Monday, January 31, 2011

New post coming tomorrow.

I apologize for my sudden absence.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Work

The amphetamines are hitting my system harder than usual today.

One of the side effects of these "off" days amounts to what I can only describe as "explosive vision."

One's regular, unaffected vision is already hard enough to describe to external parties, but the simplest way to convey this particular sensation of mine is to say that everything just seems more intense somehow.

It is as though, without trying, I simply "look harder" at things.

My vision does not wander, and I can feel my eyes focusing on their selected subject with an almost physical awareness.

It often seems like I can feel my irises contracting and expanding, opening and closing my biological apertures.

Colors seem to differ more in comparison to each other. They are more vibrant, pronounced, and distinct; more beautiful than they had ever been, as though my retinas simply absorb more than usual of the spectrum of visible energy to which we become so accustomed and indifferent.

The movements of my ocular muscles are more definite; more profound than they are in my typical, unaltered state.

I must admit that I tend to enjoy this part of the medicine.

The less noisy heightened awareness compliments the concentration well.

There are other side effects on days like this that I do not favor, of course; none of them worrisome or unusual for side effects of amphetamines, but all of them inconvenient and exhausting.

There are days that I wish more than anything that I could stop taking the medicine.

Days that I wish that I could be adequate enough for this role without it.

But it has been made very clear to me that I can not.

I used to rebel against this; the idea of admitting defeat and "giving in."

I certainly was not going to let my own mind get the best of me.

But I have moved past that now.

I have seen, regardless of my lingering internal fears and reservations about taking the pills, that I probably would not have been okay without them.

Even with the medication, I feel that I must try harder than most to produce similar results.

My time and being has been utterly consumed by this pursuit: a lifestyle decision that I have willingly accepted as necessary to meet the expectations of my academic and personal life.

I can not truly know how my peers are affected by these expectations.

I do not live their lives.

To assume that it is easier for them would be arrogant.

But I can know how feverishly I work for the things that I achieve.

I can know how much I leave behind; how many countless desires and interests and relationships that I have sacrificed in the name of my work.

How many countless hours of sleep are instead spent completing assignments that others have long since finished.

How many of my once fervent passions have been lost in my ardent conviction to truly earn my academic standing; to truly be educated.

And I do know.

The knowledge of it follows me everywhere.

For some time every night, I lay still and awake in the silence, wondering if this is worth it.

If I am doing the right thing.

But it is, even at the worst of times, more of a thing than I have ever had.

And the amphetamine allows me to do it.

So I will take the medicine.

Without hesitation or complaint, I will take the medicine.

I will do what it takes.
During my shopping for a journal for my Senior Design class two days ago, I purchased for myself a professional-grade, hardcover Moleskine notebook. I used it for the first time yesterday, and I must say that I now understand why they are so expensive.

The paper is absolutely perfect. Writing is like an almost completely different activity in this notebook. Ink seems to just jump out of the pen, almost as though it is being coaxed onto the paper by some sort of ancient ink/paper mating ritual of which I was previously unaware.

The smoothness is, for lack of a better descriptor, incredible.

The notebook has, in the most literal sense of the term, added a new texture to my writing process, and I can not wait to fill it with words.

TTFN

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I was offered the opportunity this past weekend to "cuddle" with an attractive woman for the night upon dropping some of my friends off after a party.

I must admit, I was pretty tired at the time and the offer was incredibly tempting.

But I declined.

She was inebriated.

I was not.

It would not have been right.

I drove home alone in the mid-morning dark and wondered about my decision for the rest of the night.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I am not smart enough for this.

Not at present.

But I can be.

I can make myself smart enough for this.

If I make everything else unimportant.

The difficulty lies in having the courage to actually do so.
This everlasting loneliness.

This eternal memory of her ephemeral presence.

This insatiable longing.

This cruel silence.
I am drafting in blue ink now.

It felt strange and foreign at first, but I am beginning to enjoy the variety.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I know that she never needed me.

That's fine.

People should not need each other.

But I, at least for a time, had never before felt more wanted in my life.

I don't need her back.

I should not need her back.

But I want to know her desire again.
A homeless man who I helped last week approached me on my way out of Office Depot today.

He did not remember me.

I remembered him, but did not let on that I did.

He gave me the same pitch that he gave me before, but I had to cut him off before he finished.

"I don't have any cash on me right now. I'm sorry."

The man looked at me as though he could tell that I was telling the truth, thanked me anyway, and apologized for bothering me.

I told him not to worry about it and went on my way.

I wanted to help the man. I really did. But I was unable.

I suppose that it was rude for me to interrupt him like I did, but I felt like it was only fair that I not waste his tme.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paradigm Shift

I am not a scientist.

It's a bold statement coming from someone who has spent four years studying the applied sciences, I know.

But I am not a scientist.

I am fascinated by the world around me.

I absolutely love learning about our universe, and there is nothing in existence that is a more pure inspiration.

Several times per day, my chest shudders under the weight of scientific realizations and amazement and I find myself having to stop and remember how to breathe.

I love science.

Our existence is so inherently beautiful.

But I am not a scientist.

I have come to the realization over the past several weeks that the only thing at which I have ever been proficient is aiding others.

I love helping people; whatever form their needs may take.

I want to help people.

I want to live for others.

I already do this in a lot of respects; most of us do.

But I want this to mean something.

I want my rampant urge to improve the quality of the lives around me to manifest and take shape.

I want to do everything that I can to make others happy.

I recognized some time ago that my happiness is not important to me.

It is not a focus in my life.

But what could be more meaningful than bringing it into the lives of others?

I should have been a writer.

Or a film director.

Or a musician.

Or a civil servant.

Or a bartender.

Or a public speaker.

God damn, even philosophy would have been a better fit.

A much, much better one.

But those are not the lives that I have determined for myself.

Regardless of personal preference, I am an engineer.

There is no benefit in regretting the path that my life has taken.

I must allow myself to be human.

I must allow myself to adapt.

Since the outgrowing of my religious conditioning, my inevitable mortality has become a much stronger productive imperative.

Never before has it been so clear to me that with each and every fraction of time that moves into the past, I move ever closer to the eventual physical limitations of this body.

I am rapidly running out of time.

I must only focus on what little I have left.

So I will make something of this.

I do not enjoy engineering as I once did, but it is what I have.

There is no time to start over.

I will go on to get my degrees and I will become a professor and I will teach.

The ultimate goal of engineering is to create processes and things that, in some form or another, make our lives easier. By making the monotonous tasks of our daily existence more efficient, we focus less on the unnecessary and turn our collective mind towards progress and the future of our kind.

I will teach engineers.

I will teach them how to improve society.

I will quietly help give them the knowledge, tools, resources, and understanding that they need to make others happy.

I am not a scientist.

But I can make science my implement.

I will use it to play my part in affecting change in this world.

I have made this my purpose.

I will sacrifice the aspects of my life that would impede me in these goals.

I will cultivate my outward appearance to better reflect this shift in perspective.

I will strain my body to its limits.

I will do what it takes.

I will give my life up to progress.

I will act as its tool.

I will help.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Again

Gently and without start, I awoke this morning to the sterile white of my ceiling, alone and feeling absolutely nothing but the texture of her presence on my skin.

I dreamed of her again last night.

She had come back. She came back to me, but not to me: back to my life, but I not to hers.

I simply had to stand there and watch.

Watch, as she laughed and smiled and moved so beautifully as she always did.

I watched and watched for what in this surreal suspension of space-time felt like months.

And then, suddenly, she was there, in front of me.

She was breathtaking; brilliant in her radiant happiness, her face warm, soft, and eternally affectionate.

She was speaking, but not to me. She was looking past me, as though talking to someone directly behind me.

We were surrounded by things that collectively amounted to nothing: a desk covered in the relics and tools of mathematical academia...a single bookshelf housing volumes of thick reference books, as though taken from a library...a beautiful tree, beyond her and to the right, covered in the greenery of late spring...

There were other things scattered about, none of them worth mention, all contained within a large room lacking distinguishable walls. The indeterminate boundaries of the room pulsated slowly between a muted gray and a drab pink, as though synchronizing with the rise and fall of our breath.

There was a terrible noise in the room: the sound of thousands of voices all pleading for help simultaneously, some whispering...some shouting...some screaming in desperation.

I could see her speaking, laughing to whoever was behind me, but could not focus in on her voice above the clamor of the non-existent crowd.

I wanted to touch her.

My flesh burned to reach out and embrace her and once again lay so deeply upon her the affection that we once shared between our lips.

But she could not see me.

I was simply not there.

So instead, I spoke.

"I know why you left..."

With one deafening, final drawing in of breath, the voices stopped.

She looked at me and smiled, and in the silence we stared at each other and listened to the faint rustling of our clothing; the beating of our hearts.

I had become tangible.

"I know why you left," I said again.

"But why could you not say goodbye?"

Her smile faltered slightly.

I continued.

"I dared not say it at the time, but now more strongly than ever, I recognize the truth behind these words."

She waited as I allowed the words to formulate.

Patiently, as she always had.

"I love you."

Her smile vanished.

"I love you. Why could you not say goodbye?"

There was a pause.

And then she began to laugh.

She laughed.

The voices laughed with her.

She laughed at me and mocked me and joked with the people behind me about the intensity and certainty of my sentiments.

I felt nothing.

I longed to reach out to her more strongly than ever.

But I did not touch her.

How could I touch her?

Instead, I moved to the desk and, with one swift motion of my hand, swept everything off of the surface to shatter upon the floor.

I watched through my eyes my body moving before me.

I was not angry.

There was no emotion behind the destruction.

There was only emptiness.

She had stopped laughing.

I watched myself move to the bookshelf and begin to throw the heavy volumes from the shelves.

I listened to myself grunt and yell.

It was such a foreign sound.

I turned to face her and she backed away toward the indefinite, human-shaped phantasms now located behind her.

My body stopped moving, and straightened itself to a calm.

"I'm not angry," I stated.

She was unaffected.

My voice echoed once more through the chamber.

"I'm really not angry."

"But I am sorry."

"This is my fault, and I'm sorry."

Again, I moved towards her.

I wanted with nigh uncontrollable vehemence to hold her in my arms.

Again, she backed away.

She was afraid of me.

No.

She was smiling again, but this time out of pity and sadness.

She was not afraid of me.

She was denying me permission.

I held my arms out in front of me, reaching out to her in the silence for the last time.

"I'm sorry."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gone

The Old Fashioned sitting on the bar in front of me tastes wonderful tonight.

The flavor of my recently extinguished cigar mingles with the bourbon in the back of my throat.

It tingles.

It feels good.

The surreality of the evening's events is just now sinking in. For the past fifteen minutes, I stood in the cold outside of the bar and conversed with a homeless man as the remnants of my revisited cigar burned away between my gloved fingers. Half of the man's words were absolutely unintelligible; the deranged babbling of a man abandoned by the unflinching judgement of time and society.

The man was tall; a bit taller than myself, but not by too much. He wore a simple jacket over a simple hooded sweatshirt. On his legs were plain, slack-like pants. They were brown, if I remember correctly.

Yes, definitely brown.

His face was serious, but warm, and his smile revealed two rows of interestingly arranged teeth. Atop his head stood a haphazard collection of short, grey dreadlocks. His eyes stared straight into me, as though he could have asked me any question about my past and known if I was lying.

His name was Wesley.

He was friendly, but grew defensive every time that I agreed with him, a reaction surely conditioned by the state of his existence.

Surely I could not understand his predicament.

I could not understand his predicament.

I, standing there in my knee-length wool coat and scarf, my leather gloves and shoes, enjoying my moderately priced cigar. His predicament can only be a concept to me.

I yearned to help the man, but out of an emotion deeper than pity.

Guilt, perhaps.

Had I not already given all of my small bills away earlier in the evening, he would have received some of them had he asked. All that I had left to offer him was one of my few remaining cigarettes. He was disappointed, but gratefully accepted the small paper cylinder. The flame from my lighter danced across his worn and wind-beaten face as I lit the wrapped tobacco suspended between his lips. He took a breath and his eyes calmed slightly. We talked for another few minutes after the brief ritual, until eventually he simply backed away, bid me goodnight, and turned to leave.

It would be a lie to say that I was not unnerved by the transaction. It is never presumptuous to be worried or careful in such a scenario. But I never once felt threatened by the man, even as he was approaching me. His ultimate goal was to ask me for money, certainly, but there was no real reason for us to talk for fifteen minutes first.

The man was simply letting off steam.

We talked of God and racism...clothing and society...science, Rastafarianism, and the sameness of all things.

I wish that I could have helped more; given him enough for at least a warm drink in the cold night.

But there is one aspect of the man's plight that I did understand.

Sometimes people just need someone.

Sometimes people just need to talk.

His name was Wesley.

I will remember his name.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First week of classes.

Excited about all of them.

There's snow on the ground.

500th post.

Still can't stop thinking about her.

Finishing up a new piece.

Working on the new Drinkable Review site.

Listening to lots of sad music.

Want to get out of this state.

Tired. Weary. Energy comes from the drugs.

Nightmares persist.

Mario Galaxy 2 is so incredibly charming that I smile the whole time I'm playing it.

Glad to be back at school.

Glad to be back in academia.

Glad to be learning again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I want to fall in love with an artist.

I want to be with someone who questions this existence as much as I do.

But not in the same way.

I want to fall in love with someone who will struggle through this meaninglessness with me.

I want to find somebody else who must expend as much energy as I do on a day-to-day basis to contain her wonder for the world around her.

I want to fall in love with someone who will help us better understand the workings of our "broken" minds.

I want to fall in love with the sensual: someone who does not let logic and mathematics rule their every action.

I want someone to take me out of myself.

I want, I want, I want.

Me, me, me.

Selfish.

I want to fall in love.

I want so very much for it to be real.

I want so very much to believe in it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For those of you who follow Drinkable Review (and those of you who don't, for that matter), there is some important site news in the latest post.

Be sure to check it out.

I'd love to hear from some of you.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I forgot my pen this morning in my rush to work and I am legitimately upset with myself.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Phantasm

I am scared to sleep.

The nightmares are coming back.

The few hours of each night that I actually do manage to slip into unconsciousness are filled with smatterings of these terrible visions, each one uniquely horrifying and graphic in its own right.

Death. Pain. Misery. Murder. Emotion. Mutilation. Energy. Suicide. Momentum.

Harm.

I hear every scream; witness every gory detail.

Even after all of these years, I am still often shocked and unsettled by the caliber of imagery that my mind is able to fabricate while my consciousness lies dormant underneath of my skin.

It is intensely disgusting.

But it offers me a sort of dark hope, really.

If my mind can not be sane...

At least it can be creative.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I would give anything.

Anything.

I would give anything to wake up in her arms just one more time.

I would give anything for a chance to say goodbye.

Anything.