WE do try to eat," Raoul called back to her [Kel]. I go all faint if I don't get fed regularly. Only think of the disgrace to the King's Own if I fell from the saddle.""But there was that time in Fanwood," a voice behind them said."That wedding in Tameran," added the blonde Sergeant Osbern, riding a horse-length behind Kel."Don't forget when what's-his-name, with the army, retired," yelled a third."Silence, insubordinate curs!" cried Raoul. "Do not sully my new squire's ears with your profane tales!""Even if they're TRUE?" That was Dom. It seemed Neal wasn't the only family member versed in irony.
I have seen many cases like N. during the five years I've been in practice. I sometimes picture these unfortunates as men and women being pecked to death by predatory birds. The birds are invisible - at least until a psychiatrist who is good, or lucky, or both, sprays them with his version of Luminol and shines the right light on them - but they are nevertheless very real. The wonder is that so many OCDs manage to live productive lives, just the same. They work, they eat (often not enough or too much, it's true), they go to movies, they make love to their girlfriends and boyfriends, their wives and husbands . . . and all the time those birds are there, clinging to them and pecking away little bits of flesh.
I loved Enso Roshi’s teachings. I loved learning about life. I loved life. It was a good thing to feel. I loved life, and I loved learning, and I was still learning. I was not, yet, done. At the end of our journeys, there would be an end to the journey. Maybe. If I was lucky. If providence shone down upon me gently. I would find love. I would find acceptance. Complete love. Complete acceptance. I would know, that the self, is an illusion. I would come to enlightenment, but that would also mean, there would be no ‘I’ there. I would realize that the ‘I’ was an illusion, all along, just like some great dream. This is what the wise sages say, the great teachings, the mystical teachings, not only from the East, but also from the West. The Gospel of Saint Thomas. Thomas Merton. Thomas, like I was Thomas, and also doubting, the main reasons I’d chosen the name. If nothing else, it was lovable, just as it is. My life. Even the parts I didn’t love, could I love them? The struggles. It was all part of the journey, and would I not look back fondly on this, at some time? Look at how arduous and sincere I’d been. Look at how worried I’d been. Look at how insecure I’d been. Look at how I’d struggled. Trying to find my way. Would I not look back upon myself, affectionately and fondly and with love?
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk.""Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist."Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself."Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him."Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style."Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here.""No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?""I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me."Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?""No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years...""No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you.""You're kidding?""No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then."RobertThis is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood.Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it?To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem."The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
A child, obeying his father and mother, goes wherever he is told, east or west, south or north. And the yin and yang - how much more are they to a man than father or mother! Now that they have brought me to the verge of death, if I should refuse to obey them, how perverse I would be! What fault is it of theirs? The Great Clod burdens me with form, labors me with life, eases me in old age, and rests me in death. So if I think well of my life, for the same reason I must think well of my death. When a skilled smith is casting metal, if the metal should leap up and say, 'I insist upon being made into a Moye!' he would surely regard it as very inauspicious metal indeed. Now, having had the audacity to take on human form once, if I should say, 'I don't want to be anything but a man! Nothing but a man!', the Creator would surely regard me as a most inauspicious sort of person. So now I think of heaven and earth as a great furnace, and the Creator as a skilled smith. Where could he send me that would not be all right? I will go off to sleep peacefully, and then with a start I will wake up.
I tramp the perpetual journeyMy signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods, No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
I imagined my coffin being closed, and the screws being turned. I was immobile, but I was alive, and I wanted to tell my family that I was seeing everything. I wanted to tell them all that I loved them, but not a sound came out of my mouth. My father and mother were weeping, my wife and my friends were gathered around, but I was completely alone! With all of the people dear to me standing there, no one was able to see that I was alive and that I had not yet accomplished all that I wanted to do in this world. I tried desperately to open my eyes, to give a sign, to beat on the lid of the coffin. But I could not move any part of my body. I felt the coffin being carried toward the grave. I could hear the sound of the handles grinding against their fittings, the steps of those in the procession, and conversations from this side and that. Someone said that he had a date for dinner later on, and another observed that I had died early. The smell of flowers all around me began to suffocate me. I remembered how I had given up trying to establish a relationship with two or three women, fearing their rejection. I remembered also the number of times I had failed to do what I wanted to do, thinking I could always do it later. I felt very sorry for myself, not only because I was about to be buried alive but also because I had been afraid to live. Why be fearful of saying no to someone or of leaving something undone when the most important thing of all was to enjoy life fully? There I was, trapped in a coffin, and it was already too late to go back and show the courage I should have had. There I was, having played the role of my own Judas, having betrayed myself. There I was, powerless to move a muscle, screaming for help, while the others were involved in their lives, worrying about what they were going to do that night, admiring statues and buildings that I would never see again. I began to feel how unfair it was to have to be buried while others continued to live. I would have felt better if there had been a catastrophe and all of us had been in the same boat, heading for the same abyss toward which they were carrying me now. Help! I tried to cry out. I’m still alive. I haven’t died. My mind is still functioning! They placed my coffin at the edge of the grave. They are going to bury me! My wife is going to forget all about me; she will marry someone else and spend the money we have struggled to save for all these years! But who cares about that. I want to be with her now, because I’m alive! I hear sobs, and I feel tears falling from my eyes, too. If my friends were to open my coffin now, they would see my tears and save me. But instead all I feel is the lowering of the coffin into the ground. Suddenly, everything is dark. A moment ago, there was a ray of light at the edge of the coffin, but now the darkness is complete. The grave diggers’ shovels are filling in the grave, and I’m alive! Buried alive! I sense that the air is being cut off, and the fragrance of the flowers is awful. I hear the mourners’ departing footsteps. My terror is total. I’m not able to do anything; if they go away now, it will soon be night, and no one will hear me knocking on the lid of my coffin! The footsteps fade, nobody hears my screams, and I am alone in the darkness; the air is heavy, and the smell of the flowers is driving me crazy. Suddenly, I hear a sound. It’s the worms, coming to eat me alive. I try with all my strength to move the parts of my body, but I am inert. The worms begin to climb over my body. They are sticky and cold. They creep over my face and crawl into my shorts. One of them enters through my anus, and another begins to sneak into a nostril. Help! I’m being eaten alive, and nobody can hear me; nobody says a word to me. The worm that entered my nostril has reached my throat. I feel another invading my ear. I have to get out! Where is God; why doesn’t he help me? They are beginning to eat at my throat, and soon I won’t be able to scream! They
I quit eating meat in 1976, the same year I turned fifteen, came out, and went to my first gay rights rally (not in that order). When I say that I 'came out,' I mean that I resolved to never lie about my love for women, never deliberately pass for straight, and never deny a lover by calling her 'him.' To do so, I felt, would be to betray not only the women I desired, but my deepest self.My decision to quit meat was equally simple. Somehow, through the confluence of midseventies influences, I knew that vegetarianism was a particularly healthy way to eat. One day, quite suddenly, I realized: If I didn't need to eat meat to stay alive, then eating meat was killing for pleasure. I couldn't live with myself, wouldn't be the nonviolent person I believed myself to be, if I killed other beings--beings who had their own desires--merely to satisfy my desire for the taste of their flesh.Looking back, I see that both decisions, coming out and quitting meat, are about the interplay of desire and integrity. Sometimes integrity means being true to your desires, and sometimes integrity requires you to refuse your desires. I also notice that both decisions were about bodies and consent. A primary tenet of gay liberation is that what consenting people do with each other's bodies is nobody else's business. And, of course, eating meat is something you do to somebody else's body without their consent.
As I finished my rice, I sketched out the plot of a pornographic adventure film called The Massage Room. Sirien, a young girl from northern Thailand, falls hopelessly in love with Bob, an American student who winds up in the massage parlor by accident, dragged there by his buddies after a fatefully boozy evening. Bob doesn't touch her, he's happy just to look at her with his lovely, pale-blue eyes and tell her about his hometown - in North Carolina, or somewhere like that. They see each other several more times, whenever Sirien isn't working, but, sadly, Bob must leave to finish his senior year at Yale. Ellipsis. Sirien waits expectantly while continuing to satisfy the needs of her numerous clients. Though pure at heart, she fervently jerks off and sucks paunchy, mustached Frenchmen (supporting role for Gerard Jugnot), corpulent, bald Germans (supporting role for some German actor). Finally, Bob returns and tries to free her from her hell - but the Chinese mafia doesn't see things in quite the same light. Bob persuades the American ambassador and the president of some humanitarian organization opposed to the exploitation of young girls to intervene (supporting role for Jane Fonda). What with the Chinese mafia (hint at the Triads) and the collusion of Thai generals (political angle, appeal to democratic values), there would be a lot of fight scenes and chase sequences through the streets of Bangkok. At the end of the day, Bob carries her off. But in the penultimate scene, Sirien gives, for the first time, an honest account of the extent of her sexual experience. All the cocks she has sucked as a humble massage parlor employee, she has sucked in the anticipation, in the hope of sucking Bob's cock, into which all the others were subsumed - well, I'd have to work on the dialogue. Cross fade between the two rivers (the Chao Phraya, the Delaware). Closing credits. For the European market, I already had line in mind, along the lines of "If you liked The Music Room, you'll love The Massage Room.
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse yourand sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
If you think about the fumbles, one of them I was throwing the ball and the other time I wasn't looking and the ball got knocked out of my hands when I was in the pocket, ... I try to make an effort that every time I run the ball and every time I'm in the pocket I should protect it, but sometimes there is just nothing you can do about that. You see it all around the league, and it's just something that you have to be conscious of, but at the same time it's hard, to tell you the truth.
Ego TrippingI was born in the congoI walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinxI designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect lightI am badI sat on the throne drinking nectar with allahI got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirstMy oldest daughter is nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the nileI am a beautiful womanI gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert with a packet of goat's meat and a change of clothesI crossed it in two hoursI am a gazelle so swift so swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was threeI gave my son hannibal an elephant He gave me rome for mother's dayMy strength flows ever onMy son noah built new/ark andI stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer dayI turned myself into myself and was jesus men intone my loving name All praises All praisesI am the one who would saveI sowed diamonds in my back yardMy bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels On a trip northI caught a cold and blewMy nose giving oil to the arab worldI am so hip even my errors are correctI sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continentsI am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surrealI cannot be comprehended except by my permissionI mean...I...can fly like a bird in the sky...
I realized I still had my eyes shut. I had shut them when I put my face to the screen, like I was scared to look outside. Now I had to open them. I looked out the window and saw for the first time how the hospital was out in the country. The moon was low in the sky over the pastureland; the face of it was scarred and scuffed where it had just torn up out of the snarl of scrub oak and madrone trees on the horizon. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. It called to mind how I noticed the exact same thing when I was off on a hunt with Papa and the uncles and I lay rolled in blankets Grandma had woven, lying off a piece from where the men hunkered around the fire as they passed a quart jar of cactus liquor in a silent circle. I watched that big Oregon prairie moon above me put all the stars around it to shame. I kept awake watching, to see if the moon ever got dimmer or if the stars got brighter, till the dew commenced to drift onto my cheeks and I had to pull a blanket over my head. Something moved on the grounds down beneath my window — cast a long spider of shadow out across the grass as it ran out of sight behind a hedge. When it ran back to where I could get a better look, I saw it was a dog, a young, gangly mongrel slipped off from home to find out about things went on after dark. He was sniffing digger squirrel holes, not with a notion to go digging after one but just to get an idea what they were up to at this hour. He’d run his muzzle down a hole, butt up in the air and tail going, then dash off to another. The moon glistened around him on the wet grass, and when he ran he left tracks like dabs of dark paint spattered across the blue shine of the lawn. Galloping from one particularly interesting hole to the next, he became so took with what was coming off — the moon up there, the night, the breeze full of smells so wild makes a young dog drunk — that he had to lie down on his back and roll. He twisted and thrashed around like a fish, back bowed and belly up, and when he got to his feet and shook himself a spray came off him in the moon like silver scales. He sniffed all the holes over again one quick one, to get the smells down good, then suddenly froze still with one paw lifted and his head tilted, listening. I listened too, but I couldn’t hear anything except the popping of the window shade. I listened for a long time. Then, from a long way off, I heard a high, laughing gabble, faint and coming closer. Canada honkers going south for the winter. I remembered all the hunting and belly-crawling I’d ever done trying to kill a honker, and that I never got one. I tried to look where the dog was looking to see if I could find the flock, but it was too dark. The honking came closer and closer till it seemed like they must be flying right through the dorm, right over my head. Then they crossed the moon — a black, weaving necklace, drawn into a V by that lead goose. For an instant that lead goose was right in the center of that circle, bigger than the others, a black cross opening and closing, then he pulled his V out of sight into the sky once more. I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.
He done his level best.Was he a mining on the flat..He done it with a zest..Was he a leading of the choir..He done his level best.If he'd a reg'lar task to do,He never took no rest..Or if 'twas off and on the same..He done his level best.If he was preachin' on his beat,He'd tramp from east to west,And north to south ..in cold and heat..He done his level best.He'd Yank a sinner outen (Hades),And land him with the blest;Then snatch a prayer'n waltz in again,And do his level best.He'd cuss and sing and howl and pray,And dance and drink and jest,He done his level best.Whate'er this man was sot to doHe done it with a zest;No matter what his contract was,He'd do his level best...
While stationed in Fort Jackson, I experienced racial prejudice for the first time and came to the understanding that humans are not born with prejudice, but learn prejudice. Back home in South Dakota, I only knew one black American. The Scandinavians in my community treated him just like any other Swede; my family considered him a friend. My parents taught me, and I believed that all men are equal because God created all men in His image.One day during a week end furlough, I boarded a crowded city bus. As I walked down the aisle, I looked for an open seat. Looking towards the rear of the bus, I noticed three huge, young black men sitting on a bench in the back. I decided to squeeze onto the bench with them. As I sat down, a woman said in a very loud voice, "What is that white soldier doing in our part of the bus?"Neither my life experiences nor my education prepared me for what I experienced walking the streets of Fort Jackson. I saw water fountains for whites only, barbershops for blacks only, and separation for most aspects of Southern living. I discovered that the feelings of prejudice ran deeply amongst many of the people that we encountered. In fact, the blacks even trained separately from the whites during our military preparation, even though we all worked towards defending the United States of America.
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is.When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head.I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzlez and dizzied me.Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art.LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN.I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.*Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies?Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them?I Have.I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.