December 21, 2013

Freedom

In West Virginia en-route to a play in NYC that never was.
God I feel good. I get up every day whenever I want and for the first time in my life do whatever I want. I live in nearly complete silence except for the sound of water boiling for my coffee, the ruum of the heater and huum of the refrigerator, and little else. No radio, television, CD player or DVD, no music, and no knock on the door disturbs me. I have plenty of books from the modern streamlined Las Vegas library and an abundance of Bic pens and composition notebooks to write in.

For the first time in my life I feel no obligation to anyone. If my son in the unlikely event showed up from his hideout in the East and knocked on my door I am not sure that I would let him in. My friends countable on one hand, Marc, Gary, Richard, Anna and Joe, are welcome anytime but the likelihood of their visits is the same as the likelihood of the man in the moon waving hello. My old friend Abe from 50 years ago in the Marine Corps lives a mile away and he is welcome anytime. Other than that, nobody. People I meet on the street get a hello and goodbye forever. I sometimes talk to people I will never see again at bus stops. There is my social life along with a few remarks on Facebook.

Me & my hero.


It is almost like heaven to be living alone in this small studio apartment that I can just afford on my pittance of a monthly Social Security check, without bothersome intrusions, without relationships, without the desire for women or friendship or work or anything except a computer, which sooner of later will come my way. The utility bill bearable now is sure to eat me alive in summertime but I plan to live without air conditioning with the windows open like I did growing up in torrid Louisiana.

I have food in the cupboard: coffee and sugar (most important!), eggs, pancake and cornbread mix, milk, cereal, rice, beans, carrots, jalapeno peppers and some spices. A clean bathroom where I can shower anytime and an electric clipper to keep my beard and hair trimmed. I sleep when I'm tired and if I awake at 3 a.m. I get up and start work reading and writing. I thank god every day that I don't have to get up before dawn anymore and trudge off to some job where I have to swing a paint brush or hammer all day for some greedy capitalist fuck. For the first time in 50 years I am without a vehicle and don't miss the convenience or expense. Las Vegas has a great bus system and I get an old man's pass for $35 a month to ride anywhere anytime.
On the sidewalk outside The Dakota where John Lennon lived.


Finally I can read what I want and concentrate on it for a change. I'm reading the things I always wanted to read but didn't have time because of the toil and exhaustion afterward, mostly the Greek and Roman classics. I am studying Italian from three books. I am devouring Camus again with a new and more mature understanding, and I am re-reading the things I liked from Bertrand Russell. I am nearly finished with Donald Kagan's "The Origins of War." I go through about five books a week and make notes on index cards. I am still working on the novel that has been taking shape in my head for 15 years. Maybe I will finish it or maybe I won't. The fun is in the learning how to do it right and imagining that if it ever gets published it will blow somebody's mind. I will be damned if I will churn out mediocre crap that I can publish all shiny and self-important on the internet like one guy I know. This blog is the closest I'll get to it and yeah, I admit it, I use it to vent sometimes. But so what? It is free and I can delete it and destroy the evidence!

The only thing I miss is the music and words of Bob Dylan. But I already have so much of it in my head that I can do without for awhile.
For 3 years I wrote by the lower left window.


For the first time since 1968 I feel no obligation or duty to lend my presence or voice to any protest against war or anything else. Someone has to do it and I already did and it didn't do a damned bit of good, so let someone else do it. I'll lodge my protests in writing as I have always done without anyone's notice, comments, or results. I don't expect praise and I repel all blame for the wars and other injustices of dumb-assed lazy-minded cowardly man-and-womankind. As far as I'm concerned they can go on forever as they always have. "It's never been my duty to re-make the world at large/Nor is it my intention to sound the battle charge..." (Dylan)

To hell with Medicare and Obamacare too, I have free medicine and even eyeglasses from the wonderful VA.

I could drop dead writing this and I don't care. I am not afraid to die, in fact I want to welcome it with great curiosity. I don't need anyone with a tearful countenance sitting by my deathbed holding my hand and going boo hoo when I exit this life. Just shoot me up with the morphine if  possible. Death has got to be the best part of life because it comes last.
Finally the White Light
Seventy two years old and free at last, that is how I feel. Liberated from the fire of American hell and the demons and torturers of my youth and later life. Liberated from the ones who made demands imposed expectations and hounded me through my life with snarls and bites and stings and upturned noses when I complained that it hurt. Freed from the hypocritical judges and punishers who condemned me to loneliness and poverty and pariah-hood for innocent and guilty mistakes. Freed from the ones whose expectations I could never satisfy, the would-be artists and spiritual guides who could not guide themselves from their own amused and supposed superiority. The one with the incredible unforgiving bitch of a wife who withheld forgiveness for something that I never said and busted up a relationship that I valued highly more than once. From the one who sits like a great fat Buddha on Staten Island silent unresponsive and too wise for his own ego. From the vengeful ex-brother-in-law who badmouthed me for decades and poisoned my son, from the bitter passive-aggressive former wife, from the confused pampered and over-educated son seething with misplaced anger, and from the undeserved hatred of a manipulative old bitch of a mother-in-law 90 years old and still trying to have it her way, totally unconscious of what she did to me. Free from the self-righteous mean bastard of an uncle in Texas and his pretentious asshole of a daughter, and from the condemnation of an obese elder sister who put me in jail for nothing and then gorged herself to diabetes and blindness, and from others I could name but won't, not because I fear a libel suit, because I have nothing to sue for, but because of my innate gentle Irish courtesy, an unexpected gift from my sweet tragic mother, and not because I forgive them because I don't. I will never forgive them. Forgiveness is not my strong suit and I don't give a damn to get it either. Here is my answer to their lifelong oppression: The Finger.
It isn't bad having a borderline personality disorder.
I saved seven cents in September and two dollars and forty cents in October. It is four days to Social Security payday (Christmas) and I have been broke for four days, but I have tobacco and coffee AND SUGAR and I am as happy as hell! For the first time in my surprisingly long life I am physically and mentally healthy, and happy! I hereby express my gratitude to whatever gods there are. I know without evidence that they are. It is better by far than believing in nothing.

As G.K. Chesterton wrote: "When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything."

That's not my problem. Maybe my problem is that I believe in everything.




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