Monday, January 26, 2015

BE EXTRAODINARY

TACTICAL

I don’t know if I have been through a tougher patch since the confirmation of my disabling condition. I use the official finding of the Social Security Administration as a marker because I likely would have felt differently about the onset of, and the subsequent episodes that led to my suspicions of what was happening to me.

My current depression has been one of hopeful peaks and near-untenable valleys.  I can have lows that make me a totally different person, as Nebraska unfortunately discovered.  She is going through a MAJOR change in her life, so please, I am asking that thoughts and prayers (yes, I SAID prayers..!) be sent her way.  She happened to catch me at the low of a swell, and I was very unfriendly when she (and myself as well) prolly needed a friend.  My highs, the best of my moments since Thanksgiving often reach the mean of whatever “my happiness” is, and no more.  Consequently, I am constantly anxious, further fueling the emotions that add weight to the oppressive cloud of darkening emotions around me.

School is school… I am going to have to retake my Spanish class, which I am not that pressed about. For Sociology, we watched a documentary, “Streetwise”, which while well-done, was quite sad.  It was about teenagers who were living on the street, using drugs, hooking, and their broken families.  Ugh.  I had to reflect on my daughter’s and how fortunate I am to have them and for the fortitude of their Mother’s.  They have done a wonderful job, no matter what anyone says, and in spite of the jam that I left them in.  Speaking of my girls...

I made a phone call to Lexxie’s Grandmother recently one afternoon and of course, I got the voice mail.  But as I dutifully left my message, reminding the machine that I was Lexxie’s father, the phone was picked up by Lexxie herself!!  So I do feel somewhat validated in thinking that her Grandmother has deliberately worked to harm our relationship.  Que sera… now, I have to work to get her a round-trip ticket this for a visit this August!!   

STARS… IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SAND

When I saw the story by Samuel Delany in the anthology “Breaking Ice”, I fell in love with the story, which was about a misfit in a stratified society (which is a brief and unjust synopsis), and thought of it as a metaphor for my own experience.  I took the title and with a slight adjustment, adopted the title as device for my own personal look on life (and for the name of this journal).  Just like unpacking from a day at the beach, the possibilities in my life are much like grains of sand, found everywhere and in the most unexpected places.  I was in a small town in North Carolina at the time I discovered the story, and by any measure was on the path that I had, at the time, most desired.  Now to be sure there was “this and that” to contend with, and in dealing with such, the result was that my road has continued to wind its way along and why I am here, in Omaha.

Before I began to fade out of 2014 into the fugue state that brought me into 2015, I had thought of what my year was going to be like.  Coming off such a good stretch that included meeting new friends, cementing relationships and feeling as though I also was very dutiful in the process, I have (not the tense) high hopes for this year.  When I started to drag at the end of November, I first attributed it to minor fatigue, because I had pretty much lived last year as if I had no encumberances of any kind at all.  In the middle of December the feeling began to gather form and shape, then the week of Christmas, it fully metastasized into a full-blown depression.  I had started to hurt, to feel a constant dull ache throughout my body.

When you feel depressed, your immune system often becomes compromised.  Even with the medications and supplements that I take regularly, I felt like I was feeling sick in spite of my efforts at running and working out.  And again referencing Anthony Griffith’s Moth performance, trying to be African-American and have psychological issues only conflates the problems.  There is so little understanding between African-Americans and the seriousness of treatment and letting it go without action, mainly because it isn’t anything that can be seen or fully comprehended.  Telling a AA that you are depressed is tantamount to offering yourself up for derision and ridicule.  And with my having an “invisible disability”, I feel it only becomes more complicated, because noticing subtleties are one of the AA’s communities great weaknesses, IMO.

SOMETIMES, CHOOSING TO GO ON IS THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING THAT ONE CAN DO

I am STILL going to have a big year.  I have no doubt that I will reach my level and go from there.

One of the thoughts that has been with me is one about my relationships here in Omaha is that I have enough information to make a more informed statement about what I have observed.  First, the brothers here are just pathetic.  And trust me, I am not talking only of the “inmates in the asylum”.  Over the spectrum of socio-economic spectrum, the cats here are just  … sorry. I think that this contributes to what I have experienced with women here locally.  Out of responding to their environment, I think that the women here suffer from a form of relationship PTSD.  I think that the women here are delusional.  They see things that don’t exist, and make the innocuous seem formidable.  

In trying to be understanding, I still don’t really feel moved to be empathetic towards women here.  There is no reasoning with anyone who can only see through the clouded lenses that the local women seem to be looking through here in Omaha.  My reasoning is that I am certainly a different kind of cat… and as such, should be something favored, right?  Mind you, I understand that I have my share of shortcomings and personality quirks.  But I feel that if you are a woman and find yourself constantly enmeshed in relationships that feel like that they mirror each other, then there you go!  But as I mentioned, I think that there is a delusion borne of an environmental-induced hysteria.  But I digress… and I have ran on long enough.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

PANIC ON THE STREETS OF YOUR TOWN

I have not felt well since just before the end of November… that was when I first felt the lows of my current state.  Granted, there have been some positive, good moments… the company holiday party was one, where I got the chance to escort a date to socialize among me and my co-workers.  Of course the HUGE bowl win by Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl was but another moment that has helped to keep me buoyed amongst the waves.  

Additionally, I have not shirked from socializing.  I already know how helpful that can be in times such as this, and I have more than obliged myself to being social.  I went with a co-worker, her boyfriend and his brother, three other women who were their friends and guests’ at the Fitness Center, to watch State play Iowa not too long ago.  My co-worker has a first cousin who is a key player and starter for the Hawkeyes, and that was a fun evening.  The point is, that along with my fitness posts on Facebook, I am not simply sitting around and allowing myself to be overcome with depression.  One of the reasons that I have thought to objectify the darkness that clouds me as “the little black dog”, is that 1) That always sounded cool, and it was borrowed from Winston Churchill, one of my idols, and 2)  The purpose of objectifying my feelings allowed me to feel more in control of things… I recognized very early in my teen years what depression was and was not, and despite the sad truth of what Anthony Griffith mentioned in his spoken word performance about the African-American community and psychology, that I had never really felt the weight of depression.  That is, until my diagnosis, and it was then that the romance of being in a depression fell apart for me and the psychology, the clinical expression of it became a part of my life.

Still, I treat it as an intruder, not out of denial, but out of a evidentiary study of my life and my character.  I am doing well in nearly every area of my life and being.  Admittedly, not as well as perhaps I should be doing, but then, who really IS doing as well as they should be doing.  For me, it is a “drag coefficient” that is a part of the engineering and design of my life… and it is something that I will work through.

I feel that how I handle my episodes relates to my general handling of my condition… I know what is “me” and because I do, I remain confident that I am still “mine”.  This is an aspect of me that is often overlooked because of how I present myself to people and my lack of overt cynicism.  I have always believed that happiness is a conscious choice to be made, and not a random point to be achieved.  And this is a decision that I made a long time ago, with nothing but the intuition of a child.  It is a decision that has kept me from despair my entire life, including now.

Also, I have been “doing me”, not only have I been working out with a competitive preparedness, but doing the kinds of things that I had always had done alone, but had high hopes of sharing with someone that was special to me and that I, likewise, was special to them.  Recently, I have seen two movies, one at the Film Streams Theatre near downtown and one on Netflix that I had missed during its first run.  Both were commentaries about youth culture (among other things), the first, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night”, which was a twist on the “Twilight” film series, with a little Iranian twist to it.  The latter film, “We Are The Best”, was another teen movie with two girls, punk outcasts, finding their place with music.

So you see I have decided to do more of the “me” things that I had intended on doing once I got to Omaha. While you had to read subtitles (the former in Farsi and the latter in Swedish), I thought vaguely about with whom I know in Omaha that would have enjoyed either a night out or in watching either film with me. It was among the briefest flicker of thoughts, and I resumed digesting the wonderful times that I had spending making myself happy.

WE GOTTA FIGURE OUT WHAT OUR FORMULA IS

Along with the Anthony Griffith video of his Moth Stage talk, I have watching one of my playlists on You Tube titled “My Psychological Motivations” pretty regularly these past few weeks as well.  So that meant a lot of “Blake”, “Coach Gaines” and of course, “Mike Singletary” for me to ruminate upon.

In choosing to reboot my life alone and on my own, there were things that I had to discover about not only my abilities, but the things that are challenging for me.  Belied by the kind of symmetry in my life that makes even the most jaded wonder if things aren’t “planned” on another level, I have a doctrine that not only fits my personal character, but is founded on the wisdom of the ages and is universal.  And it is precisely because of this emotional/cognitive foundation that I have that has me confident that I will manage this, and any future, difficult times in my life.

What I would like to speak to is my belief that there not only “is” no one for me to call upon for help of any kind, but the reality of it.  While I would not doubt my ability to get someone to give me a ride to the grocer’s in the Motor, South Bend, Chicago, or daresay, New Jersey, I have concrete reasons to dismiss the probability of doing the same here in Omaha.  Understand:  I do realize that the reasons I have to support my belief is subjective, but it is NOT speculative.  My “Eclectic Method”, my personal theories to my life, are not drawn upon guesswork.  The scientific method is the backbone of my philosophical design, and that is why at this point in my life I may seem to be so resolute and obstinate to letting people into my life without cause.

The formula that I have been working for nearly a decade now, has brought me to the point where I can say that I have made appreciable gains in nearly every level of my life, at pretty much every measurable metric, in every area of life that counts.  My bouts with depression and the pressing desire for the comfort of being in the company of my siblings in our childhood (I have identified the sought for desire to alleviate my anxieties, but not its source) beds and skip-rope competitions, and the like, cannot and will never be entrusted in the hands of those who have demonstrated that they cannot be anyone that has demonstrated their unreliability.  After all, why would I have left “the provincial town that I once jogged ‘round” if I was going to make such a choice?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." -Amelia Earhart


When I first began blogging, I was in complete disarray.  I was in a loveless relationship with a woman who was about to become downsized without many options, who also was sleeping around, and subsequent to her sleeping around she offered little in the way of hope of repairing our relationship.  Adding to these troubles was the onset of my disability, which did not, I am sure, make my then-partner feel any kind of endearing emotions toward me.  One of the first things that I did after I made the decision to retake the life that I could still live, was reach out to Nebraska.

My thinking went as follows:  What I am dealing with was not unexpected.  I spent the majority of my life boxing, and at the wind-down of my career, I was taking more than I was giving.  Still, I figured that I had quit while I was ahead and that I would still be relatively fine.  I had saved some of my pennies, and others were put in very modest investments.  Then, my Mother passed, a financial crisis evaporated my safety net, and then my darling brother passed.  My dear brother’s death shook me from the torpor I was in, invigorating me to take control of the insignificance that is my life.

The architect of my life has never been conventional.  I say this not because I am a person who takes pride in being different, but because of the comments of others when I talk about the things that spin constantly in my thoughts, and those thoughts are (or should I say “were”... it has been a long time since I have suffered a conversation with a Philistine) often run in contrast to those who are content with living their lives inside of borders.  So after a hiatus, I emailed my first real “e-friend” and told her that I was going to start a new chapter in my life, and that I was going to move to Omaha.  I also told her that I had begun blogging as a way of dealing with the increased stress and pressures of my life, and it was her who encouraged me to keep on blogging when AOL discontinued its blogging site.  So along with several of my then-new found blogging friends, I migrated to this spot and have been chronicling the “days of my nights, which are the nights of my days” here.

For those who are not aware of what it is I am “dealing with” (in case there are those who are reading this and are wondering), because I spent at least 25 of my first 47 years competing as an amateur and professional boxer, as a result of that participation I have been diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (CTBE, or TBI).  The description that follows is as comprehensive as it is going to get - Clinical symptoms of CTE are only beginning to be understood. They are thought to include changes in mood (i.e. depression, suicidality, apathy, anxiety), cognition (i.e. memory loss, executive dysfunction), behavior (short fuse, aggression), and in some cases motor disturbance (i.e. difficulty with balance and gait). While the pathology of CTE has been broken up into stages, the clinical symptoms and clinical progression of CTE are not yet fully understood.  I don’t make a big fuss of what I put up with or “give” my condition any more credit than it already has already.  But because the big ones, the mood issues and memory loss, along with executive function disruption, show themselves in areas that universal to nearly everyone, what good would PMS’ing about it do?  So I don’t complain too much about the hand that I hold… I still have some pretty good cards and the game isn’t over.

Being born in this particular space/time stream has meant (at least to me)  that I do not have reason to really complain about any break that I did not get, or any form of lack in my life.  If anything, I feel that if I owe the world anything, I owe it my best face forward and all the happiness that it has filled me with.  This sentiment is similar in ethos to one of Vince Lombardi’s “... all the time things…” quote of character that I hold myself to.  It has been something that I believed all my life, certainly since my Mother tried to get me to eat liver by telling me about all the starvation and general deprivation as a child.  I mention that to say that taking ownership of all the contents of my life and the agency that entails has been with me for so much of my life, that I feel that I have always been appreciative of being able to live this life.  That is why my depression HAS to be symptomatic of my diagnosis.  Of all the moments for such darkness to creep into my soul, that it comes to me now, without cause, and it seems trite… depression at Christmas.  I mean, how unorignial can THAT be?.
I don’t know when this current cloud began to descend upon me.  It would be easy to say that it began early this month, but that is taking the easy way out.  I had a good Thanksgiving, eating ice cream and cookies, with getting the opportunity to watch the Lions win their annual Thanksgiving Day football game in peace, beating the Chicago Bears.  I spent a day with my co-worker setting up holiday decorations (getting a little extra money and companionship… a “double, double”!), hung about with Nebraska, and I had a real date. But all the while, I could feel a darkness steadily creeping with me as I made my way around.
Though things have improved between us, Nebraska and I are not there yet.  So I have not thought to call her for anything. Part of my reasoning for this harks back to the early days of my journal and my ramblings about what I expect of myself, and from, relationships.  I am simply not sure that I can put myself in a position where the uncertainty can possibly increase to heretofore unseen levels, when presently, I am confident that I will manage to hold my own.

Prior to this episode, I had personified my depression as “the little black dog”, a scrawny, terrier-mix, a stray, one that had none of the breed’s typical feistiness and verve.  The little dog used to make its way over to wherever I was and sit silently about two steps away, looking up at me as it laid its head over its front paws, snout jutting over long and dark claws.  Right now, I feel as though I was walking down the street and the late fall overcast metamorphosed into a bruise-tinged pallor of smoke and purple.  Then, as I continued on my way, the cloud descended, and begin to blot and shadow things around me.  That is where I am now.  

Of course, I have told myself that I “gotta get back into this thing”.  Having already bombed one test and missed two day, I have certainly left myself little margin for error.  I don’t want to have to drop any class and do the same thing again.  My ambition is to do more than drag my way through junior college.  So, in the New Year, I will be battling my way back through school, being determined and disciplined, and willing to let the chips fall where they may.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ANOTHER TACTICAL POST

TACTICAL

First day back in school… and it felt long!  But I am going to make it.  I think that both instructors will be interesting enough and I do plan on making a big investment in getting top scores from both courses.  Spanish should be fun, what with the large Latino population in Omaha.  And Sociology is a “Mark Course”, particularly with an instructor who seems to have more to offer in the way of his personal experiences.

Haven’t found a way to post my videos of me lifting weights yet… I can’t seem get them from my Google Drive to share them anywhere else.  The idea isn’t to show the videos to impress anyone, as it is to show who I am.  The only discrepancy that someone would have in getting to know me is that they have an expectation of who they THINK I am and not who I have SAID I am.  Whenever I think about the difference, the Oingo Boingo song “Who Do You Want To Be?” comes to mind, particularly the lyrics, “I’ve been reborn so many times, that I can’t remember them all”.  Still, I feel that I am true to the person that I think that I am… and if you thought differently, I can’t help you.

I am glad that I moved here.  This has been a great experience and I get to anticipate so many different things that once seemed to be fading in the distance.  I enjoy the feelings of pleasure I get from sending spending money to KT, and soon enough, to Lexxie.  I would add Skye to the list, if only she’d send me her address… BUT just because I mentioned it, do NOT think that I am mourning the lack of contact with her.  If her and her Mother can live with it, you MUST know that I can as well.  

There have been adjustments that I have made since my diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury.  I take my time and I go at my own pace.  Those who have invested in me and are genuine in their interests, I tend to give a wider berth to when making critical comments aimed at achieving my best interests. And when I have had questions or need advice, I also make every reasonable effort at incorporating the requested information into my thinking appropriately.  But to be sure, I am making the life that I still believed was possible for me when I left Mookie Dee happen and more than that, I am very happy.

There have not been too many down moments and as for those that do occur, they hardly are compromising to my overarching ideals.  I am closing in on a good year, one that I hope to improve upon.  After all, I don’t have too much of anything on my mind other than the thoughts that pull me forward. Whenever I do lift my glance and look to the future, I keep finding my gaze cast across the horizon, all points available to me and within my range.  And that is a feeling that I truly like.

My internal compass and the qualities that I possess have been proven true.  The grander questions that anyone would have had for me have been rendered irrelevant by my continued progress.  Right now, I cannot see myself failing in my pursuit of all that lay before me, awaiting my arrival and discovery of the one true way.

As to my broader thoughts on life in general… I don’t know if I have any of them worth sharing.  Not that I don’t have the thoughts… for instance, what will happen if the G.O.P takes the White House in 2016?  What will happen if there is another sudden economic meltdown, or a weather-related incident (to say nothing of finding myself embroiled in an incident on the street).

I have to amend my philosophical direction… it is overdue and I have not settled down to think about it exclusively.  Perhaps I have been too busy living it, and the time hasn’t been there to sit down and dwell upon it.  Still, I will make the time.  It is ALWAYS the time to do what you need to do for yourself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CLEANING UP THE RESIDUAL


EXECUTIVE DECISION


I am going to be a friend to Nebraska.  Because this is an executive decision, I am making this choice with the full and complete understanding of the possible positive circumstances, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  I just do believe that we can be good friends. But, because of our recent past, it may be that she feels it is too late for us. I can understand why she may feel that way and that is something I can live with.

One of the things that I had always hoped that we’d get to do was go to Chicago around this time of year.  This was the season when we first actually met and though we had unique takeaways from that meet, it was one that left a piece of glam from a possible future between us.  This is a future that still potentially awaits us, and was one of the factors that was taken into account.  Again, if she does not respond, I can dig it.  Having dealt with something that was nagging at me, I return my attentions to the tasks currently at hand.


FICTIONAL FITNESS

That is the working name of a prospective You Tube show that my co-worker and I are mulling.  He watches a few shows regularly and feels that we (‘he can’ to perfectly honest about the venture… I never had given the notion such a show a passing thought) can make a short show about mostly extemporaneous stuff, with a little fitness advice thrown in.  It would be sort of kind of cool if we were to make some sort of connection and find our niche, but if we don’t, then being able to say we put in the attempt will be good enough.

On Monday night, a former world champion powerlifter who works out in our gym occasionally was attempting a deadlift of impressive weight.  At least it was impressive to us at the non-competitive level.  When my prospective co-host saw the weight that our guest had place on the bar, he came and got me from where I was working in the spin class room to watch the weight lifted.  What he did not, nor the guest either, anticipate, was my walking up to the weight and warming up to lift it.

The rational, logical part of my mind knew that the weight was about to go NO-where.  There were so many plates on the bar that I did not try to calculate what our guest was going to lift.  I just warmed up and grabbed the bar… and … I … barely… moved… it!  Come to find out, the big guy was working with 590 lbs., and my max deadlift to that point had been 425 lbs., so I was in VERY deep water.  Later, after he got his work in, we talked of my “mission to fail” and what it REALLY was about.  That is what I am going to share with you here.

First, I don’t believe any of what I am about to write about should be of any surprise to regular readers.  I know that it did not surprise my co-workers or the cat who lifted the weight.  I mean, competitive is who I am, and seeing the challenge of leaping from “cat who works cleaning gym equipment” to “cat who works cleaning gym equipment AND does world-class deadlift” was too fat of a carrot to dangle before me.  When we spoke of my attempt, I told him about the experience, how I FELT the bar move and that there was a “movement” when I tugged at the weight.  He shared of how he would show up, similar to what I did, coming in cold and jumping into lifting without a proper warm-up or working to the weight level.  Sure, it was wrong, but sometimes if you want something you just have to jump in with both feet.

Second, there are times where the attempt is of greater consequence of result.  For instance, I felt that I have grown stronger from the fail that I would have been had I not walked up and given it a go.  The thing about challenges, about the “things that don’t kill you”, is that they DO make you stronger.  I can scarcely think of a system in nature that does not grow from its struggle, from a cellular level, to that of a complex organism.  Anywho, not wanting to leave on a missed shot, I did grip up a double at my old max, 405 lbs.  I had thought that I would get a triple, but not having been really ready for a lift, and the lack of using weight gloves, I did not get that third rep.  Eh, I will take what I got and finish my shift!


Overall, I am a nice guy.  Yet I have always wanted to maintain and further cultivate a part of me that I call “the inner a--hole”.  It isn’t like a person you call and think of as an a--hole, a jerk.  That person has a character defect that makes you question their worth as a human being.  No, the inner a--hole is what makes a super nice cat like Ned Flanders leave his hapless neighbor Homer Simpson to find his own way, not because Flanders isn’t a nice guy, but because there comes a point where the character of his own self-interest has to act on his behalf, and the role of agency  falls squarely on Homer. Whether Flanders cares or not doesn’t matter… he makes the decision that best supports himself.

Sometimes, I wonder about people who make poor decision based on bad information.  Sticking with Ned and Homer, usually because it is a situation involving Homer, Ned can make causal assumptions on whether or not he should play a role in whatever maneuver or circumstance his neighbor finds himself enmeshed in.  And here is where my personal coda and axioms begin grinding against one another.  

In real life, many of us lack the clarity of purpose, the sanctimony of spirit, of a Ned Flanders.  We are flawed in spirit, jaded and unconsciously bitter in varying degrees, by our encounters to where we are in the now.  This is something that I think should be considered in as one battles to rise above their present state.  Finding clarity of purpose can only truly be done, I believe, with clarity of consciousness.

...AND NOW BACK TO ME

When I left “the provincial town I once jogged ‘round”, having the ability to blow the smoke and fog that clouded my mind and vision, I begin to make progress.  Reaching wherever it is that I think I am at now, has been a long series of making the best decisions, choices that enabled me to still take sight of my goals and DREAM, as well as continue on the path that leads to my goals and dreams.

As with my relationship with Princess and the ill-fated deadlift attempt, the relationship with Nebraska will be one where “we know the environment’.  No illusions or expectations beyond the next day, the next visit, the next meet.  So this will not be a relationship made of pure invention… it will be calculated and I intend to be conscious throughout the entire process.  I won’t wish for more than what I am offered and I won’t be concerned about my level of participation.  I know me… and I know my intention.  If that isn’t enough, then, “Oh well…”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

...YET ANOTHER TACTICAL KIND OF ENTRY


THE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT I AM THINKING ABOUT

Sometimes when I would riff on a topic that shakes the conversation from its doldrums and forces people to say, “What the F*CK is he talking about?”, I would tell the that whatever had fallen from my lips was birthed from the “things that I think that I am thinking about.”  I don’t think that I should have to share the kinds of obtuse, disintegrated, musings I would share.  I mean, they weren’t any further out of left field than the things I come up with now.  But since my diagnosis, the phrase has taken on a more literal meaning.

See, once I confirmed what I thought was possibly happening to me, one of the first things that I did was gather the wisdom of the thinkers who appealed to me and set to work on a guiding belief system and put them together in one place.  Part of my goal is to really put together a philosophical treatise, whether it is for publishing or simply for my own purposes, and that has currently evolved to where I can claim to be living a “codified life”.  And THAT is one of the major stumbling blocks between Nebraska and myself.  I am agitated to the point where I don’t know if I should blog about it, talk with her about my feelings, or simply handle my emotions internally.  Let’s see what we have come up with, shall we?
_____________________________________________________________________________

After our troubling first year, I will have to admit that I have NOW categorized Nebraska and our relationship.  Now, none of the other personal and self-created memes and types that I would blog about when I was stuck dealing with the tropes I made light of, I find that I have very little use for them.  For instance, though I have dealt with single Mother’s, and have come across women who would have reason to be embittered towards men, they fit the stereotype the way that most stereotypes fit… loosely and sloppily, inexact, like anything that is “one sized fits all”.  Which is why when I am approached defensively by someone, I would say to them, “If the shoe fits, put it on.”  I know that is how I feel whenever I find myself being caught in a net broadly cast. If I feel caught by the net and struggle, then it is likely to be due to my being like dolphin caught in a tuna net… if I gotta go, I gotta go.  The only real issue that I have with being lumped into any caricature is that usually the person making the comparison themselves are unaware of the stereotype hypothesis, so why worry about their opinion?

My concerns about our “me and you” is exclusive to how we get along with one another.  If I were to  make a broad claim, the reason would be similar to the  reasons “meant to be” is REALLY my ex-wife in that have a problem with HER, singular.  It is super extremely difficult for me to ask of myself to muster up the effort to win over someone when the initial effort failed.  I found that as much as I may have wanted a second chance with Tee Jay, I could only express myself so much.  Even though I take the blame for that fail, still, I don’t know what I have to offer someone in the NOW when my best effort did not win the day the first and best opportunity.  And with my ex-wife, if she could not deal with me when I am at my best, what is there to think that now I have gotten better, she would be any more able to deal with me?

So there is that.  I don’t believe that what is of vital importance to me fits well within her goals and aims.  That brings us to the awkwardness of being “friends”.

One of the clear demonstrations of my character since I have been here alone here alone in Omaha is that I have a low need for typical social interaction.  I go where I go, and I do what I want to do… and the things that I feel in my soul can be considered "free of intellectual impurities”.  And here is where the pressures from pressing two different systems come into play and friction increases as they rub against one another.

I have made my slow and steady progress to my “whatever”, progress achieved on so many levels that my feelings are extremely complicated regarding her.  As for agreeing as far as I have to this restart of our friendship, I am still constantly twisting with conflict the purpose of my getting my life together and her role in that process.  After all, I have “Rules”, and I don’t merely want to enact in my life with the hopes of things, but rules that have been confirmed.  To have Anton Chigurh emerging from the corners of your mind, constantly asking of you, with his flat, tone-free, emotionless monotone, “If the rule you used brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”, I wonder if she can really understand the stakes that are invovled for me?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

YOU AND ME


MEET TACTICAL - WELL THAT WAS SURPRISINGLY PAINLESS

Since the meet was the source of such increased agitation that I felt that in the spirit of FAIR PLAY that I should mention that we had a nice time together.  We met at the Old Chicago Tavern in the Old Market after she got off work.  It was the kind of meet and conversation that you would expect from two good friends.  We did not discuss that “me and you”, and that may have been the key to us getting on as well as we did.


In our heated email conversations, I felt that we were only confirming the negative aspects about our personalities.  Finally sitting down face-to-face, we gave ourselves something that our electronic conversations never had… a context for our relationship  We did not really talk about “us” and so no real understanding of the different expectations that we were looking forward to once I arrived in Omaha, or any comprehension of what being close to one another was discussed.

“We cool”.  I had begun to include those words in my response to HER response to MY response via email.  That was where I was at Tuesday evening.  While I will temper my enthusiasm to what this signals for what is ahead for us, it definitely seems to be a nice place to begin from.

YOU AND ME


I like music.  There have been innumerable articles written about its amazing powers in aiding Alzheimer patients among other groups of people dealing with issues surrounding their emotional and intellectual capacities.  Though my early love for musical sounds did not extend to my being able to create any music, I have always been aware of how keenly music attaches itself to memories and moments in my life, which is why, especially early in my blog, so many of my entries had music as a key element of my writing.  I want to believe that there has been a decrease in my entries with a soundtrack attached, and that has been a good thing for me.


By not having to use music to my writing, least not the way that I did earlier in my blogging, is a good sign for me and something that I have been working toward.  Music, particularly for those  who fall under the class of those who have cognitive impairments, simply are brought back to life, brought to classic “moments of clarity”, where what they are dealing with in the moment falls away and they are transported back to when they were so much more than what they are in the here and now.  But what music has meant to me kind of what it has meant to a Stephen King than it does to an older senior… but I digress, and that is what music does most of all for me.  It brings me back to where I am going and that is what it is doing here.

Not being sure of the grammar rules that surrounds the differences between Marcellus Wallace’s use of “me and you” and that of The Walkmen’s “You and Me”.  For me, the difference in connotation is very strong and is indicative of the detente between Nebraska and myself.  We don’t have the “me and you” that involves a loss of privileged status that Butch has lost, but maybe we are moving towards the kind of “you and me” that I believe is evoked in Bill Watterson’s final “Calvin and Hobbes” where Calvin, almost as if to dare his old buddy, takes to his sled and is joined by his friend as he tells him, “...let’s go exploring.”  Maybe Nebraska and I will make like the comic’s main character and we’ll “go exploring” together.

Maybe.
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It was called “The Record Collector” (the used music shop in Ferndale) when I was finally able to find the CD “Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Are Gone”.  I had read several super glowing reviews of 2002’s “IT” band.  Taking it back to my place in Green Acres, I was still surprised to find that I still had the“new CD” giddiness with me, which could have been owed to the small box of goodies I had on me from Astoria in Royal Oak!  But it also could have been to the good fortune of having gotten paid, picked up my weekend junk food package, AND found this CD with its super-evocative title.

The CD itself was a little underwhelming.  I mean, it is a good album and all, but I was hoping for a “London Calling” or “Psalm 69” kind of feel as I listening to it, but the Walkmen simply aren’t that kind of band.  Smart without being pretentious, self-aware without being self-absorbed, they make the kind of good music that is likely to be on the soundtrack of many an indie-hipster internal rom-com.  So I had to bear down and give it a go.           

It wasn’t until I gave the CD a go a few times that I before I appreciated it in its entirety.  But the third song, the one from which the album derived its title, just blew me away.  It sounded like nothing else on the album and it sounded just like I NEEDED IT TO SOUND LIKE.  Up until that point of my life, that is how I felt about the people who were around me and took up room in my life.   By then, you see, the pattern was well entrenched that I was not going to have the kind of people around me that is going to to keep up with me, at least none with the intention to maintain a deep and meaningful relationship.  And I that did not, does not, and it will not bother me.  That said, my mentioning things like “literally putting my life on the line”, or my having stopped boxing when I was young enough to have maybe be something in the sport… those aren’t things said to set the expectations of what I want from a person.  I have mentioned things like that to inform people of what they will get from ME, not what I expect to get from them.  After all, it would not be unconditional good will if I was looking for something back now?

So the song comes on… softly and quietly on synth melodies, the drums in the back being slowly brought up to set the tempo and then Hamilton’s voice floats over it all.  “I made the best of it… I made the best of it… I made the best of it…”.  That, that was ME.  Because no matter what my final outcome is, no one will ever be able to convince me that I didn’t make the best of what I had.