You want a video to indicate how I feel at the moment, have at this one ..
Archive for Anime Bleach
The ideas have been fine tuned. The words are in place. I have finished and edited the content of my book.
All it needs now are chapter names and a title worthy of its greatness.
It also needs a professional editor, of course. I just refuse to send mine utter crap.
Time to save massive amounts of money.
Time to celebrate. My succubus can’t wait to make your acquaintance .. really
Have a video!!
I’d like to start this blog by saying that I was on a hiatus for a bit. A friend of mine came into the city and I decided to show her a good time. There are pictures. No, not that kind, you sick perverts!
As a result of my mini “staycation,” I stayed away from most social media. I didn’t even e-mail more than once, and that was to confirm that I was continuing a writing project that I started many moons ago.
My writing is going very well, I think, despite all the challenges that life seems to throw at me. I’m one busy motherfucker. I have the cleaning project in this apartment that has all but consumed my life when I am not working. I’m taking a break from that messy business. It’s done great things for this house and for my own mental health, but the process of getting cleaned up around here has been slow, and at times, so fucking aggravating that I want to snap someone’s neck and call it a day. I’m glad I took some time.
But my mindset since I’ve gotten back from that hiatus has been one of purposeful relaxation. I don’t want to delve back into the rat race that quickly. I’ve got to catch up with myself. I’m a bit tired of putting the needs of others above my own. My balance has been off in that respect. It happens. Life hurls its many curve balls at me, I get busy, and I don’t take the time to take care of me. I get sick or I get sick and tired. Those are apparently very different states of being according to my mother.
Cue studio audience laughter.
Parents have a way of making their adult children think about the course of their own lives. My parents are no exception.
A friend of mine engaged me in a discussion this afternoon before work. Of course, it started when the word “denial” came up. The word “denial” immediately puts me on the defensive. I won’t make any bones about that. But my friend, as far as I could tell, was genuinely concerned that I don’t appear to know how to slow down. Our discussion took on several different dimensions of course, but this is the one that stuck with me all the way through work this afternoon. It’s the one thing that I kept thinking about as I hurled myself into my captains chair and tried with utter desperation to bring the fun in.
If I have to try that hard to bring the fun in, perhaps the vacation wasn’t long enough.
But this is not the first time that this has come up in discussion this week.
Another friend of mine expressed concern that I won’t let anyone into my heart.
A third friend of mine seems worried that I don’t talk much.
My co workers seem to think I’ve become withdrawn.
With all these concerns coming to the fore AFTER I’ve just had a vacation, I was forced to consider the very real possibility that people simply didn’t like that I was gone for as long as I was. Even today, people expressed concern that I was in the back of the store at work pretty much my entire shift. My job sort of requires that right now, so I have little choice. But even I have to admit, after so much public face time and customer contact, being stuck in a little alcove in front of an elevator processing returns all day long feels isolating.
I’m beginning to worry.
My parents have put their two cents in. For some reason, their interjections on this subject have made me angry.
My father tells me “kid, you look tired and you work too hard.” Never mind that virtually every other day after work, he makes plans for my time that involve even more home projects that I am getting rather sick of doing. I have to shake my head at chuckle when he does this and then tells me “relax, kid,” as though I’m the one who keeps coming up with all this shit.
On the other hand, this is what my typical week looks like.
I wake up at 6 am monday morning. I prepare for an early work day. I got to work at nine.
After work, I do a load or two of laundry. It takes hours.
After that, I edit my story and try to catch up with my friends.
Maybe, I get some sleep.
The next morning, I do MORE laundry before a closing shift at my job.
The third day is a morning at work. If I’m lucky, I can rest after work this day, except I almost always have errands to run concerning my family. Even better, I’ve got writing projects that I’ve been putting off for so long that I try to do some of them. But my brain is so shot and I’ve had such a tiring previous couple of days that I get very little done. I start to wonder where my discipline has gone.
And then, I do the social networking thing.
Thursdays are my last day at work for the week. I want to say that this means I have some fun. I can do that most of the time. But then the drama begins at home. Someone at home always has to make a scene at the end of my work week. Drunken arguing ensues. I slam my door and try not to regret that I came home at all.
Friday and Saturday. These are supposed to be fun days. Of late, they are replete with a lot of work. My cleaning project is foremost on the list of chores. My autistic brother decides to intervene by making noise and complaining when I won’t let him play with my keys. I try to maintain good humor and patience through all of this, but the previous week has been stressful. I compromise on everything. I don’t even get to use my bathroom when I want to this day because my father is busy doing an hour and a half long asthma treatment two times a day in our only bathroom. I’m getting angrier, but I press on because I know that this will all be worth it, right?
Meanwhile, I have NO social life to speak of in this city. I don’t hang out with family. That may have something to do with the fact that they all seem to want to give me advice that I don’t ask for. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been gone from most of their lives for so long that they no longer can relate to me in any other way. Some of them scare me with their sheer ignorance. Others are just living their lives, and we’ve remained separate for long periods of time.
I was gone for ten years. I won’t deny that it hurt some people. But I won’t apologize either. That was my time to figure out some things I needed to know. I’ll ask those of you who bother to get to know me again to remember that.
But I’ll only ask once. I have no energy to repeat myself.
I worry that I’ve swung my katana too hard. I’ve scared people away with my intensity. I’ve intimidated them with my inability to slow down. I’ve elicited concern and, in some cases, alarm from my nearest and dearest.
And I won’t lie. I am tired. So tired.
But I can’t stop fighting. I have goals to meet. I’ve got a life to live. I’ve got dreams.
Are all of these things supposed to fade into nothingness again like they did before? Are all of my own aspirations supposed to take a back seat again because I grow so tired of trying to balance it all on my shoulders?
I can’t allow that. If my ten year absence taught me anything at all, it is that I cannot allow my dreams to fade. I will not allow anyone to tear me away from my writing and my art. I can’t bear the thought that I have to sacrifice those things again so that someone else will think I’m doing something “practical” with my life. FUCK PRACTICAL! Practical doesn’t make anyone smile when they wake up in the morning. Practical is what you reserve for balancing a budget or figuring out how to dress your kids for school while writing a grocery list.
It’s NOT the word you use when you talk of love for something, or someone.
.. I’m afraid I don’t always know what real love is.
That scares me more than anything in this world. All this hard work and all this running around, being fast and efficient means nothing. All this motion and repetition leaves me feeling cold on the weekends. It leaves me feeling rather irritated with most people.
Am I growing colder?
Is exhaustion taking away my humanity? Am I killing my own spirit with too much work and worry?
These are legitimate questions.
The calm of a weary warrior suffuses my being. It is the calm that comes before the storm.
Maybe as I wipe the blood from my sword in my private forest sanctuary, I’ll stick the blade in the soft earth, lean my head upon the hilt and just weep.
Here’s another blog post inspired by recent social networking. This one doesn’t have any swear words, and it’s also less than 5 minutes in length. Enjoy!
I wake up late. The summer sun is still high in the sky, but I know that won’t last.
The night seems to be my time. I’m comfortable with that.
It means I won’t get the laundry done, but does that matter? It means I won’t go for my walk in the city, but to be honest, those walks have been hot and tiresome. There’s too many people out and about lately for the humidity not to feel even more oppressive.
It also means I’ll be doing some thinking and some writing.
One of my recent facebook friends asked me a question that made me stop and think.
“Who are you, really?”
I wasn’t sure what to make of the question. Was it paranoia that was causing them to ask it? Had I made a comment that screamed “stalker” or “serial killer?” I do writer horror, horrotica, and other such dark things. Perhaps it oozes through despite how nice I try to be. Considering my normal state of mind these days, I guess that wouldn’t surprise me.
There’s another facet to this, of course. Leave it to me to make a question so much more complex than it might have to be. I’m a social networking junkie. I’m sure many of you can relate. Even now as I type this, I’m technically in the middle of three separate conversations, two of which are on skype, one of which is a facebook discussion. All told, I can probably handle five conversations at once. My fingers should be smoking.
And I just went back to facebook for a few seconds to “like” a picture of the latest suicide girl. Maybe I really do need to get out.
But let’s face it, folks. I’ve only got a part time job, and as lucky as I am to have that much these days, I have to save money. Going out to spend it frivolously is out of the question for the moment, and I don’t fancy a walk in the soup that is the weather today.
I answer my friend’s question. I think my answer more or less holds true. I’m just another man from New York City who’s trying to live a good life. As I move through the world, I find people. If they are good people, I try to hold onto them.
Life hasn’t been easy. For a long time, my trust in others has been tenuous at best. My recent forays into social networking may be a safer way, in some sense, to find people. The anonymity of a screen name is what drew me to America Online all those years ago.
But something else is definitely going on for me. The “world” part of the World Wide Web is becoming smaller and smaller. The internet is actually loosing it’s anonymity for yours truly.
I’ll be the first to tell you that this is because I’ve chosen to make myself a more public figure. This blog is a part of that endeavor. My writing is another part of it. I want people to know that I am a creative force. I desire to have others read (or listen) to my words and to have some reaction. I can only hope that someday, that reaction makes me a shit ton of money, but that’s a side benefit of my doing exactly what it is that I want to be doing. I’m using my words. I’m finding my voice.
And perhaps I’m finding an audience.
To be asked who you are is a kind of a loaded question. I’m still trying to sort that out for myself. I don’t blame the person who asked it. We all want to know the person that types the words to us on facebook, on twitter, on skype. Those of us who connect beyond that level may really be the lucky ones these days. It’s still possible.
I know I’ve been throwing my name out there quite a bit on facebook. It’s not just about Klout scores and having a high follow count on my blog. In truth, I do want to be surrounded by people who want to share creative and interesting thoughts and ideas with me. I don’t know if I should expect to move beyond internet communication with most of my facebook friends. But what I do know is that for those with whom that happens, we’ll probably hang on to each other for dear life.
For the first time in a long time, I don’t mind if people get to know the real me. If you follow this blog, you probably know that I don’t shy away from the truth about a great many things. But when it comes to me, it’s been a real struggle to remain authentic. Perhaps I’m starting to figure out what that means.
I wake up. Thoughts begin to tumble in my mind.
They come into focus when the rest of me does.
Cold water hits my face in the shower. I don’t flinch. I make it warm and go about washing myself. I remember to check myself for unusual lumps. There’s still pain in my arms from the last few days. I ignore it and move on.
I get out of the shower. I still look more or less clean shaven even though I’m not. My face looks chiseled because I’ve lost weight again. I eat more when I get to eat, but I don’t get to eat as often. My chest is broad, but not solid. I will get that back very soon.
The family coffee gets made while I drink the rest of the old stuff. I’m grinding the beans that my best friend sent me. The smell of fresh beans almost makes up for the noise of the grinder. Fortunately, I am on autopilot. I can switch my mind off to the noise anytime I please.
Coffee is brewing in the kitchen while I run back to my room to set up the laundry. This sets up the second half of my day. It promises to be long.
I drink fresh coffee as I finish the task. Time moves faster than I expect. I guess it really does fly whether or not you’re having fun.
I do a hundred push ups. The first two sets are clips of 25. I do 50 more before I text my best friend on skype. She worries. I scoff, but in secret I worry too ..
I finish getting dressed and I make the mistake of sitting down. I’m not sure I want to get up again, but I haven’t even put on my shoes yet. It’s minutes before work, and I don’t want to go. I do what I must, and push on.
I don’t let on that there’s a pain in my right foot from the blister that popped. I don’t bother to mention that I barely got to eat breakfast. I let it get cold.
I arrive at work. A co worker looks up and says “there he is.” Another co worker smiles. I smile back, but I can tell it’s a tired smile.
I move to the back room and punch in for the day after waiting for five minutes. My brain is already going. My job is a minimum wage job. It will do for now.
I make the mistake of believing that my body can move fast and that my brain will eventually catch up. What else would three massive cups of coffee be good for? I spend the first two hours screwing up book returns. I accidentally process two books from the same publishing company in separate returns. I then proceed to lose the paperwork for one of those returns while I switch the forms for two others. By the time I realize my mistakes, my right eye begins to hurt. I slow down and take a breath. I remember that I saw Sherylin Kenyon’s book. I also remember that I follow her on twitter now in the hopes that she’ll follow me back. I’ve never even read what she’s written, but it’s still wild to have seen her book in my hands .. It’s even wilder to know that Jerry Seinfeld might have been here too, but I missed him.
I don’t follow him on twitter though. I guess I don’t want to be a stand up comedian with a hit television show under my belt.
A full on headache ensues when the next obstacle appears in the form of a six legged menace. A cockroach appears and I stop dead. I’m something like 20 times its size, but I freeze. Childhood memories come flooding back and I want to scream. It’s not the roaches that frighten me, but what their associated with ..
And this makes me angrier than I expect.
My chest heaves when the creature appears again. A young lady points it out to me, and I walk toward it. I try to step on the thing and it scampers, creepy antennae and all. I sigh. I’ve missed my chance to reclaim my manhood.
Stupid emasculating bug.
The third time it manifests, it scuttles toward me. Goosebumps form on my legs as I drop the book I’m scanning. As soon as the book hits the ground, I clench my teeth and stomp after the thing. It scampers away, making a mad dash for the bottom of a metal bookshelf. I go to kick the thing. I want to hear the chiten of its shell crunch underneath my black Lebron James shoes. I want the thing to quiver underneath my foot ..
The fourth time it appears, I am prepared. I have grabbed a book from the “strip” list. The thing was going to get its cover torn off anyway. What a waste. I use it for something much more worthy. With a discuss throw, I hurl the book at the object of my childhood fear and rage. It connects. The book bounces off another bookshelf and sails across the room.
Now I have to clean the thing up. I gather an empty box and a broom, but I still have the fight the shakes for 15 minutes before I get the corpse into the box. It’s severed clean in half.
I hope to God I put the other half in the box too.
Funny thing. As soon as I toss the thing into a trash bag and wrap it up tight, I feel a rush. I’ve done more than kill a stupid cockroach. My childhood fear has become less tangible, somehow. I don’t know if it’s gone, but we’ll call this a step in the right direction.
Work goes a bit more smoothly after that. It seems my brain has caught up with my body. I tear through returns, and get them ready for shipping. I rip through some more, and I get those ready too.
My day is over at 4pm after a last minute cock up. I punch out and head home only to remember I set up laundry. Damnit.
But I have to do it. Nobody else can.
God, why do I feel like Micheal Keaton in a batsuit?
I make the mistake of sitting in my captain’s chair and turning on my computer. I tool around briefly on social media sites. It bores me, but I am addicted to them like I used to be to cigarettes. I need my fix.
I like klout. I miss my facebook friends sometimes.
But I heave the giant rolling bag full of laundry into the living room with little effort. It’s been done before. I’ve been doing this for a year now. The family laundry is the only rent I can pay while I live with my parents. Even now, I don’t make much. Just enough to feel like I have a job.
I heft the large bag downstairs and I begin to feel my body really hurt for the first time. My chest is sore. My back is in pain. My arms quiver. But I can’t let this go.
I won’t spend my only day off between shifts washing clothes.
The laundromat is crowed. Perhaps I was foolish to try to come out here in the evening, but I don’t feel like I have a choice. If I want to rest tomorrow, I’ve got to get this out of the way.
Loading the machine should be easy, but it feels a lot like pulling circus clowns out of one of those old VW Bugs. It’s beginning to piss me off. My right eye hurts worse than before. I drank water at work, but the heat has robbed me of all hydration. The humidity is low, but I don’t quite feel the difference.
I make eye contact with a young, Asian woman and she immediately smiles. I offer a grin, but it feels odd. I don’t know what to do with my face when a woman smiles at me anymore.
It shouldn’t make me angry though.
I turn my head to pretend to busy myself operating the machine I just loaded. I even stop the cycle and start it again just to be sure I “got it right.” She’s not staring anymore, and I feel a sense of relief. It isn’t like me to shrink from a woman’s attention. It bothers me. I must look the way I feel.
I walk to Time’s Square from the laundromat. I feel like a soldier marching to a steady cadence. My bearing feels like that of a warrior. My feet are already throbbing, but I ignore the pain. I just want to move.
As I get closer to Broadway, I realize my mistake. I need to thread my way through a massive crowd. I do what I’ve been doing lately. I push on, refusing to give in. I don’t want them to cut into my work out time. These people don’t have the same need I have to move fast and stay active. I’m thirty two years old. I am not as young as I once was. I feel it catching up with me in attitude more than anything else. I don’t want to waste time. I don’t wish to indulge others their whims. I don’t wish to become overweight and burned out like so many I once knew.
I certainly don’t feel like the asshole that just stepped on my new shoes is going to get a second reprieve.
But the stupid fuckers with their damned smart phones come out. They text when they should be crossing the street. They call people when they should be watching where they walk. Instead, I must watch where they go. That’s been happening too often of late. I shuck and dodge all sorts of arms and legs without batting an eyelash. Little kids whiz by my feet and I don’t miss a step. A cabbie runs a red light and I flip him off as he sails past my back. I do all this without changing the expression on my face much. I’ve learned to duck elbows, canes, umbrellas from stupid pale women in the sun, and the naked cowboy.
Today, the naked cowboy has a naked cowgirl counterpart that looks old enough to be his grandmother. There’s also a naked Indian
Great, so all we need is a naked construction worker and a naked cop and we have the Naked Village People.
Today, I’m fucking impatient.
I call one guy a dickhead before I run past him to cross the street before the light changes. He just stands there texting his life away, unaware of the amazing redhead in the blue dress that just passed him.
I begin to treat the crowd like schools of fish. I am a shark that must dart through them all unseen, eyes scanning the area. I thread through them as though I’m trying to create a wormhole with New Yorker Ninjitsu. I used to think of myself as a linebacker when I was larger. But I’m thinner now. People don’t get out of my way as readily when they see my scowl. I don’t care as long as I can get past them. They all seem like pestilential weeds. I want to cut them down with a samurai weapon and toss them behind me. I’ll move on to the next series of targets and deal with them accordingly.
I go through the next twenty blocks feeling this way. I walk back along fifth avenue with the same alacrity. I am getting stared at again. I don’t know what to do. People look at me as though they should recognize me. It’s creeping me the fuck out.
I go back to the laundromat and throw my clothes in the drier. Then it’s off to Central Park to visit my duck pond.
Only when I get there, it’s kind of crowded and I can’t sit at my favorite Gazebo overlooking the pond. People and their stupid babies want to take pictures by the water. I almost want the kids to drown as they chase the turtle heads that poke out and form golden ripples under the sun.
I sit on a rock by the edge of the pond and try to phase everyone out as I look at the water.
It doesn’t work, but I start to doze off anyway. So much for mind over matter.
I spend fifteen minutes sitting and getting distracted by wandering people and their dogs. When I finally get up, my feet are sending signals to my brain to sit the fuck back down, but I hit the override button in my head and press on. the chafing of my upper thighs begins to burn. My thighs always were a bit too thick, but in this heat, I feel like my skin will be rubbed raw. I bite my lower lip and walk through the pain. I push my limits. I’ve a massive headache and a sudden urge to scream. I’m so tired that everything I see pulsates with the violent waves of a stormy ocean.
I march back to the laundromat feeling like a lonely, unknown soldier. I pass the pain threshold for my feet 10 blocks from the place, but I don’t stop. I am thirsty, but I won’t stop and drink. I must get this done.
It takes too long to fold the clothes that are dry. I am there for an hour folding my father’s button down shirts. I know he’ll ask the same question he always does when I get home.
“Was it crowded?”
I wonder what I’ll tell him.
I trudge back home, watching the light fade from the sky. I’ve got one more mile to go before I sleep. The pain has stretched from my feet to my knees. Each step makes me want to wince, but I don’t bother. What’s the point of acknowledging pain at this point in the mission? I’m almost home free.
A cold beer and a bowl of food sounds just about perfect. So does a foot rub followed by sex. I’ll only get two of the four tonight. I’m sure you can all guess which two.
I have a full blown headache now. I’ve been on my feet for almost fourteen hours. I want desperately to flirt with the women with the short shorts, but I can’t even muster the strength for a sardonic smile. I settle for a grimace. I get gas pains from hunger. I’m almost home though. I’ll make it all better.
I’ll make it alright again.
I’ll rub my own feet and drink a beer.
I’ll celebrate my productive day. I’ll have another one in a couple of days.
I hope my body doesn’t scream at me then the way it is now.
This is a story all about how .. Nuh uh .. Not going to go there.
Or so you thought!
I’m kind of wary around people this week.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve just gotten a job. My boss is very nice and I generally like all my co workers. I’ve had minimal training so far, but that’s because I’ve been given fairly minimal responsibility. It’s a minimum wage job, and they know it. My manager isn’t ridiculous or stuck up about it. She doesn’t act like it’s the end of the world when mistakes are made, but she does make it a point to lead by example. I like her already.
Intentions are at the heart of how people seem to operate at this place. People intend to do things a better way. My boss goes into a task believing that she will do it to the utmost of her abilities. She fully expects that she will instill this value into her employees. Most of my co workers (as far as I’ve seen) are young, but they are decent, hard working people. It’s actually a rather refreshing change from some of the other jobs I’ve held in terms of the environment that is fostered.
But we’ve already had a couple of snafu’s in terms of understanding the intent behind certain actions. Communication errors have been made. Tempers have flared. It happens, but I personally wish it wouldn’t.
People intend to do things, and their intentions are misread. It’s an easy thing to do. Perhaps it’s too easy.
How often have you walked down the street and wondered what the person who is staring at you is thinking? How often has that same person turned out to have been staring at the person behind you? I had to learn not to wave back at strangers who appeared to be waving at me in NYC, especially when they were attractive women. I know I’m decent looking, but I should have been able to discern that I didn’t know the women in question. Still, some part of me misunderstood the intent behind the action.
That’s a relatively simple example. And in my particular case, the argument can be made that I wanted their intent to be focused on me. Perhaps that’s true. But that was just last summer. This summer, I’m sort of different about people here. I’ve settled into the swing of things here in NYC and I find that it’s actually not as likely for me to be as open with the people I meet on the street. I’ve made too many mistakes as far as the social graces are concerned. I still feel awkward around women .. It’s weird, but it’s true.
When it comes to someone you’ve not met or been in contact with, it can be extremely easy to pass a snap judgement about their intent. Perhaps the little girl with the large, blue eyes and the pig tails really is going to the park to play with her sisters. Maybe the large man with the over-sized pea coat on a summer’s day is carrying a blood stained ax or a sawed off shotgun under there.
What if the opposite were true? What if the bedraggled looking man with the long pea coat were actually carrying flowers or bread to feed the pigeons in the park? Couldn’t Pippie Long Stockings be carrying an ax behind HER back?
These are the things that make you go hmm. These are also the things that I think about because I live in New York city and I am a writer of horror among other things. If you want to twist your readers perceptions of reality, the easiest way that I can think of to do it is to lead them down one path with one set of expectations and then find the sickest way to turn those expectations on their ear. Ripping a hole through time and space is not the only way to make the sky fall, my fine feathered friends.
New Yorkers, I feel, put an interesting twist on the reading of people’s intentions. It’s widely known that New Yorkers are notorious for coming to snap judgments about someone’s intentions. It can be hairy out here when you’re surrounded by city dwellers and tourists alike, and you’re trying to keep track of your surroundings at all times. I’ve been living back here for over a year now, and I find that I move faster than I used to. I have a hard time slowing down when I need to these days, and part of the reason may lie with the mistaken notion that time is not on my side, and neither is the “average” New Yorker. It’s all too easy to fall into the pattern of believing that New Yorkers are desensitized, detached, aloof, or otherwise jaded. Sometimes it’s actually a fact that we New Yorkers wear like a badge of honor. I’m not always sure that it’s a good thing to be viewed in this way.
Yet I’ve never been a typical New Yorker when it comes to how to act on those judgments.
The reality of the human condition as far as I’ve seen is that people are generally not one way or another until a connection is somehow established. I can’t possibly know what to assume about an individual unless I somehow reach out to them and await a response. As a rule, you can’t really do this within New York City for every single person you come across. You’d never make it across the street without learning the life stories of at least thirty different people. New Yorkers are in fact dying to talk to you, but for some reason, not one of them seems to feel like time is on their side. Weekends are precious to most New Yorkers, and they WILL talk your head off at a Sports Bar or a baseball game. These are some of the venues at which a harried New Yorker might feel more at ease.
Urban men have a unique way of trying to read each other while trying not to give away their masculinity. It’s called street chicken where I’m from. We walk toward each other, give each other the narrow eyed stare, and if there’s a particular surge of testosterone, both men will puff out their chests like pit bulls and essentially dare the other one to move into their personal space bubbles. Young men are especially prone to this. For some reason, I’ve been a target for young men trying to impress their girlfriends. It never goes well for these young men, but that isn’t because I puff out my chest and threaten them or crack my knuckles. It’s usually because I smile at them and wish them a good afternoon ..
If you want to throw a young bulldog off their game, smile at them and wish them well. For some reason, it stops ‘em in their tracks every time. And in case you’re wondering, not one of them has ever called me gay. But would it matter if they did? It wouldn’t really change what I did.
I won’t lie about being born and raised here. There are moments where my paranoia shines as bright as the midnight moon. Groups of young men scare me. I was once mugged by a group of college aged men and essentially had my eyes kicked over and over again. Both lenses had to be replaced when I developed traumatic cataracts.
Needless to say, I won’t ever allow that again. But if I intend someone harm, it’s kind of hard to miss it. Fortunately, that’s never the case.
The most ironic part about all that isn’t that I came home to have the surgeries. It isn’t even that I’d just had my second surgery and could see the twin towers when they were struck by two airplanes on that fateful September 11th.
I was born and raised in New York City and lived here for seventeen years before I went away to college. I got mugged in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Intentions are a dicey subject for most city folk when it comes to strangers, but I would like to believe that in a world replete with xenophobia and ignorance that I could take a step back and at least attempt to meet someone halfway. I would like to believe that I don’t profile, that I do not misjudge others.
But that would be arrogant presumption.
The truth, as far as I know, is that we all HAVE to make snap judgments about so many things in our daily lives. If we could not do that, we would forever second guess ourselves into inaction.
So where do we make the distinction between normal interaction and egregious errors in judgment. Maybe we could ask Rodney King what he thought of that notion when cops were kicking his ass on camera. Perhaps we can ask the cops on the street how long they’ve got to decide whether or not the person in the dark is holding a real gun or a toy? Would it be possible to ask the three thousand or so people who were killed that day in the Twin Towers?
Or maybe you’d like to speak to the last owners of the middle eastern business down the street from me. They had their lives threatened by several New Yorkers before they closed down.
I’d like to pose several questions to the readers of this blog. Where do you see yourself in that spectrum of reading intent? How good ARE you at reading others and their intentions? Are you easily misled, or do you have an eagle eye and a pair of ears to match? Should we be trying so hard to read each other correctly? All comments are welcome!
This song came on over the radio at my job and it got stuck in my head. Take a good guess as to why.
It’s a catchy tune, but when you hear the chorus over and over again in your brain because a couple of cleaning people are taking their sweet time as they slowly take more and more of your weekend from you, you start to get a little angry.
So I’m home now, and I plan on writing, beer in hand, in about 15 minutes. My time, as I’ve said before, is precious to me, and I’ll be damned if I don’t finish my book.
My feet are throbbing and I have to go back to work in a little over 12 hours, but I’m doing okay. My boss is nice too. TOTALLY helps my mood She’s offered to buy a couple of us lunch because we stayed with her and went above and beyond. I was the last to stay because I wouldn’t leave her alone with two strange men even though they seemed like nice guys. I’m the son of an ex law enforcement professional. What else can I say? I’m old fashioned and protective ..
Enough about that. I gotto kick off my shoes and get myself in the mood to write here.
I’ll blog more as the week goes on. Fear not, my loyal followers! LOL
Oh yeah..This vid’s here because I felt like it and it’s fun
My writing took on a new direction in terms of plot the other day, and I began to think of Hell guardians. Some of the more famous guardians are monsters of a sort. Geryon, according to Paradise Lost, is a massive centaur that guards the gates of Hell. Cerberus, according to Greek mythology, is a monstrous, three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. According to Norse tales, you may in fact be dealing with trolls as the guardians to bridges or rivers.
Every once in a while though, I think of world mythology or folklore and I wonder if these stories are simply tools with which people explain the more difficult or controversial aspects of the human condition.
The reason I bring this up today is because I was washing the dishes in the kitchen when my father came up to me and made some weird comment.
“I thought you were praying,” he said. ”You’re whispering sounded like you were praying.”
“Yeah, dad. I was praying for sanity. In this house, that’s the only thing I can do sometimes.”
I’m not going to lie. For the last year or so I’ve been dealing with a ton of emotional baggage. A large part of the reason I write this blog the way I do is because I’m going to make damn sure that I tell it the way it is. It seems that certain elements of the truth are not appreciated by those with whom I am surrounded. That’s fine, but it means that I won’t waste my energy trying to please these fuckers.
On occasion though, I have to wonder if part of the resentment that I feel regarding humanity is that some people have the incredible ability to make themselves into what I call “emotional trolls.”
What are emotional trolls, you ask? Good question.
Think back to what I wrote earlier about the guardians of Hell or Hades. Now imagine what happens when you surround yourself with people who emit hostility or negativity at certain times during the day. You wake up in the morning, for example, and you can just tell that certain liberties can’t be taken without an emotional confrontation between you and someone else. That someone else, to me, feels like a guardian of treasure or a certain space, ever vigilant, always ready to pounce on someone who dares to go for that treasure or venture into that space.
These are who I know as emotional trolls.
Lately, they’ve all begun to look the same to me. They resemble ugly, sneering creatures who flair their nostrils in rage. They appear as nasty beasts who narrow their eyes in suspicion and assume threatening postures in an attempt to intimidate. These are not the emotional vampires that one can stake with ignorance and sharp words. Nope. Emotional trolls will challenge your right to even have a simple cup of coffee in peace without making a snide remark. They will butt into conversations and raise their voices loudly over yours in order to make sure that their point is what counts.
They will threaten your very happiness unless you act to stop them.
The bad thing about trolls it that it takes a great deal of discipline, patience and energy not to become this way yourself. A lone warrior in the middle of a house of trolls and vampires does need to be on his or her guard. You’ll forgive the metaphor, I trust. But there are days when I wake up in my own home and just don’t feel welcome. “The trolls are out today,” I’ll say to myself before I quietly get my cup of coffee and wait for the other shoe to drop.
Parents have the potential to become trolls.
Other people who can easily be counted among the emotional trolls of this world are IN-LAWS. I’ve more or less been lucky in this regard, but I know plenty of others who are laughing and nodding their heads at what I just wrote. These motherfuckers stand there and undermine your authority with your kids because they’ve never liked you. They are some of the foulest emotional trolls of which I’ve ever heard. These in-laws make me fantasize about drawing my Samurai katana and lopping off their damned heads. I’ve got a few too many friends these days who have regaled me with tales of such trolls. I picked my sword back up from the river’s edge recently. I’ve got no qualms about putting it to use on their behalf.
What happens when the person you fell in love with becomes an emotional troll? Don’t know if that’s happening? I’ve got a way to determine the truth. Follow the bouncing ball.
Here are the signs that you’re in love with an emotional troll:
1) If you wake up in the morning and you hear the distant sound of a drawbridge in your kitchen, chances are, you’ve got a troll in your home.
2)When you want to go to the bathroom and the smell emanating from it is followed by swear words, don’t approach the door and ask if everything is okay. Instead, use another bathroom if possible. A portable urinal is also appropriate in emergency situations. In these cases, a troll is present. These trolls go away quickly nine times out of ten, but the ones that linger have taken to using the bathroom as their cave. They get annoyed when you approach, and will slam the door in your face when you need to pee. Take my advice. Get yourself a urinal, then save up money and get out of that house. You WILL end up slaughtering that troll eventually.
3)If your spouse/partner comes home from work and does nothing but grunt in irritation no matter how sweet, considerate or positive you try to be, the chances are high that they are being taken over by a troll’s spirit. Be careful of this particular entity, as it can also hang on for dear life. Consider distraction as a means of dissuading this spirit from taking your beloved away from you. But above all, do NOT sacrifice your happiness for the pacification of trolls.
let me repeat this last sentiment for those who are still reading.
DO NOT sacrifice your happiness for the pacification of emotional trolls!
4) If your partner constantly gives you the third degree, you’ve got troll trouble. The trolls of legend are often prepared with challenges that include tests of strength, skill, or intellect. These are the trolls that are most common. Unfortunately, these are also the most malignant of trolls because they show up at unexpected moments, and can turn a good day into a total cluster fuck within seconds of their arrival.
Though the levels of physical or emotional danger can vary from troll to troll, always use caution when dealing with these kinds of trolls! You may think that you’ve got things under control, but there is no limit to a troll’s malice, frustration, and self loathing. Like energy vampires, they will continue to test your patience until you set a limit. The weaker trolls respond to verbal firmness or even harsh language. The more dangerous trolls do not. They either persist in their annoyance of you, or they escalate their tactics to include physical intimidation, or even violence in the most extreme cases ..
5) Last but not least, trolls are easily unbalanced by true honesty. The surest way to know that your loved one has become a troll is to be who you are around them no matter what they do or say. A troll likely cannot handle such truth, and their true colors will shine through at your total authenticity. This is the moment to act. You either strike a bargain for permanent change, strike a blow, or simply leave. Not all trolls can be destroyed, and it’s best to pick your battle accordingly. Even samurai have had to be dragged from battle in certain instances.
That is my treatise on living with or being in love with potential trolls. Overall, the good news about trolls is that they don’t linger in one place for too long UNLESS it is allowed. In the majority of cases, outing a troll is easy. Ousting them is what proves the difficult quest.
I may write more on trolls later. The ones that have visited my home today have disappeared. I’ll keep my sword at the ready, just in case..
I’ve become a writing samurai.
The samurai part is what happens to me when I’m told I’m not good enough. I fight to reclaim the honor that I feel was stripped from me. I do it fast, and I try to be as efficient as possible. No motion will be wasted. No time will be spared for excuses from myself or from others.
You can all guess what the writing part refers to.
But the reason for my change of attitude is more complicated than I thought it was.
I thought I was making this shift because I’d submitted my writing to one publisher and had been summarily rejected.
“Thanks, but no thanks. We’d be happy to have you try again.”
If I hadn’t been so shocked at the rejection, I, like some of you, would have noticed the last words of the previous sentence.
I decided to try again anyway, to show these bastards what they missed the first time. (cue maniacal laughter!)
I wrote with a vengeance. I edited. I wrote some more. I had friends read and edit my work. I read it aloud to myself. I read it again to two of my friends when I thought I was ready.
And then when that was done, I edited some more. I read it aloud one more time. I even had a friend read it back at me in her voice so that I would not miss a beat.
All told this weekend, I put something like 14 hours into this project, and that was after I’d finished writing it on Friday. The story that I worked on and submitted tonight by the way (yay me!) had become more than just a quest to reclaim my lost honor. It had become an obsession.
That’s not to say that I didn’t have my supporters. J. Marie Ravenshaw and Edward Lorn will always have my gratitude for their assistance in bringing madness to my method … I mean method to my madness. Muahahaha! They have both read and reread this piece. Both have offered words of encouragement, constructive criticism.
Both have actually spoken to me without asking me to be their therapist.
Neither has asked me to put up with their problems on a daily basis.
Neither has proffered lame excuses for not dealing with any of the problems they may face with their lives.
Both will continue to be with me when others have long since abandoned me as mad. They will share my journeys as I dive into my fantasy worlds and resurface with stories to share. Perhaps some of these stories will make it to the general public. I hope so.
I’m sure as I move along in this world, I will discover others for whom this is true. And there are some other people in my life already with whom I share the deepest parts of myself.
But I am going to be honest. Most of my closest allies on this planet right now may not be blood related.
None of the people with whom I currently live know that writing is my passion. They hear about it as we talk of other things, but I have shown them nothing of my work. I have not shown them the sword with which I slay Ninja Dragons and impress the winged ladies of my life. What they know about me is constantly drowned out by the vicissitudes of regular life tinged with a madness that I cannot bare to put into words.
True madness can be brought about by several things, in my opinion. I have learned about severe mental illness thanks to my forays into the mental health professions. There is nothing quite so shocking to me as watching a person lose their ability to function in the world thanks to something that is beyond their control and affects their brains. When your mind becomes your own worst enemy, nobody has to wish you harm or physically intimidate or abuse you. You do it all to yourself without even realizing it’s being done. I would not wish something like this on my worst enemy.
Sometimes just waking up and facing life itself can leave me feeling about as useless as an asshole on my elbow..
But there are other forms of madness that can arise, over time, from other things that are self inflicted. I have had the unfortunate necessity to learn of this too in the last few years. I won’t go into details now, but there is something to be said about watching someone else on a certain narcotic or other substance. There is a journey to be undertaken by the observer as they watch someone they love destroy themselves and the family and friends with whom they are surrounded. It is a fascinating and alarming trek to undertake when the person you once knew as the light of your life has immersed themselves in a darkness from which they refuse to be pulled. I will only extend my hand so many times when it is repeatedly slapped, burned, or bitten.
And I am not a Pavlovian dog. I will not lay down and allow myself to be electrocuted because of some Skinnerian principle of learned helplessness. If I can’t find a way past the electricity on the floor, I’ll piss on the damned floor and watch it sparkle before I start hopping around, looking for the fuckers who turned on the juice. And you better believe I’d bite their nuts off before I ran off into the sunset with a pretty bitch at my side.
I have to say goodbye to someone this year.
They are not dead in the physical sense. But they have died to all sense of reality. They have taken themselves out the world in which we live, and they have remained enshrouded in the fug of their own ignorance and impotent rage.
That is something that I would not wish on anyone, friend or otherwise. Yet it is also something that I can damned well live without.
The samurai in me has been at war with my inner healer. My inner healer wants to talk some sense into this person and remind them that it is not too late to get some semblance of a normal life back. I want to tell them it is not too late to reclaim one’s soul if one will only remember that they have one in the first place.
My inner samurai has emerged though, and all I want to do is cut through this person like a weed, brushing them aside so I can move on with my own life. I feel no pity for this wretched excuse of humanity. I feel no remorse as I draw my sword and cut them down with my words. I feel no mercy as I slice off their choking hands at the wrists and toss them aside like garbage. There is ice in my veins when she tells me that I am broken and I simply stare, willing them to look in a mirror. I want to quote Clint Eastwood at them and ask what happens at night when the demons come.
But I need not waste my breath. I hear them crying melodramatically in the darkness. I scoff and shrug my shoulders.
But we are fast closing in on the real reason that I spent so much time on this latest writing project.
Every effort that I make to further my dream to write fiction for a living has taken me closer to my inner bliss. But it has had another affect. I am removing myself further from the suffocating miasma of this person’s existence. I am shielding myself from their sadness, their self pity, and their ultimate rage. I can no longer be this person’s whipping boy, their Pavlovian dog, their indentured servant, their prisoner, or their anything. I am not and I have never been anything more to them than a target upon which they could foist their self loathing and inadequacies. I have never been more than a scratching post when they seek to dig their claws.
But I simply refuse to do it anymore.
If I’ve learned anything from my writing other than how to hone my technique and how to concentrate when World War Three erupts around me in such dramatic, “I am the night fashion,” is that practice makes perfect. The only thing that people need to understand about following a dream is that it takes hard work. The dream, in this case, is the journey, and not the destination. The dream is what you begin to become, the spirit that seeps into you as you invite true happiness in. And there is nothing on this planet that can take that away from me.
Perhaps personal growth and change is one of the harder parts of learning to write. I share my story because I want to inspire other writers who may be struggling with accepting that it is their dream to write, whether it be for fun, for a living, or just to escape the insanity of their otherwise chaotic lives. As I’ve said countless times, we write about what we know. I have reminded myself this weekend that I know just as much about seeking happiness and meeting a goal as I do about having the love and happiness sucked from my life by things that may or may not be out of my control. I realize that the best way to meet life is head on. Take that Succubus or Incubis by the horns and get the happiness you’ve fought off all those other demons for. Claim that love that you’ve denied yourself because other self-pitying naysayers and hatemongers told you that you couldn’t do it. Become merciless your purging of such negativity from your world. You’re the only one that can do this. You’re the only one that can heal yourself.
I must once again take up the sword that I laid by the river’s edge all those years ago. And I do it gladly.
I will take back the happiness I lost.
And by the way, I’m not asking permission.
It was another early morning wake up time for me. The sun hadn’t crept into my room through my open window yet, but the cold air definitely made my toes curl. My blanket had gotten twisted off of my bed, a sure sign that I’d had at least one nightmare. I’ve gotten used to waking up with my blanket in knots under my arms, or even with my blanket having been tossed to the other side of the room violently. When I was in high school, I woke up once to serious pain in my right hand, and a knuckle sized indent in my bedroom wall.
I groaned as I got out of bed and dragged my computer to me like a willing lover. I did what I’ve been kicking myself for doing lately. I checked twitter, I checked Facebook, I checked the stats of my blog, and I checked a couple of other websites. In truth, I felt hopelessly lost, like one of the Knights of the Round Table in search of the elusive Holy Grail. I don’t even know what the hell I’m looking for anymore. Checking the internet just feels automatic now. I’m up, it’s time to check to see if my life on the internet is worth all the time and energy I seem to put into it lately. Gotto tell you all, it wasn’t. And none of my other friends were going to be awake anyway, so there would be no Skyping or instant messaging with them. I was alone again among a different crowd on the world wide web.
Once I was done messing around with my computer, I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and got the fuck out of dodge. My family was asleep. So were their dogs, thank God. Those yippie little motherfuckers have a habit of barking and giving away my position when I want to let my family sleep in. They act like it’s my fault my parents were up late again watching bad television. It’s all I can do not to kick them both before I leave the apartment. Worse, I’ve been feeling a cold sort of cruelty lately, a disdain for most of humanity that could easily become a dragon’s fire that consumes everyone in my path. Maybe some of my muses are trying to wake the fuck up again so they can distract me from whatever is making me feel this way. With my luck with writing lately, I just don’t know that it will happen. Granted it’s only been a couple of days since my last couple of thousand words, but it’s still another frustration that I don’t want . I’m doing the mental masturbating that I’ve gotten so sick of lately. My mind’s left hand is going either fall off or get really hairy.
But I figured if I was going to brood over something, I might as well go do it over at my favorite duck pond.
And it didn’t take me long to get there. My feet were able to find the familiar path even thought the rest of me was so distracted by other things. And it was nice to not be utterly surrounded with people at the park on a sunny, 45 day.
The pond was definitely pretty. Morning sun reflects off the water in a different way than the afternoon sun does. The ducks are lazier too.
They were doing something that I have never been awake and out at the pond early enough to see them do. One duck would lazily swim along, his feet just kind of swishing behind him in the water. Then without warning, he’d duck his head under the water as his body kept moving forward. It was a bit like watching a feathered submarine. When he wanted to see above the water again, he’d poke his head up slowly, like a periscope. I had to smirk at that moment. The hunt for Red October was on.
But then another duck showed up. The first duck kept his head but he didn’t see the second duck making a bee line for him in the water. Their paths were about cross. It wasn’t going to be a violent collision, but maybe they would have quacked at each other or something. But just when they were about to collide, they both stuck their heads below water and passed each other with two sets of moving ripples. They were two feathery submarines with the same mission in mind, and they just missed each other by inches.
I love my ducks, but I don’t know a heck of a lot about them. I don’t know if they communicate underwater using “quack” bubbles or anything like that. But the sight of two ducks missing each other by inches got me to thinking New York pedestrians, and how many of them I witness each day passing each other like these ducks. Instead their heads aren’t buried under the green, sunlit water of a pond looking for food. The heads of these curious “New Yorker” creatures are looking down at their smart phones and their kindles, texting, reading, not looking where they are going a great deal of the time, and still managing to avoid each other.
And I find that sad.
I am not going to sit here and type out this BLOG post while condemning social media. My hypocrisy will only stretch so far. I am an American consumer, and like the rest of us, I’ve somehow embraced the tenets of capitalism and technology’s role in said norms.
But I can’t lie to you either. There are some very interesting people in this world, and I’m sad to see them looking at their smart phones instead of paying attention to the world around them. There are teenagers with keen intellect in their eyes, pretty women and handsome, snappily dressed men with stories written all over their faces, old people with tales of their glory days just itching to be shared with young strangers like me. And even in places like Central Park, they wander around practically Eskimo kissing their smart phones in an attempt to communicate while the world around them continues to exist. Spring flowers continue to bloom. Tiny robins tweet (and not on the internet). Potential conversations with real people are avoided. Gothic Architecture isn’t admired. Food festivals aren’t savored for the unique cultural experience that they provide. And even the potential for romance seems to fly out the window, replaced (most believe) by something known as internet speed dating.
I’ve done my share of internet “dating” too. It flies in the face of everything I was taught about love and romance growing up. Then again, maybe that’s not always a bad thing in my case Live with my parents for a month and you’ll think that movie “War of the Roses” was a picture of paradise.
I met a special someone on the internet. It isn’t always easy. Only time, at this point, will tell me if it will work. I gamble with my heart when I think it’s worth it. Deep down, despite my apparently cold view toward people, I think she has the potential to be.
My parents didn’t prepare me for that one.
But what does it mean when the people around you all start to look like ducks who bury their heads underwater looking for something special? Ducks have a simple reason to “duck,” don’t they?
Maybe people have their reasons too, but I am only really beginning to understand what they are. I do it myself, and I’m still trying to understand why..
“Duck and cover” isn’t just something people say when fighting breaks out.
What do you all think out there in internet land? Why do people lower their heads and avoid the potential for joy and goodness in their lives? I’d love to hear from any of you on this subject.