Righteous Anger Isn’t an Oxymoron

I used to think that if Molly got mad at me I had to fix it right away. Stop everything, find the source of the problem, make it right. Sometimes I would do all that and she still wouldn’t be happy and then I would get frustrated. Especially if we were on vacation or something. It felt like the vacation was being ruined, that we would remember only that time when she was mad over some insignificant thing.

Today she got mad because her plan didn’t really work out and we wasted two hours driving around. Instead of trying to fix it with words or touching, I just drove around acting normal. I didn’t try to pretend that it didn’t suck that we were wasting time. I didn’t try to make it into a joke to make her see how trivial it was to worry about such things. I just let her be mad about it as if that were a reasonable response, which it is, really. 

I guess I used to think that you could die at any second so you might as well not worry about dumb shit like the fact that you’re wasting time because shit didn’t turn out like you had planned. I also used to believe that nothing really mattered, so I couldn’t see the point in getting worked up about anything really. I said I believed in that kind of shit, but I would get worked up about shit, too, just much different shit.

So now that I am allowing for the fact that things have value, I can see that being all mad about some dumb shit has its place, and maybe the reason Molly used to be mad for so long was that I was just quietly acting like she was an idiot for even bothering to be angry.

This time I let her be mad and I didn’t pretend it wasn’t frustrating and she got over it quickly and I didn’t get all stressed out that she didn’t like me or something.

I think a big part of why I built up so much resentment towards her over the years is because any time she would get mad I would blame myself and then slowly I would get mad at how unfair it was for her to think that it was my fault when I hadn’t done anything. So all this dumb shit was going on inside my head that didn’t have any basis in reality and should have been handled externally.

Any time I start to say something passive aggressive, I’m now trying to stop and instead say something more direct and constructive. And if Molly says something passive aggressive to me, I try to swat that shit down aggressively so we can fight about it instead of internalizing some made up bullshit. It’s not always easy and I don’t succeed every time but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. 

I used to have these revenge fantasies, not against Molly but against other people, strangers mostly. So someone would do something I didn’t like and then I would fantasize about beating the shit out of them, some disproportionate type shit. But in reality I wouldn’t do anything, probably be even nicer to them the more I hated them because then slowly I would start to feel bad because I hated them so much and they hadn’t really done all that much shit to me.

So I have this darkness inside but I try to lock it up and pretend it doesn’t exist and it comes out in fantasies and in a growing resentment towards humanity. Instead it would be better to integrate the darkness into my personality and react to things I don’t like by making sure people know that I don’t like those things. Even get mad sometimes. I used to think that even getting angry was a sin. And then after I stopped believing in God, I thought getting angry was a sign of weakness. But I think now that getting angry is necessary for having a healthy relationship with the outside world. People should know when they’ve made me angry. I don’t have to hurt them with words or actions, but if I don’t indicate the fact that I’m unhappy how arethey  supposed to know to change their behavior? And besides it becomes so much worse when I just resent someone quietly. Instead of just snapping at someone and apologizing for it later maybe, I end up smiling at them and wishing they would die.

It’s important to have a healthy relationship with anger instead of just trying to avoid it in myself and others. 

We’re All Adults Here

Today at work I relearned some dumb shit ass fucking lessons I already knew about but somehow forgot:

Your boss is not your friend. They’re your boss, and as long as you have a boss, you might get treated like a child while hearing something about how we’re all adults here. 

Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean you have to suck their dick.

Don’t run from your problems, they might mutate and bite the love of your life in the ass. Face that shit for good or ill.

Don’t compromise yourself by pretending like you have principles or standards. Either have them or don’t. 

The simplest of words in the right order can give you a heart attack. 

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. 

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.

Benadryl and Whiskey

I think sometimes people make the mistake of having children because no one loves them enough because no one can ever love you enough and well I guess you’re always looking for affection.

And you have the kids and you don’t know that you’re going to need anything from them you think…you’ll give them anything, everything they need. But then when they don’t love you enough you feel hurt and you make dumb choices and the two of you are locked in an adult relationship but they’re children and they don’t owe you anything they would have been just as happy not to exist or moreso. 

You expect they will love you because they are a part of you but they are not a part of you they have just as little reason as anyone else to love you and the more you demand it of them the more they resent you and then finally they’re old and you’re dying and they realize that they owe you something and they pretend to love you as much as they think they should because now they are having kids and no one loves them enough. 

You’re old and you can feel death every morning and you know that you should have never asked anything of them because they were your responsibility. But you need them more and more all the same. 

By then it’s too late to realize that you should have just found yourself a succession of stray cats.