North Country

(Way) Upstate New York

I had another sleepless night. That makes two in a row. I hope this isn’t the start of another string of string of sleepless nights. I’m cloudy headed again.

I’m on my way back home. I can’t wait to relax in my own pad.

Today was the second time I took a ferry in my life – the first being earlier this week. The water was really choppy and I had my window open and this huge wave hit the boat absolutely soaking the driver’s side of the car. I spent the next hour I was driving with the windows open to dry out the inside. It was very Three Stooges.

I got to the airport some three hours early and had to go through the screening three times. The first time I had a tube of toothpaste so they made me go back downstairs and check my bag in. The second time, it was because I lost my ticket. The third time was after I got a copy printed.

I think both the leaving the window open and the ridiculousness at the airport is related, somewhat, to my lack of sleep. I’ve really got to find a way to sleep when I’m traveling because I’m traveling again next week.

Well, we’ll have to see how tonight goes.

Location: 30,000 feet above Vermont
Mood: Relaxed
Music: Friday night I’m going nowhere, all the lights are changing
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Outside Canada

Seedy motels and insomnia

Been upstate since Monday; the work is mind-numbing but it’s a good distraction.

Right now, I’m on a bed that looks like it’s been using the same cover since the 70s. As I told several people, any hotel with “quality” in it’s name is bound not to have any. The oddest thing is that there’s a very old, small sticker in the bathroom that says “Please do not use the linen for anything besides bathing.”

What those other options are, are a mystery to me – and frankly a bit disconcerting.

The weirdest thing about being this far north is that there’s just no mobile reception – at least for Sprint. It’s maddening. I had to go out and buy a headset to make calls on my computer.

Another strange thing that happened to me this morning was that I had a dream about No. 2 except she was actually No. 6; she just looked like No. 2. I thought it was real when I woke up.

Speaking of which, I’ve been having lots of trouble sleeping again. I always have trouble sleeping when I travel and now is no different. At least I’m being super productive although not with work.

So actually, you could say that I’m just honing my procrastination skills.

Location: 9:05PM: Some seedy motel near the Canadian border
Mood: sleepy
Music: minor catastrophes bring me to my knees
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Eye Rolls

Sometimes your friends hinder rather than help in meeting new people

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already. It’s been a pretty busy week.

Wednesday night I saw the film My Life…Disoriented but it’s actually only a 26 minute television show that will be showing on PBS on December 26, 2006. It was actually pretty good. I remember that when I went there, I was worried because I was only one of about seven people in the audience but then it started filling up with people (although it was still only half full). It was an interesting story about two girls that move from San Fran to a small town where there are few Asians. Afterwards, there was a Q&A; discussion that I felt was really helpful for the show that Rain and I are working on. Afterwards, we went to the afterparty where I met the main writer and a few of the stars, including the main girl who, despite playing a convincing high-schooler, assured me she was a lot older – it was funny because within ten minutes of talking to her, she told me that she had a steady boyfriend in Taiwan (who’s Jewish but studying there). I thought that was amusing.

Kirk came by afterwards and then so did Rain. They asked me, as a dare, to ask the bartender for her number, which I did and got. Nice enough girl but not my type. I got home just after one, walking home from 58th and 1st. Interestingly, it was the same place that Alan had his Xmas party and I went with No. 6. Oddly enough, I didn’t really think of her there.

On Thursday I went to the German meetup in Queens with Francis, who called me up late and asked if I wanted to grab a beer with him. I told him I was going to Queens anyway and would give him a lift back. We went to this cool beer garden in Astoria where we ate some burgers and a sausage and drank some beer. Francis wasn’t really into it so we left early and I went home.

Friday I spent the entire day working. Korean-girl called me on my mobile, I think a little tipsy, and asked me when I was visiting her in Europe. I would like to travel but the timing isn’t good.

I drove into the city where I met up with Rain and Kirk again for a bar party. It was fun and I met a lot of people including another girl named Olivia. Two in three days and zero for three decades. Weird.

Last night, I met up with Rain and Kirk again. I was in Rain’s neighborhood because Big Dave was in town and he, his wife and his mother were in Little Italy going to the Feast of San Gennaro. I went after going to the gym and met up with them; the crowds there were almost impossible. Afterwards, Rain and I went to Pho Bang near his house – ate way too much. Cindy called me and we all met up, along with Kirk, at a bar on 2nd Ave between 12th and 13th.

The crowd there was kinda lame – the quantity of people, the layout, the humidity and the volume of the music made it unpleasant to hang out. I did meet one nice girl but a friend of mine made it difficult to talk more with her via two moves my friend made (the weird thing is, I actually just wanted him to snap out of his depression and just get used to talking to people).

Move 1
He went up to his friend and essentially said, “My friend (me) wants to meet your friend (her).” So it was essentially a non-introduction because he made it such that there were only three options and results:

  1. Talk to her, reinforcing that I really wanted to meet her but was too shy to ask myself thus tanking any conversation
  2. Don’t talk to her, reinforcing that I was too shy to ask myself but really wanted to meet her thus tanking any conversation
  3. Talk to her and we have a good conversation because she thought I was interesting or cute.

It may have ended up being “3” (purely by luck and because she’s just a nice girl) because I just rolled my eyes, sighed and talked to her.

Move 2
She invited us to go to a bar afterwards but he killed that too because he said he wanted to go – and guys have to stick together. So eye roll number two, and we’re off.

Oh well, moving onĀ¦

Ricky had called me previously so I met up with him, Kathy, Edgar, Esther and a bunch of other people at Ave A and 6th at another karaoke bar. It’s always good to see them. Such a good group of guys. Kathy had encouraged me to ask for the number of the girl that lives around me but I told her last week that I was too depressed to contact her but now I wish I took her advice. As Gio says, “What’s wrong with meeting someone for a cup of coffee?”

So true.

Bettina had called me (or vice versa – we’ve been playing phone tag) at 4 in the morning. I was exhausted but I’m always happy to hear from her. She’s got drama of her own with her own random guy issues. I wanted to talk to her more about it but I was beat so I told her I would call her today.

Today I woke up, thought about No. 6, chatted with Hazel and then took the train to my improv class. Great time as usual.

I just took another PHQ-9 test – scored a 5. Hmm, things are looking up.

Location: Apartment, as usual
Mood: exhausted
Music: we’ve got stars directing our fate
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Wash, lather, repeat

Getting back into the dating world

So, what’s your name pretty lady? (smile, nod, ask if she gets hit on a lot, compliment her (eyes, skin, hair, etc.) ask for number, promise you’ll call, smile again, wash, lather, repeat).

“Olivia, that’s a great name. You’re the first Olivia I’ve ever met. It’s true. Really. Is that really your number? You’re pretty but you lie. I’m going to call it now. (grin – if she smiles at you, smile back. Hate self.).”

At least I’m impressing my friends, like a trick monkey.

Ah, I’ll meet you someday, just you wait. Fate will find you. I’m just working through a few things.

Just you wait.

Location: Bed
Mood: cynical
Music: She does not walk she runs instead
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Sunny Days

Even when you’re depressed, you have some sunny days

It’s a beautiful day today – the weather’s just right. A few more days like this would be ideal but I think it’s supposed to rain in the coming weekend.

I was a bit concerned that perhaps I’d go back to my depressive state but for the past four days, I’ve been good. Last night I slept for about six or seven hours and I think that’s the best indicator that I’m over the worst of it.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at home working on some personal projects. A friend called me and told me I had to meet his friend that was moving into the City. I told him I ate and was going to gym afterwards but he said it’d be worth it for me to meet her so I agreed to skip out on my gym class.

She was very nice but she’s seeing someone out in California – my friend said something to the effect of, “Come on, he’s a college boyfriend. He’s done for.” I thought that was pretty funny. I didn’t ask her for her number because I figured I’d just run into her again in the near future and I didn’t want to interfere with her current situation. A few other friends joined us and we hung out for a bit before we split up. I found out later on that two friends, who were heading south, saw a fight happen right in front of them. You almost never see street beef any more.

I had called Ricky and Roger when I passed their respective places to see if they wanted to come out but they were both occupied. I worked my way across the island to the west side to grab the red line home.

Today I’m in Queens working on some things but I’m going to leave soon because I’m catching an indie flick in the city called MY LIFE…DISORIENTED.

I’m still pretty disoriented so it should work out swimmingly.

Location: Queens office w/ a huge cup of coffee
Mood: busy
Music: if this is love it’s a good thing you don’t hate me
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Not Me

Yes, but it is not I

St. Augustine was a guy who lived a pretty sordid life until he found God. He was walking down the street one day and he ran into a prostitute he used to frequent and she called out to him, “Augustine, it is I.” To which, he replied without stopping, “Yes, but it is not I.”

So I have now been single for 31 days. I woke up yesterday after seven hours of sleep and went into the bathroom and looked at myself and I saw a face I hadn’t seen in years look back me. Last night, I slept for another seven hours.

Today I went to see my doc and I took something called the PHQ-9 test, which is basically a test of depression. 30 days ago, my score was 24 out of a possible 27 meaning I was pretty baked. 15 days ago, I scored 19.

Today I scored 6.

I once wrote that I had been here before and I had. Back then, took about a month to get past the worst of it and another four months to get back the remaining bits and pieces. In between that time, I knitted myself back together again (literally and figuratively). I know from past experience that I’m most likely going to fluctuate between a 3 and a 9 over the next several months, because that’s what happened last time. But that overall feeling of sadness is gone. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I’m not sure who I am any more. I’m not really sure I ever knew. The last time around, after I picked myself up, I was just a patchwork of pieces. Even No. 6 said I wasn’t ready for a relationship yet and maybe if I listened to her, we’d be happy right now. She once wrote that “It’s like dating two people and I never know which one will come home.” One of these two, she called a “monster” because he was always irritable, tired and moody.

It’s not so much like a split personality where you don’t know what the other you is doing, rather, it’s like when you’re intoxicated: You know what you’re doing but sometimes you don’t know why you’re doing it.

It’s easier for me to know who I am when I’m with someone because I can always blend into the other person – like Samanderic from Lord of the Flies. My college friends always joked that I have a million jobs and a million interests. But it’s not so much that – rather it’s my need to be able slip in and out of work and lives. And when I can’t slip in and out easily, like this past month, I stutter and stall.

I waited a day to write this just in case it was just gas, but no, I’m good again. I’m not great, I’m not whole, I’m still a bit busted up and dented in places, but I’m back.

I just don’t know who’s back.

I guess I’ll figure that out as I adjust to single life. I’m going to work on clarifying what I do and who I am in the next several (weeks? months? years?)

I started some projects, one of which will be a proper blog that will replace this one (yes, Nadya, you have to come with me) but I’ll continue to update here until that new blog is in place.

I’m back, but it is not me.
Location: @12:34 – Scoring a 6 on 71st Street
Mood: relieved
Music: I’m free
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My Safe Harbor

Everyone needs a core group of friends

I just got in from seeing the boys. They’re a bit like my safe harbor – I find comfort in the fact that no matter how dreck-ish my life becomes, they’re always there to push another bottle of beer on me and tell me to cheer up.

I didn’t get a lick of work done yesterday because my mind is so fuzzy from the lack of sleep. At around four, I started prepping for dinner as I agreed to cook fajitas for Jimmy, his girl, Gio and Hazel at Jimmy’s’ place. He has a very nice place down in Tribeca. I’d resent the fact that the kid has so much dough if he wasn’t such a decent guy. I also made some guacamole and margaritas. I think I drank a third of the pitcher myself. I actually was going to see Hazel’s ex-husband that night but he sent me a text late that night that he was staying in so I ended up going to some Korean club that night. The music was awful and the people looked like the same crowd I hung around with in 1996; nothing, not even the music, changed. I got up and left around 2 and walked to the subway and worked my way home. I always think of No. 6 in the subway too since we spent so many late nights coming home together.

I went to bed around 3 and popped awake at 7 again. I lay in bed cursing my inability to sleep and finally got up at eight and did my normal morning workout. I stepped outside and the weather was beautiful. I had agreed to go to a meetup for the annual German Steuben Parade this morning so I stopped by H&H; bagels and picked up some cream cheese and a baker’s dozen of bagels. The breakfast was right around Columbus Circle and it was a nice morning so I took the bus there. The people there were quite nice but I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind to just chit-chat in the morning so I politely excused myself after an hour or so and went home.

I decided to try to take a nap and, usually, I just lie there for 15 minutes and get up, frustrated. But this time, I turned off all the various electronic devices in my room and managed to sleep for an hour. I woke up feeling as if I accomplished something.

I got dressed and then went off to class. I saw a pair of women’s sneakers outside the classroom but I could tell they weren’t Her’s. There were some new people in class. We did stickwork for the entire class and I was so tired I could barely concentrate but, towards the end, I started to wake up.

When I got home, I took another shower (I had taken one last night after the club and then again this morning after the breakfast) and got dressed to go to Ricky and Kathy’s.

They had a rooftop party to say goodbye to summer and Roger and a bunch of other college friends were there. I was the first to show up, though I showed up on time at 5:30. It was a nice day so I just wore some jeans and a tee-shirt. Roger showed up next and he and I hauled a full cooler up to the roof where we just laid back and chatted. I think I can start telling time with the number of cigarettes and drinks I have these days.

All day, I felt like my head was disconnected. I attributed that to the lack of sleep I’ve had since I stopped taking the meds but I realized as I was chatting with someone there that it was now a full month since I spoke to No. 6 last. This thought rattled in my head for a while and I drank another two drinks before I went back downstairs to use there restroom. There, I drunk dialed No. 6. Stupid, I know. She didn’t pick up but I wouldn’t really expect her to.

Ah, drunk dialing, the bane of every newly single man and woman.

I went back upstairs where I met a woman that was Chinese but lived in Germany and Japan for a while. Her German was quite good and we chatted for a bit in it. She wore a ring on her wedding ring finger so I assumed she was married. After we had talked for a bit, I asked her where her husband was. She looked at me confused and said she had a boyfriend in London but no husband and asked me why I thought she was married. I told her that I thought her ring was a wedding ring and she just laughed and said it was from her father.

I spoke to her a bit more – she lives right around me actually and I would have asked for her number but I figured that she was seeing someone and I’m still working through my own issues. She left early in any case so it was just as well.

Kathy said something to me that I’m still thinking about now; she said that No. 6 “was really into” me. That made me even more depressed because she was and we ended up like this. Esther, the wife of my friend Edgar, was also very kind. I really do have a good set of friends I should be grateful for – Kari, Gio, Hazel and my brother all rang me today too. I suppose they’re just worried that I’m going to crack soon.

Roger brought out his poker table and sat with them for a while but then I left at around midnight. I walked to 7th Avenue and hopped the train home. My walk was a bit blurry, as usual, and I thought of a girl that once had a crush on me on 14th Street. My life is full of people that popped in and out of it but I remember them.

For a brief moment tonight, I wondered what it would be like if I leapt over the railing 18 floors up.

But I figured that’d pretty much ruin every one else’s evening so I just stayed put.

Shower three, coming up.
Location: @19:30: watching the sun set on 3rd Ave
Mood: awake
Music: Got me affected, spun me 1-80 degrees
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