Journal Entries (May 21st–27th, 2013).

Tuesday, May 21st–I got up around 4:30pm. It looks to have been overcast all day, with a little drizzle.

Some recruiter had left me a message. She’d seen me profile on “Linked-In” and wanted to see if I was interested in a one-week temporary editing job. I waited six or more hours before I bothered to replay the message and read her e-mail on my “Linked-In” page.

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Life is so incredibly, so unfathomably sad.

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If I am remembered at all it will be as a man who ate pizza with a knife and fork.

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I need to make a better effort to write down the music that’s playing in my head when I wake up. The other day it was “No Surprises,” but performed on a glockenspiel. This is not as odd as it might sound, since my parents were public school band directors and I was raised in band halls, banging around on musical instruments, but never mastering any.

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No, Facebook, I’m not gonna tell you where I went to high school. I don’t want those assholes looking me up and finding out how much worse I’ve done in life than they have.

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Okay, my shower and my 9pm “morning” coffee didn’t cheer me up. Those aren’t good signs.

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A follower asked me this yesterday and I only today got around to answering him:

Share 10 facts about yourself, then send to 10 of your lovely followers!

I cannibalized this from the old 25 Things About Me list that I made on Facebook years ago:

1—I don’t have a driver’s license. I’ve never owned a car, snow-skiied, water-skiied, or blown a bubble with bubble gum. I don’t know how to swim. I once went almost four years without going outside the Austin city limits. I didn’t set foot on an airplane until I was 42 years of age.

2—I whistle along with the classical music that’s piped in at bookstores.

3—I have a Pre-Columbian Aztec fertility god head in my secretary desk. It was formerly the property of Kenedy Ranch heiress Sarita Kenedy East. As fertility god heads go, it doesn’t work very well.

4—When I was a child I could tell the difference between the ABC, NBC, and CBS television networks based only on their audio, video, and lighting qualities.

5—Since childhood I have periodically experienced serotonin cascades in my brain. They are the most incredible physical sensation there is—bar none. Some people have told me it’s an indication that I have the potential to become a religious mystic, while others say it’s a sign of a seriously damaged brain.

6—I had my Richard Nixon impersonation perfected by the time I was seven.

7—I lost much of the hearing in my right ear when I was in college. I was listening to “Tannhäuser” on headphones with the volume way up and I heard something go “POP.” Nevertheless, my mother is convinced I have perfect pitch, though I don’t believe it. (I think I have relative pitch instead.)

8—I come up with unusual things to sing in the shower. Recent highlights have been a Sammy Davis version of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” (Get the “Hey, man” down and you’re home-free), and a Richard Burton spoken version of John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses.” (Note: Lately, Sir Hubert Parry’s “Jerusalem” has become a big shower-time favorite.)

9—I can remember in what magazine I saw a given article or photograph 30 years ago, but I can’t remember the name of the supervisor of my last job. (I’m terrible with names and faces—chiefly because I’m just not interested enough to learn them.)

10—My dreams are amazing—very visual and cinematic, in color, and with a hefty architectural component. I often dream of vast, dark cities, rather like Gotham City in the first Batman movie. My dream version of a city is always much better looking and more impressive than its real-life counterpart. It’s a shame I can’t show other people what my dreams look like—they’d be blown away.

Bonus—My favorite smells are old books, cedar wood, vanilla, various pipe tobaccos, frankincense, curry powder, and Basset Hounds. I’ve recently taken to sniffing curry powder right before I go to bed. Probably the most Bohemian Austin sort of thing I’ve ever done was I once spent the last $5.00 I had to my name on incense.

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Every time I see some asshole driving one of those ridiculous 1.5-ton, extra-long pick-up trucks–the kind too long to fit in a normal parking space–I think, “Gee, wouldn’t it have been cheaper for the driver to take out a full-page ad in his local newspaper, and run his photo, along with the caption, ‘I have a very, very small penis.’?”

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I’ve never understood why some intelligent people like to date morons.

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In my mail was a letter from the MAP (Medical Access Program) people–my source for access to City/County health care. Anyway, the letter pointed out that if my circumstances hadn’t changed, I could renew my MAP card, which expires this summer, through the mail. So I filled out the short form and will try to drop it in the mail tomorrow. I can’t believe how great that is, that I’ve been spared at least one major headache, which would include long, unpleasant bus rides to the other side of town, and a long wait in a lobby full of filthy, stinking people with shrieking children–all coughing, sneezing, and hacking without covering their mouths!

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Someone needs to come up with a word to describe the ignorant, paranoid squint that gun-nuts get when they think a movement is afoot to seize their guns or curb their “rights.” I’ve seen it often enough here in Texas to know it’s practically a syndrome.

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My occupation?

I sit all night at a desk in a very dark little apartment, listening to my Basset Hound snore, and waiting impatiently for my enemies to die.

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I read in Rilke before bed

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Wednesday, May 22nd–I dreamt something about seeing or even hanging out with Snoop Dogg and his buddies in a town that looked a bit like Santa Monica and a bit like an idealized college town. I kept seeing him in the rather charming, if pricey downtown area.

Later I got a job that seemed to be at the Huntington Library, Art Galleries, and Botanical Gardens. I had hoped they’d me move into an apartment in the attic of the Main House, but the woman who was my immediate supervisor didn’t say anything about it.

I’m forgetting details, but later in the dream, Vladimir Putin visited the Huntington and gave an important speech in a big room, and I was present.

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I got up in late afternoon, but I forget when.

I sent that lawyer I talked with last week an e-mail, asking for that material he was going to send me.

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It really, really wouldn’t kill you to not regard me as such a trivial, contemptible figure.

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You know how you can go to a batting cage, rent a bunch of baseballs and hit them, or you can go to a driving range, rent a bucket of golf balls, and hit them? Well, I wish there was a place where you could go, rent people, and beat them with a baseball bat for a certain amount of time. That would be a great stress-reliever for me.

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J____ D. and I got into an IM discussion. I explained that I’ve been in and out of public care from the City and County for about six years now, and nothing’s really helped. Not only am I not any better than I was in August 2007, I’m actually worse, and less-functional. Materially and mentally I am worse than I’ve been since my nervous breakdown from 2006 to 2007 after Fred’s death.

I said that while back then I at least had a tiny shred of hope about my future, now I have none. Even if the best-case scenario happens and I get quickly approved for SSDI and Medicaid, let’s say I’m in therapy a couple years before somebody decides I’m more or less “cured.” What then do I have to look forward to? Call center jobs until I turn 65? Then after that, what? Will I have to move into some efficiency apartments for indigent men, or couch-surf in the basements of the adult children of my dead friends?

He assured me that if his employer strikes oil that things will be great for me, but I’m not holding my breath.

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3 am is an awfully peculiar time for someone to be moving out of an apartment.

I just took Belle for a walk around the complex and saw a U-Haul truck in one of the parking lots. Some guy ran from it back to a building. (Now tell me, have you ever, when participating in a house move, felt like running?)

I acted as if I didn’t notice anything, walked my dog for another seven minutes or so, and then the guy got into the truck and left quickly.

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Thursday, May 23rd–I woke around 7pm.

It’s never a good sign when you wake up, take your dog outside for a walk, and see cop cars and a crime scene van in your parking lot.

It actually took me awhile to even notice all that stuff. My eyes were still bleary and unfocused, and my downstairs neighbor’s little gang-banger buddy was squatting on the curb in front of my apartment, waiting for my neighbor to come outside.

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J. Alfred Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons. I measure out mine in fits of rage, suicidal ideation, and crying jags.

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It’s one of those days when I feel like taking the dull end of my hatchet to my skull, and just smashing and smashing until all the shit stops.

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Someone on the Tumbler posted a photo of a tea bag with the inscription: I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.–Jorge Luis Borges

I posted in response:

This is an example of how translations leave a lot of stuff out.

Borges is my favorite writer, and I have long considered this for an epitaph. Tumblerian book lovers are fond of posting this line in various ways.

I decided to research the line. Another translation says, “I, who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library.”

I have a few Borges books in the original Spanish, so I looked this up and saw the line originally was, “Yo, que me figuraba el Paraíso bajo la especie de una biblioteca.”

“…under the species (or form) of a library.”

That’s the language of Catholicism right there. When Catholic theologians try to explain Transubstantiation, they say that the Body and Blood of Christ appear “under the form and image” or “under the species” of bread and wine. It’s considered a Divine miracle and a Sacrament.

So what Borges is doing is not merely saying that he thinks Heaven will be one big library, he’s comparing the experience of being in a library and communing with books and reading to be, for him, a Sacrament akin to the Eucharist, wherein the human gets to partake of the Divine, and any afterlife or Heaven, for him, would involve an eternal continuation of that communion between the Reader and the Book.

And then a dialogue began between the original poster and me:

OP–I love what your insight on the Borges quote; I had no idea about the original translation and what you added made it that much more meaningful to me 🙂

Me–Funny thing is that insight is only about two weeks old. I concluded all that one night after someone posted a photo of the line painted or carved on something–a door or a rock or something–and I realized I’d not seen the line translated that exact way in my Borges books. So I checked my various translations and then the original. Then the extra layer of meaning jumped out at me.

OP–What a coincidence! Well I have to say you vastly improved the post, and for that I thank you. I’ll have to explore some Borges books later because based on your translation it sounds like his writing must be so eloquent and beautiful. Thanks for opening my eyes 🙂

Me–I think what kicked all this off was I saw a book of interviews with the new Pope, and he talked about being friends with Borges in Buenos Aires, and weighed in on whether Borges was as big an agnostic as he was supposed to have been. I then went home, started looking here at the “Borges” tags, and it went from there.

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I never understood as a child, nor do I understand as an adult, what people mean when they say they need to teach their children “the value of money.”

I say this because people still claim I haven’t learned the value of money. At my age I find that rather hard to believe.

I know how much money it takes to buy this and that. I know that you have to do a certain number of hours of usually miserable, bullshit work to get the money to buy things.

I know that if I earn $10 an hour digging ditches, and I buy a meal in a restaurant that costs $10, that the meal cost me an hour of digging ditches.

I explained this to a friend, and he said I still missed the point. He gave an explanation, but I forget what it was because it made no sense to me.

I’ve met few people who have hated their various jobs quite as much as I have. Every second I’ve spent on most of them has been agony. But I gather that the people who like to hold forth, Hank Hill-style, about “the value of money,” assume that knowing what that is necessarily involves extreme frugality, and I am not a frugal man.

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One of the chief problems in the world is the grossly inflated importance people attach to sex and sexuality.

I read all these posts about people wringing their hands over such trivial things and I just want to ask them, “Do you really have nothing better to do than fuss over this?”

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Now I’ve made no secret of my general hatred of mankind.

But it would never occur to me to talk in a loud, full voice, in front of a group of apartments at almost 2am. It’s rude. It’s ill-mannered. It’s inconsiderate. Despite the fact I stay up all night, sleep all day, and have no job to go to, I know that most of my neighbors do have to sleep and work at “normal” times. So it always astonishes and shocks me when people do make noise in the middle of the night in callous disregard of the people sleeping in the vicinity.

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Summer is always my least-favorite time of year. Summer is an ordeal for me to endure, chiefly because it’s so unbearably hot here in Texas.

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Well, the latest version of my infamous Big-Ass Soup is the best one in awhile.

I am a terrible cook, and most of what I prepare tastes awful, but this was okay. Sometimes the soup tastes bad at first, but after a few days settles in and improves, but this was good from the start.

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I read in Rilke before bed.

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Friday, May 24th–I dreamt I landed a new office job–long hours, no freedom to come and go, bosses breathing down my neck, deadlines, long, boring staff meetings, having to make small talk with co-workers. I was frantic to figure out a way to get fired so I could end that horror.

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I think there were rain and thunderstorms all day long and into the night. Belle even cut our first walk short because it was raining too heavily for her taste.

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Today was the 100th anniversary of the wedding of Princess Viktoria Luise of Germany to Prince Ernst August, the future Duke of Hanover. It was the last major gathering of royalty before World War I, and to my mind, the peak of history. Everything’s gone downhill since then.

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I have sworn upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of camel case.

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I re-arranged some books and magazines in my bedroom, making more room for the passage into the bathroom.

I watched another episode of “Hannibal,” which of course cheered me up a little.

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I am really running out of room in this apartment.

Some things are stacked as high as they can safely go.

I can’t afford this place, and the cheaper apartments in town are nasty and unsafe. I can’t afford to rent a storage facility either.

And I can’t easily access everything I won because some things are behind or under other things.

And I have other problems to worry about as well….

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I thumbed through a Gore Vidal book and read in Rilke before bed.
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Saturday, May 25th–Again, it seems that it rained off and on for most of the day. Belle finally got me up around 6:30pm, though I was not ready to get up. I took her for a walk, fed her, then went over to Petsmart, bought her a bunch of treats with that money from […], and got stuff for myself at Dollar Tree with most of what was left on my Food Stamps card. This outing left me hot and sweaty, and I soon showered.

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So…more of this bullshit apparently.

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I saw a new meme called “Old Economy Steven,” featuring some of the bullshit advice and bromides people (such as my mother) give to younger people who are being fucked over by the current economy. I reblogged some of these images, and made the awkward observation:

I’d like to drive spikes through the foreheads of several people I know and post print-outs of these onto those spikes.

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The rains caused major flooding in San Antonio.

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After my second walk with Belle:

I stepped out of my front door just now to take Belle for a walk.

There were two guys outside—one on a phone, the other standing alongside looking blank and stupid. They were pointing at apartment numbers and shaking their heads.

I asked, in my clear and well-modulated voice, “Are you lost?”

Nothing. No response. No noddings of heads. No acknowledgement of my presence. No civility whatsoever.

It was like being on the goddamn Tumbler, where you can ask people direct questions and not get the slightest fucking response.

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It’s exhausting being this angry and depressed and sad all the time.

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Someone posted a video of the Austin Steam Train. I told the story:

I did a reading there one Christmas for the “Polar Express” event. “Local celebrities” were supposed to read, one didn’t show, and I, who was there to sell books for the children’s bookstore I then worked for, was asked to read in her place.

I quickly discovered that because of the noise of the train and the passengers, I couldn’t just stand at one end of the car and project my voice—I had to walk up and down the car, pause a moment, and oscillate. As a result I…wound up sounding…more than…a little like…William Shatner.

But I was later told that I was the only one of the readers who was able to make himself heard.

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I am so goddamned angry at certain people now I could just fucking scream.

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Someone posted a “Generic Names for Soft Drinks” map of the US.

Me–I wince violently when I hear people say “soda” or “pop,” especially if they have an accent that I find annoying.

A follower responded–haha, I always say soda.
also what the fuck else are you green people calling it?

Me–Well, I have heard a recording of your voice, and at least you don’t have an accent that grates on me, like, say, a hooting, honking, moronic Minnesota accent, which of all American accents annoys me the most.

Follower–yeah, having family that have lived between Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Philadelphia as literate land owners for the last 300 years means I grew up having teachers tell me to stand up and say a word for them so the class could hear the “right way” to say things.

Me–It’s been remarked how little I sound like my relatives. My maternal grandfather had what I believe was called a High Plains accent, and pronounced both “tire” and “tar” as “tar.” My mother has sometimes taken on the accent of whoever she was talking to.

I have a nasal voice, I enunciate, and I tend to affect an accent that gets snottier as the social class and education level of the people around me gets lower. And also my vocabulary gets more dense and my sentence structures get more elaborate in such situations. Generally, if I don’t make other people feel inferior when I speak with them I don’t think I’ve properly done my job.

So when I was going to county/city group therapy a few years ago I really stood out from the crowd. I was the only person in the groups who didn’t use double-negatives, and when asked to read material aloud I did so with the voice of a professional broadcaster. Indeed, a few counselors took me aside privately and wanted to know where the hell I was from, since I really didn’t seem like I belonged with the rest of those people.

Some people think I sound Southern, but not Texan. A pronunciation quiz I took said my accent was North-Eastern, and not a few people have assumed I’ve lived at least part of my life in the UK. A local documentarian, to this day, refers to me as “the Brit,” because I enunciate so well.

In college, a great many classmates liked to imitate me, and the two main schools of imitation had me sounding either like Don Adams or Edward G. Robinson.

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Someone posted: have you ever been so wildly attracted to someone you can actually feel it driving you insane

I responded: Oh yes.

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First you couldn’t go anywhere online without seeing an emo kid posing for a picture with one hand clamped over his or her mouth. Now it’s all gals (and really skinny young guys) posing pigeon-toed. Stop it already! You look idiotic!

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Someone posted that they didn’t think the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear to be very much in love, and think they will eventually divorce. I wrote:

Just because a couple doesn’t give off a vibe that they can barely control themselves and would run off and have swing-from-the-chandeliers hot sex in the nearest dark corner the second other people look away doesn’t mean much.

Some people who seem in public to have a great relationship don’t. Some people who seem more like good buddies rather than hot-and-heavy lovers have extremely strong relationships. Some people will bide their time in a bad marriage, just waiting for the kids to grow up before they divorce. The “boring” member of a couple may turn exciting and the “exciting” one may turn boring. You never can tell.

But it’s always been my observation that the couples who feel the need to make the biggest public show are the ones that don’t last very long, especially if the relationship is strictly about sex and sexual attraction.

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Someone posted a link to an article called “The Advantages Of Being Single.”

I added: They left out the fact that you can sing whatever silly shit you want to in the shower without being judged, you don’t have to account for your whereabouts to anyone, you can use the bathroom and leave the door open, no one eats your food or drinks your alcohol, and you can let loose with talking baby talk to your animals without being ashamed, and on and on….

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Someone posted: you know when you listen to show tunes for an insane amount of time and at one point you start to feel drunk and feeling drunk on broadway is a wonderful feeling

Someone else responded: Yes. This. WHY IS MY LIFE NOT LIKE A 50’s MUSICAL?!

And I wrote: Just this week a friend and I were talking and he said that two of his life goals are to help me become famous and to outlive me. The reason for the latter is he wants to appear in at least five or ten minutes of whatever documentary is made about my life, so he can give his version of the story.

I thought about that a few seconds and said, “Well, there’s a lot of stories you could tell about me, both flattering and unflattering. But my guess is you’ll tell how, whenever I listen to Jim Broadbent singing ‘Like A Virgin’ from the ‘Moulin Rouge’ soundtrack I put a tea towel on my head and dance and scamper around the house, singing along.”

He said, “Yes, that’s the story I’m leaning towards.”

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I like the fact that Frederick the Great insisted on being buried with his dogs rather than his hated relatives.

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Ah, sickly yellow skies and driving rain. Now that’s more like it….

I read some more in Rilke before bed, but it is a slow, difficult book.

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Sunday, May 26th–I had some sort of dream where I was staying in a hotel in some city with a Basset Hound. I was sleeping on the floor beside the dog, and I think I was sharing the room with a woman who was supposed to be my mother.

A few times I went out in front of the hotel and stood in the parking lot or on the sidewalk with Frank Sinatra, who was hanging out there. It was rainy, and he was wearing a trench coat and a fedora. The second time I saw him he was wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, so people wouldn’t notice him. (Never mind the fact that it was rainy and cloudy outside

He smoked and we talked. I think he gave me advice….

……………….

I think it was around 7:30pm or later when Belle finally managed to get me up.

I think I would sleep around the clock nowadays were it not for her.

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Someone posted: the fact that people actually believe that they can undo decades of unchecked psychological damage with one of two cliched sentences and a cheesy compliment to top it off is insulting and quite comical

I responded:

Yep.

“Just get over it.”

“Forget it. It’s in the past. It’s ancient history.”

“Stop wallowing in self-pity and get on with your life. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and start living.”

“The only person responsible for what you’re feeling is you. Just change your bad attitude and you can change your life.”

Fucking cocksuckers.

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Monday, May 27th–Sunday flowed into Monday.

Someone made a post complaining about IT Help Desk people. I wrote:

Yeah, that reminds me of the time I got that foreign help desk gal who kept asking if I’d tried “Presenter.” I wondered to myself if this was some exotic application or something I’d never heard of before, but it turns out she meant “Press Enter,” but had a thick accent and didn’t speak English very well.

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Someone posted–if someone ever falls in love with me i will literally die of shock

I responded: Well, no one’s ever fallen in love with me—or at least, no one attractive and no one who has let me know—so if it ever happened I’d definitely be shocked. And at my age and in my circumstances, the likelihood seems near-impossible.

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Someone posted: At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you’re horribly bored and lonely…–Allie Brosh

I responded: I still have the negativity and sadness, as well as intense anger and bitterness. Also, lately I’ve noticed lots of doors slamming shut in my life. People I used to love or at least like I either don’t give a damn about or just outright hate.

Some of my interests have ceased to occupy me. I was in the library a few weeks ago, and passed up whole sections that I’ve always loved, thinking, “Well, I’ll never get to do that or have that, so why check out books to remind me about all these things I’ll be deprived of? Why check out travel books when I’ll never be able to go anywhere? Why read architecture books when I’ll never have a home of my own and can’t even pay for the apartment I have now, and have people trying to talk me into moving into a homeless shelter? Why read about relationships when no one will even talk to me?”

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Someone posted: I’m scared to grow up. what if I end up alone. what if my career choice plummets. what if all my friends are happily employed and in relationships. what if no one wants me.

I don’t want to grow up.

I responded: Adulthood is over-rated. It’s a big bag of stressful shit.

I remember reading that when people marry they tend to avoid the company of single people. I thought, “Oh, that will never happen to me. My friends are all wonderful people. They’ll still want to hang out with me after they get married.”

But I was wrong.

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Someone posted: Listen to what the world is telling you to do, and take the leap.

Me–Not the best advice for someone like me who has been contemplating jumping off a building for the better part of a year.

A follower–yeah I think you’re supposed to start a garage band or a boutique cupcake shop or something.

Me–That makes me want to paraphrase a line from “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:”

“We are … and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!”

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Someone sent me a message: I was going to send a please-don’t-jump-off-a-building message but I’m not good at that sort of stuff :(. Er I guess this is kind of it.

JSB–Thanks. People close to me keep pushing me further back into a corner and I’m running out of options. Out of work for two years. The state says I’m unemployable right now. Applying for disability and will probably be turned down 1st try. I’m not currently getting therapy, and my mom wants to cut me off and force me out of my apartment. So things have been looking bleak. Thanks for your concern, though.

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I used to be a waiter in a Mexican restaurant a couple blocks from a Texas prison. The owner looked like Anton Chigurh, right down to the silly page girl haircut.

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A friend turned 40 last year and was going to take a week off and spend his birthday on the California coast. I think he mostly planned to hang out around Carmel and play golf, but I said, “Go to Big Sur. Just don’t argue with me. Go to Big Sur.”
He didn’t regret it.

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“Cheating is a choice, not a mistake.”

Yeah, I always get mad when people tell me about how they’ve screwed up their relationships by “making a mistake” and being unfaithful.

And I think, “You fucking asshole! I’ve NEVER had a relationship, while you’ve had several. But if I were ever lucky enough to find myself in a relationship and cared enough to keep it going, I think I’d have enough self-control to not cheat. There are some things in life you can’t control, but there are many things you can control, and chief among them are your genitals and where you put them! You’re not a fucking robot.”

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I retired after 12:30pm, after starting Lawrence’s “Twilight in Italy” and Mitch Finley’s “The Seeker’s Guide to Being Catholic” and reading in Rilke.

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I woke after 8pm, I think.

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A post:

We’ve lost our mind! Everything must go!

I just awoke from a dream where I was talking to Samuel L. Jackson. He was dressed like a little Edwardian boy, in a bright red sailor suit, complete with a poofy cap and knee-pants.

And yes, I think he said, “Mother-fucker” a lot….

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I never cease to be shocked at how many of my friends have appalling taste in significant others.

Almost every time I see a new one I think, “Jeeeesus Chriiiiist—is that really the best you can do? Are you actually sleeping with…that?”

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This dialogue continued today:

Me–Thanks. People close to me keep pushing me further back into a corner and I’m running out of options. Out of work for two years. The state says I’m unemployable right now. Applying for disability and will probably be turned down 1st try. I’m not currently getting therapy, and my mom wants to cut me off and force me out of my apartment. So things have been looking bleak. Thanks for your concern, though.

Follower–I’m sorry to hear that. That sounds really rough…

This is random but, the feeling I get from your blog is that of a novelist. I can kind of picture you sipping tea in a dark room with bookshelves typing away.

Haha, I dunno either.. I probably took too much cough syrup.
Take care!

Me–You’re fairly close. I am a writer/editor, but I’m not very good with fiction. My little apartment is dark and filled with about 10,000 books and a Basset Hound. And I usually sip coffee rather than tea.

Follower–Ahah. That sounds cool.

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It turns out that that lawyer responded to me last week, but I’d not seen his message. (I’d been waiting for it for awhile.) He sent me an attachment on what to do when I call the Social Security Administration, as well as some links about lawyers and such. He encouraged me to apply as soon as possible, because the amount of my benefits is tied to dates.

So I might try to call the SSA this week.
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