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Company and Cats.

Sun Dec 17 1995

Well, Rit is here, and off with Richard for last evening. Most people try to match up their freinds for marriage. I can get them to the sex stage. Farther than that is up to them. :) They make an amusing couple. We'll see if either or both survived. Rit's brother is also here. Where she asks tons of questions about everything, usually the most interesting questions first, he is almost completely silent. Family.

I've enjoyed once again having company here, although I prefer live specimens to quiet ones. Here I am at home sitting at my terminal feeling obligated to do something to entertain this fellow who odoesn't do anything for himself, at least here. I simply don't have enough social educationto know what to do with him other than small talk until he moves or someone else takes over. How odd.

Well, I'll let the vibes wierd here for awhile, and continue on with me. What a topic to write about. I'm starting to relax a bit since things are simply falling out of place, and I have been shaken lose. There is a thief in the midst of all that I do with others and my hands are tied about this. How can I politely and without hard feelings generated explain to such that creation is not easy, and it is worth a lot, and should not simply be copied? I am understanding finally about the desire to invoke copyright law. I am seeing a lawyer this week before leaving for England to engage in some advice reception. I wonder what will happen. One thing I know is that everyone I know will now scurry around trying to determine if I am talking about them. Sigh. In protecting one person's identity I am also hurting a lot of others.

From privacy to rights, rights to protection, protection to law. Victims are annoying. Professional ones, that is. Real victims of accidents are to be helped, but professional victims always find a way to manufacture accidents. I'm sure this is a wonderful way to keep oneself from getting further in life. The victim shackle. Well, I don't want to share those shackles. We'll see indeed what happens.

Yes, I am a grouch today. More insightful, no. A few times in my life, I've read the right book at the right time. Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game four or five years ago over Christmas, borrowed from Philip the banished, Robert Heinlein's Friday 10 years ago, what else... These books aren't I think the best in the world or anything, but exactly when I read them, I had something to learn. These books spelled out my problem, and a possible solution to it in each case. This is important. I suppose that for people who maintain circles of fellow readers, there is the option of having this happen more often through the reccommending process. Norbert used to recommend good sci fi, although nothing that exactly fit as well. I wish that I would stumble upon another. Here's the problem now... I will not stumble on another because my work and problems fall outside of sci fi concerns finally, and I really don't enjoy mundane (Piers Anthony meaning) literature. My last true love in literature was William Gibson and co. I was an avid follower of the alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo group for years, archiving all of the creative writing on the sly just for me. I miss Li and Cat. They and others used to write easily flowing into events and thoughts about how to be human post machine. I still live there a bit ... a lot. But the cyberpunk movement is old now, and although it is still descriptive and useful as prophetic research (to replace sci fi as the prophetic research genera), it is a done deal to me. I wonder if anything can be next?

Well... I better worry about Moppins and Pankaj (I don't know how to spell this fellow's name.)

As Is...

Mon Dec 18 1995

Rita as is. Got here, and found Richard more attractive than she remembered him. I asked the two of them to go off and have sex if they were interested this way in each other. It seems she regarded this as my giving permission to her, which it was not. And it seems that she expected me to fight over Richard afterewards, and as a consequence she made many preemptive strikes. Rita seems to want to junk fish for boyfriends. Sigh. Why are people so ridiculous about getting attention and respect from others? Yesterday was spent mostly trying to clear up the misunderstandings that arose from this performance. I guess being intrinsically non-monogamous, and also essentially unsexually motivated none the less, goes over peoples' heads. Still I wonder whether I will get away with my relaxed attitudes easily ever.

Rita has gone off for the day now. What a crazy soap opera. I am very strongly uninterested in having this one continue. I'm going to be very open and honest with Rita, and really talk things through. She claimed to have a lot of old ghosts about me, very painful memories about me and Peter fighting. Indeed we did, many times, and in front of her. But still... At the time, she always told us the fights were interesting to watch. That they now hurt is a sahme, but hard to feel responsible for in the way she seems to be asking.

I want her to feel better and safer in the world. I don't think junk fish white knights will do this for her. If one announces loudly that one is valuable, then one needn't junk fish in the first place. To be chased is easier than to chase - on the self-esteem. And to do neither, and instead seek out people who create the opportunity for mutual respect is even better. I think.

Letting go of the childhood dreams is difficult... and important so as to make room for adult dreams. Adults needn't be cynical or burned out, hopeless or hedonistic. These aren't the only responses.


Mon Dec 18 1995

Yeah a problem. I have this friend who is fucked up enough to run around finding men to lean on. She just got me in talk mode from Richard's house. I simply don't know what to do about this. I do not want to be fought at as if Richard is my property. He is my friend. Fuck. I am quite miserable at the prospect of Round II manipulation being played on me. Rit had the nerve to think I'd be jealous of her attitude toward Richard. I'm simply hurt that the bullshit she put out hitme so hard. She has convinced me that if I'm at all nice to him, if I simply talk to him (we run a business together, how couldn't I), she'll get hurt. How do I take a long time friend and tell her she is fucking me around really badly. I can just say that I am not evil, as she put it. I can tell her that hating me isn't worth it. I can stick my head in the sand and ask her to not stay with me for the rest of the week.

I'm really just hurt now. I don't like having someone around who is dedicating so much of her own energy to hurting and hating me. Why is she here?


Tue Dec 19 1995

Christmas carols don't bother me anymore. I used to hate them as they always conjured up images of my parents and their pathetic attempts to celebrate anything. Repetitively, badly, without love, and with lots of convention - unexplained convention. I used to be told to play them on the piano, and Jennifer and I would sing along like performing seals. The repetition drilled the event into my head becoming more memorable then most everything else. The enforced rhythms of arbitrarily selected and then distilled emotions and behaviours all without reference to peoples' real presence in the now.

It's been long enough, and I've lived through the day of starvation many times without the rituals. The memories fade from importance, and better, they have been mostly replaced with my own causings (known to most as effects). How can I not believe that having children is inherently unethical, even evil. [Rit has called herself evil so many times, and me. Evil is harder to achieve than this. I wish she'd look more closely.] Talking with Rit about her childhood, her mother, and the life she lead then, and its effects on who she is now, all of this is dredging up my thoughts of such. These holiday rituals serve this in others on purpose, I'd guess. The creation of publically consumable structures, like the famous person soap opera community, allows us to look each other inthe face on the street and simply know something.. instead of nothing, instead of guessing blindly. [Something, instead of nothing... my mantra to happiness, structure creating for me. I have something instead of nothing. And as it turns out, my something is pretty incredible. And instead of nothing it is more then I expect(ed).]

The songs are far from me now. Instead I am filled with a sense of being a part of what does make sense to me. I apologize to the world for having had to put a face on it. Without a face though there is nothing recognizable. With a face, with my guilt of projecting my desires intot he future of reality, with this, I walk with others sharing my created structure and trying to add to it, theirs. Including more than a few unexplained rituals is ethical. To a child though, it would serve to format their brain perhaps permanently. This to must be unethical. Why... humans are those things which can redesign their own brain formats. They don't design them though, although left to their own on the proverbial desert island, they surely would. Humans receive an initial design via genetic predisposition and environmental battering.. er.. sensations. That later on they can go in and fiddle with this, alter it to their own tastes is remarkable. Perhaps I have been wrong in thinking then that the initiation of a life is unethical. I have been stuck in a loop of logic actually. It is unethical to attempt to format a thinking being's mind. It would be similarly unethcial to attempt not to give a blank the keys to the city - a format that fits in with the known world - from which that child can redesign if they so choose.

That I was not formatted in any competent manner as a child, and instead left to myself echoing in my head the thoughts that would become my principles later on, is not truly unethical. It was painful. As I have been telling Rit these past few days, pain is not somehting to fear. As Peter says, pain is simply an indicator that something is not going as the organism that is self appreciates. Pain is an indicator, and I think, not really a feeling; it doesn't have to be a feeling. It certainly doesn't have to be regarded as anything but an indicator, neutral and useful. If you chose. If there is pain then there is something wrong with the organism, and sometimes nothing that can be changed. When a friend / loved one dies, it hurts. The pain is caused by the necessitated world view change. Changing a world view, in this case, a view about who is sharing the world with you and who is reliable / relying on you, is the most difficult thing that a belief maintaining system can do.

I don't want to live in pain. I see that some of my friends live there. Carey does, and Rita. They are both fatalists about pain. It is necessary, and not discouragable. I write to understand what my pain is an indication of. Simple. Rita seems to be taking the pain as an end in itself. She also sees it, I think, as a sign that she or someone is evil. In that sense it is an indicator. But why of evil? Why not of something less storybook, and more realistic? Is evil storybook? Are Christmas songs rituals from the public coffers of acceptable behaviour? Yup. Evil, or its notion, is too. It is the publically acknowledged cause of bad things, of pain. Christian cause. Christmas songs. Of light and goodness, happiness, and birth. And through contrastive implication, evil. The source of all evil, though not of either pain or bad things, is the public coffer's distribution of the list of what is good. If not having sex out of marriage is good, then sex out of marriage is evil. If 3 wise men arriving to give gifts is good, then evil demonstrates itself in not giving gifts at Christmas? [Eamon's response] I'd say it shows itself in most of us not being wise. :) But most of all it shows itself in its own creation. It is evil to create these petty evils by upholding petty good - gift giving as an obligatory indication that one is not evil. What a tangled nest of conceptual misuse. Where's Peter when an unsnarling needs to be done? I don't have the patience.

Rita: Evil is created by your search to be good. Whip yourself for not being good, and you will indeed see evil lurking. Don't whip yourself. Let yoursel fbe happy and sad and angry and ..... without the whip. Don't accept the public coffer's mythology, its rules and regs, its socializing mundanity. You already see beyond this. I know you feel the freedom you hate in others. It's in you too. [I too preach.]

The Reunion

I suggested to Rit that we get all the people from 10 years ago together. Between us, we know about 10 of them. And those ones probably know even more. I was a late comer, on the periphery of the group of friends known to each other through living in residence together. WCRI, Waterloo Cooperative Residence, Inc. They lived on A3-1. I dated Craig, Peter's roommate then. Peter dated Rosa, Rita dated John the homeless neuron named ?, Graham dated Sieziu (sp?), Mike W., Peter S., Karen, and there were a bunch of others. These people were interesting only in that they were highly creative- not your average destructin team of undergrads. They thought a little more then I encountered elsewhere. A reunion would be fun. Graham wrote to me this morning after wondering if the Rit I was talking about was the woman from back then. Heh. I guess these people are as closeto thestereotypical bunch of college buddies that I ever had. I had my own circle of friends then too, but I didn't stay in contact with them nor them with me. They predated my attempts to determine how to treat others rationally. I quite understand their absense in my life.

Reminiscing. First songs, then people. Rita has indeed caused a lot of thought in me. I like talking with her. Her triple speed living rate is expensive in emotion but intensifying in thought. I was missing the open people, and she iscertainy the most open person I know now. Although Peter is actually, he and I know better than to build a relationship with that fragility at its base. Better that Rita live so intensely. To me.

A Thursday night dinner reunion. Talk. We all know where each other is, where we're at. I wonder whether Rit and I can pull this together. It gives us something constructive to do together, a memory to create. Good.

A Promise to Ritu.

Tue Dec 19 1995

This morning I spoke with Rit over the phone... she stayed at a hotel last night and after mentioning that I had been sorting through events with her here, she wanted equal air time. My diary, but hers too today. She asked that I not simply link her letter in, but actually create an entry. I've saved her letter below.

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date: 19 Dec 95 10:54 EST
From: Ritu Sikka
To: Carolyn Burke (Diary), Peter Fruchter, Richard Reiner
Subject: 3-way friendships

Carolyn, I've sent some stuff to your YorkU account as well. You can use that for the diary if you want, but I sent it to the other address because I wasn't really thinking of the diary when I sent it to you. This one, on the other hand, as you and I already discussed on the phone, is diary fodder.

So, now the audience is Carolyn, Richard, and the diary readers. Or more like Carolyn and Richard are actors on the stage with me and the readers are the audience. Carolyn has already said her lines and now it's my turn. We don't know what, if any, Richard's lines are/have been/will be. Oh, and I added Peter Fruchter to the email list after writing most of the email.

I want to express my point of view for the diary audience. So, here goes.

  1. I arrived on Saturday afternoon at Carolyn's apartment. Richard was there too. Fine. That's cool. I don't mind him - he hasn't ever gotten on my nerves so far. I'm there with my brother Pankaj and his friend Cheryl.

  2. Saturday night Richard and I spend a wonderful, exciting night of sex and stories - real-life stories and fariy tales mixed in - all stuff I live for. So, fine, we have a good night. We make sure that what's happening is about me and Richard and not about Carolyn at all, and I think we both believe that. Except Richard tells me that Carolyn told him just before we left her apartment that he should go have sex with me. Now, the thing is - if two people know they want to have sex with each other (which I think we both did - Richard told me he knew within an hour of talking to me, as did I) - why, then, would we need any third person in the entire world telling either of us to go do it. My brain, which is a very busy brain all on its own despite all my attempts to make it be quiet, or maybe because of those attempts - my brain figured that what Carolyn did was a good thing. Because Richard has a crush on Carolyn and he would never want to do anything that could possibly hurt her - even if he wanted that thing - because when people have crushes on other people, they place those other people's feelings/needs above even their own feelings/needs. Such is the fucked-up nature of crushes. And, yes, I *would* know all about it, unfortunately.

  3. So, Sunday morning I'm really happy to see Carolyn because in my world view, she is the wonderful creature who made this wonderful thing possible between two other wonderful creatures (me and Richard). But, inside my head, I also believe that Carolyn really cannot handle sharing the attention that Richard showers on her with anyone else. I have held such theories about Carolyn in my head for 10 years. All evidence has always fit the theories. It is also true that alternative, opposite theories would also have fit all the evidence, but I like the one where Carolyn is an evil female witch using evil female tricks because it works well in protecting me from everytime she does something that hurts me, and because it's so storybook-colorful. So, in the morning, before seeing Carolyn, I tell Richard about my theory, and I tell him that should Carolyn start asking for more attention, I want him to promise to give us equal attention anyway because otherwise I'll be very hurt due to my extreme insecurites. He promises to do it, even though he doesn't believe the evil Carolyn theory at all - because it still seems like a reasonable thing to do - give equal attention to two people you might care about - one you already care about a lot, and the other being a potential victim for your caring (that "potential" bit is my hurt showing thru - as in "with friends like these, who needs enemies").

  4. Sunday afternoon, on the way to lunch with the whole gang from yesterday, Carolyn throws one of her regular temper tantrums (she has one just about every other time I see her) and runs off to take the bus home. Richard, of course, has to run after her. I remind him of his promise. To no avail. What, then, do I mean to you, Richard. "You're someone I could care about a lot." he says. And that calms my insecurities enough for me to let him run off after her. I stop grabbing his collar with both my hands, and he literally runs down the street after her. But only after I make him promise to have dinner with me at 6.

  5. Carolyn, Richard, and I talk later on that evening. We all come to some sort of an agreement about how Carolyn and I keep thinking we're hurting each other on purpose, but we're not. I somehow get painted as the evil manipulative one. I scream and cry that it isn't true, but inside I believe it. For a while anyway. Carolyn and Richard decide to go to dinner, but I leave first. And I remind Richard of his second broken promise for the day (I think I did this anyway) - it is obvious by now that the dinner at 6 between me and Richard is not going to happen. Carolyn, as usual, is the hurting one. She is the one who needs to be looked after. Ritu is always left alone in her room/apartment as the guy goes off to comfort some other female that the evil Ritu (or sometimes the evil world, or some combination thereof) has been so busy hurting. Fine, I'm a big girl. I can take it. New Madonna song I heard yesterday mentions something about admitting defeat being a better/stronger thing to do. I'm very strong right now. And very defeated.

    And the other thing we decided was that I had done something awful by inviting my brother and Cheryl along. I fail to mention how Carolyn hadn't exactly asked for my permission on having Richard be present there the whole time from before my arrival. Or how she believed that people should always do whatever they feel like doing, and not fall into the standard, boring, yucky host/hostess and guest roles, and yet, at the same time she was expecting me to be a good little guest and not invade her space with my friends/problems too much.

  6. [... deleted ...]

  7. Sunday morning I talk to Peter Fruchter for one and a half hours. I explain the contradiction in my head. How I think Carolyn is evil, but how everyone else keeps saying she is not. He helps me to believe that she is not evil. But I leave Carolyn a phone message saying I'd like to spend a night or two with Richard, and would she mind if I did. What I meant was not so much permission as would she mind leaving Richard alone for a night so that he'd be left available such that if both he and I wanted to spend time together, we could. Of course, in my head, she is the evil manipulative one, and if I can be on her good side, that is my only chance with Richard. She is better at manipulating than I am, so I have to admit defeat in order to have the gods on my side (she being the gods).

  8. I spend about an hour with Richard that evening before dinner. Richard tells me that I have hurt Carolyn again very much. And I break down (yet once again), and say: look, it isn't really exactly all my fault. All three of us are free people - free to do what we want, more or less - so stop blaming everything on me. I may have pushed you into promising those things, but I did not *make* you promise those things - the words came out of his mouth, so he is responsible for them. I am not god, I did not get into his body and make his voice box move - no matter what he and Carolyn would like to have the whole world believe.

  9. And that's my point of view, folks. One more manipulative move (after all, the diary's whole purpose is to manipulate the minds of all your audience - at least when I'm thinking of you as the evil witch. When I'm thinking of you as my friend, then you really do it just to help yourself and other people. My head is amazingly good at switching back and forth between contradictory beliefs. It's also amazingly good at being fucked up. Coincidence perhaps - the concurrence of those two things? - anyway, read on):

"She realized that all her doubts were someone else's point of view."

And that is Rit's tale. I will resist rebuttle, redescription, explaining errors away, and the like. That is not my way.

More things.

Wed Dec 20 1995

But not about Rit. She has calmed down, and I think we'll both work it keep things that way.

Me, I'm busy as a male drone. :)


Wed Dec 20 1995

A letter to Niels:

Dear Niels,

What a soap opera follows you around! I must admit feeling a twinge of empathy for your old roommate. He seems to be in a tough position. However, I am glad to know that if you are not able to appreciate a situation dealing with an unreasonable person, regardless of cause, that you move on. And it is good to find out also that you assisted him in his troubles. Funny how things can work out if people have open minds instead of tantrums. Congrats.

 > Don't you know that you are not supposed to do that? *grin* Who do
 > you think that you are - showing no respect for tradition? Besides,
 > now I have to think of something more to give you for xmas. *smile*
 > Ahhh... I go it - no hints this time. *laugh* Anyways, I'm very happy
 > that you opened you present early and that you did it the way you
 > did. Thanks! *big smile*

I couldn't recall if you did indeed try to give a hint, or if I simply came away guessing well. You did say that you should have given this present to me long ago, and I couldn't think it would be anything other than trust. :) In some sense, I felt surprised to realize that you hadn't really previously, and then of course, silly me, I realized that trust is rather complex. After finding that you sent your thoughts on trust as I felt you might be, and written them much as I have in the diary, I realized that the complexities cannot simply be overridden with good-intentioned intentions to trust(until unreasonable to (which hasn't occurred anyway)). So thanks.

Still, I wonder to what extent (type) you have decided to trust me. I feel it difficult to believe that I can as meetingyou gets closer. I *simply cannot* predict what sort of personality (live version) you have. This is important, and, after watching the fireworks here with Rit and everyone, I suspect, something I'd like to disucss a little, before and after flying to England.

Where shall I start? You have been a good friend to me this past year. I mention you to others I know much as I would mention each of them to others. This is a sign that what you say / said is important to me, that it plays a role in developing my thoughts further. That said, much of what you've said has been designed (by our mutual choice I believe) to reassure me, and provide a warmer and "more detached from object level events" voice to know than is present here in person. We've also discussed politics, a bit of economics, and many personal stories. I'm sure of missed much here in such a short synopsis.

Now, in part because I like to do shocking (to my own system) things, I have chosen to change this relationship. I think you are in on this choice, but I am not convinced that you are. Could you tell me about this a little? Thanks. Whether you are or not though, I am coming to visit you as much as England, if not more. Around here I tell two versions of my choice of destination. There is the "I have a place to stay with a friend" version, and there is the "I have this friend who I'd like to get to know in person finally" version. I fibrillate between these a little depending both on the recipient, and on my willingness to confront how I feel directly.

In some sense, the former version is the backup plan. I'd like you to now this. Now I really do sound like Rita, which concerns me a little. She lives very intensely in the moment, and there are drawbacks to this. I also do this sort of thing, although I suspect I have a longer burn time, and that I am a lot more mature about relationships. (Mature = cynical + long term thoughtful + practiced + concerned for many people).

I engage these thoughts a little earlier than I would have without her influence this week. I'm more honest right now than I have been for awhile. And I've been taking it easy too.

So although you know so much about me via the diary, *we* haven't talked about a lot of this. I've been riding high feeling that I have this friend off doing fun things in fun places - you. But reality kicks. Alright. Reality about me is that I'm demanding, and considerate, warm and harsh, etc. I have lots of really lousy personality qualities, and I have used these to build more qualities with, more valued ones.

[time out... while I reestablish a more rational view on things... I just talked with Richard about fantasies:

I took up the position that fantasies are those things one is commmitted to believing while in fact knowing that they aren't true, and then held with the conviction that holding them might make them true. I was criticizing the holding of them in saying this *I thought*. But he responded interestingly. He quoted Bernard Shaw: "Progress is made by those people who (quote is only of meaning from my end) fail to accept reality. Those who accept reality are more willing to change themselves then it, and cannot cause change, and hence progress, to occur."

I realized that there is a role for fantasy... creating positive potential futures. By this I mean that a fantasy might allow one to see good points sufficiently to build something strong and well, before getting cynical about the bad points.

Perhaps I should discontinue the rest of what I was writing, and re-decide to feel excited about meeting you ... rather than practical as I was going to get to above. ]

Reality about me is that I'm awfully intelligent, and I've used this intelligence almost solely in the cause of making me interesting. As a little kid, I responded innocently to the question "what do you believe in little girl" by saying that I believed in myself. Surely Descartes would have been impressed. :) I took this religious beginning seriously, and expanded it all the way into enlightened selfishness, which includes having concern and understanding for and of others concerns and beliefs. I believe in myself, and I believe I am a positive influence on those who know me... an incredibly positive influence. [Strange, I think these beliefs are very accurate. I like that.]

Here I have talked your ears off. I cannot often write this much. Rit has really energized me, and I really enjoy this clarity, self-awareness.

Let me say that I look forward to the change in our relationship, and I hope that I can use my fantasy energy to help us construct wonderful things. No repression ... something I'll have to thank Richard for. Funny, I usually attribute repression causings to him. Another surprise for me today.

Happy moving. And please don't mind that I will link this letter into the diary as an entry for today.




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