Tuesday, October 16, 2007

False Dawn

I'm at my wit's ends. Or is it wits' end? -- or ends? It's not my wit end, or wit ends, I know. Never mind. And don't distract me with irrelevancies. I'm trying to be serious. I'm so full of energy that I don't know what to do with myself. I took an advil this morning, and for the first time in several years I didn't have any pain or ache at all. That might seem like a good thing to you, but pain is just about the only thing I thought I could count on. It slows me down. That's a good thing, mostly. Cuz now it's after four a.m. and I can hardly be still.

I went to the Y after rolling and worked out. Rolling ended an hour early, and I only got in three good ones. They were good. Worked hard, had to play defense for once. Well, twice. That was good. There's this masochistic side of me that likes to see myself get dominated. Calm down Slick -- that just didn't come out right. I don't need to always be the guy on top. Again, didn't come out right. It's okay with me if other people excel. Yes. This is what people don't do with me. This is what I need. Which is why it's been so frustrating for me, that K refused, just refused to roll with me for ten, count them, TEN months. What the hell's up with that? I'm "taxing"? Boo hoo. It taxes me too. Deal with it, pussies. Well tonight he finally grew a pair -- a small pair but they will have to do -- and condescended to do what any normal man would look forward to. Worked me hard. What's the sissy afraid of? I made the conscious decision several times to keep my weight off him ... lest he find some cause for complaint, some excuse to wait another ten months. Oh, he put his weight on me, and I might break! He doesn't have anything to worry about. He's much much better than I am. I'm no risk to him. What the hell is the problem.

Sorta got cheated out of a roll. Some pig -- named incidentally K -- not only rolls with me only once every ten months, but then, like a bitch, commandeered my partner. What the hell's that about. He can roll with anyone he wants. Who can I roll with? Will all non-pussies please step forward? ... oh, so few? He's all, I'll just use him for a second, then give him back to you. Ten minutes is a long "second". Words have meaning, goddammit. And the dude was too tired then. It's hard for me to respect people who won't roll with me. I'm not reckless. I must have a blind spot about this. It might not be personal. It might not be a reflection of a weak or self-indulgent or insecure or cowardly or selfish character. It could have some reasonable motive. The smaller guys have a pretty good excuse, but not if they roll with guys who are bigger then me, which all of them do. And not if they're more skilled than I am, which isn't all that hard to be. I don't mind losing. I like it, in a way. It makes me competitive. I don't like being denied that opportunity. And then it ended an hour early anyway.

These p-holes come to talk, apparently. Sitting around on their made-for-comfort asses gabbing instead of rolling. Yeah that's something else I can count on, the weakness and sloth of these poseurs. But that's a sort of pain too. Hey, Fauntleroy, if you wanna chat sign up for speed dating or go get your nails done. Heaven forfend that you might perspire! The idea of actually hoisting your greasy ass out of its horizontal default position might unbalance the cosmological constant and send the globe spinning off into the infinite icy void of intergalactic space. I drive for nearly an hour every day to be there. What the hell do you do? Slide out of bed and coast down the hill? What the hell are you even there for? Just go read your romance novels at Starbucks, where everyone knows your name.

So anyway I went to the Y and worked out, but that wasn't enough either. I can't hardly contain myself. That advil hasn't worn off yet. Maybe it isn't the advil though. I've been reading about chi, thinking I'd give it a test. It's just the same a prana. Hardly even a different tradition, given the cross-influences. There's a lot of talk about it being the life-energy. Well, yes, it is, in the same way the flesh is the life-substance. A lot of talk about chi being the true self. That's just wrong -- no more the case than flesh being the true self. They are components of life. I did figure it out, though. Chi is what we call soul. It's just a sort of substance that every living thing possesses. It's the wind that sucks up dust and gives the tornado its shape. Nephesh, in Hebrew. Psuche or animus. Every language remembers it, although they forget the definitions. It is not spirit, not pneuma or ruach. That is intellect, in its highest conceptualization. Christians would understand its source as the Logos, the Word. Soul isn't about God anymore than wisdom is. There were virtuous pagans. And the Book of Proverbs isn't about God. Not much. You see? Spirit is not soul.

All of that meditation and chanting and slow movement does indeed, I think, stir the soul. I think chi flows in precise analogy to the way blood flows. There are both physical and emotional, soulish infarctions. What operation, what angioplasty, what deep tissue massage will heal the soul as the body might be healed? Well, chanting and meditation and yoga might do the trick. I think they do. I think it's a sort of somatized music. Great music makes the listener feel like a genius. It opens the soul, but because listening is passive, the soul closes up again. None of this has anything to do with spiritual health, nothing to do with God, but it can improve one's life the same way that a pain-free and physically vigorous body can.

So last night I was reading and for the first time really thought about chi. Feeling the life energy flow in my body. I'm reluctant to do that sort of thing. I'm so used to being disassociated from myself, the idea of integrating is frightening. I used to see colors around people. That's not a bad thing in itself, but it was a lot of red. And by now I'm so fractured that any movement might shatter me completely. Like a building so old you don't even dare touch the cobwebs. That's why I don't mind slow progress in BJJ. I'm patient. It gives me time to grow into the skill.

Well, if just a little thought about chi sets me to spinning this fast, that's just dangerous. I'm pretty close to manic. Not, because I have self control. I'm mature. I know how to control my not-inconsiderable vital energy. It's why I don't give in to a complete abandonment to the sexual drive. There are only so many hours in a day. That's why I didn't make a certain call tonight. Softly, tread softly. It's why I don't allow myself to ever give in to anger. A quick flash of temper is all I ever do. Really more impatience than anger. In my world, anger kills. Guess that would be rage.

How does that heal? Slowly, if at all. It would be so much easier if the answer was advil. Has your life experience led you to trust easy answers?

Yes, I am a little nuts. I don't think more than you are, though. It's like losing. I sort of enjoy it. But I'm getting older now, and being weird has lost its appeal. If I show you a jokey reflection of my peeves and ruminations, it is not so that you can judge me. You don't have that right. I have earned your respect, with my honesty, and my vulnerability, and with the earnestness of my self-mockery. There is not a word or a comma here that I have not placed where I want it. This is what I'm good at. I don't even have to try. Even such a self-congratulatory statement as that is suffused with enough irony to be forgivable. But I deserve respect. My motives are my own, but that I have shared myself with you is meant to be a good thing, a blessing of sorts. It is a stirring of my soul, a flowing, a rolling, that might set a cascade of healing in motion, a great up-building of vitality and compassion and grace. Or it may just be a brushing of fingertips, a moment of eye-contact, a brief connections of souls like a fleeting smile. That's worthwhile, too. It's something I'd settle for.

But I don't want to meet you. Because then I'd have to love you.


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