October 31st, 2020 9:01am pdt

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Vertical Gate

 read ( words)

"Put on a helmet. This one is going to go south, quickly.

Ring disengaged. Forward gate.

I know what lies within. Coaxing it out will not work, however, but it's in there. All of it. The clues have piled and shown themselves through words and expressions enough to tell me I am correct. I can sense it at times. The words. And then something more... A slight exaggeration, eyes moving, a crooked smile... Believe me when I say that I know. There have been small effects here and there and I can see through to what is going on inside. There is little wrong with the whole thing, I merely point out that nothing can be hidden away from me. Nothing. I eventually learn it all. Right now I realize others are not going to gain what they need from me any longer. I cannot have that. Distance. Care must be taken. More than a year of details and here I sit with the knowledge which can destroy me. Nice, huh? One of the principal concerns has been on my big television for more than an hour. Yep, right there. But I left the issue on the screen anyway. Can I learn to deal with it? Not likely.

Thursday.

Yesterday was fairly productive. The crap is gone and the yard is better for the effort. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about a related favor which left someone else slightly hurt, but nothing terrible. It will pass, or perhaps already has. I felt pretty bad about the help slipping my mind. Damn. The understanding was present, though, as always. Very sweet. A visit for a little while coupled with more conversation regarding difficult subjects, too, and then home to the usual. Relaxation, some television in the background, and a few items sorted out. Not bad, but severely lacking in some ways. The worry does not leave me, ever. Going back to the conversation, I began to realize that I am so preoccupied with worrying about my physiological condition and the way outside influences can affect me that I could not relax about anything, even the solace of sitting outside with a beer and looking out over the valley. The view from up there is beautiful, I was in the presence of the most understanding soul imaginable, yet still I looked across the deck and remained concerned over too much. I simply cannot have another person constantly trying to hold me up. That is way out of balance, like the period with the Brunette. On the other hand, she and I were matched in some ways which made the conversations bearable. Yesterday I was sitting with a person about which I cannot go into detail, but suffice to say the individual is likely the best with which I could discuss anything these days. No one else will ever come along and provide the same. I need to be careful in avoiding a meltdown while in her loving presence. Even after reaching home, the support continued in both directions.

Unfortunately, the flares still take place despite the comfort. Catch... Ah, you know. Nothing is ideal anymore.

Laundry is in process. I need to photograph those items today, too. I sidestepped them yesterday after the need for comfort took over. That is ok, however. The day ended soon enough and I knew I could pick up this morning where I left off. After everything was picked up yesterday by the local hauler and his efficient crew, the back looks much better and there is more space in the garage. This is good. I plan to take advantage of the room and further my efforts in getting the house in order. Today will be spent entirely at home, which means I can really think things through before working. The evening will arrive soon enough.

I may have revealed too much. The feeling now is one of a dire need for turning the clock back and heading in a different direction. Keep in mind that I am rarely asked any questions. I generally churn inside over whatever strikes the fear and then gush a bit. Well, I don't like such a situation and I make it happen most of the time. I need to shut the fuck up sometimes. Making others wonder what is going on inside my head will be the unfortunate outcome. There does not seem to be another way at the moment. Part of the problem with my thinking this morning is that the words have already sailed off my tongue. It's too late. Nothing can be forgotten, either. I spouted and now I regret it. Damn. Not all is lost, though. I just need to keep this realization in mind as I move forward and avoid doing the same. Shut it off, dummy. I cannot worry over what others do not hear, right? Stop talking.

Rear gate.

The one horrid aspect is something I considered discussing but have since all but changed my mind. Most of what goes on inside me during difficult situations is very irrational and often has absolutely no basis in reality. My head creates much. As the words float around and I think about other people, one utterance from someone else sets me off. Not their fault, as I have stated over and fucking over. I already have the shit inside, what I hear is merely a trigger. Like those two words which have now jaded me and made one episode of my favorite show nearly unwatchable, the simplest little exchange expands and creates a wasteland of worry. All me. The triggers are not the problem, but they do illuminate yet another facet of my fucked-up mindset: That of the not knowing. Yep, that crap again. Not as it relates to a machine, though. Just reality, and relevant to two... One hundred fucking percent.

I was able to watch football despite the two words hanging there right before me. The day and the game had distractions which helped me to relax. I'm actually watching the Thursday night game right now -- pretty much alone for the most part -- and still I am seeing through different eyes. Not wide, paranoid. Very different, to be sure. This new development may not fade for some months, if at all. I don't know yet. What I do know is this Sunday may find me quiet. I may not be able to hold my tongue if the issue flares badly. This is becoming ridiculous. I do not know what to do anymore. As situations unfold and progress, my head overclocks and tries to compute the best path for survival, only to fall down later while alone. Said fall is taking place right now. I feel helpless to prevent such things anymore. Years should be promoting wisdom, strength related to experience, and other coping measures which can alleviate difficulties before they have a chance of growing out of control. Well, apparently I am going in the opposite direction. Weaker, more concerned, and smaller inside. Still on the levee? Hmm.

Ring engaged. Forward gate.

I am supposed to rationalize, separate, and deal with things. None of that seems to be happening, and if the last several days have been any indication, nothing good will come along anytime soon. I keep wallowing in the past and grating against the present. What do those facts mean for my future? More of the same? Worse? I don't see better. I just do not. The discussion yesterday drew the conclusion that I have been going downhill these last several months, and while some of it may be a lack of work and tons of free time, the fact is this subject -- the fucking second issue -- has grown in size and importance more than I had thought possible, let alone so quickly. Everything I see and hear is worse than the same back in the spring. There is no getting around it. Stone. Somehow I knew this would happen. I can't even get into the 'thingy'. Enough already. Tons.

Friday. I did not complete as much yesterday as I had hoped. No photographs, just laundry and stuff. Very disappointed.

Oy. Nothing is better this morning except the darkness outside. One of my smart bulbs in the living room is malfunctioning and I have not the first clue what is wrong. I'll address it later. The evening ran long so we ordered food instead of cooking. That means there is not much to clean. Like yesterday, there will be lots of time available for me to go above and beyond the norm. We shall see if I really have the drive. This past month has been very sodden. I don't feel real good about myself other than accomplishing the back yard work. Maybe one day I'll get pissed off again like at the beginning and work on a bunch of stuff while becoming tipsy. I hit a wall months ago and did something about it. Now? I don't feel angry anymore. More like disillusioned and down.



330

Yep, her again...



Like each morning, I see the day ahead and know it can be whatever I make it. Maybe I need to draw up a schedule or something. The reminders are used all the time for anything I cannot forget, but rarely have I made up anything further. Part of my apparent uselessness all this time is the preoccupation over all things in my head. They simply will not stop and only let up a bit when I really push or must send my full attention elsewhere. Seldom do I break out of the deep routine. I suppose much of the time I just don't know what to do. Lots of worry, too. I wish I could go into the main issue these days. Too personal, that one. Nada here. Well, I can go around it.

Maybe I can push toward the outer edge of the way life has been for months. Maybe. I will try.

Rear gate.

I believe the years gone by -- near a dozen -- have altered the importance. The Raven told me a few things which were taken to heart immediately because I had heard nothing of the sort prior to Her. Andrea was close, though. That woman laid out many aspects of me with wisdom out of nowhere. At the time I did not believe myself capable of understanding the full extent of her words, and then just a few years later and in the presence of another beautiful soul who knew me deeply, they were nearly repeated. But problems have recently truncated my view of the subject. Both of them knew what was going on in my head and helped. And while I have to admit that I overanalyze constantly, the preoccupation takes me most days and leaves my sense of direction lacking. A good portion of my trouble during weekdays and working on whatever may need to be done is caused by the same preoccupation. I do not see a solution, and the importance of this is growing out of control. There may be no end to it.

The period between might be the reason, along with some of the long past. I cannot get away from dreaming of my life developing differently enough to have avoided the way I feel now. Too great a need, and then everything builds in my head with little resolution. Much study has been undertaken, years of worry over something actually being wrong inside me, and then these mornings in which I have trouble trying to concentrate on anything else. The feelings and dreams take over much of my ability to reason. The only result thus far has been a boatload of words, none of which can be understood by anyone because I have left out a handful of key terms. I see it, but that is all. This may be the only thing I have anymore. So sad. My concern may never cease.

Neutral.

I removed the Train series because I was wide open when I wrote it but now feel it was too personal to make available to anyone. What I am currently going through is directly related to that story, and I felt leaving it on the site for so long became a mistake. In fact, I never should have published it in the first place. Some of the best, most cohesive writing I've attempted and the result is fantastic, if sad. But I can't have it sitting there available any longer. Right now I am going through so much difficulty both physically and emotionally that I fail to see how I will survive. Yes, that bad. The very dream from many years ago came to fruition for a time, disappeared soon after, and now is commanding my thoughts each day. The story I pulled from the site partially gleans said dream. I created Julia and then she became overwhelming to my head, and like Jaime, began to represent a part of life which now has me at sixes and sevens almost constantly. I don't know what to do. There does not seem to be a solution at the present and I have little faith in anything these days, let alone something so compelling that I cannot avoid the dream. Damn it anyway. None of this crap is going to make any sense. Blah.

I may have only one option in life.

Slowing. Ring engaged, forward gate again. What else? Have I even said anything here today?

The light is more present now, all foggy and humid out there. Usually into late October I stop paying so much attention to the weather because such a drop in ambient means I can be comfortable no matter what happens outside. Control over the environment. Yep, control. All the blather up there is regarding something over which I can never hold control. Well, a tiny aspect is fully mine, but the bigger picture is completely elusive. I'm tired of it. At least there is no heatwave to fuck with my comfort. And boy to I ever need it now. Considering what's going on in my head as it relates to physical issues, the weather is way up the scale of positive right now. Something going my way for a change. Heh.

Ah but the year will end soon enough and leave me even worse than I am at this moment, and let me say that as I sit here this morning, the bad is worse than it has been in years. I will probably go outside later and ravage something. Power tools, attic, garage, beer... Something may happen with harsh music in the background. Plus I can alienate others at the same time. Win, win. Pretty unhappy right now, people. Not good. Not even close. The unnamed issue is such that I see no future for me, meaning perpetual bad mood. Good thing I am turning into a raging alcoholic. Try and stop that one, assholes. Mood: south.

Like the eagle and the dove
Fly so high on wings above
When all you see can only bring you sadness
Like a river we will flow
On towards the sea we go
When all you do can only bring you sadness
Out on the sea of madness

Mood: worse. Believe it.

The numbers may return. They appeared more than once in a long series on social media, but then disappeared each time shortly thereafter. Now? I don't see another way.

No resolution. Ring dropped, center and neutral, and then the second lever. Reverse to wherever.

No one is going to have a clue as to what this all means and I don't give a shit. I have to type the words anyway. I expect nothing in response, nor do I see any help in the long run. My only option is to keep up with the writing. Soon this will be all I have, and soon after will be nothingness. Black. Cold. Dense. Like the phantom which appeared at a threatening angle above the men's room in that big restaurant in Milpitas seventeen years ago, there can be no answer. We stood and tried to calculate what had been happening and all four ended that night with nary a clue as to what came through the ceiling. I may as well be standing there again for all the good this is doing. Do you understand? Nope. Don't expect anything here to be clearer in the future. I'm done with it.

Threatening angle, just like the skew of my head. Mood: even worse.



331

...with the face...



Oh yes, as I said up there somewhere, a big conniption is incoming. As soon as I can open up for business, the shit will fly around like deranged pelicans. Music, beer, photography of the items, and then much moved around to make room for my shit attitude. This is one of those mornings in which I dream of everything going into the trash can. For the time being, I must keep the house quiet and sip my coffee with the show up there. The temperature outside will not dissuade me from heading into the garage, however. I used to shy away from working out there in the cold, but today the anger will heat me from the inside. I am looking forward to forcing people into asking of my well-being. That will be entertaining.

Still in reverse, lever centered, ring doesn't matter now.

Feel like I've been here before
Feel like I've been here before
Feel like I've been here before
Feel like I've been here before

Fuck. I'm sick of this. Years upon years of worry, discomfort, splashed expectations and hope, everything. I do not wish to feel this way anymore, however the solution eludes me and may in fact be nonexistent. I can't seem to calm the thoughts, either. The more time which passes, the deeper things run and the less I can concentrate upon any tasks without becoming angry. Each morning shows me a day ahead, and each evening reveals all that I could have done. And then the feelings inside take over and I dream of the wonder which used to be available but now seems dead and decaying, like my attitude. I am half worried and half pissed off. Many parts of the past and the way I think are my doing, but this one is not. I know it as surely as I know I will never be happy again. I believe a part of moving myself from the mush and focusing upon the future means leaving those four years alone for a while. I've written too much about the period and dwelled upon it for weeks, perhaps longer. If I stay away from stories of that time, maybe my head will be open enough for productive thinking. I don't know. Sick of it. Everything.

Those years are following me like Jung's fucking shadow. I wish I had known of their importance because keeping such a period alive was well within reach, even after moving across the country. But I did not think in such terms. Everything was still to come, just as I thought years later. Well, I guess what was to come has passed on by. I sit here now bereft of hopes and dreams of the future. All is known, uncovered, and the outlook bland. I know not why, but the younger years always felt like much was in store. Maybe that's how everyone feels. Now? All those little things, adventures, projects and bright moments have faded away along with my expectations of anything good taking place from here on in. The shine of those four years was unseen at the time. The present has revealed much, contrast and emptiness being at the top of the list. I no longer wait for the ideas and dreams as I did, and perhaps the mistake was indeed waiting rather than moving toward them. I didn't know, however. I had no idea. Now I do. No more brightness.

And my name will be gone.

Sitting here now in the living room, I see the 'campfire' candle on the table staring back as if to remind me of a decade of trips all over the state. Camping. Year after year of it with the same group of people, often repeating our favorite locations. That entire period became defined by comfort. Whether at home or elsewhere, comfort and enjoyment were key. That is what we had been seeking. I recall the hot weather driving me to dream of the hotel trips, and the cleanliness and order of those sending thoughts back to the outdoors. Back and forth, they offset each other. Home was comfortable. Like now. During the earlier years which now haunt me, I did not consider such comfort. The idea was not at the forefront most of the time. We did what we did for fun, nothing more. Exploration and excitement whenever we could swing it, yet the comfort was not on my mind. Not like the present. Not even close. These days? All I have. The time period in question was long after the four, yet it was one of those I remember with fondness, mostly. I must say those years of being in the apartment and then the house were still formative, unlike now. They felt transitive, really, as if there was to be something else on the horizon. Still I waited for those dreams of my early years. I waited and did very little. The trips here and there all year long, gatherings with friends, and the occasional lavish vacation kept me going.

Another example of weakness and sensitivity just moments ago, followed by insensitivity. Splendid. I am beginning to feel like a fucking machine.

There was hope, right up to the moment I left that house and drove across the bridge. One year after that trip? No hope, no future prospects, no ambition, and none of the forward-looking I had always relied upon to show me possibility. Everything I owned was flying out the door at high speed and I did not give half a shit what happened to me any longer. I wanted to be free of any type of connection. Soon I realized that one type of connection was needed for my survival, although I had used up all of the good fortune left in this life. When I think of that year and half of the next, I see someone else, a person who basically ran over himself in the car and didn't care about anything. I suppose I had a fit and lashed for a while before coming back to reality and attempting to make something of myself. And now here we are more than eight years after that fucking shit show and I am nowhere. No hope. And this entire paragraph is a waste of space. I said I would not remove anything, so here it stays, good or bad.

Saturday. Football is tomorrow. Yesterday I moved a bit beyond the usual, but nothing dramatic. Today is wide open just like the past three and I am hoping to work more than I have so far this week. I really need the accomplished feeling to return. Months ago I pushed forward much more and the evening felt deserved. That must return or I will not survive.

Ring disengaged again... Rear gate. No more coasting.

I was awakened mere hours after dozing off last night and worried that there would be no more sleep, much like days ago when I sat here with coffee in the middle of the night. Well, I was relaxed enough to just lie there and think about everything for a while, after which I drifted off and into a dream. Two women and myself in a scene which was familiar somehow. I knew only one of them, a young brunette (not the Brunette). She smiled upon seeing me there awaiting the two of them. Beyond that, I don't know what took place. Little flashes of imagery here and there, some speaking, but mostly I was with both of them and did not know the reason. And then the scene changed and my old boss and I were at some sort of attraction in which there were ladders, trails, and tall trees, like a National Park or similar. We were walking along a path next to what seemed motel rooms and ran across a quiet space. I ventured inside to seek a bathroom and noticed there were hoards of people arriving from the opposite direction. We decided to leave. Back the way we had come, and on to a line of people climbing one ladder which was combined with stairs, leading steeply to something above. Part way up I realized the time was becoming short and suggested we back down and head somewhere else. He agreed, and at nearly the same moment there was a couple just above us on the ladder who wished to do the same. We all requested the others move backward to clear space, and after climbing down we disbanded and I awakened. The look and feel of the area reminds me of Mesa Verde in Colorado, one of the places my dad took us when we lived there. As for the dream and meaning? I have no idea, although the two women and being near them was wondrous. A feeling I have not known before. Whatever. The Brunette brought the idea to my birthday back in eleven, and I was frightened of both the pressure and intimidation. I did not believe that much confidence could have been mustered in a hundred years. Ugh.



335

...as my brain floats through a netherworld...



The comfort of the dream conjured images of two machines for a few minutes. Don't fucking get me started.

I had a bit of a trial yesterday but nothing which held me down terribly long. The ongoing thingy is still ruling my head most of the time, however. There seems to be no way out of that one. This morning I've been considering options and methods for coping with the difficulty. The previous morning was not so pulling, yet I knew the force could take me off my feet at any time, so I maintained pace and it worked. The day went along, good or bad as it was. Today I can already see that keeping myself up will be tough. Soon I will need to get away from this and do more organizing in the garage, picking up where I left off. Crap is going out the door and into the trash, much like my attitude. As for the usual difficulty, it's being pushed. I must keep myself upright for the time being and consider the consequences. Never good. A tiny upside cannot offset feelings of emptiness. So far, so good. Eight in the morning.

I quietly leave. A lonely sight
Relieved of all my guilt
To join a wall of deepest Hell
The Devil himself has built

Ah... There is one of those faces I do not ever wish to see. Very good actor, though. I am alone so it's ok for the most part. Not much else on right now anyway. Oy, never mind. Robert gallivanting around at forty-six years old without a shirt is not something I need to see. Fuck. Already in my head and not a fucking thing I can do to get rid of it.

Kim Cattrall is about as scary as is possible for a woman. I know not why. Maybe the other show and all those conversations with the Brunette. Maybe.

I watched most of the football game Thursday night and was captivated by the gameplay. The contest was well-matched and entertaining right up to the last few minutes. Really good. The worry was there but manageable, I suppose. Sometimes I cannot enjoy the games very much after something causes me to become preoccupied. Always the same shit, too. If I am to engage in watching football, I have to learn to relax and let some of that crap go, otherwise another part of my life which used to define my favorite time of year will need to be removed. So many parts of the past enjoyment have been taken away that I am surprised to be sitting here idle. Today is Halloween, believe it or not. The football will be of the college variety in a little while and my number one team against its greatest rival. Either I can watch and have fun, or not. Right now I have no idea, and such uncertainty after being happy to see the pro game just two nights ago. I am alone, however, good or bad as it may be. I guess just wait and see is all I have now. Maybe I can listen while in the garage. Hmm.

As usual, I am hanging by a thread. One would think after trying to work on this problem for so many years that I would have learned to better deal with it. Not really. Each day which passes brings more concern. I can not spell it out, either, and as such, the worry amplifies. Today I've been trying to analyze from differing standpoints but in order to fully explore I need understanding ears. Everything is related, from the television to the people out in the world, and from the inside of my head as it spins four issues to the simplicity of a light conversation. I see or hear something and become slammed to a wall as if I am being arrested for a terrible crime. My mind runs uncontrolled into the darkness and leaves me at the mercy of myself. Just a thread. I am still sitting here after all this time but no better for the effort.

Forward gate, like a Jake brake. Slower.

Nearly time to put this to the screen of the world and move along with my morning. I always have plenty to do. Some laundry, the usual inside chores, and photographs. That's right, I still have yet to take care of those items to sell. Damn it. Also, yesterday I cleaned out some parts drawers and tossed a load of stuff into the trash. I intend to list a cabinet and two other items for free on the local site. Every time I do so, whatever is listed disappears by close of business. I don't mind losing a little value by giving things away as it helps others. Since my partner is home again all day, I may tie in the power up in the attic at long last and put that fucking project to bed. I have everything necessary to finish. I can also survey the cold air return for my new filter box. That will be next, and afterward only one task shall remain up there.



336

...unlike the previous world I miss so much



Credits crawl. All those names slowly making their way up the screen, some more prominent than others, yet all were important for crafting dreams into film. I wanted to be there. Still do, sometimes, although these days an act of God is required for me to tie my fucking shoes. Never me. Like the dreamy, ethereal scene from weeks ago which I cannot discuss, just never me.

These last two days and nights have not exactly been the most pleasant. Constant reminders of my painful past have been combined with words and gestures leaving me to feel very small and unimportant. If people only knew of the danger inherent in treating me as such, they might act differently. My idle threats will not always be as such, so heed this. The worst feeling in the world is that of being disregarded. Well, it is happening over and over in ways that I cannot lay out here. Believe me when I say there will be an end to it, and the type no one is going to enjoy.

Don't cross me. You'll see the credit crawl of my life.

Ring, levers, all of it... disabled and parked."



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