first in a series of series of declared series

I am so frustrated I could file a class action lawsuit! If, you know, I had a lawyer. And money to pay them if they did not want to do all this work for free because I have a hunch the system is rigged and besides I am the most unreliable witness alive.

Ok maybe not the most unreliable. But my credibility and my credit are both shot. Probably it is no coincidence that they would go down together but if I start drawing connections too sharply I am going to look like I am psychotic or something and that would just–

well, underscore the “with psychotic features” portion of my vast collection of diagnoses. Which diagnoses will come up again if I get that far before I die but I am not sure how far I will even get before the coffee wears off or my eyes start aching so badly that I must stop typing and stare at my feet for the rest of the evening.

Personal responsibility. I have a lot of thoughts about that. Of course in late capitalism the persons saddled with personal responsibility are not those persons the Supreme Court saw fit to fashion out of the inherently lopsided autocracies that are corporations. They can do whatever they want; the invisible hand will guide and protect them in its boundless mercy for profit seekers.

The rest of us though. No such protection.

Still I can fantasize that everyone who espouses personal responsibility would actually be happy to take some on themselves and prove to the rest of us that they do believe this responsibility applies to everyone, not just to those other people who are not able to meet the free-market definition of worthiness.

I had the idea today to go out into the world. Because lately I have not been doing a whole lot of that because when I do what often happens is quite a lot like what happened today. I took my camera; I sort of made a new Gregorian calendar year resolution to go take pictures on my block at least once a week for the rest of the year and to try to see things that I have already seen a million times at least differently enough to take interesting pictures. Part of the resolution included posting them, somewhere, for anyone out there to look at. I hope to be able to get to that in between what may be called dystonic storms if what is going on with me is what I think is going on with me.

Really I think this was just an idea I had around the first of the year and I figured well this is a punctual moment so why not start and call it (one of) my project(s) for the year.

Looking up at an old building with columns and wrought iron faux balconies on the boarded-up windows

Today I took pictures of an old building that I am quite certain will soon lose its beautiful crumbling facade when someone buys it and decides that restoring said facade would cut into profits too much and instead they replace the facade with a facile quote of said facade. Because this has already happened to the two buildings adjacent to this one that were built in similar styles some time ago when architectural flourishes were not seen as excessive or if they were seen as excessive then it was still worth the time and money to carry them out in order to simply be excessive.

The point of my field trip was not necessarily the photography although I was aware this might be the only thing I was able to accomplish if I did accomplish anything at all. My general plan was to walk somewhere where there was a place to sit and then to sit there and maybe write a little bit about one or two of the million things that have occurred to me in the last couple of years and then gotten lost in the ceaseless clatter that is my central nervous system looking for itself or America or some other nostalgia-ridden peaceful ideal and that also makes starting andor continuing to write or think on any of these things into a challenge of modestly exhausting proportions.

I got as far as the parklet outside of a cafe over on Valencia just south of 22nd Street. I had thought maybe to try for the library at 24th Street but my back did not like all the standing still I had done while using my camera so I stopped here. I even got some coffee although I could not really afford it because why not go all out?

So I took my coffee to a parklet table and got myself seated which is itself an involved affair for reasons I do not fully understand except that it might have something to do with how I hang half of the things I think I might need from my bag and so they often get tangled up in each other and me and the dozen or so wallet chains I decorate myself wtih besides. Plus today a camera on a strap around my neck and you would think that carrying a bag would make organization easier instead of harder but no. It gets even worse if I put things in or on a backpack with carabiners and velcro and paracord. Backpacks are made to keep things out of reach until you Get There but I usually need things enroute and I should probably just get a toolbelt or something similar that could hold lots of things without using up my hands and neck.

Eventually though I was seated with my iDevice out and my coffee in front of me and I opened a note-taking app all ready to start. And then I realized that my eyes, neck, and head were all throbbing. At slightly different frequencies and also and this has been going on for a while but I do not notice that much here in my house because I guess I do not look down much at home if I look down that is if I bend my neck rather than, say, my waist in order to see something below my current horizon line then my head starts to ache or in this case ache worse. My neck muscles apparently do not like to be stretched that way because the ache starts in the back on one or both sides of my cervical spine and apreads from there to my temple(s) and forehead(s–oh wait. I only have one of those!).

This can be annoying when trying to use an iDevice without holding it up so that I can look directly ahead at it. Holding the iDevice up in that way makes my shoulder muscles angry if I do it for too long especially if the reason I am doing it is because the muscles in my face are angry because they will just spread the love on down to whatever part of me tries to do anything but remain still and as relaxed as possible which often is not at all possible but you have to try anyway if you want to be able to do anything at all the rest of the day.

My nose was twitching. Not so that anyone could see it but some nerve in my right-nostril-flaring muscle(s?) was unhappy or alarmed or something and so sending a repeated signal to a tiny bit of that muscle to contract and then shiver at about 70Hz or so for half a second. A half second of rest and then another signal. You might say it was on a 70Hz over 2Hz sort of signal. Or the other way around.

I don’t know which.

But most of the muscles in my face twitch for short periods at about 70Hz and in the night when it is quiet I can hear them, you know, from the inside, through whatever bone is between the muscle and my inner ear. Because my jaw is trying to shut itself with great emphasis much of the time and with varying amounts of force fueling that emphasis, I can only tell if it is relaxed if I stop hearing it strain against itself. Sometimes this means my jaw can be fully slack, but it usually finds rest somewhere between clenched tight and teeth not quite touching. A point of homeostasis between warring muscle groups, always at a slightly different length of the arc that defines the full range through which my chin can move all by itself. “Slack” jaw for me actually requires continuous muscular effort against the contractive forces almost always exercising themselves. And this generates that same hum slightly higher in pitch than the familiar sixty cycles of AC power. Or wherever those sixty cycles come from. Wall socket I am pretty sure but don’t quote me on that.

My eyes do not hum. They just ache if I try to swivel them upwards or sideways. You know, in their sockets. Not moving my head. Not all the time but if my nose or cheek or eyebrow are twitching it is usually the case that my eyes are not wanting to do any work at all other than the heavy-lidded unfocused meditation gaze at forty-five degrees of nothing. And so that is what I let them do even if I am not formally meditating right that minute. In fact this whole symphony of muscular restlessness will sometimes relent of I meditate on the spot. Or at least I can keep it toned down a little for as long as I look down with my eyes half-closed and my neck absolutely straight or even bent back slightly. If I wait long enough I can say I was meditating even if I was just waiting for the storm to pass and trying to think calm relaxing thoughts to help it on its way as well as to retain my own composure for another few minutes.

Klonopin can help a bit too, so I took a quarter of one and washed it down with my coffee so as to maybe counteract its sleepier-making effects. Oh and also water. Especially if I have eaten recently, half to a full liter of water can hurry my face along towards placidity. Of course then I will be hurrying myself along to the restroom soon enough but I know where all the good ones are in my neighborhood plus if all else fails I can just use the one in my therapist’s waiting room I mean hallway.

And so once the Klonopin and water and coffee were administered I sat somewhat Buddha like in the parklet chair with my head facing forward and my eyes down. People walked past with great commotion of noise and light. They say that the eye thing–if dystonia is the cause or rather the effect become a cause of the twitches and contractions–is a slow spasm of the eyelid muscles, but that does not explain at all why sound becomes all clanky loud and light all knife-edged bright while I cannot look at anything that requires eye muscle movement of any kind not just lid-raising.

In any case. I managed to type two paragraphs into my iDevice eventually but that was all my body would let me do, so I got up and walked home after getting my bag and my jacket and my camera all tied on in the right places. I rifled through the things I keep in my head to write for the one that would be a useful tangent for the story I keep saying that I want to write which is my own story of which there are thousands if not tens of thousands or more and it hit me: fucking class-action lawsuit! The mess I have been in the last several however manies is one that others share and not one of us chose to place outselves here.

But against whom? I start to make a list:

Jack Chick, most definitely, or whatever he left of his little evangelistic comic empire.

The Southern Baptist Convention?

How far back into the multiple, ramified chains of events would one want to reach?

I think the statute of limitations has passed to try to find the dude who raped me.

Not my brother. I know where he is.

The other dude.

How about a class-action lawsuit against the whole of compulsory anatomically essentialist heteronormativity? Who precisely is responsible for that?

Billy Graham Industries or LLC or Incorporated or however his offspring continue to make money by threatening the masses with the Lake of Fire. Oh, sorry. This one belongs up there with Jack Chick. I would not say the Grahams are completely to blame for the heteroassumptions into which they were all born.

I am refraining from naming what might be the most obvious entity to sue if the symptoms that started as soon as I stopped taking Zyprexa and continue to this day are actually somehow even in the most tortuous of ways connected the drug itself or its method of discontinuation. I will just leave this here though.

OK this was going to be a short intro? And I was going to write the story of why Jack Chick is the first culpable party that sprang to mind upon imagining financial compensation for chronic daily annoyance? But probably I have lost most of my audience already so I will try that a little later with some luck and Klonopin and water oh and lots of just. breathing.



not your everyday post

So I guess one could say I am not doing so well at this blog-every-day effort. I was going great guns there at first, but honestly the political ranting is not something that I want to engage in on a full-time basis–or rather, 100% of my blog’s time; I do not do anything on a “full time” basis as traditionaly understood in the US–but I kind of got myself cornered into it because it is easy to react to just about any politically oriented piece I read on the internet, making said reactions sort of a natural blogging genre if one is looking to throw together easy-bake arguments in fifteen minutes a day.

But I was hoping to vary my routine a little more than that. And I wanted to make this neither a diary nor a daily rant. And now I am wondering whether blogging every single day is necessary, or even good, for me. There is a difference between, say, writing a little bit on your book/thesis/dissertation every day and finding a topic to go on about in public every day, making it something that you can give a “treatment” to in ten paragraphs or less. How crucial is it that I think of something coherent but compact to say about a single, varied topic every day?

I am not sure.

I would like to blog more often than, say, once a month. And I would like to be able to feel like when I have something to say about something, be it linear or nonlinear or even nonverbal, that I can find the wherewithal to go on and say it, do it, perform it–whatever is necessary to externalize it in a way that is satisfactory to me.

But every day?

By stroke of free-associative internet luck, a few minutes ago I was reading an user review of a book I had never heard of, Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money. I got there via a link from an Atlantic Monthly essay on introversion, “Caring For Your Introvert,” which is a short and, to me, ultimately frustrating piece on how it is that introverts are a misunderstood minority, at least in North American culture. It is a column, and so meant to be entertaining and somewhat light, so I do not think I should have expected too much from it, but ultimately it ends up saying the same thing as every piece I have ever read on the topic of how introverts have to find ways to get along in an overwhelmingly extroverted society: there are not enough of us to really change our culture so that it takes care, or even notice, of our needs, and so the best we really can hope for is to find ways to adapt when possible and to suffer in silence the rest of the time.

There is a link here with what I was saying at first. Bear with me.

But so this user review of Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money is a favorable review, written by an introvert who is happy that the book “enables self-acceptance while at the same time encourages and guides toward change.” Upon reading this I thought “What?? Why should we be the ones who have to change?”

This is so often the approach taken in self-help books for introverts–how to adapt to an extroverted culture that is not at all interested in adapting to us–that every time I see this sort of advice given I die a little bit. Honestly. It is not that I have no sense of humor, and it is not that I am unwilling to compromise with the world; in fact I spent the first 20 years of my own life compromising in every aspect imaginable with the demands that were thrown my way by a family and community that had no earthly idea what to make of me nor what was wrong with me. But they knew that something was, and that it needed to be rooted out and worked over until I was willing to believe, willing to speak, and willing to accept that I was defective to the point of needing a divine miracle to set me aright.

So. I do not do that anymore. Or that is, I am trying to learn how to accept what it is that makes my own neurological processes somewhat unique, or unique enough that they often feel at odds with the majority of those around them. And I am trying to learn how to create a space in the world where I can live without shame or constant self-approbation.

Even writing that out gives me some pause, as though I am not entitled to anything of the kind and need to go back to the sort of compromises I once made, which, among other things, required that I spend most of my waking hours dissociated and that I defer, indefinitely, doing the kind of work that I find most important and most necessary, because that kind of work is not generally valued or even considered work in most instances.

But I have been told, more lately than, say, 1982, that it is not necessary so much to cure myself as to be myself. Now, there is much I could say on the topic of “myself,” but for now I am going to let the word stand in for the processes and events that constitute this idea that I might even approximate a self to which I could be authentic or not. These processes and events, though, are not up for judgment as to whether they unfurl in the correct way so much as to what sort of effects they have. As they are, the only suffering they cause is that which they themselves undergo. Thus, even to the extent that they function so as to be thought of as introverted, as contrasted with extroverted, there is nothing about them that needs to change in order to be made more acceptable according to any external principle.

What does this have to do with blogging every day? Generally I find that it takes time before I can come up with something that I think is an adequate response to a given question or thought or issue, and, unlike the extroverts among whom I have to make some kind of peace, I do not find it useful to air my thought processes in public, unless I am specifically trying to expose those processes themselves as a topic in itself. Which I sometimes do: writing about writing, thinking about thinking–l’art pour l’art, in a way. But whether I am meta-writing or not, it still can take some time before I think I actually have something to put out there. Whether or not it happens every day is not as important to me as whether or not I can let it happen as it happens whenever it happens. The whole point of my undertaking the goal of blogging daily was to make it a device for lifting the veil of self-censorship, which is closely connected to shame and which keeps me from speaking up in the ways in which I do speak, when I speak.

Thus whether I have something to say every day is of less matter to me than that I be able to make time to write when it is time to write, which is a question with variable answers, all of which are unpredictable. What I want is to be ready and able to write whenever it seems necessary or valuable. So that is how I am going to finish out the month, and that is how I am going to continue not to stop myself from writing but not force myself into writing, either. That seems fair enough.