Sunday, July 17, 2016

17 July 2016 (Sunday)

On this day in 1954 (Saturday):
Slept in lately[sic] again this morning over here at [Ags]. Helped Ray in his apartment again this morning. Spent most of the afternoon looking out [trailing-house]. I went to town this evening and walked around some. $1.00. Had some eats when I got back to Roy's. Got to bed tonight about 12:30. Wish Louise would be with me. Spent $1.00. 
I looked back a couple of entries but couldn't find out where he was. The last two entries also contained a bit about Louise at the end. And here when all this started I thought he'd end up with that stupid Barbara.

Well, first full day back and it's been a roller coaster. Kinda didn't sleep all that well last night. I woke up at, yes, 3:30 AGAIN. I took a little sliver of an ambien but it didn't work so I had another small sliver and then I was out until a little after 5. So I was at least well rested for today. I kind of felt pretty comfortable most of the day, I guess. Was sad to be Not In Wisconsin but okay. Portions of the day, including the time we were out walking this evening, I was hating being here. Like I really don't belong. In some ways, I think I want to go back to my early graduate school days when I was just out here to do that and then leave. A thought that ran through my head yesterday was "I just want to work", meaning just forget everything and (as in grad school) just work on that. It's very comforting in a way, although I think perhaps not good for one's sociability. As I've said, it makes something of a refuge for anxiety. Speaking of which, I was reading Neil Peart's book Ghost Rider on the plane and came across this passage that he had written as a journal entry:
“Notice in these “watches of the night,” or while riding (or anytime), pattern of torment (tormente, Spanish for storm). Not only have to relive and examine every episode of life with Jackie and Selena, but every single episode of my own life. Every embarrassment, act of foolishness, wrong-headedness, error, idiocy etc. going back to childhood and all the way forward to now.
I physically flinch, say “ow” out loud, or “fuck,” as the case may be, and can hardly bear it. Such stupid things sometimes, but it seems my confidence, or belief in myself, or something, is so shaken, so undermined, so tenuous, that I have no tolerance, no understanding, no forgiveness: for myself or anyone else. No forgiveness . . .”
That's exactly what I went through daily for several years and still do many nights. It's what my brother described as 'the night demons'. Perhaps it really is a middle-aged thing.

So here I sit, once again back from Wisconsin where I was comfortable and (mostly) calm and confident and The Old Me. And once again I wonder how I might retain this mood or this feeling or whatever. In the past, it's lasted for a few days and then the daily routine of being here works its way back into my psyche and I go back to the old ways. How can I hold onto that? How can I maintain that mood? How to I keep that "confidence, or belief in myself, or something"? It certainly is tempting, as I noted above, to sink into that single-minded work-only sort of routine, as productive and, in its own way, rewarding as it is. To really pour my whole self into something outside of myself. That's not really a good way to live, unless you're a young man with time and a goal.

I'll try to surround myself with reminders of home and to look at them daily and remind myself where I am from. I've already gotten quite a few objects from those days around the house, but I have neglected looking at them. Or perhaps the present just overwhelms them. Perhaps I can manage to walk a line between work fixation and simply developing my old Wisconsin self through nostalgic reminders. I guess we'll see. 

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