This installment is 5000 words, more than twice the avg. of the prior installments. When I read this back the sequences seem to flow pretty fast, while revisiting the themes that are important to Adam.
The tone is a little rough by design to show the middle aged man who has purged himself of the puritan demons that had haunted him since childhood. In Bill Dinklpfuss, Adam finds kin from an earlier age; an age whose spirit remains with each new generation, while the material existence of the passing generations fade.
This is the last of the narrative sequences in which I explore the character of the narrator, Adam, and his struggle with identity. His outlet is to explore someone from an earlier time, with a similar struggle. Installment #20 begins the story of that struggle.
Did the media eye make you hate that Senator with his smile-less, chinless profile that reminds you of a shoehorn? And with those obligatory runny eggs eyes he is assuredly an onanist. Can you picture him assfucking his wife, giving her a two finger thrust or three finger swirl? To be fair, I don’t really imagine a lot of guys doing that.
No offense, Mr. Supreme Court ideologue, but you just look like a jakwad. You talk like a jakwad and a lot of jakwads like you. They are the one’s in a quick mart parking lot making sure there is a loaded gun under the dash because you just never know. Sorry to hear Junior found it and shot himself with it, again, again, and again. But those are just unfortunate happenstances, I guess. And then Mrs. Walton turned to John-Boy and said, “don’t you “oh, mama me. Thank God we are baptists and can deal with evil!” Have you read Leibniz, Mrs. Walton? I haven’t either.
Gormandizing, I cannot entirely embrace. If given the chance to exchange the digestive system for a mechanical supply of power I would gladly give up eating. Eating, the need for food is the greatest source of evil, Calvin Dyme. Minus the need to procure vittles, a man could heed more passions and riddles. But the daily hunger is profound. A regular supply of food is necessary for all living matter. Everything consumes; then a gap of time, repeat ad infinitum unto the day the asteroid devastates.
Death comes on the wind of life; its arrival super-real.
How we know things, epistemology and the arrangement of knowledge to yield axioms, ontology. The puritan Ames believed ethics should not be taught as a subject on its own but as a subordinate of theology. I am sure Edwin Umbrian and Calvin Dyme would agree, John Hapflik and John Locke would not.
The difference between the liberal justice and the moral legislator is that the moralist always begins with the idea that we must protect ourselves from our own depravity, while people at liberty defend themselves against an assertive overseer who insists on superimposing unnecessary codes.
This farmer Trenton character in Bill’s story sounds too made of straw to be flesh and bone; yet, I recognize him. He is the next door neighbor, a Jehovah Witness who accused me of being nice to him because I had a motive to ask him to use his tools. He belongs to tribe wherever he goes, with his wall of mean inference splattered with the data of his senses. He isn’t upset with America for not being civil with the rights of others but he is vocal about his own lack of liberty. When the minister wears the scarlet letter he must be really good at what he does. The clergy should have their own letter system like kungfu or karate. The more people a clergy person convinces are sinful, the closer to red the color of their collar. Jehovah Mani Dyme; he knows what it’s like, brother, to lose a battle or two with evil.
Calvin Dyme may have been a Baptist. They know how to deal with evil because evil is of their creation, and there ain’t no outsider city edge-a-cated foke gonna tellus wha-tado. (An educated European university student wants to rub elbows with the natives and this is the tiresome phonetics he will fumble upon. Oh sure, big money in it. Bumpkinism. ‘ere pretty pretty bumpkin; pablum kisses, spiceless speech, anecdotal, facile language. Just keep it simple. We’re a nation of doers, not thinkers. Doughn’t (haha) needno fantcy langwidge while in line for pudding at the buffet.
Calvin Dyme believes King David was sanctioned by God; a great man despite being a murderer, rapist, slave trader, thief. One must be loyal and commit to the language of the powerful; they must be great, God sanctions their actions.
“Papa, papa, papa…how did David get the Philistine foreskins to give to king Saul? Did the doctor give them to him after circumcising Philistine baby boys?”
Sure, son. Sure. Sounds good.
No, really Papa, how did he get them?
Go ask the minister, son. I am sure he can give you an answer; probably several ones, depending on the degree of his imagination. I don’t know. I’m a doer, not a thinker, like Reverend Phil.
So the political figure who says history is written by the victors, well, he is short sighted; no, rather, he is blind and sucking on the dogma, has a direct IV to the brain, injecting himself with epistemology of Calvinism, Whigism, good old fashioned Yankee disingenuousness. Napoleon is a great man despite his deeds, and a good old fashioned Calvinism helps the politician to accept Napoleon, or David with hootinannies hollerin’ “Shewt! I hearda you, Jesus. Yer a great man, huh? You kin do all that creatin’ stuff an’ shit. I caint do inny uh that, but I got this here formula that werks fer me. Since I don’t pay you through the church innymorz, you know, acting like they is yer tax collector and all, I pay ya myself. If ya bin good to me lately I pay myself 25% of gross income. That’s 250 times what I woulda given you if I’d ‘ve given it to the church first.
That Jehovah Witness next door neighbor was actually the beneficiary of my momentary feeling of good will toward my common man. I saw him out there in the yard with his tool box and working on his car, so I thought I would be neighborly, evidently an unfamiliar notion to him. Oh that’s right, the original sin, all men are depraved thing. He snaps at me, “I don’t let people use my tools!” I was too shocked to be offended at the moment. Then he went on to ask me if I ever thought about the direction of my life. I was forty-two.
“How old are you, anyway?” I ask.
“Twenty-six, how old are you?” he snarls.
The jakwad then goes on to run down his father for leaving the church. “No man does that to his family.” I didn’t bother pointing out that it was HE was doing the rejecting because only the depraved would reject the Jehovah Witnesses. The convoluted crap that was coming out of this kid’s mouth, his crushing way of walking and glowering; this is the guy I imagine when I conjure a straw man; the jackwad who insists the world is depraved and insists you are too stupid to realize how depraved YOU are. It is this stain, this hateful, empty piece of shit writ large as Farmer Trenton in the story of Bill Dinklpfuss, a straw hillbilly Christ imposing himself with a crushing and punitive intent that but for the grace of God he wouldn’t have. This turd should get a daily punch in the nose, but Calvin Dyme, the civil legislator, gives jakwads like him and Baptist preachers with cowboy boots and clip on ties and their stare for all the depraved sinners in their wake, a permit to carry a pistol which they will use if they do receive that deserved punch in the nose.
I imagine, what if it were to become that King David next door– ironically, the name of the jakwad Jehovah Witness neighbor – what if it happened that the Jehovah Witnesses were actually favored by a one and only creator, maybe from that 10th planet that is supposed to exist that we won’t know about until it is too late to save ourselves. Wait, wouldn’t the Jehovah Witnesses know about it; Planet X? Or, they don’t have to know about it because it isn’t in God’s plan, or something? He can’t change his mind because he is finite? Infinite? Anyway, it doesn’t need to make sense, son. Pay and pray. And never leave the 144,000, or you will end up following the noble savage with a pooper scooper during his morning constitutional.
What if there really was an elected 144,000 people on the face of the earth who have been chosen by God to re-educate the living?
There’s that jackoff who thought he was going to use my tools and acted like he was my buddy, gonna help me, hah, sure, too bad that loser wasn’t assigned to me. I will have to have a word with King David on that; see if I can’t get that asshole impris…er, sent to my gerrymandered district; show him the lord gave him a witness to teach him the right way, living right next door to him, and he rejected it.
Or something like that. That piece of shit narcissist Jehovah Witness in that small town of the Great Lakes? Yeah, everyone knows him in some shape or form.
A was at a health retreat in the California desert where a Chinese woman was also being treated. We were taking turns preparing food and doing the dishes with the other two participants. She was disgusted with me for putting my apple core in my used tea cup.
“You only think of eating!” she snapped.
This is just what I am covering with this simple I, We theme I garner from Bill’s notebooks. It is a main theme to him in his book and I want to be true to that. As I have already said, I find the need for food the root of most evil; it makes a person desperate and leads to the ultimate thought of self preservation. The Chinese woman also thought this way, but idiotically projected disgust at what she somehow supposed was my depravity. The Chinese woman, a Buddhist, was no closer to seeing what her eyes were seeing than David, the Jehovah Witness neighbor.
A minister in a conservative, scriptural cult who was playing on the other team but speaking as minister to the depraved yelled “goin’ for the glory!” as I rounded 3rd base and raced toward home. The minister is Edwin Umbrian, King David and the Chinese woman. I played a lot of baseball in my youth and would’ve gladly stopped at 3rd base if the parishioner 3rd base coach had any understanding of what his job was and held me up. High school coach taught me to run through the base and pick up the coach. Glory? From who? I wanted to stop in mid stride and let myself get tagged out and turn to the dikwad and say, “you are a fucking idiot. I am just a kid who always wanted to escape the notice of others. It is ME who is going for the glory and not YOU making a show of yourself in your role as religious authority? What a godamned moron. King David, the witness, the witness who stays there and entreats you to at least try and do a little good, otherwise be sucked totally under by the God of this world. Yes, millions of Americans still believe this stuff. Facile bumpkins for Leave It to Beaver and Opie Taylor make believe and thinking it should be real. Like Senator McCarthy, General MacArthur, and country music.
In back of the Jehovah Witness lives a Canadian. Nobody knows anything else about him but that he is Canadian. Makes sure everyone knows. I can feel his fat Canadian bacon feelers followed by the smug look of narcisistic contempt as he spouts some declarative about Americans which, if only we weren’t so fucking stupid, we would recognize. Chinese love Canadian bacon; lots of fat. The Canadian pig is told to visualize the average American just before they are zapped into oblivion so as to release it’s natural salt into its mouth. I hear told that pig face is a Canadian delicacy. I wouldn’t know. We don’t eat Canadian; at least there are no restaurants touting Canadian cuisine around here.
I cannot draw the conclusion that mind can function without body.
“I can’t either. The mind is not external,” asserted professor Cliffnut. “The brain creates its own mind. Mind is material aware of itself. It is a physical function that arises from a maturing human life form. It isn’t separate. “
I ask, “what’s the point of existence if I cannot contextualize it for myself?” The idea that I can make the choice to not have my own free will is illogical because I will always have the right to resist an over reaching authority. If I cannot understand on my own terms I am a machine. I am not a creation built to do what it is supposed to do and nothing more or less. That would be God showing technological skill, not creativity. And what of original sin? One isn’t free of decisions one has to make. I mean, allegorically, original sin is the awareness that you are earthbound and in need; and that you have to make decisions that effect others and yourself.
“If you like. That might work with your narrative. This person (John) in a state of awareness, listening to his mother ask him if he believed in anything anymore; knowing that the images and ideas and associations of the dialectic of her own reality can not possibly define reality as his defines it. You mentioned the other person’s (Bill’s) writing was deliberately without gender, using the neutral “it” instead of he at times. I also like his association with R.D. Laing with regards to himself and his mother in your narrative. Things were much different the middle of last century. Often, the retarded and mentally ill in these little towns ended up imprisoned in the basement or attic so as not to embarrass the family. But how a person is received by those around him is conditioned by the onlookers projecting their own stereotypes and personifying them.”
It is the narrative of family drama I dreaded all along. My memory flashes to my father saying I am an embarrassment to him for not owning property or having a family; my mother saying she felt she was going to have to die in order for me to get on with my life. I was 48 years old. I visited them once a month, or so. Dad rarely talked to me. Mom would try but I just wasn’t interested in hearing about the ailments of others, the primary preoccupation of my mother’s dialogues. What bothered me always when visiting them was the outright disdain my father always had towards me. Every moment I have ever been in his presence has been an anxious one, and many of them unhappy. Do your part and perpetuate the race, says the We. I would, but I am not genetically fit. I could be, but morality doesn’t allow the gene altering technology and individualized public education necessary to make a person capable of functioning as a living, thinking being.
Professor Cliffnut is talking “…a family doing its part, procreating the human race through generation after generation. Most men don’t want their name to go to seed if they can help it. There is pride involved.”
I need more out of life than to try anyway at something I am not going to be good at (living with others).
Professor Cliffnut’s eyes engage mine, rods and cones, retinas, at several flashes per second, perceiving miniscule muscular tension around the brows and lids. “For some, there is a selfish unproductivity about masturbation.“The onanist does have a selfish reason, of course, but it is usually a valid one. Everyone needs to release endorphins to work out some anxiety or another. Maybe the masturbation helps them to deal with depression, or anxiety. Maybe it helps them to fall asleep and settle down. Whatever, it is usually a person with a mind that causes trouble while with others but thrives when it is alone. Yes, it is selfish, but it has nothing to do with good/bad Manichaean morality.””
Masturbation is God’s way of providing self medication. And unlike medication, it can be taken at will. It doesn’t have to be taken every day and doesn’t totally squirrel tornado your brain for a few months if you try to get off from it. Too bad the doctor can’t get a financial incentive for prescribing masturbation 2x daily, or as often as required. I hear it’s because the insurers were pissed at how many hernia referrals were being made by these same doctors. I have no reason to dispute Professor Cliffnut; he is far more educated, mild mannered, and accepting of multiple points of view than anyone I have known. I listen to the radio while I work on my illustration contracts and don’t hear the same tone of equanimity; all two-sides-to-the-story, pros and cons thinking; dialog, not conversation. The journalist makes hard assertions when reporting.
Professor Cliffnut helps me to imagine the neighborhood as it was in the 1920’s, what the neighborhood and junk yard would’ve looked like in the 1950’s, with the Drive In across the street. I can imagine the autos of the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s driving in and out of the salvage yard. When I look across what was old Main street I imagine the railroad, the diner, Rupert and Trenton talking on a Winter morning, reading their papers and listening to news of the war on the radio. I clearly see Rupert as a burly and bushy fellow who looks up from his coffee to see a confident looking woman walking against the harsh wind, unshaken, and he somehow knows that the narrative of his life is about to change.
Calvin is the antithesis of deism in that Calvin quotes scripture and asserts that not a twig is fallen without the express will of God. And there is the scripture that says there isn’t a hair on anyone’s head that God doesn’t know about. But the Baptist minister with the squeaky clean cowboy boots and clip on tie told me God must let action take place.
“Determinism,” I said.
“Oh, but you have a choice. You know you are depraved and could debase yourself to your God…”
Blah blah blah.
Things are in motion and under general laws of environment, in their time and space; our epistemologies, our ontologies of existence and observations of the material world change. But laws don’t so much as point to a God as they do towards what it is we must conquer in order to become God. There would be no sense in an all loving God who made “trust me” a life and death proposition. We have cognizance of environment so that we may conquer it, not help another control it. A creator says, “you are to know your place, slave!” Only, he says it to nomads and psychotics who have trouble keeping the We and I separate and open to interpretation.
Why intend any of this make believe as deathly real simply because we die? Our senses are rigidly in synchrony with our observation of experience, only that is important.
On the outside, the We are each observed as a routine individual exhibiting the outward function of policeman, psychologist, desk clerk, working to save ourselves from boredom by believing in some sort of togetherness in all this make-believe, while on the inside, the gaze is on the self. What category; what? What, ourselves to ourselves; believing the functions we perform have some sort of significance, if only decorum to decency?
I am whole, selfishly inward, serving functions not so unique, with moral duty absent conviction, sentiment, because it is fun. Love your neighbor as yourself. So love yourself and your neighbor when she asks sometimes.
I have no disillusion that I am not a statistical summation, a functional quotient of predeterminant value, revealing one card at a time my genetic and programmed temperament. That’s me, the lanky crow of an old man with the sore tooth and constipated look, not always gentlemanly, but sometimes. My aching abscesses, osteoporosis, arthritis, sciatica, hernia, all give me the herks and jerks, shakes and quakes. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to shit and take a nap.
I am a universal symbol for the loner, the writer. He is a utility player who doesn’t play anything well for money because his mind is always creating time and space. And this space is a new environment meant to nurture others. My words are symbols for the hobo telling him the home is a friendly one; you can get a meal and a shower there. Rules of the road; don’t abuse him and we won’t abuse you.
I cannot identify myself in a crowd as well as the statistical arranger. I am not enough detached, nor do I wish to be. The psychonaut goes inward and discovers everyone is there. He is his own shadow, not theirs; Plato’s form in Kant’s world. “It” is not mind, it is electricity, a calculation, with necessity and perpetuity, says Professor Cliffnut.
Job appears to be a deist; he, like Calvin, says, “who are we to judge God?” But all of us quibble with God, converse with him out of hope and kick him into the gutter in times of despair. Everyone who believes in a God questions it from time to time. What it comes down to, Professor, is I couldn’t give up this dialogue with an unseen entity when I have been a loner all my life. The way I look at it, I can either be a schizophrenic or a Calvinist to another person if they hear me speaking to myself. Jung believed knowledge was passed on genetically; somehow, the parents’ genes undergo some sort of molecular enhancement from the language they use. Chomsky wrote of the brain being hardwired for language acquisition. Emerson talked of the spirit being a sort of genetic component programmed by a superior being. Christ said the kingdom of God came from within. If I have the potential of being a God I suppose a God should have the ability to alter its own genetics; to be able to function more efficiently in almost any environment. A digital being is capable of living on Mars. And for sport, it can pick out a human form to wear, like a suit, create a network of interactive operability within the body suit; feel it exert its own muscularity, breathe its own breath; nerves and blood; the heart a steady male beat, with the feminine nerves entwining, kneading, composing.
“I suppose,” Professor Cliffnut offers without conviction and then changes the subject.
Nietzsche dislikes the voice of Kant’s We categoricals. He dislikes pity because he is proud. The acceptance of pity is a degradation, a demotion for the I. But pity is both given and received. Karma man, Kantian man both say, “do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” To feel compassion for someone or thing in a state of degradation, crippled for example.
Freud, like Nietzsche points to a shadow man that must have its comeuppance once it is saved from a state of degradation. But once it is ready, the self says, “thank you for your assistance but I must be taking care of myself now.” Next to this man rising from the phoenix of his own ashes, Dostoevsky’s Underground Man rightfully despises himself for his pathetic impotence. We make up the world to serve the self by objectifying people we know and feel and sense into a reality we can accept. A person’s life becomes the personification of his own dogma.
Cash value; what is your cash value, asked the pawn shop guy with the cigar and wearing a beige, checkered, short sleeve shirt from the 1970’s. He’s got a fat clip on tie; big sideburns. Plays salvage yard attendant on a sitcom one night, meathead mobster on a crime drama the next.
Descartes talked of immaterialism, that all is in the mind of the person, but that his senses tell him there is indeed material and that he is in a material world. Spirit and matter duality, or symbiosis of the faculties of the human brain become aware of itself. Ideation of material. Mind is the faculty of matter to be aware of itself.
The days fall away from by body like in Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase; with angular forms that shift, depending on my perspective. There is no formula for the most efficient use of time that isn’t insane. Be a creator, or subordinate, one’s creative abilities to the useful agents of the human gene pool for some common monotony of the workaday world. My time is measured in the value shown on my last time card, my last social security statement. Escheated to the state at death.
“Your time must contribute to my bottom line,” says the human face of the corporation. “And I am going to regulate how you spend your free time by testing you for recreational drug use.”
Heard it before, chief. Not interested.
What do you have to hide?
What do YOU have to hide?
I ain’t got nothing to hide.
Your sexual activity, porn habits, how often you masturbate, do you clean your anus well enough daily, or should the insurance company have reason to raise your rates to reflect a higher chance for colon cancer? Has your wife been having female problems; anxiety, neurotic tendencies?
That’s none of your business, employee!
Oh, on the contrary, Mr. Corporate Butthole. If you are having trouble at home you are bringing it to work, no matter how you preach about it to those below you. If your wife is happy, you are happy. But I have my doubts, Mr. Foreman, 44 years old but looking fifty four. You will be remembered as a good working fool for almost a generation before you are forgotten.
Deputy Calvin Cornelius Drumpf is 27 years old. He was sort of a good lineman on the high school football team; average at logic, below average in inference skills. His daddy is deacon at the Baptist church, and he has absolute faith in his father’s assurances that everyone is born in depravity. When Deputy Drumpf looks into the eyes of the angry senior and gives him a parking ticket, he sees an evil crow staring back into his eyes and wagging a middle finger. “Maybe someday you will learn respect for authority,” says the stare of Deputy Drumpf. “don’t you have a kid to arrest for calling you names?” says the stare of the senior “A ticket to hand out for jaywalking? A body camera to loosen so it will fall off when you start to beat someone with your stick?”
Because he is Baptist he knows how to deal with evil. He makes an excellent police officer; he has trained his entire life to see the depravity around him. He saw me in the street the other day changing a tire and he stopped to see what I was doing. He didn’t want to know anything about me, just wanted to know if I had a registration for the car. The deputy eyeballed the trash inside the front and rear of my car and then inspected my open trunk, while I searched for the registration in the glove compartment. “Better make sure you get this renewed,” he uttered mechanically, after taking the registration and sitting in his car with it for 20 minutes.
Glad to know that, Chief jakkin’ boots. I mean, I had no idea I had only two weeks left on the registration. The anxiety of hoping to get paid for my illustrations in time to pay for the registration and insurance was just my mind’s meaningless babble. Thank you for validating my license to anxiety, Deputy Drumpf.
Now, it must be told that deputy Drumpf has a habit of driving in local traffic at 15 miles per hour in order to see who he provokes. If a car passes, he pulls them over and says, “you passed me!”
Yeah, I didn’t know that was against the law.
It is if you are speeding. You were going 26 mph.
Yes, it is true.
I am going to have to write you a ticket for that. Maybe you will respect the badge next time.
But what was your reason for driving 15 mph anyway when I was the only car behind you. I did nothing to call attention to me.
You came up fast on me.
You were going 15 mph. 25 WOULD seem fast to that.
It should be noted that while deputy Drumpf was hassling me, there were a dozen criminals watching from windows, wondering what I did. You are making a difference, deputy Drumpf, warrior for God, protector of property.
Connie Cliffnut told me her mother teaches combat classes at the police academy and she once broke deputy Drumpf’s nose. “He looked like a black eyed Hitler. He hates me cuz I flipped him off once.” It ain’t America when you can’t flip off a cop when he deserves it. Seems to me like it should be free speech.
Einstein said it would’ve been easier to have been a poet rather than a scientist. He said that after reading Vergil he was reminded of what it was he fled from when he sold his body and soul to science and it was no longer about I and We, but It. Einstein using classical intellectual terms like I, We, It. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about my narrative delivery if Einstein could relate to it.