The Rower

By Byron Macrides

I have to pee.    but I can’t be bothered to get up at the moment—besides it’s not like I can’t hold it in for a few minutes more—the sensation is still at that phase where it is not sure of itself and can be easily ignored. . .     I’m pretty comfortable right now in my armchair as I’ve somehow found the perfect position in which my legs feel neither stiff nor stretched usually they curl and climb around each other until either or both turn numb—. eventually though I’ll get up. Before I feel like I’m about to burst   the news are boring today. 

As long as the other side does not accept the blame we cannot talk about peace 

same old    same old

René’s Candles.. Save the smell!.. Lasts up to 72 hours. 

this peculiar contraption looks like a prototype version of a lampshade—industrial, or maybe a deconstructed lampshade. Industry is the deconstructed apparatus of today. Deconstruction in reverse— a future that’s as close as a Sunday. 

—something I read the other day.
or maybe I heard it, 
about what the past would think of us. 

Rene’s Candles reintroduce the past, wax drips into the capsule    retains its essence

a candle is fragrance these

Pilgrim’s Sojourn: Consecrated Fire Review 

looks interesting—…this game allows you to be who you want to be, and then subverts your expectations of who you’ve actually become…    looks violent    hope its not all about violence—. I remember somewhere hearing that it was inspired by Homer’s Odyssey or some version of it anyway. . . 

One Panda Left at National Zoo 

as long as the other panda does not. . . 

Famous Clinical Psychologist Found Murdered 

my psychologist is dead. 

MY PSYCHOLOGIST IS DEAD! Police chief Aaron Thorpe suggested the act occurred in the early morning hours but who? … no validated suspects… 
I had an appointment with him this afternoon in three hours I was supposed to meet with him do I call and cancel?—they should notify me that the office will be closed right?— still I think I should call, just to let them know I am aware of the situation but they wouldn’t even be available, right? and what would I even say? and what do I do now? will they assign me a new psychologist? is it even possible to just go to a new psychologist I don’t know who they are they don’t know who I am! egh, I need to pee. 

. . . 

know what, perhaps I don’t need a psychologist anymore       I might be able to deal with myself from now on. . . won’t I? all those long hours have already been paying off. I’m doing good!       I am better. I feel better.         I know what works for me all I need is to stick to it!— no more appointments no more long hours—yeah!—. I can even keep a log on myself just to monitor how things are going. . . 

I stole my psychologist’s notes. I didn’t steal all of them, only the ones with my name on them. 
I visited his office while they were moving things out. I felt I needed some kind of closure, some kind of affirmation that he is gone. 
I was standing by the truck in which they were loading all of his stuff. . . It was an instinctive act not something planned! and I’m too embarrassed to describe the most awkward robbery of all time! 
After that I treaded down the road, holding fast at the batches of papers and notebooks I had stolen. I was sweating profusely, thinking whether I could’ve done otherwise. I still am. ..and I felt like screaming as I was leaving, much like all those other days I used to stay. 

Everything appears to be settling in the twilight. The afternoon is already losing its colour. 

I keep staring back and forth, outside my window and onto this notebook, as if at two opposites.
A peculiar inertia, and stillness. 
A page marker is sticking out of the notebook, my name written on it. Misspelled. 
Again, I keep considering whether I was too hectic in my decision. Though all I want is a simple confirmation that I’m keeping on track with my psychologist’s work. 

The past few days have felt like I’ve been tilting over some cusp, loomed by a shame that figures through my moral sensitivity for stealing these notes, as this constant feeling of imbalance manifests through my hesitation in taking the leap. I feel agitated. I feel criminal, perhaps even courageous. 
I have been reading these notes, I have been noticing the manner in which my doctor treated me. Scantly is there a reference to my own experience in them. Rather, there are all these tangents and references to abstract concepts, of lachrymony, of catharsis, of pleasure and death, that have supposedly been derived from me. . . as if my experience could so simply be captured into jargon! 

The harshest thing to admit is that these notes are gradually making sense. I, on the other hand, am making less and less sense. I feel like lashing out in defiance, but that always already manifests itself as suspicious. Eventually, I resort to puny considerations. To violating myself in a darkly dream that reconciles me with an all-too-familiar, whirling wallow in contempt. 

At least today I have a headache. 

“The content of a repressed image or idea can make its way into consciousness, on condition that it is negated.” 

I always carry this note with me, wherever I go. It took me some time to fully understand its significance, a couple of months actually. I only felt comfortable reading it, again and again, at quiet places, where I could isolate my view, much like the kind of isolation that occurs by staring at the far edge of the sealine… When I was a child, I thought that that far edge of the sea was a small waterfall, the point where the sea just dropped onto itself. 

Ironically, it feels like I’ve accomplished exactly just that. I walked to the edge and have dropped onto myself… I have become honest with myself in realizing my negation, and weirdly, I feel more vulnerable and suspicious towards myself than ever before… 

When I look back, all I see is the miserable contentedness with which I had lived my life, under the guise of my own processed psychology. I do not wish to return to that status of living. To be honest, I am not at all capable of returning to that. I had been negating myself, and now it feels like my past no longer belongs to me, that I no longer retain the right to claim it. 
I yearn for forgetfulness, for some kind of hypocrisy. . . I keep asking myself, who was that?. . . what was that? is what I think I should be asking; for it still lurking, that, somewhere underneath. 

I haven’t been sleeping properly, I haven’t been dreaming properly either. It seems that physiology no longer bares significance to what I do. My body feels weak, tired. I haven’t been eating properly because of this. And when I close my eyes, my mind projects all these things onto the back of my eyelids, truths of which my ears had never heard their sound of, realities which my skin had never felt their touch, moments which my nose had never tasted, as if my eyes were still open, more open, as if I only have eyes, eyes that know how to speak! The dream of honesty terrorizes my sleep. 

I cannot help but wonder if I’m to blame for starting all this, or whether I am simply too innocent, unjustly innocent for my instincts… I keep reprising the thought that my psychologist expected all of this. It seems he knew me way before I learned myself. And yet, he never introduced me to myself. 
To that end, I am no longer myself. The less it makes sense the more meaningful it becomes. ..Or at the very least, I know I am not a self. I cannot be, not after this. . . 

Is it always violence to resort to hyperbole not as a last resort? 

The past few days I have tried to spend in quiet. I sought out isolation but failed to fully achieve it as I’m constantly met with thoughts and after-thoughts and thoughts that come after, with honesty peering over every instance of negation in my life. In this imperfect split, I keep seeking a path of return to old romance, a submission to self-love. To live against myself, and to love it. To acquiesce the proclamation that unhappiness is the good life. . . 


Moving houses and relocating by the sea was supposed to have cleared my mind a little bit. I haven’t had many chances to go for a swim, the tides have been high ever since I moved here, even though it is almost the end of Spring. 

I can hear the waves from my house.        the sound is mocking me. . . gushing incessantly, each wave followed by the next, like my infinite reproduction that fails by my unexpected fall to banality.

I have gotten rid of my psychologist’s notes. The winter was an opportunity for rumination which I have to admit I did not take full advantage of. Nonetheless, I felt some things had to change. 

Today I had visited an old, beautiful monastery, one of the most charming buildings I have ever seen. Inside was a veiled icon, supposedly painted by Lucas, the student of Christ, depicting the real Virgin Mary. The iconographers of the monastery made sure to dissuade anyone attempting to unveil the icon, for various scenes were depicted along the walls of the monastery with people who had failed to take heed of the warning and, in repudiation, had their wrists twisted and their eyes scorched. 

But for me, it was not these violent threats that had convinced me not to unveil the icon. Rather, it was the whole cast of saints surrounding it, and Jesus, staring at me so inexpressively, as if they could see me whole, see me absolutely, as if they could see around me and back at themselves, as if all their eyes had coalesced, and all space resided and was projected outwards from this one, conjuring, and all-consuming gaze. 
I have also learned about the history of this veiled icon. Priests would conduct special rites for it, and it would in return perform miracles, curing incurable diseases, reverting blindness, even causing the sky to rain in periods of drought. 
At some point in its history, some heretic king had decided to destroy it, and so the priests of the time had casted it into the ocean with faith in the power of God to guide it into safety. Eventually it ended up here, in this monastery, where it got veiled to be protected from itself. 
And so, I wonder, what would’ve happened to it if some pirate ship had sailed into its path and snatched it; if its thaumaturgy would not become an infliction of injury and pain; for it has remained veiled ever since it had arrived at this monastery, for it has been assumed that that has been its function ever since. 

I feel like pondering but there is nothing to ponder 

the waves are being blown offshore; the buoys

are much further away than other days—— do pirates still visit shallow seas? 

I made my way to the sand and saw that my feet were burning. 

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