I shut this blog down for an interval. There were certain people related to (but not directly a part of) certain State apparati from whom I preferred to keep my inner musings and postulations secret. I have since been extricated from contact with said people, and find myself willing again to share the contents of this blog.
I did delete the post previous to this one in the process of bringing "In Review" back online. I read the first couple of lines of it, and deleting it was a knee jerk reaction.
So it has been a very long time since I have written here, and almost as long since I have had the time to write at all. For those not in the know, I am working for a multinational corporation that provides technical services to the petroleum industry. The company is large-ish. It's a component of the S&P 500, if that gives you a ballpark idea of how "large."
I work in a shop in which we build "well-head" equipment, like "casing heads" and "tubing heads," both of which are used during the drilling process. We also build "frac equipment" (crosses and valves and whatnot) which are used during the hydraulic fracturing process. That stuff can look something like the following:
Petroleum production equipment with dorks in foreground
All of the items pictured above are the ones I was working on up until about a month ago. About a month ago, I went from being the "foreman" of the wellhead shop to being the new "foreman" of the new nightshift, during which we work on equipment that is new to me. The steel I'm working on now is "flowback equipment," which is used during hydraulic fracturing, sometimes, but primarily subsequent to fracturing.
Advantages to nightshift:
-I am the boss. No one above me is there at night.
-We can listen to loud music with a lot of profanity in it without getting in trouble.
-We don't get interrupted mid-process by anything that is "emergency last minute." We know what we have to do, and we get it done.
-I get tons of hours.
-It's cold and dark.
-Qdoba isn't open at midnight.
-I don't get to see Jera much anymore.
So I work around big dangerous equipment all day long. We drive huge "sky track" forklifts, move objects using 3 ton overhead cranes (a lot of our equipment is too heavy for one crane, so we are forced to hook both cranes up to it simultaneously), we test our equipment with hydrostatic pressure up to 15,000 psi (it takes 12 psi to pop the human eye out of its socket), and basically do man shit. It's not a politically correct environment, and sometimes I have to yell and swear at people to properly motivate them in a pinch. I was yelled at and sworn at quite a bit when I started working there. I didn't know how to drive a forklift or turn a wrench when I started. Truth be told, I was subpar with a regular sized screwdriver. The learning curve has been steep and fast.
Some people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I work between 70 and 85 hour weeks. They look at me as though I'm even crazier when I tell them how relieved I feel that I dropped out of college.
Kids: based on my own personal experience, I must advise you to skip college. I'm thrilled to have dug in and not been swayed by those who tried to get me to continue with "higher" education.
That's me now. I am learning to understand myself better by pushing my body and mind to their limits through the hardest labor I have ever seen anyone do in my life. I know full well that there are industries in which people work harder than my co-workers and I do, but I have never personally seen them first hand.
I am not at risk of losing my soul to this job. I dare say I am at risk of further uncovering that elusive bastard through this work.
One more word about work: no, I do not have a single moral qualm over being involved in the oil industry, nor do I have any moral problem with hydraulic fracturing. I could explain to you why, but those of you wondering this are likely already quite calcified in a particular opinion, so we won't be breaching that topic in this forum. Such mundane bullshit bores me.
I undulate from knowing to not knowing who I am. I meander a winding path that takes me into the shade where absolute truths become obscure, and then, in the same day, into the sunlight where all seems clear and my faith in the trajectory of the universe is total.
Walking barefoot in the sun is a bygone thing for me, at the moment, due to work and due to winter. But it is still my ideal place. Jera and I are moving into a new apartment. The apartment (which I have yet to see) is more expensive and larger than the one we live in now. I am disappointed in the choice of apartment for those two reasons. I have again acquired a television. This disappoints me even more. Luckily, I find very little time to spend watching the fucking thing.
I call people I am close to in tears intermittently. It is like I want to just scream and beg for them to give me some answer that I know no one has. I haven't supplemented my philosophical knowledge much at all since I last wrote here, except for the fact that I have verified what Tolstoy said about laboring with one's body. It feels great, spiritually and otherwise.
I have less opportunity to experiment with psychedelia than I would like. I am subject to random drug tests at my work place, and as such must (usually) abstain from many substances. Again, my ideal place is barefoot, walking in the sun, and stoned on high-grade marijuana.
I was driving home at around six this morning after a long night. My arms and shoulders were so sore that they felt like jello. My stomach was ravenously hungry. Spots of tacky tan paint on my palms caused my hands to stick to my steering wheel and my ears were ringing from the noise of air-powered tools. The sun wasn't yet up and I felt the compulsion to write, knowing that I didn't know what precisely I wanted to write about, and knowing that if I wrote everything that I truly wanted to write, I would have to write it in the form of several books, and then probably recede from society entirely for fear of fevered-egos attached to shallow-minds exacting retribution on me for my having written it.
It wells up in me like that sometimes. My hair is still growing. It is well past my shoulders now. I pray for the destruction in totality of my ego, but while I am still in possession of it, I may as well cop to this:
I like feeling like a deviant.
I like behaving outside of the norm. I love to break moral boundaries just because they are there, and I relish philosophically dismembering the status quo. I loathe tradition. The only good thing about rules, I think, is that they are so fun to break.
I am still an anarchist. I still subscribe to no religion. Even when I am attempting to be my most objective and humble, I feel peerless and alone in the sense that I just don't feel like I make sense to anyone anymore. I think I like that in a way too.
If I am corrupt, than all I can say is that it would be my pleasure to corrupt you. And your kids, too.
Love is the greatest feeling.
Peace is the only truly important thing toward which we ought to work.
I hope that I haven't forgotten how to write. I suddenly feel like doing it again.
No one has been watching my left hand.