Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I'm listening to the Woodstock 99 soundtrack I checked out from the library, remembering that famous photo of a barechested youth silhouetted by a bonfire. The public was appalled by such a display of riotous energy, stark contrast to the peace and love of 30 years earlier. But listening to this Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, et al. I feel that angry white boy energy. I'm glad they burned those price-gouging vendors to the ground. Sometimes you gotta riot or you really go crazy.

But who am I to talk sitting in the relative comfort of apartment, drinking a wimpy-assed Young's Double Chocolate Stout? Well, it ain't that wimpy, being a stout and all, but the double chocolate decries a feminine sensibility. Who cares? I like it. Feeling a good, mellow buzz. I've been good about keeping vice in check. Been eating well and haven't gotten drunk in ages. Not that I have ever had a problem with alcohol. It's more about calorie reduction than anything. Consider me a moderate drinker. A couple beers here and there throughout the week, every once in a while a Friday night blowout, followed by head-spinning Saturday hangover. And even wise old man me is getting better about avoiding hangover, drinking lots and lots of water before going to bed, even if that means getting up in early morn to piss it all away. I visualize a round perfect cell with egg yolky core all shriveled up. And remember how drunk I envision the inside of a urinal to have horns (you know, those raised channel runners, every drunk guy's bad trip). Take some tylenol.

And therein in lies another thing. I used to depend on 25mg of benadryl to get me to bed. Haven't taken one since April. No pill-popping at all. And that was my only pill. I think about all the dependent people of the world. My own addictions. To smoking, now almost four years gone and $4 a pack later. I know addiction. Love, and crave for meat. At one time sweet things. My oral fixation chewed up end of pens. Wasn't breast fed see where it got me? I don't believe in all that psychobabble bullshit. Guess the reason I am not addicted is I like to be in control. So I'm really just a neurotic control freak. See where it gets you? We're all compulsive obsessive anally fixated cosmically out of tune Woody Allen head cases. Strange factoid #233: I share Allen's birthday, Dec. 1. Stranger factoid: I've never seen an analyst. Even stranger: during a particular stressful time in college, burned out on weed in fateful depressing 1997, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Later, in early 1998, I had heart surgery for having too many electrical signals in my heart. A congenital condition (Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome) specific to my personality. But I've since found nature, have found a calm center, a place I can return to. The trail and the love and rhythm of that non-human-o-centric existence has saved me, at least in doses, from the fast track existence that clouds the American majority from truth and beauty and lasting peace. Yeah, sure, I can say I'm separate from the rat race. And I am when in that perfect center awareness. But that feeling is fleeting and the majority of the time the Megadeth Godsmack fast guitar drums noise noise cacophany move move groove fast like modern tv commercials all zip and flash our lives are modeled on the capitalistic experience consume consume BOOM!

Today was spent in court covering my first and, as it probably turns out, only murder trial. State of Wisconsin v. Tywon Barber. The charge: party to the crime of first degree homicide. Five caps to the body, including three to the head. Listened to opening statements and witness reports from dead guy drug dealer Michael Sims' girlfriend and girl who lived in house, forensic pathologic a C. Everett Koop lookalike with hirsute Amish beard and ego-eccentric ways a joy to watch. You could tell Irving Huntington (even his very name is pretentious) was an old hat at trials. But he spoke eloquently and with a wry sense of humor, better than the nervous incomprehensibilty of women witnesses and stoic brevity of the cop. Fun to be in court all day, out of the office. Plus, it's a high-profile murder case, the only one in Beloit in 2001. Front page stuff. Lurid details, blood spattered on the ceiling kind of stuff.

But court proceedings are full of boring processes. I fill the time reading Tolkien's the Two Towers, ghoulish World Trade Center connotations. But fantasy and reality blur in the theater drama of the courtroom. My neck and back are sore from sitting on hard wooden bench all day. Twelve members of the jury get the comfortable chairs.

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