Wednesday July 1,
The exposed surfaces of lumber were beginning
to decompose. These particular sections of moms' house have been left to
the mercy of the elements for over a year. That's when my bro decided to
stop painting the house for whatever reason. I decided that I had to accelerate
my plans to complete the paint job. My goal is to complete the repairs
and paint the rest of the outside of the house before the end of the week.
My bro had chosen to use an oil-based primer so I had no choice to but
to continue using this extremely messy alternative. There is almost nothing
that can bring the oversized cranium closer to exploding than having it
covered with oil-based primer. Painting is not my forté,
which is why I always use latex paint.
I have been listening to my Bose Acoustic Wave
just about every waking moment. I have to listen to Extreme-FM because
that is the only station I can receive in stereo. I still have not determined
the cause of that annoying tone in the background when I tune into the
public radio station. Extreme-FM plays the same six songs every hour, two
of which are the man's music. The rest are hip-hop. The DJs' bantor is
focused primarily on tiring innuendoes about the wild thing. I suppose
that this gratuitous form of "shock" radio is now mandatory for these fools
to remain competitive. I am becoming more immune to this mix because I
have no other choice.
Thursday July 2
was about to say, "Excuse me," before walking across the waiting line at
the Burger King. The obese woman in line made the assumption that I was
going to cut in front of her. "The back of the line is over there," she
scoffed. I walked past her to where Lori was standing. I yelled, "I know
where the back of the line is, you stupid fat krunk!" Lori had already
picked up our Whoppers (our way, of course!). When we walked toward the
back, I could see the fat krunk looking back. I yelled, "Don't be looking
back here! Turn around, you fat krunk!" Why has the ol' lavahead regressed
to some form of troglodyte? I assume that the crowded city life is beginning
to take its toll on my fragile mental state. Add in the propensity for
chronic unemployment and the result is a volatile mix. Sheesh! Well, that
is how our night at Kahala Mall began. Fortunately, the rest of the evening
was much more sedate in comparison. We did our usual coffee and magazine
reading at Barnes & Noble.
My outburst at Burger King is reminiscent of some
of my escapades back in Convalescent City prior to the monk years. I knew
then that there was room for reform. I sought that reform by seeking refuge
in monastic solitude. However, without that controlled environment, my
temperament is allowed to go unchecked. Hence, I am losin' it over minor
incidents and turning those incidents into a cause celebré
for my own tribulations. Perhaps, I am listening to far too much rap and
the man's music. It's a good thing that I'm not playing marathon Duke
Nukem sessions. Sheesh!
Friday July 3
Today was a holiday since Independence Day falls
on a Saturday (tomorrow). This was one of the few days that Lori had off
from work. She spent most of the day catering to the whims of a few of
her friends. I spent most of the day painting. I finished painting the
house as planned with the exception of two window sills which I will complete
next week. I spent a couple of hours attempting to put in an electrical
outlet for Lori. For some reason, there is no electrical outlet next to
the only phone jack in her house. So, she could not use her answering machine.
The house has been haphazardly wired by several different contractors from
what I can tell. I could not ascertain the logic behind the mess of wiring
which left me with no alternative but to run the wiring from a distant
junction box. Since I did not have enough cable, I had to postpone the
project until tomorrow.
course, I have left the Bose Acoustic Wave on for most of the day with
Extreme-FM blaring. I am really beginnning to like all six songs on the
playlist. Evidentally, my mind has turned to complete mush. I think that
I now have enough zombie preparation to watch the tube for hours on end
like most of the world. Although the Bose Acoustic Wave costs considerably
more than the Bose Wave radio, I find that I am not as protective of it
because it was "factory renewed." That's another Bose term for "remanufactured."
So, I don't box up the Acoustic Wave every night. Lori thinks that I should
buy everything as "factory renewed" so I can wean myself of my obsessive
behavior. I probably just need a lobotomy.
Saturday July 4
Today is Independence Day, although one would
be hard-pressed to notice that it was a holiday. I completed the installation
of the electrical outlet for Lori and now she can use her answering machine.
We hung out for the rest of the day at her place and listened to the Bose
Wave radio. The Bose Wave radio is da bomb. Have you heard this term? It
seems to be rage here in Hawai'i. Everything is "da bomb." The only bomb
I am acquainted with is the Time Bomb, my old wind up clock which is still
ticking away. I don't know whether that is a rap phrase or not. I have
been out of touch with the world of rap ever since I moved out of the Roach
Lori and I did not participate in any of the 4th
of July activities. We opted to stay in and do nothing. Excitement to me
has nothing to do with milling through crowds of drunk idiots celebrating
Independence Day. Independence from what? Most are slaves to their
possessions, their jobs, and their credit cards. Heck, I am a slave to my
Bose Acoustic Wave. I have no reason to criticize others. I'd rather be a
slave to my Acoustic Wave than an idiot like Len any day, though. Now,
that's da bomb!
Sunday July 5
Why did I buy those pathetic resin chairs anyway?
That's the question I have to ask myself. They were on sale at City Mill
for $7 each, so I bought two. Moms does not like them. I don't think she
realizes that these chairs are designed to be used outside. Lori spent
part of the day at the beach. I sat in my favorite chair and listened to
my beloved Bose Acoustic Wave. I pondered the usual assortment of philosophical
questions and came up with no answers as usual. The same six songs were
blaring out of the three-inch drivers of the Bose Acoustic Wave. The bass
is provided by a single four-inch driver that is loaded into the so-called
acoustic waveguide. Do you see $1,000 worth of components here? I sure
don't. Heck, what am I flapping my jaws about? I spent $400 in the last
two years for cell phone service. I wish that I didn't renew my contract
this year, but I had no choice. Remember that my bro and sister-in-law
were playing the phone games while they lived here.
Moms has been spending a lot of dough lately. She
has been buying all kinds of stuff for my bro and sister-in-law. When she
comes home with all kinds of stuff, I ask her what she bought. She doesn't
really provide a coherent answer so I can only infer the obvious. Lori
believes that my bro and his family will be moving back into moms' house
very soon. She's probably correct. Will my bro and his family be appreciative
that they will be moving into a clean and freshly painted house? I doubt
Monday July 6
I may actually reply to e-mail before the new
millenium. I could also look for a job. Whoa! Not that! At least, not after
my wonderful experience with that putz Len from Inacom. Maybe I'm "in a
"funk" (as Steph would say) yet again, only deeper. Perhaps I am using
the Bose Acoustic Wave as some kind of sedative. The six redundant songs
on the Extreme-FM playlist have become semi-hypnotic with a similar effect
to Demerol. I could switch to the FM station that plays doctor office music
exclusively. There is something very relaxing about doctor office music.
And, all music eventually ends up as doctor office music. Yep, even Big
Punisher will end up being redone by some obscure string ensemble.
Tuesday July 7
Some babe in England wrote the fictional Bridget
Jones' Diary that has turned into a bestselling novel. Why? Clearly,
this further substantiates that the general public prefers embellishment
over truth. Reality is too cold, too boring and, of course, too real. I
should know. John Dvorak wrote a scathing commentary about personal Web
sites recently. He poked fun at people who set up shrines to honor their
pets. The real message Dvorak conveyed was that personal Web sites are
passé and are contributing to Web clutter. They get in the
way of real Web sites, the ones that pay to advertise in the magazine
he writes for. That's all fine and dandy from the viewpoint of the corporate
behemoths. However, sometimes I prefer to read about someone's pet than,
say, a corporate Web site's on-line catalog. No matter how much emphasis
has been placed on "personalizing" the Web, the word itself remains an
oxymoron. There's just nothing personal about a catalog.
Reading about that Knowles guy, on the other hand,
has left me with mixed feelings about the Web. Knowles has become the Hollywood
gossip guru of the Net and his site is extremely popular. There's much
to be said about empowerment and individual achievement. However, does
that apply in this case? I have always had a difficult time understanding
how people worship sports and entertainment figures. That worship has been
adulterated by the gossip mongers. What specifically is the value of that
trashy, albeit useless, knowledge? I don't know, but people will pay a
pretty penny for it. Perhaps I am out of touch with reality. I live in
a dream world where one's private life is one's own business. Then again,
what do I know?
Wednesday July 8
Who can possibly sit all day and listen to the
same six songs playing on the Bose Acoustic Wave? The ol' lavahead can!
That's what he did all day. For some reason, my mind ceases to function
during that benign activity. It is as though I laped into a catatonic stupor.
Great, isn't it? At least I didn't reach for that bottle of St. John's
Wort. Well, not quite yet, but I'm getting close. That crazy tone that
I hear in the background when I'm tuned to the public radio station is
driving me nuts. It must be at the resonant frequency of the oversized
cranium. If I turn it up loud enough, my head might explode just like in
Scanners. Heck, we are surrounded by stray frequencies of all kinds.
Our homes consist of a grid oscillating at 50 or 60Hz. Think you're not
in proximity of much else? Guess again. There are cordless phone transmitters,
garage door opener transmitters, infrared remote controls, cell phone transmitters,
repeaters and so forth. We are being bombarded by RF radiation. I'm beginning
to wonder if schizophrenia has been misdiagnosed. Hearing voices and hallucinating
may be the result of one's brain acting as an antenna. Some people may
be picking up reruns of Cops which is why they go on a rampage.
So, what effect does Big Punisher really have on the oversized cranium?
Thursday July 9
I took the Bose Acoustic Wave to the factory store
on Kapi'olani Blvd as instructed by the service representative I talked
with on the phone this morning. I really didn't want to leave my Acoustic
Wave there, but I had no choice. What bothered me the most is that, when
I get it back, the heads of the screws that hold the cabinet together will
probably have gouge marks from being removed. This is the kind of psycho
I am. I am bothered that the screws will not look like new. These defects
disturb me immensely. In fact, I was ready to go into a violent rage the
more I thought about it. It's only a $1,000 boombox, for goodness sakes!
That's chump change to most people. What also didn't help was that I could
not listen to the same six-songs all day long, the very songs that soothe
the savage beast with an aural lobotomy. Sheesh!
Friday July 10
The screws that hold the cabinet of the Bose Acoustic
Wave were spared any gouging by a careless, screwdriver-wielding technician.
The people at the Bose service center did an outstanding job. That mysterious
tone was caused by a nefarious capacitor (not a flux capacitor) that was
oscillating. The offending component was simply removed. Why was it there
in the first place? In any case, I was extremely happy about the return
of the Acoustic Wave. Now, I can listen to the public radio station without
worrying that the oversized cranium might explode when the tone hits resonance.
I found out that moms had fallen when she was walking
to Koko Marina earlier this week. She tripped over an uneven metal plate
that covered a utility box in the sidewalk. Most of these utility box covers
remain in a sad state of disrepair because everyone drives. No one uses
the sidewalks. Moms hit her head pretty hard. Frankly, these are the kinds
of things that worry me about moms. However, I cannot force moms to stop
doing everything. That would be more detrimental. Activities such as walking
to Koko Marina are very important to moms.
Saturday July 11
It's time for us to catch up on viewer mail. TheBull
(EquityBull@aol.com) wrote recently. He has taken a much longer
hiatus from the gym than expected. Hard to believe, isn't it? The man with
the most perfect physique has settled down into a life of domestic bliss
with his babe. The gym has become a low priority. Of course, the Cardinal
predicted this event a long time ago. At that time, the prediction involved
Tam. You remember Tam, don't you? Speaking of hiatus ... I have recently
heard from <K> (Kane1Nihm@aol.com) formerly known as FrostBiteX.
What a surprise that was since the last I heard from him was when I was
still living in Convalescent City. And, finally, Alan (email@example.com)
asked, "do those moire patterns on the bose acoustic wave radio show up
in real life too, or is it just an artifact of the imaging process?" Well,
actually, those patterns are the result of the compression tweaking that
we do at LoserNet to make image files as small as possible. Photo quality
is not an issue at LoserNet!
The renovations continue at LoserNet. Why any time
is invested in making the site look different, I do not know. Naturally,
the journal will undergo yet another transformation. The changes are never
drastic as LoserNet has inadequate resources to produce anything better.
And, the ol' lavahead will never acquire a job in the Web design field
anyway. So, who really cares?
Sunday July 12
Lori and I spent the day at Ala Mo's and Kahala
Mall. Shopping, as I may have mentioned previously, is not one of my favorite
activities. However, shopping appears to be the main activity for everyone
else. Babes seem to be able to shop forever. They can look at clothes,
shoes, jewelry, and knick-knacks for hours on end. And, somehow they can
find a way to spend a lot of dough on nothing. Babes, on the other hand,
find it puzzling how guys can waste their money on big ticket items like
a Bose Acoustic Wave and offer justification for wearing the same shabby
clothes every day. Strange things.
I was fatigued after a long day at the shopping
malls. Fortunately, moms had made Shrimp Curry for dinner. After dinner,
I listened to the Bose Acoustic Wave for a while. Lori wanted to return
home to bake some Mango Bread. I went along with her and continued my relaxation
mode with the Bose Wave radio at her place.
Monday July 13
The rage continued to build until I was ready
to explode in violence. Perhaps I was exposed to too much senseless violence
when I saw Lethal Weapon 4 last Friday night. In any case, I'm beginning
to see the a cyclical pattern developing. It's similar to the more familiar
manic-depressive cycle except that there are no manic peaks. Let's call
it the funk-violent cycle. My mood oscillates from being "in a funk" (as
Steph would say) to the breaking point of mayhem. I'm always thinking about
my pathetic situation. Sometimes I can handle it and maybe even joke about
it. At other times, I want to commit criminally insane acts. Why, pray
tell? I spent more money on my Bose Acoustic Wave than I made last month
as a minimum wage slave. I'm not upset that I bought the Acoustic Wave.
I'm very perturbed that my time is worth about $5 per hour. Yep, that's
all I was making. My income for the year so far is about $500 or so. Do
you see why I am losin' it? A long time ago, I said that I was shiftless
and useless. It's easy to see that I wasn't kidding.
I have decided that I have to apply for welfare
and food stamps. I am going to send the rest of my savings to the loan
people, essentially leaving me penniless. I will also sell my six-four
and send the proceeds to the loan people. That's why I bought the Bose
Acoustic Wave. That's all I'll own. I won't be able to keep LoserNet going,
but the archive site will be maintained since it is free. I think that
I'll start up Club Cobra again, too. Why not? A true loser should be hammered
24/7 to keep his mind off of the reality of his pathetic life. I've done
it before. I can do it again. If I sink any further than I am now, I should
be at the liquor store sometime tomorrow. Well, hey! Don't let the smooth
taste fool ya!
Tuesday July 14
In a passionate catharsis of my situation, I reiterated
the details about my desperate predicament to Lori. I can see that we have
grown much further apart in thought. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is certainly
at play. Lori has all of her basic needs met, so she can devote her time
and resources to filling more superfluous needs. I have never had my basic
needs fulfilled since I am in the same hierarchy with the homeless and
the destitute. My only desire is to survive. Her take on this matter ...
I should relax and enjoy my free time. I'll give it some thought.
I have also decided to renege on the teaching position.
It's a dead-end street. There has been a major decline in the teaching
field especially in computers. Only MCSE-related courses are booming. The
position will only bring in chump change and make me ineligible for any
social services. These are tough decisions to make, and now I can see why
many people opt to apply for welfare. Even moms has come to agree with
me on this matter. She knows that I will never be able to fend for myself.
I think that she has always known that. As a kid, I was very peculiar and
helpless. These traits have permeated into my adulthood. I have refused
to believe that my unemployment has nothing to do with flaws in the system.
Really, it has to do with flaws in my character which invalidate me as
a potential candidate for employment. Take a good look at the people who
are chronically unemployed. Just based on appearance alone, who would hire
them? I need to take a good look in the mirror.
Wednesday July 15
The Bose Acoustic Wave was on all day. I sat in
one of those detestable resin chairs and reflected on life as best as I
could given the delirium of insomnia. I have gathered all of my computer
books. I will be donating them to the library. My once extensive set of
programming notes have been deposited in the recycler. I am no longer a
computer nerd. It was as simple as that. Everything else that I deemed
as superfluous has been thrown away or recycled. I reviewed my pathetic
finances and have slated enough to pay off my remaining credit card debt.
The rest will go to the loan people. I have $2.87 in hard currency and
that is all I will have to my name once I dispense the two checks that
will reduce my modest money market fund to zero. I seem to be in preparation
for my ultimate demise.
I took a good look in the mirror. I was right.
It's easy to see why I'm unemployed. My monk haircut has grown out and
looks shabby. I haven't shaved in days. There are bags under my eyes from
lack of sleep. The face of stone looks much more porous than usual. Amidst
the dereliction, I was able to upload the "whitepaper" for my gubernatorial
campaign. Yet, who would take seriously a candidate named "the ol' lavahead"?
Perhaps that is my problem in life. Everything is a pathetic joke. Case
in point. I have revised my cover letter that I will be sending out with
my résumés. The body of the letter reads:
"I have a BS (sic) degree in Engineering and an MBA, although that
apparently is of no importance to most employers. Unfortunately, I have
no relevant work experience that I can refer to. However, I will always
deliver on what I promise. I am a hard worker and dependable. I will work
for minimum wage ($5.25 per hour), nothing more. I also am willing to waive
any employee benefits and will work overtime for free."
The result will be the same as my old cover letter
... rejection and subsequent humiliation. By the way, this is the first
time that I have felt physically ill while being "in a funk." I believe
that I am close to hitting rock bottom. Now I know what some readers were
talking about when they referred to the symptoms of deep depression. Melancholia
has also set in and I can't say that it is a pleasant experience. I am
fortunate in that I have a small emergency backup mode in my head that
kicks in and clinically monitors my mental state. I now understand the
regulatory process that keeps me from totally losin' it and going on a
Thursday July 16
The damned resin chair. The Bose Acoustic Wave.
Another day in my private hell. The big question that I have pondering
for three days now ... why am I such a loser? The question is almost rhetorical.
I have focused on my chronic unemployment as a major determinant of being
a loser, specifically my time being worth a few pennies over $5 per hour.
I must be a pompous ass because I failed to see that my time is not worth
any more than that. Why, pray tell? Well, I have no relevant work experience
except for my six months as a so-called consultant. I made little more
than minimum wage. I guess the real issue is that I am a fool. For example,
I tried to give Lori bogus advice on how to make it in Hawai'i when I thought
she was too entrenched in doing things the mainland way. Now she makes
big bank. I am sitting in a detestable resin chair and making zilch. Who's
zoomin' who? It should be plainly obvious to me that I am not qualified
to do much more than flip burgers at Burger King. Why can't I just accept
this fact? Is it foolish pride?
My reaction to this revelation was even more idiotic.
I set out to destroy everything in my path. Perhaps I wanted to insure
that I would end up on Skid Row to prove that I am a true loser. In actuality,
I should have known that I did not have to choreograph that event. It will
just come about naturally in due time. Unfortunately, I have already applied
the catalyst and now I must face the music. Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa! Can I
get a witness? I'm going to bumrush da fools!
Friday July 17
I have been reminiscing about the old days. No,
not the old days in Convalescent City. Rather, I was thinking about the
old days when Lori and I were in the same boat. Things were different then.
We had our moments. I remember when she first came to visit in Convalescent
City. I remember when we met not quite halfway in San Francisco. I remember
the day I left Convalescent City and made the trek to Oregon. And, I still
remember our excitement about moving to Hawai'i. Alas, those were the days.
Moms went to the doctor today. For some reason,
she had to go on a liquid diet yesterday as a prerequisite to the examination.
My bro will begin working on Monday from what I hear. I'll still be sitting
in that detestable resin chair.
Sunday July 19
I realize that I have been going on and on about
the same old thing. My purpose is not to bore you or to solicit pity. Rather,
the purpose is more academic. I wanted to chronicle the anatomy of a nervous
breakdown and record the associated thoughts and feelings as best as possible.
I won't be awarded a doctorate for this work, but I may be able to provide
some enlightenment to those who have never come close to experiencing this
kind of event. For others who have, it may be a painful reminder of the
past or present. I would also like to thank the few people who wrote and
offered kind words of encouragement. There are no words than can effectively
express my appreciation.
Lori called this morning. She had gone out to party
and also to a concert in Kane'ohe last night. She wanted to talk over coffee,
so I went to her place. We spent the rest of the day talking.
Everything has to do with money. That's the bottom
line. I have vowed not to become a slave of money and possessions but I
only became a slave because I have no money or possessions. Ironic, isn't
it? In terms of my earning power, I am proportionately further in debt
than most people in this country. My debt-to-earnings ratio is asymptotic.
A neighbor, Roland, still lives with his parents. He was unemployed for
a couple of years but recently landed a job that pays extremely well. Just
yesterday, he and his fiancé bought a twin-engine motor boat. How
quickly they forget. Sheesh!
Monday July 20
beginning to feel a relapse coming on yesterday. Sure enough, I had a panic
attack at 3am. I was losin' it. I know that this sounds ridiculous but
I prayed for help. That's what Lori said I should do. Within seconds, the
anxiety simply dissipated which enabled me to catch a few more winks. It
looks as though the sinister kahuna has been running the show and
choreographing my demise all along. The opportunity to strike was made
manifest by my fragile mental state.
Today, I was more cognizant than last week. My
task now is to sift through the debris and reconstruct the events that
led up to my demise. I believe that it was a combination of factors:
I just entered my 7th month of unemployment.
The lousy minimum wage job with Inacom left a bad taste in my mouth.
I have officially run out of projects to do (i.e., fixing and painting
The panic attack did not help either. Now, I need to find something
productive to do. Lori suggested that I do volunteer work. The last time
I tried to volunteer my services, as it were, I submitted my résumé
and was told that there was nothing for me. Sounds like the job situation,
Lori has tried to be supportive in more ways than
one. As I mentioned previously, she said that she will support me and help
me pay off my loans. So, in essence, I can become a "kept man." I know guys
who would jump at the opportunity. For me, this only serves to examplify how
I cannot pull my own weight and how helpless I really am. For now, Lori means
well. In addition to the "kept man" offer, she has also offered to pay me to
keep her company (i.e., going out to dinner, going to the movies, etc.). She
also offered to pay me to sit in my favorite chair all day if I want. I don't
want to be rewarded for sitting in my favorite chair. I deserve to be punished.
Lori explained her own fall into the abyss this
weekend. Her life revolves around the ol' lavahead. So, without the ol'
lavahead, she was losin' it. I found that so hard to believe. She is truly
a wonderful babe.
Tuesday July 21
The employment agency called. I have two potential
minimum wage assignments available. One will be this weekend with Inacom
again. I seriously doubt I'm going to take the assignment because the Inacom
job is one of the reasons I almost went berzerk. Now I'm certain that the
sinister kahuna is behind it all.
Who I Am
I actually found the energy to go to town yesterday.
I picked up business license forms. I also did a little research about
computer training programs here, particularly in the area of intranet development.
Zilch. The popular topics here are networks and Office Suite applications.
I have seen only two ads appear recently in the classifieds concerning
intranet design. These were the same ads that appeared three months ago.
I'm beginning to believe that there just aren't any Web programmers on
this island anymore. They are all in Seattle. I may apply for the same
jobs again. I could, of course, start up Highest Source. I can then solicit
contracts to develop corporate intranets and quote $20,000 for each completed
project. I already have a (kind of) completed intranet core. Just three
of these projects will set me free! Baha! Ha! Ha! Haaaa! What a pipe dream!
I'm a minimum wage loser, for goodness sakes.
The panic attacks have subsided considerably since
yesterday. I attribute that to nothing short of a miracle. Some might call
this the point of resignation. I'm looking at it as the point of self-revelation.
I wish I had more space to delineate my internal dialog. Essentially, I
am a bitter and cynical fool with a poor attitude. That is why I have been
rewarded with what I deserve ... minimum wage jobs. I lament at the Wailing
Wall and profusely exalt my status as a victim when I have no time to show
empathy to others. Sometimes I believe that I manipulate my peers with such
crafty psychological precision that it has even eluded me. I am nefarious
and despicable. That is why tears filled my eyes when I read what <K>
(Kane1Nihm@aol.com) poignantly stated:
"Whatever ya'lls relationship right now, it seems to the <K> that
she very much wants to be part of your life. If shes as strong a friend
as she seems to be, then dont think of it as her keeping you as a kept
man, think of it as a friend helping you out. I know I'd do the same for
my friends, if they were ass broke and needed to get out, I'd take em out
.... it's only money .... money dosen't mean s--- compared to a real friend.
Dont let it make you feel like you're something less than Lori ... we're
all just people trying to make it through another day and have a little
fun and throw back a beer or iced coffee. Let her take you out, enjoy her
company. And remember it when you get a chance to make amends eh?"
Lori has been a good friend to me. She has had
her moments, but how much of it was precipitated by the ol' lavahead? I
don't want her to help me out because I have done nothing for her except
to give her grief. I want a good paying job now because I feel that I have
been left behind. Lori has done well because she deserves to. I will continue
to fail because I have nothing to offer and that's not because I've been dealt
a bad hand. I could go on and on about what a real loser I am, but we all know
that already. I don't deserve any help. I need to eat crow.
Lori has mentioned several times that she wants
us to get married. That is totally out of the question, especially given
my chronic unemployment. What exactly am I supposed to do as her husband?
I can't contribute anything financially. Babes just don't understand that
guys aren't necessarily chauvinistic when they worry about being able to
Wednesday July 22
Yesterday afternoon, I had a very interesting
talk with Roland. He happened to be outside working on his boat. I actually
wanted to talk to him on Monday but he was not around. We made small talk
about his new boat for a while. Then, I asked about his experience in the
world of the chronically unemployed. I came to find out that Roland has
been through quite an experience. He once lived in the fast lane and made
quite a bit of dough. His then-girlfriend was a Miss Hawai'i runner-up.
Her parents had bought both of them a house in Enchanted Lakes. Roland
was into a lot of drugs and alcohol at the time. Bad times came about and
Roland's landscape business shriveled up into nothing. His girlfriend left
him for another guy. One evening, he got tanked up and broke out his .357
magnum. He drove to Enchanted Lakes with the intention of taking out his
ex-girlfriend and her new stud. They were not home. Then, he described
to me in excrutiating detail his attempt to take his life. He tried to
drive his car full blast into a street pole by Sandy Beach. Somehow he
missed the pole. When he came to, he discovered that he crashed into some
shrubbery. He made it out with just a gash on his forehead. When he returned
home, he broke down and cried. That was the turnaround point.
Who I Was
I mention this in passing because I have learned
a lot about myself in the last few days, probably more than I wanted to
know. I had another panic attack at 2am this morning. Once again, I prayed
to my Creator for help. The anxiety vanished but I still couldn't get to
sleep. So, instead I continued to have a dialog with my Creator. Whether
I actually had a dialog with my Creator or whether I was carrying on a
debate with my conscience is inconsequential. In all, I've learned that I have
regressed into a hardened cynic. What little compassion and empathy I had
for others has all but disappeared. I have no love for my fellow humans. Without
that, I can find no love of life or a sense of purpose. I have become obstinate
and view myself as a self-proclaimed oracle.
As Roland told me, his three years of chronic unemployment
was a humbling experience. It was also a very trying time. What he related
to me was exactly what I am going through now. The questions. The doubts.
The abyss. However, he believed that there was a purpose ... to teach him
humility. This is the case for me, too. It is my time of reckoning. Why
now? There really is no answer except that I am in my most vulnerable state.
This morning at about 3am, I had a dialog about
my situation with Lori. Why does this woman love an old pathetic loser?
What have I done for her? She says that she derives comfort and strength
from me. I cannot see how. I spend most of my time in a monologue detailing
the injustices done to me or in some kind of all-knowing dissertation about
nothing. She is either a glutton for punishment or in love. As, I stated
about a year ago, I am not sure what the definition of love is. Thus, I
would not know whether I am in love with Lori. In my most vulnerable moment,
I found out that I am. My foolish pride kept me from admitting it. My foolish
pride did everything to put our relationship at risk. However demented,
it is my love for her that moves me to try to break up the relationship
at this time. I never wanted to hurt her. Nor, do I want her to witness
my self-destruction. Yet, there is something very special about this woman
who has stayed with me through thick and thin. She could do extremely well
without me yet she fell apart in my absence last weekend.
This morning, I asked moms what she thought about
Lori. "I like her," she said, "Otherwise I wouldn't invite her over." My
mother ... never a shortage of words. Lori wants us to get married. That's
why I wanted to know what moms thought of her. There are so many considerations,
the main being whether I will be able to pull my own weight. Lori is hopeful
that my turnaround will come soon. That's how she is. I've been locked
in self-pity for so long that I never realized I had all the wealth I'll
ever need when she says, "You have a woman who loves you." Tears streamed
down the pumicehead as I wrote this. Maybe I'm beginning to soften. Maybe
I'm finally going through remorse. I have to give this a lot more thought.
In the meantime, the reconstruction process is just beginning. I have to
make some serious attitude adjustments. I have 14 years of pathological
luggage to unload in the toxic waste center. My ingratitude is obvious.
I have been provided for but I take that for granted. Lori had no choice
but to survive. I couldn't help her. Thus, she was rightfully blessed.
It's also going to take a lot of effort for me to get away from all the
complaining and bitterness (subdued for LoserNet). Only until I make these
changes will my turnaround come about. As for Lori ... she has a lot of
energy these days. She seems so alive. She gets up and leaves at 5:30am
and works out with her friend at a gym downtown. Then, she works all day.
She is still full of energy and enthusiasm when comes by to visit. I, on
the other hand, have not even had the energy to turn on the Bose Acoustic
Thursday July 23
I hear the express buses driving by early in the
morning. They only serve to remind me that I have another full day of unemployment.
Last night, I met Lori at Kahala Mall. We had coffee at Barnes & Noble.
I bought the coffee tonight. I was supposed to buy our dinner at Burger
King (Whoppers, our way!) but Lori's mouth was numb after her dentist appointment.
We took the bus back to Hawai'i Kai. I went home to eat and walked to Lori's
house. Lori was busy getting ready for tomorrow, something that is alien
to me at this point in time. We talked for a little bit or, should I say,
I lamented at the Wailing Wall out loud. Lori was extremely tired from
a long day. I managed to fatigue her even more with questions about why
she wants to maintain our relationship. Then, I told her that she could
look for a ring if she is still interested in getting married.
I don't expect Lori to be here and lead me by the
hand through this experience. I never wanted her to see me in this weakened
state because that would forever impact her impression of the ol' lavahead.
That is the hard part about the turnaround. It's going to be a long struggle
and there will be times that I slip and fall. The real problem is my pride.
I never thought that I had any pride since I was a loser. However, pride is
all a loser has. It doesn't take any so-called self-esteem to have pride.
Actually, pride is the surrogate. Pride is also a protection mechanism. It
prevents one from looking weak in the face of others. Pride is also a
surrogate for confidence.
Lori doesn't have this problem. She is strong,
confident and assertive. She doesn't have a safety net and she doesn't
have anyone to lead her around by the hand. That's why I asked her what
she would do when she discovered that I would remain helpless for the rest
of my life. Would she want to come home after working hard to be the breadwinner
only to have to nurse the infantile lavahead's wounds that he incurred
from playing in his sandbox all day? I doubt it. She has a life now. As for
me ... I'll always be here. John (firstname.lastname@example.org)
summed it all up when he wrote:
"It is debilitating to see those around you seemingly course ahead
on their paths through life while you are stuck in the same old stagnant
riverside pool. Almost like a joke, hey, you can count on me, I never change!
And even worse, due to your condition, it is as though you lose legitimacy
in the eyes of yourself and others. Fade away into the background of the
situation, with nothing left to do but fume and make acerbic comments."
Does that sound familiar to you? Tomorrow, we'll talk about remorse.
Friday July 24
When I think of remorse, I envision someone, fallen
upon hands and knees, sobbing profusely. Perhaps that is given more to
theatrics. However, without a clear definition, I am at a loss to discern
whether I experienced remorse during this time of reckoning. Without it,
I cannot make the turnaround. Remorse is the motivation for change. You
have certainly been here with me through the tribulation. Do you see any
sign of remorse, or do you see the ol' lavahead returning to his pathetic
sniveling? The employment agency called again to confirm that I would work
for Inacom again this Saturday. I turned down the offer to grovel in minimum
wage. Somehow, it looks as though I have not learned my lesson about pride
and remorse. Lori worked for over six months at wages that ranged from
$7 to $9 per hour. She rented her house at the beginning of December while
she was still working as a receptionist at that low pay. It wasn't until
February that she became an underwriter at the very same firm. At first,
the firm was reluctant to give her any increase in salary. The rest is
history. For me to be envious of her current financial position is a sign
that I have no humility and no empathy. I wallow in misery because I say
"that will never happen to me" or that I will work at embarrassingly low
wages forever. Lori thought the very same thing when she was answering
phones for a living.
In this time of reckoning, I have come to recognize
all of my pathetic faults. If you met me in person, you would never suspect
that the persona I described ad nauseam in the last few days was
my own. Lori has been supportive in many ways. She has given me suggestions
about my options. Start my consulting business. Finish the novel. Seek out
my final deferment option for the loans. Send out résumés
everywhere in the meantime. I have fixated on the assumption that I have been
reduced from a man to a powerless eunuch and I then grasp at straws to
make sense of my demise. Then, I use that assumption to rationalize my
behavior. It was I who reduced myself to eunuch status. It was I who refused
to listen to reason and continued to further my own demise. Now, it is
I who view my chronic unemployment as an affliction and not as an opportunity.
In the end, it becomes obvious that I do not deserve
to be with Lori. I wanted to transcend the ranks of the slob and better
myself. The real turnaround point is here now. The buck stops here. I have
been given all the information to make the changes. I've been given the
environment to make the change. Heck, someone else cleaned off the desk
for me. Perhaps it was some bigger G than Yaphet Kotto in that infamous
episode of Homicide. Yes, the metaphors have made themselves manifest
for a good reason. As for Lori, I have rarely told her that I love her. I must
have felt that I would look weak ... sappy. To whom would I appear weak? Is
it not better to appear weak and fallible than strong and stupid? I have
professed my love for Lori here in written word. I have the same feelings for
her as she does for me. I miss her in her absense just as she misses me.
Lori did go shopping for rings. She gave me the
business cards of the places with the serial numbers of the actual rings
written on the back. The price range was wide. She wants me to view the
rings and choose one. I just wanted her to tell me where to buy the one
she wanted. Once again, I missed the point. She wants me to make a commitment
for once. I must view the various choices that meet her tastes, but it
is I who must decide which ring I will give to her. I emphasize
the word "give" because that is the essence of the gift. The gift must
come from the heart. My input concerning the final choice from the selection
is a symbol of commitment ... my part of the relationship. I had only thought
that my silent purchase of the ring was important and that was commitment
enough. For Lori, the symbolism is more important than the dough. The real
message is that money can't buy love.
difficult to abridge
The unexpected turn of events has led the ol' lavahead down a different
course. Is it just a detour or an entirely new road to travel? Follow the
journey with The Keeper as he discovers even further that his life has
been one big charade. Let's move on to the next
chapter now, shall we?
The Keeper of Lost Lives: bumrush da fools!
© Copyright 1998 by The Keeper of Lost Lives
LoserNettm Love It, or Lose It.