With few exceptions, I have been living the exact same day for something like six months, and I think it has finally killed my brain. I have been lobotomized by mindless repetition. Or anyway I feel much dumber than I used to, and that’s saying a lot.

I wake up late because I stay up late. And because I have to sedate myself with a sleep cocktail of CBD cubes and skullcap and passion flower capsules dumped into a cup of chamomile tea, I wake in a half-dreaming state that seems to last for several hours longer than I need it to. Compounded with the fact that I have very little face-to-face human interaction throughout the week, and being prone to reveries and paranoia and unreality in general . . . well, it all makes for a near clean break with whatever objective reality even is anymore. With no one to say words to other than a thirteen-pound cat, I keep them to myself, all of it becoming an ever-growing tower of manure, and what I am left with is, quite frankly, total nonsense. I have watched in a stupor as my brain sprouted wings and took flight over the mountains, never to return. Now all I can do is wait and see if the damage is irreversible.

What do I do all day? In order, I guess:

  • feed Dante
  • guzzle down a liter of water
  • make a smoothie and a cup of black coffee
  • read about the growing darkness and utter hopelessness of the world
  • write back to my reasonably sane friends who left me messages hours before during normal human hours
  • get through at least 30 pages of whatever book I’m reading (currently: CHILDREN OF DUNE)
  • take an hour-long bath, where I continue to read about the rapid decline of human civilization
  • moisturize
  • eat what is essentially peasant food
  • do 45 pull-ups (three sets of 15), 60 bicycle crunches (three sets of 20), and 60 pushups (three sets of 20)
  • sit on the porch and stare blankly at the trees across the way
  • work on my “book”
  • take a “depression nap”
  • write letters to people
  • eat a 5mg edible
  • go on a minimum five-mile walk around town
  • drink another cup of coffee somewhere along the way
  • return home
  • make tea and take Dante on a walk around the block
  • come back inside and put on my BORIS HEAVY ROCKS shirt
  • turn off all the lights
  • pick a movie on the Criterion Channel (it’s NEO-NOIR month baby!!)
  • write a pithy review of the movie I have just finished
  • still in darkness, text people who are definitely asleep
  • walk to the empty parking lot nearby and jump rope for 20 minutes
  • wash my face
  • moisturize
  • eat a lemon-flavored CBD cube
  • dump the contents of two skullcap and two passion flower capsules into a small cup of chamomile tea and imbibe
  • send out a few farewell transmissions for my friends to wake up to
  • plunge dick-first into what feels like a thousand lifetimes of awful nightmares

Maybe that doesn’t sound so bad to you. In some ways I reckon I ain’t. It’s just that I want to break free of it because I cannot create any new memories in my mind if I carry on this way. There is such a thing as being around yourself too much, and I hit that watermark a while back. At some point you’ve really got to wonder if so much isolation does something permanently weird to your brain. I’m here to tell you that it almost certainly does!

Thing is, I have known for a while now that everything I do is just some repetition of a fun thing I did a long time ago. It’s like the fella said: repetition is mere imitation and all imitation is worthless. Maybe this is why, if you have spent some time with an older person, they will, at some point and in some way, quietly confide in you that they wish they were dead. I’ve gone and sucked the marrow out of a whole lot of things, bent it till it broke off, bled it till it there was no more blood left, burned it from both ends, sailed the stars till I found myself in darkness, and on and on. What is left is repetition, and god knows it is incrementally killing me every time I have to acknowledge the double sadness of feeling the emptiness of familiar gestures performed in earnest.

See: the longer I live inside my life, the stranger it feels to be me. Organism Ryan prevails in basic survival, but I can’t help feeling as though I’m just watching it happen like television. This is not a new sensation to me, just one that grows more tragic inside my brain. All the strange people I meet and all the places I go for no good reason . . . what did it amount to, really? It has just left me stranded and confused on the other side of the spiderweb-thin border. Were it not for my paralyzing awareness of it, I might be all right. But of course I feel it bone-deep. I can’t shake it. The way I have lived my life for the last decade, defiantly and on my own terms, and in direct contrast to those around me, has maybe stopped being fun in the way I remember it. I wonder now if it was ever any fun at all. I have heard the whisperings of my own ghost grown older, have looked back and seen my path fixed to iron rails that lead me to this point, and it almost makes me sick. Then again, I can’t picture any realistic alternative to this. Maybe it is a failure of my own imagination. Or maybe I was just designed to floor it and then flame out into oblivion.

Though, were I to shed the histrionics, it is not altogether bad. A lot of what once was may be tears in rain, but it is not as though I’m going to lie down and die. You know?? Recently I bought a green screen and a ring light, and have been filming absolute trash again, which feels real good. I have been writing letters and sending them all over the world. And I have watched something like 45 movies in the last month, and have kept track of them too!

See here: https://letterboxd.com/starlurker/

I tend to fair better when I devote myself to something vast. Like, I began rereading THE LORD OF THE RINGS at the start of quarantine, and finished exactly one year later in February. I had not read it since I was a kid. I went slowly, partly because Laura and I were reading at the same time, and also because I didn’t want it to end. It was a sadness when I did have to put the books back on the shelf, since I’d lived inside of them for so long. Frodo and Sam are in the Grey Havens now smokin doobs and eating sweet rolls, and I wonder when I might get to wherever the 21st century equivalent of that is. Hah!! At any rate I am stranded here alone without my sweet hobbits. Maybe I’ll see them again during the next pandemic, whenever that is. . . .

Having left Middle-earth, I went to Arakkis next. I started and finished DUNE in March, I just finished DUNE MESSIAH, and I reckon I will read up until GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE and then call it quits. Meanwhile, I have read a lot of smaller books on the side . . . most recently THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA, which is a Mishima novel, and the ending gutted the hell out of me. I had to go to sleep immediately after it ended (which is what I did when I first read MOBY-DICK), and I won’t spoil the ending, though lord, what a book. I got a pile of Philip Marlowe novels to get through as well. Meanwhile I’m going to finally watch every Bergman film, having already gotten through half of his stuff in the last few years. The guy was insanely prolific. Philip K Dick was writing a book every three months in the 60s, or whatever, and Bergman was pumping out quiet dramas at the same rapid clip around the same period, and he pretty much never made a bad one. It’s inspired stuff.

I may be losing an IQ point a day, but I am determined to get to January 2022 knowing I have watched hundreds of movies and dozens of books. It feels like a sort of self-motivated education on my part. No one is making me doing it, and I really do feel like it’s worth my while. Like I said, my mood evens out when I ride the train of getting through one author or one director’s oeuvre. At the very least, it is something I can count on to comfort me in the two or three hours before I go to sleep and have terrible dreams. Hah!

Well: it is 10 pm, which is when I go on my walk and think about god knows what. I’ll make a big circle, a metaphor for my life, which takes about two hours (or until the day I die), get coffee at a 7-11, and then come back and watch something in FRENCH, because why not. I have said it before: there are worse fates. Just, man, I have had enough of this one for now.

Anyway . . .