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Glass Menagerie
House of Glass, Heart of Stone

Glass House in a Hailstorm

Life as I know it. My life is a house of glass. That's at least the way I feel about it at this point in time. I am surprised at how a minor situation has made me veer off from my monk ways. The fact of the matter is that I cannot skirt the babe issue unless I totally remove myself from society. I must become a hermit as well. Even within the ranks of the single guys in the Diploma Mill's faculty, I have observed the same preoccupation with babes. Although I have yet to see who this Pseudo-professor Amber is, I already know so much about her. I was amazed at how much information that my colleagues were able to glean from her. I am not too concerned about the matter because my goal is to return to reality.

Friendship with babes is impossible. I suppose that my only true female friends are Barbara in Oregon and Caroll in Cali. That's it. Friendship with babes is only a mating ritual in disguise. I will admit that it is nice to receive little gifts and to be called up on the phone all the time by a babe. It's also nice to have someone to spend time with and have fun. However, these thoughtful little gestures eventually lead to "the talk." — the discussion that inevitably comes up to decide whether the friendship is to blossom into a relationship or not. If the decision is not affirmative, then the friendship wanes fairly quickly. No more little cards and gifts. No more phone calls. Odd, isn't it?

I suppose that the combination of pops' untimely passing, the continuing failure of my familial relationships, wage slavery, the increasing discussions with my single colleagues, and the surprising news concerning Malia have helped to further destabilize my already fragile mental state. I now know and admit that babes are going to be my undoing. Sooner or later, I am going to break down and engage in acts of desperation already pioneered by the many guys before me. Will I take a sex vacation in Asia like Phillip does every year? Will I try to find a babe in another country? Will I subscribe to some kind of matchmaking service? Although I have shielded myself from the media obsession with romance, I am still in contact with people who are in the mainstream. No surprise that my discussions have been primarily about the babe situation.

I don't know. I still feel like fleeing, but I have no place to go. I am trapped in a large asylum and I can't escape. That's really why I have been getting rid of all of my material possessions. When I escape, I can't be burdened by that junk. I will have to travel light. Even with nowhere to go, I am prepared to flee. Fleeing is the coward's way out, but I no longer want to fight with the demons. Even here at home, I can no longer have peace of mind. Home is not a refuge anymore since the Ninja Turds can appear at any time to disrupt the peace.

It is still Saturday. Saturday night, to be exact. After compiling the latest tidbit of information, I felt compelled to drive my six-four to Foodland. I bought a huge bottle of Corbett Canyon Chardonnay. The real "Hammer." I am completely unnerved by what I consider to be sufficient evidence to prove that Malia was going to ensnare me through pregnancy. No, I'm not trying to flatter myself. It's fairly obvious that she became pregnant shortly after I mummified the situation in October 2000. I am completely disillusioned. I don't even dare tell moms this story. The "Hammer" hasn't kicked in yet. It will soon enough. I don't harbor any malice toward Malia. In fact, I still consider her a friend. Yep, I would probably be oblivious to it all, if it weren't for the journal and the Net. As my student Ron had said, "Thank goodness for technology." Yeah, thank goodness.

Sunday January 27, 2002

Last night, I continued to scour the Net for information about menstrual cycles, specifically ovulation. Well, my initial premise appears to be completely sound. A normal, albeit short, menstrual cycle can be as little as 21 days. If you're puzzled about why I'm discussing this or you haven't seen the table, please see the journal entry of yesterday in this chapter. I decided to compile the data on a hunch. Even after the "Hammer" kicked in, I was in a state of disbelief. No, Malia didn't get pregnant by accident. And, if it were not for Toad, I would have been the guy. What a close call! Sheesh! All I could say all evening was, "Oh, my God." I continued to get goosebumps all over my body, and tears welled up in my eyes because I was overcome by waves of mixed emotions.

Is it all just coincidence? I never arranged the days of the events, and those days didn't always fall on Friday or Saturday. They follow a distinct interval pattern of 21 to 23 days. Note that the night at Kahala Beach is pivotal in determining the interval itself. Someone, please tell me this isn't true. Can it really be this obvious? I have also finally recalled that Malia had told me about the "wild party" with the exception of the alleged "sex on the beach" that only José was privy to know. Incidentally, the date of the "wild party" was about two weeks off the established interval pattern.

I called Mark yesterday. I wanted some information about condominiums, since he lives in one. I am contemplating whether I should buy a place of my own soon. I've noticed that single guys are more inclined to purchase condos as opposed to actual homes. If I were to purchase a condo a year or so from now, I could rent it out. The condo will essentially pay for itself, and I would also have a healthy tax deduction. However, I would lock myself into a mortgage. In this unstable economy, that may not be such a good idea. I will probably start venturing out to the various "open house" events to see what's available.

I spent part of the day ruminating about how close I came to having a little lavahead running around. I downed the remainder of the "Hammer" to calm my nerves. Then, I went to the gym. During my walk home, I saw the handmaiden drive by in her Mercedes. She waved, but I just ignored her. The Ninja Turds haven't been by at all. They are playing their childish little games again, and moms continues to buy into it. These days, I'm not in the mood for that kind of crap. I bought a bottle of cheap Sutter Home Chardonnay just in case I need to calm my nerves later this evening. I no longer have any peace of mind. Every day is now like a day in hell. I return to the salt mines tomorrow, and it really doesn't matter to me. I am totally unaffected by world events now, because my own little world is so tumultuous. I suppose that I should just go back on automatic pilot and go through the motions of living. What else can I do?

Monday January 28

I broke the seal off of the bottle of generic "Hammer" before eight o' clock last night. To insure maximum insanity, I tried to imagine what would have happened if Toad hadn't lost it and caused so much trouble. No one would have even known or cared about what Malia and I were doing. No one would have even known that we were friends. And, neither Malia or I would have been privy to all of the crap that was dished out because of Toad's allegations. I gather that, without the "investigations" and the threats, I would have completely fallen from grace by May 2000. And, if my hunch is correct and I'm not impotent, then there would have been a little lavahead making an appearance in February 2001. The little lavahead would be almost a year old now. I would be married to Malia. The journal would have probably come to an end. I would have had to divest my hurdy-gurdy DVD library. I'm not sure what moms would have thought if I had come home one day and said, "Well, I'm going to be a dad, and I'm getting married." Then, of course, the news would have been all over the Asylum. Roach would probably have had a stroke. The ol' lavahead would then have become the stuff of legends. Only Toad stopped all of that from happening. The psychotic tadpole's timing was impeccable, nothing short of a miracle.

I saw a message in my mailbox at the Asylum this morning. Malia had called. So, I called her back after my classes. The conversation started off rather strained, but it was pleasant in the end. Funny thing. I was going to send her a card along with some flowers to apologize for my impetuous behavior. After the call, I decided to send the flowers anyway. I walked to the florist and ordered some kind of "friendship bouquet" to be delivered with my card. Flowers are not cheap. The whole deal cost $47 including delivery. Can you imagine how much the "romantic bouquet" must cost? My note was brief, and it closed with, "I live a quiet monk's life. I just go to work and go to the gym. I don't date students anymore, but I had a blast with you." I'll call Malia on Wednesday because we agreed to finish our discussion then.

Malia called and left a message before I returned home. She received the flowers, and it sounded as if she was ready to cry at the end of the message. My intention was not to rekindle any past feelings but to restore our old friendship. I hope that I succeeded. There may be a nice form of closure in this case. Shall we partake of the last of the Sutter Home Chardonnay to celebrate?

Tuesday January 29

Yesterday, I walked into the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. There was a babe sitting at one of the computers. I looked out the door and across the hall into Professor Brian's office. He was pointing and I could make out that he was saying, "Amber." So, this was Pseudo-professor Amber. She certainly didn't look like a lawyer. She looked more like Brianna Banks. Later, after she departed, I told Professor Brian, "I bet she looks real good wearing one of those thong outfits."

I'm always giving Vanessa a hard time about her "schoolgirl crush" on Ryan, another faculty member at the Asylum. Today, she actually disclosed more, although she was really nervous. "I really like his cocky attitude," she told me. She also said that it didn't matter because she was "not good enough for him anyway." Ryan is already spoken for but, as I discovered from Kristel, his babe is "even bigger than Barbie." I don't know why, but I asked Vanessa if she remembered the rumor about me, specifically the one about dating a student. She did, and so I told her that it was actually true. Vanessa looked shocked. Oddly, I have told no one else except Vanessa. It is like a deep, dark secret. And, I felt better afterward, as if some of the burden of guilt had been taken off of my shoulders.

I also talked with Judy and José and filled them in about only the most rudimentary information concerning Malia. I didn't erase Malia's message from yesterday, and I played it back again this evening. You know, it's really odd. I did have a good time with Malia, even during the Toad turmoil. I think that Kane's comments in Speak! III by LoserNet are very applicable. I am close to 50 years of age and virtually penniless. I certainly cannot be choosy about babes. Most guys my age are extremely desperate and will settle for anyone with a heartbeat. I inadvertently made Malia out to be a predator in the journal entries of the last week or so. I want to clear that up right now. I don't believe that she was a predator like the handmaiden. Malia just wants to have a nice life with a guy who will be a good husband. I suppose that I should admit that I had developed strong feelings for Malia, but I had to put an end to it all because of Roach's relentless witch hunt. Eventually, my clandestine activities with Malia would have cost me my job. Although it's all water under the bridge now, I will probably disclose all of this "baggage" when I talk with Malia tomorrow. I just want her to understand that I wasn't trying to be mean. I have come to realize that there is no possibility to change the way babes are. Their desire to reduce guys to sappy fools is part of their genes. There is no way around this except to be a monk.

I've already missed my opportunity with Malia. Nothing will change that. I just hope that we can somehow remain friends. Yet, what can we do as friends? Call each other up and talk on the phone? Anything else is really dating. Malia and I were actually friends for about a week. Then, technically speaking, we were dating. I'm surprised that I've fooled myself for so long. Two single people of opposite genders cannot be in proximity for any duration without mating issues popping up. This is just a natural occurrence. Why was I in denial for so long?

Wednesday January 30

Forgot to mention that I saw Joyce and Geraldine separately yesterday. Joyce ignored me, but I had a short chat with Geraldine. I actually find it funny that Joyce has avoided me ever since Geraldine disclosed that Joyce had a thing for the ol' lavahead. Malia had left a message at the Asylum that she had to take her son in for an appointment, so she would not be home at the time I was to call. So, I called after I saw the note. We had a short talk, and I disclosed all of my "baggage" as I had planned. There were a few teary moments as I detailed what I did to discourage our relationship from progressing, as opposed to how I really felt about her. As I said, it's all water under the bridge. Malia has had a bad year. Apparently, the old boyfriend that she once cohabited with (the father of the first set of kids) was acting up again. Malia obtained a restraining order, and also finally received custody of her son. Somehow, she hooked up with her current boyfriend, the Hawai'ian Electric guy, after I mummified the situation in October 2000. In actuality, her current boyfriend was in love with Malia since high school. Malia had already hooked up with her restraining order buddy, who was her high school sweetheart. So, he (the Hawai'ian Electric buddy) married someone else. According to Judy, he assumed custody of his three kids after his marriage fizzled. After Malia left the restraining order buddy (because the relationship became abusive), she hooked up with the Hawai'ian Electric buddy. Somehow, Michelle broke up their relationship (see January 23rd). Enter the ol' lavahead. That's the period of my short little affair with Malia. And, now she's back with the Hawai'ian Electric buddy. He is the father of the new baby. Apparently, they were supposed to get married, but homeboy was not too keen about Malia's son. You see, he's developmentally challenged. So, the marriage was put on the back burner. From what I can tell, Malia is certain that they will get married soon. They will have seven kids between them, all with different parents. I wished Malia well, but I don't think the marriage will last long. I've always felt sorry for the kids. They will follow in their parents' footsteps. Malia also disclosed that she had really wanted to have another baby, so she contradicted her earlier testimony that it was an accident. I am still convinced that I would have been the guy if it were not for Toad. We talked about a few other things before it was time to say good-bye. "You will always have a special place in my heart," she said. Her voice was breaking up.

I ran into Phillip on Fort Street Mall. He has just returned from a five-week vacation in Thailand. He said he had fun with a capital "F." I'm sure he did. "I'll have to tell you about it over a beer sometime," he added. I ran into Professor Marv, too. I asked him about the babe situation. He said that he's been too busy to worry about babes, and he's also heard that the ratio of guys to babes is eight to one in Honolulu. Sheesh! All the single guys whom I've talked to have been drowning themselves in work to avoid the babe situation. I talked with Kevin again today. I also revealed my deep, dark secret to him, just as I had told Vanessa and Ron. It's catharsis, my friends. I am freeing myself of the bonds of guilt. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa! I also asked Joanne today about what she thought of the single life. "I like it, but sometimes it's lonely," she replied. I had a long talk with Joanne. She, too, knows many married people who are completely miserable. "Single people are the happiest, but they just don't know it," she explained. That seems to make sense, except there's no replacement for da wild thing. Well, unless one considers Phillip's option.

When I returned home, I discovered that Malia had left a message this morning about her son's appointment, just in case I did not get the message at the Asylum. She mentioned that we will always remain friends, and that she has "a new life now." I suppose that she was trying to tell me that she's no longer available. As for me, I just wanted a nice form of closure. I wanted to clear up all of the misconceptions and bad feelings. Frankly, I don't see a happy ending for Malia. I see more trails of tears ahead. However, I will just imagine a happy ending. She will also have a special place in my heart. Aloha and best wishes to you, Malia.

Thursday January 31

My classes at the Diploma Mill are a fiasco. The ill-planned switch to Office XP along with bungled classroom allocations has made my life a living hell. However, I am doing what I can to circumvent the logistical problems. Well, I was able to meet Pseudo-professor Amber today. Professor Brian introduced Pseudo-professor Ralph and I to her. She has a firm handshake, so I can believe that she's a lawyer. She's also a hottie, so I will never wash my hand again. Just kidding! The other guys were acting suspiciously, so I left for the gym. I'll see if I can chat with baby later. If anyone can find out whether she has a stud or not, it's got to be the ol' eunuch.

I ran into John, a student at the Asylum, this morning after I got off the express bus. He treated me to a cup of Starbuck's coffee. As you may recall, John is just a little older than I am. I asked him if he was happy being married. "Well, all I can say is that it's a lot of work to keep a marriage going," he replied. He also mentioned one of his friends who recently went through a nasty divorce. So far, no one has told me that marriage is bliss. Perhaps only the handmaiden is happy as a clam. I also disclosed my deep, dark secret to John. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa! Just the shock value alone is priceless.

Vanessa has been acting a little strange. She laughs a lot. Too much, as a matter of fact. I believe that she's lapsing into depression over Ryan. We talked about the difficulty of keeping an illicit dating situation completely secret. "Later, I have to tell you my strategy," she said. Obviously, this has been more than a "schoolgirl crush." Later in the day, Jay, another student, showed me a poster of the Hawai'i Corona girls, a group of babes in swimsuits representing that particular brand of beer. He unrolled the poster. "See the one in the middle? That's Vanessa's sister," he pointed out. What a hottie! In actuality, Vanessa could look like her sister, but she has been "in a funk" (as Steph would say) over Ryan. She's been eating all kinds of crap and has become fairly thick. I told Vanessa that she's an attractive babe, and that I was baffled at why she just didn't care about herself. That's how the babes are around here. They pull the plunger when they can't have the guys they are lusting over.

So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I was able to talk to a couple of high school girls taking one of my classes at the Diploma Mill. They actually stayed after class to chat. They attend St. Andrews Priory just a few blocks away. What blew me away was the fact that I was having an intellectual conversation with two local high school girls. They were articulate, intelligent, and significantly more motivated than my regular Diploma Mill students. I asked them about why they were that way as opposed to being like the rest of the local babes, only concerned about finding a BoyToy and usually getting pregnant early on. They seemed to believe that the reason was a combination of factors which had a synergistic effect. They also have friends who are more like the typical locals, however they have not been influenced by those friends.

That's kind of what depresses me about Malia. She's living in her high school days just like most of the locals, although Judy told me that Malia never graduated from high school. She had to get a GED. I had always assumed that Malia graduated. Both Judy and I knew that Malia had promise. So, it came as no surprise that Malia made the Dean's List in her first semester at the Diploma Mill. It's really sad because she was caught up in the local ways when she was younger. She cohabited with her high school sweetheart, who ended up being a truck driver. They never got married. "He made good money," she once told me. Local babes are really infatuated with blue-collar guys because these guys are manly men. Malia's future husband is a lineman with Hawai'ian Electric. She also once told me that he made "good money." Most of the blue-collar guys do make a decent wage, given the strength of the unions. However, local guys are very patriarchal and often domineering. The majority also become abusive. That's the way we were brought up. Malia claims that she'll be returning to school in the Fall. I can't imagine that her future husband will tolerate her education at the Diploma Mill very long. The patriarchal local ways do not permit the wife to be superior to the husband in any way. Her talents will be lost, as she will be reduced to the role of mother to seven kids. I can almost predict that she'll be pregnant again later this year. I wanted her to move on and get an education. I was banking that she would be able to get out of the cesspool. That would also increase her dating pool beyond abusive blue-collar guys. The pull of the local ways was too much. It was easier to go back to the high school days and local ways. Hook up, get pregnant, and hope that's enough to force the guy into marriage. That's the "new life" which Malia spoke of. It's really the same old [dung].

A few students have mentioned that I was "looking really stressed out" all week. They are right. When I had heard the news about Malia, I felt as though life had passed me by again. It was as if a ton of bricks had fallen upon me. I questioned my own existence. Then, I ferreted out the repressed guilt over my deep, dark secret. I started talking more to people. I became sociable again. Other people started talking to me. I felt human again. I felt a sense of purpose. I felt more alive than ever.

Friday February 1 - Monk's Confessional

"I'm going home and I'm going to have a drink," Ron said. "I've got a bottle of Jack at the bottom of the drawer." He was referring to the Jack Daniels. He does not have much planned for the weekend. Mostly piddling with his computer. Ron's marriage has been on the rocks for a while, but his wife's infidelity was the straw that broke the camel's back. From what it sounds like, he and his wife only co-exist because of their kids. Otherwise, it's a battlefield. When I first got to know Malia, she briefed me on the details of her relationship with the restraining order buddy (the father of the first set of kids). She told me of the time she tried to run away and how he hunted her down. Often, he would hit her if he suspected that she was checking out other guys. Once, he cheated on her. Yet, she had three kids by him. And now, Malia may be repeating history. I should understand the concept. After all, I've been through the wars myself.

I am completely baffled about why people continue to hook up when it only brings misery and despair. I can't imagine living like Ron. Yet, in all honesty, I still desire to be involved with a babe. Yes, I am finally making my confessional. I am dropping the monk crap to discuss this matter. Yes, I want an awesome gym babe, but I will also try to be an awesome (not really possible, but I can dream) gym guy. I don't want any kids unless it is possible to provide for them and to be able to raise them to be honest, responsible, and humble. I don't want to use the kids to hold the relationship together. Nor do I want to forsake the relationship in favor of the kids. I don't want money to be the main focus of the relationship, although I am willing to sacrifice my own luxuries to satisfy the necessary vanities of a babe. After all, babes revel in femininity and beauty. We must do da wild thing spontaneously every day, if possible. Several times a day would even be better. I will always place the pleasure that I can provide a babe above my own selfish needs. By the way, I have to thank the handmaiden for my addiction to da wild thing, as you may recall from the [UJ] archives. I desire a synergistic partnership that depends more on cooperation than division of labor. All disagreements must be settled on the same day, and da wild thing must consummate the settlement. I don't want to be involved with anyone just because of loneliness. I believe that it's important to communicate, so time must be set aside each day for that purpose. I don't want anyone around who just gives lip service, unless it has to do with the Vienna Sausage. If I can't have any of this, then I don't want it at all. I'll remain a monk.

As you can tell, I have been partaking of the "Hammer." I drove my beloved six-four to Foodland to purchase a big ass bottle of Corbett Canyon Chardonnay. I neglected to mention that I have quite a few "dangerous" babes in my classes at the Diploma Mill. They are drop-dead gorgeous. For the past two weeks, the most "dangerous" of the bunch have been wearing skimpy, skin-tight outfits á la Britney Spears. I am so fortunate that I am not a stud faculty member. Otherwise, I'd be in big trouble. I'll never be sure whether Geraldine was just yanking my chain but, if Joyce had been more brazen, I know that I would have crossed the line. Joyce is a drop-dead gorgeous local babe. I do know that Joyce asked me in class whether I was married, after I had asked the class if there were any questions. And, she made it a point to come up to me in the lab, for no apparent reason, to tell me, "You don't know my name, do you? My name is Joyce. Remember that. It's Joyce." With that said, it's easy to see why I must maintain the monk persona.

Professor Brian had another 20-minute discussion with Pseudo-professor Amber. "She has yet to mention a boyfriend or a husband," he said. It's hard to say. She's a lawyer by trade, so she may be very wary of revealing personal information. After my classes this afternoon, I got on the elevator with a few of my students. I was joking around with them about how much more fun it is to be a student than a faculty member. One of the babes on the elevator was laughing. She got off on the same floor as I did. She asked me what subject area I was facilitating. I thought that she was a student. She later came into the faculty computer room. Professor Russell was in there at the time. I was talking with him about joining a monastery. Baby looked up when I said "monastery." Since students are not allowed in the faculty computer room, Professor Russell politely asked if she was faculty, She said yes, she teaches biology. I almost fainted. Yikes! Another babe pseudo-professor. This is going to be a long semester. Not only are there "dangerous" babes in the student body, there are now "dangerous" faculty babes. Lord have mercy!

Saturday February 2

Life as I know it now just cannot continue this way for much longer. I'm not talking about the monk life-style either. I have been feeling extremely helpless ever since the latest bout of Ninja Turds stupidity and the revelations concerning Malia. I essentially put my whole life on hold after Roach and his Asylum minions made my life a living hell. In place of a real life, I came up with a new plan, namely my five-year financial plan. I shirked off every other aspect of my life including my friends. With two years left to reach my objective, I find that the sinister kahuna has returned to thwart my plans. I am lapsing into a depression over situations that are totally out of my control. In fact, I have lost control over all aspects of my life with the one exception of my finances. I know that the latter statement appears to make no sense, given that we live in a money-centered society. That's the paradox. I care little about money and possessions, yet my primary life goal is money driven.

I called Caroll this morning. She was on the road somewhere near Lancaster in Cali. Apparently, her car broke down and her brother Michael was there to assist. Caroll has apparently put everything in storage and was in the process of moving to El Centro from the Bay Area. That's when her car broke down, and that's when I called. I was somewhat surprised that she's moving to the high desert area east of San Diego. Apparently, Michael now lives in that area. I didn't get to chat too long. Caroll promised to call later in the evening. I called Ron (Asylum student) to see if he had contacted Vanessa. The plan was for all of us to do something this weekend. However, Ron said that there was a crisis in the family. Apparently, his niece on his wife's side of the family in Texas is pregnant. She's fifteen years old. The tragedy is that she kept the pregnancy a secret, and that she was raped by a loser ex-boyfriend of another relative. "This is a sick world we live in," he told me.

I have continued my internal debate about my complicity in Malia's life. Without knowing any other facts, I have made the assumption that she would have been better off if I had made her pregnant. Yeah, I know that sounds ludicrous. I see a nightmare coming up for Malia, and I would not be surprised if I hear from her in about two years. By then, everything will be a complete mess. Some may say that I'm an idiot for even wasting my time about this, but I have to look at the fact that I altered someone else's history. That's the risk we all take when we become involved in one way or another with other people. Well, there's one thing that I learned from my own stupidity. Previously, I had entertained the idea that the handmaiden was also trying to get pregnant by the ol' lavahead. Now, I see that I was completely wrong. The handmaiden knew her biological cycle well. She just really enjoyed da wild thing, but she made sure that we abstained during her most fertile days. Once again, I am amazed at how ignorant I am about babes.

Moms is all that I have insofar as any familial obligation is concerned. Moms turns 80 years of age this month. I am fortunate that moms has been healthy. I believe that moms will be around for a while, but anything can change. I will truly be alone when moms is gone. I also know that moms is probably worried that I'll be alone for the rest of my life. From a few comments that moms made recently, it would appear that she secretly wished that I was married. Unfortunately, moms will never see that fulfilled in her lifetime. I've been trying to plan ahead and see what I will do when the inevitable happens, aside from the legal battle with the Ninja Turds. For the time being, I don't want to leave moms alone for any long period of time. I suppose that I should plan a trip to the mainland during Spring Break. I certainly won't be able to go anywhere once moms suffers a decline in health. Anyway, moms was cooking some food to take over to the Ninja Turds. I asked why she continues to buy into the Turds' crap. Moms defended them, and even insinuated that I started the trouble with the dumb file clerk. I went through the whole spiel about the Turds again, including how forgiving I have been. "Well, Jesus said to love your enemies," was moms' response. As always, the Scriptures are used to somehow back me in a corner. "Why don't you quote the Bible to [the Turds]? They seem to need this knowledge more than I do." I retorted. The discussion was getting out of hand, so I mummified the situation. 

I was losing my mind, so I took the bus to Kahala Mall. Naturally, I went straight to Barnes & Noble. First, I looked for Pseudo-professor Jim, but he wasn't around. Then, I listened to a few stale music CDs and became quickly bored. I perused a few computer books, but I just couldn't get in the mood. I began looking through the whole bookstore in all of the sections. I have no idea why I did that, because I rarely go beyond the computer section. All of the books seemed so vain, or they were written for brain donors. "I've got to find a book that can reveal the meaning of life to me," I said to myself. I was drawn to the psychology section. Most of that genre of books is crap. However, a small book caught my eye, the title of which was, "Man's Search for Meaning." That's the book by noted psychiatrist Viktor Frankl whom I have previously discussed in the journal (but now can't find the entry). He's a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, and he has used that experience to compose a marvelous treatise. There were actually three versions of the book on the shelf. I bought the cheap $7 paperback.

I read most of the book before dinner. I am now ready to partake of the remainder of the "Hammer" and relax. I'll also wait for Caroll's call. Frankl has provided me with the essential food for thought that I have been craving. I don't normally recommend books, but I will recommend this one. I'll end with this quote to show why Frankl is credible: "By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself — be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause or another person to love — the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it."

Sunday February 3

Caroll called at about 8:40pm, just after arriving in El Centro. She wants to move to Palm Springs because she believes there are better opportunities there. Although Caroll is a survivor, she had been on the lam from life for several years. How much longer can she continue to run? It all boils down to the concept of fleeing. I have already admitted that I want to flee, and that I have made extensive preparations through material divestiture. Yet, where is there to go? Society is homogenous. Fleeing to another location will only provide temporary relief only because of its novelty.

I have read Frankl's book, cover to cover. And now, I have serious questions about the monk life-style. The monastic life must include a level of self-induced suffering, normally referred to as penance or penitence. The belief is that suffering and sacrifice will bring one closer to spirituality, which gives rise to the true meaning of life. The isolation through physical separation from a debauched society supposedly gives rise to the rationale of unadulterated spirituality. Yet, this spirituality can have no meaning if it just locked in the cavernous regions of the oversized cranium. In essence, the monk life-style is the philosophical equivalent of the prisoners' loss of the will to live in Frankl's camp. Essentially, the latter gave up and become subject to mental and physical decay.

Love is one of three components which make up our human existence, according to Frankl. In the rote world that we live in, an "existential vacuum" has now displaced creativity. We find no purpose in our work, except for a paycheck. Therefore, the preoccupation with romantic inclinations has become the primary directive for many people. Frankl's definition of the "meaning of love" does include romantic love. However, Frankl is more or less referring to the general love of humanity, something that cannot be obtained in a monastery by the way. It is very difficult to embrace humanity as most people are seemingly absorbed by their own greatness, usually seen only in their own eyes. Therefore, the majority opt for romantic love, in which love is reserved for one special person. Yet, even this form of love is tainted by selfishness and the need for instant gratification and pleasure. Romantic love is merely the display of gratuitous forms of self-expression, and with some kind of monetary value attached.

I've long ago realized that my creativity had been stifled. So, I have to admit that my monastic existence is really the result of my disillusionment with humanity. I derive no satisfaction from work because there are few students who are really interested in learning. Deep down inside, I suppose that the real issue is romantic love, since friendships have little meaning beyond "misery loves company." Yet, what is the essence of romance these days? Hook up and do da wild thing. Anything else is too much work and usually results in the inevitable breakup. Having children only prolongs the agony, because the real motives for having them were not there in the first place. Then, there's the issue of money and property. It's really easy to say, "I love you," but it almost impossible to live it. That is, unless people are willing to work at it. Although I really don't want to remain single, I also don't want to continue playing "musical chairs" or, dare I say, "musical beds."

I have observed different people and what seems to provide meaning in their lives. Some are avid armchair sports buffs. Other live for their kids and/or their significant others. There are more than a few people who devote a tremendous amount of time to their material possessions. I've also seen quite a few young people who are addicted to music, drugs, and booze. They also seem to live vicariously through entertainment and sports idols. A few people are actually involved in sports activities. And, there are people solely devoted to their jobs or to the church. I can't judge them because, as Frankl states, each individual determines the meaning of his or her existence. All I know is that I've spent the last two years vegetating, much in the same way that I was vegetating in my shoebox at the Roach Motel in Convalescent City. It's an "existential vacuum" of my own doing. That vacuum is manifesting itself as sheer boredom. Since I have divested myself of practically everything, I cannot pursue many of the options (e.g., the tube) that my contemporaries have chosen. For me, most of those activities are too benign and are really just time killers. Sedatives.

I've already observed how cynical I've become. It is affecting my attitude, which also affects my performance at work. I am sure that my students sense this, and that's why there is no synergy in my classes. I am no longer effective. I am close to giving up. My only goal is my five-year financial plan. Sheesh! I came to dislike all people. Of course, my own family sometimes is reason enough. Only a few days ago, I felt a renewed sense of vigor when I intentionally initiated conversations with a few people. Now, some people may be asking what happened to the Covey book. I have always been somewhat disconnected from Covey because I felt that he wanted me to convert my life into a corporation. That did not sit well with me. I have adopted quite a few of Covey's principles, but there are pieces of the puzzle still missing. Enter Viktor Frankl. His heart-breaking story of life in the concentration camps makes my problems pale in comparison. How could I spend all of these years, locked in a prison of my own making, and then throw in the towel at the end? I have been deeply affected by what I read. The real question is, how would I have fared in Frankl's place? As weak as I perceive myself to be, I doubt that I would have lasted more than three minutes.

There is something terribly missing in my life. Well, I actually mean "someone." I really do need to find a babe, because I have wanted to get married for a long time. I now know what several of my friends went through when they wanted to get married real bad. My desire to find a babe seriously takes into consideration the meaning of my own existence. Yes, I know that I only talk about da wild thing. That's an important component. I am looking for a special kind of companionship, similar to what the handmaiden and I had in the beginning (before she aligned herself with the sinister kahuna). The surprising turn of events concerning Malia must have really struck a chord within me. There were other avenues that I wanted to pursue to find meaning in my life. Writing is one area. However, all I have written is this journal, and it will never be a bestseller like the inane "Bridget Jones' Diary."

The gym was empty today thanks to the Super Bowl. How about those Patriots, huh? I return to the salt mines tomorrow, but not with renewed vigor. All I feel like doing is downing a bottle of the "Hammer." That's what is really beginning to scare me. I have some alternative courses of action (which I'll include in the journal) that may bring me closer to finding a purpose or meaning in my life. I believe that my body knows physically and psychologically that I am wit's end. That's why I ended up at Barnes & Noble yesterday. That's why I was directed by an unknown force to discover Frankl's book. That's also why I know I am close to the breaking point. More thoughts later.

Monday February 4

These days, I spend hours composing the journal. That's indicative of someone who has no life. I actually hate that phrase, "no life." After all, I am alive and sentient. The real meaning, I suppose, is that one has no purpose in life except to kill time. That always brings to mind the Clint Black song, "Killing Time is Killing Me."

I spent part of my day asking around about how to join one of the paddling (read: outrigger canoe) clubs. I am also looking at volunteering my time to a few non-profit groups. So far, no real leads. My plan is twofold — personal development and finding meaning in my life. I want to return to society and be around people again. Naturally, deep down inside, I also hope to meet a few babes. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa! Isn't that how it always is? In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about my plan. I want to be part of a team that will accept me, and also find me worthy of inviting me to its parties. I want to devote time to helping people, but I want my efforts to make a difference. Somehow, I have a difficult time believing that the desired outcome is possible. I will probably have to deal with a bunch of dickheads and end up even more disillusioned.

On the way to the gym after my classes at the Diploma Mill, I saw "Dangerous" Joyce walking toward me. She looked a little uneasy but she did not avoid me. So, I said hello to her, calling her by name. It kind of amuses me how I just can't get along with any babes whatsoever. Somehow, I always end up infuriating them. That's why I never have any babes around. And, really, when I think about it, babes are not the answer to my problems. Sure, doin' da wild thing every day, five times a day, is really nice. Man, do I miss those days! In reality, da wild thing was just another form of sedation, although it sure beats watching the tube. Lord have mercy.

Ron mentioned that he had called Vanessa, and that she was open to doing something next weekend. Apparently, she really likes the idea because she has been doing nothing but vegetating at home. Ron also told her that Ryan may join us as well. Then, Vanessa started "talking about how it's about time she got laid, and stuff like that," according to Ron. And, if Ellen comes along, she and Vanessa may try to "tag-team" Ryan. Why can't I just have "Dangerous" Joyce?

Tuesday February 5

The powerful words of Viktor Frankl still echo through my mind. I will not, however, quote extensively from the book as I have done in the past with other sources. The work must be read and digested wholly. It can only be dichotomized after completion. Somehow the knowledge makes me more of an outsider than I've ever been. I believe that fewer and fewer people are searching for meaning in their lives, if they are even cognizant of the query. We seem to go through a kind of script, complete with hollow dialog, which purports to sequence us through the various stages of life. Numerous pseudodramas are thrown in for validity and good measure. It all seems so contrived, like a crappy Swanson "Hungry Man" dinner. The lack of substance and meaning gives rise to the transitory nature of humanity. It's all about as fake as the movie set for The Truman Show.

The people around me appear to be having a lot more fun than I am. They are in large groups, always laughing and carrying on. In contrast, I am usually alone and silent. The conversations are really fractured and saturated with sexual innuendoes. I surmise that many of the jokes are the same stale ones heard on the tube the night previous. The one trait that I clearly observe is simply how much effort is being made to have a good time or have the appearance of having a good time. I sense the same kind of shallowness in contemporary romantic relationships. There are strong feelings of infatuation and sexual attraction. Dialog is scripted and cheesy, with lines usually plagiarized from some blockbuster movie. Yet, once again, there is no substance and meaning. I'm not implying that people should engage in, say, constant intellectual discourses on political, financial, social, or religious policy in order to validate common interactions. What I sense is missing is the bond that ties human souls together. There is no real compassion or empathy. There is no caring. Our interactions are now mostly selfish attempts to combat boredom and loneliness. A more upbeat version of "misery loves company."

Vanessa was acting totally ridiculous today. I suspected that would happen if she discovered that Ryan may join us for the tentative outing. I am sure that she's going to hit rock bottom once Ryan boards that plane on March 1st. "Well, you guys can go without me. I don't want to be there and make him uncomfortable," she told me, obviously trying to play the martyr. "I highly doubt that Ryan will make his decision to go or not based on you," I told her. The whole purpose of all of us going out is to have a good time. Also, that would get Vanessa out of the house so she wouldn't be depressed over Ryan. Alas, I see that I am wasting my time with idiots who are only concerned about their poor, woeful life without a mate, and an unattainable one as well. It's all reminiscent of Malia's desperate infatuation with the ol' lavahead. I have decided to mummify the situation. I am better off sitting at home with a bottle of the "Hammer."

I was amused to see some parallels in my life and that of Anonder. He has divested his beloved sausage-shaped sofa and many of his other possessions. He has also shredded most of his important papers, much as I have done in the past few months. I find these patterns interesting. My downfall is that I must continue to work as a wage slave and will always be subject to the madness and the banality of mainstream society. I did come to an important realization today in that I will reach my financial goals within two years. Although the end result will be chump change, I am still proud of what I will accomplish. This is, by the way, the most patient and persevering that I have ever been in my entire life. If this is the case, then I suppose that I can wait forever to find a babe. Sheesh!

I spend much of my free time now in contemplation about Frankl's book. There are times that I can barely hold myself together because I see the folly of my ways. Yet, when am I going to get off my ass and do something about it? Otherwise, I am no better than Vanessa, lamenting at the Wailing Wall over things totally out of my locus of control. I have been taking inventory of my soul. So far, I have made one discovery. I am wasting my energy and compassion on a lot of people who don't really care about anything. My time and emotions are too valuable to squander on ungrateful fools. One can't help but become selfish in this kind of society. Everyone only wants something for nothing and, after a while, the act of giving becomes a burden. In the end, I've come full circle. The monk life seems proper again.

Then, perhaps, I am just kidding myself. I could be the one who is preoccupied with my own importance. Maybe I really don't give much of myself to others and I am totally self-absorbed, just as most loners are perceived to be. I'm still inclined to believe Covey, in that personal independence must be attained before interdependence with other people is possible. What I suspect is that we have a society filled with overly dependent people who must attach themselves to others to survive. They are unable to affix themselves to those who are independent and, therefore, this is why I suspect that I have so few close friends. Some independent persons never go beyond that stage. It could be the fear of being victimized. I realize that Pseudo-professor Jim falls in that category (Kane refers to him as "Pseudo-Lifeform Jim" in Speak! III by LoserNet). In retrospect, I realized that he became somewhat defensive when I inquired about anything other than his field of academic interest. I am a loner, but I can still connect with people when I want to. There were only a few instances when I became dependent (e.g., end of the handmaiden era). I have since learned to cope. I must learn how to not give in to the perpetually dependent people. They will only drain the life out of me. I have got to connect only with truly interdependent people and give only to those who sincerely deserve and appreciate the gesture.

To be continued ... Go to M.04

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