Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dear Eric

Today is Eric Blair's birthday. One hundred and eight years ago in far away India, Ida Mabel Blair screamed her way through childbirth, and gave the world a bouncing baby boy christened Eric Arthur Blair.  That little bundle of joy would go on to reappraise his life at the age of 24, and decide to become a writer, and poof! just like that the world was given the gift of George Orwell.

Today is also my birthday, and if you reverse the numbers of the age that M. Blair reappraised his life, you have my age as of today. Birthdays are motherfuckers, they come regardless of whether you are ready for them or not, and (hopefully unless you're hit my a MATA bus) keep coming whether you want them to or not. Birthing days are tricky days, on the one hand, if you are lucky like me, you are still alive to celebrate them (unlike M. Blair), and you have a wealth of good people in your life (that you don't deserve) to wish you well, and to celebrate the day of your birth. On the other hand, as the birthdays keep piling up, you have to wonder if/when you reached your 'tipping point.' That point where you realize that you have already celebrated more birthdays than you have left to celebrate. Of course that can happen at any time, regardless of age, but MATA buses aside, you have to think positive.

I am fairly certain that I am past my own 'tipping point' and pretty sure I am also past my 'sell by date.' However, that did not seem to stop this day from arriving on time like it has for the past 41 years.  Regardless of how much drunken hope I had during last night's binge, the dawn arrived outside my window as usual, only this time bringing with it another year added to my life. It has been that life, that like M. Blair, I have been (badly as it turns out) attempting to reappraise.  It seems that I share more than just a birthday with M. Blair, I too have aspirations beyond my current situation. However, unlike him, I lack the courage to just chuck it all over, move to Paris and start writing books while I wash dishes in order to eat. I also lack another important thing that M. Blair had going for him, and that is talent. Courage can be 'screwed up', or found in a big enough bottle. Eventually, we hope, courage comes to us all at the right moment. That is how drowning children are saved, and how little kittens get out of all of those trees. 

However, if I were able to muster the courage, and that is still a big IF, I still lack the other ingredient that M. Blair possessed, and that is talent. Talent, unlike courage, doesn't come in bottles, or at least in any of the bottles I have been drinking from lately, or ever for that matter. Talent doesn't 'rise to the occasion' if you see a burning house with a child trapped inside, talent isn't the one performing the rescue, that would be courage. And courage can come without talent. Talent doesn't just show up late, like a party guest that had his dates confused. Talent just is, it can be nurtured, but I fear that I am past the nurturing age, and therefore the small (ever so small) amount of talent I possess, is all the talent I am going have. 

That small (ever so small) amount of talent is, in my own harsh opinion, not enough. Perhaps I am right in that assessment, or perhaps I am wrong. There are a few daft souls out there who think I have talent, and they believe in me. Those mad hatters are the reason that birthdays are bearable.  That belief, ill-founded as I believe it to be, allowed me to stagger out of bed today, and continue to reassess my life as it sits in front of me.  The belief, which is apparently rather strong, wants me to be a better person (which considering the right bastard I am, shouldn't be that hard to do).  Those brave souls that express their belief in my talent are the lighthouses in the darkness that my soul sometimes gets lost in, without that light, things would just be downright gloomy. They allow me the freedom to attempt to express myself on these pages, and it isn't their fault if I do it badly.

Those 'lighthouses' keep me off the shoals of self loathing, and help me realize that perhaps the measuring stick that I am using is a bit too big for me, and that I need to adjust my aim towards a goal that an everyday slob, such as myself, can hit.  Knowing how far the talent you possess will get you is the first step in allowing that talent to take you further that you can imagine, and after all, we can't all be George fucking Orwell now can we? Happy Birthday Eric!

Monday, June 13, 2011


'You should come to Boston, with the snowfall, and me. I think you would love it.' 'Come to Boston, and put an end to you senseless rambling.'  I sighed, deeply because I knew that this argument was going to end like it always did, badly.  I just said 'no', and tried to leave it at that, but she was not to be denied a good old-fashioned argument that easily. 'You know I'm your number one fan, and you are a damn fool if you don't come to Boston.'  Another deep sigh as I struggled to find the right words to explain to her that my 'rambling' as she called it was just me being lost.  Lost and certainly not found, at least not yet, and not sure I can be. 'I might have to add myself to the list of people that mysteriously disappeared,' I joked.  Truth be told, however I was not really joking, and to her credit, she knew that.

'Besides I hate the Red Sox, the Bruins, AND the Celtics, Boston is like sports hell on Earth for me.' I said that with just a bit of humor in my voice, but it is true, and it was an argument that I had tried before, it was summarily brushed aside by her swearing at me with real vigor.  She replied, as I knew she would, 'Boston might be your sports hell, but you know I will make it your relationship nirvana, only you're too fucking stupid to realize it.'  'I'm the best thing that ever happened to you, and the best thing that WILL ever happen to you, and you are letting me rot away half a world away in Boston, while you search for something you've already found right in front of you.'

Time was when she shouted that last argument down the line with frustration dripping from her voice, as I could picture her gripping the phone, white knuckled with rage.  I knew that the more times we had this argument, the more her resolve weakened.  She said 'You can find the space between my arms, if only you will stay.' It was almost a sob, and it came near to breaking what little heart I possess, but my courage had been screwed up to the sticking point, and I merely sighed and reminded her that 'all you want is to tether me to Boston, and to you, you don't really want me, you want the idea of me.'  'You know it, I know it, hell the fucking free world knows it.'  'Years from now, when you have met the true love of your life, and birthed a couple of babies, you will thank me for not coming to Boston, and you know it.'

'I'm going to hang up now, and I think you should probably not call me again.' 'It can't be healthy for you, and it certainly makes me feel like warmed over shit when I get off the phone with you.' I paused, and waited for the tears, because ever once in a while there were tears, hers or mine or a combination of the two, but this time it was the world weary sigh, not tears. Which isn't quite as bad, but it was usually followed by some pithy comment that smashed into me like an atom in a particle accelerator.  I needed time to wander, and she never understood what, was to her, the simplest thing in the world. That she was my dreamboat, and I was letting her sail off in the Boston sunset without any attempt to keep her moored to the pier of my heart.

The silence following that sigh grew longer, and I was on the verge of just hanging up when she said in a very small voice 'how could you do this to me.' That almost collapsed my resolve, and I almost booked the next flight to Boston, maybe I could learn to like the Bruins?  But, I found the moral cowardice to resist that urge, and merely told her 'learn to hate me, it will help you in the long run see what is good for you.' 'You may not believe me, and you may not realize it today, or tomorrow, but one day you will realize it, and after you are done hating me, you will realize I'm right.'  Finally, the pause ended, as I figured it would with a snarled 'go fuck yourself!' and a loud click as she broke the tether that had tied me to her for all of those years.

I slipped that tethered knot, and have since moved around quite a bit, and I don't know, but I suspect that she did learn to hate me. She certainly moved on, and did birth a couple of babies like I had predicted. I have since been to Paris, Porto, Vienna, Stockholm, and a host of other cities, and I now realize that maybe, after all this time, she was right. After all these years of blankness and darkness the idea that  perhaps she was the best thing that was ever going to happen to me, and as I stand here outside the TD Garden, morose with the realization that I've come to Boston, only to discover that she has moved (years ago) to Denver.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I am fairly certain that I have mentioned before that I am a bit 'larger than life,' and I am not talking about the force of my personality.  I was born a lard ass, raised a lard ass, and have been a lard ass for, my soon approaching, 42 years on the planet. It is just the way I am, the way I was, and it seems, the way I am meant to be. Even now, as I write this I have lost in the last year or so almost 50 pounds, and I am still, in my opinion, a tub.  I have been stuck at the same (over) weight for almost 5 months, and it has been driving me insane. It has led me to believe that my scale could not register a weight below my current weight, and i had to place a bag of potatoes on the scale just to prove myself wrong. It seems that I am the problem, not the scale. Which I knew all along, but really did not feel like admitting. 

The method I used to lose the nearly 50 pounds has recently been revamped, and I have found the new method to be worst than useless, so I am in the process of trying a new, harsher, method that makes my day to day life a living hell of longing for food, any food.  Clearly, I have had a long standing love affair with food, any food, which is why I got as big as a double wide trailer in the first place. I seem to lack any will power to turn down all those foods that are on the 'bad for you, but taste so fucking good' lists.  I also like beer, lots of beer, and it seems to be not the best thing to drink if you want to lose weight. Which is a tragedy that would make Hamlet seem like a light comedy. 

All this has made for a rough couple of weeks as I have tried the new, harsh method, and has now led me to realize that my friends (rot them) are determined to keep me fat/make me fatter. It seems that the really FAT me must have been a jovial companion that was the life of whatever party he attended. I am not sure how since his fat ass would get out of breath eating a doughnut, and fat me ate a lot of doughnuts. It seems this fat bastard was a character much like Falstaff in Shakespeare's plays. A larger than life, life of the party type that just made any time a fun time. I cannot, for the life of me, believe this to be true, but it seems my friends (rot them) are determined to bring this fat fuck back from the 'dead.' They do this in the most insidious way possible, they have this week alone asked me to go 'out drinking' four nights in a row! This is outrageous! I am not sure why skinnier (but still a lard ass) me isn't as much fun as the really fat guy I replaced, but it seems my sense of humour was lost along with all that weight.

I thought that I had kept my jovial attitude, and was just less likely to break the bar stool that I was occupying, but it appears from all of this invites to go 'drinking/get fat again' that I have become the non life of the party, and need to gain 30 lbs quickly.  One of these friends (rot them) did suggest that they just wanted to hang out with me, and if I drank Diet Coke they would be just as happy. This suggestion was met with the safest amount of derision that I could muster, and still call this person a friend. For there is one thing that me and really fat me have in common, and it is the reason there will never, ever exist a painfully thin me, it is that we lack willpower. Dunking Donuts is still in business thanks to really fat me, and skinnier me fights daily to avoid the temptation of going into my local store, and ordering about 10 dozen doughnut of various types, and eating myself into a coma. 

I suppose that I should be happy that my friends (rot them) still want to hang out with skinnier, morose me. For I must be morose if all they want to do is get really fat me back into the picture, but I can't keep resisting the siren song of booze, broads, and beef jerky for much longer. After all, I didn't get fat by staying at home, and eating fucking salad all the time, and if I keep doing that eventually my friends (rot them) will just stop calling me to hang out at all, and that would just make skinnier me depressed, and when I get depressed, I want to eat doughnuts, thus the circle of (fat) life is complete.