Friends

Your friends bring out different parts of you

Went to see my college friends again last night. We don’t get together as often as, I think, we would like.

Life gets in the way.

Heard once that JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and a third writer were all close friends and when the third writer died (Charles Williams?), CS Lewis said something along the lines of “When he died, I thought, ‘at least I’ll have more of JRR, but in fact I had less,'” meaning that, when the third friend died, CS Lewis found that the third friend brought out things in Tolkien that CS couldn’t.

In any case, I see my friends individually but when we all get together, it’s a different dynamic. I see things in my friends’ faces and hear voices from over a decade ago.

And it’s good seeing my old friends again.

I haven’t seen me in years.

Location: @3AM, taking the train home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Good times, bad times, give me some of that

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Love and Pride

Met up with the Ex one last time

I’m tired – my insomnia’s returned. I’m running about at half-speed and, more stressing, half-wit.

Saw my ex again a few days ago. She came by to pick up one last thing she left here. It was actually pleasant. She and I both managed to crack a smile or two.

Told her that I was seeing someone. Nothing yet, I said, more the chance that it could be something.

She nodded and slowly smiled and said that she hoped it worked out for me.

I believe her.

She also said that I should get a handle on my insomnia because it was a major problem in our relationship. The irony of her comment was that it kept me up all night despite a massive amount of chemicals.

But the other thing that kept my past girlfriends and me from being happy, I realized, was pride. Admittedly, it was usually mine. It’s a horrid sin.

Our respective pride has not served my ex nor me well.

Regardless of who I end up, I’ve decided to choose her over my pride.

Pride enables you to say, But at least I was right, to an empty room.

And I tell you from experience that there’s no more deafening an echo than that.

Location: in front of a nice warm cup of espresso
Mood: busy
Music: love is stronger than…it’ll serve you longer than pride

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Clear Blue Skies

I’d like to move away – but I’d miss my family

The funeral I went to has been on my mind. It’s made me pensive and sappy.

I have no death wish – far from it. I have a master plan to live until I’m 100. But the plans of mice and men…

What I think about is whether or not I’ll get to find out if my father is right or wrong.

My father, you see, believes me in. I don’t know why, especially in light of my dismal track record in, well…just about everything. Yet, he thinks that I am capable of things I don’t think I am.

He always says, The race is long, one day you’ll fly.

Maybe he’s just like every other dad in the world. Maybe he really believes it.

I like to think he believes it.

That’s the real reason I don’t just pack up and leave to Beijing, Berlin or someplace where no one knows me, you know?

Because it would be nice if I could prove him right.

And I’d miss them all.

Location: sick in bed
Mood: sick
Music: So, all alone I keep the wolves at bay
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Another new year…

With increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain

Arthur Schopenhauer said something like: with increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain.

Tend to agree with that.

Feeling some trepidation about New Year’s approaching. You see, my ex’s older sister was born on December 31st so we always had standing plans for New Year’s.

Hell, I’ve always had standing plans – women seem to like mad rakes.

This year, I’ve no plans, really.

That bothered me a little. Just a bit. There are two people I would like to get to know better and I’m so tempted to try but I know it would just end badly because I’m such a basketcase right now. They deserve better than that.

So I never call them.

Had lunch with a friend yesterday and she too is going through a breakup (must be something in the water). She decided to cut him off but says it’s hard. I told her about the Schopenhaer quote and she agreed that she should push through.

I’m great with the whole giving of advice.

Taking it’s a whole different matter.

Location: @7:20, on 39th Street playing Crazy Eights
Mood: confused
Music: Ten years older and I’ve finally found my pride
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Stretching the legs

We don’t make ourselves worse by walking so walk while you can

Woke up at 1PM today – fell asleep at 5Am or so but I had to take something to help me fall asleep.

Yesterday was full of little but expensive annoyances:

  • it was the first day of a shoot for the sitcom that totally bombed. We ended up canceling the shoot and taking the barebones crew out to eat breakfast
  • I got a $100 ticket parking ticket
  • I cracked the screen on my ultra-compact camera that I’ve had for a while – this may mean no pics for a bit

It’s all those little annoyances that make you want to scream.

Think people like to read blogs because it gives insight into their own lives.

Another blogger, undergoing treatment for her own things, wrote that she saw an old man on crutches struggling to walk, despite it being easier to be in a wheelchair. She observed that, “We do not make ourselves worse by walking. I say walk while you can.”

I say, she’s right, so off I go…

Location: @1PM, snoring away
Mood: disappointed
Music: Everyone’s saying different things to me, different things to me

What’s my name?


This song came up in a class I’m taking – I couldn’t believe two people never heard it before.

My fav lines (which seem to resonate even now):

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

Thought it was kismet because of my last post. Looking at the lyrics, I always thought the devil’s us.

Then again, I thought my 1990 BMW would run forever and that 2006 was going to be a great year for me.

Shows what I know.

Location: @12PM, in the Bronx getting wet
Mood: okay
Music: I laid traps for troubadours who get killed before they reach Bombay

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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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On your knees

Life gives us blows and we do what we can to survive them

(c) AP Photos

2 Samuel 12:22 tells of when: David had a kid with his buddy’s wife, killed said buddy, pissed off God, God took David’s son.

Now here’s why I like the story: David’s a wreck while the kid is sick; David won’t eat, won’t sleep, etc. But when the kid finally dies, he picks himself up and begins to live his life again.

When asked why he was such a wreck when the kid was alive but much better when the kid dies, David goes, “When the kid was alive, there was hope that he would live – that God would be gracious to me. But He was not and I can’t change what’s passed. My son can’t come back to me but I can go to him.”

At times, Life brings you to your knees.

Those phone calls you never want to get:

  • “It’s about your younger brother…”
  • “I’m sorry to have to tell you…”
  • “I thought it best that I be the one to tell you…”

Been brought to my knees twice in my life. I’m lucky because it was only twice.

Dreading the next time.

Thought about this because I went to a wake yesterday. It was my second third funeral experience; sadly, I’m sure they’ll be more.

Today is also the 65th and last official anniversary gathering of the Pearl Harbor veterans. And I’ve also been keeping up with the story of CNET editor James Kim; he wasn’t there when I was there but still…

Despite all the ugliness, we move through life with a balance of hope and acceptance. At least we try to.

Location: @2AM, missing someone I barely know
Mood: Contemplative
Music: you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking

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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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