primal fear

“Uh oh.” That’s something you never want to hear from a doctor. It’s especially something you never want to hear from a doctor when you’re a teenage kid because then you’re still full of life and hope and happiness. When you go from avoiding mirrors at 16, to ogling yourself too long at them at 17, you’re thinking you’re at the top of the world. You’re thinking nothing can stop you, nothing will stop you, minus all your insecurities built up until then. However, those insecurities are mental blocks, not physical ailments. So yeah, you think if you’d go to a psychiatrist maybe they’ll diagnose something wrong with you, but you never consider anything wrong could be happening with you physically. Hell, you have the first barely there impression of a six pack. You went on a date with a girl! Half of your fashion sense is Puma apparel. You’re on top of the world.

“Uh oh,” the doctor said while he had my nuts in his hand. When you’re 17, your biggest concern with a physical is if you’re going to get an erection from a medical professional handling your unit and be defined as “gay.” It was the late 90s (or around 2007) and homophobia was still sadly rampant, and looking back, we were a bunch of little insensitive, ignorant shits.

Here’s an addendum three days later. I wrote this on a Friday morning when I was freaking out about the future and my upcoming doctor’s appointment with a urologist. That appointment is today and I’ll be leaving in less than an hour. This post did help me in that it alleviated some of the anxiety, along with me rambling on during long voice notes and voice mails as well. I was going to make a whole commentary about how this topic is far different than the 90s Richard Gere thriller film in which it’s named, and more about the primal instinct of insecurity regarding procreation and blah blah blah. I realize this post did it’s job and there’s really no point in posting it all. However, I did mention to my mother that I’d be writing a post about my testicles and I thought it’d be funny that she might be the only person to read it. It’s still funny and I’m going to think about that instead of this impending appointment. So it goes.

I am not a runner.

Exercise is always used as a suggested treatment for depression, except no one wakes up and thinks of themselves as worthless and that they’re better off not being in this world and wants to take a jog. Healthy eating is way to feel better about yourself, but when your life is just walking around with a constant gray cloud above your head, that’s splattering sulfuric, acid rain on your head from time to time, you’re not thinking about braising a piece of meat, you’re going to order too much food at a Taco Bell drive thru and follow it up with a case of diarrhea. Thankfully, none of this applies to me at the current moment. I’m able to do exercises within the confine of my apartment and make a healthy soup that tastes far worse than it should.

I bring this up because it all applies to running. How you might ask? The how isn’t important. The journey is important. Not the end game. Not the Avengers End Game. I am butchering a quote or idiom or something that doesn’t apply to what I’m trying to say anyway. The point is, even in my most elated state of being, you’ll be hard pressed to see me running. I am not good at a lot of things, but I am especially bad at running. I think it was something I’ve always known I was bad at, since one of my earliest memories is having to run races in kindergarten and suffice to say I was not very good. And that’s when I was young and spry! Today, I wished my fiancée’s old host dad (if you know, you know) a happy birthday, although I was a day late because being late is cool. He didn’t seem to have any idea I had returned to New York City after my traversing around the globe, mainly the Southern Hemisphere, or he said he would’ve invited me to the celebratory beer run that was celebrating his birth. I was relieved that he didn’t know I was in town because it would’ve been tough to craft an excuse to not show up that didn’t involve me saying I was bad at running. Because then you’d get the typical spiel of “It’s fine. We’re drinking, we’re just having fun. Don’t worry about,” because that is what people say when they’re trying to be nice. That is what people say when they think you might be bad at running, but don’t know how truly terrible you are.

Depression was only brought up earlier, because I only speak about what I know. No, I’m not referring to me having a Master’s Degree in Social Work implying that I’m an expert about mental health disorders. Though, maybe I should go with that. I’m saying, sure, I dealt with depression or Major Depressive Disorder or whatever you want to call it. Again, that’s not entirely relevant but I want everyone to know that I do have my own copy of the DSM-V that I’ve at least opened one or two times. Not when my depression was gone, but once it was in a better place, once I felt I was recovering and making progress, I planned a 7 month adventure abroad to recalibrate myself, to do something to get me going somewhere that wasn’t a plateau. Before I went off on this trip, I joined a half marathon training group that was mainly composed of middle aged women. Some of them were my mother’s friends, so she helped me get involved and I joined because blah blah blah exercise good for mental illness, etc. etc. Another reason I joined is that I figured I would smoke the competition. Yes, I’ve stated, I can not run, but I was in my mid twenties at the time, and I thought surely that I could be just as good, if not better than a group of 45 year old women. Looking back, this take was ageist, sexist, and just full of stupidity and arrogance. I couldn’t run when I was 5 years old (young and spry) so why did I think I’d be able to run multiple miles after dealing with the weight of depression for the previous years? The moral of the story? I sucked.

There’s probably deeper morals embedded in there, but they don’t go with the title of this post. I am not a runner and every time I’ve thought I could be a runner, due to my idiotic hubris, the universe has told me explicitly to sit down and shut up. Or rather to jog very slowly and then bend over out of breath while someone twice your age runs past you as three times the speed. If I drop a friend’s dog’s leash and they start running away, then I am a runner. That is about the extent of it. If the sheer panic of losing someone’s dog could be expanded into a race like setting, well heck, they’d be calling me Usain Bolt. Until that happens, I am still not a runner. I really do feel like I should expound upon more philosophical mumbo jumbo, except that this blog was truly inspired by the sheer relief of knowing I avoided a running situation in the past 24 hours. Look, I have no idea what the future holds, but until then, I’m thankful for cars. And planes. And trains. And automobiles. Maybe my next post will be about how I am not a roller skater, or blader, or boarder. So it goes.

musings.

Originally this blog was created to document my time abroad and yadda yadda yadda. Yes, I’m including a Seinfeld reference that will barely appeal to my demographic of voracious Gen Z readers. Since I’m finally returning from around two and a half months from a time abroad, maybe it’s time to pick the blog up again. However, I was prepping what I’d want to write in my head during a four-hour commute to the airport this morning and I don’t feel it’s the time to use those lines. Oh, don’t worry, the references would be less dated than Seinfeld but still about 10 or 15 years past when they’d be funny. Like, I busted open my computer now to put my thoughts into worlds while sipping on this mojito in a can, but it just doesn’t feel right. It’s probably because I’m writing this in Microsoft Word and not just write into WordPress because I can’t connect to internet. Like, I specifically write in the blog directly because I don’t like a stupid computer program to tell me my grammar or spelling mistakes. Half of my charm is that I’m unedited, uncensored, and another u word that makes sense in context. The other half of my charm? My encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture that happened when I was a toddler. Can’t wait to bust out some references to the grunge era and when MTV used to play videos.

I also don’t listen to anything typically when I write and now, I have Harry Styles crooning in my ear and that must have some effect. No, not his solo work, but One Direction. As I was just about to type out the lyrics of the song, I am being reminded why I don’t listen to anything except my own inner monologue. I’m also realizing that lines you think would be good in a blog that you’re thinking about when operating off 3 hours of sleep don’t sound nearly as good when you’re trying to put things onto the page. Is this a page? I did have a typewriter once and other how awful it was to use for typing, it did have the benefit of actual pages being created right in front of one’s eyes and you felt accomplished. Right now? I’m just wondering. I don’t even know what I’m wondering. I was going to make some comment about, jeez, it doesn’t matter, I’m getting annoyed by how much Word thinks it wants to edit me. I already thought I used too many commas bucko and you’re telling me to use more? Have some damn self control. Oh, you’re telling me I need a hyphen for self control? That’s not how I play the game, if I wanted a real editor, I’d hire one.

In other news, I talked to an old coworker, and it seems like half of my former colleagues have either left for greener pastures or just left in general. I planned on writing a series of blogs about my time there, but I didn’t know if sharing my secondary trauma with others was a nice thing to do. Trust me though, those posts would’ve been bangers. Or just me venting in a cathartic manner because if I hadn’t left when I did, I might’ve suffered a mental breakdown. Who wants to hear those stories though? I’m in a better place now! I’m a writer again! A writer who writes, promises he’ll continue, and then takes months off. Rinse and repeat. Ad nauseum. I gotta admit, I was excited to write again. It felt good to sit and plan things while I wrote in a car falling in and out of sleep. It also felt good to not have constant internet access for most of the last few months, so I had time to think about random things, mostly bullshit, instead of keeping myself constantly “entertained” in some facet. Does this mean I’ll have a creative resurgence? Probably not. It just means I’ve had even more time to return my favorite fruits list which is something I take more seriously than just about everything else in life. Will I even keep to my promise to write a second blog tomorrow when I have internet so I can write unfettered and bust out my Talladega Nights lines? I sure hope so. I want to write about Brazil, I want to write about Curacao, I want to write about love and engagements and stomach lining.

Until then though? I’ll putter around and dread this 10-hour flight and ask myself why am I listening to the Glee soundtrack for the 50th time. Don’t call this a reboot, don’t call this a retinkering, don’t call this anything but a continuation of a project I started years ago. Something I think I have a tiny modicum of talent for, so I create a rabid fanbase in my head to give myself motivation to express myself creatively as to not let them down. Isn’t loving yourself all about lying to yourself? Oh wow, what a deep comment. I bet no has ever said that before. I GET IT WORD; YOU HATE MY GRAMMAR. I can’t believe I used that reboot line just a couple sentences ago as well, that was one of the things I planned, but not the bastardized version I included here. Trust me, the next post won’t live up to the hype (the non-existent hype), but it will include the line that I thought of in the car this morning. Will it have a narrative payoff? Not at all. Will I be satisfied though? You bet your butt and isn’t loving yourself all about making yourself happy? Another attempt to be deep and the quotes keep getting less and less cliché and just plain bad. So it goes.

I am George Clooney.

A week ago, a year ago, what is time anymore? All I know is I was drying off from my second shower of the day, brushing my luscious locks like a male Rapunzel and I noticed a gray hair. One could write hairs but I already wrote hair so I’ll stick with that. Except then I kept brushing and brushing as Rapunzel does, since her and I are entirely alike minus that I do not live in a castle and I was not imprisoned by Rasputin. Unless that’s confusing fairly tales because I think he might’ve had to do something with the woman and the sewing or whatever it she did. Regardless, I saw gray hair. Hairs. Flecks of gray! Some may call them silver, the some that are calling them silver is me because that sounds much better than gray. The older sexy men are called Silver Foxes, not Gray Foxes, not Gray anything. Gray is associated with the color palette of the new Justice League cut and those 50 Shades films. Two things I’ve never watched! Although I did read the first novel in the 50 Shade series and it was god awful. The point is, maybe it’s the stress of working an overwhelming job that seems to consume the majority of my mental space. Maybe it’s the stress of living through a year+ long pandemic that consumes about all the other unfilled head space. Maybe it’s due to me being 58 years old and my parents lying about my actual birthdate. Or maybe it’s because I’m the reincarnation of George Clooney.

Listen, I know George Clooney is alive with his Italian wife and billion dollar tequila empire or whatever it is that he does. I am not saying I am the reincarnation of George, for the record I call him George. I know he’s alive making Netflix movies that people don’t watch and those who do watch tell him he should stop worrying about directing his own films and just going back to making good ones. It could be telling about me that I saw some silver flecks in my hair and my first thought was how I was a younger, huskier, handsomer version of GC. Some people see those irregularities in their full head of hair and think off to the hair dye section of my local pharmacy I go. Those people are people that we call losers. People that are unwilling to accept that some things change as you grow older and life decides to punch you in the mouth over and over and over again. Those people don’t turn into George Clooney, those people bring back the toupee industry because they’re the same type of folks who will not come to terms with their impending hair loss and instead wear baseball caps to every occasion known to man. I’ve accepted my destiny, I’ve accepted that I’m the next George Clooney. Or the current George Clooney. If he wants to give up his liquor empire to me, who am I to stop him? If I’m picked to star in Ocean’s 14, then I’ll gladly accept the offer. If they want to reboot ER only 5 or so years after they ended it, with me as one of the star doctors, yeah, I’ll do it. It’s not easy to accept reality sometimes, but it’s so much better if we stop resisting what father time has in store for us.

This is the first in my series of blog posts reflecting my mental deterioration over the past year. Maybe in the next few weeks, I’ll find myself unable to keep a shirt on and I’ll compare myself to a mid 2000’s Matthew McConaughey. Or more like I’ll pick up Scientology and become the next Tom Cruise. Finally, there’s a possibility I’ll have a frame of reference that aren’t exclusively male white actors aged 50 and up. I can only hope so. Until then, be on the lookout for HouseFriends by George Clooney 2.0, my future literal translation of his tequila brand that apparently he sold in 2018. I spent like 5 minutes doing research of his films and tv shows and history of his life to make a hilarious joke to end on and that was the best I could come up with. I acknowledge that it’s bad and I’m very aware. So it goes.

beets

These aren’t by Dre. Or these aren’t in reference to Dwight Schrute. Though they do relate much more to him than the formerly mentioned Dr. Now that I mentioned Dr this also isn’t a post about the misogynistic article written about Dr. Jill Biden by some old man. This is just about everyone’s least favorite vegetable. Is you’ve ever wondered what dirt tastes like combined with the color purple then you’ve had a beet. Does this sentence even make sense? No. It’s asking if you’ve ever wondered about something and then saying that you’ve had that something. I regret that sentence. As I’ve written about previously, I like to show my mistakes to show I’m flawed. I sometimes proclaim myself a living god in these blogs so I like to show I’m fallible. I also think it was only one time I spoke of myself as some omniscient presence but since I don’t have any Broadway shows to review right now, or international adventures to chronicle, it’s more likely that I’ll say it again.

I digress. Do people like beets? Do beets have a purpose? I do not care if there’s an answer other than no, because the answer is no. I had beet salad for dinner last night and lunch today. Did I enjoy it? Do I feel better about my life choices? No. It was a stark reminder of how much you can be hurt by forgetting to do one simple thing of actually checking on your food delivery orders because you forgot about it since they forgot about you and didn’t deliver the week prior to that. So due to you not even knowing if you’d receive food this week (that you paid for), you might’ve forgotten to check on the meals and switch anything out if you didn’t like it. No one likes beets. No one opens a box of food and thinks “Oh my gosh, it’s beets. I’m so ecstatic.” If someone tells you different, they are liars and untrustworthy. If anyone ever says anything positive about beets, they should be by a beet. As I wrote that sentence I apologize for the condoning of violence, but it also reminded me about radishes which are also terrible. Those can be pickled though and used in like Korean cuisine and that’s pretty cool. Some might say that the same can be done with a beet, and I’d tell that person to give themselves a swirly in a toilet full of pickle juice because I think their opinion is full of shit. That was a convoluted sentence with not a lot of pay off. You know what? Not a big fan of pickles either! Except I do have aspirations to become a pickler so I’m not going to go fully nuclear with my pickle takes.

A few weeks ago, I was peeling some beets. I was peeling off the skin that was dirt flavored because beets are just spherical purple dirt particles compacted together. While peeling the beet, I also peeled off my skin and didn’t stop bleeding for over an hour. I thought a good idea would be to cauterize the wound by lighting Q-tips on fire and applying them to my bleeding skin. That wasn’t a good idea and I wouldn’t have had to resort to that if beets didn’t exist. I don’t have an excuse for why I had beets in that meal delivery thing, I probably just happened to forget that beets are awful. I think it’s a commonly accepted fact that people say ignorance is bliss are stupid and use that idiom to rationalize their own lack of knowledge. My point is, ignorance isn’t bliss because bliss is a world where you don’t eat beets. I was ignorant and I ate beets. Sure, I do believe that that wound healed and the burnt Q-tip skin of mine was eventually replaced by fresh, new normal skin. Just last week I started bleeding due to cutting my hand while turning on a light in a bathroom. I could just have weak skin, or I could be suffering like Job. I don’t know much more about Job from the Bible other than he was constantly suffering and that it probably involved beets.

Seriously y’all, there’s no big point here. There’s no hidden metaphor. I just don’t like beets and it’s a very slow day at work and I wanted to rant and rave a little about them. Like even at their best, they aren’t good, they just taste a little less like dirt. But again, that’s not something to be proud of. Oh great, you’re better than me digging into the earth with a spade and eating that. Big whoop. Go take a bow. You must be so proud of yourself. I literally just googled beets and this came up: “What’s more, they are delicious and easy to add to your diet.” Maybe the internet was a mistake. Maybe too much knowledge or such easy access to everything has rotted our brains in some manner. That that is the first thing that pops up when you search for beets is such an infuriating conundrum that I can’t do this anymore. By this, I just mean continue to write about beets. Now I’m an anomaly, now I’m deviating from the script because I’m purporting the truth. The hell is wrong with people? I’m at a loss for words. Minus the previous 900 but those were all pre-googling of beets. I’m in shock. Like what? IT’S BEETS.

In other news, Cleveland Indians are changing their name huh? That’s probably (definitely) long overdue. So it goes.

leonard 2

Here comes the thrilling conclusion to the Leonard saga. Like all good movies that ended with their second, so concludes this tale. I can’t think of a lot of series that concluded at a second and didn’t go to even more sequels that typically worsen as they progress. So let’s just say this is The Godfather 2 and pretend that a third doesn’t exist like in that storied franchise. Leonard went AMA on Friday which means he left against medical advice and self-discharged himself. That’s it. That’s the conclusion of the story. I successfully convinced him to enter rehab and then he lasted less than 48 hours before he bounced. I guess the moral of the story is I still gave him 2 more days clean and that’s better than him not having that. Doesn’t entirely make it feel better or make me feel accomplished, but I gotta look on the bright side somehow. Especially today when another client got kicked out of the program for being an asshole to staff. Is that my fault? No, of course not. And we’ll leave it at that because this is about Leonard.

Now that we’re done with Leonard, let’s move onto something else. As Leonard is a broken man that I didn’t have enough glue to fix, I am a tractor beam for broken toys. Sid, or Cid, or there’s no or it definitely has to be one of those two ways of spelling that name was a character in the first Toy Story. He was the kid that had the Island of Misfit Toys and created weird Frankenstein monster fusion and combinations of them. In either Toy Story 3 or 4, he was shown to be a garbageman which is a surprisingly high paying job and they make a higher salary than me. They also sometimes give children toys and are better liked than me as well. I sometimes wish I was a garbageman. I don’t normally re-read anything I wrote but I had to review the beginning of this paragraph because I didn’t even know where I was going with the whole garbageman spiel. Not all of these masterworks are written in one sitting. Sometimes I go to the bathroom and accidentally video chat a group and wonder why my phone is talking to me as I try to unzip my trousers to urinate. Brokenness, broken arrow, that 90s movie. John Travolta and Christian Slater, directed by John Woo. That’s what I wanted to talk about. A film from 1996 that I have never seen and know nothing about. I’m going to start a new paragraph because I’ve gotten so off track.

Back to Leonard, in my previous opus about him, I mentioned that I broke my couch and I blamed it on him. I seem to be getting a new part for the couch that has still yet to be delivered, but I have high hopes for it. By high hopes, I more mean, I have enough trial and error newfound knowledge as to not physically break the couch again. I didn’t think I was going to break the couch the first time, now I’ll be even more cognizant as to not break it for a second time. Do I blame that on Leonard? I do. I know it wasn’t his fault, and though he might’ve raised frustration in me that led to me taking it out on a couch, it was still my fault. Also because Leonard does not care about my couch and he will not be volunteering to come over and assemble it when the new couch part comes in. I wouldn’t even want Leonard there, and I don’t think he’d be a very good helper anyway. Sometimes I feel that a blog is going well, and other times I do not. This is one of those times that I do not and I feel I should start this over and delete everything. I’m not going to, I just feel like I should. Due to typing this while at work, I’m always nervously switching tabs to appear that I’m diligently working and I feel I’m never completely honed in on what I’m actually doing. Granted, the only reason I’m writing this in the first place is because I have so little to do that I thought it could be nice.

Leonard though. Leonard didn’t deliver my new TV, unless he did. I don’t know Leonard’s whereabouts and now that I bring it up, I wouldn’t be surprised if he delivered it. Why am I painting Leonard as a villain? He was a gentleman who suffers with schizoaffective disorder and he thinks his substance abuse problem is more manageable than it really is. If anything, he was a nice guy who’s going through a lot of mental stress and maybe didn’t make the best decision for his recovery. But to think that he delivered me a broken TV is just plain rude to accuse Leonard of. Especially because I know for a fact he didn’t become a UPS delivery man in the three days since he left this facility. Sometimes you read a book of essays and it has like 75% wonderful ones and the other 25% ranges from piss poor trash to kinda okay. I am in that 25% with this today. The whole point of this blog, this post, not this entire blog, was to just be an outlet for me to cathartically release my anger about my broken couch and broken TV. Instead it’s been me including as many references to Leonard as I can and inventing words like cathartically. Elmore Leonard, Leonard Nimoy. I knew there were other people that’ve used that name in history.

Being delivered a broken TV sucks and what sucks more is not knowing if you specifically damaged it with your handling of it, or if it just came that way. I entirely know that I broke that couch and it was my fault but I need to redact that statement because I can’t have the company reading this. I don’t know that about the couch and I’m going to still blame it on Leonard and associates because I can’t blame myself for everything broken in the world. I deal with broken people already, and I’m trying to at least stick them back together enough so that they can survive a few more days in order to get stronger glue. That’s a metaphor, albeit not a very good one. Like the men I work with, televisions are fragile, couches are fragile (if you spend less than 1,000$ on them.) I didn’t have a follow up to that comment and now it reads like a non sequitur statement. I am not on my A game today. I’m also a little late to the party of the cathartic expressions anyway, wait, that was the last paragraph. I am out of this.

Sometimes I think my brain is frazzled. Other days I think it’s razzled and dazzled. Tomorrow one of the detox employees is going on two week vacation. The senior detox counselor has been on a 5 week hiatus to prepare for further licensure. The other two detox counselors are a woman who hasn’t stepped in the office in 8 months and a woman who just started. I will essentially become the head of the detox department and I’ve spent 45 minutes today just writing over 1000 words about Leonard. I can only hope we go to a virtual schedule soon because I don’t think I can be the sole face to the detox department. I prefer to more work from the shadows than represent an entire department. If I’m already breaking couches and fiddling with broken TVs with just one Leonard, how am I going to manage to deal with 10+ a day? I wonder if that’s what George Washington was thinking when he crossed the Delaware. Delaware River? Delaware Sea? Was the state of Delaware just a liquid mass that he had to cross? I looked it up, it was the Delaware River because of course it was. It obviously wasn’t the sea. All I know is that in that famous painting, there was at least one Leonard. It’s obvious since there are a couple people that are totally doing zilch and yet they got to be memorialized on canvas for centuries. The point is, if George Washington and his wooden teeth overcame that daunting river that only people know of because of that painting, and has never been referred to as daunting before, then I can manage to run detox as a one man ship. Because shit man, George had a ton of guys in that boat with him and he was doing absolutely nothing. Like what the heck? I should’ve referenced like a proud Native American hero who carved a canoe themselves and paddled with just their hands, compared to George’s lazy ass. Screw you George Washington, you’re not an inspiration, you’re the real Leonard. I am, well, I don’t want to compare myself to a Native American because they’ve done more than I’ve ever done. All I know is that I’m better than George Washington.

Okay, before I get too off the rails with that. It does suck to have a broken couch and a broken TV. But sooner than later, those will be fixed and I won’t remember any of this. I won’t think of Leonard because I’ll be dealing with a constant influx of new faces instead and I’ll remember December as the year I supplanted myself as a better man than George Washington ever was. Sometimes you gotta be grateful for what you have, and if my worst problems are a couch that I broke and a TV that I could afford during a global pandemic, then I’m doing pretty okay. We’ll just have to wait and see how I feel in leonard 3 though. So it goes.

leonard.

leonard cohen. kawhi leonard. leonard maltin. leonard fournette. leonard(o), the blue teenage mutant ninja turtle. darius leonard, that defensive player from the Colts. All of these names may have some meaning, and their meaning is irrelevant. Because the name Leonard is irrelevant which is why I didn’t even give it the grace to capitalize it. Except that I just did that in the last sentence. I also don’t really remember who Leonard Maltin is, I think he’s a film critic or so. And one of those players won a NBA championship, one was a football bust, one was a poet and song writer and he had some jams. I still will argue that they are pointless figures in the grand scheme of life. Michelangelo was the best turtle anyway. Or Donatello. Leonardo was probably actually better than Raphael who was just a mopey emo boy and I don’t need TV to see that shown, I can just look in a mirror.

Sometimes I’m taking showers and thinking about what I’ll write about and how to formulate it, how to create it. When I say sometimes, I mean rarely (if ever) due to me posting at most once every six months. I mention this because when I was showering this morning, I was thinking of the name Leonard and other names that began with it. I never got much further than that initial thought which is why I immediately started spiraling into incoherent prose after listing off those names. I was impressed by what I was thinking with the names and I thought it’d be a great jumping off point into my next point. Instead it just made me realize that I had no real connective tissue to bring those fellows together and I liked them well enough to not want to be entirely too critical of them as a whole. I understand this backtracking isn’t going to retroactively make those sentences more entertaining, it’s just a way of showing that I am aware of the missteps I make.

One of my colleagues described the detox counselors as “front-line soldiers in the war versus addiction.” We are the ones that rush into battle, do our best to fire a few shots off, before being decimated by machine gun fire. She didn’t include all of that in the description, which is why I only quoted what she actually said. Either way, those in detox are seeing those with substance use disorders at their most vulnerable. Typically in the throes of withdrawals, while cravings are at their highest, and physical comfort is at its lowest. Suffice to say, a lot of clients do not make it through the process because their disease prohibits them from doing so. I understand this, I am deeply aware of this; however, that does not take away from the frustration of it all. Which brings me to Leonard, an alcoholic, whom I was working with. Leonard isn’t his real name for privacy reasons; just kidding, it totally is Leonard and I wouldn’t be obsessing over this damn name if it was just a pseudonym.

Oh right, I could’ve continued on that same paragraph because I still need to speak about Leonard but I took a break to aimlessly stare into the void that is my office on Thanksgiving and I got distracted. Also, as I wrote more and more of this, I realized, what is there even to vent? Leonard was a client who wanted to drink, and didn’t want to stick around for rehab. Who explicitly told me he was going to walk out of here, and have a beer. Where is he now? He’s starting his first day of rehab. Why is he starting his first day of rehab? Because I reached out to his case manager, his psychiatrist, and I didn’t give up on him when he changed his mind. He kept flip flopping between staying and going, and I could’ve just quit on him and let him live his life, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that because I know I can’t change someone’s mind entirely. I know that people are in complete control of their actions and I can only do so much. I also know that people are in vulnerable states, and need advice to help their lives. They came in for treatment, and they didn’t come in to talk to a therapist that would immediately agree with their discouraging thoughts and wish them well as they go out the door. Was Leonard driving me crazy with his flip flopping? Yes. Was it ridiculous one of his main issues with rehab was that he would have to do group work? Yes. Did I yell at him in exasperation that probably just sounding like me being funny but I was ready to strangle him? Sure. In the end, he stuck around for another day, and I know that I’m partially responsible for that.

In other news, I broke my new couch last night and I watched another Cronenberg movie last night and I have no idea how it was even nominated for an Academy award. The fascination with his filmography is becoming more confounding with each film I see, and yet I will continue with my quest to watch them all. Oh, and also it’s Thanksgiving today and I’m writing this from work because might as well maximize efficiency. I thought it would be funny to just write “In other news, I broke my new couch and watched a movie,” and then end the blog. Like, it would be a cliffhanger ending. Instead I’m still going on and on. Now I feel I almost have to explain the couch thing, but in case any online shops are reading this blog, I will not explain anything more and reiterate that it was delivered broken and had nothing to do with me taking out frustrations from the Leonard incidents of earlier in the day. Over the weekend, I’ll probably write a full post explaining my couch dilemma and giving a half baked review of another Cronenberg film that I rent from Amazon for 3$. So it goes.

tummy ache.

I was glad to see that it hadn’t been a full calendar year since I last posted a blog post. I was also glad to see that my last post was about a movie club, a thing I’m still doing at this point in time. Though movie club is less fun when you’re watching the films of a director and every single film you’ve watched isn’t that entertaining and you’re kind of just wondering if you’re wasting your time. Look, I’m not here to discuss David Cronenberg. Yes, the guy likes body horror and then has a son who likes sci-fi themes and more body horror. Are they visually interesting films? Sure. Are they good films? Still waiting if I find one of those. I know I was doing play reviews and obviously that isn’t happening with a global pandemic still raging, if not strengthening, and I did spend 5$ to watch a play via streaming this weekend. The issue is that spending 2.5 hours watching a play seems much more entertaining when you’re actually in a theater and it’s been harder for me to muster up the time commitment to jump into a show called “uncle vanya.”

None of these are the topics of discussion in this blog though. I told some folx that I would restart the blog once we elected a new President. Not to give some political commentary from the perspective of a straight white male, but just because I thought that was a big enough event to use as a launching point for my superstardom once more. Because there’s nothing more famous than a guy who’s written 100 something blogs and that’s what you think when you think of celebrity instead of Brad Pitt or Selena Gomez. Oh right, onto the point though. Again, there is no point. I don’t have anything to say, I didn’t know what I was going to write. I just figured, that my tummy was aching a little bit so maybe that’d inspire a creative outpouring. Instead it makes it feel like I’m going to have to go to the bathroom sooner than later. I would not advise potato chips being dipped into tuna salad as meal that I would recommend to almost anyone, but sometimes you want to mix things up on the weekend after having 5 days of being responsible and health with eating habits. The issue is that there are probably much more satisfying ways of splurging on food compared to dipping potato chips into tuna salad. I don’t see the Rock posting that as his cheat days on Instagram, though at the same time I have zero desire to eat a pile of pancakes that is 2 feet tall.

A few weeks ago an old friend of mine posted a video he created that was based around him writing a letter to his future son. It was political in nature and it was done by a gay man whose voice should be amplified much louder than mine. It was a beautiful video and well, yeah, it was great, am I going to write all the details of it? No. Because I forgot them. However, I commented on it and he mentioned something about me writing this blog and he didn’t know if I was still doing it but he always enjoyed reading it. It made me think, isn’t this a wonderful time capsule for my future children. He’s writing wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent pieces and I’m writing about how I dip potato chips into tuna salad as I mixed cherry coke zero with diet dr pepper. I think that both of those things are wonderful in their own way with mine being much more wonderful and his kinda being sappy and melodramatic and not nearly as endearing and spiritually healing and life affirming and other buzz words as mine. Like his video got hundreds of people viewing it and liking it and telling him how great it was. My posts get me very limited interaction, but I talk about big issues like again, potato chip tuna salad mixology. What I’m trying to say is that just seeing how much my words can mean to someone, it does make me think I should comment on everything. Like yeah, I just said I shouldn’t comment on shit because I don’t have anything new to bring to a table and we should be amplifying the voices of those who deserve to be heard. Except that again, I want my future children to know that I spent my 30s watching football and eating tuna tartare with fried scalloped potatoes. I want them to read that and whenever they’re thinking they aren’t good enough, or they can’t follow their dreams, they see what their father did and they don’t give up because they don’t want to be following in those footsteps.

Sometimes you forget you’re an inspiration. Sometimes I forget that though I don’t bring anything original, that though my ideas are dumb, that I need to be heard. I have people counting on me. I have a guy who did something much better than I’ve ever done who is counting on me. Who probably said that because he’s a really nice guy and very sweet and knew it would make me feel good to hear that because he’s a caring person. But like, he’s just one of millions, if not billions that feel the same way. Writing this has made me stomach stop aching, my stomach now is rumbling with the pride of a nation inside it. Don’t even try to figure out what I mean by that because I’m not entirely sure myself and I really don’t want to change the sentence because I feel my second go will fare even worse. I’m not going to say the blog is back. I’m not going to say I’ll be posting constantly. I will say that I hear your silence and I know I am missed. I hear the silent clamoring of my countless fans hoping and praying that I came back with a vengeance. And guess what y’all? I am back. Just like I said 5 other times and then didn’t post for six more months. So look forward to more of this where I start off talking about David Cronenberg films and end up with a farcical ego stroke that I don’t know how much is real or how much is made up. Again, I have no idea what that last sentence is supposed to say.

I wanted to end this post already, and I can’t end like that. It just took me like five minutes to even figure out the word count on this darn thing. Conclude, however, I still will. I’ve been reading this book for my book club and it’s been giving me nightmares every time I read it so I’m scared to keep reading it. I’m also scared to start the next book because I picked it and I’m worried it’s not going to be that great. The world is a scary place. This is how I decided to end it? By listing off my own anxieties and fears that barely sound rational to me and I suffer from it, so it’ll sound even more irrational to a layman. Because I think of all my readers as laymen. I think of myself as an intellectual god, proselytizing to the masses. I really wanted to include another paragraph so I didn’t come off as conceited and then I’ve dug an even deeper hole for myself. Listen, I get it, I’m a mess. A little mess. Real fans will understand that reference. Real fans would be my family members that would know that’s a nickname given to me by my late great Uncle. I don’t consider anyone else other than my family a real fan because I doubt anyone else might read this. Ah good, started off a high, narcissistic ledge and now I’m plunging into a sea of self doubt. That’s more how I prefer to end things. So it goes.

movie club.

I like to start clubs. As I type that, I almost immediately regret it because I’ve started like two clubs in my entire life. Also, saying I started clubs isn’t that impressive of a feat when the maximum amount of people to be in any of them has been three people. The maximum amount of people participating in them at any given time has been two people. I don’t even know if there’s a number of people that need to be included to call things a club, so me labeling my ideas as such might even be factually true. Let me fix my first sentence. I like to start clubs (if a club means a book club where we read a couple books together and then one person quits and then the founder also gives up and then tries to reboot it a couple years later and hopes for a better outcome but promptly fails at that one too.)

This isn’t about a book club though. I probably mentioned book club when I wrote a post about Bridget that I think I wrote at some point. I never read these blogs, I never check back to see what I said or didn’t, I just have an iffy memory of things I wrote that I convince myself is true. Movie club might be a spin-off from book club round two, but they both tell a similar tale. A tale as old as time. I really intended to include more lyrics to a Beauty and the Beast song there before promptly realizing that I have no idea what the next lyric is and I’m not trying to listen to the song as this instant or else I’d go down the Disney rabbit hole and who knows if I’d ever come out and actually finish this. I already spent 20 minutes staring at a blank page that just said “movie club” and asking myself if there was even a point to writing this.

The point isn’t whether there’s a point or not. The point was I needed a barely-there concept to convince me to write something and eek out anything compared to me just writing another comeback blog that didn’t go anywhere, again. Thus, this brings me to movie club. After book club round 2 essentially ended after reading one book, and no matching tattoos, we were in a standstill. A quarantine had now been affecting the world, a global pandemic was upon us, and two of us were struggling to read a Brazilian romance novel that seemed to be half footnotes that my girlfriend suggested. Did she even get the book to read herself? I don’t think we ever reached that conclusion because our club is not keen on communication. Or it’s not keen on quality communication. Here’s an example of some conversation snippets from movie club, “Hey, how’d you like that movie?”, “How was Burning?”, “I wonder if anyone enjoyed Burning?”, “Hey, how was Burning?”. These questions were either met with silence or an admission of one member falling asleep. I do not know if the aforementioned girlfriend even knows that book club got changed into movie club, and if she did, she certainly did not even attempt to watch the film.

The movie itself doesn’t matter even though I already mentioned it in the blog. It was Burning. It was based off a short story by Haruki Murakami, so it tied into the previous book club. It was a Korean drama that was a slow burn. Haha, get it? That’s a terrible joke and puns are for people who aren’t funny. It was a romance that I’m not sure if I liked or didn’t like and yet I felt invested in the story and I came away not knowing if I even cared about the characters. It would’ve been a nice discussion to have with the two other members of the group (of which at least 1 knows they’re in the group) and I would’ve liked to hear more thoughts. Am I going to share more of my thoughts about the movie here? No. Who cares? Since I last watched Burning last weekend, I binged all of High Fidelity in a couple days and I have many more thoughts about that. I also will not be talking about that.

I’m not here to talk about anything. I’m here to take thin premises and stretch them into a ramshackle combination of words that I hope is interesting or entertaining to one or two people. I can’t wait for the second movie in movie club. It’s not even my turn to pick and I’ll still manage to be the only person to watch it. I wonder how long it’ll take my partner to even realize she’s involved. I have no idea how this post ended up being a few hundred more words than the previous post and I had even less idea of what to write this time. Maybe my gears are finally starting to spin a little more, or well, I can’t even think of a second comment. Glad I nailed the ending of this. So it goes.

howdy.

It’s always funny how whenever I return to this blog, the most recent post typically seems to be me talking about my triumphant return to said blog. And then there’s nothing after that. And yet, I continue to do this over and over ad nauseam. I even typically conclude a post thinking, “That feels good. I should keep doing this like I literally just said I would.” Then months go by and I finally return to realize my idea of a topic was what I wrote about prior. Is that this point of this post? To vilify myself for not living up to the expectations that only I set up for me. There really isn’t a point to writing this, just I thought maybe I could publish something interesting while I’m stuck at home 80% of the time. Obviously, when I mean to publish, I strictly mean to the interwebs, and not in any professional capacity whatsoever.

Granted, I don’t have anything that interesting to write about. Though I might be in New York City, in the epicenter of the pandemic, I’d rather not write about the quarantine situation. Because writing about it doesn’t change it, and explaining my working from home, and makeshift workout schedule while watching British TV programs isn’t the most interesting topic either. I will include a note to wash your hands though, and continue with the quarantine process no matter how annoying, because well, then the sooner it can end.

I have been eating more soup lately. Mainly that’s led me to realize that the human body can ingest a lot of soup at once. I wouldn’t say that that is something I recommend, but soup seems to have no effect on how a stomach feels until 5 minutes after you finished eating it, regardless of the portion size. You can eat a thimble, or you can eat a something larger than thimble portion and lo and behold, five minutes and you’ll get some rumbles in your tummy. As I’m writing this semblance of a paragraph, I can tell that I haven’t been writing one of these things in a long time when I felt this diatribe on soup was something worth including. I can’t even say that I’ll make sure to improve within the next post in the next day or two because every time I’ve said that, I’ve cursed myself to never post again.

Consider this like a test run though. A test run that hopefully, I do improve from and actually persist in trying to improve from. I think the real issue is that I was hoping for some food to be delivered and I keep feeling like it’s minutes away from coming. So I don’t want to be too invested in something like this, and then give it all up to eat. I even considered just saving this and writing something tomorrow where I wasn’t spending every moment waiting for a doorbell. Or maybe I can blame my lack of creative output on the drier that is very loud and annoying. I don’t even know if it’s drier or dryer and I refuse to find out. They both look wrong. I’m just using this post as pressure washer shooting into a gutter and starting to clear the gunk out. At first, it might just be a dribble or drizzle and soon enough, all the crap will start shooting out. Or some other analogy that makes more sense and flows better. For the past 4 months, I’ve just been writing case notes for my job so it’s a lot less flowy and more technical. I’m trying to get back into the scheme of writing in my own weird little style which is basically me going on a stream of consciousness about mundane topics that pop into my head.

At the very least there are no sports currently so I can’t have a topic that curses all of that. Gotta find some [insert another analogy or metaphor or whatever the thing is, maybe an idiom that makes sense and isn’t me just drawing a complete blank.] I’m glad I ended on a call back to previous blog posts that are probably years old at this point so I might be one of the only people that understand the reference. Classic Hank. So it goes.