March 24th, 2001


introspection in realtime

driving south yesterday, i turned on my portable tape player and started talking. this is what came out. i did not edit it in any way. when i type in capitals, i was shouting into the tape recorder.
Peel back the layers
Every choice~a path
Rarely can you go back to that intersection and choose another path
Or even if you can go back
And alter your choice
The new path is not the same as if you had never made the choice to begin with.

The beginning is farther away than the end of my life right now

So I suppose I’m supposed to go and take stock~I’m not really sure if um~I’m not really sure why, I mean i guess if~ if I think my life has a purpose, which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me~then I might want to see if what I have accomplished has been adequate. Now, uh there are an awful lot of goals in my life that I have not achieved~and~I have regrets, I have a lot of regrets.but again, all those choices I made put me on a path. Each new choice put me on a new path. And all those paths led me to where I am right now. And I’m not altogether unhappy with where I am and who I am right now. Um~sure I’m not completely satisfied, but~who is? So, I dunno, I mean, do I regret~ever doing drugs? I don’t think so. Um, do I regret doing a lot of drugs? Absolutely. Um~but only after a certain point~I mean I think that smoking pot was good, was good for me to some extent. It helped me to calm down some of my insecurities and make friends and um, relax a little bit in my life –chuckle-. Ah, I think that doing hallucinogens was also good for me, because it gave me a new perspective on who I am and what my connection is with the world, and, um, it just made me look at things from a new angle, and I think I have a deeper understanding of a lot of things than I might have had I not done that~then again, I don’t know, because I didn’t choose that path. It’s possible that my understanding would be better if I had never done it. But, ah, I don’t think so~I think that having that additional perspective is a good thing~now I don’t necessarily think that doing lsd 200 times was a good thing –chuckle- but, ah, without a doubt, a large number of those were, ah, good for me I think, in a lot of ways. –sigh- do I wish that I had~not had some of the relationships with women that I’ve had? Absolutely. I think that I~got into relationships~for the wrong reasons a number of times. And I think I~stayed out of relationships for the wrong reasons a number of times also, and uh –sigh- I still don’t think I’ve figured out quite how to do it. Uh, there’s something ingrained in me~somehow, that makes it hard for me to completely~let go of everything with somebody. Uh and maybe it’s just that the right person hasn’t come along~to~for me to let go~or maybe the right person has come along, and I haven’t recognized it~or maybe it has nothing to do with whether it’s the right person or not, it’s something completely different~uh~I~I don’t know. Um~there’s something about~letting go of everything~and relinquishing control, and~accepting someone~that I don’t know if I’m ready to do. I don’t know that I’m~there are many things in my life that I want to share. And to have a partner in the way that I’ve seen other partnerships work, is extremely appealing. But~I also~love my independence. I love –sigh- having my space. And not sharing it with someone. Um~I can’t imagine someone moving into my house. It just~it would be~I can’t imagine it. I’ve yet to find someone who can live the way I do –laughs- for one thing. I’m pretty much of a slob. I don’t like organization –sigh- past a certain point~I really wish that all the extraneous BS would just disappear. I don’t want all this paper in my life. I don’t want all this mail. I don’t want all these bills. I do want~good music. So I want a good stereo system. I do want good books. I do want access to the world through the internet and a good computer, and the creative capabilities of that computer. I do want ~ all the creative tools that I could possibly have. But, what seems to be cluttering up my life~is a bunch of other stuff. I don’t necessarily need~TV~there’s a lot of things I really like about TV~I mean I like uh~I like a number of the shows on there, and they stimulate my imaginationand there fun to watch and they’re a good escape. But~maybe books stimulate my imagination more~and are a better escape. But~you go back to those TV shows, and those TV shows are also a link with other people. Um, a cultural identity I mean, um I meet someone else who enjoys Star Trek or The X-Files and I instantly have something in common with them. Whereas how many people am I going to meet who read all the time? Maybe if I read all the time, I would meet people who read all the time, i don’t know. Uh, its, it doesn’t take any effort to watch Star Trek. It takes effort to read a book. Star Trek is neatly packaged in little one hour episodes with neat visual effects. I’m a visual person, so that’s very imortant~um~god its hard to say~maybe I don’t need TV. But then where do I get my news? Do I read the paper? Or do I want those pictures that come with the evening news. I don’t watch the news very much, although I do enjoy watching the News Hour on PBS. Even that~you know~even NPR and all that stuff seems to be more~entertainment based, almost, than really informational. There’s information involved there, you know~but so much of it is based around opinion. Polls of people who really don’t have the information to base an opinion on to begin with. Why is the lead story, about something as critical as our economy and a tax plan, always what the polls say? Do these 1000 people that they’re asking in their poll really know what the tax plan means? Do they really understand the ramifications of economic policy? Do they really~have a clue? And then you go, and you take this poll of 1000 relatively ignorant people, they may or may not be intelligent, they’re basically ignorant of the facts, and the things needed to make a decision like this. You take that poll, and then the people who are supposed to be apprised of those facts and able to make these decisions USE THAT POLL TO MAKE THE DECISION! IT’S RIDICULOUS! You know, instead of deciding whether something has merits and reporting that, you report on whether these 1000 people think it has merit. Well don’t do that. Get someone who knows what they’re talking about and ask them the merits of this plan. Don’t go out there and ask Joe sixpack on the street what he thinks. He’s heard a bunch of soundbites, and he’s making a quick decision based on those. I’m as guilty of that as the rest of the people. Maybe I pay a little bit more attention~but still~I don’t have the facts. –sigh- well, how did that start? Oh, looking at my life~what am I here for, why am I doing this? Why am I spending 40 hours of my week, working for this company? I guess it’s to make money, to buy the things I want. Really, most of my money goes to pay for the things I need. You know,I figure~I need to have a home. And~economically it makes more sense for me to own a home than rent one. So I need to have a home, so there you go, that right there, that’s 30% of my takehome pay. Well, 25%. I need to eat. That’s probably another 15%. There’s 40% of my takehome pay. So I’ve got all this other money, and I’m spending it~a lot of it is being spent right now on financing my debt. Hopefully that’s going to end. Oh there’s the utilities for the home, ok add another 25%~that brings it up to~65%. That leaves me 35% of my income that’s spent on things that I want. –sigh- so~you know~some of those things are stuff for my home that technically I guess I need, although I could probably get by with a lot less. Um~ I look around my house and I try to figure out what I could get rid of~I suppose there’s a lot of~I have a lot of things that I could either give away or sell. Maybe I need to have a big garage sale, which of course requires someone to help me do it, because I can’t sit out there myself, but~I’ve got a lot of junk lying around. Maybe I need to just go throw it away, or donate it or something, I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff. I’ve got boxes full of letters from people from way in the past, and you know, those are really cool to look at sometimes, and I really enjoy it, but I haven’t been very good at keeping letters recently, maybe I should start organizing that, but that’s time, and time seems so valuable now~uh~time, time seems more valuable for some reason, since there is less of it ahead of me than there is behind me. And because it seems more valuable, I put off doing things that I really ought to do, that would make my life easier and more time-efficient if I did them. So, consequently, my life seems to get a little more messed up every day, and um, I’ve got all this stuff. I’d almost~I’d like to just~get rid of it all, you know, not have a million photographs. I’ve got all these pictures. What am I going to do with them? Do I sit down for~three days~and go through all these pictures? Or do I sit down for three days~and finish a whole painting? Which one is more valuable to me? Do I want these pictures? Am I ever going to look at these pictures again? Or are they~a temporary thing? What’s the point of taking pictures anymore~I mean~maybe I should go through all the pictures once and then~throw away most of them~I don’t know~I mean, I’ve just got this stuff, it accumulates~I’ve gotta have~must have thousands of pictures. Music? No argument there, I want to have all the music I’ve got. I will play these things sometime or other all the time. I love to make the mixes, I love to listen to music, that’s really important to me, I listen to music constantly. Um~books~you know books are something~if I was going to have kids, I would be saving these books for them. My sister still wants to have children, so maybe I’m saving these books for her kids. Um~maybe I’m saving them for someone else. I don’t know, I think that the books are something that~that I have so that I can give them away. I don’t~I don’t think I’ll be rereading books so much anymore. I’ve reread a lot of books in order to~pass them on~ but you know what?, there’s always new stuff to read, why do I need to reread things? What is so omportant about reading something again, so I can get a little bit out of it, when maybe I could read something brand new, and get a lot out of it? I~I don’t have a huge retention for stuff like that anyway. And videos~god, why do I need all these videos? Why do I have to have~the new Star Trek video when it comes out? Um~I suppose it’s nice to have them around if people want to watch them but~what’s~I~you know, once I’ve seen the movie, why do I need to see it again? It seems like two hours, when I could either be seeing something new, or~I could be doing something different. So maybe I need to get rid of all that stuff. Maybe I need to give away all my books. Maybe I need to give away all my videos. I know I need to keep music. Music is something I can listen to over and over and over. Music is something that sets the tone for what I am doing, um~it’s~an additional dimension to my life and doesn’t interfere with~doesn’t stop me from doing anything else. And when it does stop me from doing something, such as reading, I just put on music that doesn’t have words. So music is something that’s~complimentary to the rest of my life. Whereas maybe having~books around~is not~er~it’s impressive I guess~ if people come in and see all these books that you’ve read~um~I like the way old books look, and I enjoy looking through really old things~mostly if they have information in them~it’s nice to look through an old dictionary or an old encyclopaedia. I don’t necessarily~enjoy an old book, per se. um~although I do have some that are pretty neat, and~I need to find someone who~will value them, and will read them, and is interested in reading them. –sigh- what else can I get rid of? Things. I have old things. Um~just junk that I’ll never use again. Never. I have mementos of my own life, and I have records of~of my work, my accomplishments, my art, my writing. That stuff~you know~I guess I want to save. I don’t know why~um, it’s valuable to me~that I have this record of my own past. I don’t really see books as a record of my own past, but I see things about people, so, photos of people, people’s letters, my own writing, my own art, I think that’s worth saving. For myself anyway. Um, you know, if someone were interested in preserving it, that’s great~I guess~that’s a kind of immortality. Do I really want~do I really strive for immortality? Is immortality something that I desire? Do I care what happens after I die? I don’t really think so, I mean, I’d rather~I think I’d rather have recognition now than immortality later. Recognition would probably help me with the financial end of being able to create at will in any medium that I choose~something that I really would love to be able to do, and it requires money in this world, I mean, I know I could live very very very frugally, and not have~music~but I’ve got to have that. You know, but not~there are a lot of things that I buy, that I don’t have to buy. I don’t have to have~I definitely don’t need to have as many clothes as I have, I could throw away a lot of stuff, although that I buy cheaply. Um~you know~I could live cheaply~I could live very very cheaply. And I could~create cheaply~I couldi could find a mode of creation, I mean it’s ~an instrument to play music on, you only buy once. There is very little upkeep on that. Painting actually is not that expensive, there are occasional expenses, but if I painted all the time, it wouldn’t be cheap. It would be thousands of dollars a year. For paint and canvas, and everything else. I mean I don’t paint that much at this point in my life, but if I did, it wouldn’t be cheap. Um~making music, once I have the computer and the program and stuff like that, I suppose that would be fairly cheap. Ah~where does all my money go, I’m not sure, I guess I spend it on a lot of stuff. Things I don’t need, I don’t need a lawn, although I need a lawn to sell this current house. Hopefully when I do move, it’ll be to a place that’s more efficienta little bit~I~you know I~like fixing them up so I’ll move somewhere, and I’ll spend money again, to fix up the new place, I think maybe that’s tha path that’s going to lead me now to some kind of financial self sufficience. By making money off of homes, but again, what I really want to do, is just, have food, have a comfortable place to live, be able to create at will, and be able to travel at will. To travel at will is a very expensive thing, but then again, within this state, travel can be very cheap. There are a lot of things I could do, within this state. It’s just that the lure of that exotic place~that Macchu Picchu~Angkor Wat~or um northern Africa~or any number of exotic places in the world ~you know that have been built up in my imagination~however~by the popular culture, um~these are things that I want to see, and they’re also the history of the world and something that fascinates me, so~but those places are so expensive, I don’t know that I could just go to places like that. Um~god~what am I looking for? I don’t know if I~I don’t know if I’m looking for a partner, I really don’t, I don’t know~if I crave~a relationship. Maybe I crave the feeling that comes with that initial euphoria. Maybe I crave~the~security that comes with knowing~someone is there always. Um~maybe I crave the feeling of normalcy,since~everyone else has somebody. Um~god~I don’t know. I want to travel, I don’t want to travel alone. I can’t imagine~I guess I could enjoy going somewhere exotic by myself, but only because I would enjoy it with the people who were there. I don’t think I would enjoy~you know, the memories aren’t the same if you don’t have someone to share them with. You know, taking a grand canyon river trip is wonderful because of the bonds you make with the people there, but then you never see those people again. So, maybe it would be more wonderful if I made that bond with someone that I stayed with. But then again, I was with B~that’s how I met B, in the bottom of the grand canyon, and that bond did not hold. I don’t know~and I went to the bottom of the grand canyon with my friend T, I’ve hardly talked to him since. Maybe there was a discovery there that we didn’t have so much in common. I’m really glad that I could share it with him, and that he enjoyed it, but maybe we found that there really wasn’t that much between us~I don’t know~god I don’t know. Um~I seem to~find a way to distance myself from people somehow these days. I know I’ve thrown myself wholeheartedly into relationships before. And ~been very painfully awakened to the fact that~I didn’t belong in them. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it any more. Maybe~yeah, maybe I’m jaded, I don’t know, I mean I still trust in people and I think people are good~I~and I have no problem being very open and honest about myself with people, but there’s something else that I’m not doing~I’m not~what am I not doing? I’m not, uh~I don’t~maybe I’m not listening. Maybe I’m not identifying so much with the other person like I used to be able to do. There was a time in my life where I could~feel for someone, on a huge level~I don’t seem as capable of it anymore. Um~somehow I~developed this inward focus~that doesn’t~doesn’t allow me~the empathy that I used to feel, I mean sure, if someone is hurting, I’m moved by it, and I say the words, and I feel the words, and I can say the supportive words, but~something’s missing there, I mean~I used to get actively involved in my friend’s lives, trying to help them through things. Now I sort of~I step back, I mean I talk to my sister and try to help her out, and I talk to people on Live Journal, I know, and~ and I’m trying to help angie achieve her goals,because I do love angie, I really do, and I um~and I want that~I want that~to be what I feel it can be, but I also think there’s something that I need to do to facilitate it arriving at that wonderful point it seems directed towards, and~I don’t know what that thing is. And I don’t know if I’m capable of doing that thing. I don’t know if I can get there. And~you know~it~and I don’t know~if angie is there. I know she feels like she is there already, to a greater extent than I am, but I have~god I wonder~I wonder always how much of that is an illusion. I wonder ho much of it is~is~wishful thinking, so to speak, I mean angie definitely does not know some sides of me that aren’t pleasant, I mean~I have a tendency~I can be very mean~and I can be very bitter, and I get angry, and all these things that she’s never seen all of these things in me. I don’t know what’s going to happen when she does see those things in me. She’s seen doubt in me, and I know that seeing that doubt was very upsetting for her. And~and~and, uh~ you know, its~we’ve gone through it, which is a wonderful thing, and I think we’re being very open about our feelings, which is a very wonderful thing, but~my doubts are still there~they’re not doubt’s about her,um, maybe they are more doubts about me~or doubts about~the reality~I don’t know what they’re about. I~I guess I’m just uh~unsure of a lot of things. I’m unsure~whether I like this job. I know I like making money, you know. I don’t~I~I enjoy having the freedom that a good salary gives me, and I’m enjoying it even more now that I have a little time to exercise that freedom. I don’t dislike~the work~although~yeah, I guess~I guess the tradeoff for the frustrations of the job is the money I get, and that’s why I’m paid to do it. Um~I don’t meet people that I really want to spend a whole lot of time with on this job. I miss my idealism, I miss the people I met when I was an idealist~when I believed it was possible to change the world for the better, and I’m not sure that I believe it really is possible to find that ideal world, I’ve been beaten down so many times by~the people in this world who are completely motivated by greed and sold on the ~things they have to have, and~I’ve been sucked into that culture myself to some extent, but~there’s something about~that feeling of~purpose~and destiny~and hope~and a mission that came with participating in the protests in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s and the efforts to really move this world in a certain direction. And it doesn’t seem that this is real any more~the people that~the people that were our leaders back then are now rich. They are now rich and powerful. And their flaws are exposed mercilessly by rich and powerful people on the other side of the issues. And their motivations no longer seem selfless and pure, they seem very motivated by personal gain. I mean, how can you believe someone who is supposedly fighting for equality and justice when this person is wealthy beyond the means of anyone they claim to be fighting for? You know, it just~sigh~I~I don’t begrudge necessarily anyone wealth, and I know that people by and large work for their wealth~I just can’t~I can’t find myself motivated by anyone like that. I need to find~I need to find some kind of hope there~that there’s~a good future for this world. That we actually can do something. That~that uh~that computer program to fight AIDS, it’s so~passive. I can~just by clicking a couple of times~and filling out some information, all the spare minutes and seconds on my computer’s hard drive are being used for a cause now, now 10% of that is being used for profit, and, of course, there are a lot of people out there who are going to say “well, I’m not going to do that because they’re making money off it” you know what? 90% of that is being used to find a cure for the most devastating plague in our lifetimes. I posted that here. I would be willing to bet that less than ten people of the 61 people who claim to be my “friend” are actually using that program. And why are none of these other people using it? IT COSTS NOTHING. IT TAKES NO EFFORT. MINIMAL EFFORT, AND YOU CAN DO SOMETHING. You know it’s not like going out there, and sewing a piece for the quilt, and going to the rallies and doing all the stuff. ALL YOU’VE GOT TO DO IS FUCKING CLICK ON YOUR COMPUTER, AND FILL OUT A COUPLE OF LINES OF INFORMATION! AND YOUR COMPUTER DOES ALL THE WORK FOR YOU. WHAT IS SO FUCKING HARD ABOUT THAT? IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING HARD! BUT HOW MANY OF YOU DID IT? JESUS CHRIST. We sit here, and we let people talk about compromise. WHAT THE FUCK? DO YOU COMPROMISE ABOUT YOUR OWN HEALTH? WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE COMPROMISING ABOUT THE FUCKING ENVIRONMENT FOR? Oh, the corporation will lose money. WELL, WHO THE FUCK CARES? THERE’S A LOT OF JOBS IN CLEANING UP THE FUCKING ENVIRONMENT TOO, PEOPLE. A corporation cuts a few jobs because they have to pay for scrubbers on their~on their fucking smokestacks. Well, those jobs are picked up by the company that makes the damn scrubbers! GET OVER IT PEOPLE! MCDONALDS IS NOT GOING TO CUT JOBS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO PAY THEIR WORKERS A LIVING WAGE. The fucking whopper still costs a dollar, JUST LIKE IT DID WHEN THEY WERE PAYING PEOPLE THREE BUCKS AN HOUR! IT FUCKING PISSES ME OFF! DON’T BELIEVE THIS BULLSHIT! IF SOMETHING IS FUCKING IMPORTANT, THERE’S NO REASON TO FUCKING COMPROMISE! THE PEOPLE WHO WANT YOU TO COMPROMISE ARE IN IT FOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS. THEY DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT. THEY DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT KIDS IN SCHOOLS. THEY DON’T CARE HOW MANY PEOPLE GET KILLED BY GUNS. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF THIS STUFF. THEY’RE FULL OF SHIT. THEY’RE IN IT FOR THEIR OWN FUCKING SELF INTEREST! THEY’RE IN IT TO MAKE A BUCK. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING A BUCK, BUT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME TELLING YOU THAT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A BUCK, YOU’VE GOT TO DO IT RESPONSIBLY. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! THIS IS WHY I’M PISSED OFF, THIS IS WHY I’M JADED. BECAUSE NOBODY FUCKING CARES ANYMORE! I’VE BEEN ALIVE FOR 43 FUCKING YEARS. TINY, TINY BITS OF PROGRESS HAVE BEEN MADE. YOUKNOW, IN CIVIL RIGHTS, IN WOMEN’S RIGHTS, WORKER’S RIGHTS. AND HUGE BACKWARDS STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN IN ALL THOSE THINGS, RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK, BY A FUCKING MORON IN THE WHITE HOUSE, WHO CAN’T EVEN FUCKING READ, AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, BEING CONTROLLED BY A BUNCH OF DINOSAURS FROM THE 1980’S REAGAN YEARS.~MAN~sigh~oh, man~so what do you do about it? What can you fucking do? You have a half assed candidate, fucking Al Gore, who can’t even beat this IDIOT~for election. You have a good candidate, Ralph Nader, but a system that completely prevents him from having a prayer of winning. Nobody’s honest anymore. They’ve got us convinced that~oh yes, it’s absolutely~it’s absolutely that we protect the environment, but we can only protect it a little bit because it might hurt the economy. WELL GOD DAMNIT! IF WE FUCKING DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT, WHO CARES ABOUT THE ECONOMY? I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH MONEY I MAKE, IF I HAVE TO LIVE IN A SHITHOLE! You know? Ok, I’m done for now.
  • Current Music
    tony childs and peter gabriel - i met a man