[A passage from my journal, 18 February 1974]
11:08 pm PDT—Pseudojournalentry. Pseudolife, pseudohope.
Mood vacillates like winding serpent. One moment coldly rational, one moment joy in despair, one moment cast down, one moment transcendental, one moment disgust, one moment nostalgia, one moment self-hate, all churning, mixing, recombining, flotsam, scum, alphabet soup.
Sounds come from a great distance, then surround and merge. Pinpoint, expand to become all. Return to normal, cold objective. Alone. World turning, great events, Prometheus on the mountain, Christ on the cross, Gandalf in the trance, moment of exaltation and fall
Disgust. Junk I’m writing. Fragmentary impressions fleeting moods. Daily life reasserts itself—I must get up and prepare my supper.
Feeling of nonself. Feeling of selfworthlessness. Selfhate—I hesitate to write this—almost as if self weren’t worth enough to hate. Challenge to ego doesn’t exist—no ego to challenge.
Frogs croak, rain on the roofs and windows, radio playing “Last time I saw him”, timer ticking, oven sounds, refrigerator.
Light bright and cold. Wrong end of telescope ending in cold objectivity.
Fuck off Telly Savalas!
Cold and warm.
Alone, in a tower, remote, above, beyond, untouched, fall, plunge, slide into darkness, slippery, chaos.
Touch real and unchanged. Uneven linoleum felt through my socks by the soles of my feet, lettering on pen against my fingers.
The bell rings.
Disconnectedness and connectedness. Things flow into one’s hands, reflexes are automatic, all is done by reflex. No feeling of purpose.
I break off two fragments of fish sticks for the cats but meaning is gone—no continuity with past and none with future. I can remember and understand intellectually the feeling of sharing—giving my pet my food, symbolic of relationship, but all feeling gone.
Pointless items (the layout of fries on my plate) seem endowed with an uncomprehendible meaning significance.
Unconnected—follow conventional line of thoughts in words at third level thoughts while considering/wondering/thinking something else.
End of meal. Hershey square HE/.
Hello darkness my old friend.
I’m sustained by the thought that it will pass, although time seems moveless now. It always passes. Defenses against it are: objectivity, joy through despair, exaltation, give in to it.
My moods oscillate wildly, I’m not capable of sustained thought, I have trouble reading.
No thoughts of suicide this time. I just read an article about (partially) suicide, but I had no thoughts of it. It’s not worth it.
Divorce between meaning and action.
Pain dull and remote.
Taste unrelated to food.
Self unrelated to me.
Chaos and torture and loneliness and pain and hell.
It isn’t real.
One moment // one moment // one moment // one moment // one moment // one moment
Each moment is self-contained, unrelated to the next.
It’s no goddamn good cheap intellectual attempts to make the ungraspable tangible and understandable and even this is horseshit.
There’s no relief from the pain.
There’s no relief from the clichés.
There’s no relief from self-criticism.
“How do I hate me: let me count the ways.”
Grim sardonic laughter. (12:05 m)