Her phone loves me, Her phone loves me NOT
I hate technology sometimes.
Watching Kung Fu movies to fall asleep…
Man of Tai Chi. Keanu Reeves. Evil Chinese. I can feel my eyes growing heavy already… It’s time to go to bed, and I am ready. Not feelin’ to heady, and my eyes gettin’ a lil heavy.
I guess Keanu is the bad guy.
No more morpheus and the ability to fly.
Nah, unlike Neo, this guy’s meant to die.
Tiger gonna move like a butterfly
Sting like a bee,
Gonna keep swinging until he hits me
Gets me and beats me, no fee
This ass whooping I receive for free
But the story progresses, and Tiger’s fired
Keanu has a bloothooth, not wired.
Tiger keeps winning, he’s obviously not tired
He keeps swinging those fists until he’s hired
This diddy is getting a little silly.
It’s now time for bed, do you think you feel me?
And if you don’t, no worries, you can’t see
All of these things that keep me from being free
The anxiety, the fear, and the cold shoulder
At first they were flaws, but now I’m getting older
And with age comes wisdom and power
Now my flaws will help construct this ivory tower
A place to go, to meditate, to learn
A place for which my heart will always yearn
So peaceful, so quiet, no stress to churn
Yet deep in the quiet, a strong flame does burn
It motivates and lifts my spirits
Knowing no one else dare come near it
You fear what you don’t know, ignorant
Foreign to these lands, straight immigrant
Let me show you the ropes, teach you the ways
After so much exposure, nothing stays
The same. Gravity keeps us grounded, feet planted firmly
Michael Sam ain’t straight so that make him curly?
After having acquiesced to the notion that I will never be anything that I want to be, or do anything that I truly want to do, that I am a victim of my environment, my times, and my genetics, I found quite some peace in being able to just be free, be myself, and let go of all these silly feelings and thoughts that were holding me back. I have longed to be a writer. Dreamt of it, day and night, talked about it, wrote about it, and for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to stick. It seems like a destiny or a journey a planet’s length away, and my chances of launching some kind of rudimentary device to get there intact is slim-to-fucking-zero. But knowing it’s out there, and I’ve had some successful launches to areas nearby, to complete the analogy, I realized, “Who really cares if I fail or succeed?” Honest. No one. If I fail, my friends and family and environment around me will encourage me to continue writing and sharing my warped thoughts. If I succeed, well, holy fuck, why are we reading this dreadful, sob-story? Let’s get to that good sci-fi or fantasy writing that got you all hooked on my style in the first place…
So why am I writing? That’s a fair question, and one I’ve asked myself a lot lately, or actually, why am I NOT writing? Because for the longest time, I didn’t feel like I had anything to share. And anything that I could share would be dismissed as boring or pedantic (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word in a natural sentence. See, maybe I am destined for this) so I’ve naturally kept every thought and inkling to myself out of some irrational fear that this one thing that I might be good at, I’m really not good at. I wasn’t great at most of my other jobs: Jamba Juice, GameStop out of high school, gift wrapper at Shane Co., guy who trained disabled veterans to use computers, bouncer/bar-back, and my last job, the guy who recommended you which strain of weed to get. Technically, I have something published, although since the website it was published for was taken down, I doubt it exists anywhere on the internet anymore. Shame. So the work I did have published is unsearchable, and the website I interned for has moved on to another domain name, basically making it seem like I have no experience writing. But, the honest truth is I have been writing my whole life. I would get bored in physics class, and write a short story about some character I had in a Vampire the Masquerade role-playing game, which I will explain later, if given the chance. Even before that, I was writing stories in my head every day. Stories about how I was dying, or drowning, or suffocating because of anthrax (during a more pronounced panic attack, I was almost certain I had been exposed to anthrax, all thanks to a university class I was taking on toxicology and poisons. Sigh.), and they were all fiction, because none of that happened as evidenced by my still being here. As I’m writing this, I realize how gullible I must be: to believe the same fictitious detailing of my imminent demise over, and over, and over, every day, by the same narrator, in the same panicked tone, and to believe it with certainty. To know that I am dying, and this is the thing that is going to be the thing to kill me, whatever it happens to be that day, yesterday it was probably a combination of not eating, being out and about in waiting rooms all day or on the road waiting in traffic, and then coming home and smoking a copious amount of weed (my medicine) before slamming an entire Chipotle burrito, the only thing I had and did eat all day. When my body is introduced to that foreign energy, it always reacts in a precarious manner, like if you fueled your car and when you tapped the gas, it reacted as if you slammed it down to the floor and goes flying forward; it feels like, over the course of the seventeen years that I’ve been dealing with this, that whenever I introduce food, or caffeine, or a super racy Sativa like Trainwreck, my body is overloaded with energy and my nervous system acts out by overreacting: sweaty palms, accelerated breathing, increased heart rate, I feel nervous, my thoughts begin to turn inwards and I begin to analyze every part of my being and consciousness until I find something wrong and lock onto it. Could be a dry mouth, a sore throat, an aching arm or back, or worst, my chest. Maybe I haven’t drank enough water and I’m dehydrated, so I begin to have a headache. My mind immediately associates the headache with something awful: brain an heurism, stroke, migraine, but really it’s just a mild headache more often than not and it passes with time or some Advil/Ibuprofen. I’ve had to train myself, every day, to recognize these feelings of doom, process that they’re actually incorrect interpretations of what’s going on with my body and what I’m feeling, and finally convince myself, I’m not dying, I’m just having my 10,578th panic attack. Part of me likes to believe there are others out there just like me, with similar problems and similar feelings that they are struggling with every day, just like me. Part of me wants to be that beacon of light, that guide to help those that are lost to the surface, so they can enjoy this beautiful thing called life and not be so reliant on where or how a panic attack is going to hit them, because that’s all I used to worry about. I would panic about getting a panic attack. I still do, who am I kidding, because for me, that is the worst outcome, and I would rather die. It would be less painful, and it would be over, no more panic attacks, no more anticipating the unanticipateable (I know it’s not a word. Deal with it.), just peace, or nothing, which is the opposite of what I have now, which is chaos. There is a war raging within and every day is a control to make sure it doesn’t break through to the surface and make me lock up or freeze up. And the only reason I am writing this is to give a sense to others who may have friends or family who have panic attacks, but have no idea what the hell to do or how to act around them while that’s occurring. I am writing this in the hopes it sheds some light to the plight of our people, and that just because there isn’t an open, visible wound that you can see, touch, smell, taste (please don’t taste wounds), does NOT mean that the person isn’t hurting and needing help (I know, the double negative makes it confusing). On the outside, I am a perfectly healthy twenty-nine year old male; on the inside, I am a scared child who has been running from the shadow of a monster so long he’s forgotten what he’s actually running from and now starting to ask questions and size this beast up. And it hurts when that pain isn’t recognized. Before I got laid off from my last job due to budgetary concerns, we had an open meeting where team members are allowed to suggest things. At this dispensary, they have all these wonderful programs: cancer compassion, AIDS/Chron’s compassion, food closet for the hungry, and I just saw today free cannabis oil for children who suffer from seizures. Lots of good stuff. But I wanted to ask what we were doing as a facility for people with mental health disorders, so I raised my hand, waited my turn, and did, and it offended me so badly that we were willing to discuss the pros and cons of truly trivial protocol procedures, but the topic of mental health wasn’t worthy of more than a “That would be too complicated to verify”. So there you have it. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it or sense it with your worldly perceptions, the person must be faking it or have such a terrible problem, you’re not even sure you’re equipped to deal with it yourself. And that’s where we are in America. We know we have this problem, we know veterans killing themselves back here at home and on the battlefield is a problem, we know “crazy” young people armed with firearms who are going into public places and killing innocent people is a problem, we know those who are so indoctrinated into religious zealotry that they would wish harm and death upon others simply because of their lifestyle is a problem, but more than anything, we want to associate the cause with the symptoms: yeah, he was acting out in class, he wasn’t showing up, he stayed up all night playing video games and not focusing on school, but yeah, if it weren’t for those goddamned easily accessible guns, maybe we would have avoided this problem. Do I have the answer? Fuck no. I have no idea how to treat or deal with every single psychological or mental disorder in the DSM, but I do know exclusion is not the way to go. “Oh, I don’t know anything about this topic and it makes me uncomfortable, so I will just ignore it and discuss something I do know, like guns.” Well, welcome to my world, where I am uncomfortable every day, and in my own skin. Just because I am uncomfortable, should I not be allowed to live? Is my existence of discomfort not worthy? And when I am dealing with this discomfort, is it wrong that I should choose to go about in my own way, given that no one has ever experienced it like I have or ever will? Would it not make sense that I would be ultimate gate keeper to who or what happens in my body since ultimately I am the only one that feels it? People with other mental disorders act out; they hear voices, they see things, they process the world in a different way than you or I, and some instances, they can be dangerous, to themselves or others. I have an incredibly brave friend who was courageous enough to come forward to me and my friends during a nightly role-playing session and tell us he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, had been committed to a psych ward, and at one point, had tried to kill himself.
It still shocks me to this day because of the type of person I have always perceived him to be. But him telling me that changed everything, because before that, his outlandish behavior and his quirks were just some funny thing for me and the boys to laugh about because of how uncomfortable they made us feel. Needless to say we don’t laugh or mock him anymore, and never would have since he was just our goofy DnD friend who happened to like to hum to himself on occasion, or when he had one soda, he had to have six. What fascinates me even more is last week he ran his first story where he was the story teller and we were the characters in his story/world, and I thought he did a fantastic job, let alone for a first time. Before this revelation, these were just little games we played, a way to pass some time with some friends and have some mutual, non-destructive fun doing it. But now, it is so much more. It’s a chance for this friend to come out of his shell, for me to come out of my shell, and to experience things together that we would never have a chance to experience otherwise. It’s beautiful and I wouldn’t trade our role-playing sessions for anything, as I know how powerful they are in self-discovery for me and my friend. Love you, Drew.
I used to have these visions of being free, doing what I wanted to do. In these visions, I would be in interesting places, talking to interesting people about relevant and fascinating subjects. I wasn’t the center of attention, but I wasn’t so marginalized that my thoughts and feelings were negligent. These dreams would keep me going, keep me writing, keep me on “my grind” but lately, there’s nothing to grind. Any edge I had has been worn down to a dull point, so that instead of piercing through things like I used to, I’m finding myself having to bludgeon my way through obstacles. And I’m tired. I’m worn down. I’m close to giving up and throwing my hands skyward.
I know I don’t do anything all day, at least by your standards. I’m not sitting on a fat account. There are no houses or properties that I will be closing ESCROW on any time soon. Just student-loan debt, cell phone bills, and the daily need to feed myself. I’d rather go without food, to be honest, with my stomach as messed up as it is, and all the stress tearing at my insides making me feel like food falls right through me. But I go through the motions anyways. I think the realization has hit me that I won’t ever be anything. You’ll never read my words and gain inspiration, I’ll never feel that life fulfillment that comes with being good at something. Doubt and anxiety are my companions through it all, and as needy as I may be, I can’t think of two sensations I’ve felt a need for less than those two. I know the seriousness of my situation. I know that if I don’t land a serious job/career here in a little bit, my life will be perma-fucked, and I’ll be lucky to one day have a house to call my own. It’s frustrating to know how wonderful this world could be, how many opportunities could be waiting for me, but with how far away everything seems, I can’t help but admit I’m drowning and there’s no way out but to drown.
Maybe I can swim to safety. Maybe someone will throw me a life preserver. I hate this feeling. I hate this hopeless sensation that is overwhelming me and taking me over. I hate how weak you make me feel and how eagerly you remind me how fucked I am. Everyday I awake to this burning deep in the core of me. This thing that tells me hurry, move, get your ass up and move or these flames will take you over and reduce you to a pile of ash. I’ve been burning for I don’t know how long so maybe a dive into the deep end will do me good. That’s what I keep telling myself through all of this. This is good for you, you need to be reminded how things can be, how things are. And for awhile, it was enough to keep me motivated and positive, keep me pushing and wading through the daily mountain of bullshit you have to wade through just to keep your sanity. But lately, day by day, incidence by incidence, it’s like there is nothing sacred anymore. There is no sure thing, there is no clear path as to what you’re supposed to do or who you’re supposed to become. I used to so clearly know exactly who I wanted to be and how I wanted to be that person, but now, I just feel like I don’t have the tools to do anything that I really want to do.
Let’s say I really did want to write as a profession; where would I even start? Just write, they say. Don’t stop writing. Live, eat, and breathe writing. Don’t put the pen down. But I don’t even know what to write. Does this count? Is this inane rambling good enough to qualify as writing? I honestly don’t think it is. I don’t think anyone cares, honestly, what I have to say or how I say it. I don’t think anyone but me wants to me to succeed at this. Call me selfish. Call me a loser who can’t acknowledge the people supporting him and holding him up. But you know what you won’t do? You won’t tell me how much you enjoyed my writing and how disappointed you are that I don’t write anymore. You won’t tell me that you can’t WAIT for me to end this story I’m writing, or how you need to know how it ends. People tell me I write brilliantly, but, what exactly am I writing? To me, this feels like some pre-pubescent’s high school diary, complaining about how this isn’t working or that person isn’t feeling them. I want to tell myself to get the fuck over it. Who the fuck cares what people do to support or not support your writing. You didn’t start writing because people like it. You didn’t start writing because you wanted people to read what you wrote. You started writing because YOU enjoyed it, and it was a release for you to explain what was going on in that chaotic little head of yours. So why does the need for a plot or story change that? Why can’t I just do this and enjoy it? Why do I have to become successful or known from this? Is it because I fear working a dead end job for the rest of my life? Am i afraid that I’m destined to be a blue collar worker for the rest of my life, surviving in between odd jobs and favors? I know next saturday I’ll be bouncing just because I need income. I know that the degree I earned, that I EARNED, won’t be used during that 8+ hour shift of yelling at co-eds to keep their drinks off arcade games or cleaning puke out of a bathroom stall. All that degree does is remind me of what I should be doing with my life, how much money I should be earning, and how much I gambled with on those to assumptions.
So fuck. My girlfriend wants to tell me about her boss and how they know each other so well that he can finish a story of hers two words in, how they can hang out at a lake where she can grab a dip in the water while he presumably watches and perhaps even joins her. I don’t think she’s cheating on me, I hope she isn’t, but for fuck’s sake, how often do I have to be reminded of how much I don’t know you or how I’m not someone else in her life. I swear to god I feel like I know her ex better than I know myself sometimes. But she’s a sweet girl, and she’s young. She treats me right and she doesn’t have that superficial vibe that I can’t cater to at the moment. Yeah babe I’d love to buy you a house and car to go with that diamond ring but my loan payment is too high and I need enough money to feed myself so, how about some subway instead?
Feelin’ some hopeless
Tryin’ to smoke the dope less
But without the smoke, I feel a mess
An angry monster in distress
It don’t matter, no one cares
From the bottom, its a long flight of stares
Full of self doubting and despair
Like you want to sit down but life’s already pulled that chair
So whatever, who’s got time to sit?
Never enough time to deal with all this shit
And this drama, like a tight shirt that don’t fit
Chokin’ on the stale air feelin like a misfit
Cause freedom tastes so fresh and sweet
Serfdom done ruined my feet,
Blistered broken and ready to bleed
Sometimes I wish you’d just end me
Stop making me suffer through this endless charade
No relief in sight, all night and day
Just pain, which you pay to play
Can’t stand it? That’s okay.
This too shall pass, they say
But then comes the next day, with the same fate
The same problems just a different date
Yet all you want is a little escape
A little relief from the disappointment, the shame
Knowing you’re fucked but what’s to blame?
You, and your lack of fame?
Your inability to conquer and lay claim?
What you want isn’t coming to you
Instead of rolling in green, you drown in the blue
Depression, anxiety, misunderstandings to name a few
Searching for answers, all you need is a clue
A reason, a path, an adventure to start
These cloudy skies will one day part
And the light will you hit you so bright it’s blinding
Embrace the warmth til it’s binding
These days won’t last
Your pain will be your past
So, before you denounce man and become an outcast
Look up to the sky kid, life can be a blast
Anonymous said: It says ask anything. Can I ask for your number? I've read everything on your page and love it, I've also seen some of your other sites and find you for lack of better words you are hot. Maybe we could exchange photos get to know each other?
You sound quite possibly fake :I
I Need This
I need you. An audience. Otherwise I’m just telling stories to myself. Which, don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind them. I think they’re good stories. Entertaining stories. But they’re just glimpses and flashes. A scene here. A character development there. Some kind of possible ending or scene that ties up all the horrible and nasty and awful things to turn them into something beautiful and majestic and wholesome.
But I’ve been broken for the past couple months. It’s a long story and perhaps I’ll tell it another time, but the energy and time involved with that side of life drew me away from this, which is what I need. I can no longer afford to sit around idly and neither invest time or efforts into something I so clearly need to be working on. Some people go their whole lives without receiving a compliment about an action or skill or talent they may possess. I’ve had the direct pleasure of multiple people telling me they ENJOY my writing. They come back for it. They subscribe to my channel, but, this makes me shy somehow, like someday I’ll say something that will make them decide in their head I was nothing to enjoy to begin with. This fear, this anxiety, has driven me my whole life. Everything I do or don’t do is a result of standing up to some fear or acquiescing to it. And it’s exhausting. It really is. To doubt everything you do..
Something, someone is telling me to doubt this no longer. It doesn’t matter if I write about video games or sex or movies/tv shows or quirky interactions I have with people in life or some made up fantasy about people that don’t exist in worlds that aren’t ours, and yet, for a moment, all of these can be interesting and draw you in because, me? Yes. Me. I have to write. No one else is going to do it for me. No one is going to come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and say, “Kid, you should write one of them space drama novels! The youth really loves them these days!” And don’t worry, kids, one of those is already in the works, but really, I have to just remain disciplined and keep at it or else this skill, like so many others, will slip by the way side and I’ll be reduced to someone who never was.
I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to do the things I do, be able to enjoy the things I enjoy, and still be around to share my experiences and hopefully provoke a little bit of thought. So, I need you. It’s gone beyond wanting to write for the fun of it. I am not the same person when I don’t write. I don’t feel any hope or joy getting up; just worry, self-doubting, and self-shaming, which I am great at. None of these things do it for my anymore, though, and I’m ready to start trying at something again.
So many topics to choose from. For awhile I wanted to try my hand at some steamy erotica, but I don’t really have an outlet for it as I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable sharing it here. I want to go back to The Henchman of The Princess and Her Knight, but I’d have to re-read them to get back in the mood, and quite frankly it’s awkward to re-read my own stuff. I don’t enjoy doing it. I’m so damned critical. But I have to get back in the habit of doing that too.
Since I can’t decide on which old story to work on or were to progress to, I’m going to cop out and basically chronicle my friend James’ role-playing game. The premise is we’re all people chosen to board a giant spaceship with a brand-spanking new technology that’s going to slingshot us across the galaxy/universe to an inhabitable planet like 33 years worth of travel away. So naturally we’re going to be frozen for the trip, the ship is like a giant freezer with thousands of humans, and then start a new life on this planet. For my character, I was thinking he’d be a botanist, cause, well, knowing plant life would be kind of useful on a foreign planet, right? Also, I was thinking he’d bring some plants from earth that would help us self-sustain until we figured out if there was anything we could eat while they’re there. But, even though my character was a botanist, he was mostly going to be masquerading as one. His real character profile is he’s a spy from the USA made to ensure that the planet has a USA influence. No one’s calling my new city/town/planet New Moscow or China II. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know that weeks prior a fellow player had talked to the game master and arranged to also be a botanist, so, inadvertently I stole his character makeup and forced him into a tech-y role. Sorry Adam. My other comrades were of various backgrounds, mostly from USA, except one, Scott, who always plays “unique” character types.
That’s the setup. Humans signed up to travel into space to setup a new planet, a new way of life, far, far away from the Planet Earth…
Anonymous said: I've seen you around and think you're so cute! Are you single?
I’ve been thinking about this question for a lot. At least a few times a day. I don’t know if it’s the Catfish episodes I’ve been watching lately, the depression, or some kind of spiritual awakening but for me the more I think about this the more confused I am.
So let me simplify. Yes, I am seeing someone. I like this someone very much and would have a hard time walking away from them. I don’t know what our future holds other than a fair amount of uncertainty. She’s emotionally unavailable and I find myself reaching out to other people who actually enjoy communicating with me throughout the day/week and not just an hour before they want to come over and get some. I feel a sense of loyalty and duty to close myself off to others, but it just makes me a shell of a person. She doesn’t ask me how my day is; only wishes me a good one. We chat some in person when we hang out but I can’t help but notice how alone I feel when she’s not around. I find myself checking my phone for messages and am usually disappointed.
So, yes, I am otherwise involved with someone. But the extent of our involvement and extent for which she cares about me is making me doubt myself. Also.. Who notices me around town and then finds this blog? I haven’t posted here much lately.. I don’t even think she reads this. If I wake up tomorrow without a text, should be obvious. Either way, I’m one lost puppy.
My Neat Mess
I don’t remember creating you, and yet there you are. Starring me back in the eye. Try harder, you say. Try at all, you say. But here I am, doubting myself, pacing frantically back and forth inside the cell that is my head. I’m alive, but I’m not living. I’m moving, but I’m not progressing. Stagnation. Stale thoughts. Decay. All the things I fear forming before me.
But I just keep pacing along, waiting for some sign, some miracle, some Manna from Heaven to trickle down and set my world on fire. This slow burn of frustration and futility is starting to burn me out; can you be the spark to jump start my heart? Can you be that bolt of inspiration that sets me free?
I’m begging you. Unleash me upon the world for I grow wary of cages. Look to me and I won’t lead you on. This is the world we live in, and with chivalry dead or dying, you wouldn’t spare a knight his one last smoke, would you? Very well. Let’s do this.
kaliiwashere said: hang in there buddy <3 I'm proud of you for standing up for your hard work! XD
Thanks :D Same to you! Hope you feel better!
Anonymous said: Who has been your most enjoyable sex partner and why? (no names needed)
She’s unselfish. She’s passionate and she’s got stamina from what I imagine involves morning runs with her dog. It’s interesting that you would ask a question that begins with who but doesn’t end or include a name, so, I’m not sure what you want. Maybe a description of her physical features? She’s been my most enjoyable sex partner because she wants me to get off as much as I want her to, and she lets me know when she wants something or when to move a hand from here to there; pretty much all those things I’ve wished past partners have told me because I’ve never owned a female body, let alone yours, and I don’t know how to push your buttons unless you give me several test runs OR some feedback. Hope that answers your question.
Anonymous said: 916.346.6735... Lee ann, from chipotle. :)
Anonymous said: How is life?
You know, it has it’s ups and it’s downs. More often than not I’m confused, but I get along. Not really where I stand, which is a horrible feeling, but I know when one door closes, another opens, and so forth so, I’m just trying to keep busy, keep my head down and just power through this next few weeks til things become a little clearer. How’s yours?
I don’t think I know how to write anymore.
Maybe once, for awhile, I think I had it figured out. At least, for m writing style. Just sit back, relax, and let the fingers do all the dancing across the keyboard. There wasn’t much thought or anticipating, like tuning into a random show on a random station that for some reason, after some time, relates to you and keeps you interested. Maybe I’m not so much interested in what I have to say as much as I am interested in the process.
Let me be more clear: I cannot control how you view me, or my petty, trying words. I cannot make you like me, or make you like what I do. I can’t make you do anything. I just have to hope that at the end of the day, I’m not the bad guy. Why would someone who is so nice be worried about that?
Simply, because I’ve spent my whole life NOT trying to stand out and NOT trying to be the guy that everyone pitied or loathed or despised. Now that I think of it, I don’t know what I want people to think of me. I guess it doesn’t really matter, it only matters what I think of me, and I think I’ve been too quiet for too long.
My grandmother, Hedwig Kazlikowski (i think thats how you spell it) passed away on Friday, 7/27/2013. She was the self-proclaimed fastest coil winder. When I’d drive her to eye appointments or to various doctor’s offices, she’d always tell me the same stories about her days as a coil winder during, what I presume, would be World War 2. Apparently she was so gifted, all her other peers and co-workers envied her and wished for her demise behind her back. Now, I never heard why she stopped winding coil, or what lead her onto bigger and better things, maybe to marry and raise a family with my grandfather, but in any case, she held onto that story. That was her story, and bring up any form of coil winding in front of her, and bam, say goodbye to at least fifteen minutes.
When she passed, when I tried to say goodbye to her, to myself because I didn’t get to see her in the hospice care or in the emergency room because I was too busy working and she had had multiple scares like this before. For years and years she would go on insisting to myself, my father, and I’m sure anyone who would listen, that she was “ready”, and she wanted to be with her husband, Ted. But none of that eased the shock when I found out she had passed. I can’t even really remember the last time I saw her. That makes me angry. At myself.
Other things I’m angry at: while we, my immediate family and my mother’s side of the family, were sitting down eating at my father’s favorite local italian bistro, my uncle decided to engage me in the standard “catching up” that we humans, or rather, Americans, tend to do with one another after prolonged absences. “How are you?” “How have you been?” “Do you have a girlfriend?” “What are you doing for work?”
We get to this last one, and before I get to my answer and the ensuing dilemma, let me just say that my mother’s side of the family is EXTREMELY conservative. They were raised super Catholic, with more crucifixes than light switches in their home. Simple fun, travelling, an occasional glass of wine, no smoking, no swearing (not really, maybe a little..), but generally speaking, pretty “normal” people with good jobs and proper families. That having been said, my mother’s side of the family has a tendency to be very “catty” for lack of a better word, and before you can ask, “What’s going on meow?” let me get to the story.
My Uncle: “So, what are you doing for work besides working for USA Today?”
Me: “I really enjoy the opportunity that USA Today is providing for me, but unfortunately it doesn’t provide enough money for me to cover the costs of my college tuition, so I work as a manager at an alternative medicine facility where I help patients, maintain the patients’ files on the system, welcome them to our facility, train new staff, and so on. It’s a very active—”
My Aunt, who has been eyeing me sideways from just to my uncle’s right, decides to chime in with a: “Alternative medicine? I though you worked at a weed shop?”
I’m just shocked. I never told her that. I wasn’t speaking with her. I was talking and having a conversation with my uncle, and, with her seventeen year old son sitting right next to our uncle but on the other side, she thought maybe it was a good time to discuss the positive sides of medicinal marijuana, as you know I wasn’t going to take that fight sitting down. Admittedly she caught me off guard and maybe I stumbled for a second, but I quickly recovered, and in between gulps of his frosty beer, I could see he was opening up to the idea that I might not be a complete and total scumbag drug-dealer type. Meanwhile, my aunt minds her business and continues on with other conversations. But it brings me to my point: Yes, I work at a medicinal marijuana dispensary, and yes, I enjoy my work. No, I don’t smoke/medicate at work, nor do I lounge around eating cheetos and snacking on pizza all day, either. My dispensary serves over 500 patients a day, on busier days, and closer to 400 on average. Not only is it the first job that offered me a full time position since the economic collapse, it’s also the first job that’s allowed me to progress and advance to the ranks of management where I am getting tons of valuable hands-on experience. I love the opportunity I have to work for these fine folks, but goddammit, what we do isn’t exactly 100% accepted. We have more work to do. And the one thing that I want to have control of is to be able to explain to people who I am and what I do on my own time. I don’t want someone else to sit there and explain to someone else who I am, with a casual term, some throwaway 60’s/70’s’ terminology: doper, reefer-head, hippie.
I am a hard working young man. I work 40 hours a week, and I’ve interned for the past year. I’ve worked with veterans, disabled, homeless, cancer survivors, AIDS victims, mentally disabled/handicapped, and some people who were just dealt a shit hand. I work out when I can, and try to eat as healthy as possible because I don’t have a gallbladder anymore and that really limits what I should put in my body. I’m passionate, and feel strongly for people who are wronged and marginalized, but I know that more often than not, I am powerless to do anything. But you know what, not this time. This time I can do something, because I know I am not the only person who subscribes to the fact that medicinal marijuana is something that is productive and useful and not something that earns you the stigma attached to a prison convict or hardcore junkie.
When you marginalize what I do by saying, “Oh, he just works at a marijuana shop” you marginalize the relief and the success the hundreds of patients I’ve helped in the eight years that I’ve been there. You say what I do, you tell me the results and the positive feedback I’ve seen with my own eyes, is meaningless and destructive like referring to a pharmacist as someone who slangs pills, when we both know, they do so much more than that.
To the forty year old patient who just found out two weeks ago he has stage four lung cancer, I say come back anytime, and I would love to discuss which edibles are going to be the most effective on helping you put some weight back on, negate some of the chemo treatment nausea, and maybe, just maybe, turn your head off long enough so you can get some honest to god sleep. Let me also tell you not to worry about what your friends may say, because the true ones will be happy to see you feeling better and the false friends will make their personal grievances a concern for your health. But worry not, as you’ve come to the right place.
To the twenty something with Chron’s, keep your chin up. I know how hard it is when your stomach doesn’t feel right and you have to be cautious about what you eat, and how that makes others feel in your presence. I went on a date once with a beautiful girl who was oft-put because I only ate half my dive-bar cheeseburger and not all of it, which made her feel like she was fat. We didn’t have a second date after that. But others have come into my life, who don’t care how empty or full my plate is when we’re done eating; they’re just happy to be sitting across from me at all. Don’t forget to be yourself, even if it’s silly, goofy, “weird”, whatever. Normal is like living life in black and white when you have HD waiting at your fingertips. Embrace your uniqueness, and remember from pain comes strength.
And to the rest of you who don’t know why you smoke, or why you feel the way you do when you do, don’t worry about it. These things tend to have a way about them. I didn’t start until I was twenty-two, and didn’t really embrace “alternative medicine” until my mid-twenties. I didn’t know Trainwreck from Bubba Kush. I thought honey’s were something you ate, and I thought all stoners were the same. But we’re not.
We’re all different. I don’t know if my grandma would be proud or ashamed of my actions, but I do know some of the elderly women that have come in that have reminded me of my grandmother have usually walked away smiling/happy with their care. And, at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters to me. I’m no rockstar. I’m twenty-eight and live at home with my parents. I am so saddled with debt, with my 22.5k a year salary that I don’t see myself moving out or starting my own life for at least a couple more years, but at least I got that Economics degree that I’m putting to good use.
I was having trouble getting to sleep but we’re approaching 5am and I think enough is enough. Thanks for reading, those of you who still do. You’re my silent, engaged audience, and while I write this for me, I do also write it for you so that you can share in my life. However, if you ever find yourself tempted to share a fact about me in a conversation you’re not involved in, maybe it’s best you just go ahead and keep that one to yourself. I wanted to say something mean but she is after all family. And after wednesday, they’ll all be gone. Or so I’m told.
Guess we’ll find out.
We’ve Come A Long, Long Way
More than anything, tonight, I just wanted to sit down and actually write for once. I’ve been so focused and committed to my internship and my job that I haven’t really had time to work on my writing as much as I would have hoped. I find myself getting irritated when people ‘edit’/’correct’ my writing because they usually insist it’s just small grammatical stuff, but I’m always, in my head, like Nope, I like my way better, but just outwardly nod and go with whatever they’re saying. I too am human and make mistakes, I suppose. Maybe I’ve made mistakes in the past, labeling things as this or that. Right now, all I can say is I’m in a better place today than I was a year ago at this time. I remember the desperation sinking in, feeling like I was stuck at my job, driving miles away to do a job a monkey could do, but there I was, chipping away at my college loan debt because unknowingly to me, the moment I graduated and got my degree, I had become an indentured servitude looking at economic collapse and a bunch of employers who wanted no part of what I had to bring.
But some folks took a chance on me, and now, I feel like my life is actually moving in a positive, corrective direction instead of a self-destructive or even stagnant approach. I’m making progress, I’m helping folks, I’m giving back to my community, I’m covering my favorite sports teams, I’m finally developing confidence and trust in myself to get things done and achieve things I thought otherwise in-achievable.
Work finally saw the strength and consistency in my demeanor and I’ve been given a chance to manage some employees that used to be coworkers. Unfortunately, now, I find myself wanting to hang out with them and tell them how proud I am of their efforts and how much I appreciate what they bring to the table individually, but new work policy requires me to maintain a professional relationship with these people, which means no fraternizing with them after work. I used to be able to swing by a coworkers house and relax for a couple hours before heading home, but now I say good night, barely get a reply, and zip myself home so I can at least enjoy some rest. I do regret not being able to let my guard down around people I would consider friends but I feel like at the end of the day, this “promotion” will be a good thing and help with my overall growth as a human being, professionally and personally. I’m excited at the challenges to come although I can already tell there are going to be some tough, confrontational situations I am not going to like having to deal with, but hey, that’s what I agreed to sign up for, so it’s only fair I don’t complain and do my best to handle each situation to my utmost capabilities.
Maybe some day I’ll get to share some of the stories and things I witness on a day-in, day-out basis, but as is, with wiretapping and digital profiling/cataloging, I think it’s in everyone’s best interest if I keep what we do to myself and compile some kind of comprehensive writings after a good “stopping” point, which I don’t forsee anytime soon. All I can really say for now is I love what I am doing and I am so grateful for the opportunity to prove myself. Things like this don’t come around very often for me, and I know deep down I worked my ass off to get this chance. I remember walking in and looking at my boss and thinking some day, I’m going to have your job, and I’m not going to be the asshole that you are. I do have the job, but unfortunately being an asshole is just part of the territory.
Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes you just might get it.
Bend, Don’t Break
There’s this energy that seems to follow me everywhere I go, and no matter what type of accomplishments I think I may have acquired or accolades earned, I always feel like there’s something I’m not doing, and I’m 99.5% confident that something is THIS. I always feel like I need to be writing or should be writing or should be reading more so I get a more rounded, more diversified tool shed when it comes to telling my own stories, but instead, all I do is work. Even when I’m not at my job, I’m thinking about work. I’m thinking about things I can do to improve my own situation. I think about all the little intricacies that go into my office workplace dynamics: high-turnover, questionable morale grounding, and high volume. I came to terms long ago that I was dispendable there. My first week, I told myself I’d be proud if I made it a week. And then the same after a month. And then after three months. Now, I’m approaching my six month mark, and approaching it quickly. My internship is more than half-way through; as far as I remember, playoffs start next month, and that’ll be the busiest time of the year for me in that regards, probably. I like my income, I like the areas I’m working in; I just hate working for individuals that feel they can talk down to me and make me their own personal mouth piece. That’s what I’ll be because I have to be, and in this stupid, broken, and mal-aligned economy. There are no other jobs. These are my jobs. I have to do these things or else what am I? A nobody loner with an anxiety disorder and a propensity to medicate a lot..
That bothers me though, and I’ll tell you why. I remember what I was like before “medicating” ever came into my life. Before the prescription pills, the experiments with alcohol and cannabis: before all of that, all I would do is stay in my room and play video games all day. I would desperately seek to crawl into another story line or universe in which I was anyone but myself. It wasn’t because I didn’t like myself or I didn’t enjoy this world, it was that I was suffering through an extraordinary amount of pain with no way out. So I made a way out. I played video games and read books and played role-playing games. The usual competitive me that played basketball, soccer, baseball, football, participated in Karate (purple belt, bitches), natural swimmer, etc.. no longer wanted to do any of those things, COULDN’T do any of those things, so I turned to the only thing I could: stories. Love stories, war stories, ancient stories, fictional stories, and in those stories, I found something that I could not find within myself. I found a certain strength and perseverance that allowed me to turn each page knowing full well there might be some pages better than others. Knowing that the good guy was always going to get roughed up, beat down, told “No”, that he was worthless, just another grain of sand among billions, before he ever stood up for himself and decked that evil son of a bitch villain right in the chin. I’ve worked for several people now. Women bosses, men bosses, bosses that were related to me, bosses that were older than me, bosses that were younger than me. I’ve had bosses that knew me very well, and bosses that didn’t care to take a moment to get to know me or my name. And the one thing I’ve learned from all these “upper management” folk is I don’t want to have a boss for the rest of my life. Lord knows life’s scary enough with certain things looming your shoulder every day, but I think having a person or a group of people checking in on my well being and looking to censor any slip ups before I make them disturbs me. I want to make mistakes. I want to fail. I want my first stories to suck and turn people off. That’s all part of the process. What I don’t need is someone to remind me the importance of each failure and how my failures affect them. I know. That’s what you’ll never understand. All you have to do is point out I made the mistake. My mind and poor self-esteem will take care of the rest. You throwing fuel onto the fire by pointing out how you’d like things to be done going forward or how important it is that I “stay in front” of things only makes me more nervous and more likely to mess up in the future.
I know who I am. I like who I am. I understand who I am. And while I can put a shit eating grin on my face while you chide me, I just want you to know I’m taking notes the whole time and plotting my escape. You may have me as your man for now, but don’t be fooled: you can’t buy loyalty outright; you earn it.
Honestly, I don’t know how long it will take, when it’s going to happen, or what will be the subject to get me off this shit island but, I know that I won’t stop trying. You have me bound today, but look out your window soon enough and see me soar. I refuse to live a mediocre life. I refuse to accept this as my reality. I will not be your ‘yes man’.
But still, where do I start? So many areas, so many subjects, so many different angles to consider… It really does leave me exhausted when I pull back to look at it all, so, let’s start somewhere and focus in on what comes first. Me. Writing. Me writing, what? Me writing about… work? Me writing about… love, or lack thereof? Me writing about… me?
That would be slightly ironic. I pull myself out of everyone else’s stories to lose myself in my own, only to share that story with the world and make myself vulnerable from just about every angle. What do you say? I heard this ‘irony’ thing is all the rave these days…