Guest Post by Rab Laury


I don’t know why all of a sudden I want to write something.

I usually think it’s stupid to write things like this down. I question my motives. I will go in to what I mean by that, don‘t worry. This is not meant to be some fancy piece of prose. I am not some aspiring writer hoping to get his work published. I am just a crazy guy in an apartment in New Orleans trying to figure life out. Why do I want to write things down? Is it so I can show it to someone else and prove that I am not crazy? Prove that I am capable of interesting thoughts? Why do people who become writers want others to read their stuff? Why do artists want others to appreciate what they have done? Why do actors and musicians want to become known, to become known by many, to become known by all? To become famous. Is that what I want? Why would I want that? But the question has to be asked, because I am writing something at this very moment with intention of it being read by someone else. Hey, maybe it’s a cry for help. I wrack my brain about this kind of thing.

Just relax, that’s what I wish I could do. But my mind goes in circles, trying to figure out every possibility. I just want to know what is going on! I don’t give a shit what people think of my thoughts - so back to the question of why am I writing? Because I was going insane not writing. I doubt this will help. Yes, ramble ramble. You will find I do that. Who “you” are is a mystery. I am not writing this with any particular person in mind. In other words, I’m talking to my self.

I have to clean this place up. I was horrified to learn that the plumbers had been in a couple of days ago. I noticed the cold water faucet in the shower was harder to turn and realized someone must have been in. And I should have known, too. I got the floor soaked the other day while washing prints in the tub and I just had a feeling the water was going to leak on the downstairs ceiling again. I asked John upstairs and he confirmed plumbers had been in, and were coming back Monday. That’s tomorrow morning. Gotta clean, this place is embarrassing. And what a violation of privacy. I was not happy at all thinking about people in here, looking around, their prying eyes on my personal life, on my drying prints. They should have told me they were coming in.

I wonder if I’m crazy. I wonder if everyone is crazy. I wonder if I am not crazy but clever because I see how crazy people are. I wonder if someone who thinks he is crazy and delusional can really be crazy, because if he were crazy and delusional he wouldn’t realize it because crazy and delusional people actually believe their delusions and don’t realize they are crazy. Or do they? You can see what I’m up against here. This kind of reasoning can go on and on in swirls and endless loops that can really make a guy go nuts. OK, maybe I think too much. Maybe I have an actual “disorder”. Maybe a psychologist would label me with Borderline Personality disorder. Or Paranoid Disorder. Or Narcissistic disorder. See, once you go labeling disorders everything can make sense. You can just sum everything up by smacking a name on it. I’m certainly a deep thinker, a truth seeker. Since I tend to consider every possibility I can come up with, I often feel unbelievably paranoid. But at the same time I realize the paranoid thoughts are just one possibility. I think that sets me apart from a truly paranoid person. Or that’s one possibility anyway.

Like many people I get paranoid thoughts when I smoke pot. Does pot make me crazy, or does it help me to see the truth? When stoned I certainly feel crazy. But is it just because it’s helping me see what’s really going on and I can’t handle it? Or is it making me delusional? This is a circular line of questioning that also plagues me. I feel insightful when I smoke. I don’t smoke all that often, but Angel does. Angel is not her real name, and I ask myself why I changed it. Is it because I know I’ll be showing this to her and I don’t want her to get mad about using her name? Is it because I want many people to read this some day and think it’s not a good idea to use real names? What are my motives I wonder again? And why would anyone want to read these ramblings anyway? I want to be as honest here as possible. I don’t want to write things to try to make myself look good. I don’t think that’s my point. I’m going to be honest and tell you I’m not going to tell you everything. I may leave some things out because I really do care what you think of me. Those two sentences I just wrote are pretty contradictory, aren’t they? Which is it? Do I care or not? Let’s just say I don’t care, but everyone’s got to have some secrets, ok? I edit.

I think a truly enlightened person wouldn’t have the need to share his thoughts and philosophy. That the best philosophers that exist and have ever existed would never talk about their ideas to anyone. The very fact that I’m sharing this philosophy with you right now means I must not know what the hell I’m talking about. Loops, loops, loops. Boy, I must be nuts. OK, Angel and I have been hanging out for a few months now. Many of my paranoid thoughts have been about her. Can I trust her? What does she want from me? Things seem to be great. We have a good time together. And I really like having sex with her. I saw her walking down the street on my way to work at the restaurant (a few jobs ago). I caught up to her and said hi. Told her I like her knitted hat. She looked really cute in that knitted hat. She told me her grandmother made it. I really wanted to see her naked, to hold on to that ass while I fucked her. I saw her again a few days later. I got my wish.

Since I moved here I’ve felt like I’m in some kind of limbo, some kind of dream. A kind of Twilight Zone episode. I consider the possibility that I am actually dead. Maybe I died in a motorcycle accident or am in a coma right now in a hospital bed. You’re probably thinking how unreasonable that all sounds (and the idea of a “you” reading this is even more ridiculous if all that was true), but consider dreams. One of the largest influences of my thoughts is dreams. Not any specific dream, but just the fact that they exist. That while dreaming I can be completely convinced that I am awake, even after considering the possibility in the dream that I am dreaming. I’m fooled, tricked, every night. Someone who goes through life being made to believe things to be true that aren’t every night should feel crazy, that’s what I think. More circular thoughts. Can get lost in the swirls, go down in eddies. Am I dreaming now? A thought I’ve had before while dreaming and answered “no, definitely not” to. And on the rare occasion I do realize I’m dreaming I look around my dream world and realize that my actual body is somewhere - out there. Not up, down, right left. Some other dimension, I guess. But I can say with confidence right now I’m not dreaming. I look around and it’s the same messy apartment that needs to be cleaned tonight before the plumbers come tomorrow. But I’ve been fooled before.

Anyway, the fact that things aren’t always the way they seem is central to my thoughts. If I can be tricked night after night by dreams, then it stands to reason that I might be dead, or maybe in an alien zoo (yes, like Slaughterhouse Five). Like I said, I like to consider all the possibilities. Am I fooling myself by thinking that a crazy person is only someone who believes firmly in odd thoughts like these? That I am not crazy because I'm just “considering" all the possibilities? Or is it a crazy person who would even consider such odd thought as possibilities in the first place? More circles, swirls, around and around. Angel. Does she really like me? She sure seems to. Is she just as crazy as I am and we are really similar? Or is she just pretending to be similar, fashioning herself into something I might like? Does she see me as a way out? She admits she is looking for someone to take care of her. Is that what I’m looking for? Wouldn’t it be nice? Is she just a sweet girl looking for support or is she sneaky and manipulative? Am I paranoid for wondering this? Of course. What do I want from her? Is it just sex? Am I using her? Are all the bad things I wonder about her really just bad things I should be wondering about myself? I’m probably projecting all my insecurities on to her.

Another thing I think about is there seems to be something going on beneath the surface of life. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. My thoughts are either nobody knows what’s going on, or some people do but most don’t, or some people think they do but are just as in the dark as the rest, or that the majority of people do and I’m one if the few who don’t. And an ever deeper paranoid version of the last possibility is that I’m the only one who doesn’t (talk about self-centered). I think of that last possibility as the Santa Claus theory. The Santa Claus story is kind of a harmless little secret that grownups keep. We all know there’s no Santa, and at some point in a child’s life he figures it out and is let in on the secret. Sometimes I wonder if there’s some secret that I haven’t figured out yet. Something everyone else knows that I haven't been let in on it yet. It could be anything, and sometimes I feel especially gullible and naive. I mean, the world is a lot meaner nastier place than I ever realized it was. Maybe the whole Santa thing is to teach children to not believe everything is the way it seems. But I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus. Can’t imagine my mom or dad telling me there was one. I always knew where the presents came from, and maybe I missed an important lesson.

Life is so strange - what’s really going on here? All the taboo subjects. There’s a reason we are not supposed to talk about some things, but why? Taboo to me means a kind of unspoken understanding among all of us not to mention certain things. Like money. It’s considered bad form to talk about money, how much you spent on something, how much your earn, etc. Because we all know there’s something not right about money. It’s a part of daily life, but it’s a taboo subject. Back to the thought that something is going on beneath the surface. Human relations - what is really going on here? What’s going on with incest, with rape, with pedophilia? When I first typed that sentence I had the word “murder” in there. I took it out because murder by itself is not taboo in our society. Parents killing children, children killing parents and killing involved with sex is more taboo. Then there’s the whole same sex taboo.

OK, what’s really going on with all this stuff? Why do movies, books, plays and TV hint around and allude to these subjects? It seams incest occurs a whole lot more often than I used to think. Something that happens so often must have a reason, or it wouldn’t exist. But, since it’s a taboo, I don’t think much legitimate thought actually goes in to it. Is there sexual tension between an adolescent girl and her father? From conversations I’ve had, it seems so, and may account for why fathers and daughters often experience a separation during that time. Is this nature telling them to keep apart because the mating of close relatives would be bad for a species? No, I think it's an out of whack culture that places a taboo on a natural relationship that causes this strain. Maybe tens of thousands of years ago we had to mate with close family to perpetuate the tribe. Or maybe since people lived such short lives long ago girls had to be sexually mature and ready to conceive by their first period. I mean, if everyone is dying by 35 it wouldn’t do to wait until 20 to have your first child, would it? So maybe the father played a role in preparing the girl, was responsible for her sexual growth during childhood. Probably the entire family was responsible for this, even if it was just siblings playing tickling games, an obvious first initiation in to the sexual world. These biological instincts no longer mesh with society, that is, the way people are supposed to act in a “civilized” world. So something of a conflict is born, a taboo is created. The way things are and the way they are “supposed” to be don’t match. I think this is what makes this a sick society.

Another possibility I was thinking of was maybe long ago the daughter was used as a kind of bargaining chip, a payment of some kind to another tribe. This is the father as pimp theory (pimp daddy - the term has to come from somewhere). But these old ways are no longer necessary, a conflict is created. We don’t like to think about these things, but since it is so common, I think it’s worth trying to figure it out. Another theory is that women are really the ones in charge, they know exactly what is going on. Us guys are dumb, even the smart ones. We are easily manipulated by women. And I think that’s why so many men are abusive to women. Men, realizing they are not in control do everything they can to belittle women. You do have to admit that men have most of the power in the world, but women are really the ones who are controlling the men. So is life just a chess game, like Alice in Wonderland hints at? The King is just a figurehead, and can only move the way a pawn does, and the Queen is the most powerful piece on the bored. I just saw a TV show where two men where playing chess, and the pieces were people. The pieces could speculate and comment on the game, but had no say in what moves were being made. Is that what’s going on with me?

Time to clean the apartment. The plumbers are coming tomorrow.

- RL