May 23rd, 2021 9:35am pdt

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The Way of the Rails

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"Still 5-17.

I spent a good portion of the afternoon disassembling the Porsche and completed the process just a little while ago. This is good. Throughout the course of the pandemic thus far I have often found difficulty locating projects which are either productive or enjoyable. Well, the limited resources pretty much define what I can purchase these days. So, piecing the big models provides enjoyable work and an effective distraction from all of the crap I consider each day. I can keep the idea going for as long as is necessary for my sanity. The visit earlier helped, as well. She was here to watch the show and catch up while we relaxed, and I must admit that by the end of the visit I felt better than at the outset. Those worries come and go now. I am sure that by the late evening some will return... Hopefully without force. I would prefer to avoid flat out lies regarding my mental state these days. I am not above fabricating, either, since I have been on the receiving end of such for many years. Sending it back in the direction of a source does not develop qualms at all. I can deal with it. Others likely cannot. I am harsh.

The entire subject of voodoo is now on hold due to my diminishing patience with society. I am in the shadow of something huge passing by. The edge. The glow? No, not that one. Another glowing ring out of which I cannot seem to crawl.

5-18.

Eh.

Yesterday went partly as planned, I guess. Today will be a little different. More shit needs to be thrown out of my space. Garbage, donations, whatever. I plan to move things around some more and then possibly disassemble one of the other cars. Perhaps the Lamborghini. I know not why, but working at the dining table with a show in the background is very relaxing and takes me away from all this crap pretty quickly. I'll pull apart the model with the intention of building the whole thing solo. I also have laundry on top of the usual routine. Like most days, I am looking forward to her being out the door so I have some peace and quiet. I may begin to map out some symbolism for the garage. Later, of course, after the panels are completely installed and I have the second set of speakers mounted. Much more empty space will be needed if I am going to fully express what needs to be said. We'll see what develops after I clear some crap out of there.

Watching 'Fargo' on the television this morning brings back the period when a whole slew of lower-budget films debuted in theatres during the late nineties. Some good, some mediocre, and a few absolutely stirring. The slow pace of this film combined with the characters is unreal. Seeing 'Scent of a Woman' a few days ago brought the film-swell period back to the forefront and it is still haunting me. I remember when I returned from the Midwest and began to frame some dialog on paper in an attempt to elbow a touch in the direction of the industry. My dad had a video camera which was available to me all the time so I experimented here and there. The idea was fun and exciting. The fact that my dad also had a collection of laserdiscs (mine were the subject of jokes on many an occasion) only reinforced my love for the 'purist' sort of perspective regarding the industry. The rub was that discs contain digitized rather than analog content, however the analog at home is still nearly impossible and very costly. So, the software was embraced by many as the only real way of seeing a film in the manner initially intended. My dad's appreciation for simulating the theatrical experience at home had been highly influenced by yours truly. All of that flowed right smack into my brain this morning upon viewing the landscape of North Dakota on my big television. Don't get me started on 'Apollo 13' which is also airing at this moment. Oof.

Why the film industry again? It is but one of a few dreams which I was afraid to embrace, and that in itself is a symptom of the process continuing inside at present. There is more darkness apparent after watching some of the media and realizing fear has been spidering for much longer than I have discussed here in the last thirteen months. Much longer, indeed. It has governed more of my actions and decisions than I care to admit.

5-19.

Repression and suppression. Two shadows. I've been forced to shove everything back into the darkness and am now becoming resentful. No more will I be what others believe I 'should' be. Time to close the door.

Make no mistake, the daily ups and downs are there for the benefit of others. My smiling face and joking, jovial manner are rarely real at all. I am a walking snowstorm, and yesterday glued the idea to the inside of my head. I will try to avoid writing about it for a long while because the subject is not going anywhere and others will probably tire of the words over and over. I have to shut it off for a time.

Today... Hmm.



self portrait


Leigh is the mom in this episode. Wow... More than fifty years old by production and she still looked amazing at the time. I think I had the hots for here a little bit in the late seventies. Whatever. Another face, another person. What I see no longer matters in the least. Nothing does. Everything is unchangeable, unmanageable, un-everything. Dis- and un- and non-. I don't see avenues. Desperate, end times. We are shifting now... Granny gear.

5-20.

Coffee and the third show. After yesterday, I realized that the safety in media has less to do with the programming upon the television and more related to other people. This is good for me and bad for them. Sorry, world. Take yourself out of the equation, please, before I do.

5-21.

I don't care about this shit anymore. There was going to be an entire theme of darkness and me hiding in it and all the crap that goes along with steering myself away from people. The last few days have been very difficult, however. You see the date changing here on the entry with little between. I was going to go on a tirade about acting, too. That is the reason for James' image here. And then the interests in life which have always been close and made me smile. But now? I do not see any reason. Nothing is pushing me or influencing the words, so the entry becomes winded without meaningful content. No clear beginning or middle, but believe me when I say the end of this will strike a note on the piano. Not much meaning yet, but just wait until further down the page. You'll see where this train is headed.

Yesterday I again spoke when I should not have. That occasion is now the last. I have nothing to say, nor am I interested in hearing what others may wish to tell me. For quite some time I have spoken of shutting myself and everything off, so here it is. Upon reaching however long this entry becomes, I will retract my fingers and close my mouth. I always say too much, type too much, whatever. Tired of it. Tired of everything. Nothing has changed in a positive way, I have not come out the far side of any fucking conversation better off than at the outset, and the eyes are seeming ever closer to the bleach box. Each day, closer. At least there is a smidgen of good, and that is I finally shut myself off. Switch.

Repression and suppression, to be sure. I realized after all that time obsessing and dreaming that my path and the manner in which I arrived in such a condition was driven by much more than what I had been seeing. Years of everything hitting me harder than I could handle, exacerbated by what took place in Florida and Nevada and then all smashed to shit on that fateful day of seeing Her walk across the office. I thought my worry had hit the maximum a short time later, but little did I know the arrival of seventeen would weld the process of obsession to my brain for the long haul. I had been -- quite literally -- suppressing the desire throughout a period of years. The reason for those feelings has never been more clear. Nearly a decade of nothing drove me to dream of enjoyment. Suppression. There may be more of it, too. And I am barely scratching the hardened surface. You really do not want to know the full story.

"...in the years since The Sopranos ended, there's almost been this TV-actor Mount Rushmore. Bryan Cranston [Breaking Bad] is on there, and Jon Hamm [Mad Men] is on there, and Elisabeth Moss [Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale] or Claire Danes [Homeland] or somebody else is on there. But James Gandolfini gets his own mountain. With all due respect to everybody else, including Edie Falco [who played Tony Soprano’s wife, Carmela], Gandolfini is the best dramatic actor in TV history, and I don't know that anybody else is particularly close."

-- TV critic Alan Sepinwall on Gandolfini's performance as Tony Soprano.



James Gandolfini

September 18, 1961 - June 19, 2013


Stating that I don't care is pretty wide. The simple fact is I never did care for the sounds of this world and have gone to great lengths in silencing them whenever possible for my own well-being. Unfortunately, the quiet is barely enough anymore. Alone and quiet is better, yet not under my control much of the time. Yesterday showed me that I am indeed still pretty fucking weak and cannot always maintain a stance. I began to collapse in on myself. This is now so bad that I can barely get the point across... The weight of it. I really fucked up. That must be the last time. It must, or I will not come out the other side. All the way back to ninety-five, I should have been able to assemble the important details into groups and find a way to either address each one separately and with sense, or avoid the entire process for all time. Back then I began to formulate a lifestyle which I already knew would not jive with another human being, ever. I am still trying to begin such a lifestyle but am apparently not there after all these years. I did it again, leaving what began as fairly open and positive on the doorstep of anger. Yesterday was the last time. I will not allow anything like this to develop in the future. I have to stick to my own little world, nothing more.

I have an hour before the morning stuff and then the whole day after. A few things here and there to occupy the time today and then in between will be whatever I can enjoy. Once again I did not taste the dinner, so perhaps from now on I should make the midday meal the one that counts. I don't know what else to do. Dinner has always been a point of focus, both the preparation and sitting down to eat, for many years. Changing that routine is not something I prefer, to say the least. One little enjoyment down the fucking drain.

I am getting pretty fucking tired of the commercials on television. Ninety percent of the time I am watching media there are none because I do not watch daily broadcasts often anymore. Movies or series' from the past, and either streaming or on demand through the cable. Less and less do I wish to see and hear advertisements for any products or services, least of all the medication bullshit. You know. I'm so sick of the noise on the screen. Whatever I watch or have in the background must be sans commercials or I'll flip the fuck out these days. There are enough weights already.

Alleviating this current shit feeling is going to take much time. I still can't believe I went in such a direction. Am I that weak? Does my guard fall away so easily after all this damned analysis? I must look like a fucking bumbling idiot. I can't fucking stand it now. Eyes on me are going to feel like even bigger, sharper knives from now on. What a mistake.

I can't even write to my own standards right now. I suppose the shadows, dark, penumbra between the two... All of it will have to wait. There are no apparent reasons for exploring anything if I am going to continue to make mistakes. If someone wishes to explain this to me... Reasons, ideas, or anything else which could remove doubt and allow me to write, I will listen (probably). I have nothing else. The rails are there, yet the control is not present.

Maybe the garage today for a while. I did relocate the mercury barometer to one of the posts out there and it looks nice. Maybe more stuff out the door, or perhaps research on the lighting. Something, I guess. The wind has kept me inside the house most of this week. It's very cold. The sun helps, but not enough these days. The weather will warm soon enough. The garage can be closed up pretty well and I have the media out there to keep me company, so I suppose some work is fine.



double split back


Not much here these days. The 'writing wind' is gone from my sails, maybe never to return. Shorter entry, smaller space, fewer words, less time, whatever. I don't fucking care. No one needs this crap anyway.

'ANTHONY!! WHAT DID I FUCKIN' TELL YOU?!!'

Three occasions now. Weeks ago and that first foray sent me downward. Days ago? That one was worse and I almost felt as if my words were being rejected. Yesterday, too. Bad. I am barely capable of carrying on a conversation without blowing my top anymore, meaning the entire idea was doomed from the get-go. I cannot do that. Now only God knows what I look like, although I can't paint a pretty good picture without the involvement of other fucking people. All this time I kept everything away from them in an attempt to avoid embarrassment and ridicule. Now? An avalanche of everything I wanted to sidestep is sitting right out in the middle of the street for all to see. What they are actually thinking matters not because my brain has already built a facility for the high-speed manufacturing of bad words. 'No more a'dis, Butchy... No more a'dis.' If only I had his strength and resolve. Ugh. More ugh now than ever.

As usual, nothing gets the point across, nothing is enough to help, and nothing is going to get anyone to the end of the page with more insight. Nothing.

One would assume after the last two decades I might know when or when not to speak. I guess not.

'ANTHONY!! WHAT DID I FUCKIN' TELL YOU?!!'

Another massive snowstorm coming. Others will have little idea of what I am thinking, and that is the way I need the world to be right now.

The muse is leaving me. Sense is leaving me. I have but a few aspects of life to still embrace. Further and further away from who I was.

5-22, Saturday. I basically closed the door on myself yesterday. Too much coming out of my mouth. The whole shitaree came apart and just one day later I fell off the fucking wagon. Weak, helpless, worried. Did I mention I am completely sick of this shit? Eh, none of it matters anyway. Do you see how this entry has wavered all over the map? I can't think straight for very long anymore. Just as soon as I seem to be formulating and executing a plan for maintaining myself near people, the composure falls away. It did yesterday. I cannot have this. I'll have to come up with a method for really keeping quiet. Some aspects of society force my hand often, although if I shut out the media just as I have shut out many people, maybe I can avoid those stabs to the heart. Closing the door yesterday means I pretty much disappointed myself about as much as is imaginable. This is not good.

5-23. Now we come to that place we always knew awaited us.

Despite yesterday's pitfall and lousy feelings, the work went along fine and I came to the evening in better shape than what was envisioned in the morning. Even a trip to the big store did not bother me as much as I would have thought upon awakening. Unfortunately, the day did not repair anything. And so the shit begins...

Here I am after more than a year. Life goes on up the highway, all those people and a way of living I will likely never know again. I remain here... Alone for all time. The darkness is descending upon the only future I can embrace... Cold rails. Haze all around. Snow is beginning to drift along the breeze. All I see is the giant swath of light washing the barren landscape ahead like some undecided sunshine streaming through ever-changing patterns of clouds. I am alone, and I cannot see behind me. The camera shows nothing aside from flakes of ice in my wake. Moving fast. High velocity. The only power and control I know. All else has disappeared.

Cold rails. My path is nigh. Not that, nor the other way, or even that one of which I spoke, but this... The way of the rails.

No one here. Julia was here and then Julie before we died in a massive, fiery explosion meant to destroy everything I could not control. Now I am alone with the locomotive. My cab. My seat. That view. No turns or switches. No hills. Just rails, streaming light and snow. I died on these rails. Out of fuel and out of my mind. I died here. Maybe I should remain mindful of the fuel and power, lest I die again. God help me if my train approaches dioramas. Just like that dated ride, the speed will reduce in order to dramatize each scene. The heat is fine. My seat is warm. I only wish I understood. Sensing some destruction now... Off in the distance and awaiting me being forced to recall events better left alone. But I have no choice, for this is the way of the rails. All those ideas and dreams no longer relate to me because of the past, and the locomotive will dictate my life. The way of the rails.

Fuel and power. Hopefully they both hang on long enough for me to think. Although, nothing is fair in this world of snow and ice. The mistakes cannot be retracted. Rolling along, I see the dim increasing. Thank goodness for heat flowing all around.

No one here. Maybe this is best, for I have already spent years tormenting others with my words. The cab is small, meaning room enough for me and my thoughts. No one else, not even a slender woman. I do not want to lose my way while alone... Again. Tired, too. There is nothing behind like before. No caboose for me to lavish in luxury and brew coffee. No woman there to hold me. No hot shower to edge off the cold. I am going to stay in the cab and watch the worlds go by. Oof, the display indicates very cold... Like bitter, biting cold found on the flatlands of the Midwest where the snow sometimes doesn't even touch the ground for minutes due to being so light. Blowing all over, just as the house where I lived. The drifting was horrendous. One inch of snow in the front yard but eight feet up the back of the house. Just... Oof. I see it out there blowing around and waiting to cut me blue. I have to keep this machine running as long as I can. Fuel? Still up there at the top.

Mouth closed, eyes open, hands in pockets. Stay that way. Don't cross over to the territory of the others. They are up there -- not at this moment, but hours from now -- awaiting the next witticism or something to help one rise above the rest. And then a retort. And then another. The occasional little ditty will come along but never can last. That territory must be avoided, so hopefully I don't run this locomotive into the black of where they all reside and flourish. I have to remain here, alone and mindful. Always thinking, no more speaking. Stay away from them and their wayward ways of life. They help only one part of living, and that is providing contrast. Otherwise? Worthless. Mouth closed, eyes open.

The way of the rails can affect them. I honestly hope not because as of yet no one hates me.



RM039

Remember this?


I am the bad person, however. Given enough time? They will hate me.

Selfish, controlling, closed off until I need to blow up, and leaving people out of what is going on in my head all the fucking time. Unfair, cold, and withering. I am the bad one in the equation, the one forcing a loss of balance. I am the problem when one is apparent. I am correct while alone. Questionable, otherwise. Question me because you can and should. Do not take me at what you see. Do not placate when you know I am being the problem. The best course may be to just remain at a distance. Nothing about me will ever change. The locomotive has a path out of my control now. Moving along to whatever awaits, and in so doing I will be ever further from everyone.

Rolling with tremendous power beneath my feet and the controls (control?) glowing, yet I have no commands.

I know where this train is going and no one is awaiting me. Alone, and that is the only way. There is no station at the end of the line. Something is there, though. Something.

Like Miss Consalvi stated... 'No more words'. Thanks, sweetheart.

The landscape has disappeared save for my massive searchlight swinging to and fro while illuminating the same power poles and rails over and over. That is all I see. To the rear? Blowing snow. Still the fuel appears full. I know not why, but I recall last time when it gradually ran out and I was left for dead. This is better, although I am going from nowhere to nowhere. At least I know it. Day after day, year after year, further into the mediocrity and further closed off for good reason. I can only cause difficulty. Oh, sure, there are those laughing times and silly moments along with my helpful nature. All the while the realizations cannot be denied. Those hoppers that used to follow my locomotive were filled with all of the good and bad in life. They are not there now. Just this machine and me sitting idle in the cab. Nice and warm -- which is comfortable -- but I know why no one is here. I know. I did it. Pushed them away because I am so talented. A wizard with my ways. A genius at backing them into a corner and then leaving the situation and everyone else worse off than at the beginning. I've done it too many times. The balance is tipping as the rails fly by.

All the power and control. Nothing else, though. Alone.

I became dissolved into unrealistic and impossible dreams because none of the ideas were available in life. From one day to the next, a 'machine' answered every question and fulfilled every wish, so I made her. All those entries from last year filled with loving, gushing words about a person I cannot ever know eventually faded, thank the maker, and nearly left me completely. The dreams are different now. No mansions for a while. The mansions represented a different dream dating all the way back to childhood. No fruition there, either, so again they faded. I was left with the daily routine and distractions from reality. They are still going, too, because without them I cannot function. There can only be one reality no matter how far I drown into anything else. The real world comes back, every fucking time. A light on the instrument panel.

Voltage. Hmm. No other labeling. I'll have to scroll through the menus and find some information. The lights and sounds are unchanged, so perhaps the issue is a non-issue. I don't know enough about the machine to put the light to bed.

Fifty miles per hour feels slower due to being perched so high above the rails. Damn, does it ever look cold outside right now. Darkness, loneliness, driving somewhere. Maybe I really don't have control over this journey. I may simply be a passenger. I drove those other trains all over the place with nary a problem. Now? A fucking seemingly endless straight line toward nothingness. I don't understand but keep rolling because I have seen what is behind. Nothing there, either. I have not the memory from where I came. Moving along, I suppose. Little choice, really. The machine is doing the driving. I know I am speeding along, but up on high it feels as a crawl.

I did not want those hoppers but miss them anyway. They were in my heart. Pieces of me. Good or bad, positive or negative, whatever... They were mine. Without them, what am I? A partial person? Julia would know. She always knew everything. Dreams, delusions, whatevers. She knew. I could tell she had the answers but always held something back for my own benefit. I guess I'm just not sharp enough with the emotional intelligence to find the solutions all the time. Sometimes, but not always. Right now? I am at a tremendous loss and again sitting in a locomotive trying to figure myself out. I love it and hate it at the same time. One lesson has been treaded and hopefully I can continue to embrace it no matter what comes down the pike, and that is to keep my fucking mouth shut, always. Every day. No sharing, no asking, no nothing. Every occasion has shown me problems arising and growing out of control due to my words and ideas. Fears. Worries. I don't want to know anything else in this life. The hoppers could have held answers but they are gone and I will never know. I don't see any reason for assistance with this current journey. Alone with the controls, snowplow violently throwing the white in all directions, and sitting here watching it happen. Maybe the snow represents something, too. I don't know.

I only peered into one hopper and look how that ended. Mistake.

There is one possibility in my head these days -- actually one which appeared out of nowhere due to some comments on the show -- but it is far too embarrassing to type here. I will say that every single rub and turn of the cards throughout decades could have resulted from something I had not considered prior to the current period. In fact, it may have come up even sooner than the episode in question. There may have been a trigger some weeks back while I was alone. Oh shit, the voltage light is flashing. Damn it. I don't know everything about the locomotive. Time to peruse the available information. I know there is always a small cabinet full of reference material in the locomotive, so perhaps I'll find an answer within.

The trigger was discussed a little, plus I searched for it on the net and found that I am apparently not the only person to have a problem with such a narrative situation. Well, the specifics do not matter, however if I am correct about the whole of what has taken place for many years, I can do exactly nothing about it. Not after all this time. Already cast and cooled. Forever. The locomotive remains unchanged despite the flashing indicator. I need to know what it means.

If only there was a switch... A turn... A spur. I would like to see some different things out there for a time. Maybe there is nothing more to see.

Keep rolling. I have little else in life anymore. To be continued."



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