white trash men in their stomachs or faces, or would sneak in along the walls, go up to the front row, and shoot them at a point when the music was loud and the crowd was too distracted by George Jones and his band to notice what I was doing. Either way, this series of insults would be avenged.

………………….

I got up in the late afternoon/early evening and did the usual. A mere nine tutorials seemed to take over two hours. It was exhausting.
In the wee hours of the morning, Belle vomited some clear liquid, then an hour later vomited a great deal of food.

I watched episodes 9 and 10 of “Civilsation,” read in Genet, and retired close to 10am.

Friday, October 26th–I awoke at 7:26am. I took Belle out. She had diarrhea trouble tonight.

I got an IM from my friend M___, with news about his former friend MM.

I’m pretty sure I discussed MM in “Withholding.” He used to be M___’s main running buddy. He’s the same age as me, but always seemed older, disdainful, and contemptuous, which always rubbed me the wrong way.

We went to SHSU together. He was a film student, and an insufferable, pretentious snob. He also saw himself as God’s gift to women.

In those days I was a conservative Republican and he was a liberal Democrat, but somewhere over the passing decades we switched sides.

He was a low-talker, in a way that forced people to lean in towards him. He also had a sharp, unpleasant, medicinal odor that accompanied him at all times. I never quite narrowed down what it was, but the closest I could come to was a very strong acne medication.

By some snafu of the consistently fucked-up SHSU Housing Office, MM got paired as my room-mate in the Fall of 1984. I ran him off in two weeks by chain-smoking cigars, and keeping the phone unplugged. (He was trying to start a student organization, and his contacts had a nasty habit of calling early in the morning and waking me up.)

But MM persisted and managed to escape Texas, move out to Hollywood, and get a little success in the film business. At some point in the 1990s, he had job interviews in the same week with Dick Clark Productions and Joss Wheedon’s Mutant Enemy Productions (which was then making “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”). Both outfits offered him jobs and he turned both down. Dick Clark himself followed MM out into the parking lot and said to MM, “You’re a very talented young man, and I do wish you’d change your mind.”

But MM’s mind was made up, or rather, it had been made up for him. He had met some loser chick who convinced him that show business wasn’t for him, and that they’d both be better off back home in Texas, doing “normal jobs.” (And you wonder why I’m so down on marriage?!)

So MM left Hollywood, moved to Colorado for a time, married this bitch, divorced her, then wound up back in the Houston area, driving a truck for the HEB grocery chain.

I saw MM around 2003 or 2004, when he and M__ came up to Austin for a concert. MM had lost none of his condescending manner nor his ability to annoy me. He also looked terrible. He had the worst sort of male balding I think I’d ever seen, or maybe it’s just that he had a really ugly skull.

MM injured himself on the job somehow, and spent months recuperating at home, passing the time in an Adam and the Ants chat room. There he met some gal from Indiana or Illinois. They decided they were soul mates, and fell in love, and she said she’d leave her husband and children if MM would drive up to Indiana and get her. So he did and she did.

She moved in with him in Conroe-fucking-Texas, and it soon became apparent that she had mental and possibly substance abuse problems. She claimed she was going to seek treatment for them, but always seemed to have an excuse about putting off doctor visits.

I forget all the details, but things got so bad that MM got sick of her bullshit, and called up the other guy she was fucking on the side (she’d been unfaithful to MM within a matter of weeks), and he told the guy he could have her with his compliments, that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Two days later the other guy showed up at MM’s door, apologetic, saying he was giving her back.

Finally, MM walked away from the whole mess, taking a job as a truck driver for a defense contractor working in Afghanistan. And that’s the last I heard of him until today.

M___ IM-ed me, said he’d sent something to my e-mail, and warned me to prepare myself:

Well, it turns out that MM got a sex-change operation last year, and now goes by the name “Monica Ann.”

I saw some pictures. What was an ugly man is now a seriously ugly woman. MM in women’s clothes, with lipstick, and wig looks like a cross between Ayn Rand, Bette Davis in her sixties, and a past-her-prime call-girl that works out of airport hotels.

I laughed for hours about this. I told M___ it was like a sub-plot on “Arrested Development.”

…………..

I did the usual things this evening. I watched episodes 11 and 12 of “Civilisation,” read some in Genet, and retired around mid-morning–or was it noon?

Journal Entries (October 13th–19th, 2012).

Saturday, October 13th–I had a dream that took place in a rocky, rather barren-looking piece of property in the Texas Hill Country. I lived out there with two people who were supposed to be my parents, but didn’t really look like them. (You know how in dreams there are often characters who are present, but you never really see their faces, and they don’t do much of anything.)

Anyway, a young 1920s couple was moving into a house on the property. They wore 1920s clothes and drove a 1920s car. (The wife looked too conservative to be called a flapper.) I have no idea how they got into this time period.

I attempted to amuse everyone by using what I thought to be a characteristic 1920s expression: “Well, I hope after you all settle in you’ll give me the full leather-bound tour of the house!” No one laughed or even responded, which rather annoyed me.

Everyone in the group–there may have been more people there than just my parents–piled into a car–a 1920s car, I think, with the woman at the wheel, and we headed over to the house this couple was to occupy. But the woman was a terrible driver, and the unpaved road was bumpy, and covered with rocks and pitted with pot-holes.

I was in the back seat, attempting to eat soup out of a china bowl, and this stupid woman hit such a big pot-hole that almost all of the soup flew out of the bowl and onto the front of my shirt. I screamed obscenities, then shocked the others–my mother especially–by angrily flinging the bowl out of the window, smashing it onto the rocks.

I got angrier and more obscene. I threw open my car door before the woman even had time to stop the car. I jumped out of the car, calling the woman all sorts of names, then tore open her door, and yanked her hard by the wrist out of her seat. My rage and tantrum got worse and worse. And there the dream ended.

(I’ve noticed a lot of rage and anger in my dreams lately. I don’t think this should really surprise me, considering all the things I’ve been enraged about lately in my waking life.)

……………………..

It looks to have rained a decent amount today. I got up in the evening, did the usual, and finished my G-Mail tutorials. I read more in Fleming, started Charles Bukowski’s “Dangling In the Tournefortia,” then watched “Illegal” and “The Big Steal” again for the DVD commentaries. It rained again during the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, October 14th–I had another dream where I was exploring my old hometown of Katy, Texas, where I’ve not lived since 1973. All I remember is that I was going south down Avenue D, a few blocks from my first home in Katy. I passed the old dental clinic I used to go to. It looked like only half of the building was used as a dental practice, with the other half rented out to a different tenant. And my old dentist no longer practiced, though one of the four dentists listed on the front of the building had his surname, so perhaps his son had also pursued dentistry.

I thought about how my old dentist used to play country music in his clinic, and how the treatment rooms all looked out onto private walled gardens, and how his wife was my Sunday School teacher when I was in Kindergarten, and had taped me talking way back then, and claimed she’d save the tape for when I was older. (All of these things are true, by the way.)

……………………

Some friends over the years have enjoyed describing me as “a ticking time bomb.” I fear I might seriously lose my shit if the Romney/Ryan ticket wins and the fucking ignorant white trash Tea Buggers start strutting around in triumph.

………………

There are times when I feel the craziest that I realize I am surrounded by negative, unpleasant, discouraging people, who for whatever reason, don’t treat me as a person of value. For the last few years I’ve become increasingly asocial, but when I stop to consider how many people in my life specialize in trying to make me feel bad about myself, whether they intend to do this or not, it seems to me that retreating from the world, into an environment that is mostly just me, Belle, my books, and my movies (and unfortunately, a lot of assholes on the Internet), is for the time being, quite possibly the most healthy thing I can do.

……………..

Was today the day when, while walking Belle, I finally saw the neighbor who has a black rabbit as a house pet? I’ve seen the rabbit before, but I wanted to talk to the owner about the logistics of that. The woman, who also has a black cat, was sitting on her balcony, with the rabbit in her lap. She said the rabbit is very obedient, clean, and well-behaved. He nibbled on a lamp cord once, and she told him not to do it again, and he never has.

I finished Ian Fleming’s “Live And Let Die.” Later I listened to the DVD commentary for “Act of Violence.”

Monday, October 15th–I got up around 9pm or so, and what little was left of the day was spent with the usual logistical preparations with me and Belle. Then I did some book scanning.

Tuesday, October 16th–As the day turned into Tuesday, I puttered some more, then listened to the DVD commentary for “Murder Street.” The disk drive of my computer was gummed-up and slowing down the disk, so I resolved to get a disk cleaner at Office Depot.

James IM-ed me, saying he was coming into town later. I told him I was about to leave, to go run a bunch of errands. He said he’d call after a certain number of hours, and I said I’d call him when I got home. This was presumably with the idea of going to lunch.

Eventually, I left the house. A light mist was falling. I went over the the UPS Store to buy some stamps and mail some letters. I walked under the freeway and around Seton Northwest Hospital. I noticed that out in the little park that was carved out from the scrubby forest to the east of the hospital, they’d built a rather basic stone labyrinth with a large, bench-like stone in the center. The mist was getting heavier by the time I finally got to Office Depot.

I bought a CD/DVD Lens Cleaner and a can of compressed air, paying a lot more than I’d planned. I went back under the freeway and had a rather modest breakfast at McDonald’s.

As I was walking over to my bank, I caught whiff of a woodsy scent that smelled like my late father. It was something of a sense-memory, and it rattled me a bit. But then I decided it was the smell of freshly-cut wood. Perhaps the grounds-keppers at the shopping center had recently trimmed some tree branches.

I cashed a check at my bank, then went over to a bus stop to wait for an express bus. A young woman walked by with her cute little white dog, towards whom I cooed, and who was in a playful mood, and kept dancing up on his hind legs and getting his front paws tangled in his leash. This made it look like he was waving his front paws around–something Belle does when she’s feeling playful.

On the way into town I noticed many of the flags were at half-staff. I was pretty sure the official mourning for Neil Armstrong was over, and the last I’d checked, George McGovern was dying, though not yet dead.

When the bus pulled up alongside the library, I let out with an “Oh shit,” because there was a mob of people out in front. I assumed there’d been a bomb threat and that the building had been evacuated.

But a large number of the crowd broke away, just as another by-stander explained to me that those people had just gotten off a tour bus. They then piled into the Austin History Center next door.

I learned that the library doesn’t open until 11am now–it used to be 10am–so I had about twenty minutes to kill. The stench outside was terrible from all the homeless people gathered out front. I saw a sign to the left of the main entrance, which stated that the lined formed there. What line? I assumed this had to do with some other event that happens or would happen at another time.

I got bored and took out some blank index cards and a pen from my pocket. Musing over eyesore quality of Austin architecture, I started wondering how the city would look if rebuilt to my taste. So I looked at the big, hulking, ugly parking garage across the street, and re-drew it in a Neo-Classical style.

About 10:58am I saw some stupid, trashy-looking, smug young man crossing Guadalupe in the middle of the street while the traffic was against him. He smirked because he got away with it. The police guard was just beginning to unlock the doors–first the exit door, and then the entrance door.

The young man walked right into the entrance door before the cop had finished with the process, and before the cop had told everyone it was okay to come inside. He sent the kid back outside, explaining that the people in the line got to go inside first. It was only then that I noticed that there was indeed a line of people and not just a disorganized mob next to that sign.

The kid turned and went back outside with another smirk. He clearly thought he was quite clever and that all the rest of us would be looking at him with either secret or overt admiration at his boldness and coolness. I’ve seen that sort of behavior and that smirk, on white trash and on teenagers ever since I was myself a kid.

I take it the line was for people who wanted to reserve a computer. I didn’t pay much attention. I went instead to the Circulation Desk, turned in those of my materials which were due, renewed my card for another year, and paid a fine. After about an hour’s browsing, I found some more DVDs and books, checked them out, and went on my way, my clothes vile with a fecal stench from the bodies of the patrons. It seems such a shame that Austin will soon be getting a brand-new Central Library, only to have it ruined immediately with dirty people.

I had about a twenty- to thirty-minute wait for the express bus. Towards the end of that ride I started to wonder if the pregnant woman sitting opposite me was one with whom I had been quite smitten years ago. She looked somewhat like the woman I knew in the face, especially the mouth and maybe the eyebrows. She had the same coloring, the same bad taste in clothes and shoes.

But I finally decided it wasn’t her. I’ve seen some pictures of her from a few years ago on Facebook, and I doubt her features could’ve become so coarse in such a short time. I’d not heard of her marrying and/or getting pregnant (and I’m still in touch with people who know her). And the last I heard she was gainfully employed, so there was little chance she’d be riding around on a bus, even an express bus, in the middle of the day. Plus, I’m pretty sure she’d have recognized me and I her.

I’d largely given up on the idea of her years ago, but I still catch myself entertaining the fantasy of being involved with her. But I always try to apply rigorous logic to matters of the heart, and it was very obvious to me that any relationship between the two of us would’ve been a huge disaster. Though I found her attractive, and she had many admirable qualities, I suspect her values were just too suburban and conventional for my taste. And I’m convinced she wants to spend her life close to her family here in Texas, whereas I am frantic to get as far away from Texas as I possibly can.

At any rate, I got off at the corner of Braker and Jollyville, and got a Slurpee at a gas station. The clerk tried to guilt-trip me into making a contribution to the local children’s hospital, which is named after that vulgarian asshole Michael Dell.

I went over to HEB for more groceries. I’ve noticed that if I shop there in the early- or mid-afternoon, there always seem to be masses of certain and similar kinds of customers around, as if they’d been bused in. One day it was all old folks. Another day retarded and crippled people. Today it looked to be criminal types and halfway house residents. I think I saw only one attractive person the whole time.

I lugged my groceries back in the mist. Belle was of course glad to see me, and though I took her for a walk, once we got back inside, and I stripped off for a shower, she got very upset, and whined and ran around, only to poop on the newspapers. I wish she’d learn that the walks outside are when I’d like her to do her business–not once we get back inside.

James had not called. I left him a message, and naturally, he didn’t have the simple consideration to call me back. I puttered around, and didn’t retire until about 7:35pm.

Wednesday, October 17th–I woke around 3:30am, needing to piss. I did so, then went back to bed, very tired and sore still, but I couldn’t get back to sleep, and finally got up around 3:50am. I walked Belle a couple times, then watched last night’s Presidential debate.

I finally heard from James. He’d suddenly gotten sick yesterday, and didn’t come to town, but he didn’t offer an adequate explanation for why he wasn’t able to make a quick call or e-mail and just say, “I’m sick.”

During the morning I started watching one of the movies I’d checked out, the Robert Downey “Sherlock Holmes,” but the much-scratched DVD froze up about sixteen minutes in.

The day dragged along, I stayed tired and sore, and finally went back to bed to read. I started Michael Downing’s “Breakfast With Scot,” then read more in Bukowski, but put off the Genet. Then I fell asleep and slept a lot longer than I’d planned.

Thursday, October 18th–I woke, a little shocked at the hour, at 1:32am. I had to take Belle out three times before 8am. I took a shower, then gave Belle a thorough going-over with the flea comb. In late morning I watched “Shutter Island,” and was pleased to see my theory, that the main plot twist was very similar to that in “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” was borne out.

James and Nyssa came by, took me to lunch at their favorite restaurant (and one of my least-favorites), Chuy’s, and then for a quick run to Randall’s. At lunch I outlined my plan for what I’d do after the election if control of the U. S. Government was in my hands: Mitt Romney would spend the rest of his life in a Federal prison. Paul Ryan would be immediately executed, as would Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, and all the Tea Party Leaders. Every citizen who had been active in the Tea Party would be sent to a work camp for twenty-five years. In that way, the older, more stubborn members would die in custody, and the younger ones would have their spirits broken.

James had just been to the doctor, where he’d had a lot of blood taken, and so he was rather weak.

In the last two minutes of the visit, right before I was dropped off, he started in with that “YOLO” shit, finding excuses to use it in every other sentence, and surmising, correctly, that it would get on my nerves.

Had he not been in ill-health, I told him, I’d have taken off my shoe and beaten him with it.

After I got home, I walked Belle again, then took another shower. As I was getting undressed I noticed a big vein along the calf of my left leg. It wasn’t quite a varicose vein, but it was quite apparent, and seemed to emerge from what looked like a burst blood vessel near my knee.

I tried and failed to finish the Bukowski book–I was just too tired. I went to bed at 10pm.

Friday, October 19th–In one dream, I was back at my old SHSU dorm, Kirkley Hall, which was demolished back in July. I minutely explored the cafeteria and the hallway outside of the cafeteria, paying special attention to the walls and other details. In a few cases my memory played tricks with me, and I added elements that had never been there.

In another dream I was living in a room in a big old house. I had a neighbor I hated (there’s a big surprise) who lived in the room to my left. He was a tall young man who at times seemed to have a light moustache and wisp of a beard, and who made a lot of noise. I don’t know if he hated me as well or had it in for me, but he was quite inconsiderate.

I looked out the peephole at one point, to see what all the noise was, and he had a large number of guests outside the door with him. They were of all ages, and I assumed them to be members of his family, as well as some friends. They all seemed to have wet clothes or be in some state of undress, as if they’d all come back from swimming or cavorting in water. My neighbor was running around in white pants with the legs rolled up and golf socks with no shoes.

I went around and started looking out my front windows. The house was situated on a slight rise, and had an excellent view of whatever town it was located in. The area was beautiful, and columns of mist were rising out of the greenery all over the neighborhood below.

I realized that for however long I’d lived in this house, I’d never really taken a good look at it. I always rushed out of it in the morning, and rushed back in under the cover of darkness, and kept myself locked up in my room. So I went out onto the sloping lawn to get a good look at the house.

It was a large Queen Anne Victorian, with about two or three stories, an attic, and a basement, solidly built, with lots of porches and projections. The bricks, woodwork, and shingles were all rust red, though they’d probably been a sharp Pompeiian red when the house was first completed.

The roof was very complicated, and, I think, spoiled also, since there was a great deal of heavy modern machinery sitting up on top of it, including huge rectangular metal cases for the air conditioning and heating works, exhaust fans, and a huge pulley wheel. The latter was, oddly enough, exposed to the elements, and I saw my neighbor on the roof adjusting the wheel and the cable or rope that hung from it. The presence of this pulley told me the house must have an elevator–a feature I’d not realized before. I decided my house and town were actually kind of nice, and that I shouldn’t be wearing myself out, trying to find a way to out away. (This is of course one of those areas where the dream life and real life diverge. I’m still determined to get the hell out of Texas.)

……………………..

I woke at 10:04am, still very tired. I walked and fed Belle, then prepared myself a big bowl of vegetarian chili. While I was trying to eat that, she went into the bedroom and crapped on the newspaper.

I ran back to clean it up, and then she reared up on to my dining/computer table, and knocked down the bowl of chili. I yelled “NO!!!” to her, but it only turned her attention away from the bowl.

The bowl of chili didn’t spill all the way over, but landed right side up on my chair. And there was chili spilled on the floor and chair. She began eating the chili off the floor, I brushed the chili from the chair down to her, and as soon as she moved out of the way, I sat down and finished eating. And of course, she got a lot of left-overs.

I finished Charles Bukowski’s “Dangling In the Tournefortia.” Later I watched the first four episodes of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation,” and read a bit in Genet.