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10.10.01 11:43 p.m.

Our fathers were our models for God. If they bailed, what does that tell you about God? You have to be prepared for the possibility that God does not like you.


 -Tyler Durden  




This Entry Features: Carrion. Carry-on. Grasshoppers crawl on Xen. Guilt. Sarah. Mice. The Bible.

Throwing gangrenous vestigial parts to vultures
Know, please, that I am writing this entire entry under considerable physical pain. Were I to lie down, all would be eased. Instead, I write to you.
You, dear journal readers, are impersonal scavengers. You feed off what has died inside of me and pick at that which I still have use for, causing every sensation to be heightened to the nth degree so a passing zephyr can chill me to the core.
But you so rarely show your faces. I have to turn quickly to catch a blurry glimpse. Aside from an increasing hit meter and the Collective Unconscious' stomach bloating ever so much more slightly with the knowledge of me, I have no proof anyone sees this. Most of you, whoever you are, do not write me. Do not give a small nod. Nothing.
Yet, I continue to filter my soul here, because it is a need. I have to release these things to see where I am. To cut off the dead parts so I can travel more lightly. Carry-on baggage only. I don't need to be weighed down.
Throw me a bone though. And it damned well better not be one of my thighbones you throw me. I need those for support and locomotion.

Losing all hope is freedom.
I am trying to get my life back on track. It wasn't precisely derailed, but I was in despair. I didn't, and most don't, like where my life was and where it was headed. I was floating through classes, fairly apathetic, making full use of the internet for information about book and poems rather than thoroughly reading them as I once would have. As I covered with you, I am not even sure I am content with my major.
That's what it comes down to, contentment. Not money. Not happiness. Not fame. I want to feel at right in what I am doing. And I don't.
My moment of clarity, if I may be so annoying as to use hypersensitive neo-sociological buzzwords, was entering my American Lit classroom late owing to a dearth of parking spots on-campus and being greeted by my classmates taking a pop quiz. I sat down and got out a piece of paper so that I might answer some questions with them and get the rest of the questions when the teacher was done reading them. I was mostly ignorant of the context of the last couple questions (I answered four) because my teacher does not teach. He assigns my classmates and I specific stories to give presentations to the class on, eliminating any need for him to speak or do work beyond pop quizzes. Anyway, after he was done reading the questions, he violently refused to go over them and demanded the class hand them in now. I had no opinion, and was very aggravated.
Aside from increasing my resentment for the failure of the teaching profession, this made me realize that I have to stop coasting, hypocritically. As I have said, I am paying a lot for this education and I will damned well be educated even if my teachers are lazy and ultimately useless (it should be noted that this is the same man I have for Shakespeare who does nothing more than pop a video into the VCR). I used a notebook to make a rest of the semester syllabus for all of my classes and handed in some late work for my Foundations seminar (a one credit course that has given my the dubious pleasure of encountering people such as the girl who hates reading and writing and wishes to thus teach English). I am trying to be a good student because that was once an aspect of my identity.
Still, that alone is not enough to quench my despair, though I admit that getting these things off my back helped. There is more in my life that is making me experience metaphysical vertigo. Lack of a job (and I do keep calling the library) and wondering where I stand with my friends, girlfriend, and core self added quite a bit to this.
Last night, before getting thoroughly motivated by the events I am about to describe, I did a little ritual. I had no directed goal. I merely needed to talk to... Well, to my, I was talking to the sky and anthropomorphizing it into a sentient listener. You can call it god, if that is what makes you comfortable. I poured out the contents of my soul, deeper than the splatters that end up on this page. Explained that I feel lost. That I do not feel I am on the right path. I certainly didn't think I was in the right place, socially and academically. Again, details that you are not currently privy to. I felt like I was being listened to as well, in a non-psychotic way. I lay down cross-legged on the damp leaves and stared up at the stars filtered through the dancing commune of withering maple leaves. Suddenly, I felt the leaves beneath me moving. Many grasshoppers issued forth and began to crawl on me and jump on me once I sat up. I took this as a definite sign I was listened to, but haven't the slightest clue as to how to interpret this experience.
Back to the joblessness for a moment. I am genuinely broke. I have perhaps $17 total in my checking and savings account. I am essentially mooching off of my parents, a state I loathe being in. I like deluding myself into believing I have a moderate degree of self-sufficiency, despite the fact that I live at home and eat my parents' food. See, that isn't mooching, really, to me. Give me a year or two more and I guarantee that concept will change. However, when my parents give me money... then I am mooching. Then I am a lesser man, because I cannot even pay for my own gas to get to class (I really cannot). I would rather be a thief than feel that I am sponging off of my parents fiscally (which should show you just how skewed my moral compass currently is). If it helps, once I was getting regular paychecks again, I would delude myself into believing that I would secretly pay these unknown debts back. But I am not a thief, so self-delusion for another day.
New Paltz has yet to pay me for my five weeks of being a computer proctor for them. I don't exist to them, save when my tuition is due. Then they have no problem stating that I exist. Erm. Even when I do receive my monetary recompense, it will not even be $150 for over a month of work (albeit work where I do nothing by play on the internet for a couple hours).
All of this tension gave me insomnia this morning, a condition I thought I was nearly past, and currently is giving me a stiff neck and back. I feel quite a bit older than my score of years, and am not enjoying it in the least.
Emily says she wishes she could give me easy answers and temporary solutions. I think that I actually desire neither. The only answer I wish for in all due haste is who will hire me and how may I contact them. Beyond that, I am willing to search. I just wish I could search with a full checking account and sense of fulfillment.
Last week, New Paltz sent a check to me for $2901 as a refund. I thought that I had a very nice temporary solution. I had frugal plans for about $200 of that money, among them an oil change. But, no, like all good things I think were brought to me through bureaucracy, it was not so. The money was the spring's tuition. I was poor without having ever been rich. Blah.

Mouse playing siren
A girl with exceedingly long blonde hair sat in front of me in Spanish a few days ago. Who she may be is of little consequence or importance at the moment. Should she end up playing a part in this journal, she will be introduced. While I am certain she has a story, I do not have the time nor inclination to learn it currently. What she provokes from the deep recesses of my brain, the part that shapes faces from clouds, that is crucial.
I imagine without intention that she is Sarah. My very own, virginal but wise, innocent but jaded Sarah. The Duchess of Folk.
It inflames me because I crave Sarah more than I ever gave myself or her credit. I thought that, after a three year banishment, our fingertips would again touch.
I want to grab the lithe blonde creature before me by the shoulder and spin her to be greeted by my wild rose's blushing, soft visage. But I know this cannot be so. I will be shown the mousy, upturned, vacant face of this girl. Still, I cannot look at the back of this being's head without feeling the electric blue wool creep across my stomach.
I don't know that I can endure much more of life outside my divine Sarah's presence. (Sarah is mentioned almost more than any other woman in the Bible.)
So I desire my Sarah's company. Hasn't been the first time, but it hits me in tidal waves. Will this come to fruition?
Will anything?

Soon in Xenology: More on the Haunted Mansion. I fall more in love with Emily. Sarah shows up. Conor finds love. I get a job. Kate tells me a tale.



last watched: Buffy
reading: Cultural Literacy, E.D. Hirsh, Jr.
listening: Jill Sobule
wanting: employment that has not temporal conditions.
interesting thought: Love comes in more flavors than Baskin Robbins.
moment of zen: grasshoppers and stars.
someday I must: get a steady job.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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