Doldrums

The Waiting Room: My Life in Waiting – A Memoir

Repetition Repeat

This woman sitting in front of me, holding a joint interview/orientation, looks like an Indian a Native American. At least, she looks like what I’ve come to understand an Indian’s a Native American’s supposed to look like. The young woman next to me isn’t a return employee of the ballpark. Like me, she is new. Like me, she’s learning the rules first hand from the Indian-looking Native-American-looking woman. Unlike me, however, she won’t last at this job long.

I don’t even remember her name. Don’t even remember if I bothered to ask.

Curriculum Vitae

I’ve spent my whole life in waiting. My life is waiting. I am perpetually waiting. The docile boy/guy/man with hands clasp in the cold comfort room with other uncertain people. We look at our feet. We look at clocks, flip through magazines at an uneasy pace, glance at the televisions, look around the room. Our eyes meet, we look away. I’m shivering. Not cold, just uneasy. Beyond one of these doors to my left and in front of me – which of these doors is she behind? – a series of tests will begin, are happening, have happened. I’m supposed to be there. Stupid fuckhead.

I don’t feel natural. I’m outside my element. Anticipation is taking hold of me. I see a woman I know from the readings I’ve attended at the Dustin Sekula Memorial Library. Is that her daughter with her? Her granddaughter? She doesn’t see me. By the time I recognize her, she’s out the door. Swiftly.

I look at my phone. The Judas. You’re the reason I’m missing out on something important. Fuckhead. Fuckhead. Fuckhead! Suddenly, I feel like a character out of Denis Johnson. With nothing to show for. Nothing but unwritten novels, muddled short stories, half-assed poetry. And an ambition lacking in potential. My nerves are a jumbled mess.

First Day

I’ve been instructed not to let anyone in free. I’m standing on the wrong side of the parking lot. Do I want them to get a vest for me? No cars have ever run over someone before. You don’t have to worry. Don’t be letting people in free.

I’ve let several cars in already without charging. What the fuck am I doing here? Can any job be more pointless? A man with a good-looking, trustworthy face tells me that they’re here for something – what was it? A field of dreams? – and parking should be free for them as part of the agreement. I’m a terrible judge of character.

My nerves are still a mess.

We’re not to sit. My legs are tired. We’re not let people see how much money we have. My bag is a jumble mess. We’re not to eat. I sneak a bite of my granola bar. Fuck the system. Maybe I have an attitude problem. Maybe people are just stupid.

Misanthropic

I hate waiting rooms. They’re a cesspool. People come here wait. Meanwhile, they attempt to make small talk with those who are also in waiting. I’m not good with small talk, never have been. I’m the sort of person who suddenly remembers he’s forgotten something, turns the corner and walks quickly back all in order to avoid that quasi-familiar face that has somehow spotted me in the crowd. Do I stick out that much?

My mother’s misanthropic. I must get it from her. She hates social situations because she hates people. She’ll talk. She learned early on how to get over her asocial behavior.

I wish I brought a book to read. Something that makes me look busy. Something that keeps my mind off of what could be going on behind one of those doors. I tweet. I text. I tweet. I tweet some more. If I had stayed home, what would I have been doing? Pacing my room. Eating to keep my mind of how I didn’t go? What sort of start is that? I check my phone again. I’m losing track of time. Why did I go back for my phone? When will I start realizing my priorities correctly?

Season Finale

Fumed. I’m exhausted. After an entire of summer of baseball, with little breaks in between games, I’m exhausted. I refuse to move those picnic tables from one side of the stadium to the other. It’s not because I’m an asshole, it’s because the weather is nearing 110 degrees, the pavement’s white and we’re surrounded by surfaces and metals that reflect the sun right back at you. And while I love this job, I’m sick and tired of them putting me in charge of rearranging the place for their projects. When did clean up become a part of the group whose responsible for picnics? Shouldn’t concessions play a hand in this? It is their stuff, isn’t it? Fuck it, I’m sorry. I have other things on my mind than some pity picnic tables for some pity Lutheran picnic, the same people who just happened to report the stadium to Channel 4 last year about our restrooms. Why are we bringing these assholes back? Eh. Fuck it.

Now he’s fumed. I didn’t do as I was told. I went around his authority and asked the GM if it was really necessary for me move those tables. I’m called a sly one, or sly dog. It doesn’t matter, apparently I fucked up. I’m sorry. Fuckhead strikes again. I don’t have time for this shit. I’m working two jobs. My social life is nonexistent. And while I make it a priority to be an excellent worker, my responsibility and thoughts are else where. With my track record, you’d’ve thought something this insignificant might slip through the cracks. No. Apparently not.

I’m barked at. I bark back. I’m told off. I put on my smug expression. I’m fumed. His fumed. Words are thrown like live grenades. We’re two exploding forces. I don’t think I’ve ever seen J. this mad before, or at all. J. doesn’t do mad. I must’ve really fucked up in his eyes, yet, I can’t help but to pull this out a little longer.

But that part of me peeks its head. The part of me that brings the tears when I realize the thoughts that run through my head aren’t good ones. The part of me that I hide so well when calm and collected. The part of me that I repress and pretend doesn’t exist and go into panic mode when it appears. That part of me that is slipping through my facade as J. is demanding I show some respect to him as he’s done nothing but show respect to me. He has. Up until today, anyway. The fuck’s his problem anyway? It’s not like I didn’t do what he ask every other time. Besides, didn’t I ask him to do me the simple favor of getting me gas for the pressure washer? A favor, by the way, he’s denied. No. Wait. This is J. we’re talking about here. Shush. He’s right. Snap to it. You’ve had training in conflict control. Take it in your hands. It’ll hurt, but apologize.

A New Adventure

The wait is up. I meet them and we head out. No words are spoken until the very end. And I know. I’ve ended my fourth year at the stadium, my third with the Edinburg Roadrunners. I love my job there. I just don’t see how it’ll fit with my new life. Things just fall into place that way.

Doldrums · Writing & Writers

Dissociative

"In space the stars are no nearer, just glitters like a morgue..."

 Dissociation (noun) – 1. The disconnection of separation of something from something else of the state of being disconnected; 2. Separation of normally related mental processes, resulting in one group functioning independently from the rest, leading in extreme cases to disorders such as multiple personality.

Jenn once said I was disenchanted with being disenchanted. It’s possibly the most memorable thing anyone has ever told me online, though I never understood what she meant. In another life, I suppose.

Brick Wall

I suppose it’s the same for every writer, right? That feeling that the only person holding you back is you? The plan for returning to school to work on an MFA budded before graduation. That was in 2007. Worked odd jobs. Made myself known in the writing community. It was near prolific for me. We’re talking about a guy whose hatred for all things human, making himself visible. And then it was gone. Just as sudden as it happened.

I waved my white flag and retreated within myself. No explanations. No reasons. Not even a goodbye to my fellow writers.

So what happened? I did. Every project started was put on hold. There were better things to do than write. For instance, there was the idea of writing. Sure. Story ideas flare within me and fizzle just as soon as a pen is in my hand, is on paper. And the characters want life. They’re at the dams, bursting through the flood gates and spilling into my consciousness. I hear them speaking, reciting the lines I’ve never written. I adopt their personalities. I become a story.

Mackie

I no longer knew if Coma White was real or just a side effect.

Marilyn Manson

I’m subjected to believe Mackie once existed. Or perhaps, might’ve existed if things had run their course differently. I imagined him as a fair man, never aging – despite the age he feels rotting him from the inside. A character not unloved, but, nevertheless, forgotten.

MFA Ideals

I’m burned out, I fear. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Isn’t that the saying? Perhaps being an educator is my destiny after all. There have been those who say that I have the power to motivate, that I should become a teacher. But what hope does this country have when it comes to education? We longer treasure the arts and culture like we once might have. It’s a shocking truth. A sad one. When an old country comes up with pure genius – though, I most graciously disagree – we come up with teenage, Latter Day Saint vampire smut.

And while becoming an educator in a university or college sounds appealing, I want to return the favors of so many. I want to help other budding writers just as I was helped.

Repetition, Unfinished Thought

This post was made in haste. My eyes are beginning to shut. There’s an echo in my head. Mackie bids you farewell.

Doldrums

Test Positive

When everybody keeps retreating but you can't seem to get enough...

I read about them in books, those aptitude/career tests high schools supposedly give to their students to place them on the right track. Maybe that’s why I remained uncertain all my life. Those guidance counselors, who only had me and several other hundred students with last names A-G in mind, are to blame. Those bastards.

Find A Girl, Settle Down

As I listen to Cat Steven’s “Father and Son,” a part of me yearns for a different childhood. Perhaps if I knew my father better, I might have been a different man. Then again, if my father was still my father – the drunken man staggering in, shouting and angry – I might have been worse off.

Life has been one abandonment after another when it came to male role models. My maternal grandfather – the one I’m named after – died when I was in the third grade, while my paternal grandfather passed three years later. Uncles came and went. Male teachers who were inspiring enough only lasted a year in my life and were not common.

In college, I haunted the hallways outside the offices of professors I looked up to. When they were in, I sat there talking about class assignments and later political topics, etc. Even when I wasn’t enrolled in his class, I’d sit in a cushy or uncomfortable chair just to learn from an authentic man – not like the ones you see on TV who need to strut their testosterone.

But a few men gracing my life was not enough to create a philosophy of manhood. It’s just something that’s supposed to come naturally to you, I suppose.

Everything She Wants, I See She Gets

Instead of men, women were the ones that taught me what being a man meant. Anyone who thinks this isn’t possible needs to shut the fuck up and stop reading my damn blog get better educated. Despite the obvious exceptions, women are just as capable as a guy. And that’s not some neo-feminist-guy babble. 

That Was Gonna Go On A Tangent (formerly, I Need A Job)

The point, let’s stick to it, shall we?

After all these years of being educated, I’m not any smarter than originally thought. I’m good with adapting to situations. My mother’s always thought of me as a survivor – “Whenever Willie gets into a mess, I know he’ll figure how to make it right.”

My mother’s faith in me might have been the foundation of my arrogance. My mother’s a survivor, she’d had to be because she had three sons – what gets more chaotic than that?

But the tides are changing, and I’m drifting caught in the undertow. There’s what I’m good at and what I love doing and the two cannot exist while the other is around. There’s what’ll give me money and what makes me happy; I cannot have both. Not to mention, there’s the plan of returning to school in hopes to get my MFA in Creative Writing.

The cords are pulling me two ways and I feel like I’m drowning. And I’m reaching up for the tiny hand that might pull me out of myself – I’ve lived within myself for far too long – and bring me ashore.

And Sometimes When You’re On, You’re Really Fucking On, And Your Friends They Sing Along And They Love You. But the Lows Are So Extreme, And The Good Seems Fucking Cheap. And It Teases You For Weeks In Its Absence, But You’ll Fight And You’ll Make It Through, You’ll Fake It If You Have To And You’ll Show Up For Work With A Smile. You’ll Be Better And You’ll Be Smarter, And More Grown Up, And A Better Daughter Or Son, And A Real Good Friend. And You’ll Be Awake, You’ll Be Alert. You’ll Be Positive, Though It Hurts. And You’ll Laugh And Embrace All Your Friends. And You’ll Be A Real Good Listener. You’ll Be Honest. You’ll Be Brave. And You’ll Be Handsome And You’ll Be Beautiful You’ll Be Happy.

I know I should feel nervous. Anxious. I feel like I should worry and pace around. Like I should feel like taking walk, getting back with nature. Instead, I feel stoic.

That might actually be some improvement.

Doldrums

Oooh Baby baby it’s a wild world

Hope you make a lot friends

If it’s not self evident by now, I failed at being the romantic guru my sidekick sought in me. Can I be blamed? It’s not entirely my fault. Some people are hopeless romantics, he’s just romantically hopeless. From the moment he opted to text message his would-be paramour, it was apparent. What can I do about this? The question should be, why should i do anything at all?

He’s a Creeper, baby

Alarms should’ve rung – they did, actually – the moment he hinted to kidnapping. Of course, people like me take this in stride – it was a joke, right? Alarms blared when he kept noticing underage girls – though, I wrote this off as his blatant lack of age-dar (like gay-dar, only with age).

Still, he isn’t the most stable person in society. Not that he’s a homicidal rapist – though, I wouldn’t put it pass him – but any man – let’s be politically correct here; he isn’t a boy, he isn’t a guy or a dude, he’s a man – who text messages a girl woman anonymously, isn’t ready for a relationship of any kind. I decided that the only way to help him was to erase his creepy factor. Not working. Plan A – otherwise known as S***** – told him to stop texting her. She later quit.

Plan B

I had (reluctantly) a text message conversation from him earlier:

Him: Ha just for that you gonna help me jack brenda

Me: No idea what you’re going on about. And stop being so creepy, amigo. It ain’t nice.

Him: I want brinda(sic) as my woman

Me: Well I already told you that’s a moot plan. She lives in NY and goes to a rather expensive college.

Him: Ha i wouldn’t mind  having alex as my woman do you have her number man s***** realy(sic) killed me in the inside my haert(sic) is falling apart

Me: I don’t have anyone’s number as I don’t talk to them.

On several occasions, I’ve hit him for even glancing at Brenda’s direction. And while Brenda is no Ada – something I’ll probably touch on another day – I realized I’m overtly protective of her (it could be because she’s a friend’s niece, or – more likely – because she seems headstrong on her education).

Conquer

When this charade of being a guru came about, the first rule I told him was never consider winning a girl over as conquering. That didn’t seem to stick. Apparently, if he cannot conquer, he’ll resort to “jacking.” It’s as if women are nothing but possessions to him. And it’s quite disturbing.

So I’m at a loss here. I’m gonna have to toss him aside. I can’t afford to be considered this guy’s friend. Especially his idea of romance includes felony.

Too tired to type

At this rate, I don’t think I even want to fathom the idea of setting him up with someone I know. More specifically, I’m going to keep vigilance over Brenda until her time with us at the stadium is over.

Doldrums

Obligatory Phone Post

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.
Image via Wikipedia

I downloaded the WordPress app for my BlackBerry and decided to give it a try. Of course, I’ll review this post on my computer, add in a picture, link some words and phrases – I’ll probably wind up not posting it in the long run. Who knows?!

Writing & Writers

Summer’s End

"If you have to go don't say goodbye."

The Conclusion

Surfacing in the sky – breaking forth from the ocean blue. A gleam in your eye. The setting sun. The light of the midnight moon and all its stars collected within a single stone.

Occurrences

Someone asked me how I do it. How do I expose myself? How am I able to just let the raw emotion spill upon the page – or in this case, the screen. There’s no secret to it. Just type. Close off your mind to your inhibitions. Worry about the consequences at some later date. Just ignore everything you hate about yourself. Don’t allow society to influence your censorship. Hold on tight. Close your eyes. Leap off the edge. Crash into the passages. Eliminate yourself.

But for the grace of love (Ghosts)

I haven’t seen or heard from you in ages. It’s a little depressing how we can go from knowing each other like a second science to not recognizing each other on the streets. The perfect stranger to each other, hindering each other’s growth as an adult.

The other day, I decided to journey through Facebook. It’s not a habit of mine. I don’t search the Internet for people from my past. Most of the time, I just write them off as dead. Fallen off the face of the planet. It’s not like being finding and re-inviting them into my life will complete me. There’s no way to ever regain all that we lost in the passing years.

And when I came across her name on my screen, I froze. Here was the girl who was the basis of all my early relationships. I allowed us to grow apart. To lose that symbiotic bond we had. And I repeated history again with another friend.

Rewriting History

We cannot find ourselves in this mess. I’m sure you heard this before. I’m pulling while you’re pushing. Or I’m pushing. I’m lost inside this. And when I break through and see you standing there, I’ll know it was worth the effort.

The End is the Beginning is the End

Who am I to need you when I’m down?

I’m not going to lie. It scares me to death. Something so small to mean so much. So much promise in it. So many dreams unseen. And with a deep breath, I stand upon the ledge and make that leap into the unknown. Because isn’t that what life is supposed to be?