Little Things

Often I focus on my shortcomings. It really felt like I wasn’t doing well lately. But I want to focus on some good. “Your jabs looked good. You almost looked like a boxer!” My coach yelled. I nodded. This wasn’t a big deal at the moment because I’m there for myself. He usually makes me the butt of his jokes in class. “Alan, you’ll be my greatest project. If I can make a boxer out of you, I can do anything!” Ha ha, it’s actually pretty funny. He has this Boston accent and he always gives me a hard time. I’ve been around guys like him before. You get angry then you lose. You laugh along and you work harder to prove them wrong. Besides, it’s true –I got a long way to go. By the end of the month, it’ll be my first sparring match.

I haven’t gotten a big donation for a few months. The last was a 45,000 donation based on my writing. No joke, three towering pallets of quality school supplies from a NY company, all for the kiddos. There were a few hundreds coming in because of me, but nothing as amazing. Well I was losing hope for this next event. Crickets! Until I got a phone call Friday. This company responded to my letter, bringing 600 pairs of socks for us. I was in high spirits this morning. Then another company responded, saying they’ll have a few hundred articles of clothes for me on Wednesday. And then another promised two vans full of clothes! I left work earlier to head to the fashion district. A streetwear company gave me some great stuff. Maybe luck favors the fool.

My first Tinder date went well. It was a 6 hour date. She noticed my scarred and bloody hands right away. We were honest about ourselves, and she told me she had a great time. But I guess not all things work out. A few days later, I received a text saying she’s not comfortable continuing things with me given my violent past. I wanted to pour my heart out saying I don’t blame her, but I’m trying my best to change. Doesn’t that count for something? But I didn’t. I’m not going to force these things anymore. Sadly and reluctantly, I set up another date with another girl. I made her happy, but she didn’t make me happy. A part of me wants to ask her out again for the sake of my loneliness. But I won’t. I’ve done enough damage to others. At least people want to date me?

My habits oscillate between hedonistic and ascetic. Some days I subsist on cigarettes and coffee. Other days, I eat like shit all day. Whenever the whim of duhhhh that looks good passes me, well, I’m already at the cash register. Why yes, I will take that abomination of a burger. It has three kinds of bacon? My body says no, but I’m the captain! So I sat by the window stuffing that heaping basketball of grease into my unhinged maw. Must have been a beautiful thing to behold.

I’m reading books about domestic abuse and it grinds my stomach up. I was the victim and I was the villain. I wasn’t good enough to stop spreading the pain. I wrapped my hands around your neck just as my mom had wrapped her hands around mine when I was 8. This will haunt me for the rest of my days. But you… you were always stronger than me. You left scarred and hurt, but I know you would never do that to anyone. You were always the best person I knew. I’m sorry I had to be your brush with true evil. If there’s any gem from your time with me, I hope it’s that you know the signs of a psychotic, abusive partner.

For better or worse, I don’t recognize myself sometimes when I stand naked in front of the mirror. I’m a lean turkey with, at long last, abs. I’m tattooed, and I’ll probably be more tattooed in the future. My hands are fucked up. My eyes are bleary and shadowed. My face is more squared and muscular than it’s ever been. How do I love this stupid, wonderful, sad, and kind motherfucker? I have a long way to go…

Bohemian Rhapsody

There were things that resonated with me; I found myself crying when Love of My Life played. I think you and I have that deep understanding. I told Spencer so after the movie about this feeling. It was somehow deeper than anything romantic, somehow platonic and, I don’t know, simply human about it? He asked if it was because Mary was the first to accept Freddie. It must have been, but it was also this immediate understanding and connection that I’m not fully capable of articulating. I just remember that when we first met it felt like I finally found the friend I’ve been searching for. I’m lucky to have found something like this in my life. I know that if I die soon I still want you in my life even if you’re no longer mine.

I don’t love myself. Hell, I don’t even like myself. I’ve been trying to fix this by loving other people. And maybe that’s why I love so deeply. But it always leaves me empty with a lingering and growing darkness. I’m trying to become the person I always wanted to become. I’m trying to bring out that person inside me that I’ve hidden for so long. And I’m not sure I like him right now. My skin feels like a cage, you know? Tattoos are like prison wall scrapings. Self harm is somehow a fleeting release. And well, suicide is always a thought I’ve repressed, jammed into the deepest cranny my subconscious.

Loneliness and family. I’ve struggled with this. Feeling like no one loves me. Feeling an intense loneliness. And the sad part is when I’m clear minded, I know it’s not true. I have my family. I have my co-workers who feel like another family. I have my few friends and their families that have graciously accepted me. I have so many people who would be destroyed if I died. And I know somehow it all goes back learning to love myself. I just don’t know how to do that? Maybe this should be a new goal for myself this year.

 

 

Rejection and Acceptance

It has been a year of rejections, and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a sign I’m coming out of my shell. I’ve poured my heart out more than once, to more than one person. And some shied away, some stayed.  Maybe, again, I’ve focused on the wrong thing.  People stayed.

I’ve lost my appetite for writing fiction. For big metaphors, stunning plot, characterization. It was escapist for me. When so many aspects of reality confronted me this year, I’ve tried to build mysel to confront them. It’s because I want to be more honest in all aspects regarding myself. Say what’s on my mind, do what compels and scares me, and there’s a disconnect between my inner dialogue and my presentation of myself. They need to be reconciled. And the consequence of not? Implosion.

The eyes roved. Millions of eyes flickered. It was a daunting task to hold contact with them. They had this piercing effect, this ability of honing into my soul. And what did they see? What did they conclude about me?

The monolith groaned with the slow creaking of rusted machinery. The remnant of a soul at long last received its stimuli. It projected a shadow to my left, a silhouette I recognized immediately as mine. I stood there, haggard from my travels. The mistakes I was aware of were the first revealed. Refracted light, the deepest colors, leaped from the shadow. My burdens I’ve carried through a whole life, ghosts that haunted me. They were exhumed, animated by the energies I’ve poured into them. More and more escaped from the shadow, their bodies a shade lesser. I’ve done bad things.

Was I seeking penitence coming here? I’ve walked and haven’t stopped walking. I’ve always ascended the next step. Walking higher and higher. And then I was among the clouds. Ephemeral and moving. They were guiding me somewhere. I continued until I’ve arrived here before you.

Is there any redemption for honesty? Who can accept me? I’m seeking a connection, but it seems when I’m honest, people stray away from me. Then it is isolation. It is loneliness as I climb farther away from people. And what of you, God? I’m trying my best to change. I’m trying my best to become better. And it seemed I was at last given a blessing. But when I was honest she told me she was unsure of me. I understand. It’s an ugly thing to admit and to accept. I guess I’m here to ask you, God, is there any hope for me?

BPD

Look, I just want to be honest. I really want to be honest with myself, with people, with the world. I want to be low. I want to be vulnerable. But I don’t want to be judged for it either. I think I fear judgement… I’m afraid of people thinking I’m something negative. They might think I’m weak, stupid, or unstable, crazy even.

I considered that I might have borderline personality disorder. I met a therapist, who asked extensively about my sexual history. He insisted that those with BPD are sexually unsafe, often practicing unsafe sex with anyone. At the time, I had only one sexual partner. I read the symptoms, but he continuously fixated on the whole sex thing. I mean what about the shift in emotions? Orrr the violent, volatile emotions? Or how I invalidate myself. Or how I burned myself and or how I regularly dabble in planning my wonderful suicide, my final departure from all my suffering. Nope. He just focused on the sex. Fucking pervert.

So I put the idea out of my mind for some time. But then one day I stumbled into a bookstore and found myself in the psychology section. The plan had been to find some self-help books, perhaps some Carl Jung, or perhaps that new David Goggins’ book. But the title popped out at me. Coping with BPD. No, I thought I already laid that demon to rest. My curiosity must have gotten the best of me. I poured through it, not really wanting to pick it up. Well chapter by chapter, the symptoms just seemed to match me a little too well. An emptiness began to spread through me. And horrible memories of my anger exploding returned. This was me… Fuck that therapist. I bought the book and I’ve been hesitant to explore it.

But I find myself going through it, and it was me. I mean I’m no longer as bad… but it was me. Part of the book said to not dwell on past mistakes. To accept that you’ve done bad things, but there’s nothing you can do about the past. Try to change your perspective about it. So my past is my cautionary tale now. I will be better. Please, I’m hopeful for myself. Because I know if I’m not, no one else will be for me.

This place is beyond hipster. But it’s also sci-fi. This place is easily the brightest place on the block. There are hanging foliage along the walls. Everything else is blindly white. When I first walked in, I thought I had stumbled into a futuristic lab where they genetically modify babies. Why am I here? This place is not my kind of place if I were honest with myself. No, I prefer the squalid coffee shop down the street, where the decor is tacky like an old western saloon, with swinging doors that will slap your ass if you’re unaware of them. I’ve made friends with writers there, but I’ve forgotten their names. The few baristas I’ve befriend have mostly left save for Kenny, who will be putting in his 2 week’s notice soon enough. I have this tendency of disliking a place when I notice people going on with their lives and I’m still around. I can’t help feeling like I’m not somehow progressing. I hate that feeling of being stuck, and I know it’s silly and in my head. There’s something jittery about me; I like to move around a lot. I fidget a lot. I can’t seem to get comfortable anywhere for too long. Though I’ve acclimated in this spot, it still feels off in some sense.

I’m trying to quit the habit of saying what’s for me and what’s not for me. I’ve found that once I’ve stopped labeling places and things to do as me or not me, whole new worlds have opened for me. And I’ve been enjoying life more because of it. It’s good to have a strong grasp of one’s identity, but to have a death-hold on it, well, that’s an unchanging, tedious life. Who am I? I like to say I don’t know. But I know perfectly well who I am.

I’m the newby at the boxing gym, but many people have taken me under their wings. I’m learning a lot and it’s good to sweat, really sweat… I talk about my feelings with people when they ask -a lot about relationships, finding oneself, the difference between being in love and loving someone. And when life is slow, I find myself slumpy and sad. I’m good though. I’m good. I’m good. I can’t be not good.

Let your personality come through

No one cares if you’re sad when you’re a 25 year old dude. And that’s exactly the way it should be. Because that’s the rite of passage for any adult, man or woman. You handle you own shit. Suffer and you get stronger. As I laid on the boxing floor, the coach screams, “You’re here to suffer!” Oh I was terrible, but I didn’t mind. Step and jab. Twist at the hips. Keep your knees bent and keep your hands up. Don’t knock yourself out. How to properly wrap your hands. I like being a beginner because you learn so much. I could tell my coach doubted whether I could ever be a boxer. I was already labeled a person boxing for cardio, a boy with money but no athletic abilities (I don’t even have any fucking money). To be fair, I doubt whether I’m a fighter. But whether that’s due to fear or my insecurity, well those are two different things. Either way, I have to learn to be a fighter. Because I’ve been getting my ass handed to me for the last 25 years. I quit too early. I run away. I get angry when I should smile at obstacles. I’m lazy and to put it simply, I’m not a man. I know the entirety of my posts have been obsessively about you, but it’s the only frame of reference for who I was and who I am now and who I can become. Fuck the old Alan. He sucks. I wouldn’t want to be with him either.

My boss called me in complementing me but really criticizing me. What he was really saying was my post lacked personality. But I went back to the lab and wrote something I’m proud of. “This is really great. It’s very charming, Alan. Great work. You have to remember I hired you out of hundreds of applicants because of your writing. Let your personality come through.”

Honestly I’m afraid to let my personality come through, but that moment made me happy… I should do things with pride, with the mindset of kicking ass and making things better. I’m so full of doubt, and it’s easy to let that impede potential. It’s like I’m not even aware I’m shooting myself in the foot sometimes, you know? I am an ordinary person trying to be extraordinary.