readers write: third series

Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002
Subject: Silly language.

: Why misty but mystery?

Heh, why plough sounded "plow", but cough sounded "koff", while slough is "slew"? Then there are blue and blew, but not blough (sounded "bluff").

English is a language whose rules are comprised of exceptions.


Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002
Subject: Re: sad

: Sad sleeptalker soliloquy.


: These guys really do lack the social skills
: and common sense needed to live healthy and/or productive lives.

And, tragically, there are almost no efforts to help them. The solutions would no doubt best begin in elementary school, since most of them have thoroughly disfunctional families. The few who do go on to finish high school seem to fare no better and they are totally unaware of so many things (I recall that early conversation when I had to explain what immigration is).

And the social agencies do nothing but throw foodstamps and money at them. My own experience with the psychiatrist proves just how much help that is; i.e., pills.


Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002
Subject: Re: PL

: Know what PL means in French ? It's the abbreviation for poids lourd,
: literally "heavy weight". The acronym form is only used to mean a
: big truck.

HA! That's even better than "pathetic lady".


Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002

: When you say that your friend Michael "leaned more to the Kesey school of
: psychedelics", and that you were "in the Leary camp", what exactly do you
: mean ? (maybe I should know, but I was born in 51, and I'm French...)

Ken Kesey, the Grateful Dead, the West Coast acid-freaks regarded LSD as primarily a party drug, aimed at enhancing music and, of course, sex.

Leary, Aldous Huxley, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) viewed LSD and the other psychedelics as spiritual tools, aids on the path to "enlightenment". Until the Hyde Park Gate adventure, I was firmly in that group. Taking LSD or mescaline once a week was my "church".

Michael was always itching to escape to the party people and eventually did. Shortly before he died (of AIDS) he told me he wished he had listened to me.

As I see it now, both camps were suffering from illusion, neither was a more "legitimate" path, and perhaps the spiritual way was even more of a self-con than the party way.

As I quote Confucius in "lucy in the sky with diamonds":

He said: Extensive study for accomplishments; restraint by the rites; by short-cuts across fields you lose the great road.


Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002

: I have another question : how did you come to sleep in the Hacienda or in
: Cloisters ? Did someone tell you about them, as in the case of New
: Cloisters ? Did you observe the various places and figure out by yourself
: those two would be possible places where to sleep ?

No, as I recall, no one told me about either. With the Cloisters it was from passing by there (a church near the university) and seeing the people sleeping on the outside benches. The Hacienda (actually the US Immigration & Naturalization Building) was discovered as a result of going to late night gigs at the Aloha Tower, leaving there around midnight and walking back toward Waikiki, again seeing people sleeping on outside benches. What a difference that place has made to my life since.


Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002

Which is his most usual look ? Both, according to which Sleeptalker is in charge that day ?

The nice thing about those three photos is how they capture the three main moods of the Sleeptalker. The smiling one on the left (with my hand on his shoulder) is him at his happiest and most charming. The one on the right is his pensive mode, probably the one which dominates, while the middle one is his morning-after (and post-pipe) wasted look.


Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002

I had been wondering whether there were no services specialized in helping elderly homeless people in Honolulu.

Yes, there are "social clubs", even housing especially for the elderly although I am told there is a waiting list and that they take one quarter of your income as rent.

But what would you do there, with no cute young men to find names to ?

Become elderly, probably.


Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2002
Subject: Who be here now?

A reader asked me to clarify what I wrote about be here now and I shall do that. It has been much on my mind, but I'll wait a bit for the thoughts themselves to become clarified.

There's such widespread gobbledygook about the American-derived "be here now" that it's nearly impossible to grok a shadow of the original truth that it might have once conveyed (but didn't). For example, most speakers and listeners infer a "you" who's supposed to carry out the order. No wonder it doesn't make any sense!

For a bit of clarity on this, try:

In fact, the all writings by the late Wei Wu Wei are as pure an expression of Buddhist/Ch'an/Zen/Advaita/nondual teachings as will ever be found in the English language. The whole site is definitely worth careful study.


Date: Wed, 29 May 2002
Subject: Dreams...

Enjoyed the account of your dreams in Tale 936. You should do this more often.

Try this one:

The two waterspouts are phallic symbols, power coming down from above. They and the waves (female symbols, since the sea is yin) work together in typically procreative fashion to give birth to a new land (albeit an offshore reef). This new development protects the beach where you are standing and, by transitivity, provides protection to you. Such notions are reinforced by the arrival of the police, who are human embodiments of the male protective desire.

Meaning: You are subconsciously concerned about your future, and (like most humans) seek protection. Your ability to identify with Nature and humanity in a multiscalar fashion allows you to synthesize the natural and human forces to reason (correctly or incorrectly) that a secure, protected situation will be provided for you in an unusual way.

In the second set of dreams, you envisioned concerns about a suite of apartment or office rooms. Having been reassured about the protection issue, you are exploring more deeply the possible consequences of once again becoming a householder.

Meaning: You are unsure of your future security. Although you seem to feel that it will generally be provided for, perhaps by supernatural or preternatural means, there remain concerns about details - organization of space, territorial rights, security of your decision space. Near the end of your dream, you subconsciously summarize the situation in a stun- ning set of drawings, some amusing, some having deep meaning - your way of saying "I've figured it out, and for now, it's alright..."

In summary, you are working through your natural anxieties subconsciously, aided by the rebound effects resulting from relative absence of caffeine and ethanol.


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002
Re: an unpleasant woman

Why are you so worried about the SS money ?

It is more a case of being worried about the Crazy Money for June, since I'm not sure whether it's approved or not. If I don't get that, I'll have nothing but the $95 pension check for the first three weeks of the month, not a pleasant prospect.

But you're right, I shouldn't even be thinking about it. I think it's partly because I'm impatient for the SS to begin since after that, everything financial will be permanently settled.

And if you get a room, then given the prices in Honolulu you'll be broke at
just about the same time as now.

There won't be any chance of getting a room until at least August, I imagine, because usually one month deposit is required in addition to the first month's rent. That means saving, something I'm not much good at.

Money, no money, not much difference, is it ?

One one level, no, but on a day-to-day level, it's much more comfortable to have a few dollars in pocket.

By the way, I meant to ask you earlier and then forgot : would having a
room somewhere make you feel trapped in the householders' world again, or
is it just office work that makes you feel that way ?

About that I'm really not sure. I don't think having a room will make that much difference to my daily routine since I don't expect to find anything which will be a "home", just a place to sleep.

But then right now my "daily routine" is undergoing quite a change and I've no idea how that will evolve in the coming months.

p.s. No, I don't think you're at all "unpleasant". :)


Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002

My Dutch colleague wrote about her "homeless informants", as she calls them : " The next informant, who only recently obtained income support and therefore is no longer obliged to find money some other way, recalls the past with some melancholy : 'I sometimes think, well now I have my income support, but I was far more active before. Income support makes you lazy. Then I was busy hustling, I did all sorts of things. Then I didn't have time to sit and think. Now I have plenty of time. I get bored and then I suddenly realise the shitty reality I'm in. When I was hustling I didn't have to think of that, I could forget it.' And other informants get a kick out of these strategies. Due to the tension and sensation they entail, their adrenaline levels rise. It is - as some informants will have it - addictive. After a while they will deliberately go looking for such moments ".

Do you see some similarity with your young friends ?


Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002

Choose your own Folly...
The Fool card comment should interest you. Too early for the Temperance one? (Just teasing)
Another site with different views of the same place is :

(though of course the definition of your dictionary really alludes to : )

Oh, definitely:


Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002

About euros and automatic machines : all the coffee machines I use were in euros on January 2nd. It took about one week for those at my children's schools. The bank automats were ready at 85 %, or so they say, on January 1st at midnight.

The only difficulty was that we are allowed to use both currencies till February 15th, but that if we pay in francs the shopkeepers have to give the change in euros. It was a bit difficult the first week, so some shopkeepers gave up and gave the change in the currency that was given to them.

Now we do not see many francs any more, and I heard the Dutch are not even waiting till February 15th, but that the florin was history today, at least as far as Netherlands is concerned.

Much easier to have the same currency, at least for travellers - remember that here, the nearest border is never very far. Cheaper, too, nothing to pay to the banks when buying another currency. Of course, you are right, we DO have a language problem. But I'm afraid there is no easy way out of this one - as you can easily realize, seeing what my English is like sometimes .


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002

Enjoyed your stories about [the Sleeptalker] and Hula's - it must have been great fun to watch him adapting. Not my type of place, but I enjoyed visualizing his initial discomfort, then realization of possible opportunities. BTW, has he been back there on his own?

Ha! If he has, I'd be the last person on earth he'd tell.


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002

You said, "...I was thinking about the puzzled by the Norwegians and the Danes". Here are some thoughts:

England is dragging its sterling feet because it does not want to be dragged down by the more socialist economies on the Continent. The Weejuns and the Danes are reluctant to involve themselves in what they see as a future morass. To wit, the EU is comprised of several large, relatively robust economies (Germany, France, and the Benelux nations) and several basket cases (Spain, Italy, and Greece). The others are somewhat in-between. Suisse has shrewdly avoided involvement in the Euro, perceiving (correctly) that they would be asked to foot a disproportionate share of the continuing bailout for the basket cases. The Brits and Vikings have acted similarly.

This leaves Germany to carry the load of debt accumulated by the sun-and-fun nations of southern Europe, and the burden is telling - the Deutsch economy is struggling. Whether or not this situation will remedy itself after the former East German states are renewed economically (in approx. 10 years, so the pundits say) remains to be seen.

And then there is Dai Nihon, which is another matter of concern... Prolly why "they" call economics the Dismal Science [g]


Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001

It is strange to me that you underestimate(d?) so much your own work. I was fascinated by the Tales the first time I found them, and have never stopped being fascinated since. They are several things at the same time : a literary work, a document, and a thought-provoking text for people like me who are interested in sociology - for example, about what it means to write a public diary on internet, the interactions between readers and writer, and a lot of other issues. I appreciate the links to other people's pages, which are unfortunately lost in the printed form. The Tales are a world in themselves, leading to other worlds - and your writing self has a kind of detached stance, playing with the different levels of the text, literary work, document, and so on.

Before I read my colleague's work on internet diaries, I had only browsed through a few of them, mostly through the links you have yourself provided; since then, I have been more systematic, but however interesting some of those diaries, I have never felt the urge to read them from the start (even when much shorter than yours) or to contact the writers. Maybe it's because we're more or less of the same generation, which makes your implicit references easier for me to catch than the ones used by younger people ; but I think it's mostly because you have that writer's quality I already alluded to , that you can make people who are very different from each other and very different from you follow you in your thoughts and feelings.


Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001

: We've talked about it before, however I'm still surprised
: that it doesn't bother [the Sleeptalker] (or the other Bad Boys)
: that you are discussing your relationships with them with the
: general public
What surprises me even more is that none of them want to read it! I couldn't possibly resist if I knew someone was writing about me like that. :)

In [the Sleeptalker]'s case, he even gave me consent to use his real name.

: Still have my fingers crossed, but it sounds as if things are
: a little different this time.

For both of us. He has disappeared again and there are several possibilities but it doesn't worry me. I know he'll be back. I even feel pretty certain there will be a tenth time, and more. The arrival of the SocSec largesse next May will no doubt make a considerable difference in my friendships with all the Boys, but especially [the Sleeptalker].

I think one thing that has contributed greatly to the change is that I have (again I stress "I think") finally convinced him that I *love* him, no matter what he does or doesn't do. He hasn't had much, if any, of that in his life.


Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 17:49:08 -0400 (EDT)

You mentioned (Tale 806) about the Mary/ Martha dichotomy: "The Gospel for this week was the incident with Mary and Martha. I have to admit I don't really understand the position that Jesus took..."

Simple explanation: 1) Governing principle is that Jesus Buddha, Mohammed, et al. usually emphasize the spiritual over the physical; 2) Story says that Martha chose the physical (serving dinner, tidying up, fussing, etc.) while Mary sat at the feet of the Master; 3) Reasonable conclusion is that Mary got the prize; and 4) Unsurprisingly, Jesus says "Mary has chosen the better part, and it shall not be taken from her."

Deeper interpretation: Martha chose the physical/control/prestige thing, even though she was serving others. Mary chose to sit at the feet of the Master and listen. Martha has her reward, but it will pass away. Mary has her reward, which will grow and last forever.

Unspoken implication: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His goodness, and all other things shall be given to you."


Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001
Subject: He's a cutie


Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001
Subject: the Sleeptalker

Nice legs.


Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001

I was surprised CJG looked so much like I imagined. Only more tense. Does he hate being photographed, or does he always look as if some disaster was going to grab him any minute ? I hope not.


Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001

Good morning fellow friend he he! Were just cruising for the morning and hope to see you having a good time with our friendship because I like seeing you happy also and not so much in a grumpy mood or a sad mood. So my friend take care and thanks alot for pushing me into getting my welfare because the voices in my head was telling me not to. And if I didnt then that would mean that this silly bastard will not have food to eat even if hes a homeless bumb.

So I say THanKs PAL! heh heh!

Your silly friend,


[Italics in the next two: quotes from Tale831 and 831a]

I do believe he is one of the most egocentric men I've ever met. [Excuse me, I need to throw a blanket over that mirror I see before me.]

You got that right.


Subject: mood leveller

Or did my sailing through the Sleeptalker tantrum with comparative ease suggest those chemicals are doing something? the header says...alternatively, you may be getting accustomed to [the Sleeptalker]'s behavior patterns and realizing how futile they are (literally).

The United States is attacked harder than it has been in its history

Not really. The British burnt our major East Coast cities in the Revolution and Washington in the War of comparison to that.


Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001

But you know, I'm (nearly) sure he would be very surprised you're taking it personally. He sees you as a friend (despite his periodical fits of anger) so you're a person to him, not a member of a category. Some people do that, especially among the younger ones : for them, the world is divided between a few people they see as individuals, with whom they have a personal relationship of love, anger, mutual help etc. and the rest of the world, classified in broad categories, to be dealt with in one sentence. So he could say something disparaging about homeless people or homosexuals or whatever without meaning you for one second.


But in this little microcosm she is indeed much closer to being my Peggy Guggenheim than I am to being her Jackson Pollock.

Nah, your work -- and your very being, for that matter -- are every bit as subversive as Pollock's (and given the times, even more so). Not to be a buttinski, but I sure as hell hope you have all the Tales well backed-up....


Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 16:57:15 +0200
Subject: SnowWhite

The Sleeptalker's last message seems to me a typical case of the SnowWhite Syndrom - "Mirror, my beautiful Mirror, tell me who is the most drunk/ best gifted at bad mouthing/etc.". He must have been drunk and everything when he wrote it.

It is also amazingly close to the pleasant things my teenagers and their best friends keep telling each other. I always wonder if it's a new way of communicating or if I have forgotten my own youth. Maybe the Sleeptalker still has some of the teenager in him, as he wasn't in a situation to discover his adult self out of fighting against his own parents, when he was in his teens.

And after all, he is paying you a compliment, telling you you're no good as a killer.


the tales