So Many Ideas

So Little Time

I hear voices. This is no more unusual for me than were an artist to say they see visions. We expect visual types to visualize but suspect audio types who, what, audioize? We don’t even have a word for it except “crazy” or “schizophrenic”.

In addition to voices, I can hear symphonies play inside my head (just tested myself and “tuned into” Beethoven’s 5th that I could hear playing over the too-loud chillwave music playing on the computer), listen to favorite pop tunes that no one else is hearing (no headset needed), can tune out all voices except for one in a large auditorium and hear them as if they’re the only one in the room, can sort out dozens of random notes played at once (pissing Grandpa off, visually featured in Z0606, who didn’t believe me. He smashed down on a bunch of piano keys and I “read” them off. He stomped off. FYI, he and I are a lot alike.) and surprised a high school physics teacher with a demonstration of perfect pitch.

Lest this come across as some obnoxious humble bragging or self-aggrandizement, the opposite is also true. I can’t visualize while awake (I can see things through my eyes and in dreams just fine), which literally makes it tough for me to “see what you mean”, “get the big picture” or untangle knots. Analytical skills are at best mediocre. I have a hard time figuring things out or seeing where things went wrong. I frequently can’t see things I’m staring at, as if they aren’t even there. Sometimes I feel like I live in an ephemeral dream world; the second I close my eyes it’s gone and it’s not all there while I’m here. Only recently have I understood what an disadvantage this put me at. And somehow I think this inability to see where I came from and what’s coming up ahead directly ties into the tragedy I’m about to share.

The tragedy began on what was a typical night for me at the time, 35 years ago. I had summer off in my PhD studies at UCBerkeley in Biophysics (I was a TA at the time, not an RA) but when fall came and I was transitioning to RA at a lab over at UCSF, I disliked San Francisco so much, I announced I was taking a leave, moved out of my new apartment and back to Palo Alto where I had been living and working. (I had kept my undergrad part-time job at the VA Hospital all through grad school, working there on the weekends and went full-time.) I worked long 16 hour shifts and had lots of free days in-between. Nights on those off days were spent at the East Palo Alto gay bar playing pool and drinking and going home with random guys. One night I went home with a guy named David who said, “Take this”. I did. That tiny little capsule of MDA led to quite a crazy night. I had never taken hard drugs before but I was already an addict in many ways and that was the beginning of the end. Upon leaving, he said, “Take this”. I did. That tiny little book called Seth Speaks would someday become the end of a new beginning for me.

Addiction took over my life. I went back to UCSF, but ended up quitting before I got my PhD thinking that my new boyfriend from SoCal could somehow save me from my crazed lifestyle (outside of the lab). He didn’t. Neither did the next, nor the next, nor the next, nor the next, nor the next (I lost count of how many). Nor did the next job, career, move, house, rehab, therapist, counselor, gig, stint, friend, family intervention, jail time, hospital, 12step program, book, fad, religion; you get the point.

The tragedy ended (although does a tragedy ever end?) on what was a typical night for me at the time, just 20 months ago. I was homeless, unemployed and destitute, living in a motel in the seedy part of town, with a constant parade of random guys with drugs. I had spent a bunch of money the day before on bogus shit and was p-o-ed about that when a using buddy called asking if I had any. He was just out of prison again, I said “Sure, come get,” and was thinking I could finally get back at him for all the dirty deeds he’d done to me. Suddenly I saw. As if two of me separated in time were brought together, I sat there amazed. This me I had become wasn’t me. Miserable and alone, broke and crazy, and about to rip someone off. That just wasn’t me. What happened? I couldn’t do this, even to somehow who I let take advantage of me over and over. He called back to say he was on his way. “I can’t do this to you,” I said. “The drugs are fake and I don’t want to rip you off.” He started yelling at me, accusing me of being selfish and a liar. I don’t know what happened. Something about actually being unselfish and a truth teller but being perceived as the opposite did something. I can’t explain. That moment I knew I’d never use again. I haven’t. And I still know that. I also know that I can never say that. The threat of abject self-destruction is only one syringe of meth away. Like I said in a blog, if ever I disappear, you know what probably happened. Hopefully, when I do stop, I’m just dead. Ouch. That makes me sad.

As mentioned, Seth Speaks did speak to me for a while, but not for long. I’d get clean for a while, here or there. I even went back to school to restart another PhD, but four years into it meth snuck back in and squelched that another time. I got clean again, then relapsed, then clean, then relapsed, then clean. And then I stayed clean for a while. One day I said to myself, “I need my own Bible. One I really believe.” And I asked myself, “Could I write my own, like Jane Roberts did with Seth?” And I did. But I didn’t read it and I didn’t listen for sure (I found the channel written two days before my next to last relapse started).

Anyways, here I am now. I’m putting my own words to the test. This blog is about an old man trying to learn new tricks. We’ll see what happens. I just posted Z0606 and felt it was time to update “ABOUT”…