The summer nears its end. My days have little structure. I meditate more than I do typically, which is good. Most of the year, I meditate each morning at 5:15 am for twenty minutes. Today, I’ve meditated twice for 45-minute sessions. Most of the year, I go to a lot of therapy. Currently, my therapist and I are apart. I jot down my dreams each night, and imagine a sort of “best of” review of them when my treatment resumes. The dreams feature a combination of amorphous fears and perverse fantasies. Senseless violence that always spares me. Resolutions of conflicts. Resurrections of long-lost friendships.
I read a lot. See a lot of movies. I went down a Manson rabbit hole after seeing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” I re-read Helter Skelter, which I last read in 1982. I’m pretty sure it was 1982. I have a memory of carrying it to the orthodontist. But maybe the book I carried, along with my retainer, was No One Here Gets Out Alive. The books described one moment – the moment of my birth – and populated another one, the moment of my puberty.
Now, I’m reading Joan Didion writing about the same period (the one of my birth).
I’m not eating very well. Though I took a month-long vacation from alcohol (June), I’m drinking now, and just a little more than I would like. I’m not going to the gym, because there isn’t one where I am. I’m a little disconnected – from others, yes, and from myself, too.
Next week, the resumption of routine begins. It will be three or four weeks before the normal routine is well and truly in swing, but… I’m ready.
I’m ready to resume my normal routine.
And even as I’m ready, I have topics swimming in my mind. I want to explore my relationship to aggression. Some time in the last 24 hours – maybe while meditating, maybe in my dreams, I’m not sure – I found myself wandering through the questions raised by my sexual predilections. I remember learning about the relationship between sexual fantasy and psychic safety, some years ago, about the notion that our fantasies reveal much about our fears. I wondered about my intolerance for difference, my requirement that my sexual partners give me precisely what I want. I have the sense – relatively diffusely, but nonetheless present – that I fear my own aggression, that I fear the rage that lives in me. My sexual fantasies – my longing to be catered to, ministered to – in all of them, I’m essentially passive. Not entirely. I move about. I direct the action. But I’m the object, not the subject. If I fantasize about you, I tend to fantasize much more about what you will do for me, what you will do to me than I do about what I might do to you.
If you submit to me, if you give me the gift of your compliance, you insure us both against the danger that my desires might overwhelm you. This is pretty primal for me. The fear that my desires might overwhelm me, I suppose, and at the same time, and much more repressed, the hope that they will.
I want to be devoured, and I want to devour. It’s all very oral. Very early. Years ago, I was much more in touch with all of this. I wrote about it, here. I lived it out, weekly. In my relationships with others, and in my mind, both. Some of you witnessed it here. Any of you can go back and read about it.
Right now, though, that urge to devour, to be devoured, is, while present, somewhat attenuated. I’m lazy. I’m bored. I don’t want to have to work. I just want. Like the large toddler that I am.
I read “Helter Skelter” during my sophomore year of high school Geometry. In the front row. Got in trouble with a friend because we passed it back and forth between chapters. She was more artistically inclined, so this didn’t bode as well for her grades. I was a math major for awhile in college, but Geometry was not my forte (accent mark over the “e” as I also took several years of French).