Archive for Philosophy

As goes the psyche, so goes the pen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by JC

Drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip…

“Sounds like my faucet in disrepair,” you say?

Try hearing that all day, every day. Try hearing and feeling drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip on top and inside your head all the time and then try such flippant comparison again. Every fucking time there’s the sound, there’s the sensation, the two make the phenomenon—drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip means wetting of the same 1-inch radius, the same pi-inches-squared area, followed by geometrically different but equirhythmic radiations all day long.

I won’t talk—I won’t—and that’s why the dripping and thipping won’t stop, why a bit of my scalp is bare, why little, cracked bowls are wetted in the same time, time after time.

I thought this method of torture was bygone, but it’s 2013 already and still
I’m getting dripped and thipped insane by this routine, these habits, by myself. All the play I have now is with letters. No longer do I play with sounds, spoken words. No one would or will play like I want to.

This, here, my jungle gym, my wooden castle like the one distant daddy brought and built one Christmas—brought and built by daddy, played with ad nauseam, until that consistency became drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip.

Though I’m aware of what’s happening and my body and the rest of me are free to go, I continue furiously and only semiapologetically; what separates this from my boyhood playground?

I suppose that since I am still that boy at heart I need to play, and since now I won’t play with my body like I used to, I must play with letters.

But can I reengage my muscles, my bones, my connective tissues, my organs? My soul is healthy, engaged. My letters come from my body, so my body is engaged. That’s right. This is everything I need.

Don’t Forget, Boy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by JC

Tuck stopped. The hills rolled with no end in sight before and behind him. He’d been moving twelve hours and now the sun was about down. He didn’t care. He’d wittingly gone a path he couldn’t replicate and tried his best to ignore the sun all the way. He struggled to forget the date. How old am I? I know but no matter. To be free was to be lost now.

He was unfettered,  scrapped by the foreman–the formidable foreman who always stopped for  who? what? where? when? why? how?–hours ago. The only thing was: what now? Immediately, that is.  He was tired, but restless. His brain buzzed bzz bzz like the caricature of a dying television and his body promised “I’ll give out shortly!” in its ineffable ways. He naturally sat down Indian style in a trough between two crests and fished for an apple. Even a timeless man acts like he wants to live.

No apples left. Jerky–dried, salted umami–did fine.

First reading lesson at age four, out on the creaking-eeking porch: couldn’t make sense of the symbols on the page but he saw their beauty and wanted to know the rest. Grandpa lowly rumbled as he moved his finger across the page. “The fox, f-o-x, jumped over the fence.” said it, sung it,  tapped it with gravity. He picked it up quickly and deeply, and respected it because he respected beauty and he respected grandpa. Ma and pa were proud. Grandpa was so proud of and confident in the boy he fantasized about beating the hell out of him for it. He reckoned Tuck would take it at first like a child, ow ah stop, and then like a stone, a silent, stoic stone who knew what happened was right and reasonable. The boy was ready for a real education, having mastered letters. But the old man never really thrashed him. Ma and pa wouldn’t have sanctioned it.

Grandpa respected people insofar as they could handle the vicissitudes, the abuses of life. Must have been that frequent ah shit, that “Ohp, no corn this year; weather didn’t allow,” that kept him on the balls of his ass, his life. A lifetime of manual labor had rendered the elder’s hands raw at first and then rugged. Love, loss, and onward was just callous following abrasion. Hardening by abuse—life’s flames looming, swarming, testing, burning the fat, moving on—was tried-and-true; he suspected his son’s tender approach, flame retarding in his view, would foment nothing to write home about. Nonetheless, he respected his son and daughter-in-law for going through life and resumed a semblance of the parenting they’d started. He knew Tuck would encounter abuse organically but, sensing the boy’s precocity, grandpa yearned to share what he knew without delay so they could be men together; he didn’t have much time left, he thought, and he wanted to know this man. Restraint here, holding those hands back, would be the last iteration of grandpa’s method.

Dried, dead, nourishing flesh reminded Tuck that at seven death called when the farm’s failure was imminent; accustomed to multi-day fasts, he knew too well the processes wasting him now. Grandpa told him “Don’t waste this and don’t forget this.”  Tuck reluctantly internalized the old man’s old sentiment. His next meal was his best up to then. It was like that.

Still dully hungry, Tuck wrapped the leftovers in the tattered cloth grandpa had left for him and put it away. Seated still, he straightened his back and closed his eyes. The aural buzz, the bodily crying, softened and then stopped, along with his hunger.

He went on, stuffed with wisdom and just enough just-fine jerky.

10:47

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by JC

The 10:47 train out of Rowayton huzzed past yuppie towns and small cities, sleepy and otherwise, in the crisp morning. On it was a sparsely bearded, comfortably caffeinated Wilson—hands clasped; feet curled under the seat; torso bent forward, nature calling from the front; the idyllic Redhead’s faintly fragrant hair, oh to have that again the idea of having that again made him boing, to have the olfactions—by his memory a flowery musk kissed by brine and a whiff of leather—again oh yes oh that boinged the man’s boinger like the bright jangles of the conductor’s keys. Anxiety waxed—Mullaly’s last performance, that double-orchiectomizing and admittedly incisive performance the eclipser. With the keys, the leather seat, the hissing and clicking of the train’s brakes, the boing, he stayed happy like twenty-five years ago when he knew Nana and Poppy’s warm, orange-tiled, wooden-panel-walled sunroom—furnished with a swiveling, orange leather chair, the inspirer of a unique and recurrent olfactory dream; the room welcomed the whish-whoosh of the dishwasher through wall-spanning inner windows and, from outside, a salty breeze bearing news of just-washed linens—he was elated like when he knew, in real time, these combined with the whole impression made by Nana’s shuffling gait, Poppy’s colorful library—seat of his passion, his favorite the bible—and their shiny metallic slot machine with red, blue, and green trim, revolving cherries and fez-clad monkeys playing chest-mounted bass drums, and on one side a lever that could prompt a pleasing chih-ih-ing and award coins whether the monkeys aligned or not.

“Welcome to One-hundred-and-twenty-fifth Street. Next stop: Grand Central.”

Wilson thought about getting off here to shorten his walk to the drop, but decided downtown would be better for now and, anyway, to get there nine hours early would be foolery. Still holding his water, he suffered another ten minutes en route.

TRAIN STOPPED, DOORS PNEUMATICALLY OPENED

“This is our last stop. Thank you for choosing Metro North!”

Wilson got off the train, pissed in the nearest restroom and took in the beauties of the station since he had the time. There were blondes, brunettes, and redheads; there was marble, iron, and brass; there were clocks and stores, booths and whores; people relating—playing games; a young German shepherd yawning, head jerking up and down a bit at the end, tips of his ears touching as his paws lightly clipped and clapped along the marble floor; everything a moving picture, combinations of moving pictures everywhere—entering and exiting, some passing along. Everything was coming, going, bygone. Nothing requited Wilson’s attention.

He finally left the station, and found himself fretting; strangely, it was around his marriage. He was worried that perhaps he wouldn’t be the one to end it, or that it would never end because neither he nor Molly would find a better alternative. He kept thinking about that bird-in-hand expression–did it apply to him? Was it better to hang his hat now since he seemed to have something of a guarantee in Molly, or should he take his chances on middle-aged-divorcee status? There was nothing horrible about the match, he thought; it had become tepid where it was once fiery, that’s all. He still respected her on some personal level, and had to concede she looked least reproachable for being tens of pounds heavy. Familiarity, though, had begotten the death of constant ardor, but sometimes he could still see the girl he couldn’t stay soft around—the girl frustratingly fine, insofar as she said no to his advances. She hadn’t said yes in years, and not for too few trials; he just kept insufficiently aware of changes in her preferences, and didn’t know how to recover that awareness—where to start looking; he could ask, true, but he learned in his younger years that verbal interview was not, at least then, the way to win her wetness; it always seemed up to luck. So aimless his thinking went for a while as he dazedly walked up, down and across the city; his net path just had to be northeast.

“Are you Jimbo?” Asked a smoky voice somewhere in the sixties on the east side of Lexington.

“No.” Wilson said plainly.

“You look and walk like Jimbo. Come here a minute. I want to tell you a story.”

The voice belonged to a disheveled but subtly handsome older man, probably fifty-something, but by appearance sixty-something. The street has a way of accelerating lives. He had shaggy grey hair about fourteen inches long; thick, black eyebrows; a respectably full but tobacco-stained beard, and respectably straight but tobacco-stained teeth. Wilson followed him through the alleyway and they stopped at a concrete landing five, eight-inch-high-steps-up from the ground.

The man successfully put his blackened hand out for Wilson to shake.

“I’m Feeyohder. I like to tell what I know. Here’s something. There was a man, overwhelmed by the sad stagnation of his life. He did things, sure, but got nowhere. He worked in an office; some would call him a suit. He lived in Connecticut.”

“What happened?”

“One day, he realized that the easiest way to change things was to radically change himself. Know what I mean?”

“Not specifically, but yes.

“So, what he did was…I always have trouble getting this part out when I’m hungry…”

Wilson thought for a minute. Normally, he’d have just walked away, but this Feeyohder had him compelled. Maybe this investment would prove worthwhile.

“Okay. Here’s twenty.”

“Not what I meant, boy! Let’s have a meal.”

They stopped at a café and sat down.

They silently sat for about ten minutes, waiting for the food to arrive. Wilson studied Feeyohder’s face furtively; he was envious of all the man’s structural features, but at the same time couldn’t resent him for it. There was no eye contact during this time, during which Feeyohder seemed out-of-body.

“Here’s your egg sandwich, handsome! And here’s your oatmeal, sir.”

They ate for a bit, and then the older man continued.

“So, he had to change himself to move forward. No hobbies, no special skills, not a fuckin chance of making a unique, significant, lasting impression on paper. He could write, though, not so well at first but he wrote and wrote and wrote and read and read and read and he found moments. And assembled them best he could and submitted them.”

“What did he write about?”

“He had flashbacks to his childhood—mostly pleasant, vivid flashbacks. He became addicted to these visions and smells and sounds and associations, and thought that the more he wrote, the more he’d remember. It didn’t work that way. Once he ran out of childhood memories and combinations thereof, he presumed his creativity dried up. So he sat in his office, depressed again, doing nothing, until finally he got fired.”

“What happened next?”

“Died.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“What?”

“That’s what people say.”

“That guy is dead, I’m in his body. My only regret is that I should have quit first, and then started writing—living—in earnest. This life is an artist’s dream. I see a lot. I do a lot. Any timidity I have about approaching people is offset by the chance we’ll change each other. Just the other day, I tried the same thing that worked on you with some pastel-wearing, bellied gentleman and his response impressed me much.”

“What did he say?”

“All I remember is impressing upon him and then being impressed upon; the words were only a small part of a great whole, ineffably great.”

“Can I see some of your writing?”

“You have.”

“What?”

“We’re writing a story and storing our memoirs. What’s precious about this writing is we can’t fully appreciate its reach; I can’t know how it ramifies you, and you then the world, but I’m sure it does, and you do! The only thusness is that there is no eternal thusness; everything’s coming and going, becoming something new all the time.”

“That’s meaningless!”

“And how does that make you feel?”

Wilson couldn’t reply.

“Good; you keep thinking. You can pick up the check next time, friend, but not here. Our money isn’t accepted here. They appreciate our work.”

“Could you write your thesis down for me?”

“I did. You’re on the level, and I know what that looks like. Thank you for everything; you can’t know how much you’ve done for me. So long, Jimbo!”

“But what have I done for y…”

 

Feeyohder walked out and stormed jollily uptown.

Excerpted from the same novella as “His Pragm’ic Way.” Mullally is the thinker in that piece.

The Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by JC

Note: I wrote this two-and-a-half years ago and just published it. I got a gas guzzler handed down—nine months later I think it was.

Today is a pivotal juncture in my life. I’ve decided it’ll no longer pay to take shit from anyone–including myself. Assertiveness is my new robe; fuck forbearance. Fuck meekness. This is my time to initiate the actualization of what I want. I’m only twenty, which is pretty encouraging; most people, in all age groups, are beholden to the whims of others. I’m not–at least not anymore. Yes, I’m still dependent upon my parents to some extent; however, I’m confident in my ability to convince them that their participation in my becoming independent, while perhaps detrimental to their near-term bottom line, will save them quite a bit of both money and regret in the future, and may even pay dividends! They’ll naturally resist, but I’m confident that even in the lowest people, reason trumps emotion, given ample time to do so. Just because I’ve committed to no longer taking shit doesn’t mean I won’t help people when given the opportunity. I’m convinced this is the threshold of manhood; perhaps my prefrontal cortex has undergone some significant development overnight. In any case, promise is evident, and only if I seize upon it will my potential be fulfilled.

Concretely, now’s the time to ask for a car.

“It’s an investment,” I’ll say, “not a net drain on your wealth. In order to get and do justly a meaningful job, I’ll need a consistent, ever-available form of transit. No such transit means inconvenience for any prospective employer–i.e. they’ll need to coordinate their schedule with mine instead of just catering to their own needs. Employers are likely to be rational, at least with respect to fulfilling their need for help; if one’s availability is inconsistent with their needs, they are not going to make room for them simply out of philanthropic impulses, at least not at a rate such that my meeting that sort of employer would justify the search costs. The purpose of opening a business is to make a profit, and if the slots within which I’m available are already fully occupied, then hiring me would detract from that quantity. Thus, in order to maximize my chances of finding work, I’ll need to be available, barring no hour. If you’re impervious to this argument up front, I’ll give it time to seep into your subconscious mind, the seat of all basic understanding. Believe me, this is going to stave off costs I can already foresee, costs you’ll bear if we don’t act swiftly. Suppose you’re to spend four-thousand dollars on a car, and the requisite monthly sum for insurance.”

Thanks, Ayn, for the kick in the ass I so desperately needed. I won’t forget you when I strike gold.

Change her and Minimize the Collateral Damage of her Sociopathy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2013 by JC

Doop bee doopbah

That’s the kind of shit we used to fill our “awkward” silences with, the silences when we’d be staring at each other and I’d be content to continue doing that, stirrings of love above and below my belt, and she’d be pathetically self-conscious about not having anything brilliant to say or not hearing anything brilliant from me, not hearing anything consistent with her fantasy of joining up with some pompous, pontificating piece of abjectly cuckoldable shit* who never shuts up, who never allows her a moment to peer into her vacuous, ultimately sociopathic self; who rarely suspects there’s something wrong and says nothing when he does. To her, every silence is awkward because she is awkward, and so she must always be in “conversation.” That’s what happens when you have a poorly developed personality and you need thoughts and words and images and entertainments injected into your brain from the outside. It’s what happens when you have no sense of direction, no sense of personal responsibility for making lists mentally or graphically and getting the shit on them done. If you’re bored, you’re boring and liable to fuck things up for other people. That may damn well be the most verisimilitudinous half-cliche I’m aware of. If you can’t find a way of amusing yourself, and you project this need constantly onto others, and say things like, “I don’t know how I could have acted differently,” in reference to abusing your open-relationship privileges, which specifically restricted serious feelings and repeated events, or “you should read so that we have more to talk about,” you erode all possibility of earning MY respect, and in my eyes degrade yourself contemptibly.

Your dependency on feedback from the outside is your death to me, your cession of all affections and affinities. When you can’t figure out organically what you ought to do, when there’s nothing organic beneath your facade, then fuck off from me. If that’s the state of your soul, then you are pathetic and you should stay the fuck away from people who are capable of self-reliance and clean morals, capable of planning and living their lives intelligently, doing and wanting to do what’s right for them and those around them, because you’ll risk fucking up this certainty, this second-nature showing of real poise that marks the self-actualized and -actualizing. You should stay the fuck away indeed, but you won’t because you want to control those characteristics; you want something outside to hold on to because you can’t or won’t find anything valuable within yourself.

Serial monogamy is a disgusting, pitiful symptom of these deficiencies of the soul, and if you see it, my like-existing, like-minded, like-self-loving friends, run away–especially if she tempts you to be like her; especially if she clamors for your approval of this completely fucked approach to relationships; especially if she seeks or offers justifications for her odd, disloyal, scatter-shit behavior, comments, and patterns of thought instead of seeking heavy chemical interventions combined with heavy talk therapy to address them. She’s a schizophrenic, borderline-personality, bipolar, depressed, narcissistic, bean-flicking, inappropriately-coquettish, wannabe siren. Oops, almost forgot histrionic!

There’s no cure for that stiff cocktail of emotional, social, and intellectual infirmities–there’s only a lifetime of business for mental health professionals and a trail of ground-up balls, hearts, minds, and souls to result from this personality type’s having the right to exist within society’s heart as opposed to provisional relegation to its fringes.

If you see this type emerging, don’t deny humanity the protection of smooshing it into the ground, razing it to the foundation, shattering it completely until all that’s left is a bleeding heart, something real (no physical violence, no abuse). Something real is better than something faked–feigned interest in others for the purpose of attracting interest from them in turn, for the purpose of having more personal acolytes and an as-big-as-possible rolodex of superficial social options that act as alternatives to self-reflection, self-discovery and real connection is something that must be eradicated from humanity, so don’t hesitate to take this work upon yourself. No double standards; no one-sided investment; no need for entertainment in relationships. Don’t let these things define your relationships, and you’ll be doing all you can to protect humanity from this evil. Don’t let her act like a babygurl forever. If she does, give her repeated tastes of her own rank-smelling shit. Cheat, lie, leave, and come back to see if it’s working until you’re done. That’s what she’s doing, minus the leaving part. She always keeps a foot in the door, because it’s cold in that empty head of hers!

* She had her bitchcucking, cocksucking, plagiarizing, taking-advantage-of-women, deserving of bona fide physical domination by a superior male, handlebar-mustached fuckold cuntwipe just two hours away when I was a cerebral young cucky trying to grasp at the threshold of manhood–trying to hold onto the half-finger-long ledge leading up to it while she was trying to set herself up for life by wooing, getting boinked fecklessly by, and marrying some piece-of-shit future physicist with the proportions of a cerebral, aging cucky and, this is no exaggeration, Yosemite Sam as his nearest doppelganger. My fingers became strong, my arms became strong, and even my legs got some action and I pulled myself up that ledge sans help and flung myself through that motherfucking door, past all the “men” who haven’t faced, let along managed, this kind of adversity–the kind particularly generated by a truly sociopathic and fucked up headcase of a young woman.

The Pinnacle of My Current Self

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by JC

The day I forget the subjectively proclaimed tragedies I’ve suffered is the day I lose my impetus, my fire, my soul. The day I forget the passions associated with those tragedies, those events that were inconvenient and upsetting in their own time, is the day I lose this, this ever-giving gift, the blood of passion that bleeds, bleeds, bleeds from pen, fingers, mouth, body, onto paper, digital substitutes, into the air, onto, into or in other relation with sweet-smelling, straight-talking, fine things that think the same of me and bleed similarly.

The day I lose the sometimes infuriating, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes comical, sometimes contemptible, sometimes emotionally vacuous memory of myself as a boy, a lovestruck once-future, then-present, and now-past cuckold, and the similarly volatile memory of the then-wicked, then-selfish, then-confused, then-irresistible, then-in-my-mind-deified girl who made it so, is the day I lose the perspective I’m so proud of today, the day I lose the attachment to and love of me I now possess and rely upon, and it is the day I lose the ability to make do with only that, to anchor my state of mind by the weight of that alone.

I can take on anything, ANYTHING, as long as my passion bleeds for or against it, whatever the case should be. I have my failures, my sufferings, my detractors, my supporters, my lovers, my acquaintances, my friends, my family, my training, my mentors, and the random but unmistakably human, living, feeling, learning eyes and ears and brains I meet anywhere to thank for how I burn today and for how I’m positioned and poised and ready for the next poppage of passion accumulated that will no doubt occur, the next shedding of an underdeveloped self that will no doubt occur.

I love life. I love failure. I love the small tastes of success I’ve had and, at least as much, I love the reminders that they’re fleeting, that I must continue to succeed, to try, and I must live and fall in and out of love and suffer in order to keep moving toward better passion, more complete self-love, more complete love of all, and of someone in particular.

I love; thereby and therefore I burn. I fuck; thereby and therefore I burn. I touch; thereby and therefore I burn. I hurt; thereby and therefore I burn. I write; thereby and therefore I burn. I read; thereby and therefore I burn. I learn; thereby and therefore I burn. I converse; thereby and therefore I burn. I connect; thereby and therefore I burn. I run; thereby and therefore I burn. I lift; thereby and therefore I burn. I see; thereby and therefore I burn.

I know I am because I burn, and I know I burn because of this and other outpourings of stuff one can only call scintillating interactions of humanity and experience. I can’t imagine better points to know or better chains of conditionality to make them so.

When I burn, and only then, I am the pinnacle of my current self, the pinnacle of my example of humanity.