It’s time for a reappraisal of the situation

“You’re human, it’s okay to be hungry” – Kristie in class

I very often forget that there are actually people out there in the world that can actually be have like normal like and listen to their guts and know when it’s time to eat and what a hunger cue is. I have destroyed my body and mind for so long I forgot what it’s like to actually be hungry, and truthfully I like it.

I sat in class, working diligently and y belly gave this rumble that rivaled something you’d hear at the zoo. Not only was it something unlike I was used to, it was uncomfortable. I realized at that moment I was treating my boy very poorly and it was rebelling. It was hungry, physically hungry. It was confusing, and of course most people know the difference, not me.

I expressed my hunger, and apparently I sounded like it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right to me, it was a shamefully out of control feeling that I had experienced before. Was this hunger going to send me into a spiral of binging, purging, excessive exercise? Was this hunger going to trick my brain into thinking ugly things and self destructing. I was scared, but I was reassured. It’s okay to feel hungry.

Acting upon it was terrifying. I felt alone, but I knew I can a cheering section somewhere  there that wanted me to do the right thing. There were people that didn’t want me to hurt anymore. I still felt like the only person in the world that has ever experienced this panic and fear of food.

So, this is my proclamation, I’m going into a treatment facility come graduation from college. I’m ready to live the way other people do. It’s going to take time, energy, and support but I think I can do it. I’m going to start a fundraising project… I’m not quite sure  is yet, but I know when to say enough is enough. Time to call in the professionals.

Zips is coming too :-)

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The Sims And Philosophy

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

The science of being alone is an art that isn’t to be mastered by the faint of heart. To be able to sit blankly, alone, quiet, and be at peace without yourself is something that very few can master without actually taking the time to realize who they are and what they’re trying to be at peace with. Instead of grappling with reality by distracting, sitting quietly, alone, at peace, is something that everybody should be able to accomplish. Everybody with half a brain that is. I, however, cannot enjoy this peace, as many people with similar mindsets as mine often do.

Peace in chaos, that’s always been my motto, but it hasn’t always been that way. I remember a time so very long ago that I was happiest sitting at my computer playing The Sims for hours on end, escaping to a quiet place where nobody could bother me. The Sims were my salvation, being lost in a virtual world of “Hot Date”, “Vacation”, and even “Unleashed” was something that I could always look forward to. I could embrace the escapism of sitting on my own couch, with my own laptop, and running my own private little world. I could make people love, I could make then hate, I could make these people die if I really wanted to. For all that have played, remember that ability to put your “Sim” in the pool and take the ladder away? Watching them swim aimlessly and eventually beg for the ladder back was sadistic, but hey, we did it…I know I’m not alone here.

no ladder

Why, however, did the creators of that game give us the ability to kill off our Sims? Wouldn’t it just be easier to have a “delete Sim” button to remove them forever from our game play? Why are we given this supreme power of playing god even though these fake figures are nothing but pixels on the screen? Do the creators of the game not realize that in a zillion other video games your character dies and you get a new one? Death is all over the place in the virtual game world, however, it’s always somebody else killing your character. There is always a bad guy, there is always something to fight, there is always something out to get you. The Sims, however, was different. Your worst enemy was yourself and your ability to make life good.

How does that reflect on our interpersonal relationship with self, though? In the Sims, your person gets lonely, and will beg you for some company. You can of course satisfy the need for company and companionship with other people, but how does that really work? Why do people need to rely on the presence of others to make them happy? In all actuality, The Sims is probably one of the most poignent video games ever to come out, not only because it keeps the brain occupied for hours on end, it teaches us what people really want and need in life. Primarily a ladder out of a pool, but secondly, to be happy, no matter what.

“Thou wilt one day cry: “I am alone!” One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely thy lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom. Thou wilt one day cry: “All is false!” -Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Alone, the feeling that you get when you’l without company, but for many, you can be just as alone with a room full of people as you can be all by yourself. The feeling of not relating, the feeling of inferiority, the feeling of being afraid to say the wrong thing manifests itself in every one of us, and without any apparent cause. Fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of actually showing love, all of these things are qualities that The Sims don’t have. They just go about their little lives, doing whatever you tell them to do, they have “free will”, but then again, you can adjust exactly how much they have. Again, the ability to play god is the ultimate ego trip, until it’s time to turn the game off. When the Sim decides he wants to do something to amplify his happiness, you can tell him not to.

Why can’t we do this same “Click To Save” action in our own lives? We find ourselves in self destructive thought patterns and even attitudes. As a culture we can sink into the tragic events of the news, of our relationships, of our lack of confidence and not stop. There is no simple mouse click to change your reactions to events, or even feelings. It would be so simple though, if we can see a Sim suffering on the screen and be able to guide it to the shower to clean, the fridge to eat, or even out on a “Hot Date” to get some attention, why can’t we implement this is real life? Easy, we’re scared.

Miserable

The miserable people that decide that they want to change their life patterns have to go through a rough patch of readjustment, much like if you were to get a new expansion pack for you Sims. There are so many new, exciting things to experience, it’s hard to know where to start. The biggest step that you have to take in personal transformation is to take that first step toward the shower, the fridge, or like noted above, the bathroom (that’s a hell of a lot of pee, and I’ve also wondered why do the Sims pee blue?). Those poor Sims can’t help themselves, you however can. A simple evaluation of where you are and where you’re going in life will assist you in making those scary first steps.

Do you really want to be the drunken sot that loses friends and respect? Probably not.

Do you really want to be the heroine addict that hocks family heirlooms to get a hit? No, not that either.

Do you want to put your best foot forward? Please do.

This morning I had a bit of a stumble, I realized that I had spent the week in a spiral of self loathing and doubt. What am I doing here, where have my friends gone, why am I so lonely? All of those things are answered simply by “bad decisions and sabotage”. I could have had it all, but all was not what I wanted. I could have a super model body again, but I blew that with bad decisions. I could have somebody at home that loves me very much that looks forward to seeing me smile. I blew that too. Or did I, it’s all a matter of perspective.

In The Sims, if you don’t show up to work you lose your job, much like in real life. Also in The Sims, if you don’t eat you get a warning bubble with food in it. In real life it’s different, you have to trust your internal signals to tell you when and what to do. These same internal signals can change your matter of perspective on where you are in life. I could have it all, I did throw it away, but who is to say that what I have now isn’t enough? I have “all” of the things I need to live and be happy. Isn’t that “all” enough? I used to have a super model body of 83 pounds and blonde, I blew that by deciding I didn’t want to be anorexic anymore. What’s to say that I’m not the same beautiful person that I was then, just a whole lot bigger? I could have somebody that loves me at home, but then again, at what cost. Can I love myself if I’m constantly worried about other people loving me?

The Sims aren’t just a video game, to me at least. They remind me that in order to make things happen you have to make them happen. It’s time to come to terms with the fact that you’re in charge of putting that ladder in your pool to get out, are you going to? Are you capable?

“Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.”
Franz Kafka

There is nothing wrong with me, or you either for that matter.

I have found over the past month that philosophy and the study thereof is a lot like vacuuming. The slower you pass over it, the more you tend to suck up. In a pinch, however, in a fury of cleaning and rapid movement, the ability to comprehend and suck up every little detail is lost. You’ll find yourself revisiting that same spot over and over again knowing that there are little pieces still needing to be taken up from their place and put in the proper location. I’ve been reading Kant, he isn’t staying in my vacuum bag, if you get my drift.

Although he’s right up the line of what I like as far as philosophers go (he’s grumpy and from the Austria/Germany area), he was a little bit more, well, fluffy as far as I was concerned. He was a little bit too structured as far as the concepts of decision making was concerned, and he wanted me to focus on reason for Pete’s sake. Reason!?!? Theoretically we all use reason for every single motion and emotion we make. I made a motion to sit here on my ass and write this tripe. I also used my emotion to fuel my desire to complain about modern day life and how it relates to old time philosophy.

Why, though? What is there to be said about a philosopher that died over 200 years ago? What about one that died a little over 100 years ago? What do these philosophers do to impact our modern day lives, and why is the acknowledgement of the wisdom they purveyed important, you may ask. Simple, as a society we’re lost. Emotionally we’re lost, lacking direction, we’re a generation of depressed, emotional beings that lack some sort of guidance. A constant struggle is waged ranging from uncomfortable living conditions due to lack of wealth, uncomfortable body image due to lack of personal upkeep, uncomfortable ego because of lack of developing a healthy one, and even uncomfortable relationships because we’re afraid of the lack thereof.

In the modern day we’re constantly bombarded with distractions, be it social media, interactive outlets, booze, drugs (both legal and not), sex, drugs, rock and roll, you name it. There are always things to be done to chase an invisible carrot infront of our noses, that goal that doesn’t exist, happiness. The rationalism behind existence of man is gone, modern day man is incapable of making his own decisions – the world around him influences action/reaction and all of a sudden the ability to use rationality of self is gone.

“Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
― Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

I am the first to admit I think way too much, it’s the existentialist in me, and maybe just a touch of the wild child that wants to adventure for a living. Constantly I think about how I can make an adventure out of something, how can I make this more exciting, how can I make this what other people want me to make it? The pressure of finding the perfect adventure, or even the perfect answer to a thought pattern is absurd and nine times out of ten my only reaction is no action at all. I rationalize everything to the extent of nullification and find myself getting nowhere mentally, physically or spiritually. I reason myself out of most things, although my gut tells me its the thing to do. The power of the gut, or intuition if you please, is more powerful than any sort of peer pressure or social media out there. The innate existence of intuition in you  is tortured by constant distraction which lead you to ignore what your gut is telling you.

My gut told me I shouldn’t have been driving before I crashed my car, my intuition knew it was a bad idea. I did it anyway. My car was crashed, my life was changed forever, and my intuition sat there with its hands on its hips saying “I told you so, but you didn’t listen, you were too busy living in some other world.” My intution was wise enough to know that the decisions that I was making was wrong, but only because there was a concept of wrong in the first place. This is where the ability to live outside of a box and absorb culture is important. Without having a sense of right or wrong in the first place, all intuitions will be misplaced and any sort of malfeasance on your part will be your fault. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to intuition.

Let’s go back to the vacuum analogy for a moment. You know that if you take a couple of slow passes over a dirty carpet you’re likely to get the job done, but you might reason otherwise. You’re too busy, you don’t feel like it, you don’t want to in the first place and are only doing it under duress. All of these excuses are going to tell your intuition to can it, however, your power of concept is stronger than that. Those are just thoughts, which can be altered, you attitude can be changed, your gut feeling, however, is very hard to sway. The concept behind doing it right the first time was instilled in us as small children. When we did something wrong, we were reprimanded and told to do it right the first time. If we weren’t we’d never learn our alphabet, we’d never learn simple arithmetic, and we’d never get potty trained. The concept was instilled in us what is right behavior and what is wrong. Those that chose to ignore these are just trying to wage war with themselves.

“If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.”

-The Tree on the Hill from Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche

So why, do I and so many others let this invisible force that is modern day living shake us so? Just like Zarathustra had the ability to place his hands upon something that was able to be moved by a greater force, he was unable to replicate the force. His intuition told him it was impossible, his gut knew it wasn’t going to happen, and there was no use it even trying. Although he cannot explain exactly what the wind is, nor point to it, its there. A great invisible force, almost like modern day attitudes towards life and living. We’re guided and bent into uncomfortable positions by these great invisible hands that are the media and society without paying any regard to our own intuitions. We’re to pliable and allow ourselves to be bend. Like saplings in a cyclone we bend.

And some of us snap. Take a moment to look at any sort of crime television show or newspaper. There are people, who in some cases (those of psychosis are exempt) just snap. It’s hard for most people to say exactly why, almost as if this invisible force just infested their powers of reason and allowed them to behave in unethical manners. It’s more of an ignorance of a different invisible being, the ever innate power of intuition. Knowing that something is wrong, using rational skills before reacting, and adjusting actions accordingly. Allowing your brain to pass over a scenario slowly, just like you’d want to take the time to pass over the carpet with the vacuum slowly, will give better outcome. Why can’t we slow down and listen to our guts? Why can’t we just mellow out for a moment and reassess the situation?

I did the opposite of my normal self just this morning. After listening to Thus Spoke Zarathustra while working out at a gym full of people that looked miserable, I had the gut feeling that I should be miserable too. Everybody around me seemed unhappy with life, they were unhappy because they had to work out, they were unhappy to be awake so early, they were just plain miserable with life. I went into the locker room to shower and change, and there was a woman who took great strides to conceal herself from the rest of the locker room. She was miserable with herself, and ashamed.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say “There is nothing wrong with you!”

Then I stopped, it was me. I listened to my intuition, and for once it was screaming at me. Call it an adrenaline based epiphany or what have you, but it was wonderful. I felt peace. I thought back to the very last sentence I remembered from the book that I was listening to while hanging out with the miserable looking people in the gym…

“Ye tell me, “Life is hard to bear.” But for what purpose should ye have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?” -Reading And Writing – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Let’s work on having pride when we open our eyes in the morning and resign from the day at peace at night.

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Half the time I am too caught up in being the clown to really focus on my gut feeling – which is to not take life too serious.

…Leave us alone to pine in our anguish…

“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.”
Tom Wolfe

Sure, there are certain roads that are meant to be driven on a daily basis. Those that you find yourself aimlessly turning down and following the ease and flow of the traffic. The woman drinking her morning coffee (probably spiked with Kahlua to get her through the day), the businessman yelling mindlessly into a bluetooth speaker trying to make the latest quota, the old couple on their way to the doctors office to get their monthly ten point inspection. All of these people are on the road with you and you have no choice but to go with the flow, like a twig in the shoulders of a mighty stream.

You’re in your own world though, in your cocoon of a car. You’re encompassed and hugged by your bolsters and at the mercy of whatever audio device you decide to utilize on that particular day. The road is just another grocery store checkout line, full of strangers with their own stories to tell and battles to fight. These are the people you share the world with, these are the people that you share your life with, these are also the people that force some people (points to self) to rely on isolation to remedy the fact that some people are alive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty groovy people out there, it just doesn’t seem like I have the pleasure of spending large chunks of time with them.

Upon reflection, it’s become more of a lesson in tolerance. I can sit down at work and cringe when certain coworkers approach me, knowing that whatever comes out of their mouth is going to be negative and tripe. Going to classes at night is a similar experience, although, I’m usually the one that gets on other peoples nerves. It’s a habit of being too outgoing, too smart, too much of an over achiever. That’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been, and that’s what gets me in trouble. Pushing the envelope to the edge of being the “best” only to crumble and become a wreck.

“That doesn’t mean I didn’t love you, just that i didn’t understand you.”

None of this made sense to me until happening upon an email that smacked me in the face like a wet fish. It’s true, nobody seems to understand me, and that makes for a very lonely existence. I’ve been fighting it my entire life, and for those of you out there that have similar struggles, I salute you. I’ve grasped unsuccessfully into a dark abyss trying to find somebody that could understand me, but it’s a lost cause. I’m an enigma, I’m a mess, I’m a pain in the ass. It ruins my life, but at the same time, this is who I am. This is who I’ve always been, and to expect a person to change is a bit frustrating. Not only to the changer, but to the changee.

“And with pain and joy, their hearts learned to hear that double lesson which leads to a happy death.”

― Albert Camus

I however, am not quite ready to pain myself into changing drastically. I understand my weak points such as making plans and not showing up, and making plans and changing them at the last minute. For those that have fallen victim to this, I apologize, to those that haven’t witnessed it yet, be prepared. I think that was one of the breaking points of the Shark Trip, I had to be various places, people were counting on me, yet the entire time I just wanted to blow off engagements and be a flake. It’s my personality, it’s embarrassing, it’s me.

With these personality defects, how do you gracefully tote them throughout your life and not allow them to drive you to ruin or misery? How often do you, as imperfect beings, say to yourself “I should have done that differently”. Hindsight sucks, but living in the past is even worse. Blazing a positive trail towards tomorrow is the only way to achieve an inner peace with yourself even when there are naysayers in your life.

“The best way out is always through.”
― Robert Frost

So what do you say, let’s get out of this by continuing through one day at a time. Remember, isolation isn’t always a terrifying things – sometimes you need internal dialog to hear the things you really want to be said about you.

oneday

Fear Or Lack Thereof

“My ‘fear’ is my substance, and probably the best part of me.”
Franz Kafka

I crossed my arms with a cool calm demeanor and shrugged my shoulders. “Nah,” I answered with a non-amused tone. “What is there to be afraid of?”

The Skydive instructor kind of looked at me and shook her head. “You mean you don’t even have a few butterflies in your belly that get you a little nervous? Not even excitement? Nothing?”

“What is there to be afraid of?” I demanded, expecting to get some sort of lecture trying to talk me out of plummeting out of a perfectly good airplane at 11,000 feet.

“Well,” she said with a tone that seemed almost disappointed in my response. “Things happen sometimes, rough landings and such, but really nothing. Usually people at least have a little bit of fear in them.”

I thought about it, before answering this time. Instead of having mental puke coming out of my mouth and trying to explain to her the life of a bitter existentialist I just shrugged again as the plane started climbing up to altitude. I looked out over the low country of South Carolina and took note that there wasn’t anything that I was actually afraid of at that very moment. The plane could crash, the parachute could fail to deploy, I could have a heart attack. All of those things didn’t scare me. Why was this, why did I feel like I was disposable? Why didn’t I care if I fell at the speed of gravity into the ground?

As we climbed up and up into the clouds, the other jump team was going over strategy and contemplating how to position themselves. I was singing the song “Big River” in my head, not even thinking about what was going to be happening in the next few minutes. I knew the process, the door was going to open, We would attach and swing one, two, three, and belly flop into the great blue sky. That was the process. Not scary, I mean as long as you follow the directions what could go wrong?

The door opened and the cold air from the high skies filled my face – that was when I realized why I wasn’t afraid. I realized that fear was for people that felt like they had something to live for. Fear was for people that actually valued stuff in life and didn’t want to lose it. My fear was mental – all emotional – not tangible. None of my fears could be connected to a physical being or embodiment, my fears were of myself.

Again, not too long after falling out of the airplane without incident I found myself flying down a front straight of a road track in the triple digits. I never felt the first bead of sweat break my brow, and even though what I was doing was supposed to be “thrilling”, I was numb to the situation. My instructor asked “How does it feel to go 110 mph in your own car?”. I thought about it a moment, negotiated a tough left handed cambered corner and answered. “Fast I guess.”

Getting out of the car, I felt numb. There was nothing to fear, except people. I realized at that very moment, I was afraid of something. I was afraid of people. Judgement, liking me, hating me, loving me, all of those things I was afraid of. Incidents of death didn’t bother me, it was how people interacted with me I was afraid of. Why? What is so scary about human being? It was easy, at least for me to grasp what the fear really was, people scared me. They’re unpredictable and have no schedule of events. Skydiving you open the door and jump, then hopefully land safely – simple. Racing cars you know your track, you know your car, and you’ll know what’s going to happen when stuff starts to get squirrelly.

People, however, are unpredictable. They can hurt, and I’m afraid of being hurt emotionally way more than being hurt physically. It’s come to the point that the only time I can find peace with myself and the world is when I’m going fast. Having total concentration on the speed in which you’re travelling occupies the mind so much that there isn’t time to worry about who thinks what of you or who’s doing what to whom. Speed = Peace for me. There is no fear, there is no love, there is no hate, there are no emotions at speed, at least not in my mind.

The beauty in the fear of people is that when I do connect with somebody that I’m not afraid of, it’s a wonderful feeling, I just have to step out of my comfort zone to get there.

“The tremendous world I have in my head. But how to free myself and free them without ripping apart. And a thousand times rather tear in me they hold back or buried. For this I’m here, that’s quite clear to me.”

Franz Kafka

jumper speed

I hate you.

“Hatred is a very understandable emotion”

-Jim Morrison

There is a certain hatred in all of us toward certain things that decide to manifest themselves in different ways, depending on what kind of person you are. The news is polluted with stories of “angry” people without catalysts of discharging their anger. These people, instead of dealing with their problems logically, tend to act only on impulse and passion. Whatever triggers these manic displays of hatred differ from person to person, but the results tend to be the same, people get hurt and those that hurt get in trouble (sometimes.) Passion and anger are two very scary things to deal with, and in the right proportion can be catastrophic.

What happens, however, when the anger is towards an idea instead of a person? The concept of something can be absolutely disgusting, but what exactly are you going to do? The hate is understandable and explainable in your own mind, but there isn’t anybody to specifically to take it out to. Sometimes there is a “fall guy” that you can take your hatred out on, but that doesn’t really solve the problem. It’s like the old concept of cutting off one head and three pop back up. The more you fight the hate, the worse it manifests itself inside of you.

I hate being hurt, who doesn’t. The problem is that with a certain eating disorder following me around it’s almost like walking through a field of landmines all ready to torture me in some sadistic sort of way. These landmines are dormant, full of hatred and loathing, but at the same time they’re not permanent weapons of destruction. The landmine explodes, like a sucker punch, and you’re crippled into a mental downward spiral of wondering “why am I so awful?” The mindset of an eating disorder doesn’t make sense, but there are some things that are consistent. If the landmines are the injuring factor, those that lay the landmines are usually unassuming normal citizens that have no idea that what they can do can be so hurtful and crippling.

Imagine you’re having a typical conversation with anybody (not just somebody struggling with an eating disorder). You can mention something like shopping for dog food and unwittingly send off an elicit message of “you suck.” That might be a stretch, but it’s a pretty simple equation. Words can be daggers, even if you choose them with love and wisdom. Words, or the absence of, can be almost as hurtful, but at the same time the imagination of those with the eating disordered brain can be a bit, well, overactive. Lack of words leaves an entire novel of fill in the blanks, almost like a book of Mad Libs with a sadistic twist.

Right now, however, I hate a certain concept, the concept that only thin people deserve love. Recently a post was put online showing disgust over the fact that somebody was “fatter” than somebody. Is this really what our culture has become, a sort of caste system of alpha (thin) people and beta (not thin) people? There was a time in my life that I would hate myself because I am not thin, and I’d walk around all day with a scowl on my face feeling like a lesser individual. I was the scum of the earth because I wasn’t waif thin and I certainly didn’t deserve love or friendship because I was disgusting. This was a sentiment that I can only assume many other people (boys and girls) felt out there. It’s incredibly one sided, and there isn’t much logic behind it. Does a number on a scale really delegate what sort of people we are?

I’ll be the first to say that I enjoy having a good chunk of pizza and a beer, but does that make me a terrible person? Does that mean that I’m an ugly, undesirable sot? Maybe, but then again, that also paints the picture of the person that thinks I’m ugly because of that is just as ugly as I am, only on the inside. At risk of sounding ridiculously corny, ugly isn’t always on the outside. I’m reminded of an obscure song called “God Hates Ugly” by an alternative rap group Atmosphere. It’s irrelevant as to if you’ve got religion or not, it’s a concept of ugly being a physical state, but a state of mind. The people that think less of me because of my pizza and beer consumption are just about as useful to me as the bowl of melted ice cream like in the song.

I’m hurt, at this minute, enough to wake me from a sound sleep. I woke up with a pain in my belly and a tightness in my chest. This pain was something that I have experienced before, panic, sheer panic. The world felt like it was closing in on me and the realization that I’m not thin was debilitating. That image from the internet of the woman not deserving respect for not being thin was haunting me. I am a piece of crap that deserves nothing. I will sleep alone, I will find love in inanimate objects – – sometimes including food. That shouldn’t really surprise anybody, though, seeing as how the consensus of the younger generation is that only thin people deserve attention anyways. Isn’t it a losing battle if you’ve already got the mindset that you’re not worthy, why would you try to even try? It’s easier to throw up your arms and embrace yourself in self hatred.

I gave up on that though. I’ve spent enough time and effort hurting myself physically and mentally to entertain the notion that I’m not good enough because I’m not thin. Even in the middle of the night I was tempted to jump up and try to melt off all of the shame that I felt I was carrying around. I wished I had a knife that could cut the fat off of me to make me acceptable, but then shrugged that notion off. I wanted napalm to blow the skin directly off my bones so that I can be a walking skeleton, the way it feels society wants me to be to be acceptable. I squelched those notions by realizing I’m only me, and I can take myself seriously or be a clown. Laughing it off isn’t always appropriate, but this time I had to. The person that decided to share the derogatory post has just as many hang ups and defects as the “fat” person being chastised. The concept of “fat” seems like a deflective mechanism for those that are insecure in themselves.

I hate people, some people, but never hold a grudge. Most importantly, however, I hate stinky thinking.

gunshow

Kentucky lust

This will surely be…the end of me…

Dun dun dun dun dun dun – yeah, so maybe I listen to down and dirty Southern Rock sometimes. Maybe I like to hear the dulcet tones of Duane Allman singing “Dreams” to me over my record player. I can lay here and listen to the song over and over again, feeling the bass resonate through my spine in some sort of ethereal sensation that only music can provide. An orgasmic feeling of the bass falling carelessly through the chords leading up to a sweet line that can only be held up in comparison to something that you’d snort up your nose or swallow down your gullet.

I’ll be honest, back in my previous wild days of waking up in with nothing of value to my name besides my record player and some haggard old vinyl I would pop this album on and feel a little bit better about myself. Something about Duane singing his heart out, the soul, the feeling, the sheer concept of being free. Being a dirty hippy with naked feet dancing in some field somewhere with mud in my toes and a song in my ears, that’s where I’d be free. I can’t though, responsibilities, blah blah.

“And went up on the mountain, to see what I could see.
The whole world was fallin, right down in front of me.”

The concept of this song didn’t really fall on me until listening to it three times straight today in an attempt of getting my head out of my ass. It’s been rough since the crash, and even though I’ve got my eye on the big prize, it’s not easy for me to lift my head off of that big fluffy pillow sometimes and put on my very own “walking shoes” and forget to stop. The urge to run from my problems has been strong, and I can’t say I’m always capable of fighting off the urge to get in the car and watch the world collapse from a distance. “Goodbye cruel world, I’m leaving you today…” the Pink Floyd song always plays in my head as I shift into a higher gear driving a little bit faster in the opposite direction of my heart and my hurt and my headaches. The adios is always temporary, however, and eventually I have to tuck my tail between my legs and ramble back to where I came from.

The gypsy in my is strong, and at times I wonder where it’s actually going to take me. Relationships haven’t been my strong point, and those that were “successful” are still very front and center in my mind. I know, though, that my lifestyle isn’t exactly the “marrying type”. The collapse of my world happens everyday, as soon as I put on my walking shoes and step out the door. I listen to Duane singing about putting on a new face and I can’t help but wonder if that’s what I need. Do I need a new face, or just an attitude. To steal from Jimmy Buffet, “changes in attitude, changes in latitude”. I keep driving, however, and my attitude doesn’t seem to improve – especially in Kentucky.

Actually, that’s the only place that I’ve found that I can actually be myself. My bourbon loving, loud music listening, cheeseburger eating self feels at peace. There is something about the place that I feel at home, I feel I need to be there, and my morning walking shoes always takes me there. There is something romantic about Kentucky, a vibe, a sense of excitement and lust. Kentucky, another thumbtack on the map of places that I “think” can make me happy. I’ve found people don’t make me happy, although I try desperately to find one that does, it’s impossible. Happiness is a state, and that state is Kentucky.

I’ve run into the problem, however, that nobody around me justifies me tearing up my “roots” and leaving to go live in Louisville. There is crime, weather, wildcats, people from kentucky, you name it, the excuses roll. What the naysayers don’t understand is that I belong in Kentucky. I belong there because that’s where I’ve decided I’ll be happy. I’ve decided that South Carolina no longer does it for me. The romantic nature of this state wore off somewhere around my divorce and has become a festering love sick wound ever since. I’m ready to heal some of those wounds with a change of zip code.

“You can’t win the Kentucky Derby unless you’re on a thoroughbred.”

Joe Torre

I’m ready to win the derby. Where’s my thoroughbred? I’m sick of walking in these damn “walking shoes”

duane

Toilet Philosophy And Russian Novelists

“At such times I felt something was drawing me away, and I kept fancying that if I walked straight on, far, far away and reached that line where the sky and earth meet, there I should find the key to the mystery, there I should see a new life a thousand times richer and more turbulent than ours.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

There is a life beyond the one that you make your own reality day in and day out. We chose to see what we want to in places we think we’re going to find it – such as a toilet for example. You look to it to receive your nasty offering and it’s always going to do what you need it to do. You’ll always find it in a bathroom, and it’ll always look about the same. Beyond being a utilitarian sort of object, it’s also something that you can’t do without. There is no mystery behind it, and chances are you’re not going to spend the rest of your life searching out the perfect toilet – the perfect bathroom – the perfect experience. Why, though? How come as a population we’ve become complacent in the fact that what we’ve been using for decades is good enough, no real innovation is needed?

We’re comfortable. We’ve found our comfort zone. Something that intimate and personal isn’t really something you want to go messing around with, and just like our relationships with others and self, once we find ourselves into that comfortable routine there isn’t much of a reason to start finding mystery where there never has been any. Envy and preoccupation with self sometimes makes a mystery, but most of the time its a false feeling of discomfort. That feeling that you get when you find mystery would be the same as if you were to suddenly wonder what life would be like if things were totally different. The mystery of the future with nothing but uncertainty and turbulent times. The comfort zone that we enjoy so much isn’t ever going to be conducive to a turbulent atmosphere, but then again, do we really want one?

The answer is yes, we need that turbulence. We need at least a little bit of chaos in ourselves to grow.

I can only explain it with a very personal experience, and hopefully it will transcend into your life and hopefully inspire you to push yourself farther to be something else – even if you don’t know quite what that something else is.

I chronically run away from home. Actually, I consider myself homeless. I have a roof over my head, I have a place to shower, shit, and shave, but it’s never really “home”. I’ve never been somewhere where I feel comfortable enough to stay, and certainly don’t ever feel safe enough to accept that it’s my own. Everything always gets taken away from me eventually, and although most of the time it’s my fault, it still hurts. I run constantly, I run from home, I run from work, I run from myself.

Most of the time I know exactly what I’m running from, and will typically take myself into a different zip code in hopes that that feeling of escapism will escape me. I’m always running from something, but instead of running in a “flee” sort of mentality, it’s more a running to reach that sunset in the distance before it sets. I’m always running for fear that I’m going to miss out on something that will change my life. My running towards the horizon only builds who I am and the people I meet along the way are the food that my soul needs to go on. None of these random places or people would ever be found in my home, and even if they were, I’d probably not want to call that place home anymore. I’m more of a mental transient if anything, but responsible enough to pay my bills and go to work once in a while.

A modern day vagabond with intentions on seeing that sun fall a couple more times before my running slows to a jog and I’m without the means or ability to chase the horizon anymore. The mystery of my life is always hiding around the next corner, down the next road, or in the next random person I happen to meet. The loneliness of this lifestyle is crippling at times, and the only way to soothe that pain is to keep running. Within the mystery of the hunt, there is also the mystery of what you’re actually going to find once you get there. My life revolves around turbulence, and I tend to self destruct when there isn’t enough. Anybody that knows me knows that, just ask those that have loved me.

Chances are they’ll always love me for that exact reason. I’m too off in left field and unique to really be replaced, but in the same breath it’s a relationship liability to have somebody that goes chasing shadows all the time. Those that have loved me I will always love. Those that have hated me, I love them too, because they’re just road signs on the way to solving that mystery, the mystery of life.

The only time you stop living life is when you stop looking to solve that mystery. Every day is a new life, and the souvenirs you chose to keep are those that will weigh you down. The memories you keep, however, will help you soar toward that horizon.

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In A Dark Plane Somewhere Over Indiana….

Nobody ever really wants to cry or make a scene, but of course, those of us that have mastered the art of hiding their feelings behind other cloaks sometimes find that it doesn’t help whatsoever. The stoic “nothing is wrong” facial expression and furrowed brow has been something that I have carried on my face for a very long time. Everything is okay, every is fine. It never was, though, and the only time I felt like everything was going to be okay was after a violent bounce off the bottom of the barrel – bucket – hole – whatever people hit that is “bottom”. The bottom, much like the edge, is something that you become semi-aware of, but you never really know it until it encompasses your body and heart.

The bottom, to many people is just an aggregation of circumstances that causes you to be in a shitty situation. To steal some words from Thomas Wolf “A in the past causes B in the present which leads to C in the future.” You screw up enough and you’ll find yourself looking at a list of A incidents that causes you to B in a crummy situation. C, however, is the scary bit, especially if you’ve realized that you can sink no lower, that bottom is your friend and you’ve almost adopted it as a sort of grounding force – almost like gravity. As long as you’re at the bottom you can’t fall any farther, you’re safe. It’s a great mentality, but that’s not entirely true, things can always get worse, especially if you ignore the fact you are responsible for getting yourself on the bottom, and there is a real chance that you might find it again.

Making peace with the fact that you’ve found yourself flat on your ass wallowing in self pity helps, but only for a short while. The ego of mankind can only take so much abuse for so long until it really starts to gnaw not only on the sanity of the person, but also the ability to dust themselves off and actually try to get up from the bottom. The bottom, your old friend, is stable, but what sort of instability had to occur to get to that bottom point. How many eggs had to be broken to make that particular omelette? Did you want one in the first place, do you even like eggs?

This is where I am, I’m looking at the bottom, I’m looking at where I am, how I got there and the fact that all the eggs that I broke to get here were never once worth it. I don’t even like eggs. Instead of looking at myself and being sickened by the fact that I’m at the bottom – I’m just numb to the fact that I could let this happen. A life that I loved, a life that was prosperous and optimistic was shadowed with all sorts of storm clouds and although I carried an umbrella, there was no way that I was going to be protected from the shit rain that was eventually going to fall. I saw the weather report, the signs of a storm-a-brewin’ were all there but I couldn’t do anything. I was frozen in fear.

“I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often.”
― Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness

Sick sad and the feeling of just complete and utter chaos is something that you really can’t identify to other people. It’s a sickening feeling worse than the worst flu bug, the worst migraine and the worst venereal disease you could ever think of. To watch everything that you work for and love fall away from you one piece at at a time is unbearable, and it takes a very strong person to keep on blazing through that shit storm. Bukowski was living in a perverbial shit storm, and I can very honestly say I took a little bit of his personality with me after reading “Love is a dog from Hell.” It’s true, he was a grumpy guy with a shitty life, but he never gave up. He talked about giving up, and everybody who knows anything about him he had all the opportunities in the world to throw up his hands and say “this is it, I’m over this.”

I couldn’t choke back those tears anymore, I finally broke. Like a mighty wave that has been working it’s way to the shore, when it finally cracked the noise and fury dislodged lots of crabs from the sand. My crabs were in my mind, and suddenly I felt like Bukowski, flying high over Indiana in a dark plane with nobody to comfort me but me. It was a sick sad feeling, but a sort of sad that was unlike anything that an actor could portray on the stage. This was a sad from the heart, this was a sad from the soul, this was the ultimate broken heart, shattered battered and done. The fragments of my heart have fallen into places in my belly and rest there like shrapnel from a scatter bomb.

My broken heart has been breaking for decades, and not in the Valentines Day sort of “I have a broken heart because I was dumped, I can’t get a date, I can’t get laid” sort of broken heart. This was my very own broken heart, I broke it and I’ve been breaking it for a long time. The hatred that has manifested itself in my belly now has company. That pithy bitter sting of self loathing is now being tended to by a very shattered, broken, injured heart. These two bits of mind and soul are working together to overcome some nasty feelings. The feeling of failure, of loss, of regret, of bad mistakes and missed opportunities.

“I’ve had so many knives stuck into me, when they hand me a flower, I can’t quite make out what it is. It takes time.” – Bukowski

So, in order to try to start mending and bending myself back to the person that I need to be to crawl up from this pit of mental hell that I’ve fallen, I’m going to start rejecting the daggers that pierce my heart. Instead of being the one sticking knives into my flesh to see the blood flow, I’m going to use those knives in self respect. I’m goign to respect my own honor, and for the love of god, I need more flowers in my life.

2015-01-18 14.06.57

War Of One – Pissing In The Past

I wrote something yesterday, but with a click of a button I made it disappear. I didn’t want to read my own drivel, which is pretty par for the course. For some reason, however, the entire piece just reeked of this sort of defeatist mentality. In it’s entirety the piece spanned about 600 words and was actually pretty well put together – complete sentences and everything. I wasn’t under the influence of any sort of mind stabilizing medications, I wasn’t drinking, and I wasn’t even on one of my eating disordered rampages where the room is spinning and the words just kind of barf out without me realizing exactly what I was saying. All of those words are gone, the time that it took me to write those words is now gone, and I don’t want them back. Looking back hasn’t been my strong point.

I’m sure there is some sort of “autosave” feature here in WordPress in which I could scour my past and find the article from recent past. I’m sure it’s somewhere in my history on the computer, but I don’t want it. That was yesterdays news, today is a different story. I feel the same as I do yesterday, in regards to what I was babbling on about, but at the same time it just doesn’t seem important. Life isn’t very important, there will always be somebody to piss in your boots. This is where I am now, the article of yesterday comes true today in vivid spectacle and all I can do is shake my head. The premise of the article was about not letting other people steer your boat.

Master your own sails and all that shit. The only one that has time to rock the boat is the one that isn’t rowing, right? I never quite understood that, how large is this boat, how many sails does it actually have, and who the hell let that trouble maker on the boat in the first place? If there is one thing that I can very strongly say is that I learned at a very early age to select your boat mates very carefully, you never know when you might need them to save your ass because you decided to jump into the lake after too much tequila….I digress.

The point of this dialogue is not so much to try to relive what has been lost, but why what we lost should stay in the past. Recently I got to adventure out on a spirit journey of sorts. In a bitter sense of the word I used my ailing grandfather as a catalyst to make this happen, I didn’t want him sick, and I didn’t want to see him suffer, but at the same time I couldn’t not see him. Given a wild hair and a pension for irresponsibility my battle cry for this journey was “for pops”. All of my actions were to lead me to visit and cherish him while he was still making jokes and using profanity. All of these things that form me into who I am today, all of these things that lead to character defects, work ethic, and hereditary predisposition to addictive activities were going to be celebrated on this adventure. What better company to celebrate the sorry sot you are than nobody but yourself, right?

This is where leaving the past behind is very important. Although you’ve fought the good fight all your life to become the person you “think” you want to be, there are so many damn things that are stuck – like your hereditary – that you can only ride the wave out. The past life of your debauchery, missed connections, and casual encounters can lead you to a future of repeating those same sorry acts. It’s hard, however, to break this cyclical thinking, especially if you decide you don’t want to. Your past is comfortable, your past is familiar, your past is just that, yours. On my journey for Pops, I realized that there weren’t many things about my adventure that were 100% me – the drinks I chose were because they reminded me fondly of other people, the places I stayed were because I liked the people there, the food I ate was because I knew it would make somebody mad somewhere. All of these things were who I “was” but really, it was more what other people were that I was trying to be.

Perfect example, my affinity for Makers Mark. Truth be told I can wallow in a bottle and tell the world to fuck off with no trouble at all. For all intensive purposes I think Makers Mark has broken up more of my relationships than I care to remember, but lets not look at the past – the failed relationships – lets look at the present. Which one of those past people are here for you to give you a hug right freaking now? Who of those people whom you “destroyed the relationship with your affair with the red wax” would still bend over backwards for you even though you truly wiped your ass with them? This is where you might start pumping your fist and saying “yeah, screw exes, screw them right in the ear”.

That’s where you’re wrong, because that failed relationship is is your past, doesn’t mean it can’t still very much be in your future. Your future can include your red wax lover, but at the same time a richer tapestry of life has to occur. Instead of dwelling in the past and realizing “damn, I really fucked up a good thing” or “they just don’t understand how good a snort is at the end of the day” you’ll start to realize that it’s really not worth it, nothing can be worth it. It’s just a beverage, it’s just bourbon, it’s just so damn good. Is it really though? Is it the warm feeling that you get in your belly when you drink it? Is it not the same warm feeling in your belly that you get when you embrace somebody that you really love and cherish in your life? The subtle burn on your tongue, is that not that same tingle that you get when your lips press against somebody that loves and cares for you even if you have morning breath or crooked teeth? Is that brown liquid not just showing you love?

This is war, folks, and some of us have become comfortable here. War against ourselves, our bodies, our brains, our diets, our beverage selections, the cars we drive, the list goes on. If you’re not fighting the good fight, you’re dying a cowards death. Fight for the things that make your bodies feel good and your bellies burn in the right ways. You’re not doing it right if you don’t swear a lot, if you don’t break a few hearts, and if you don’t make a few people blush along the way. Welcome to the fast lane into the future, folks, the toll booth is asking nicely for you to deposit your drama in the basket.

Pops made it through my visit, and his grit in the gizzard attitude gave me hope for myself. Although there aren’t too many times that I can say that I’m a “Faber”, in certain situations, like waging war on something, I’m proud to say I have some of that blood in me. Pops was a tough mother, but at the same time he could shed a tear at the drop of a hat. I’d like to say that he was a wiser man than any I’ve ever met, but at the same time, I haven’t met everybody. The influence he’s had in my life is of one simple thing – perseverance. You can be knocked down, dragged out, but the only thing that can really keep you down is your past.

“you can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; if you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty. ”
― Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

The farther you distance yourself from your past, the more you realize that if it weren't from the past, you wouldn't be where you are. Those shit cars of our past build us into stronger people.

The farther you distance yourself from your past, the more you realize that if it weren’t from the past, you wouldn’t be where you are. Those shit cars of our past build us into stronger people.