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The Exodus Files
Time Bomb

Monday January 24, 2005

Last night, the psychotic classical pieces on public radio were flowing from my Bose® Acoustic Wave. One has to wonder how or why I would divest one of my former prized possessions. I have no idea either. My guess is that I am going through the schizoid phase of my geriatric transition. Sheesh! A sad day. Looks like the "time bomb" (my wind-up clock) is ready to self-destruct. Remember that I bought it for $4.99 at Thrifty Drugs back in Convalescent City. I may spray some WD-40 in it to see if that helps. I'd like it to last another ten years. I also sent off e-mail to Shirley to apologize for not meeting up with her.

I've been looking over a piece of software called SAS Learning Edition, which I obtained for free from the company. It appears to be a very powerful management tool incorporating all of the features of relational database systems, spreadsheets, and more. I am thinking of training myself to become a SAS guru. There's a programming aspect as well. In any case, I hope that I don't give up on it like the myriad projects I've tried to complete before. I've got to do something with my life since I am doomed to be a reclusive monk. The real problem, of course, is that it is a Windows program. I am not switching back to Windows.

An uneventful day. The Asylum was vacant. Most of the students and the administration were on holiday. Then, I discovered that "Samhain" will be arriving next week. Chip mistakenly referred to him as "Saddam." I laughed my ass off. No one seems to have any respect for anyone or anything anymore. I've decided to stay clear of the nonsense. The first day of classes at the Diploma Mill seemed chaotic. I chatted with Pseudo-professor Bill. He spent most of his vacation in pain. He discovered that he has a herniated disk. I also chatted with Pseudo-professor Dorothy. She had called this weekend about a computer problem. The problem is still not resolved. Professor Russell told me about the promotion of Pseudo-professor Michael to a director's position. It was a sordid tale of ass-kissing and corruption. He also filled me in about the small pay raise that we will be seeing in the Fall term. I was able to witness universal karma in action this afternoon. Professor Randy is the jerk who was hired for the Visiting Instructor position that some of us interviewed for. He was friendly at first, but he became arrogant. The putz pranced in to get his print job. As he was walking out, he hit his head on the locker door that Pseudo-professor Bill had left wide open. Bong! It was an awesome sound. I should have laughed my ass off, but I didn't bother. I did my usual workout at the gym. The heart palpitations seem to have gone away. I chatted with Anne on the express bus this afternoon. She will be working for another week at the same temporary assignment.

Shirley sent e-mail. She wants to meet for lunch this Sunday. I agreed. She also said that she went to church because she felt like it. Seth's mother and sister attend the services regularly. I am not sure what is going on with Shirley. I know that she's hanging around with all of her high school friends a lot more. That's an Hawai'i phenomenon. She's also wrapped up in that Myspace thing. All of these people live at home in the "cocoon." None of them pay rent. Most are working dead-end jobs. They spend their money on their cars and partying. I don't think that any of them know how to cook or do their laundry. Before anybody gets on my case, let me say that I spent 27 years on my own in Cali. I can cook quite well, and I know how to do the laundry. I seriously doubt that they understand how much it costs to live outside the "cocoon." In addition, I firmly believe that maturity can only come about once the "cocoon" is jettisoned. I am certain that I can trust Shirley, so I will give her my spare keys to Chez Loser. I also told her that I was planning to purchase an LCD or plasma tube for the place. She thought that was great.

I installed SAS Learning Edition on one of the computers at the Diploma Mill. I've started the tutorial. Let's see how far I go with this project. I will say that it's quite interesting. I am using the Enterprise Guide interface, which requires no programming. I will try to tackle to coding later. It's quite different from anything I've worked with, mainly because it can deal with a large variety of data sources concurrently. And, it has full statistical analysis capability. Now that I am resigned to the fact that the babe situation is moot, I must rechannel my energy into something productive. How long before I go insane?

Tuesday January 25

My first day of classes at the Diploma Mill. It was quite grueling. I have about 85 students between three classes. In one of my classes, there are about eight students who were in my class last term. Two of my classes are at the Hawai'i Loa campus. Thus, I must ride the shuttle with the kids. Robert and Pseudo-professor Ralph were in the faculty computer room when I arrived. Robert is enjoying the Legislative Attorney position. However, he does not seem to be doing much to secure anything afterward. I urged him to start looking now. Pseudo-professor Ralph is just about done with his doctoral dissertation. In a matter of time, he will no longer be a lowly pseudo-professor. Robert went back to the capitol. Pseudo-professor Ralph and I also departed. We ran into Shirley and Nicolette along the staircase. I was heading to the gym. They were heading to class, so we didn't get to chat. I did my usual workout. I had to take a shower since I had a late afternoon class. I was able to chat with Pseudo-professor Cathrine as well. She's finishing up her doctorate and also teaching statistics classes. I received e-mail from Kim at the Asylum. She announced that Marc, the Executive Director, resigned. Anne was at the bus stop again, so we chatted during the bus ride home.

I am wondering what Caroll, Robert, Anne, myself, and people like us are going to do in the future. We are all in the senior citizen bracket, or close to it. We are also single and poor, some more than others. It's not a promising situation. Robert stated that he has come to realization that he cannot have a young hottie. Will he settle for a babe in his age group? Nope. If we were smart, we would pool our resources and buy a large house that would eventually become our convalescent home. This makes more sense than each of us braving the geriatric life-style on our own. In a few years, I may broach this idea with some of them.

Wednesday January 26

From what I can tell, Shirley may be ready to hook up again, this time with one of Seth's friends. I believe that he's one of the guys that she mentioned a few weeks ago. The other guy is someone whom she knew way back when she frequented some local pool hall. The guy used to work there. I am not sure if I can handle hearing about another of Shirley's relationships going awry since she refuses to do da wild thing early in the game. I firmly stand behind her on this issue, though. Yet, going through these foolish relationships only seems to make her more bitter. How many times do I have to tell her? Guys in their twenties just want some nookie. A girlfriend is just a conduit for a wild thing meal ticket. She's admitted that this guy is smooth. What is even more apparent is that she's become a challenge amongst the group of guy friends whom she hangs out with. They are always talking about da wild thing with her, she said. Duh! Can it be more obvious than this? I am becoming more keenly aware that Shirley is growing desperate to hook up with someone. Going back to a high school clique is about as desperate as they come. She has told me that mostly everyone has hooked up with each other in that group, just like musical chairs. She's a hottie, damn it! What the fuck is her problem? She can get any guy she wants. I am actually getting pissed off. I may have to disassociate from her because I am too old to tolerate this kind of stupidity. She's been living in the "cocoon" too long. It's really a waste. She's smart and she's talented. She's just stuck in bumfuck Kailua with the old local ways.

After a while, I came to my senses. Perhaps I am only reacting because of my own impotence and my inability to find a babe. Mind you, Shirley and I became friends as a result of her breakup with the only really serious BoyToy that she had. He's the guy whom she gave up the goods for. It is now obvious that Shirley's history is repeating itself. Her main focus in life is to find a BoyToy. It is I who was stupid enough not to see the pattern. All I can be is a friend to Shirley. She will just have to make the mistakes that she's asking for because that is what she really wants. I cannot stop it. I am only an observer. Ramona went through the same dilemma, although she apparently chose to distance herself from Shirley.

An unusual day. I experienced several anxiety attacks, similar to what was happening during my mid-life crisis. The Asylum was extremely quiet. I walked to the Diploma Mill around noon. Later, I got a haircut at the usual place. The haircut was not as good as usual, which made me even more perturbed. Pseudo-professor Dorothy was in the faculty computer room when I returned. We had a nice chat. She apparently went through major depression during the break. She did not even leave the house for a few weeks. Some days, she did not even get out of bed. Of course, I know the problem. It's "geriatric anxiety." We're beginning to see the end of our lives nearing. Our bodies are starting to break down. And, we are single and alone. I should be a friend to her, just as Shirley is a friend to me. I did my usual workout at the gym. Then, I ended up back at the faculty computer room. I was able to chat with Pseudo-professors Bill and Jeff. Anne was on the express bus again. In fact, I was glad to see her. If she's on the bus, that means she is working.

Thursday January 27

An interesting day. Shirley called right after my morning classes. She apparently has the same time off as I do. She wanted to meet for lunch. I was finally able to meet her at 1pm. We ate at Taco Bell, like the good old days. She said that she got hammered last night. She has been practicing throwing darts at one of the pubs. She's challenging one of Seth's friends. She also went to a karaoke joint with the guys. In the last couple of weeks, she has gone on a few dates with Neal, the guy who used to work at the pool hall. He's an accountant now, but he really wants to become a fireman. Shirley said that he was too much on the quiet side. They went on a group event with Kerri and her co-workers. Shirley was upset that she had to spend the whole time with him because he was not outgoing. So, he is now in the FriendZone®. She also said that she saw Erin the other day. They ignored each other. Shirley also mentioned that she's not ready for another relationship. The last tryst with Jason "suffocated" her. He was too demanding of her time. She always went to his place, and they rarely ever went out. She was also seeing less of her other friends. I told her that wage slavery changes a lot of things. Work is tiring. It's hard to party in the middle of the week. The other guys all have regular jobs and seem to be able to party, she retorted. Yet, I have to wonder. Are they paying rent? Do they have to clean the house or do the yard? Do they cook their own meals and do their own laundry? I doubt it.

I really am beginning to believe that Shirley is very naïve. She's graduating from the Diploma Mill at the end of Summer. What is she going to do? She said that she's tired of going to school. She's ready to work. Yet, where is she going to find a job? And, when exactly is she going to start looking? This is what happened to me a long time ago. I am paying the price now. Shirley wants to "have fun while [she] can." Things really changed after that crazy situation with Erin. Actually, it all started before that. When we were all hanging out two Summers ago, Shirley seemed more focused. However, I stopped hanging out with her after I returned from Cali last March. We would at least meet for lunch a few times each week in the old days. We only saw each other on her B-day in April. After that, the incident with Erin happened. That's also when she had the falling out with Ramona. By the way, Ramona was instrumental in keeping Shirley on the right path. Then, Shirley contacted me by e-mail in May to say that she was hanging out with Seth a lot more. I did not see her until she dropped by Chez Loser after supposedly reading the journal by happenstance. That's a crock of shit. I know exactly how she found out that I knew about the Erin fiasco. She's now heavily entrenched in the old high school crowd. A while back, she referred to them as "losers." Now, they are "da hogz wi' da big nuts." In other words, she's gone back to the local ways. Hanging out. Partying. Singing karaoke. Living in the "cocoon" with no cares in the world, just like "da hogz." I predict that Shirley will end up with one of "da hogz." She'll have fun until she is middle-aged and still living in one of their parents' places with no real future to look forward to. Does that sound familiar? I made several big mistakes over the past few decades. I try to warn others, but they just brush me aside. Oh well.

Vanessa called and left a message. I was not able to connect with her. Kevin called. I was able to chat with him for a while. I chatted with Pseudo-professors Ralph and Dorothy this afternoon. I stayed in town later than usual to do so. Pseudo-professor Dorothy has sold her rental townhouse. She has offered to buy mine, but not at the price that I want. The way things are going, I may change my mind. I was able to find out that I have cable service included in my maintenance fee. Pseudo-professor Ralph said that he didn't think it was a good idea to give Shirley the spare keys. He was probably joking. However, he may be right. There's no telling what she would do now that she's become a "bad girl," as she puts it.

Friday January 28

Who exactly is Shirley? I really don't know anymore. I became quite puzzled by her actions when she attempted the ill-fated hook up with Lance in March of last year. I am still totally flabbergasted by her ill-fated hook up with Randy, Erin's ex-husband. Although nothing serious happened, she did admit to falling for him. Why? He's not a "cute guy." And, he was older by at least five years. Shirley had told me that she did not want to get involved with another older guy after her nasty breakup with Mark. He was about eight years older than her. She lost her friendship with Erin as a result, and severely altered her friendship with Ramona. In all that time Shirley maintained her sobriety, it was "out of respect" for Ramona. Now, she's getting hammered all the time. "It always happens after a breakup," she said. This time it was because of Jason, the last BoyToy, who is Randy's cousin. What really makes me wonder is how she easily hooked up with Jason just a couple of weeks after the Erin fiasco. A year ago, she kept telling me that she was serious about school. She did not want to be in a relationship until she graduated. Why did she suddenly go boy crazy in March?

I started to lose touch with Shirley just before Ol' Lavahead Day in 2003. We did not go out to a B-day dinner like we did in prior years either. We did celebrate a belated V-Day and also her B-day. I did not see her after that. We did not keep in touch at all. As I mentioned, I only received a couple of e-mail from her during that time. Of course, that's when the Erin fiasco transpired. I really don't know what happened, but something did happen back then that changed Shirley. The answer may have been in the journal, but I doubt that I will find it since the pruning. A year ago, Shirley did not want to go out drinking or end up hanging out in crowded places. Oftentimes, she would stay at home when the rest of us went out. Many times, she would call to find out what we were doing. Now, she's out clubbing and getting hammered all the time. Strange things.

Kevin and I had potlucks in our classes at the Asylum. Lots of good food. At the end, we had a lot of pastries and desserts left. Kevin suggested that I put them in the office for Kim and the others. So, I did. There probably were a million calories in those boxes. I did not do much for the rest of the day. I went to the gym, purchased a bus pass, and ended up at the Diploma Mill. Robert was there before I went ot the gym. He seems to be quite happy to be working at a real job. He was writing a reference letter for a young hottie. He's also pretty certain that he's going to land a good position soon. Let's hope so. I saw Anne at the bus stop this afternoon. We chatted for most of the ride on the express bus. That hot blonde was on the bus today. Lately, she's been coming way to the back of the bus where I usually sit. Normally, she sits up front. She gets off in Kuli'ou'ou as does Anne. She's slightly thick, but quite a babe. Fortunately, I didn't even notice her.

Moms was gone since last night, obviously to watch my nephew. The house was very quiet. I tried to imagine what life for me is going to be like in the future. I became quite unnerved. In fact, I began to experience the same kind of anxiety that I had during my mid-life crisis. The feeling did not abate today. I pondered the babe situation again, which indicated that the latter is far from over. I am not even certain why I became weak. There is no babe for the ol' lavahead. My relationship with babes have always been aggravating. I cannot co-exist or cohabit with a babe without extreme duress. I am not compatible with any babe. So, why does this issue keep coming back? I surmise that I have become uncomfortable with being alone. I do absolutely nothing except work, sleep, go the the gym, shuttle back and forth to Chez Loser, and sit in front of my computer. That's it. I have no social life. I have no friends to hang out with. I know no babes, except Shirley. Single guys my age are sitting at home in front of the tube, just like The Master. That's all old losers can do. Maybe I should prepare my tax returns for fun, eh? Oh, man. I should sit down before I pass out from all this excitement. Sheesh!

Saturday January 29

I'm not sure why I launched into a discussion about Shirley. She has gotta do what she's gotta do. If she makes a big mistake, it's her problem. As the old cliché goes, "Been there, done that too fucking many times." I really don't see much of her anyway. We are supposed to meet this Sunday, but I discovered that she made other plans via Myspace. It's a good thing that I checked. I cannot waste too much of my time. I am suffering from "geriatric anxiety." I am completely confused. My priorities keep shifting every few minutes. I am looking at my life as one big joke with the last laugh on me. I am wasting so much time doing absolutely nothing important. I am a poverty-stricken nobody. With so little time left on this planet, I will never be able to rectify those issues. I have to operate more efficiently. Or, I am going to be one sorry-ass loser in the end.

The weather turned bad almost immediately this morning. By 9am, it was pouring. I was able to depart at 10:45am to make the benign journey to Chez Loser. I was fortunate that the rain let up whenever I was on my way to a bus stop. Transfers went smoothly as well. I had nothing to do while I was in Kane'ohe. I popped the cork on the bottle of Austrian wine that Lori had given me. The wine was excellent. I was a little hammered when I left, although I felt much less stressed. Just what the doctor ordered. On the trip back, Anne got on the bus at Kahala Mall. I chatted with her until her stop. She went shopping and also saw a movie by herself. This is the kind of life we geriatric singles lead. I spent all day in deep contemplation of this geriatric dilemma. In fact, I was at wit's end by late afternoon. I decided to go to Kahala Mall after dinner. I wanted to do something that resembled a night life. I spent only an hour there, but the excursion satisfied my longing. I treated myself to a Jamba Juice smoothie even though it wasn't exactly a warm night. I'll spend the rest of the evening with my iBook. I'm not sure if I will even bother making the trip to Chez Loser tomorrow.

Sunday January 30

The phone lines were down last night, most likely because of the rain. The roads were flooded. That's probably why there were several emergency crews out along the road yesterday and late into the evening. Some of the phone lines are underground, so that could be the problem. I had nothing left to do but vegetate. Can it get more pathetic than this?

I departed for Chez Loser at 9:45am. The bus trip went like clockwork. I did not have much to do, so I immediately began partaking of the magic elixir. Shirley called at noon. She was still in bed. I asked if she had been out partying. She avoided the subject by saying that she was catching up with her sleep since she worked yesterday. I knew that I was being fed a line. She wanted to meet for lunch. I walked to Safeway to buy a big-ass bottle of the "Hammer." I also did a few minor chores while I waited. Shirley finally came by at 2:30pm. We sat and chatted for a bit. She wanted to order pizza for lunch. I let her decide what to order. She called Papa John's Pizza. We sat around and chatted while we waited for the pizza. Naturally, we had to partake of the "Hammer." I came to discover that Shirley has been partying quite a bit. I am not sure what is going on with her. She seems to think that she lives her life in cycles. Now, she's in the "hoochie momma" cycle. What can I tell her since I was a full-time party animal in my younger years? How can I possibly impose my values upon her? As it turns out, Shirley was out last night with the guys. And, let me make a historical note here for myself — party utensils. It was unbelievable. I cannot provide any more details.

Shirley was dressed in some board shorts and a skimpy top. She's a gorgeous babe. She'd really be yanking my chain if she told me that she was unaware that every guy wants her. I'm sure that she knows this quite well. Perhaps she just loves the attention. Frankly, I have no idea what she's doing, and she certainly isn't about to tell me. The pizza finally arrived. We chowed down and continued our discussion. Shirley was also quick to tell me that she has been reading the journal every now and then. No one told her that I found out about the Erin fiasco, although she said that she is still keeping in contact with the former friend. "I'm sure [the former friend] still reads the journal," she added. You know, I'd like to believe all of that, but I am really having a hard time. Yet, does it matter? There really is something different about Shirley. She's become extremely dangerous. I could sense it the minute she walked in. She said that she has gone through the "bad girl" cycle before. I am certain that it was a much more timid version of what I am seeing now. I may be a senior citizen, but I am still a guy. I could feel a very strong force, an aura, like I have never sensed before. There were moments that I felt as though I did not know who was sitting across from me. I also felt sad because I miss the old Shirley, the friend whom I've known for four years.

We left at 6:30pm. I showed Shirley where the mailbox was. I also went over some of the house rules of the Chez Loser complex with her, since I would be giving her the spare keys. We departed in Shirley's car. Just as we were passing through Waimanalo, her car stalled. We had to push it into the 7-11 parking lot. We could not get it started again. The car's computer runs everything, so it was impossible to diagnose. One faulty sender could shut down the vehicle. Shirley finally called her father. He arrived shortly afterward. He tried to call for a tow truck, but that was a lesson in futility. He finally used his truck to tow the car back to Kailua. Shirley then gave me a ride back to Hawai'i Kai. I gave her my spare keys before she departed. I am still in bewilderment about Shirley. What has happened to her? I am also wondering if her car was giving me an omen about the future.

Monday January 31

The first day of the grueling back-to-back six-week terms at the Asylum. Everyone was clamoring over an exposé concerning sham career colleges on "Sixty Minutes." It's a matter of time before an enterprising reporter exposes the Asylum for what it is. Two more people are resigning. Mari, the Job Placement Coordinator, and Dabie, the bookkeeper, are being emancipated. I was not really too concerned about the Asylum. I experienced an extreme bout of "geriatric anxiety." It was as strong as the panic attacks that I experienced during the height of my mid-life crisis. I thought of buying a truck and an ocean kayak. I also thought about buying a motorcycle. Then, I started thinking about the babe situation. I could not control any of my thoughts. At one point, I wanted to divest everything. Seconds later, I wanted to acquire more. I thought about all of those studs who are after Shirley, and then I realized that I am an impotent old fart. I became enraged. Why must I keep going through this torture? There is no doubt that Robert is going through the same thing. That's why he keeps chanting, "Sublimation," over and over to me. Ultimately, it's the babe situation. Even knowing that it's truly over, I keep grasping at straws and keep hoping that I will be saved in the eleventh hour. What a maroon!

My workout at the gym went well until my cardio session. I experienced quite a few long series of palpitations. Could it be related to the greasy pizza and the quantity of the "Hammer" that I consumed yesterday? Or, maybe the "party utensils" were responsible? I'm surprised that I didn't just keel over. After the gym, I ended up in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I chatted with Pseudo-professor Bill briefly. I got some work done. I also completed my taxes on the Excel template that I created three years ago. I had to modify it for itemized deductions. Overall, I will be getting about $1,600 refunded. I have already realized about $700 over the year through increased exemptions. This is much less than I expected, but it reflects only about seven months of mortgage payments. I will be mailing off my tax returns soon. I saw Anne at the bus stop again. She was quite happy because her assignment has been extended for three more weeks. We chatted until her stop in Kuli'ou'ou. The hot blonde was on the bus again today. She sat in the seat in front of me again. Anne and I sit on the seats way at the back. The seats directly in front are perpendicular to the rear seats. She used to sit in the first seat in the front of the bus. I noticed that the seats in the front were empty this afternoon. She sat at an angle facing more toward the front of the bus as she chatted on her cell phone. She and Anne got off at the same stop. She was the last person to walk to the exit. As she was just about to disembark, she turned and looked back. She's a hottie!

Tuesday February 1

The rain started up again last night. It's supposed to be pouring by the wee hours of the morning. The new PowerBooks came out yesterday. However, I will admit that I am not too excited about buying one. I'll probably wait until later in the year. Although it may seem that I am passing judgment on Shirley, that's not really true. I am very concerned about where she's heading, probably more than she is. "Everything will work out," she said on Sunday, sounding like a true eleventh-hour believer. I trust her, just as Ramona trusts her. By the way, Ramona has given Shirley a copy of the keys to her place as well. What bothers me is that I am uncertain if Shirley is aware of the powers of a "dangerous" babe. Will she be able to get out of a bad situation? What's even worse is that she has been driving when she's hammered. That really has me worried.

These are certainly some interesting times, eh? I did my usual stint at the Diploma Mill. This schedule works well because I am not at the Asylum two days per week. I walked to the Post Office after I returned from the Hawai'i Loa campus. I finally mailed the AARP application. As I was walking through the alley near the Mercury bar, I saw Shirley walking on Fort Street Mall. I chatted with Pseudo-professor Ralph in the faculty computer room. Robert came by, but I did not get a chance to chat with him. I went to the gym at 2pm and returned in time for my last class. Mark was at the bus stop this afternoon. We ended up chatting until he got off near his place. We discussed the geriatric life. The hot blonde was on the bus again. I sat in the back seat. Mark was sitting in the seat in front of me, and the hottie was sitting two seats from Mark. My bro drove in just as I arrived at moms' house. He is buying a new truck, so he removed the toolbox and racks. Money must be burning a hole in his pocket.

I was overcome by "geriatric anxiety" again. Actually, it's quite fatiguing. I am going through the same issues as with my mid-life crisis. I might as well just resign to the fact that the mid-life crisis never ended. It simply went into remission for a few months. Now, it's back even stronger. There are only two ways that this nonsense will end. The unacceptable remedy would be to put myself on medication like Robert. The only other alternative is to face my demons. We already know what is the real issue. It's keeps coming back like a bad sitcom. I'm back at Square Zero.

Wednesday February 2

Aside from discussing geriatric health issues, Mark and I also spoke at length as homeowner-to-homeowner. He has just finished buying new appliances. I speculated that my next (and last) upgrade will be the carpet. It's all laughable since both he and I are single senior citizens. Our places are well beyond our needs. This, in essence, is part of the charade that I am living. I keep grasping at straws to find some kind of meaning to my existence. The vicious cycle takes me back through materialism, the babe situation, asceticism, and the celibate monk life-style. I chase an elusive dream. Elusive because it may not even exist. I long for something that I cannot have. Then, I retreat into the safe-haven of the mind. The flesh is indeed weak and craves anything that gives it pleasure. At some point, not even the spirit can subdue it. Indeed, the spirit and the flesh become one in the most desperate of moments. Mortality, or the increasing awareness of it, accelerates the process. The mind starts playing tricks on its owner. It is this deception that has brought me here now. I cannot covet what is not mine, but that does not stop the heart and mind from wanting. What is it that I really seek? Eternal youth? The wisdom of the Sages? Alas, the secrets of the heart can never be betrayed. The one secret will be there to time indefinite, even as the soul perishes. "What is the secret?" you ask. You already know, I answer.

An uneventful day. The same old nonsense at the Asylum. On the way out, I experienced a long series of heart palpitations, probably close to 30 seconds. I am totally bewildered because I should have keeled over. I went to the gym and did my usual workout. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I was able to complete my tax returns. I will be sending them out tomorrow. Pseudo-professors Bill and Jeff were there. We chatted briefly. Anne was at the bus stop this afternoon. We didn't chat much during the bus ride home. We were both fatigued from a long day.

Anonder apparently updated his journal site. He made mention of this in Speak! IV. I quickly perused the site and printed, "Philosophical Fragments," his latest addition. So far, it has been interesting reading. I am often tempted to believe that many of his treatises were specifically written for the ol' lavahead. Sheesh! The disassociation process between Shirley and I may have already been invoked, not by me but by Shirley herself. I do not believe that we parted company on Sunday with much left of our initial friendship. We are still friends, but of a more distant nature. I predict that she will hook up with someone soon, probably Seth's buddy. The guys in that group are already triangulating her. Shirley had told me that he was "good looking," so she's open for something to happen. That's okay. V-Day is right around the corner. She still has the keys to Chez Loser, but she can just drop them off there anytime if she wishes. Anonder stresses "non-attachment" to everything including people. "Break with friends, lovers, and relatives," he wrote. "Take a job in a distant city, then gradually stop writing, returning calls, responding to letters and so forth. Let relationships die of neglect." Perhaps it's time to say good-bye to friends again.

Thursday February 3

I spent the rest of the evening reading, "Philosophical Fragments," by Anonder. I had written the first paragraph of yesterday's entry on a whim. Yet, oddly, I was touching upon the very subjects that I would read about a few hours later in his treatise. I am not at all certain how I happened upon his journal many moons ago. It did not take long for me to discover that we shared a few common ideas. I was particularly struck by how accurately he described the excruciatingly painful dealings that we as guys have with babes, if we chose to interact with them. I have, for the most part, avoided becoming involved with several babes because of my intolerance of their wily ways. Yes, I wanted to do da wild thing with them. However, that alone was not a tasty enough carrot for me to take a bite. In those cases, Anonder's premise of the intrinsic nature of pain and pleasure held true. Heck, it still holds true today. I let time run out for myself, even though I knew that the point of no return was rapidly approaching. Now, it's truly over. There is no babe situation. I did not act to change the latter. I did not even put myself into a situation where I would face rejection. Even during the apex of my mid-life crisis, when biology was an all-consuming force, I made no effort to quell my anxiety (read: mack on babes). I've come to accept that biology will continue to haunt me until my body ceases to produce testosterone. Mind you, I am not in complete agreement with Anonder, although I was quite taken by the logical construct of his arguments. What many people may find interesting is that the entire lengthy document is essentially about the babe situation. The foundation of the Mystic Order of Spiritual Hermaphrodite Slave Adorers of the Virgin, a monastic order founded by him, is essentially the result of his own disillusionment with the babe situation. In effect, I have been critical of Shirley and others for their seemingly vacuous participation in hedonistic mating rituals, yet I have embraced the intellectual approach to voluntary celibacy (and possibly misogyny). It's really all the same.

A hectic day. On Tuesday and Thursday, I must take the shuttle with the students to get to the Hawai'i Loa campus. I have two classes there. Then, I take the shuttle back to town. It's quite grueling. Shirley called right after her class, which surprised me. She wanted to go to lunch. We at Japanese food today. Shirley has been partying quite a bit. Last night, she went to the Mercury bar after class with another babe. Then, she picked up Seth and came back to town to meet up with the guys at Cheerleaders. Apparently, she challenged one of the guys to a dart game. The guys both have babes, so I was wrong in assuming that one of them was interested in Shirley. She said that she was "one of the boys." The guys' babes were also there. Shirley described them as "girly-girls." They are very feminine and dress very nicely. Again, of course, I had to inform Shirley that she is a babe. She asked if she should dress more "hoochie" and be more of a "girly-girl." I told her that she does not have to go to extremes. She could go halfway and still win hands down over most babes. Can't she remember the Asylum lua'u? She was the hottest babe there. Sometimes, it's like I'm talking to myself. Shirley also mentioned that she is graduating much earlier than I thought. She is taking the first Summer session, so she should be done by the end of June. This is not a good situation. I believe that she is going on a trip to Europe with Ramona's group. However, what is she going to do for a career? Currently, her parents are claiming her as a dependent. This is the absolute last year that's possible. And, I am quite surprised that her parents let her run around at all hours during school nights. I probably have more rules than she does. Her car is still not running. She's been driving her father's truck. Overall, I can't really understand what she's doing. When does she find the time to do school work? I know that she's constantly checking Myspace. I also discovered that she's repeating a math class. That might explain a few things, eh?

Well, there's nothing that I can do. Shirley is going to have to learn responsibility the hard way, just as I had to. That's not the best way to learn. I wasted a lot of years and a lot more money on partying. In my heyday, I would make her look like a homebody. I could try to justify that I had a great time. However, I put the rest of my life on hold. Obviously, Shirley has more options since she is a hottie. She may end up finding a rich stud. I'm better off pondering Anonder's ruminations, I suppose.

Friday February 4

The Asylum was totally dismal. Everyone looked completely worn out, no doubt because of "Samhain." He's been here for three days. Rumors are circulating that he's planning to move all of the offices out of the first-floor storefront. He's doing everything possible to downsize the dump. People are now telling me that my predictions are looking quite accurate. The enrollment is supposed to be at 300 students, but I am having a difficult time believing that. The whole place is almost completely empty during the day. All of this left me in a dazed state. In fact, I can actually say that I lapsed into depression. I did not do anything for the rest of the day except my gym workout and setting up a Myspace page. I was supposed to meet Glenn for the Art Walk this evening, but I did not hear from him. That brought me even lower in mood. I really wanted to get out tonight. I am dying to do something, but I have no friends or associates. I also joined the Yahoo! Group called Sad Lonely Losers Club. It's based here in Honolulu. There was a big write-up in the paper last night. Some of the members were going to meet at the Mercury bar prior to going on the Art Walk. I was tempted to tag along, but changed my mind.

I was still in a funk (as Steph would say) when I returned to Hawai'i Kai. Add in a dose of "geriatric anxiety," and it's easy to see that I am close to the edge of sanity. I was ready to break down and start crying like a baby. I've never felt so hopeless and devastated in my life. This is why I keep telling Shirley all of that crap. I was just like her when I was her age. Now, I cannot catch up to where I should be. I made a feeble attempt to emulate a legitimate productive citizen, but I am failing miserably. I am way above my head with the mortgage, and I don't even own a car. I am single with absolutely no friends. And, I am a senior citizen. I am reminded of my own prophesy, which is now unfolding. "The tribulation will increase with each passing month. I will be pushed to the limit of sanity. I will be tempted with what I cannot have. Then, I will be denied my dignity." Yes, I am now being tempted with what I cannot have. The life that Anonder prescribes for me, which is a mirror of his own life, is not what I desired. I've been battling with my demons for what seems like centuries. I forced myself into the life of an ascetic because I could not obtain what I craved — a real life, with a babe, a nice place to live, and all the other trappings. That was not mine to have, so I went the other way. Before I am accused of whining, let me make it clear that I am simply expressing my thoughts in my journal. I am extremely frustrated with my inability to solve my own problems.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I am beginning to wonder if I should just live life in reckless abandon. Should I not even care about pinching pennies? Caroll and Anne are both living on the edge. They have both gone through bankruptcy. They are both living without safety nets and going from job to job. They are not living in the "cocoon," yet they somehow survive. They also both know that they will remain single forever. Perhaps I should adopt their attitude. Caroll owned a condo, one much less expensive than Chez Loser. She lost it through foreclosure. "It's just a phase of life," she told me. That single statement made it easy for me to take the leap and purchase Chez Loser. I was often disturbed that Caroll was not more frugal. Yet, two Summers ago, I discovered that I had a lot of fun spending money. However, you won't be able to read about it in the journal since the latter was pruned. The other day, I mentioned how I was thinking of buying a truck and an ocean kayak. I had some other foolish ideas as well. Perhaps I should act upon these impulses. I'll lose some money, but I need to live the only kind of life possible in a consumerist society. Otherwise, I will just be a hermit in a densely populated city. That just doesn't work.

Saturday February 5

I departed for town at 9:45am. I was on a mission today. A mission to find a tube for Chez Loser. Anne boarded the bus in Kuli'ou'ou. We laugh when we see each other now. It's like we are always on the same bus. We chatted until her stop near the UH. She said that she was invited to a Super Bowl party tomorrow, but she's going to stay at home and watch the game. The ol' lavahead was not invited by anyone, which pretty much indicates where he ranks on the food chain. I was able to make the transfer to the bus going out to Pearlridge quickly. That's where the only Circuit City store is located. When I arrived, I browsed around the tube section. All of the budget models were sold out. I was interested in the Apex 27-inch widescreen LCD model. I also looked at a 42-inch plasma unit that was going for $1,800, but thought better of buying it. I opted for a Samsung 22-inch high definition widescreen unit. That was a fast $1,200 spent. I was able to carry the box on the bus. The bus passed through the Arizona Memorial stop. A lot of tourists boarded. Quite a few of them were chatting with me about the tube. Everyone was surprised to see a 22-inch widesceeen tube in the relatively small box. I was able to make the connecting bus to Kane'ohe with only seconds to spare. I arrived at 2:30pm. I set up the tube and connected it to the cable. Everything worked fine. I consumed the last of the Austrian wine and drank as much of the leftover "Hammer" as I could. This was a long week.

I was hammered in no time. I sat there like a zombie with the remote control. I tried to find one channel worth watching. What a joke! Some may be wondering why I bought the tube. Well, doesn't The Master have one? I am paying for cable service, so I might as well make use of it. And, I need some kind of entertainment while I am there. I have decided that I am not going to treat the new tube like I did my other possessions. In other words, I am not going to wrap it up and put it away when it's not in use. I am going to stop worrying about my useless shit. Incidentally, I plan to sell my Bose® Acoustic Wave. It is no longer practical to keep around. I never use it to its full potential. In fact, I could never use it in Chez Loser because of the house rules. It gets too loud for such small places. It's even too loud for moms' 'hood. I notice that people listen to music either in their cars or with their iPods. Music systems are passé. Even after Chez Loser is sold, my LCD tube will remain with me. Later, I will appropriate one of those cheap $29 DVD players. I left at 4pm. I was extremely tired when I arrived back in Hawai'i Kai.

I was still going through "geriatric anxiety" today, although the latter was not responsible for my purchase of the tube. I felt a little sick at first when I realized how much I had spent. Later, it didn't even bother me. I'll probably watch some of the Super Bowl tomorrow. Naturally, I will have to obtain more "beverages." Anonder was quick to post a few comments on Speak! IV. He warned me to not give in to the temptation to spend money to make myself feel good. He then mentioned that, since I have Chez Loser, I should take advantage of it. Chez Loser is actually fully operational, except it still doesn't have hot water. There are two nice beds. The living room is furnished. And, now there's the LCD widescreen tube. There is always wine in the wine rack. And, I have nice Pier 1 wine glasses. Heck, there's even an unboxed microwave oven. Sheesh!

Sunday February 6

I wanted to go to Kahala Mall last night, but I was too fatigued. I had actually stopped off at Kahala Mall briefly on my way back to Hawai'i Kai yesterday. I spent a lot of dough on my new tube. Yet, I have not spent a dime on new clothes or new shoes. Shirley was happy to see that I was using the wallet that she had given me. "Where's you license?" she asked. "It goes here." She pointed to the part with the clear plastic. "I don't need it," I replied. "I don't drive anymore." I haven't heard from Shirley since Thursday. I think she may be illin'. She mentioned something about an itchy throat. Gallivanting around town at all hours of the night would certainly wear her down.

I embaked on the benign journey to Chez Loser at 9:45am. I easily made the transfer to the bus to Kane'ohe. I stopped off at Safeway to purchase a big-ass bottle of fake "Hammer" and an energy bar. While I was in the checkout line, a older babe behind me commented, "That's quite a lunch you're having." I laughed. "That's a power lunch," I told her. I walked to Chez Loser and immediately powered up the new LCD tube. I poured out the last of the bottle of "Hammer" in the fridge. I did a few chores as well. Then, I had to pop the cork on the new bottle of wine. I watched the first half of the Super Bowl. Either I was completely hammered, or the game was rather boring. I called Caroll and chatted with her briefly. Later, I lapsed into a coma. When I cmae to, it was almost time to leave. I finally departed at 4pm.

When I arrived back at moms' house, I could smell the distinct odor of chlorine bleach even before I entered the house. All of the windows and doors were closed, which will inidcate how strong the odor was. Moms has been using bleach in everything lately. That's what moms uses to wash the dishes now. This morning, moms washed her hands with bleach.  I'm not sure if there's some kind of mental illness at play. The pathetic styrofoam trays are also proliferating. Moms sold off almost all of the other dishes during the garage sale. Now, those plastic styrofoam trays are used for everything. The roaches love 'em, too. My bro's toolbox and racks are still sitting in the "warehouse." I wanted to listen to "Hearts of Space" tonight, but it's impossible given all the crap lying around. Well, I'm not feeling too well after my one-man Super Bowl party. I must return to wage slavery tomorrow. I am not excited by that at all.

I will probably not be consuming any cheap wine for the next few weeks. I had to blow off some steam this weekend, but it did not do me any good in the end. The problems are still here, and I now have a headache as well. I need to get used to this loser's life-style. I have to accept it and be done with it. That's the only way the "geriatric anxiety" will abate. Acceptance is the hard part. Maybe I need to spend more time with the tube.

To be continued ... Go to E.18

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