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

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Would It Be A Waste?

Adele is a sober, non-crack taking Amy Winehouse. She's as English as Amy too. Her, Duffy, Leona Lewis, Lily Allen--lots of British girls gettin' their funky divas on!

Yeah, I just want to BE in the relationship already. The Past Girl can definitely use a margin of time to approach the idea of a relationship and I'm the guy seemingly in a rush. Best case scenario is that I'm the first person she's considered in that way since her fiancee died. I'm sure I heard her say that she was wondering if this meant she was supposed to just rest for a while, in a What-does-God-want-me-to-do-now? sense, which, yeah--she has that spiritual outlook and has done since the first time I re-met her, and it's a big part of her character and her strength, and of my attraction to her. She's probably more spiritual than me these days. And yes, she reminds me a HELL of a lot of you Grizz. She's loving and supportive and kind like you. So she just may be gun-shy of another relationship right now. Which means I should wait it out.

And why not? I'm only in a rush because I'll be 45 this year. But I need to get out of my rush. There's no one else on my horizon that I like better. Which, oddly enough, I realize there are at least two others on my horizon, which doesn't include My Colleague, btw. Ned helped me get over her real quick. (She's flirting with me while she's got a man.) There are two ladies at the day job, at two different sites, who really put on the flirt when I come around. I've spoken about one already, but I've said nothing about the other, who is a supervisor at the site where I first met The Past Girl. But Supervisor Girl smokes occasionally and she talks to herself while using the bathroom (Yes, sorry, it's true. That's the only way I'd know it--because she talks to herself LOUDLY.) Funny but scary. The other one, I was very close to asking out, which again, I haven't mentioned -- or maybe I did? -- but I have said I have a crush on. Her signals are much clearer than The Past Girl's, but she (let's call her Director Girl) has a temper that I've seen in meetings that we've attended together. Director Girl is open with her emotions, which is how I can tell she digs me every time we cross paths, and that's what I'm sure I respond to. I like being found attractive. But again, I'm sure that temper will come into play as well as her affection if she and I were ever in a relationship and I'm just not trying to have it.

The Past Girl doesn't seem anything like that. She might in fact be missing that aspect of personality. She says she has "blonde moments." She covers up her insecurities with words and laughter. And colored contacts. And faith in God?

I don't know. Maybe I'm not good for her. Maybe I'd be cruel. Or maybe I'd drag her faith down with my wounds and scars. Maybe I'm worse than I think I am.

I don't know. All I know is, she fits me. There is no fear or trepidation when I think of her. I only hesitate when I think of putting an end to the positive aspects of my aloneness. There is an unaccountability that I live by, and I enjoy it. I want to get on a train and bop down to get fried shrimp? I do it. I want to stay in the room all day on my one day off and produce audio drama? I do it. I want to blow 40 bucks on comics and read them while eating Lay's BBQ potato chips in bed? Crunch crunch crunch!! I want to look at pictures of the buff men in the brightly colored speedos? (Which actually? IS reading superhero comics! Why didn't I realize that before??) Click click click!!

But ultimately, loving someone is more human than being alone.

And I want to be human.

So yes, Grizz, I agree. I should keep chasing pavements. Even if it leads nowhere.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Should I Leave It There?

I tell you I have the golden touch. I fell in love with Jennifer Hudson the moment she stepped first on American Idol and I realized I couldn't bear the competitive tension. But I knew she was amazing, even though Fantasia won that year.

And I bought this song off iTunes about a month ago, and the girl went and won a few Grammys the other night.

But all celebration aside, the song touched me because it seemed to narrate my experience as so many of them so often do.

The Past Girl has another visitor today from Texas, and I remember her telling me about this one when we first started chatting so I believe her. In other words, she's not available again ... but I don't feel shot down quite yet.

But isn't this funny--I'm growing impatient! Half of me says to hurry or else she won't think I'm interested, and then the other half tries to avoid the whole challenge altogether. I feel negligent when I take it slow, but frustrated when I choose to go for it and get stymied.

I guess I must really want this even though sometimes I don't. My hero suggested that when I want my aloneness, it could be a defense mechanism. Oh he's good. It is a defense. I want to be alone because it's less painful than trying and failing, and THEN being alone against my will.

see how this song applies so well right now?

Chasing Pavements

I've made up my mind
Don't need to think it over
If I'm wrong I am right
Don't need to look no further
This aint lust
I know
this is love


If I tell the world
I'll never say enough
'Cos it was not said to you
and thats exactly what i need to do
if I'd
end up
with you

should I give up
or should I just keep chasing pavements
even if it leads nowhere?

Or would it be a waste
even if I knew my place?
should I leave it there?

should I give up
or should I just keep chasing pavements
even if it
leads nowhere

I build myself up
and fly around in circles
waiting as my heart drops
and my back begins to tingle
could this be



Should I give up
or should I just keep chasing pavements
even if it leads nowhere,
or would it be a waste
even if I knew my place?
should I leave it there?

Should I give up?
or should I just keep chasing pavements
even if it
leads nowhere


Should I give up
or should I just keep chasing pavements
even if
it leads no where?

Or would it be a waste?
Even if I knew my place?
Should I leave it there?

Should I give up?

Or should I just keep on chasing pavements?

Should I just keep on chasing pavements?


Should I give up
or should I just keep on chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere

Or would it be a waste
even if I knew my place

should I leave it there?

Should I give up
or should i just keep chasing pavements?

Even if it

leads no where?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I re-discovered that I like to be alone--at times. But of course, who doesn't? But on Sunday and Monday, in the wake of this nice new opportunity to quit all my whining, I didn't re-open conversation opportunities (no texting, no nothing) with The Past Girl. I thought of doing it, of course, but I just didn't.

On Sunday I went movie-crazy, alone. I bought a ticket to a 1:00 show AND a 4:20 show down on Broadway. It sometimes takes me a little effort just to see one by myself, but I went boogity-boogity down for a two-fer. I saw PUSH and CORALINE. I liked them both.

Mind you, this was the day AFTER me and Childhood Bud went to see Soul Samurai. Saturday night he had soundly scolded me about blogging that I had a pang of loneliness whenever I left my friends to return to my Alone Life. Well, let me tell you, on Sunday, I had no such pangs. It didn't occur to me to call The Past Girl to see if she wanted to hang out, nor to call anyone else. It was just One Of Those Days.

This again reminds me of My Ned. When I get the opportunity to have someone in life, I seem to begin to value the opportunity NOT to. And when I have no opportunities, I seem to want nothing BUT.

But then again, I think we all have that in common.

It's called the Greener Grass Syndrome.

Still, I think I want rather than want not.

So I spoke to The Past Girl today about work, and she ended the call with an invite to tell her about my weekend.

And I will do that.

Because I like the sound of her voice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Which The Life Of Our Hero Dramatically Changes

So I got in touch with My Hero. What else do you do when you're Jimmy Olsen and you find yourself in danger?

The danger was, I felt as though I had been thrust into an alternate reality wherein the opportunity actually existed for happiness and I was extremely ill-prepared.

So my hero gave me heroic advice on the order of "Do something, and do it now. Don't wait until Valentine's Day is past." For you see, My Hero is a "right now" kind of guy. I tend to elevate this type of action-man. All my heroes are men who shape their own destinies. They take charge. They excel. And being that I want to be my own hero someday, I go to my heroes and get advice. And sometimes I follow it.

Like I did this weekend. My Hero said I should go back to The Past Girl's worksite and invite her for lunch. For full details as to the why, go here.) And since I had plans on Valentine's Day already (oh didn't I tell you? Yeah, Childhood Bud's wife & kids were going out of town and he wanted to see the same kind of play we saw in the summer what with the kicking and the martial arts and the geek genre small house indie vibe). And since it wasn';t exactly Valentine's Day faire, I thought it might be good for her to go through her Valentine's Day distracted -- with me.

We didn't have lunch on Friday, but we did talk for a good hour, and I showed her the play website and invited her to come with us. I gave her my number and left it up to her. She programmed it into her phone and after some last words, I left. Within those words, she seemed a little unsure about the geekery. She was revealing a bit of a virginity when it came to the vampire comboys. But she said she'd definitely let me know.

Saturday morning I awoke to a text she left. Someone in her family had come up from South to visit with her and her father. She was staying put but wants me to invite her out again the next time. And she's calling me "Friend."

So like that, life's changed. I have a new "friend." I mean, I don't know how "friendly" she means us to be. I don't know if I effectively chased her away with my geek display. She did say she loved "a Nerd" not "a geek." Maybe I overwhemled her. Maybe she was just being nice. Maybe she'll let me down gently for the next few times I ask her out.

Or maybe I'm just too soon in her grieving process.

But whatever is the maybe, I will be attempting to see where this can lead. If nothing else, maybe I'll have a fun, positive lady friend that I can go to movies with and have quick bites to eat with. Someone that I'm ready for.

We'll see, huh? Together?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"I Love A Nerd!"

(This post was started on Thursday the 12th but completed this Monday morning.)

So when the passengers of the ditched plane in the Hudson woke up that morning, I bet very few of them had an idea that they'd wind up landing on the surface of a river (and our hearts) instead of the airport of their destination.

Everyone who wakes up never knows what the day is going to be like in front of them. Usually we just think that it's going to be another day. Just nothing special. An "everyday."

And then at some point, somewhere in that day, BLAMMO! And minutes later you're just blinking in the aftermath and thinking "What. The hell just happened?"

So that's what my Thursday was. Going about my business, doing what is necessary in my day job. Paperwork and travel and more paperwork. And more travel. So I wind up at a very infrequently visited site because my boss and other specialists in our department are handling it (thank God), but I was on a committee that asked for some specific data from that site, and my boss put me in charge of getting it. Lucky me.

At that site is a co-worker who I've mentioned before. In that mention, I mis-posted. I said she was 6 months hired in November, but she was actually 11 months in at that time. This I learned and a lot more as I visited her site (she had been moved to this one since November).

I discovered that the boyfriend she lived with when she first got hired had died last year in the summer. I had NO idea. So I'm just realizing in that post I left in November, she had already lost her man. But there was nothing about her that portrayed that loss.

Also in re-reading that post, I discover that I called her The Past Girl, and that I declared my un-need for her in my life.

But on Thursday, I learned that her positive personality (recall, she defended me against the Homegirls) was a very real optimism, and something that looks a hell of a lot like strength. She said the boyfriend and she had been best friends for 20 years before they made it a romance and they were due to marry in August. Her defense of me and all the other cheerful, nurturing things she's done and said since then has been a character trait she's managed to hold onto in the wake of a devastating tragedy.

All this I learned on Thursday. She was able to speak about her partner (she called him that) with admiration and respect. With fondness. With strength. She said he was intelligent. She said "I love a nerd."

And then I remembered the experience in November when she defended me. And the 30 years ago when she used to defend me.

And I thought "Oh my God. I could be safe with this woman. I could be myself with this woman."

And just like that, my life changed.

More to come ...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Geekfest Day Two

Better than I feared.

On Day Two of the Geekfest, I took a slow boat downtown and had a Disillusion Hangover from the day before. The sharp edges of the hangover had been dulled by the personable time I had with Transplanted Geek and I thought I would just placate myself with that.

I was to meet up with MFTD (yes that "MFTD." There's a reason he's "MF--") at the Con for Day Two, but he was going to meet with his brother and I had the impression that he wanted to hang with family, but it turned out that I was wrong. So after a nice hour or so of isolation and self-pity, I caught back up to MFTD, his brother, and his brother's friend--just in time for My Hero's Posse Geek to call me and get cut loose from his responsibilities for the day, and we all went to a new diner on the West side not too far from the Javitz. And we had a great time!

MFTD and his brother and brother's friend were done for the evening, but I was not. So I took My Hero's Posse Geek (him I know through My Hero's fanclub) to the big dinner planned for Saturday night where I hoped I'd run back into Mr. Fantastic and The Human Torch.

And we did. And the pictures shall now commence.

However, let me point you attention to the following one taken by another geek, which has now served to be the single most effective method of getting me back on my diet and to never. Again. Get. Off. It.

Plaintiff's Exhibit A (Click on it for the full pic);

Yeah, that's me in the red shirt with white stripes. On 2/7/09. And yeah, I'm back over 200 lbs. again. And yeah, I've been packing away the sugar again. Because yeah, I've been depressed again. So yeah, the last few months have been a vacation in the key islands of Sucksville. And yup, I'm going to need help waddling my ass to the gym again and stopping the white mocha lattes and the strawberry coolattas and the slices of coconut cake.

But aside from that how ya like my long grey sideburns? Sexy, right? Across from me is a nice guy from Colorado, but to his left is Mr. Fantastic and to Mr. Fantastic's left is The Human Torch--the two guys that in my last post I chiefly wanted to get to know. (And to my right is My Hero's Posse Geek)

And they like me. A lot!

Mr. Fantastic called me "family" and gave me a big hug. The Human Torch sent me a PM the next day and told me he enjoyed meeting me, then told all the folks at our messageboard that I was a lot shorter and more quiet than he expected (because as you all know, when I'm typing, I know how to truly CUT THE FOOL) but after he got to know me, I was as funny and as nice as I was online.

And this is the part where I do some introspection.

I need people. I need affection. I need love in any form. When I listen to podcasts, I'm listening to guys (and gals) who express opinion, facts, and personality. These to me are the composite components of what makes us US. The expression of our souls comes out in our art and in our words. Podcasters are expressionists of the highest order. You hear the sound of their voices, their laughter, and sometimes their tears. You hear their anger, their doubts, their frustrations, their fears. Like any talk format, you feel a bond form. But of course, them being on the other end of distance, time, and a microphone prevents the relationship form being two-way.

And isn't the same to be said about blogging?

And as Grizzbabe and Fringes and Q can attest, you can fall in love with someone who you only know by the words they type or the one-way conversation they might be having through a podcast. The trick is in trying to turn that one-way into a two-way.

Well, on Day Two of the Geekfest, I turned the one-way into a face-to-face two-way. And it helps me feel--good. And that's all I want. I just want to feel good. I'm taking a med to smooth away the edge of fear, and now I want some friends I can count on. Ultimately, I know I'm responsible for my own happiness. I know none of these guys, including MFTD, should feel obligated to make me feel loved or accepted. As none of you dear readers are obligated as well. But I'm not going to lie or even pretend.

I love it when you do. And I love you. This is what humanity is all about.

And I'm human.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Geekfest Day One

So in this massive event, I was able to meet my buddy and attach to him for a good long while. Then he had some friends meet him and I went off to meet the new podcast icons to whom I've been deeply digging. That was successful in a strange way.

There are four of these icons, and I've named them after the Fantastic Four, so I'll use those names here. Out of the four, only two came to the geekfest; Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch. The Invisible Girl (who is not a girl at all, but a bare-knuckled, hard drinking, uncensored bear of a man) and the Thing was not going to make it. The Thing is the podcaster who visits this blog sometimes after he requested to do so. I don't think he realized what this blog was when he asked. Then as I issued the warnings to him, he'd already asked and didn't want to say no, so I told him. At that point in my mind, we were friends because--well, you guys know what goes on here. So far, we're still friends--I haven't exactly squeemed him out of trading messages and posts with me back at his place, but I definitely have failed in getting to meet him in person.

At this point I'd like to apologize to all you guys who read this blog and through one way or another, I've managed to make you uncomfortable enough to blow my chances of every meeting you face to face. That is truly my loss and I regret it deeply. But I can't be anything but honest here. I need to be honest if my blogging is going to work--even though it might cost me the chance to meet some really great people, which I think you all are.

So having said that, The Thing missed the geekfest and I wanted to meet him the most. However, I did meet the Human Torch and I kind of hung out with him for about ten minutes before I told him who I was (remember, I communicate with these folks through the internet and I don't usually have an exact picture of me that they can use to identify me). And of course, I hesitated telling him because I was feeling the fear factor. If I were to walk up and just introduce myself, would a veil of fear or revulsion cross their face and then would I have to make a squirmy exit strategy? But the Human Torch instead had a shocked reaction that I was who I was and seemed very glad to finally have met me. And yeah, that's the way these introductions go, as I tell it, but let's not forget that the endings also wind up being less than uplifting too. It's like the online me (my picture for the dating sites or my typed words of opinion and encouragement) are much more attractive than the real me in person.

So I tagged around with the Human Torch for a while until Mr. Fantastic came to to geekfest, and he too had that "Glad to finally meet you!" reaction. He had come shortly before the geekfest was closing for the evening so they were going to have to go to their hotel. I had given them the location of the designated bar for evening festivities, which they did not have. (Yay me, facilitator of the stars!) Now, at this point, there was another geek who I had met last year, who had just moved into NYC from the midwest, and as it turned out, he was at the geekfest alone and hanging out in Podcast Alley. So as I headed out, he stayed with me. My earlier Buddy Geek had called to say he left to get some food and he would meet me at the designated bar at the designated time. So the two of us (me and transplanted Geek went to the designated bar at the designated time to find out the place had been closed by the board of health a few hours earlier!! HAHAHAHAAA!!

So now I discover that Buddy Geek had left me messages reporting this when he had discovered it and so he'd gone home. The Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic would not discover this until they returned from their hotel room. I had given Mr. Fantastic my cellphone number earlier so they could inform me if they were going to change their minds and I would just know. So myself and Transplanted Geek went to a bar two blocks south with plans to receive the phone calls of those who would also discover the closed bar.

Mr. Fantastic had said how much he hated cellphones when I gave him my number and he clearly meant it, because he did not call. Buddy Geek had called me from home to see what I was going to be doing the next day (today). So it was just me and Transplanted Geek. and we had a nice time! I had another of the best in bar food that I've ever done (previously it was salmon at the NY Times' bestseller's bar gathering) and we talked about politics, his vegetarianism, TV sitcoms, Doctor Who, comicbooks. All great Geek faire. and then, to our reward, a real live barfight broke out!! One scrappy little guy saw a MUCH bigger dude hitting up on his girlfriend and commenced to swinging! This I ascertain because while they were locked in a clench Lil' Scrappy kept saying "Tha's my GIRL!! That's my GIRL!!" It was crazy good! They kept going back and forth across the doorway that separated the restaurant section of the bar where we were sitting, and the bar proper. You could see several brawny men trying to break it up. I couldn't imagine the bigger guy need it, but the little guy was like a bulldog. And he sounded crazy furious. Just snarly and lethal. I bet when Lil' Scrappy and His Girl got back home they had INSANE sex.

Eventually everyone was made calm by attrition and we finished our meal and took the same train uptown.

And so now here we are at Day Two and I'm still home. I have the faint patina of failure hanging about me, but I know I wasn't actually ditched by anyone at all because the designated bar failed all of us. I'll go back today and they will all be funny and welcoming and then there's a big dinner planned for the evening.

And Transplanted Geek is a smart guy who's company I actually enjoyed, so there's that! A new friend in an unexpected manner!

So that's alright then!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Not Ready To Make Nice

That song popped into my head. It's a Dixie Chicks song that addresses the experience they've been through since they publicly derided George Bush and caught hell for it. Right after it happened, Natalie Maines was on TV crying and apologizing, but here--years later--she's singing about being "still mad as hell." They won the Grammy for it in 2007. I don't know if I understand, but there in the last years of the Bush administration, seems the Chicks sure as hell did get a lot of retroactive support.

I don't know what that has to do with me today, actually. I thought of the title because I'm not entirely ready foir sunshine and bubbles yet. Tomorrow is the Geek Festival and I've arranged to start the festivities with that geek buddy who shouted me out on a podcast last year. I like him. He's good people. So it looks a little better on the "needing a friend" front.

Yesterday afternoon, however, after the training, I was nauseous and feeling miserable. I had a client to meet in the evening and I wanted to do anything but. I was playing sobering songs on my iPod on the way down and felt like I would burst into tears at any moment. I reigned it all in when I walked into the center and there was my client in the waiting room, early for the appointment. So we began early. And suddenly, Miserable Alan was gone, and Therapeutic Alan was left. My heartache was gone and only the client's heartaches were left. Then my client's joys surfaced and we celebrated them. I found a ton of inspiration and encouragement for them and they left walking on clouds. And so, somehow, did I.

When I was seeing my own shrink, and I was getting this job at the counseling center, she was excited for me and encouraged me highly to follow through with it. She must have known what I know now. But I'm not sure if I feel 100% safe with it. I mean in some ways it's kind of creepy. I'm living through my clients.

That's just not good enough. I can't be dependent on them--that's not what the therapeutic relationship is all about. I mean, I am doing them some good. I'm doing them wonders, in fact. They're getting through MAJOR life obstacles with my meager assistance. Obstacles that I've so far avoided out of my own fears and traumas. And I'm talking about having babies, getting engaged, having great sex, lessening anxieties, etc. MAJOR, right?

And when they accomplish these things, I feel like I accomplish them too.

But I'm not. At all. And I guess I'm using this post to remind myself of this. I can't be satisfied with my life just because I'm helping other people live theirs. I have to live mine.

I'm not ready to make nice.

I'm not ready to back down.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Not My Type

So this weekend, I passed up an invitation to go to MFTD's daughter's 2nd Year birthday party. I told him why. He seemed to take it well. Hopefully he had seen this coming for a little while. I passed on his Thanksgiving invite, and I went to his Christmas invite, but only with a friend. So here came this other event, and this time I fessed up.

All those people who are someone else's family. Surrounded by all of them and trying to keep the gameface on so that I don't make them uncomfortable. Trying my best to enjoy the morsels that there is to enjoy and ignore the parts that make me ache.

Jealousy isn't even so much the factor. It's more about the absence of sound that I experience when I'm driving away from the festivities. It's grown more than I want to wrestle with.

So ... re-open an account on Match, right? Or do an eHarmony and see what lies there.



I don't know. I feel confident, capable, and attractive when I get the opportunity to. Then something goes wrong that I'm oblivious to. Something doesn't pan, doesn't connect, doesn't jibe. I'm missing an ingredient. Almost perfect except for a pinch of--?

This weekend will be New York's Geek Fest. I will be colliding with the men behind the voices of the podcasts that I listen to. And they will get to meet me, who's messageboard posts have been entertaining them all the livelong day. We shall have smiles and laughs, we shall share groans and foodstuffs, and they will be getting their drink on while I sip my water, diet soda, or some high-sugar beverage. And when the weekend ends, they will be heading back to their wives, kids, and houses while the silence returns to me ringing louder than it did before the weekend began.

I think I have a few friends that I have found out of this bunch. Friends who I've not allowed all the way in. I did let Former Pastor in from this crowd, but not all the way. I mean, I made as full a disclosure to him as I have to anyone who reads this blog, but--I haven't taken full opportunity to enjoy his friendship. I feel like a girl who is keeping a well-meaning guy at arm's length because she doesn't want there to be any misconceptions to form--more than they may already have.

Sure, at the end of the day, a hug and a kiss would be nice from anyone, but then there's the next day. And the one after that. And the one after that. If I would ever decide to be gay, it won't be for temporary comfort. It would be a lifetime commitment. And the person I'd be gay for would have to be ready to keep me. The sacrifice is too great for some jive, temporary bullsh!t. And since even my own self is not enough of a person for me to go gay for, I'm not putting it out there to find this hypothetical someone else. It would have to be someone I already know and trust, coming out of their closet and bonding with me in the same fear that I have. And even then there might never be any sex. Because I've heard that anal penetration HURTS. And I've heard that from the PROS. And Alan don't like no pain. Nor do I like the smell of poop, which hey--if you dig something hand-deep into an anus and tell me you won't hit "gold" and I wil have to call you a liar right to your face. If there's a way to prevent it, I don't even care. The whole topic of poop is as off-putting as a three-day old corpse in June. Penis plus vagina seems to be the safest bet as far as I'm concerned, and I don't care WHAT genders are involved.

So, yeah I'm alone still. Maybe I deserve it for criticizing people's sexuality when they haven't even chosen to be the way they are. Maybe that's the price I pay for being such a bastard. But hey, guys cut me some slack. I'm paying that same price too. I didn't get to be a 44-year old virgin by being a well-adjusted bigot.

So you can tell, this post is a blog to process some feelings. My need for community. For a friend that I get to actually keep. For a life.

And I may just blog like this again because I'll still need to.

And you guys are welcome to avoid me for a while until I can make you laugh and smile again.

But I sure wish you wouldn't.