Letting go

As I try to move forward in my life the number one thing that keeps holding me back is my inability, or perhaps my unwillingness, to let go. I can let go of things. I can let go of the past. I can let go of expectations. I can let go of shame, fear, regret, resentment, anger and pain.

Sometimes however, I simply cannot let go. I’ve been reluctant to write about this specifically until now. I have been letting it rattle around in my brain but it is weighing me down. I still don’t have the answer but sometimes writing can help me get a little bit closer.

You see, when it comes to moving my life forward there is no greater motivation than love. While I may not fully understand what love is, I know where it lives. It lives within each and everyone of us. It lives in people. My cat might have it too, I’m not sure.

I’m not willing to let go of love. I am not willing to let go of people. I am not willing to give up on anyone. I’m just not strong enough to do it all on my own. I need love. I need people. I need people who will not give up on me.

And there is the bind that I am in. That is my delima. That is my struggle and in it is where I find my suffering.

Knowing that I can’t get through this life alone I have been reaching out and trying to reconnect with the people who have meant the most to me. One was an ex-girlfriend. We broke up many years ago but I never stopped loving her. For five years she refused to have anything to do with me but we finally did reconnect a little over a year ago. I thought things were going fine but my recent attempts to make contact have gone unanswered.

Until I received this:

[Contents deleted – It’s not like to to censor myself but since these aren’t actually my words I don’t feel justified in posting them. You can use your imagination but in essence I was told that I was not trusted, that I was a violator and that this person did not want to know me anymore.]

Okay. That’s pretty clear. I can accept that. While much of it may be out of line and unwarranted I’m sure that there is some validity to it. I am after all the asshole who just posted the entire contents of a personal text message to the internet. I’m somewhat conflicted about that. I may come to regret that decision but it is my way of letting it go, moving on and finding peace. I may not be able to let go of the love I feel for this person but I can let go of the hate. I just need to take it out and look at it one last time.

[I did that and then I deleted the contents]

The next story is much harder for me to deal with. Over the summer I lost the greatest love of my life, the best friend I have ever had. There is no way for me to write about this without welling up in tears.

For the first time in my life I felt like I had someone who loved and accepted me for exactly who I am, warts and all. For the first time in my life I was able to completely let my guard down and just be me. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel like I was with someone who was trying to use me or change me to meet their needs. For the first time in my life I actually felt safe in love.

Maybe that doesn’t really exist. Maybe I was just under a spell. Maybe it was all a delusion but it felt real to me and I want it back! All I have ever wanted in life was to find one person who could accept me, all of me, just as I am. Maybe that’s not possible. I mean really, if anybody should, it would be me and I can’t do it. I want to be that person for myself but I just don’t know if I can do it without help.

Maybe that help doesn’t come in one person. Maybe it takes lots of people but I’m not willing to give up on this one. This is the closest I have ever gotten and I’m not ready to let go.

As hard as losing my best friend is there is one loss that is even more devastating.  I haven’t talked to my daughter in over two months. If I’ve done anything wrong here, I have no idea what it is. My suspicion is that it has more to do with her mother than with my daughter and that really frustrates me.

The cause is unimportant, the result is still unacceptable. I may not deserve a daughter but my daughter most definitely deserves a dad. I am not willing to give up on her, I’m just not strong enough to navigate her mother. I never have been and I’m feeling defeated.

Not letting go is holding me back but when it comes to the most important people in my life, I’m not willing to let go; especially when it comes to my daughter. I’m not willing to just sidestep the problem and move on. So that means I must carry it with me wherever I go. I just wish I was stronger.

Yeah, I wish I was stronger, I wish I knew more and I wish that I could just fix everything! But some things don’t get fixed. Sometimes there is no workaround. Sometimes there is nothing to do but go through it carrying the load that brought me here.

I had really hoped that I would have come to a better conclusion after writing this. It wasn’t easy but it was worth a shot. I still caved and made myself a cocktail to get through the last half. I had no intention of drinking today.

Anyway, maybe I’m missing something (I do have only one eye and I miss a lot). Maybe you have some insight. At this point there are nothing but wrong answers so don’t be afraid to give me yours.

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Mixed bag

I was awakened this morning by a phone call from one of my dearest friends. She was feeling lonely and depressed and wanting to drink. She knew that I had a show last night so she didn’t want to call and wake me but after going through every name in her phone she had no choice. I’m glad that she did even though I wasn’t quite awake and didn’t have much to offer except a sympathetic ear.

I’m still waking up but I’ve decided to try and write something. I still may decide to say, “fuck it” and just drive over and see her. In any case, I do need another cup of coffee so here we go…

As I’m making this transition from summer pedicab driver to winter hermit I’ve found myself living in my brain.

[And that’s as far as I got before the phone rang again]

This time the call was from my best friend who is now living out in California. She is the number one reason why I am on the verge of exceeding my monthly allotment of cell phone minutes, but given that this is the weekend there is no harm in answering. It was quite literally the least I could do. Given that she is now two thousand miles away, it’s kind of the only thing I can do.

While talking to California for an hour I got dressed and drove to my friends house in south Minneapolis. Since I wasn’t going to be getting any writing done, I might as well be helping my friends who really need nothing more than a friend. I didn’t actually know whether my friend in Minneapolis still wanted or needed me to come over but I figured it was worth the risk.

It turned out to be a good call. She was still disappointed that she didn’t get a better response to all of her efforts at reaching out. I said, “it only takes one and I’m here.”

As it turned out she actually had two.  Shortly after I arrived another friend came over to help. They talked for a while and I did some dishes. After that, the second friend left with my friend’s son so the we could have some time without the boy. We wound up heading to the studio so I could pick up my bike and then to the tanning salon. Go ahead and give me all the shit you want about how evil tanning beds are, but when you’re suffering with seasonal depression, ten minutes in a tanning bed can do wonders. We also got Chinese food – basically the best day every!

But this is how my winters go. Everyday I just try to do the best I can and usually the best I can has nothing to do with moving my life forward. I’m just trying to maintain. If I’m lucky, I will be able to help someone else. If I’m really lucky I’ll be able to make someone else’s life better.

That day was last Monday.

Last Sunday I went to a friend’s house to hang out and watch a movie. When I arrived I took off my coat and put it on the coat hook by her back door. Immediately, the entire fixture pulled out of the wall and fell to the floor. My mission for Monday was to make sure that never happened again.

I’m not the greatest handy man in the world but I can drill a hole and put up a shelf. I just have no passion for doing any of this when it comes to my own house. I was excited to do it for someone else. I not only secured the coat hooks, which I felt somewhat responsible for breaking, I also put a coat rod in her closet.

Knowing that I’ve been struggling to get my life moving, my friend wanted to do something to help me out. I’m not the best at asking for what I need but I’m working on it. I still haven’t filed my paperwork to receive the property tax refund I have coming to me. It’s not that hard and I can totally do it but for some reason I keep putting it off. I asked her if she would come over and help me get it filled out. This is something that is right up her alley.

So it worked out. My life moved forward. I couldn’t do it for myself but I was able to help someone who could help me. I think that is how things work most of the time. We can’t do it alone but when we come together we can do more that the sum of our parts.

But if that was enough, my life, your life, everyone’s life, would be working perfectly and it’s not. When I really need help it’s at a time when I feel like I have nothing left to give. That’s why I give regardless of whether anyone can give back to me. I just know that giving is the key to getting what we need.

Of course I could be wrong. Maybe taking is the key to getting what you need. I know that it is a successful way to get what you want. I just really doubt it can help you get what you need.

[At this point I’m tempted to retitle the post “wants vs. needs”. I would but it’s already so disjointed with no clear point that I don’t think any title could capture its essence.]

The only point I think I can make is that my life is still not working perfectly. I mean, it’s working. I’m not dead yet but it’s still not anywhere like I’d like it to be.

Let’s take Tuesday, for example. I did my best. I gave what I had to give. I wrote a blog post that I thought would appeal to both rock-n-roll and sci-fi geeks. That’s not an easy thing to do.  I should have been sitting on top of the world.

Instead I felt more alone than I have ever felt before. Actually, I don’t even know if that is what it was. Really, it was loneliness but a kind of loneliness that I’d never felt before. I was physically in pain over my longing for human contact. Now, I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve had my stomach in knots because I missed someone so much. But this was different. This was just generalized loneliness manifesting as physical pain.

I waited in agony until 8:59pm when my free nighttime minutes kicked in so that I could call someone… anyone! Actually, I called T-Moble earlier, in part to find out exactly when my free minutes started, but mostly just to have someone to talk to. Yup, I was that desperate.

I stayed up until four in the morning talking to anyone who would answer their phone. When you give as much as I give it’s remarkable how many people will answer the phone when you call. Still, life would be a lot easier if I didn’t need people so much.

When I finally woke up on Wednesday and I felt like shit again. I went to my refrigerator and learned that I had drank an entire three-liter box of white wine – that’s four bottles worth, all by myself. It was a beautiful, sunny day but I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it at all. I was fucking hung-over!

Granted, I didn’t feel as bad, nor did I cause the embarrassment, as the last time I drank an entire bottle of whisky in one night. I love whiskey, but wine is still a better friend.

[At this point I feel the need to post this video. Go ahead and watch it. It’s pretty fucking awesome!!!]

I’ve known for a long time that I have a drinking problem. I struggle with it. I try to control it. I try to reduce the harm it causes. It’s never going away. Many of my friends have found sobriety. None have found it a perfect solution. Hell, I’ve found sobriety and look how it’s worked for me. The point is to keep going. I’m still on my path. There is no telling where it will lead but suicide is no solution.

If I didn’t have rehearsal Wednesday night I wouldn’t have accomplished anything that day.

Thursday I had a date with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when I was seventeen years old, back when I was in AA. She has now been sober for 25 years. I’m 46 now  – do your own math! She knows what a drunk I am and loves me anyway. Still, I respect her sobriety and wasn’t going to drink before seeing her. Drinking still crossed my mind but I was lucky and managed to find ways to keep myself busy. Once I was with her it didn’t matter. Even though we went to a restaurant that served alcohol, I had no desire to drink.

Friday was a different story. Friday I had nothing to do except go to a birthday party where I knew that drinking would be the theme of the evening. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go. It was a good ten mile bike ride from my house and I’m suppose to be a hermit and not going out this winter. Still, I really like this friend and my California friend’s lover/business partner was going to be DJing at the party and I’d never met him. I was determined to try my best to make it.

I finally had enough drinks in me to feel like I could accomplish anything so I hopped on my bike and headed to south Minneapolis. I realized that I hadn’t really eaten much that day so I stopped in at Cause Spirits and Soundbar for a beer and a slice of pizza.

I had no idea what was going on that night. I just needed some food. It turned out that it was the “hipster” spot for the evening. I knew half the people there. I was instantly thrown back into my old life. Back to the days when I considered it my job description to be at all the happening events. I made my way through the crowd of people wanting to say “hi” to me; being as polite as I could.

I really just wanted to get to the bar and get some food. I wound up talking to some Joe who was on his own little pub crawl. He had stopped in at this place because some girl he likes had said that she was going to be here. Fuck, that’s as good a reason as any…

I also talked to Scott Seekins. He is a local artist with a very iconic look. We have had conversations in the past about the power of an iconic look and since I had changed mine, I thought it would be a good idea to check in with him. He still thought I could make it work which made me feel good.

Here’s a picture of my friend, Scott Seekins.

Scott Seekins

I also talked to some other people at Cause. Just because it was a hipster douchebag event doesn’t mean that there weren’t good people there. I know right?!?  Now who sounds like the hipster douchebag? This guy here!

Anyway… on to the party where I was a total fucking hit! All these people where half my age and thought of me as a god! No seriously, I don’t know what I said or what I did but I was told flat out that I changed their life. I had people begging for my number saying, “We have to hang out!”

Again, I should have been sitting on top of the world. But really, all I wanted was to get laid. I was still just that lonely guy. At that point, all the admiration in the world didn’t mean shit if nobody wanted to bang me.

And oh my god where there people there that I wanted to fuck. Granted, when you are in your forties pretty much anyone in their twenties looks pretty damn good but this was a party of some of the hottest looking people in the city.

And I was not getting any more sober and they were not getting any less good looking.

I may not remember any of the conversations that changed lives but I do remember this one: Towards the end of the night, after a shot of whiskey, I was talking with an extremely attractive woman and I said, “I really want to bite your face!” I wan’t feeling violent; it was pure labido and she knew that.

Her response was, ” That’s pretty creepy.”

I said, “I know, and I’m not a creepy guy. That’s just the thought in my head and apparently I have no filter.”

Suffice it to say, I realized at that point that I was probably too drunk and was not going to get laid that night so I had better go home. I still had a couple more conversations before I left. They had to do with helping other people come to terms with their own sexual proclivities but I was done trying to meet my own. I was just hoping that I could find a cab that could take me and my bike back to north Minneapolis.

That didn’t happen either. I wound up biking the whole ten miles or so back home. I did make it; much to my surprise. It was 5:43 in the morning  and I had a show that night. I think I was still awake enough to make some food and make some drunken post on Facebook.

But would I make it to the show that night???

Here is the proof that I did.

LeFreak - Sound Unseen

Thanks for reading the longest post I have ever made. You are a real trooper. I think you are amazing!!! Please let me know who you are by liking this post if you do or by leaving a comment telling me how much you think it sucks! You can leave me a comment even if you like it – I won’t mind.

Alone again

So last night was amazing. I didn’t stay sober but that was expected. In that respect everything went as expected. I woke up this morning on my couch in the living room, a spoon in an open jar of peanut-butter, still wearing my clothes from the night before and one combat boot.

And I was alone. I don’t know if I expected that to be different but I was certainly open to the possibility. I’m really starting to wonder if that is a realistic possibility. I’m seriously starting to doubt whether anyone is getting laid these days. I ran into a friend of mine, a totally hot, horny, polyamorous, bisexual married woman who is not having sex. Seriously, if she’s not getting any then who the fuck is?

I somehow feel like this is partly my fault. I’m trying. I’m doing everything in my power to make myself as sexually desirable as possible. I want there to be more sex in the world. I certainly want there to be more sex for me but I feel like the traditional avenues have been cut off. All of my life goals are completely contrary to being in a relationship so it’s not going to happen that way. The drunk hookup clearly isn’t happening but I don’t think that is really what I want either. Prostitution, although I don’t have any moral objection to it, has never been a turn on for me.

So I’m left with the sober hookup or having sex with friends. The sober hookup is only going to happen if I am really, really horny and kind of desperate. As much as I love, want and need sex my sober self still finds it kind of gross. It’s smelly and sweaty and I don’t care how hot a person is, the human body is just inherently kind of disgusting. Alcohol can help me look past all of that but really what allows me to be attracted to someone is being able to see inside that person. I need to connect with their soul.

That means that I need to deal with all of the emotional complications that come with having sex. I’m okay with that. In fact I’m more than okay with that. It’s actually the emotional connection that I’m seeking. If it was just physical I would totally be happy with masterbation but I’m not. I still feel like there is something missing. I want to be able to share that pleasure with somebody but it needs to be somebody that I deeply care about.

Fortunately I care about a lot of people. I just need to take the time to do the caring. If I’m going to have the kind of sex that I want it’s going to take an investment of time. Since a romantic relationship is not something that I have to offer and what most people are seeking in sexual situations it’s also going to take a lot of clear communication. I think it’s natural for the heart to turn to romance when sex and emotions are brought together. I just don’t want to create any false expectations. I know how bad that can turn out.

So it’s going to be a challenge. That’s okay, I’m always up for a challenge. At least now I have some clear and realistic expectations. I know it’s not going to “just happen”. I know it’s not just a matter of luck. It’s going to take work and it’s going to take time. At least I don’t have to feel like a loser for not getting any.

Without a doubt

I was called arrogant last night. I’ve been called arrogant before. It’s always confused me but I think that I am starting to understand. The ironic part is that I am most often called arrogant when I am feeling the most unsettled and unsure of myself.

This situation typically arises when I am sharing a new found thought, a revelation,  some truth that has presented itself to me. I’m not sharing it to be arrogant. I’m not seeking praise or admiration. Actually, what I am seeking is sympathy and understanding. I actually find these moments very unnerving and they make me feel insecure.

I know that most people hold fast to their personal truths. They give people comfort and a sense of stability. I get those feelings from doubt and uncertainty. For me, they are much more reliably sources. I take great comfort in the knowledge that I don’t know what is true, that I don’t know what is going to happen. Yeah, I’m really fucking arrogant!

However, sometimes I have these moments. Sometimes I make these connections, I put the pieces together and it all becomes clear. In that moment, the abstract becomes concrete in my brain. It’s quite an overwhelming experience and makes me feel really uncomfortable. It’s also exhausting. It takes a lot of brainpower and I’m not that smart a guy. Why do I see these things that no one else seems to see. If I didn’t know better, I would think that I was going crazy.

The fact is I don’t know. I might be going crazy. It certainly feels like what I would imagine going crazy would feel like. Not that I think being crazy is a bad thing. I know many people who experience delusions and some of them are the most brilliant people I know. They make connections that no one else would. But that is not the way my brain works. I may be crazy but I’m my own kind of crazy and I don’t think this experience is an indicator that anything is changing.

I was also told a truth last night. This also made me feel uneasy. Most people hearing this news would have been comforted. Part of me was comforted. Part of me really needed to hear it. It was good news but it also shook the foundation of my being. I mean if you knew that something was a “sure thing” why would you keep trying? What would be your motivation?

Perhaps I am over thinking all of this. Perhaps that’s just what I do. Perhaps that’s just who I am. Perhaps that’s why I’m so fucking exhausted today.

The bitter red pill

Saturday saw the end of whatever manic phase I was going through, or at last the end of whatever benefit I was receiving from going through a manic phase. Morning was not fun. Mornings are hardly ever fun but I felt hungover which is not typical for me.

I managed to pull myself together enough to squeak out 600 words or so. As I was making my way through my third proofread my son arrived home from college. I hadn’t seen him since January and should have been overwhelmed with joy. I was excited to see him but I didn’t feel like I could fully connect with the emotions appropriate for the situation.

I stopped what I was doing so that I could focus on him. I wanted to hear about school, his girlfriend, his theater projects and his music. He was eager to share his new EP with me. It’s really good stuff. These are some amazing kids, amazing musicians, amazing songwriters and it’s impressive what they can achieve with such limited resources. I listened intently as we discussed music and more.

———————–

Then I was eager to get back to writing. My son was eager to get to writing as well. Unfortunately, blog writing and song writing do not go well together. I couldn’t concentrate. I found myself surrounded by music and getting frustrated. I was getting frustrated with my son. This was not his fault.

In fact what he was doing was brilliant. It just wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted him to stop. I wanted complete quite. Well guess what? What I want doesn’t fucking matter. I don’t get to order the world to meet my needs even if I have the power to do it. I could have told him to stop playing and he would have, but that would have been fucked up!

I was frustrated and annoyed but I kept it to myself. I wish that I could have felt the joy I know I have when I hear my son playing music but in that moment, it was no where to be found. Despite all the ways that I wanted the world to be there was no escaping reality.

Embracing, accepting and whenever possible, rejoicing in reality has been the theme of this past weekend. In a way, it’s the theme of my life.

—————–

My friends, my close friends, those that hold a truly special place in my heart, we often talk about “real” people. I love evaluated, delineating and categorizing things. I don’t like doing this with people. People are far to complicated to be placed in boxes. The fact that we do; I believe to be at the core of many of our social problems.

My therapist says that there are two kinds of people: those who believe there are two kinds of people and those who don’t. I kind of like that but my favorite is; there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who don’t.

So who are these “real” people. I mean all people are real, right? We all do things that are fake. We all lie. We all lie to ourselves. We all have blind spots and aspects of life we choose to overlook.

But how many of us really want the truth. How many of us would really prefer the truth to what we have convinced ourselves is real. I have my own take on reality but I’m not prepared to get into that right now. In place of my own thoughts I want to present this:

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in itdoesn’t go away.” ― Philip K. Dick

Who is really willing to give up belief to live in reality. Who is so willing to embrace their doubt so completely as to give up their faith. Who is willing to take faith in the unknown and trust that reality it is better than the lie. Who, if standing before Morpheus, would take the red pill.

These are the noble souls we call real people, not because they would be the ones to take the red pill, but because they already have. Most were never given a choice. Most were slapped upside the head with such a heavy does of reality that they could never escape. I don’t know if this was the case for me. I feel like I was granted the opportunity for a mythical life of fantasy. I just never believed it. I kept trying to wake up. Now I am awake and it’s not pretty… but it is real. I’m not trying to escape, I’m just trying to survive.

Some of my friends are trying to get back in the Matrix through drugs, alcohol,  money, sex, violence, work, religion, self-righteousness, fantasy, denial… all  powerful forces, all things I participate in at times, all things that are no competition for reality. That is because they are all part of reality.

Okay, that is part of my take on reality. To say that reality is only what exists when we stop believing is to deny all that we believe in. Our beliefs, even if false or inaccurate are still real, they still exist and therefor cannot be separated from reality.  Sorry to get all existential but I am kind of an existentialist… just being real.

So I have a friend. One of those special friends, a real friend. Someone who is not trying to become part of the Matrix. Someone who is trying to become who they really are. Someone who by quirks of fate was not born who they really are, yet was born in a time of scientific and technological advances to allow them to alter themselves and become who they really are, as all of us have the choice to become who we really are or to alter ourselves to become who we wish we could be. I’m not saying which is right. Who I wish I could be, my ideal person, is probably a far better person than who I actually am, yet I believe that I am here for a purpose and whatever that purpose may be, I will be.

Saturday night this person wound up sleeping on the floor. Probably because of my shifting moods. As the night came to an end for me I was not cordial. I was demanding, insistent and done with being awake. I was done and the couch was mine. I didn’t like that I was being rude but I was done pushing myself beyond my limits. I knew the cost of doing that and I wasn’t willing to pay it again.

The following night I was able to convert the couch into a bed and found a hansom soul by my side. The gratitude of this occurrence did not escape me.    This too was a person I would conciser a real person yet the feelings were not the same. I believe that all souls have equal value. I wish that I could treat all the same. I wish that I could be the slut that I used to be but something was different.

As morning came I needed to tell this gorgeous creature, as beautiful as may be, we did not have the chemistry that I desired. But real and in my honesty there was no opposition, disappointment perhaps, but no denial. We were real.

Shit on the present

This quote has been bouncing around my head today…

If you are depressed, you are living in the past

If you are anxious, you are living in the future

If you at peace, you are living in the present

It’s often attributed to Lao Tzu, but given that depression is a relatively new term and Lao Tzu supposedly lived in the 6th century BCE, it’s highly unlikely he is the source. It sounds more like the kind of new-age pop-psychology bullshit that annoys the piss out of me. But hey, if it works for you, go ahead and rock it! It’s just not my life.

I live in the present and my present is home to both depression and anxiety. It’s not because I am simultaneously living in the future and the past. It’s because of the particular way my fucked up brain is wired. Living in the present does not bring me peace but living in the present is my only option; at least until I get a visit from a blue police box. In the meantime, I struggle and I fight and I immerse myself in the mystery and chaos which that battle provides.

Today was not one of those days. Today there was calm on the battlefield. Today had structure and a schedule and I pretty much knew what was going to happen. I was going to go close my checking account (finally), have lunch with a dear friend, go to therapy, pick up my daughter and spend time with her, after which I was going to come home and write about my day. These are all wonderful things and I was looking forward to all of them. They just weren’t what I needed to overpower the chemicals in my brain.

I found myself in tears this morning, overcome with sadness  There was no reason for me to feel that way. I had nothing to be sad about but I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. My chest was tight and I was having a hard time breathing. It’s that feeling you get when you are walking home, all alone, late at night, and you just know Freddie or Jason is about to appear from behind the bushes and attack you. But I was safe at home in my kitchen. I had nothing to fear.

I did find my self thinking about losses in my past and uncertainties about my future but the feelings came first. If anything, I was conjuring up thoughts to make sense of my emotions.

It made me think of this quote, which I believe was first discovered written on a bathroom stall:

If you have one foot in the future, and one foot in the past, you shit on the present.

That’s what I was doing… on purpose. The present was so uncomfortable that I stretched out my legs out in both directions just so I could shit on it.

Well, one glorious thing about the present is it doesn’t last long. That is to say, it’s always changing. Whatever discomfort I was feeling was not going to last forever. However predictable I thought my day would be, it was bound to get disrupted by something. I guess I do find peace in knowing that.

I expected to be able to close my checking account. I did not expect a pending transaction to prevent me from doing so for another two days. I didn’t expect Elsie’s to be out of veggie burgers today but found the bean quesadilla to be quite wonderful. I did not expect my therapy session to be all that helpful since I pretty much talk about everything here on my blog but I did notice my SUDS-level decrease significantly. I did not expect my time with my daughter to lead me to Electric Fetus where I got to see my friends Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler perform.

I did not expect to find in my mailbox, anything of value. I love the US Postal service but since they usually only deliver bills and advertisement, I’m okay with them taking a day off now and then. Let me just say that today was the best mail day ever!

The first thing I saw was a postcard from one of my favorite people on the planet. She is in Bali. I got a fucking postcard from Bali – how cool is that?!?

Then I saw a letter from one of my delivery accounts. They periodically send me bonuses for doing my fucking job. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not like it is enough to make me work harder. I do my job because it’s my job. It’s more like it would make me feel shitty if I didn’t get it. That seems kind of manipulative to me. Anyway, I figured there might be money in there so I ripped it open. Three bucks! Whoahoo! Hey, when you’re broke every bit helps.

Then I saw a small envelope, hand addressed in red crayon with a Finding Nemo stamp in the corner. It was from my first true love. I turned the envelope over. Across the seal was drawn a pink heart. I opened it and pulled out a card with a picture of Tinker Bell, colored in with crayon. I opened it and read:

You are Loved!

Please use this gift to treat yourself to a fun night out

and the rest for whatever.

Happy Late B-Bay!

Enclosed was a hundred dollar bill. She sent this after reading about my financial troubles. I guess I called her just after she had put it in the mail, just to tell her I love her, having no idea what she had done. For the second time today, tears welled up in my eyes.

I will leave you with one final quote:

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle” – attributed to Albert Einstein although there is no evidence he ever said it.

I prefer the later.

El Dorado – Part 2

So I’m finally back home after a week on the road. I’m feeling sick as hell; don’t know why. I felt pretty good the whole time I was away from here. I hope it wasn’t the egg salad sandwich I grabbed during our last stop for gas. My band mates got me feeling kind of nervous by discussing their bad food experiences in graphic detail – WHILE I WAS EATING. Anyway, I need to get to bed so that I can get up early tomorrow and go do my delivery job so I want to hammer this out and finish my tour entries.

I actually got a good night’s sleep at Jule’s in Albuquerque. We wanted to get on the road early. It’s a long drive and the last stretch through Kansas is a real bitch in the dark. There are no lights what-so-ever and the lane dividers aren’t even reflective so it’s really hard to see. I hate to say this because the people I’ve met in Kansas are wonderful but for a while now, Kansas has been my least favorite state in the union.

We pulled into the horse ranch in El Dorado, KS around 8:30 at night. By the way, Dorado rhymes with potato not with the Eagles song Desperado like I always thought. Not that it matters; it’s just always bugged me. Another reason why Kansas rubs me the wrong way. But like I said, it’s not the people. Peter and Liz are absolutely amazing. Their generosity and hospitality is unbelievable. Not everyone would let a crazy rock band crash at their house, but they do so much more than that. They feed us, probably the best food we have the entire trip. They always have beer, a big plus for me. Seriously, the way they take care of us I would take over any five star hotel in the world. Peter even took the night of work so that he could be there when we arrived.

I’ve done the “crashing at punk house” touring. I’ve done the “staying in hotel” touring but the kind of touring I am able to do with Venus de Mars, where we stay with friends who just want to make sure that we get something to eat and get a good nights sleep is something new. I like it. I need it. I just want to make sure that the people who are caring for us are getting something out of it. I hate feeling like a pariah (sorry, I’m sure there are racist implications of that term but I can’t address everything in one post), but my bigger concern is that people aren’t feeling taken advantage of. I believe that our band is doing something good, really good; and I believe that we are all in this together. I’m just wish that I took more time to understand why people help us. It’s really and incredible thing.

Liz came out early this morning and checked on me sleeping on the couch. She was concerned that I might be cold. I was fine. I was in my footie pajamas so all was good but I did half wake up. You know that feeling where you wake up from an intense dream and you’re not sure if it’s a dream or reality. It was kind of like that, but kind of a lot worse. When I woke up I didn’t know where I was, how I got there or what was going on in my life. It was shear terror. I felt completely lost. Things like this can happen when you are sleeping in a different bed every night but this was beyond anything like that. I seriously felt like I was loosing my mind. I chalk it up to my crazy brain rebelling on the last night on the road. Luckily when I woke up for good a little while later I was feeling like myself again.

I had stayed up later than everyone else, writing and researching Venus’ IRS situation. I was still up and about before anyone else. To clarify, I think they all woke up before me but I was the first to be moving about. It was around 8 in the morning and my understanding of the plan was that we were leaving at 10 am so we could get home at 8pm. I was really looking to get some writing done this morning given that we didn’t have to get on the road quite so early.

Apparently I was wrong; or more accurately, I wasn’t the only person loosing their mind today. Venus came out apologizing that we would be waiting on her today. Confused, I let her know that we still had a couple hours before we needed to leave. She insisted that we needed to leave by 8 am to get home by 10 pm. Now I’m frustrated, “No, it’s a ten hour drive we leave at 10 am and get home at 8 pm”. This didn’t go over well. She still wanted to leave as soon as possible. My hope of getting writing done was dashed and I was annoyed. I felt cheated. I could feel my heart rate rise and knew I was beginning to loose it.

I voiced my emotions. I said I was upset and really stressed. Venus said that she didn’t mean to stress me out and that she though she had made herself clear the night before. Yeah, communication is a bitch. I never heard anything like that and in fact the last conversation I had with her about it was quite different. The conversation she was referring to I wasn’t even present for; not that it mattered. I just said, “I’m just putting it out there, not putting it on you.” These were my emotions to deal with. I just wanted the people around me to know what I was dealing with.

And I knew Venus was under a lot of stress too. I knew that she was worried about the weather, heading back into the snowy Midwest  I knew she was worried about driving at night. I knew that her biggest worry was about this tax audit that could end the band. We spent much of the trip home in silence separated by periodic discussions of what it means to be an artist and how this is not a hobby. It has really got me thinking and I hope that I can write an essay about this distinction. I’m trying to figure out if I have any hobbies  The only thing that I can think of that might fit that description is masturbation.

We got back to Minneapolis and dropped Jazz off just as the tenth and final disc of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett was concluding. This is seriously and amazing book and the reading performance by Martin Jarvis is absolutely phenomenal. Accept for a little David Bowie, Le Tigre and Rasputina plus This American Life and Radiolab podcasts, this was our main form of entertainment during the nearly 70 hours we spent together in that Toyota Corolla.

 

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