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

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?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Onward...

Tomorrow I go back over the Bridge to my day job. I don't want to go. This helps me decide what's waht on Friday if I get the call from interested career psychologist guy. My day clients will adjust without me. I'll miss them, but they'll get over me. Just as they have gotten over the other people who've come and gone through their homes and apartments.

There's even a girl who I believe my boss would happily replace me with.

Oh please call me on Friday, Interested Career Psychologist Guy. And please don't be running a roach-infested opium den. And please REALLY do have the money you offered for a part time position. (Four days off, same income!)

Then I'll have to save up enough money to sell my car. Because yes, I still owe so much interest to the bank, I'll never be able to sell it and get the title without chipping in. And no one in their right minds would take over the loan.

Oh, and today? I dug deep enough to find the right contact number and method of becoming a provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield. awwwwwww YEAH.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Upside Of Being Me

So yeah, yesterday was a day of melancholy. I was so moved by it that I left Grim Jester a phone message with the most emo content I've ever given him. He might receive it--he's pretty vulnerable these days. But I knew I'd have to go over his house to see him. So instead I went over the friend's house who didn't want to play D&D that day because Grim wasn't going to be there (y'all remember that?).

Yeah, he lives within walking distance, which is why I pick him up to go to the D&D game. And he's invited me over by e-mail (because he never uses his phone. He hates his phone. All phones. I know ... where do I get these friends? Grim Jester, that's where) but I haven't wanted to go over there because this guy is a recluse and a little sociopathic, and he likes to use me for therapy. And when I'm not working, I'd rather keep not working.

But yesterday I was feeling the lonelies and Captain Hypocrite tapped me on the shoulder and grinned broadly in my face as I realized that I had the nerve to feel lonely when I had this standing invite a half hour's walk away. So I went, and we had a good time. He showed me a few of his favourite obsessions and I made sweet love to his cat, who is the runt of Azrael's litter. SO cute. SO so friendly and purry and rubby and twiny and meowy and warm and soft and pretttttttttty. (Yes, maybe the cat was a bigger draw than I first anticipated. And yes, I will be visiting again to see 1) the cat and 2) my friend, in that order. Shoot, he was ready to stand ME up in favor of Grim Jester! I don't owe him nothin'! I'm not mad at him. I just wanna see the cat again.)

But anyway, we watched "Dexter" the Showtime series? He collects movies and shows so I requested the show that he said I would love.

And what do you know?

I loved it.

And as we watched, I wondered why we both loved it so. He said he already knew why HE loved it. It was because he and Dexter had so much in common. You see, Dexter narrates the show. He explains what it's like inside his head. He is a psychopath of the genteel kind. He's a serial killer who has been guided into killing only people who deserve it by his cop father who loved his little psychopathic foster son. And so Dexter is charming on the outside and an emotionless murderer on the inside. In the pilot episode, the only thing that aroused his passion was the work of another serial killer. Everything else, he performs. Smiles, social niceties, love ... it's all a reproduction that he's picked up along the way. We find this out as he narrates his relationships with his sister, his collegues in the police department, and his girlfriend and her two kids.

So tell me... why did I feel like I found my brother in Dexter? The way my friend does? Remember back when I first met Ned, and I proposed that maybe we both had Asperger's? That we were removed from some social mores and that possibly we were just born this way? I revisited that again when I was watching Dexter.

And I practically skipped home.

So ... what if, yeah? I'm a 44-Year Old Virgin because I just don't get it? That I just never got it? And that maybe I just won't ever get it? That I haven't dug in them gutz with a woman or a man because to me it's just a thing that people do and it just doesn't appeal enough to me? That I know what sexual desire is, and the feeling of the male O is a vivifying treat on so many masculine levels--but that whole with another person thing can sometimes just be so ... euw? Smells and sights and gasses from every orifice and sticky, pasty, cloudy fluids spilling here and staining there. And like Dionne Warwick said;

"What do you get
When you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs
To catch pneumonia.
And when you do,
He never phones ya."


Maybe I'm just not made for relationships! Maybe, like Dexter, I can analyze and apply my observations for others, but I'm perfectly content to watch from inside my beautiful little Asperger's bubble?

and maybe that's just me, and maybe that's o-effing-kay?

Because guess what? Today I got a call from someone who found my resume on Monster and wanted to know if I was interested in a part-time position using my license here on Isla de Manhatan, which at 24-27 hrs a week will net me as much as I make in NJ at 40 hrs/wk. Add to that the absence of a car payment, the car insurance, and tolls and gas, and whew does it tempt my soul. I'm waiting to see if he calls me back on Friday for an interview.

So who needs a relationship right now? I'm still building something here! I'm making a life! I don't have time to wine and dine! I still gotta get out of Jersey! I still gotta pitch my money pit of a car! I still gotta sock three months rent away in an account! I still got a belly to lose! I still got insurances to become a provider for!

I'm not finished yet!

This...


IS...


...ALAAAAAANNNNN!!!!


a

a

A

A

A

A

A

H

H

H

H

.

.

.




*squish*

O Crap! How'd I Miss Yesterday?!?

Reflections from November 9th, 2008

Well dammit. It's not as though I didn't have time to blog, because I very much did. I spent yesterday lazing around and producing audio of the adventurous kind. And then things turned melancholic for some reason or another, I'm not quite sure what.

I started out the day with a walk over the Broadway bridge into the Bronx where a Starbucks lay. I've seen it often enough but never drove to it. Yesterday, today and tomorrow I took off from work so yesterdy was my foray into "vacation," thus the walk. And perhaps after I'd ordered the latte is when things began getting a little less sunny. Even though the weather was beautiful.

I continue to roll the fact of the first black United States President around in my head, and I marvel that it's so historic and that it's happening in my lifetime. It's like one of those theories like "The First Martian Colony"--something that seems far off, but possible now. When it happens you realize someday is today.

In the same sense that "someday when I'm in my forties" is actually "today I'm in my forties." I started blogging when I was 38 or 39. I was moving to NYC for the first time and I was unmedicated. Worst Case Scenario Man was kicking my ass all over midJersey and I had just turned away a girl I was in love with, but was a catalyst to losing my confidence in my hetereosexuality. Yeah, that's what it was. She told me to stop talking about getting engaged until I could prove we'd be compatible sexually. I blogged about it, but I never did add in the last components of this. That 1) I was a virgin, which she didn't know, and so therefore pretty much terrified of the idea and 2) I was occasionally attracted to hot guys. I believed, perhaps naively, that since I loved this girl, and that I acknowledged within myself fully that she had the greatest rack I would likely be able to get my hands on in this life, and that her beauty otherwise was Ebony magazine-worthy, that I would be able to consummate my relationship with her should we be wed. And then all the church stuff that I'd been aspiring to also set me up to wait until marriage. So if she only could've waited with me, and wasn't as blunt as she could usually be, then she could've had me and I'd be married now with children. I probably wouldn't have been a blogger though. Yeah, life would have been pretty different. But would it have been happier?

And now, I'm 44. History is unfolding all around me. We have a black President-elect and pray God eventually President. (The forty-fourth President in the year that I turned 44.)

And life continues to plod on.

And I'm still waiting.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Reality Check--Of The Good Kind

So I'm in the Starbucks making my way through a small swirl of people to the exit when a woman comes out of the bathroom to my right. I catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye and all I really catch is a slack expression on her dark cocoa face. Not a physically attractive woman by most standards. Heavyset and a little too wide in the eyes. Fairly manly in fact. No attention to enhancing any womanly traits whatsoever. Wearing a red hoodie and jeans. And walking way too close to me as I continue to the door.

So close in fact that I hear her clearly when she exhales, "Damn! He's cute!" Referring to me. Because when I had glanced her way at first, she was staring right at me. Her too-wide eyes were gaped because she was looking me up and down as if she was catching a movie star incognito. Clearly she was compromised in the appropriate social behavior department. I could see some developmental disability behind her eyes and demonstrated in her inhibition-free exclamation.

But developmental disability doesn't mean a person is stupid. Maybe a little unwise and childlike, but not stupid. So she didn't have the impulse control that she could have exercized when she saw me--and because of that, I got to hear an unedited and clear opinion of my looks without the worry of what I would think of her, or whether I deserved to know, or any fear of what I would do to her as a result. She didn't worry about our relationship afterwards or if it would blow my head up, or if men on a whole don't deserve to have that information because they act like jerks once they know. Without any of those social filters, I heard what she thouhgt. It was like a direct link into her mind--as though I were telepathic suddenly.

"Damn! He's cute!"

Thank you, Miss Anonymous. I REALLY appreciated hearing that!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Am A 10th Level Master Conjurer...

... and 3rd Level Focused Specialist! Beware my wrath!!

So I'm currently sitting at the boardroom table of my gaming buddy's workplace in Manhattan. To my left is the geek buddy who arranges the Central Park get-togethers, and his sweetheart fiancee. At the end of this month, because of emigration hangups, he's going to move to Germany since she cannot live here. And we will lose him. To her. Inevitably we always do. I'm a little mad at her, but a whole lot not. Because the connection it would take to cause a metropolitan professional in NYC (read; middle class wage earner who can afford a $2100 rent near Central Park) to pack up and leave it all behind should be pretty awesome. I can only envy him the love he must feel for her.

Across from me is the buddy who's workplace this is. He's been married a year now. Across and to the right is our friend who is meeting an internet date tonight and so he'll be cutting it short. Another woman taking one of us away. He's divorced and no doubt more lonely than he wants to tell us. To his left is a younger player who is also a New York City professional. To my far right is the Dungeon Master. He's the second oldest guy here. He's also an urban black man who lends flavor to the text at rare times with urban slang. Dungeons & Dragons, Yo.

I'm the first oldest one in this room. I've been spending a lot of years escaping my circumstances. I'm perfectly happy doing so, and thus my real life goes on eventless.

I'm in a limbo of sorts. (Yes, my terminology is borrowed. To you from whom I have borrowed this from, please attend to my analogy.) I was sequestered away from the fear of coping with a same-sex attraction. Now I'm coping. Yet it's still safer to stay inside this limbo. It'll be a challenge to come out and face my feelings. A challenge to sideline or press through or incorporate my attractions for beef as I attempt a relationship with fish. So I've always rathered to stay inside limbo. I've said as much before in these pages. I'd rather be alone and lonely than take a woman's trust and her life, and destroy it with my fluid sexuality.

To say nothing of the sheer challenge of just saying hello! And just staying interesting for her. And being able to negotiate through disagreements. And her calling me an idiot sometimes. And me falling asleep on top or her by accident after I gets mines. And performing a thousand other horribly human things that will make me feel like an utter failure and an undeveloped child, and a fool.

Yeah, I've rather stayed in limbo all this time. But I can't stay here forever. And I guess that's what I look to you guys for. To David A Price, for instance, who adores his wife and occasionally drops hints or two on how he pleases her. Wedding pictures that he's shared with me make him look like a bear protecting a maiden. I'm looking for how I'll do the same.

So for now, fear my Orb of Force! No Spell Resistance, beeyotches!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Revolutionaries Wait For My Head On A Silver Plate

I've been getting A LOT of criticism lately on my various job performances whereupon I recieve my dough. Not a comfortable feeling.

Last week I ditched out on a psych meeting in NJ after securing the knowledge that the person who initiated it was fully present. But I ditched it to make another appointment in NYC at the counseling center, which I was early to and the other person was late. Not the right thing to do, but I had to do what I had to do. So my nice boss in NJ really socked it to me on that one.

Then of course there's the drama of the counseling center director continuing to give me grief about clients who cancel appointments, as if I were directly responsible, which if I am, I'd rather they stop coming than me force them to stay.

But more than a small part of me hates to admit that I'm doing something wrong. Even though lately long-term clients have been rescheduling with me, and yes, they might be getting tired of coming after we've already worked out some primary things that they first came to me for, but that's not really a reflection of anything I'm doing wrong, is it? I'd say it was a reflection of something I'm doing right. This damn director's got me feeling like I'm failing when I'm probably succeeding. All signs point to succeeding. I took a position in this man's center because I thought he was a nuturing person who'd guide me and help me be a better therapist. But I'm experiencing the exact opposite.

And then again, my own defensiveness could be getting in the way of identifying a problem in my ability to provide therapy for my clients, and I'm not learning what I should learn to help them better. Which ends up being something that again--I'm doing wrong.

Bleah.

Okay. I got that out. I'll stop being so damn vulnerable, suck it up, learn what improvements I can make, and dismiss the rest as the director's economic paranoia. I'm a good therapist. But I can be better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag...


(borrowed from Manhattan's Peak)

An article detailing a lot of reaction from around the country.
Yet here's what I wanted to quote here--

Surveying the scene, Mattie Bridgewater whispered from her seat, "I just can't believe it. Not in my lifetime."

Bridgewater said she went to the same elementary school as Emmett Till, the boy from Chicago whose murder in Mississippi was one of the catalysts of the civil rights movement. Both she and her 92-year-old mother voted for Obama.

"I'm sitting here in awe," she said. "This is a moment in history that I just thank my God I was allowed to live long enough to see. Now, when I tell my students they can be anything they want to be, that includes president of the United States."


Weep. Can't you just see the 92-yr old woman making her way to the voting machine? Behind her, in memory, plays the scenes of the March on Washington, the loosed dogs attacking black people in the streets, the burning churches and flaming crosses, the blocked school steps to hassle the little black girls as they entered the school in Little Rock--all events that played out in her lifetime. and she lived to cast her vote for the first black President of the United States.

A black President. THE black President.

And see as well, behind her, the spirits of all her friends who didn't make it this far, supporting her from the other side. She cast her vote for them too. Did she whisper "We made it, girls."

And fully, as Eliel asked in the comments, it's clear to me how the country itself prepared its citizens for this day through the media. Yes, through the idiot box.

The series "24" cast two black actors to be the President for how many seasons, Eliel? 3? The movie Deep Impact cast America's favorite black actor (Morgan Freeman) as the President. These images were accepted and helped people in the comfort of their homes and bedrooms that it should be possible. That nothing is wrong with the idea. That it's no aesthetic violation to have a brown-skinned President. Even Dave Chapelle made it okay to laugh at the idea that a black President could be a homeboy and funny as hell. Softened the concept for the country.

Also, Eliel has a fantastic post quoting his homeboy in media, that Coates guy. I urge a read. In essence, it's also about the white people of America who really did this. The white women marrying black men and raising black children. The white parents who supported these white daughters, such as Barack's grandmother, who passed away day before yesterday. And then there are the white casting directors. White scriptwriters, white directors, white white white white white.

This didn't happen alone. White people in power and influence were ready for this. White votes for Barack flooded the ballot boxes. White delegates and superdelegates. White news media picked the slant they wanted to give (Yes, I have to acknowledge this too. I hate that it's true, but the media is a total bitch most of the time). White Tina Fey and white Darrel Hammond sending up the Republicans in massive lampoon. White writers. White SNL producers. White viewers loving it.

I'm okay with this. I'm really, really okay with it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh My Dear Sweet Lord. WOW. wow....

It happened. IT happened.


Oh my God oh my God.


I'm alive to see it.


It happened in my lifetime.


And your lifetime.


The President of the United States is a black man with an African name.


The President looks like me.


They're shooting fireworks in Inwood...

Grinning Like A Loon

My polling place was about the size and a half of my room. I don't understand that. I thought Inwood was a big neighborhood. Maybe it's because voter turnout is not the grand adventure I thought it was? Or maybe Inwood has more than one polling place. My little place had three districts in it. Maybe other places have three or more. Or less.

The voting booth has easily seen several hundred Presidential elections. Big red lever to crank once to the right, then flip about half dozen little black flippers about the size of half my finger, then ratchet the red lever back to the left. This tallies votes how exactly? What did the little black flippers do, punch a hole in a scorecard? I say scorecard because I do remember something about hanging chads a bit ago, and so I figured...

But whatever. The Good Shepherd polling place saw my attendance this morning. So did about two score voters. Hispanic, white, black, male, female. Some more talkative than others to help me find the correct table to approach and verify my registration. Volunteers manning the tables, door, and booths with no particular people skills, but the dedication to show up.

I've done this before. For every election since Reagan. Including Reagan. But for some reason, leaving out of my polling center today, my face split in a poop-eating grin.

Grinning like a loon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Now What Have We Learned?

Ever notice how the only time anyone likes Daylight Savings' Time is when it's over? When we get the hour back that they stole from us, doesn't everything go back to normal? Even though it's horribly dark at 5:00p now?

Dear President Obama;

Please end Daylight Savings Time.

Thank you,


Your friend
Alan

P.S.
Thank you for winning the election and shattering the glass ceiling for all black people. Now please don't screw this up. It would really suck if they looked back in history and said "See what happened when we let one of them become the President?"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peaceful, Easy Feelin'

I went to Central Park today to Sheep's Meadow (where my geek buddy holds his Sunday get togethers) and I laid me down and went to sleep. I was alone with nowhere special to go. I had "The Time Traveller's Wife" with me and I planned on going to the gym, but the week had caught up to me and the weather was balmy. So I found a landing of stone under the canopy of a tree copse and skygazed. One of the gently falling leaves came directly to my outstretched hand and I caught it. I poised my camera to film the next one's descent, but the magic would not duplicate. However, I snapped a pic of the world from my view.


Looking up into the turning leaves put my mind back to days that I can't even say I remember well, but I remember how I felt in them. It was the elementary school I attended in NYC, in the days before my mother came and uprooted me to Spring Valley. A "P.S. one thirty-something" or possibly not triple-digited at all. I can't remember names or faces, but I remember the school's backyard and the canopy of Fall leaves over us. I remember feeling like the world was so so big, outside of the fences that held us in. I remember feeling like I was longing to go somewhere without knowing the destination. I remember the smell of the air. I remember knowing that the evening was coming in shards of orange and yellow, and tree bark patchy like a jigsaw puzzle in dark browns and tans. I remember that if a song was playing, the tempo would be slow on a saxophone and perhaps with a dusting of cymbals. I remember feeling like I wanted to cry, even if there was no reason to.

All that I felt again today, and more.

I felt like if I turned my head just so, while laying on my rock, I'd see Ned laying not too far away from me. Maybe within an arm's span. And he too would be looking up at the leaves. And we'd talk, him and I. About everything. We'd be Charlie Brown and Linus, putting the world's ills to rest. Shades would come to our rock while Humanling flew a kite nearby, and would plant a kiss on his lips. While she settled into the crook of his arm, Grizz would come from the snack hut on the other side of the fence with our hot dogs. Madly overpriced, but our combined income makes it possible to indulge ourselves every once in a while. She helps me up and dusts me off and I hold the food. Ned wants one, but Shades is lovingly scolding him for not looking in the picnic basket that she's brought with them.

But there was no Ned, no Shades, and no Grizzbabe. It was just me. So I rolled onto my side and I went to sleep. I reserved waking as a likely but not too terribly desired option. Insert randomly heartbreaking video here;

I wish I were the kitten.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Surprise Festival

Last night after I was done with my clients, I found myself loose on the town. I was feeling good. I had done good work. I often think I do, but lately the director of the center has been scrutinizing why I've had so many cancellations over the past couple of weeks.

"More than anyone else," he said.

Mind you, they were cancellations--not terminations. Some of my clients taking the night off for one reason or another. For me, when they cancel, I get the night off too. Feels good to me. But to the director, it's lost income. And yea, I lose income too--but I have a day job. The night therapy cases are extra income.

It'd be nice if the director didn't try to make me feel as though I was doing something wrong--"losing them," as he likes to put it. Not to mention going on at length about how the clients leave my services when they get the sense that I'm not helping them, but use excuses because they can't actually tell me that they want out. (Except I did have a client who told me that exact thing. The sessions were terminated with no malice at all. I understand that I'm not the right therapist for EVERYONE. But for the ones who keep me--have kept me for months now--I'm useful. Helpful, even.)

But now that I'm removed from the emotions of our disagreeable phone conversation by some days and a bunch of co-opted Chipotle utensils later, I can see it for what it is. He wants to make money so he wants to motivate me to minimize (well, actually, the way he puts it, STOP ALTOGETHER) the cancellations. But I don't like his style of criticism. He's not the man I thought he was. I don't know what his true motives are, but I don't like his delivery. It feels wrong. He feels wrong.

Anyway, all this was going through my head, along with the successful sessions I had experienced that day. All three clients, (two of them I've been seeing for 4 months or more) reflecting the changes they've been making in their lives for the better. Changes that I've helped them with. Changes that I just knew they were capable of with enough encouragement and enough opportunity & space for thought. Changes that made me feel like a worthwhile human on planet Earth, even though I walk around alone with a rucksack full of my own unfulfilled dreams and personal life goals. I'm telling you, helping other people--it's where it's at, man. I think it's what we're all alive for.

ANYWAY anyway, I didn't want to go home because it was Hallowe'en, and I didn't want to have to kill somebody's children after having such a good day. Yes, repeated ringing of our WWII-era doorbell will make me psychotic. Don't ask. So I purposed to catch up on my promise to Ned by going to get "The Time Traveller's Wife," from B&N, and then holing up somewhere quiet and latte-driven to start reading it when I discovered something wonderful along the way;





On All Hallow's Eve, in NYC, in Greenwich Village, straight up the center of my old haunts (5th Ave, 6th Avenue, from around 14th street and southward) the freaks come out at night! In the Village, Hallowe'en Night is like Mardi Gras! I knew they had a parade, but my deviant mind thought it was like a drag queen affair. Stereotype Greenwich Village much, Alan? For shame!! It was like a big comicbook convention only with the entire neighborhood!! And throw in the bored, pleasure-seeking students from NYU on a surprising 60-degree night, and you've got PARTY. Streets blocked off in rapid succession. Real cops taking pictures with costumers.

My Hero would have loved this!!

Anywaying the anyway's anyway--welcome to my first post of November. They won't all be this long.