If I were ever to form an anti-bucket list, it would have to include quite a few things that really bother me. Everyone knows that I’ve never liked left turns. Those blind spots are enough to drive anyone nuts. How, of course, could I possibly leave out odd numbers? Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always known that there’s something missing, or incomplete, about an odd number. It represents, in my worldview, an inexcusable void. In the world of entertainment, there wouldn’t be any of today’s current shows on. I can’t stand disco, rap or any of several other styles of pop music. The Jacksons, at least one of whom is already dead anyway, are a perfect example of how horrible pop culture is capable of becoming. Cold weather and inordinate precipitation would also be forever banned if I could have my way. There would be no unnecessary noise. Any world in which I get to run the show would be a world of peace and quiet, making every allowance for all the unavoidably necessary sounds that come with everyday life. Cell phones would be required to be silent. Liberalism, without a doubt, would be entirely eradicated irrevocably. That most insidious of worldviews deliberately pits people against each other for purposes of control.
If I were to wake up tomorrow morning only to find out that each day would, from then on, last for twenty five hours, I don’t suppose that it would make much difference. That only adds up to 2.5 more minutes for each hour. In the long run it would make quite a difference but no noticeable change would transpire over the course of each specific day. I suppose I could sleep a bit more. Unfortunately I never get any sleep anyway so perhaps I should say that I could lie down a little more. I can imagine that workplaces, schools and other environments where schedules make a difference it would lead to quite a major change of plans, but for the average normal things in a guy’s life a mere hour, whether gained or lost, isn’t exactly the stuff of legends. The bad time change will soon be yet again upon us. With any luck an extra hour could be added to the daylight. If there’s one thing that could be absolutely guaranteed to drive me plum out of my mind it’s even more dark skies. Yet another problem may be my already nasty case of excessive impatience. As long as I don’t have to be kept waiting for things even longer, and to get even more frustrated than I already tend to get, I’m happy with it. Perhaps I could steal the hour from each day and, since I ever so bitterly despise noise, officially declare it a peace and quiet time during which all unwelcome sound would be banished.
I’ve never been able to stand excessive noise. For as far back as I can remember I’ve always had an entirely intense aversion to excessive volume. I come from a world where there was entirely too much yelling. Having always bitterly hated and resented noise, I’ve had quite a difficult time coping with many things that are taken entirely for granted with most people. Everyplace I go, even to church and libraries, there are so many entirely inconsiderate characters constantly talking out loud and allowing their cell phones to make all kinds of noises, without bothering even so much as to attempt to be a little considerate of others. Besides my problem with noise in general I’ve always harbored an equally insatiable hatred of telephones too. My niece and nephews are all still extremely young, so of course they all still go overboard with their favorite music. Whenever I tell them it’s too loud, they inform me that I’m the one with the attitude problem. Unfortunately there simply doesn’t seem to be any interest, among most people these days, in showing respect to others when it comes to noise. It’s a kind of arrogance that is most certainly not restricted to the young. I’ve known of very many people significantly older than I, who live by the assumption that if they choose to yell or to increase the volume on televisions, radios, or other devices as much as possible, it’s somehow other people’s responsibility to learn to deal with it. Many times over the years I’ve referred to the time, when I was working at Citicorp Retail Services in Melville, New York, next to a department where all the people were constantly laughiing and yelling. The incessant noise drove me entirely into all sorts of fits of rage and fury. Of course, as always, I was the bad guy. To my chagrin there are several things in life that seem to be governed by a rule that makes it clear that the most utterly and undeniably inappropriate approach to life will always be specifically classified as the norm. Of course noise isn’t my only pet peeve. I also can’t stand liberals or any other totalitarian control freaks. You know the type, those who chant manipulative dictatorial catch phrases, like “The only thing intolerable is intolerance.” , while simultaneously attempting to control other people’s lives with no questions permitted. That, however, is something I have been known already to refer to under several other circumstances anyway.
For a very long time I have always had quite a seriously nasty problem with unresolved anger and impatience. In the sense that I’ve extremely often been treated entirely nightmarishly unfairly by precisely the very people whose trust I should have had the most significant right to count on, I’m no different than anyone else. To my chagrin, though, I tend frequently to get excessively angry. Somehow my ire has never come out in any overly drastic way. I have always had quite an extremely seriously nasty problem with hypersensitivity to noise. Over the years I’ve frequently told the story of the time I worked in the Sales Processing department at Citicorp Retail Services on Long Island. There was a department right next to ours where the people there absolutely constantly yelled and, for some insane reason, laughed incessantly without its serving any known purpose whatsoever. My notoriously bitter anger and resentment, combined with utter impatience, really seethed entirely out of control. Ultimately I should like to think that I can be considered quite an exceptionally good natured, jolly good fellow in general but when my much nastier character defects start kicking into gear, watch out, bucko! I very much like to think that I’ve always given each individual each and every single possible opportunity to treat me with a sufficient minimum degree of respect, and that I’ve always done quite a sufficiently reasonably good job of humoring everyone about all his quirks and attitude problems. There’s that nasty side of me, though, a sort of evil alter ego, that keeps bouncing around somewhere inside me. Under most circumstances I can be counted on to be quite an eminently lovable neurotic. The very good news is that anger and impatience are like fear, ambition, envy and other character traits in the sense that if they aren’t acted upon they don’t count. If someone doesn’t take advantage of a character strength of his, he doesn’t get credit. If he doesn’t succumb to a weakness, he doesn’t get any blame. That’s why I try quite hard not to act very much on my anger.
I’m looking out the sliding door and windows right now. The sky is is an especially appealing light blue with a very bright blazing sun and only a few very small white clouds within eyeshot. I walked back and forth to 9:00 a.m., Mass,and then to the local coffee shop, a while ago so I know it’s a nice somewhat cool day-a bit cooler than I like it but it’s quite enchanting-with a bit of a breeze in the air. Right now Sadie’s outside. She usually only stays outside for very short periods of time. There’s a shed over on the far left hand side of the yard. All the tools and things that are necessary for yard work, maintenance and upkeep are kept in there. Fairly close to the shed is a grill. Food always tastes quite good cooked that way. Unfortunately because spring has yet to take its effect the grass is still brown, with only very little green having come to life so far, and the trees and bushes still have no foliage on them. There’s also a stone patio, with a small flight of steps, that covers around half the yard. There’s a somewhat large heavy black thing-I have no idea what it’s called-that’s outside on the patio. It’s supposed to serve some kind of purpose on especially windy days, for keeping things from being entirely blown away. Although Long Beach is officially classified as a city, in many ways it has quite an especially nice suburban atmosphere about it. At the border of the land there’s a plain wooden slat fence with a much larger plain white fence behind it. The neighbors’ houses are fairly close. They’re all typical suburban houses of varying styles. Of the four houses I can see from here one is yellow, one is blue, one is white and one is red brick. Conveniently it’s a fairly quiet neighborhood although the people here most certainly do their share of partying. As far as I can see none of the nearby neighbors has been out so far this morning. The only thing I don’t like about this environment is that because we’re so close to Kennedy Airport, planes are constantly flying by here. The noise always gets me crazy. Other than that, though, this kind of environment is the very epitome of peace and quiet. I can see a street lamp, telephone line and satellite dishes in the distance, the typical fixtures in a neighborhood like this. It’s a nice enough environment for someone to throw a party when one wants people around, and quiet and isolated enough to get away from people and noise, when he doesn’t want to be bothered with activity.
If there’s one thing I absolutely can’t stand, and quite bitterly resent, it’s any unwelcome unnecessary noise. I can’t stand any kind of noise in general anyway but at least I’ve been able to resign myself to the kind that’s unavoidably necessary by definition. It wouldn’t be realistic for someone to hang around an airport or construction site and to cuss people out for being too loud. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve always had quite a razor’s edge relationship with sound. This is also true in my dealings with language, the written and spoken word. Nothing impresses me anywhere near as much as well written and well performed music, or when someone writes or speaks articulately. When,however, I have to be subjected to something that’s poorly written or spoken, played or sung, it gets me crazy.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been compulsively articulate and very conservative. Whenever I either hear, or read, something that’s either inarticulate or of a left wing ideological slant it makes me cringe. Language should be used solely as a vehicle for the conveyance of the truth and not as a means of promulgating an ideological agenda. Besides that I’ve always been quite prone toward getting all my tenses, cases and other linguistic proprieties entirely in order. Everyone knows about my notoriously hypersensitive nerves. For approximately the past two decades we’ve been bombarded with cell phones. Ever since I was a kid I’ve never been able to stand the telephone anyway. I not only don’t like the sound of its ring, or having to talk on it. I can’t even stand to be in the company of someone who’s talking on the phone. Now that each and every single one of us has a phone in his possession at all times it’s quite a major chore for me to attempt to accept it. I’ve never been able to understand why cell phones are considered acceptable in churches and libraries. In the old days, churches and libraries were considered places where peace and quiet was mandatory. Now phones are allowed. A couple of months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I went to see “Madama Butterfly” at Lincoln Center. I couldn’t help noticing that when the people who are in charge there say cell phones aren’t allowed they really mean it, and patrons respect that fact. In churches and libraries, though, the people in charge claim that cell phones aren’t allowed but they don’t bother to enforce it and everyone leaves his phone on, thereby subjecting the rest of us to endless unwelcome noise. Throughout my life I’ve always been subjected to people with very loud voices, as well as bad music and flagrant misuse of language. I can still remember, from when I worked at Citicorp Retail Services in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, a representative example of the unbearable impact that noise can have on me. When I was working in the Sales Processing department with Sal, Carole and Yolanda, Miz Kitti, Doreen and Kimbley, there was a department within earshot of ours where the employees were unbearably loud and unruly. They literally yelled, and even laughed hysterically for no reason, all day long. It was quite an unbearably torturous experience for me. Unfortunately it turned me into a nasty, anti social little creep. I got very bitterly angry and resentful. There appears to be something about unwelcome noise, and a poor command of language, which I truly find entirely unbearable. I’ve always really liked to consider myself quite good natured, a jolly good fellow. When I have to deal with noise, or with someone who’s inarticulate, though, I truly am subjected to quite a torture treatment. My ability to accept it and to maintain my cheerful side takes quite a beating. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to maintain my cool but it’s quite a frustrating problem. By now I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve learned to accept the simple facts that it’s a loud inarticulate world, and that all I can do is to try, as politely and as firmly as possible, to convince people to be a lot more respectful of others, both by being a lot quieter and by speaking and writing a lot more articulately.
I’ve always liked to consider myself quite an easygoing fellow. In my high school yearbook people both gave me credit for having been so good natured and complained of my having been too much of a pushover. It would make me happy to know that to this very day I’m still exceptionally flexible and good natured. It’s always been very easy for me to be that way when the question that’s being dealt with is as easy as an argument over round or square pizza. Unfortunately life’s problems aren’t usually that simple. I’ve always enjoyed peace and quite to the point of bitterly resenting any kind of people or circumstances I may have to deal with where things are entirely too loud. I’ve really been known to lose my temper in an environment where excessive noise becomes a problem and I can become quite aggressive about it. I honestly believe that no one should have to bother with such an intrusion and I’m quite especially tough on anyone who isn’t careful with his cell phone. That’s one of the areas where I not only show absolutely no mercy whatsoever but I even push things entirely too far, punishing the Scylla of excessive volume with the Charybdis of quite a display of nastiness. Another area in which I can be inordinately tough is whenever there’s any debate about anything relative to the culture war. As everyone knows I’ve always been quite the arch-conservative. I tend never to budge even slightly in my dealings with liberals. The questions that are dealt with in any debate of this nature are literally about life and death, freedom and control. This also ties in with my resentment of being treated unfairly in general. If I see I’m being pushed into a corner, and expected to accept insulting treatment, or to be begrudged my rightful due, I get quite infuriated. You can call it affirmative action if you want to. It’s still reverse discrimination. I see the spurious arguments and revisionist history the liberals expect us to put up with as analogous to what any manipulator does. A major part of the problem with liberals is that they barge into every move people make and leave nothing alone. Everything from language to food is considered within the purview of their obsessions. My excessively stubborn streak is a part of my life in which I have quite a lot of growing up yet to do. Having read “The Living Flame of Love” by St. John of the Cross, and Dostoyevsky’s “The Possessed” a few times over the years I should suppose by now I can recognize that the problems that get me crazy in my dealings with other people are the things I most frequently can be most guilty of.