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Specimen 221 (lost journal entry by Billy Bayber)

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  • Mathew Morrell
    Although I had practiced my yogic breathing exercises, the energy-producing effects didn t work this time. Instead of elation, I felt oddly depressed and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2007
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      Although I had practiced my yogic breathing exercises, the energy-producing effects didn't work this time.  Instead of elation, I felt oddly depressed and exhausted; and rose from my bed in order to use the restroom.  Some times the exercises work, other times they don't.  When they do I am reminded of Blake's line, "God is fire in the head," and when they don't I think of Dostoyevsky's beetle man.

      It is raining and the air is cold and moist in my 17' travel trailer, rather oppressive.  In this tin can that I am living in, I lay in bed—still wearing the bandana that I use to cover my eyes when I meditate.  Why the exercises work one day and not another is a mystery to me.  Once more the realization has come:  I am far, far away from achieving my goal of being totally separated from all earthly concerns---dead to the world. 

      I smoked in bed until night fell, reading mostly---but also listening to the radio.  No money.  No steady income.  No food.  No friends I can depend on.  I am homeless.  Out in the country in McKenna , WA , where I am parked, I feel myself descending into cold, black nihilism.  

      The dial moves across the spectrum.  Mexican radio.  Deep Purple.  Beethoven.   Motley.  Nothing sounds good.  I lit another cigarette and, with the same hand holding the lighter, I kept going from station to station looking for a song that resonated with the dullness, anxiety and heaviness of my thoughts. 

      The propane stove warms the trailer but at the expense of increasing the mugginess.  Condensation drips down the windows.  Rain patters on the tin roof.  My travel trailer is lit up inside like a gas lamp shinning in the surrounding darkness of the country. 

      Almost by accident the dial landed upon the college station, KAOS 89.3.  Instantly my hand pulled from the dial; the first chords that I heard were organized in such a way that they produced a shock of pleasure; a joyful vexation of hearing something entirely new and un-expected.  Finally, I can lean back and relax knowing that my torment is not mine alone.         

      Through diligent research I found the band that Billy Bayber was referring to in this journal entry.  Below is a link to the performance he heard.  Fortunately, an Evergreen student video taped the radio broadcast and somebody else uploaded the video to U-tube.  

        Nirvana Video


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