James W. Lanegan, November 18th, 2012

Ok, then. Here I go. Without heed to any of the advance self-recrimination I customarily employ to freeze any further forward momentum, I SHALL embark upon this nebulous journey. Er… journal, that is. (I wonder if, as similar as those two words are, they’re related in any way?)

“Now knock it off, Lanegan. There you go. Trying to derail this activity before it barely even leaves the station. What’s the matter? Think it might conceivably prove to have some benefit? That why you want to sabotage the process?”
“Well, we here at the helm, in order to assuage your anxiety, agree that there’s probably not a whole lot of therapeutic value to be derived from this exercise (I’ll refrain from following the obvious tangent about ‘futility’… well, I intended to refrain from it but I managed to shoe-horn it in there anyway, didn’t I?). Especially compared to all the more structured and formal maneuvers you’ve engaged in to no – or hardly any – avail in past.”

Although the wishful believing in Serendipity is a part of the annoyingly persistent optimism I’m practiced at projecting, the consensus is that since I AM looking find something via this activity, that along guarantees that no serendipity-as-savior scenario is warranted, or will be forthcoming.

ASIDE: Some small amount of confusion may already be being engendered by virtue of the way I’m expressing myself here. “For those who intuitively understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, none is possible.” (To bastardize some saying or another attributed to some sage or another). Suffice to say, I was born in an early June thus rendering me (and mine) a “dyed in the wool” (whatever the hell THAT means) Gemini. I introduce that fact in person, when I’m incline to, by pantomiming throwing my arm around an invisible friend’s shoulders, pulling him close and proclaiming “Jim and I…” You get the idea. Or you don’t. (Refer to quoted caveat above).

Anyway, the fact of my being a Gemini, coupled with some early childhood trauma/s resulted in a rather complex arrangement where I (or some permutation thereof) would send out some hastily conjured persona to attend to whatever immediate situation seemed to need to be attended to. Over time, those disparate proxy formed a sort of informal governing body which devised methods I could use for interacting with my immediate environment. As the individual characters I marshaled evolved, they each developed their own specific and unique proficiencies and were/ are on stand-by until a situation warranting a particular skill-set arose requiring or meriting one of their number to be dispatched as appropriate.

As I am committing all this to paper it sounds (read: “reads”) as if I’m attempting to render myself, and my developmental route, in a more palatable light. Like “Hey, I may be bizarre but I’m really not that bad… At least there’s sufficient justification for my being as aberrant as I present…”

[But there-in lies a major fault of my whole philosophy. I have the automatic, instantaneous compulsion to excuse away my SELF. To justify myself. I’ll have to explore that in more detail later. Now is not the appropriate forum.]

“Will you look where I ended up? Wow! Well, give me a pen and set me loose on a pristine page… who ya got to blame?” So if by my unscheduled flight of fancy I haven’t effectively managed to frighten you away or compelled you to send out the Psychiatric Search and Rescue (is there such a thing? Shouldn’t there be?) or simply caused you an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you’re not ME (well, maybe that last one might not adversely affect your objectivity) then you’ll be inclined to overlook my rambling and not hold against me my (OUR) disturbing disclosures, right?

It isn’t my fault that I tend to set the stage previous to my trespass upon it. It’s just a technique I’ve developed to allow me, if not a certain comfort level in my interactions with others, at least a diminution of the stark terror/ paralyzing fear of their potential.

So far, even though I had no set destination, or even a general direction in mind prior to my embarking upon these treacherous waters, I seem to have navigated far off any predictable course. Or at least far outside the anticipated “normal” parameters, “Hey, welcome to my world.”

If it were me reading this self-aggrandizing drivel instead of writing it I’m not sure how I’d be assimilating it. I suspect the old Goose-bumpy, shivery advance-warning sensations wouldn’t be too far removed. But, you asked for it… I am attempting, quite unsuccessfully it appears, as I continue with this disjointed palaver, to stumble across some way of extricating myself from this dismal first impression I’m no doubt sketching out. The very interminable duration of these aimless, nonsensical lines virtually ensures the futility of that tack (in keeping well with the nascent nautical theme). I could use the word futility ( I so cunningly insinuated into this text) as a means to swing back around to the second paragraph of the first page of this ramble and venture out from there as if the intervening page or so hadn’t irrevocably compromised my initial, perfectly noble intentions. “Hopefully the resultant taint ain’t indelible.” [See how cute I am? I really do want you to like me. I just pretend to be legitimately aloof to such pedestrian yearnings.] Just as the act of observation alters the natural behavior of the observed, so too does your position in this dynamic appear to be influencing MY natural behavior, even though your observation is several dimensions removed. That is not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s just a thing. Please don’t conclude at this inchoate juncture anything other than that I’m starved for direction and, as such, am willing to splatter these pages with a shot-gun like blast of disparate fragments of my SELF in hopes (collective) your perspicacity can sleuth out something salvageable in the resultant kaleidoscopic presentation. Huh? “Stop me before I become insufferably verbose. Oops, too late.” Now, where was I? Oh yeah, trying too hard to be acceptable. The curse of the suspicion of unacceptability… But that’s a different story.

The conclusion I’ve arrived at (hold your sighs of relief at the hint of this culminating any time soon) after careful consideration is that all of the preceding has essentially been a pathetic attempt to influence an affinity (which is a contradiction of terms) by you, for me. Desperation is such an unsightly accessory. I am sincerely surprised I’ve so cavalierly revealed it here to you.

Maybe it’s that the older I get the more acutely aware I become of the diminishing balance of time I can reasonably expect to persevere and how crucial it is to me that I depart with the comforting knowledge of having retained at least a modicum of decency. And that maybe (“oh be still, my heart!”) there will survive my mortal being perhaps a fragment or two of not-unkind memory in the mind of another.

Being that this is my inaugural effort I am hoping for your tolerance concerning the unrestrained way in which I went gamboling, cavorting and otherwise conducting myself upon these pages. Staying on-task, and brevity, are just two of a multitude of quirks I’ve avoided being afflicted with. I WILL make significant effort to ensure my future submissions will not be as encumbered with manic ravings as this one is. (But I will not compromise spontaneity to do so.)

As no means by which to tie all the above together in one neat little package springs readily to mind I suppose simply running out of room at the bottom of the page will have to do.

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