Posts Tagged 'music'
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It’s a horrible way to die.
Yeah, well I didn’t ask to die this way.
Slowly, agonizingly–from a combination of psychiatric drugs whose effects my body can no longer tolerate (because there are no safer drugs available) and fast food saturated with a deadly amount of fat and salt (because I can no longer afford healthier food).
Ironic–you are in far more danger writing a sober post, your head tight, your calves tight, your eyeballs rolling around with some kind of dyskinesia and/or sodium poisoning than writing a drunken post, your body and mind totally relaxed under the influence of alcohol, your blood pressure lowered to a safe level.
Yeah, well I can’t afford a large, healthy dinner to absorb a large, healthy amount of alcohol. And I can’t obtain medical marijuana to replace these far more dangerous psychiatric drugs, because it’s not legal yet. And I can’t simply stop these deadly psychiatric drugs with nothing safer to replace them. I can’t even replace these deadly psychiatric drugs with a moderate amount of alcohol daily, because there’s alcoholism in my family history, and there’s no Mediterranean component to my Old World ancestry.
Even if there were a woman in my life who could cook the healthiest, yet tastiest food for me, calm me with her body, nourish me rather than drain me, complement me rather than control me, accommodate me rather than dominate me, I could safely write such a sober post as this one. But there isn’t–there never has been, and there probably never will be.
So let me die writing, since I am to die alone.
I was in the second or third grade. It was about the time I’d started this trend of chasing the girls around the playground to kiss them. Other boys had caught on–and we had to stay in, during recess one day. This put a stop to that.
Then another boy came up with a different way to catch girls–impressing them with daring. Other boys caught on, other boys including me. There was a very high slide in the playground. And this boy, instead of sliding down, decided to jump off the back of the slide. The ground was dirt and grass–but there was a square of strong support bars midway down. This boy jumped, and he was okay. Others followed, and they were okay. Then I jumped. Maybe it was because I was taller than the other boys, maybe not–but I didn’t fall straight down on my feet like the others. I tumbled into the square of support bars. Remembering, it seems like I was suspended in midair–or moving in slow-motion. There was no pain. But my arms hit the bars, my legs hit the bars, and my head hit the bars. Yet I got to my feet–and the very girls I’d tried to impress checked on me, making sure I was alright (the other boys had split). And I was alright–no fracture, not even a bruise.
Not long after, neighborhood kids got the idea to play a game in Robby’s pool. I think it was called chicken fighting. The smaller, lighter boys would get on the shoulders of the larger, heavier boys in the shallow end of the pool–then try to push each other into the water. Of course it was far more dangerous for the larger, heavier boys. Smaller, lighter Jeff sat on my shoulders, and his opponent pushed him into the water. And I was trapped, of course. All I could do was hold my breath, as I waited for Jeff to get off my shoulders. This was different than the incident with the slide–I was aware of this, I was aware that I was about to drown.
This is probably another reason the wreck of the Sunset Limited affected me more seriously than the 9/11 catastrophe–those who died in that wreck probably died in a much more horrible way. Those who jumped from the Twin Towers were likely the only 9/11 victims who suffered as much terror as the victims of the Sunset Limited wreck.
Imagine this–you’re on a train going over a bayou bridge in the dark. And your rail car crashes into the bayou. If you’re lucky, the crash will knock you out–so you won’t know what hit you. If you’re not, you will be desperately trying to find a way out of that car before it fills up with water–along with countless other screaming passengers. It’s totally dark–there are no lights over that bayou. So not only are you unable to find a way out of the car, you don’t even know which way is up.
But Jeff managed to get off my shoulders–just in time.
The last time was a suicide attempt. It was the only suicide attempt–because I lived and learned how nearly impossible it was to kill oneself. Prozac is bad stuff–the worst. It didn’t make me want to commit suicide–it made me delusional so that I thought God wanted me to commit suicide. There I was on the floor dying. I was at peace, with the sensation of floating in deep space, yet breathing, stars surrounding me. And something literally possessed my body–made me get up, and dial 911. At first I thought that something was the Devil. Then I thought it was God. But in time, I realized it was my primal brain–that bit of tissue that contains the one bit of emotion every animal has–the fear of death.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I despise money–perhaps more than anything else.
Money is not something I want to have–only something I have to have.
Money has absolutely no value–ever.
And money is completely useless–until it is spent for products and services that have value.
Even when money is saved, it is only saved to be spent at a later time.
Even when money is invested, it is only invested to acquire more money that is still completely useless until it is spent.
Even when money is given away, it is only given away to be spent by someone other than oneself.
Money has absolutely no value–ever.
And money is completely useless–until it is spent for products and services that have value.
Why wouldn’t I despise money? Why wouldn’t anyone despise money?
If I have money, it has no value–and it is completely useless until it is spent for products and services that have value.
But if I don’t have money, I cannot acquire products and services that have value–products which include food, services which include disposal of food remains.
This is the worst time in American history to be poor.
In the past, the poor in the United States could get help from their families and communities.
But there is no more family in the United States.
And there is no more community.
I’m obsessed with obtaining money–those without money always are.
“Here come the rich man in his big, long limousine. Here come the poor man, Lord, he got to have his green.”
A couple weeks ago, there was a homeless woman with a dog.
She held a sign that read, NEED MONEY FOR TAMPONS, DOG FOOD…
I had fifty dollars in my wallet–all I had.
If I gave her this fifty dollars, I thought, would someone in turn give me five hundred dollars?
“Pay it forward” would work like this:
I give her $50–all I have.
Someone gives me $500–all she has.
Someone gives her $5,000–all he has.
Someone gives him $50,000–all she has.
Someone gives her $500,000–all he has.
Someone gives him $5,000,000–all she has.
Someone gives her $50,000,000–all he has.
Someone gives him $500,000,000–all she has.
Someone gives her $5,000,000,000–all he has.
Someone gives him $50,000,000,000–all she has.
I give her $500,000,000,000–all I have.
Someone gives me $5,000,000,000,000–but it’s not all she has.
If only I knew, I thought.
But I didn’t know–so I didn’t give her my fifty dollars.
There’s a $429 bottle of Scotch that’s at least thirty years old–I’ve mentioned it in a previous post.
Ever since I first saw it, I’ve wanted to purchase it–just to see if drinking it would transport me to 1986 or before.
But even the few times I had enough money to purchase it, I didn’t–because I didn’t know it would transport me
That eighteen-year-old Scotch I drank at the Shark Fin during that dinner with the Singletons of which I wrote in a drunken post (particularly of the Zionist bastard who embarrassed me in front of my friends–not because I was talking too loudly, but because he disagreed with what I said) that Scotch didn’t transport me back eighteen years.
So why would that $429 bottle of Scotch transport me back thirty years or more?
Because I would drink the entire bottle–not just a glass.
Still, it’s just a fantasy–to my knowledge. That’s why I don’t sell everything I can to get the money to purchase it.
With sales and sin tax, it would be far more than $429 anyway.
Delaying the inevitable–this is all I’m doing each day, these the worst days of my life. Having no money has knocked me down–yet circumstances keep kicking me anyway. Every day, I delay the inevitable–the loss of everything but my life, my freedom, and whatever I can carry on my shoulders.
Yet we all delay the inevitable–all our lives.
From the moment we’re born, we delay the inevitable–which is death.
Even as newborn babies, we choose to nourish ourselves from the breast or the bottle–delaying death.
And though the pursuit of happiness is not our primary purpose in life, most of our time spent toward a greater purpose is constantly interrupted by our desire to delay the inevitable. Our most basic human needs serve only the purpose of delaying death.
I started this post when I had enough money for fast food. Now I only have enough money for store-bought food–peanut butter, cheese, bread, cottage cheese, and sliced ham.
This stuff–this cheapest of food–is far more dangerous than any fast food because it has even more salt. It’s loaded with salt.
Can’t eat the cottage cheese–too much salt. Can’t eat the sliced ham–too much salt.
Every store-bought food has too much salt because it’s used as a preservative.
The ham was the saltiest of all–I had to put the remainder in the front yard for stray cats.
The more salt a food has, the more it tightens my head and my muscles, makes my eyeballs roll around, and creates sharp pains in my legs–especially in combination with these goddamned psychiatric drugs.
I’ve never suffered such agony in my life–and only because I have no money, and no family or community to give me any support.
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Tags: arts, beauty, celebrities, current events, entertainment, history, home, human rights, illustration, Marian Anderson, Muhammad Ali, music, people, politics, relationships, religion, society
He was a very complex man–generally a forthright, honest man with a touch of artful boastfulness that was both audacious and endearing.
And he was known as much for his political and religious convictions as his genius in the boxing ring.
He was born Cassius Clay, but changed his name after converting to Islam.
Many, if not most Black Muslims in the United States are not true Muslims because they downplay, if not dismiss Muhammad as the Last Prophet (Messenger) of God.
But who am I to question Muhammad Ali’s faith?
For all I know, Muhammad Ali’s Muslim faith was true–that he believed in both parts of the core creed of Islam: There is but one God, and Muhammad is his Messenger.
And given this, it is interesting that most Christian Americans are so much more familiar with Muhammad Ali than with Muhammad.
Yet I cannot help but think of the disturbing hypocrisy of it all.
Muhammad Ali was both a Black American and a Muslim American.
Before the Civil Rights Act was passed, and White Americans began to realize that they had so much more in common with Black Americans than they had previously thought, Black Americans had to really prove themselves–they had to prove to White Americans that they truly were equal, in every way, to White Americans.
Most notably I think of Marian Anderson. Marian Anderson was a Black American contralto–with an incomparable singing voice.
She was not a civil rights activist at all–she chose a different way of “breaking the color barrier.” The Daughters of the American Revolution–though quite familiar with Ms. Anderson’s incomparable voice–denied her access to Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., simply because of her race. But First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt got word of this–and let Marian Anderson sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, instead–before thousands of astonished White Americans.
Black Americans–like Marian Anderson–proved themselves in the arts.
And Black Americans–like Cassius Clay–proved themselves in sports.
Yet even among many White Americans today–not necessarily racist, but somewhat bigoted–Blacks are not okay unless they’re sports heroes.
Sometimes this even works in reverse. Many Black Americans–and some White Americans–truly believed that O.J. Simpson could not have possibly committed murder because he was such an ingenious athlete–and astute sports commentator.
And in the 2008 Presidential Election, as many Black American voters turned out as in the 1960 Presidential Election (Kennedy-Nixon). And 97% of these Black Americans voted for Barack Obama–simply because of his race. In fairness, many White Americans voted against Obama, simply because of his race. But racial bias exists in all races–and we must recognize it within ourselves.
Even for racially bigoted Whites, Cassius Clay was okay because he was a sports hero.
In the same way, even for religiously bigoted Christians, Muhammad Ali was okay because he was a sports hero.
There is bigotry in all human beings–there always has been, and there always will be.
And it is essential that we examine our human frailty, and ask ourselves:
If this person’s race is okay because he is a sports hero–how come others of his race are not okay?
And if this person’s religion is okay because he is a sports hero–how come others of his religion are not okay?
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“They say the truth is in the wine, but only so much…The lithium is working well…I do know what the hell I’m doing…you are alcoholic.”
Interesting, Dr. Arthur DuMont–you Zionist Jew motherfucker. My very first psychiatrist is–as one of the other patients here puts it–a sadist. The lithium is not working well. I am subdued under it–but inside, I’m screaming. Because I have no bipolar disorder. In fact, my primary disorder is obsessive-compulsive disorder. You didn’t recognize this–that was your first mistake. Interesting that you don’t say I am an alcoholic–but only that I am alcoholic. That is rather vague–and it is your second mistake, anyway. I only used alcohol to release my inhibitions enough to carry out my crash–my “nervous breakdown”. I didn’t drink nearly enough whiskey to get truly drunk. And you say you know what the hell you’re doing–how mistaken you are. Finally, you say I cannot leave this facility without your approval–this is your final mistake. Though my parents brought me here last month–November, 1985–I signed myself in. So I can sign myself out any time. In fact, the only reason I have stayed here this long is that my father has told me the insurance probably won’t cover my stay, if I leave A.M.A. (against medical advice). Wrong again. You want to keep me here–at Southland Hospital–for six months. Yet my parents feel that six weeks is long enough–and they will spring me out of this place in time for Christmas. I have the memory of what I’ve learned here in Rosemary’s assertiveness training class–and even the memory of my pastor Jeff Spiller’s wisdom (I told Jeff of my fear that I no longer believed Jesus was the Son of God–and he suggested I put that fear aside, and concentrate on recovery for the moment). So now I will sign myself out–and leave this facility, of my own free will.
“How do you know I’m Jewish? And how do you know what Zionism is?”
Or maybe I’ll just beat the hell out of you.
And I proceed to do so.
Yet he changes into Raymond Ellis–and I continue beating him against the asphalt.
Yeah, you little piece of shit. So it’s 1979 now–and this is the bus stop to Hillsdale Middle School. My dad gave me the words to give you–“Raymond, I have something to tell you–you called me ‘gay’ again!” Yet the first time, I pulled my punches–and you even sicced your German shepherd on me–shame on you! I didn’t even know how to throw a punch correctly, because I had not yet taken boxing training at the Mobile Police Athletic League. Now I have.
And I continue beating this little piece of shit–who was taller than I, at the time–until he is completely unconscious.
“I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed”–pre-war (before the Second World War) blues song I would hear, and record, on Blues Before Sunrise on NPR early in the Twenty-First Century. The Prince song “1999” is that with which I begin this Irish-coffee set in 2016.
And I’m on the bus home from Camp Lee in 1982. One of the guys is playing this new song on his radio (not quite a “boombox” or “ghetto-blaster” yet)–and everyone is listening, fascinated.
I sit alone. They don’t know I come from a time when this new musician Prince–whom a famous rapper in the Twenty-First Century would accurately label “misunderstood”–has died.
Yeah, this trip to Camp Lee was a drag. I was in love with Alison Allen–but she didn’t even notice me. She was too hung up on some blond-haired guy who could ridiculously recite the lyrics to some ridiculous song called “Rock Lobster”.
And I’m back at Camp Lee in 1983. Camp Lee–a church camp in an exquisitely beautiful location outside of Anniston, Alabama. The camp director, Jim Black, is an unforgettable man. He tells amazing ghost stories–and brilliantly impersonates Jerry Clower (“Hawwwwwwwww!”), as he leads us to and from the “slock ride” (rock slide)–a cool, natural-spring waterfall, with a splash-landing pool in which one cannot fail to safely, softly splash-land. There is even a knotted rope by which one can climb the mossy rocks back to the top to slide down again (and fall backward laughingly, safely into the natural pool (whose water is so clean that he can safely drink it), if he happens to lose his grip).
(I used Digital-Age gender qualifiers (“or she”)–then found it too damned complicated. And I absolutely refused to use “their” for a singular–better to use grammatically correct language than politically correct language.)
Cathy Marlow. Interesting. She’s my first love–after I’ve had my first lover (the Hispanic woman whose name I wish to God I could recall), earlier this summer. (I was in love with a girl named Ginger, in the first grade, but I didn’t understand this feeling then–this time, I understand it.) Cathy Marlow–also the only time I will ever experience love-at-first-sight. Yes, I see her as I enter the cafeteria at Camp Lee. Our eyes meet for an instant, as she talks to her friends–and I just know–and so does she.
She’s a brunette who could so easily be one of those classic Hollywood actresses whose likenesses I would post on my blog in the next century. Easy on the eyes, indeed.
The youth from Christ United Methodist Church and Smyrna Baptist Church meet together in the fellowship hall. Pick a partner–Cathy and I pick each other. And sing, “I love you in the love of the Lord, Oh I love you in the love of the Lord. I can see in you the glory of my King, and I love you in the love of the Lord.” Her eyes are far brighter than mine.
And we end up walking together in a nearby meadow–this Georgia peach and I.
And we meet again and again in the blinding sunlight over the next few days–and kiss and cuddle–and talk.
It’s now the day before we take the bus back to Mobile–and I’ve received underground word that some of the couples are going to be making out in that same meadow tonight.
I meet Cathy Marlow near the pool. She’s especially hot in that black swimsuit. And I invite her to join me in the meadow tonight–in the most delicate way possible.
And here she lies–apparently.
“I’m not ready for that–my ex-boyfriend just got my best friend pregnant.”
I explain to her that I can’t stand it–that I can’t be with her at all if I can’t get more intimate with her.
“From the moment I met you,” she says, “I knew that you were special.”
And we kiss, and part.
And that night, I take the chair.
The chair–a very effective form of therapy.
One chair in the center of a circle of chairs.
Over the course of a few hours, individuals take their turns in that chair, in the dark–and get their feelings out.
No one is required to take a turn in the chair.
But this time I do.
I let it all out–how this girl honest-to-God broke my heart–and I cry my eyes out.
And an angel descends, and holds me.
Golden blonde with an equally golden heart.
My den mother when I was a Cub Scout–with whom I was infatuated then, and with whom I’m infatuated now.
This angel understands–and she lets my tears soak her blouse.
That night I can’t sleep.
I get a sudden feeling of terror–as if I’m going to die.
It’s my first panic attack (or anxiety attack)–brought on by a feeling of abandonment brought on by Cathy Marlow.
The other boys in the lodge wonder if I’m okay. I assure them that I seem to be–as I play John Denver songs on my little stereo to calm myself.
The next morning, I get Cathy Marlow’s address from her, so I can write her.
And the next night, I have a good talk with my brother-in-law Tom–who assures me that eventually I will say, “Cathy who?”
And he’s right.
Yet a decade later I write Cathy Marlow–for the first time perhaps.
And the letter is forwarded to Rome, Georgia.
Cathy’s name is no longer “Marlow”–she’s married, and has two children.
She sends me a nice photograph of her and her husband.
I cut him out of the damned thing–and paste her likeness into my journal.
And I talk with her over the phone a few times.
One night, I am speaking with her from the phone in my parents’ garage. It is storming where she is, and her husband is away. Her husband has one of those jobs (building contractor, I think) for which he is away from home quite often. And the thunder is making Cathy nervous. And she finds comfort confiding in me.
And I remind her of what she said to me that afternoon in the summer of 1983–that she couldn’t go to the meadow with me because her ex-boyfriend had gotten her best friend pregnant.
And Cathy says, “I never said that.”
So Cathy was lying then–or she is lying now.
I press her–but only as far as she will allow. Then she says she can no longer talk with me over the phone–that she is starting to get tempted.
And I’ll never know when Cathy was lying–in 1983, or in 1993.
It is to this woman’s credit that she ceased communication with me, in order to remain faithful to her husband. But it is not to her credit that she lied to me–whenever it was.
It is thundering here now–in this goddamned Digital Age.
And the remaining $120 in my wallet will be gone before Sunday.
And loneliness for a woman’s love is the least of my problems.
There is a thirty-year-old bottle of Scotch in a secured cabinet at a liquor store I know. It is over $400.
And ever since I first saw that thirty-year-old bottle of Scotch Wednesday I’ve wondered:
Would drinking that entire bottle of Scotch literally transport me back to 1986–or earlier?
If I knew it would, I’d sell even my truck for that one-way ticket out of this goddamned Digital Age.
It’s easy to escape a place–but how does one escape a time?
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
“He said unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
“When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Then wake me from this Digital-Age nightmare.
Deliver me from this Digital-Age hell.