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Renaissance Man

This music massages my ears seductively, fatigued as they are from constant badgering, both external and internal. Every morning, from around 0700 to 1100, a group of racuous construction workers congregate at the eternally unfinished pool just outside my solitary confinement cell of a room. This prodigious orchestra then begins to perform their chaotic symphony. Brash hammers on sturdy mahogany make sufficient drums, and the infernal whirring of power drills become reprehensible replacements for a Fender Stratocaster blazing through a colossal wall of Marshall stacks. Unhinged and angry, I jump from my bed and slam the window closed with the finality of a judge's gavel. Of course, by this time Im well rested and jolted awake, adrenaline coursing through my enlivened body. A quick morning workout robs me of 20 minutes, and, after a brisk shower and some yoga to relieve the localized pain of exertion, its a relaxing jaunt over to the local farm for my morning tea. Another refreshing dawn in paradise.

My birthday is less than one month away, and, contrary to what my friends are telling me, Im not registering even a hint of dread. The decline of physical virility and vitality, as well as mental cloudiness and decline and spiritual malaise, is something eagerly accepted by other young men my age. "The metabolism goes after 25. Get ready for those muscles to disappear.", the repugnantly bulging 36 year old tells me at my favorite local bar. Staffed nearly entirely by sleeved combat veterans and nubile, tight young women, Ive found a suitable surrogate home for the next few years. I take in the pathetic sight of, by his own admission, this ex-college football "star" downing another empty calorie laden beer to top off his second plate of nachos, dripping with cheap government cheese and sour cream. His waistline is the size of an amateur bodybuilder's chest, and his arms are speckled with pockmarks and cheap tattoos. The only way this horrendous idiot will be The Ghost of Gino's Future will be if I fall into a coma and am forced to allow stagnation and sedentary existence to reek their horrific havoc. "Maybe you're right.", I concede amicably. As the Wall Street Playboys advise for an up and coming man of the world, Smile and Nod. Smile and Nod.

I miss the green felt. Like a vast jungle sprawling out before me invitingly, enticing as a woman's open legs, it beckons me from across that aquatic desert Ive come to know so well. The Thieves' Code forbids all criminals, in all degrees of variance, from earning money in any fashion besides theft, strongarming or, my favorite, gambling. For a time in San Diego, I subsisted on little more than poker winnings. It was a romantic time, one I revisit, both in my waking hours and my tortured dreams, often enough that if I could accumulate frequent flyer miles Id be able to traverse the world again many times over. Alas, the money is no more, sacrificed for a worthy cause, that of two outlaws roaming California free and wildly. A powerful gust of Southern wind and a rough bullet of a Western breeze, coalesced into a destructively beautiful tornado. Bonnie and Clyde.

Numbers speak to me, and I enjoy conversing with them, much more so than with other human beings the vast majority of the time. They promise me a future, a type of freedom only I truly understand. Whether rigidly and suprisingly creatively at the table, or aiding me in both poetic and musical compositions, they are truly stalwart companions. They appear synethesthetically, working in cohesion with my memory, a talent that Ive recently grasped will grant me the independence I salivate for. So, I pursue them both with zealous dedication, until I sweat from the sheer force of my mental exertions and my head quakes and shivers with migraines brought on by my psionic efforts. For the time being, I have little use for companionship outside of shallow, sexual trysts, and I find my temperament becoming increasingly solitary. I feel a period of extreme growth coming on, in all aspects of my being, and I have little choice but to see it through to its logical culmination.

While reading of Galileo Galilei, I encountered a very inspiring and encompassing description of him. An obscure article described him as, "a man whose passions included all things intellectual and artistic". This stirred within me something long dormant, a desire to terrified of judgement to present itself before the light of my mind's eye. The idea of being a Renaissance Man is a very desirable one indeed. At an age where I no longer want to drink myself to somnambulance nightly and have no need for the pointless artifices that relationships have become in our modern day, I would love to devote myself solely to my studies. Of course, I wouldnt transform into a pious monk. I love having a social life, and have been blessed to make great friends since arriving on this island. The staggering difference is that, for the first time in a long time, the rift and void that I feel within wont be remedied by searching for something outside of myself. That integral yet ephemeral "meaning of life" is something deep within myself that is being obfuscated by ignorance and inexperience. I feel a vast sense of peace since coming to terms with my diagnoses, and the knowledge that I can deal with them perfectly alone.

The pursuit of knowledge appeals to me now with a zest I haven't felt for years. I feel as if the ice surrounding my heart has ceased needing to thaw, and it is now beating vibrantly and incessantly of its own accord once again. Im not declaring a halt to my own intellectual laziness because that habit has long since been eradicated. By way of obsessive practice of the Art Of Memory, Im memorizing 40 flashcards a day on average of useful information. I feel like my brain is on steroids. Life is short, live it up. Memento Mori.

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