Friends and funerals

The average American only has two friends

Went to yet another funeral last week. I’m going to far too many for my age. Or maybe it’s just right. I don’t know.

No joy.

My friend said, afterward, “It makes you think who’ll show up to your, you know, your…thing.”

I wonder who will.

You know, a recent survey says that the average American has only two close friends. I’ve got a few because I know I need them.

I hope you have more than two – life is hard enough as it is.

Plus it would just be sad if no one showed up.

Not that…oh, you know what I mean…

Location: -5 minutes in kitchen, waiting for coffee
Mood: sick
Music: Heads we will, Tails we’ll try again

Expanding

Take up your space in the world

Reaction of two people whose personal space ar...
Reaction of two people whose personal space are in conflict. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personal space runs from 18″ to four feet from your body to another person.

In NYC, that number is probably two feet from you body. That would mean that your personal space is a 13 square-foot circle around you.

So in the past number of weeks, I’ve learned that three of my friends are involved in “secret” relationships, not with each other, where people don’t know that they’re involved. Two are women, one is a man.

Why would any self-respecting person want to be with something that isn’t proud to say, Yeah she’s with me?

That, and premium ice cubes, is just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.

  • I say, you’re entitled to your 13 square-foot circle.
  • I say, take up your damn space in the world – in fact take up more.
  • I say, if you don’t think you deserve it, you don’t.

Me? I’m expanding.

Location: Home sweet home.
Mood: grumpy
Music: I’m thrown and overblown with bliss.

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Burning boats

You can’t go back

Ooooh, my aching head.

One would think that, with the sheer quantity of alcohol I ingested last night, I would have slept like death.

One would be mistaken.

I saw a ton of friends last night and it was hella fun. It was my first new year’s eve as a single guy, I think ever in my adult life. Kinda weird. And as the night wore on, it got progressively weirder.

  • I got slapped at least once but it was totally worth it (not (exactly) what you think)
  • Almost dis-robed a very cool girl I met last night (totally by accident) – she did not look pleased but I hope to see her again anyway
  • Got hit on by a friend (that was weird)
  • Regretted not hitting on her back (that was weirder)

Alexander the Great used to burn his boats once his army landed somewhere so that they had no choice but either fight and win or die in a foreign land.

In 2006, I made my choices and burned my boats.

2007 then.

Let’s go, let’s go…
Location: @3AM-ish, stumbling home on Broadway
Mood: tired
Music: Hast Du etwas Zeit fuer mich?

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Kindness is valuable because it is rare

Liver anyone?

I believe that people are bad at heart. What with historical events (like Nazi Germany, the Inquisition, the Great Leap Forward), psychological evidence (the Zimbardo and Milgram experiments), and current events (pick up a paper) I’m fairly disgusted at our species as a whole.

However, that’s not entirely a negative sentiment. I think a bit of kindness is nobler against the backdrop of our craptastic-ness.

So I had four recent bits of kindness:

  1. I met a girl that lives in France a while ago who shot me a sweet email. She’s seeing a French guy now. It’s ok, the late night conversations were enough for me.
  2. I got another very personal email from a co-worker wishing me a happy holiday. It was nice to get because, while we work closely together, we’ve never actually met (like you and me).
  3. I met a girl tonight that I found refreshingly honest about life. Honesty without meanness is so rare.
  4. Finally, today, I got an Xmas card from a reader amidst my usual bills. As an aside, she looks completely Caucasian but she’s got a Chinese last name. It turns out that four generations ago, her grandfather was Chinese. I find that so cool.

Regarding (4) I think we’re supposed to meet up for coffee (just coffee – she’s in love with a boy from Indiana) but I’m reminded of a quote from Margaret Atwood:

Wanting to meet a writer because you like their books is like wanting meet a duck because you like pate.

Eh, I’ll risk it.

Location: the basement of my brain
Mood: pleased
Music: And so and now I’m sorry I missed you

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Cough, hack, cough

Evidently, you can write an entire story in six words

tom otterness life underground

I’m sick.

My brother sent me the following to keep me entertained – they’re six word stories:
http://wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html

My favorite is by Margaret Atwood: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”

Halloween’s coming up – it’ll actually be my first Halloween as a single guy since…well a long damn time.

S__t

Location: Propped up in bed/futon watching CSI
Mood: Sick
Music: won’t get fooled again
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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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