The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for July 9th, 2010

vapor dulled sunbeams

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

My feet were dragging long trails in the powdered automotive glass, cutting long arcs through and across that empty corridor. Tenuous layers of atmospheric humidity, carrying those omnipresent and miasmic vapors of the mephitic Newtown Creek (as evidenced by that certain odor, not unlike that of an aquarium which houses terrapins, which defines the area) far beyond their normal geographic influence.

Dense clouds of aerosol moisture were risible, occluding the horizon, in the same manner as that note affixed to that official correspondence which was received here at Newtown Pentacle HQ similarly made my mental landscape and outlook on the future seem like a bleak and never ending limbo.


The 54,000-square-foot, two-story building directly across from FreshDirect had been occupied by the same owner, F & R Holding Co., since 1952. It was bought by KJDS Realty Inc.

F & R Holding ran an envelope business from the site at 23-23 Borden Ave. until the 1980s, when one of the partners retired, said Peter Moreo of Greiner-Maltz, who represented the seller.

The painted “Diplomat Envelope” sign remains on the front of the 200-foot-wide building. Since the 1980s, the building had been rented out to a number of tenants, and then last year the decision was made to sell, Moreo said.

“It has potential because of its location,” he said. “It is about six blocks away from the [Long Island City] redevelopment area, and would have sold for double if it had been on other side of Vernon Blvd.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An elaborate farce and failure to all who’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing me, your humble narrator is nearly always in a dark place, isolated and both fleeing from and reaching for a desolating state of loneliness and distemper.

Jealous and quick to anger, slightly sociopathic, and somewhat strange- I’ve always preferred means of expression which propagate distance and physical anonymity from intended audiences. Plagued by persistent sadness, with sleep an unreliable and uneven haven, even the thrills of debauched revelry hold no power to elevate my mood. Intoxicants and entertainments can no longer help.

Hopelessness persists, a die is cast, the future unbearable.

from wikipedia

Major depression significantly affects a person’s family and personal relationships, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. Its impact on functioning and well-being has been equated to that of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

A person having a major depressive episode usually exhibits a very low mood, which pervades all aspects of life, and an inability to experience pleasure in activities that formerly were enjoyed. Depressed people may be preoccupied with, or ruminate over, thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt or regret, helplessness, hopelessness, and self-hatred.In severe cases, depressed people may have symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include delusions or, less commonly, hallucinations, usually of an unpleasant nature.Other symptoms of depression include poor concentration and memory (especially in those with melancholic or psychotic features),withdrawal from social situations and activities, reduced sex drive, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Insomnia is common among the depressed. In the typical pattern, a person wakes very early and is unable to get back to sleep,but insomnia can also include difficulty falling asleep.Insomnia affects at least 80% of depressed people. Hypersomnia, or oversleeping, can also happen,affecting 15% of the depressed people.Some antidepressants may also cause insomnia due to their stimulating effect.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Wringing my hands- a manifestation of a restless inability for stillness- like the exertions required to perform other small tasks, seem beyond my ability to initiate. Worthless and shamed, a resume of failures personal and public plays across the landscape of that sterile grotto between my ears- the suffering of a mendicant.

Often- when beset with the shrill headaches of guilt and those stress induced muscle spasms in my lower back, saline deprived tears will flow and cut patterns through that curious airborne particulate which collects on my sweat slaked skin.

Why did I ever open that letter and receive that malign note, the one written in pencil whose handwriting was evocative of an ancient time?

from wikipedia

Oneirophrenia is a hallucinatory, dream-like state caused by several conditions such as prolonged sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, or drugs (such as ibogaine). From the Greek words “ὄνειρος” (oneiros, “dream”) and “φρενός” (phrenos, “mind”). It has some of the characteristics of simple schizophrenia, such as a confusional state and clouding of consciousness, but without presenting the dissociation symptoms which are typical of this disorder.

Persons affected by oneirophrenia have a feeling of dream-like unreality which, in its extreme form, may progress to delusions and hallucinations. Therefore, it is considered a schizophrenia-like acute form of psychosis which remits in about 60% of cases within a period of two years. It is estimated that 50% or more of schizophrenic patients present oneirophrenia at least once.

Oneirophrenic patients are resistant to insulin and when injected with glucose, these patients take 30 to 50% longer to return to normal glycemia. The meaning of this finding is not known, but it has been hypothesized that it may be due to an insulin antagonist present in the blood during psychosis.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An uninteresting and pedantic dissatisfaction- at all times boring and helpless- makes any perceptions of mine questionable.

Perhaps it would be better if I just stayed at home. Avoid knowledge of those flickering wonders found around this Newtown Creek, stay in the apartment where it is safe, and where it smells pleasant.

Absolute control of a cramped corner of the hive, leased by the month, with a comfortable and amusing reality provided to me and shaped by multinational media corporations.

A happy and comfort rich world, with cheap coffee and a cable modem.

from wikipedia

Neural circuitry involving the amygdala and hippocampus is thought to underlie anxiety.[9] When confronted with unpleasant and potentially harmful stimuli such as foul odors or tastes, PET-scans show increased bloodflow in the amygdala. In these studies, the participants also reported moderate anxiety. This might indicate that anxiety is a protective mechanism designed to prevent the organism from engaging in potentially harmful behaviors.

Research upon adolescents that were as infants highly apprehensive, vigilant, and fearful finds that their nucleus accumbens is more sensitive than that in other people when they selected to make an action that determined whether they received a reward. This suggests a link between circuits responsible for fear and also reward in anxious people. As researchers note “a sense of ‘responsibility,’ or self agency, in a context of uncertainty (probabilistic outcomes) drives the neural system underlying appetitive motivation (i.e., nucleus accumbens) more strongly in temperamentally inhibited than noninhibited adolescents.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Truly, who needs to know of these places, save the police and security men, and those uncommented workers who populate this human hive called the City of greater New York.

Those malign forces which infest the saturn halls of influence hereabouts seem to have noticed me, simply because I noticed them, and commented upon their presence. That hated letter was the merest extent of the power they wield, a hammering cudgel of patronage, a gimlet of raw force- and a message sent and received from the powers that are.

But that doesn’t account for the note. The note which caused me to titillate at and embrace the fish belly white teat of terror itself, and wander mindlessly about this Newtown Pentacle. That note, written in a greasy pencil line and atavist hand upon a no longer common sort of brown Kraft paper, and which conveyed a malign acceptance of certain realities

from wikipedia

An existential crisis may result from:

  • The sense of being alone and isolated in the world;
  • A new-found grasp or appreciation of one’s mortality;
  • Believing that one’s life has no purpose or external meaning;
  • Awareness of one’s freedom and the consequences of accepting or rejecting that freedom;
  • An extremely pleasurable or hurtful experience that leaves one seeking meaning;

An existential crisis is often provoked by a significant event in the person’s life — marriage, separation, major loss, the death of a loved one, a life-threatening experience, a new love partner, psycho-active drug use, adult children leaving home, reaching a personally-significant age (turning 30, turning 40, etc.), etc. Usually, it provokes the sufferer’s introspection about personal mortality, thus revealing the psychological repression of said awareness.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

…the note, and I must accept this at face value, was signed “Gilman“.

from wikipedia

Nigredo, or blackness, in alchemy means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher’s stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. In psychology, Carl Jung (a student of alchemy) interpreted nigredo as a moment of maximum despair, that is a prerequisite to personal development. Further steps of the alchemical opus are albedo (whiteness), citrinitas (yellowness) and rubedo (redness).

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

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