Don’t you hate moving? I don’t mean literally moving, although that can be a chore too. Sometimes I’m too lazy to blink. That’s when I fall asleep. Since it takes too much energy to achieve rapid eye movement (no offense intended to Michael Stipe and Friends), I can’t even dream. But at least I have the power to drool, and that’s something.
I must say with a sad sigh that my wife Jina and I have to move out of our lovely apartment at the end of this month. The landlady’s jacking up the rent instead of jacking us off the way she’s supposed to (why is it that the world is divided into phuckers and those who are getting phuqued? I’ve camouflaged the spellings of these words to spare the eyes of more tender viewers. Or you could say that the people who are getting fucked–whoops, spelled it correctly–figuratively are never the same ones as those getting it literally; the world is evenly divided into victims and villains, at least it is in my overly naive imagination, as I’ve seen far too many movies to understand reality with any degree of nuance or depth whatsoever).
This will be our fourth move in six and a half years. Maybe it will persuade me to jettison some of my stuff. I doubt it. I tend to be a shameless pack rat. I save old articles downloaded from the Internet years ago that I haven’t even read yet and probably never will read, and my wife beats me over the head with her Bible until my ears bleed baby Babylonian beer bubbles, whatever that means.
Even though I’m supposed to be leaving her anyway, and can’t do it without moving out in the first place (funny how irony’s built into language), procrastination has prevented me from mustering the chutzpah to file for divorce. As I once joked to a friend, my wife and I have a love-hate relationship: she loves me and I hate her. That’s an oversimplification of our feelings for each other–to be fair, she hates me at least as much as I do her, if not more so–and I guess the fear that she won’t be able to survive our potential separation could be a species of love, unless it’s just paralyzing neurosis.
I thought meditation was supposed to help you peel away the emotional layers and find out what’s at the bottom of all your skull-cluttering thoughts. All it does for me is enable me to focus for a few minutes on tasks I might otherwise avoid, like shaving, or painting the igloo (yes, I know–it’s an old B. Kliban cartoon; he’s the man responsible for all those cat drawings in the seventies, though his less-known work was funnier).
Jina has accused me on numerous occasions of being cold. In an age of presumably irreversible global warming (if only because those of us who are causing it are too stupid to get together and do something about it–namely, change how we live so radically that we won’t even recognize the world we’ve created), you’d think that might even be a compliment.
Summer in Seoul was too hot for me to sit down and write; all I could do was sweat my balls off (so that’s where they went).
And so I have to ask myself, while sitting down like an invisible man being interviewed by senile Republican whack-job Clint Eastwood (my alter ego?), am I really afraid for her, or do I secretly fear that I’ll be the one left high and dry, which is kind of an oxymoronic phrase when you think about it, when you consider that “dry” can also mean “sober”?
As John Lennon sings in the Beatles’ tune “I’m a Loser”: Is it for her or myself that I cry?
The other day she accused me of being both pathetic and ridiculous, co-opting two of my favorite adjectives to describe me. She’s always had a way with words. I’ve never considered myself a bastion of self-esteem, but I’ve also never beaten myself up as much as she beats me up sometimes, in between her namby-pamby baby talk that’s meant to make everything all right.
What would Jesus do?
Jina tells me that God tells her to obey me (“Sit. . . stay. . . heel. . . Good girl!” I may be a sexist bastard at times, but if anyone’s holding the leash, it’s not me but her). He says she shouldn’t get angry at me, which must be the reason she blubbers to Him for forgiveness on the couch after chewing me out like a stick of beef jerky. They must have a special relationship, as He always forgives her–or should it be Her?
Now since I’m not a member of the same pious tribe that she belongs to, I’m not sure whether the God who addresses her during these schizophrenic sessions is Yahweh, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost, whom I assume is gender-free since her brand of orthodox Christianity seems to be rabidly anti-sex (at least for pleasure–and isn’t sex without pleasure the same thing as rape?), and what’s the point in having a gender if you’re not going to do something with your orgasmic organs–namely, by getting it on with someone else of a different gender (or the same gender, if you prefer; as Yoda would say, “Care not do I”). Perhaps God has a hidden gender.
As Larry David says, all this love of God and Jesus stuff seems vaguely gay (but remember, he also said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”), which is why L.D. can’t get behind God and do Him proper. Or, as Monty Python’s John Cleese would say: “Adam knew Eve, and knew her bloody well.”
It’s common knowledge that a lot of women fear losing their sexual attractiveness as they age, and I feel for them. What might not be common knowledge (as opposed to carnal knowledge) is that some of us men do too–at least those of us who are fat and out of shape and suffering from asymmetrical faces and bad eyesight and nasal voices and social awkwardness and poor hearing and trying too hard to impress the women we’re attracted to and not knowing how to dress right after all these decades or how to fasten the safety pins in our own diapers.
Granted, it’s still a man’s world, which is probably the main reason the place sucks so much, but the current zeitgeist seems to favor the young of both sexes more than the old, excepting the face-lifted crooks who’ve gobbled up most of the money (not that all of them are old–yet), resources, and land, and not that all rich people are bad–just that a lot of bad people are rich.
And as Douglas Coupland writes in Generation A, it’s hard to grow old in a world where everything’s moving faster, because getting older slows you up, as the gathering days weigh you down like chains. If you’re a flatulent windbag like me, you feel like a hot-air balloon that’s moored to the ground, stuck in a no-man’s land, while the people around you scramble to grab what goodies they can before the jig is up.
Jerry Mander, author of In the Absence of the Sacred, points out that nature tends to move more slowly than civilization does–or at least it used to, until we ratcheted up the speed of creation and destruction, like Captain Ahab on crack.
And that’s why I don’t want to move anymore. I’m sitting right here until the landlady and my wife order the men from the moving crew to pick me up in my chair and throw me out the window. It may be a drastic way to cure piles, but you can’t say it’s not effective.