Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Damn it. My main blogs are down. Disordered Thought Processes and Starlight and Gravity are down for the count.

I guess the good thing about Blogger having bought by Google is that it's pretty damn unlikely that they'll be pulling the plug on this operation any time soon.

But as usual, I digress.

χμ gives the best Christmas and birthday cards. She always includes an excerpt from her diary that is always thought-provoking.

When I read her entry attached to her Christmas card, I found myself pondering.

She talks about body image issues, definitely an issue that bedevils many women I have met. I've run into this problem rather acutely in the form of my younger sister, who at one point in time had become essentially anorexic. And every once in a while, we end up admitting some teenage kid who is convinced that they're fat and ugly and have evidence of significant self harm.

But mostly, I think about my overall self-image.

As a general rule, guys just don't have the same body image issues as women do. I mean, hell, I've met hundreds of dudes who are uglier than sin but somehow they manage to find a woman who loves them.

The thing I've always dealt with is being fat.

For some reason, after I turned six, I think I gained about a hundred pounds. By the time I was 13, I was pushing about 200 lbs. Not good.

Knowing what I know now about hypothalamic hormones that control satiety, I can't help but wonder if my little episode under general anesthesia when I had my tonsils taken out didn't box some of my neurons. A little hypoxia would certainly explain my constant battles with major depression, too.

But fact of the matter was that I've almost always been a big guy. There was a little bout in high school where, for reasons that are not entirely clear, I lost about 75 lbs. I look at pictures from that time period, and I find it a tad disturbing. I remember not eating, though, and while I entertain the notion that maybe it was just the surge of sex hormones, I have to admit that maybe it was because I was horrifically depressed. Things sort of reached equilibrium during college, and by the time I was 23, I was sort of back to where I had started.

The main problem, now that I'm 30, is that I'm going to die early if nothing else changes. Now weight loss is not an easy thing. If it was, cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons would be quickly out of business, and probably half of the U.S. economy would collapse. And part of me is still wallowing in major depression and would be quite happy not to do anything about it. I welcome death. Well, not really, but I may as well, the way things are going.

In the past 2 years, my prognosis has gone from "generally healthy but overweight" to "high risk for coronary ischemic event." For starters, my dad had a big fat left anterior descending artery MI. And it so happens that my HDL has taken a big fat nose dive from the high 40s/low 50s down to 23. Add to that the fact that recently discovered that I'm Stage I hypertensive, and we're looking at about 20 years in the best case scenario before I find myself clutching at the left side of my chest and getting all grey and sweaty.

This is not a fun way to die (and believe me, there actually are fun ways to die. Take being in flagrante delicto for instance. Or being on a morphine drip) and yet it's fitting, I guess. There is something poetic about my heart killing me.

But, seriously, though, aside from the general health risk and the likelihood of dying prematurely, it definitely affects my ego. Anyone who has been fat, man or woman, knows precisely what I mean. I can't help but wonder how much on an impact my appearance has had in my interactions with the opposite sex. If were in a little better shape, if I was a little better looking, would I still be thinking about the probability that I'm going to die alone?

(I figure that I'm gonna have my MI while I'm getting ready for work in the bathroom of my one-bedroom apartment. It'll be about three days before anyone realizes that I'm missing.)

Not to say that the women I've been attracted to are superficial bitches who care nothing about my underlying beauty. As much as we like to talk about skin deepness, there is a well-known phenomenon that your internal state tends to mirror your external state and vice-versa. It's the whole reason we evolved to have eyes, after all. Sure, there are species of organisms that exploit this detail and flourish by utilizing deceit, but this is generally the exception rather than the rule. What you see is what you get, give or take a few percentage points.

Believing that you are ugly and unworthy of love makes you more liable to debase yourself. I know this for a fact. In these dark and calamitous days, I've pretty much partaken of every vice known to man except for maybe crack cocaine and intravenous drug use. And, you know what? So far, no one who knows what I've done has said anything to prove me wrong.

The abyss. At least Death will hold her arms out to me, if no one else.

But I'm wallowing in self-pity now.

What is it inside me that so resists the notion of self-improvement? Other than the realization that about 99% of what I do to change things will be futile. The thing is, that 1% can be huge. That could be maybe another 5-7 years of life. That could be the difference between 5 and 30 hospital admissions in a year. (I don't know, I'm just pulling numbers out of my head.)

I've bought into the idea that self-improvement is masturbation.

Self-destruction is my religion. Oblivion my God. Or some bullshit like that.

The funny thing is I understand the trap that I've built for myself. It's definitely going to kill me without outside intervention, but I know precisely how it's going to do it. I need to be loved in order for me to be motivated to change, but I'm pretty much resigned to the idea that I'm going to have to change if I'm going to be worthy of love. So that's that. I'm screwed.


Lastly, a question from Dimplebot on Consumating spent my mind tumbling through time. I have a lot of memories that I hang on to. Disturbingly, a lot of them are bad and often painful. There are only a very few memories that are unequivocally happy, and a lot of those are still framed by some kind of sorrow. Everything must come to an end. Nothing lasts forever. You know all that shit.

The memory that comes to mind is one I have of an impromptu trip from Berkeley to Seattle. I was initially just going to go home to L.A., and α, β, and &iotaδγ were thinking about hanging out in Emeryville. Somehow this spiralled outward to Tahoe, then Las Vegas, and then finally Seattle, and we were off, finding our way to the I-5 and heading north.

That was a lot of fun.

I make the memory needlessly complicated by the fact that I was hopelessly in love (or something) with α Of course, I hadn't said a goddamn word. I just kind of hung around her like a doomed white dwarf star circling a voracious black hole. Bad things were destined to happen to me.

α is one of the smartest women I've ever met. When I first met her, she totally hit me with this wonderful vibe of naiéve innocence and almost childlike wonder, combined with well-practiced sarcasm and cynicism. I think maybe she embodied what would eventually become my core philosophy: hope for the best, but expect the worst. In that way, she was always prepared. She planned things practically years in advance, aware of almost all the ways that things could go wrong, yet giving little thought about the eventuality of failure. Somehow, things would go her way, one way or another, and you got this sense of inevitability. It wasn't like she manipulated anything. Things would just fall into place.

She, for example, met her future husband when we were 17 or 18. They were married by the time we were 25. There were a lot of interesting twists and turns along the way, but when me or β or &iotaδγ reflect upon it, it doesn't seem like it could've turned out any other way.

That was the mystique she held for me.

Oh. Did I mention that she is beautiful?

I was, to be frank, fucked. I could go on and on, and I probably won't ever properly explicate how she brought glimmer of light to the dark recesses of my soul.

Anyway. Back to the story. So we're heading up to the California-Oregon border, and I'd volunteered for the first leg of the trip. We'd left Berkeley around 8 pm and we were passing Mt. Shasta around midnight. I-5 climbs up into the mountains and gets a little winding. And this is probably the brightest I've ever seen the stars.

By this time β and ιδγ are fast asleep in the back seat. α stays awake to keep me company. I don't remember whatever silly, meaningless things I told her, but I just remember this vast sense of wonder, this feeling of infinite potentiality and possibility.

Then there was that time I caught her eyes while we all gazed at Puget Sound, and it's interesting what sort of traps hope can lead you into.

For some reason, though, earlier today, I had thought about the fact that if α wasn't a woman, or maybe if I wasn't a guy, we might've been seriously best friends. Or maybe if I wasn't stupid and didn't fall in love with her.

I found myself reminiscing about that one year after graduating from college, when I finally decided to skip town and go home in defeat. α and ε had started dating, and I felt like a worthless, pointless third wheel. That, and the fact that I didn't have a job or a place to live. But even as I wallowed in my despair, she sent me a card telling me that she missed me.

Now that all this time has passed, and knowing now how things have turned out, I can think about that and find it touching, and not have it dredge up all sorts of insanities from the depths of my soul.

It is what it is.

There are probably only a couple of other memories that come to mind easily.

There was ρ's birthday, where we went to the beach and played in the waves, and I remember being 8 years old again. Nevermind the fact that I am hopelessly infatuated with ρ. I mean, these things happen, or more likely in my case, don't happen, and I've stopped letting it get to me. Most of the time.

There was that time after α and ε had gotten married, and another woman I was into had gotten together with one of my good friends, when I pretty much gave up, and found myself being slapped upside the head by the metaphoric hand of God. Nothing makes you appreciate life like almost getting killed by forces of nature.

There was that time that my brother and my sister had decided to drive up to the Bay Area (I was only there temporarily for a month) and I watched the sun rise while they slept. That's probably the closest I've gotten to the feeling of Home in a long time.

I'm sure there are more.

On a professional angle, there are two times where I was glad that I was proven wrong. One was when I accidentally ran into this 28 year old woman whom I had admitted for acute liver failure a month back. I had heard she had gotten intubated while in the ICU, and that she had died, but here she was, post-transplant.

The other was, again, acute liver failure, this time a little baby who spontaneously decided to start bleeding all over the place. Somehow, she ended up not needing a transplant.

Who says there aren't miracles?

But in the end, none of this changes anything. We are who we are destined to become, I think, and I guess most of my life isn't so much about lost opportunity, as it is failing to accept the impending reality. Or some sort of shit like that.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Let's see if Blogger eats my post again.

I am obsessed with Muse's new album Black Holes and Revelations, particularly the song "Starlight."

Muse reminds me of a strange cross between Radiohead and Queen. Thom Yorke meets Freddy Mercury. Muse's front man captures Yorke's angst ridden fever-pitch, but the epic dynamics of the instrumentation recall Queen at its campiest. Some tracks make me think immediately of Queen's rendition of the Flash Gordon soundtrack, with Ming the Merciless glaring down at me.

But "Starlight"—as cheesy and pop-commercial as it is—wonderfully evokes the existential torment of unrequited love. Here I am in a spaceship, chasing the evanescent light left behind by a woman who is forever beyond my reach. Who says astrophysics and romance don't mix?

And the final "I just wanted to hold…" is kind of haunting, an unfinished thought perhaps exstinguished by anoxia, as the on-board oxygen supply runs out. And yet somehow I don't find this song depressing at all.

I was driving down the freeway feeling like all-out crap, and then I dialed up "Starlight" on my iPod and sang along, all but shouting the lyrics, and I felt a lot better.

So what if I die all alone in the midst of the interstellar vacuum, trillions of miles away from anyone who ever cared about me, never catching up with the brilliant, beautiful woman of my dreams? I suspect it won't ever happen anyway, at least I learn to travel faster than light.

Bleh, this beta version of Blogger is eating my posts. This sucks.

But my apartment is a shambles. There is basically trash everywhere, my living room is a massive tangle of wires and cords. I'm completely paralyzed by all this.

This is not a viable existence.

I also wonder if there is a chance I'm manic, or at least hypomanic. You know how one of those cardinal symptoms of mania is going on massive shopping sprees. I guess the only thing that keeps me from admitting to suffering from bipolar disorder is the fact that I never seem to be happy. Sure, I do have those nights where I can't sleep at all because there are way too many thoughts in my head, and despite not sleeping, I wake up at the normal hour, or maybe even earlier.

I guess that's what's different this time.

My brain is totally spinning. Like a million and one ideas are racing in and out, half-formed, barely explicated.

Is this what it feels to go totally insane?

What sucks is that I can't do this vacation thing at all. I can't fucking relax. It's like all of the sudden all the thoughts and feelings I've been avoiding for the past ten years or so have come out to attack me.

It's all clear to me now. I really have been burying myself in my work. When I'm busy, I don't have to think about how the rest of my life sucks, and how I'm lonely, and how I'm fat and getting old and how horrifically in debt I am.

I had hoped that this one organizing principle, the fact that I like my work, would be enough to get my ass in gear, to fix up the rest of my life. But it isn't happening.

So here I am twiddling my thumbs, freaking out about God knows what, but not having anywhere to go. I mean, sure, I could just hop in my car and drive up and down California, but where will that really get me?

I'm all over the place.

I can't even organize my thoughts.

How the hell am I suppose to make order out of the chaos that is my life?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I feel like I'm completely losing my mind. There are like ten trillion ideas whizzing around my brain. This can't be good for me.

I feel so fucking hopeless.

by Muse

This song reminds me of this poem

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
of the people who care if I live or die

I will be chasing your starlight
until the end of my life
I don't know if it's worth it anymore

And hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
you in my arms

My life
You electrify my life
Let's conspire to re-ignite
all the souls that would die just to feel alive

But I'll never let you go
if you promise not to fade away
Never fade away

Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
you in my arms

Far away
The ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
of the people who care if I live or die

I'll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away
Never fade away

Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
You in my arms

I just wanted to hold

Stop Complaining
by Skye Edwards

I don't know why
but I cant seem to find the right melody today
I can't make the words fit how I feel
I don't know when
was the last time that I slept the whole night through
and when morning comes around I feel tired

I woke up from the strangest dream
with a dancing dog and a beauty queen
they said nothing, nada, niente
I'm empty

But you're here and I'm here
so I stop complaining. It could be raining
and I see the answer in your eyes.
You're here and I'm here
I keep on singing, just keep on singing

Do you know why
I can't seem to find the right melody today?
Can't make the words fit how I feel
Do you know when
was the last time that I slept the whole night through?
Another morning comes around, I feel tired

I drive down to the rodeo
Gonna ride a bull in a video
But nothing, nada, niente.
I'm still empty

But you're here and I'm here
so I stop complaining. It could be raining
and I see the answer in your eyes
You're here and I'm here
I keep on singing just keep on singing
Singing singing singing

Monday, August 14, 2006

I guess I'm addicted. I told myself that I would stop blogging, that all I've been spewing is angst, guilt-ridden, self-pitying, depressing, angst, and no one wants to hear it.

I am so alone in this world that I wonder if anyone except my mother will show up at my funeral.

But, as I've said before, the music helps.

Everything will be OK. I really believe that.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

it's kind of creepy if i think too hard about it. but what is there really to do when you're trapped in the bowels of a hospital at 3 in the morning, with naught but an internet connection to keep you company?

so i've been getting my tarot cards read online. interestingly, it kind of told me to let go of the past.

which is, sadly, despite it being a good six years since it all went down, something that i mull over during my downtime.

among all the various crushes and half-assed attempts to get into women's pants, there is only one woman who stands out, and she is the one with which i went absolutely nowhere. it was so destined to not happen, and it so impossible for anything to happen at this point.

there is a circle in hell which consists of horny people stuck in the friend zone.

yeah. not that anything really ever happened after things never happened with her. (man, that's a weird sentence.) i like to think of myself (in a masochistic way, because i really don't like, but i say i do) as a born-again virgin.

it'd be funny, except that it's happening to me. (you know what they say, everything is funny as long as it's not happening to you.)

but, yeah, enough wallowing in self-pity. the thing is, the cards told me to let go, and so i'm trying to let go, and that made my heart a lot lighter. i mean, it doesn't really change anything whatsoever. i know i'll be the same chickenshit coward that i've always been when it comes to women. but at least i've stopped lying in bed every night wanting to kill myself.

so here's the creepy part. for whatever crazy-ass reason, i thought about this other woman who i met around the same time, who i've lost touch with completely after college. googling is to little avail.

all of the sudden, my heart yearns.

this is not exactly letting go of the past.

then there's this other woman at work, which is just a disaster, because everyone knows that you should never try to date at work, particularly if the object of your affection is unequal to you in terms of the social hierarchy. (hierarchies. what shit.)

so here i am mentally masturbating as usual. because everyone who knows me knows that i won't do a goddamn thing to save myself. i'm like those stupid pandas who refuse to fuck, thereby dooming the future of their entire species.

i am so doomed. and yet i have this feeling that god or destiny or whatever you want to call it is playing this massive horrible joke on me and is going to allow me to live to be like 93 or something awful like that, alone and forever hopeless.

i must've really pissed someone off in a former life. or they might have misapportioned some karma.

what i wouldn't give for life to have it's own reset button.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Why is it that someone can say certain things, and they don't mean anything near the way I think they mean?

Dear God, here we go again.

I remember sitting on the beach once with my friends. It was one of those bizarre love triangle situations. The guy who is a good friend of mine wasn't there, but, of course, I manage to be the only straight guy in the group, so the women and the gay man get to talking about particulars and favorite positions, and it was really sad and a pathetic—I feel a little shame recounting the situation—but since I was like hopelessly in love with the girl, I couldn't take it.

The whole point of that was that what evolved was a very bizarre conversation that was circumlocuitous (hmmm, that doesn't seem like a real word. Oh well) and vague. I refused to name name, to name situations, and merely gave abstract labels to things. We started talking about "first things" and "second things" and "third things," worse than lawyers, because there were no antecedents, just pronouns.

But the thing that was really bizarre, and heartwarming in a stupid and insane way, was that my friends understood what the hell I was talking about.

I almost wish I could've transcribed the conversation.

So, yeah, I am being deliberately avoidant and vague. I don't like giving names to things. I'm way too superstitious for my own good. I have this animistic belief that to give a name to something makes it become real, and I'm all for keeping my troubles imaginary, thank you very much.


Like if this woman I've been talking to. If what she says had the same meaning to her as the meaning that I would like it to have. Well.

The thing is, I have no problems with the mental side of things. Maybe even the emotional, the psychological. I just don't have any grasp of the physical dimension.

The one insecurity that I have struggled for years to shake is my belief that I am physically repulsive.

Which, comparatively speaking, I know isn't true. For one thing, I know perfectly well that standards of aesthetics are pretty arbitrary. For another, I know plenty of men much more disgusting than I who have no problems with getting some action.

See, this is the sick twisted part of me. On one hand, I'd like to interpret the things she says in a certain way, but on the other hand, I don't want anything to transpire. I know that it will only lead to pain and suffering on all accounts, and it would be best to be avoided.

Trying to avoid pain and suffering is basically trying to avoid life.

How fucking existential.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I have completely pissed away an evening roaming through blogs and xangas. The sun is coming out, and man, do I feel pathetic.

This lifestyle is not conducive to my mental health.

So I've spent the last four or five hours (I forget exactly) jumping from link to link like an ADHDer, just trying to stay awake until the sun comes up. Later tonight, I get to start on this new, mad schedule for two weeks, working 14 hour shifts from 5pm to 7am.

I am just not a night person.

And all I've got for company right now are words.

My fellow poets, weaving their incantations upon the bit-ether.

Derrida just died, how exactly do you deconstruct that?

Especially at this hour, I am apt to ask, "What is real?"

I don't believe in nothing no more.

I even doubt my faithlessness.

But reading all these words, tied skillfully together maybe with meter, or alliteration, or maybe not tied together. Made whole by its disjunctiveness. Adorned with verbal step-offs, like sharp, simple fractures, long bones snapped in two. Hesitant pauses, of trying to extract just the right word. Or those sudden silences, when destiny just sucker punched you in the gut. I start dreaming of all those wizards whom I don't really know. Derrida. Lacan. Heidegger. Nietschze. Foucault. I only understand that it is very similar to magic. Creating worlds out of puffs of air and the vibrations of thin strips of muscle and cartilage. The text can only float in that Godelian non-space of real irreality, irreal reality, whatever any of that means.

What I understand is that there are no hard and fast rules by which one can discern truth, not even in mathematics.

But that is beside the point.

I meditate upon the word—isn't it remarkable that a particular reading of one of the sacred scriptures leads to realizing that the creating force is the Word?

And the twisting definitions, chasing the etymologies to the beginning and back, the palimpest of meanings upon meanings, and there is nothing, nothing. The words are like sonar, pinging the depths of reality, but we will never see it directly, never sense it in any way directly.

And then I wonder about the observer's paradox, about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. If you ping truth with a word, doesn't that change the meaning or displace the context?

You can know where, or you can know how, but never both.

It is 4am and I am officially insane. Sanity has left the building.