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Glass Menagerie
Dangerous Liaisons

Sunday March 10, 2002

I received e-mail from Malia this morning, which came as quite a surprise. In the e-mail, Malia stated that she has "been thinking a lot" about the ol' lavahead lately. Then, the discussion took up where we left off after my last phone conversation with her in January. She explained that she "fell in love" with the ol' lavahead almost immediately. Then, she claimed to have tried "everything in the book" to make him reciprocate similar feelings. Only during the last phone conversation did I let on that I truly cared for her. "Why didn't you just let things fall into place?" she asked. I sent back a long reply reiterating what I've said before — the time wasn't right, and Roach's witch hunt would have intensified. Right now, I'm concerned about whether this is an attempt to rekindle the past. Did her "new life" not work out? Refer to this chapter for more details.

I lapsed in and out of a coma for most of the day. Then, I walked to the gym and did my usual Sunday workout. I treated myself to a Mocha Frappacino at Starbuck's and walked home with it. I spent most of my conscious moments contemplating the curious e-mail from Malia. For the time being, I will just accept what was written on face value. This was only one e-mail, so there is no need to jump to any conclusions. The whole matter still boils down to what my buddy Bud had warned me about regarding babes. "Stay away from them," he admonished. "They are all dangerous."

Dangerous liaisons. I have been playing with fire, but I don't know why. I seem to have a need to constantly interact with babes, even though they may toy with the oversized cranium. What exactly is my purpose? Do I have a hidden agenda? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. For my secular life, I must live one day at a time. Worrying about whether I am up to no good is simply foolish. It's plain to see that I am an honorable monk. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Monday March 11

Another uneventful day in the salt mines. One of Roach's minions sat in my class to evaluate my facilitation techniques. I can hardly wait to hear the results. Xochitl showed up to class after being gone for a while. She was wearing a really tight, skimpy top that barely covered her ample wares. I realized right then that she could not be religious at all. For one thing, she claims to be in the same sect as moms. I was not as accommodating this time, so she knew that I saw through the ruse.

I've decided to include Malia's entire e-mail from yesterday. I am not sure why, but it really hit home.

From: Malia
Subject: just want to say hello

It's been a while since I've written to you. How are you doing? Fine I hope. Thank you for calling me back regarding the Paralegal Program. I was just thinking about it and figured you might know something about it. Anyway, I've been thinking alot about you lately. I gotta say something if you don't mind. Before when I was trying everything in the book to sweep you off your feet and fall in love with me, I never had any idea you had feelings for me. Why didn't you just let things fall in to place and what ever happened, happened? Who knows what our life would be like right now. I cared so much for you. I fell in love with you from the moment we talked. I don't know what it was about you but something about you just opened my eyes. I always enjoyed our time together. I looked forward to our daily walks, talks, and lunch time we spent with one another. You were so warm, caring and gentle, yet there were times you were so cold to me. You also tried your best to keep me at a distance. It hurt me so much but I kept trying. I think the last time I tried and decided to give up was that one Saturday when I had my Sociology class. I had a few minutes before class so I decided to call you. It was about 8:40am and I really didn't know why I was calling you. Probably just to hear your voice before I started my day. I remember you got so mad and yelled at me. You said "what the hell are you calling me at 8:30 in the morning and you don't know what you're calling me for?" I told you I just wanted to say hello and you said "hello, at 8:30 in the morning?" I just remember feeling so foolish. I cried, apologized, then decided I was bothering you too much and promised myself I wouldn't ever do that to you again. I really loved you, you know. I'm just sorry that things turned out the way it did. You're a great man. I just wanted you to know that you were very special to me then and you still are very special to me now. You will always have a place in my heart, forever. You have always been a good friend to me and I hope we will remain friends always. I think about you often and miss you very much ... Take care of yourself okay. Keep in touch. If you ever need to talk to someone you know I'll always be here.



I suppose that I'll have more thoughts later. I'll let you judge the e-mail on face value for yourself. For now, I am "in a funk" (as Steph would say). Once again, my complicity has come back to haunt me. On a lighter note, Pseudo-professor John commented in e-mail about Professor Darwin's marriage to a student: "As for Darwin, it looks as though he made a successful 'natural selection' from the list of babes he knew from his classes." That made me laugh.

Tuesday March 12

I had sent off a fairly long reply to Malia yesterday. Today, she replied back. And, I sent off my final retrospective to her this afternoon. I suppose that we had to have a formal closure to the unfinished business that was left behind. I certainly hope that we can remain friends, although I know how difficult that will be. I actually had to break out the rest of the "Hammer" last night. I sat in my favorite chair and sipped the fine vintage. I think that somehow I'm beginning to grasp the meaning of life. Or, should I say, I'm beginning to realize what isn't the meaning of life.

Although it's all water under the bridge, Malia was right. I should have "let things fall into place." Sure, there were several unanswered questions. Then, there was the issue of Malia's three kids and the abusive ex-boyfriend (restraining order buddy). And, Malia isn't an awesome gym babe, but she could be. I was too worried about trivial externalities and about what others would think. All that really mattered was Malia herself. "Who knows what our life would be like right now," she wrote. That's a powerful statement. Who really knows? I made a few pessimistic guesses based upon a feeble strengths-weaknesses model. Yet, who really knows? Viktor Frankl asserted, "The perception of meaning, as I see it, more specifically boils down to becoming aware of a possibility against a background of reality."

Wednesday March 13

Life has become surreal once again. I'm reading Frankl's book for the fourth time. Each time, I learn even more. The "Meaning of Life" e-mail discussion group has been launched with myself and Pseudo-professors Dorothy, Mari, and John as charter members. I'm not sure if it will succeed. That should say something about its members, eh?

The one sentence from Malia's e-mail continues to echo through the cavernous reaches of the oversized cranium. What bothers me now is how everything is melding into the "meaning of life" issue. I live for absolutely no purpose but to exist. Within that context, I merely eke out an existence. Like a zombie, I follow the standard rituals of the "ordinary" life. In searching my soul again, I've made a discovery — my only immediate fear is that I will never do da wild thing with a babe again. I only have a few more years before I become impotent. And, I'm not planning to take Viagra.

Frankl often described that each person has a unique mission to fulfill. No individual, he added, can be replaced. Well, life is cheap in our modern times. No one really gives a damn about the value of life. The less people around, they reason, the less competition for scarce resources. I am completely replaceable. Who would miss me? The three readers of LoserNet? I doubt it. With that in mind, I am now ready to finish what I started. I can only live life the way I know it and in a manner I am comfortable with. My original goal to seek spirituality through the monk's mendicant existence must stand. That is my only purpose. It does not reap happiness per se, but it is more satisfying than the alternatives.

Thursday March 14

I restored my monk haircut on Tuesday. Yesterday, Ron mentioned that he and his wife were involved in an altercation. During a disagreement, Ron's wife threw the phone at him. He then slapped her. The police ended up responding. Right now, I am puzzled about one thing concerning Malia. Why haven't I seen her in person? I've talked to her on the phone. We've exchanged e-mail. The last time I saw her face-to-face was one year ago. She has not made any indication that she would like to meet. Odd. Very odd. In my last e-mail, I mentioned that I sensed she wasn't happy. I received a reply from Malia this morning. My last retrospective e-mail was an emotional event for her, meaning that she cried quite a bit. So far, she has not shared any other information.

José showed me the e-mail he received from Malia. She described the baby, but made no mention of any marriage plans. Both José and I were a bit confused because, if she really was happy about everything, then she would share all of the good news with us. Such was not the case. Shirley came by my class. She gave me a gift of Sweet Potato Mochi from Ma'ui. She had just returned from a trip there. Later, Pseudo-professor John gave me a ride home. We ate dinner at the Zippy's in Koko Marina. Naturally, we talked about the babe situation. Moms tried the Mochi and hated it. I knew that would happen. Yet, when the dumb file clerk bakes a few rock-hard biscuits, moms tells me how delicious they are and keeps egging me on to try one. Laura, one of my students at the Asylum, lent me a DVD movie titled Memento. I've watched half of it. Quite a thriller.

Friday March 15

I finished watching Memento last night. I talked with Shirley during class, and then we went to Taco Bell for lunch. We talked for another hour before I was due at the Diploma Mill. I've told her quite a few stories including my exciting adventures with Toad and Roach. Shirley has also been trying to disprove the fact that I am a monk. "What if someone comes along that you really like? Are you going to pass up the opportunity?" she asked. Naturally, I gave her my usual monk answers. I also filled her in about the pathetic state of my family. The Sweet Potato Mochi that Shirley gave me was delicious. I'll eat the rest by myself. I have not received a reply from Malia since I sent my last e-mail yesterday. In the e-mail, I emphasized that I must assume everything is okay with her and, if she ever needs my help, she can contact me.

When I returned from the salt mines, I found moms preparing all kinds of food again. The kamado will be busy tomorrow. I sure hope that moms is planning to deliver the food to the Ninja Turds. I am praying that I will never have to see the Turds for the rest of my life. Moms tries to call them secretly these days, no doubt to shield them from the bad ol' puddy tat. Ever since the day moms sided with the Turds, I have severely limited my conversations. I say less than five words per day when I am at home. I have nothing to discuss because moms really doesn't want to hear it. So, I say nothing.

I am going to spend the rest of the evening with my beloved iBook. Perhaps I'll view a few of my remaining hurdy-gurdy DVDs. Or, perhaps I will order a few new titles. I hope that Vanessa doesn't call me this weekend. I gave my number to Shirley in e-mail but I don't think she will ever call. I always see her at the Asylum anyway. Pseudo-professor John and I correspond by e-mail a lot. Actually, Shirley and I also use that medium often. The "Meaning of Life" e-mail discussion group has fizzled. Oh well. I'll have a piece of Sweet Potato Mochi and reflect upon it. If only I had a bottle of the "Hammer" to quench my thirst. Sheesh!

Saturday March 16

I can see why quite a few people are completely bored. Take Vanessa, for example. She is 30 years old, and she lives with her mother in a condo. Vanessa's mother works at two jobs. Vanessa has not had to work in years and, from the looks of it, she does not seem to want to work after she graduates from the Asylum. Shirley is only 21 years old. She returned home after her relationship fizzled. She attends the Asylum, works part-time at Daiei, and is financially supported by her parents. Her former boyfriend is a 4th grade teacher. He is nine years older than Shirley. He lives in a separate extension added onto his parents' home. Pseudo-professor John is 34 years old and lives in a condo with his mother. Although he makes a decent wage, he does not have many expenses. He does not own a car, since he can always borrow his mother's car. Yet, he has not been able to save a dime or pay down his huge balance on his credit card. Pseudo-professor Robert is 42 years old and lives at home with his mother. He is working part-time at the Legal Aid Society. He has taken an hiatus from the Diploma Mill. He is searching for a more prestigious career in law, but he may have been away from the action too long. I sense that he will remain satisfied with the status quo. Malia's case is a little different. She has spent most of her time as a mother to her three kids. Prior to that, she worked briefly at Safeway. She and her restraining order buddy were able to buy into a condo in Mililani. However, Malia gave that up when she left the relationship. She survives on a trust set up by her father. However, I cannot figure out how she is able to pay rent and support four kids on a subsidy of $1,200 per month. From what I've been told, the restraining order buddy only pays for the kid's medical plan. No child support.

Many in the cast of characters are living in an extreme comfort zone. That zone is bringing on an "existential vacuum." The lack of motivation is caused by boredom and the fact that all survival needs have been provided for. In some respects, I am in the same boat. However, I tend to look upon my life as a daily struggle for survival. That's the only way I can keep my wits about myself. It also prevents me from taking my situation for granted. I forgot to mention that a student had expressed displeasure to one of Roach's minions concerning my teaching assistants. I was called in like a schoolboy gone bad yet again. Kevin said that he is also being "micromanaged" (read: persecuted) by the same minion whom I shall now refer to as Bug.

I left before noon. I took the bus to Kahala Mall, where I spent a few hours at Barnes & Noble. I knew moms was at home cooking up all the food for the Ninja Turds. Later, I caught the 3:15pm bus. When I got off at my stop, I saw moms waiting with bags of food in the rain at the bus stop across the street. I've washed my hands of that stupidity. When moms returned home from the Ninja Turd's place, she asked, "You want some of these? You know what they are?" I saw a Baggie with three burnt Taquitos in it. "No," I replied. "I don't want those piece of [dung] frozen Taquitos." Moms also had another Baggie with two over-baked instant muffins. I was waiting for moms to tell me how delicious they were. If the dumb file clerk made them, they have got to be delicious, right? Fortunately, I was spared the grief. Thank goodness, I have Shirley's Sweet Potato Mochi to eat. I drove my beloved six-four to Koko Marina and bought a bottle of Vendage Chardonnay. It's been a long week. I'm going to relax with my beloved iBook and also sip the fine vintage. Sheesh!

Sunday March 17

Big headache. Once again, I used a feeble excuse to imbibe, and now I am paying the price for my stupidity. Last night, I finally found the song that's been playing in my mind for months. I always hear it at the gym. It's called "Crush" and it is performed by Jennifer Paige. I prefer the Club Mix version. The CD came out in 1998. Obviously, I am completely out of touch. I downloaded the file and placed it in my iTunes library. I'm now up to a whopping four songs. Sheesh!

I figured my taxes yesterday using the spreadsheet application on my beloved Palm handheld. It looks as though I will get a $625 refund from the IRS, but I will owe $272 to the State. I'll still come out ahead. In the last two years, I had to pay out a lot of dough. Sheesh! Even though it has been raining again, I went to the gym and did my usual Sunday workout. I felt much better. Shirley and I have been sending a few e-mail back and forth during the weekend. She still doesn't believe that I am a monk. I spent most of the day sitting in my favorite chair doing you-know-what. Yup, lapsing in and out of a coma. I had a lot of grading to do, but I never even got around to it. Right now, I'm debating about whether to download LimeWire so I can start adding to my iTunes library, which means that I'll eventually have to purchase an iPod. Is the chump change just burning a hole in my pocket, or what?

Monday March 18

Another uneventful Monday in the salt mines. There has been a little bit of activity in the "Meaning of Life" e-mail discussion group. Perhaps we will finally get somewhere. I am almost finished with my fourth reading of Frankl's book. However, I believe that I am becoming ambivalent again. I really feel as though I want to retreat to some hermitage out in the middle of nowhere. There is just too much extraneous noise. I can't think straight anymore. The "meaning of life" issue is becoming blurred. What exactly do I want out of life? A babe? Marriage? Kids? Big house? Big bank? Or, nothing at all.

It is the routine of life that really starts grating on the nerves. Day in. Day out. Same old thing. Delirium, the result of sleep deprivation, takes over the senses. In the meantime, the mind turns to mush. I tried to make some microwave popcorn this evening. Somehow I ended up with a charred mess. Vanessa called. She had a corruption problem with a few files on her floppy disk. I also walked her through the setup for dial-up networking. She has an interview tomorrow for an internship position. Well, that's another day in the life of a computer nerd. Sheesh!

Tuesday March 19

I can't believe how fatigued I am, and it's only Tuesday. I have fallen way behind schedule insofar as my work is concerned. I had to substitute for Mike, another Asylum faculty, this morning. He claimed to have a "pinched nerve." At least, I will have earned a little more chump change for my time. Next week is Spring Break for both the Asylum and the Diploma Mill. However, I am planning to spend most, if not all, of the week in town. What else do I have to do? I'll probably stop off at Barnes & Noble in Kahala Mall first. The week should be pretty relaxing. I will probably go to CompUSA, and I may even take the bus to Pearlridge. If I stay at home, I will only end up vegetating in my favorite chair.

Shirley came by my class to talk story. She now pokes fun at my monk shoes, the cheap pair that I bought at Payless. She does not like the fact that there are no laces, since they are of the old man, Velcro variety. "Why don't you get a pair of Nikes?" she asked. Who exactly is going to buy those Nikes for me? What do I look like? Big Money Grip? The rest of the day was uneventful, just the way I like it. I downloaded LimeWire the other day, but I didn't install it. Instead, I deleted it. I can't get caught up in that kind of crap anymore. All I need are my cheap pair of Payless shoes.

Wednesday March 20

I found a couple of nifty applications at the Xlife site for my iBook — RadioFree and Aquisition. I installed RadioFree but uninstalled it later. It's a streaming media recorder. Tonight, I will try Aquisition, the Gnutella client. Why am I doing this? I am suffering from the effects of the "existential vacuum." I decided to skip the faculty meeting today at the Asylum, knowing full well that I will suffer from the repercussions. Instead, Shirley and I walked over to Jamba Juice. I used the gift certificate given to me by the Asylum to buy our fruit smoothies. Oh, the irony! While we sat outside, a few Asylum students walked by and waved. I have a feeling that the rumor mill is ready to start churning. Obviously, nothing is going on, since Shirley is 26 years younger than I. However, we know the mentality of the mental midgets at the Asylum. The monk shoes were the topic of discussion again. We also talked about her recent failed relationship. And, I managed to discuss certain facets of the monk life-style. The rest of the day was uneventful again. Thank goodness.

Thursday March 21

Aquisition worked pretty well last night, once it connected to a few Gnutella hosts. However, I cannot even start the application without it crashing. So, I'll have download it again tonight and reinstall it. Shirley came by my class again. She continued to give me a hard time about the monk shoes, so I suggested that we walk across the street to Macy's so I could buy a new pair. Unfortunately, the selection was sparse. We ate lunch at Taco Bell, and then walked over to the Diploma Mill. I knew that no one would show up to my class today. Therefore, we were able to walk around. I introduced Shirley to Pseudo-professors John, Amber, and Dorothy. I then walked Shirley back to the Asylum. She went to class. I picked up my stuff and went back to the Diploma Mill. I talked with Pseudo-professor John for a bit. "Shirley is very attractive," he noted.

The "Meaning of Life" e-mail discussion group now includes Pseudo-professor Amber. At the urging of Pseudo-professor Dorothy, we are now trying to organize the official "Meaning of Life" Wine & Cheese Party. I asked Shirley if she wanted to join the group. She declined. She is too young to understand these concepts. Shirley is now giving me a hard time about the monk shades. "Those have to go, too," she told me. Sheesh! Shirley also assists in coaching her old high school basketball team. The head coach, Ramona, has become her best friend. Shirley is always telling me about how Ramona and I are very similar. "You aren't trying to set me up, are you?" I asked on a few occasions. All in all, another uneventful day. I'm just waiting for the rumor mill to kick in at the Asylum. There are definitely more than a few people wondering. I want to see how far this goes.

Friday March 22

I forgot to mention that Shirley has now been asking me to see the journal. I made the mistake of mentioning that I maintain a Web journal, not thinking that she would even be curious about it. I told her that I would not give out the URL. Rather, I give little, obscure clues here and there which fit into the puzzle. Now, let's recap the day. Shirley and I ended up talking story for a few hours. We ate lunch at Taco Bell again. Then, she walked over to the Diploma Mill with me. Since Spring Break is around the corner, hardly anyone showed up to class. So, Shirley and I stood outside the lab (along Fort Street Mall) and talked. Several of my former students stopped and talked with us. Pseudo-professor Chad and Professor Brian also talked with us. I introduced them to Shirley. The discussion about the monk shoes has now given way to the matter of the monk haircut. "Can't you grow it out a little more?" she asked. Shirley also lent me a CD that she made after her last relationship ended. We had stopped off in the parking garage because she left it in her car. So, she played a sample before handing it to me. I'm not especially fond of this kind of "heartbreak" music. I suggested to Shirley that I could set her up with Pseudo-professor John or a number of other nice guys. She politely declined my offer. "Aha! You just want those bad boyz, don't you? I knew it," I exclaimed.

Laura lent me two more DVDs to watch, one of them being Traffic. I'll probably leave that for tomorrow. I may unbox my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave to listen to Shirley's CD and, perhaps, the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. So far, I've only downloaded one song using Aquisition. I've had a difficult time connecting to the Gnutella hosts. I'm only looking for a few songs anyway. The half-inchers in the iBook do little justice to the songs. I am not going to spend any dough on an iPod.

I am not sure why Shirley and I became friends. She now hangs out with the ol' lavahead almost every day. The discussions have been rather amusing, I must admit. Shirley and Ramona may drive to town from Kailua next week and meet with the ol' lavahead for lunch. That should be interesting since Shirley always mentions how Ramona and I are quite alike. I'm not sure why I am always interacting with babes. Only three babes showed up for class this afternoon after Shirley left. They were showing me pictures of their boyfriends and telling me all kinds of nonsense. Sometimes, I just don't know.

Saturday March 23

I unboxed my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave last night. I listened to Shirley's "breakup" CD in its entirety. This was the CD that she listened to and cried with after all was said and done with homeboy. In the short period of time that I've known her, I was never under the impression that she was deeply romantic. Apparently, her somewhat reticent personality is deceiving. She now claims to be over the bereavement phase and has moved into the anger stage. She also played one of her "angry" songs for me yesterday. Needless to say, I am even more convinced that I made the right move when I divested my music CD library. Sheesh! I neglected to mention that Judy (Asylum faculty) told me that Malia had asked her for a reference letter. Malia is evidently going to apply for the Paralegal Program. I also checked my Palm spreadsheet again and found that I had put in the wrong value from the tax tables. So, I will only get a $353 refund from the IRS.

Vanessa called today. She left a message about filing her taxes on-line. I am not sure why babes always do this. They come up with lame reasons to call. Sure enough, within seconds of calling her back, I was privy to be told, "I can't stand guys anymore." Apparently, her confidante Will (who happens to be married) has joined the ranks of "Scary" Ron. He gave Vanessa a ride home after class at the Asylum. He walked her up to her place. Then, "Scary" Will decided to show Vanessa his Vienna Sausage. He had been hinting all morning that "today is the day." He most likely decided that he was going for broke. Vanessa dresses like a ho' and she's always talking about da wild thing. I'm not sure why Vanessa cannot see the reason why she has these problems. Vanessa also claimed that she was bored again. What she needs is a real job so that she can get her life going. The quicker she gets out of the Asylum, the better her life will be.

I did not buy a bottle of the "Hammer." I am going to listen to my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave while I compose the journal on my beloved iBook. Then, I will probably watch Traffic. The day was uneventful, but who cares? I've been reviewing portions of the recent journal. I am having some unusual dealings with babes. No wild thing, however. All I can say is thank goodness that I'm a celibate monk.

Sunday March 24

I watched Traffic last night. Very intense. Shirley sent me a couple of e-mail. Naturally, she continued to give me crap about the monk shoes. She also told me that she had to work last night. Today, she had to work at a fundraiser for the basketball team. I spent my day lapsing in and out of a coma, just like yesterday. I forced myself to go to the gym to do my usual Sunday workout. Then, I returned home to listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio on my Bose Acoustic Wave. I'll be listening to Hearts of Space later in the evening. I may not box up the Bose Acoustic Wave. Instead, I will just place it in a large plastic bag when I am not listening to it. I have admit that I was listening to Xtreme radio yesterday, no doubt because of the chain reaction after listening to Shirley's CD. Is Shirley an agent of the sinister kahuna? Or, perhaps, a novice handmaiden?

Babes are very nefarious. As I've mentioned many times before, they treat all guys like BoyToys. They use their wily ways to mold guys like putty. Even Shirley has proven me correct again. Perhaps that is why I could only think about da wild thing all day. It's been several years now since I've done the deed. I have the handmaiden to thank for this addiction, although I believe that the handmaiden was equally addicted. So, I had to order a few more hurdy-gurdy DVDs to add to my library.

I neglected to mention that I ate tuna (straight from the can) and rice on Friday night. I was very fortunate to have inspected the first can before I opened it. There was a slight bulge in the center of the lid. I threw it out immediately. Imagine if I had not even noticed that oddity. I probably would have been a victim of "botch" (read: botulism). I am sure that the sinister kahuna was involved. The stakes of this game are increasing.

Monday March 25

I stopped off at Kahala Mall, specifically Barnes & Noble, before heading to town. I was supposed to meet Pseudo-professor John there, but he never showed up. I drank a cup of coffee and read a few magazines. I arrived in town before noon. I did my work in the Asylum's library. Then, I walked over to the Diploma Mill. Everything was locked up. As I was leaving, I saw Professor Brian. He happened to have the key to the faculty computer room, so I was able to do a little more work. Then, I went to the gym, and subsequently took the early express bus out of the salt mines.

Moms was leaving just as I returned home. Moms had several large bags of food and other stuff that she was taking over to the Ninja Turds' place. Moms will be spending at least one night there to watch the little Turd. Apparently, the little crapper is sick. What else is new? I don't say anything anymore because it makes no difference. If moms wants to be taken advantage of by the Turds, then so be it. I will relax and listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. What a vacation I'm having!

Tuesday March 26

This is Prince Kuhio Day, so it is a State holiday. Obviously, yesterday was a holiday as well. I haven't heard from Shirley. After she continued to poke fun at the monk shoes in e-mail, I became annoyed and suggested that she wear scandalous ho' outfits instead of jeans. Which reminds me. The young ho' has not been around for almost two months. It's fairly obvious since the endless caravan of BoyToys in their Riceboys (read: pimped out Honda Civics) has ceased. I'm not sure what happened. She has probably been sent to the detention home. I have finally caught up with my houseboy and yardboy chores. Then, I took the recycling in and I also bought a new pair of Payless shoes. I walked to the gym later in the afternoon and did a mediocre workout. My shoulder is now starting to bother me. There is a sharp pain in the joint. Oh, the joys of growing old.

I am becoming much more entrenched in the monk life-style. Since the "Meaning of Life" discussion group seems to have fizzled again, I am left to debate the issues myself. Sometimes I feel so weak but, when I compare myself to others, I am a pillar of strength. There are just too many weak-willed sheep looking for the shepherd. I can longer waste precious time waiting for them to snap out of the coma they are in. Frankl has already laid the foundation. I must continue on the course that has been plotted for me.

Wednesday March 27

Another day in the salt mines. I got quite a bit accomplished for once. I should be fully caught up by the end of tomorrow. The regular street bus was full this morning. I noticed the sheer number of elderly people on board. It's hard to believe that most of them are only a few years older than I. During the ride home on the express bus, I pondered more "meaning of life" issues. After all, I'm moving rapidly into the last third of my life. I will be discussing these thoughts in the weeks to come.

Both Vanessa and Shirley called and left messages. I had to log on the Net to find the e-mail with Shirley's cell phone number. I called Vanessa first. She was extremely distraught, so I thought that "Scary" Will pulled another rookie maneuver. In actuality, Vanessa was perturbed because she did not get an internship position that she interviewed for. She then began her own search. Several of the people she spoke with had asked her what school she was attending. "I could hear them snickering when I mentioned the Asylum," she said. "You were right, the Asylum is a joke." I tried my best to be encouraging. I urged Vanessa to remain focused and do what needs to be done. Then, I called Shirley and left a message on her voicemail. She called back within a few minutes. She was on break and chomping away on some chips and a sandwich. We pretty much talked through her 15-minute break. Shirley and Ramona are going to meet me for lunch tomorrow. Perhaps I should bring my beloved digital camera with me, eh? Shirley wanted me to wear the monk shoes, but we can't have that, can we? I've come to the conclusion that, although she is somewhat quiet, Shirley is quite ornery. What was I expecting? She is a babe. Remember what my buddy Bud warned me about profusely.

Thursday March 28

My last day in the salt mines. Tomorrow is a holiday. I finished what I could. Then, Shirley and Ramona showed up. We ate lunch at the Paradise Café. Then, we walked around for a bit. I don't think that they were too excited by the itinerary. Does it matter? After all, I am a monk. We chatted for a bit at the Aslyum's library before they departed. I spent the rest of the day piddling around.

I keep thinking about the fact that I'm down to my last 30 years or so. Look at how fast the last 30 years went by. Seeing all of the old folks on the bus these past two mornings was a real wake up call. I don't care about what anyone says. Life really is too short. The mere fact that we have the capability to ask about the meaning of our lives suggests that there is a purpose which extends beyond our mortal years. Otherwise, our lives are merely a cruel joke. We must answer to a higher source. There is no possible way that we are at the high end of the intelligence chain. There are plants and animals that live much longer than we do, yet they have no faculties to assess their existence. Frankl urges us to search for meaning within the scope of our mortality. I have been trying to establish some framework to find meaning within that one constraint. I believe that it is impossible to derive true meaning in terms of mortality. Our existence is a whim. We make no profound impact on anything, no matter who we are. That is because nothing is permanent. We will all fade from memory, even our own.

The issue is not religion. The issue is a higher source of intelligence. The source of life itself. It must be a supernatural being. A deity. A God. The laws of the universe and the laws of morality are determined by this deity. It is not religion. It is universal law. I am inclined to believe that those laws have been given to us and we, in turn, have decided to call it "religion." There is only one deity — the [true] God. There is only one universal law. However, there are too damned many religions. No meaning can be established in a person's life unless that person can establish a meaningful connection with the [true] God. Like orphaned children, we search for the origin of our lives. This is inherent in us. It's part of the power of love. We seek to be loved by some force greater than our fellow humans. Why? Because true love is perfect and no human on earth can come close to emulating it. We know it exists because that knowledge is inherent. Yet, we only look for it amongst fellow humans, and we often fall prey to betrayal. One only need to look out at the night sky — towards the Heavens, as it were. What is the purpose of the billions of stars and planets that illuminate a path to eternity in the night sky before us? It serves a living testimony to the [true] God — "Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway."

Friday March 29

This is my vacation, or what's left of it. I took the bus to Kahala Mall, specifically Barnes & Noble. I spent a couple of hours drinking coffee and reading Mac magazines. Then, I stood at the bus stop for over 40 minutes because the bus was late, as usual. My life was passing before my eyes. Later, after I finally returned home, I walked to the gym. I was almost run over by the myriad idiots driving in the Koko Marina parking lot. At the gym, I was subjected to the peon treatment by the minimum wage peons who work there. I wanted to clean someone's clock, but why bother? The world is full of idiots who make life a living hell for everyone else. With the short time we have to exist, one would think that we would try to make the experience as pleasant as possible. It's also easy to see why I must become a true monk.

Fortunately, I have my Bose Acoustic Wave. I set it up immediately upon returning home and tuned in to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. I will be spending the evening with my beloved iBook as well. I suppose that I will never reach the perfect state of mendicancy since I still rely heavily on a few of my possessions (read: toys). Sheesh! I have not slept well in days because I have been deep in contemplation about life, specifically consciousness. Prior to being born, we do not exist in any form. After birth, we grow into autonomous, conscious beings. We become completely aware of ourselves. We develop personalities. We exercise free will. And, we know that, in a short period of time, we will disappear. All of our experiences and memories will be gone. How can there be any meaning in that? Now you see why I must move beyond Frankl's premise. There must be more, and I must find it.

Saturday March 30

I spent the whole day lapsing in and out of a coma. I alternated between my favorite chair and my beloved resin chair. I was extremely disappointed because my shipment of new hurdy-gurdy DVDs did not arrive. So, I continued to listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio on my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave. I had plenty of time to further contemplate the issues at hand. However, I have worked myself into such a tizzy that I am completely fatigued. I need to rest. I have only one more day before I must return to the salt mines.

I watched Shadow of the Vampire, the second DVD loaned to me by Laura. Then, I continued to listen to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio. I really could have used a good bottle of the "Hammer." I resisted the temptation although, at this point in time, I have no idea why. I continue to face the demons of my mind. Either I will vanquish them or I will simply go insane. Does it make a difference? I suppose that I've come full circle. I must still find an interim purpose during my brief existence. Vegetating is unacceptable. So now, that brings us right back to the babe situation. Sheesh!

Sunday March 31

The last day of the month. The last day of my vacation, and a convalescing one at that. I spent most of the day lapsing in and out of a coma in my favorite chair, while listening to the psychotic classical pieces on public radio on my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave. Same old crap. Why do I even bother writing about it? I walked down to the gym. I donated a bag full of "stuff" to the Goodwill dropbox near the gym. Then, I did my usual Sunday workout. I am somewhat indifferent about my return to the salt mines. My only relevant thought for the day was a trivial internal debate about why I should have just kept the Bose Wave Radio instead of spending more on the Acoustic Wave. Does it matter now?

My thoughts concerning the "meaning of life" are obviously in stasis like everything else. I am only looking forward to listening to Hearts of Space later this evening. I've really got to get back on the monk track. There are many more possessions which need to be divested. There's a lot more paperwork that needs to be shredded. There are credit cards to be eliminated. Time waits for no one!

Monday April 1

April Fool's Day. The only true fool is the ol' lavahead. Sheesh! I made an unpleasant discovery today after I downloaded the State tax forms on the Net. This year, I must use the long form because of the small annuity that I inherited from pops. However, that's not the surprise. I learned that I should have been using the long form for the past two years. I was not able to claim two important deductions. So, I estimate that I have overpaid my State taxes by about $200 per year. I have already shredded all of my documents, so now I must find a way to obtain copies. Then, I can file the amended returns. What a maroon!

I didn't go to the gym after my classes at the Diploma Mill. Instead, I talked with Pseudo-professor Dorothy in the faculty computer room. We are going to try to keep the "Meaning of Life" e-mail discussion group alive. I disclosed my latest revelations of the past few days as well. When I returned home, I was overjoyed to see that my new hurdy-gurdy DVDs had arrived. If I am able to recover my overpaid taxes, then I will further expand my hurdy-gurdy DVD library. After all, there are just too many Brianna Banks titles to collect.

I am clearly fatigued. I haven't slept well for days. If only I had a babe like Brianna Banks! That's too much to ask, isn't it? In actuality, babes are the least of my problems. I've got to worry about the "meaning of life" and other far more important matters like my damned taxes. I may be able to facilitate a few non-credit classes on the weekends. I will probably take advantage of the opportunity to earn a little more chump change. I forgot to mention that I saw Shirley in class today. Just as we walked into the Asylum's library, we were privy to hear an accusation from Susan, one of my former students. "I've found out a dirty, little secret about you," she said with a big grin on her face. "You're not a monk." She went on about how she works with Momi, another former students of mine. As you may recall, Momi was around during the time I was foolishly in bereavement over the handmaiden. Momi had apparently told her about all of that and also about happy hour at Mango's. Shirley had a funny look on her face after that. What next?

Tuesday April 2

Shirley mentioned that her best friend on the mainland may be pregnant. Shirley's friend is attending a university in Washington State. Even though, she is thousands of miles from Hawai'i, she managed to hook up with a local boy from Mau'i. We had a long discussion about the situation, however I believe that I ended up preaching to the choir. Shirley seems to have her wits about herself, at least for the time being. Shirley also was privy to witness that several other people besides Susan had heard the tale of debauchery from Momi. Most of the people at the Asylum have no idea about the ol' lavahead's past. I've only told them that I was a monk. Naturally, when Momi came forth with new information, the rumor mill began churning away.

Moms said that the handmaiden had made a small ceramic pot, put a plant in it, and gave it to moms as a gift. Moms also said that the handmaiden was supposed to return to work yesterday, and that the handmaiden's progeny may visit during the Summer. I'm not even sure why moms was talking so much about the handmaiden. Three years ago, moms didn't want to hear anything about the situation. And, why is the handmaiden still making feeble attempts to remain in contact? Remember all that crap that she dished out to the ol' lavahead?

Sometimes it really is easy to see why life is so out of control. People are running amuck like maniacs with no idea of the consequences of their actions. I'm just trying to remain sane. And, I have little time to devote to anyone who has betrayed me in one way or another. Family is no exception. On a lighter note, I will say that Momi has really added to the levity of the moment, what with the direct attack on the monk persona and all.

Wednesday April 3

The world is falling apart at the seams. I am trying to avoid any discussion of the matter because I saw it coming a long time ago. The powers-that-be are trying very hard to force the hand of the Almighty. They have become haughty and presumptuous, believing that they alone are the "chosen." When the hand of the Almighty comes down, it will strike these fools first. The end of days.

Once again, Shirley and I ended up at Taco Bell for lunch. Those bean burritos are beginning to take their toll on me. I had to set Shirley straight about a few things today, of course in a light-hearted manner. She is always saying, "But, what if you find someone you really like?" and other such absurdities in response to my monk discussions. She is apparently too young and naïve to understand my situation. Just like everyone else, she belives that I am bitter because of what happened with the handmaiden, and that I am closing my eyes to all opportunities as a result. "Reaction formation" is the clinical term. Alas, I have to admit that I have enjoyed having Shirley as a friend.

I have much to do in the days to come. First, I must square away my State taxes. Looks like I will only owe about $100 this year. I must also file amended tax returns for the last two years. I now estimate that I can recover about $320 or so. I also have establish an eBay account so I can sell off a few more worldly possessions. Operation Monk seems to be moving along. So far, so good.

To be continued ... Go to M.07

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