Interpretive Overdrive: A Checklist For Neurotic Introverts

1 year ago with 18 comments in Uncategorized
Good working definition for a neurotic: someone whose Interpretive Faculty is perpetually on overdrive. Observe, gentle reader: Normal person in the car:Hey, I know this song. [enjoys, sings along badly] Neurotic in the car: Should I turn on my Aphex Twin CD? But I’ve been wondering lately whether I am losing sight of how to appreciate beauty, so maybe listening to Aphex right now will ...

Quick Thoughts on Augustine

1 year ago with 10 comments in Uncategorized
I’m reading Augustine’s Confessions again. He is terribly hard on himself for things that most of us would dismiss without a second thought: we’d say either “Oh, that wasn’t so bad,” or “You didn’t know any better,” or “You were just trying to test your boundaries,” or “You were still finding yourself,” or ...

Celibacy and Silence

2 years ago with 5 comments in Uncategorized
There are a lot of very screwed up gay Catholics out there. By “screwed up” I mean isolated, neurotic, guilt-ridden, anxious, depressed, tormented, narcissistic, and self-pitying. It’s impossible to say whether this is the effect of a regime of imposed celibacy. Because what we’re seeing is not just a generation of people who have grown up under a regime of imposed ...

Lattice

3 years ago with 13 comments in Uncategorized
“True friendship,” says C. S. Lewis, “is the least jealous of loves.” We in the SSA crowd, or anyway the neurotic crowd, or maybe just the human crowd, hear that and cringe, because so many of us are such amateurs at friendship, amateurs in every sense: we dabble in it, we’re fascinated by it to the point of obsession, and our talent for it is decidedly ...

Many Threads, One Processor

3 years ago with 14 comments in Uncategorized
My friend J. once told me that he liked Dostoevsky, but didn’t find him realistic. He cited the scene in Crime and Punishment where Raskolnikov and Razumikhin are approaching the house of the investigator Porfiry Petrovich, and poor Rask. is agonizing over how to behave in front of Porfiry: “I shall have to pull a long face with him too,” he thought, with a beating heart, ...

Delight

3 years ago with 5 comments in Uncategorized
It’s 2003, and I am afloat emotionally and spiritually and socially and nearly every other way a 20-year-old can be afloat. The administration keeps talking about community, like it has for the last three years: building it, taking part in it, respecting it, supporting it; but I don’t know what community is, don’t even know that I don’t know what it is. I feel like ...

Masks

3 years ago with 15 comments in Uncategorized
Back when I was in college and as crazy as a bedbug — a bedbug on a steady diet of caffeine, nicotine, and Nietzsche — I decided I was the phoniest bastard in the history of the universe and I wasn’t going to stand it anymore. I lie constantly, I told myself, and not only in words: I lie with my face, my tone of voice, my gestures, and even the way I walk. That raised ...

Holy

4 years ago with 36 comments in Uncategorized
St. Dominic Savio and I have a complicated relationship. I learned about him from Z., a luminous, vivacious, and wounded woman with a mystical bent who was my fourth-grade teacher (in a sort of a homeschool co-op thing) and my confirmation sponsor. My older brother Caleb tells me I was so taken with St. Dominic that, whenever I was doing something he didn’t like, all had to say was ...

Jumbled

4 years ago with 23 comments in Uncategorized
I’m grateful for the recent influx of traffic, from Matt Fradd’s site and others. At the same time I’m a little concerned that people seeing my blog for the first time are not seeing me at my best: folks, I swear, three months ago I was not a complete neurotic mess. Neither I nor even Father T. know exactly what is going on here, or why this present darkness is so extreme ...

Moving Out, Pts. I-II

4 years ago with 18 comments in Uncategorized
I: ENOUGH PEANUTS [Nota bene: This story is in four parts, and parts I-III are pretty grim, but there’s a happy ending. Also, there is a lot of smoking and no small amount of tears.] ★ I’m making Friday night plans with my brother Caleb. He’s saying we could stay in and watch a movie, or go out and get some drinks. “Or,” he says, “if you want to — and ...