~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2005-06-28 - 9:55 a.m.

(or, How I Started Going Stark Raving Mad)

I don’t like this fear I have, not one bit. I’d prefer to believe that none of it could possibly be true, and that it’s all nothing more than a figment of my semi-demented mind. It would be troubling to believe myself to be totally crazy, but not as troubling to suspect a glimmer of truth in my nightmares.

Maybe it’s true that as we get older, our anxieties take a firmer grip on us and become more consuming. Maybe these types of things are what keep our mothers and our grandmothers awake at night. Maybe these types of things now keep us awake at night too.

I spend parts of some nights gripped by terror, usually fleeting and momentary, but sometimes just enough in the dark quiet early, early morning to make me move from bed to sofa for a few hours or for the rest of the night. The sofa, away from the bed and the large window, outside of which might be lurking “who knows what” or whom. Nights are often too silent, too calm, too dark, and too secluded up here on the hill.

One should probably not watch television dramas or read true crime stories in the newspapers regularly, if at all. Especially not if one remembers bits of detail with extreme precision and clarity. Detail comes back to haunt one sometimes. Details are woven into one’s own story, or can be interpreted as similar enough to a possibly real situation to give one pause.

The primary fear is this: one or more people are angry as hell that I might have "exposed" them (in their minds intentionally?). What I fear more than their base anger is what their alleged anger might – in our hyper-violent, revenge-fixated society – lead to. I don’t know if this fear is blown out of all proportion by my own perpetual self-hate and doubt, or if there could be a grain of truth in it. Certainly, it’s easy to believe that people have been pushed to the brink of some crazy action by lesser affronts or perceived assaults.

Jodi has sort of advised me to think of my angst – and or the events ensuing from it, if any – in the Dalai Lama’s terms: “If it can be fixed or prevented, then not to worry. If it cannot be fixed or prevented, then also not to worry.” In other words: either someone is going to kill you or not, shithead, but worrying yourself into ill health or an asylum is pretty damn fruitless. [Unless knowing that I’m worrying like this is giving someone added sadistic pleasure, right? And why wouldn’t it?]

So what brought this on? Simply, I guess, a couple of years of fairly wanton something-fueled sexual activity with like-minded-or-so-I-thought individuals. Now, finally, the idea occurs to me that most drug users/buyers are probably at most two or three degrees of separation from one or several people likely or willing to commit acts a little more serious than catching a buzz. Imagination? Extrapolation? Unadorned paranoia?

As they say, the thing about paranoia: it doesn’t mean “they” aren’t out to get me.

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