No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.
Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful.

HE called me neurotic.

I hate to admit it, but he was right. He immediately apologized, realized that it was a bad choice of words. But he was right. I've known this about myself for years.

So, kids, once more unto the breech. Thank god I've started therapy, because even I'm getting fed up with myself.

ALL in all, Sunday had been a good day. Let's not forget that, and in fact, that is somewhat at the center of my current (daily) problem. It was a good day. We saw They Might Be Giants at the WXPN festival. This is probably the first concert where I was actually giddy as a five year old. The first time I saw R.E.M. I was in shock; when I saw Paul Westerberg, I was awestruck. When I saw Radiohead, I was completely blown away. But I was never giddy. Giddy is the feeling of a five year old on Christmas morning. Giddy is a weird feeling. Like you're head is filled with helium.

So I was giddy, bouncing up and down to "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Dr. Worm" and whatnot. It was great. There's something very strange about jumping up and down with a smile on your face while you sing along to a line like at the top of this w/u. It was honestly the most fun concert I've been to.

Fun is like crack--a very short-lived high.

BUT I can't just have fun. Always, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, "There must be some sort of intrinsic value which will eventually lead me to aquiring material goods." Maybe not quite as wordy as that--maybe more like, "Can I use this for something?" in my misguided hopes of being a writer / musician / complete bullshit artist. Nothing is done purely for fun.

And in part, that's my upbringing. Basically, I was raised to believe that, in the end, the things I enjoy will ultimately hurt me. It's a sort of reverse masochism--all pleasure is painful. All things which are fun will basically result in my damnation. All pleasure is reflected in a deadly sin. Food? Makes you fat, will probably kill you. Especially chocolate. TV? Nothing but sex and violence, poorly written. Anyway, watching tv is lazy. Go do something with yourself. Sex? AIDS, syph, pregnancy, herpes, warts. Feeling good about yourself? Hon, you're deluding yourself--you are not special, you are not interesting, you are not brilliant. No, you're arrogant, foolish, a bore to be around.


And they're right. Thanks to food, I'm now fat. Thanks to tv, books, all sorts of sedentary activity, I'm pretty lazy. Thanks to sex, I have an STD. Not a deadly one, but one which is incurable, of unknown duration, and which has seriously damaged my sex life. Call it karma, call it cause and effect. Pride? Arrogance? Heh--look at my record collection. Look at my disdain for people who shop at Wal-mart OR Nordstroms. And I haven't even touched on the ills that American-style mass consumption has wreaked upon the world.

And thanks to, well, I'm not sure which sin, I pass all my problems off onto other things, like tv, food, sex, Wal-mart.

Ah, and here's the worst part. See, if I believed in a heaven and hell, or reincarnation, or enlightenment, if I had any religion, I could look at all this and say that self-denial will at least lead to something better later on. Though, really, even that is just chasing pleasure again--it's simply a delayed pleasure. Pleasure on someone else's terms. And giving up power is a weird type of pleasure. But that's not what I'm here to dwell on. See, I don't believe in any of those things. I don't believe that if I give up pleasure here, I'll get it in some next life or next state of existence or non-existence. This--right now--is all we have. I wouldn't say I'm an atheist, seeing as how I never make up my mind about anything at all. Fairly atheistic, but not full-on. But I know I don't believe in any of that--heaven, nirvana, whatever.

"Ah," you say, "so then why worry about pleasure? It's not like you'll get punished by some deity, right?"

Neurosis doesn't work that easily. You can throw logic at me all you want, but my walls are thick, and high. I will counter every argument.

And so you pick up your toys and go home. But before you do, wait. Let me explain. I don't know why I'm like this. I don't know why I am consumed with self-doubt and self-loathing. Maybe I never got over being friendless and constantly beat up from the time I was six until I entered college. Maybe I never got over my father's death. Maybe I have a chemical imbalance. But when I look at things I enjoy, I keep thinking, "What's the point?" What will I get out of it? There must be some sort of intrinsic value, some sort of eventual monetary/material outcome. Because fun doesn't exist on its own. Fun as fun is a waste of time and resources. Life is meant to be a fight. Life is meant to be survival; everything must be about survival.

But when you're white and middle class and suburban (and even that state is somewhat unnatural for me, having started out as a poor, Irish Catholic, urban widow-and-orphan type), you're not worried about survival anymore. That's been taken care of by mom and dad. I know if I lost my job, if something were to go wrong, I have a safety net. Which, of course, is what everyone strives for, really. I'm a fool for having that upset me. When you're in this state, you're supposed to be able to sit back and have fun. You're supposed to do things simply for the enjoyment that it brings.

I can't do that.

I'm a failure of Maslow's Hierarchy. I am a coward. And I'm scared, because I've lost the point to it all.

AND I know you're all bored. "Oh great--more angsty bullshit. I got over that shit years ago." Fine. But I haven't. And if I don't write about it, then I'm afraid what I would do. I'm afraid of keeping everything just inside my head--because those thoughts have started drifting in again.

And I'm sure some of you wouldn't mind that at all. But I hope some of you would. I know at least one of you would.

AND the forgotten, eighth deadly sin? Acedia--acute depression.