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The American Caliban

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seems so rosy in the cradle [Aug. 9th, 2005|05:26 pm]
The American Caliban
Exiting the psychotherapist's office after another $140 50-minute hour of "amisuicidalornot", I checked the hiptop for messages, only to find that "Bryanty Goddard" wanted me to read an email with the subject line: Depressed? There is now help, sometime. I'm once again reminded that it's the little things in life that are insignificant and stupid.

I am pursued today by things I must avoid. Spent time talking to D. which was cool in itself but it's about her being 17 and learning things and preparing for the college experience. And then at the bookstore, I saw Maggie, a poet and friend whom I knew my freshman year at UCLA and who inexplicably now works at a store three blocks from my house. And there I am, right back at that moment when everything broke and I dropped the ball.

I wish I was that typical geek guy. Most of the people I've known with something like my problem (aging 12-year-old, can't clean up room, can't get laid, parent's basement, comic book guy) can obsess on a ridiculous hobby or an engrossing job and make an artificial world out of it. I've seen guys living in a pile of old pizza boxes, who've never changed their shirts or had dinner with a woman before, and the only time they feel pain is when the PS2 controller gets jerked away. It's a ridiculous sight from the outside — the middle-aged man in the living-room couch fort — but it's a functioning defense against despair.

I'm defenseless. I actually want a real life as a real adult man, and I can't have it for reasons that defy reason. No couch fort for me.

I often end up at the Borders bookstore on the afternoons after shrinkage, and I frequently read the philosophy and psychology shelves on those days either because I have some technical interest in a brain phenomenon we're working on, or I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I'm intimidated by the philosophers and insulted by the psychologists; I wish there was a happy medium somewhere. I turn from being confused by Nietzsche to see that Naomi Judd has written a book on how to be just as happy as she is. They do, however, hope I'm highly satisfied with their books on how to date "out of my league" or detect my hubby's cheating, or maybe just control all the humans I meet with my amazing Laws of Power and Trans-Neural Hypgnosis. I am not highly satisfied.

Highly Satisfied
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: springheel_jack
2005-08-10 03:47 am (UTC)
I would imagine that the happy medium might be my boy Freud. The new Penguin Modern CLassics translations are supposed to be pretty good, and much more readable - and truer to Freud's rather informal German - than the old Standard Edition.
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From: besskeloid
2005-08-10 11:41 am (UTC)
"We Hope You're Highly Satisfied"? Are they bein' sar-car-stic?
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[User Picture]From: eyeteeth
2005-08-10 02:28 pm (UTC)
I too hope you're highly satisfied, one day.
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[User Picture]From: halfjack
2005-08-10 03:51 pm (UTC)
"Lied to Again" is nicely juxtaposed withe "We Hope You're Highly Satisfied". Perfect clipping.
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