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You know that I hate to sleep now, really. It's true. There's something about my sheets, my bed, all of that. They whisper me away.

Sure, they're warm and inviting and comforting, and all the things you'd ever want in a bed. They even occasionally house a mischievous stuffed dog. But sometimes, that's not quite enough. And I keep myself from there as long as practical. And sometimes longer.

You should know my dreams by now. Not all of them; there's a lot. But the ones you wish you dreamed, too. Or the dreams you share with me. Or the ones you'll never understand. "You'll get it one day," I hope to myself, knowing that some people just... don't.

And yet, it's not the dreams that bother me, really. Sometimes, I even embrace them, sometimes I don't know what to think of them. It's the moments before sleep that poke at me. Everyone has their thoughts as they lie there, those precious minutes. And sometimes, it helps if someone's there with you, and sometimes, it doesn't make any difference at all. And if my sheets aren't just right, there are night's where I just won't fall quite right...

It's harder than it looks. I've used the phrase "thinly veiled" a lot lately, about myriad things. Sometimes, I'm coy about the silliest moments. And other times, I'm clear as crystal, with hardly a smudge; no warnings for the birds flying towards. Yet I'm the one who hits the glass.

How's that work, anyway?

You shouldn't ever write off something, but for just one line. It could be the stupidest thing you've ever heard, but grant it the favor, allow it the chance to explain itself with context. I'm learning more than ever how much context truly matters. This may seem self-evident, but when there's so much smoke, and the haze makes twilight, it's hard to find any sort of context in the middle of it all. And things get muddled. And people get hurt. So it becomes a waiting game. Just promise that you won't lie in wait, deluded. Take a step back and examine your folly.

It will make things easier, later on, if all else fails. And it will make your reward even more sweet when it finally arrives; probably when you least expect it.

Tomorrow, at 4:40, I will be officially moved in to college for my sophomore year. There are so many things I feel like I should be thinking about; reflections on the summer past, thoughts on my impending sophomore-hood, where I am, where I see myself going, how I’m going to get there.

So I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.

Reflections on the summer past.
I can say with absolute certainty that this has been the best summer of my life. Admittedly, I can say that about every summer, the thought being that each new summer surpasses its predecessor. Regardless, though, I managed to do everything I set out to accomplish. I reconnected with old friends. I made new ones. I watched the sun set, and rise. I rediscovered my homeland, looking at beautiful South Africa for the first time with adult eyes. I saw my family, all of them. I learned; I taught. I opened eyes, changed lives. I read great books, watched great movies, listened to great music, but as a matter of contrast, I read, watched and listened to terrible shit, too. I went to museums, plays, public events. I made myself one with the world around me, found it intriguing, absorbing, and palpable. I drove my car at night, with one hand hanging out the open window, playing my music at full blast, the wind in my eyes. I took, I gave. I interacted with my parents on the same level, as people, for the first real time ever, and I love and understand them infinitely more than ever before. I managed to be at the very least civil, verging on friendly even, with my older brother, in whom I’m finding more depth than I ever thought possible, recognizing more of myself hidden within his hard exterior than I ever expected to find. I found love, in some form, fleeting though it may have been. I lost weight. I got taller. I made, and saved, money. I lived, I loved, and I learned, and I am better for that. This has been the best summer of my life; there is not a single doubt in my mind about that.

Thoughts on my impending sophomore-hood
By the end of this upcoming semester, I will have hopefully completed all of my university requirements. This is the exact situation I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of high school: a place where I learn what I want to learn, learn for the love of learning. Immerse myself in student-hood and revel in the pure academia of it all. Shit, I could become a scholar, a philosopher, a poet. My great grandfather, the man after whom I’m named, has, engraved on his headstone, the words “Sage and Wit,” a description I hope to one day apply to myself. Every day, it gets a little easier convincing myself that I want to be an English major, although it might be creative writing, but hey, who’s counting? I am, tomorrow, reentering a world that I grew to know and love last year, but, like the Six Million Dollar Man, I will be better, stronger, faster. I know who my friends are, the ones I already have; I know I will make more. I have no enemies, but I’m open to that too, I suppose. You might say I’m a bit anxious to see how the social dynamic is going to play itself out this year. Last year, circumstances had it that I essentially never had to leave my room; parties were brought to me. I couldn’t come home without being offered a beer or a joint, sometimes, usually, worse. This year, it seems evident that my room will no longer be the Party room, that the party room is now a dorm where a certain majority of my friends live, a place where I’m sure to always be welcome. This is definite; I can rely on it. I’m excited for the unknowns, the people I have yet to encounter, the parties that I can’t possibly foresee. And the women. Sketchy though this may sound, I am now a sophomore guy, and tomorrow I will encounter the masses of freshmen girls. It is the truth; hundreds of girls go off to college looking for college men, which I suppose applies to me. This year, I am simply one step higher on the food chain, one carving up on the totem pole. Freshmen are lowest of the low, bottom feeders. Add to this fact that I’ve lost about thirty pounds over the course of this last year, and I have the makings of a fantastic year ahead of me. I am a lean, mean, freshman hunting machine. Better, stronger, faster.

Where I Am, Where I’m Going, and How I’m Going To Get There
I am nineteen years old. In January, I will be twenty. Twenty. Two Zero. Twenty. I can still remember when I turned ten, how excited I was to have finally hit double digits. Now I’m hitting double double digits, and the sensation is quite bizarre. I’m not freaking out about growing old; it’s just weird that I’ll be able to say “I’m Twenty”, that I won’t be able to think of myself as a Teen anymore. I’m switching demographics here, people. It’s a big wide world out there, and with every day that passes, I’m becoming more and more part of it. I’m writing more than ever before, and reading doubly so, reading incredible books by my favorite writers. Shit, I’m proud of the fact alone that I have favorite writers. My tastes are becoming more and more defined, my style is becoming more and more my own. I’m growing into myself, the person I dreamed I always was. I’ve somehow managed to retain my high school self-consciousness, to a degree, but at the same time, I’m more self-confident, better at rolling with the punches. Just plain better. Stronger. Faster. Me.

I still have no idea where I’m going, but that fact bothers me less and less. No one really knows. Some people say they do, but they’re fucking liars, the whole lot of them. Once more, though, I’m excited for that which I don’t yet know is coming, the opportunities life has chosen not yet to reveal to me, but that I will one day spy and seize, like a quarter in a bag full of nickels. I suppose there are some signs pointing to a me-sized void where I may one day end up. California. New York. Chicago. London. Australia. South Africa? Never say never. I hate to think that one day, I’ll look back and see a time of my life that, while full of idealism and promise, did not follow through, did not deliver. I hate to think that errors I make today will hibernate and reemerge years down the line as regret. I can’t help but feel that, in my youthful optimism, I’m simply setting myself up for a fall. I suppose that’s my youthful pessimism rearing its ugly head. But fuck negativity. I can ward off the dark days. Just keep my head up, keep my wits about me, close my eyes and dive. Where I end up is where I’m supposed to be. How Taoist of me.

Anyway, it’s about to be midnight, and about to be the day I leave. I’m glad I wrote this, I am, if only so later on, I’ll be able to look back and hopefully, I’ll laugh. The night, she is still young, and full of possibility.

"..and you soon learn that time will come, but it wasn't that day"

secret terrorism from the secret diaries of a loud mouth

I realized today that the only meaningful lesson I've learned in my time is a respect for the length of a life. Paying attention to that is just about the only thing I can find important. The rhythym and elastic expansion in time of our lives together and apart are what make time and, of course, life meaningful. The hard part, and what I haven't yet learned to do, and what I think I want to do, is to understand things in relation to the length of my life. It doesn't matter if none of us (or only those unfortunate few) know how long we'll live. The perspective I want isn't strictly determined by the actualities and vicissitudes of a particular time slot. It's more that ideality stretching into the future, a possible lifespan yawning open into the gloom and shine.

Seeing things in the right proportions is the hardest and, maybe, the only valuable skill.

To events. To the events.

I've become so hate-filled it's hard to believe. For me, at least; though perhaps not for the unconcerned onlooker. The kind of vitriol I have can be summed up in the violent scrawling of "kill bitches" on property other than my own. Or, further, the wretched desire to blot out all thought from my life and just spew violence and hate out of my eyes, my lungs, my hands, and my head. Where has self-control and my modicum of decorum gone? Well, friend, it went wherever my heart and amazement at life went. Which is to say, it went just about directly to hell.

Just about the only thing getting me through the long sleepless nights is Lee Hazlewood and thoughts of friends. And Lee Hazlewood hasn't failed me yet. You can count on that, all day friend. (Detachment: Despite having come to understand what 'heartbreak' really is, I still have periods of cold lucidity wherein 'analysis' takes hold and my bile subsides (if only momentarily)). But, new horizons and new scenarios await. A house has been procured, and all that stands between it and myself is a thesis defense and two weeks of sleeping on a couch. Not too bad, not too bad at all. To a new city and, hopefully, an anaesthetic deadening of the hole in my life.

In fact, to the ships.

I've yet to soften.

A goal: To be this soft with my failures.

"Star Friendship.—We were friends and have become estranged. But that was right, and we do not want to hide and obscure it from ourselves as if we had to be ashamed of it. We are two ships, each of which has its own goal and course; we may cross and have a feast together, as we did—and then the good ships lay so quietly in one harbour and in one sun that it may have seemed as if they had already completed their course and had the same goal. But then the almighty force of our projects drove us apart once again, into different seas and sunny zones, and maybe we will never meet again—or maybe we will, but will not recognize each other: the different seas and suns have changed us! That we had to become estranged is the law above us; through it we should come to have more respect for each other—and the thought of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous invisible curve and stellar orbit in which our different ways and goals may be included as small stretches—let us rise to this thought! But our life is too short and our vision too meager for us to be more than friends in the sense of that sublime possibility— Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we must be earth enemies."

Above, below, and all the way through I'd like to think better about it all.

Hey, verify.

Quit complaining.
My pants are covered in blood that I'm not sure is mine.
Quit complaining.
My ex-girlfriend sees fit to have a new boyfriend.
Quit complaining.
I don't have a place to live in September.
Quit complaining.
I don't know what I'm doing with my life, my love.
Quit complaining.
My hands, my feet, my shins, my head, my eyes, my heart hurt.
Quit complaining.
Basically, your lifestyle.
Quit complaining.
I'm sick of who you are and what you say.
Quit complaining.

Tequila, beer, violence, and hatred.

Generally, a refrain makes all my bad opinions into poetry.

Hegelian.

I've realized, and have been realizing for quite some time, precisely how awful my writeups on this website are. I would like to request a mass deletion of around 40% of them, but I feel that a record of my atrocities should be kept, if only to encourage me to produce something better (this archivist's desire is mitigated by my unrealistic worry that recent 'coolings' of my awful writeups will encourage similar laxity and ease of thinking). My Hegel writeup provides an excellent example. Such arrogance. Even the jokey kind of arrogance I continually put out (and what I do is rarely anything but this kind of thing) is enough to make the skin crawl when read with 2 or 3 years of distance. But, again, to see myself and my motivations so obviously laid bare is a good purgative exercise: it encourages the excision of even this joke-arrogance from my tone. Encourages but probably doesn't facilitate, because, at bottom, I'm nothing if not arrogant and over-proud.

Perhaps I should try and produce some very excellent Hegel writeups by way of apology and recompense. Praise to the highest, to Hegel, and to the insights of history (without which: nothing)!

Here, a little choler. Maybe more than a little.

(This is from a less than clear-headed night time writing binge; a perfect example of how I've become a raw seething nerve ending of vibrant loathing. Bad words, true, but true words, also true. A bit of a character study today.)

Yeah I'm still hate
"In the beginning there was nothing, but it was fun to watch nothing grow"
Fuck why can't I get over it already.
Well I can't.
I now have allergies. I sneeze a lot.
What's really real is this.
I'm moving. I'm never going to see her again.
She's got a new boyfriend.
I'm still having fun but it's stupid.
How can it make me hate a place?
But yeah, I'm still hate.

I've been thinking about all this (obviously: I'm incessant and fixative... I sit and think about things for hours when I can't sleep. I tried to think of the adjective describing a series of four wars between Genoa and Venice in the 1200s/1300s for a full hour the other night; I couldn't sleep. Turns out there isn't one. Or, if there is, notify me and I'll be very grateful, trus'.)

So I think about all this and I come to the conclusion that I can't stand the niceties.
The fundamental difference is an appreciation for decorum.
I just lose my whole shit.
But it's like maintaining appearances on the other end, it would seem positively British if it weren't that the indecencies were other than mine, which is to say, hers.
I mean I know I'm "on the rebound" (!) but I seriously am not even interested in the entire field of 'special relationships' (aside, maybe, from those which exist between corrupt politicians and moneylenders). After sleeping in another girls bed a coupla times I wasn't even really motivated. How did this happen? Have I ever even had a friend? It's possible that I haven't. Entirely possible. I can't sleep.
Nothing new.
But I really can't sleep, at least when I want to.
Why this impulse to stay awake when there is nothing to do. Always with this shit.
I'm sick of all the responsibility dodging I see around me.
I'm sick of it in you (the general 'you', including any potential General Yu), and in me.
But yeah I'm still hate.
I'm still fucking vitriol.
I'm still a cut nerve.
This shit doesn't cease.
The good thing about Lee Hazlewood is that he makes me happy about it.

Like look at this line:

"Probably the only comforting thing about losing someone you love is when you discover there are so many others ridin' the same train as you"
That's great.


Check this one out, from a song entitled "I'd rather be your enemy":

"And one day I'll turn around and she'll be standing there, and I wonder how she'll look, how she'll act, what she'll say. I know what I'll say; and I think I'll write a song about it"
This is how I've come to think. Jesus.

How can it make me hate a place and other people?
Embittered, I realize why I wouldn't want to be around me either.
"In the end there was nothing, but believe me, it was no fun waiting for nothing to end"

THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP.

(Well, not really, I'm a bit more collected lately. But only a bit. Increments, friends.)

It’s gonna be a long Monday
Sittin' all alone on a mountain
By a river that has no end
It’s gonna be a long Monday
Stuck like the tick of a clock
That's come unwound
- again-

(Excerpt from John Prine’s fine tune called “Long Monday)

I don’t know what’ s lonelier, waking up in a strange hotel room miles away from your friends and family with nothing but the television set and one of those mini-bars to keep you company or waking up in a hospital room where the sounds that you hear are the muffled screams from a scared patient in the room next door and the swoosh of a nurses footsteps as they try to offer up some comfort.

Over the years, I’ve spent my fair share of time in both sets of circumstances and I’m hear to tell ya that in both instances, time just seems to stand still. Maybe the only real thing that those two places have in common is that they consist of four walls and too much time to think.

There’s a pencil thin scar that runs about twelve inches down the center of my chest. It starts at my breastbone and ends somewhere near the middle of what appears to be my ever expanding stomach. It looks angry and a bit swollen. A jagged little line that I run my finger up and down and feel the bumps and indentations like one would feel on one of those relief maps as they traced their fingers down whatever route they chose to take. Beneath that, there looks like what appears to be two open eyeballs, the remnants of the stomach tube that was inserted to drain any blood that might have lost its way. For now, they remain open and unblinking, like they were still trying to do their job but just like most other incisions, will close with the passage of time.

My left leg is a myriad of purple, the result of the “harvesting” of three veins which were later sewn into my heart. The fourth one came from somewhere else inside my chest.

I’m told by the doctors that all of these colors will fade and I’ll return to normal within six to eight weeks. In the meantime, my chest makes this weird clicking sound every now then when I move the wrong way or turn to fast.

I took my first shower since getting out of the hospital this morning. The man staring back at me in the mirror looked older than he did just a few days ago. Maybe it’s the worry etched in his eyes or maybe it’s just from a lack of a good nights sleep. Maybe I’m just afraid of spending the next bunch of weeks with too much time to myself and not enough to do.

Maybe it’s just a little post operative depression and yet another glimpse of my own mortality. Maybe I’ll feel a bit better with each passing day as I get stronger and more optimistic about what the future holds in store.

Today just ain’t one of those days though…
One of those "I don't normally daylog, but where else can I put this?"

My friend goes to Tulane. Or rather, went as the case may be. Me, being the genius that I am, didn't pay much attention to the news this weekend until last night. 10 PM darned Fox News...wait...freakout!

So, I called her, and she is fine, and that is good, and I am very happy. On the off-chance that anyone was more uninformed than me, I posted that she was ok in my livejournal.

My only reply is from a friend of mine that used to be her friend. They had a conflict (plus the friend from Tulane can get on one's nerves quite easily.) and no longer speak to one another.

For some reason, this prompted her to reply to my livejournal saying she "almost wished" she had actually died. My first impulse was to delete the comment, but now I just don't know what to do.

I will probably just sit here and hurt. I feel like I have been slapped upside the head.

A similar incident happened recently. I was at a friend's party, and a girl who used to be a very good friend of mine was also there. I still consider her a best friend, and thought that I hadn't seen her in a while because she had been working. Not true, I find out.

She didn't want to see me because she had been told by a mutual acquaintance that I was a giant pothead, or something of the sort. I have smoked weed on occasion, but nothing even approaching addiction. Once or twice a month, tops, if that.

Well, said mutual acquaintance is a lying bitch sometimes, so this I am not too surprised at. What did surprise me is that my best friend took her at her words, and let this one statement come between us for the better part of summer break.

This is also a bit shocking, as my best friend is usually an excellent judge of character. I mean, everyone makes mistakes, but this seems like a pretty big one.

It just makes me wonder if this is partly my fault, if somehow I have the sort of character that is capable of doing such a big 180. Granted, I have done that in the past once, but in reality I was faking it (being in love) for a stupid set of stupid reasons. I thought she knew that, I thought she knew my basic character had not changed.

I don't know, it just makes me wonder about myself. And wonder about the high regard I usually hold for other people, particularly my friends.

Maybe this is just some sort of signal that I should go back to school already. (Classes don't start for another week and a half.) I just feel so forlorn, like I need a swingset I can go sit in and kick the sand or woodchips.

On the plus side, the upshot of the hurricane is that it is raining today somewhat heavily, maybe our well will not dry up after all.

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