November 3

GOD! So much of the time now I go to bed wishing, hell, sometimes even praying I won’t wake up again… and in the morning I force my eyes open, see the sun again, and feel miserable. Ahh, I wish I had some excuse, if I could blame the weather, or someone else or some failed project or something, so that the weight of this awful checkedoutness wouldn’t all be on me… fuck me! It’s painfully clear this is all my fault, — not fault! the point is… the source of all this misery is deep inside me, just like the source of all that joy used to be. I mean, aren’t I the same guy who used to float around overflowing with feeling, finding paradise wherever he went, who had enough room and enough love in his heart to hold the whole world inside it? And now this heart is dead, the rapture tank’s empty, my eyes are dry, and without tears to relax them, my thoughts squeeze my forehead… I’m in so much pain, because I’ve lost the thing that was the only source of joy in my life: the sacred, invigorating force I built worlds around me with… it’s gone! — When I look out my window at the far-off hills, see how the morning sun above them breaks through the clouds and lights up the quiet grasslands, and the gentle stream snakes towards me through its leafless willows, — ahhh! When all this magnificent nature just hangs there in front of me as lifeless as a postcard, and all that BLISS can’t pump a single tear of joy from my heart up into my brain, and this dumbass just stands there, with transcendence right in front of him, like a dried-up well, like a cracked bucket… so many times I’ve thrown myself to the ground and prayed to God for tears, like a farmer praying for rain when the sky blazes above him and the earth is parched.

But, ahhh, I can tell, God doesn’t just hand out rain and sunshine when we whine for them, and… those times that it’s such torture for me to look back on now, what made them so blessed, other than me waiting patiently for His Spirit and drinking down the joy He poured out over me with my whole, deeply grateful heart!?

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November 8

She called me out on my “extremes”! Ahhh, in the sweetest way! My “extremes”, that sometimes I let a glass of wine turn into a whole bottle. “Imagine me saying, ‘Don’t do it!’” she said, “just imagine me!” “Imagine?!” I said. “You think you need to tell me…?! Me, imagine!! — I don’t even imagine! You’re always right there in front of me. Today I sat for hours on the spot where you stepped getting out of the car.” She changed the subject to stop me getting further into it. Will, I am gone! She can do whatever she wants with me.

November 15

Hey, Will, I’m really grateful for how much you care about this, and I know you mean well with your advice, but I’m asking you to please not worry about it. Let me work this one out — as drained as I am, I still have enough strength to make it through this.

I have so much respect for religion, you know that, and I get that for a lot of withered branches and parched people it’s the water of life. Just — does it have to be that for everyone? When you look at the world, you see millions of people it hasn’t been that for, millions it won’t be that for, whether they’ve heard the Word or not, so why should it have to be that for me? Doesn’t Jesus say Himself that they will be with Him whom His Father has given unto Him? And like… what if I wasn’t given unto Him? what if the Father wants to keep me for Himself, the way my heart keeps telling me? — please don’t take that the wrong way; don’t read sarcasm into these sincere words; I’m laying my whole soul out in front of you; otherwise, I’m going to wish I hadn’t even gotten into it — like I generally don’t like throwing words around about all this stuff I know so little about (though, arguably, neither does anyone). Isn’t it just the human condition to suffer what you’re allotted and drink your cup when it comes to you? — And if God Almighty found the cup too bitter on his human lips, why should I act tough and pretend it tastes sweet to me? And why should I be embarrassed, in those terrifying moments when my whole existence teeters between being and un-being, when the past flashes like lightning over the dark chasms of the future and everything around me crumbles and the world collapses with me? Aren’t those the moments, when you’re forced into total withdrawal, out of touch with yourself, crashing too hard to save, when you scream, with all your useless, desperate strength, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” And should I be embarrassed to scream it, should I dread getting to that point, when even He couldn’t avoid it, He who crumples up the sky like tissue paper?

November 21

She can’t see, she can’t tell, that she’s brewing a poison that’ll take me down, and her… and I drain the tainted cup she hands me like a shot. The caring looks she always — always? — okay, not always, but still, sometimes gives me… the easy way she lets it slide when my feelings slip out… the sympathy with what I’m going through that’s written all over her face… are those supposed to help?

Yesterday, as I was leaving, she hugged me and said, “Goodnight, Werther dear!” — Werther dear! It was the first time she’d called me “dear”, and it shot through me like lightning. I’ve replayed it in my mind a hundred times, and yesterday, when I was trying to fall asleep and my brain wouldn’t shut up about everything, I suddenly said: “good night, Werther dear!” and just had to laugh at myself after that…

November 22

She’s solid gold, but she’ll never be mine. She’s like crystal, but it’s clear we’ll never be together. Yay, misery puns. If I let myself go, I could fill pages with this shit.

November 24

She can tell what I’m going through. Today the way she looked at me shot right through my heart. She was alone when I came in; I didn’t say anything, and she looked at me. And what I saw this time wasn’t the gorgeous loveliness, or the glow of that amazing personality, that all disappeared as I was looking at her. Much deeper than that, what hit me was her look, calling out to me with the deepest compassion, the sweetest sympathy… Why couldn’t I throw myself at her feet?? Why couldn’t I wrap myself around her neck and answer her with a thousand kisses?! She made a break for the piano and breathed sweet, soft harmonies along with what she was playing. I’ve never been so turned on by her lips; it was like she was opening them hungrily to suck down the sweet notes swelling out of the instrument, and the only sound was their secret echo from her perfect mouth — ahh, as if I could describe it to you! — I couldn’t take it any more, I bowed my head and swore: I’ll never dare to press a kiss on you, lips! ‘round which the spirits of heaven hover — And, but — I want — Gah! See, it’s like a brick wall in front of me — this ecstasy — and then, gone, gone, to expiate the sin — Sin??

November 26

Sometimes I say to myself: at least it’s just you; be glad for everyone else — no one’s ever been tortured like this. Then I read some poet from two thousand years ago, and it’s like I was looking into my own heart. I struggle with so much! People have already been this miserable before me?

November 30

I’m just, I’m just not MEANT to get it together! Wherever I go, I run into something that sends me completely off the deep end. Today — Oh, LIFE! PEOPLE!

I headed over to the water around lunchtime, I didn’t feel like eating at all. Everything was gross, a cold wet breeze was blowing in from the mountains, and grey rainclouds were coming in over the valley. From way off, I saw a man in a tattered green coat who was scrambling around on the rocks and seemed to be hunting around for plants. As I got closer to him, he heard me walking and turned around, and I was fascinated by his expression, which was dominated by quiet grief but otherwise totally normal and rational-seeming; his black hair was pulled into in a long ponytail that hung down his back. I figured he wouldn’t mind if I chatted with him a bit, so I asked him, what was he looking for?
“I’m looking,” he answered, with a deep sigh, “for flowers — and I can’t find any.”
“Well, it’s not really the season,” I said, smiling.
“There are tons of flowers,” he said, climbing down to me. “In my garden, I’ve got roses and honeysuckles — two varieties, my dad gave me one, they grow like weeds… I’ve been looking for two days already and I can’t find them. There are always flowers outside, too, yellow and blue and red, and primroses with beautiful little blossoms. And I can’t find any.”
This was starting to get weird, so I asked, deliberately casual, “What do want the flowers for?”
A manic, twitchy smile spread across his face. “Can you keep a secret?” he asked, putting a finger to his lips. “I promised my girlfriend a bouquet.”
“That’s sweet,” I said.
“Oh!” he said, “she’s got tons of stuff already, she’s rich.”
“Even so, she’ll appreciate a bouquet,” I replied.
“Oh!” he went on, “she’s got jewels! And a crown!”
“Uh, wow… what’s her name?”
“If they’d just pay me my pension,” he answered, “I’d be set! Man, back in the day, I had it so good! Now it’s all over. Now I’m just —“ A wet look up at the sky said it all.
“So things used to be really good?” I asked.
“Aw, I miss it, man, I miss it!” he said. “I was as happy as a pig in shit.”

“Harry!” called out an old woman who was coming up the road, ”Harry, where did you go? We’ve been looking for you everywhere, come have lunch!”
I walked over to her and asked, “Is he your son?”
“Yes, my poor son!” she answered. “God’s given me a heavy cross to bear.”
“How long has he been like this?” I asked.
“What, this calm?” she said, “Just six months. Thank god this is as far as he gets now, before this he was out of control for a whole year, they had him in a straightjacket at the asylum. Now he doesn’t hurt anyone, he’s just always going on about kings and emperors. He was such a good, quiet boy, helped me pay the bills — very good secretary, he took great notes — and one day, just like that, he got all moody, came down with a terrible fever, then went out of control, and now he’s… well, look at him. Mister, if I told you —”
I interrupted this flood of words by asking, “What was this time he keeps talking about, when he was supposedly so happy and content?”
“That poor nut!” she exclaimed, smiling sadly, “he means the time when he was out of his mind, he’s always talking about it — that’s when he was in the asylum, when he didn’t know who he was.”

That hit me like a lightning bolt, I stuffed a twenty in her hand and booked it away from her. “When you had it so good!” I yelled, speedwalking back into town, “When you were as happy as a pig in shit!” God in heaven! Is that how you’ve made humans, so that they’re only happy before their minds develop and when they lose them again?! You poor fuck! And at the same time I’m so jealous of your craziness, of this parallel universe you’re stuck in! You head out, full of hope, to pick flowers for your queen — in winter — and you’re sad you can’t find any, and you don’t understand why you can’t find any. And me — I head out with no hope, with no goal… and head back home the same as I left. — You have this delusion that you’d be ‘set’ if you got your pension. Must be nice, being able to blame your lack of happiness on something outside you! You can’t tell, you can’t tell that your shattered heart, your disturbed brain is where the misery is, and all the pension committees in the world can’t help with that. I hope everyone DIES IN A FIRE who’d make fun of sick people dragging themselves across the world looking for treatments that’ll probably just aggravate their sickness and make the time they have left even more painful! Everyone who thinks they know better than the guilty hearts who try to ease their tortured consciences with pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Every step that cuts open the soles of their feet on the unpaved path is soothing medicine for their anxious souls, and every brutal day of travel sends their heavy hearts to bed a little lighter. — And what, you’d call that crazy, you armchair moralists! — CRAZY! — Oh, God! Look down and see my tears! You made humans so poor already — did you also have to give them brothers who steal the scrap of wealth, the bit of faith they have in you, in you, oh God of Love! Because faith in miracle drugs, in miracle cures — what is that if not faith in you, that you’ve put healing and helping powers in everything around us — which we need, CONSTANTLY? Father, whom I know not! Father, who used to fill my whole soul and now have turned away from me, call me to you! SPEAK TO ME! Your silence won’t hold back this thirsting soul — and could a man, a father, be angry, if his son came home sooner than expected and collapsed into his arms and cried, “I’m back again, Dad! Don’t be angry that I’m breaking off the trip you wanted me to keep taking. The world’s the same everywhere, hard work and effort get you money and happiness; but what good does that do me? I’m only happy where you are, and I’ll take my pleasures and pains as long as I’m with you.” — And you, dear Heavenly Father, would you turn him away from you?