Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm just gonna stick this post on top for a was originally posted on the 7/25/09, at 10:04pm

Eventually, I plan to redesign this site so that a twitter badge is worked seemlessly into the sidebar, allowing my readers to follow me both on to-the-moment thoughts, and long, rambling...ramblings. But for now, I'm gonna stick a twitter badge into this post, and then tweet a little.

    follow me on Twitter

    On with it.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Text messages again.

    Me: I was wrong.
    Sam: About?

    Me: Him being better for me than you, as if I'm an addict and you are a more damaging drug. Better metaphor: I am a self-mutilator and you are two glass bottles.
    Me: IE, you'd both be completely harmless if I weren't such a fucking mess.

    I'm not as faithful to the shuffle gods tonight. I put it on shuffle, but I skip past any song that isn't hard enough to drive my anger-- anger, I should point out, that is purely at myself, no matter how much I associate it with somebody else. I let it play a song by Sage Francis (thinking that this feeling I had that let me enjoy it, it must be how Elorza and Zack feel all the time), and then one by Buck 65 (the Buck song was not quite angry enough for my tastes, but I was also feeling incredibly, incredibly uncool, and hating myself for it, so I wanted something to make me feel cooler than I was. What's cooler than underground hip hop? If you said canadian underground hip hop, well, then, you must think I'm pretty cool right now.) I let it stop on "Unkind" by Tabitha's Secret: "Bring it on, baby, whatcha gettin' into?// Is living on pain the thing that's getting to you?// Write my name, pin it up with my picture,// say it's the only thing, 'cause I'm not around to be around." There's a song by Regina Spektor that I've never paid much attention to before, that strikes a chord with me, called "Hero": "And we're going to these meetings but we're not doing any meetin'.// And we're trying to be faithful, but we're cheatin', cheatin', cheatin'."

    I listen, for a while, to the tinny overhead music that completes the awful scene as I sit in the red, lawn-style reclining chair in the annex where they sell barbecues and mulch.

    Even as I've come to hate myself, I've come to love that chair. That chair is dangerous enabler. I'm breaking up with that chair.

    In a conversation with Emily I have in my car after I drive home (she responded to one of the five "I'm too pathetic to exist" text messages I sent out to random friends while I sat in my chair.), I tell her "I'm going to have write on my blog, or tell him to his face: 'you have my cell number. You can have my home number. There's absolutely no reason you can't call me, and, really, I mean any time. So, if you're headed to wal-mart and you hope there's a possibility I can meet you there, if you want to take a walk sometime, if you want to come over and watch a movie, whatever. Call me. And if you find that it makes you uncomfortable or that you'd be afraid I'd already be busy, well, then clearly you're not paying attention, and anyway, that's just not as big of a problem as me spending all my goddamn free time at wal-mart for no good reason.' And god help me if I don't have the strength or the self-esteem to find some way to communicate that. I mean, really, if I don't, shoot me now, because I'm fucking worthless."

    I mean, the telling it to his face thing, well, that would have suggested slightly more strength and self-esteem than this does, but one way or another, it's gotta get done.

    I need to reiterate-- I am mad at, annoyed with, and disgusted by no one but myself, here. And I wish to god I was oblivious enough that I didn't have to be, but I'm not. It's clear as day that I'm assigning other people's faces to my inner demons. I'm at this weird place of balance. I'm too smart to not see the idiocy in the things I do, and too sane to not see how fucking crazy the things I want to do are (IE, punch the large bags of dog food on display...and maybe the brick walls, a little...and all the other customers.) And I have too much pride to confess to all that, but honestly, I also have too much pride not to confess to all of that. And if you can't figure out how that works out, don't worry, you're not alone, because I really don't know what I meant, either. Maybe that I'm afraid if I'm not honest about how truly idiotic I've been acting, I'll be free to continue acting that way. Maybe.

    This is not his fault; this is not your fault. I am not angry, and the things that are destined to change soon, well, they haven't changed quite yet. But god help me if I find myself at that hellish symbol of misery again without having a legitimate need for low, low prices.

    Also from "Hero":

    "I'm the hero of this story,

    Don't need to be saved."

    On with it.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Elorza and I are currently discussing my apparent lack of respect for the institution of marriage, and I can't help but think of that Edna St. Vincent Millay poem. I definitely remember reading it over and over again when I was in love with Chad, but I can't quite remember if it was one of the ones I memorized with the ambition of getting him in a quiet moment and then coyly whispering it into his ear.

    OH, THINK not I am faithful to a vow!
    Faithless am I save to love's self alone.
    Were you not lovely I would leave you now:
    After the feet of beauty fly my own.
    Were you not still my hunger's rarest food,
    And water ever to my wildest thirst,
    I would desert you–think not but I would!–
    And seek another as I sought you first.
    But you are mobile as the veering air,
    And all your charms more changeful than the tide,
    Wherefore to be inconstant is no care:
    I have but to continue at your side.
    So wanton, light and false, my love, are you,
    I am most faithless when I most am true.

    I guess I never thought of that poem as hopelessly depressing before today. I guess I never really had any reason to.

    After seeing "I Love You, Beth Cooper" (the movie was fairly faithful to the book, and I recommend both, but definitely read the book), I went to Wal-Mart tonight for my all-to-usual walk around the store-- how many days has it been since I haven't been there, or at least driven around the parking lot for twenty minutes?-- I put on my headphones and set the iPod to shuffle. I almost skip past the first song, but leave it on, appreciating the irony. Carole King's "You Got a Friend."

    By the end of it, I hate myself. I mean, really. I hate the things I do, and the way I make my way through my days. I hate how weak they leave me feeling, how tenuous my hold on the things that give me momentary happiness are. I hate how used up they leave me. I hate how they build expectations that no one can fulfill, and then I blame my own imagined deficiencies when they don't go right. (You cannot imagine the willpower it's taking right now not to go back and delete the word "imagined", in the midst of Jiminy Critic's protests)

    I hate the idea that the people I love might be-- probably are?-- just placeholders. Props to be used at the whim of my weaknesses. I hate the idea that if I wriggle free of someone who might not be good for me that I am drawn to because of some psychological need, I will just seek out someone else to fill that void. I hate that idea, and yet, I can't afford to discount it, lest I get sucked into some depraved, psychological cycle. And I hate that I'm smart enough to be cognizant of that possibility in the first place.

    The people I love are better than this, they deserve more than this. They deserved to be loved, and deeply, for individual aspects of their personalities. Here, I want to list them, but believe it or not, dear audience, I really am talking about more than one person, and heaven forbid they should have no idea who they are when they read this.

    It takes me a while, until just now, actually, to figure out what my problem has been, as of late: I am losing faith in love.

    If love is the only thing keeping my little mistakes from turning into big mistakes, if love is the only thing that holds up the roof of my house, that feeds my bank account, that warms my bed at night, if love is the only power by which my life moves forward and my heart keeps beating and I keep working towards something, anything, better...then what do I have if I come to the inevitable conclusion that love is some physiological trick?

    It wasn't long ago now that I went through a crisis of faith-- by which I mean a crisis of un-faith. It was maybe two years ago, maybe more, that I started realizing how deep the hole was that was left by my lack of religion. Things were bad for me, I guess I don't remember the specifics as to why, but I remember the longing I had, all of a sudden, to believe. To belong to a group of people who were brought together, week after week, by a moral code, by the understanding that there is a right and a wrong, and that human decency is right, and that human suffering is wrong. To fit in among people who have a unifying source of strength, and, from there, have the power to be kind to one another. (If this doesn't sound like organized religion to you, keep in mind I was thinking of one of the more progressive, modern religions, like Universal Unitarianism.) To believe in heaven, to having some reason to stop being so ultimately terrified of death. To believe in my soul.

    "And I have no faith,
    But it's all I want.
    To be loved
    And believe
    In my soul, in my soul."
    ~Bright Eyes, Waste of Paint

    I came to the conclusion, ultimately, that it was no longer possible for me. I stopped believing in god because it stopped making sense to me, and at the time, it was freeing, it was exciting; I was so young. It was all about the logical arguments with frustrated adults. I was cocky, and I-- legitimately-- understood the nature of the divine. But what I didn't know is why so many adults believe in god-- they understand the nature of life.

    The problem was, once I gained that understanding of life-- what about life demands faith, what about life begs for a source of strength from the beyond (whether or not it is a placebo effect)-- well, my attitude was different, but I still couldn't make it make sense. In fact, so many years removed from my original fall from grace, it made less sense than it ever did. I couldn't have it back, no matter how I wanted it. Because I was never wrong. I'm not wrong.

    So I reduced the mysteries and wonder of heaven and earth into science in my mind-- and I'm not even really that big on science-- and I couldn't get it back. Now, I seem to be doing the same to love-- dissecting it with a critical eye and a junior chemistry set I picked up from the wal-mart toy department (Because, ah hell, I'm there anyway.) Oh. Goody.

    At least Casey's "ineffable fondness" will be subject to that same level of scrutiny.

    The next song on the shuffle list was Flo, a Smash Mouth song about a woman who's with a man when she's spending all her time thinking about someone else (from his perspective.) Next was "Problems and Bigger Ones" by Harvey Danger. Talk about your fucking heart-wrenching songs, about an impossible relationship, made up one part real love-- no matter what you believe that is-- and two parts real circumstances, real bullshit, real life. Whatever you believe that is.

    "Here is a fact you cannot rise above:
    We'll have problems, yeah, then we'll have bigger ones."

    Are we noticing a pattern here? I'm walking through Wal-Mart, and the hate is getting bigger, and the hurt is getting bitter, and the iPod is getting crueler. Next, Matchbox Twenty's "You & I & I." This is a great song to switch you from depression to anger. Still relevant, though."

    "Well, it's a shame, you pander to me.
    C'mon, stroke on my ego like it's never broke before, held by anyone else.
    And what doesn't kill you, it makes you linger,

    And it makes you wonder.

    Well, goodness sake, do you ever get sleep?
    If there's one thing I believe:
    What doesn't kill you doesn't stay."

    From there, I got to a weird place where the Muppets and John Denver singing "Where the River Meets the Sea" made some odd, cosmic sense, then Rogue Wave's "Kicking the Heart Out" which I barely know but has a haunting resonance ("But, oh, you're 25 for an hour."). It picked me up briefly with "Mad Season" ("I feel ugly, but I know I still turn you on."), and as I was leaving Wal-mart, at last, it ended very appropriately with "Idiot Wind" by Dylan. ("We're idiots, babe. It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves.")

    In the parking lot, it plays, quite rightly, "Untouchable Face." The first Ani song I ever heard, and still the best.

    "So fuck you,
    And your untouchable face.
    And fuck you
    For existing in the first place.
    And who am I
    That I should be vying for your touch?
    And who am I?
    I bet you can't even tell me that much."

    Well, if I believe in nothing else, I guess there's always the power of the demon spirit that randomizes my iPod. Put on your headphones, some protective eye gear, and grab a cheap plastic beaker full of baking soda with some flimsy tongs. It's time for an existential crisis, boys and girls.

    On the upside, Wal-Mart had the giraffe pattern underwear I'd been looking for, against all odds. (Haha, yes, even I know that last picture is a little ridiculous. What the hell, though.)

    On with it.