Diary Entry 141 — Wednesday 5 October 2005 — "Derailleur"
[Sister] is leaving tomorrow.
I have not been well—emotionally, of all things. It's so—sad (if that's the right word) that there should exist within oneself such mechanisms that cause oneself to behave so irrationally—and destructively. It's insane that one should feel so bad—what's emotion? Sight is something you can explain—we have these organs that can detect light, and this is a way in which we gain a specific kind of information about our surroundings. Pain you can explain; it's this sensation we get when our bodies are being damaged, and it is very hurtful thing we want to stop. But what was despair?
Or is it overly dualistic to assume that physical agony makes sense, and mental agony (if there can be such a thing) is unreal, an illusion, something that we could will out of existence if only we tried? But if the mind-body dualism (if we understand terms) wasn't actually true, it was one of the world's great metaphors. Reason exists, and if in me it is saddled with a big bag of triggers and destruction circuits, that doesn't make it any less real. From personal experience, I have reason to believe that there is something that can justifiably be called will—and if it was a neat arrangement of neurons rather than a soul, you do not hear me complaining. There is the one scary thing—a soul, presumably, would be untouchable, uneditable by outside forces—identity. Neurons can be got at. But when one speaks of souls, God usually isn't far behind, and presumably God could edit your soul. But there are plenty of dystopias one can concieve of when one opens one's consideration to all possible worlds—or just what might be possible in this one. It would seem useless to dwell on such things. The world exists, and it is worth everything we have because it is everything we have—now. Anyone who suicided over Quarantine was a fool.
But I have spoken of the irrationality of feeling bad—but what about feeling good? Couldn't that be said to be equally "irrational"? If there is never reason to cry, by what means would there be reason to dance? But it would be absurd to divorce emotion from all reason and reality—it's just not all that arbitrary. Rationality does not imply purposelessness.
What is insane is that I had broke so easily. Could it be, as it is said, that I am "human too"? But there is no reason in only bringing up humanity when talking about flaws. All my glories were just as human as my failures—or more, one hopes.
I have concieved of myself as strong, resourceful, intrepid. But somehow I have fallen behind on my CLC homework. And I don't like to talk to people for journalism. I feel the "stress." And maybe I really don't like some of the things some other people think.
Somehow I get so hurt!
But doesn't it feel so good to be on task, and know it? It's good to be lucid. And it can be hard to satisfactorily explain why one was not always so. Why can't one just remember that one has been through such feelings—before, and there was never any good reason for it—before, and one has always gotten through it alright in the end—before? I seem to have a memory of being fubar'd last Election Day.
What if there was such a thing as "only" high school? I have thought of myself as an adult, as a human of business, as dauntless but wise. But what if—for the moment—I am just a stupid boy? What if I was not really so radically different in a good way from all the other boys? What if I am something like—[classmate's name redacted] with some emotional problems? But surely I am no such thing; I feel so different from everybody, from all of them. I have ideals. I have my antiprejudice and my love of excellence and my not-so-sociality. I have this.
[Author's real name] is not "masculine," nor does he cross any lines. And someday I will be able to say the second part. (I had better make it soon.)
I think of myself (if those are the right words) as an adult—I hold myself as equal with my teachers and adults I might have to interview for The Page. But how do they see me? I am a high school kid—and I have to admit that maybe something of what that is said to mean shows in me. I still believe in the gallant individual young human, wise beyond her years, dauntless and capable. But I might not be strong enough, yet. But it could be so sad—I want to be mature now, but if it takes me much longer, it won't be anything special—it would only be expected.
Perhaps there is a difference between me and many of my contemporaries. I may not perform on a higher tier than them, but at least I don't want to be as I am. I have an ambition, a purpose—and if I get triggery sometimes and wreck all plans for a time—at least I did have plans.
Or am I being arrogant again? What sets me apart? If anything? I want to be mature, independent, responsible for myself! Self-controlled. But I have had so much trouble controlling myself—this is if I really even gave it anything close to a decent try. I just felt so bad. I couldn't—wouldn't—remember myself into lucidity.
Am I not liking this time? But this too will pass. Even natural fate has me graduating and going to university. So if I am going to live through this time anyway, why should I not be able to generate the strength to make it glorious?
Or is it that I have spent too much time writing in the Diary, and not enough doing the CLC homework? But I can feel (if that is the—but let it rest) like I am (despite all metawriting!) such a good writer, like I have the greatest Diary in the entire municipality—or more. I'm fairly intelligent; I have my ideals; I am—what? What is the name of that missing part that is keeping me from being good, from being that radiant counterexample? Or were there many missing parts? I am in need of strength of character, a certain sense of life, a certain dauntlessness. Or do I just need to remove some (i.e., all!) laziness? Or maybe I need to learn how to not want sleep so bad.
What's wrong? Was it okay for me to take this time to write? Why did I spend so much time in madness today and yesterday, and so little in lucidity? And even in lucidity and half-lucidity, how much productive work did I get done—besides the writing, we know I am clever at engaging my emotions to page or screen—but what about my grades? And the pages, the pages that are The Page?
I have learned that sympathy does not help, and I do not like being yelled at. Something has to come from within, and it's simply not funny to at this point make a joke about masturbating or having to use the restroom.
Maybe there was something about the fantasy (straight as it is) that sets me apart. That I would never do "drag," because that represents a mockery, and I don't think there was ever any humor in mocking those on the other side of the aisle (as it were) because we are all rational beings, and there is no reason in polylogism.
Now don't I feel lucid? Can I not review my notes, can I not march into that counseling office tomorrow morning and ask just whatever I need to ask for my purposes? Can I not pick up what cellular phone and dial what I need to and say what I need to, to serve my journalistic ends, even if it were only because one is to follow through with that which one signed up for? Can I not hold myself upright as a man (an adult human who happens to be male) and let them judge me as they will?
Can I not hold myself as guiltless? People have told me to relax, and I may not be entirely sure what they mean. I am not to relax in my activity, but couldn't I try to let go of feeling?
Many children have to be had in order for the world to go on. We were all children once. How many people in the world are bad parents? In comparison, is it so horrible for me to be a bad high school journalist, so long as I do act as bold and give things a try? Would it matter, if a counseling secretary came to hate me? I am just one stupid kid—because I am not yet Brooke-Durant-intrepid, isn't it okay to not impose on myself the pressure of being representative? Let people think what they will about the teenage boys—I cannot yet be troubled with that. All this is, of course, a compromise with my weakness—but let it be that then, if it has to be—for now. One feels love for women and minorities who took and take their stand to prove to all doubters—seeking no legislative favors or boosts, but only wanting to conquer all in a free-market battle for hearts and minds, to be won by their competence and glory! What strength! What prowess! (There's another one.) What radiant dauntless splendor and self-control! Don't I owe it to all of us to do whatever I can to show that I am good, that I am productive and strong?
And how is it to be judged that I would like to go to sleep now? I am tempted to think I can work on homework in the morning—but doesn't that plan always fail? But what about—this time? And does it matter? Can I let some mathematics slip while I am figuring out how to heal my tattered heart and raise my tattered banner? How could I explain this to Father, that I need some time to think, to reason myself into permanent lucidity?
And if everything is the same tomorrow morning? But why should this be? And don't I deserve sleep? Haven't I been a little bit good? What do I deserve, praise or beatings? But in liberty, all praise and beatings must be self-administered, and it is so hard to beat oneself. But one must be the best, one must condition oneself to be the best, and break all destruction circuits!
What if all this was a smoke screen? What if Diary writing helped nothing? Sometimes I think that without JOU, I wouldn't have any problems at all. But maybe this is not so, because surely the ints nervousness does not fully account for my laziness in other classes. It's only a year! You'll have to endure! Everyone—but let me rest? What kind of rest? How long? What's wrong? How can I go on? But we must all go on.
I must break through all false agonies, because there was radiance in my kind of dualism, and I have to show them—I have to prove something—I aim to discover something.
It can get to be so late! But one is not to get scared! One must maintain lucidity! One must do one's job! But one wishes to sleep! It's not going to be easy, and it's not going to be safe. It's going to be busy, with the pictures, and one's story. But one wishes to sleep. I have drank much Coca-Cola, which has caffeine. I ought brush my teeth.
Somebody help me, I could be as screaming! But there can be no help, because this had to come from within. Am I a disgrace to The Page? But it's only a year. And I have the xomic to think about, and it could be hurting but what is mental agony? What if I am just being dramatic—or lazy? What if it was all in my capability—easily—and I made up this lie about feelings and madness to save myself from the knowledge of the real truth about myself?
But one does not save oneself from knowledge, because it is only knowledge that can save us.
What is this agony? Is it real? Am I allowed to go to sleep? Who will read this? But what if this writing is just making me more nervous? Don't I need to calm down? What am I scared of, anyway? Was it really journalism? Was it really just the mathematics? What's wrong? Am I to tell Ms. Gunnison I have been feeling bad, or can I not play it stoic, instrumentalist? Am I not a senior? Am I not an adult human? Don't I have to prove to all doubters that my beliefs do not make a man weak? Why should I care what they think? Feelings? It's one year; then I can leave and start anew without any journalism, and soon there will be no more cross country.
Feelings? Rough 'em up! Feeling sad, I have cut my body—before. What if this time, I cut my emotions, in a gesture just as pointless, but just as vital? I can do something bold and stupid that will hurt my feelings, not because I have a reason to do the action itself, but because I need to get used to cutting my feelings. Just as one [can] take a blade and slash oneself quickly with it, so one can fire off any question or comment. And let the feelings—bleed. But what if in the process of hurting my feelings, I hurt someone else's, too? Is that not blackest sin?
What if I need to use the "crisis counselor"? But do they have a cure for me? I doubt this. I do not want to be the crazy high school kid, suffering from feelings. I want to be sane. I want to be rational. To prove to all doubters! For heroines and heroes, past, future, and today!
Am I genius, touched with madness? Or madness, touched with genius? Or am I ordinary and just pretending? Or am I just mad?
But I can be lucid, can't I? What if I try to write myself into lucidity? What if I try to write what someone stoic would write, and then maybe could I hold onto that feeling—or lack thereof?
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus: so it is said! But I am from Earth, and presently I am departing to spend a year on Vulcan, as I aim to discover something about logic, and about the attributes of a creature who makes sense on eir own terms.
It could be time to go off the record for a while. Perhaps because the source of records needs to be preserved.
Here's to Graduation Day,
0042 Thursday 6 October 2005