Dylan, ''thunder on the mountain'':
Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitchesI'll recruit my army from the orphanages
I been to St. Herman's church and I've said my religious vows
I've sucked the milk out of a thousand cows
I got the porkchops, she got the pie
She ain't no angel and neither am I
Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes
I'll say this, I don't give a damn about your dreams
Everybody's going and I want to go too
Don't wanna take a chance with somebody new
I got a call from Sidney today. He and I knew each other in high school , but as renowned ‘smart dudes’ we kept a respectful distance from each other. Neither of us was in any way controversial.
He went on to become a computer guy. IT , is that what they call it? He never moved out of his Mom’s basement, though. So what. No shame in looking after your mother.
We have had many long conversations since we graduated high school in 1985. He keeps reappearing in my life as some friends tend to do. You see them at the grocery store. “Hey what’s up?” Never much,with either of us. Doing all that important shit like feeding yourself.
He calls me once in awhile.
“I’m worried about my mother. You know this medical stuff, right? she sleeps all the time,” Sidney said.
“ What do you mean, all the time?”
“Well, a lot of naps. She sleeps through her Red sox games! She’s gotta watch the replay of the game the next morning. “
“Old people need their sleep, and they have different sleep patterns than we do. Has she been to a doctor for a check up lately? How is she, medically, y’know , professionally?”
“Fine! Nothing wrong with her! She’s just old, I guess. 84 .Damn. damn…” Sidney was often prone to brief emotional outbursts which he did not want ameliorated. I was quiet.
“Jimmy, wanna talk a bit?”
“Well, “ I said, eagerly, earnestly, “ I figured out my whole problem yesterday! I am in a ‘double bind’, y’know about that?”
“Sure, Greg Bateson. The cause of schizophrenia.”
“Well, mine is this: I have to be spontaneous. This is, like, what everyone says. But ..the injunctive, the command, in there….it’s like, they say , you gotta be you, do what you need to do, spontaneously. Never squash your spontaneity…so…we go around with the command to be, just be. And when we do things, we note them, and judge them as to whether they are spontaneous or not. “
“Alright, so : the double bind is two conflicting commands: one, be spontaneous, be yourself. I don’t see the conflicting command..unless. …..it is the command to be spontaneous, setting up a person to think about being spontaneous…so …everything ends up being not spontaneous cuz you are thinking about it.”
I wanted to ask him more about that sleepy mom of his, a grand old lady who considers me a second son. I was worried. I should call her…
“ok, “ I said. “Here is what it is, Sid: we do things, but we are always watching & criticizing every movement, thought, right? so we are playing for an audience!”
“Yeah? Who? Why?”
“if you are , like , lucky enough to be invited to a party, you are constantly watching yourself doing what you are doing, judging it by those who are around you, whatever image you have of their minds. So you kinda feel like every action is being watched.”
“Which means you gotta act ..you gotta act spontaneous! Huh, yeah, I get it. Act spontaneous: this fills in the whole ‘second command ‘ thing…the second command is, like, you gotta act spontaneous. Shit.”
“So what’s up with you despite the sleepy head?”
“heh..uh, not much. Working hard. Thank god I can work from home now. Makes it more comfy for me. I mean, work is work, whether you do it in your boxers or in your expensive suit,right?”
“Sure. “ I am not one who is entitled to talk about working.
Now they worry and they hurry
and they fuss and they fret
They waste your nights and days
Them I will forget
But you I'll remember always
Dylan, ''workingman's blues"
“Anyway, this thought hit me last week. Ok, lissen good, it’s gonna be treacherous. “
“yknow that song, ‘he aint heavy he’s my brother’ ? well, if he is operating at a figurative speed of light, right? All, yknow, together in his head and body..then he becomes infinitely ‘heavy’ in the sense of a guru kinda guy…but..then….the light itself has no mass at all. Photons. No mass. The light, you know , ‘the LIGHT’ , figuratively, bible-ish? Has no heaviness. So..who is seeing the speed of light guy as heavy?”
Shit. Typical Sid . Physics. I gathered my spotty retreating remembrance of Einstein and said, “ well, to another observer going slow? Relativity? Some seem to go faster, some slower. That is a fucking phenomenon in my life. I go to the supermarket and everyone seems in slow motion. I hate those clogged aisles. I want to zippidy do dah through the place, get what I need..”
“Mental relativity? I don’t think we should pursue this,” he said, a dedicated physics fan still suspicious of the thing known as the Higgs Boson…whether it is a case of mistaken identity…..
“I don’t either. I don’t see what science has to offer the humanities, do you?”
“Shut the fuck up, you facetious fucker!” he laughed.
I love a laugh from Sid..............
I did all I could and I did it right there and thenI've already confessed - no need to confess again