Archive for Texting

My Best Friend’s Visit ..

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/22/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

My best friend, J. Marie Ravenshaw came to visit me in New York. I made this video based on the pictures we took together during her stay.

And I love the song.

Hope you like the vid, J. 😉


There are many other projects in the works, but I was happy to take the time to do this. 😉




Have At!

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/16/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

You want a video to indicate how I feel at the moment, have at this one ..

It’s Almost Here!

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/14/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

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!!


Salvation ..

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/09/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

Hello, audience!

I’m trying something different for this post. These are my recorded thoughts on the concept of “salvation.” Follow the bouncing ball ..

Wait .. that would be easier if there WERE a bouncing ball, but here’s the next best thing. Listen and follow along with the words below the video if you’d like.

However, I must warn you, there’s foul language in this piece.  It isn’t suitable for kids. 


Nobody ever said it would be easy.

But if they had told me how hard it would get, I might have thought twice about this whole “life” deal.  It’s not like I can remember standing in front of God and hearing a booming voice say

“Let’s see which door this one chooses, huh folks?”

There wasn’t really a choice involved. I was born to the people who raised me. I was born into a family with a lot of issues.

But If anyone had told me that this meant screaming matches with someone I used to love at four o clock in the morning, I would have told them had me confused with someone far less well adjusted.

And I would have been wrong.

My views on alcoholism haven’t changed. I’ve known too many people with the disease. As both a hospital and retail employee, I’ve seen strangers with the addiction.  It’s different when the effects of the disease are something that I can’t walk away from. It assumes a permanence in my psyche. I wish it wouldn’t.

It isn’t like there aren’t a great deal of other things for me to think about.  I’ve got other dreams to pursue. I’ve got goals. I didn’t sign up for this. I feel like I’ve been drafted into an army of disposable heroes, and I keep asking myself one question that I think I heard in famous movie once.

“How do I get out of this chicken shit outfit?”

Perhaps a faceless drill sergeant will point his or her finger at me and tell me to “secure that shit.” But I didn’t sign up be a in a fucking army. I never agreed to this shit.

So thanks for the advice, serge, but you can suck my balls.

I don’t know that I would have made it in the army. I appreciate the soldiers who can walk the walk. I have enormous respect for the troops who are overseas representing the United States of America, and I can’t even begin to fathom what it would have been like to fight in each of the world wars of human history.

But as far as I know, war is a human concept. Strategic combat on that sort of scale may in fact be a uniquely human invention.

I, for one, would like to focus my energies in a more creative setting.

I’ve always created worlds into which I could escape when the realities of this world proved to be too unwieldy. Too many people in my life have told me to “grow the fuck up” and stop fucking with fantasy. They’ve told me to “think practically.” They’ve told me to “focus on the here and now.”

Personally, I think they talk too much. I’ve found that most of the same people who tell me that the daily grind of work and family are all there is to life haven’t tried hard enough to be happy.

Happiness is work.

I think about this in terms of writing and I know my conclusions are right.

You can tell anyone you want to that you’re a writer, but as a friend and fellow blogger wrote recently, a lot of people have a tendency to belittle that statement.  I have to say I agree with her assessment.

You’re always going to find those who look at you and wonder that you can say that with a straight face. Some will challenge you outright, asking you what books you’ve written. Others will simply laugh and say “no, seriously.”

I don’t want to tell anyone in my family that I write. Even the people who know will probably wonder why I ventured into it in the first place.  They’ll forget that I entered a story telling contest as a 9 year old kid, memorized an entire book and RETOLD that story in a way that made most of the adults in the room cry, including my own father. They’ll fail to recall the hours that I spent, pen in hand, writing my own versions of fairytales, movie scripts, and stories of the events of my day. These people will not understand that I went to college in disguise. I donned the garb of a healer/scholar, and I wore it well enough to fool the masses for more than a decade.

But college proved to me what a lie that really was. Stories were the food for my soul. The lives and motivations of others were what sustained me. I ventured into psychology as a major, thinking that it would be an easy way to “still be a doctor,” since that was what I told everyone in my family that I wanted to be.

Again, I was wrong, but it would take me more than a decade after my graduation to finally accept that my muse had been waiting to greet me again with open arms. A relationship of ten years crumbled around my ears before I finally accepted that I didn’t know who I was anymore, and that I’d stopped caring.

A friend of mine was doing some sort of film project in college.  I couldn’t tell you if it was for a class, but he was interviewing students and asking them some very poignant questions. He asked one question that has stuck with me over the years.

“What does salvation mean to you?”

I remember the answer I gave him back then as the camera lens took in every blemish of my face and every expression of my dark eyes.

“I believe that salvation comes from within.”

I still believe it.

I was raised catholic, and I was raised in a family that believed in things like divine intervention, fate, and all sorts of other concepts that I never really took to as a kid.  I was a little control freak.  I was a picky eater. I didn’t want my choices taken from me just because some big, mean man couldn’t handle that I didn’t want to sit still and listen to boring stories.

But what I didn’t realize until I was in the first grade was that I wanted to tell my OWN!

Show and tell was an interesting concept for me in school in elementary school.  It wasn’t easy for me so sit still and listen to other kids and their stories sometimes, but I used to anyway because there was something for me to learn in each story. “This kid likes chocolate, that girl likes trees.”

But then my turn would come, and I would talk about the things that happened in my life.  I would leave my classmates “spellbound.”

At least, that’s what the teacher told my father on “parent teacher” night before she went on to tell him that I had trouble listening and not daydreaming in class.

Those are hard moments to forget, but somehow, I allowed the memories to fade.

That was a mistake, and one that I don’t intend to make ever again.

When I gave my friend that answer in college, I didn’t have a clear sense of what my personal salvation would be.  I can type and speak these words now with a fuller understanding of that that word means to me.

There is no magic bullet for happiness. There are no words that a shaman or a priest can utter that bring automatic joy to anyone’s lives. That sort of magical thinking ,to me, represents a  misunderstanding of egregious proportions.

The universe owes me nothing. It’s just there, just as I am here.

In terms of life, writing is the same as many other things. You can only learn it by doing it. You can only perfect it through practice. You can only improve it by sharing it with others and getting their insight.

You suit up, show up, and get down to it and see what happens. That’s what writing is to me.

That’s what life is.

Perhaps the ultimate lesson here is that when one seeks salvation, they might just discover that it lies in the living of life. Getting out there, meeting people and having experiences are the things that life has to offer you if you are willing to reach for them. Sometimes it may feel like you have to stretch until your muscles ache, until the skin is peeled from your bones.  Your day might end with you having nicked your hands on many thorns. But, to me, even the thorns are worth it. The pain means just as much to me as the pleasure. It can be just a powerful tool for learning as a hug.

I still like hugs better, though, just sayin.’

Unknown Samurai

Posted in Drum Roll, The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/06/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

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.









The Indy 500 Without The Cars

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/01/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

If there is one thing they don’t teach you Driver’s Ed or one on one driving instruction is that walking the streets of New York City might in fact prepare for being on the road or a major highway in your own vehicle.  The reason this is true is simpler than you might think.


Pedestrians can be jerks.


Case in point.  Last week, I kid you not, some woman with an ominous glint in her eye followed me for 13 blocks straight, practically stepping on my heels before she finally veered left and walked down 49th street and 5th avenue toward Broadway.  I’m pretty sure she did this because I was one of the few pedestrians who was actually paying attention, so by default that made me the fastest bi ped within a two block radius.  It’s almost like a Nascar race at this point.  Someone decides to ride your ass bumper for bumper while hugging the curves of the race track and using your pace to zoom ahead of others.  Then when they’ve gotten what they’ve wanted, they either veer ahead of you, turn away from you, or crash into the wall.


I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I wish it was the third one for some of these disasters on two feet.


Much like driving on the road, in NYC, you’ve got to be prepared for the fact that other pedestrians are in fact the biggest street hazards out there.  Walk down Time’s Square sometime and find out how true this is.  Often, other people aren’t watching where they are walking, they’re in a big hurry to hit the sales at their local stores and boutiques, or they’re simply trying to beat the red light.  You practically have to be a linebacker or a martial artist to get past these jerks without getting jostled, elbowed in the ribs, or yelled at by Kim Kardashian wannabes who think they’re going to turn back into pumpkins if they don’t make that sale at Bloomingdales.  And how many pedestrians have I seen zoom past me just to get stopped by a red light at a busy intersection.  I actually saw one woman with a red purse throw her hands up in frustration at the stop light! This was before she almost ran into the middle of oncoming traffic, got honked at, and decided to retreat back to the safety of the crosswalk while rolling her eyes.


Of course, she had to step on some poor man’s foot in the process, but that’s another matter entirely.  She was like that annoying asshole driver that speeds up, realizes they aren’t going to make it across the intersection before the light changes from green to red and decides to slow down before backing up into the oncoming traffic behind them.   Those assholes deserve to get rear ended in my opinion.



Never mind that as a law abiding pedestrian, I still have to be on the lookout for crazies, for panhandlers, for little kids who don’t even reach my knees and somehow wander away from their parents, and for the ever present “human statues.”  Now that the weather has turned,  I’ve got to veer around construction zones in front of building entrances.  I’ve got to avoid assholes who keep trying to hand me their fucking fliers like I can’t see the restaurants or the strip clubs they work for right behind them.  I’ll encounter sleezy pawn shop owners who think that talking to me in Spanish will make me more likely to listen to them.  And yes, on occasion, I’ve got to be careful for cracks in the sidewalk that make others stumble in front of me, or vice versa.


And then there’s the ever growing problem of pedestrians who can’t be bothered to look up as they’re texting on their damned smart phones.


For obvious reasons, texting and driving is banned on the road.



It should be banned for pedestrians too, and not just because there’s a growing trend for the robbery of smart phones in NYC.  Road rage is bad enough.  But sometimes I just feel like pedestrian rage isn’t too far in the future for New Yorkers, myself included.   I feel like decking the business suit wearing monkeys who cut me off ON FOOT and almost trip me because they’re too busy talking on their damned smart phones to bother paying attention.


If you’re not a cop, a movie mogul or a counter terrorist agent, shut the fuck up and get off your damned phone when you walk down the street.  It gets old fast, especially since the majority of the conversations I overhear are so stupid that they don’t deserve to be the reason I almost got kicked in the shins, stepped on, tripped up, or simply slowed down if I was in a hurry.  You’re not that damned important.  And if you think we all want to hear you argue with someone on the phone, you’re oblivious, and you better pray that nobody films your soap opera tirade as your stomp up and down in the middle of the street getting in people’s way for no good reason.


I’m not innocent of course.  It would be arrogant presumption for me to blog about this without demonstrating that I too am not the perfect pedestrian.  Sometimes the traffic lights don’t work fast enough for my taste and I look for opportunities to cross the street before anything serious happens. I’m not crossing on the green in that instance, but I am still trying to watch for drivers.   Sometimes, traffic gets snarled before the drivers hit the middle of the intersection.  Is it my fault that some dumbfuck  decided to double park illegally in order to “quick run an errand?”  I’ve got better things to do than to wait that out, especially when Danica Patrick in high heels is standing behind me snorting her impatience.


And then there’s the women.


I’ve had to learn to walk fast and use my peripheral vision when I’m people watching in general, and there usually is a time and place for slowing down and admiring the view.  But I’m not opposed to enjoying what the spring weather has produced in terms of current women’s fashion.  I’ve had to be very careful in recent weeks not to bump into others as my head gets turned by a gorgeous woman in sun dress or short shorts.  I manage, for the most part, not to embarrass myself these days, but last summer was especially challenging for me in that regard ;).  That’s a lot like what happens to drivers when they see flashy cars cruising down the road, or the pretty drivers in those cars.  No matter what, you’re still responsible for you and for whoever is with you, and you just have to remain vigilant.


The other day, I saw a field trip full of toddlers two blocks from my home.  There were at least two chaperones and a teacher with a group of six cute kids.  But what was odd about that to me was that the kids were all sort of attached to each other and to the adults with a long strip of canvas.  Attached to the long strip were these soft loops that went around the kids’ bodies.  It was like watching two plain clothes prison guards marching the Tickle Me Elmo chain gang down the road.  Odd.  But when I thought about it, sort of reasonable considering how hazardous walking in Manhattan can really be.


I’ve hydroplaned on foot before.  Swear to God.


Dad and I were walking to breakfast once and it was a rainy morning.  The ground was wet and we were both walking fast because we wanted our coffee and breakfast omelettes.  I kid you not, my left foot skidded above a puddle and I pivoted quite by accident. As I made my way to the ground, I stuck my hand out to keep from falling on my ass and embarrassing myself in front of a bunch of other pedestrians.  I caught myself (thank goodness) and sprang up just as quickly as I plummeted to the ground.  Somehow, I kept a straight face.  I wanted to pull a Pee Wee Herman line out of my ass and say “I meant to do that.”  But nobody would have believed it anyway.


I think Dennis Leary has made jokes about traveling along New York City streets before.  Most of them rang true for me.



For right now, I’ll just kick my feet up and write this little blog entry from the comfort of my air conditioned living space.  Nobody is going to roll their eyes, step on my feet, give me the finger or talk on their damned phones in my general vicinity as I do it.  That puts a smile on my face. 🙂

What is Real? – Thoughts on Authenticity..

Posted in The Flow and Rhythm of Life, The Writing Process (How do I Come up These Beats?) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/11/2012 by Angel D. Vargas

There is a word that people have been throwing around for the last decade as part of what might be seen by some as a movement, of sorts.  This word is “authentic.”  There are those of us who seek to reclaim our own authenticity in a society that is replete with the means to defeat that purpose.  The irony that social media is touted as a means to “represent your individuality” as you flit around more or less anonymously from twitter to facebook to your own blogs and then to “klout” is not lost on me.


And I haven’t yet become so immersed in all this that I’ve forgotten what I am doing even as I post this comment.  It’s like railing against the “capitalist machine”and then going out and buying a white chocolate mocha at Starbucks.  I’ve seen pretentious beret-wearing motherfuckers do this in New York City, and I do nothing but shake my head and laugh.  I haven’t really got the motivation to point out the hilarity of what they’ve just done.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  My hypocrisy will only extend so far.


But what are we trying to do in the modern world when we define our authentic selves?  Is it right to say that the people who read my blog and who share my facebook posts and wall pictures really know who the hell I am?  Is it healthy to feel a sort of rejection at not being “retweeted” or “given klout points” at least once a week?


I’m not going to lie to any of you.  I ventured into twitter and the social networking scene with serious trepidation.  I didn’t want some image or caricature of myself to be the only thing that people really understood about me.  I don’t want the darkness of the fiction I write to be the only thing that registers with people every single time they view my profile picture, and I don’t particularly care to see others as one dimensional visages of the night, sparkly vampires, dark lords, or anything of the sort.  The novelty of that wears off pretty quickly for someone like me because I’m the type of person that is interested in the layers underneath the facade.  Maybe it’s because I studied psychology in college and worked in mental health for almost 7 years, but the fact remains that it isn’t easy to sort through all the bullshit to get to what’s real for each of us anymore.  We can pretend all we want to that modern technology has created easier means through which to communicate, but that’s only a part of the process.  I would argue that modern technology has simply afforded more of us a global reach with our words, images, and quirky surface level personalities.


But if I was to pick ONE Of my blog or twitter followers right now and attempt to have a real “conversation” with him or her, I would have to start from the beginning with the word “hello.”  I would seek to find out how they’re feeling in that very moment, how their days have gone, and what’s so special about their lives that they feel the need to share it with the world.  And it would not be meant as a means to denigrate or to spew invective about how “eccentric” or pretentious people can be.  We all have those tendencies. It’s almost imperative that we do in order to stand out nowadays in social media…


Where do the false expectations from our World Wide Web followers and public supporters come from?  Do we pigeon hole ourselves with the images that we create; the avatars with which we “dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”


Writers seem to have a particularly nuanced way of doing this through their use of social media.  Simply put, social media has become a means through which writers can “show their wares.”  I can think of a few people who simply want their writing to speak for itself, and yet I can think of quite a few others who are so desperate to sell their writing that they would sooner have me follow them on twitter just so that some bot that they took the time to set up months ago will automatically bombard me with their inflated egos.  That bothers me, but not because I am not curious about their writing.  Goodness knows that someday I hope to be shilling my own wares on unsuspecting victims..I mean a captive audience.  But I have to wonder if the author behind the bot really intended for people like me to be turned off or simply bemused by their stunning lack of personal connection with one of their potential readers.


And then I realize as I have this thought, my mind circles back to the word “authentic.”  What is the authentic essence of the person behind the bot?  Who the fuck are they, really?  Do they want me to know, or are they trying to evoke an image in order to strike a chord and sell me something?  And how does MY authentic self fit into this equation?


Am I buying what they’re selling?


No lie, sometimes the answer to that last question is a resounding YES!


Can we strive to be “authentic” then in a world that practically demands that we put on airs? Let’s face it, even at our regular places of employment, most of us are busy doing and saying things that we don’t want to be doing or saying, especially nowadays when it is so imperative that we keep the jobs that we have.  It can be such a tiresome process.


Yet the few people who truly know the “real” me didn’t garner that information purely from social media.  For those who didn’t meet me before my amusing adventures on the internet, something about the image that I evoked sparked enough of an interest from them that they took their curiosity to the next level.  The reverse has happened to me on rare occasions too.  I’ve attempted real communication with a select few of my slowly growing list of followers on websites like twitter.


In the end, the people who really begin to get to know the real me are the ones who can close down twitter, facebook, klout, and all the other internet bullshit and just hang.  I can talk to them about things that have nothing to do with my writing, and have just as much fun.  We can chew the fat about our day to day thoughts.  I can congratulate new parents, ask my female friends why the fuck I don’t understand the sizes pertaining to women’s fashion, and I can even sit with the best of them in comfortable silence and just “be me.”  That is a rare thing indeed, and nothing offered by digitalized personae will ever come close to that.



I know I know.  I’m posing more questions than I’m answering.  But what’s life without these kinds mysteries?  Are you reading this right now and wondering if this is the real me?  Maybe you should wonder.  Better yet, drop me a line and find out for yourself. 😉


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