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Wednesday February 6, 2002
I restored my monk haircut yesterday, and I notice now that I look like a dork. That's okay. I'm not trying to impress any babes. I've been thinking about how cheap life has become. It's is a joke, a big ruse. No one seems to care whether anyone lives or dies. I am trying to figure out whether this phenomenon is due to selfishness, sedation, or surrender. Then again, I've become a little jaded myself. Have you read Victor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning," yet? I hope so.
"I'm bored," Vanessa told both Ron and I. She was over two hours early for class. I'll spare all of us the agony of the details. Vanessa was there, hoping to get a glimpse of her object of desire. From what she says, it is clear that she has already fallen into the abyss of depression. As she stood out in the hall waiting for Ryan to pass by, I told her to ask him to join in the festivities if we go out this Saturday. Naturally, she was too afraid to even say a word to him. I saw Ryan a few minutes later and asked him myself. After that, I saw Vanessa standing by the elevators and chastised her. Just then, Ryan appeared, so I stopped Ryan and then turned to Vanessa to cue her to give him the specifics of where we were supposedly going. She was frozen stiff, so I had to tell him. "Why did you make a fool out of me like that?" she asked, after Ryan left. "I didn't make a fool out of you. Why don't you act like a human being?" I responded. I should mention that Vanessa has been wearing extremely tight and skimpy clothes lately. No doubt, this is for Ryan's benefit. The real problem is that Vanessa has become fairly thick and the clothes do nothing for her. Later, I talked with Mike, another Asylum faculty, and invited him along as well.
Vanessa's friend Ellen stopped by the Asylum. She was obtaining a copy of her transcripts because she is going to enter the nursing program at the Diploma Mill. She's still working and doing well. She even has a new boyfriend, which now confirms that Vanessa had lied to me. Ellen wasn't trying to date Ryan. It was Vanessa all along. "Why don't you talk some sense into your friend Vanessa?" I asked. She said that she keeps trying, but to no avail.
As I continue to ruminate about Frankl's book, I have become even more aware of something that I've casually observed in the past. As I waited for the express bus, I observed the people walking along Bishop Street. Through the thin veneer of smiles, I sensed that most people are bored stiff. The "existential vacuum" which Frankl describes is all pervasive. Clearly, Vanessa is not alone. We are all bored, and that boredom is taking a toll on each and every one of us. Almost all of our activities, including work, are specifically aimed at minimizing boredom. Friendships and relationships are solely there to alleviate loneliness and boredom. We, as a society, require ever-increasing doses of entertainment and diversions to keep ourselves moderately occupied. Otherwise, boredom and depression will ultimately creep in. The preoccupation and craving for da wild thing is also a manifestation of boredom. It's a very strong form of instant gratification. Of course, I personally don't mind this kind of relief. When I first moved to Oregon, the handmaiden and I were doin' da wild thing all of the time. Most days, we didn't get up until close to noon because we were doin' da wild thing so many times and falling back to sleep. We didn't have anything else to do. You might say that we were on extended vacation. Yep, the only time that I sleep soundly is when there is a babe next to me. Nothing beats cuddling and doin' da wild thing to cure chronic insomnia. Showering every day with a babe is fun, too. Soaping each other up and then rubbing slippery bodies together normally led to da wild thing in the shower. If only I could cure my own boredom with these kinds of activities again. Wait a minute. I'm a monk.
So, I am back at square zero. I am extremely bored and I know it. I have neither a babe or diversions to keep me occupied. I am beginning to contemplate matriculating in the doctoral program again. I also came up with a plan to intentionally join the ranks of the homeless in a few years. My motive, as I will detail later, is to put me into "survival" mode. Could this be a way for me to find meaning in my life?
The Search for Meaning
Life for me is a mosaic of stupidity. My mind, I believe, is beginning to settle down after the surprising news concerning Malia. I am still convinced that I was dangerously close to having a little lavahead running around. One of my students, Remy, is still trying to set up the ol' lavahead. As I was walking down the hall, I almost bumped into her as she walked out of a classroom. "Oh, we were just talking about you," she said, as she pointed to Rika, sitting at one of the computers in the class. "I was telling her that you're single. She's single, too."
When I talked with Asylum faculty Mike, he said that he's been a little bored lately. After he divorced, he hooked up with a babe for a while. Now he's single again. "I found a great hangout near the 7-11 and Borders by Ala Moana," he said. "Lots of fine women there, but I haven't scored yet." Of course, Mike has been a little distraught because his ex-wife just recently remarried. As you may recall, she left him because he wasn't making enough dough.
I am still unsure about what I'm going to do. I checked out a few paddling clubs on the Net. I believe that memberships are limited. I am also at a loss concerning which organization I would want to volunteer my services. I may just end up vegetating again. I may also give in and buy a tube already. Even Pseudo-professor Jim and my buddy Mark both watch the tube. The Master spent almost all of his free time in front of the tube. Heck, almost everyone I know watches the tube for several hours per day. I am truly an anomaly.
I believe that we are locked in a different kind of prison. The illusion is that we have a lot of freedom, a lot of choices, and we have all the creature comforts to make life easy. Yet, we suffer from chronic boredom which manifests itself in depression, addiction, and aggression. We have become a collective of automatons. The only transaction of meaning in our lives is that of purchasing. We buy all of our necessities including food. We buy friends. We buy entertainment and diversions. We buy sex. We can also buy love. We are consumers, not creators. Self-expression is limited to our net worth. Once the dough runs out, we become non-entities. Like prisoners, we have lost our dignity. I'm not even sure if any meaning can be found in life. I'm certain that a reasonable substitute can be purchased. In the end, I remain disillusioned. Yet, I still continue to search.
Thursday February 7
I am in an existential crisis. I have become so keenly aware that we live in a prison, not so unlike the camps which Frankl described. Here we continue to dwell on the endless little problems of our miserable existence. I, myself, am privy to the constant banality and gossiping. At other times, I am privy to the sickening "Dog and Pony Show" of the other squirrels in an attempt to gain possession of the sole nut. I was not in the mood for this crap today. Vanessa was losing it, as was obvious when she came to question me about my motives for the tentative outing on Saturday. She has become so obsessed with pleasing her imagined paramour, such that she has forsaken her only real friends. Her obsession has now escalated to paranoia. Chip, another Asylum faculty, has become so absorbed in his greatness that he has reduced colleagues like myself to that of mere minions in his mind. I finally reacted in a fashion more becoming of a troglodyte. Later, I dispatched a note of apology, although there was little sincerity attached.
After my class at the Diploma Mill, I ended up in the faculty computer room. There, I had a pleasant discussion with Pseudo-professors John and Mari. I have come to know Pseudo-professor Mari much better since I see her almost every day. Of course, I talked about the situation which has been on my mind now for days, namely finding some kind of meaning in life. I disclosed my homeless plan. And, I also brought up the idea of pursuing a doctorate. Pseudo-professor Mari is a few years older than I. She had been teaching at a university in Japan, but she returned to Hawai'i to assist her mother in the family flower arranging business. After her mother passed away, she continued the business until she could no longer physically do so. Now, she is teaching again. Naturally, I asked her about the single life. "I love the post-menopausal life. No more raging hormones to cause all kinds of problems," she said. "Now I can enjoy myself, and I enjoy the company of men without worrying about those other issues." She also added that she felt sorry for guys because they are "slaves to Testosterone" for most of their lives. Pseudo-professor John and I merely looked at each other blankly.
Pseudo-professor Mari urged both Pseudo-professor John and I to pursue doctorates. "You're both still young yet," she said. "It will open many new doors for you. And, you may meet someone you can connect with." Both Pseudo-professor John and I knew that graduate school was not a place to meet babes. Of course, we could become teaching assistants for undergraduate classes. The campus fraternization policies exclude teaching assistants, so we could technically date babe students. I walked with Pseudo-professor John to his class, since the gym was in the same direction. He mentioned that there were quite a few babes attending the Diploma Mill, although he believed that none of the babes would be interested in a guy like him. I summarized the curious incident with Joyce. "Statistically, with the sheer number of students that we are in contact with, there will be situations arising," I said. "It will always involve a local babe. Guys are all they think about."
I was surprised to see Mark on the express bus. Naturally, I discussed the usual nonsense. I suppose that is why most people avoid me. I'm not too keen about the usual gossip and moronic babbling. In essence, just talking about these "life" issues with other people made me feel better. We are a society in which people cannot communicate beyond the mundane. People like Chip and Vanessa make me tired of dealing with people. Their shallowness and superficiality betray their selfish motives. They are intellectually stunted because no knowledge is useful unless it applies to them. The interesting contrast is that one believes he is a god, while the other is trying to communion with her love god. In either case, we are still looking at mental midgetry.
Concerning life in a prison, Frankl wrote, "Instead of taking the camp's difficulties as a test of their inner strength, they did not take their life seriously and despised it as something of no consequence. They preferred to close their eyes and live in the past. Life for such people became meaningless." Further, he concluded, "One could make a victory of those experiences turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenges and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners."
Friday February 8
I have been talking with Judith, another faculty member at the Asylum close to my age. She is single because she had put career and money over everything else in her past life. When her mother's health declined as a result of old age, she quit her job. She now spends time helping her mother. I asked her if she was happy. Working at the Asylum does not pay as much, she said, but she feels that it was the right decision.
I have been listening to my students at the Asylum make their PowerPoint presentations about themselves. This was one of their assignments. Today, Dana was one of the presenters, She is a young, drop-dead gorgeous local babe. She is 22 years old and she has two kids. Her brother is in jail, and she has three stepsisters, none of whom she likes. She wants a big home, and a Ford Expedition gashog. She wants to make a lot of money because she "can't depend on [her] boyfriend." She listed the qualities that she looks for in a mate, which included (in order, I suppose) good looks, rich, has a nice car, and so forth. Her present boyfriend meets few, if any, of the criteria. She also loves to check out other guys because she hopes to find a new boyfriend." I have to find someone new before I can leave my boyfriend," she said. When asked why, she responded that she doesn't want to be lonely. I think that it's easy to see the incongruence here. Not to mention, Dana is really typical of the way local babes think.
The was a special luncheon today for student club officers and faculty advisors at the Asylum. I merely went there to chow down because I had heard that Kalua Pig was going to be served. After the luncheon, I walked to the Diploma Mill. When I entered the faculty computer room, I saw Pseudo-professor Amber sitting at one of the computers. Professor Brian came in shortly afterward and engaged in a conversation with her. I sporadically participated in the conversation. I could hear Professor Brian trying real hard to get her to say something about a boyfriend or a husband. Mind you, Professor Brian is still with Cathrin, who now teaches at one of the community colleges. So, his interest is purely academic, or so he says. I was busy reading an e-mail from Shirley, a student at the Asylum. Then, I left for class.
After my first class at 2pm, I stood outside the lab. One of my babe students from the next class walked up to me and started talking. She asked about my shades, which I still wear exclusively when I facilitate classes at the Diploma Mill. "Why do you avoid eyes contact?" she asked, throwing me completely off-guard. I gave my usual lame story about being too lazy to change to my regular pair. I knew that she didn't buy the story. We continued the conversation in class. I do not know her name yet, but I will find out when I check my roster. She is from Colorado, and she is a psychology major. What is interesting is that she is the only student in all three of my classes at the Diploma Mill who has connected with me. In other words, she has engaged in conversations which have gone well beyond small talk. What is really strange is that my eccentric personality is very similar as evidenced by the discussions I have been having with people lately. She speaks very precisely, and she enunciates in a most seductive manner. She has told me a lot about herself, and now she is trying to find out what makes the oversized cranium tick. When I deflect, she quickly responds by saying, "I see that you have cleverly avoided answering my question." What's even worse is that I knew what she meant by "avoiding eye contact." That's exactly why I wear the shades, especially around babes. As I have mentioned before, babes can see a guy's soul through his eyes. Even though I have my shades on, she looks straight into my eyes when she talks, never glancing elsewhere. I sense imminent danger, and all I can hear are my buddy Bud's words echoing in my mind.
After class, I returned to the faculty computer room. Pseudo-professor Amber was still there. We chatted for a little bit. I asked if she was done for the day. She said yes, but she has a class tomorrow. We joked about how students don't care for Saturday classes because it's hard to concentrate when one has a hangover. After she left, I talked with Professor Brian. "She's a hard nut to crack," he told me. So far, she has not even hinted about the existence of any kind of relationship. What's even more puzzling is that Pseudo-professor Amber had been discussing the topic of the decline of marriages and citing figures from her textbook with him in their earlier conversation. I then left for the gym. I saw that the elevator was coming down so I pushed the button. When the doors opened, I noticed that Pseudo-professor Amber was one of the passengers. "Coming back so soon?" I quipped. She laughed and joked with me for the duration of the trip to the first floor, all the while slapping some papers she had in her hand on my shoulder. Pseudo-professor Amber is a real hottie. Professor Brian is correct when he observed that she is flirtatious, but he still believes that she has a boyfriend. Why would she be that way if she has a stud? The only possible answer is that she is "dangerous."
Well, now let's discuss Shirley's e-mail. Shirley is a local babe who attends the Asylum and a former student of mine. She was doing poorly in my class, and she disappeared for a while. When she reappeared, I found some time to talk to her. I asked her what was going on. She said that there was "a crisis" in her life. Naturally, I knew what that meant. She had broken up with her boyfriend. I gave her my usual spiel, thinking that it would fall upon deaf ears anyway. She managed to pass the class. I saw her around the campus, but never really talked with her. Then, a few months later, I received an e-card and an e-mail from her. First, I was surprised that she even knew my e-mail address. She thanked me profusely and discussed some other aspects of her life. We exchanged a few e-mail. Then, I didn't hear from her again. We would say hello to each other in passing. I saw her last week, and talked with her briefly. "I never hear from you anymore," I said in jest. A few days later, she sent an e-card. I sent a short e-mail to thank her and encourage her as before. Today, I received an e-mail back. She is enrolled in one of my classes for next term. She also discussed how she doesn't have a love life right now, and also described how two of her ex-boyfriends just recently got married. I don't sense imminent danger, but sometimes I have to wonder about what I am doing.
I call on Viktor Frankl to summarize the thoughts of the day: "We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly." Says it all, doesn't it? According to Ron, Vanessa has changed the location of our outing tomorrow night to a place called Monterey Bay Canners in Pearlridge. Vanessa is also bringing a friend along. I gave Ryan and Mike one final hard sell to meet us there. However, the weather has turned quite foul as of this afternoon. If it gets worse, I may not be going.
Saturday February 9
It used to be the opposite — I dreaded my time in the salt mines. Then, after two years of vegetating on the weekends, I came to dread coming home from the salt mines. Now, I'm totally indifferent because I realized that I can never leave the salt mines. Life is the salt mines. My only real hobby is the divestiture of my worldly possessions. I have grown weary of that hobby as of late. I hate to admit it, but I think I'm coming around to the thinking of the masses. I am starting to believe that I need a babe to complete my life. All of the reasons can be found in the lyrics of the most popular songs. Songs that I no longer listen to.
For the most part, I am not unhappy or depressed. I now feel as though I am missing a component of my life, but I am not in the extreme longing stage yet. Unlike many journal authors, I do not detail the deep sadness, emptiness, and loneliness of my life. I do not experience those feelings consistently. Those symptoms are superficial concerns of which some greater problem lies at the core. While the rest of world goes berserk in the pursuit of instant gratification, I am attempting to keep my wits about myself and hold on to what's left of my sanity.
I wish that it was possible for me to do more things with babes, even if they are students. There are few outings that guys can comfortably do together, largely because of homophobic attitudes. The fear of being stigmatized as "gay" closes most options. On the other hand, the drawback of hanging out with babes is that, sooner or later, the progression beyond friendship will come into question. The sad part is that there is no way to salvage a friendship once this question is posed. The only reason people choose to be around someone else is because they want to be around the other person. And, if that is the case, one party is going to decide that friendship is not enough. It's a Catch-22 situation because the rejection of the idea usually terminates the friendship as well.
I was significantly unnerved by mid-afternoon, so I drove to Koko Marina and bought a bottle of Vendage Chardonnay. After polishing that off, I went back to buy another bottle. The big ass bottle of Corbett Canyon Chardonnay, the "Hammer," was still on sale. I did not notice that previously because the sign was not in all the locations where the wine was displayed. I continued to sip the precious elixir until 9pm. I really didn't want to drive to Pearlridge, but I forced myself. Only Ron was there when I arrived fashionably late. Then, Ryan came in, followed by Vanessa shortly afterward. Ryan spent most of the evening talking with me, most likely because he still has reservations about "fraternizing" with students. Vanessa wore an extremely skimpy outfit. Her motives were clear, although she never once faced Ryan. I'm not sure why we ended up at Monterey Bay Canners. To me, the place was kind of a dump. And, I had to drive all the way from Hawai'i Kai, which is at the East end of the island. When we were ready to depart, Vanessa whispered to me, "Don't leave me alone with Ron. He's trying to hit on me." So, I gave Vanessa a ride to her boyfriend's house in Aiea Heights. On the way, she told me that they had not "consummated" the relationship in five years. "I haven't had sex in five years," she clarified. Perhaps she finally realized the folly of her infatuation with Ryan and has decided to return to the high school days (read: the past) like most locals. I dropped Vanessa off, then began my journey home. Just a few miles later, I saw the freeway exit to Malia's place. I felt a tinge of sadness. The rest of the drive was uneventful. Just me and my six-four, like the good ol' days.
Sunday February 10
Big headache. And, I still smell like smoke because smoking is still permitted in public places in Hawai'i. I can't say that I want to go on another outing like last night. It's pretty obvious how pathetic an event can be when all of the participants have little in common except boredom and dysfunctional lives. Little wonder that people are always looking at relationships as the cure all. I find that I have a good time talking with people, no matter what. I was the exact opposite before. Only my role as a pseudo-professor has changed my formerly reticent behavior.
Caroll sent me an e-mail, and she doesn't sound good. She admits to being depressed. Well, she has no place to call home. She is broke. Her car is out of commission. She has found a couple of jobs, but nothing to write home about. In the past few years, I have seen Caroll go through decent times and bad times. She has always been a trooper. However, I feared that she would hit rock bottom someday. The past two years have been frenetic for her, as evidenced by the sheer number of times she moved and switched jobs. She is fortunate that her brother has been able to provide a safety net at this time. I am certain that Caroll is running out of options. Why else would she end up in El Centro?
V-Day is coming up this week. I suppose that I can understand why so many people are acting a little strange. I'll be perfectly honest. V-Day is probably going to hit me fairly hard this year. Many events in the past year have made this time to be particularly dismal. In addition, I have observed how miserable so many people are. In reality, they have more to rejoice about than I. Sheesh! I have also pondered the route that Kevin took and one that Pseudo-professor John will most likely take, that is, seeking a mate from another country. I don't find the option particularly appealing. Language and cultural barriers are easily mistaken for submissiveness and humility. That's the appeal for many guys. They are in for a big surprise later on. However, I am discovering that there are few alternatives, unless a series of short-term relationships (read: flings) is found to be acceptable. The dating pool on this island is pathetic. Most of the local babes do not have a formal education. Hence, few have meaningful jobs. Their conversations are vapid, usually gossip. They have no opinion about anything of substance. They are obsessed with guys, usually losers. And, they love to make babies. I really wish that I was kidding, but these are the facts as I see them. There are quite a few babes who pursue higher education, but many of them quickly return to the high school days in order to live in the familiar, albeit stagnant, past.
I didn't do much today. I forced myself to go to the gym. Actually, the gym is still my salvation. I feel good when I can devote time to do my workouts. At my age, I cannot slack off for more than a day. Otherwise, I would atrophy completely. Sad to say, I had to break out the "Hammer" in order to sedate myself. I have to silence the lambs of my mind. My secret quest is to find a babe, even though I am a monk. Once again, I call on Viktor Frankl to summarize the thoughts of the day: "A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love."
Monday February 11
First, the Asylum news. Chip came up to me this morning and apologized, which made me feel like a total [rectum] for going off in the journal the other day. It's plain to see that I have made little progress insofar as patience and compassion are concerned. Joanne showed me a phone message from Malia. "She wants her results for the typing speed test," she said. "I don't have those results. It's been almost two years now." She also said that Malia had left a message for Judy, asking about a grade in a class from that time as well. Something really strange is going on considering that Malia did not have anything nice to say about either Joanne or Judy when I last talked with her. "Maybe she's applying for a job, but the employer would just administer the test right then," Joanne added. I told her that I couldn't see how she could take a job when she has a newborn child to take care of.
I talked with Pseudo-professor Mari before my classes at the Diploma Mill. I am surprised to find at least one person in the world who thinks like myself. We discussed my latest quandary in which I question my monk existence. We also discussed dysfunctional families and other great topics. Pseudo-professor Mari is much older than I, so I respect her wisdom. She offered thoughts from her own perspective, which made me feel more comforted. We also discussed the strangeness of the local ways, and how many of us are alienated from the mainstream because we do not fit in. Pseudo-professor Mari also offered a few ideas about the local babes' obsession with guys, the high incidence of domestic violence amongst local couples, and the "baby factory" phenomenon.
For the most part, I felt detached from everything today. Maybe I'm returning to my normal self. Or, perhaps the "Hammer" left me extremely fatigued. Until I can make a qualified decision about my life, I must merely keep my wits about myself and maintain my current goals. Nothing's going to change whether I lose my mind or not.
Tuesday February 12
I am starting to wind down my classes at the Asylum, a full two weeks ahead of schedule. As always, I'll be assigning failing grades to quite a few students. I ended up talking with Pseudo-professors John and Mari after my class at the Diploma Mill. I won't provide the details. I will say that the discussions have been somewhat therapeutic, since we all feel some level of disillusionment with what we're doing in life. I am a little fatigued this evening, but I'm more relaxed than I've been in the last two weeks. The dreaded V-Day is two days away. I will spend the evening with my beloved iBook. I have to use Windows 2000 or XP and that crappy Office XP during the day, and there are no words to describe the agony. OS X has been running just fine on my iBook. No system crashes or kernel panics. It's about the only stability that I have in my life. Sheesh!
Wednesday February 13
I believe that I have finally discovered the reason why I've been divesting my possessions. I have been trying to removes all material links to the world so as to expose my naked soul. That is the only way I can learn about myself, much as Frankl's forced incarceration in a Nazi concentration camp revealed the nature of man and forced him to recognize his true inner self. I have also identified most of the external forces which tend to control my actions. I now also realize that attaining happiness is not one of my goals. It is only through the derivation of meaning in one's life that happiness is even possible. Happiness is, in actuality, peace of mind. Oddly, peace of mind can only occur at a basic level of existence. I have to remove the extraneous noise, including my wants and needs. I have to look at my history and accept it, whether good or bad. With that, I've discovered how my anxiety concerning the present and the future is really tied with my disdain for my past. The issues of the past continue to haunt me because I have never accepted its finality. I am still deliberating the verdict for my past indiscretions in the court of life. My past seems like a collage of bad mistakes and bad fortune, which will no doubt follow me into the future. In my mind, I have wasted so much time and now I continue to fret away what little time I have left.
The naked soul has many fears. My naked soul fears growing old and decrepit. My naked soul also fears moms' passing, which will end the last link to my ancestors. My naked soul fears becoming impotent and not being able to do da wild thing with babes. My naked soul fears being alone in loneliness. My naked soul fears not being loved by anyone, not necessarily romantic love. How do these fears relate to the past? I can only assume that I find no value or accomplishment in what I've done since birth. In my mind, I have wasted away my youth and most of my productive adult life in benign activities and bad relationships. Thus, I can never look upon each passing minute with any redemption, only with guilt and anxiety. If I can make peace with myself about the past, then I can probably find meaning in the present and in the future.
I had lunch with Mark today at the Paradise Café. I couldn't help but notice the sheer number of babes who work downtown. Later, I ran into Pseudo-professor Robert. He has been having a difficult time with his Sony VAIO notebook computer, mainly because of Windows Millennium. And, he can no longer synchronize with his iPaq handheld. I was somewhat amused by all of his computer problems. I, on the other hand, have had no problems with my iBook. We discussed the babe situation as well. Tomorrow night, he is supposed to meet four babes at Oceans Restaurant. A former student of his arranged the meeting. He invited me along. I declined because I would only cause the babes to become ill with my presence. Two years have gone by, and neither of us has seen significant changes in our lives.
Yesterday, I neglected to note that Pseudo-professors Mari and John indicated a fondness for the tube. "I find myself scheduling my life around certain programs," Pseudo-professor Mari confided. A few years ago, she didn't have a tube and read a lot of books instead. So, that appears to be the secret. Just like The Master. I cannot and will not break down and become a tube addict. I am also very selective about my reading material. I must avoid extreme sedation (aside from the "Hammer") at all cost. I am back at Square Zero again. I have yet to find the shepherd.
Valentine's Day 2002
Well, the dreaded V-Day is here. I'm only kidding. I have returned to the monk state of mind, so I was not affected by any of that Tom Foolery. As I long ago discovered, babes are not the answer. My own helplessness was sweeping me into the vortex of stupidity. I was grasping at straws for an answer. My only remaining tangible goal is my five-year financial plan. I must stay the course. I cannot tell you why this goal has superseded everything else. In fact, retirement is no longer an issue. Money isn't an issue either, since I'm only saving up the equivalent of chump change. I do know that something significant is going to happen when I reach my goal. Something in my life, some aspect of my psyche, is going to change in a way that I've never seen before. Since the original constructs of my plan no longer are operational, I believe that subconsciously I have established its true purpose. Only when I get there will it be revealed to me.
Did you survive V-Day? I hope so. I only received a V-Day e-card from Shirley. She also came by my class. We talked briefly out in the hall since my students were taking an exam. She wants to continue on at the Diploma Mill after graduating from the Asylum. Haven't we heard this before? How long before she, too, falls to the wayside? After the gym, I was supposed to go to an Asylum faculty function, but I decided to stop off at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill instead. I had a long talk with Pseudo-professor John. Pseudo-professor Amber was there, and I also chatted with her for a bit. I also talked with the St. Andrew's high school girls about the usual local issues after class today. I am rather impressed by them, and find it interesting that I can have intellectual discussions with them. Pseudo-professor Amber has two St. Andrew's students in one of her classes. She is also impressed by them as well.
The remainder of my V-Day will be spent with my beloved iBook. I am also reading Frankl's book for the third time. And, I already have a longing for the "Hammer." I may peruse a few on-line journals to witness the devastation caused by V-Day. Well, I hope that you had a pleasant V-Day. The monk saga continues.
Friday February 15
I can only wonder if Pseudo-professor Robert broke out of the ranks last night at Oceans while I was at home piddling with my iBook. The other day, he was trying to explain why he is attracted to younger babes. "It's a not a matter of lust," he told me with a straight face. "I think it's because I am trying to relive a lost childhood or lost adolescence." Well, I am attracted to young babes, too, but it's because of lust. As a monk, I should be struck down by lightning for that confession of debauchery. However, I am a monk of truth. What I haven't taken into consideration is the high probability that neither Pseudo-professor Robert or Pseudo-professor John have ever had a relationship with a babe. The ol' lavahead should have been the most likely candidate for involuntary celibacy. Yet, he has had numerous moronic encounters with babes, some of which ended up as relationships.
One of my classes at the Asylum had a small potluck lunch. That was the highlight of the day. My classes at the Diploma Mill have finally settled into the farce that they really are. Once I returned home, I immediately drove to Koko Marina to buy the big ass bottle of the "Hammer." This is a three-day weekend, and I am already losing it. Moms has prepared a whole mess of food, so the probability of seeing the Ninja Turds is high.
I had sent off an e-mail to thank Shirley for the V-Day e-card and also invited her to lunch sometime. She replied today, and it looks as though we will try for Wednesday. I know what you're thinking — the ol' lavahead just loves to play with fire, and he's going to get burned. No, it's a "friends" outing. Shirley is in her early twenties. Although I am attracted to young babes just like Pseudo-professor Robert, I am unlikely to act out such an embarrassing scenario. And, I have seen the effects of my complicity as evidenced by my experience with Malia. Of course, if I was spotted by Roach or one of his minions, all hell would break loose.
As the "Hammer" finally kicks in, I have a final thought to banter. If either Pseudo-professors John and Robert have never been in a relationship with a babe, then they must not know the extreme frustration of not being able to do da wild thing. One can try to imagine what it's like, but there is no substitute. The right hand will not work. In that respect, given my hypothesis, they are better off than I. Their longing could be based solely on imagination. I can still remember the total experience. There is no way to imagine the feel of a babe's smooth, soft skin pressed against one's body. Or, the tingling sensation as a babe runs her fingernails along one's back during the height of passion. Oh, I'm glad that I have the "Hammer" to calm me down. Maybe it's true. Maybe I want to play with fire and get burned. Maybe I forgot what my buddy Bud told me. Maybe I never really wanted to listen to my buddy Bud. Booyah!
Saturday February 16
I talked with Caroll briefly this morning. She was on her way to Palm Springs in a rental car. She has been living in the motel that her brother manages. The situation has been tense because she has to maintain a low profile. Her brother has been letting her stay in any available vacant room. Caroll wants to move to Palm Springs because she feels that she will fare better in a sales position in the posh resort town. I wished her well, but I am worried that she's at the end of her rope. I also had a long talk with Pseudo-professor John. I did not realize that he lives at home with moms, too. That makes three of us living parallel lives, including Pseudo-professor Robert. We talked about the babe situation at length. I will call Pseudo-professor John on Monday. We'll probably do something then to stave off our boredom.
Moms and I took an excursion to Ewa in my beloved six-four. We visited my Aunty Faye, who is in St. Francis Medical Center recovering from an operation. Apparently, my aunt had fallen and shattered her hip and pelvis. One the way home, we stopped to visit my Uncle Tosh and Aunty Maria, who live near the Pearlridge Mall. They spent most of the time talking about various ailments with moms. Overall, it was a depressing afternoon. I can see why none of the family get together anymore. After we returned home, I took a walk to Hana'uma Bay to look around. Aside from the grotesque fake stone building being erected, I enjoyed the scenery. I have to admit that I'm a little tired of living in Hawai'i Kai. There is absolutely nothing to do here, and it is populated mostly by arrogant haoles. In driving through areas like Waipahu and Pearlridge today, I saw the real essence of the local life. These are the areas that many of the Asylum students come from.
Moms has been preparing all kinds of food for the Ninja Turds, so I assume they will be coming by tomorrow or they will have the food delivered to them personally by moms. I don't say anything anymore because the situation has gone beyond the ridiculous. I have my own agenda to worry about, which includes finding a babe. In fact, I have decided that I will not even consider purchasing a place of my own until I find a babe who could actually tolerate settling down with the ol' lavahead. In the meantime, I'll be happy living in a shoebox with a good supply of the "Hammer." Sheesh! Finding a babe is not going to be easy. First of all, I am a boy in the army. I have no idea what to do. Second, finding a babe requires serious commitment to the task. I have never been serious about anything in my life. Finally, babes detest the ol' lavahead. The situation is beginning to sound hopeless. I'm going back to being a monk. Say, that reminds me, isn't it "Hammer" time?
Sunday February 17
Big headache. I've got to get my priorities straight pretty soon, or I'll end up in the gutter. The problem is "Sunday neurosis," described by Viktor Frankl as "that kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest." The "sexual libido become rampant" because of this void. When the latter is not available, suitable escape mechanisms (e.g., drugs, the tube, hurdy-gurdy DVDs, the "Hammer," etc.) are employed. If wage slavery produced more satisfaction than a paycheck, I would probably not be in this quandary. Leisure time should involve healthy diversions. However, if validation cannot be accomplished at work, then it must somehow be satisfied during leisure time.
What adds to the strain is the fact that moms has turned into a religious zealot, almost to the point of extreme fanaticism. Moms spends almost every waking hour in deep study of the church's publications. These publications are strewn about the house, and the only bookcase is populated by more of the same publications. Even yesterday, when visiting the relatives, moms quickly turned a casual conversation into a chance to "witness." Naturally, a small altercation ensued. Later, moms commented to me about how Uncle Tosh has a "one-track mind." How ludicrous! The Good Book warns about hypocrisy and the judgment of others, especially when one perpetrates similar acts. As an example, how many times have I tried to reason with moms about mixing chemicals? The living experience in moms' house has been permeated with overwhelming guilt and hypocrisy. It's a vicious downward cycle. I, myself, am suffocating in this environment.
I put myself in this position because I chose to be totally unproductive until I finally returned home at an advanced age and completely broke. Even now, I eke out an existence, all the while listening to moms tell me about how money will be of no use when Armageddon comes. To add insult to injury, moms recently decided to side with the Ninja Turds. Of course, only I can see the stupidity as everyone else seems to live in mock bliss. The craftiness of the file clerk is even evidenced by the phone messages I've heard. The dolt used to call moms "Grammaw" (with Southern drawl), even though moms hated to be called that. After the incident of a few weeks ago, the dolt now simply calls moms "mom." The true nefarious nature of the bitch's personality can even be identified through the simplest of gestures.
Caroll called again this morning. She had a productive day in Palm Springs, so she may be moving there soon. In the last few years, I have noticed significant changes in Caroll's personality. She is much edgier and her focus seems to be on making money. "My problem is that I want instant success," she said. Caroll was the last person that I would have expected to buy into the system. That's what brought her to financial ruin in the first place. I was on a similar path, but I have put in much effort to cultivate patience. As the sands continue to filter down the hourglass, I know how difficult it is to remain patient.
I went to the gym early, then I hopped in my beloved six-four for an unexciting adventure. I stopped off at Kahala Mall, specifically Barnes & Noble. My purpose was to find a B-day gift for Professor Russell. I ended up listening to music CDs and bought the new Sade Lovers Live release, along with a gift certificate for Professor Russell. Why did I buy the CD? As I listened to it at the kiosk, I was really moved by the songs. I'm not sure why but I almost broke down right there in the store. I then drove over to the Dixie Grill near the Ward Center. That's where we were to meet for Professor Russell's B-day party. The last time I was there was with the handmaiden. Not too many people showed up. Sadly, faculty functions are rarely exciting. Well, at least the Samuel Adams on draft was a dollar a glass. For the most part, my mind was distracted because I saw a couple of babes at the bar. I may be imagining things, but I thought that they were checking out the ol' lavahead. What was really strange is that I had an extremely strong urge to go to the bar to try to mack on them. I'm sure that would have resulted in incarceration. The drive home was nice. I drove through Waikiki and around Diamond Head. I passed by the infamous Kahala Beach. The rest of the ride was uneventful. As soon as I returned home, I unboxed my Bose Acoustic Wave to listen to my new Sade CD. I am really concerned about that strong mack urge that I had experienced. I am almost completely unnerved. Are these the underpinnings of desperation?
Monday February 18
This is quite a predicament that I've gotten myself into. I'm losin' it. My fire water consumption has increased. My liver is acting up again. Surely, my first priority is to mummify the fire water situation. So, what am I going to sedate myself with? I will probably have to break down and buy a tube. I will also have to make an appointment with a psychiatrist so I can obtain an unlimited prescription for Prozac. One thing is certain — I've got to get a grip on reality. There a high probability that I will remain a monk for the rest of my life. Whether I sedate myself or not is inconsequential. Obviously, the best plan of action would be to make adequate preparation for the monastic life. In addition, the monk persona must be maintained at all cost. There is no need to advertise one's weaknesses.
Like many other people, I have always felt that I am a real boring individual. I still confess to being boring, and certainly other people are more than willing to agree with me. However, I have observed that I am not much more boring than the next person. By being the first to admit that I'm boring, I open myself up to being the scapegoat. For example, the outing with Vanessa, Ryan, and Ron. Many other students heard about how boring the outing was, obviously from Ron and Vanessa. So quick to judge, yet they have been wallowing in self-pity for weeks. Professor Russell's B-day party was somewhat boring. Faculty are always stifled by "proper" behavior. Thus, the choice of the Dixie Grill was puzzling because it does not lend itself to a "tea party" atmosphere. I could have made the soirée more lively, but that would only have resulted in a public relations fiasco. I am not really a boring guy, I assume. I just can't motivate herds of boring people. I am not the shepherd.
No one wants to go anywhere alone out of fear of being stigmatized as a loser. There is safety in numbers. A group is also recognized as exciting. Surely, people who hang out in groups can't be losers. In essence, the latter statement is true. A group of boring people usually disbands after one outing, unless there is a shepherd. Knowing this, I now realize that I must join some kind of athletic club that also has social activities. And, if I want to find a babe, I will have to consider those on-line matchmaking services. Sheesh! Once the limitations of reality are laid bare, there remains little doubt about the next move. Either take the plunge, or accept the monk existence.
Pseudo-professor John and I met for dinner at the Zippy's next to Kahala Mall. We were served by Lynsey, one of my students at the Asylum. Pseudo-professor John brought pictures of the babes he's been corresponding with over in the Philippines. We also talked about the babe situation in general and other more mundane faculty nonsense. Overall, it was an enjoyable time.
To be continued ... Go to M.05
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