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Old Post I Found on a Blog I Had & Forgot About

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Before the original post begins, I have to share a Charles Bukowski quote that is fitting for this story:

“Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.”

And now for the post:

I am sitting having breakfast at a local restaurant in between my morning classes. This is a place where people gather for essentially two reasons: either to socialize or to quietly sequester themselves with their nourishment for the day and get some work done. I, being the gregarious glimmer of sunshine that I am, fall into the latter category.

Now, although I try to retract into the cocoon of my own exclusive company without bothers of the outside world edging their way through, I am in a public place and that is simply an unreasonable expectation. As I sip on my coffee and skip through each tab of procrastination open on my computer, a couple is seated at the booth across from me. Ah, a front-row seat. What a lucky day.

I should point out that half of this couple is the most boring individual ever to exist. Ever.

I continue my “work” with only mild distraction by the couple’s colorless conversation. Then, the waitress approaches their table and takes their order.

Every cataclysm begins with one particular moment in time. Fleeting and seemingly insignificant as it may be, this moment is what gets the ball of agony rolling. The second the waitress asked that foreboding question, “What can I get ya’ll?” was that very moment.

Before I dive right into the action here, I’d like to describe the girl who has committed the heinous acts mentioned in the title of this post. Think plain.

Ok, that’s done.

Anyway, she orders. She asks if she can substitute something for the English muffin that comes with her meal. Simple enough. Yes, she can. She chooses fruit. Ok, transaction finished.

Nope.

She then descends into a compelling tale of her distaste for ENGLISH MUFFINS. At this point I just feel bad for the waitress. She is practically chained to the table by the impending tip at the end of the meal.

Of course, I could be misjudging. The waitress could truly be interested in the fact that this customer’s mother “tried for years” to get her to eat those english muffins. ..Yeah.

Just before the waitress raised the steaming pot of coffee she was holding over the woman’s head to inevitably put a silence to the madness, our story-teller seemed to come to a stopping point in her tale.  The waitress took the opportunity to skitter off.

I assume the riveting narrative has come to an end, so I begin to turn back to my work with full concentration. Oh, wait… What? Of course that’s not happening. Apparently the woman’s dining partner as well as the rest of the restaurant absolutely MUST hear how the English muffin saga pans out.

This shit is longer than TWILIGHT.

And about as interesting.

I glance at the clock on my computer screen. 11:02. This speech can’t last all that long. I won’t go popping a XANAX just yet.

11:07. I’ve plugged in my headphones and turned on some music in an attempt to drown out the numbing narrative. However, I must have been destined to know it all because I can still hear this enchanting lady speak of the time she was gifted some top-quality English muffins and subsequently had to deal with the dilemma of what to do.

At this point in my work I’m reviewing bands for a show I’m putting together. I am listening to a pretty shitty group and turn the volume up simply because musical shittiness is preferable to white-girl-chatter shittiness. Especially when the main focus is baked goods.

11:16. My headphones were bothering me, so I take a risk and unplug. After all, there’s no way that bitch is still talking about English muffins. That would be ridiculous. Simply absurd.

Well, great news. She has graduated from the topic of the English muffin. And moved to the topic of every other food item she doesn’t quite like. And the reasons for her displeasure. And the exceptions.

The guy she is having brunch with hasn’t said a word. I can only see the back of his head, but judging by the tensing muscles in his neck, he’s about to either dive across the table MEAN GIRLS-style and attack her, or commit suicide with one of the many potential weapons laid out on the table.

I beamed silent encouragement in his direction, to no avail.

Eventually, the girl ended her monologue. It was a harrowing thing to get through, but we were lucky enough that at least there were no deaths. (Unless you count the deadened eyes of the guy eating with her, the unsure destiny of the waitress whom I have not seen since the order-taking, and my soul.)

Oh, and if any of you are still on the edge of your seats about the outcome of our minstrel’s dire dilemma regarding what to do with the generous gift of the fancy English muffins,

Yeah I don’t give a shit either.

What sucks the most about this entire situation is that I actually agree wholeheartedly with her. English Muffins are disgusting. I truly, passionately hate them.

However, I now have never wanted to love them so badly in my life.

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The Same Battle, With The Same Monster.

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At times, words fail. They are lost in the empty space inside of you. That empty space that does nothing but eat you alive. It is in these times that we are left with this feeling of ______. (Words are failing tonight, this is how I resort to write.) I can’t describe it. It’s the feeling of yearning for something so intensely that you can’t possibly sit complacent. Doing nothing seems almost sinful. But what can you do at 10:38pm on a Sunday? What can you do when you don’t know the source of this ache or even the identity of the thing you are craving so painfully. It is consuming. In times like these we are faced with a choice. We can run from this fire burning inside of us, douse it in alcohol, burn it with a joint; or we can confront it and seek it out. The former is tempting. Too tempting, most times. In fact I consider it every time my finger compresses the period key. . . . . There’s a bottle of wine on the countertop. Period. That bag of dro is within arms reach. Period.

Why does escapism seem so glorious? Wouldn’t achieving something be better? What is it that is keeping me—you—us from conquering whatever this feeling is? Is it fear? Potential for failure?

But failure isn’t the worst outcome a situation could have. The worst outcome is mediocrity. Even the meager idea of mediocrity makes my skin crawl. Maybe it’s my fear of mediocrity that rests at the heart of the beast clawing it’s way from the inside out. This beast will never rest, never die. Not as long as I am its host. I’ve found that no matter what I do, what successes I have, what new project I am working on (or putting off), that this feeling is always there. At the end of the day when there’s nothing left to do until morning… that’s when the beast awakes. Sitting watching tv in my one-bedroom apartment and packing a bowl is just a little too average to rest easy in my soul. I need more than this. Maybe loneliness factors in as well. I suppose if I had someone to come home to, pass the bowl to, make fun of whatever is on tv with, maybe I wouldn’t have this feeling so much. But, wouldn’t that still be considered escapism? After all, Love is the most crippling drug. It’s not that I want someone there all the time. That sounds awful. I would rather be average than deal with that. It’s just, sometimes… I am too much for myself to handle. My mind is, anyway.

Ambition is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a Chuck Palahniuk Quote Kind of Day

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“Sometimes the past seems too big for the present to hold.”

The Battle With Escapism.

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I went on my old laptop earlier & found some old writing I did last year. It was somewhat of a dark time. But those are also the most inspirational. Here’s the excerpt that (kind of) started it all (whatever that is):

Here I am. Sitting on my scarred-up bamboo floor. Bamboo is supposed to be one of the strongest woods. Yet my floor is full of nicks, scratches, gashes and scuffs. Signs of living. Signs of abuse.

My couch is in perfect condition. I couldn’t possibly sit on it right now. I am this floor. It’s not that I don’t deserve to sit on the immaculate couch. I just don’t identify with it. I need something as fucked up as I am.

I’m at that crossroads. I didn’t realize it would be such a definite decision. I didn’t realize it would come so soon after I began to ease into writing again. Writing can’t be done on a schedule. Not the kind I do.

Back to location.

I’ve been overcome by this situation. By the emotions that come with it. By the confusion. The pain. I can choose not to feel it… to pull away and try not to think about. Douse it in alcohol and burn it with a joint. God, that sounds so great. But the other option is so much better. So much more painful. I’d have to feel. I’m not much of a fan of that. I’d have to analyze. It’s exhausting, really. But it would be the perfect beginning to start telling this God-awful story. That’s assuming that people even want to hear it.

If it wasn’t for Chuck Palahniuk I’d say no one would ever want to read a book about all this. But people love misery, as long as it’s not their own.

I’ve always loosely known what the book would be about. I put off writing it because the story was still developing and could change direction completely in an instant. Looking back, I’m glad I lost those first few chapters I wrote. They’re shit. They mean nothing now.

I’ve always wondered what the best way to begin this saga would be. It’s hard to decide that kind of thing when you don’t even know what kind of story you’re writing. I thought for a long time that it was a love story. That’s laughable now. I actually just chuckled to myself at the notion. Through the tears. What the fuck was I on? It’s pretty clear that this is no love story. Maybe it started that way. But that’s how all the great tragedies begin.

This point, me sitting here. Broken. On this broken floor. It’s the perfect place to begin.

So I might as well start. I ran out of alcohol anyway.

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Happiness is a dangerous rut for a writer to fall into.

Workaholics.

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I have been work-obsessed lately. There are a lot of exciting things taking shape in my life career-wise, and I want to make the most out of it and really succeed. I am juggling exams, a start-up company, the family business, show planning, a radio show, and other things life requires such as food and clean clothes.

I have also been juggling something else. That something else is called baggage. We all have some. I began to think about mine not too long ago, as I haven’t given it much thought recently (thank God). As the thoughts pulled a figurative B&E (that’s “breaking an entering” for those of you not up on the lingo) on my mind, I immediately got the urge to do some work. I couldn’t relax unless my brain was busy designing a flyer, writing an article, or putting together a show schedule. I could not possibly sit dormant and allow my issues to burglarize my thoughts. I do not want to think about my ex. I do not want to think about my nonexistent love life. I do not want to think about my brother’s felony and mental disabilities.

Being a workaholic is both a good and a bad thing. Nothing new there. I’ve always been battling my over-active mind. I’ve turned to pills, to drinks, to weed. I’ve turned to books, to movies, to music. Anything to just not think about whatever is haunting me at the time.

These days, my drug of choice is work.

There is ambition. There is passion. There is action. These are all things workaholics have in common. But there is something else. There is what I call “The Ghost.” The Ghost represents all of those things you are running from. It is your rocky relationship. It is your growing debt. It is your fear of forever being alone. It is that overall fear of failure. That worst-nightmare no workaholic can stand to even consider. We hate The Ghost. We wish The Ghost didn’t exist. We are strong people–going after our dreams, increasing our paychecks, making our names known. We can’t be susceptible to emotions, to simple thought. We have work to do.

Right?

Being productive is better than turning to drugs and alcohol. (God, I’m such a good influence!) It’s better than achieving absolutely nothing while still running from The Ghost. Working is a good thing.

But we can’t always run from The Ghost.

We have to confront our demons some time. It’s impossible to stay so busy at all times that we avoid it. If you can, congratulations. You’re fake. Or stupid.  Our generation has perfected escapism. What we need work on? Self-analytical thought.

Sometimes being productive is actually counter-productive.

Take a moment to breathe.