Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, October 23, 2000 7:00 AM

I Donít Know What To Call This One


After having to push start the motorcycle three times in one day in order to make it home, I decide that it is time for a new battery. (The bike not being able to idle very well on a weak battery and deciding to die whenever it had the chance.) On the good side, I obtained a reasonably good skill at finding places to stop on hills and a reasonably good skill at jamming the bike into gear without the clutch in order to get it started.

After Tuesday (skipping ice hockey), Wednesday, and Thursday getting to bed early, I go to the Frat House on Friday evening after lifting weights. Danny, an acquaintance of mine, says that he will be leaving near midnight tonight because he is again on overtime at his job. (Though he has explained it to me before, his job is to "make machines that make machines". I do not know what this means but I do not ask for further clarification.) I acknowledge that I will probably leave shortly thereafter.

After midnight, when Danny has left, I decide whether to leave or not. I am not tired and there is a good crowd, though I am reminded of a paraphrased quote from a movie "Don't go looking into the forbidden zone. You won't like what you'll find". I decide to stay and look into the forbidden zone.

Later in the evening, at about 1:15am, Danny comes back and says that he hasn't left yet. When I ask him about getting to work on Saturday morning for his overtime, he non-chalantly brushes it off with "I'm doing them a favor by working all of the overtime, so they can do me a favor by allowing me to be late". I agree with his logic.

When a certain person comes into the Frat House, I lose my sense of reality.

I remember the last call and I remember the lights coming up. I also remember the announcement over the speakers "Thank you for coming to the Frat House. Drive safely." The next hour or so is a blur. But at an hour approaching 3 or 4 in the morning on Saturday, I'm still in the Garden Grove T-zone, kneeling on the sidewalk (or was it in the gutter), uttering "God damn you. God damn you to hell." And I am referring to myself.

And now, picking myself up, I recall that the movie relating "Don't go looking because you won't like what you'll find" and "God damn you to hell" is Planet of the Apes. And now I find that my life has mirrored that movie. I went looking for something in the forbidden zone and I DON'T like what I found.

And I'm disgusted. With myself.

On Saturday, after recovering, going for a bicycle ride, doing some shopping, lifting weights, mowing the lawn, and de-weeding some bushes, I drink. Heavily. I do not want to remember what I have found in the forbidden zone.

Sunday, after a bicycle ride and lifting weights, I have an ice hockey game. For the team who I missed the game on Tuesday. When they ask me where I was on Tuesday, I respond with "Either I was lying face down in the gutter with a syringe sticking out of my arm or I was in the garage with a revolver in my mouth." They know not to pursue it further, though two guys on the team, who I have known for a long time, do take me aside and ask me if I am okay. I respond truthfully with "I'm under extreme chaotic emotional distress and I don't know if I'm okay or not". They reinforce that I have their telephone number and that I should call if I need help.