35th Anniversary Portrait Album

Clearly this sort of activity truly excludes me from my peer group as most people my age hate all the crap I listen to. This is a good filter though, as this portrait is a fairly good rendering of myself in music. Though, the aspects I chose to depict, and how I chose to express them, is a matter of some debate. Nonetheless, the album is here and it is full of contrasts and apt comparisons. I highly recommend giving it a listen if you are old and h really have nothing better you could be dong. I find this type of thing puts me back in touch with my traits and memories of varying emotional gravity. I highly recommend toiling in this way. The act of pairing oneself to aspects of music seems inherently like it’s at least exploration and quite possibly transformative.

 

  1. Impression AWhat A Fool Believes – Michael McDonald
  2. Impression BPork Parts – Ensemble Studios
  3. CharismaticThe Power Of Love – Huey Lewis and the News
  4. Mentally Ill(Sic) – Slipknot
  5. NaïvetéYou’re The Inspiration – Chicago
  6. CarnalWild Sex (In The Working Class) – Oingo Boingo
  7. IntrospectiveMan In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
  8. “Old Soul”Tomorrow – Joe Walsh
  9. ImmolativeRegular People (Conceit) – Pantera
  10. DetachedHey Nineteen – Steely Dan 
  11. CuriousOn The Road To Find Out – Cat Stevens
  12. AdaptiveI’m Still Standing – Elton John
  13. Original Still Alive – GLaDOS & johnathan Coulton
  14. RegretfulThe Other Guy – Little River Band
  15. HopefulThe Voice – The Moody Blues
  16. ResilientWaves – Blondfire
  17. Obscure Flavor Cats (In The Comfort Zone) – Ensamble Studios
  18. Unsatisfied – No One Like You – Scorpions

First or Middle?

I’ve had two names most of my life (um, duh?). My family used my middle name as a first name from the earliest moments, which differs from how most of the rest of the world does things. My creators were quite determined to make sure I had a name that couldn’t be shortened or rhymed with anything profane… so there we go with how that got started.

Early on, I began to run into conflict with the real world: schools, doctors, government and myriad other agencies, as they should, called me by my first name. This was a revelation, and required remedy of some form. Initially, I hassled with correcting everyone all the time, which I tired of doing around my teens.

It was at that point I just started answering to either my first or my middle name as though they were of equal concern. Given, the context and location would determine which of the names I would be listening for. This decision to assign environment to name created an unintentional rift of persona that continues (in some form) to this day. I wish to draw attention to this internal rift, because of the transformative significance an unlikely event can trigger.

Drawing the distinction between the first and middle name “personas” will illuminate the nature of my social mechanisms:

The first persona, let’s call him W, is the active societal participant. He works hard, aims high, holds others accountable if needed and rises up from within to take on more and more. He can be an ass, authoritative, demanding, but doing so not out of irrelevance or malfeasance, but to advance something positive. He is bipartisan, but driven to achieve in all avenues offered. He doesn’t joke all that much and burns the midnight oil when needed. He is well-spoken, articulate and very persistent. The sum of all my professional interactions, effectively, along with a dose of that competitive aggressiveness that was necessary as an outer carapace.

The other persona, E, is quite different. He’s a gamer, a stoner, craft beer enthusiast, and a witty adversary with a dagger sharpened by sarcasm. He listens, loves and sings. He is the “play hard” half of the dichotomy, but a much more developed person overall. E has friends, where W has none. E enjoys all sorts of things, going outdoors, experimenting with new activities, enjoying recreation… the list goes on.

W is concerned with having the moral pride of knowing he did his best, tried hard, didn’t quit, persevered and got back to bed time in one piece. These two seem fundamentally divided in several ways, but each serving a purpose in the mechanism I developed to survive in the real world.

Albeit, having the dichotomy within is not a good thing, and it did have a big part to play in my last relapse. However, something interesting happened when I moved up here from SD. The rubble of W looked like it was headed for a long rebuilding process after the destructive downfall, but, an unknown confusion led to a dramatic and unexpected change of world view.

I needed to start volunteering, so I reached out to the NAMI affiliate and bugged them to let me help. Once I got in with NAMI, the Executive Director and exchanged a few emails and agreed to meet for a table event on Sacramento City College’s campus. When I reached out to shake his hand, he addressed E, not W. I was very much expecting W to be the go-to guy here in the professional role, but instead, E walked in and took a seat at the helm. It was a moment that I found no immediate significance in at the time, but looking back over the last 6 months, I can see something remarkable has been happening.

It is clear to me that E is in W’s role for good, emulating W’s attributes as the innovator, the outward facing customer support geared guy, the do-gooder, go-getter. He still takes on responsibility, and comes through consistently, is punctual, determined and always looking to advance the cause forward. Yet, there is something outwardly-radiating that is not like W at all, but quite distinctively E. The playful banter with coworkers, sharp wit, steely sarcasm and ample laughter are all a part of regular business with this bunch. There are quips, smackdowns and mic drops everywhere, and this is the playground of E for certain. E is fun, and peculiar, and bizarre at times, but quite distinctive as part of the core of the person behind the persona.

Perspective helps me see E unpacking slowly, probing, validating, becoming familiar, but still with many things withdrawn in security as W would to protect himself. There has been an amalgamation of the two worlds I had created long ago, and the blending of them has contributed to the current healthy time in my life. Maybe there are more ways that the personas will draw themselves apart, as circumstances change, but really, having E take the lead has been the greatest oddity of my entire transition up here. I am very, very glad I decided to me E and not W with this crew, because I’ve never been happier to do something for someone.

Combine : Collide

Circumstance accelerated–

Separately decorated rooms,

Their unions indelicate as colliding trains–

Smashed.

Strewn about empty vessels & toppled statuettes,

Angrily flashing lights abound–

Combining colored blotches,

Finding a door hidden in the wall.

Yearning and curious posturing,

Catastrophic yet creative–

Electric when touched,

Running between tall shadows,

Impaled by ruin–

Judged by amalgamation.

Sliding by rust-hooked fragments–

Skewered with twisted iron brambles,

Blood-stained and snarled gloves.

Spiderwebbed glass,

Aching unknowns–

Stresses of anxiety-driven thoughts,

Smearing like palm-clammy hands,

Begging to be inside.

Unable to breathe–

The rooms combining–

Colliding.

Goldendome

The sponge is currently on administrative leave until tomorrow morning. We have record of his sponginess being excellent during the time in which it was best to be sponge. Now, however, is no sponge required.

Meeting new people is always a sparky flashy bing bang. I did very well with all of that poof today, in the rapture of hours long NAMI table outreach. My gospel of happily re-uptake inhibited existence was heard by many, quite beyond expectation even, with other underachieving adjectives such as “lots” and “much.” I was impressed by the event turnout, yanked like a wanker from one enjoyable chat to the next, but finally, casually ecstatic to have so many neat interactions. Working with great people, seeing a well intended mission going forward with the friends, while there was revelry, showmanship, vocabulary discussions, handouts… a very event packed day where my cheese-like head is overwhelmed. I am grateful for the sip of rejuvenating fairy jizz which has recharged my total self.

I’m still pretty sure I know what I need to do with my life. Occasionally the congress of doubt throws some shade, but not enough to do much of anything anymore. Facts. Proof. Reality. Boom.

If the truth is realized and accepted within the core of self, the armor will not be breached by pointy outside things. Despite the cruel filibuster of Dubiety McDoubterson, the legislature slogs on. Conduct is where action done in the “now,” being vaulted on the road of bricks built of “then.” The world is not going to pander to my absurdly out-of-touch filter, so why be outraged when life sticks a hot poker up your ass?

I was thinking about all the ways my life is quite special, and how fucking that up is not an option at this point. So much real work I did has become a platform for a successful future (hopefully, unless my eyes are eaten by bees, or my dad turns into a gelatinous amoeba of unusual size[pish, like he isn’t already?], consuming all organic matter nearby).

More devilry to come, I’m sure.

+

Dear Head,

Your relationship to my brain has always been central to our cooperation, so, I believe you will trust my words (said in earnest, from the heart). I know that the information you are being inundated with right now is some pretty rancid, unrelenting vitriol, however, that is only part of the reality you and I reside in. I am not discounting the relevance of allowing emotional expression, but I do expect a bipartisan effort in forward operations regardless. Everyone can have their say, as long as we can all still function normally (ideally).

Despite the revelatory insurrection, there are several things which can be said, truthfully, definitively:

Eric, you have a magnetic personality, a deadly poignant sense of humor, and a charisma that inspires others.

Despite all the numerous mistakes you have made in your past, you are still out there trying for better (nearly) every single day.

Lastly, you are proven strong through fact, capable and dependable in your aspirations, and your duties are done with love and honor.

Despite a history littered with debilitating landmines, there are still compromises, missteps and occasional mutilations. The future can’t be set in one direction, because it is an amalgamation of myriad recesses, peaks, troughs and all the undulations of a matured life.

Sometimes just a few freely flung words have a significant impact…

The self is a puzzle with pieces that change shape, move on their own or hide somewhere far away, never to become a part of the completed picture.

Blind

Smeared streak across glass–

Prune-like pulp chunk,

Blasted splat to barrier.

Vacantly gulping–

Eyeball-seeking,

The other side.

Embossed in “la la” afterglow,

A faded twirly skirt no one wears,

In a vacant room–

11th floor–

A light was left on.

Spatula’d off the surface–

Plorped into a dustbin,

Mingling with the glops–

Deposits within firmament.

My Head The Tree

I think I’m temperamentally inclined towards observation on a geologic scale, but still momentarily vulnerable or shortsighted in the face of other organisms. It’s an odd comparison to resolve, and the places where they meet are the confluence of contrasts. I tend to think of this place as a rural village with ox-plowed fields and people eating beans. The volatility of places being a magnet for interest, I allege.

I’m starting to develop an appreciation for how far off the deep end of existence I have fallen. Down in the abyssal trench, there are lots of tiny blind crabs eating thin flakes of compressed dolphin poop that fall from above like a shit soaked snow globe. It is a sustainable existence, if not an inglorious one.

FYI: I need to do more metaphors where I’m not eating poop at the end.

I have several meat flies following me. Maybe that’s because I’m carrying a big hunk of rotten flesh in my pocket. I can’t help but sniff and remember back to when in smelled like meat.

Oh meat, you and I could have had it all. This has been the main issue.

Now, much maligned by necessity, my stumbling forward is sure to agitate the Nargles. I’m sure they are up to something, but I’m not concerned enough to google them to find out what they are.