Nov 13, 2004

Am I a REAL chocolate endeavor?

Morals. How could I possibly conduct my life as a decent, upstanding human being without them? How would I get through life had I not a specific set of behavioral guidelines laid out before me that dictates what I should or should not do, think, or feel? Good golly, I might actually choose to rely on my own judgment and occasionally listen to my instinct instead, and that could very well be dangerous. It's wonderful that so many people are kept in line out of their fear of God and the unknown, inspired and perpetuated by their mentors, the church, the bible, and the unsubstantiated moralistic hogwash regularly disseminated throughout society for purposes of securing control over people when their minds are still young enough to be imressionable to believe just about anything. But what about creatures like me who are atheists to the extreme, and can only logically deduce that man created God in their own image as opposed to vice versa? That God was created just to keep people fearful and in line (sounds a lot like the Bush administration, actually) and to make humanity feel superior to every other species on the planet? (It's always needed that resassurance, I'm sure.) Who sincerely feel that morals should not be imposed on everyone, because what might work for one individual hardly works for another? Jehova's witnesses, huh. I can respect their continuous efforts to go around spreading the word of God (which is really the word of humanity, arrogantly glorified to supposedly originate from some higher power). Actually, I really can't. I prefer a fine coat of fur to a fluffy coat of wool, thank you, so go ask someone else to be your Shepherd's sheep, ma'am. An ideal, perfectly functioning society is one in which we can all subscribe to a unified code of behavior. Well, I'm sorry, but that's not going to happen, because everyone's different, and for that sole reason, we will never be as efficient and productive as mechanized droids. Last I checked into my own archive of philosophical conclusions, contributing to human society was hardly the meaning of my existence, anyway. There is no point to anyone attempting to force their morals upon me. If they're simply sharing their moral-based opinion with me, and they respect my personal spiritual beliefs, then I can respect theirs. But when someone insists I'm "sick" or "immoral" for feeling a certain way or doing a certain thing, and that I need to change myself, I have no reason to respect them at all. I go by my very own belief system, and there is no reason it should be any more right or wrong than theirs when it comes to myself. You can pray for my terribly immoral self all you want, and I'll be sure to prey for you, too.

I experienced another school dream a couple nights ago. The setting was another imaginary school somewhere, and an overwhelmingly large one at that. It reminds me of Wilcox, the largest elementary school in the most urbanized area on Kaua'i, where I lasted only a month because for some oddball reason, I had difficulty adjusting to a school of several thousand just after completing first grade in a school of one hundred fifty. Bridgeport elementary, Dallas, Oregon--a true rural school in a rural town, to Wilcox Elementary, an urban school where my race was actually the minority. Amazing how my parents had to work their way up once they moved here, from an apartment building on Nawiliwili harbor to a duplex in a Filipino neighborhood where illegal cock fights were scheduled bi-weekly to a series of rented houses in increasingly liveable areas until finally a purchased house. Kekaha elementary was a -much- better place to complete second grade, I found, despite the daily doses of racism I encountered. Third grade, too. Oregon was pretty, but we couldn't live half a block away from a twelve-kilometre long beach or the wettest place on Earth almost in sight there. Peculiar how we opted to move to the island of Hawaii a mere month before Hurricane Iniki made landfall on September 11th, 1991, wiping out most of our former hometown, and washing out to sea much of the school I previously attended and scorned. As I watched the television footage from our neighbor island, which received maybe a little rain out of the storm, I was crushed to see so many of our favourite beaches permanently obliterated by the inland flooding run-off and large swells.

At the time, I was attending Kahakai elementary, what I preferred to refer to as "the concrete asylum," as it was easily one of the most hideous, prison-like schools I ever had the misfortune of having to frequent. Nothing but dismal grey concrete everywhere; no artistic expression, no aesthetics in the building design or outdoor scape, nothing. And some of the teachers, they seemed like ticking time-bombs, and seemed as if they would be more at home in, well, an asylum. We were living far out in Coffeeland, only about a three hours drive from Mountain View, up a driveway so steep our poor little Toyota Tercel couldn't make it up without stalling, so we had to park it on the flat area below. Of course, we couldn't leave valuables in it, because squatters up there had a way with picking locks of any sort. We lived on a water catchment tank, and in times of droughts, flushing the toilet wasn't a practical idea in some cases. We were told that if it was number 2, yes, you always flush the toilet. Regular old number 1, though, and the next bathroom patron can deal with it. Our country home was little more than an old coffee shack, but we had a commanding view of the ocean, and no neighbors! We were true tropical hillbillies back then, yup, we were. Eventually, we packed up and moved to a lovely subdivision in Kamuela, a mountain town that seemed perfectly situated for optimum drizzle weather and spectacular fog effects. It never got quite cold enough to snow there, but the house in which we dwelled was the only Hawaiian structure I'd ever visited that actually contained a fireplace. The house contained all sorts of bizarre idiosyncracies, come to think of it, including the eerie blue overhead light in the hallway and the various hollows and cubbies in the walls.

The next school I transferred to, I actually stayed with until I graduated! We moved into another house, this one an old sugar mill homestead, no doubt once occupied by a dozen foreign laborers. A crazy lady who looked and behaved like a ghost (which is fortunate, because we didn't have to see much of her) lived in the small cottage in the backyard. A gargantuan lichee tree dominated the portion of the backyard behind the driveway, bearing succulent grape-like fruit once a year and supporting an expansive wooden treehouse. I remember spending entire afternoons up there, having Calvin & Hobbesesque adventures with my imagination. Ah, and there was the small screenhouse tucked every farther back, inside which myriad exotic plants thrived. I lost myself in there many times. I lived a ten minute walk away from the intermediate school campus, and by the time I was ready for the more distant high school campus, we moved again, this time purchasing a home farther up in the hills--the home I go back to visit every few weeks or so. I could end up inheriting the house someday, should the house and my parents' pocketbooks stand the test of time against Hawaii's physical elements and financial challenges.

Considering all the different schools I've had to attend throughout my life due to my family's consistent moving, it's no mystery to me why I would have so many school dreams later on. Adapting to new schools was never an easy process, and such dreams of mine tend to remind me of that. It was my first day of class, as usual, and I couldn't seem to locate any of my classes. I reckoned I would have to visit the office first to obtain some sort of schedule, but I had to wander the entire campus over before I could find the office. Meanwhile, I was panicking because I was missing my first class. Hey, at least I wasn't naked this time! Somehow, I found my second class, which took place in a small courtyard where each of the students were sitting in raggedy armchairs, facing an instructor lecturing on how to be extreme pineapple membranes. I knew not what that meant then, nor do I know what it means now. He was quite a character, too, for he was not lecturing behind the desk, but rather on top of it. And the "desk" was really an Italian leather sofa. At least, I presumed it was Italian, for "Italian leather sofa" just sounds better than, say, "Rwandan leather sofa." And he asked me, as soon as I walked in, "John, tell us, are you a REAL chocolate endeavor, and why?" As soon as he popped this question, I flicked a brown piece of dog kibble out onto the grass. You know, the kind that's O-shaped, something that would look quite appetizing as a breakfast cereal. "Very good, John," was his response. "You are one expectorating hydrant of praying kidney juicers!" Joyjoyjoy. Flash forward to my next class, which took place in a dull regular classroom with a dull regular teacher whose forearm bore a tattoo which read "SUB." He gave us a quiz, on the FIRST DAY, which read "SINLAB." I always have wanted to take SINLAB 100 before, but never had the chance. Maybe I should have taken the SINLAB quiz while listening to SKINLAB. I was stumped on all the questions, including the last one which asked, "which are the five frustratingly mutilated brownies of morning dew?" Even though my name was supposedly John, I still couldn't possibly fudge a proper answer, so I just drew up a flawless isometric sketch of the New Jersey turnpike.

I woke up soon thereafter, still rather tired. Such intense dreaming over such a prolonged period of time requires plenty of energy. I get a better night's sleep if I don't dream as heavily than if I do, and as far as I know, there's no way to predict or control how lightly or heavily I will dream. At any rate, it's no fun having to get up and go to class when, in your mind, you feel as if you've already spent a full day in class.

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