Fish out of Water

His hand slid down my back and grabbed a handful of my unsuspecting ass. “You’re very sexy! I like your whiskers,” he politely referred to my 6 month old mustache. It must have been the slurry of drugs and alcohol I consumed, but I think I handled it rather smoothly. “Thanks man, you look great too! I’m straight though!” I was too much in my head and in the music. We danced together a good bit until he was lassoed away by a man I hoped he scored with.

I spent the earlier part of the night with a guy hellbent on getting a girl. “Tonight would be nothing if I don’t get that kiss.” As all his advances were shot down, he quickly became a prime example of how not to behave towards the opposite sex, or perhaps people in general. He would stare-hunt girls across the place and approach them predatory like with a strange primitive dance. He was there for the girls, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I commend his efforts. But I quickly realized I was there for myself.

As I bobbed like wet cardboard on the dance floor, too inebriated to care, I realized I didn’t care to talk to any ladies. Sure, I’ve been feeling crippling loneliness lately, but I don’t think anyone there could have taken away the feeling.

“So are you meeting people there?” My lyft driver asked, on the way to said venue.
“Nope. Going by myself.”
“Oh man that sounds lonely.”

His voice haunted me as I arrived a little too early. It made me anxious. I was a fish out of water, clearly, in my pink hoodie as everyone around dressed in nice shirts and dresses with fur coats. The fucking event is called minimal effort! To be fair, there were others in a t-shirts and jeans. My fellow people. Anyways, my driver’s comment made me physiologically nervous! Knees weak and palms sweaty. This is going to suck. I’m not going to like this at all. I don’t do this kind of stuff.

I had a great time. Life begins when comfort ends, right? I met so many people. I danced with a few ladies, one with such a thick Russian accent, I didn’t understand half the words she said. Another literally fell into my arms, hugging me. Her eyes staring at me like a deer in headlights, clearly too fucked up. Her friend desperately tried to pull her through the crowd. “I’ll be back in an hour.” I nodded. “Are you all right? You should go with your friend. She’s waiting for you.” To which, she held me closer. She was incredibly beautiful. But I wasn’t going to be the creepy dude who abducts a fucked up girl from her friend. I smiled and helped her through. “You should go with your friend!”

Considering how still my feet were, I was surprised to have suddenly been transported to another part of the dance floor. Many groups of friends adopted me, passing me joints and drinks, all which I consumed. Yes, I will take a drag. I don’t care what’s in your drink. If I see you drinking it and you’re offering it, I’m going to drink it. I don’t drink, but I didn’t want to feel my feelings anymore man! So I drank and I smoked. My new friend offered me e, which I should have taken. I remember at some point searching for him in a room with probably 300 people, hunting for that e! I felt like a drug addict.

Of course the big question popped up occasionally throughout the night: who are you here with? At the beginning I would answer timidly, “Myself. I figured I should do something fun tonight.” Well that quickly evolved to, “My fucking self! And I’m having a damn good time.” To which my foster friends would erupt with heys and pass me all the alcohol and drugs.

After an expensive ride home, I curled into a ball in front of my mini heater. “Don’t you dare vomit,” I whispered with my forehead slopped on the floor. Writing this now and recounting last night made me realize something. I’m not after sex or any girl. I desperately want someone to understand me, to see me clearly and say you’re not a bad person, you’re a good person. And yet I don’t think anyone can give me that validation. No one but me…

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Sometimes you don’t get to right the wrongs you committed to another person. You just have to live with yourself. I wish I knew the things I know now. I wish I understood myself better. When I screamed for you to leave it was because I was afraid of hurting you anymore. I know I was wrong. I know it made you feel abandoned and scared. I’m reading more about BPD and I’m not saying it excuses my behavior and your treatment. I’m just sorry I hurt you so much. It was a good thing I ended things months ago. You deserve better. I’m happy you see that now. But I went back to being selfish. I hope you find happiness because you deserve it the most of anyone I know.

 

Two Defining Conversations

It was a dark morning, but the sun eventually pushed through the clouds. A beautiful sunrise greeted me. I watched the clouds now bathed in morning light; their bodies a rich purple, their delineations glowing gold. They sailed away in minutes and a blue sky appeared.

Hope for the best, expect the worst. I sat by my friend, Tony. He’s been guiding me, and I really enjoy his stories. Sometimes life makes you let go. My first wife and son both died in a car accident. I went insane. I stared at him. I went crazy. I went to jail for 16 years. You don’t understand. I said you’re right I don’t understand your loss. I came out and I had another son with this woman. But then I had a stroke. I was in the hospital for 2 years. I told her not to wait for me. I came out and she’s married to a white lawyer. Do you know what love is?

I answered when you want the best for them.

He nodded. I could go to my son, but he’s happy. He has a good life. If I came back into the picture, it might take away everything good in their lives. I don’t have money right now. But I’m not that fucking selfish. Come on, bro. You understand. Loving someone means letting go sometimes. Listen, I’m not saying don’t try for this girl. You have these feelings because you know she does too. But when the time comes let go.

You’re right. I’ll try.

No, bro. Don’t try. Just move on. You understand? In life you let things hurt you. Don’t give up. You give up you end up like those guys. He points to the homeless man on the street. I didn’t give up, you know. Keep going. It’s like you’re falling and you’re holding onto a rock. That rock is either going to crush you or drag you down. Let go. He hands me a cigarette. Good luck bro, I hope things work out between you and your girl.

Christmas Day: My family has unwrapped their presents. They seem reasonably happy. My dad and I go for a walk to try out his new pedometer. It was the first time my dad and I had a one on one talk. Alan, you have to understand my whole life was suffering. My mom she had the same mental illness. Then your mom had the same… They would fight. And my wife would try to kill my mom. You might be too young to remember but the police would come to take her away… It’s in our DNA. I remember as a kid I wanted to be psychologist. Back then the only treatment was shocking them. I wanted to help them… My mom, my own mom, had to live in a garage because your mom hated her so much…

I held my dad. I’m sorry about you and lily. The same thing happened to me. But in life you have to be strong.

Dad would you be proud of me if I pursued psychology?

He nodded. You and your sister turned out great. We didn’t help you two much, but you two did everything on your own.

I guess it’s no coincidence I got into Jordan Peterson and then Carl Jung. I don’t think I’m at crossroads anymore. I think I’m plainly on a path, and as pathetic as it sounds, sometimes I don’t want to keep moving. I want to stay still and safe. And maybe that’s why I’m stuck sometimes. I don’t make the proper sacrifices.

I took myself on a real nice date. Got some coffee at a bourgeois place –can’t beat Lee’s. Got myself a good burger and smoked a bunch of cigarettes. Finished Nietzsche and I’ll finish another book today. I’m taking aim. I have a path. I have a goal. And now it’s time to walk.

 

 

 

I want to say I’m heartbroken but I know I can’t let my life unravel. Couldn’t even get a good sleep, woke up asthmatic since roscoe is in the room.  Time is 5:29AM. For some reason it rained as it did the last time I waited for you. Tonight hurt but thank you for all the love and care throughout years. I really do wish you the best.

I walked for 5 hours, 13-14 miles all over my hometown. I walked through the hills, got lost a few times, through the streets and to the parks we went to. There were many times I faded in and out between dialogues with myself and just thinking oh that’s pretty. The gem of these 5 hours was making this distinction between hope and expectations. I think hope is when you’d like for something to happen knowing fully well it might not happen. But who cares it makes you happy and it makes you do things you wouldn’t normally. Expectation is then this firm, obstinate grip on something absolutely happening. Of course that rarely, if never happens. And I think I spent much of my life expecting rather than hoping. With my big wish is coming up, I have to just hope!

My pessimistic voice tells me better to not hope because I’ve let this hurt me so many times. But fuck that voice because that’s just weakness. I’ll always hope and I’ll always do things based on those hopes because I think that’s what makes me extraordinary. I’m not afraid of being hurt. You can’t hurt me whatever you choose because I made this choice. I’ve loved every moment of it. The nights when I stayed up smiling, thinking about what will happen. The times I let myself cry in front of others. The adventures I’ve had, pushing myself beyond my fears. The times I wrote for you. The planning and the failures of those planning. How everything went wrong, but how I won’t give up. The times I’ve retraced our steps. It’s all coming together, and I can’t help feeling hopeful.

The worst of the trip was walking down that walkway to Rowland Park, and this fucker kid had his dick out, snapping a pic of it. Jesus. Why? You couldn’t go to the bathroom? You had to get the right amount of sunlight? Had to get some grass in the background. And now that’s burned into my memory. Fuck you. Haha.

The best part! I had my stuffed backpack in front of me and this dad carrying his baby saw me. He thought I had a baby too, and I was like shit you must have thought my baby was this complete fatass bigger than my torso. He laughed and said he thought I was still carrying around a 5 year old. Anyways, it was nice hearing Ben’s ideas of fatherhood. The more people I ask about it, the more it sounds like this incredible experience. Something to look forward to, I suppose.

I reached home at sunset, too exhausted to be sad. I played with Roscoe and Chili. They wanted to play with me some more but I went upstairs to nap. Is that what it feels like to be a neglectful parent haha. Sometimes when I throw treats to Chili to stop his howling, I wonder if I’ll have overweight kids. Here’s your Mcdonalds stop squealing. I left home late in the night and I remember Roscoe looking sad. He kept trying to see where I was going. Sorry buddy, I’m being selfish when I leave. I can’t seem to be comfortable at my old home. I wonder if he remembers you. And I wonder if Halo and Bebe remember me.

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This. This speaks to me. Haha this was me a week or so ago. Maybe I’m stupid or something. Well I’ll know soon enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

masculinity

What does it mean to be a man? I ponder this as I slouch over with my breakfast croissant. Moreover what does it mean for me to be a man? I cannot put it into words as elegantly or comprehensively as Thomas McBee in his Amateur. I identify with this book, and I’m going to be honest; I didn’t want to at first. It was a book about things that scared me: fighting, being feminine despite being a man, and the standards of being male. The more I read, the more I realized many of the character’s problems were mine growing up –and maybe that’s the point; that all men face these issues.

I am a feminine man, and my parents often told me I shouldn’t be so sensitive or emotional. They often told me that I wasn’t being a boy. McBee makes a good point in his book. He says that boys often go crazy because they were told their feelings of tenderness and empathy were wrong, and those are just human feelings.

So growing up, I learned feelings were wrong (and maybe this also comes from the Asian community and culture). It became binary, and it was the same for my sister. She was praised for driving like a man. She was praised for being aggressive, whereas my aggression was shunned. Perhaps wanting their approval, she began to develop more masculine traits. And perhaps in rebellion, I rejected my masculinity for a long time. But now I’m realizing I need to incorporate my masculinity. Because that’s inside me, and it’s not to say that people are binary. That’s the whole point. Neither gender is better. They’re just labels. It’s the connotations that are bad. And each person has elements of both gender. Ying and Yang.

There’s something I need to confront in myself; and I think I can only channel it outwards through physical activities. There’s something monstrous in me. For whatever reason, I build muscle quicker than most people. For whatever reason, I can be very aggressive. For whatever reason, I have a lot of energy compared to other people. What I’m trying to say is, I have to exercise the evil out of me. After a 6 mile run, I felt that peace of mind I achieved from writing out an epiphany and from meditating.

The greatest evil of masculinity is the propensity of physical violence. That’s in me… And I need to channel that. That’s why I will learn boxing, which honestly scares the shit out of me… I have to tame that in me. The man I want to become is tender, honest, empathetic, strong, openly vulnerable, and can protect my partner not harm her. I want to be the best I can be for myself, but truthfully it’s ultimately for you… I’m sorry for the pain I’ve put you through. You have every right to be scared because it scares me too… But I’m learning those forms of aggression only come out from repressed men, their shadows basically. Only weak men hurt others because they hurt themselves to the point of breaking. I was a weak man. I need to become stronger.

I slept in my old room for the first time in months. There was a lot of hesitation on my part since I had spent the last hour or so looking through your old notebooks, scanning them for little notes of your feelings and drawings –trying to understand what I need to work on. My room has always at some points felt like a cage. My heart beats faster when I stand at the doorframe and I can see us and everything that happened between us, the fights, the love, the anger, the laughing, and then it always ends with seeing you lying down on the bed, staring back at me. You’re smiling at me and those moments I felt like the world didn’t matter. I had hoped to dream about you. Sometimes it feels like that’s all I have of you. Roscoe kept me company but he kept trying to get on the bed. The room seemed perfect as a séance, but I couldn’t recall anything when I woke up. I just laid there, kinda empty. Staying in Rowland makes me empty. And now I’m stranded at Starbucks until traffic lets up. It’s almost Christmas…

I wonder if what’s lost can be found. I wonder if what has died can be birthed again. And I wonder if I’m actually able to make sense of this life with all its chaos and structures. Maybe it’s just a matter of time? Wup wup