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23 juli 2006

Enemies of the Third Dimension

...the downward spiral

Bless me, Blog Fathers, for I have shunned [this blog]. It has been a week since my last entry. These are my sins (I was raised Catholic, can you tell?)

To be direct, I don't need a confessor. But then, that seems to be the only thing I am not in need of. My spirit suffers from too much not-enough, as the world outside seeks to turn their own abundances into caricatures.

As luck (luck?) would have it, my thoughts and feelings are corralled into a space of my own choosing, but not of my own will—no, I'm not sure what I mean, either.

Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent natural regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. -- Frank Herbert

I'm running out of breath.

It's not just the new calisthenics of going back to work, nor of over-obligations with other business. Breathing is just respiration, but respiration is so much more. It's the exchange of affluent and effluent. One expels carbon dioxide because one accumulates it. One inhales oxygen because one consumes it. Same with food. Same with gratification. Same with sex. Same with job.

It's good to recognize what you take, and what you excrete: armed with that knowledge and a sense of decent natural regard one can take only what is needed, return what one can, and have no other faith than that others will have the same regard, the same decency.

Of course not everyone does that. And when you look around you, when you're surrounded—by fiat or by choice—by those who are not of decent natural regard, and when you see them moving forward faster or living easier or choosing less or bogarting the simplicity you wish you had, it's that much easier to disregard regard and to find decency unnatural.

Nature, if nothing else, moderates. With give there's take, and take there's give—that's how cycles happen. And cycles lead to rhythms, rhythm to pattern, pattern to nuance.

Words fail, never better than a bludgeon when what you need is a jeweler's loupe and tweezers.

Well, there's always song..and I have several playing in my head, all from different angles:

Only in Your Heart by America

Mary, have you seen better days?
And will you find different ways?
And does he really mean that much to your heart?
Carry, all of the weight you can, find another man
And lead him directly there to the source
You've got to chart his course

'Cause it is only in your heart
This thing that makes you want to
Start it all again...

Wake up from an elusive dream
You've got to change the scene
It's getting so hard to see to the end
Break down, all of the walls you can
You need a helping hand
I'm sure there's someone there just for you
He's trying to make it, too...


You can't disregard your friends
But life gets so hard when you reach the end

All This Useless Beauty by Elvis Costello


Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity
If something you missed didn't even exist
It was just an ideal -- is it such a surprise?

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell


Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

Oh but now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song) by Fall Out Boy

Joke me something awful just like kisses on the necks of “just friends”
We are the kids who feel like dead ends
And I want to be known for my hits, not just my misses
I took a shot and didn't even come close
At trust and love and hope
And the poets are just kids who didn't make it
Who never had it at all

And the record won't stop skipping
And the lies just won't stop slipping
And besides my reputation's on the line
We can fake it for the airwaves
Force our smiles, baby, half dead
From comparing myself to everyone else around me

Please put the doctor on the phone because I'm not making any sense
Blame everyone else but me for this mess
And my back has been breaking from this heavy heart
We never seemed so far
I'm hopelessly hopeful, you're just hopeless enough

But we never had it at all


I've decided to be less opaque and more literal by bold-facing the particular lyrics from each song. No, not a single one is directed at any person but myself. It's about fucking time it's about myself.


Those who step away from the natural are easy to spot: they're the ones who mistake simplistic for simple, who cling to the desperate convenience of a label. They are those who mordantly stab at their own pasts in hopes of the absolution of circumstance.

They flatten their lives into a cartoon and call it an imprimatur. They label the dangerous, the stupid, the deadly, the acts of arrogance into toothless candy-colored lozenges. “Tina”, “barebacking”, “serosorting”, “bear”, “twink”, “otter”, “bug hunting”, “gift giving”, “god”, “daddy”, “boy”, “slave”, “pup”, “pro-life”, “sanctity”.

The soft pink bunny is unassailable.

But I guess that's the point, isn't it?

So as I said, I'm nearly out of breath. Out of breath from trying to inflate my surroundings back into three dimensions. Out of breath not for them but for myself. What will happen to my decent natural regard if I'm plunged into Flatland? Maybe I'm not strong enough to be resist what's easier.

Then again, when you burst into tears because you've lost so much, recent and distant, maybe it's not a good time to write in your blog.

Posted by jeff at 23 juli 2006 2:44

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Posted by: chad at 23 juli 2006 9:07

does the line from the Fall Out Boy song:

"Force our smiles, baby, half dead
From comparing myself to everyone else around me"

resonate with you as well?

Sometimes it's easier to focus on our differences with those around us than our similarities.

Truth is, we're all much more alike.

In this challenging time, my heart goes out to you.

Posted by: jimmycity at 23 juli 2006 9:44

The thing about loss, especially when in the throws of it, is how it taints all of your life. Maybe it's just me and my process. I find even though my life may look good on paper, if I am mourning a loss of any kind, everything loses its luster.

Your words have always rung true to me. Your mind, perspective, and spirit are exceptional and unique. Your identity is beyond a desperate convenience of a label as I believe most are but few know.

I wish you peace and tranquility while you go through your loss. While looking forward to your re-realization of all that is good and beautiful in you and your life.

Posted by: John Author Profile Page at 23 juli 2006 9:55

Trying is the hardest part sometimes, I know. But we have to keep trying. We just have to.

Posted by: Josh(ums) at 24 juli 2006 13:30

You're way too smart for me, blue eyes

why is Tina included? I'm confused (and Canadian)


Posted by: Tina at 24 juli 2006 14:47

Tina! You're a perfect example. Would you believe that "Tina" in a gay/partying context means crystal meth?

CHRYSTAL meth -> Christina Which used to go to Chrissy, but I guess that wasn't butch enough so Christina became Tina.

Tina == crystal meth. That's the bottom line there.

and while i'm at it:
bug chaser = a neg guy who's actively seeking to become HIV+
gift giver = an HIV+ person who purposely (with consent) infects an HIV- person

Posted by: GodOfBiscuits Author Profile Page at 24 juli 2006 17:15

Of course, Joshums, you're right. It's more than a little demoralizing when so many people seem to do ok just doing what's easier or more convenient. Oft-times myself included.

Posted by: GodOfBiscuits Author Profile Page at 25 juli 2006 13:12

I heard this song, "Move Along" by the All-American Rejects again this morning at the gym. I don't actually know if they're any good, but the song always *gets* me, and it seemed topical. I saw the video once when I was feeling very alone, and it had great impact.

Move Along

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking

When you fall everyone stands

Another day and you've had your fill of sinking

With the life held in your...

Hands are shaking cold

These hands are meant to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong

Move along, move along like I know ya do

And even when your hope is gone

Move along, move along just to make it through

Move along

Move along

So a day when you've lost yourself completely

Could be a night when your life ends

Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving

All the pain held in your...

Hands are shaking cold

Your hands are mine to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong

Move along, move along like I know you do

And even when your hope is gone

Move along, move along just to make it through

Move along

(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

When everything is wrong, we move along

(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

When everything is wrong, we move along

(Along) along (along) along (along) along


When all you got to keep is strong

Move along, move along like I know you do

And even when your hope is gone

Move along, move along just to make it through


When all you got to keep is strong

Move along, move along like I know you do

And even when your hope is gone

Move along, move along just to make it through

(Move along)

(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

Right back what is wrong

We move along

Posted by: Josh(ums) at 25 juli 2006 13:25

I'm so un-hip.

I call people bitches and flip the bird. It's simple.

I didn't even know what a "bear" was until I started reading a few hot gay blogs. And then someone called me a bearhag. And the games began.

But I guess I didn't get very far.

Posted by: Tina at 25 juli 2006 17:11

I don't know if this resonates with you, Jeffy, but I find myself with this conundrum: I don't want to be shallow, but I am just so tired of being sad. Usually, the more I think about my life, the sadder I get, even though by all accounts, I have so much to be thankful for. The fact is, I am lonely as hell, and miss the people who spent a season or several dozen by my side. The songs that resonate with me are always bittersweet, which would be really troubling, except what troubles me more is the idea that I would become "numb" to it all. So I torture myself, if only to make sure my pain receptors are still working! :-)

Posted by: Bruce at 25 juli 2006 19:52

Torture as you wish, Bruce, but no cutting. NO CUTTING.

Posted by: Josh(ums) at 26 juli 2006 14:51

Of course not, Josh, because my moods last an average of 15-30 minutes, but cutting is forever. "Manic.....party of one?" :-)

Posted by: Bruce at 26 juli 2006 21:45

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