Page from Roquentin’s Diary After Time Got Sick

April 18 1932

Nice, nice, very nice–

So many different people

In the same device.

–Bokonon

Train had trouble. Lodging with a woman who sat several seats away from me who happens to have a sister, I am unsure if by blood, who lives in this town. Kind woman, I suspect she will be a spinster. She cooked liked a bachelor man.

April 19 1932

Woman’s sister had a stock of sherry she did not mind trading with a neighbor for a supply of wine. Poor quality to the stomach, but bestial to the brain. The woman is a flirt, not a natural but well-meaning. So it goes. World is an exercise in pornography only its actors are ill trained. Not sexual pornography, the least disruptive excess. Made mistake yesterday. Made it productive but toll this takes on organs and skin color…here is a fantastic rule everyone interested in risk should follow: only do drugs if you’re in good shape. Problem with snorting amphetamine is you will continually re-dose yourself for days as your mucus goes about its business. Unsure if yellowing skin is symptom of dehydration or jaundice. My eyes are wired but clear so should be fine. Anyhow I hope I come down very soon so I can sleep tonight and attend class tomorrow. Need the notes for abnormal psychology; don’t care about stats exam I know I’ll fail. Disconcerting to be reading about schizophrenia for class while I am experiencing both hallucinations and delusions. Well, I was not born in winter and I never had magical thinking as a child. Should be fine. My face appears quite without affect, though. If I ran into myself on the street I’d hide my valuables. Yes, being broke next semester will do me good. Excited about classes. Also, my mom will be moving her trailer-park-style zoo out to a fencing in the yard so I am not taking a job in Ohio. I will either spend the summer reading, studying French so I’ll be more prepared when I take it next semester, or getting a job and recuperating from all the mental trauma I’ve done to myself. I think it’ll be okay. Will have a chance to get back to my old self and many of my drug contacts will be moving away from my college haunt. Hope the psychosis doesn’t recur with stress. Been convinced this entire semester this dorm is out to get me. Let grades slip and forgot how good it feels to be on top of things. I’ll take a month of no mood swings or destructive urges over this nonsense. Mind is my worst enemy at this point. Silly short-sighted cognitions that ultimately lead me back to hopelessness despite I am more talented than many a person I’ve met. If not very.

Publisher fellow has not responded to the short manuscript I sent him. He said he’d read it in Nawlins. Suppose the man is busy. Must have a few things next semester. I say this “out loud” so I can cement the notion. Must learn to keep a calendar habit. Will have a room-mate so I will not be tempted to roam around to escape the sound of my own thoughts. I must purchase some clothing. Textbooks. Medicinal supplements and piracetam. Toiletries and other things I’ll remember when needed. Small amount of school supplies. Will attempt to read a novel a day over the summer if I manage to keep away from drink. Likely I’ll remember how it feels to be accomplished in your own idiosyncratic ways. Can finish this selection of literature from Africa. Might try to finish up McCarthy and start on Faulkner depending on if he draws me in. Teeth hurt. Thought pharmaceutical grade amphetamine did not damage enamel or nerve. My teeth are ignored enough, fuck losing them.

Remember reading a deal of Burroughs where he discusses the role psychoactive experimentation played for the 60s generation. Was not a movement for the addict component we recognise now; most of the participants were middle class anyway. Always the case. Said that generation figured out, on accident, exactly what underlies consensus reality by having a physical base in the brain structure, not in the romantic stories we tell each other. Motivation, anxiolysis, self-image, so on. Figured there’s no real difference between people who pursue their pleasure in the positive sense and those who avoid anxiety in the absent sense. Did not consider people dichotomous as drug addict or life addict. Now that we’ve done much more research on neurotransmission, there really isn’t–no psychoactive works on brain functions that aren’t already there to begin with, after all. Now that the intrigue of the shit has worn off I am thoroughly convinced people aren’t meant to fiddle around with it. Poppies and such were used healthily for centuries because most people’s lifestyles involved physical toil. There was no mental fatigue to worry with, not much mental period. No associations of anxiolysis there, only pain relief. Not much of a difference. But these synthetics? Shit. Used to believe there is no schism between what grew from the ground and what popped out of a lab since everything that can happen is by definition natural. Beginning to think systems are self-defeating if they are unhealthy. Odd how one can turn a drug addiction into a long pondering of the unconscious manifest. Might be a good thing I don’t associate this shit with partying. Or it might be a bad thing. At least the partygoers find a stimulus to remind them instead of the stimulus being waking up in the morning. Well I am unsure where I was going.

A common thread I’ve found with the dead authors whose talent has lasted longer than their bodies lasted is they were all good letter-writers. O’Connor’s book of letters is as interesting to read as her collected works. Hemingway’s letters, Burroughs’ letters, Plath’s letters, their various literary theories. O’Connor lectured at universities and except for her emphatic attitude towards religion she made a lot of sense. Hmm. Was reading ratemyprofessors and it appears next semester one of my senior-level English teachers is both the most intelligent woman in the department and the hardest teacher. I do not understand “scholarly books” with titles like Dialogics in the Strand Theory of Converging Collective Unconscious in Postcolonial Literature and so forth but I do know what a good book is. Will be happy to be challenged again. Learned yesterday schizophrenia is not purely in line with the classical dopamine theory of causation. That is very good because it prompts further investigation–which means pharma companies will be pressed to create better more comprehensive psychoactive medications that can perhaps be used to treat more disorders. I suspect a new class of anti-psychotic medications would also be more effective than the current regimen of SSRIs. Idiocy to say serotonin is “the happy hormone.” It is also present in snake venom and causes severe pain if it wanders off where it isn’t supposed to be. Drug companies are lazy enough to convince the public their antidepressants are the end all be all when a mere twenty years ago the tricyclics were the end all be all and before that the almost entirely toxic MAOIs… I guarantee you the next breakthrough will focus on combining a metabolism booster (people do not exercise) and a cocktail of highly selective neurochemical alterants whether to increase or decrease measurements. The problem is even though we say we have selective drugs now, they only select for chemicals, not brain structures. Put too much dopamine in one part of my brain and I won’t notice any effect; put too much in my limbic system and I’m either high out of my mind or convinced half-breed demons are sending me messages through the rapidity of other peoples’ eyes blinking. Or if I was having a boring week, both.

Don’t know whether to envy people with present fathers or not. Imagination is the killer thing. Most of these folks have always had a room they could personalise and escape from other living beings if their mind needed it. Had clean clothes, had clothes period. Dads they probably hated for five years and wouldn’t give up the world for now. Lack of discipline will stunt a person incredibly. Well. This has nothing to do with things. Likely as not if my dad had stuck around he’s have knocked my face off when I made the mistake of telling him about the deviancy. Suppose that man did not understand discipline any better than the average five year old. Truly believe in the genetic component of addict behavior. Diathesis-stress model of psychological conditions is a comprehensive view of things. Glad psychology stopped bickering inwardly so much. Now to teach psychiatry a lesson with its lunatic pills that work about as well as street drugs. Had enough friends go on psychotic breaks from the slightest tweak in their meds. One girl was delusional for months and experienced panic attacks upon cessation of her medication. Finally recovered and figured out she’s better off smoking a cigarette when she’s stressed and going for a tan or a run. Her opiates probably help a bit too. Oh, a person goes off a patently safe medication and it’s their fault they experience insanity? What trash business is that. It is good to know the good authors were not only good letter-writers but also familiar with having to be reacquainted with your right mind, having lost track of it so often. Imagine Dambudzo on Prozac or Hemingway on Trazodone. Let me see. In Rome it was perfectly acceptable and a source of masculine pride to being able to claim you have sodomised many a grown man. Their gender division was an odd one. Based far less on biology than it was on one’s approach to personality. This is different from today’s understanding that gender and sex are not the same. In Rome, a man was expected to not pursue his indulgences and to somehow satisfy them. All about brutality. Knowing how short a time it takes for cultural change to take place–drastic enough and everyone that would have benefited has already died off–is a sad thing. Every niche once had power. Poor Africa was the wealthiest land in the world. Sexual revolution did not begin with the hippies. Use of psychoactives was as accepted as it is in the elephant world. One’s weirdness was not a cause for anxiety–there was simply too much shit to do so you would not starve. Burroughs speaks about the tyranny of parenthood. Purely philosophical, applies even to the most loving and idyllic of parents. “You were nothing before you were born, you will be nothing after you die.” Echo of Seneca the Younger. It is a tyranny upon the will. I recommend Seneca’s Letters. He gives good platitudes. “Make sure your faults die before you do.”

I just figured out hanging it out the window I have the kind of hand that would easily come off in an accident. Earlier I was thinking about mercantilism being where the world went wrong and thought “Mercantilism is the root of all evil…” Then I realised I was quoting almost verbatim from the bible. Painful thought, that. Was convinced yesterday of a higher sentient power that gave the systems of life their ability to become complex. Was watching people sixty feet below me go on about their business in goodish moods despite the drizzle and murk and had some clarity about our species. I thought speed made you crazy… it does, and it’ll make you religious at the same time. Very intriguing link. I always knew the people who manufacture their highs endogenously had something odd going about them. God going about them. What is God’s chemical structure, do you think? Bet the fellow looks like a molecule of silicone. Fellow might be carbon-based but that’s only in vogue for a few billion years. I spent this morning–after repeating the, uh, nude actor bit–racing around facebook having ideas of reference. If you ever go insane again pay attention to your ideas of reference. They are the blueprint of your insecurity. Useful. It is a shame so many people are insecure about things that are only inhibitory complexes when we are on a mass of spinning matter traveling sixty-thousand miles per hour through a near perfect vacuum. I think everyone who isn’t morbidly, morbidly depressed has a complex in their head that prevents them from realising the precariousness of our position on this beautifully painted spaceship. I recall almost a year ago a night of amphetamine and science talk with a boy who wants to become a nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge (30 miles from here) allowed me to conceptualise such things like worm holes and instantaneous travel. Magical thinking indeed. If we aren’t the special children of God’s green thumb then we are very small animals. I’m fairly cool with the notion. Wonder why it bothers others so much. I know religious practice is for community maintenance and religious thought is personal but by now you’d expect just a few less zealots in the South. Takes all kinds. It is going to rain tomorrow, the woman’s sister told me.

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~ by Jeremy on April 18, 2012.

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