Monday, April 19, 2010


When I was very young I thought I went on forever. Bumping my head on the crib seemed no different than sticking my finger in my eye; it was all me. The same part of me that offered a breast to suck later shoveled spoonfuls of prechewed food into my sucker. Having learned where my sucker was I became very adept at tasting every part of me I could manage to bring to it.

It was long about then that I became aware of a mischievous part of me that would make various other parts angry with me. I became very uncomfortable because I didn’t know how to make all of me feel good again. The more I seemed to disturb those parts the more they seemed to withdraw from me and I came to see that the misbehaver and those he ruffled were not really me. He became my naughty companion, Drill, and the parts he annoyed turned out to be my parents. The only reason I even recall having what they called my imaginary friend is my parents recalling my bringing him home to share it when I was called to lunch.

Drill was my favorite playmate for adventures in the deep ravine behind our house and might have continued to be if he hadn’t talked me into eating that strange smelling skunk cabbage we found one spring. My stern grandfather who always wore a vest was visiting when I came in with some leaves for everyone to enjoy. He made me drink several glasses of soapy water to make me expel that evil poison and when I puked he said it was the cure working. The combination of the traumatic physical sensation of transiting from groovy found flavor to soapy induced vomit and the mental confusion of such skewed logic from such an authority figure made Drill disappear forever. He didn’t go far, just out of sight.

His cantankerous mischief would show up whenever I began to wonder why the big people like my parents always got their way whether I liked it or not. Like talking me into eating poison, Drill would make me stomp my feet, slam doors, throw things and find a place to hide to get away from such tyranny. Instead of such behavior helping me feel good again it always brought the wrath of the big people down on me all the more. Just like my breath after eating skunk cabbage had offended them they said my bad behavior was due to my “unruly instinks”, so I figured we all knew it must have been Drill making me do it.

For many years Drill hounded me from behind the scenes whenever I would bump into authority imposing corrections to or limits on whatever I happened to be doing. School seemed like a gauntlet determined to rid me of Drill’s disruptive influence with discipline so counterproductive it only got his back up to the degree that I dropped out of high school with several hundred detention hours remaining to be served. Determined to shake my nemesis and become a good boy who could pass any test authority could put me to, I volunteered for membership in the institution I was convinced offered the most effective discipline available in the process of making one a real man.

Four years later, when my enlistment was up and he felt it was safe to come out of hiding, Drill’s persnickety ways prevented my remaining by dangling an opportunity to go to college where people got their own authority to run things. Somewhere during the course of my courses in college and promotions in the lucrative job it landed me I began to understand that Drill was far from being my antagonistic nemesis; he is the instinctual being I had been taught all my life was a nature to be dominated; he is the me as I was born and cannot help but be.

The person Drill hounded throughout his life was the person culture convinced must obediently seek its approval to be valid; the person for whom instincts were counterproductive to the purpose of becoming civilized. My experience of attempting to create and maintain that exemplary personality at the expense of the rich council of my genetic memory has stood me well in recovering my early intuition that my connection to the world goes on forever.

Now feral, it is culture by which I feel hounded, but only when I let it in through the doggy door of the intertubes.


PattiKen said...

I'm not sure I understood the final paragraph, but up to that point, this sounded like a person slipping slowly into madness. Perhaps he's locked away, with no connection to society other than his computer?

Yodood said...

Patti, your perception is right about anyone choosing to follow their instincts when in conflict with civilization's definition of sanity, as I've stated one way or another in over four hundred posts so far — we're mad.

Perhaps what you call locked away is living in the open wilderness so far from society the internet is the only way civilization can reach hin in the asylum of his natural mind — there, I've said it again.

Brian Miller said...

and now i have context for the comment yesterday as well...there is a great taming that goes on as we get older, told to put away the things of our youth, liking fitting you or the coffin a whole life time before its intended use is needed. there is a wild that winks out...a eulogy said...but sometimes it escapes if we are just careful enough to let it.

Anonymous said...

Lao Tzu states that if you understand others, you are smart, if you understand yourself, you are illuminated.

I'm glad to know that you admit to understanding all aspects of yourself, even your self destructive nature.

I'm just sorry that some aspect of yourself kept you from rejoining with old friends yesterday at the spring party.

There was a great energy and bliss hovering in the crowd yesterday as character after character appeared and joined the fun. Nicki and I discovered to our delight that if we recalled stories of friends and announced their names aloud among the laughter, then we would turn around and that person had appeared. It worked many times, but as much as we tried to conjure the Dood, alas, our magic was not strong enough...

In hind sight, the magic was an illusion, but the love shared was not. maybe next time dood.


She Writes said...

I loved the insight you have of yourself in this.

...that Drill was far from being my antagonistic nemesis; he is the instinctual being I had been taught all my life was a nature to be dominated; he is the me as I was born and cannot help but be.

Minx said...

I still, occasionally, try and fit my round peg into the square hole - it never works and I really don't care!

Baino said...

Have to say that many of your ideas and those of your comments are often a little cerebral for me. But I do understand wanting to avoid the destructive side of 'culture' or mingling on the outside . . although life's so much more fun if you take your imagination out into the world with you. . . I did however, enjoy the simpler format of this little piece. And I firmly believe (there I go using conjunctions to start sentences) that no man/woman is an island. You and the gremlin need to get out a bit, cause some havoc or spread the love!

Yodood said...

Brian, not sure which comment or what context you speak of, but then, that seems to be the charm of your style: so spare as to allow readers to make an epic of a ditty. For me several of your stepping stones are under the water of their (my) own contexts leaving no dry path of your meaning or intent to the other side. My loss.

Funny, I consider the coffin (culture) the escape from the reality of nature as it is.

Amber, the 17 minute video from 2007 Iraq has me in no mood to celebrate anything or hob nob with anyone who can. I'm a bit shell shocked to say the least. This too shall pass, damned it.

Amy, I love the insights you have into my insights.

Minx, gotta check all those interesting holes, it's what our peg is for, and how come there's so many fascinating shapes. ;•)

Baino, glad to get some feedback from you and gratified to find you've read some of my other stuff. What you referred to as cerebral is me learning to make clear the mythtaken view of nature being the property and commodity of mankind as granted by some creator bloke man dreamed up for just that purpose. I have been out among the rabble raising havoc for the sixty-five years leading up to my move to a forest by a river six years ago and spreading my love by writing blog posts of my life's lessons, cerebral as that may seem.

JeffScape said...

Oh, man... this is brilliant. Hilarious and humbling, funny and frustrating. Your duality at its best.

Ego, superego, id, yodood?

Tom said...

ha. I love this stuff. expertly done!

Leslie said...

I see the conflict of natures. Which will rise and which will be suppressed?

Well written


Anonymous said...

I admit to having to read this over twice. The first time ~ given the photograph, I was expecting something out of Gremlins; hence, I only grazed over it, not really caring for what I read and never finishing it.

The second time, however, I realized that it is, indeed, about gremlins...but none so trite as the ones I conjured up from the movies. I'm glad I finished to the very end, because on of your last passages spoke to me:

"The person Drill hounded throughout his life was the person culture convinced must obediently seek its approval to be valid; the person for whom instincts were counterproductive to the purpose of becoming civilized."

My life has been spent seeking the approval of others ~ with expectations too high, I always was disappointed (or a disappointment). Today I am far gentler on myself due to my own "drill".

Krys said...

I feel bad for the people who don't have a little Drill in them. We all should have the courage to fight and rebel when we feel slighted.

Great writing again, Yodood. I'm a sucker for anyone who falls away from the straight and narrow. :)