Journal Entries (April 9th-15th, 2013).

Tuesday, April 9th–I woke around 7am, much earlier than I’d planned. I did the usual things, then showered.

Around mid-morning or so, and into the early afternoon, I had a series of e-mail messages and phone messages [which stressed me out so much] my intestines seized-up, and I thought I was going to have explosive diarrhea. [It was more bullshit about DARS, SSDI, and jury duty.]

I puttered the rest of the afternoon, spending hours looking, but never finding, the architectural and site drawings for “Undershaw.” I suspect I have them somewhere, but in a format my computer is currently not hooked-up to read.

Later in the evening I read in Wharton and Nichols. By the time I’d finished, I was really tired. I retired around 11pm.

Wednesday, April 10th–I had a dream involving a fast-food restaurant called “Architects 10” or something like that, that was owned by a group of architects. And there was something involving me getting ready to leave from wherever I was, and looking through a series of armoires which had interesting double doors.


In another dream it was night-time or at least very dark, and some aircraft flew very low overhead, from east to west. It was either an oddly-shaped airplane or a space shuttle. It was heading for a crash landing. It disappeared past the tree tops, and then there was a big explosion.

I yelled an obscenity, ran out the back door of the house where I was staying, and down a two-lane road. Cars were going east and west, as though nothing had happened. I somehow caught up with “our” car, which was driving on its own, heading west, in the direction of the crash. I leaped in the right-hand passenger door, scooted over to the driver’s seat, took control of the car, did a sudden U-turn, and drove back to the house.


I was in a room with people lolling around on the floor and furniture. I wouldn’t call it an orgy, since I didn’t see any sex going on. I picked up a piece of paper from the cluttered floor and saw it contained all sorts of trivia questions about Serge Gainsbourg. I not only could answer them, I could expand on them as well, and I wanted to do so, to show off.

There was an older professor, sitting up in a chair, drunk with pleasure. He spoke some words in French to a young woman who was sitting on the floor at his feet. She translated to me, “You could be the new Serge Gainsbourg, you know, if only you go beyond your math and spelling and history.” And I responded with some weak excuse to the effect of, “I would, if I only knew how….”


I got up around 10am, still very tired. It was quite dark out, and I soon discovered we were having a driving rain storm. I took Belle out, but she soon realized she wanted no part of it. It had gotten cold as well.

After we’d eaten, I took a shower and had some coffee.

Thursday, April 11th–Another early day. It was okay and uneventful until I left my apartment.

During Belle’s second walk, I saw a short, skinny, eccentric older woman whom I’m sure I’ve seen around here before. she looked at us both like a sporting dog who has eyed a bird and is about to point. I turned my back to her, and positioned myself between her and Belle, to try and give the message that neither of us wanted anything to do with her, but she came over anyway, petted Belle, and chatted a bit.

Late in the afternoon, I went over to the dollar store and bought a great deal of stuff. I think it took me longer get get the bags properly packed and arranged than it did to actually shop. Naturally, when I got home, Belle was upset, so I walked her. I was upset as well, and eager to get back inside, and it took me awhile to calm down.

At the end of the evening I read more in Wharton and retired a little after 1am.

Friday, April 12th–I woke around 9:22am–much too early. The weather was actually kind of pleasant–neither too hot nor too cold.

For her second walk, I took Belle over to Phase Two of the complex, and we walked behind one of the buildings on the far side. I smelled smoke, and saw what appeared to be four trees with charred trunks. When we emerged from behind the buildings, I saw some of the maintenance men, hailed the main guy, showed him where the tress were, and he clambered down the hill, said they weren’t charred, but rather discolored with mold.

I called in to renew my prescriptions, and had some e-mail exchanges with my Case Worker….


One of my problems with perceiving the world is I still believe that people have the same appearance and life circumstances they did when I last saw them—10, 20, 30, or more years ago. It always shocks me when someone I remember as a small child is now married with children of his own.


Good Lord, how many fucking more hours is that annoying grounds crew going to mow, edge, and blow fucking leaves? And why do they come out like two days or more a week, every week? Fucking enough already!

I forget when I retired.

Saturday, March 13th–I finished reading Edith Wharton’s “Italian Villas and Their Gardens” this morning. It’s a very informative introduction to the subject, and a breezy read, with dreamy, exquisite illustrations by Maxfield Parrish. If the book has one flaw, it’s the one Edith Wharton herself found in it—her editors and publishers rejected her suggestion that the book include plans of the gardens. Wharton made up for that drawback with her superb powers of description.


I got up, very reluctantly, after about 12:30pm. I wanted to sleep longer, but Belle insisted I get up.

I lost part of another document after rebooting.

I puttered away the afternoon. I tried to tidy up and clean the apartment a bit, but only accomplished a little.


It’s one of the great flaws of the human brain that it refuses to conjure up sexy dreams when you try to force it to do so, especially when you’re beginning to wake up.


I don’t understand why a person who is not severely deaf needs to listen to the TV blaring. I especially don’t understand why people have to crank up the volume for sporting events.


I never really decorate my apartments because I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay before the money runs out and I’m kicked out. I’ve been in this apartment for nine years and it still feels temporary.


I hate when people expect me to say or do something, but then won’t spell it out to me. They’ll just leave the expectation hanging in mid-air between us, thinking I’m supposed to recognize what it is, to intuit it, and act upon it, when in fact, I’m probably bored out of my mind by our interaction, and I’m straining my social skills just to feign politeness and a facade of mild interest. Then when I fail to do what the other person expects, he or she gets frustrated and angry with me and goes off in a huff, and I go back to what I was doing before I was disturbed.

At least with Belle I always know what she wants–a walk, food, treats, a belly-rub, or a butt-scratching. Our communication is direct and easy to understand.


Someone posted this quote online–

“Be nice to everyone, always smile, and appreciate things because it could all be gone tomorrow.” –Ed Sheeran

I replied:

When my previous Basset Hound, Fred, was sick and dying in 2006, his health went up and down for weeks. Some days I didn’t think he’d last the night. Other times it seemed like he’d live for weeks more. Often I just hoped he’d live long enough for us to have one more weekend together. I knew it was all about to end, and I treasured every second I could get with him. As it was, he lasted two months.

Now in the last couple years my financial situation has been very bad. My mental health has been in a downward spiral. I worry that I could lose what little I have now, and I feel sort of like I did during those last two months of Fred’s life. I keep begging God or fate or what have you, “Give me another weekend. Give me another week or month with my dog and my home and my books. Give me a little more time before everything crashes down and the bottom falls out. Give me time before I lose everything and kill myself.”

So yes, I have been miserable, but I have been appreciative of what I still have.


In my previous apartment, I had a two-part bathroom. The first room contained the sink and a big closet, and the second room contained the toilet and tub. Since I lived alone and seldom had visitors, I always left the doors open.

And the inner door of the bathroom—the door to the second room in the bathroom—was at a right angle to the toilet, so that when I sat on the toilet I faced the bathroom door opened as far as it would go. And on the door, right at the level of my eyes, were two drips of white enamel paint.

And as time passed and I stared more and more at those blobs of white enamel paint I realized they looked like a scrotum—but not just any scrotum. They looked exactly like the scrotum of Hermes in the Praxiteles statue “Hermes and the Infant Dionysus.”


I read some in Bogarde and Howells before retiring in the wee hours.

Sunday, April 14th–I started seeing this dream from the point-of-view of an older woman who’d been hired to serve as a housekeeper, apparently in Sweden of thereabouts, for an older man who looked a lot like Max Von Sydow, and lived in a large, albeit uncomfortable house. He seemed intimidating at first, but told lots of stories.

She had arrived as it was getting dark, or perhaps it was already night-time. Eventually the woman decided she needed to whip up a meal, but to do so she needed to go into town and buy some food.
She got up to leave, and tried to pull closed a sliding lattice-work door made of tan wood. Her employer followed her, then watched her struggle down the front porch steps, which were ridiculously steep, and next to impossible for a normal person to negotiate. If she was going to stay on this job she’d have to have the stairs and other features of the house altered.

She went into town–I forget if she walked, drove, took a bus, or what, but she wound up at a popular local watering hole and turned into a young man. He took a seat at a table on the porch, along with some other young men who were already there, and began drinking and talking and laughing. The employer showed up as well, but he’d suddenly become younger and less serious, so the housekeeper had nothing to complain to the others about.

Hanging from the ceiling of the porch was a flat-screened TV, which was tuned to some anime. Supposedly it was “Full Metal Alchemist,” but since I’ve never seen that, I have no idea what it was. Some British anime fan show interrupted to program and attempted, by use of elaborate graphics and clips, to explain what the anime show was about, but it just seemed unnecessarily complicated to me.

The anime seemed to be built on the dream-within-a-dream concept, and one character in the first level story became to dream of another story. In this second dream, a little boy was tormenting his little sister (I forget if they were Japanese humans or some kind of odd creatures), out by the back stoop of their house. The little girl was dreamy and given to fantasy. The little boy gave her grief because after her stuffed bunny became too old and worn-out and dirty to play with, she buried him in a flower pot and planted a carrot over his remains, and the carrot was now bulging up over the level of the soil. The boy had just thrown something at the little girl when I woke up.


I got up reluctantly at about 2pm. Belle wanted a long walk, so we ventured over to Phase II. The weather was unpleasantly hot. I noticed some dirty shade-tree mechanic working on his truck as his slatternly common-law wife sat on the curb in the dirt and watched him. Such scenes were part of the reason I was never interested in cars and driving as a child–I didn’t want to become that guy, and I thought it improper for a man to get his hands dirty–ever….

[I received some seriously bad news today that made me almost suicidal with despair.]….


“There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream – whatever that dream might be.”—Pearl S. Buck


Really, this period of my life I’m going through right now–is it some sort of test to see just how miserable I can get before I finally get around to killing myself? I know it can get worse–I can certainly imagine ways in which it could get worse–but goddammit, there’s not too many ways left for it to get worse.

I asked J___ D. if he was going into town Monday and explained what all I needed to do. He said Tuesday would be better for him. Then he changed his mind and said he could do Monday, and said I should be ready by a certain time.

I had just finished a second cup of coffee and was wide-awake. I was pretty sure I couldn’t put myself to sleep any time soon. I explained that this put me in a bind, and he said he’d be coming into town one way or another, and implied I’d miss out if I wasn’t awake when he was around. He told me to call when I got up.

I read for awhile in bed in Bogarde, and retired in the wee hours.

I was severely depressed and having chest pains. I was really hoping a heart attack would kill me in the night. I tossed and turned for hours, unable to sleep, and tried to think if there was anything in the house I could get up and use to easily kill myself. I suppose I eventually fell asleep.

Monday, April 15th–I dreamt I had moved into a house, condo, or large apartment. Though it was comfortable, it was too large for me. I enjoyed all the extra space, but it was costing me too much. I tried to talk the owners into removing some of the rooms and wings during my time of residency, so I’d not have to pay so much.

I had a dream my friend J___ B___ had opened a small used bookstore, and had asked me to come in and help out and give her advice. The shop was about the size of my living room, and while many of the books were fairly old, there were broken sets, many of the books were missing dust jackets, and there was almost nothing of interest to collectors. And J___ was on the phone about some apartment or house she was renting that was much too expensive for her, and she was looking for a way to get the cost down.


I got up at noon and very soon after walking and feeding Belle I resumed my severe depression….

I called the County to try to get an extension or exemption for my jury duty, and explained my situation, and to make a long story short, I was told to go ahead and fill out the online form to apply for jury duty, and if I get a written excuse from a doctor later, I can always present it to the judge on the day of my assignment. So, in other words, I’ll be inconvenienced and forced to waste a day going to court one way or the other.

J___ and N___ came and got me. He gave me $200 in advance for the articles I’ll be editing while they’re off in Italy. I had to cash two checks–one for $60 and the other for $20, deposit $10, and get the rest in cash, but the background noise in the bank soon got me nervous and distracted and I got confused. J____ also had bank business there. In the parking lot I told them I’d been unsettled by “the fapping of the money-counting machine,” but I soon realized that was the wrong word, and that “flapping” was more appropriate.

We went to Threadgill’s for lunch, which was where we got the first reports of explosions taking place at the end of the Boston Marathon. I was so nervous and beside myself that I started eating the food the waitress placed in front of me, not realizing it wasn’t what I’d ordered. Then she brought out the correct order, so I basically had two meals in one. On the way out, I grabbed a bunch of free papers for Belle’s toilet usage.

We went to a car inspection place near Burnet Road, a short distance from where N___’s parents have their in-town apartment. We listened to more details of the story from Boston, and I looked over all the odd decor in the garage, which included CD cases for various country and country-rock acts, bumper stickers, right wing/Tea Bagger-type political signs, and faded Polaroids of rednecks showing off all the deer and other animals they’d just murdered. There were several bumper stickers for Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and I told N___ about how I’d told M____ to stop there when he was driving through Louisiana years ago, and how he’d had a wonderful meal and a very Charles Kuralt-esque experience in the town.

Next we went to the HEB on North Lamar. It was mobbed with people, all of whom seemed hell-bent on getting underfoot and getting in my way. I picked up and paid for my prescriptions in about a minute-and-a-half, and was in a great hurry to get out of there, but I was having trouble trying to hold two plastic envelopes of meds and also trying to get the receipt and my change into my wallet. I got very nervous and upset, and finally asked J___ to hold the bags, and I still didn’t calm down, and managed to run into the edge of some metal shelves and cut open a small wound on my shoulder. I think J___ was a little shocked at how upset I was and how in a hurry I was to get out of there.

From thence we went to the MT Super Market. I got six cans of vegetable stock, six bags of tofu faux meat chunks, and two boxes of pocky. The sacker there actually put my stuff into plastic sacks and not the recyclable bags I’d brought along. Outside, I grabbed more free papers to take home for Belle to pee and poop on.

Next we went to a fancy HEB up north. I might’ve enjoyed it more had I not been such a nervous wreck there. For some reason, I was having trouble finding things there.

I got even more nervous at the check-out line. J___ picked up about five or six large bottles of water he’d bought, stacked them one on top of another, tried to load the back into the cart all at once, but only succeeded in dumping them in there, making a loud crash. The cashiers and sackers in my line and next to us were all chattering and not really paying attention to what they were doing.

I had to buy bags for my purchases, and I got very worried and upset that they were going to mis-handle a magazine I had just purchased. I was afraid they’d bend the cover, or stick the magazine in a bag along with wet, frozen foods, or otherwise fuck it up. J___ and N____ read the distress in my face and grabbed the magazine and handed it to me.

I was exhausted by the time we left. They took me home, and J___ helped me unload all my stuff. Belle was especially loud and got me quite upset.

I took her for a walk, and she got interested in a huge, fuzzy tan dog that was being walked by some dopey-looking guy in shorts and flip-flops, who looked at least semi–retarded. Belle made a bee-line for the dog, even though I tried to hold her back.

Over by the north side of a fence surrounding a dumpster, Belle and the dog sniffed, then Belle got upset and started barking, and the other dog followed suit. I tried to pull Belle away and retreat, and goddamned if the stupid guy didn’t start leading his dog our way! I said, “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!,” then walked around to the south side of the enclosure to avoid the two, but damned if the stupid man hadn’t headed that way next. Then I tried to lead Belle east and the stupid fucker followed us for a bit, and then headed west. I think he may’ve tried one more attempt at collision before I finally shook him off and got Belle and myself to safety. Ignorant mother-fucker.

We went inside and I put up the groceries. I was hot, sweaty, angry, nervous, and anxious. Belle took awhile to calm down. I looked at images and reports of the tragedy in Boston, and my own personal tragedy unfolding [….]

A Bostonian whom I’m following online had these three messages posted:

“03:08 pm–Of course there’s an emergency on the T when I just need to get to the color lab before 3:30. Of course.

“I feel the entire globe is against me this month.”


“03:12 pm–Shit… something big is happening in Boston right now.”

And then:

“Oh god. I don’t like this.” (Text tagged as: an_explosion)

I showered and tried to cool off. I had coffee and cake, and talked with J___ D. on IM.

I forget when I finally went to bed.


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