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

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Word Hangover

Dude I got so many posts coming out of me right now, it feels like I drank too many words last night. Many too many words last night. Shit to be honest I was losing my voice last night, talking about the goddamn specials all the time. It’s funny because I would usually lie about that.

Mother fucking FUCK y’all I’m tired of fucking around all the time!

Nah just kiddin’ y’all that’s what I DO.

Anyway I got a new plan, it has to do with slippers. I lay in my bed, typing shit, and whenever I get out of bed, I put the slippers on.

So my feet don’t get cold and I don’t step on cat shit absorbing crumbs.

If I fall asleep while typing, which I usually do any time I actually try to write fiction, no big deal, it looks like I did it on purpose.

I’m going out tonight, y’all, maybe for the last time…

I’m going to try to maintain control! That’s something I never done before.

Get ready for tomorrow’s super ashamed what have I fucking DONE post yo! It’s going to be very similar to everything you’ve ever read on here before! You goin’ be like damn why do I still read this shittttt and I’m going to be like becAWWWZ you so CRAZY! Me and you both we can’t stop doing this same shit yo!

Can you do…NO! NO I CAN’T!

When people question me about my work, I am very defensive.

In life, I am usually mellow, albeit moody. I can usually put on a tranquil front at least. Usually I can do some deep breathing. I can feel the tightness of my shoes on my feet and remain in the present moment.

But when someone says, why does this character do that? Or, why doesn’t this ebook work on my phone? Or, how can I print this ebook out in a different way? Then I suddenly tense up and get super annoyed and answer quickly and defensively.

What I’m going to do about that? I don’t know. Shit’s annoying as hell.

I been drinking black coffee. Not today! I’m through with all that; there’s more to living than not dying.

I think there was a drug in the Franzen novel Freedom called Mexico that made people feel zero guilt. Am I remembering that right? I would take that drug! At least once in a while.

Guilt guilt guilt!

Anyways. Like I said before, discomfort = good! No drinking today! Dealing with the guilt head on, hand to hand, face to face, dick to dick and pussy to pussy.

Pachow! Don’t ask me any questions about the way I formatted this post. I will karate chop a nearby object or organism.

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.

The Guilt Bomb

Last night I went to a concert where different people got on stage and sang Nirvana songs. It was like they didn’t even like Nirvana, half of them. They didn’t even know the lyrics. It was pretty awful at first. And I had brought my wife along. We were out on a Saturday night together with a friend of mine. This hasn’t happened in years. I couldn’t believe it was happening, and then I couldn’t believe how bad it was. I told my wife to drink up, but she didn’t. I did, and I blacked out around three AM after another friend showed up with shots.

I woke up in the morning all disoriented and my wife told me that I was “fine with everyone else but mean to her”, which is apparently what I “always do”. Then I felt and now I feel horrible about the whole thing.

I know I wasn’t being mean to her before I blacked out, so whatever happened if it happened happened in the car home or at home.

I fell back asleep and woke up around the time I was supposed to be at work and she had done all the chores and made me coffee and put food in the fridge for the cats.

Then I felt even worse about it.

I guess we should just break up. I don’t know. I can’t handle this guilt. Always with the guilt guilt guilt Jesus Christ am I that bad?

I texted her to see what happened but she won’t tell me, which is perfect because that makes me feel even more guilty.

I almost suspect that’s her plan. Because I’m supposed to go out tonight, which I rarely do, and I was planning to get wild, but now I’ll probably try to keep it together and come home at a reasonable hour.

Oh well I don’t know. That’s what I get for trying to include her. I guess. I am immobilized by guilt and nausea.

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. 

Standing Up in the Solipsism

So damn bright these days in the morning. My life is a calm and tepid puddle somewhere in the unused parking lot of a superannuated mental hospital.

If I could be excited about anything right now, I would be excited about being a part of Conceited Crusade. I was sure I’d slipped from one bizarre dream into the next when I was awoken by one of the world’s last great bloggers, the inimitable and elusive Fred Colton. I wasn’t even angry that he drank the last of the bottle of Don Papa I had been clutching in my sleep.

He wiped his mouth and tossed the bottle into the pile in the corner. “Babe says you’re OK.”

“Yeah? Haven’t heard from her in a while.” I tried to reconcile Fred’s tuxedoed aura against the funereal closet I apparently treated as a bedroom. “Is it Friday night already?”

“Clean up this mess,” he suggested, pointing at me. “Give me a call.” He handed me a card.

It smelled like fermented cologne. I looked up at him.

“Nevermind that,” he said. “Chicks dig it.”

Done Wif It

Hey ya’ll I think I am done with drinking, heavily that is. I may have to wait some more to be sure, because right now I don’t even like beer that much, which is crazy because a couple days ago I couldn’t be happy eating unless I was also having a beer. Today I decided that my good mood/feeling of detachment that I experienced two weeks ago did not in fact have to do with alcohol. So based on that I decided to have a whiskey on the rocks. I only drank half of it! I’ve never returned liquor before, and I would never have believed I would not finish a drink for which I had already paid.

There is still a good chance it will pass, but for now, just saying, I might not be an alcoholic after all.

What will I give up on next? I was hesitant to post this because it’s kind of inane and boring, but then I thought, what am I blogging for if not to keep track of how I felt from day to day? So I wanted to record the fact that I thought on this day that I might be out of love with drinking. Gives me chills just writing that. Chills is an exaggeration of the feeling I just had, but it’s in that family.

I was hanging out with some professors today, old guys, and I was thinking shit I should be a professor. I was looking over these notes I took on a talk by David Brooks, author of The Social Animal and longtime New York Times columnist, and I read that he had said we learn from people we love, and that it’s all about the relationship between student and teacher, and I was thinking that reminded me of what I was saying about maybe you can only really learn things from people you like.

Alright well. Good fucking night, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

Paradoxical Post

Fifteen minutes left in the first day of 2015. I’m drinking tea, herbal tea, with honey in it. I decided I’ve been drinking too much. I’m not worried about my health I just drink automatically now, without really thinking about why or really enjoying it. I enjoy it but I usually drink and then go to sleep within a half an hour, so it kind of wastes the drunk and then I just get up with joint pain and old people shit.

I used to think that if you had fifteen minutes, you could really do something productive. Like why not write five hundred words? Just set a timer and go! Do that every day and after a year, you’ve got a book. Well, maybe fuck that shit. Most of the time I don’t want to start doing that because I’m afraid I’ll get to invested in it and then be sad that I have to stop doing it. And not only is that probably true, maybe those fifteen minutes weren’t even productive, in a real sense of the word. What do I mean by the real sense of the word? I don’t know, productive as in making your life better…? Fuck if I know.

It’s funny too because I was thinking about that while I started writing this post, knowing that I only have like five minutes to write before Wife gets out of the bathroom.

So I guess the point is I am not going to worry about setting timers and doing shit for twenty minutes at a time. If I have to set timers and shit like that, then maybe fuck it, maybe I’m not supposed to write a god damn book twenty minutes at a time.

I really have to clean up my language though. I’d like to get thoughts across in a clear and direct and concise manner. But here I am writing “maybe I’m not supposed to” as if I believe in fate.

That’s what I was thinking today when I was thinking I would drink this tea instead of beer. I was thinking that there are these leftover things in my brain. Like you take away the root assumption but the habits remain. You take out the axis but the spokes of the wheel are hidden all throughout your subconscious. Like when I stopped believing in God or when I stopped believing that material possessions were the measure of success. I want to be in control of my thoughts to the extent that I can, not just relying on old algorithms that I made up a long time ago. Like I used to think that drinking a lot meant that you were cool, and then I thought that drinking a beer is kind of a reward for a day of hard labor. I still kind of believe both of those things, but now it’s not very important for me to be cool, as I’m married and have no fake friends to impress. So now I kind of automatically drink a beer when I get home, but I’m going to stop that shit.

Some Shit I’ve Been Doing on the Edge of 2014

I’m five posts shy of my goal of 200 posts, but fuck it, pretty close. For the last ten days I’ve been thinking of posting but then I didn’t do it. I only posted three months out of this year anyway.

I am back in working mode and I haven’t written anything for days. Maybe weeks. I finished reading Sense and Sensibility and started Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. The same guy lent it to me. I also downloaded Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy so I can read it in the dark.

I am working a lot more on my book projects. Just trying to stack up some paper, you know. Fuck it. I’m going to meet this guy soon. The old guy I’ve been working for over the phone and internet is going to roll up into Brooklyn in about thirty minutes. He’s an irascible character so it should be a good time. I am not looking forward to it.

I have a lot of other shit to do today and I’ve already done a lot of shit. And today is my only day off. And I told the other restaurant I would work there a couple days a week so maybe it’s my last day off ever. Well, at least until February, and then I’m going up to Vermont for a week.

Something I learned from thinking back on my wedding is generally those times we plan for are the only things we really remember. Life goes by in a blur since we’re doing the same thing over and over again but the days that we made a point of doing something different, especially if we had to think about it for weeks beforehand, or longer, are the days that define a life. I’ve thought about it before in a different, more depressing way. Like how Steinbeck describes it in Out of Eden, something about life going by without any signposts to hang a memory on. Well, those planned days are the signposts, and that’s not really all that bad. So instead of avoiding the boring, tedious work of constructing signposts in hope that a really cool one will just pop up a couple of times a week, I’m spending a lot of time planning this trip.

And I’m spending a lot of time not caring about what happens in the meantime. I’m trying to think long term, like yearly. Kind of like I was saying about throwing 2015 away. If you take your life in year chunks instead of day chunks, it’s like if you waste a year, no big deal. And forget about wasting a day, that’s pretty much a given for every day. As long as you do something really cool for a couple days out of a year maybe every ten years, well you pretty much had a good life.

And read books in the meantime. And get drunk at least a little bit a lot of the time.

Also I’m not eating a lot, but I think it’s making me fatter. I don’t care though, because it’s winter time and it’s cold as a bitch out here.