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A narrative on how Energy is real and imagined, commutable, attained and ordained.

I puzzled over fixing up one of Jamie’s computers for a while because it had these weird vibes. It’s an old Alienware brand. A going-to-college gift or whatever, because the product was released in a similar timeframe, and I can picture it when I visited him at his first apartment.

It had a mostly vanilla Windows 7 install, a couple games, last login in 2011. And a handful of crippling viruses, which was odd since he was my mentor growing up in all things computers. His account username was “Magistrate,” which belongs to the lexicon of “cool words” we both intuitively knew and used since early childhood, derived from fantasy books, games, etc.

I spent several days running different kinds of antivirus and restorative techniques. But it was super fucked beyond my competency to repair. Rather; by the books, the correct and safest thing to do with an infected “black box” is wipe it clean. So I junked it for Ubuntu. Not just to be practical; the power port is still broken and the specs are obsolete, this is not a practical machine.

Rather, it’s this feeling I had staring at his login, “Magistrate.” I wanted to salvage Windows to preserve this sentiment. Ultimately, I erased it to erase it.

His other rigs never bothered me, I never once considered preserving their similar entitlements. Of course, Jamie would name his other computer “Psionic Master.” Duh. And I wouldn’t. But we’re talking about you and me.

What bothers me is the juxtaposition of his persistent, unique, and likable personality traits (naming his computer Magistrate is fucking cool) with evidence dating to the beginning of his acute deterioration, around 2011, as denoted by the computer’s dysfunction. Like a disappointing time capsule.

Anyway, what’s done is done. Now when I see that machine, it’s empty. Bland. Dull. It’s like, literally just a computer. A thing that there is. A discomfort was once contained in this object and I could choose to engage with or avoid it, dictating the experience or lack thereof.

And yet this vague tension I have surrounding “Magistrate” persists because in destroying this thing, I took the dark energy from it and into myself.

I caught a computer virus.

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I’ve never known a broken heart until my brother died this past weekend.

I am sorry. For every misstep I’ve ever made no matter how large or small, for every wrong I’ve ever done. Not taking a minute out of my shitty, self absorbed miserable life to count my abundant blessings, preferring instead to cry about having a smaller dick.

And he was such a self absorbed fucker, same as me. I can’t erase the shameful, tragic, and even resentful memories from his darkest times. Nor I can’t sing of sunshine and roses when that was never the case. I can’t distill his existence into any trope or allegory. He was all of it, the good and the bad.

And now it’s done and that’s it.

Except that’s all it ever is, for all of us.

I miss you.

To invoke the label “I’m an alcoholic” has always seemed to derail the conversation. TMI but as an analogy, I remember I had an enflamed gut, the doctor diagnosed me with gastroenteritis. “What is gastroenteritis?” I ask. “Inflammation of the gut.” Worthless circular logic.

Because a label doesn’t necessarily beget action.

So then to say “Well I don’t know that I resonate with labeling such as “Alcoholic”, what about to generalize to ‘Problem Drinker? That’s more behavioral / action-ey’ Because certainly I knew I had problematic drinking tendencies and I needed to behave better / more responsibility to reduce those problems. Except I don’t actually know how to “behave better” because I never fucking do and I would have figured this out by now if it were possible because that’s the solution I’ve always tried for.

So I try to take a step outside of the occasion of drinking: “I have problematic as well as known alcoholic tendencies that necessitate lifestyle changes which may include managing the amount that I drink.”

This is better but it is critically lacking to why specifically does my condition necessitate change other than to mitigate only Bad consequences? Because Risk Aversion is actually not a genuine motivator for me, and leads to question:

“For what greater Good am I in pursuit beyond merely mitigating the Bad?”

The answer is none.

I am pursuing no greater Good because I waste all of my physical time and health away with debilitating behaviors that enable me on a daily basis to never answer that question.

And truly in my heart, if not always my actions, pursuit of the greater good is the highest ideal of myself. The root of the issue is that I am not on that path.

So to be that person, and not to be the person I am that I don’t particularly like, there is one very specific task I can perform immediately to that end – to begin the journey, I must know Where I Am Going by answering the question “For what greater Good do I pursue beyond merely mitigating the Bad?”

In order to first answer that question, I must become sober, because otherwise I never will.

I don’t mean to cheapen the context of this lovely quote, but it has oddly stayed with me through the years: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank


It’s difficult to say. I want to spell out some great glamourous come-to-jesus that somehow finely captures and delivers the true emotionality of it. I want to be heroic, brave, strong, and brilliant, with some triumphant conviction to know and declare I will get through this.

But I am not yet any of those things, I am an addict.

I have a permanent chemistry that is deeply and markedly different from someone without my affliction. Permanently. I broke it. Or maybe I was already broken. It doesn’t matter because that’s just how it is now.

With or without any substances I am this person, I have been this person, I will be this person.

There is no going back, there is no other way forward, no other way it could have been; only a permanent uphill battle that’s now even more challenging than the insurmountable task it already is for someone “normal” – something I have never been, and never will be.

Everything I’ve read is so disheartening, about timelines and struggles. I’m actually worried that support groups will sooner break my heart than heal it. I will find this out first-hand but this is all so new to me. I think I’m past the worst of it in the short term, the booze and Adderall took a greater toll on my health than since.

But solving the bigger issue now is all the rest of everything.

Which is the same it’s always been, and always will be.

For now, I’m no better off than this fictional entity I’ve been playing the part, or who I wanted to be.

But that person is trapped, and I must leave him behind.

 

Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his
environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left.
Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective.” – Commissioner Pravin Lal, “A Social History of Planet”

In my building’s courtyard, just over a week ago, I came aware of this constant nagging/cawing, and saw it was coming from a young, downy crow hanging low under a covering all alone.

This happens every year, May to July, when parents nudge their baby out of the nest – though continue to monitor them nearby, and from afar, to teach them how to fly and other life skills.

So I witnessed, from the first day, when Winston – as he has been named – was first shoved from the nest. A bizarre, extremely intimate moment in a living thing’s life.

For the first few days he was severely depressed. Literally sitting motionless with his head poked into a bush, hind sticking out, for hours. And other ways of very obviously moping. Though his parents still stuck around, watching from strategic places, cleverly. Reminding me to fuck off if I got too close unawares.

It becomes a whole thing, Winston, always looking out for him. Or listening – his distinct voice, pouring out a constant stream of consciousness. Despair, curiosity, or snark – all distinct emotions. Funny how some animals are so vocal, to no one in particular, to everyone. Or for people, their constant yabber in all varying ways.

It’s something I look forward to. A little peek at the intimacies of an amazingly familiar being. The opportunity to follow the incredibly human thoughts of a non-human, in his constant chatter. In making eye contact and knowing he’s looking back, unglazed.

He’s rapidly growing up, but for his size still has messy, tufts of a downy belly.

Now he can fly, but that’s a skill to be honed. Not quite to the smooth, subtle, regal poise with which we’re so accustomed, how crows tend to fade in the background.

But now I’m so aware of them, always looking to see if it’s Winston. I notice them everywhere, I can see now they’re always fussing about something real, even if it’s above my head. As I ride by on the bus I see them leering down from power lines, sentinels, every one of them is watching me, specifically, as I go by. Realizing that they actually are.

This morning it’s really quiet on my way in to work. In the silence are only my own private thoughts filling the void.  Which are, incidentally, the same as Winston’s, having been me telling his story all along.

I detour to my spot, even though it rained a bit earlier; but everything’s mostly dry by now. Unfortunately someone left a bag of dog shit right there, which is inevitable given the courtyard doubles as a dog-shitting spot. But there’s enough space in my nook that it shouldn’t interfere.

I get close and I see it’s not what I thought afterall, rather it’s the wet, wilted, downy, lifeless tufts of Winston’s belly who had passed some time, somehow in the night. I had to leave, and his body is soon cleaned up after.

I wish there was more to say, but that’s the end to the story of Winston the Crow.

It’s a strange thing, I haven’t tried writing for a bit of a spell. It’s extraordinarily difficult, this thing.

I have to wonder how it is that people do it on command, and regularly at that. I mean I understand the pull of it, which is why I dabble here and there. It’s sexy, really, this whole thing. First ideas and creativity, made tangible and packaged for delivery. And the presentation, to turn all that solitude and introspection into something that resembles a conversation, incredible.

I haven’t forgotten about this thing, this old blog. It occupies a peculiarly significant space in my identity. I think about it often, the secret part of me that wishes I was something I’ve never become; the writer, creative and insightful.

Sure I lack for drive and discipline; but far beyond than that I feel there’s nothing to say. I’ve been toying with this topic for a while. Yeah I’d love to do this thing, writing. But for every blog/journal I see of someone chronicling their life events, I’m more interested in identifying with their character than I am by their raw content. And, me being subject to the same rules, I find this paralyzing.

I ought to hit Post before I reevaluate my decision and get lost in particulars and possibilities 🙂

I sit behind a couple laptops running windows vista. Across the room on display is our product offering, featuring both current and discontinued devices. A TV commercial silently plays on repeat all day, even though nothing on it is relevant today.

The floor is huge, and bright green, and people bustle by the front doors on their way to other venues in the mall. It’s a huge space, and quiet, though it echoes of greater things past. This used to be a major operation. The back space is twice as big as the floor, including two offices and a half kitchen.

This place has offered me refuge after hours, like when I locked my phone and keys in my car and needed a phone. Or while I was in school I’d come and study late, somewhere quiet and clean. Stuff like that. With all the time spent here, and privacy, it’s homey.

Just me and my castle. Safe, comfortable, alone.

Plenty of time to fuck around and binge on netflix. Sometimes I’ll pace about, or sit and stare into space. Sometimes my eyes are drawn to the looping TV commercial like a moth. That’s how I watch football.

And then a sale here and there, which is fun. The challenge is preserving a certain intensity. The physical act of making the sales is, oddly the easiest part of the job, and also the only reason why they pay me to be here. Though they have announced the pending merger with another company.

 

So really, one specific metaphor is what I started with, and where I will end: Patterns recur in your life because of the energy you put off into the universe.

I’m alone in this town which is stagnant, and also alone at work, and my company is stagnant. And I’m just comfortable enough to get by, but I am not thriving, and my work is just profitable to survive but faces total collapse.

So I am leaving for Seattle in two days.