"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6/22- 6/27/09: Relaxation & Regression

This week was as close to a time machine as I'll see in my lifetime. Chris had stayed in Ohio to frolic solo, so I was back in Hillsdale alone staying with Bobby with no real ties to my current life, except for my backpack. It was funny to see my old habits take over as I essentially let go and re-immersed in the enigma that is Hillsdale. It was out of the question to stay with my mother after the week before, so the time warp was completed by staying at Bobby's house, playing softball, and drinking beer. A lot of beer.

One troubling aspect of this month was the frequency in which I was drinking. Another was the amount of money I was spending. The two were closely linked. The drinking was all in good fun, but there were indications that it was also in small part due to the fact that I was having trouble coping with the intensity of all the events of the month. My entire concept of who I was and where I had come from was steadily changing, and integrating all of this was understandably difficult, but it bothered me that I chose alcohol as a means to cope. Never a good sign. On the bright side, there was no drama, nor were there any Random Acts of Stupidity! Just good times reminiscing with friends, smoking cigarettes and suffering hangovers.

Summer finally arrived in full force with temps in the mid-90's and Monday and Tuesday were spent playing softball. After three games in two days, I realized just how young I wasn't anymore. I was fine while playing, but as it was with baseball, my recovery time was pathetic! Thank God for ibuprofen and beer. It felt good to be playing ball again, and I ran into many people I hadn't seen in years. Softball it seems has replaced the bars as the social mechanism of the area. The softball fields are now where you go to see people, and there are many to choose from. I finally got to spend a little time with my cousin, Dewey, who along with his father was the first person from my father's side of the family to actually embrace me as "family." They did this way back in 1996, and for that simple fact I will always respect the hell out of them. Several of my old teammates now have wives and children, and a few have aged drastically! It was at times a sad, sobering reminder of just how much time has passed.

I had also quit eating... again. I've been battling weight loss the since leaving New Mexico at 165#. Toward Wednesday, I was noticing an extreme lack of energy, headaches, and dizziness. Obvious symptoms of malnutrition, but I had simply forgotten about food!! How the hell does that happen? By Wednesday, I was getting ridiculously close to 150# (153#), looked like a corpse, and had had enough of this folly. I began eating everything I could get my hands on! My weight fluctuates wildly at times, and by Saturday had "ballooned" to 157#...still too fucking scrawny for me. Hard to believe I was 200# in 2006.

Thursday night was spent around another bonfire. I was paid a visit by another blast from the past in the form of Ian. We had a nice chat and it was fun, except for the fact that after Ian had left, I was thrown in Bob's son's wading pool. With the heat and humidity I probably would have enjoyed it, except for the fact that my cell phone was in my pocket. I initially thought I had just soaked it, but when it dried out the next day, I discovered that I had also shattered the LCD screen. Not only could I not use my phone, but I had also lost all of my contacts! This...was not good. Luckily, Bob had a spare Sprint phone lying around, so after a quick trip to the local Sprint store I had a phone again. The other phone works fine now, I just cant navigate it except to play mp3's. Hopefully the contacts can be retrieved Monday.

Friday night I spent with Dave & Bonnie eating pizza at Baw Beese Lake, traipsing thru my mother's abandoned house, and chatting up folks at the bowling alley. Through Dave, I learned some of the methods that people are using to cope in the economic cataclysm that is Michigan. Many people are telling the system to go fuck itself. They're trading labor while working for straight cash for friends; friends that wont outsource their jobs to Mexico. I had also heard about a state "re-education" program for "displaced" manufacturing workers. The problem is that they only "re-educate" people in what they deem to be "approved vocations." These "approved vocations" are, to a great extent, service industry fields and when I heard "approved vocations" I immediately thought of the old Soviet Union. That was a nice visit, and I'm glad I got to spend a decent amount of time with them. Again, too much time had passed.

This was a nice, relatively calm week that served as a place holder for bigger events to come, and reminded me a bit too much of the good ol' days! By the time Saturday rolled around, I was mentally preparing to head west after the meeting with my father. I have been here throughout the month of June, and had a great time. I even toyed with the idea of sticking around until my class reunion on 7/18 and trying to use some contacts to find temporary cash work, but in the end decided against it. It's time to refocus and get back to the task at hand...whatever that may be.