This installment is a creative prose presentation. I had a lot of fun with this part of the novel. It is a series of vignettes presented by Adam to show his identity as author, not only of his own life, but also that of the Littlefield he imagines based on his understanding of history and philosophy.
The character of professor Cliffnutt, whom I have presented in vignettes here and there, presents argument from the perspective of intellectual history. I wanted to show Adam’s inner dialogue in a studious way, while showing the extreme prejudices in his childhood development and throughout his life. The writer, the middle age one at an identity crossroads, cannot help but have his psyche bleed into his characters. The author realizes that he gives the spark of light to his characters, but at some point they have to take life of their own.
The narrative, in style, tone and in existential themes, is guided by Samuel Becket’s Waiting For Godot. The existential considerations of the narrative are also influenced by Sartre’s No Exit, and the works of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill.
With this installment Adam is solidifying the themes important to his own self resolution, while foreshadowing the themes of the novel that he is writing about Bill Dinklpfus and John Hapflik.
“Yer spozed to make sense. And we don’t say “greazy.” Here it’s “greasy.” There are no two ways to say things.” Edwin was speaking to a daughter; who grows up to become a middle school English teacher who terrorizes children into a technical precision of grammar. Her tone makes them so anxious they can’t learn. She frightens away those who would otherwise enjoy literature with a puritan formalism dispensed with puckers and hisses. She represents those who dispense religion as a Manichean death struggle between Christ and the devil, with the good lord losing the battle in the class room ever since the damn liberals got atheism into the public schools. Once we get a republican majority in congress and another man of God on the supreme court to offset the devil’s representatives on the left, blah, blah, blah.” It is astonishing how many people believe this baloney ass talk and engage in it all day on social media, at work, and in epithets directed toward citizens not people. Everyone is a straw man IT.
Hegemony in mass culture, mind of kitsh; village acceptance, human cloning through programming, no eugenics necessary. Art, art, art! Everywhere. I visited the San Francisco Museums of Art once. I don’t think everything is art. Pop art was a bow to consumerism and its various anthems to the universal. And so are the icon personas of Walt Whitman, Andy Warhol, Norman Mailer, Cassius Clay, the singer/entertainer. I am the skeptical Thoreau, or Emerson later in life; mind on self, looking more at patterns than detail; a myopic Cezanne looking over the terrain, painting the same hill day after day; born and bred in a dutch Great Lakes settlement but not accepted as one of them. Something keeps me here but it is not the others.
Idea: a short story about a man trying to see who is sweeping the stage behind the curtain, putting things in order before the spotlight comes on again or the curtains are drawn. The author wants to see in him as a polar balance between Dionysus and Apollo, his intellect divided into this and that with the self jumping from skin to skin.
The truth won’t set you free
if it’s all you ever know
it scores to make believe
what your senses cannot show
Over grass and to the path
there is no hurry; my legs
slowly sway from the saddle
as I duck low for branches
Beneath the trees I am lost for days.
What I leave behind I cannot say, though some would say it’s just melodrama, psychosis, lack of education, or immorality. There is just nothing there unless I make it. Robert Frost’s rider sat on his horse, imagining that the horse was wondering what the rider was thinking, when Frost would’ve been more accurate by having the horse thinking like any freezing, living creature, “I don’t like the cold. What is your issue? Let’s get the fuck moving! Don’t you realize I am a grazing animal and probably have a hunger pain all the time?” Suspension of disbelief; what is the poem trying to tell us? No. We ask ourselves that so often we forget to realize that a grazing animal is going to have a hunger pain to compel it to eat just like the human animal.
I dreamed a crowd shouting at me as if I wasn’t there:
He has behavior issues
Maladjusted social behavior
He hates women!
He looks like the Grinch who stole Christmas!
He’s a killer, probably contemplating who he’s gonna kill or rob next!
Not me, I gotta concealed pistol permit!
I am Jesus Christ. I have just been flayed, dissected and quartered in a fit of mob rage; in primitive tragedian, Dionysian ecstasy. Now, Apollo has restored order and made us all feel ashamed for the life we have taken. For this God we’ve made for ourselves we’ve give ourselves in sacrifice to show ourselves we are truly sorry.
I, thee God, with this symbol, do absolve you of your depravity. You, yourself heard Dionysus say it.
And Apollo resigned as Chancellor but retained his title as head of the Just Us Dept.
And as time goes on, Apollo, again and again oversteps with laws, regulations, codes, systems, categories, labels, and correction. He is a great equivocator, demanding your subjection to far away authority. The Dionysians from time to time allow Apollo dominion, not that his authority is needed but because they more or less need him to fill in while they recuperate. It’s just that he is always taking over while the Dionysians are trying to get some sleep. Yeah, we are depraved, in need of an authority in order to rebel against it.
To only believe in senses and not man at all, in what he has created with his mind and the black hole of knowledge waiting to suck him into forevermore because of an inherent awareness of self and environment, that is a consignment to hell.
To have the fear to advance in knowledge for fear of what we are learning; that is consignment to hell.
But to not make vows to keep the body corporeal in 2019 makes one a witch just as it did in the 17th and 18th century in America. I hear Jonathan Edwards in the voice of the Great Lakes and Mid-west America.
“He did the inducting, you just do the deducting. You can’t walk in his shoes, son.”
But…if he is walking in Christ’s shoes, and neither one of them are here…I was just thinking….”
“You don’t gotta do no thinking, son, just pay and pray.”
Uh, I don’t think so, dad. I mean, I got my own life to lead.
You go on and do that then. Z’long as ya liv here, yer gonna do what I say.
But I thought I was to do what God says?
God gives me the uh-thority over ya, boy.
Then God sucks.
Swap! Open ear palm to the ear that makes it buzz for an hour.
“Stop that sass mouth!”
Idolatry never has been a grave sin, providing you are savvy to whichever idols the We are holding. Bacon wrote about tribal idols and those unprescribed.
You only THINK you know what is right, but you are depraved, remember? Or were you being disingenuous to little ol’ jesus?
Yerz izzint jesus.
Just as much my jeezus as your jesus.
Juxtaposing a Jesus allows us to perceive thus: do what I say, but not what I must.
I am the childish father of man.
Super uber man, or under man, he’s us.
I didn’t stop on main street of a small town the other day, for a school bus on the other side of the road with at least a dozen cars behind it. I followed a mother in a red van who also may have suspended disbelief that we were supposed to stop. The bus driver honked the horn vehemently and raged at me through her windshield. Fuck you, I said to myself but addressing the straw man. There was a center lane between us; I didn’t think I had to stop. Yes, I know, We, I am already beholden to the tribe and wish no friction. I keep thinking of the little girl, maybe eight years old, who came running off the bus with her back pack and I am ashamed, Apollo. I have committed a sin of selfishness against the tribe. Now, I need to recover, can you sort of keep an eye on things until I get back? And no fucking taking over! I mean it, goddammit!
Oh, jeezuz, I am just a musician who wants people to hear my songs; they don’t have to end up liking them.
But, why would you want others to hear your songs if they don’t like them?
They’re like the girlfriend that doesn’t know enough to appreciate me yet.
Uh-huh. You want mom and dad, somebody, anybody to just pay attention to you for once, and yer gonna say whatcha wanna and goddammit, someone’s gonna lissen tuh you fer once.
Asshole. I don’t give a fuck what you think.
Not thinking anything; just seeing. The creation of hell is a love affair with masochism.
Just like the millions of others, you have something to say if only others will listen. But it’s the same stuff they would say of themselves in different degrees. Sing about yourself and that other and clothe yourself as other, but the we notices your conformity, your uniformity, your calculation of respect to the language of We. It isn’t what you say but how you say it. Language is a mechanism, not a system. Grammar is a primer but not an authority; neither Dionysian or Apollonian. But you have to learn the primer first to unlearn it.
Social media mind voice we, IT sez you have dr. phil abnormalogies?, abnumeralities?You don’t sound like, we, me, or anyone else you think you see. You are making a voice for yourself; don’t you see the grandiosity?
Yes, I do. But you see me with bad dress, bad teeth, bad language, bad smell. If you suspend disbelieve in yourself, I will present to you my disbelief suspended, not with a Robert Downey Jr. head of hair and rehearsed narcissism but as a shithead, shaking with all sorts of suspensions of disbelief.
“I think, therefore matter is capable of thought. The act is the thing; doing is what defines the thing. But who or what does the doing; who is the arranger of materials into motion?”
“I don’t know. It’s just there. It says “I am.”
“It can say anything it wants but it’s still a boogeyman I make up.”
“Oh, fuck you. Are you going to start in again?” Said Connie. “I’m tired of hearing all this I, We, Me, other bullshit. Just shut up! Pull up to the curb. Wait for me.”
While I’m waiting for her, Gerard Putzcorn, a high school acquaintance walks past the open car window.
“Hey man, long time no see.” He gives my old rusted Buick a condescending snicker. Same ol’ jakwad.
“Suck my ass, jakwad,” I say with a stone cold stare.
Asswipe shakes his head and walks away. That’s right, move along, asswipe. I’ve still got nothing to say to an always-will-be.
Newton wants to know how matter communicates with itself. To itself, self doesn’t matter. Therefore, all that doesn’t matter belongs to self.
“What human being would turn down a job at the age of 25; a desk job with good benefits, a union and a pension?” A guy sitting next to me is telling me why he is estranged from his lazy-assed son. I light another cigarette and order another drink.
“Someone who isn’t happy with the path that has been chosen for him,” I say.
“Man, nobody chose it for him. It just fell into his lap. You and I know when to take advantage of things that don’t happen every day but not my son. Nope. He acts like miracles are supposed to happen every blessed day. The damn fool calls himself a writer but he ain’t never sold anything and he never will. Lazy bastard never worked a job he liked; never cared to own his own home. Gonna live his whole life with nothing to show for it in the end.
I don’t want to talk about this guy’s problem. He just wants someone to agree with him. Others shouldn’t ask that of another. The guy is still talking.
“Bullshitter. My own son is a bullshitter. You know what he’s doing right now?”
“Getting a concealed weapons permit because he realizes how dangerous others like him are to the tribe?”
“Yeah, exactly…er, uh, yeah.”
“Sorry, man, I gotta gotta go to the restroom.” I take a slow piss, adjust my ear hair, check for tooth abscess. Someone is knocking on the door. I leave the bathroom and the guy is still sitting there in the chair next to mine with his mug of beer and watching the game on the big screen. I duck away and pay Ernie at the end of the counter; then take a quick glance over to where the guy is sitting. He’s talking to someone else sitting where I was sitting. I hope he can be more helpful to the guy about his kid than I was. I didn’t have kids. I just know how to act like one. However, I am convinced that being an adult is simply the kid showing off how easily he can play the role expected of him.
Idk, just seems like a lotta people living desperate lives; people always give an edited report of themselves; “the just gotta do” people, being tribal like.
Well, if everyone is wrong who what is right?
No, it just means, say something good about people. What makes you so right about everything?
But I’m not presenting anything as either right or wrong. I am a pragmatic existentialist exploring the language and context we use while playing the multiple roles assigned by our daily lives.
I’m willing to listen, says Connie, I just can’t sympathize.
No. Sympathize, she says with a fierce anger. I am only sympathizing with you right now. I have no feelings for what you are saying, whatsoever. I just feel sorry for you because you are so fucking pathetic. I can’t wait for you to shut up sometimes.
God it pisses me off I had to hear that. I write it down before my body, with its brain that creates a universe for itself, splits itself so it can talk to itself in thesis and antithesis; material speaking to itself.