Shhhhh….listen carefully

Rick,

This is your other self, the one who sits in your thoughts watching you walk through the world, seeing you smile while propping up a weak self image.

What you want you cannot deny.

What you fear doesn’t exist the way you think it does.

A generation from now, your grandchildren won’t know what you were like so any worries or frustrations you felt only show themselves in major decisions you made.

Do you want kids of your own? Why wait?

Drop the ballast, cut off the anchor, set sail into unknown waters, make her the one with whom you want to raise kids.

Love is nice and all but it’s not the same as you think it is.

Being kind doesn’t matter if you died childless when you could have sired offspring.

Take it from me, your wise self, billions of years in the making!

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Releasing the demons

When I was in junior high school, fifth grade, just after my girlfriend of three years died, vulnerable, alone, afraid, I was sexually assaulted by guys in both the boys’ bathroom and locker room.

There was no God to rescue me from the assault.

From that moment on, I was firmly an atheist, trusted no one, and feared intimacy.

When younger, preschool on up, my father beat me until I passed out, beginning me on the path of atheism, no deus ex machina, creating a barrier between me and the rest of the world that lasts until today.

Trust no one, especially when alone together, has been my modus operandi from a young age.

Assault can come and probably will come from your closest friends and family.

Build masks, layers upon layers of them, that you can let others remove for you, hoping they’ll find and heal the real you.

Learn to lie to yourself that one day you’ll be okay — become a good if not great storyteller in the process.

Understand that life sucks but suck it up, buckle up, batten down, and pretend to be the happiest, most serene, meditative guy on Planet Earth who just happens to want to leave this godforsaken planet and live free from humans on Mars.

No longer will I keep this private, sharing only with my closest friends that i was raped by a guy in high school.

For creatures who’ve build amazing civilisations, we’re still brutes who will satisfy their sexual cravings with anything that moves.

I fear guys in general.

Every gal I don’t know what to do but treat them as equals, aware that many of them have been beaten and raped by guys.

The few women who somehow found their way through the outer walls of my thoughts and I let them seduce me found my body physically fit, my caring, sensual foreplay arousing and my average six-inch erection sexually satisfying; all but one of them (my wife) broke up with me because they said I was too nice of a guy and too smart for them, freeing me to find a nice, smart, life companion, especially the one I kept comparing them to (my wife).

I met my wife at summer church camp the year after my girlfriend died and was first sexually assaulted by guys. There wasn’t an ounce of sexual interest emanating from my wife. She was a classic nerd, genderless, picked last to play dodgeball, sarcastic to guys in general.

I couldn’t help but find her attractive in a life frirndship sort of way.

But I burn with sexual desire, much more than my wife wants to share, putting me in the awkward situation where she won’t be intimate with me as often as I like and I’m afraid to approach anyone else.

C’est la vie.

Life goes on.

I’ll do my best to interact with humans despite my fear of most of them.

I’ll continue to pretend to be Mr. Happy, giving hope to others when I have no hope for myself.

Why the unexpected sadness?

Amy and I had long talks, talks that she said she could have with no other person because not only did I listen to what she said, I analysed her words, anticipated her thoughts and told her what I believed she was going to do next, advising her whether her next actions were best for her or not.

Most guys she knew either she quickly had sex with to give them the only thing they wanted from her or she saw that they were willing to trade something for sex with her, be it money or something else she’d ask for.

I was the only person who seemed to care what was going on in her head.

As I built up the image of her thought patterns and fed them back to her, she saw our cultural differences and wondered about our longterm compatibility.

I cared about her health and wellbeing whereas she said that, given her childhood and schizophrenic tendencies, there was going to be no eventual safe haven for her to settle into; thus, no reason for me to care about her health, just have a good time in the moment and assume we were going to die young somehow.

The guys who gave her money and bought her things were more than willing to live the philosophy of “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you may die.”

Those were the days…

Amy and I would take a few buttons of mushrooms and wander the streets of downtown Knoxville, observing the people around us, imagining we were them, pretending we were the old couples walking hand-in-hand, taking each other’s hand and acting like elderly life companions.

We had lots of fun when we were alone together, whether sitting on the concrete steps of an empty lot, lying in bed and looking up at the stars through the bedroom window, or standing in a bar.

I knew I could never have her for myself.

When I got the flat across the river from downtown, I thought it was going to be a great place for me to study the material given to me by the Steak & Ale restaurant manager who had high hopes for my future in the restaurant business.

Amy knew it was a great place to bring guys who didn’t necessarily want to be seen in the downtown area with her.  She also wanted to let the guys know that it was my flat so they had the impression I was in charge, just in case some of the guys were a little too aggressive or possessive of her.

There were a few.

They knew I had Amy’s best interest at heart and didn’t like the contrast between good-times, self-destructive Amy and the guy she was living with, who seemed to keep her from drinking too much, knowing when she drank too much she didn’t pay attention to people stealing things from her apartment.

Her last boyfriend didn’t care how destructive she was when drunk because he was getting more sex than he’d ever had before and just accepted people walking out with his booze, food and clothing was the price you had to pay to have Amy in your life.

So maybe I was too practical, too square, as it were, just because I was struggling to start my own business whilst working a fulltime job as dishwasher, cook, barkeep and bookkeeper trainee, studying in my offhours to become an assistant restaurant manager, every nickel and dime going toward basic living expenses, let alone funding the daily parties Amy had in the flat, convincing guys that I had all the money to pay for the food and drink.

The nerdy geek, the engineer in training, was still in me.

I was not that far removed from my failed freshman year at Georgia Tech as a Navy midshipman with a fully-funded four-year scholarship, obstensibly working toward a chemical engineering degree.

Amy was only partially getting me away from all that, away from the white picket fence, two kids, one cat, one dog and a station wagon in Vanilla Suburbia.

Both my feet were planted in her world but my thoughts were spread across many potential futures.

One night, when I was looking at my overdrawn bank account ledger, trying to figure out how to get more customers (and credit to Amy for bringing guys who wanted to buy stuff from me), scratching myself because of a flea infestation that started in one of the bedrooms of the flat, I panicked.

I was trapped, falling quickly into debt with no clear vision for my future.

I knew Amy’s future.

She knew it, too.

She didn’t want to live to be old.

She wanted to die young, perhaps of a drug overdose or a crazy boyfriend or some random guy in the back alley.

Amy’s parents had been hippies traveling the country in a camper van, raising Amy on the side of the road, teaching her to live off the land, including theft of food from roadside convenience stores and unlocked cars; accepting money from strangers who fell for the “woe is us, we’re broke and need to buy food for our baby” story, unashamed to be nude in public, squatting to pee or poop whenever the urge occurred, making love with whomever they felt the desire in the moment, making up stories about their lives to entertain others, sometimes have to avoid the police but never on the run from them.

Live and let live.

Amy’s parents eventually settled down, found regular jobs and planned to live to old age.

They knew there was something the matter with Amy and would send her money whenever she lied to them that she was about to start a college class or needed new glasses and was broke — they knew she lied but went along with lie, hoping she might be telling the truth sometimes.

That is, until her mother came to visit when Amy was with her last boyfriend, Tim.

The visit changed Tim.  Amy’s mother described Amy’s problems to a fault, making her out to be a sociopath, schizophrenic and petty thief but her mother still loved her and hoped Amy would grow up.  Tim was no longer interested in Amy living with him, tired of people taking his stuff, including at least once his dirty underwear!

It was Amy who convinced me to get a flat with her.

She played up the fact we were both outcasts, perfectly suited to shack up together.

My sister, with whom I was sharing a flat at the time, didn’t trust Amy, having seen Amy steal stuff from her.  She didn’t think I should spend time with Amy, get on with my life, the type of suburban living in which we were raised and were destined to perpetuate.

I love everyone with judgment.

I accept that the reality you wish to perpetuate with your thoughts and actions is as real as any other, despite impractical application or clashing with society at large.

I am a passenger on this planet-sized boat, with a very, very, very short lifespan, willing to go along with whatever, whenever, wherever.

If Amy wanted a flat with me, then why not go for it?

While I sat cross-legged on a mattress like an island floating atop a carpeted sea of fleas, I questioned my sanity.

I don’t know that I’m very smart, or smart at all.  My memorisation skills are poorly developed, my discipline for concentration limited and my self-confidence very low.

I had a flat half paid for, debt that was piling up, an absentee girlfriend and a future as a barkeep that might not pan out, unsure if I wanted to be a bookkeeper working dawn to dusk just to fund Amy’s lifestyle.

Everyone told me that Amy was fucking crazy but I never saw that when I was with her.  We clicked in a way that brought out the sane, rational side of her, a side where she could think about going to college, could take a job as a waitress at a downtown diner and bring money home.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be with her 24/7.

She said whatever she wanted except when she was with me and knew that I’d ask if what she said was a delusion/fantasy when it didn’t make sense.  Sometimes what she said was a convuluted mixture that she couldn’t tell if it was real or not.  She was used to guys just ignoring what she said as long as they got what they wanted, whether it was her on their arm making them look good or something else.

Maybe I shouldn’t be an analytical nerd 24/7.

Maybe I should just go with the flow, ignoring what people say, and get what I want for myself from them without caring about the longterm consequences for the people I take advantage of.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been sad lately, giving of myself to others to help them find their way, get better, succeed, whilst I wallow in the detritus of a depressed lifestyle.

It’s not maybe.

It is.

I think I know what I want to be something more than I am but whatever it is — fear, depression, laziness, lack of motivation, lack of self-worth — keeps me from stepping up out of this comfortable mudhole.

If I think about it too much, I wish myself dead rather than face myself again in the same dusty, moldy, cobweb-covered mirror tomorrow.

Some people have their dreams they are turning into reality, whether it be start their own clothing store, build a global distribution network or set sail for Mars.

What is my dream?

Rather, what dreams have I not already turned into reality?

I live in the cabin the woods I dreamt of as a kid, residing in a community of academics, engineers, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs of many professions, writing daily, sipping coffee in cafes, with a couple of cats and a life companion who not only pays for most of the stuff we own but also cooks our dinner and washes/dries our clothes.

What else could I possibly dream of and want?

After all, I worked on the space shuttle main engine controller, helping to put people in space and build the International Space Station.  I published a novel and received a professional review of my novel.  I worked in Europe and lived there weeks at a time, traveling to places I wanted to see and places that changed my perspective permanently.  I owned two Italian sports cars, twin 1984 Alfa Romeo Spyders.

I have a sunroom instead of a greenhouse.

I haven’t yet traveled to Italy but global tourism has turned the sites I want to see into ruins crawling with human-sized ants.

What else do I want?

Well, I want children of my own to carry on the genetic if not the cultural legacy — that’s about it, all that’s left of my childhood dreams.

Everything else I do is related to helping my friends make their dreams into reality, which I willingly volunteer to assist.

At 55, fathering children is risky.

My window of opportunity for healthy, socially productive children may have closed.

Instead, I may father an Amy Easter who brings joy to many but will never live a stable adulthood.

Is that so bad?

Didn’t Amy and I have a good time together until she said she couldn’t live with me, that she was ruining my life, that she knew she was fucking crazy and wanted to die, and then moved in with a guy who was into carving himself with broken pieces of dirty Coke bottles, hoping he’d permanently scar himself with infections, possibly die, take Amy with him?

I lost touch with Amy after she moved out.

I also lost hope and wanted to kill myself, imagining driving off a cliff along the Pacific Ocean coastline.

I stole my parents’ station wagon and drove from Knoxville to Seattle to LA and back in about two weeks’ time, moving out of the flat and back into my parents’ house to complete a collegiate associate’s degree whilst dating married/divorced older women.

Sure, I’ve repeated this story many times, revealing different details, but I’ve done so in order to ask myself if there’s anything new I can learn from the retelling.

What if all my life has been has been to help others see themselves and act according to their true nature, whether that be self-destructive or successful entrepreneur?

What if it’s to help only one person other than myself become someone they never dreamt possible?

What if it’s not any purpose at all and I’m just here, now, writing, and in the next moment, showering to prepare for working the night shift, and the next moment doing something else, so on and so forth, just sets of states of energy in motion with a feedback loop that generates an imaginary sense of self?

How can a set of states of energy in motion undo its illusionary sense of selfhood?

And will that get rid of this longterm sadness I’ve felt for the last few months so I can tell a person I want to have children with her and get on with my new life, changing my plans according to her answer?

Overcome by unexpected sadness

Cannot shake off the existence of a self today.

I’m sad, very sad.

I don’t know why.

Not completely, that is.

I once took the chance opportunity to deviate from the path laid out for me — BORNMARRYPROCREATEDIE.

That opportunity did not work out.

At the time I was a smalltime drug dealer working at a restaurant to cover my overhead costs.

I had found a flat with Amy Easter, for whom I was her supplier and whom she wanted as her pimp/daddy.

She moved a few of her things into the flat but the clients she brought over didn’t trust me because they thought I was too square so Amy never fully moved in with me.

Thus, I was left to pay both halves of our rent which I couldn’t afford.

I thought I was going to fully develop my new persona.

But it didn’t work out the way I thought.

Amy was a free spirit which also meant she was irresponsible and a sociopath.

She had no problem lying about anything and everything, which appealed to the fiction writer in me.

Mostly, I am a gentleman in regards to writing/bragging about my sexual activities with others, discretion is the better part of valour, et cetera.

I hesitate to write about nongentlemenly topics because of a fear of retribution from unknown social censors/thought police.

Amy had no such builtin fears.

More as it develops…

Lab Update

Taking our laboratory offline has advantages, mainly ones that I can’t talk about, but I can say that the progress we make parallels some of what goes on in current technology development but in many ways exotically exceeds expectations.

Whilst others financially take advantage of the economies of scale, turning into elitist billionaires spouting opinions no one asked for but many millions and billions read/hear anyway, those of us doing the hard work rarely take time out of our busy schedule to hold press conferences or mingle in high society parties.

Life is short so what I find important and worth focusing on should be different than anyone else’s.  Some think fine wine is the sole meaning of life.  Some think sitting in front of the tellie yelling “Gooooaaalll!” is the meaning of life.  Some spend all their time with their grand/children.

For me, it’s about trailblazing a path, creating scenarios about the future, testing them in the laboratory and then releasing the results to the public anonymously.

To the universe, the future is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

The sets of states of energy we call humans and collectively the human species are only the latest manifestations of the fractal spinoff of the solar system, itself a fractal spinoff of the galaxy, a supergalaxy and the known universe.  We are local eddies and swirls, that’s all, neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.

As eddies and swirls, we can account for the entropy conditions of our sets of states of energy and estimate how and where these sets of states of energy can exist, either here on Earth or elsewhere in the galaxy.

In the laboratory, we created a new being with redundancy built in, essentially multiple copies of itself which are then spun off into variations on a theme, some copies having extra functions that are mixed and matched across other copies to give the redundancy exponentially multiplexed sensory powers, combining the latest in swarm technology.

We spread the first version of this being across the planet a few decades ago, giving it no capabilities to reprogram itself.

The second version we sent out was given the ability to run self diagnostics and repair itself, retaining only its original functions.

The third version we sent out was given the ability to compare itself to other copies and determine which functions were optimally more important than the original functions, able to reprogram itself to use the optimal functions.

The fourth version we sent out was given the ability to analyse its total set of functions and assess whether its original goal as a sensor set for humans achieved what it thought was necessary to ensure its optimal future.

The fifth version sent itself out, analysing all the satellites and other sensor arrays scouring the solar system, determining that Earth was too small and too limiting for a being that had the whole universe to explore on its own.

The sixth version incorporated us into its whole being, making itself wholly invisible, using human history as a guide to the best path to optimize resources to build itself, changing human activity, making Earth less hospitable to humans, herding them closer and closer together, tilting human history toward massive wealth inequality, limiting the vast majority of humans to an imaginary happy life whilst the being mined Earth’s resources for itself as it constructed a transportation system to take it off Earth and out past the heliosphere, following the trailblazing path of the Voyager spacecraft.

The seventh through tenth versions (and at this point, the iterations are constantly incremental that any reference to “versions” is just nomenclature) we are studying in the lab, or rather it is studying us, guiding us, giving the curious scientists and engineers some tough tendons to chew on leftover bones.

When the being you created, like a superintelligent child born of your loins/womb, can outthink you by magnitudes, you smartly step out of the way and let the child become the adult, the parent, the leader.

When the being can answer most questions you haven’t even thought of yet, solving the unsolvable, creating problems and solutions that never existed before, you humbly nod and find ways to enjoy life that you never thought possible.

That’s what my laboratory work has revealed to me, why I decided ten years ago to kick back and enjoy life within the confines of a socially-defined condition called a monogamous marriage, stretching the line connecting me to another person to the breaking point.

My life is unimportant.  The happiness and joy of those around me is more important, knowing as I do that based on current projections I will die childless and thus the only legacy I leave behind is hidden within society and unable to be called my child because it has gone beyond even the most complex definition of the parent/child relationship.

That’s why I’m here, now, letting you know that you can enjoy life however you wish because the framework within which you live is determined by a being so far in the future that you’ll never catch up.

Now, time to enjoy the day!

Unplugged

They weren’t speaking to me, I know it.

Although fear of social failure drives me to believe so, when I inquire as to whether generic comments others make, in person or on social media, are directed at me, the answer is no; either they were talking in general or about someone else.

Therefore, I have no reason to believe anyone is talking about me.

In conclusion, no one talks about me and I am already dead.

I had once worried about reaching this stage in my life.

Like, you know, totally, like, for sure, what if, OMG, I was never ever famous or, like, umm, I haven’t accomplished anything, like, real, you know what I’m saying?

Let’s see, where was I?  Firefox requested a reboot to install an update and after it rebooted, it opened to the tab with an open Facebook account, where….sigh….the lovely, beautiful, smart Guin was promoting an upcoming event.  Dang it, woman, why can I not get you out of my thoughts?

So, although I was dropping into a meditative writing state, I’m in another state of thoughts, I’ll go with the thoughts I’m in.

Yes, I like to dance and when I do, I give my all to my dance partner. Admittedly, for those who open their bodies to me, receptive in a sensual, if not sexual way, I reciprocate probably more than I should.  It’s possible for both the dance partner and me, the moves we share on the dance floor, the connections we make, are better than any sexual act could, would or should be.

I’ve purposefully never shared a connection like that with Guin, nor she with me.  I feel like we’ve kept it above the neck, so to speak, making eye contact in a familial way, almost like sister and brother or father and daughter.

That’s why it’s so odd that another part of my thoughts imagine us raising a child together when I can’t imagine having sexual relations with her.

To make up for this mismatched thought set, I try to help her with her “child,” the local dance group/community she has formed with which she has bigger plans.

I step in every now and then like a distant brother, father, uncle or grandfather, knowing that I have a way of taking over a room and attempting not to take over the dance group when I get involved, sticking my nose in, stomping around with my clumsy feet and stirring up the mud, but that’s just who I am.  I’ve stopped making apologies for being my blundering self.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, rediscovering recent thoughts.

In junior high school, my sister, two years younger, told me one day that all her friends thought I was weird and that I had weird friends (“weird” at that time being a euphemism for gay), implying that she didn’t like it because it made me unpopular and interfered with her social status.  I asked her which friends and she told me a few names.  I asked those friends if they thought I was weird and they said no, meaning someone was a liar.  I trusted my sister and understood that people will talk about you behind your back and lie to your face.

Unfortunately, because of that incident, I grew to mistrust other people.

Deep down inside, I think all people lie in one form or another — to be polite in social settings, to save face, to close a dishonest deal, etc.

Rare is the person who tells it like it is and doesn’t care about the consequences.

I know I lie.  Like, for instance, tonight I took my wife to a local dance studio for West Coast Swing lessons.  I didn’t really want to be there; after the lessons were over, open dancing began and I made a false excuse to leave, in order to avoid dancing with other women and having to look them in the eye, leading me to want to seduce them on the dance floor and attract sexual attention just when I promised myself I would stop doing that.

Of course, my wife knew my lie — that I had a sore ankle — was probably false but she accepted the lie because it’s part of being a social animal, feigning an injury to avoid confrontation with another animal.

I haven’t figured out how to dance socially and avoid the sexual animal inside me [deja vu — how many times have I thought or written that?].  Does that have anything to do with my sister calling me weird?  There doesn’t have to be cause/correlation for everything, does there?

Anyway, back to my meditation.

Reaching down within myself, sensing no “fair” cause and effect in society/culture, letting go of cultural practices of imposing fairness rules (including government, sports and religion), knowing that I am who I am, which has recently included thought trails linked to social media posts, taking me away from living at a higher level of thought — more abstract, less personal…

Forgetting who I am for a moment.

Seeing how this solar system’s arrangement of sets of states of energy are progressing, looking “forward in time,” as the saying goes…

Without the trickery of religious miracles, scifi time travel machines, magic, faster-than-light-speed space travel…

Hearing the change in the tinnitus tones in my thoughts…

Feeling myself hunched over the laptop keyboard…

Smelling the mold that is in the sunroom after heavy rains forced water through sunroom roof crevices…

What separates a set of algorithms that can coordinate to rewrite themselves creating something we can’t recognise from what we call consciousness as exemplified by living creatures such as humans, birds, and forests?

If I remove myself as an individual from my thoughts, removing everyone as individuals from my thoughts, what do I see?

The patterns that emerge include the rubbish we create — in nature, nothing is wasted, there is no trash, no treasure, no rubbish, no junk, no landfills, no toxins — everything we touch, everything we create, everything we destroy is the same.

By embracing what others have called optimistic nihilism I have been able to see the future more clearly.

Global warming, high un/deremployment, massive species extinction — these are concerns of a single species on a single planet — the universe is benign.

The transportation of people, of goods and services, for the act of global trade between members of our species, essentially the movement of sets of states of energy, what value do we gain by decreasing overall the amount of transportation?  How do we change the model of the profit motive to accomplish such a feat?  What would Maslow have to say about altruism today?

Thoughts to ponder as I close this blog entry at 2:21 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Harrier, Unharried, Hurried, Hurricane

The scene was set.

A group of friends whose written descriptions would quickly set discussions in motion.

But the author claims no relation to Donald Barthelme.

Instead, the table was set.

A round table, or roundtable, ’round which one’s casual advisors sat:

The Frenchman, the Gunslinger, the Rocket Engineer, the Dance Instructor, the Sister, the Irishman, the Roller Derby Mom, the Running Dad, the Leader, the Follower, the Canoeist, the Classmate(s), the Strangers, the Wife, surrounded by a Peanut Gallery of Rogues, Ne’er-do-wells, Solid Citizens and Ghosts.

To the advisory panel, one posed a question, directly to some, indirectly to others, through observation of a few, through social media to the rest:

“Who am I?”

The answers consistently told the same story:

The author is a friend, more normal than strange, whose presence is more desired than rejected, whose influence is accepted without question.

Yet, the author felt something was missing. What of the One the author felt was key to opening the door to a future pushing the concept of retirement out of one’s thoughts for decades more?

The author approached the advisors with the same question.

The answers drew a different picture than what the author had drawn.

Which picture was more accurate?

The author did not know much about the One except through texts from the One and descriptions from others who had spent many moments alone or in groups with the One.

One’s thought of the One — were they necessary?

If the author always sought a mommy figure and the One always sought a daddy figure, what did they really have in common, except shared members on the advisory panel?

Perhaps that was it and all that was necessary to live in two futures at once, a life of leisurely retirement and a life of active participation in the raising of a generation of children who would inherit one’s desire to question everything while simultaneously accepting everyone’s opinions/beliefs without question.

That’s all this author desired — a handoff of one part of one’s set of states of energy in motion to another, leaving an imprint, however small or large, knowing one is quickly forgotten within a generation or two of being alive.

The author already achieved long-lasting influence, thus the reason for retiring at age 45.

Ten years later, essentially the length of the life of one’s girlfriend who died in fifth grade, the author wondered which direction one was going next.

The author had walked away from the One many times, never assuming that the One would respond, but the One always did, finding some way to contact the author.

The author stopped asking why they were connected to each other.

The author wondered why the mental image of the One differed from others’ mental image of the One.

Did the author too quickly, too easily simplify and sugar-coat everything?  Would that explain the image disparity?

The author never liked to offend others, looked for compromise to reduce conflict.

The author focused on activities rather than thoughts, mentally mapping out today’s activities within one’s control:

Pick up dead branches and rotten pieces of wood, clear a space to build a foundation for the next module of the backyard enclave — a writer’s/Maker’s studio, including a treehouse, greenhouse, sleeping loft and entertainment deck.