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Thirty-Fourth Sitting

So there's your first Very End for ya. Geez, I actually liked that narrative scene, though I admit that could be because it brought back a huge flood of emotion and it's 4:03am as I write. I must tell you that being on the couch sure is helpin' the writing juices flow at their natural rate, which seeks to impinge upon that time meant for sleep, taking my brain at its most simultaneously stressed and relaxed time. Most simultaneously? Most nearly simultaneously? Whatever. It's appropriate because this chapter, much of which is still, annoyingly enough, about LUST, is also about relaxing.

...and so I have relaxed, and morning cometh. And you should relax too, you tense reader-folk. If you aren't relaxed you won't fully enjoy the experience to come, and you probably won't let me do so either. I say this because I'm a bit worried that some very few of you have been increasingly appalled by my apparently anti-God comments despite my request for mercy and are now reading purely to get information to undermine my chances in running for senate. I merely say "fuck God" because... well, because I can, because talk is cheap and exploiting it makes me feel very free. Free speech = free thought = having the tools to eventually figure out how to make things not suck. So really, then, to cast myself as Mr. Swell, I say what I say because someone has to. Too many of us have from day one been inundated with messages to praise Him, to assume that even though things look pretty bleak, and we have a hell of a time figuring out what would be good and/or worthwhile to do (beyond certain very general, obvious, and thus mostly uninformative guidelines), surely He as the sum total of and behind existence knows exactly what's right about everything and is completely competent in bringing this about. As far as I'm concerned, this is frankly just a romanticization of the distance: eternal distance = eternal romanticization. No, kiddies... I want you to feel Him close, in everything that helps or hinders, in all that is Other than you, and because "you" are not a constant but a shifting point that identifies sometimes with one thing and sometimes another, what is Other becomes Self and vice-versa. So bark the mantra and tempt Him close like the DOGS calling for attention, or, like symbolic Buffy, calling out in fear and need and nothing in particular. Then We'll see what's to be seen and feel what's to be felt, and if this requires risking damnation, I for one will play the foolhardy for the sake of being what He's made me, oh Most Self-Consciously Creative and Smelly Being that He is.

So loosen up, I say to those cats for whom it's relevant: if God is in everything, then every time you've ever said or thought "fuck that," you have sung my refrain. Besides, He's the One you need worry least about hurting, what with all the more vulnerable types all around and in you. And to you folks who just think I'm overplaying this whole thing and should just set myself up as a devout agnostic (which I suppose is really all that I am), siddown and shaddap, please; there will be more treats and wheedlings for you later. So all of you better vote for me, dammit, even if you have to write in my name on the ballot... And my name is not Mephisbeelzasmodeusatan, you silly person. Relax.

Incidentally, the entire preceding paragraph was aimed at Me, as I am the only one who I know will read it and not just skim, I mean if I have time and am in the right mood. I don't know if I'm really convinced by the "argument" defending my behavior, but I am RELAXED enough to be fairly forgiving: I just do what Mr. Logic-insofar-as-I-grasp-him tells me to, often in hushed, repetitious whispers while I am wielding power tools.

And logic (or the mix of personal experimentation combined with hearsay and linguistic knowledge that passes for such in normal use) says relaxation is unequivocally cool in dealing with matters of the long run, like Me in this situation with Her, you getting through this book, me getting through this book, the establishment of a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, you and your "mate" not killing each other, and none of Us killing ourselves. Am I hypocritical in preaching this? I am in that I am a hyperactive booger and so cope like I do in personal struggle (I'll talk more on this, Mr. Therapist, sir. I hope I'm paying you enough to listen... I guess you can watch TV or something at the same time if you want... <<sigh>>). I am not hypocritical in that I do generally know how to relax regarding other people's mistakes, even if these be chronic personality problems, even if these involve large doses of hypocrisy, which to my mind is just as necessary to human activity as the deception I was talking about earlier (being just another form of this deception). The truth is that all of us do or at least should feel somewhat ambivalent about everything... did I say that already? If I didn't you should have been able to figure it out from everything I've said about criteria of evaluation being so suspect (the aesthetics lecture). Do I have to repeat that all again, and again be unclear? No. You figure it out: Just take anything you don't like, like say murder or Laugh-In, and look in yourself deep deep to see the beast that really really wants to pillage and destroy, and you'll see that you could learn to like Laugh-In, and in some small despicable way you want to. So are you a hypocrite for telling people and yourself that you are pretty thoroughly dead-set against murder? No, you're just "sane." Despite this, your self-knowledge should allow you to be forgiving (at least in mind if not in action), to be free of spirit, to say "fuck God" or "fuck me" or anything `cause talk, as I said for so little money per word, is cheap. So when we're not talking about murderers, but just about our fellow mammals who all have "aditude" problems with their attitudes, whether that's because they're snobby or bitter or arrogant or just boorish, and whatever hypocrisies and deceptions or puppet shows they have to participate in... well, you're certainly welcome to point these out, to heal the sick and reform the confused, but if you lie awake burning in hate or -- if the confused and sick is yourself -- guilt, then you've got a problem, bloke.

I have included the preceding morality play merely to demonstrate that even without "morality" per se as I was ripping on it before, you can still talk like Captain Jesus if you want and sound like much less of a dufus doing it than most o' themfolk around today. Obviously it isn't the whole story, for "looking inside yourself to see that you really are an evil SOB" doesn't logically imply being able to forgive oneself; you have to combine it with what I said before about our responsibilities being determined by what kind of beings we think it's likely that we are... I think it's pretty darn unlikely that we are beings for whom it is proper to torture ourselves with no practical benefit; it's certainly unhealthy to do so, and it doesn't jibe with the idea of a kindly God (the only kind most of us these days want anything to do with), so I forgive. I could be wrong, but you could always be wrong, and probably are, so just relax fer Chrissake! Despite all this: fuck God. Lie awake burning in hate with me, will ya, kids?

***

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Yes, cretin. We are back at Marcolicious Lascivious's Flashback House of Pleasant Pleasure.

It was the work that did it: all that dirt digging, causing Our bones to ache and muscles to pull, leaving Us sore for days. We had been traveling that long road and saw that big hotel...

...I don't know who brought it up first, but She had taken a certain class in massage on two different several-week occasions. I... well, frankly I don't know how much to tell you. I mean, it was all public activity, frequently performed by strangers on strangers, sometimes for money, but I nonetheless feel like clutching it in the deepest sacred secrecy, these things We shared, which for Me at least was as powerful as any "physical exploration process" that I've undergone. The excuse to touch, to caress even, with as much love packed into it as can be packed... But it was strange, in that (at least at first) We weren't allowed to openly acknowledge It for what It was: sexual sublimation. So I don't know if the emotion I was packing actually got to Her, as We weren't allowed to gasp in acknowledgment... not that We weren't appreciative of each other's efforts: I had been told by X-She that as far as massage was concerned, I didn't know what I was doing, but She said I was a natural: "It's something You either can do or you can't; there's really not much to learn."

Nonetheless there was learning, if only in the further attunement of already like-thinking bodies (<-quote this line in your discussion late twentieth century literary erotica at the dinner table tomorrow night). Much of this meant attunement on the part of the recipient, particularly Me, being Active-Male with incomplete body image... this means my legs are wildly ticklish. Oh, did I mention "massage" here does not exclusively mean back rubs? No, siree. Legs, arms, faces, necks, feet, hands, and (performed once on Me) the chest. Jeez (not Geez this time, as I'm being serious), I've actually got material now that I could paint as actually erotic, and I'm too chicken to do it. I've been thinking a lot (and talking with Her) about who is actually going to read this book. I have little sense of privacy (stemming from a lack of identification on my part with the contents of my conscious experience... it's not my fault if I'm a weirdo, so why should I worry), but Hers is more substantial, and She's not so hip on this work getting into His hands. I personally think that that might make a groovy epilogue -- an account of His reaction to the rest of the book -- but it's not really worth the effort on my part. Plus I do have privacy concerns too, and don't want to offend my religious friends too much, much as I think it would be advantageous for them to be able to divorce themselves from symbols and words enough to really embrace the essence of their respective faiths instead of pale abstractions. Plus there's no way in hell I would normally describe these events to my folks, so why would I write it all down for them in detail? No, this would be much better circulated after I am dead, but if I wait that long I won't have as much energy to look for a publisher.

But should I be this worried about it? My chief worry about the privacy of my own thought is that the voyeur only gets half the story and so misunderstands. If you get the whole story on anything, I allege (at great length you might have noticed), there's no way you can end up condemning it, I mean uniformly condemning it, just like you can't end up uniformly praising it (or Him as the case may be). I'm not too opposed to such quick decisions when they concern things or people that don't have much to do with us, when it's merely a choice on whether to bother pursuing pottery or not, but in such cases the condemnation or praise is not uniform and doesn't have to be; it's not that I hate pottery or won't understand why others would pursue it, but merely that it's not on my agenda. But when something is in your face, existing as an element in some long run undertaking that you're in, you can't just brush it off like that (She can't just decide on a whim that He's just a little too boring for Her and so not worth Her time without being totally and destructively self-deceptive... even the pottery thing, for Me, what with Her around and all, can't (I think) be brushed off that easily); you've got to actually engage it, to try to understand it on its terms with respect to all the possible conflicting purposes you might have regarding it. If you bother to do this, you'll have a pretty realistic view on the object, a view that will be to some extent ambivalent.

So I shouldn't worry as long as I leave nothing unsaid... any readers who actually revile me for this work must not have been really paying attention; any readers who after all these constant warnings and self-criticisms still come out thinking I'm Satan are frankly not worth me worrying about, unless they are important people in my life, in which case I hope they will do me the favor of giving me the benefit of the doubt given their lack of comprehension. Any remaining privacy concerns on my part (like those dealing with my parents) are pretty totally stupidly irrational, and I should get over them. Plus I'll add here that this is really just a work of fiction, and the me here is just a character I'm creating, so it really doesn't tell them anything about me or what's been going on with me anyway. Now I have rationalized, so I have no excuse not to relax (it doesn't even need to be capitalized now) and just tell you the story. I'm breathing deep now and will even start a new sitting...

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]