Doldrums

It’s not easy being green

Today was my first day with [redacted] and after constant questioning if I’m nervous, Binx succeeded in making me nervous. Slightly. It was my first day on the floor so I “shadowed” and learn how it’s done. Every opposition to the guy who was braving the waters, I would conjure up the proper rebuttal in my head. After a while, my only response I was making mentally was “Thank you for your time.” Most of the customers were Magic Valley Electric Company (MVEC) customers which means they’re off-limits.

Frustrated with the bust, my co-worker and I decided to go door-to-door. Because San Juan was turning us loose with MVEC customers, we opted for neighboring McAllen. We told our supervisor if he agreed and when he asked me if I was going to ask, I said I would. Oddly enough, my comfort zone includes knocking on people’s doors and asking them, “Who’s your current electric provider?”

I didn’t come out with a sign-up, but I did leave a flier with a potential sign-up (she wanted me to talk to her son) and a few more with people who might opt out of their current service. We’ll see.

I’ll get the hang of the job, but hopefully something hourly comes up for me. I applied for Walgreens, Lowes and Radioshack so far. I’m thinking of applying for Convergys – hopefully a work-at-home gig due to my lack of transportation. That way I can save up for education, a ring, a possible future.

Oh yeah, I went there.

Books

Relationships of a Misanthrope

Better Times

I finished reading Etgar Keret‘s collection of short storiesThe Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God – the other night, and something caught my attention. It’s the story before “Kneller’s Happy Campers” – which was later adapted into a screen play for the film Wristcutters: A Love Story. The story’s called “Pipes,” a first person narrative about a man – or woman, possibly, because I can’t recall if a gender is ever mentioned – who, as a child, is given a test. When he fails to see the problem in one of the pictures, the psychologist administrated the test classifies him with severe perceptual disorders.

He’s placed in carpentry until he realizes he’s allergic to sawdust. Afterward, he’s placed in metalworking and grows up to work in a pipe factory. After work, he builds oddly shaped pipes, not because he likes doing it, but because it’s something to do. In other words, he’s just going through the motions. One night he works on a pipe that contains all sorts of twists, turns, loops and whatnot. He starts shoving marbles into it, but they do not emerge from the opposing opening. Thinking the first few have gotten stuck, he starts shoving more into them and each one disappears. Then the idea comes to him. What if he builds the same pipe only bigger, maybe then he can crawl into it and vanish as well.

It takes him a few nights to build the pipe – piece by piece – but when it’s ready, he crawls inside only to find himself in – where else? – heaven!

I always used to think that Heaven is a place for people who’ve spent their whole life being good, but it isn’t that. God is too merciful and kind to make a decision like that. Heaven is simply a place for people who are genuinely unable to be happy on earth. They told me here that people who kill themselves return to live their life all over again, because the fact that they didn’t like it the first time doesn’t mean they won’t fit in the second time. But the ones who really don’t fit in the world wind up here.

So what happens to the cynical, misanthropic, teenage-angst ridden cliché when he grows up? Sadly, he probably looks a little like me with heavy existential issues, piecing together whatever he can to figure out what the point of it all is. Because the reality of it doesn’t make sense, but I’m being ushered into some new chapter in my life that both excites me and leaves me feeling scared shitless. I’m not sure if I’m cracked up to be the person who is dependable enough and allow the needs of others to thrive before his own.

Every relationship ends with me in such a way that I feel emotionally responsible for the girl’s sudden graduation into full-blown psychosis – though it helps that I do have a thing for the crazies, so it’s not entirely my fault. But they get over it. Some quicker than others. Me, I’m prone to walking long distances, spending money I really shouldn’t, and filling my world with so much negativity that makes the average, every-day hoarder look like an amateur collector of useless memorabilia.

And it’s not just romantic relationships, it’s friendships as well. Back in 2003, I allowed a friendship die because she forgot my birthday. That’s not the core of it, though. The relationship died because she would cry bloody murder every time I forgot hers, but did I get a phone call on mine? No. She’d fluttered her eyelids and give me some half-assed apology and that made everything better.

At least I had the upper hand when that friendship crumbled. Three years later, my friendship with Miranda was coming to a close. It was inevitable, really. Having already dealt with all her shit, I was tired of playing my hand in the proverbial poker game. Like the man said, “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” Only, Miranda seemed to have folded her cards before mine. While she – and by she, I mean, Meester Binx – might argue that I was invited to the graduation, I didn’t get a phone call, an e-mail or a fucking Myspace message. I knew our friendship was in the shitter, but the blade cut a lot deeper than I expected. It’s a wound that hasn’t fully healed and I’m sure if it ever will.

And now that I find myself at change’s door, I feel the wound beneath my shirt. I press a hang against it and reach for the cell phone to give her a call. If anyone can usher me into this new world, it would be Miranda. For the first time in my life, I realize that the only people who are surrounding me are those I’ve hurt me. What favors do they owe me? If anything, I owe them for putting up with my shit all these years and stuck around.

Because the truth is, I’m not really that much of a misanthrope. If anything, I merely hate and distrust myself. I just project said hatred and mistrust into others because I’m self sabotage my own relationships, my happiness. Right now, while I should be saving money for the future. Instead, I’m allowing my self deprecation to weigh me down and spend it on useless items (even though books are never truly useless).

Someone commented on a post I put up at the beginning of the month. She said I should jump. Jump into what? I’ve never been one to go feet first without looking into any situation, let alone life. People deserve better than what  is handed to them, you know? Sometimes I think I’ve got it good. Good friends that take my shit. A girlfriend who’s been patient with me. A mother who looks out for me when the crushing weight of the world gets me down. And a family…well, a mother who looks out for me, anyway.

But it’s not me I’m worried about here, in the end. People never get what they deserve, you know? The good get their beating, while the bad live their lives in peace. I don’t deserve half the people in my life. These are good people, you know? They deserve better. But they get me instead.

Doldrums

A Sappy I-Love-My-Friends Post

Call me lame, if you will. And many of you reading this who are my nearest and dearest will be doing so in respond tweets or leaving me comments on Facebook. But I don’t care. I love you anyway.

You’re my book hunting pals to partners in crime. You celebrate the best of days and help me pick up the pieces on the worst. You give me the best advice and you’re the demon on my shoulder. You’re my heroes and my equals. And I’m inspired to be sappy because I’ve had the best couple of days and you’re all to blame. Seriously, what the fuck?

Sunday, Jyg, Esmer, Jerry and I decided to go have us an expensive meal over at Red Lobster. My bank account cried. Afterward, we headed to Target to make my bank account cry even more. I bought this really neat netbook that I didn’t need, but seriously wanted. Later, Esmer and Jyg exiled to Radioshack mostly because the face I made about going to Sally’s. We stayed a short time before heading out to join them, only to be met with a lock door.  It was off to Kohls and (later for Jerry and me) Best Buy.

Good times rolled over to today. Monica and I made plans for a book hunt for today. And, excluding Poet’s Corner Bookstore, it was a blast. I spent a little more than I wanted to – which is always the case when book hunting with Monica, but it’s a sure sign of me having a good time – but I was happy with my “booty.”

We hit up the poorly named Poet’s Corner, Books -n- Things, Georgia’s Thrift Store and finally Barnes. Even though we’re lacking two of our former foursome, we get along just fine. Though the echoes of Meester Binx’s peacock sounded loudly in the past.

Here’s to you, my comrads. My brethren. Mis amigos.

/end of sappy mode.

Doldrums

Baseball

I actually high-fived someone today. It was a little too surreal for me because not only did I high-fived someone I’ve only known for a couple of weeks, but I high-fived someone because of a sporting event.

Now don’t jump into conclusions here, the only reason Fabian and I were excited about the home run was because it meant the game was over. See up until the moment the player crossed over home plate, the score had been a tie. That meant, had he been taken out, the game would go into overtime and that meant work would end later on. This is something neither Fabian or myself wanted.

Steven also admitted being excited because for the same reason. Later, he said, it was the first time he’d ever been excited over a baseball game. Sadly, the visiting team wasn’t as excited.

Meester Binx and Erika, his wife, along with a few of her family members also attended the event. However, I only added them to the list because Binx never told me the number of people attending the event.

But tonight was a great night. Fun. Long. Exciting. And, still, rather strange.

Personal

The Inevitable Nothing

That’s the whole point of religion, right? To explain the inevitable nothing that we came from, that we will become again when our time on this earth expires. I don’t know why I’m thinking about it so much. Death is not at hand; I’m not knocking on its door. Yet the inevitable nothing is all I’m thinking about because I cannot fathom it. If religion has its purpose, it’s to blind us from this fear and, for that reason, I pray that I can reverse my stance on it.

I can’t, however, anymore than a homosexual can become straight. Once a doubter, always a doubter. The reborn can say differently, but no logical human can go from one side of the prism to the other without looking back. And it seems my whole life was spent looking back to the days when religion made me feel something more than a hollow empty excuse for not allowing reason to feed your mind. Those days weren’t better; I wasn’t happier, but I was a hell of a lot more content about the inevitable nothing than I am today.

I guess that’s why I never crossed over to becoming a full-time atheist, why I play in the gray of the believer/doubter spectrum.

Binx and I spoke a little about it while I helped him move into his new place. He also said that was the purpose of religion – its true origin, to explain the nothing. I simply said that I cannot fathom nothing. I cannot understand that all this came from nothing. He told me I’m focusing too much on it. I talked to him about the thermodynamic miracle, how of all the sperm swimming for the same goal, we were the outcome. That, of course, is a topic for another day.

Doldrums

“Another day older and deeper in debt”

Children (on steroids) Playing

I had a dream the other night. My late cousin Damien was sitting at a table with me and a few other people I couldn’t name. I can’t remember much of the dream except at one point, Damien stood up – throwing his chair in the process – slammed his fist upon the table and said “Goddamnit, Willie. What the hell?!”

People say that our dreams are just our subconscious talking to us. Why my cousin, though? I know I’ve carried the burden of dealing with his death alone, keeping certain secrets from my family, but I’ve resolved that. Didn’t I? And what exactly was it that he was angry with me about?

I haven’t talked to anyone about the dream. I tweeted it as a pathetic attempt to be heard, but the question went unanswered. Sorry about that.

Binx called me around 5:30 to ask me if I was going to the party or not. I told him I was feeling sick. I didn’t know. Two hours later, he called and asked again. He tried to guilt trip me into it. After talking with Jyg one more time, I decided to go for it. I told Monica and she came to pick me up. The pills’ effects came in waves, but for the most part, I tried to enjoy myself. Being around Binx wasn’t any different from any other time. Being around Monica was comforting.

Still, I can’t help but to feel that I don’t have a solid place. People who were once close friends feel like strangers. Rather, I feel like the stranger. I hope the feeling passes, but I know better. Whatever path I’m on, doesn’t involve a lot of people from my past. No matter how much I love them. No matter how much I’ll miss them in the long run.

I’ll just have to trek forward. And wherever I come upon, I just hope I’m greeted with the warmth that I once received from them and all those like them.