Thank you Liz and Erin. Thank you, Jake. And you too Allen. Thank you, mom and dad. Kim and Kevin and your children. Another thank you Kim for reading. A thank you to B-Star and Lonesome Jack and live music in general. Thank Chris B. and the NaNo staff. Thank you Brooklyn and New York regions and my MLs. Thank you, Mayhem. I miss you. Thank you, Emily. Thank you, Tracy S. and Tony for the invite tonight and the amazing desk. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet and Hot Pockets (he invented Hot Pockets right?). Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me. Thank you to The Trolls. Man, you cats be crazy. Thank you Team C.O.B.R.A. Victory shall be ours. Thank you to all the new people I've met during the last year, especially the last four months. Thank you, America for maybe opening your eyes. It's not too late. Thank you, Dave, Peter, Frank and Warren. Oh, and Jessica.
I jumped forward last night. I had some inspiration about the last two chapters (28: The Stupid Gesture & 29: A Departure and Then Arrival). It's darn nice the have my ending.
Now there are only 7 chapters left. 7 chapters, 8 days. Well, 7 days, cause I really want to have it done on the 29th. By 7pm. So that kind of messes up that day, so call it 6 days. But Thanksgiving weekend is in there. But I am going out Thanksgiving night and I get the most done after 6pm or in the early morning. But I don't think I'll be going out Friday or Saturday.
Went to B-Star last night. Good times. I getthe feeling that I am becoming their official 'Yeller/Hooter' and that creeps me out a touch. Ah well.
B-STAR Live Tuesday, November 22nd, 10:00 pm At Trash Bar 256 Grand St. between Driggs and Roebling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn $5 cover, open bar between 9:00 and 10:00. They’ll be on vacation for a while after that, so don’t miss you last chance to rock out with them in 2005.
Penn Jillette wrote the following for NPR's "This I Believe" series. Now, I am not an athiest, but this comes closest to how I actually see the world (except that I am unable to take the leap of faith to say 'there is no Other'):
I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?
So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The Atheism part is easy.
But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."
Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.
Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.
Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.
Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
Now, this all kind of contradicts something I was telling someone last night, which I'm going to go into, but it still reflects much of my feelings.
On Sunday I heard that you died. Heroin overdose. A year and a half ago.
I'm not sure what I want to say to you. You were a spirit, burning bright and dark, but that sounds trite. You were passionate and strange and had a wicked smile. I knew then there was a quiet desperation in all that you did. I'm not surprised you died, the way you did. It was many years since we touched. I want to say since we "made love," but were never that close. We had sex, and it was fantastic, but not 'love making." You shot into my life and then you were gone, traveling the world.
I knew that you were on that path, so the news of your death didn't come was a surprise. But...I wonder what your life was after you left my bed. You never looked back and I never tried to find you. And, now, third hand new comes that you are dead.
All I can do is wish you goodnight now, Blackbird. The world is less now that you are gone and so am I.