Saturday first thing in the morning, and I am at work.
NOTHING NEW ABOUT THAT Working with computers seemed to be the goal I wanted.
As a matter of fact, while working construction during the day I went to school at night for about 3 years.
Thinking all the time, " There are good time coming, and good money too."


So, now that I have reached my goal, I go to work at 7:00am and usually stay untill 9-10:00pm.
And I do this 6 days a week. So I guess what I really want to know is,

Was I so niave? Was I taken in by theBig Game?

Or was everybody lying to me about the good life?

Well that is all I really wanted to ask, Thank-You.

Miserable day and a bit of Dostoevsky.



The morning starts off fine, I get to sleep most of the day (haven't had more than 1-2 hours of sleep for the last five days.
I've not felt so good sleeping for a while. Alot of times the sleep I get instilled a bit of regret because i dont dream.
Dreaming is the only reason I sleep anymore. It's become redundant the way I feel about my days. Maybe it's cause my medication has worn off, maybe cause I haven't taken it in over a week.
Who knows? God you say? fuck you God doesn't exist, not in my mind. The idea of one supreme being that modeled us all in his...whats the word....liking? is just a load of bullshit.
Oh well, enough religious philosophy. No more deity for me. just woudln't want that kind of "being" above me.
Not many things have been quite clear to me lately. My purpose in life, the concepts and philosphical views instilled upon me, nor the rules my parents have set. Much less school rules.
But I suppose it's just a phase that I'm going through at the moment. It'll pass, I hope.
I hope i dont get let down again. Hate false hopes, with a passion. Been let down far to much in life to actually wanna have faith in anyone.
Enough ranting, time for sleep and the possibly dream. Yet another false hope.........
Bah and humbug. Whilst I've finally noded again, it was more or less c'n'p'd. I have so much to node on both Methods and Standards and DOM, knocking off the occasional time-consuming w/u like that one is just an avoidance tactic.

(Sad fact: I like marking up text. I think that's why I enjoy contributing other people's stuff to the E2 database. It's an excuse to tag. It's a lot easier than programming but allows some of the same expression of form (as opposed to content). My artistic (in the traditional sense) abilities are fairly limitted but I do get a creative buzz from coding. That's why I like midi, too, I guess.)

It's now less than a month before our loft conversion begins. We've done as much preparation as we can. We didn't get the kitchen moved (still living from two microwaves and a plug-in pair of electric hotplates). Not that this is particularly restrictive - you just can't make a decent fried egg.

Part of the preparation was getting modem and file sharing working for our home network. Yesterday we finally gave up on a separate server. Sadly, we couldn't get Linux file sharing working reliably on the "spare" machine (and I couldn't find a USB ACM modem in the UK) so we're back to peer-to-peer. When I get my new machine (post-loft), the machine I'm using now might be up to the job.

Oh, I'm now MBCS. Maybe E2 should support post-nominal embellishments..?

Today, I kissed a girl.

Does anything else really matter?

She pulled me in, and I trembled, fumbling and reaching out with my lips. Tickled by her nose ring. Bumped my glasses against her. Missed a few times.
'Those aren't your lips, are they?'

Finally, our lips touched. A few short, sweet sensations. And then we did it again, one, two, maybe three times. It got a little better, and then it ended.
I like her.
I think she likes me.
In all likelihood, it was a platonic gesture. I don't mind. A boy only gets one first kiss. I'm not in the least bit ashamed that this was mine.

I kissed a girl.

The past two days have been interesting in an existential / machiavellian sort of way. I somehow managed to walk out on my job, certain that they'd never let me back in the place, and was asked to come back to work on the grounds that I have proven myself to be of good character- by walking out. Before you ruin your scalp by scratching your head and going, "Huh?!?", let me explain (long story!!!):

I work at TGI Friday's as a host (they wanted to hire me on as a hostess but I, being male, wasn't having any of that and took up the "host" position instead). To be perfectly honest, this is the first real resturant job I've ever had. I'm 28 and have never worked as a waiter, host, cook or any other shit-job that can be had in such places in the service industry- delivering pizzas doesn't count as a "resturant job," so don't quibble.

Anyway... Friday night, the 12th of October, was hell on Earth. We had homecoming for Vandy and a major college sports game on top of the usual Friday-night business (which is always hectic to begin with). To compound the situation of an expected hard night, we (the host and hostess) got shorted- there was supposed to be three of us that night, but one of the girls declined to show up and left us hanging without notice. Chaos ensued much the same way it would if- well... no, I won't go there.

So, people filed through the doors of Friday's like a torrential flood. It wasn't "steady" business by any sense of the imagination- it was all-out disorder. Me and my associate had enlisted the help of the manager, who did his outright best to help us out when he could, but being that he is the manager, he wasn't very much help. The servers got double- and then triple-seated, the cooks got in the weeds, the manager was running willy-nilly all over the place and we, the hosts, were doing our best to make sense of it all. Customers were faced with nothing less than a 15-minute wait all night long and on top of keeping the customers in order, we had to bus the tables once they became available. The servers pre-bussed as much as they could, but sometimes it was just impossible. Parties of people numbering as high as 20 crammed themselves into all sections of the place, which isn't exactly designed to handle the kind of volume we had that night.

At one point, the head cook, Jalon, as I ran some dirty dishes to the sink area, stopped me and began cussing me out for not giving him a menu count (how many menus are open, which lets him know roughly how many orders to expect in the next half-hour). To be honest, giving menu counts is almost a concilliatory measure from us hosts- a courtesy, if you will. It's the absolute lowest thing on our list of priorities and in the situation we had to deal with that night, it wasn't even a consideration.

I told Jalon that I would do the best that I could to supply him with a menu count ASAP, but not to expect it throughout the night since we were short-staffed and were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. He didn't take well to that and began insulting me with a fine litany of epithets that, at any other time, would seem almost lyrical. At that time, however, it only grated on my nerves. I decided not to let it get to me, though, and that to "turn the other cheek" was the best option. Note: My personal interpretation of the "turn the other cheek" parable can be described as so- If a person asks for a mile, you give them three, just for good measure and so that they have nothing to complain about when it's over except that you exceded their expectations (how criminal! Christ was a true Machiavellian before it even became "hip", if only you'd look at it for a while...).

SO! I made a concerted effort to provide menu counts, at great cost of time and efficiency to myself, until it no longer proved worthwhile and the asshole was still unhappy with the results. He began to verbally assault me for doing exactly what he asked for- every ten minutes. I finally stood my ground and asked him, "Just what the hell have I done to you that deserves this kind of treatment, pal? I haven't talked to you like this ever. It would be nice to extend the same courtesy and show me some respect."

To which he responded with another crass and yet beautific extemporisation about my heritage, background, sexual persuasion, intelligence and moral standing in general. I shrugged and left him, still yammering away at me like a stuttering, braying mule.

Thirty minutes later he was at it again, assaulting me with everything he's probably ever learned in the way of insults and even being creative with new ones that came to him off the top of his head. To this I merely remained stoic and continued to do my job, which was keeping those damn tables outside the kitchen clean.

The place got hit with another massive wave of human flotsom and chaos took on a whole new meaning for me. Everyone working that night was experiencing new levels of hell, up close and personal, but nearly all of us kept our heads about us- except Jalon, the head cook, who was still finding unique ways to insult me for not giving him those useless menu counts. I call them useless because, let's face it, it was a no-brainer that that particular night was going to be hectic with a capital H and menu counts would prove rather silly at any point.

I dropped my dirty dishes off to the dishwasher, got Jalon's attention and urged him to leave the kitchen for all of three minutes to take a look out on the floor and see what I had to deal with out there. He was not having any of that- God forbid that he might be proven to be acting like an asshole, right? So I shrugged once again and said, "Well, you're obviously aware of it then. That being the case, I should tell you that those people out there are my job. What I do back here isn't even a fraction of my duties. You're treating me like shit. The way I see it, you're the person who makes the stuff I have to clean up and that immediately puts you on my list of people to like right there with pond scum. If you'd had the presence of mind to treat me with respect I might have been more inclined to do as you asked. But now? All you'll get from me is maybe a sidelong glance. Learn to live with diappointment, asshole."

Boy did that set him off! He actually had to be physically restrained by his co-workers from leaving the kitchen just to fight me. He told me to leave "his" kitchen and not come back into it "or else." He also mentioned that I wasn't doing my job at all while mentioning a certain activity performed with my mother which sounds rather repugnant.

Inwardly, I heaved a sigh of relief. He did the magical thing: issued a threat. I riled myself up, shouted at him that I was indeed doing my job and that he was just too much of a dickhead to see it and then stormed out of the kitchen area to look for the manager who had been so kind to help us out all night long.

I tracked him down and said, "Jalon just threatened to engage me in a fight for not giving him menu counts. Apparently, he thinks giving him those counts is the only thing my job entails. He has, effectively, kicked me out of the kitchen. As you know, I have to go in there to bus tables."

Ani, the manager raised his eyebrows a mile high, knowing exactly what that meant. "What would you have me do?"

I snarled a grin at him. "Iron the situation out, now and within five minutes or you're going to be short one more host. Five minutes, Ani. I am a person before I am an employee and I will not be treated as anything less by anyone- especially a cook who revels in being ignorant."

"Which one was it again?"

"Jalon. You can't miss him. He's tall, black and generally pissed off at anything with a pulse." I glanced at my watch. "Time's ticking. Four minutes, thirty."

Ani zipped off to the kitchen. I could hear the shouts from the front door as Jalon and Ani vied for control of their own pissing match. The shouting continued past five minutes, so I grabbed my off-duty clothes, apologized to the unfortunate hostess working with me for leaving her in a lurch and then left- of course, I clocked out first. I mean, I do have some scruples. Ani's a good manager and doesn't deserve any more grief from me than is necessary- I did't want to waste any more of his time by forcing him to track down my time records and adjust accordingly... that would be more rudeness compounded by the rudeness of walking out on him.

I immediately headed off to Cafe Coco to unwind and do some reading- Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is still thoroughly engaging. A few friends joined my table, but generally left me alone when I explained why I was off work so early and why I was so pissed off.

I stayed there until 11 AM the next morning, Saturday, having consumed more coffee than my body has a right to process. I was all but vibrating with caffeinated goodness at that point. I stopped by Friday's, which is practically next door to the Cafe, to talk to Burt, the general manager, and also to get my tip-out for the night before. I may have walked out, but by God I earned that tip-out!

I sat with Burt and he asked what's up. I said the following:

"Burt, before I am an employee or businessman, I am a man of honor. I live by my honor and my personal integrity. I walked out last night and I feel it is a point of honor for you to know why. I do not expect to get my job back, nor to I really want to ask for it, but one businessman to another, I feel it would be kind to let you know what happened last night." I proceeded to tell him the entire story and, when I finished, continued, "I understand that he was stressed and high-strung last night- we all were. I understand that he probably needed to vent, which is entirely okay with me. But I have my limits, you know? There are constructive and DEconstructive ways to vent and Jalon wasn't building anything but a temper. I kept my cool and tried my best not to raise my voice- succeeded in the former, failed in the latter. When I am compelled to raise my voice, Burt, I find that it's best for me to simply leave rather to wait for things to escalate to more unpleasantness. So I left. It sucked for all around, and I feel horrible for making anyone's life difficult, but I had to retain my personal dignity and honor. I just wanted to tell you that I was sorry for that."

Burt chewed on that for a moment and then looked me dead in the eye. "Jay, while I don't agree with your decision to leave last night and I think it was wrong because I'm the manager of this place, I gotta tell you something. It's amazing to me that you stuck it out as long as you did. If it was me, I would have left long before you did. I've been watching you work and you do work your ass off with no complaints. I don't want to lose you over this, so I'm going to ask you to continue to working for me. As for Jalon... well, this is something that's happened a few times before. Ani left me a note about it, explaining everything. Jalon will be warned today that if it happens again with you or with anyone else, his ass is gone for good. We've had enough of his shit. What he did last night and the way he treated you was absolutely wrong and you didn't deserve it. I'm sorry for that, I really am. That you came back here, just to explain your position to me, shows that you do have integrity and character. Those are the kinds of things I like my employees to show, and you've shown that in spades. You were scheduled to come in tonight at six- I hope you'll still be here."

I nodded soberly, tiredly. "I'll go home immediately and be here at six tonight. I should tell you, boss, that this job is way beneath my skill set-"

"I know," he said wryly. Yes, he's seen my resumé and even some of the design work I've done for various clients.

I went on. "But it's honest money and a fairly simple job. Most people succumb to the stress- I don't and won't. But what I will do is ensure that respect is afforded me when I give it to others. I am a big believer in the Golden Rule and I am a human being before anything else."

He nodded approvingly. "I completely understand and I can totally respect that. Actually, I encourage it. I'm glad you're working for me." He stood up, offered his hand and I shook it. He's an all right guy, as most bosses go. He doesn't get out in the trenches with us little folk, but he at least listens to them.

I promptly left, got home, went to sleep and woke back up at 5:30 PM Saturday, the 13th of October. I made it to work right on time, ready for another hellish night (the big Florida Tech/Georgia Tech game was on and promised to bring us much business). Jalon was working again, this time in a more subdued manner. He barked at no one and simply did his job- meek as a lamb. Ani, the manager from Friday, was working again, too. He pulled me aside to explain things:

All cooks and kitchen staff have been told to lay off the floor people once and for all. Any shit given to floor people will result in immediate termination.
Amanda, the hostess that I'd left to do last night's job alone, had broken down in tears after I left because of the task she had to deal with. I immediately felt like King Asshole when I heard that.
Jalon, in specific, has one week to get his act together or get another job. This is interesting because Jalon has been at that store for three years and he's never been put in this position before- all because someone bothered to call his bluff and walk out for the way he treated them and then came back to apologize for it.
I was forgiven for my walking out and even commended for it- apparently, it was the stuff of legend. No body had ever made Jalon look so bad in all his three years there, despite other people's best efforts to do so- and I did it in record time.

Through the course of the night I was visited by Amanda and I took the opportunity to apologize to her earnestly. I felt really bad about that and even worse when I heard that she'd cried because of it. WonkoDSane and his crew (added by the countenance of an out of town noder) stopped by for a few minutes, but I couldn't chat long... the place was hopping like a mad house all night and I simply couldn't take time out to be sociable.

So... anyway... that's the past two days for me... I have today, Sunday, off and I am going to spend it sleeping through most of it. I am exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually... rest sounds like a really, really good idea right now.

I wrote this for an online diary, with the title, "a bruise with a gun."

---

I hate the war with Afghanistan. There really isn't a better way to put it, although, using the verb "hate" makes me sound less pacifist than I really am. I just think it's so sad that people actually think hasty military action is actually going to do anything in the way of stopping or reversing the terrorist actions. It's not. Negotiating may not have caused the Taliban to fork over Bin Laden, but bombing them isn't doing anything to that result, either, and while we were negotiating and not fighting we at least got more information. Now all the information I see is about how the attacks are continuing and how many people are dying -- and none of them are the ones we're after.

The United States government has essentially diverted all their attention overseas, and quite hastily at that. At present we are entering our second week of air strikes on the Taliban, which were, essentially, George W. Bush's impulsivity taking over and trying to get revenge (or "justice" -- it's not even thought out well enough to be justice.) I'm opposed to war in the first place, but war without a plan is even worse. The air strikes are building an incredible mount of international tension and distaste for US policy, and yet we don't stop because there's some hope that the bombs will destroy infrastructure.

Before the bombing started, it was bad enough, but things were starting to pick up. Now, however, someone is mailing anthrax to various large corporations in the United States. It's being spread on every media circuit except in the United States that this is presumed to be some American creep. I read CNN en español, for the different perspective and the language practice, and they had a headline stating, "Red Cross believes it improbable that anthrax is from overseas." Although my translation skills are not 100%, the article clearly implied that from the given information is is almost certainly someone American who is causing this. (It also seems rather obvious, if just to my internal logic, because not everyone knows that there are Microsoft offices in Reno. I certainly didn't, until this morning.) However, no one's focusing on that, either in the media or in the government, because we are poised to bomb the shit out of anyone in another country.

My dad is overseas right now, in Germany. He left before the air strikes started, and I figured that in a week and a half things would have picked up and I wouldn't need to feel worried about him flying. He's coming back tomorrow, and I'm nervous now, because our rashness with international politics has gotten the United States in trouble before and I wouldn't be caught flying right now (I would have before the air strikes. I really didn't mind so much then, I was just cautious.) I think in general I'm just bothered that our government can be so impulsive as to think this much violence is actually helping anything. It makes me sort of embarassed to have to identify with them, whereas two weeks ago I was feeling patriotic for the first time in my life.

At the moment I have to produce my UCAS form for University application. This involves producing a personal statement. This basically has to sell me to the university. I need to talk about why I would be suited to the course, why I am interested in the course and other good things about myself. Even for a self-publicist such as myself it is difficult to produce something that is not too quirky but still not completely uninspired.

I am currently on my second draft, the whole thing has to be within 47 lines in Times New Roman point 12. Don’t ask me why they specify the length like this instead of with a word count.

I thought I would add it to my log today and would very much like some feed back, particularly from recent applicants and even more from professors themselves. I am applying for Maths, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics (MORSE) at Warwick and Maths and Economics joint honours at LSE, Bristol, Leeds and Exeter.

On September 17th, when the US stock market was hit by its biggest percentage one day fall ever, economics again proved to be at the centre of world affairs. The economic war has begun and it is indeed going to be a fierce battle. I yet again yearn to have a better understanding of the deeper factors involved in this war. I hope my study of economics will give this to me.

I find the complex combination of factors involved in economic theory captivating. I enjoy attempting to examine the reasoning behind economic policy decisions made by governments, companies and individuals. I want to be able to follow the same lines of reasoning as these economists and so want to learn both the theory and application of economics. Within the discipline I am particularly intrigued by macroeconomics and economic policy as these decisions have profound effects throughout the world. Yet of microeconomics holds its own separate fascination for me. Analysis of specific factors affecting each household or business income and examining the ways these break down appeals greatly to me.

Further Maths at A Level developed my interest in areas of mathematics other than statistics. This has led me to apply for a combined mathematics and economics course. There are various elements of my mathematics that I want to study more, such as Matrices and Calculus. In addition other new areas beckon, such as stochastic processes and time series and forecasting .

I enjoy all types of analysis. In each subject I am able to employ these skills to good effect, and in a different way in each subject. In history I enjoy drawing comparisons not just within the course material but also with other periods in History. In the statistical modules of maths I have been able to analyse statistical data in my regular work as well as in greater detail in my coursework. I especially enjoy presenting my analysis in the form of an argument or discussion as this allows me to combine my passion for debate with analytical skills. I relish the quick thinking, wit and rebuttal needed for argument.

I play bridge and as 1st IV captain for the third year running I have been able to play both socially and in competition. I am a keen cricketer and I have captained the 2nd XI for the last two years. I have particularly enjoyed the social challenge of this and the combination of leadership, morale building and organisation that comes with it. My leadership skills were also developed through my time in the RAF section of the CCF. As a Corporal I would teach cadets and command them on exercise. As well, I am a School prefect and a Lower School prefect, whereby I am involved with the pastoral care and school life of an individual Lower School form. I enjoy these roles within the school, particularly that of lower school prefect as I can talk and interact with younger students whom I would otherwise probably not meet.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ah, Seasonal Affective Disorder.

City Time (the time zone calculator on my Palm, which also gives sunrise and sunset times) tells me we got only 10 hours and 22 minutes of daylight today. Sadly, the daylight we did get was pretty dim, dulled down by clouds and drizzle.

I can really feel the lack of light. Keeping going on a day like this is like trying to swim in an undertow. The darkness drags at me, pulling me under, unless I fight to keep my head up. And the depression is insidious, discouraging me from treating it. It would be so much easier just to let go, stop struggling against it, and give in.

This is one of the phases I go through every winter; I am used to it. My mood will track the weather until the time change, when I tend to go through a deep low and have trouble getting up in the morning. Then things will get better for a while thanks to the thrill of the holiday season (helped this year by the extensive travel we'll be doing in November), then at about New Year's, I'll sink again. Usually, it's just the post-holiday blues, but I suspect going back to work after my maternity leave will contribute to a lower low yet. Then it'll be onto the long upslope as the days get lighter, each one better than the last, until spring comes and I can put my light box away.

What I need to remember, what I always try to remember, is that this is temporary. It's one of those glass half full/half empty things...is summer just an intermission between winters, or is summer the rule and winter the exception? The best thing I've done for my SAD this year has been to reform my thinking, to try to see summer as the default state. Winter is a falling away from that ideal, a hiccup in the essential lightness of life.

No doubt I'll reread this in January and think it hopelessly naive.


On the food front, I have been making a lot of soups lately. They're for the whole family, B included. He doesn't get salty food yet, so I can't just throw a stock cube or two in and build the flavor from there. Instead, I've been making my own salt-free chicken stock, then adding vegetables and pearl barley to turn it into a soup. Oddly, I can't taste the chicken in it until I add salt; then the flavor comes zinging out.

B has eaten both the soups I've made with gusto. We use a little hand-held electric blender to whizz his food into mush, since his gums are probably not up to bits of chicken and pearl barley.

Cooking for the baby is a powerful thing, by the way. M and I have both felt it over the last couple of months. Every step, from browsing for another flavor to try him on (harlequin squash? pumpkin?), to cooking it up, to mushing it and spooning it into his toothless little mouth, is deeply satisfying. It's even more fulfilling than breastfeeding, probably because the preparation process is conscious and deliberate.

We don't just cook for immediate consumption, either. We tend to make enough of whatever the new food is to freeze 10 or 15 ice cubes' worth of mush, plus a meal's worth to eat fresh. Subsequent meals are easy: pop 4 or 5 cubes in the microwave, heat, thicken with baby rice if needed, and serve. I make a game of it with B, letting him chew on the Tupperware lid while I discuss the flavors he'll be getting.

He has yet to taste commercial baby food (a point of pride). This will change when we start travelling next month.

It's one of those The world hates you, let's celebrate! days.

I got roused this morning to my dad wanting to use some box for something that I could care less about. I'm one of those people that can't fall asleep once awoken...so I got up. I feel a cold coming on (I pray it's anthrax...)...My throat was all sore and nose all stuffy. I tool some Aleve cold & sinus meds ("Man that shit fucks you up like percoset!")...

Oh, oh oh. I forgot to mention why I couldn't particularly go back to sleep today. I woke up and was genuinely pissed off that I didn't have a girlfriend. It sounds shallow or something, but it is exactly what I want right now...I just want to be around someone who is nice and caring and shit for me all the time (wow that sounds selfish...oh fuck you)...its just what's missing right now...

So I got up and went on E2, only to start complusively reading nodes like how to pick up chicks and shit...what a loser thing to do...

I have a shitload of shit to do for school, two papers to write, and a physics test not to fail. I planned to go to the library and actually study, but after the morning, I wasn't particluarly in the mood. Then I got a call from a friend to come over and hang out...so I re-arranged my schedule to do so.

I made it so that I could hang out for a bit, then head to the library...we hung out, did some whipits, bullshitted and whatnot, then they went off to go record shopping downtown, so I went to the library early.

I arrived at the library...got all my shit together, then got out of the car, to find that some FUCKER hit my goddamn car. Now, I just got finished fixing this car from when some fucker in a truck decided to plow into me around a blind turn. It pissed me off. Since it was on the passenger-side fender, which I never look at normally, I couldn't tell when it happened. That could've been there for a week and I wouldn't have known.

So I go into the library, pissed off^2, and start to study. I get alot of shit done, and my mom comes around to check on me, and she noticed my car. She gets mad at me because I have no idea how/when it happened. She gets that "You can tell me, I won't be mad..." but I was already mad and pissed off that I didn't know how it happened. So she thinks I'm lying to her or some shit, and I'm just stewing because my car's dented up, I have no girlfriend, and it's fucking raining.

Library closed, and I went home. I fell asleep, probably due to the meds I took earlier, and I woke up somewhat refreshed. Life is still no better, but refreshed. Now I'm just pissy and I want this week to be over, yet it hasn't even started yet...

I just recently realized that I don't know right from wrong. I can apply the "Golden Rule" to some degree, and I remember my regrets vividly, ..but I don't really know good from bad. Recently, a stranger told me that he DID know right from wrong. The only thing I could think to say in response was "That must be nice. I'm still contemplating offers from Satan and the Psychic Friends' network."
I mean, the Christians- - I have a love-hate relationship with them. Some of them are so blissfully enveloped in their faith that they can do no wrong. Many strive for nothing but adherence to their law. Is that the way, or should I find the center of Babylon?
Are there any absolutes to cling to? I know for sure that I cannot live the ascetic lifestyle of monks and priests. I am at least partially an animal. So where is the line? I've fucked up so many times. Should I strive for the wife and 2.5 kids? Should I save the world from my evil ways to become the hermit, surrender, and repent for peace? Should I fight my animal nature all my life?

When I was in the Emergency Room, a senile man broke his restraints. He managed to travel a few feet from his bed before he fell with a thud on the floor before me. He was helpless and bleeding. His confused eyes pleaded with me. I recognized this, but I did nothing. I just looked over him inquisitively like a scientist watching an errant rat. My Mom was already screaming for help by the time I snapped out of that. That's not the first time I've shocked myself with my coldness. I think that if there were ever a major catastrophe, I might not be that hero that I had always known I would be.

Sometimes, I can overlook these shortcomings enough to feel happy. If that were enough, I think I might be saved, but the same thing always goes wrong. My eqo always swells to incredible proportions. "I can do so many things! I am wise and good. I should just let go and trust myself with this life."
My memory sucks when I'm that high. I make the same mistakes over and over like some punishment from Greek mythology. I've died so many times. What good has it done me? I know I am no happier for it, and who is to say if I am any wiser? Like lead, some poisons are cumulative. Is this lead? No one finds a tolerance to lead. It just builds in their system until they are too deranged to see the end coming.

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