Friday, November 28, 2014

La Compagnie de la misere

They (whomever 'they' are) say that misery loves company. At this time of year that may be more likely to be true, but I am of the opinion that misery generally is more profitable alone. The holidays, and with all of their shrill screams to buy more stuff, do make a lot of people miserable. I know a few people who have claimed to be 'depressed' the last week or so, for various, mostly family based reasons. Misery loving company is not a saying that should force you to spend time with you family. Unless, of course, you actually like the clan that produced you. I do not, therefore, my thanksgiving was spent at a casino losing a large portion of the rent money. At least I was alone, I was in perfectly good, miserable company.

I tend to hoard my misery just like I hoard the majority of my other feelings. It is, after all, my misery and A) no one wants to hear me moan about it, B) most people have misery of their own that I don't want to listen to, and C) no one can really 'fix' (if indeed it can be fixed) but me.  Besides the two 'depressed because of the holiday' people I mentioned above, I also know a couple of friends who are my one's admission "miserable cunts". A true statement straight from the horse's mouth as it were. However miserable these fellow might be, and by most accounts they are fairly miserable, they do have each others (and on occasion my) company. It was in their company that I figured out that I belong to the land of misery just like they do, it was not a earth-shattering revelation, and enough pints mostly 'cured' it for the night at least. It's hard to be miserable when you are too drunk to find the exit door to the bar, that just makes you something that people hate to see. Therefore, but for the grace of gods, go I.

However, after the fumes of the massive amounts of pints cleared, and I was able to think clearly, or at least as clearly as I can manage, I realized that my misery does not require company. It is not an external force, nor is it brought about by external forces (for the most part).  Once, a long time ago the Wolf that raised me and I were walking the streets of the shit hole burg in which I was raised, and young, silly me asked what a particular building's purpose was. The Wolf replied that "it is a factory, a place where things are made." Little, naive me then asked what was made at the impressive (impressive for a 10 year old version of me) factory. The Wolf (who I later sorted out actually worked there) sighed, and replied "misery." Of course, I had no clue, yet, as to what misery actually was, and  was quite contented with that answer.

In some ways, the Wolf was correct, a lifetime of working at that factory had made her a bit miserable. Jobs, in so many ways, both rule and define our lives. Not the position, nor the salary, though the bigger  the salary the better (or so the Lexus November to remember sales event tells me), but just the job. That place that you if you are like most of us, go to five days a week, and work at the same basic thing, for the same amount of time a day. It is one of the first things strangers ask you upon first meeting you, and woe betide the poor fellow that says 'nothing' or something that the stranger finds to be grunt work.  Many a first date has died at the first asking of 'what do you do for a living?' Truth be told, I do fuck all for a living, I do X job for the money that I require to live, but as 'for a living' I do nothing. It is the defining nature of the word job that adds to my misery. I often times reply with completely made up jobs such as (since it's appropriate this time of year) 'I masturbate turkeys'. That reply does, at times, lead to a quick and abrupt end to the conversation. Which is just as well, because I don't want to explain the nuts and bolts (so to speak) of vigorously extracting sperm from a male turkey.

However, misery is one of those things that if you are going to get it, you get it as an adult. It is not like the pimples of your teen age years that come, and make you life agony for a few years. Real misery, true misery, requires a bit more time, and some effort on your part. If you go looking for it you will probably find it, but most likely it won't be in the first, or even seventeenth, place you look. But you will, eventually, if you apply yourself find you very own personal misery. Because misery is like that, personal, you can't be miserable for the sake of being miserable with any success, and you can't be miserable for someone else, that is called (depending on who's doing the calling) pity or sympathy. Neither of which, many people want from you, or anyone else. 

Once I sorted out that the 'misery' factory was about the only place to work, and make enough money to survive in my hometown burg. I left, that small, small, town was not going to swallow me like it did many of my classmates and people I called friends, all those years ago. Of course, I now realize that that factory was not the only place that made 'misery', and my town did not have a monopoly on it. Misery, just like joy can be found everywhere, and sometimes in the smallest of things. No one ever said that you have to be miserable about world altering events. After all, for many a person the world is what is encompassed within what ever four walls they are surrounded by at any given time. The devil, and misery is sometimes in the details, and those details, for true misery to exist, have to be as unique to you as your DNA. It is your misery, not anyone your mailman's or your hairdresser's but yours, and yours alone. If they are unlucky, they have their own misery to deal with daily. If they are lucky then they are sailing through life with nary a care in the world, busy being defined as a mailman or a hairdresser. 

Misery may love company, but really and truly misery is company. If you get a big enough dose of it, you can carry your misery around for years, and it becomes like a faithful companion. Much like an extremely long lived, and extremely faithful dog, you can kick it around all you like, but eventually it will so back up on your doorstep with some irresistible excuse for you to take it back, and you usually will. Misery, after a while, becomes almost something you can't live without, a (self) defining characteristic, just like the 'job' you hold down just so you can put thanksgiving dinner on the table for the rest of your own personal company of misery. Just be thankful that you can (hopefully) say that you didn't have to give the turkey you are about to eat, a hand job.

To continue the tradition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You, of the Fourth Part

Several people other than you will read this post. It is unlikely that you will because you repeatedly told me that "reading your posts makes me cry." That is unfortunate because you have been the partial inspiration for several of my posts. The sad part is that you were not always a positive muse. It is possible, because you have achieved it, to be a negative muse. And several times, in spite of my best intentions you were a negative influence upon both me and my writing. I have long thought that there exists a thing called 'negative progress'. However, everyone I explained this idea to looked upon me as if I were as mad as a French hatter. I've never known a French hatter, nor have I ever ingested mercury (to my knowledge), but I am still certain that 'negative progress' exists.

One of those reasons that have me firmly convinced in negative progress is you. You were the tallest mountain that I ever had to climb, and the trip did not always mean I was headed in an upward direction. Several times, too many times, I had to climb down in order to make progress with you. It is one of the most awesome and frustrating things about you. Backwards is sometimes forwards, and downwards is sometimes heavenwards. I never have, and probably never will understand how that is possible, or how I managed to do it. I am, at times, a single minded individual (no teams for me), and I do not like giving ground in order to make up ground. It is counter-intuitive to me, but then again so are you.

This is not to say that when I concentrated enough that I could not predict what you were going to do, and what you were going to say. It is just that those times, concentration aside, were very few and very far between. I took great joy in pointing you out, without your knowledge, to my companions, and saying 'that one there, she was once mine you know." Most of the time they refused to believe because looking at you and looking at me would certainly cause disbelief. For once in my life, I was out of my league, and sadly it took me way too many years to figure that out. By the time I had sorted that out, you were gone. Just like the disappearing day that is coming to a close outside the coffin that I call my apartment. This apartment that is much too big without you, is were I retreated (was exiled to?) when you left. I had little choice but to say goodbye, I have no choice in regretting saying goodbye to you everyday since I said it.

I remember the first day I met you like it was yesterday, I remember thinking that chasing you was a horrible idea. I am nothing but a man who is an expert a horrible ideas, and even more of an expert of making horrible ideas happen. It is an unique talent of mine, a man that is not overloaded with talent to start with, and certainly not blessed with your type of talent. That I knew then, and know now, the difference is then I didn't care, and now I can't do anything about it.  Perhaps hindsight is affecting the talent gap between us, perhaps you didn't possess the all-encompassing talent then that I attribute to you now, and perhaps my skills were better than I think so. Either way you fell for whatever bullshit I was selling, much to my dismay, and much (later of course) to your cost.

 I exacted, mostly without meaning to, a terrible cost from you, a cost that you should not have had to pay. I guess I left you with serious wounds, and the best I could offer you was a rag and some gasoline to clean them. It was an act (mostly unintended) cruelty for which I will never be able to atone for.  That cost bill which I ran up like a mad woman with unlimited credit in a fancy shoe store, is still rising, even though years have passed, the interest keeps being compounded on a bill that I cannot pay, regret opening, and wonder why you let me start in the first place. You were the girl that made me shine, like the sun coming out after a particularly cloudy day. And, as anyone who has known me for longer than 20 seconds will know, that making me shine is a task fit for one of Hercules' seven labours.

Still, you managed to do it, and on a regular basis. It is quite a pity that my poor writing skills make it impossible to express how important that was to me at the time. It also doesn't allow me to express how I feel like a man left on the dock watching his dreamboat sail away into the middle distance without him on board. I know you are a 'ship that has sailed' and yet all I can do is stand here on the dock of my failure feeling nothing but remorse, regret, and just a little anger (at both you and myself) that somehow, in my stupidity, I let you sail without me.  Although I had started to hope that there might be hope that you would turn around and come back to me, I realize now that it isn't so, you have sailed to brighter, happier ports, and I guess I should wish you luck.

 Wishing you luck is something that I know I should do, but I have yet been unable to do it. It is, quite clearly, a personal failing, and one that I am not proud of.  It is much easier for me to make a monster out of you, than is it for me to wish you luck. That I understand is not progress, negative or otherwise, and I understand that I must needs do better. I have to realize that in our relationship the one that was making love to a monster was you. It now much more difficult to understand that you cannot love me anymore than you would a monster. And it is from this cheap little pen that I write this paen to you. I understand that friendship and understanding may have passed us by, and I realize that that is an outcome of the number I did on you. 

In the time since your ship sailed out of my harbor, I have sought 'adventure' on many a street, many of them dark streets, and most of them dead end streets. That was unfair to those streets, and unfair of me, this I understand as I pen this stinging attack upon myself on your behalf. The world is not so sweet or tender, and instead of bending me, I fear it has broken me. This is not your fault, but it does not keep me from blaming you. After all, the alternative is to blame myself, and of course like most monsters I can never accept that I am one.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Death of a Blogpost

I have been recently struck down by nature's revenge of this time of year, otherwise known as a gods awful cold. After obtaining the sweet elixir of life, known as NyQuil, I retired to my bed for about 14 hours of drug induced sleep. Perhaps my alcohol tolerance has led to an increase in my NyQuil tolerance as well, because it took quite some time for me to fall into the blessed drug induced coma.  Whilst tossing and turning waiting for the drug to take me away from all of this, I, much like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, had a brilliant idea for a blog post (of course his idea was for a poem, but the general idea applies).  Of course unlike Samuel Taylor Coleridge mine was a blog post and not "Kubla Khan." Also, I doubt the idea was quite that brilliant, but for me brilliant is a relative thing, as in relative to the other shitty ideas I have on a daily basis.

I begin to form this idea into a blog post that was going to be, at least in my mind, quite long and very clever. I expanded the original idea, added my usual obscure references, and hid someone I know in the post disguised as someone else. All the usual stuff that makes me such a pleasure to read. However for once, there was not a pen handy, and I was way too 'high' to risk any sort of attempt to search for one. Who knows I might have wound up in the bathroom wondering 'what the fuck am I doing here?' Such is the effect of maybe just a little too much NyQuil upon my feeble mind.  Rather than risk such a deadly thing as getting out of bed, I decided that I would create a 'password' as it were to help me remember the idea, and from that password I would easily, since I am so brilliant, extract the entire blog post, and be able to post it the next day.

That "next day" was yesterday, and for all those people who come to this blog daily (i.e. no one) I am sorry that you didn't see that blog post yesterday. Also, I should apologize further by saying that this is not that blog post, and it doesn't look like it will be posted anytime soon. The password that I created, which I thought so very clever, has been lost. The little librarian in my mind that keeps track of all of my memories, ideas, and grudges, has denied me access to the blog post. Now that I am off the NyQuil (for now) have quite forgotten that password, and no amount of pleading that "hey it's me, GI, the guy who gave YOU the fucking password, the guy who had the bloody idea to begin with." has been able to convince or cajole the little bastard librarian to give up the brilliant idea.

Librarians it seems are a little bit like Nazis, you give them a little bit of power, and the next thing you know you are being forced to goose step out of the library without book in hand. They seem to live their lives in the hopes that someday, some poor bastard will walk in, and attempt to circumnavigate their rules, and when those poor bastards try, the librarians quash them like a bug. This tragedy is made even greater by the fact, that as you can see, I have been quite the slacker in writing blog posts lately, for some that may be a blessing, for me it is an embarrassment. The fact that I know that I know the password has made for a very frustrating time, I have attempted to pick the lock on the librarians files, and have proved unable to get past the first number.

The other sad part about this tale of woe is the fact that I had, in truth, completely forgotten that I had created the password, I had forgotten the blog post idea entirely, such is the magic of NyQuil. It was only last evening while watching the boob tube that the idea, and the fact it is locked behind a password cam back to me in a flood of emotion (puzzlement is an emotion right?). The words that set me on the road to madness (or cracking this password whichever you prefer) were "Venetian Cobbler" heard in some random Visa commercial.  Those words set off the alarm bell in my mind that in that mind existed a brilliant idea (I still maintain it is brilliant) for a blog post. Immediately after that bell sounded another bell reminded me that it is password protected.

Like any good scientist, I attempted to try to puzzle out why "Venetian Cobbler" would set off this chain of events. Was my idea about shoes? Italians? Italian shoes? Pinocchio? Geppetto? None of this made the slightest bit of sense then, and after several hours thinking about it make even less sense now. I am fairly certain I was not writing, even while goofy on NyQuil, a post about shoes or even Italians. Finally, in an final attempt to crack the password, I decided, like a good scientist, to recreate the events that brought the blog post 'to life'. I bravely chugged the remainder of the NyQuil, and retired to my bedchamber hoping that either the idea would sneak out of the library in which it was locked on its own, or that my drug addled mind would remember the password.

 Alas, and alack both of those things failed to happen. No person from Porlock arrived to awaken me from my dream either. I awoke, frustrated but well rested, to the somber idea that perhaps the brilliant idea will remain encased in the amber of my mind forever, like a butterfly that just wasn't quick enough. It is not a pleasant or a pretty thought, but since I am out of NyQuil, it seems to be the final thought.