First, ‘‘Thank you’’ to everyone who has contributed to my GoFundMe campaign. Your support is humbling.
I recently announced that I was going to use the money to pay for CNA help. I am hoping to ease the burden of my septuagenarian parents’ taking care of me, but after a family consultation, we’ve concluded the following:
- This should have been obvious to me in the first place, but what can I say: I am very vulnerable.
- I will not get better CNA care than I will with my family, especially my parents. They love me.
- Providing my CNA care is keeping my parents alive.
- The question of whether or not I should be alive is a communal decision.
First, I am very vulnerable. Duh, right? I am a quadriplegic who needs many people to remain alive… a community. Whether or not I deserve life is, for this particular insight, irrelevant and will be debated long after I am gone; the point is that I can be exploited more easily than Donald Trump by Muscovite Malfeasance.
Sorry. I can’t help it. I jus’ gots to rip on the current caricature of buffoonery.
I have, until recently, forgotten that the Universe can be very hostile and that innocence can, and does, get easily defeated by darkness. Because I have spent my life surrounded by people who are mostly urbane, I tend to ignore the fact that bad shit happens to good people… and I ain’t even talking about my personal circumstance; I am referring to opportunities that get squashed before they have a chance to do anything: the baby born with AIDS; the child separated from its mother because some braggadocious buffoon is unable to feel empathy; the ingenue who is exploited by speciosity; there are too many examples to list, and I am struggling to get my point across… maybe that’s why Jesus spoke in parables.
I tend to believe that there is good in everybody, and there probably is. I imagine that even Hitler felt pity for something… I hope. It doesn’t seem possible that any individual could be completely devoid of hope.
I am not mathematician…
Oh no. Here
we go, again. Another Marijuana Moment...
I remember taken a math course. That’s right. The poet/jester is now gonna try his kaleidoscopic mind at mathematics.
Anyway, I vaguely recall plotting a graph where a value approaches a number, say zero, and the value gets predictably closer but never reaches its destination. Take any number, and let’s call it ‘x’. (we could call that number ‘one billion’ or ‘ten’ or ‘Fred’ or… ‘x’) The name of the number doesn’t matter, so let’s just call it the number ‘10.’ Now let’s cut ten in half. Why that value is ‘5.’ Half of five is ‘2.5’ or two-and-a-half. Half of that value is ‘1.25.’ Can you guess where this is going?
We can take any original value and cut its value in half by dividing it into two equal halves and if we continue to do this ad infinitem, the value will get closer to zero but never reach it. That, very simply, is the concept of infinity, and I am unable to wrap my head around the Truth about infinity; it seems to be an ideal beyond my terrestrial cognitive abilities.
Wait a minute… Where were we? Ah yes…
I was just sayin’ that it seems impossible for one person to be completely evil… or good. No individual can become either extreme within a dichotomy.
There I said it. It took a whole bunch of words just to conclude one aphoristic statement:
No individual (or metaphorical equivalent) can become either extreme within a dichotomy
Not much of a reward after spending all that energy devoted to expressing the simple idea that man (or metaphorical equivalent) can be neither totally good or totally bad… that the Universe is filled with many possibilities that are mutually exclusive, that can be, as in computer science, broken down to its simplest form, binary… on or off… ones or zeroes.
Fortunately, this opens more doors that question the motivations for an interpretation of the Universe that is strictly binary but, instead, analogue; however, this is fodder for another fireside chat that, I am thinking, may be my Life’s Opus, which is either the my personal raison d’etre… or it’s not. We’ll see...
I have obviously experienced a major derailment in my train of thought, but what an interesting journey. I may have just planted some seeds. We’ll have to wait and see if the seeds landed on a heavily trodden path, a rocky patch, a barren patch, or it it landed in fertile soil to spring ideas that will reach fruition.
The major point of this section of the essay is to explain that my idea to put an ad in the newspaper to hire CNAs might not be in my best interest because I can be so easily violated. So, instead of paying CNA help, I will pay people who are called ‘sitters’ to help me do the sundry things I need throughout the day like feeding me, helping me to drink enough to remain hydrated, help me take my pills, adjust me in my wheelchair, talk nonsense, etc… the kind of things that really wear out my septuagenarian parents whose physiologies are rapidly waning. Still, it is a miracle to be allowed the opportunity to share their remaining lives.
If you read this and have contributed to my GoFundMe campaign, well… first of all thank you. However, if you’ve contributed and this change in plans offends you, simply email me your comments and I will return your money… less the amount the GoFundMe accepts as payment. If my plans meet with your approval, then we will remain calm and continue moving forward.
♫ ♫ ♫
The second bullet point in my presentation is, admittedly, selfish, but it is an opportunity that I have because I was born with privileges unavailable to many; I have a remarkable family, and the fact is that I cannot get any better care than from my family, especially my parents… but here’s where some public perceptions start questioning motivations.
Our society, at this point in our terrestrial space-time continuum, really digs individual freedoms. It is the foundation of the ‘ideal’ of our Democratic model, a model to which we are still striving… and struggling. Unfortunately, this emulous idea has taken on a more sinister nature if we consider, collectively, that our communities have been slighted. We are by nature a social mammal. We need each other to survive, which is something we don’t think about until we need it. Unfortunately, I have virtual antagonists (the Internet gives the cowardly a querulously plangent voice) who vociferously claim that I am taking advantage of my parent’s loyalty, which, I must protest, is ludicrous.
First, my parents and I like each other. Let’s just quickly dispense with the ‘‘I can love you but not like you’’ bullshit. This is lust… pure and simple. If you ‘‘love’’ someone that you really don’t like being around, it’s because your partner gives you pleasing orgasms, and if you believe that acceptable orgasmic consistency is the impetus of love, well then… you probably ain’t reading the e-rag.
Sure my parents work really hard pampering me. And yes, I am pampered. I admit it, but it’s a point of pride with my parents who are a mixture of Southern and Midwestern genteelness that nearly everyone I know covets. Besides, it keeps them alive. My parents (and family) are a proud people. They buff up their chests that I’ve outlasted every prediction of my inevitable terrestrial elimination. Sure, we get on each others nerves, but what family doesn’t.
I’ve never been married, but I’ve seen loving couples look at each other with so much disdain in their eyes that it shames Satan, but this venomous couple swoons when a certain trait or gesture surfaces five minutes later and they both are willing to die to please each other. If we all thought the same then we’d end up in Eden, and who wants that? I imagine that after about two days of having everything perfect one would go bonkers. I, personally, would be ready to partake of a forbidden fruit just to try something different.
Sex. Take sex, for instance.
Sure it’s fantastic. It’s fucking sex for Christ’s sake… nearly everybody really, really likes it. It’s carnal. It’s sensual… it’s terrestrial. Some may dig certain stimulation that is beyond my preference, but that shouldn’t concern me unless it becomes ominous. The point is that sex can be equated with joy, but if you experienced it every single moment you wanted it, you’d grow tired of it really quickly. You may then end up like a petulant narcissistic man-child who loves himself so much that he honestly believes, with the innocence of prepubescent dreaming, that everybody else on the planet simply adores everything about him even when he’s clearly unable to commit to any relationship with any person or idea if the result, even in any minor way, doesn’t benefit him personally.
Whew! I sure took a rather lengthy meandering route to pen that reproach of the current usurper to the presidency… felt good.
Where were we? Oh yeah. I was saying that my parents and I like each other. Remember that? Back before the detour into ubiquitous family squabbles.
I have no way of knowing anybody else’s familial situations, so I cannot objectively comment on how mine compares to others. This is just the way it is as I perceive it.
I dig hanging with my folks… hell, I dig hanging with my family. They are great. I dig both sides of my family tree, and I dig most of the branches of which I am aware. Point is that my folks and I hang. We enjoy the same kinds of things, and we enjoy being together. Let’s face the obvious. I am not on anybody’s Most Eligible Bachelor List (not even in anyone’s top one hundred), so my relationship with my folks is symbiotic.
My parents love music, but they only dig jazz now only because I dig it, so they learned to enjoy it through my passion. Regardless, my parents now appreciate jazz, and I don’t mean to brag, but my parents have met and established acquaintances with some seriously gifted and renowned jazz artists, even a few Grammy winners and even a Hollywood star. My mother beams at a photo she has of her and Boris Kodjoe. I am quite sure that Mr. Kodjoe wouldn’t remember me, but my mother has visual proof that she hugged Boris Kodjoe… and I think that is special.
So, to the antagonists out there in virtual reality who find my relationship with my parents somehow offensive, I can only capitulate.
I do take advantage of my parents by asking them to drive me hither and yon, but it’s a relationship that, a vast majority of the time, is mutually fulfilling. I will continue to ask my father to drive me to jazz jams for which I do not get paid monetarily; although, the intangible rewards I experience when a few fans acknowledge their approval for my musical interpretations are a more enduring reward; it just doesn’t pay the bills, but I digress.
I will continue to use my parents. It gives them a purpose. Whether or not it is a noble purpose or a folly depends on things for which I am unable to muster up any interest in investigating; it’s just the way it is. And I will continue to use them until they are no longer able. I will then have to wait and see if my jazzonian voice becomes as silent as Kermit the Frog’s when Jim Henson died. No offense.
♫ ♫ ♫
The third bulletin point in my presentation is to debate whether or not I should be alive and what should society’s role be, if any, in keeping me alive, and this is what
has been disseminated to investigate.
Admittedly, it is from the point of view of a man who is unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, but I suggest that it is a fairly unique viewpoint even if it’s written with unintentionally embarrassing bombast. I will, moreover, continue to narrate my battle against the for-profit healthcare system current exploiting the public’s indifference by posting this e-newsletter whenever my capricious Muse importunes me. Ultimately, it’s a confrontation between physical prowess against gnostic enlightenment. Obviously, we hover between the two, but sometimes, we need to codify a benchmark to determine what kind of life a person has to live when she is unable to keep herself alive.
The mantra ‘‘All life is sacred’’ is beautifully cryptic but that’s only when you look at it as a dichotomy… as mutually exclusive… binary. But it doesn’t consider the infinite shades of gray between black and white… or the equally infinite number of decimal points between zero and one.
How much life does one ‘deserve’ if she is both physically and mentally incapable of supporting her own life? And what ratios exist, if any, between the mental and the physical to allow Life to continue? This ain’t no easy task, but I’ll supply my side of the debate until my candle is snuffed.
In the interim, I have begun to write my Opus. It will not be completed any time soon, but that’s kindling for my final rhetorical exercise in literary calisthenics…
There are times when the sun breaks through the clouds and my soul cries out in ecstacy.
Peace Through Music
#Wheelchairistocracy #GroovicusMaximus @frangeladuo