February 4th, 2004



Oooh, missus. John Lydon in hot water for using two expletives on I'm A Celebrity. It's hardly the Grundy interview now is it? Janet Jackson in breast-baring horror. Not that the Superbowl raises so much as a strand of interested eyebrow hair in Britain these days, although I've always watched it when a tv is around or invited by Cornelius to some secret underground bunker knee deep in tortilla chips and bonhomie.

No reply from Kelvin. Damn this internet for making us all so impatient. The man doesn't hear from you for, err, ten years. Maybe he thinks you're dead. So you think you can just waltz back in here and... But I can't imagine he's like that. No, it's the technology. He may well be strolling around a beach on Java, or somewhere, taking a break from the Tokyo winter, whilst I'm expecting some kind of instant reply and trying to work out whether this January set of events at his cafe are from 2003 or 2004. If it's 2003, mmm. He may well just be busy. I can defer pretty much everything if I need to. He may not have that freedom. So what exactly is it I want from him?

I hesitated to use the word closure before, because it's a word that has me half-reaching for my pistol. I don't believe in closure, I believe in the approach to such a state. Anyone, even those cutey Scientologist types, who thinks that anything is ever concluded is, err, let's not use the word denial either... If closure is rather a state in which nothing further can be achieved about it, then fine. I hear the word and I'm always seeing some American film or show and some character is saying 'I'm seeking closure...' I'm thinking 'Dream on, Sir/Madam!'. Their cold eyes make me fear that all those alien abductions in the US are actually true and the population has been replaced by a Nazi Raelian insect form. Their souls have been stolen and are charging up some new fangled power source, hidden somewhere over in Montana. So what exactly is it I want from him?

The drug certainly made me exhibit a number of OCD-style behaviours, although the blame might not lie just with the chemical, it's just the most obvious target. It's hard to tell how many of these were here before at times. It's true that they all seem to have more or less vanished in sobriety, but every once in a while, I'm aware that my mind is trapped in some strange sub-routine it can't get out of and I'm standing in the kitchen weeping over the process of selecting the correct teaspoon. Probably I should call in the Scientologists, sounds like dodgy engrams to me too. Here I am going to repeat myself, I don't know, but the Greek word anamnesis is one I first encountered in the writings of good old PKD [eh? What happened to Patrick Farley's design? Dang thing's gone all Hollywood][Ed. - That's Robert Anton Wilson's site he did, you dumbass] . Dick's own drug tastes weren't so different from my own. Anamnesis refers to the remembrance of things forgotten. In an Orthodox setting, this word is used in a variety of ways. It's the remembrance of previous events that leads to them being being reexperienced in a very complete way. I'm always particularly aware of this in the last week of Easter, when those final events prior to the Resurrection are, for want of a better way of putting it, reenacted within church and, at the times when you manage to forget the immediate world of mental and physical chatter about whatever, you are not just watching some intriguing opera, but actually there. My conversion to the church came about as a result of such anamnesis. The first time I went at an old friend's suggestion, when the Liturgy was almost finished, someone came over and handed me a small piece of prosphora. Watching their hand as they broke a piece off and then held it out to me and I took it and I was aware of all that had been forgotten and how do I explain how time seemed to shrink into nothing but the presence of myself and the others there within the Last Supper and an infinite set of moments in which the simple actions of the sharing of bread were repeated endlessly. It was wordlessly beautiful and there lies the problem. It really didn't occur within language. I could say it occurred within Logos [link?]. I think. So yes, The Empire Never Ended, whatever that may mean. So what exactly is it I want from him?

Well, I think I must have abused about every level of friendship of Kelvin over time. It must have been hard dealing with someone who was so erratic and undependable. I failed in jobs he found me, didn't turn up for appointments, would behave like an madman, not make sense. He can see me going down the drain. I'd turn up on his doorstep from some beating or another. I don't believe I ever stole money from him, but it's not impossible. I don't remember. Someone needs to remember this with me. He's the only one I've found as he is the only one I would trust. Kelvin was (is!) a great sci-fi buff and I remember rather overenthusiastically comparing my life to The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, I can't remember what he said, but it was something that was an attempted wake up call. That my life wasn't a Dick novel. I then read A Scanner Darkly. Oh dear. When I came back to the UK, I read a fair amount more of him. He was one of the few writers I could follow at the time. Although it's true that my life isn't PKD's, back home I progressed onto the last three novels, moving through Valis into The Divine Invasion and then The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Perhaps a cheeky engram slipped in when Kelvin made that comment. Still, in full knowledge that I am repeating myself from way before, Dick as much as anything else (St Isaac the Syrian, St Seraphim of Sarov, St Symeon the Theologian...) I read encouraged me to pursue religious leanings. Given previous comments here, it's not hard to see in myself parallels with Timothy Archer. It's not an obvious conclusion to that final trilogy, although triptych might work. All the conspiratorial and fantastic elements are almsot stripped away, leaving a man who finally wanders off in the desert to try and encounter God. After the first two, you're sort of hoping for some final Gnostic superbattle, but you don't get it. Instead you just get this rather forlorn character who develops a fascination with the Essenes and can't find the answers in those around him. At times I think I'm stuck in this final novel. So what exactly is it I want from him?

I guess it's this. Put simply. I don't know whether she's alive. Part of me assumes she's dead. I'm wracked with perpetual guilt. Everyday, somewhere, I feel like an actual murderer as much as I think I was made to feel like one. For all I know, she's doing any number of other things. Oh yes, Kelvin might say, she's married with three children and living in Sheffield. Unlikely. Most likely Kelvin may not know at all, but he might be able to help me remember myself. There are still these odd spaces that aren't filled in and they ache. I've thought about trying to find her, but that desire is prevented by fear. A fear of not wanting to know as much as a fear, that could almost be called a boredom, of being in her company and being there again, with all the sense of threat and violence and insanity. I have thought about hiring some detective to track her down. She's never contacted me and I have certainly not contacted her. She never seemed to exhibit much knowledge of how scared I was of her. Every time I got hit, she'd deny it happened the next day. But what are these wounds then? Looks away, changes subject, implicitly threatens it may happen again. It really is time to finish this particular book, with its long drawn out epilogue. I've tried to believe that the book might just finish itself for a long time. It hasn't worked out that way. So what do I want from him?

Well, if he got in contact, I might be able to stop posting such bloody long entries! I shan't mention him again unless he replies. If I hear nothing in a month, I'll try again, maybe physically write to the couple of addresses I've found. Failing that, I could get a Japanese friend (not one of the scary ones with bad teeth and tattoos!) to physically deliver a letter. I could fly out to Tokyo and try and find him, although hiring a detective here would possibly prove cheaper, or I could just give up. It's been ten years and I haven't managed to quite find my way out of here even with the best of friends and the love of God. So I'm still dubious about that whole idea of closure. Come on, Kelvin, give this journal a break and we can get back to zappy short entries. I'll settle for just shorter.
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