June 14, 2020

It\’s Sunday, and I\’m in bed. Today was largely uneventful. I ate fried chicken gizzards from a gas station on Beacon and 15th; they were the best and only chicken gizzards I have eaten in the US. I also bought two motorcycle magazines and a copy of Hi Fructose. It came out to $40; it turns out magazines are shockingly expensive. 

On the other hand, last Friday was eventful. I spent a few hours on hold and then two more hours with an agent from the Washington Employment Security Department. The agent that helped me was a guardian angel in a bureaucratic doom labyrinth. Then I went to Fort Lewis with Caitlin to help her sister move. And now I\’m going to be honest because this is my journal, and if you\’re reading my journal, you\’re going to get my personal thoughts. Her sister and her brother in law are the worst family whose home I have entered—or at least that I have been able to consciously realize….
It\’s kind of hard to quickly describe how a relationship can be toxic like that. There was never sincere communication, only yelling and sarcasm. But I could see that the married couple really hated each other. They were open about. It\’s those kinds of relationships where I think, why bother? I told Caitlin that if we\’re ever that miserable together, I\’m going to divorce the shit out of her as quickly as I can. The level of suffering that I witnessed was not worth the price of half of all my future earnings.
Also being back on a military base brought back memories. Even going to the AAFES shoppette was a throwback. I don\’t know if I was projecting old feeling, but my god, there were so many dead, soulless faces. In addition to that Caitlin\’s brother in law hired a mover who was an absolutely classic army burnout—combat arms, pushing 30, never made it past E4, who was a raging alcoholic pounding back several Steel Reserves instead of helping us load the largest moving truck you can rent without needing a CDL. That time really brought back some memories.
I have this theory: If you\’re doing really poorly at the army, then you\’re probably not a good person; if you\’re doing really well in the army, you are also probably not a good person. This is a rule with exceptions. There are professionals 
But I\’m speaking from the perspective of an enlisted soldier. The officer corps is bourgeois as fuck, as far as I am concerned. Not that I have that much to complain about; I had an office job. 

Somehow Saturday and Sunday have escaped me, Sunday especially, and I want to write here to figure out why. I felt stuck in a certain mindset—as if locked in first gear. I was uneasy. I felt as if there were something I was avoiding, but that I was able to reasonably hide that something. 
I\’m not sure if I was ignoring something inside of me. I didn\’t have peace of mind, but I kept myself busy with reasonable things. I spent more time on youtube than I meant to, but I also read non-fiction, and learned a few things about people who tour across countries on adventure bikes. My motorcycle obsession is frustrating me, especially because I know that if I over do it, then I will only be disappointed when I finally do own a bike, but I can\’t stop thinking about the topic because it\’s a really nice break from the scifi story that I\’m trying to finish transcribing to my computer and edit; and it\’s easier to watch motorcycle reviews on the internet rather than read Plato.
The feeling itself was like I was overheating. Stuck in a low gear: good for getting started and climbing hills but bad for covering long distances on the freeway. —There\’s a metaphor in here. 
Actually, now that I think about it, it reminds me of the last therapy session I had where I melted down into anger. I distinctly remember seeing a hot flaming sun with arching solar flares in my mind\’s eye. Today, that sun has still made its presence, but it\’s like I\’m standing in the shade, but it\’s not shade because it\’s actually a really hot metal box. The sun is somehow obscured but remains hot—that is the phrase that comes to mind. 
Maybe if I\’m stuck in a low-gear, then I just need to do low-gear things. Then when I\’m stuck in high gear I\’ll do those things. We\’ll see if the metaphor sticks. And then the next challenge is to be able to appropriately determine which gear I am at anytime… hey and someday I\’ll learn to change gears and then be able to focus on the right things in the right way. 
Today and Yesterday I spent about 20-30 minutes listening to Joe Rogan interview Duncan Trussell. It was interesting. But the entire time I kept thinking about something I read a few days ago when I briefly picked up Will Durant\’s The Story of Philosophy in the chapter on Schopenhauer. I forget if it was the historian/author talking or if it was the philosopher; more than likely it was the latter. It very loosely goes something like this:

Be careful when you read. If you only read, you will never have thoughts of your own. And if you must read, then read from the masters themselves. Do not begin with a commentary on Plato. Begin with Plato.

And when I thought of that reading, I stopped enjoying listening to Joe Rogan\’s podcast. To put it accurately, albeit overdramatically, I felt violated. I think this is because I used to have a bad tendency where I would identify with whatever speaker I was listening to and agreed with; I would have a hard time differentiating myself because it was a reliable method of escape. It was nice feeling like I was glib and educated. But the fantasy would die when I would try to explain things myself.
Anyway, in a sense, the podcasters were inside of me. And like, that\’s fine. But today, giving them my time felt too intimate. I don\’t really like those guys anymore, even if I do find them interesting. I know I\’m using sexuality as a metaphor here; I would rather find another metaphor, but it\’s pushing midnight, and I\’m going to wake up in less than seven hours.
So, I panicked and slammed my computer shut and came here to write—because Duncan Trussell was in my mind-brain making himself a little too cozy.

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