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.

The only thing worth living for

Everyone at some point questions the meaning of life. We all want a life that is worth living. But what is life worth living for? If you have been reading my blog lately you know that I have been asking this question and have come up with nothing. Well, out of nothing comes something and this is what I have found:

When I live for god I find that god has no purpose.

When I live for love I find that love has no purpose.

When I live for sex I find that sex has no purpose.

When I live for money I find that money has no purpose.

When I live for ME I find that I have no purpose.

When I live for others I find that I have purpose but so what…

Because when I live to find purpose in life I find that life has no purpose.

But when I live for life I find that everything has purpose

… and when I die I expect to find that I am wrong about everything.

So it’s only in life that anything means anything. Only in life does doubt have purpose. Only in life does faith have purpose. Only in life does failure have purpose. Only in life does success have purpose.  Only in life does suffering have purpose. Only in life does compassion have purpose. Only in life does birth have purpose. Only in life does death have purpose. Only in life do god, love, sex, money, people or I have any purpose.

Even suicide only has purpose in life and since it removes life from the person seeking its purpose its either the most pointless or selfless action anyone can take.

I imagine to many this all seems self-evident although some my think that I am completely off my rocker. Many may wonder why I even ponder this question at all. Although some, like me, like Albert Camus (who coincidentally and a bit ironically died in a car accident at my age), may consider it the only question that really matters. Having answered it is not the end, it is the beginning. Everything else is life and in life is everything.

To be continued…

Solution to everything

I’m sitting here, racking my brain, trying to recall if I have ever felt this way before. I honestly don’t believe that I have. The thoughts in my head seem completely new to me. The conclusions I am drawing are absolute and novel. I feel like I am finally waking up. Everything seems perfectly clear to me now. Yet I question whether I should even be writing about it. I question whether it will do more harm than good. I question whether I should share this new found revelation. It may be too much for other people to handle. Maybe it’s best that I just keep it secret. And there it is, even in my conviction, I still find my good friend doubt. The epiphanic nature of this discovery has me both convinced of its validity and uncertain of its sustainability. Perhaps tomorrow it will be gone and so I must write about it today.

Virtually every day I wake with the same burning question, whether or not to commit suicide. On each of these occasions I have come to the same answer: I probably better not. Each day I find something worth living for. Each day my curiosity about what will happen next compels me to go and find out.

But not today. Today I woke with absolute certainty of what happens next. This morning I woke with complete clarity of my purpose and the meaning of life. On this day I woke up to the fact that there is no purpose and nothing  matters. On this day I realized that there is nothing worth living for. On this day I became aware that there is no meaning to anything. Life it’self is merely a placeholder between two points of nothing. I am now convinced that there is no reason not to commit suicide.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic. I’m no stranger to the subject of suicide. I’ve had my share of friends take their own life and many more who have tried. I’ve dealt with depression my whole life and depression is the leading cause of suicide so obviously it has been something that I have had to contend with. This doesn’t feel like depression however. This feels like enlightenment. I feel very lucid and clear headed.

They say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Well I’m not trying to solve any problems here. I don’t have a problem with problems. Solving problems has been one of the things that has sustained me in life. I just no longer have any interest in doing it. No matter how many problems I solve there will always be more. I’m not interested in playing a never ending game of whack-a-mole. Suicide is the only means by which to stop playing this stupid game.

They say that suicide is a selfish act but I disagree. I think to suggest that I have to stay alive for someone else is pretty selfish. I am not a selfish person. I have spent my life living for other people. If I’m going to go on living I need to do it for myself and I just don’t think that is a good enough reason.

But suicide would hurt the people I love. Well, you know what? Being alive hurts the people I love. At best I’m a mixed bag of joy and pain. Suicide is the only way to ensure that I never hurt anyone again.

They say that suicide is the easy way out but I disagree. If suicide was easy I would have done it long ago. I think that suicide takes a great deal of conviction and bravery, perhaps more than I have.

So is this just a cry for help? Possibly. I would love some help. I would love to be wrong about this. I would love to have someone show me that life does have meaning and purpose but I’m feeling pretty doubtful that can be done. Everything I have seen and experienced has led me to this point and I doubt that anyone can convince me otherwise.

So is this my suicide note? Will I be dead by the time anyone reads it? Probably not. I still think that suicide is pointless, I just now know that life is pointless as well. While there is absolutely no reason to go on living, there is no reason to not go on living either. It may all be pointless but in that nothingness there is freedom.

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