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Thirty-Seventh Sitting

This sort of conditioning of Our perception to detect or interpret events as dramatically appropriate for this book (i.e. fitting the patterns of the many crappy dramas that I've been forced to experience) is pretty typical, and it's getting annoying. I've been getting more tension from this than from the actual romantic situation, because it's frankly growing way out of control. It's perfectly fine and dandy to get more out of a text by analyzing it to death, by showing how each detail introduced in the early parts is necessary for the thematic development that occurs later, how every element of description reflects these overall themes, how images are fleshed out in fifty different apparently unconnected occurrences. To be sure, I pretty much hate people who do this (and will therefore say I love them and want to fondle them all over so as to balance out the evaluative issue in my mind), but if it makes more of them spend a longer time poring over my book, more power to them. But when you start looking at your actual life and are forced by demons within to pick out every occurrence or pattern that reflects upon every other... well, I guess maybe that's just Tripe, but when you specifically start picking out the kinds of patterns common to the cheese-dip Crudertainment that flows through your veins because you're trying to write an account of your life, well... you feel just sick. It might be fun and refreshing to know that your life actually resembles the weakest, sickest melodrama; it might help you to give up and relax more effectively, but you can't even get that satisfaction, because you know that it's just you being a normal, overly-hasty-in-drawing-connections-and-just-about-everything-else human, which is depressing -- but then maybe not when you figure it's so all-encompassing, but it's not because you can see it for what it is and dammit can't we just escape the madness and hit something real for just one damn minute and if it's so damn unreal why the hell can't I hit it and kick it and tear off its fucking head with my teeth!

Thank you, thank you. ...Another miracle performance totally manufactured for your benefit to get you in a frenzied mood. No, I'm actually pretty much at peace with the cosmos, as I said at great length... which may be (if I'm in the business of always trying to understand the other side, to explore the widths and depths of human experience, which I'm not because I couldn't afford my employees' health insurance) my problem. Recall? Philosophy as therapy? Well, I've naturally been directing most of the therapy at myself, I being the only one here at the moment (it's true; I don't even have a friend named Ted), though also with a definite eye out for various other folks who at least may be now where I have been at one time or another (Other people I really can't speak authoritatively to, can I? And if I cain't be authoritative, why would I open My big stupid mouth?). So the trick for me in my self-acquired therapeutic purpose is to figure out what lessons I need, what point of view has been dangerously lacking from my field of vision, and to try to get some grasp on it. The result, if successful, will of course be largely illusionary: I can't kid myself into thinking that for me to, say, try to understand the outlook of some people with a strong sense of cultural identity (which I pretty much lack), I will end up with any fragment of their actual experience, but I can get enough of a notion of it to fool myself into thinking that the gaps between them and me aren't as overwhelmingly vast. This is what peace is made of, and I would have to say that the use of such a cultural identity is a major widely-used method of pretending to have relevant commonalities with people that, were they really exposed to each other up close (though not close enough to get the whole story, of course), would be quite tempted to scratch each other's eyes out.

So I'd have to say that my lack of full understanding of this sex/death thing has something to do with my general state of peace with the universe. I don't mean by this that I'm not depressed a lot of the time (though I guess I'm really not), but I must admit that when I say "Fuck God" I don't really mean it; I'm not expressing an overall dissatisfaction with the injustice of the universe. This is because I guess I'm divided between the idea of the total neutrality of nature (nature as a whole, that is; individual parts of nature can be total bastards, I know) in which we have to weave through obstacles to find our own happiness and the idea of an underlying system of regulation, which I guess could be called God. I don't rule out the possibility of this totality getting a consciousness (though I do find that pretty hard to conceptualize), but I really really doubt such a vast and magnanimous being would get on my case for acting in a manner that is basically "good" to the best of my Him-given judgment, which is what I'm doing, obviously. I also know that this is my Crud talking, though, and I must be sure that I'm acting in the most "healthy" way (whatever that means) in respect to this sort-of-belief, which I don't think involves dispelling it altogether (I couldn't pull this off anyway), but does, I'm pretty sure, involve uprooting it to a good extent, while hopefully remaining (or becoming) able to celebrate it in the way (or at least the not-totally-deludedly-fucked-up part of the way) that the aforementioned ethnic identificationists (identists, fer short, `cause it sounds coool) are into. I think I've been able to do this with the square dancing thing (There was, in fact, a second contradance a week after the first which we attended with no serious injuries... We improved Our spinning technique a lot, just so you know.), but many a wise reader, upon reading this my book, might think that I'm sort of a softy relativist lazy-ass who's so groovy about relaxing that I'd let murderers and thieves run rampant, the economy fall into a big heap o' gluey slag, and every large-scale enterprise ever started (like this country) fall to hell. Now, since I really would prefer that those wise readers vote for me and/or worship me and/or have the decency not to bomb my house, maybe I'd better just look within myself and make sure that I know when it is proper in reacting to the big picture to have a life-long hissy-fit. Maybe later.

I was talkin' bout symbolism, man oh man, and how freaking annoying it is when I start projecting it into nature. Let me give you a lil' example: I mentioned many pages ago a certain actual wise man who I know from school (as professor, friend, and impetus to uncomfortable self-reflection), the guy who told me we all have to be slaves to something, so we might as well choose God, representing the moral, the healthy, and all else that is good, as opposed to, say, Chee-tos. The function of this man in my life is to periodically appear out of nowhere and make me feel uncomfortable about being such a slug. He doesn't let himself be governed by anti-social social rules, and so has no qualms about just turning up and directly asking people personal questions intended to shoot them straight to Enlightenment. Since the composition of appropriate questions depends on a diagnosis of where the victim happens to be at, and so what he needs to hear, they often miss, especially when directed at someone as convoluted as myself, but I get a bit freaked nonetheless -- just as you would probably be if I confronted you personally in a hallway and started quoting passages from this book... The distance, the one-sidedness of the communication, the fact that you can write me off at any point without my getting defensively huffy, aids any education that might be taking place.

Anyway, about a week and a half ago as I sat in the hallway outside Her place of employment (where for ten hours a week She sifts through sea water for juicy micro-organisms), some guy approached Me and in a friendly manner began to badger Me about My business there sitting on the floor, what I was doing in Alaska, who I knew there. Nothing really strange was said, but I was struck how much this guy sounded like the aforementioned wise man, in voice, phrasing, colorful metaphors, and the tone of His uncomfortable (for the Victim) extroversion.

Later as She and I ran through the woods (Yes, about a week before the end We took up running again. The romanticization of distance is proven, for despite all I nostalgically said before about the joy of synchronizing Our rhythm in a state of nature, it was basically just cold and tiring), We stopped and asked a couple where the trail was about to go, and the voice the man spoke in was the same, though it wasn't the same one as before. Then later in the same run it happened with a different man. The voice was following Me, trying to tell me something? Guiding My way? On Our second (and to this point (9/30) final) run (which I will eventually detail with many fun "being cheerful in the Long Run" and DOG symbolic references) run, We actually did run into the same guy from the hallway, who had coincidentally just the day before warned Her out of the blue to wear a bike helmet, a sign that She interpreted (along with several other bike-incapacitating events) as some form of protection from on high (well, okay, She says She doesn't believe that kind of crap either, but if the omens fit, [finish Tripely proverb-derivative here, if that's the kind of therapy you need right now].) He was cutting down trees with a personal-size handy dandy dangerous power tool in the middle of the woods, and seemed a little freaked out when I called him by his name (She had since cut my hair very short, and I was wearing jogging garb and a more-resolutely confused and haggard demeanor; these made Me unrecognizable {see... there's been character development, therefore this must be a good book!}.). (I'm sure that you are glad at my recently-acquired friendly habit of using friendly set signs{} instead of layers upon layers of cruel parentheses, yes? Punctuation notification is a free service; do not abuse it.)

My point is that the string of occurrences just related was completely trivial and coincidental, but because of it I have undergone beleaguering symbolicism. Was this the Fatherly Voice of Wisdom guiding Our way through this mess? Was it the unified voice of Alaska projected by me, my romanticizing this new place by instilling it with that familiar friendly though creepy voice? Was it that inescapable disquieting voice in me, asserting itself for I-can-only-imagine-what reason? No, damn it. It's just my book-writing preconceptions, my Crud, flinging itself all over the likely candidates for literary depiction, i.e. the scenes of my life.

I won't weigh you down with all the other impressions that have driven me to this level of annoyance. Everything the DOGS do, every word She says to Me, every emotional reaction on my part, and every stray thought about matters artistic or philosophical... all these things beg to be exploited in a cheese-fest of poignant and effective (though totally cliché) symbolic depiction; they beg to add to the organic unity that is the story... but they are very tacky in doing so, presenting me with such ideas as maybe having each of the remaining chapters titled with the name of one DOG, and depicting all the scenes and thoughts therein which display the characteristic behavior of that DOG, showing that all these archetypes are within all of us and need our attention and affection. Gag me with yon silvery shiny spoon! I will engage in my customary behavior of hacking up phlegm (which I do with the exact frequency to make casual acquaintances think I have just had some one-time deviant fit but to make anyone I care about realize before too long that this is a nasty habit that She will just have to endure despite being in a state of constant revulsion, for it is necessary for my health and comfort... now you know.) until all such ideas flee from me in terror and nausea!!!

But, you know, I guess it's all to be expected when experience gets turned into a performance, whether it be for God or a book or your own bloated, insecure ego. It's beyond my immediate control and so not worth worrying about... breathe deep.

...NO DAMMIT STOP RELAXING YOU FRIGGING DO-NOTHING AND TAKE SOME ACTUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND CONTROL DAMMIT!!! Okay, I guess I have to admit that that tantrum was again staged; I'm just in too good a mood. I really was annoyed about the symbolicism thing, and I'm really trying to recapture that, but right now I'm sort of intrigued and energized by the whole dramatization of my life; I've written some damn good songs out of it, and it sort of feeds the love and worship thing to see in everything the reflection of whatever I'm over-dramatizing at the moment, especially at a time like this (the same date as the one last given, you time-conscious boo) when It's really hitting me that I do actually love Her (at least to the meager yet powerful emotional-whore-like level that I have been habitually capable of), and it's energizing the hell out of me (especially at times like the majority of today, when She hasn't actually been in my presence to bring up barriers... God, I feel healthy. Okay dammit, I don't think I'll even end this parenthetical comment; I hereby deem it part of the main text, because I guess I should talk briefly about this now because it's happening, and I'll try to cram it into the DEATH motif if I can. It's the distance thing, I guess, which stems from the fact that emotional life for the overly self-conscious is generally solitary drama. This morning, not two days before I am set to leave, I recorded the most lascivious and good-feeling of the songs I have written at Her since being here... just a little walkman recording so She'd have a record of it, and in picturing the way She'd be listening to it after I am gone, all lonely and confused in Her bed, I got much farther emotionally into it than I thought possible and frankly blew myself away. Though I knew I should get the hell down to this computer center as quickly as possible to channel my inspiration into something tangible (I have failed, of course, for this chapter is the A-mazing intangible chapter which can be neither grasped nor fondled by those who have yet failed to achieve total lasting union with the divine, i.e. everyone not dead or in the midst of a six-week long orgasm), I couldn't help singing the song a few more times, this time without the hindrance of having to sit near the recording device, and so... again... on the kitchen floor... spin spin spin spin.

So is that a good image? It's certainly a recurring one... I can certainly (and have probably) make (made) it into a major symbolic monstrosity depicting something purposely vague but very important and personal. I don't know... Maybe you should go right now and spin around on slick tile until you puke just to get the whole conveying-meaning-and-therefore-sympathy-to-the-reader thing over with, so I don't have to bring it up again. Oh, and maybe you should do it until you are dead.

I see I have conveyed to you the smooth sense of symmetry and stuff and non-awkward effortlessness of the thematic unity cleverly depicted, so I guess it's about time I subjected you to blatant cheating. Well, dang it, when the mood gets this cheerful in a DEATH section, something's wrong, so drastic measures have to be taken: I must have edited at least a bit, I guess, because I am about to actually go back in time...

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