When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Monday, December 29, 2008

By The Time You Read This

I will have departed for my party meetup with My Colleague. And I am excited. I'm not scared. I feel butterflies, but the good kind. I want more to come from this night, but I won't die if it doesn't happen. I won't even die if I blow it tonight, and say something that makes her roll her eyes and consign me to the hopeless nerd bin. Idon't plan on dumping the whole Geek Me on her, but I'm not inclined to be ashamed of anything that I am. I'll just be wise and diplomatic. I'll do whatever I would tell any of my clients to do. No pretenses, but nothing overwhelming either.

As so many of you have said, Just Be Myself.

And I can do that better than ever.

Because I LIKE myself better than ever.

So I polished me up. I shaved and trimmed my hairline. And I liked what I saw. So I dabbed a little cologne (25 year-old Stetson, for the curious) and I liked how I smelled. Then I stripped off my socks and baby-wiped with shea butter my feet--every inch--until they glowed healthy brown, ash-free, just in case they have to make an appearance tonight for whatever reason. Then I put on my business casual--what I'd wear at any time that I'm with a client. And beheld myself. WITH my little stomach pooch.

And I liked it.

I'm not a bad looking guy.

Even my feet are okay. Nails and all.

And I'm funny.

And smart.

And I have a great career.

(And so does she.)

Yeah.

I like this.

This is going to be fun. No matter what happens. Because I'm okay.

I'm O.

Kay.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Revisit

Yesterday, I finally met with the man from my old church. Have I named him? He needs a name. I think I will call him First Father Figure. FFF for short.

I guess my meds kept me from being nervous or afraid. Inhibited my serotonin re-uptake or some phrase equally attractive to the Xanax spambots. In any case, I was ready. It was his suggestion that we meet somewhere not on familiar territory, when I had fully planned going to his house. Instead we went to a place where I could eat BBQ ribs. So that helped a lot too, lol.

We started with a little more catch-up on the state of all his sons. He has so many real children that it's ridiculous. I was always trying to fight through the throng of kids to get to him, until I just gave up. He was/is a good man, but he just never had enough time for me. So I went chasing other fathers. However, he will always be my first.

So the meeting yesterday was not about trying to recapture the love I once had for him, or to re-establish the relationship I had longed for now that my rivals had been scattered to the four winds. It was about eliminating the vacuole of shame that lie beneath the surface. I had turned my back on 17 years of my life, and I was choosing yesterday to turn back towards it again. To face it with eyes wide open.

FFF and I had quite a chat. I went into my details by starting with the day I realized that I had been abused when I was a kid. Then I lept ahead to the time I started going to our church and how my hindsight informed me of the reason why. I told him about how it was a refuge from the fear of sex. I told him how I left all my relationships that he knew about, and the ones that he didn't, because of these fears. And I finished my account with the admission that if this were any other planet, or if this were a more advanced time, I would probably be a Gay American.

FFF's love for me remained intact. Of course, his solution for my life is for me to stop watching porn, no more masturbation, and cut out the secular music while I'm at it. If I were to return to the sterile womb of fundamentalist Christianity (these were not his exact words, mind you) God would then be happy with me and see me through to a married, fulfilling, sexual relationship.

Without getting into theological debate, he and I spoke for about 4 hours. So I was determined to stay out of that realm. But it was clear to me towards the end of our visit that our theology has a major point of departure. He believes that my behavior will earn God's approval and I have come to believe that there is nothing so great (or pure or chaste) that I could possibly do to impress God. The Bible says this; "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Or something like that. And no I don't know where to find it at the moment.)

So if God and Jesus is real, as this past week attests to, then He knew what I was--what YOU are--way before I did, and He STILL died for me. So what am I going to give to Him to make him "happy" with me? To "earn" His death? To be "worthy" of His sacrifice?

Not a damn thing. Because He did it all for me while I was already a sinner. He did it for me because He wanted to, not because I wrestled it away from some dragon.

God is either happy with me or He is not. There's nothing I can do that He doesn't see straight through to the truth of. If I go to church, am I going because I want to log time in towards a Hell Immunity Badge or because there's something in church that I really want? If I deny myself the pleasure of this God-created phallus, am I doing it because I truly believe somehow that it offends Him, or am I denying it because I want the bragging rights of how holy I am? Is any of my behavior, for good or for evil, EVER enough of a smokescreen to hide behind?

I think not.

Meeting FFF was the first gate. My next gate will be to visit our pastor. FFF says Our Pastor (for FFF still attends my old fundie church and is a deacon now) has mellowed greatly since the days of Hellfire & Brimstone. FFF says that I should give Our Pastor a chance to hear my story with the increased possibility that I won't become the church's next and greatest pariah.

And wouldn't that be nice?

But you know what? I'm not afraid anymore of what Our Pastor will say about me. If he burns an effigy of me in the church parking lot, or ignores my case completely, it will be no matter to me. I know I can't go back to them and their lifestyle. I know I can't believe anymore in their Conditional God. So where I thought I was going to lose something vital by being rejected by them, I realize now that time has already taken care of it. I'm changed and I can't change back. I won't change back.

Now God, it's on you. What do you want to do with me as I am? As I've become.

As You've made me.

Because I still believe in You. And I still love You. And I still want to serve Your ideals. Your greater good. I still believe in the divine. In the better angels of our nature. In a Calling.

I still believe.

Lord, help thou my unbelief.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Magic

I have three presents that I put near my Christmas "tree" because they don't fit under it. (It's my display tree from last year. I haven't moved it all year. I didn't want to, lol! It's PRETTY.)


The presents arrived in total surprise to me. They came from one of the dearest people in my life, who happens to be the farthest away from me in geography. It seems that if we lived in the same town, we'd somehow be best friends. But I say that about everyone. I feel so much. I latch on. I dream.

But this person, this gift-giving wish-granter, is pro-active. This person does when I don't. This person reaches out when I can't. This person likes me. Values me. Thinks things about me that I still haven't been able to think about myself. And I know this person isn't the only one, but is the only one who sent me presents. *GRIN*

And now I don't even want to open them. Just like the Christmas display, the sight of wrapped presents is enough. They don't look like they contain anything more important to me than the love that they are wrapped with. What other kind of love feels better than this? I honestly don't know. I honestly have not experienced it. But this?

Oh this feels so damn good.

This is magical.

This is Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas To You Too!

:-D

I've been busy not blogging! Going to have the adventures of my hero going live soon and I wanted to dedicate time to that. Plus wanted to tighten up my daytime work performance, even though right now is an obvious exception. (But the rain and slick roads are going to keep me inside this office all day, so I have time to burn since I've caught up on almost everything I needed to for My Boss. (Who is different from My Director--the counseling center guy who lost my respect some weeks ago.)

The Holiday party hasn't happened yet and I haven't run into My Colleague since we agreed to party together. But I'll definitely be there.

What else?

Oh yeah, where did Ned go? I'm looking all over for him. Worst Case Scenario Man is whispering some nasty crap concerning his disappearance and I'm hating it. C'mon man, throw me a bone here. Be on vacation or something, but not the WCS. And even IF the WCS, croak at me. Something. Don't be gone. That would SUCK.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Generalized Anxiety Disorder ... We Hateses Itttt

Yeah, so, I've definitely failed at some daily adult living skills in the last few months as it pertains to my career. I've really REALLY let the ball plummet when it comes to my day job, and my day job boss called me on it. I had no choice but to admit it to myself and come to a decision.

In the past, I would have tucked my tail and ran. I would have shriveled under the disapprovement with self-loathing and an abysmal sense of doom. I would have beaten myself up worst than if I were wearing red in a Crips' neighborhood.

But I've learned a lot. And I have to say I've learned it through therapy. The therapy that I give to other people. Because I've started to listen to myself. I've come away from sessions shaking my head and wondering how it is that I can dispense such counsel to others and not myself. How can I teach couples how to fight when I've been running away from relationships in terror of conflict? How can I counsel men about commitment when I've never been successful at it myself? How can I counsel people how to combat anxiety when I've been ruled by it?

These damn meds seem to give me the ability to practice what I preach. Without that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, I've been able to override self-condemnation and the long practiced coping mechanism of hiding my head in the nearest sand dune, thereby letting the world pass on--something I've done "successfully" for 38 years. As in successfully never learning how to kiss passionately, let alone learn how to make love. While this is only an aspect of social functioning and not the entirety of it, I'm going to say that I have been suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder because it did disable me from operating in normal society. Ask anyone if it's normal to be a 44-year old virgin. See what answer you get.

So now the time for nevers is finished. I'm on the other side of the summit now. I've got the key and I've tested it out in the lock. And it works. I can chat up a fairly desirable woman. I can curry her favor to meet me at a party. And I sure will ask her out to somewhere else when the party ends. For food, dessert, or just kissing lessons.

And to bookend this post properly, I can own up to my mistakes at work and not be ready to hand in my resignation. I can continue working with the knowledge that I screwed up, and even parry with my boss' extreme displeasure and disappointment in me. If he fires me, then I get fired. Problem solved. Mea culpa, man. I get what I get. NYC-bound careers here I come. But if my boss wants to accept my apology and let me move on and correct my laziness, my disfocus, my poorly handled juggle of two careers--

--then let's do this.

It may have taken me 44 years to realize (minus the obligatory 18 years of honorary childhood), but I'm a grown-ass man.

Time to act like one.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Wolf!"

Cried the boy.

Or at least, this is how it has felt, what with me calling out about The Crush, Crazy Plane Girl, Match Girl I, Childhood Bud II, etc. Every time I brought up a new possible girl here on the blog and it petered out, it felt like I was crying wolf.

So this is nothing new, except it's kind of different. I will call her The Colleague because she's a fellow therapist in the center where I do my evening sessions. And I have found her attractive, but in that distant "she's a professional girl" kind of way. Then increasing over the past months, as we passed each other or processed our paperwork at the same time in the front office, she and I would trade smiles, laughs, and banter. And of course, I was doing so because I wanted the pretty lady to talk to me. Then my ego helped me realize that she was doing the same thing. I smiled, she'd smile. I bantered, she'd banter. I made small talk, she'd make small talk.

So tonight, she let out a few microscopic hints that she wanted to know more about my life. She wanted to know about my day job and if, given the additional night cases I have, if I had any time for a social life, "like going to the gym." Yeah, she said that. In that "make it sound as casual as possible" way. And as I picked up on this it occurred to me that this was an opportunity that I wanted--one that I've been whining about here in this blog.

So there's this holiday party thrown for the center at a swank apartment overlooking Central Park South. I went to the one they had earlier this year. They seem to be throwing another one here in December. And I didn't want to go because for me, the gloss has WAY worn off for the center's director. But I did love that apartment and I get along well with the other therapists, so I considered going. But last night The Colleague, while we were bantering, found the party notice in her mailbox. She was making noises like she felt the way I felt and asked if I were going. I said "I would if I had you there to talk to."

Yes I did!

And then she started making noises like she might go in that case, and I added in, "If you go I'll go."

And she said, "Alright..." pensively.

So I got the party notice out of my box and said, "We'll check the RSVP at the same time, ok?"

This made her smile. And we then did check them at the same time, with she looking over at my paper to make sure I put my name down as well. When another therapist walked into the office and saw our party notices she asked The Colleague, "Are you going to the party?" The Colleague answered, "Alan convinced me to."

So. How about that, hunh? And check this, the party is designed to end at 9:00pm. A real sterile affair. But it leaves enough time in the evening to go somewhere else when it's over. Which I'm going to ask The Colleague to do. Because enough with the maoning and groaning, right? The opportunity presented itself, and I took it. As you guys have counseled me many times before, this isn't marriage and I don't have to panic. This is just a friendly get together. It's not even really a date.

But it would be nice if she and I became friends. With benefits.

And that's what's going on.

Woo!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As It Is Now

This started as a response to a comment, but My Ned, you pull out the conversation in me. I've missed that. :-D

Re: My laptop speaker problems, I know just the toothpick I'm going to use. Ned that would AMAZING if that were the only problem. Pray with me. ;-)

Re: Alan as zombie ... hmmm. I can attest to still having feelings of anger, as that there's a colleague in my day job pissing me off to high heaven with her passive-aggressive, hypercritical, complaining - to - my - boss - about - me - in - her - meetings ass. And I dread seeing her in a meeting this morning--in a few minutes actually. Last night, on my walk back to my car, I actually cussed her out aloud like one of those crazy homeless people (it was my process to get it out of my system for today, lest I become unemployed before I'm ready). So the meds haven't zombied that out, lol.

But the two times that I've had major crying jags since my San Diego trip, it was a day or two after I ran out of meds, and the situation warranted it (I was missing My Hero's hug and realizing that I was heading back into my hugless, sterile, alone life). I must admit, it felt good to let it go, but ... I'm no worse for not having broke down in the doc's office. A nap came along and helped some.

You're right Ned that the danger is present where I might settle for the Medicated Me and not try to change my circumstances. Additionally a pitfall I see is that I pine after you distant satellites around the globe. I share so much more with you guys, so much more often, than I do friends that are physically accessible. I wish that weren't so. Because sometimes, I wish I could just come over to your houses and we could pass a few hours away watching the boob tube, or listening to music, or just philosophizing the night away (as if I could find the time, lol!) So I'm connected to yous. And that makes it easier not to put in the fight to find someone in the here and now, the physical. But I wouldn't give you guys up for all the spoons in Souptown.

The meds have taken away a good bit of the anxiety when it comes to meeting Whoever She May Be, so I don't know what the blockade is now. I would have tried to chat up The Crush yesterday, but she went home early, right at the start of my training as it so happened. Story of my life, lol.

Lending out ego strength. It's what I do for clients. It's what I feel I need for myself. I need a wingman. Someone to ride shotgun with me and help me into and out of situations. Someone to introduce me around. Someone to pep me up on an unsuccessful ride away from the coffeehouse, club, party, concert. Maybe Grim will serve when he's ready, now being without a significant other, and never having actual success breaking away from her until his brother The Grim Reaper came and did it for him, but I don't think he'd be the ideal wingman. He's too negative, and he wouldn't know what I wanted if She kidnapped him and held him at gunpoint to get me into Her life.

And ultimately, it's me. Maybe I could get through an initial meeting now, not to mention Date One & Date Two (let the record show), but for the long term, what then? Guys are hot. Nice catch for your husband to have those kind of thoughts, right ladies? So hey, there, Al ... why not just take the hinges off the closet and Live Out Loud? Yeah, because I want to trade the closet for a pigeonhole. For the upturned nose or the roll of the eye. I want to escape the stereotype of the Angry Black Man on the eve of Obama's smoke-filled election just so I can become the Angry Gay Man. I want to go from the chance of fighting the normal conflicts within a hetero marriage to the added strain of fighting the conflicts within a gay marriage PLUS all the scrutiny, disapproval, and legal bans against our union. Not only do I want to try parenting in my late forties, but I want to do it PLUS try to usher the kid(s) into the world having My Two Dads for their social back-up. Or make that My One Proud & Out Dad and My One Confused Ashamed Dad (that'd be me). Yeah. Fly that rainbow flag high!

Grrr. Aggravating! There's nothing "gay" about it.

P.S. The meeting happened and Ms. Picky Passive-Aggressive was on her best behavior. That's why she pisses me off so much. She can be a sweet as pumpkin pie most of the time, and then she's a barracuda. I feel tricked and betrayed by her, and I'm going to go ahead and get all the way over it. Because please. What is she to me? Nothing, actually. Plus my boss supported me because he knows I'm an asset to him and valuable. Ms. Picky can go somewhere and scratch.

So yeah.

GRRR. Mad! But getting over it. Meanwhile, somebody, throw me a bone over here. I'm really not such a bad guy ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Merry Early Christmas

There's a "Getting To Know You" meme circulating amongst my audio producting brethren and sistren. I am avoiding filling it out just as not to depress the living bejeezus out of the recipients. It asks you to share questions such as "Natural or Artificial Tree?" "Favorite Christmas Food?" "Home or Away?" "Gift Bags or Wrapping?"

Er, hrmm. A series of N/A's would be way too Charlie Brown for my tastes. MFTD wants me to come to his parents for Christmas Dinner and I resist for the same reason I changed my mind on Thanksgiving. This being "The Other" is getting on my nerves. This time of the year is so oppressive. Families EVERYWHERE. Toddlers riding on the shoulders of dads. Christmas specials as far as the eye can see.

Last night my laptop went mute. It had to be a static shock that traveled from my fingertip, through the earphone, into the comp audio connections, and fried something. Because one second it was working. Then I took the earphones out to help a fellow therapist (I was in the middle of downtime and took the opportunity to mix more audio for the show) and when I put the earphones back in, only one ear was working correctly, and the laptop speakers not at all. Audio production came to a screeching halt. SO depressing.

Then today I had to go to the prescribing doctor for my medication. I had to sit in the exan room by myself for about twenty minutes. I took my shoes off and lay down while I waited. And I thought of Grim's girlfriend, who is now died. And I thought of my mother, who has done the same, about 17 years ago now. And I thought of the absence of anyone in the waiting room waiting for me. And I thought how miserable it is to be alone sometimes. And I thought of my mortality. And of the grey blanket of sky over all of us. And the naked trees. And colorless world. And I wanted to cry, but I didn't because I'm on my meds.

So when the consultantion was done and I got my re-up prescription, I went to Best Buy to treat myself to an early Christmas. I got a flatscreen comp monitor for my desktop at home, which is the only reason I ever bought a laptop in the first place. (The laptop was cheaper than a new monitor at the time). And I bought a router for the same desktop. Nothing's wrong with the soundcard in the desktop. And I bought a 4 gig thumbdrive to use as the audio work harddrive.

So there.

And now I have to do a training at the siite where The Crush works. I may just chat her up today. Why not? What do I have to lose? MORE aloneness?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Okay, See, Now I KNOW I'm Crazy

Because one little fact has changed my whole perception of a man I had high esteem for. I mean, unless I'm not alone in this which I hope and pray I'm not, haven't you ever formed a picture of a person in your mind and there it lived, happy as a lark--until something came along and spoiled the whole thing? The picture in your head crumples like Saranwrap on a hot skillet?

Well if that's the case for you, then have a seat before I type my next sentence.

Barack Obama is a two-decade long smoker.

A SMOKER?!?!?!?!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?!!!!

You mean all the while he was at Harvard, or Yale, or wherever the hell, and being brilliant and blowing Michelle's back out with that brotherly love, and being a Daddy to two of the cutest First Girls that America has ever had, HE HAD A CANCER STICK DANGLING OUT OF HIS MOUTH?!? Cigarette smoke clouding up the rooms he's in? Clothes smelling like dirty ashtrays? Standing outside in the freezing cold like a moron sucking on a coffin nail and squinting against the acid fumes curling back in his face like a scorpion's tail?

Y'all think I'm joking, but this is a serious crimp in my fantasy world. Smoking is just not smart. It's a stinky habit. And it denotes dependency. A crutch. When has a President of the United States ever been a smoker? Even George Bush was never seen in the back doorway of the White House with a cigarette!

I ... I ... just ...

oh Obama. Come ON. I thought you were a smart man!

Here's the article from whence this horrible news flows.

And for all my readers who smoke ... I still love you. But smoking? Dudes and chicks. COME on. Even you know you need to quit. Give yourself a raise in these fierce economic times and say no to big tobacco. You work too hard for your money to be giving it away to an industry that exists solely to kill you (and me).

Obama?

Oh my God.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Laundry Day

Who knew I was so goth? I'm forcing myself to do my laundry. In the basement are the coin-operated machines. So I'm sorting the darks from the lights from the bright reds and I filled my hamper with black clothes first. Amazed at how many black clothes I have. Pants and shirts and t-shirts and socks and jockey shorts. I have big piles of color clothes as well, and bright blood red is a favorite of mine, but in what era did Goth Emo Alan sit on the throne of my life? And does he want his clothes back?

A few days ago, Grim informed us that his girlfriend passed away. He finished the e-mail by saying he didn't want any condolences or any questions because "none of it helps." So the compassion and empathy I wanted to feel for him was quickly supplanted by anger. Damn him! Oh he's got to be so effing brave and macho and stupid. I mean, I'm sad that the woman died. What, I'm not supposed to show any of that? Or I'm just not supposed to expect that he's feeling any of that? Which of course he must be feeling it times a million since she was his girlfriend (on-again off-again on-again, but still...). And this is an opportunity to be there for each other. Or at least let me be there for him. But that's not what he wants. Oh, make no mistake, he does want us to get together. Today in fact. He said he "just wants to be with his friends." Which might be the most emotional he may ever be. But it's always got to be on his terms. He's always got to control the situation. He's always got to tell everyone how to act and what to be and what's right and what's wrong.

So here I am, prepared to go and be with his friends, and try to do what he needs us to do, on his terms since he's the one who lost someone and needs to grieve in his own way, but I find myself feeling resentful of it. I guess I have to learn that it's not all about me and that sometimes I just have to let someone else have their own way. And that even though Grim pathologically always has to have his own way, this is not the time to argue about it.

Yeah. I think that's right.

And this is why I blog! Yay!

Okay. So that's what's going on.

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Posting Instead Of

This morning I'm in quite a state. I have a client I've promised an early appointment to on a regular basis, and each time that appointment comes, something in this day job threatens to make me unavailable. In times past, I've skipped out on the day job after a fraught day of anxiety. Lately there was the promise of being able to take the part time job here in the city and ditch the NJ day job, solving the problem and keeping me available for the early client. Now not so much.

But that's only one problem.

I can't think of a single thing I'm supposed to do today. I've a nagging feeling that I'm supposed to be somewhere dayjob related, and I can't remember. I've given up writing in my planner because I keep misplacing it anyway.

Yesterday, on the road, Grim Jester called my phone and left the message to call him back "as soon as you get this" which I did do. Then in live convo, it turns out to be something he wants me to do for him that he goes on to disqualify me for anyway. Meanwhile my persistent part of the conversation uncovers the fact that his GF is now in a semi-conscious state, has a DoNotResuscitate order, and is not projected to ever leave the hospital.

I mean, just, damn. I used to play City of Heroes with this girl.

I still have a little holiday weekend movies hangover. "Zack & Miri" being chiefest. Maybe because I saw it on the biggest screen out of all the ones I've seen in the last few days (a record, ladies & gentlemen).

Here's a spoiler, but it isn't THAT big of a spoiler....















So, Zack & Miri actually DO IT in the course of the movie, in the pursuit of making the titular porno. And so, since it's a porno, the camera is all up in their faces. (Of course, the in-movie camera they use to make that scene could not possibly have been where the actual-movie camera went to show their faces in the scene and later played back within the movie, but I'm nitpicking.) And anyway, as they DO IT, they of course have an orgasm. For the amazo-factor they have it at the same time. It changes everything. And from that point the rest of the movie becomes a very sweet tale about true love.

But that concurrent orgasm scene is haunting me. There was something in the red-flushed, straining face of Seth Rogen that creeped. Me. Out. I've seen enough porn to know that chances are he was just acting. (Most moneyshots in porn occur with the male actor looking nothing like passion at all. Maybe a little constipated, but not like "za-KAMM!!" as I usually expect them to. (Very disappointing if I may say so.) But now Seth Rogen affects the appropriate face--and it just made me feel -- like a perv. Like I was peeking in on something I had absolutely no business seeing at all. Like it was meant to be private and intimate and wonderful and lifechanging and no one, not just me, but no one in the whole audience, or in any audience in all of America should have been watching. There was not a "whew that's hot" factor to the scene, but a "wow, Zack looks so vulnerable and a little lost" factor to it. Like he was being completely devoured by his fantasies and it was too much in that second. For Miri, it was just a hot chick getting a happy and amazing orgasm--nothing to write home about. But from Zack.

Just, oob.

Ned, you are officially off the hook. I'll watch porn, but now I know I'm nowhere NEAR as eager to watch two people making love. Mind you, reading audience, it isn't as if I ever received any promises or opportunities to actually watch Ned, but for the sake of the private mindscape--I'm going in for a flush. I don't want to see Ned, nor Scott, nor Mike, nor any of my guy friends cyber or not, making love with their significant others. Because just--it's wrong. It's private!

What else do I have to say today before I sign off this morning?

How about, "for those of you who know a word of prayer, please pray for me."

Ah, that does remind me. The church guy who used to be my father figure--who I was going to meet on a Saturday and spill all the tea with? I still haven't met with him. But about a month ago, he did call me and shared a story with me. It started with him asking if I still wanted him to keep it secret that he has contacted me, and I told him yes. But the reason he had asked is because our pastor had been in his pulpit talking up a storm (as he usually did) and my name came up. I totally forget why. But there's my pastor, talking about me to the church, a little more than a month ago. I was flattered to hear this and terrified. Because I'd always wanted to know if I'd even been significant to that man, since after I left the church for the ministry, it seemed like I never had been. Now I see that I'd crossed his mind. (And when anything crosses his mind, it usually comes tumbling out of his mouth, for better or for worse. This is not a virtue, btw.) The thing that sent my former father figure asking me if I still wanted our contat to remain private is because along with whatever else he was saying about me, the pastor ended with, "Where is Alan? How is he doing?"

And I still don't want him to know. Because he won't like it.

Lastly, I'm still lonely. It seems the only times I've been truly alive this holiday weekend is when I was involved with other peoples lives and talents. I'm not particularly happy about that. But whatcha gunna do?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Something Like 36

"Clerks" is on right now. Kevin Smith's first foray into the big leagues. In his last foray "Zack & Miri Makes A Porno," Zack and Miri (short for Miriam) do indeed make a porno.

When unleashed, Kevin Smith has an apparent fetish for having his actresses say the magical word "f*ck." In context.

Elizabeth Banks has been in a plethora of different types of movies. For the record, "Zack & Miri ..." is not in the same family of comedic entertainment as "Juno" and "Nick & Nora's ..." as I thought it might be.

But it was funny. As. Hell.

I hope your November was good.

By the way, it was Dante Hicks' girlfriend Veronica who sucked something like 36 d*cks, which she did instead of f*cking them.

By the way, back then, Brian O'Halloran was hot.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Baxter

Anybody seen this movie?

I've discovered two things.

1) I like movies like this. It's very in the line of "Juno," or "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist." Deadpannish comedy with blemished characters who you feel. Indie music by people you don't know, but love. Indie altogether.

2) If I were rich and had no need to work, I'd never leave my bed and wind up being one of those 800 lb people who make the news. This is not related to Item 1). It's just an observation.

I have nothing deep to reflect about the movie. I don't relate to anything in it except the main character's off-centeredness, but he isn't portrayed exactly as a geek. Just as a "Baxter," which is the guy which the girlfriends leave when they reunite with the REAL love of their lives. I've never been a Baxter. (Finally for once I don't identify with a weakness. But then again, I've never been the original boyfriend who has stolen the girl from her Baxter either.)

But to my surprise this Elizabeth Banks popped up in this movie and I'd remembered seeing her in that nasty slimefest movie with Nathan Fillion (title forgotten) and thinking how pretty she was. But now I know she's the Miri in "Zack & Miri Make a Porno", and it makes me think that maybe "Zack & Miri" is an indie-flavored film like "Juno" and "The Baxter" and that I would like to go see it, even though it's a Kevin Smith joint and he doesn't exactly do "indie" anymore, but I think he's very funny and I think too that I'd just better get out of this bed today before the sun goes down and I find my holiday weekend gone.

So how was your holidays?

Friday, November 28, 2008

At Work In Jersey...

I was at a site where newly hired (6 months now, though) is a woman who grew up in the same apartment complex as me, Childhood Bud, and Childhood Bud II. Lest you think this strange to know, our apartment complex was one structure built like a three-story square letter "C". So most of all our apartments looked out over the court, and so everybody's business was everyone else's.

This woman (girl) from my past and myself have already tried reminiscing and found that we ran in different circles at the time, so none of my "friends" were hers and vice versa. But last week a nuggest from our shared history broke the surface of our work environment.

She is a supervisor of the site and I am a specialist for the client's psychology. Therefore, we're just about on the same ladder rung in terms of position. with us were two direct care workers--effectively, the bottom of the ladder. The four of us are black. The Girl From The Past was discussing a club she went to in New York City, and one of the direct care workers shared one of the spots in NYC that she liked to frequent as well. It just so happened that I knew the area of The Past Girl's club and wanted to show-off my Cityese. so I said, "Yeah, that club is perpendicular to the IFC Theater, right?"

Well, the three ladies broke into giggles. The Past Girl said, in a scolding/laughing tone to her subordinates, "Now stop it! I know what you're doing! Be nice!"

The cute subordinate, "What? I'm not doing anything!"

The other cute subordinate, "Perpendicular. Hahaa..."

I feign being perplexed, but I'm really not. I believe I know exactly what's happening. and I believe I recognize The Past Girl's place in all of this. Where she resided 30 years ago. where I had completely forgotten about.

The other cute subordinate said, "Why you gotta say 'perpendicular.' You coulda just said 'adjacent.'"

Well, I was so impressed that homegirl broke out the word 'adjacent' that I complimented her and told her, "That's good! Okay, lesson learned. I'll remember that."

The moment passed. I rolled with it and we all had a nice chuckle. My expense wasn't as much in the end as it could have been.

But I came away from that experience with a memory.

When we were all growing up, Childhood Bud, you weren't the only strange kid on the block. I used to get this all the time from the peers. This is why I wound up at your house as often as I did, eating your mom's peas and rice and plantains. Already not an athlete, I was also not anyone's loverboy.

I was a weird little precocious kid. With crossed-eyes. And a vocabulary that built walls around me. The Past Girl was on the scene at the time. And even though I recognized her first aloud, I think she knew me when she saw me at once. Because I think she had a crush on me when we were growing up. And I think she would come to my defense at times back then. While laughing at me. because she wanted to fit in too. She didn't want to come inside my walls and be isolated like I was. But she did want me to come out and join her.

And I never did.

And I doubt I ever will. I don't much like The Past Girl here in the present. She's a good person, but her personality is grating. A little too manic and a little too faux-homegirlish. Maybe she has been cut from the same cloth I am all along, but her willingness to fit in was way more than mine. Seeing that we both are on the same level careerwise, I think it may be truer than I even know.

And too, I already had a mother. That didn't work out so well. So I don't need another one, defending my awkward language to the homegirls of Earth.

Boy. You never know when a memory is ready to strike.

'S a funny ol' life.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Night Is MINE

I bowed out of "Thanksgiving With The Perfects". Haha.

I was driving toward an exit from Manhattan and saw the traffic and realized that the Thanksgiving Day parade traffic was heading back to New Jersey and so I was about to take a long slow aggravating drive to eat turkey. And I had already stopped wanting to go a few days ago. So I called MFTD and took a raincheck. It probably bothered him a little, but hey. He had an anniversary dinner in the city a few days ago with his wife and he didn't miss me then, so I figured he'd survive Thanksgiving without me too.

So instead I drove to down to the Upper West Side and had good but way overpriced crabcakes in an oyster bar on Broadway. I read Entertainment Weekly's article of the 50 Sexiest Movies of all time while I ate, and let the other paired diners scrutinize my Alone Self with my lowbrow magazine and silently allowed them permission to kiss my big red ass if they were so inclined. :-D I left a generous tip and smiled my way along Broadway.

Thing is I'm not alone this Thanksgiving. I have about twenty voices that I'm mixing into a cohesive production of adventure and action. My latest mancrush acquiesced to be the villain of the story, and My Hero is also doing his amazing hero's role, and I had already finished the scene where they meet for the first time and absolutely loved it before I set out to mooch bird across the river. So after the crabcakes, I came rushing back home to finish more of the production.

Let me tell you what it's like for me to produce these; it's like being the Dungeon Master in a game of D&D with the people you've seen and loved on TV, only one step beyond that. Because now they aren't just people on TV, they're your friends. They've broken the fourth wall, stepped out into your room, scratched their butts, and asked if there's anything to eat in the fridge (EUW!). They've gone from celebrity to human in one fell swoop, bringing their cool ass toys to play with you in your sandbox. Imagine being a musician and your favorite contemporary recording artist comes over to your house for a jam session. Or you're a cook, and a famous chef comes over for dinner with his favorite wine and frying pan. Or you run a daycare and Angelina Jolie brings all her kids over and helps you run the center.

You see? So I'd much rather sit here all day and take the powerful growl of my mancrush and mix it together so that he's torturing my earnest, purehearted hero. They recorded these parts for me. They took time out of their lives, took my script, and fleshed out roles from my imagination better than I had even imagined them. It's playland and fantasy and inspiration and love and giggles and swooning and way better than turkey.

Even so, have a Happy One alla yous.

It's all good, but right now it's GREAT!

Woo HOO!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Crush

This time, it's a girl.

In my NJ workplace, there's a girl--a woman--who I've mentioned before. She's a full-figured director of one of our programs that I've had the occasion to visit on work-related missions, and she's always been so flirtatious and effervescent with me that I love her company. She has freckles spinkled across her nose like flecks of cinnamon across the skin of a latte. She growing out her hair in locks. And she has polished apples for cheeks, which always seem in full blush because she always seems to be smiling.

Now, before anyone pitches in to tell me to go for it, let me just put out the disclaimer. I'm not single and alone fer nuthin'. I'm describing this crush so I can get it out of my system. Because this dear cherub of a woman has another side, and I've seen it too. With the same energy she gives her joy, she clouds over and expresses her displeasure temptestuously. This is the downside of passion. The fear I wrestle with. The passion in a woman ignites my own, but the fiery anger that comes with it incinerates me.

The holiday season is upon us and I invited myself to MFTD's parents for turkey (it was originally scheduled to be Prime Rib for some strange reason, but he informed me that his brothers, of which he is the oldest, revolted). Yes, I invited myself because last week I left a successful series of sessions and decided to follow some advice I gave, and went proactive on my holiday plans. Why B Lonely? Because I knew I had a standing invitation, as I believe I may also do with Childhood Bud, and Childhood Bud II, and their mom down in Atlanta. (Right? :-) ).

And everyone's so very wonderful for having these doors open to me. It's completely to their credit and the benefit will go straight to their souls. Charity and love. Nothing finer.

As for me? It's just kind of miserable and sad. Watching other people's families. Knowing that my own shortcomings may just affix me into this position forever. Watching holidays slide by with alarmingly accelerating frequency. Being 44 for the first time in my life and no longer being able to believe that I'm not really middle-aged, and that "age is just a number". Age might be, but my time on Earth is not. When I now say, "In my day, we never thought we'd live to see a Black president of the United States"--it's actually true. Along with the fact that there are touchscreen computers the size of your palm in existence. Back in "my day" the only computers that existed where the size of city blocks and there were maybe 8 in all the world. Until there wasn't.

And too, I'm feeling a little heavy-hearted about the job opportunity of yesterday not turning out to be a good move. The vaccuum of energy I had for this chance leaves an echoing, hollow pit. It's not a real good time to be me, at the moment. But that's only "at the moment."

This too shall pass.

Edit: Upon the readback, I discovered something odd. Why is it that I love the honesty and absence of facade in my clients, yet fear the same thing when it comes to a lover? Why can't I appreciate the same passion in My Her as I do in my clients and my friends?

You know--maybe I can. because if they love me, they'll love me. It won't matter how mad they get at me. It won't matter. As long as they respect me and love me, they won't say horrible things at me. And if they do, well then, that's my limit. It's a dealbreaker. But the anger--I can deal with it, can't I? Don't I?

Why yes.

Yes I do.

For pay.

So why wouldn't I do it in my personal life, for love?
















HHhhhmmm....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Interview

We clinicians are an odd lot. As was my interviewer. He was all over the place. We spoke more about his personal life than the job. It was like he was looking for a new friend, rather than an employee.

The position is hinky, at best. It's like becoming the mental health equivalent of an ambulance chaser. My job would be to create clientele out of waiting medical center patients. Which is something I feel I could do. And he promises a salary as opposed to per hour or per diem. And I really want the change.

But, Grizz as you said, my friends are giving me really good advice. Add my lion of comics podcasting to the mix. Do I really want to give up benefits for a part-time job, even though the money is promised to be the same?

The interviewer wants me for the job. Looks like I may have to turn it down.

And then I had three more great sessions tonight, with clients just dripping with "aha!" moments left and right. One was compelled to say how much this is helping them. Me seeing therapeutic approaches unfolding as we navigate the terrain of their lives. Such amazing journeys. Such a privilege to be trusted and be brought along. So healing for me as well. So redeeming.

Today on a morning show here in NYC (and in other parts of the country, the crew sent one of their own out in a pilgrim outfit to give away turkey sandwiches. It started out as a way to make an ass of the pilgrim, but the pilgrim found a shelter and a line of people outside it to give the sandwiches away to, and as you heard him offering and each one taking them, the whole moment was transformed from a joke to a near-weeping triumph of human spirit. It threw the host totally off his game and I swear it sounded like he was fighting tears as they all started praising the pilgrim-dressed crewmember and adding to his altruism by phone.

I just think this is what it's about. Helping people. Stretching out from self and uplifting someone with your energy. Maybe that carpenter dude had it right 2000 plus years ago.

"And the greatest commandment is this; that you love your (N)eighbor as yourselves."

;-D

Monday, November 24, 2008

Forgot To Title This! (Talk About Busy!)

Another crazy busy day. Has me here typing to beat midnight. Three good sessions tonight. Makes me remember why I want to do this full-time.

I have my interview in the morning. I probably won't have time to blog before I go (unless I wake up at 4 in the AM and can't get back to sleep. Friends say I shouldn't give up the NJ job in these harsh times. These harsh times has me thinking they may be right. I will at least quiz this dude tomorrow on what exactly he's offering. I might have to be so pessimistic that he won't want to hire me. And too, I'm getting such a sadness from the idea of leaving my NJ clients. They will survive without me, yes. But I will miss them.

I'm off to some well-earned rest.

So Last Night...

...I punked out on posting a proper entry because I was on the phone with Grim Jester. I discovered he called me a few times throughout the week but didn't leave a message. He used a different phone so I didn't know it was him. His girlfriend continues in a decline and he continues to attend to her in the hospital daily.

But last night, when he finally got me on the line, he proceeded to ridicule my profession as it would pertain to him. He said "I was feeling a little down about this situation and you know what I told myself? GET OVER IT." This is a jab he's often thrown at me. "GET OVER IT." He has said that's all the therapy many people need.

Maybe.

Mr. Anti-Emo. The thing that aggravates me, though, is that he can be so aggressive with his opinions and disregards other people's feelings on the matter. He does have his moments when he shows blinding empathy and acts on it (like what he's doing for his girlfriend daily, and what he did for me when I got evicted), and I guess that's all I can ask from him.

Plus, he's clearly in an Angry stage of grief, which probably comes to him as easily as ducklings come to mother.

Rrgh. Friends. Life. Rrgh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

37 Minutes To Go

I've not more time than that to post something.


"Something."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shopping As A Competitor Sport

In my neighborhood, there's a bizarre standard in the bodegas that is driving me out of my nut. Now, I'm trying to be understanding of other people's culture, and I'm not going to walk three blocks to the supermarket when it's literally freezing outside and there's a "grocery" store right downstairs in my building. But you walk in there and you are no longer in America. No one is speaking English. And no one knows how to whisper or use their inside voices. Music with especially pronounced treble blaring timpani and salsa beats while you say "Excuse me," for the second time to the swarthy man with the red eyes leaning back against the soda case that holds the Diet 7UP bottles while he listens with one ear to the short round man repeating the same Dominican phrase over and over (or at least he is to my ears).

But when you finally have all the items you want, you take it to the counter and the starter's gun fires. Because little did you know it, you can only purchase your items if you are fast enough and loud enough. That's right, stupid me, I thought it was a matter of lining up along the deli case and waiting your turn. Not so! For while I put my items up, here comes the chick with her mewling brat plopping her Enfamil ahead of my Diet 7UP and declares, "Oom, let me get a pack of Black & Milds" to my slackjawed surprise. And while she is waited on, in walks a Sherman tank of a grandmother from the street (not even having shopped yet) hollering her language at the store clerk and asks for something that I can't even re-pronounce, let alone type.

Well, two is my limit. Before a third person appears and causes me to lose my religion, I interpose my body in such a way that no one puts anything up on the counter again unless we hit the streets like the Sharks and the Jets, and I pin the clerk with my eyes. In them he may read at his leisure, "I'M NEXT DUDE. WTF." And I purchase my items, and I book out, seriously considering the three-block walk next time.

I mean, really. Culture, smulture. I thought manners were a Universal language.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'Tis Not So Deep As A Well ...

... nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve." -Mercutio, Romeo & Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1

So describes Mercutio of the wound he's received from that bastard Tybalt which, offstage, ends up claiming his life.

Disclaimer; This post will be an expurgation of some messy and miserable feelings that I need out of me right now. I'm not holding anyone responsible for coming to my rescue. Let me purge and most likely, I'll be okay.


So I'm finishing up "The Time Traveler's Wife" and damn if I'll not be in tears by the time I hit the back page. If you intend to read this, be warned that I must use spoilers if I'm going to finish this post.

Henry is the "time traveler". He actually displaces from his present and go bodily into his past or more rarely, his future. He's a lot like a TARDIS because he doesn't just move in time, but in place as well. He seems to go to places only linked to his own life, as opposed to random spots across the globe. And mostly, he goes to places that hold a lot of emotional meaning for him, such as his wife's life. Right now it reads more like a fantasy than science fiction because there' no explanation for why this random time hopping knows how to place him at the site of events that mean so much to him. What agency is in charge of his meeting his wife when she is 8 years old? Or that takes him several times over his lifespan to the various vantage points around his mother's hideous death by car accident? Or to the museum where his future daughter happens to be on a field trip? It's the author's artistic license exercised to tell a story about emotion and about loss.

And the loss is about to have me sobbing.

First of all, and maybe what I most want to focus on is the loss Clare, the titular Wife suffers every time Henry blinks away. The book doesn't spend needless time telling us about any pining that Clare does when Henry is gone, but it happens so often that I can't help but feel it. Clare first meets a full grown Henry at about six or eight, and continues to see him sporadically through her childhood until she is 18. At first, he is the perfect imaginary friend. He comes to see her alone and he is her secret. She has to feed him and clothe him. He needs her. Then as she goes into her adolescence, she begins to fall in love with him. This is well and good since Henry knows from the moment he sees her 6 (or 8) year-old-self that she will grow up to be his wife.

And so, every time she sees him, it feels like its me each time I see a post response or a new post on my blogroll. And every time Henry leaves her (going back to his present) it's like the time I spend between new posts. Oh she has friends and she even has family, but none of it is as special as what she has with this amazing new life form, the time traveler, who is just a human really, but a human who can show her and tell her amazing things. They way you guys do to me with the innermost feelings of your hearts.

And when Clare turns twenty, she finally sees Henry for "real" in his present. By this time she already knows she'll be married to him--but this time it's Henry who doesn't know it. It's only his future self who has been traveling back to see Clare's younger self. This present Henry has never met Clare before. And so they become a couple and get married. But Henry continues to time travel. Vanishing away. So even though Clare found him and has him, she cannot keep him.

And I swear, that's how I feel. I get so attached to you guys--my friends and the family that I choose--but we are all so far apart. Not hearing from you is like losing you and not knowing if I'll ever "see" you again. Trying not to worry that you're all doing okay out there, set adrift in time as you are, but every time you return with a response, a post, I heave a sigh of relief. I smile like a loon. And just like Henry, it's not something you can avoid. You all have lives to live, jobs to work, kids to raise, lovers to pursue. Of course you do. So I sit and understand and wait. I go to the friends I have nearby and I try to make myself busy, but I'm thinking of you all. I work to earn my money, but I use every available router signal to check to see if you've returned.

Obsess much, Alan?

I'll tell you what I'm addicted to. I'm addicted to the unedited mind. One of the reasons I love working with the developmentally disabled is because there's no screen or facade between us. What you see is what you get. And to me, there's nothing more beautiful than the honest heart. The open sharing between two individuals who have chosen each other. It's a lot like being in therapy, except there I'm not being paid to reciprocate my open wounds. But when my clients open up--there's just nothing more precious to me. Nothing I respect more. Each client unhinges a chamber door and holds out its contents for me to examine and to treat. And I look and it is as fragile as a newborn kitten. It might be sticky with amniotic fluid, or crying with a wide open harmless mouth empty of teeth, but it is precious and I care for it as much as I care for my own.

And so I know I am waiting for you. But I'm waiting for me too. This open heart that I'm drawn to, it is inside someone who will become my wife one day. And she will know that I love her because I won't be able to do anything else but. Somehow life has made me this way, and I'm just going to go for it.

Until then, here I am.

And there you are.

Finally.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It Stirs Itself

video
I did this because I remembered my camera in my pocket. Forgetting it would have \been difficult since I had to sign it in at the courthouse. Yeah, you know...the courthouse where I had to appear today because the people who evicted me in 2005 sued me to get the back rent. Oh didn't I tell you? Forgetful me!

Have you ever heard of such insult to injury?

Yeah. Some damn collection agency took over this debt (and probably thousands of others) and decided to sue me to get an income this year. The original landlords are probably not even living in America anymore. S.O.B's. In fact the judge himself said that usually landlords don't pursue the renters after they'd been kicked out. Lucky me. So all the money I thought I no longer had to worry about, I now have agreed in court to start paying back in January of 2009. It'll take me 18 months. And hopefully, by January 2009, I'll no longer have a car to pay for, nor insurance to pay for said car. That'd give me back 700 a month, easily.

Yeah, fate or karma or God or The Devil--I'm taking this one with me as a lesson I will learn and rise above. My interview is just a weekend and some days away. I will get this job. I will sell this car and get rid of this car loan. I will keep saving money no matter who I have to pay off. I will get my own apartment. I will be single, sexy, and free in NYC.

Try and stop me.

Oops I Did It Again

Entry for Wednesday 19th, 2008

On my way from a very good few sessions last night, I found myself in the middle of Times Square. I was heading to pick up my comics since I was done earlier than I usually do. and I thought, "this shouldn't be taken for granted."

So I photographed it for you.

Always you.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You're Going To Laugh

But in my own defense ... ah, I got nothin'. It took me a year and some months before I realized how awesome my roommate situation is. I mean, I knew it was awesome, but let me show you HOW awesome.



If you follow the video to it's true home at YouTube, you will find the write-up will tell you the name of the orchestra leader of this little band here. (Yes it's in Spanish but the name is the same. I will not type it.) Just look at the second man from your left, their right. The one who kind of leads them with his bowstring to start off the piece. That's the guy I rent my room from. If you use his name and the word "orchestra" in a Google search, you will find his webpage.

While he's here in the apartment, he is constantly practicing. Listen to this YouTube of him and his peeps, and imagine that's what I get to hear en solo right down the hall from me.

Awesome sauce.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Really DID Get A Rock!

As in ROCK AND ROLL!!!

The guy who I expected to call me on Friday called me today!!!

We'll meet next week, and he's going to interview me briefly, and we're already bonding! It'll be informal and brief over in the neighborhood where he lives in Manhattan. And would you like to guess where that neighborhood is?

Correct on the first go!! My FAVORITE neighborhood--the Upper West Side!!!!

Okay. Now. Here's what I've learned, and here's how I'm going into this interview; I need to stop idealizing these work situations. Although this guy sounds handsome and intelligent and like a great guy over the phone, I have to realize that he might be a crazily neurotic lying troll of a person. He wants me to work part time and he says they compensate well. Of course that translates to HE gets paid well. I want him to be friendly on the eyes just because it's nice to look forward to going into work. Endorphins creates a good vibe that I need to work with clients well. I have more than a few attractive clients that I like working with just because I like looking at them as we do the damn thing. Is that shallow of me? Of course. But I know there's more to it than that, and I'm good at what I do regardless of what's circling around in my melon. Plus, since I don't even kiss people and am most-likely all PTSD'd up, so I wouldn't do anything inappropriate with my clients or my bosses even if they threw their clothes across the office, had a sports brief or a Victoria Secret's push-up bra on and threw themselves at me.

What was I saying? :-D

Oh! So, I have to realize that even though I BADLY want to trade the full-time NJ job for the part-time NYC job, I have to recognize that nothing is going to be as good as I think it will. Isn't that funny? Usually I'm trying to convince myself that nothing will be as BAD as I think it'll be. I guess it's all about balance. I have to learn how to stay in the middle and accept that nothing is All Bad or All Good. And I have to learn that that's okay. To this end, I'm happy to say that I'm accepting my counseling center's director faults without wanting to run screaming from the center. I wanted him to be a big grandfather-figure to shower me with wisdom and guidance and make me a better therapist. Now, I can't trust him. He's manipulative and greedy. But I accept that. I don't feel devastated or haunted, whereas before I would have. It would have rocked my world. Now, it only warns me not to take this man's criticisms to heart anymore, and to let him have his way with the complaining and sending me notes. I'll just take them with a Plymouth Rock-sized grain of salt.

Anyway, things are looking up for real. Less time spent working with the same income equals a more rested, less beat-dowm feeling Alan! I see myself maintaining the gym schedule I've wanted to create. I see myself having real living wages without having to spend on a car. I see myself in my own apartment with a new kitty cat (yay!!!), a living room, and an expandable couch for guests who wish to visit NYC and need a nice free place to stay. (Yes, I'm looking at YOU.)

PS; I changed the phrase "for guests who wish to come to NYC" to "for guests who wish to visit NYC" because I love ya, but I'm not ready to get all with the forever cozy! Unless you want to roommate with me wearing nothing but colorful undies all day and all night.)

PPS; I really do need to switch jobs. I love this NJ gig, but I've been spending the whole day on the internet--out of sheer "tired of doing paperwork"-edness. I need a change, or I may never again render another honest day's work in my life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Like Cinderella

I had to get this last dance in before the clock strikes midnight.

Ricky Gervais is on the HBO and I want to strip to me undies and climb into bed. (Yes, I'm typing in an English accent for effect.) He's currently reading the "postcard" which has alternatives for the gay male to have sex without the risk of AIDS. I think he's making it up. It's vile and mildly funny. "Why not jac each other off?" "Why not cum on his back?" And etcetera. Bodily fluids. Haha.

BTW, I'm not stripping to my undies because of Gervais and his sexual material, but just because I'm sleepy. And, um, well, that's how I roll when I go beddy-bye. Boxers or briefs, you ask?

Yes.

Good night. :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Minute I Held The Key ...

...next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand.


I mean, I'm okay now, but today I tripped a little into some sloshy emo territory. again, I dunno why. Except something very notable happened. I purposed to have barbeque today before I sequestered myself in my room. At the 125th subway station, I saw a developmentally disabled boy who I've seen on the "1" train before. He appears in his early twenties, afro often uncombed, and on the train he often stands up looking out of the windows. He sways back and forth as though he were blind--like Stevie Wonder at the piano. His fingers are often splayed at odd angles, fiddling with the opposite palm with unfocused preoccupation. And it's clear to me, he's getting a thrill from the ride. What I don't know is if he's just riding for riding's sake, or if he's going somewhere specific.

Today at the station, just as someone jumped the turnstile (yes, this was theft and if the rapscallion were caught by a policeman, he'd have been fined $500 dollars) I saw the boy rocking in the station "lobby". He wasn't looking at me--he doesn't do that. He doesn't make eye contact with anyone. But then I heard him clear as day saying, "Train fare so I can get home?"

Yes, he was panhandling. And panhandlers turn me right off. I just can't do it. Too many scam artists out there just making a living off scavenging people's compassion. And I hate to be suckered. But this boy was the real thing. I knew this because I had seen him before. I'm sure he wanted no more than to get on the subway. No money--just a ride. Unfortunately I had expended my last 2.00 on the farecard in order to get to this station. But I could easily replenish it for him--and when I purposed to do so, he had dashed away down the staircase out the opposite side of the station (it's an elevated platform over the street. Pictures forthcoming...) He was gone. I saw him across the street, but I couldn't go looking for him. And because I'd seen him before, I knew he'd get back on the train eventually, just as he'd done before.

But something about the fact that he was able to speak--and he was using his ability to ask for people's mercy--and that people weren't giving it, or he couldn't focus long enough to take it just then--something about that really got to me.

Plus, I'm reading "The Time Traveller's Wife" still, and I'm at the part where they'd been married and the wife, after waiting so long for the wedding that he's told her about since she was 12, is learning to cope with her husband's vanishings, and being left alone.

That's what it was. It was the boy's aloneness. He was there in the station alone. He had no one travelling with him. He had no one to pay his way onto the train. He needed a friend. And I knew the feeling.

So alone, I walked to Dinosaur BQ and alone I took a table from a very attractive waitress. And alone I watched large parties of families with kids and couples having a Saturday treat. and alone I ate my ribs. And alone I tipped and left the restaurant. And alone I took out my camera and started taking pictures because I wanted to share the day with someone

---and that someone is you.

Always you.


The 125th St Elevated Subway Station

The View From the Station, Looking West Towards The Hudson River

Close-Up To The World's Famous Cotton Club
After eating my lunch I go back to the station, but I have drifting on my mind. So I walk up Broadway to the south. After climbing the hill, I look back north up Broadway.

Looking North

The First Building of Columbia University

Travelling Southward The Next Building on the West Side is Union Theological Seminary


Continuing South
Next up, Barnard College

These buildings are all on Columbia University's campus. As are, as you can imagine, several thousand college-aged students. When I looked up suddenly was Joe and Johnny College flip-flopping their wonderful way through life. They couldn't wait for an opportunity to bare them feet. Evidently.

After making it past Stud 1 and Stud 2, The Perfect Couple met me at the corner as they came up from Riverside Drive and I continued south of Broadway. I wanted to push them over into the shrubbery.

Eventually I stopped at 110th & Broadway and sat myself on a fire hydrant. I settled down for some self-flagellation to watch the dozens of families crossing the street. Fathers with their children. Husbands with their wives.

But one father and his two daughters stuck out to me. He looked like such a gentle soul while living in the body of a rugby footballer.

He crossed to where I was sitting and rounded past to go towards Riverside behind me. I couldn't hate on him. He was the most inspiration I received today. He was more than a concept. He was real. as were his girls. He smiled like a young Santa Clause to his youngest in the cradle as he zipped her up against the wind off the river.

I was going to go down to karaoke to sing alone, but decided that I'd had enough melancholy for the day. Instead I'd rather home and be productive. So here's my entry for the day.

Tomorrow back to work. Goodbye weekend. Hello mad dash through another week. But at least there will be clients. By the way, I left a message at the phone number of the guy who offered me the part-time full-pay Manhattan position. I received no reply.

Charlie Brown: "I got a rock."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tha Hootin' and Tha Hollerin'

This song motivates me because 1) Kickass rap lyrics addressing the rap world, 2)recited with genius, 3) kickass beat thanks to the 80's and Numa Numa, and 4) it assists me with the forward momentum of getting what I need to get, and stomping who I need to stomp into the pit.

I'm livin'my life.

LIVE YOUR LIFE
(Numa Numa)
Mia hee, mia haa, mia hoo, mia
ha ha
Mia hee, mia haa, mia hoo, mia
ha ha
(x4)

(Rihanna):
You're gonna be a shining star, fancy clothes, fancy car-ars.
And then you'll see, you're gonna go far.
Cause everyone knows, who you are-are.
So live your life, ay ay ay.
You steady chasing that paper.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Ain't got no time for no haters.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
No telling where it'll take you.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Cause I'm a paper chaser.
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)

(T.I.):
Nevermind what haters say, ignore em 'til they fade away.
Amazing they ungrateful after all the game I gave away.
Safe to say I paid the way, for you cats to get paid today.
You'd still be wasting days away now, had I never saved the day.
Consider them my protégé, homage I think they should pay.
Instead of being gracious, they violate in a major way.
I never been a hater still I love them in a crazy way.
Some say they sold yah and no they couldn't get work on Labor Day.
It aint that they black or white, their hands in areas the shades of grey.
I'm West side anyway, even if I left today and stayed away.
Some move away to make a way, not move away 'cause they afraid.
I brought back to the hood and all you ever did was take away.
I pray for patience but they make me want to melt their face away.
Like I once made them spray, now I could make em put the k's away.
Been thuggin' all my life, can't say I don't deserve to take a break.
You'd rather see me catch a case and watch my future fade away.

(Rihanna):
You're gonna be a shining star, fancy clothes, fancy car-ars.
And then you'll see, you're gonna go far.
Cause everyone knows, who you are-are.
So live your life, ay ay ay.
You steady chasing that paper.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Ain't got no time for no hata's
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
No telling where it'll take you.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Cause I'm a paper chaser.
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)
Just living my life.

(T.I.):
I'm the opposite of moderate,
immaculately polished with
the spirit of a hustler and
the swagger of a college kid.

Allergic to the counterfeit,
impartial to the politics.
Articulate but still I'll
grab a ni**a by the collar quick.

Whoever having problems with their record sales just holla 'Tip.
If that don't work and all else fails, then turn around and follow 'Tip.
I got love for the game but ay I'm not in love with all of it.
Could do without the fame and rappers nowadays are comedy.
The hootin' and the hollerin', back and forth with the arguing.
Where you from, who you know, what you make and what kind of car you in.
Seems as though you lost sight of whats important when depositing them checks into your bank account and you up out of poverty.
Your values is in disarray, prioritizing horribly.
Unhappy with the riches cause you piss poor morally.
Ignoring all prior advice and forewarning.
And we mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden, aren't we?

(Rihanna):
You're gonna be a shining star, fancy clothes, and fancy car-ars.
And then you'll see, you're gonna go far.
Cause everyone knows, who you are-are.
So live your life, ay ay ay.
You steady chasing that paper.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Ain't got no time for no hata's
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
No telling where it'll take ya.
Just live your life (Oh!), ay ay ay.
Cause I'm a paper chaser.
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)
Just living my life (ay), my life (oh), my life (ay), my life (oh)



Got everybody watchin what I do
Come walk in my shoes
And see the way I'm livin' if you really want to
Got my mind on my money
And I'm not goin away

So keep on gettin your paper
And keep on climbing
Look in the mirror and keep on shinin'
Till the game ends, till the clock stop
We gon' post up on the top spot
Livin the life, the life
In a brand new city got my whole team with me
The life, my life
I do what I wanna do
I'm livin my life, my life
I will never lose,
I'm livin my life, my life
And I'm not stopping

Mia hee, mia haa, mia hoo, mia
ha ha
Mia hee, mia haa, mia hoo, mia
ha ha
(x2)
So live ya life

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank You For Attending...

...my pity party yesterday. I have some lovely parting gifts for you in the vestibule.

So guess what I learned yesterday? My counseling center director? He does that "losing-clients-is-your-fault" thing with EVERY therapist there. I found this out because one client who I'd "lost" was given to another therapist after a week or so of non-attendance. Well last night I saw both that client in the waiting room and the therapist who took them on. The client jumped up to shake my hand and explained that they was going to call me because they had gained a lot with me in that little time we'd been together and that they didn't really know what they were doing with the other therapist. Which doesn't mean that the other therapist was doing anything wrong. The other therapist has a different mode of therapy which I don't know how to do. Think of it like hypnotherapy (although it isn't). So in my mind I figured as long as the client is getting help, then bless 'em. But as the client spoke to me, they said that the director had called them to offer them another therapist--just like, talked them into coming back. Which was not what the director told me that he had said to the client. The director gave me the impression that the client was sitting out of therapy, lost and hurting, let down by me--but the client had just kind of been coerced to return by the director, and when I saw them last night, they seemed like they didn't know why they were there.

But then, after they had left for the night, their new therapist and me were the last ones in the center, and the therapist opened right up saying, "I don't know why Director keeps talking these clients into coming back when they're finished with us." Because my former client expressed the same kind of want to stay home while their personal life needed their attention, and then the client would call me when they wanted to return. I could have leaped in the air with a double fist pump.

The other therapist further elaborated; she has been working at the center for more than 7 years, and she said the director has always done this. She said when she terminates therapy with a client, the director would call her and talk to her like it was her first day on the job. This therapist, who is always full of smiles and hugs literally, was showing her less-friendly side when it came to the director's behavior and I could've ate it up with a spoon.

So that was double the affirmation I needed in one night. Yes, I can learn to be a better therapist. And yes, there's always room for improvement. But this director was giving me a bad vibe, and I was right. And my instinct with my clients was not as off as the director made me think it was. I really actually AM a good therapist and I will now let the directors phonecalls to me run off my back like a skittle of water across oil.

I got my mojo baaaaaack!!

As for my sexuality rant of yesterday, today's not a day of regret or confusion like it was yesterday. It may so happen that I will oscillate back and forth until I lose my freak status, and I urge your patience and compassion as I do so, but today, I'm stomping the generals of opposition into the Spartan well of accusation and self-doubt.

Ned, you're with me. Let's meet the Persians together, buddy!!





This










IS










TRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIBE!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okay, So Let's Talk

I didn't want to taint the news of Fringes & Q with my emo gushations, but I just have to give a likkle lyric at this particular moment. I guess I should start by acknowleging how rare it is that a couple meet through internet blogs, and fall in love, and turn it into a life together. Being that it's rare, most of the credit has to go to Q, no doubt. He's the guy who made the first moves through comments, then made the commitment to travel 650 miles every week to see Fringes. He's the one who stayed through after meeting two kids. He's the one who ignored whatever anyone might have said about him doing all this for a black girl. And for her credit, she's the one who trusted that his intentions where true. That his love was true. So this is completely and madly special.

Having said that, I want one! Wahhhh!

In wanting to identify with Dexter, the novel protagonist-cum-TV serial-killer-for-good, I wanted an out from this bizarre condition I have found myself in. Alone, not always lonely, and untapped in my forties. I wanted to be able to say, "I'm not bizarre, I was born this way. I'm autistic!" Then Karma, who also works in mental health, postulated that my condition may me due to PTSD, which is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Which I can also accept, but in a "I'd really rather it be just pnuemonia, but if it's lung cancer then ok let's deal with it" kind of way.

Because PTSD means that it's a result of the man who molested me. And it makes sense that what I am and what I do would have resulted from a molestation. And whereas I can't remember everything he did to me, I do know it wasn't just once, and I do know that I liked it, but that I couldn't have been older than 6 and so what he did was a crime against me (and God, really). And that I was violated. And that it wasn't my fault any more than autism would be.

But yeah, my symptoms have always been fear-based. A little panicky, really. PTSD does fit in there. Fear of getting close, getting naked, letting her and/or him turn me on. Fear of bodily fluids (I admit it, I sometimes snap my head away from porn when mouths open up and tongues go in places, and liquids start to flow and get on people's faces and other parts. Sometimes. Not all times, but most times). When it became a reality that sex was going to be required of me by my peers in high school, I went running to a strict little church in Mahwah where I wasn't even supposed to hold hands too long with a date. Perfecto. Escape from the fears! Religious pious excuse to avoid, avoid, avoid!

And yes, my fear could have come from actually being gay and not really wanting to be with a chick, but I can't be successfully gay with the hang-ups I've got! EUCCHH! No way!! And I can never dismiss the strong possibility that I only have an attraction to guys because it was a guy who introduced me to sexual stimulation before puberty; not because I was born gay.

And I want to understand!! I want to know WTF?!! Do I go and earn Ned's comforting and craved-for pride in me and take on a gay identity? Do I defeat the effects of a criminal pervert son of a bitch who diddled with me, and resist same-sex urges? Do I just go with what I've got, disregard how I got it, and go find me a muscular stud? Do I stay nice and safe inside my bubble, and trust only myself as a lover? Or do I find a girl who will understand and who will be patient, and who will let me experiment sexually with her until I get it right and also allow me my hang-ups (like I don't think I'll be able to **zz on her face or in her mouth if she wants me to. Sorry. ICK).

I don't know. And I hate not knowing. But I might never have the answer. But I can't just stay here, can I? What a waste that would be. I'm a good-looking guy with a lot of love to give. I'm about to come correct with my finances and enter into a full time (equivalent) counseling career in New York City. And I'm a good guy. I mean no one any harm. Only good things. I only want to use my powers for good. I want to make someone's life better for loving me.

I don't want to die alone.

So where's my fringes?

Where's my Q?

Just asking.

You know?

Congratulations To Fringes & Q

They got married a few weeks ago. Yay! It gives me something to post about today!

So when I first discovered Fringes, her boyfriend was a guy who wore flip-flops to her posh family's Thankgiving Dinner, named Q. He drove 650 (a two-way trip) within Texas to go see her on the weekends and make sweet sweet nookie. When I ascertained Q's whiteness through his use of flip-flops, I fell in love with the both of them. It seemed as though this boy fell in love with this girl fo' realz! He disregarded the color line, he disregarded the inner gushings of a blogger who spoke both the bad as vividly as the good, he disregarded (or more better, accepted) her two children, and he disregarded the miles between them.

That is some serious love right there.

And now they are married and he's moved in and they're giving birth in 4.5 months to the next Barack Obama.

Who says the interwebs ain't bringing people together?