Sunday, May 28, 2006

Response To "Fourth-Dimensional Rat-Maze"

Here's a response a friend sent to me regarding my "rat-maze" life-comparison...GaP____________________ Cher ami, Was just re-reading your postal card depicting Hotel Carpenter. Your observations were profound in as much as they were deep statements from your inner being. I would agree that the notion that our existence is no more than "a 4th dimensional rat-maze designed to propel us - or trap us" through existence. Then you mention a life maze in which our lives are played out on walls leading to dead-ends or plateaus. Fact and fiction interplay in those meanderings, it seems. The questions coming from deep within are age-old: who am I...why am I....where am I....what am I....where am I going... I have a rather simplistic outlook on these same matters that I'd like to share with you, dear one. First, I know that I am unique - as you are unique. I know that I am not a random creation, but the product of the will of a transcendent Being that has called me into created reality....if that is true then I have a purpose. That purpose to justify my unique creation I must seek out...and when I have found that purpose for my ontological being...then it is in carring out the purpose of my life that I find fulfillment in the created order of things which will eventually lead me to where I am going...back to the totality found in that non-created Transcendent Being that brought me life in the first place. And to top it all - I was given the gift of the ability to love...and what a gift. But the fulfillment of that gift can only be found in the Giver of the Gift, though in life we find some few upon whom and with whom and from whom we share the gift, though in comparatively small measure. You analogy of the maze is quite within reason. However, I look at life as a crazy-quilt. We see only the underside of the quilt...with all the threads hanging, and no apparrent pattern. An underside of a quilt that brings shadows and darkness at times. However....there is the upside of the quilt with a beautifully sewn pattern, all in order and pleasing to the eye....comforting...and brilliant. Life revealed - eventually. Wishing you sunshine as you celebrate the anniversary of love in your life. Did you know that we, too, are celebrating an anniversary? It was one year ago this month on the return flight from AMS that the gift of friendship was given us. I value that gift and I hold your dearly in my thoughts. Thanks for the e-mails and the snail-mails. They are meaningful sharings of thought, heart and soul. Friends help us to understand, to love, and to move forward to the Giver of the Gift. A bientot, mon cher ami, Charles-Raymond

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Got to hang out with a good friend last night. Very sexually-open lady, very descriptive and liberated in that sense. She's always a blast to have over...usually I start to wilt after 2200 or so but it was so good to see her, I could have talked for at least a couple more hours. But she had to work and I had to get to the gym the next morning. She's a very sexually active lady. She's had couplings/relationship dynamics that a scriptwriter couldn't dream up. I don't know how she does it. That's some intense shit. It's taken me a year just to get used to the idea of ONE person in my life...and all the fears and insecurities thereof... Just took the dog for a nice, long, exhausting walk. I love it when the big doofus is at a slow trot when we're coming up the driveway. As I walk him on the leash, I'm conscious of this constant contest of wills that takes place...Or rather, it's more of a case of human agenda versus canine agenda. He wants to sniff every bush, piss on every pole, basically just be everywhere at once...and here I am trying to be patient. I asked for this when I told Ray he could adopt a dog. I think Buddy has changed our life for the better...but there's no kidding ourselves. It IS a challenge and a responsibility. And a dog's personality really infiltrates your life, you know? For better for worse...and he IS a two-person animal. Still more of a cat-person but one still has to allow for change in one's life...And I HAVE a cat in my life: Bill's NOURIE. ...I knew it was going to happen eventually: I'm quickly coming up on 38(two years shy of forty)and I'm already starting to feel changes in my body that I'm not DIGGIN'. Metabolism is slowing down and the torso is slowly heading south, distorting the size of trousers that I usually take. Regular, vigorous bouts of exercise are required to keep the furnace(and the calories) burning. Yep. Ageing sure is KEWL. All for now...GaP

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Broad Strokes

Just managed to get the comic collection upstairs. Last week's mega-rains caused some soaking down in the cellar which neccesitated some wet-vaccing. Many thanks to my roommate who did the lion's share of the work. He's the handyman who keeps the place running. While the comic collection didn't get touched by the rain, I decided to take my babies out of that dank, damp environment and put them in my bedroom until further notice. On Mother's Day, during the worst of the storm-activity, Bill and I went down to visit his mom and his aunt. A few other family members showed up. If mom and her sister suspected the nature of our relationship, they said nothing. Denial is the way to go... I returned home all stressed from the driving only to get bitchy when the dog was bouncing in my face...In complete self-absorption, I was completely oblivious to the fact that Ray had been bailing out my cellar. Caused a bit of friction between us...but I've been ignoring my responsibilities as a homeowner. He may not be regular with the cash contributions but he's done many repairs for me...making new plumbing pipes for the washing machine downstairs, for example... I had my one year anniversary date with Bill at the same restaurant we set up a meeting at...(Blake's). Then we hit an Irish Pub for a couple pints of cider...A good night... Our day together was yesterday, doing nothing in particular. We shopped at Newbury Comics, went out to eat...It's what you do on a Sunday. Saw THE PRODUCERS on DVD. Amusing but a reminder of why I don't like musicals... Had a good trip overseas this past week. I decided that while morale at work was grey and bleak, I didn't have to make myself miserable...The power of positive intent. Makes a difference when you smile a bit. A bit of sunshine goes a long way, trite as it sounds... During my layover, I saw a movie with a fellow-film/pop-culture afficionado...He wanted to see AUDITION but didn't want to see it alone. A psychological thriller that builds up to a horrific fifteen minute finale involve piano-wire and anti-acupuncture. Will never forget that sawing sound. Yeesh. The morale of the movie? Don't ignore some very obvious(to us, the audience anyway) red-flag warning signs...or you could end up without a foot or two... The rain is over. Say Hallujah... Not going to see THE DA VINCI CODE. Don't care enough to. Book was a page-turner but didn't want to hype-surf...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mother's Day Relief

I'm in the middle of creating a First Anniversary Card for my significant other. Typically, I start with a small idea and it balloons into a full-blown project...Don't want to drown myself in it...I could do the cut-and-paste on my next AMSterdam layover but of course, I can't bring scissors with me on the it looks as if I'll have to buy some over there...I don't feel like tackling the monster-collage right now... Every time I walk into a drug-store or a card-shop, I'm reminded that Mother's Day is less than a week away. And EVERY time, I feel a minor flush of relief that I don't have to deal with contacting a manic-depressive mother anymore. I don't have to call and hear the guilt-trips, self-pity, nor the melodrama. I feel some guilt about this...but mostly a bit of sadness that mom never got herself any help, never really found some coherence or clarity in her life...If there is an afterlife or a higher state of existence, I hope she's in a happier place...I'm just glad that I don't have to deal with the mental-merry-go-round any more... Sorry, Mom. I guess I did love you. I love the person you could have been even more. Hope you're well...GaP

Monday, May 08, 2006


On my last layover in AMSTERDAM, a colleague and I saw HOSTEL on his computer/DVD player. Presented by Quentin Tarantino, it begins in AMS with three backpackers, two Americans and one Icelander bent on sex and getting high. They get lured to a hostel in Eastern Europe which turns out to be a front for a black-market kidnapping ring. Hostellers disappear, usually after partying. They've been slipped drugs and are spirited away to this abandoned factory or whatever that is basically serving as a giant abattoir. Unbelievably affluent clients pay for the sick thrill of torturing these hapless travelers to death. Americans fetch the highest price...The film rattles around uncomfortably in your head for quite awhile after viewing it. You wonder if such a place could actually exist, if the normal-looking strait-laced businessman next to you gets off on donning slaugherhouse gear and turning a human-being into a pile of meat. And you wonder what kind of mind would enjoy such a grisly pastime...especially when one of the sadistic characters had a young daughter of his own... It draws parallels with the United States official line regarding their interrogation practices abroad, not to mention American arrogance and imperialism. You can easily understand why a stupid, swaggering fratboy American would fetch the highest bidding price for the flesh-rending... Some of the evil is punished...but it leaves an unsettled feeling in the pit of one's stomach to entertain the notion that this shit is closer to REAL than we'd like to imagine...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fourth-Dimensional Rat Maze

I wasn't in a particularly despondent mood when this thought/idea/concept came into my head today. I was going for a long-overdue jog and then this question hit me...What if Life is nothing but a Fourth-Dimensional Rat Maze? No maps to guide you, wrong turns and choices that lead you down into dead-end situations, jobs, relationships...Every positive turn of fate or providence is the metaphorical piece of cheese designed to keep you going, to keep searching for what YOU believe might be the truth, the ideal way to live your life. Picture endless corridors playing scenes of your life like hi-definition big-screen television. You cobble together a map with the music you listen to, with the books that you read, with teachers and mentors that you admire, with the films, plays, and television shows that you watch...And sometimes it even makes sense... And you know the maze has an exit...but what under which circumstances will you find your way out? Will you die peacefully in the arms of your lover at peace with your family, with your affairs in order, and with the approval of whatever deity you've chosen to worship? Or will you die a slow lingering death as some disease eats away at you? Or some bullet or truck careens into you? Will you have grown? Will you have learned something from your twisting, turning journey through the Life Labyrinth? Well, there's no knowing for sure, is there? Because unlike the mazes you've seen in activity books, THIS maze can't be seen from a bird's eye view. Wrong turns are plentiful, hindsight is crystal clear twenty/twenty vision. Everyone else navigating through thinks THEIR route is best...and you can learn from them...but this maze is your OWN. A fascinating yet disconcerting concept... Enter Here--->

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jesus, What A Dream

Had this sprawling, intense dream. I dreamt I had this bohemian friend. I'd known them for a while. I remember that I wanted to get to the Mall on my day off to hang out and do some useless shopping. I went over to my friend's house and her father did NOTHING but berate and insult me for my lack of responsibility and drive. He cut up some jeans of mine...turned them into really ill-fitting cutoffs. Then he wanted to foist off this hand-held business-card creation machine at me but only because there was something wrong with it. Felt hot to the touch... Anwyay, I decided to dress up in my pseudo-Eighties clothing. I kept screwing around, lollygagging...couldn't quite seem to get out of the house...Asshole dad went to work. Then I screwed around on the internet and said hello to my bohemian friend on MySpace. (The friend is loosely based on ASH.) Eventually the friend comes home from school with some other friends. And the rest of the family members...The mother is beautiful, warm, loved hugs...She seemed to genuinely love and appreciate everyone she met. Some of my friend's FRIENDS started showing up to hang out. They were all making fun of the old man's bluster. It struck me that the dad was miserable, trapped by his success, working himself into an early grave, and all stressed out and taking it out on the world. Or whatever target was at hand. The father returned, in work clothes. He was sweaty and filthy. He proffered his and a token apology. It was half-hearted and I got the impression that I'd be on the receiving end again when his mood shifted... Eventually, the family goes out on an they're going out to Sunday Church or something. They had a baby too...(Looked like the little cherub from A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, the movie with Jim Carrey) I took that as my cue to leave...So I'm not sure that I want to visit the Mall now. It's about one p.m. A co-worker of mine, the lovable but shrill-voiced Jillie tells me to get my ass to the mall because it's what I wanted to do in the first place. We're driving through the city... The bus-driver was a gent named reality he works for CONCORD TRAILWAYS. So as we're driving through the city, the passenger in the first seat and I decide to help clean up the bus...I come up with a greasy stripped engine from God knows where...I find a home for it on the dashboard. I think I had to discard most of the trash at a nearby trash receptacle in the city...And there was more than one CT bus so I had LOOK for Don. I could tell I was straining his patience... And that was it. What a dream-blender...GaP