What Happened Since Thursday

A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

It’s Sunday. Somehow we got here again. Halfway through the week I didn’t think I would make it. Somewhere around Thursday I thought that was it for me. The girl I am obsessed with wouldn’t text me back fast enough. My wife wouldn’t text me back. I couldn’t focus on my job. Time was going so fast and weird.
Some cranes in New York CityI reached out to my nihilist friend who moved to France last year. He understood what I was going through, as best as anyone can over text messages. He sent me a video and a podcast and we talked about how annoying everything was.

I didn’t have time to listen to the podcast or watch the video. I went back into dinner service not sure how I was going to make it. I told a sympathetic coworker, who has been in a bad relationship for years, about my wife and I getting ready to have kids and how I thought I might be trapped working in restaurants forever.

I didn’t know how I was going to make it through dinner service. I ate some Altoids.

I decided to get a haircut the next day. My hair was crazy and I hadn’t slept much, so I figured that was probably the problem.

On the way home, the girl called me and we talked about nothing because her phone was broken and I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. She said she was going to get a flip phone. I said cool yeah that’s badass smartphones are for tools. She said something I couldn’t understand. I texted my friend who’s a barber now and made the appointment.

On the bus ride, I watched the video and my mind was blown. The guy basically taught a class why thinking people are nihilists these days and how that’s not much different than mental illness but it is just a little different. And a whole bunch of other stuff too. And that’s when I remembered that life really was suffering, which is such a relief to remember because when things aren’t going right I always think what did I do wrong? Of course, there are plenty of things that I’ve done wrong and continue to do wrong.

At the barbershop, we gossiped about people we both knew and how we couldn’t understand the things they did, and we laughed about that. We talked about how awesome we were, and my friend said I looked like Don Draper now that I’ve been working on this hair style for three months.

When I got home I decided to focus on bringing sexy back so I made my wife cookies and I pulled out my chest hairs one by one and I shaved and trimmed and did some pushups. Then I went to work and I didn’t text anyone and then I went home and went to sleep.

In the morning, I fucked my wife for the first time since she went off birth control. Then I walked to work and treated my customers like apparitions.

On my break, I told the girl I am obsessed with to meet me at a bar when she got finished working. She said she would so I sat in the bar drinking beer and listening to the podcast that my nihilist friend had sent me. The podcast was amazing, but as time went on, she didn’t appear, and I got sad.

Then I walked back to work and to my locker and there she was, getting ready to leave. She hadn’t come because she hadn’t gotten off work yet. I asked if she was eating at the restaurant before she left. She said yes. I said good.A tall streetlight in Brooklyn

I put my plate at one table and she put her plate on the table right next to it, instead of across from my plate so we ate together diagonally, so not really what I had in mind. She asked if anyone had made a will and my bar manager said she didn’t need a will since she had nothing of value, no family, and no partner. I said oh well there you go, easy. Then she seemed like she was about to cry. I said she had friends, but I didn’t know what else to say. I should have told her to remember that life is suffering.

When the girl that I’m obsessed with left, she texted me that she hadn’t seen me on the way out but that she hoped I had a good night.

I told her to have a good one, too, and then my bar manager handed me a pint of beer to chug because she had made a mistake and poured the wrong kind.

Later she gave me four ounces of vodka and people asked me where I was from. They said I had an accent.

Then it was midnight and it was time to go and I polished glasses while the chefs and cooks drank Modelos that a customer had bought them from the pharmacy across the street.

On my way out the door I checked out with the manager and she told me to get a pint container. She filled it with Jameson and told me to come out with them to the bar. A chef asked me three times if I was coming out. He told me that he had wished his ex-girlfriend happy birthday last night and they ended up fucking. He asked if I thought he had a problem. I said no I texted her happy birthday, too, what’s the big deal?

The other chef handed me a Modelo and I chugged it and went home. Last night I got home around 1:30 and chugged a quart of water, hoping that today could still be a productive day.

I woke up at 1:30 PM and went outside. It was too warm for the clothes I was wearing and I bought an iced coffee. Tonight I’m going out to eat with my wife, her sister, and my in-laws.A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

The Tin Wizard

A grassy part of Brooklyn

A grassy part of Brooklyn

Y’all I need more real life friends, specifically a nihilist friend who won’t judge me for things or try to improve my life with advice after I tell them some fucked up shit.

Also, I need more alone time. My wife is gone for the morning, and the morning consists of about 30 minutes before I go to work, and I am accomplishing all kinds of shit that would take me pretty much an entire day off with her here. Also I get to listen to music. She hates listening to music in the morning. In fact she refuses to do it, so I never get to wake up like Will Smith in I Am Legend, which is what I want to wake up like every day.

Today she left the building and I immediately played The Wizard by Black Sabbath. It was awesome. But then right before the climax it cut out because she was playing Spotify on her phone. Then I realized that my sister-in-law was still in her room. And I was really rocking out to that song.

How can I say I need more alone time to my wife? I don’t think I will. Doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Time Marches On / There’s More to Life Than Not Dying

Thank God for the marching on of time. And I’m going to thank God here because you know what I don’t give a damn. Fuck it. I can thank whoever I want.

But let’s try to stay on topic, if you don’t mind.

Yeah man, I’m feeling way better today! Even though a few minutes ago I thought I was going to explode with frustration over this stupid computer error. And even though I’m not feeling like a million bucks. I feel better than yesterday, and what did I really do?

Nothing.

Time heals all wounds. Soon enough we’ll all be dead.

And that’s another thing. I like the quote about “death is not the province of the living” or something like that, but I started thinking a lot about this other thing where I say “there’s more to life than not dying.”

I’m pretty cautious I guess, always expecting some shit to go down. I guess I can keep expecting shit without getting all worried about it. I think that’s what happens when I get scared because I’m in that flow state and time is flying by. I’m scared that I’ll be dead soon, but you know what, fuck it there’s more to life than not dying.

Yep my wife and I are getting along famously. We’re about to go out for drinks right now. Then we’re going to come home and eat risotto. I even bought some beer for later, fuck it! And yesterday I was thinking, damn I shouldn’t drink so much. Mostly because I was feeling super guilty but also because I was embarrassed about how I was fawning over the singers at the concert. They were in the crowd and I was hunting them down being like, Damn! You are the greatest! All crazy like. Clearly drunk, I’m sure.

So I was embarrassed about that as I usually am when I black out. I guess I didn’t use to get embarrassed when I blacked out, back in 2010, but in that year I was blacking out every other night. So I’m drinking less now and sleeping less now and I guess that adds up to I have more time to judge my past actions and feel embarrassment about them. But you know, them singers probably didn’t give a fuck I was wasted, shit that’s what we’re there for. And I didn’t follow them home or anything, like I did that one time with that girl. Now that’s fucking embarrassing. And actually more than embarrassing. But that’s another story.

And so what if they did think I was an asshole? Is that ruining their lives right now? No! Fuck, and even if something I did did ruin their lives, is that really my fault? Aren’t we responsible for our own happiness?

Shit, maybe not! Maybe there are forces outside of our control directing our lives. Like the stars! Or reptiles. Anything to take the responsibility away. Make it stop! It burns!

It burns.

Drunk again, holy shit I am drinking all of the time

I don’t want to write about it but I regret not writing about it before, as a kind of breadcrumb trail. Say, my writing is muffled and coarse and cliche, like my thoughts. The other day I said that people were oysters, that they need a grain of sand to make a pearl. I said that out loud to people. Woo! Shit. A motherfucker finds it hard to live out here. 

I find it easy to continue working, to hang out at work. I used to dread my double shifts, but now, I guess due to some meditation and my undying love for this coworker, that shit’s over before it began and I’m dreading my two days off. Can you believe that? Dreading my days off? No fuckin way. 

That and I stopped even looking for a way out of this restaurant shit, unbeknownst to my wife. Fuck it. Just stop trying. Nice not to have to fight this shit every step of the way.

I had feelings about the people I used to work with, so long ago, so long that now I forget, and they were strong feelings. Makes me wonder if I’d better not write amemoir  about this shit and my feelings now or else forget forever.  But you know, say I do forget, what am I going to remember by reading something I wrote.

A girl got fired today. That doesn’t usually happen. And she got fired for her attitude. Her name is a city in the southwest.

Man what a crazy fucking life it really is. I don’t even know how I’m going to sleep tonight, and it used to be that the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I mean tonight was not an easy night, and me and the girl weren’t even working near each other. At one point in the night I had to force myself to stop trying to help her because it was becoming embarrassing. 

I skipped my break for a shot at the end of the night and I drank green chartreuse for the first time since Boston. Two ounces straight to the face after not eating for twelve hours put me in a good mood. Woo! Shit but that shit wore off quicker than I thought. And hell it almost gave me heartburn.

I realized I never gave up on feeling guilty for my sins. I tried not to feel guilty. My hair was so crazy and I didn’t shave. I started doing push-ups and sit-ups. I don’t know what to tell you. 

I’m not as obsessed as I was and I don’t think anything bad will happen. Bad meaning sexual. I told her all about my wife and how she is the only reason I’m not covered in my own piss begging for money at Broadway Lafayette. Then I realized that for sure I would just devote myself to her the way I do to my wife and I would be consumed and nothing ultimately would change except for the fact that I wouldn’t be deserving of anyone’s love at that point.

Almost home, so ending this drivel with nothing at all. 

I Am A Parasite

Last night in bed, I tried to find some posts on my blog that would give me an idea how I handled this situation in the past. Turns out I stopped blogging right after I asked my wife to marry me, and didn’t start again for more than a year. And that sucks because that was exactly the time period where everything went dark.

On the plus side, as I read through my archives I thought to myself: some of this shit is good. And some of that shit has no likes, so you probably don’t even know about it. Or maybe you do and you don’t like it.

After I posted that shit yesterday I went and wrote some even more whiny ass shit in my brown leather book. Then I wrote in huge scribbles “Shut the fuck up!” A bunch of different ways and then I just stared at it for a while. Then I poured myself a big drink, which I’m usually afraid to do around my wife. And I drank that shit and sliced up some mushrooms and I felt fine.

Later I read some blog posts about people being in love and drank some more and then I said fuck it. It’s like I’m always looking for someone else to define me. I remember times thinking I should break up with my wife because I want to do my own shit, back before we were married. And I would usually remember that five seconds after we broke up I’d find some other girl to tell me what to do. I don’t even know if I really like doing drugs. I probably just can’t stand to be in control of myself or something.

Shit it’s fucking crazy to think about. I don’t even know what I want to do.

Also, shit man, I should probably try to write second drafts and stop being fucking lazy. I’m not the second coming of Jack Kerouac after all.

This morning we ate at Russ and Daughters and I ordered a greyhound, just to keep myself in check.

Reflections on a life of quiet desperation

I cleaned out my junk drawer today. I clean it pretty often, so there was only three weeks of junk in there. Which is to say that my relationship with my wife is really a strange and beautiful thing that I don’t understand.

There was a great band called Love that sang this song “Alone Again or” where they say: “I could be in love with almost everyone. I think people are the greatest fun.”

One of the reasons I got married was so that I could wear a ring, a signal to everyone that I should not flirt with them.

But you know, the idea that I could get rid of this problem by wearing a ring suggests that the people who flirt with me are the problem. I’m the problem. It doesn’t help anything that I’m genetically inclined to believe everyone is flirting with me whenever they are nice. The only time I don’t think someone is flirting with me is if they are a straight man or gay woman with no apparent gender fluidity.

Still, that would be fine. The whole world could flirt with me and I wouldn’t have a problem if I didn’t fall in love so easily. And when I say “fall in love,” I’m trying to label that loss of control that happens, that supreme fixation of the mind on the idea of another person.

I wonder if it is a problem. It’s really just who I am, why should I change that? But, of course it is a problem, because I love my wife and I would not tell her that I’m in love with someone. For good measure, the only people I’ve ever told my wife I think are attractive are men, and also Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was an accident. Whenever she asks me who I think is good looking, I just stare out of the window for a long time as if I’m thinking and then I say, I don’t know. Name someone and I’ll tell you what I think. Then she says something like, Giselle, and then I say, “Who the hell is that?” And just for protection, I’ve avoided looking up this Giselle person so I can honestly say I don’t even know who that is besides she’s Tom Brady’s wife and the woman my wife is always asking is she attractive. When she names someone I know I look at her in mild horror and say, I mean…she’s not disgusting or anything. Then she laughs and we move on.

My wife and I are practical people…no wait. My wife is a practical person and I love her so I live the life of a practical person to the best of my ability. We are entrenched in practicality, doing practical things every day. We’ve been together for a long time. I support her in her career. She pretends she’s not worried about me ever finding a real job. One day, I really will get it together and make her proud. The purpose of this paragraph, before it gets away, is that for most of our relationship, my wife and I are battling real life, which is a gruesome endeavor for two people. Even if we weren’t very different people at our cores, we probably wouldn’t be in total rapture ten years into fighting this fight.

I want to be in love. I want to do drugs. I want to jump off cliffs and spend days in the dark listening to music on the floor.

Is it wrong to imagine doing those things? It is, because I never think of doing those things. Well, besides the drugs. I never think of doing those things until someone breaks through the wall that I hoped my wedding ring would reinforce.

I’m mostly in love with every girl that’s ever smiled at me. It’s a manageable thing, though. I’m used to it. I’m not used to feeling like I feel right now, which is obsessed. I don’t know how to deal with this. In the past, I’ve dealt with it by leveraging geography, I just move. It happened to me in Boston, and it happened to me in DC, and if I hadn’t moved I don’t know what would have happened. I am a comfortable liar, and my wife is not a curious person. I can avoid the act of infidelity by staying physically away from the person I am obsessed with, but I can’t currently avoid thinking of this person constantly. Meditation is giving me a better understanding of my mind and my relationships with thoughts, so maybe that will become available to me in the future.

The problem is that I like feeling this way. I feel creative, unafraid to die, purposeful, tireless, and rejuvenated. In a twisted way, I even like the other feelings: loneliness, shame, and a sense of tragic irony. But I don’t like hiding all my thoughts from my wife. I usually hide half of what I’m thinking and the other half remains hidden because she doesn’t ask questions, but this is different.

The last time this happened to me, I lost my job. I have a general recollection of terrible darkness. I completely understood suicide for the first time. Maybe if I think back over that time and deal with it as it really was, and not just as a locked Pandora’s box, I can find answers. Or, insidiously, maybe I’ll find justifications. I need a therapist.

Probably I am not unique. Could be that everyone, when they’re truly in love, whatever thing happens in the mind when that happens, is, depending on perspective, either a delusional raving lunatic or temporarily completely sane. You know how you feel when you get the good buzz while drinking, or when you take ecstasy, that feeling of love for all humanity? That feeling that is usually so far away.

Have you ever felt that everyone was doing the wrong things, and that it was all the fault of people that had felt the way that you feel when you take that darkest of drugs – power. I have never felt enough power to get addicted, and I have never done heroin. I assume they are similarly addictive.

In a life as mundane as mine, which isn’t even as mundane as most of the people I know, it’s easy to go along and not debate with yourself about whether this is anywhere close to the best of all possible worlds or whether it is closer to the worst of all possible worlds. But when you get a taste of a powerful emotion, you question this going along.

Could it be that everyone who falls in love feels like sitting in the dark and listening to music? Well, yeah probably everyone does. But the last time I sat in the dark and listened to music was a year ago or more. I feel like I am so distant from myself. I feel imprisoned by my current life, by debt, society, my family. Then, another being shows up who for some reason makes that prison feel like it’s a trick of the light. That I could walk right out of it.

I want to live on the street, smell like shit. Take showers in public bathrooms. Write love poems in the sand of deserts where no one will come looking for us, where the moon shines in her eyes and it may be the last thing I’ll see. I want simpler things than that, too. I want to fall slowly into a life of squalid domesticity where I’m sure I’ll begin to resent her…

But when you are on drugs you think such things. Who are the happy people of the world? Certainly not the people we have heard of. It’s not the people who follow the drugs and the love where ever they go, who chase an experience outside of reality. The happy people of the world have families and jobs and die having loved in a way that wasn’t about what they wanted all of the time. Thus speaks the prison. Is the prison a prison or is it my true self? I wish I could test a different path and come back to this point if I found the other path to be as frustrating as this one. Maybe I am just convincing myself that the world is a horrible place where you can never win because I’ve already resigned myself to life long pain and toil.

There are no happy people in the world, really. There is no happiness. There is only striving and struggle and existence at all costs. What we have are moments of joy, which appear in every life. I just wish the ratio wasn’t so fucked up.

And drugs like ecstasy and obsession trick us into believing that the ratio could be better than it is. But there’s always a comedown. Isn’t there? Shit I don’t know, maybe there isn’t.