"Stopping at every station, a local train conveyed me sedately into Sussex. Local and sedate, likewise, were the workings of my brain, as I sat in an empty compartment...." - From the Complete Memoirs of George Sherston by Siegfried Sassoon.
Three weeks ago today I was in Paris.
Two weeks ago today I was in Rome.
One week ago today I was in London.
Today I had huevos rancheros at a Mexican restaurant.
I am the sum total of my experiences.
The body aches from exercise. The good soreness of new muscles being formed. Better -- of the surety that I've looked after myself. Taking care of the temple of my soul. While I write the cat slumbers on the footrest. No empty lap has availed for her. More the pity. The wind blows on this cool overcast day. Erratic weather all over the world as climate change turns from threat to reality. But here today we have typical Bay Area Summer weather. Hunh.
I chronicle. I tell of my little deeds. Not the noted diarist just the unnoted blogger. Yesterday I watched this and thought that about it. Thank you for your kind attention.
Stephen Fry the British actor writer comedian TV host revealed recently that he tried to commit suicide last year. He suffers from manic depression. What fuckery is this that turns a person's mind so black with despair that life seems unworthy of continuing with. A class to be dropped. An assignment not to be completed. A job to be quit. Even for the rich and famous. Depressed to that point. THAT point. Where all seems futile and horrible and un....Un what? Un everything I suppose.
--- yesterday at the gym there was man doing his exercises while showering I wonder did he after go to a weight room and bathe --
The mind can turn your world upside down and you you have done nothing to merit such treatment. Not a drug ingested. No chemicals infested. But the brain bested. By terror. Oh I've been there. My own form of skewed viewing. And the mind goes yikes! and then you "look to find a reason to believe."
If I don't type the house is so quiet as to be cacophonous. A car door closed and that is all I hear for seconds. Then a faraway child's screech. Then a movement in the house as a daughter or my wife stir momentarily.
I try to make sense of what I'm not doing. More than I do of what I am doing. I have films to watch. Emails to write. Book (singular) to read. I must read and fast as I have a shelf of others that await. There sit James Joyce and Jack Kerouac and Richard Ford and David Foster Wallace and Fyodor Dostoyevksy and Cormac McCarthy and Robert Graves and other white men with so many words waiting wiling while I witlessly wander and wonder the whats and wherefores of alliteration. Causin' a new sensation.
Am I still the teenaged boy who listened to The Who with such belief that they spoke for me? With so much ardor? Such love of the idea of being rebellious and of pursuing mad love and passionate kisses? Am I not still him or have I become the grumpy old -- as younger daughter puts it -- geezer that I couldn't have imagined as a young man?
Am I he or is he me?
"Still I look to find a reason to believe." For that teenaged boy had a Rod Stewart poster on his bedroom wall and when he went to Wales met a Maggie who he called Maggie May like in the Stewart song. And there was then confirmed the idea that rock songs could come true. I lived that life for an instant. Swaggering and staggering and managing to believe that I could be forever young and sexy and deliriously happy and it all mattered so greatly what I thought and did and felt and loved.
But I took it too far.
Do you know that I spent years decades being the middle class man the middle school teacher the middle minded father and husband and broke free one day to soar where I go now. Heedless and happy and wondering when I can get back to Paris.