i somehow drifted off to sleep at what time, i’m not really sure, but found myself awake at what i thought at first was 3 am, then a second, wakeful look told me it was 1 am. the dog needed to go out, and it was hot inside, even with the window open. i may have sleep apnea, because i used to always have dreams of suffocating, and then wake up gasping for air–and, i still move through the day half exhausted, reaching a state of depression by 2 pm. i don’t want to go to a doctor, though, because it’s always either nothing, and you’re made to feel like a hypochodriac fool for bothering, or it’s a lot more than you wanted to know, and your insurance covers none of it.

at work, the environment has become a total farce. i feel like i am devolving the longer i stay where i work–returning to idiot, mute helperboy who nobody treats as an equal–like i have some kind of retarded syndrome and need to be talked to as such. to think i was briefly taken seriously by c-level folks at conferences flown to on the company dime, and listened to by politicians–and almost felt at ease wearing the more dressy business attire and networking smiles and handshakes.

these days, i’m almost back to being the guy who comes in and does something well–whether it’s flipping burgers or touching up a photo–but no social relationship is possible with him because he’s a complete drooling idiot once we engage him in conversation at the big person table.

i’m totally untouched by all the drama of the workplace, and there is plenty of it going around these days. it is hard to take people seriously anymore, you’ve seen it all before–most of the higher up rats jump off the ship, and the higher up rats that remain all go on vacation just when their leadership is needed the most.

it made sense at ahmis, what with wanda obviously not taking her job all that seriously, as it was just another opportunity for her to show off what a complete package she was with kids AND powersuit career.

at the iah, where the person most equivalent to wanda in terms of position has left the building, what folks are doing only makes sense in terms of the broader context of how our nation’s peoples seem to handle crises these days–“show the world the pretense of a plan, but do as little as possible to fix the problem, because it ain’t broke from where i’m sitting.”

from where I’M sitting, though, it’s all pretty much damaged beyond any keeping with the old ways can fix. it’s like a dog that lost it’s leg a year ago–we sewed him up, and he can practically go like before with only a slight limp. now, the dog has lost two of his legs, but is still dragging himself along, and our solution is to give the dog one prosthetic leg instead of two–or put him out of his misery entirely.

all i can hope now is i don’t lose myself or lose my job before i get out of debt.

you go through a week or two feeling like you got a target painted on your back, and then someone else nearby gets it. so, you are either an empathic and a psychic for another’s future tragedy, or the Universe is a really lousy shot. and then, the feeling that follows someone else having bad luck befall them when you were thinking it was meant for you–like a little kid holding back the insane desire to jump around mad with glee that it wasn’t you, mixed with a wizened old man full of sorrow at all the pain this Universe seems capable of holding.

i had a great insight this morning, and i held it throughout the day. it was an insight where i fully understood the implications for the first time of me not integrating with the latest gang to rise up around me–going behind my back for happy hour drinks and breakfast tacos, and leaving me to be the odd kid who stays up in his room peering out the blinds at the fun taking place down below. hundreds of opportunities, going back to the age of six, rose up in my mind–opportunities to join strom brackenridge’s playground gang, to play soccer, to wrestle, to play t-ball, to go to the junior high dances, to join clubs, to play football and other high school sports, to join a fraternity, to meet up with the students at the tutoring lab, etc. in all of these opportunities it is easy to dismiss what stopped me from joining as being raw fear, but it was more than just fear of groups. it was a certain fear that i would be proven an average kid–not terribly bad, but not a leader, either. by not joining, i could fantasize about some grand moment where i win the golden ticket and get to go to the chocolate factory or some other special thing, and soon all would be convinced i should be their leader.

even after i was dead certain i was no good at sports, and my intelligence was about a b+ equivalent on an iq or standardized test, i continued to refuse to join–maybe moreso now because i have joined a few groups, and was not overly pleased with the results.

after this insight, i stopped thinking i was special, and stepped out into the world to do my business and approach people as a non-special person. i realized it was going to take months, if not years, of training myself to undo all the years of approaching any group gathered with a certain kind of arrogance that, in some way, i am better than they are.

i hope this doesn’t make me schizophrenic–emailing notes and links of things i’m studying at home from work, and emailing links to articles related to my work to my work address–like i’ve separated into two completely different people. had this realization yesterday. it was not a matter of emailing a note to myself for later reference, but a moment of awareness of emailing a note to a different person. i have to start thinking of work being like working at that job in high school or college that you never in a million years would have considered for a career–it’s just putting money into your bank account, turn it off when you turn out the lights in the office.

all contact with the higher spheres appears to be dead. i am navigating solely based on the forces left that drive me the most.

i am in need of a good emotional colonic, someone or something to just get in there and root around, and ferret out all the latent aches from a million bad choices and life tragedies.

i thought perhaps i’d spent too much time trying to know myself better, but now i see i was spending too much time trying to craft somebody else in his place, and avoid knowing the real me.

all contact with potential new friends and hopes appears to be dead. i am breathing solely because i know i need to.

you know, i’ve ran into a lot of folks from the really old days, and none of the meetings are all that satisfying. they simply confirm that i only ever was somebody when i was drinking, and that somebody wasn’t me, so nobody but maybe my family ever knew me.

i’ve been wanting to break down and have a marathon bawl for ten years, and it just hasn’t happened–instead, i’ve just created more crap to bawl about.

i grabbed several of my mom’s textbooks from when she was studying to be a nurse, shortly after my parents moved down here. the density and complexity of information she was learning surprised me–but more so, the degree to which she had gone at remembering it in her detailed note taking. she’d passed all her classes with high marks, until she made a minor infraction in a lab exam–a slip of the mind due to having received a new round of chemo.

apparently, the instructor simply didn’t like her, and that was the instructor’s way of finding grounds to dismiss my mom from nursing school. it really doesn’t surprise me. my mom was always a little fanatical in whatever she decided to add to her belief system, and wasn’t afraid to voice it. over the time span of fifteen years, she’d lost her mother to cancer, her little sister to complications from a seven year coma, her grandma, her oldest son to aids, her youngest son to a car accident, and she herself had undergone several brutal rounds of cancer treatments that knocked just about everyone who got them dead or into nigh-vegetative states.

yet, there she was, acing most of her nursing classes, and probably doing better than most her fellow students–and probably also letting the instructor know anytime something she was learning went against her religious beliefs, causing endless friction with instructors who were no doubt mostly uninterested in hearing it. i know i couldn’t stand a lot of the Jesus-y talk, and remember running the other way if my mom started witnessing to a total stranger in public.

however, i was always quite proud of my mom for being fearless about stating what was on her mind, rather than worrying about what other people would think. you hear a lot of bullshit in our mainstream culture about speaking your own mind, being yourself, but so much of that amounts to being okay as long as it’s politically correct and not too polarizing. i was always proud of how she refused to give up and simply tend a garden or knit or do some other old person activity. instead, she got herself up at 3 am every morning to study and then drive from bastrop to austin to take classes all day. then, she’d go home to take care of the cats and stay up late to study more. most anyone who’d been through half of what my mom had been through would either be dead or content to get fat and bitch about how unfair life is and find ways to collect money off the government.

my father’s sisters, when my mom was on her last days, were quite eager to talk to my dad and me about letting go, and letting her die, and giving up and finding closure and moving on, etc. one of them has always been more than ready to dump as much unsolicited advice as she can on anyone within earshot of her. it’s funny, but most of her common-sense, practical worldly advice has come to sound like a bunch of hollow platitudes, as i compare and contrast the words that come out of her mouth with the life she’s lived–while the words of my mother continue to ring in my ears, truer each passing year as i look back and do the same, comparing the talk with the walk.

i have chosen to remain awake until 3:30 am, doing whatever i feel i need to do to right myself.

the unformed man began the process of non-formation the day he chose to sit out the invite to the very first gathering of men. he died a thousand deaths as an outsider, watching his species advance in its mastery over the elements, being killed time and again by the elements themselves, or by other outsiders who lived beyond the gathering round the primal fire.

the gathering of men worked in each successive generation to craft a superman. no single man could have created the superman on his own, in fact, the superman existed because of the gathering of man–they informed him, held him up, gave him great powers as a collective mind.

the unformed man had to steal into the walls of the gathering of man, and perform small, helpful tasks the gathering of man had long forgotten how to do. in exchange, he received nourishment that he was not supposed to receive–the superman and his henchmen would surely hunt down the unformed man and perform every method of torture they could conceive if they knew the unformed man was afoot inside their walls, eating their food without taking their oath. the helpful tasks were mostly folk remedies that solved the problems the superdrugs and psychotherapy couldn’t.

many of the people who’d taken the oath would beg the unformed man to take them with him back to his cave, for they realized that they’d traded their freedom for an illusory utopia that was full of holes and would soon burn. he told them he couldn’t do a thing for those who’d taken the oath, but could take their kids. he only took those children who were close to the oath-taking age of thirteen, and could handle themselves while the unformed man and his sad little band of healers left the cave to go into the city to do their work.

there were a few adults who’d joined the unformed man at the time the superman rose to power, and they were hardly sufficient to care for the large numbers of children being brought to the caves.

most of the children were brought back to the city when the cave was discovered by the superman’s henchmen, and the band of unformed men were put to death on unspeakable false charges. these children were either tortured to death as well for refusing to take the oath, or gave in out of fear, and joined the gathering of man.

not long after all the unformed men were reported dead, the city of the gathering of man was razed by a virus that swept through it–the virus liquified men’s organs and made them eat their own flesh. this virus was created by the superman, who believed he had immunity to the virus and would alone be a god over all creation with no other man alive, but he was mistaken.

the children who’d escaped capture lived deep inside the caves until their food stores were depleted, some of them bearing children of their own. they repopulated the earth with legends and myths of the curse wrought upon the gathering of man. inevitably, some of their descendants discovered the power of knowledge that was amplified when men gathered together. what’s more they discovered the power of power.

i don’t intentionally walk around setting myself apart from humanity. i wouldn’t want to see what my heart really looks like right now. i know in my deepest bone what freedom feels like, and what this quicksand hell is, but i may have to tear something off of me just to get out, to pull free. i don’t participate much in fantasies anymore, and i don’t act too crazy even when i’m alone. but some weeks, like this one, it just builds up inside me like so much gas you hold in polite company. by friday, you find yourself completely immersed in imagining what it would be like to run up and down the halls of where you work just screaming like a little kid.

how do all these adults do it–constrain themselves, control themselves, etc.?

it doesn’t help that i don’t drink anymore. at least the booze would mollify the pixie soul, the flighty sprite bouncing around inside of me.

the dog acts out what i feel inside, what i hold inside. she isn’t the least bit hesitant to snap at other dogs who want to be her friend, bully the little dogs, and cower in front of the big ones. she doesn’t apologize for her hypocritical stance on butt-sniffing–freely going up to any and every dog and sniffing away as she pleases, but snarling and snapping if any dogs get near her ass. metaphorically-speaking, of course, i want to do the same–just butt into anyone and everyone’s little private lives and conversations, root around until my curiosity is satisfied, then retreat to my private world where none but me may enter.

meanwhile, i start another weekend with the same urge to simply enjoy the delicious freedom of being away from responsibilities and obligations. what if i did absolutely nothing this weekend, not even put up the pretense of meditating on God and life and stuff, not washing my clothes, not going to the store for food? what if i shut my computer and phone off after tonight, and didn’t pick them up until monday morning?