Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Never forget the weapons you have...

There's this girl, right? And she has this guy. Been with him a long time. Really smart dude. Not smart enough to know about me sleeping with his girl though. Been doing it a long time, too. She could be playing him. She could be playing me. All emotion aside, it doesn't matter. This girl's got a sister. She's into me too. Not too bad looking either. Do you see where I'm going with this?

I really love this girl. It's a really dicey situation, as you could surmise from that introduction. Does the girl leave her guy for me? What happens then? Where does this rabbit hole go?

Women have pulled the rug out from under me before. Read this blog. Go back as far as you want.

I get better at it every time.

Much like two opposing armies in total deadlock, we enter a 'war of attrition' where both the girl and I shoot each other down emotionally until one cannot take it any longer. I've weathered these little storms. I've endured heavy losses. I cannot be beat here. Well, I can...but only in one sense.

She has to man up and shut me down. Tell me she is done. That she loves her man and will not be leaving him. She has to swallow that bullet of pride. She has to go back on all the little sweet whispers she told me about planning to break up. Yes, she wins in that she determines the ceasefire. Technically, I get dealt the "broken heart" and have to march my troops back home.

But sometimes it's not about winning. Sometimes it's just about sending a message.

I can have her darling sister bedded and packet of text/photo materials sent to her boyfriend easily out the door within 12 hours of the receiving her 'dreaded' news. I can have her whole world shut down with literally a press of a "SEND" button on my phone. All my evidence is backed up. In fact, the text messages alone would be enough. I'd only throw in the sister for fun. Unnecessary but extremely entertaining collateral damage. Delicious.

You see...never forget the weapons you have. Life likes to put us in situations where we feel there is no way out. We imagine no options for ourselves. We think we just have to accept the mistreating. Take it like a bat in the teeth. "Incorrect" I say. I am fully equipped for this showdown. If somebody out there is willing to hurt me like this....lead me on...for almost a year...emotions drained as promises are swept away like they were never made....oh no, my friends. Do not fuck with someone who has nothing to lose.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Sounds like a plan to me.





Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sick with your own echo

I'm floating through another period of unemployment. The production industry likes to do this to those who have no established position or talents. Putting you through the ringer, seeing how bad you want to be there. It's such a great opportunity, you know? To stand there on a set, drinking coffee, standing striking distance from some movie star as he or she sleepwalks through their job too. Such a great fucking opportunity. Truly blessed all of us in the industry must be.

I don't want to keep spitting that "in the industry" phrase. It means less than nothing. The remedial jobs I've worked as someone's assistant or office gopher are no different that things some intern for an online advertising company would do. You just get yanked around. Do this. Do that. All with a smile on your face and a manufactured enthusiasm for your workplace. I'm sorry to tell you this but no occupation will make you genuinely feel that. The alarm clock sounds the same for everybody's job and you'd rather spend the day in bed watching cartoons. I promise you.

But this is America and so much must be achieved. You must wear the uniform of the 'go-getter' and make a name for yourself. You must earn your possessions and your female companionship. You must earn your weekends. You must earn the free time you get to invest in little hobbies. Then you must wave the flag of all that in someone else's face - because that's how people should act. A long stream of never-tiring accomplishing, punctuated by milestones and victories, undeterred by momentary defeat as that will only propel your further and faster into the next great challenge. This is the disgusting disease you have to live with as you take down your boss' breakfast order and skip off to Subway...so fucking grateful for these intial opportunuities to prove your mettle.

I'm dreading the next phone call. The next job. "Are you available? Can you start tomorrow?" They will ask. "Yes sir! Of course!" I will answer as another fate will get sealed. The machine will start to rumble as the gears stutter into motion. Back I will go. Into the grinder. Another couple months of being yanked in a hundred different directions. Everyday. For nothing. When I hear that phone ring that is all that I really hear. The death machine charging up. You have to earn that next couple weeks of unemployment, after all. So in you go.

I know this as I lay in bed at night, unable to sleep. I know it is coming. My mind wanders into other arenas like how the woman I want isn't there. Or how I need to fix a dozen things with my car. It tries to justify the great leap into that next hungry grinder. Maybe these things will make it worth it. Truth is, it probably won't. A couple more months without sex or any type of affection. Let's add a couple more. Meanwhile, back into the grinder you will go. Twelve hours minimum everyday at minimum wage, earning your keep. To come home to nothing. To reach out for nobody. To be awarded with the vague promise that you'll get to do it again. They'll starve you just enough so you will say 'yes' one more time and the nail can get driven in a little deeper.

All I am is an expense on somebody's budget line. First name, last name, middle initial. No mention of the broken heart. Broken spirit. Broken hope. I hate every moment leading up to that phone call as much as I will hate every moment that will follow it. But the key will go into the ignition. The engine will turn a few more times. I'll find myself somewhere. Being talked at. Going through the motions. Doing as I'm instructed. All with a feeling of perpetual loneliness. Disconnect. Abandonement. Swinging so hard with an axe made of air.

But that's working 'in the industry' and I should glow with excitement for such a chance.

Shit on the world.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day

I was driving back from a Labor Day pool party. A festive occasion in name only, I assure you. My two roommates were cheerfully inebriated and I was stone cold sober, swerving out of one kind of chaos and into another. It wasn't because I had assumed a stoic duty of not drinking. I'm just in the midst of an unemployed streak where drinking is simply not a viable option. It grates on you, trust me. But like the convicted, eventually you get the hang of it. You're at a party, swinging back and forth like dead meat. Not saying anything particularly clever.

This drive back home was colored in with a conversation about my current sex life. A personal matter, I know but you can't help but be amused when the spectators chime in. I'm involved with someone who is involved with someone else. Wax on. Wax off. I have hope, you see. My roommates felt differently about the situation. As exemplified by their graceful input:

"Oh no, Josh. You're fucking her. You're only fucking her."

They don't seem to hold the same kind of hope for my delinquent relationship status. They were drunk too. But that didn't matter. In the midst of me defending my position and why I'm doing what I'm doing - I had a bit of an out of body experience. Very dangerous while driving, mind you. But I was sober. So whatever.

I began to hear myself talk. I didn't like it. I was listening to my own arguments about how eventually this girl was going to leave her well-to-do boyfriend for me in the near future. Until then, I was just riding it out. They (my roommates) didn't understand the kind of relationship I had with this girl. They were just going off the facts. What they knew. What they saw. That's how I usually operate. By being fucking reasonable. If something isn't working then fuck it, put it down and find something else. They were on that level as they projected how fucked I was in the long term. I didn't hear them. I only heard myself.

And you know what?

I started to feel really fucking stupid.

That's not good for anyone. I don't like feeling stupid. Like someone else knows a little bit more and they are maneuvering reality around me. That's not having control. That's pretty pathetic. That's sad. The more I listened to the nonsense drip out of my mouth, the more it really sank in. Every relationship ever. The same kind of rhetoric spit out over and over until the eventual conclusion. It's always the same. I found myself watching it all unfold again. It's the kind of cinema you only earn by getting older. A big joke was getting told and I was the last one to get it. It hits pretty hard.

At the end of the day, there is still some comfort to be had. The friends who were drunkenly jibing me in that car ride are still going to be there for me 10 years down the road. Maybe 20. Or 30. The woman in question, or all the women to follow her, may not be. In fact, I'd bet on it. So while it hurts to know you're stuck in the same situation where you are just being used...that the people you confess your love to just string it along until they've gotten enough...these friends are always around. They are not to be taken for granted. These gentlemen and I will surely survive the decades with true, meaningful camaraderie. This woman, who I will not name on this blog, may not see such distance.

I would do anything for her and she knows I'm there, waiting, ready to be taken seriously. But her and everybody else should know...

I'm not that stupid.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Can't help but wonder...where I'm bound, where I'm bound...

I could tell she was watching me from across the patio. It was the middle of a party but I could tell she was watching me. I'm not bragging or being too optimistic about the situation, I'm just saying I could tell. My intuition is usually dead right and in those passing instances, I could suss it out. It made me think:

"This is what you wanted, isn't it?"

I'm sure she thought the same thing too.

I tapped my friends on the shoulder and told them we had to leave.

I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hold position. Position held.

For whatever reason, I have somehow aged into a 65yr old man who sits around watching war documentaries all the time. I never used to be interested in these things. I don't understand it. Maybe the suicidal monotony of life has finally pressed into a fascination with more violent matters. Maybe I've just watched and absorbed EVERYTHING ELSE and this is all that's left. I minored in history, though. So I could just be making up for lost time. Whatever that's worth.

I believe most of all I like the cold precision of military movements. I've always conducted myself as such. Maneuvering through life with carefully planned calculations, accounting for possible challenges and preparing yourself in advance. As written in the blog before, that's practically impossible. You cannot ready your body or your psyche for impending trauma. It's a game of nerves, discipline and flat out fucking chance. Still, I'd like to think that I am ready. I suppose cognitive dissonance is my principal field commander. I'm sure everyone else can go along with that.

One predictable situation is that I always go into these introspective periods during long stretches of unemployment. As in, if I ain't busy making sure I'm somewhere for X hours a week...life turns into this black tunnel towards oblivion where there doesn't seem to a point to anytime. With General Cognitive Dissonance still standing on the parapet giving orders, you find yourself conjuring a point. Something. Anything.

I'm doing this right now. I'm finding a reason to continue. Or at least a reason to push forwards and flourish - not just get by. I've been doing that for a while. I'm looking at a map and I need to put together the next attack. This past year has kind of served as some sort of haphazard vacation. I've done a lot of hard work but in general it hasn't really felt like I've gained ground. I could be wrong. But it feels as if the BIG assault has yet to be made. I can feel it coming though. A shadow on the horizon. How things are now can't possibly last. This has held true for every circumstance I've been in. As a result it becomes like a race to arms. Will I get there before the enemy does? Will I know what to do? Will I be prepared? It's so hard to tell even when I have these large stretches of introspection. Things don't necessarily become clearer in times of peace. Sometimes a hard line in the sand is absolutely necessary.

Sadly, when I do step out of this comfortable trench...whether I face victory or defeat...heavy casualties are expected.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Nervous Inability to Define Failure

Failure is a curious thing
A very finite word
a punctuation, almost
at the end of a sentence
or series of sentences
or life
as we understand it

most importantly
it seems to be something
only someone else
can identify
while we are left open ended
and as I stated
until that someone else
comes along
and points it out
to us

only then does the abstract
only then does failure
pull itself out from the floor
its black shadow
finally manifesting
before our eyes
into this creature
9 or 10ft. tall
wildly imposing stature
staring down at us
hot breath dripping
while we struggle
to make eye

everyone hates to see it
everyone hates to see
most things
the footsteps they have made
scattered towards
an inevitable horizon
now crowded by the millions
of other footsteps
all trophies of a million
of other failures
our own voices
no longer audible
in the white noise
of the crowd

be very grateful
such a force exists
such a force that I'd guess
is one of the most
in our known universe
a million black suns
their gravity pulling us
towards black oblivion
while failure's curious shape
and smiles

I used to think
such a process
could be avoided
like a lawn chair that spilled
out of someone's truck
and now sits in the middle
of the highway
but that isn't so
mostly all of what I thought
just isn't so

my own voice
has bled into the white noise
the shape has formed
the curtain has been raised
and I can't tell
my footsteps
from the others
failure has arrived
in the death mask
of oblivion
for us all
the final insult
being lack of prejudice

we can't even own
our own failures
they belong
to all

how disgusting

Friday, January 25, 2013

Well, that's how they do it...

It was a mystery I always wondered growing up. I'd look at every empty shell of human being and wonder what the fuck happened. Where the fuck were they when that hammer came down and beat the last shred of teenage, juvenille, ignorant ambition out of of their Dover body washed bodies. What was the straw that broke that fucking camel in half? I'd be bitterly chomping away at some bullshit job and I'd encounter these much older (or maybe even only slightly older people) that seemed to just not have it anymore. Whatever IT was. They resigned to this shit life that I was only considering as a transitional period for myself.

I guess that's where the problem lies with most people in my generation. Or fuck that, any generation. This disgusting, self-focused regime watching their life clock like their fucking KENO numbers are going to match up when that fucker strikes midnight. This delusional belief in self absorbed predestination that everything we are doing is leading to some grand climax. That our lives are indeed like the fucking movies we fill our deflated basketball skulls with on an hourly basis. When we lay in bed and play out our memories, they roll by in cinematic fashion - and accordingly - we plot out stupid hopes (fantasies, by and large) in the same manner. Something is coming for me, you think. Oh yes. I am suffering now but its just a slow burn to that delicious moment of glory.

So you work in those trench jobs. Or whatever you consider to be 'back breaking' based on how much money your mom and dad had when they raised you, and you analyze your peers. Surely they don't have that same destination ahead. You will be the one with the brass ring. All the miserable folks you've met along the way were just the wise old janitor that you gleaned a life lesson from before you've moved on into the  next stage of your bullshit movie. Everybody else gave up along the way. But not you. You had that deep rich intestinal fortitude....that gritty work ethic...instilled into you by years of toiling away. You have the edge. That's why THEY won't get and YOU will.

Something you never consider though is the slow Chinese water torture of time. It makes a grand canyon of your brain. Drilling the same dullness into over and over. I'd say for the first 25 years you accept as a necessary lesson. But the grand deliverance never arrives. And the patience runs out. And the energy of youth burns the candle down to the bottom. Maybe there is no exact moment of epiphany. That's to say there was an exact moment where a 'lake' gets large enough to be called a 'sea'. It happens so slowly like the wrinkles on your face. One day it's just there. Or in this case, it's NOT there.

Now I understand why people just give up. Why they just slog away in the routine. Why they are content with that steady paycheck, as pathetic as it may be in amount. When you are younger the word content is so evil and compelling. Its that awful thing you're fighting. Fuck, you're still perceiving life as a fight. There's a world outside your window that has challenged you and one day through precious due diligence you'll be awarded the title belt. Just like that.

The problem is along the way, you get teased with so many little victories that your appetite just gets soured on the whole thing. You win the talent show once but no great door suddenly blows open. You bang the belle of the ball and fucking tomorrow arrives anyway. You save up for the new car and now you find yourself struggling to afford new tires for the fucking thing. The prizes you set for yourself, the spoils of your personal war, end up not being worth a fuck. This revelation comes timed perfectly with all those natural processes in your body slowing down. You creep toward middle age with not only the desire ripped out of you - but now not even a trophy worth stepping into the ring for.

It's nonsense. Bullshit. Imagined by others and handed down like a fucking pocket watch from a dead  grandfather. Even that fucking pocket watch is meaningless. The intrinsic value of things evaporates too. You find yourself just sitting on the steps outside whatever domicile you occupy, staring blankly across the street. You're think "Man, I should probably be thinking something important right now" and nothing ever blips across the screen.

The imagination doesn't suddenly surge into motion.

The career decisions never satisfy.

The people come and go. The family members, the friends, the acquaintances, the fucking morning traffic.

It's a long stroll through the museum of life's empty experiences. All failing to deliver on some transcendental promise. You don't even know why you think that. You just do.

So now when you look across the assembly line and into the eyes (if you can even bear to look in someone's eyes) of your fellow human ilk, you don't feel different. You don't feel as if you're moving past them. You recognize yourself. They recognize you. You put your head back down. You go back to work. Probably doing something you never dreamed you'd be doing.

And you'll think "Man, I should probably be thinking something important right now - like a way to get out of here forever." And nothing will happen. Nothing will change.

Because everywhere is here and here is forever.