June 25th, 2001

nanowrimo 2010

Spare me.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    - Dylan Thomas

I expect more rage and less whining in your journal,
it is much more YOU and as "Zorba the Greek" said 
you have enough fire to burn the world.

I received the above from a good friend and I wish to reassure him and others who have expressed concern. I will not give up.

But having said so, let me maunder on in a depressing vein.

I remember passion's heat and the flame of so many earlier marches into known and unknown arenas and frankly am tired of it all. I say, without shame, that my fists are become no more than weights at the end of my arms. I could lift them for new blows but I'd rather not. It's time to lay down the nine-pound hammer. Hell, I don't even want a hammer.

I lack too much to hope for great things before my end of days. I am losing ground against an enemy I can't identify. My strength fails me in a myriad ways, my mind is different and I don't like it. My body is different and I don't like it. My sight is different and I don't like it. My whole life is different and I don't like it. But then, nobody said I would.

My life has changed with considerable frequency. I've joked with many of you about my autobiography "Lightning Rod for the Bizarre". I've told you I regard myself as a public service … "If this shit didn't happen to me it would be happening to someone who couldn't handle it." Well, it's true enough. I once sent a dwarf with a "box of penguins" to a magic shop. My sister seems to be Hannibal Lechter's sister, leaving me Hannibal, I suppose. I've been "Mr. Andakay", Ghengis Karl, Black Karl, Karl the Hun, Karl, Bob, Father, Son, and you name it -- all those other people over the years. I've been and done and seen much and some of it peculiar or unique. And I think I can say without fear of disputation that everyone I have ever known has at some time gotten around to telling me — in so many words — that I'm "odd". If you haven't done so yet, I predict that it is just a matter of time.

So be it. It's not the epitaph I wanted. I had envisioned something that rhymed or maybe Poe's "Alone" carved in a tall stone, but "odd" works for me. I don't really feel like it's worth it for me to work my way up to something else.

This is not depression talking, save all the damned concerned e-mails and solicitous phone calls. They are genuinely appreciated, but know that my mind has not so badly faded that I don't have the clarity to see an oncoming event as big as an oncoming train. I'm failing. For the first time in my life, I am genuinely failing. I forget things, I can't do things I used to be able to do. I can't recover to do things I find essential in my life. Things are beyond my control that are not acceptably so. I'm not learning and not teaching and not living. This, in short, sucks.

"We all get older." I can hear it now. It is not that. I've been aware of that for some time. This is different. I am losing ground. I need to find a way to fix it, but can't identify what's broken. I need help and don't know where to get it. Worse yet, I don't know what help I need. I'm no good at dealing with things beyond my control. There's never been much in the world on which I couldn't have some influence. Now there's a great deal that I can't.

I don't like being like this. I don't want to be like this, but change is coming. I can cope with change. I always have. I hope that never gets to where it is beyond me. Change is coming. I don't like it, because I can't see that it is a change for the better. I've never failed much. I'm failing now. I don't like it.

There comes a time to lay some things down, to put aside certain hopes, dreams, duties, expectations, certain things. The fact that the time has come, that it is appropriate, necessary, whatever doesn't mean I'm going to like it.

I am becoming less and I've always liked me. That what is happening must be does not make me like it any better. Go diminish your life and let me know how you like it.

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