Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD

February 28, 2015

Fights

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:49 pm

 

'I'm seriously depressed.  On top of everything else going wrong in my life, I have to have surgery on Thursday for my detached retina.  Oh well.  Thats life.'I just had a weird scene.  I’m at this sports bar on the Ave watching the Warriors game minding my own business. And, for no discernible reason, this total stranger, this drunken lunatic, goes off on me and starts throwing punches at me.  “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??!!” I said, as I’m dodging the blows.  To my credit, I didn’t spill a drop of the cup of beer in my hand as I’m rolling with the punches.

Then I go to the Park, I’m hanging out with the boys, telling them the story about this nut going off on me for no apparent reason.  And then another stranger, this Asian college student, shows up and says:  “HEY, I HAVE FOUR BOXES OF FRESH PIZZA IF ANYBODY IS HUNGRY.”

And that’s cool.  But the confusing philosophical question is this:  One stranger wants to fuck with me for no apparent reason.  And another stranger wants to help me for no apparent reason.  And neither of them makes any apparent sense. . . .  Though I have to believe it all makes sense on some level. . . . I guess that’s my ultimate philosophical leap of faith:  That this life makes sense.  Even when it often doesn’t seem to.

*                                            *                                                   *

The actual “fight” was surreal because it was so sudden and unexpected.  Like a shark attack or something.  The basketball game had just ended (Warriors lost to the Cavs — darn darn darn).   I still had some of my pitcher of beer left, but I felt like splitting, so I poured the remaining beer into a to-go coffee cup for the road.  Then I went down to the basement to take a quick piss in the men’s room.  But there were all of these sketchy people milling around in there.  And the place was a mess.  Totally trashed-out.  Some idiot had dumped the entire contents of the garbage can into the toilet.  So I went to the next stall, but there’s an empty whiskey bottle in that toilet.  Always a bad sign.  People who slam straight whiskey are amongst the worst specimens in the grand pantheon of Bad Drunks.  Unlike, say, beer-drinkers, who generally aspire towards this slow, gradual progression to goofy, sloppy drunkenness, pounding straight whiskey is like slamming fire directly into your bloodstream.  It is more like shooting speed where you get this immediate adrenaline rush right to your brain.  Along with this fiendish, demented clarity.  And this Dr. Jekkyl – Mr. Hyde transformation where this monstrous side of your personality is suddenly being released.  In fact, that’s often precisely WHY the whiskey-binger drinks —  as an excuse to release all of his pent-up repressions.

Anyways, I leave the men’s room in disgust without even taking a leak.  This young Latino guy in a blue Warriors jersey immediately follows me out of the men’s room, pushes his chest into mine and angrily confronts me.

“DID YOU SPLASH ME??” he said

“No, I didn’t splash you,” I said.  “What are you talking about?”

“YOU SPLASHED ME IN THERE!!” he said.

I made a bee-line back upstairs.  Grabbed my backpack and started organizing myself for my departure.  Then I noticed through the front window that the guy with the Warriors jersey was right outside on the sidewalk, pacing back and forth and glaring at me like he’s waiting for me to come out.  What the fuck.  How did I get myself in the middle of this?  I killed a few minutes milling around with the people at the bar, figuring the guy would get distracted (whiskey-bingers usually have the attention-span of a flea) and go off in search of some other victim.  Then I darted out the front door and headed up Telegraph Avenue in the opposite direction of the asshole.

I darted up Durant Street thinking I had escaped from the asshole.  Only to realize, to my dismay, that the asshole had followed me and was running towards me shouting:  “YOU SPLASHED ME!!”

I turned and confronted him:  “No I didn’t splash you,” I said.

“Oh.  OK,” he said.  “I’m a nice guy.”  That seemed to placate him.  He turned and started walking back towards the bar.

“All right, cool cat,” I said.  Thinking we had resolved the grievance.  Whatever the hell the grievance had actually been.

Instead, he turned around and shouted at me:  “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME??!!”

Then he charged at me and started pummeling me with punches.  I had my arms up protectimg my head, so even though he was flailing away at me, none of the punches did any damage, except for one that hit my knuckle (it was a little sore the next day).  And hopefully the Asshole broke a few bones in his hands while he was flailing away.

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??”  I asked, in all sincerity.

Which seemed to strike a nerve with the Asshole.  Probably because it’s a question he grapples with on a daily basis.  So he turned and headed back to the bar.  And the whole thing was over as quickly as it had started.

I walked over to People’s Park.  And I started giving Hate Man a blow-by-blow account of this interaction.   Mostly just trying to make sense of this weird and inexplicable intrusion into my evening.  Off in the distance I could hear the sounds of police cars and ambulance sirens rushing off in the general direction of the bar.  No doubt the third or fourth act (and hopefully the final act) of the Asshole’s melodrama for this evening. . .

Sometimes I think there’s something a little unmanly about me.  Because I generally go out of my way to avoid getting in fights.  Even when someone sincerely deserves to get their fucking ass beat.   I guess I  feel kind of squeamish about physical violence.  I find all that “macho” stuff vaguely ridiculous.  Even as I’m 6-foot, about 200 pounds, and could probably do some damage if somebody really pushed me. . .   Every now and then someone will push me too far, and I’ll actually start throwing punches back at the asshole.  But the problem is:  After a minute or two, my rage will subside and I’ll feel like a fool dancing around in public throwing punches.  I’ll complete lose interest in the fight.  But I have to will myself to keep fighting, because you can’t just stop at the point, because the other guy is still flailing away.  You can’t just stop dancing in the middle of a dance.  Once you make that commitment you’ve got to play the whole stupid thing out to it’s conclusion.

I guess my attitude, re avoiding fights, is this:  “It’s a big world. And the whole point is to occupy a part of it that doesn’t include the Asshole.”  That attitude seems to make sense.  So I’m sticking with it until further notice.

.

February 24, 2015

Today’s reading material

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:52 pm

'The History of Western civilization, volume I.'

February 21, 2015

Me and Moo Cat

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:31 pm
"If we put our two heads together we'll have at least half a brain."'

‘”If we put our two heads together we’ll have at least half a brain.”

Moo Cat the feral cat. At home in her world.'

‘Moo Cat the feral cat. At home in her world.

February 20, 2015

Return to Feralcat Land

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:47 pm
"Hello dere, human."

“Hello dere, human.”

Happy cat.  Kind of a hippie even.   Damn tree-huggers.'

Happy cat. Kind of a hippie even. Damn tree-huggers.

Moo Cat, the feral cat, showed up last night at my campsite while I was sleeping.  She was so happy to see me.  I've been gone for the last 2 weeks while I was recovering from my eye surgery, so she had been faring for herself -- which she can do.  But I'm sure she was freaking out that the gravy train (literally) might be over.  I cracked open a can of cat food, which she gobbled down.  Then she hung out with me all night long, purring wildly. I had never heard a cat purr that loudly.  She was making sounds I'd never heard a cat make before.  Like she'd hit a rare 5th gear of cat purring.  I was almost afraid she'd blow a gasket or something, she was getting so worked up.'

Moo Cat, the feral cat, showed up last night at my campsite while I was sleeping. She was so happy to see me. I’ve been gone for the last 2 weeks while I was recovering from my eye surgery, so she had been faring for herself — which she can do. But I’m sure she was freaking out that the gravy train (literally) might be over. I cracked open a can of cat food, which she gobbled down. Then she hung out with me all night long, purring wildly. I had never heard a cat purr that loudly. She was making sounds I’d never heard a cat make before. Like she’d hit a rare 5th gear of cat purring. I was almost afraid she’d blow a gasket or something, she was getting so worked up.

Moo Cat was feeling so exuberant in the morning she started scampering up and down the trees.  All the feral cats in the Berkeley hills are expert tree-climbers.  They start practicing their tree-climbing skills at the earliest age when they're little kittens.  They know the keys to the kingdom are in those trees.  Birds, eggs, squirrels, etc.'

Moo Cat was feeling so exuberant in the morning she started scampering up and down the trees. All the feral cats in the Berkeley hills are expert tree-climbers. They start practicing their tree-climbing skills at the earliest age when they’re little kittens. They know the keys to the kingdom are in those trees. Birds, eggs, squirrels, etc.

When I started to leave my campsite, Moo Cat gave me a mournful look.  Like:  "You'll be coming back, won't you?"'

When I started to leave my campsite, Moo Cat gave me a mournful look. Like: “You’ll be coming back, won’t you?”

February 19, 2015

Detached retina surgery – 101. . . or . . . A site for sore eyes

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:58 pm

'Grumpy, groggy me.  Hanging in a motel room on McCarthur Blvd in Oakland (great neighborhood if you want to score some crack) recuperating from my eye surgery.  One of the most surreal experiences I've ever been through.  One moment I'm puttering along with my daily life.  The next I'm being strapped onto a gurney by total strangers and wheeled off to be prodded, poked, knocked unconscious and cut up.  Then I'm lying on a bed in the middle of nowhere (technically Oakland, California) in total darkness in some weird zombie stupor state . . .   </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Thats life I guess.  You never know what cards life will deal you next.'Grumpy, groggy me.  Hanging in a motel room on McCarthur Blvd. in Oakland (great neighborhood if you want to score some crack!) recuperating from my eye surgery for a detached retina.  One of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever been through.  One moment I’m puttering along with my daily life.  The next I’m being strapped onto a gurney by total strangers and wheeled off to be prodded, poked, knocked unconscious and cut up. . . . Then, I’m lying on a bed in the middle of nowhere (technically, Oakland, California) in total darkness in some weird zombie stupor state.

That’s life, I guess.  You never know what cards life will deal you next.

Of course the first thing they do to prepare you for the surgery is, they make you strip off your clothes and put on one of those goofy hospital gowns with your butt hanging out.  Then you got to put on this ridiculous plastic shower cap kind of hat, and plastic booties.  It’s like they’re publicly humiliating you to get you in the mood for the whole thing.

The nurse who prepared me for the surgery was this black woman with a thick Jamaican accent.  I could barely understand what she was saying.  So I’m just sort of mindlessly answering her questions:  “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”   And hoping she’s not slipping something in there like, “And would you also like to have your left testacle removed while we’re operating?”  “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

Then the nurse is asking me about my drug and alcohol history.  So I explain about the ocean of cheap malt liquor I’ve consumed over the years.  All all the cigarettes and drugs and etc.  Then she goes over this long check list of potential health problems:   “Have you ever had asthma?  Allergies?  High blood pressure?  Diabetes?  Etc, etc.?”  And my answer  is “No” to every one (except for “Depression,” naturally).  And she’s kind of dumb-founded because my good health makes no sense in terms of my, um, lifestyle.  “I haven’t been in a hospital in 40 years,” I admittedly, sheepishly.  “Are you an athlete?” she said.  That made me feel nice.  That was a nice moment.  The only one I would have.

Then they wheeled me into the operating room and this guy starts pumping the anesthesia into me.  For some reason it was important to me to try and notice the process of when I go under.  So I’m concentrating real hard while I’m taking deep breaths.  But it was like I blinked my eye, and then it was 2 hours later as I emerge from the fog, and the operation is already over . . .  My one big regret was that I wanted to take a selfie of me on the operating table . . .  I really am kind of nuts.

My friend Mary was waiting for me in the lobby.  So she wheeled me out of the hospital and into a taxi cab which took me to my motel room in Oakand.  When I first signed into the motel the clerk handed me a card and a metal cylinder object with a bunch of buttons on it.  “Where’s my key?” I asked.   “The card is your key,” said the clerk.  The cylinder object turned out to be the remote control for the TV.  After about 15 minutes of diligent trial-and-error,  I actually figured out how to turn the TV on.  The last time I had a television set was in 1991 where there was this big knob on the TV to turn the channels on, and I had a bent clothes-hanger for an antennae.  So I’m completely out of touch with the modern world.

'Home sweet home. My life raft.  My torture chamber.  My battleground'I spent the first two days in my motel room with the lights out, lying on my bed in a zombie stupor.  Slept 20 hours a day, drifting in and out of sleeping and waking states and this weird, in-between state where it’s all like a waking dream.  Every now and then I’d make a groaning sound.   “AAAAHHHHH!”  Just to remind myself that I was still alive.   Just my luck, my next-door neighbor is one of those guys who has people knocking at his door at all hours of the day and night.  And at 3 in the morning there would be regular loud thumpings and furniture crashing and heated, screaming arguments between him and his girlfriend.  So at least I had some live entertainment to aid me in my recuperative phase.  And,  on the positive side, if I felt the need for some crack cocaine to assist me in my recovery, I probably wouldn’t have to go very far.

On the third day I crawled out of my motel room to get some food and check out the neighborhood.  I have a big, bulky bandage on my left eye, so people do a double-take when they see me, like I’m a prisoner-of war casualty, or like they just passed the Elephant Man or something.   There’s a 99 cent store on the corner where all the items are, oddly, $2.99.  I guess it’s a whole new concept in 99 cents stores.  This is a happ’nin’ neighborhood!

It’s funny (ha ha).  When I was younger I thought I was invulnerable.  Like I was made out of steel . . . But now that I’m pushing 60 I realize how fragile the human body really is.  We’re all walking on thin ice.

The detached retina eye surgery itself was nothing short of miraculous and mind-boggling.  The surgeon actually goes in there with scissors and cuts the white part of the eye away from the pupil.  Then they peel the white part back so they can get at the retina in the back of the eye.  The retina is like wallpaper on a wall.  When the retina detaches, it’s like the wallpaper has fallen off the wall.  It’s sitting there in a pile at the bottom of your eye.  So the surgeon actually goes in there and picks the retina back up and sticks it back to the wall. Pretty amazing. . . I actually watched about 10 seconds of the surgery on a Youtube video.  But once the surgeon started snipping away at the eyeball with the scissors I immediately turned it off and said to myself:  “HOLY SHIT!  I’m sure glad I didn’t watch this BEFORE my surgery.”

Sometimes its better NOT to know what you’re in store for.

.

January 30, 2015

Insanity

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:31 pm

 

Peter Labriola's photo.I’ve always considered myself kind of nuts.  When I was younger I had a somewhat romantic view about insanity.  Ya’ know?  The old “mad genius” routine.  And, as an artist, you’re encouraged to develop an original  perspective. A unique mental point of view. Which can push you in the direction of “eccentric” at the least.  And “crazy” at the extreme.

I always operated under the premise of “insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane world.”   So I wore my “insanity” as almost a badge of courage.  When I was younger, if I felt I was right about something, I would not budge an inch even if the whole world told me I was wrong.  It was the world that got it wrong.  Or, as Bukowski once put it:  “Humanity, you never had it from the beginning.” So I was never afraid to deviate from society’s version of reality.  An attitude which can lead you down a slippery slope.

I think most people generally try to adhere to the cultural norms, re their thinking and behavior.  They’re leery of coming across as a weirdo, or as “anti-social.”  For society can, and will, inflict punishments on those who don’t conform to the social norms.  Ostracism at the least, and padded cells at the extreme.  When I was younger, I at least felt I knew what the social norms were.  I just chose to deviate from them.  But I at least knew how to fake being “normal.”

But lately I’ve been getting more of an un-moored feeling.  Like I’ve went on so many mental tangents, I’ve strayed so far from the mental norm, that I’m on the verge of becoming hopelessly lost in the wilderness of my mind.

Peter Labriola's photo.Living on the streets certainly doesn’t help you to stay mentally-grounded.  For one thing, you’re surrounded by many people who would be considered “mentally insane” by almost any definition.  The people who talk to themselves all day.  The people with obvious weird behavioral compulsions (cutting themselves with razors, walking in the rain with no shoes, etc.).  The people who imagine that they’re Napoleon or Jesus Christ.  Clearly delusional people who have lost the ability to separate their delusions from reality. (Whatever “reality” is, OK?  But since we can definitely say that some outlooks are delusional, that implies that at least there’s a “reality” out there somewhere, even as most of us can never agree as to what exactly that is.)

For example:  There’s this one guy on the street scene who’s famous for going up to total strangers and screaming in their faces:  “STOP BOTHERING ME!!” You could try to explain to this fellow the faulty logic of his thinking.  That he is in fact projecting his inner madness onto the world at large.  But, alas, in the layman’s terms, he has shit-for-brains.  It would never even occur to him that his delusions are in fact delusions.  He’d be the last to know.

One friend of mine makes this distinction:  “At least I know I’m nuts.  The ones who are really crazy are the ones who are nuts but don’t know it.”  There is probably some wisdom to that perspective.

Peter Labriola's photo.I suppose any behavior taken to it’s extreme might be considered a form of insanity.  “Shyness,” for example, is probably a common neurosis.  But if one becomes so shy and paranoid and afraid of other people that they feel compelled to lock themselves away in a little room and strive to avoid any contact with their fellow humans, you could probably say they’ve crossed that line from “neurosis” to “psychosis.”

For whatever reason, this morning I started to feel like I was truly losing my mind.  Slipping into some form of madness.   For lack of a better word.  I’ve tried various different therapies over the years.  But the only thing that really helps me is to sit down in front of a keyboard and write about it. Try to explain it.  Try to take the whirling dervish in my brain and at least string it out in a linear series of words.  That often helps me to get a grip on it.  I guess that’s why I’m here right now, typing away.

January 23, 2015

Accidents can happen

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:07 pm

Bancroft Avenue.Accidents.  Of course there’s something a little un-nerving about the concept of accidents.  I guess it’s the random factor.  That they can happen at any time to anyone.  No matter how alert and defensive we are.  And accidents have their own cock-eyed logic.

I remember this one odd accident.  I was walking across this crosswalk in Berkeley on Bancroft Avenue with a bunch of other people.  About 40, 50 yards up the street this guy on a  motorcycle had just taken a sharp left-hand turn on Telegraph Avenue and was barreling down Bancroft when he completely wiped out.  The turn was a little too sharp, I guess.  He went flying off of his motorcycle.  And his motorcycle went skidding down Bancroft on it’s side at a rather fast speed.  He was probably doing 30, 40 miles an hour at the time.  And Bancroft is a hilly street, it’s an incline.  So that motorcycle was skidding towards us at a pretty fast speed.  Sparks and smoke were flying off the bike.   Most of us got out of the way.  Except for this one Asian woman college student in the middle of the crosswalk.  She froze with her hands up.  Like a deer in the headlights.  I guess everything happened so fast her brain couldn’t quite grasp what was going on.  Anyways, that motorcycle hit her full speed on her legs.  Clipped her.   She went flying in the air like a bowling pin.  That’s exactly what it looked like. Like the motorcycle was a bowling ball barreling down the lane and she was a bowling pin in the middle of the lane that got a direct hit.  I don’t know what happened to her.   The ambulance came and took her away.  She probably had two broken legs at the least.  One second she’s standing there.  The next second, everything has changed.  Accidents.

*                                              *                                                         *

I remember another surreal accident.  One night I was hitch-hiking from Berkeley to San Francisco and this guy in this beat-up old jalopy picked me up.

“Do you have any money for gas?”  he asked.

“No,” I said.  “If I had any dough I wouldn’t be hitching.”

“Oh well,” he said.  “I think I have enough gas to get us across the Bay Bridge.”

So we’re driving across the Bay Bridge.  And as we get about half-way across, right as we hit this hilly part of the bridge, his car dies.

“Fuck.”

He revs the excellerator several times.  But nothing.  We’re stuck there in the middle of the bridge.  Even worse, there’s no shoulder to pull over to on the bridge.  The car is sitting right there in the right-hand lane in the middle of traffic.  So the other cars are all buzzing by us.  The best he can do is put his red brake-lights on to alert the other cars.

“Let’s get out of the car,” he said.    “They got these buzzers on the side of the bridge that you can use to call for a tow truck.”

“OK,” I said.

So now we’re out there  walking around on top of the Bay Bridge amidst all the traffic.  Which is a surreal feeling.  All the times I’ve passed by this spot from the safe cocoon of a car.  And now  I’m suddenly outside in the middle of it.  So we walked over to the buzzer, buzzed it.  Then we’re walking back to his car.    We’re about 10 feet from his car (so we had a perfect view of the whole thing) when this other car — this little white Toyota — comes barreling at his car and hits it in the back at full speed.  KA-BLAMMO!!!   It was like a rocket making a direct hit.  The guy never even hit the brakes.  Never saw it coming.  Hit that car at full speed.  He was just driving across the bridge minding his own business.  And the last thing he expected was that the car in front of him was not moving.  I mean, he had about a split-second to react. And he didn’t.

We rushed over to the car. There was this Asian guy in the driver’s seat.  His eyes were sort of sprocketing around in his head like he was half knocked-out.  Probably from smacking his head against the dashboard.  But at least there was no blood or anything.   We stood there by his car, waiting for the tow truck to show up.  Accidents.

*                                        *                                               *

I remember this other accident where I almost got this young woman killed.  There was a bunch of us waiting at this cross-walk at the Bancroft and Telegraph intersection.  The light was just about to turn green. So I started to take a step off the sidewalk into the street.  But just before I did I noticed in the corner of my eye this huge AC Transit bus barreling down Bancroft right at me.  The bus-driver was in some crazy hurry for some reason, so he was rushing through the yellow light just before it turned red.  Even worse, the bus was pulling right up to the curb to make it’s stop so it was headed directly at me.  I pulled myself back to the curb in just the nick of time.  But even worser (if that’s a word), this young woman who had been standing next to me, had seen me stepping into the street.  So she started to step into the street.  You know how it is when you’re at a crosswalk.  A lot of times you’re not paying attention to the redlight.  You just wait until everyone else starts to go and then you go along with them (there’s probably a message here about “Don’t follow leaders.” Or maybe at least, “Follow Ace Backwords at your own peril.”).  I shouted over at the woman:  “STOP!!!!”  She froze in an instant.  And the bus went flying right by us.  Inches from our faces.  WOOOSHHH!!   You could feel that breeze.  We stood there looking at each other.  Kind of stunned.  Then we turned and crossed the street and went our separate ways.

What’s weird is: It took me an entire long paragraph to describe something that basically took place in a split-second.  And both of our lives could have instantly been changed one way or another in that split-second.  Sometimes, our destinies are measured out in fractions of inches.   Accidents.

Life is but a dream. And maybe death is waking up from that dream

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:32 pm

 

A cul de sac.

More depressing blogs from good ole’ Ace Backwords!

I keep thinking about this dream I had a couple months ago.

I’m wandering around in this strange town.  It’s not so much that I’m lost.  There’s nowhere in particular I’m trying to get to.  It’s like there’s NOWHERE in this world where I belong.  No place to get to.  No place for me to alight. My life has no direction or meaning.  So I’m just sort of wandering aimlessly in circles.  Desperately hoping I’ll find something — anything! — that I can connect to around the next street corner.  But I’m getting tireder and tireder.  As I trudge through this zombie twilight zone landscape.  From nowhere to nowhere.  Finally, I just run out of gas.  I don’t have the strength, or the will, to keep going.  To keep enduring the pointless exercise that is my life.  I lie down right there on the sidewalk.  I keep telling myself, I’ve got to get up.  I’ve got to keep going.  Keep searching for a better place.  I can’t just lie here on the sidewalk.  But I’ve run out of gas.  I can’t rouse myself to keep striving to go on.

Then I woke up.  I was kind of stunned by the dream.  Like it was a premonition of my death.  And how I’ll die.

 

 

January 21, 2015

The loner

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:09 pm

I'm pretty much a loner these days.  I spend most of my time walking the city streets by myself.  Or sitting by myself.  Lost within my strange thoughts.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>During different periods of my life I was more sociable.  In the middle of dynamic social scenes...And over the years I've had 4 or 5 close friends.  But most of them died off one by one.  And I never got around to replacing them with new friends.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>In the last years of his life John Lennon said that he didn't believe in the concept of friends.  "With most so-called friends its just a matter of mutual self-using." Lennon spent the last 5 years of his life mostly surrounded by paid employees -- maids, servants, gofers, etc -- as opposed to friends.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Of course I'm lonely.  But I've always been lonely.  Even when I was surrounded by people I was still lonely.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Some nights I'll feel a craving for human contact. I'll buy a 40 of OE and hang out with this big group of homeless street people in People's Park.  Many of them I've known for 15, 20 years.  So I have quite a bit of history with some of them.  By the time I'm through my second 40 we're usually hugging each other and high-fiving and telling each other how great we all our.  Loud music, raucous conversations and real-or-imagined camraderie. I might not have any friends.  But I have a lot of people I feel friendly and warm towards.  I just can't get close to anybody.  Its like I'm locked up inside my head and can't get out.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Most of the people I communicate with these days are via the internet.  Facebook and my website. Social media, so-called.  And I've had many heart-felt conversations with these cyber-fiends and acquaintances.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>They say that "Facebook is to relationships what masturbation is to making love."  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>But then, that pretty much describes my sex life, too.  What can you do.I’m pretty much of a loner these days.  I spend most of my time walking the city streets by myself.  Or sitting by myself.  Lost within my strange thoughts.

During different periods of my life I was more sociable.  I’d be in the middle of these dynamic social scenes.  But somehow, I ran out of scenes. . . . And over the years I’ve had 4 or 5 close friends.  But most of them died off, one by one.  And I never got around to replacing them with new friends.

In the last years of his life, John Lennon said that he didn’t believe in the concept of friends.   “With most so-called friends it’s just a matter of mutual self-using.”  Lennon spent the last 5 years of his life mostly surrounded by paid employees  — maids, servants, gofers and sycophants —  as opposed to friends.  I guess sometimes it’s simpler to just buy relationships.

Of course I’m lonely.  But I’ve always been lonely.  Even when I was surrounded by people I was still lonely.

Some nights I’ll feel a craving for human contact.  So I’ll buy a 40 of OE and hang out with this big group of homeless street people in People’s Park.  Many of them I’ve known for 15 or 20 years.  So I have quite a bit of history with some of them.  By the time I’ve polished off my second 40 we’re usually hugging each other and high-fiving and telling each other how great we all are.  Loud music, raucous conversation, and real-or-imagined camaraderie.   I might not have any friends.  But I have a lot of people I feel friendly towards.  I just can’t get close to anybody anymore.  It’s like I’m locked up inside my head and can’t get out.

Most of my relationships these days are via the internet.  Facebook and my website and emails.  Social media, so-called.  And I’ve had many heartfelt conversations with these cyber-friends and acquaintances (as well as some of the other kind, too, heh heh).

They say that “Facebook is to relationships what masturbation is to sex.”

. . . . . But then, that pretty much describes my sex life, too.  So what can you do.

.

January 12, 2015

The art of dying

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:42 pm

 

I’m a little bummed tonight.  I got glaucoma and my left out just blinked out and went completely blind.  I’ve been legally blind in that eye for the last 5 years — 20-200 vision.   But I could still make out blurry images.  But now the thing has pretty much went completely dark.

Fortunately, my right eye is still hanging in there.  But it’s one of those “writing-on-the-wall” kind of things that we all deal with as we get older.  When you realize your body is slowly-but-surely falling apart, and you’re getting closer and closer to the scrapheap of death.  And that’s a scary thing as you age.  I was thinking:  “Well, I’m down to my last eye.”  You get this unsettling feeling:  “I’m getting weaker, and the world is getting harder.”

Before I got glaucoma I mostly thought of death in abstract, intellectual terms.  But getting glaucoma was sort of a “brush with mortality.”  For the first time, I could actually feel the clammy hand of Death Itself on my shoulder.  Facing the actual possibility of falling apart and dying.

It’s a little ironic.  When I was younger I felt that normal consciousness was boring.  So I took a lot of drugs like LSD so I could hallucinate and sort of derange my senses.  But now that I’m older, with an eyeball blinking off and on, and a permanent ringing in one ear, and my body generally going a little haywire, it makes me wish I could just experience bland, normal consciousness.

I’m not so much scared of death as I’m scared of the process of dying.  Of slowly falling apart and losing control, becoming unable to take care of myself.  Generally, I believe in reincarnation, that we all eventually merge back into the Godhead and attain eternal heaven.  So death doesn’t bother me.  But for some reason the idea of losing all my stuff — all my artwork and writing — that really freaks me out.  Which is stupid, I guess.  Because I’ll be dead.  So why should I care if my stuff lives on?  And everything turns to dust eventually.  Ultimately this world is about as permanent and lasting as a mirage.  But I guess I just want something to cling to amidst the impermanence.

I don’t know if it’s morbid, but I think more and more about death these days.  In a way, I’ve experienced just about everything there is to experience in this life, except death.  So it’s like the one last great adventure awaiting me.

When I was younger I used to have this premonition that I’d die a quick and explosive death. For some reason I always had this image of my head getting run over by a steam-roller.  Ya know?  Like they used to do in the animated cartoons.  Where my head ends up as flat as a pancake, but my body is still relatively intact.  They could take my flat head  and frame it like a painting and hang it on a wall . . .   I don’t think I’ll literally die like that.  The steam-roller and all that.  But I always suspected it would be something like that.  I guess because I’ve had such an explosive life, with so many close calls and near-death experiences.  “As ye live so ye shall die.” And all that.

But now I’m wondering if I just want to believe that.  To compensate for my fear of having a long and drawn-out death.

One of the strangest deaths I ever heard about involved this guy named Zipruanna.  Zippruana was sort of a wandering Indian holy man.  He lived by the garbage dump in the seedy part of town and generally wore nothing but a loin cloth, if that.  Hung out with packs of wild dogs.  But he was revered by the people of the town as an enlightened being and great sage.  He was well known for his spiritual powers.  Anyways, one day he paid a visit to the home of this woman he knew and asked to take a bath.  The woman was surprised because Zipruanna rarely bathed.  But she was honored to have such a great being in her home.  After bathing, Zipruanna asked for some food and ate a little rice and vegetables.  Then he said:  “Zipruanna will be going now.  You can cry if you want.”  And he closed his eyes.  And he was gone.

That’s the way to go out.

 

 

 

 

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