An experiment in not editing—much anyway


I’ve been thinking about posting more and editing less because it’s making me crazy that I can’t stop editing. Even after I post something, I continue editing for days. So, here goes.

It’s a good day to live in Eugene (the photo is one that I took of some area scenery). The six months of drizzle are at an end, and the drought hasn’t arrived. It’s our second 80-degree day (27 C), 80 being 15 degrees above my ideal, but still pleasant enough.

I did yard work yesterday and suffered a lot for it last night. In fact, I’m such a wreck today that I’m avoiding unnecessary chores. I had intended to at least march in a pro-marijuana parade, but my knees were hurting too bad. I did bike to the library and got some books about war (I just finished—and can recommend—American Sniper, The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History). I also bought some eucalyptus incense—which I’m now enjoying—and biked around the downtown area looking at the freaks. I like freaks—if they’re pleasant freaks. I also enjoy homeless men. Years ago, I considered them disgusting, so one day I passed a panhandler without speaking to him although he said something to me. He got up and followed me, demanding in a loud voice that I at least show him the respect of acknowledging his existence. I walked on in silence. I now shed tears when I remember that man. I could have done good, and I chose evil.

My right shoulder is hurting me a lot today, but I do my damnedest to avoid drugs in the daytime with the exception of marijuana, and I’m already so strung-out from the drugs that I took last night that I don’t dare use that. I literally feel like I’m losing my mind, and marijuana could make it worse. I’m also so tired that I'm sick, and marijuana could make that worse too. Then again, it could make me hyper. It's not a predictable drug, at least in my case.

Kurt and Jackie are coming for supper. Their cat was killed the day before yesterday, and although we rarely see them more than a few times a year, I thought it good to invite them to supper for the second week in a row. They accepted with an enthusiasm that made me sad for them.

I have two other recommendations for you. The first is an interview entitled A Portrait of Maurice Sendak. It's the heaviest thing I've ever seen on film, yet it's only 39 minutes long. He died a few days after I watched it, and I've seen it a few more times since then. My last recommendation is Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: a Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs. The author reminded me a friend from 30 years ago named Larry. One day Larry and were smoking pot with another man when the other man handed Larry a handful of pills and asked if Larry knew what any of them were. Larry had no idea, but he swallowed them down without even asking. After that, I thought of him as a starving dog.


So, I took a hit, and I'm happy to report that I feel a little better. The pain is still with me, but it doesn't hurt like it did.

12 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

'I now shed tears when I remember that man. I could have done good, and I chose evil.'
What you called evil, I would call ignorance (inability to recognise his humanity) and a lack of empathy. And I love your tears and your shift to recognising the homeless. Which of us has not done things we wish we hadn't? I think shame is much more appropriate if you keep doing whatever it is you regret.
I am glad that you took the hit, and glad that your pain is reduced. Pain makes me lose my mind as fast as any drug - and much less pleasantly.
PS: If this is your shift to a less polished post, all I can do is applaud you. And more Snow is always good.

Ben Ditty said...

Excellent post. I've felt much the same way and want to change my actions toward the homeless.

You're a great human being, my friend.

middle child said...

Your previous post mentioned two things that I know about. I realize that these are minor but I know two things that might help your sleep. Wish I knew what could help with the pain.
1 - Bruxism...Mouth guard.
2 - Sleep apnea....C-pap.
I care.

SQT said...

I'm glad you're relaxing a bit and posting without so much editing. I over-edit too, but I'm not sure anyone notices.

I loved American Sniper btw.

The Blog Fodder said...

Treat the "little people" extra good. The "big people" can look after themselves. I have done the same as you and regretted it. Live and learn.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, I'd like to read that Neuroscientist's book. I'm reading Ozzy's memoir now.

Snowbrush said...

"What you called evil, I would call ignorance..."

Aristotle believed that ignorance was the cause of all evil, saying that it was unthinkable that people would do evil unless they mistook it for good. In my case with that panhandler, I see such people as creating an unpleasant and sometimes threatening environment, and I wanted to discourage their presence by ignoring them utterly.

Thanks, Ben.

"1 - Bruxism...Mouth guard. 2 - Sleep apnea....C-pap. I care."

And thank you, Child. I've used toothguards (as I call it) since the 1970s and won't even take a nap without one. Initially, my dentist made them for me, but then I started buying the ones that athletes use and molding them myself (they're tougher than the ones the dentist made and they're a lot cheaper too). As for a CPAP, I would be dead without one of those, and to think that they were only invented in the 1980s. I won't take a nap without my CPAP either.

"I loved American Sniper btw."

I can't say much for the editing (despite his two ghost writers), but, wow, it was an interesting read. I had read books that described people who loved war, but I had never read a book by such a person.

"Treat the "little people" extra good. The "big people" can look after themselves."

One of the things about society's outcasts is that they seem so appreciative of just being treated like normal people. Another is that they're never in a hurry to get someplace else. I never give money to them, but I never give them a hard time either, and I do enjoy chatting with homeless guys on the street or in the park.

Snowbrush said...

"Hum, I'd like to read that Neuroscientist's book."

I think you'll enjoy it on a personal and a scientific level.

lotta joy said...

Evil is a cruelty done on purpose with the intention of causing pain. That would never be you.

Don't argue with me. That's NOT you. Ignorance, immaturity, non-empathetic are only temporary when one cares enough to grow into a good human being. Which you did.

The homeless man might have been feeling a sense of entitlement when he ran after you.

We cannot give what we do not have at the moment and we cannot demand what we want from others.

Love you, Snow. Love you.

SQT said...

I can't say much for the editing (despite his two ghost writers), but, wow, it was an interesting read. I had read books that described people who loved war, but I had never read a book by such a person.

I agree on the editing (the phrase "bad ass" was definitely over used.) But still- it was compelling for sure. I kept telling my husband that I couldn't be married to someone who would rather be at war than home, but I sure admire his honesty.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

posting more often is GOOD Snow! I like your stream of consciousness.

All Consuming said...

“I like freaks—if they’re pleasant freaks. I also enjoy homeless men” - Stood alone this quote makes me fall about, of course its followed by poignant text so I'm not just ribbing you. Obviously I do rib you, whenever I can, but just wanted to be clear there. I'm glad you're getting out, even if it does cause you pain, it does the soul good to see other people, other walls, another horizon, even if only briefly. I envy your bike riding. I envy everyone's bike riding mind you. I'm glad your pain was reduced at the end of the post and highly recommend less editing. If I edited everything I wrote I'd post nothing, and mine are much shorter than yours. Have faith in the rambling style, it's nice when people write like that, though to be honest I wouldn't be able to tell that this one was unedited at all. xx