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Latin Quarter – Paris 1995

Latin Quarter - Paris 1995

When I was in Paris in 1995, I walked around the city. I shot each day for a week. I came upon this window and inside the store were these elements: Mirror, antique statue, bedpost, etc. and behind me was a building and a bike on the street. It spoke of the medium given my being upside down in the mirror. The black and white spoke of timelessness. The age and articulation of Europe as the origins of my soul, that I could apprehend catharsis itself in an image meant that I could stop. I have never shot a better image than this. It represents me, my eye, and aesthetic capacity. I hope to continue this journey when I eventually get to London, another city with windows in an urban environment.

“Where Color is Swallowed”

Color is Swallowed1

In a bakery in Berkeley constructing a personal zine, typewriter working, cutting board in front of me, colored pens, and a table with red and white tablecloth. Drawing pads for paper zines. There are reference books for zine making too, but the thoughts of creating are maudlin.

Evidenced further by the phone call from my sister saying the dentist will be coming to my mother’s nursing home within the hour, I tell my sister that I am in Berkeley beginning a zine.

It would be embarrassing for me to leave at this point, not to mention the ride back. The fact too that I doubt even with me there, she’ll allow them to inflict her with pain, although her teeth are abscessed. I know it makes no sense not taking more pain to get rid of the pain at hand. It’s 4:10PM.

I’ve been here for two hours. I felt guilty so I have already called back to say that I would try to make it. They haven’t called back. I realize they are doing me a favor. My sister wished they had known given incident-after-incident that she will not allow anyone to help her even for things that aren’t painful and even explaining that she hears you but then forgets what you said and what the doctor said. It circulates until you give up. The doctors have refused to run tests, etc. It was amazing that they were able to put screws in her hip when she had fallen and broken it. I am worried about her slow demise but I am also willing to abandon her potential need for me to attempt a zine on my day off.

I need to change the subject. There are 11 of us in the room. Some are cutting pictures from books, some are writing with pens, some are talking. One is drinking from a cup. One is drawing. One already constructed a zine, a book about the crazy on Seinfeld getting money. The crafter did it with stamp letters and apparently drew a perfect portrait of Kramer. Turns out it was a stamp. There are stamps too of skateboards, a stamp of Saturn, candies, date stamps for a day months ago. There is a compilation of a woman with a rifle and a line of children. This is Darsh’s first zine of the day.

A man comes into the bakery from the back door. He wants a cranberry bar. He is told the bakery is closed. He says he just wants a cranberry bar. He gets one and someone else wants one. The transactions are completed. The music is still playing. The singer is Waxahachie, a bit like Ani DiFranco, who I listened to while on the road to and from Seattle. Then the music stops. Isabel’s drawn a woman in a long dress with the sun behind her.

I am afraid to ask the others what they are doing in case I might disturb them. They mention someone older than most of them who is outside and it is asked if that person was invited. “No,” Isabel said, “I thought this wouldn’t interest her. This is something kids would do.”

I still have no idea how to construct a zine. I’ve done books, but I have this aversion to borrowing others’ images, photocopying them from books. My books have either been photo books or poetry books.

The woman in front of me constructs a hexaflexagon and gives it to me. I almost break it. There is a method for opening and closing it. She shows me. I still don’t get it. I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you know what that feels like to be in a place where you don’t belong day-after-day? Even my passions are work. Things I love to do are so difficult that I end up becoming distracted with them, moving on to the next, never being very good at anything and always seeming to end on a sour note. Imagine everything ending on a sour note.

I fan through a Flash Art magazine issue. On the cover is a picture of Kai Althoff performing “Frausus.” The issue is May-June 2002, Vol. XXXIV.

I am getting the feeling that a girl, the hexaflexagon, is getting creeped out by me. I am just writing but she’s stopped being productive and looks over at me like I am a spy or that I am not doing what I am supposed to, but I am trapped here feeling that if I left now I would have been found out for not having anything to say. I am an observer. I do not participate. I do not make things. I just circulate in my mind in an unproductive state of maudlin feelings, about being frozen in my own time and no one else’s.

Can you imagine publishing these feelings of loneliness and of absolutely no relevance?

The typewriter keeps typing. Someone is making progress. There is a young girl about twenty with perfect posture, who works magically on a book sewing the pages with twine. She doesn’t think about me except as a favorable spirit. I don’t sense uncertainty from her, perhaps because she has a plan and carries it through. I heard somewhere, by an insane man, that if you judge others you remain suspended in space. You exact a curse against yourself. The young girl and her boyfriend are leaving. I guess because as he said, he doesn’t know how to draw and in the manner I might assert in a manner that implies it is a discipline.

Before me is a woman who slipped in the room and who I barely looked at for fear of intruding. She drops her blank-paged book in front of me and begins writing. She’s handsome and lean. She gets herself a pastry and continues writing. She is wearing a tank top and has hair under her arms. It appears she is taking the same methodological journey that I am. First, doing research that at least, for me, seemed overwhelming in the minute. The music is somber and melancholic, women’s voices like traveling along the highways and byways.

One of the primary coop-erators comes in and says: “Did she leave because she couldn’t handle the zine thing? It’s just writing your thoughts.”

I ask him, “Is that what it is?”

He shrugs like I am being critical, but you see he was validating me; why would I be critical?

I am thinking of continuing.

An older woman, who is what I am in terms of age, gets an explanation for the man, who may have thought I was being critical. She walks around in slow, careful steps trying to find her way in the quagmire of uncertainty, at least it is for me.

Isabel’s sister comes in and fairly quickly begins her typing.

The older woman has gotten a pastry. Don’t we always reward ourselves before we sit down to work?

Isabel says, “They show their boobs and then get a necklace.” I turn my head and look at her. The older woman takes a seat in an effort to learn what seems so foreign. She gives a sweet smile to Isabel, who says the book the older woman has is one of her favorites.

The music in the background is banjo and female singing. It is telling of a time and place. I am not putting anything together but negativity.

“I don’t know what I want to write about,” Isabel’s sister says.

I don’t know what I want to write about either.

One man plans to interview people about what they have in their pockets.

The older woman has since left. I assume because of the commitment. The man who is interested in pockets has returned from a dinner break. He is on his computer, I guess, drafting a document, perhaps for his zine. Then he is gone. I guess the commitment got to him too. He had a big next step, except that I later saw him toward the window talking to a girl on her computer, who didn’t seem to be participating. She was cute and he looked at me like I know why he might be asking her questions. She was attractive. Perhaps this was his way of being able to talk to her.

As I explained to Isabel’s mother and Grandmother about a book I was reading that the fetish is an object one can handle or worship that is enough distanced from the person infatuated. I was talking about Wilhelm Stekel’s book, Sexual Aberrations. Anyway, as I look toward him, his eyes meet mine and we are on opposite sides of the room and it seems to confirm what I was thinking, yet I would be curious to know what he was thinking, his motivations for talking to her. Of late, I have been trying to sit next to women in cafes or public places, who I want to talk to. Otherwise, there is simply no real way to strike up a conversation. When you are closer to them, you can find something to say, when something happens.

I look away from him trying to leave him to his privacy. It would be rude of me, or at least hypocritical since I am basically doing the same thing. I am looking for intimacy and love. I am looking for someone with whom I can go off into the world that I want, which is warm and deeply fulfilling. Instead, as I have indicated, I am lonely here and I feel so many others can see and feel that. It is a weakness that I inhabit.

I comment on the woman across from me, the lean one with hair under her arms. She seems to have prepared for her appearance. I am looking at her book full of ink drawings. It turns out she is re-engaging a project she abandoned. It is about a man she knows who is incorporating acorns in chocolate. I tell her she should use the finished product as a commercial for him and she raises her eyebrows but is silent, like that was the idea she had. She says a few words that confirm this and I contemplate the application as the drawing method of making advertising. I see the associative infomercials that employ a dry erase board and a man who talks while he draws, but of course the event was previously drawn and filmed. His voice is later dubbed because it is now sped up to keep people interested.

I want to tell the truth, but I am afraid of the implications. Maybe others feel this way. What do I want to say on a given day except to say how stressed I am and how I don’t think that I can last another year at my job. My separated shoulder hurts and I continuously wake when I am sleeping and I am never rested. I have canker sores in my mouth from where the dentist poked me when she was cleaning. My lip is sore, where I bit my lip a number of days ago.

The woman across from me says she is writing a comment about her friend who is using acorn flour in chocolate.

I make contact with Isabel, who is certainly running the show. She types while paying attention to her sister, who is talking and also typing, and who earlier said that she didn’t know what she wanted to write about. Isabel meets my eyes even before I have looked. There’s that telekinetic communication that seems especially perked between genders. She doesn’t’ condemn me, but smiles warmly.

The point I want to make is that I feel uncomfortable having barely a purpose, trying to push myself to complete the task at hand, which is about trying to listen to other peoples’ lives.

I don’t have one of my own.

One woman talks about her house being on the fault line to the other’s comment about houses that shimmy, this is the woman, who wonders about me.

Typing makes no statement unless read. By the conversation of Isabel’s sister, she appears to be onto something.

The one who wonders – Flexahexagon – is busy on a greater construct. Perhaps one that will describe her story, where every petal will prove flexible in making sense. I told her it would be like a Sylvia Plath poem, but I don’t think she heard me. She looked at me with glassy eyes.

“Does someone have the triangle stickers?”

Two are talking about a Portland trip, both for weddings, different weddings.

I end up talking to someone whose name I forget, a critical theorist, who thinks about permission in a sexual sense.

Isabel did zines with her mother, her grandmother sitting next to me said. Her grandmother is wearing a long-sleeved red blouse drawing with colored pencils and tape that she removes. Her picture is made of complex lines of orange, red, and green. Once she peeled the tape it took on a magical form.

Isabel’s mother is the daughter of the woman sitting next to me – Judy, who they call ‘Day.’

I talk to Isabel’s grandmother about divorce and children, who I don’t have. The music changes from a live pianist to more female voices. Isabel’s mother talks about having just helped her sister move.

One man eats his pizza, moving back and forth like a harmonica over his open mouth. The wondering woman is behind the bakery case in her glasses and sucking on her loopy pop looking over the scene. I guess, although I am not telekinetic, that she is seeing and feeling.

Isabel’s grandmother, a calligrapher for LA County, is making me feel better about myself.

When I asked if I could publish the picture I took of The Wonderer, she said no.

Meanwhile, it would appear that she’s right about us, we who have thoughts of our own, and maybe like me I need to get out of myself. Still, she represents a type of person, an enemy, someone who quashed my ability to tell the truth, apparently not, no matter how hideous.

What are we all here to say? Are we here to be critical of others, to see and quash the ugly truth in ourselves?

Judy/Day writes:

“Within the soft heart lies
Colorless thorns — blunt in perception:
Dull or pointed thru trees — clouds –
Where the air is thin where color is
swallowed.”

The Hexaflexagon said she never finishes anything, where doing so was problematic. I watch her draw flowers and they seem complete, as you know anything drawn need not have a beginning or an end.

It is merely asking for permission when you assume the answer is no. – Mario Savioni

Link

Finnegans Wake

It’s like the ticking of a Grandfather clock, these words that make sounds but have no meaning otherwise, except to establish the meter and rhyme of thought: Tick tock…Tick tock… They breathe with glimmers of cognition. All the while the book in your hands is like a vulva and your eyes keep peeling across the lines and you touch it and hold it with endearment and curiosity; for this is the meaning of life, beheld in partial mystery and ever-certain ignorance as the light falls and you can’t recall the liver in your pants nor the ejaculate of solemnity’s voice, now forgotten amid idleness.

 

And then somewhere in the 300s, the voice starts coming through — you picture an Irish Denisov, as you’ve formed some genetic understanding for the sentence structure. You appreciate still the meter and how the words begin to flow as rose petals are soft, like War and Peace. By page 477, you’ve come to realize, with McHugh’s annotations, that so much has gone by and you don’t have the meaning of it. It was hard reading both, as if the one weren’t enough, so you fixate on the daydreams that come as transitions between textual understanding. You solve your problems and weep at the memory of Ena, who thought she was pregnant. She saw Ghost with you — the middleman — sitting in your car in front of Columbia Inn nearly wanting her and she nearly leaning over wanting to be held. You remained cold but ever so longing. Somehow the moment passed and her boyfriend came back from New York in a couple of days. You knew it would have been wrong. Luckily, one of those moments did pass and you kept your problems to yourself. It turned out she wasn’t pregnant anyway and she knew it was wrong, in such a state of an emotional dilemma. It was better you than someone else. Maybe someone will do that for you.

 

By page 541, you’ve come to realize the Denisov image evaporates and there is a husky Irish man in a pub rattling off phrases as they sound and might be spelled in the English language. It’s like listening to someone for a long time and you understand as they articulate what before was foreign.

A Dream

I really love this painting.
There is a man/woman in a trench coat,
Wearing a watch, with his/her hand in his/her pocket behind the door.

She could be a call girl with her pimp in the background,
Or just a beautifully wrought woman contemplating her power or burdens,
Someone separated, perhaps, from her effect on the world co-mingled
With the fact of just being.

This image speaks to me of what a woman must do in a world of men,
Selling her wares, submitting herself to the desire to be lithe and luxuriously at peace.

What is she thinking?

My mother was once this beautiful,
She always seemed to be oblivious.
She thought not of men, but of designs
On paper, oil paint, and how the world worked,
Wanting to change, in her later years, junk
Into things of beauty.

She would contemplate,
Smoke her cigarettes and look out from her balcony
Out and at the hillside, which grew from under her
And then up almost to a point
You could not see the sky unless you bent down
When you were sitting.

She said she was raped by an uncle.
Was forced to live with foster parents
Because in the 30’s with her father dead
When she was two and with two brothers,
Her mother could not afford to take care of her.

When her mother died, my mother said that
She was hours away and her mother died alone.
She never wanted that to happen to her,
So she kept us close.

When she got her first commercial art job,
She walked in with a bandbox look.
They hired her out of all the prospects.
Just out of art school at CAL,
She presented a few pieces.

Then one of her bosses raped her.
My aunt said that she took off a couple of times
And my father, a doctor, had to take care of us.

All, I am sure she did was go to a place where she could think.
How do I know this?
I am like her.

We dream a lot.
We have our drinks, but non-alcoholic,
We don’t like to dull the powers of our minds.

I too have stared into the distance
Traveled through memories
And met loved ones.
Mainly, lovers and their sleek lines,
How they made me feel and
When we will meet again
Is all I think,
In the meantime,
I make beautiful things
Like peacock feathers
To entrance them.

OPINION: The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

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Read: http://www.nullapoena.de/stud/explorers.html before addressing the following, which is an answer to the question the case raises.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

 

“Before the dice were cast, however, Whetmore declared that he withdrew from the arrangement, as he had decided on reflection to wait…”

 

The issue as I view the facts relates to whether a man may wage his life in contract?

Thus, my opinion is that a man may not wager his life, nor should a society support the bartering of one’s life to save another. This is a decision remaining with the person and flexible with his whims.

Pro 1. As this case relates to assisted suicide, one of the arguments against it is that a person can no longer make a contribution to society.

Con 1. Similarly, the contribution to society would be that he allowed others to live in place of his life.

Pro 2. The individuals should have waited until one of the men died naturally before eating him.

Con 2. Similarly, had they waited, they might have all died, or at least the chance was great that more than one person would have died had they waited out the natural course of one.

Pro 3. Regardless of the arguments related to “Law of Nature” or jurisdiction as relates to time and place, men are inherently the same and enjoy the capacities of pain and joy. Therefore, sympathies, empathies, or the horrors of dying, whether to save others or not instill a seriousness. That seriousness would explain a general refrain from making another keep their side of a bargain.

Con 3. Similarly, the “seriousness” itself would weigh so heavily under the circumstances of a unified approach to death that those sympathies, empathies, or the horrors of dying itself, would avail the obligation of the losing party to uphold their bargain simply because the need to live would overpower the desire to take that person’s place if they changed their mind.

Lightness of Being

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I want to thank the person responsible for the new washers.
It is not like the old ones were broken
Because I bet they were loaded with a favor to one side
And the redistribution as you know
In rugby is that once the man with the ball
Is captured, a heap is formed.

But, I don’t know,
I have never really had a relationship
With the washers.
I did, however, put the coins in first
And then let the water fill,
Followed with detergent,
Let it churn a bit before
I put the clothes.

My aunt taught me
“To dilute the detergent.”

Now, you start with the detergent,
Then the clothes,
Then the quarters,
Kind of like getting your money’s worth
At the beginning.

I like how it is a bowl
And the holes don’t start until a quarter
Up the inside so it seems like
The water fills and the clothes are
Kept in a container so that
They both soak and get churned.
It is a rich process.

In the beginning
There is silence, then
The lockdown.

I like all the colored buttons and lights.
I like the white porcelain.
It all seems so robotic
And I have grown to like that.

That and dishes,
They are like the last things
We have to do
Before everything becomes
Automatic.

I am not even worried about the rain
Or viruses, or wars
Because we live in a laundry room,
Where we have a sofa,
A bookshelf, and a
Garden outside.

Maybe we should install a shower
And a kitchen.

Like I said, however,
Once we figure out how to do the laundry
Without actually having to do it,
Which is actually like doing the dishes
In a dishwasher,
What’s left? – Mario Savioni

 

The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

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Inspired by the haiku by  in Poésie, (See: http://hortusclosus.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/righteous/comment-page-1/#comment-6508)

Is it righteousness or regret that we contemplate? Is there a bucket list or a mere acceptance that the quality of life is so diminished over time that we understand the demise of our physicality? I watch my mother capitulate to the last waves that wash over her breaking body, how we can predict the steps to her final resting place, someone who was once our equal and before that the first beauty to have shown her face, and by whom I measure all lovers.

Tonight, I held the head of a woman with my mother’s skull and I massaged her. I breathed her “essential oils” through her thinning hair and followed the lines of her delicate hands as I traveled them. She leaned against me and I felt my own heart and we looked at pictures of my mother when she was 18.

Sadly, I doubt this woman loves me, and so it is. Death is an acceptance of the truth; and like the arms flailing in the sand, it is a kind of suffocation that we felt when we were born: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono.

And so perhaps you are correct: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Reclusivity of Silence

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The reclusivity of silence alone in a room;
The woman on a white pedestal is naked and posing.
I don’t remember what I said to her,
But she is in agreement
That her body and affect are
The stuff of artistry.

A picture of a naked woman,
Not that we are there yet,
But this must be the arrangement,
Sets adrift so many passions.
Mystery is the biggest one,
Where I am lost in the design itself,
My attraction,
My mind-numbing infatuation with this character study.
Just as Picasso said:
He was only and always painting himself.
I am taking a picture of everything I’ve ever wanted
While actually wanting to know if the passion is shared
And what it might mean.
I sense she is only contemplating her appointment,
How the stool might not be that comfortable,
if the image would wind up on the Internet,
And some guy like me would find it.
She’s thinking about lunch,
Her studies,
Her boyfriend,
The cause of art,
The purpose of her life.
I don’t think that women ever
Think of themselves as objects of beauty,
As the purpose for living that men attribute to them.
But, they clearly stand for something,
Since I have no other thoughts.

The Elevator

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With the shifting of the building

Given various weather scenarios,

I noticed this evening how the

Elevator button glowed red.

 

I waited then pressed the button.

 

It was warm, like the hood of the car of a cheating husband.

 

I pressed it again, but waited no longer

Looking over the railing for insensitive

Movers.

 

There were none.

 

I listened and waited.

Finally, I pushed the elevator door,

Which moved inward and the

Elevator descended.

 

It rested on the ground floor,

Where it must have been called

By a person, who got bored or frustrated?

 

I pressed the button again and the

Elevator rose to the top floor.

I got in and made sure the

Door was shut.

I noticed the gap was snug,

And then it descended.

The Bell Tower

bell tower underpainting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I happened on a room or a suite at the top of a building with little areas dotting the luxurious but otherwise spare penthouse apartment.

In the room, various individuals were standing and talking to each other. When I passed one, a man. He stood above what appeared to be his belongings and his name was Tom. He was taller, a bit red-faced, pudgy. He wore a plaid, long-sleeved Pendelton. He was balding but I could tell his hair was brown. He looked over at me as I was coming toward the group, but he continued his conversation: “As an entire country, we are being brain-washed, within the confines of a mass media, we’ve been told what to believe, how to look at the world. Although our eyes, ears, and mouths are the same, we still think a certain way that is controlled. My belief in God was laid across my brain as an early teething blanket destined to calm my fears, which were great, where I knew I needed my mother and father.”

There were beds, actually, mattresses on the floor, say a lamb’s skin throw rug here and a little lamp on the floor over there. You had to be careful when stepping through the obstacle course of these belongings. It was like a dorm room for adults. It turned out that the people were living there. Total strangers had come together with barely any belongings, and they would have parties and they would invite other strangers and I noticed a packet of candy with my name on it and a list of email addresses of people I knew. It was like someone had gone on my computer and printed them out. They were apparently being passed around as if I were the host of the party, but I didn’t know any of these people.

Tom continued speaking: “My mother asks in her late age, why she’s still in the hospital and I tell her, it is because of her Alzheimer’s and that is because she never used the mathematical side of her brain. And now, she’s further indoctrinated by the television, which provides her with a conservative view of everything, or frankly it doesn’t matter because so long as it sells fear, the television stations are fine because then the products will be sold as the answer to their loss of safety and control, but then we are never really in control…”

Someone I know from the past, Mark, says: “All of them were part-time workers, working at various companies, but were connected by the idea of harvested e-mail addresses. They would have dinner and even sex together, in this seeming business financial district frat house of temporarily-employed people. I looked out the windows, which were apparently one-way mirrors and saw a man, who seemed to be running from something. He had the demeanor of a purse-snatcher and I watched what seemed to be a chase being carried out on the roof as I looked over the room.

Tom is still talking: “We wake up in the morning and run to work and the guinea pig wheel houses us rather nicely and we see very little of the outside world, and while it isn’t quite like us; it is still being led by the same strictures.” Some in his group look at him and nod their heads while also watching the man on the roof being apprehended by men with suits and those Secret Service-like earplugs. They stop him easily. It is just one guy actually, a normal-seeming guy, who grabs his arm and suspends him in pain.

Mark tells me there are lots of these types of living arrangements, where people work for a temp company and move from temp job to temp job and they house these stables of business types, who are just normal people with no extended families. They have no contacts other than these temporary “friends.” They have no health care, no accumulated wealth, nothing, just what’s around their feet. They live day-to-day and they never know what their next job will be until they get a slip of paper the night before indicating where they’ll be heading in the morning.

“Capitalism is the Elephant in the room,” Tom continues, “and the psychopathic conquerors are unavoidable in their destructive tendencies.” 

You had to wonder by Tom’s conversation why he was so antagonistic toward the set-up. It seemed comfortable. A couple of nights ago I was watching the love of my life climb under a freeway over pass and into the arms of a large muscle-bound man who gave me dirty looks as he moved her into the darkness, where he had a dirty mattress and garbage strew about. It was clear she and I were over. I’d lost the 5-plex in Berkeley, which after the earthquake was tagged for demolition. I still had $699,000 due on the mortgage. I’d lost my job. I was grateful to have found these people.

The set-up reminded me of an idea Slavoj Zizek put forth, where he said that Jewish people were the only group that maintained their heritage and practices to the letter, while others seemed to have disbanded and a result of this were these ‘individuals,’ who had no common characteristics except this worker pool atmosphere. It reminded me of the Chinese dorm rooms at the companies that made Apple products, who lived in bunk rooms, but didn’t know each other and yet they worked long hours, and slept inches from each other. They were fed in cafeteria-like environments and dressed alike.

I could hear Tom in the background: “In fact, that’s what we can continue to look forward to, the eyes and glare of the psychopath taking out his rage that his father was never there to help his mother care for them and now the self-destruction is certain, if you breed destruction yourself, destruction as a nation, as a world…” I stopped listening to Tom for a second.

I felt a tinge of sadness. I used to believe that we needed to get together and help each other but I never imagined that his would be done akin to slavery, where the worker paid his wages for a space on the floor and he or she was trapped but certainly equal on this level to all the other people. But you could tell, someone owned the suite and someone was organizing us, or at least garnering the benefit of our desperation and loneliness.

“This is the end we should expect,” Tom was somehow making sense. He kept going. “If it is every man-for-himself, then the families have no chance. If it is that the strange shall survive and the weak perish, then that’s all that’s left.”

The crows outside reminded me of the precarious state we were in, where the whole country seemed to be looking over a cliff. Organization as we know it will be fundamentally broken. Kaypacha, an Internet-based astrologer, said in 2013, “Why doesn’t everyone just go bankrupt?” Apparently they had. What’s left when you still have to eat and sleep? I remembered the idea that our savings is our freedom, which is what Bejan would say when I was waiting tables before the 4-plex and the earthquake.

Tom said, “I don’t see a happy ending, where in the back of all the action is the inevitable personality of our nation, of people in general, a kind of Lord-of-the-Flies system of doing things.

“Just look at ourselves, what makes up our day? What are we constantly thinking? It is intimacy and the desire to be close to someone to share our fears, and to the efforts we must instill, just to deceive ourselves into making it? We are exhausted, focused, with blinders on, but there’s no other way but controlled acquisition and mergers with the intent of a deluded status of self-sufficiency and general independence? Are our hearts no longer the organ making the world sunny, or is it for men only the desire to penetrate and for women to receive and then manipulate by guilt the sacrifice of another person for their self-preservation? And yet love makes us give everything, we think, for a greater good, but that good is only slavery? After all, we’ve been trained so well that if we don’t do what they say, we are terrorists and they’ll lock us?” Tom questioned.

“We are reacting to the inevitable pressures that are upon us as ‘desiring machines’ in the middle of a life cycle. Let us now go into the other room and make babies, and let the next generation do what we did, as a second of pleasure.

“Even the criminal knows this pattern, and I believe they call this life.” Tom concluded.