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Sunday, April 24, 2016

threadbare

patterns that persist from chapter to chapter deserve special attention, for gaining insight and for making plans. this particular fucker deserves deliberate, strategic action. i can't force myself to believe it will ever cease entirely. and i can't do nothing in response, because it harms my friendships and hinders my progress. 

quarantining myself is a good choice on these occasions and i feel that's a good start. but i need more. i need to continue adding tools to this toolbox. i need cognitive flexibility, and consistent follow-through, to be and feel ready whenever it strikes. i need a distinct military subdivision that does nothing but wait around for this alarm to sound, so it can scramble all the fighters at the first sign of trouble. 



handling life is all about being prepared, and being prepared is all about forming new habits, habits that take care of me for me. and forming new habits requires me to focus on the process and keep the long term goals in mind, rather than dwelling on immediate circumstances. 

my immediate circumstances could have been different, if i'd only prepared for them. if i'd only done something good for myself before i really needed it. i wish that i didn't need so much so often, especially from people. i wish i could go back to being alone and still, without pain. i wish i could go back to who i was before valerie. i wish i could be not pathetic 

Monday, April 11, 2016

cat, i'm a kitty cat

i was gonna thank you over fb for yesterday evening, but i couldn't. i mean yeah one could, but should one?

most of the time, when i feel the need to wax belletristic, i expect some or all of the recipient[s] to be a little weirded out. i've been over-expressing myself since early high-school. people seemed to feel that i felt too strongly and too often, and even those who didn't think that, may have wished i didn't let nearly so much of it out into the open. but despite consistent, discouraging criticism over a long and formative time, i persist.

my skills have improved (by that i mostly mean my discretion)... but i still try to be careful, still feel hesitant, still expect blank stares and confused blinking and awkward silence. i think that's a big part of what drew & draws me to you: you don't respond that way. your reactions feel validating. when i refer to you as rare and valuable, remember that as one of the reasons.

anyway that's all some kind of #disclaimer. and now i have to add another one because this is the first time i've ever embedded an mp3 with a meaning that should not be taken as 100% relevant to its parent post. lot of 'firsts' in this chapter, i'm noticing. but yeah i'm'a pull a Reelika and i'm verimuch #sorrynotsorry for it. this blog is for me first, its intended audience second, and everyone else hella last.

~     ~     ~

i have always always disliked weddings. my own, others', small, big, whatever. i've enjoyed exactly two in my life. one was in Estonia.

and that seems to be a running theme, which is really interesting because every time people ask me about my plans and i mention emigration, a tiny voice i've been ignoring for many months now says something like this:

"in all your search for applicable wisdom, especially in the mind-over-matter category... in all your pursuit of zenfulness, haven't you ever wondered whether Estonia is merely one tangible expression of that which you want most? haven't you wondered whether you could find & create the essence of it here in California, even perhaps here in your hometown of F---no?

"you claim that you don't dance, and that you dislike weddings. yet you enjoy these things in two circumstances: one is Estonia. the other dominates just over half of your blog posts this year. what have we learnt?"

shti. now i have no choice but to respond, because really? dancing??? for over an hour. in public.

i allowed multiple. professional. photographers. to take pictures. of me. dancing. in. public.

...with a girl. a remarkable human female who apparently didn't not value the experience also.

oh man and i totally forgot to mention taking dance classes with that same girl. and she wasn't even under duress! the devil didn't make her do it! (guess i'm subbing for him. hmmm... good album name: "subbing for the kurat")

none of my past selves-- not even me from summer 2014-- would recognize me by my actions and experiences recently. they would ask who cloned me, and how the clone was modified to be half as lame, and whether the process was finished, and should they expect me to win some Nobel prizes or perform flawless rocket surgeries in my sleep for my next tricks.

and perhaps most or all of my blissful experiences in this chapter should be mostly or completely attributed to the graciousness of others. but either way, i have some gratitude to pour out.




i can't get all i need here. but i can, apparently, have more than i thought i could. just a little bit, just a little bit. speaking of things i need, if you ever have ideas for that phrase that cuts it, please share so i can use it in place of a lame old "gratitude" label.

#getsome

Sunday, April 10, 2016

kin

i can't let myself really write about this yet because if i do, i'll just stop functioning. the logical choice is to bottle it until i can actually do something about it. there just hasn't been a good opportunity, to help myself or to help you. but, don't think i'm not shaking like you were. we aren't exactly close friends but that doesn't seem to make any difference. i'm putting you in the way-back of my mind because it's the only way for me to accomplish anything right now. but my circumstantial alarm is set and i'm checking it constantly.

last night i had a dream that mom was driving all of us along the coast. she stopped paying attention to the road, and drove us off a cliff into the water. while the vehicle sank, my 'camera' zoomed in to 1st-person and i had to really push myself to focus instead of panicking. i was the first one to get a door open. after that i opened two more.

it took only ten seconds or so for the vehicle to submerge completely, but i pulled you out before it did, and everyone else followed.

the rest of the dream is less relevant to you specifically, but i remember that i was somehow strong enough to grab hold of the vehicle and pull it along with me while i swam to shore. barely. i even saved the dumb car.

everyone made it out.



if it doesn't make sense to you, well too bad, but i love you, to the point where i would have needed to throw up if i hadn't released this small measure of pressure. 

i'll come find you soon. please please don't not be there...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

the sixth or eighth layer

during my junior year of college, some very cool popular worship team musicians (with whom i was acquainted but not close) invited me to a worship concert. i foolishly accepted.

perhaps a thousand people packed the venue. i could have endured; i could have handled that, even as a 20-year-old with half the confidence i now possess. even lacking any close friends there, and even in my then-standard sleep-deprived state, constantly under pressure from someone or other to be more me than i was ready to be, i could have managed.

but the fact that everyone believed the concert was worship, was too much for me, so i ran out.

i had wisely, perhaps instinctively, chosen an aisle seat. i ran, out through the faux-yay and around in a u-turn, in search of a peaceful place, which turned out to be a children's playground. once there, alone and unable to hear anything except a faint electrical Bb and some distant highway traffic, comfortable under the sickly yellow light (though it was brighter than the auditorium) i felt i had escaped death-by-ten-thousand-of-jesse's-nails-digging-furrows-into-a-thousand-chalkboards. my lungs gleefully expanded again, and i began making mental notes to later share with my then-favorite, Andrew, who i knew would have no trouble understanding the sensation, despite my near certainty that he'd never felt that particular type of panic.

even then, it wasn't normal for me. i can count on three fingers the number of times i've experienced it. the first was maybe 1998 or so, at a family gathering, which should make sense to anyone who 1) has been through junior high, and 2) who's survived a Micurricane. 

that night at the Hillsong concert was the second.

the third was today, at BC's Pizza and Beer, in celebration of their 19th year of business.

~     ~     ~

this past weekend, i started to get sick... for the second time this year. [insert my usual rant about my immune system's kickassery here]. i handled it passably, especially considering i had to work on Tuesday, and went to the gym on Wednesday (and killed it). it wasn't quite as bad as my nearly-yearly case, but somehow this one twisted me up a little extra on the inside. still, i pushed through it using all of my new skills, and had planned to conclude my recovery process today.

perhaps i was already doomed since yesterday. it was so hot last night that i couldn't lie down, let alone sleep, until (with some inspirational assistance) i realized i could sleep in the cool air outside if i simply moved my mattress. i did so. i awoke at least once, but i went back to sleep quickly, and my total time was about 6 hours. it wasn't the best quality-- there are lights out there i can't turn off, and i needed headphones with music + white noise to dull the roar of the nearby airport-- but it would have sufficed, had today not been further ruined.

my first mistake was choosing not to mute my phone during late-morning naptime. it was a conscious choice, made with full lucid awareness of the potential consequences, which probably makes me even more culpable. confession would be one of this blog's labels if it weren't so common. enivei, i didn't make much progress, because sometimes i greedily place certain things above sleep on my customized pyramid hierarchy. 

my next mistake occurred around 1-something in the afternoon, when Shawn, who had escaped class early, needed a place to kill a few hours. i know enough about Shawn, and about his home life, to feel compassion toward him on a regular basis. i've offered a dozen times to let him crash at my place anytime he feels the need. he had never taken me up on that offer until today.

i had tasks that needed doing weeks ago, and had planned to take care of them today. instead Shawn came over (with a 5-minute heads-up), and Shawn is the kind of person who requires direct, conspicuous attention 99% of the time he spends with friends. he stayed and chatted with me (which, in other circumstances, would have been no big deal; it might even have been pleasant) until 4-something, when it was time for me to prepare for one of mine, Shawn, and Brandon's semi-usual nights of craft beer and good (well, delicious anyway) food.

except, tonight wasn't a usual anything. the establishment is celebrating another anniversary as i type this, and the growing popularity of craft beer (plus the growing popularity of BC's itself) meant standing room only. the free beer and pizza probably contributed to that as well.

on any other day this week, even my sick day, i think i would have done better. with just a few fewer things icing the shitcake, i could have made it. but kuradi saatus conspired:


  • just before Shawn arrived, i had experienced some strong, immature negative emotions that have still not receded, despite my quick, relatively mature-ish response to them. i can't talk about them yet. the situation is not fully resolved, and i do very poorly with unresolved relational situations, in proportion to the level of closeness i have with the other person in the relationship.
     
  • some of the people in that restaurant were going for the gold in the douchebaggery marathon. Brandon and i stood in line maybe half an hour for our share of the pizza, and when it finally arrived, out of nowhere sprang a 6'-tall natural-born asshole. he had on a smarmy grin and a backwards baseball cap. he slid his lean frame in between Brandon and i to nab an empty plate and attack the goods, pointed his douchey nose at me, and said something about needing to get enough for two people before piling his plate as high as physics would allow and sneaking back into the protective anonymity of the crowd.

    now, normally i would pronounce internal judgment and then put it out of my mind, because dingleberries of this quality are not worth the mental effort it takes to categorize them as such, but in his face and actions and scumbag tone of voice i found an archetypal reflection of that vast milling throng who had filled the room to near-overflowing, not for the love of craft beer and the BC's family, but for the fleeting pseudo-satisfaction of their avaricious demonsouls, which i'm sure were gratified to the point of NR-17-rated obscenity by that carnal nourishment.

    so, fuck that guy.
      
  • after we got our pizza, Brandon considerately led the way to a less crowded part of the building. while i stood there debating with me about whether to pull a Boromir or a Cowardly Lion, someone said my name. this 6-footer was no douchebag, but rather a friendly John... from my previous place of employ, Arise Solar.

    this presented a special kind of problem. when they last left their up-and-coming hero, he was strolling out of the warehouse office with a happy-go-lucky grin on his face and an offhand "be right back." well, he didn't be right back; he instead be right fired and never talked to any of those people about what happened. they befriended him, forsook other coffees for his, helped diagnose his car troubles, and just made his life generally better (most of them).

    this John guy had been one of the best. a fellow Wolverine-cosplayer, with a beard far worthier than mine, a gentle but firm manner, and a wonderful ability to see eye-to-eye with me from his own unique perspective, he'd quickly risen to the ranks of my top 3 favorite co-workers. i found myself agreeably disarmed just by his friendly, low-key greeting.

    i gave him the sincerest, friendliest response i could muster, and told him i was looking forward to starting my new job this coming Monday. he congratulated me. he said some people were waiting for him at his table, and that it was good to see me. i reciprocated aloud.

    ...i didn't consider to which "people" he might be referring, until my padawan walked past me a few minutes later, headed in the same direction John had been. she looked great. i had never seen her dressed for a party rather than work. she made a very obvious lack of eye contact and hurried by.

    my mind was nearing the limit of its stress threshold, but it managed to turn its inductive gears just enough revolutions to conclude, "there must be a whole group of my coworkers in that dining area. the area in which Brandon and i are waiting to be seated."
 
mida... vittu. so much icing. i've betrayed a few people in my time. this was really not the best night to run into some of those i'd most recently failed. this was not the night to be tripping painfully over loose ends. i almost sent the Padawan a text message right that second, a real doozy, with no paragraph breaks and way too much emotion.

but no. there was a better option. i waited until Shawn was outside, handed Brandon the suddenly-buzzing plastic square thingy and walked out to my car. i sent him a message ("i could ruin myself but i won't. i'm going home and then maybe to starbucks to blog. thank you for being a good friend") and took off.

i drove home in a manner i'd never consider trying with you in the passenger seat. though it was a relief to be out of the stormy sea of people, i still had evening traffic with which to contend, and it was the next best thing to hostile toward me. i engaged evasive / offensive maneuvers mode, parked on the wrong side of the road, went in to get my things, then left again for the mall.



halfway there i realized i had left my lighter and cutter at home, so i rerouted for Cigarros Limitada. the oldster stacking chairs out front looked just like Gran Torino guy except friendly. i walked in, grabbed a Liga Privada No. 9, and went to the counter expecting only a terse exchange. but no; this guy was special. he asked if that would be all for me, and i gave him the lines i'd prepped on the way. 

"oh no no," he replied, quiet but jovial. one of his eyes was very lazy. i have no idea how i found that endearing. "you don't want this one guillotine-cut. you've picked out a real nice one; that one deserves a V-cut."

i attented, and he taught me about how different cuts affect the flavor, not just the draw. i thanked him. he included not only a box of matches, but a free V-cutter with my purchase. i gushed gratitude again, and fled again, this time to Starbucks.

the new guy looked top-shelf Asian, so i willingly entrusted him with my quad ristretto and steamed breve on the side, as well as my grande half-passion half-black iced tea with no water and three pumps classic. those things were of no lower quality than usual, but alas, it was way too cold to smoke. i tried it anyway, but the wind blew out my flames (how was i supposed to know?)... so i went home, closed all the windows, turned off all the lights, hexed myself a dark electric blue, and popped open the draft (see what i did there?) i'd begun while drugging myself in public only half as much as i'd intended. 



i didn't mention the other layer of this week's shitcake, the one regarding a sudden family development that mom called about last night (in tears, which was a bit difficult for me). better i not, out of respect for privacy, so suffice to say that it poked yet another hole in my boat's bowem.

as i finished typing that paragraph, my phone rang. it was mom again, calling with an update on the situation. i handled it while the call persisted, about ten minutes, and now that i've hung up i feel like crying.

~     ~     ~

i was going to finish this post with a list of things from which i would greatly benefit, but now i think i just want someone very large and very strong to pick me up, wring me out until the last drip drops, then put me somewhere dark and cool and absolutely silent until everything is over. i agreed to assist my family in the ways that i can, and i will... but i feel like i can do nothing, especially in my current state. i feel like no matter what i do, things will still roll merrily along until they reach either Lewis' hell of stasis, or else Gygax' Malbolge.

i feel like giving up on things. i feel like it would be illogical to not. i should probably hope that i sleep well tonight, but hope seems too much effort. i wonder if anyone else has ever chosen despair for the simple reason that it's easier.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

rose-scented poopnuggets


~     ~     ~

a major purpose of this blog is to define things, especially if doing so creates several more narrow ideas within a larger category that most people would consider indivisible.

"your chosen terminology is too esoteric. try again."

it's semi-commonly understood that the Greeks had several words for "love." that's because love is not indivisible; it's a word that encompasses several other words, other more precise words with narrower meanings.

today's exercise in deciding what i'm discovering about my life is about a particular kind of loneliness, one i have rarely experienced but which i'm feeling more frequently lately. not sure if there's a word for it, in any langueege let alone mine, but i'm'a go ahead and call it happiness constipation for now.

you are probably already familiar with it, even if not consciously. this phenomenon occurs when you are in a great mood and want to share it with someone, but can't, because there isn't anyone (at least, no one who would effectively provide the outlet you need).

it's similar to other emotional constipations, like when you need to cry but can't (for whatever reason). it's also similar to being really angry but not knowing where to direct that anger (and thus being unable to).

i suppose i could look at the bright side, which is that the increasing frequency of this experience is a visible sign of growth. but thinking about the concept of a bright side directs my attention to the beautiful weather, which makes me feel the happiness constipation even more, because i want to share that weather with someone as well.



the unpleasant feeling arising from the unmet need to express something socially, to emote something pleasant with someone, is distinct enough from other lonelinesses that it really does deserve its own term. my best googling attempt yielded nothing helpful. i'll do some mentally back-breaking etymological work later.

i'm pleased to report that i'm approaching the point where i'll need a personal dictionary. i can't keep linking back to random new-word-definitions; aggregation needs to happen, and soon. #staytuneypood

give me this day my daily overdose

i spent a comfy evening mostly in the background of a social gathering, a couple meters away from six wildly entertaining people, some of whom love me. i served them coffee and things. i made them laugh. i hugged my cousin. i made fun of my aunt.

when i left just before midnight, i tried to ghost away but Branberry caught me with a goodbye, prompting a round of goodbyes from all. i reciprocated once-for-all and slipped away, pressing [play] and humming a harmony with Karen.

as i pulled out of the driveway, i felt happy that you were there with me-- and immediately wondered, how can i feel genuinely happy about something that isn't the case?! some careful analysis revealed that i had accidentally confused the feeling of singing one of my all-time favorite songs, with sharing space with you.

apparently, you do for me one (or more) of the things that music does. while mind-boggling, this fortunately seems not to conflict with anything asserted in past posts... but maybe my understandings of it, you, and friendship, are expanding.

[that phrase that cuts it]

Saturday, April 02, 2016