Oh, I feel like my old self again. Today I ran across campus in the middle of the night, laughing at everyone i passed. I wasn't running for exercise or anything, but for the fully tuned Steinway they keep in a ballroom in a big, four-story building that's pretty much empty after 11 pm.

But this was after I hassled the poor sod across the hall from me. What's the point of it, I wonder? Today it hit me like an anvil: I tripped on the stairs and slammed my shoulder into the bottom of a wall and saw twinkling stars everywhere. I stood wide-eyed for a few minutes there and laughed and laughed. And I've been laughing all day!

But when it really first wound up for the blow was my beautiful class on Utopia. My teacher is a bearded, gray-haired former-hippi with a PhD in Renaissance English. Depraved, yes? The class is full of yuppie children and rebels of rebellion. Good kids, and kids who just think they're good kids with the mind of say, a broken record in a cd player stuffed up the ass of a feminist fascist white american whore with a Mercedes.

I listened to some Credence, which was amazingly out of character. I absolutely cracked up listening to Fortunate Son, howled even, and grinned at the downbeats of gangsta-rap DMX and Sisco in the background. Sisco (or whatever the fuck his name is) is obviously the new Messiah.

My english teacher, he spoke slowly but provocatively, he said to these blank, empty faces, up too early at 12 PM, he said to us "Are any of you characterized by a talent for insatiability? Is that you? Do you have a TALENT for INSATIABILITY?" And I wanted to just roll on the floor and choke on his words! I wanted to break a fucking board on my thighs!

He stared at us slowly, looking from face to face. It had come out of nowhere, sprung from his drawn out and self-supporting narrative on Utopia and Philosophy and Feminism and Religion. It broke my fucking heart. But not as much as it should.

Because the Steinway was already out of tune. The short, sad, chinese Jew who had tuned it wouldn't even know it... within a few days, just a bag of strings with no sort of sync. These things always bothered the fuck out of me. Because they seem to put so much work and precision and thought into it, and it sounds so beautiful afterwards. She seemed so sad and pitiful working on it and put so much care into making sure I had something to play. She was probably making bullshit money tuning the piano, and she did it perfectly.

She did it perfectly and she didn't give a good goddamn fuck what the hell she did it for. She tuned it and took the time to show me around the floor to the other pianos. She had cheap, old clothes, and looked homeless, with a little, rotting wooden box for her tools that were perfectly arranged. Probably only five feet tall and taking apart a piano. Does she have a fucking talent for insatiability?

Hahahaha! I think I smoked a pack of cigarettes today, because for once I don't have work. And god do I wish I did, because I'm going to get motherfucking lung cancer, and lip cancer, and finger cancer and die in a trashcan full of gum wrappers and bibles and god knows what else. Maybe pot-rap will save me? Ooh the bullshit!

That's what the professor was thinking as he stared at us, asking us the first question for an hour, asking for a response that should react with the closest thoughts of any person alive. Insatia-fucking-bility. As if no one else is desperate for a good, wholehearted laugh? A good scoff with everything!

Maybe cowards become piano tuners, or maybe they don't become anything at all. The brave ones seem so self-sufficient. They seem so complacent... and I suppose it's better if they don't hear the crazy fucker wailing on an untuned piano, in the dark, laughing between solos.

What you will

What I will

Where’d you go?

I can’t say,
I just went

I don’t understand you

What’s to understand?
We’re the same

Yeah, But I don’t understand you

I wish I understood myself
Then maybe I could understand you
Why, then, you hide away when I call you beautiful

What would you do?

I don’t have to worry about that
Most girls like to be told they are

I’m not like most girls

So I’ve noticed.

I was honest, I swear, the last thing I wanna do
Honest, I swear, the last thing I wanna do
Is ever cause you pain...

Stop. Breathe.

My girlfriend Amanda and I broke up on Thursday. That was the 19th, 2 days after her 24th birthday. We'd been together for 5 years, 3 months, and 6 days, since we were both 18 and I was in summer school so I could graduate from high school and she had just finished her freshman year of college.

I can write this like it's an obituary now. I can report on the facts as they happened. I'm mostly numb, not like novocaine but like the day after a filling.

It went like this: Amanda came over around 7:30pm. She was going to go out for chinese food (which really means "scorpion bowls and gossip") with her friend Brittany (who, as it happens, is also my hairdresser) later that night but had asked if I she could come over and see me beforehand. I figured she just wanted to hang out and see me - after living together for 2 years, living separately was a little tough on us. But she couldn't afford my rent; programmers make more than psych research assistants, even when they are running the research themselves.

When she walked into the apartment (she had her own set of keys) I was playing a video game. I turned and said, "Hey doll!" in greeting, and turned back to the game. And then she said, in a wavering voice: "Can you pause the game for a minute?"

(Why the fuck am I writing this? This is either the biggest mistake of my life or it will turn out to be a defining moment but I can't fucking write it like it's a fucking BOOK REPORT, like something I saw on TV, like...)

Stop. Breathe.

I looked at her and she did not meet my gaze. She sat on the couch next to me and stared at her hands for a moment and said "I have bad news." She looked up and I could see pain in her eyes, tears welling up. I expected death, dismemberment, cancer, war, Armageddon. What came out was: "We have to break up."

This was bad, true, but not ovarian cancer or Global Thermonuclear War or AIDS or "I've been fucking your best friend, sorry". I was almost relieved.

The next hour is mostly a blur. She said she had been feeling like our goals and plans were different; this was true. She said that she had felt like we had never stood on our own; this was also true. She said she wanted to stand on her own two feet, to spread her wings and fly, to see what she was made of. I had felt the same way, albeit in fewer clichés. It was undeniable though. She was right. We both knew it long before that night.

But she was so soft, so pretty, so sexy, so smart, so funny. So comfortable, so convenient. So easy to stay with, hard to let go of.

Have you ever seen two people who stay together soley out of convenience? It's not pretty. They eventually blame each other for their own inability to let go of what they have for something better. Even if there is nothing better, they resent never having had the chance.

So. She wiped her eyes and she left her keys on the coffee table. I walked her to the door. We agreed to stay friends, professed our deep, abiding love for one another, and then, paradoxically, she walked away. I have not seen her since.

I was thinking about this today, and have thought about it on other occasions, but it seems as if I don't think for my own. I'm so used to joking around and not being serious, I've found that nobody takes me serious. I've also noticed that the majority of what I believe in has come from some other source. A lot of what I feel on certain issues is not original at all. The only exception might be in the political realm, where it seems as though I am very radical.

At one time I thought of myself as a very original person, but now I'm not so sure. Things may, however, be looking up because of what I'm writing. This idea seems pretty original but how am I to know for sure? Sometimes it seems like I soar in a lot of what I read or watch and derive some kind of view that is essentially the same as what I just saw. Is society making it tougher and tougher nowadays to be original? This is a scary thought and it probably isn't my own.

You know who you are:

I see in us the impulse
of each to taste the other
We dance like cherries
ripe and ready
summer's candied splendor.

While Cow of Doom was breaking up with his girlfriend, and Ryouga was running around school campus laughing like a mad man, my girlfriend was watching me vomit in a bowl.

I missed the fair. (September 20th - Septermber 22nd)
I have been sick with what was most likely the stomach flu, but as the symptoms of the flu and the ebola virus are very similar for the first day or so your kinda left sitting in paranoia and vomit that first day. During the weekend I was left alone while everyone else went to the fair (how... cliche) so I tried E2 but couldn't concentrate tried sleep but that didn't work either and tried drugs and waddya know they worked like a charm (drugs are so much more effective when not used regularly).

Round One... FIGHT! (September 22nd 2:00pm - 4:00pm)

Anyways, on Sunday my girlfriend came over to give me some "support" so after an hour of watching me puke in a bowl, which was kind of odd for both of us (I could see my self watching my self puking in a bowl, the same bowl that I use to stir up cookie dough and cake mix in...) after which she walks to my bathroom, grabs my toothbrush with some paste on it and brings and back and tells me to brush my teeth, (I thought she just wanted to get the flavor out of my mouth, hell if I knew she had ulterior motives...) so I brush my teeth over my vomit basin and after I'm done she lays down next to me, and takes off our cloths!! (I'M SICK!!!) And while I lack the strength to make it to the toilet for a proper puking facility, it's sex so hell if I can help my self... (she sure couldn't) so I pull it off, and ya know sex really does make you forget your sick while it's happening, but after that final stupid thrust, I collapse in exhaustion and desparatly reach for my water bottle (as if I wasn't dehydrated enough in the first place) so she grins at me and hands me my water bottle and I cuddle up with it in fetal position for a few minutes.

Round Two... FIGHT! (September 22nd 4:00pm - 5:00pm)

So shortly afterward I regain my self and eat a few crackers drink some water... THROW UP... continue said process and sit at my comp for a bit, than she says (and I quote) "Well... I've gotta go and since I'm not gonna get any more sex out of you I guess I'll go home..." at this point I'm cryin' on the inside thinking why the hell didn't she drop by before I was sick, and having trouble picking up my water bottle. But she doesn't leave, she keeps saying the same thing with a little variation for the next half hour and eventually I crack, I get all the strength I've got stand up and: "Uhhhhg take off your pants..." so after she's done with me she proceeds to cloth her self, place my water next to me grin and walk off. The moral of this story is... hell if I can think of one, tell me if you do.

Nikki Wins. (September 22nd - September 24th)

A friend called some half hour ago, asked me to go read news. Terrorists have attacked Akshardham temple in Gujarat.

Two (or five) terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles and hand grenades attacked the temple. Some 44 people, of which four were children, died. And some 100 were injured. It was tuesday evening, the day of lord Hanuman. The day most people go to a Hindu temple.

The terrorists are still holed up inside the 23-acre temple complex. With them about 100 people are believed to be inside but they are said to be safe.

They arrived in an ambassador car and climbed over the temple wall to enter the premises around 4.45 pm and started shooting indiscriminately at the visitors. 3-4 grenades were also hurled at the devotees.

A rescued devotee said he thought someone was setting off firecrackers before he saw people running here and there and realized what has happened. Rescue voluteers had blood all over their clothes from moving the dead bodies from inside the temple complex.

India's Deputy Prime Minister, Advani said the attack was an attempt to divert attention from the successful J&K polls. Police said the attack was in all probability a retaliation to the communal riots which took place in Gujarat earlier this year.

Akshardham temple was set up by followers of Lord Swaminarayan, who lived from AD 1781-1830 and had been visited, among others, by the former US President Bill Clinton after the devastating earthquake, that took place last year.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has cut short his official Maldives visit and is returning on Wednesday.

There were two muslims in the victims, a fact highlighted by all major newspapers.

What am I feeling right now? I have no idea. It's not the worst attack yet on India. It's, of course, not the first one. Will there be prayers for those who died today all over the world? A year from now, would anyone care?


Update: (Sept 25)

Commandos of India's National Security Guards (NSG) stormed the temple in the early hours of Wednesday to flush out the gunmen.

It was reported that there were three of them. Media reports mentioned that all three were shot dead after two massive blasts and more exchanges of fire followed.

Without explicitly blaming Pakistan, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani said "enemies of the country" were behind the temple attack. On its own part, Pakistan condemned the assault and denied any part in the raid.

Dozens of devotees and other visitors locked in various rooms and buildings in the vast temple complex to try to keep themself safe were reportedly unhurt and were safely evacuated.


Thankyou everyone who cared.

I own a lighthouse with a real lightbulb in it and that is my most favorite possession of all my things. With that in mind I think I will go away from Everything2 website for a while until I get somethings straightened out. My biggest problem is that I'm not real and a lot of you are more real than I am in a larger sense. If I can figure out how to be more real in the larger sense of personal relationships like many of you are maybe I'll come back but only after I find out how to be real. I sometimes feel like the Velveteen Rabbit in that maybe you are all real bunnies and the boy in the nursery has to make me real. That might not make a lot of sense to you right now but maybe pretty soon someday you will know what I mean.

So many of you have been very kind and I'll tell my friends about the good way in which you treated me here. This was an experiment for me in trying to relate to people even though I have a serious problem with socialization. Because of who I am I have a lot of problems meeting people and really being Behr because I confuse them. They expect someone else and they don't even see me there half the time. Sometimes I think I am a character in a book like maybe Charles Dickens would write and if I stay inside I won't have to deal with not being real enough. There is more to the story and someday maybe someone better with words than me will tell you about it in a way.

Maybe just maybe real isn't the right word but I'm not so good with words although I tried. There are some helpful people here who tried to help me with my words but I feel like I'm becoming someone else when I correct my language use of thereof and then become even less real like I am dissolving and Behr maybe won't be there anymore. I don't think I can be someone else even if I tried real hard and closed my eyes. Sometimes I'm afraid if I close my eyes too tight and think too hard I won't be able to find Behr again and then who will I bee?

I have to say good-bye and I want to say I love you and you are my friends those of you who were so helpful to me. There were some really good people and those here who need help and aren't afraid and are willing to let people help them can do real good stuff here on this website. That is no word of a lie and if I could someday write good enough to write an article about this place for a magazine I would because when I think about it. If a middle aged man of Middle Eastern descent who doesn't write so well in words can be accepted and loved and helped here then the rest of you are better off. I have an e-mail address on my home node here and you can write to me and I'll write back, but not for another week or so because I have to go away for a while. If you still want to contact me after the first of October, I am in many ways real, just not in the right ways to get close to anyone here. Thank you all for understanding. You are very nice people.

Coda

Day 4: I seis the rios, I siete the rios, I ocho the rios.

The Jamaican wilderness is truly one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. There’s no rhyme or reason to how the plant life organizes itself or even manages to grow in such a high density. Approaching the island, you see endless mountains of trees. It looks as if there is no land, just leaves. An even bigger eye opener, however, were the residential sections of Ocho Rios. Most of the houses are covered by corrugated tin roofs so flimsy you’d think any light breeze could blow them down.

The streets are littered with shacks housing small “businesses”. None are bigger than a Mister Softee truck and all could be mistaken as abandoned if there wasn’t for the store keeper sweating profusely as he waits for someone to keep him company. There are also tons of people lining the streets, waiting for public transportation. The buses are privately owned and unscheduled. Those folks could be waiting a while. There are plenty of cars (all of which drive on the wrong side of the road) but when the gas price hits $3 US per gallon I’d probably wait for the bus as well.

My first stop was the Brimmer Hall plantation. One of the last working plantations in Ocho Rios, Brimmer Hall is 5000 acres of bananas, coconuts, sugarcane, and pineapple. All tour guides are legit plantation workers so I imagine they know what they’re talking about. The make $5 US per day for an eight hour day. I imagine they make most of their money on the tips tourists give them. We were shown a variety of fruits and other plant life native to the plantation. The most interesting plant is the Ackee plant. A medium sized red fruit, the ackee opens at the seams when ripe. A yellow flesh holding the black seed is revealed and can be cooked. The fascinating thing about the ackee plant is that it cannot be eaten before it opens itself naturally. If you do consume the unripe ackee fruit, toxic amino acids will cause “Jamaican Vomiting Sickness” which has a tendency to be fatal. Needless to say, I did not try any ackee with saltfish, the Jamaican national dish.

The next stop was the shopping center. Mostly touristy crap. Some nice jewelry and the clerks were much less aggressive than in Haiti. I was talked into sampling some White Lightning rum. I was told it was strong stuff and I shouldn’t drink too much, especially since I was climbing the falls in an hour. I was also warned that the potency of the rum will creep up on you so I might not feel it now but I will when I get to the falls. So I played it safe and only tried half a shot. When the initial flames in my throat cooled off I decided to look around the store. I took one step and almost hit the floor. It turns out that White Lightning is the Jamaican equivalent of Everclear. Fortunately, my head cleared up quickly. I resisted the urge to buy a bottle. I have no use for that stuff, although it would be a lot of fun at parties.

I tried to do some more anniversary shopping but I was limited by a strict “No t-shirt, no hat, no ugly jewelry” rule. I guess you can only get someone so many t-shirts before they institue these rules. My options have been narrowed to ashtrays, rums, or jerk sauces. I don’t think she’ll appreciate any of those things so I bought rum and jerk sauces for myself. The ash trays were really tacky.

The next stop was the Dunn’s River falls. A beautiful waterfall that is level enough to climb. They told us it would be an easy climb. They lied. My mom only made it half way before her knees started to give out on every rock. I was surprised she even made it that far. The bottom of the falls is pretty steep and the rocks are very uneven and extremely slippery. I made the rest of the climb relatively easily. I don’t know if the climb was actually easier or if it was because my mom wasn’t pulling me off every foothold I found.

On our way back to the boat, we are told that Tropical Storm Lily is hot on our tails. That’s sounds like fun. We avoid a hurricane only to get creamed by a tropical storm. I got killed in the casino. I didn’t lose much but I lost it quickly.

Tonight was the gala buffet. I pigged out. I’m sure you’re all surprised. It was not as impressive as other gala buffets I’ve attended but the sheer amount of food is insane. An announcer told us that we ate 50,000 pounds of beef on Filet Mignon night. That’s happy news to hear after leaving a place where the laborers make 5 bucks a day.

Tomorrow I have a personal training session. I’d say, “Woe is me” but I brought it upon myself

Keep going. You've got one left

Day 1: It rained on my Paradise
Day 2: Ernest Goes to Sea
Day 3: Labadee, Labada, Life Goes On, Bra!
Day 5: The Voyage Home

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