irukandji

Time to try my luck at sleep typing again.

I am relieved that Christmas has finally passed. I’ve never been a New Year’s type of guy, but this year I feel like it will be my thing. I don’t have any New Year’s Eve plans, but I think I’ll look to make it a memorable one,  which means it will almost certainly end up forgettable and bland. I almost committed a stupid act and said it had been years since I had a memorable New Year’s Eve, but then I remember that last year was quite memorable, for almost all the wrong reasons. Funny to think about, because the actual Eve part of the whole affair was pretty darn good.

That makes it especially sad to think about because that was the last time spent before the end; a small allotment of hours later and things between me and her ended.  A few moments beyond that ending point and those were the last real words we exchange with each other; the last time I saw her; the last interactions and the last time I was allowed to think of her as a person who is actually alive and exists.  Speaking of which, I tried to do that recently and was reminded of the non-existence of that person as a (personal) reality.  That is all I should say about that here. I guess I couldn’t find real closure the proper way, or rather, the way I needed it. Instead, I am finding it the way my hand is forced to play.  Maybe I’m not at complete closure, and the honest question must be asked– will I ever be there (do -we- ever get there?)? Who knows, but for now, I am closed enough;  I’m beyond it enough to keep walking the hills and not look back to see where we split paths. That person is not the same person for me, and maybe never in the enitrety of either of our lives will never be that same person that I knew ever again. I am finally letting myself accept that, or perhaps I am forcing myself to accept it. Either way, that acceptance was the last thing I’ve been holding on to. I guess my fingers are cramped, my hands are cold and blistered and I use the last of their energy to let go. That’s sad, it upsets me and has also angered me, but it is what it is. I’m ready to fully move on. I am packed, I am moving. I’ve gone. Who is coming with?

The gist of everything I feel is similar to this. This is the first time in months that I have encountered any real degree of uncertainty. I lad out a basic road map; the next few miles of my life until the year was out. In August I took my first real steps toward the completion of that roadmap. In my head it was all so easy and quick. What is a few months to me? Months of sacrifice, yes, but only months. Now that I sit on the other side of the scale I wonder how I ever got through.

As I started saying: I am glad that Christmas is finally over because now I can finally start to find out where the ground beneath my feet will solidify. Everything is about to change, and some of those changes won’t be what I had planned on, which means I have no idea what any of those things will be. Likewise, the holiday season is so abnormal in regard to schedules, the people who are around and the overall flow of life that I can’t make any progress on developing this new life. I just want a shot at that, but as I get older, I find I am increasingly impatient. I don’t like to be kept waiting, but, for these few weeks, it is what I am stuck doing.

For now, I have to stay stuck and I find I can only look back and reflect. Looking forward is tough, but then again, I haven’t done enough reflecting. I pretty much stopped in August. Since then, my life finally traveled some distance and now I need to.

I remember getting out of my relationship and being certain that I was looking at least at a good two years before even considering another relationship. Considering. The entire concept of a girl having significant meaning in my life beyond friendship or, uh, recreational friendship.. was outrageous. Here I am today and I feel that if I wanted to let myself, I could at least handle it– at least. A year ago I didn’t believe in what most people call love. I could at least accept it now. That’s pretty big, right?For all I know I could flourish again.

A year ago I knew I had to get out of here. I had packed my bags mentally and emotionally, merely lacking the physical luggage, yet here I am. First, in a position where I can’t get out because of other reasons beyond my control (they call that timing), and second, finding myself a lot more rooted than I ever considered possible (yet a few years ago the roots were just as firmly entrenched in the ground). Just considering things like this makes it so easy to feel uncertain, because to reiterate, one measly year ago, things I felt so certain about– things I had thought about for  more time than is healthy and truly understood are now being thrown out the window like baseballs rapidly flowing out of a malfunctioning batting cage machine. In that light, I hope I’m not breaking all of my friends windows from dealing with the mess that I usually am.

I dread to think about the next week when I lose my best friend again as he exits his awkward, uncertain, viscous state of limbo he is caught in as he finally starts the next stage in his life. I have gotten so used to having him around that I forgot that I’ll have to adjust, maybe even relearn part of living after he leaves, yet that time has already arrived. That friend carousel is weird. I think I should write about it exclusively, it is quite fascinating though somber to think about how many revolutions have completed all in the course of a year.

What it all seems to boil down to is… I don’t like uncertainty. It isn’t that I am risk averse, because it can sound that way, but one of the things I hate more than anything is uncertainty, yet I am going to wake up in a few hours and not have any clue how my day will transpire. I only know I will go to work, a job of which I don’t know how much longer I will have before the next opportunity finds me, and after an undetermined amount of time, will finish work for the day and go home. From there, I have no clue what I will do, who I might see, who I might interact with at any point in the day. I know things I want to do. I know people I’d hope to interact with or see, but I don’t know if they will, yet at the same time, I’m not going to make any effort on my own for any of these thing outside of maybe going to see a movie. I will probably enjoy that time by myself. I don’t think I’d have any problem with that tomorrow. I admit, I feel a lot of weird things that I don’t quite understand at this period in time, and because of this, I just kind of feel like living like a jellyfish– at least until 2012 rolls in.

Maybe I feel it is all I can do– in anything right now. Feel free to remind me to man the sails if it gets too bad.

misaligned

NOTE: So I tried to right this in my bed with my eyes closed. I got misaligned on the keys when I actually started writing. When I woke up this morning and was going to start revising/rewriting my initial draft, I discovered what I had gotten down– a likely improvement from whatever I probably wrote (though I plan on revising this draft of what this actually is supposed to be)

ok. Laying in bed again trying to write I am too tired to try anything elsem but need to get things written, and I don’t have time usually. This is compromise. I have a lot of thoughts to organizw, but I don’t think I want to go that deep, that tangible right now. I apologize in advance, because what likely will result won’t result in prosem but I wouldn’t call it anything else.. just streams of consciousness, streams of feeling and streams of imagination. Nothing more.

 

I slesyd likrf fudk, in gsvy, yhsy esd hid (vhsnr I yo hid) gsbotiyr yimr og fsu.

 

Yhr yeo dsy.

Syop s hill yhsy trlsyibr yo rvrtyhing rldr stounfLookrf foen on yhr trdy og yhr Rstyh.

Iy esd s htsu monyh, vhillu, einfy snf domryimrd rbrn volf.

Iy esd slesyd do wuiry ouydifr.

Yhry voulf hsbr brrn yhr lsdy yeo proplr slibr

Snf got yhsy, frdpiyr snuyinh rldr

Yhry ertr sll yhry hsf.

 

Dhr dsy in yhr bsvystf og sn sbsnfonrf builfinh

Noe yhrit houdr

Snf trsf.

Rbrn ig iy esd volf ouydifr, yhry dsy ouydifr

Vlodr yohryhrt, dhstinh s blsnkry snf rsvh oyhrt’d hrsy.

Yhouhh ogyrn noy dsuinh s eotf

Yhry dhstrf vompsnu.

Momrnyd og yimr lspdrf likr lonh vtoddgsfrd. Yimr hsf no mrsninh

Iy mrtrlu esd s vonyinuum on ehivh yhry ytsbrlrf

Domryimrd hr eoulf plsu on hid huiyst, ysppinh ouy thyyhmd

snf Gillinh ouy yhr volotd bryerrn yhr htsu

snf Linrd og dilrnvr snf ytsnwuiliyu

Nsyutr btouhy.

S mutmut og mrofy eoulf hrnylu gloe ouy og hid mouyh, judy unfrt yhr

Vtsvklr og s butninh vsmpgitr

Sd ig iy ertr s fidysny boivr og trsliyu

Vsllinh uou yo eskr gtom yout ftrsmd.

Dhr trsf snf dhr lidyrnrf, rbrn ig dhr fifn’y infivsyr

Hr plsyrf snf hr sfmitrf rbrn ig hr voulfn’y rcptrdd iy.

Ehrn fudk eoulf spptosvh snf ytsndgotm yhr dku inyo nihhy

Yhry eoulf puy yhrit brlonhinhd up;

Dhr voulf vutl up vlodr yo hid erlvominh rmbtsvr

Fip hrt hrsf onyo hid vhrdy sd

Hr eoulf trrl hrt in eiyh hid stmd,

Plsvinh hid vhin on hrt hrsf rnjoying hrt lonh vutlu hsit.

Yhid vlodrnrdd trminfrf rsvh og yhrm yhsy, ehilr rvrtuyhinh rldr esd honr

Yhry dyill hsf rsvh oyhrt.

Msybr iy esdn’y ehsy snuonr eoulf vsll lobr

Msybr iy esdn’y muvh motr yhsn ehsy iy esd,

buy got momrnyd hyry’f lsy yhrtr, trvlinrf, dystinh inyo dpsvr

knoeinh yhsy yhry ertr vomgotysnlr eiyh rsvh oyhrt

unyil yhry ftigyrf ogg inyo yhr unvondvioudnrdd og yhr nihhy dku snf yhr hrsbrnd sbobr.

Iy msy noy hsbr brrn lobr,

Iy msu noy hsbr bbrrn muvh

nuy iy es prtgrvy.o

no title, this one was hard to write

Summary: Where I was last year. Triumphing over it. Her. The nature of love. What ideals of love that form what we want when we think about loving someone. End.

I’m tired. At birth, I resolved to start every blog entry I have with mentioning how tired I am. I slept from 6:30 – 11. That kinda sucks. Plus I’m used to going to sleep at 1 am these days.

I haven’t had an honest update since August. August, as you all know, was when my life got unpaused. It is in play, but there is enough there for it to be fast forwarding. This section is starting to wind down. It feels longer than the few months it has been. I have to force myself to check-in– right now! This is an important moment of my life currently. I need to write about it.

Exactly a year ago, I was the steaming car broken down on the side of the road, you know, that one on some sun-dried, endless stretch of road in the desert. Even if I could go, I had no direction.

I look back on it all and realize how much it sucks. I systematically gave up everything I had, even the best things I had. I had a love, but very little to offer her. I didn’t officially relinquish that until a couple months following my break down, but it happened. I had enough moments where I doubted if I’d ever come back from it all. Recovering from serious injury always puts that doubt in your mind that you can do it again; that your injury won’t resurface and prevail.

A few days ago I turned in a business plan and a strategic management group case. Those two shadows hadn’t left my room in a year. No matter any attempt to fill these dark spaces with light, they remained. I knew going back into school that these specific assignments, as well as the others would not be a problem. I was more than capable of completing them, of excelling, even, but they only go increasingly daunting as time passed; as their time approached.

Fast forward to feverish typing and hours stacking like Tetris blocks on level 99, I think I ultimately was removed from myself in all this. There was no other way. In every case, I completed these things at the last minute. These shadows in my room were gone.

Without that obstruction I am now seeing the reality of what is finally–finally approaching. Four months later I finally feel like I’ve found my place on this campus, and now I’m about to leave it.

I am finally finding that I can feel in other ways, not that I am ready to deal with anything involving love, but that I am finally progressing. I think I am discovering that I need closure on the past. How she decided to find closure may have worked for her, but I now realize it doesn’t work for me. I don’t know what to do about that. I think I need to talk to her, even if it is just one conversation. I don’t know what to say, though. I’d have no direction. I don’t know if it is selfishness or a true pursuit for closure. Every instance of contact I’ve had with her since the 1st of January has waterboarded me with guilt and self-loathing. I don’t want to be a problem. Apparently any contact is a problem. I don’t know what I’ll do about that. Too bad I can’t bat signal this and her contact me on her own initiative.

I had a conversation last night about love. The prompt was: if you could be in love with any person, who would it be? My answer was no answer. I didn’t know. That concept doesn’t exist for me right now, how could I dare to even spotlight any one person? As an aside, it is interesting to hear other people answer that question. Among friends it seems that we would want a love with someone that is somewhat unexpected, or contrary to how things are in reality. When I think about it, I can only think of 2.. maybe 3 people that I could actually see having a relationship that would constitute real love — out of the people I currently know (and one of those is automatically subtracted, given the circumstance of how things turned out).

It is odd to me, though, because when I think of a majority of girls that I know, I think that I would be the best option for them, with regards to love.  I also think that I could have at least a ‘decent’ love with just about anyone, and when I say decent I mean better than average– maybe not up to my standards, but better than average. These kind of opinions, when spoken out loud, probably make me sound like some terrible, arrogant person, but I believe this– and I’m usually right.

It just begs a lot of questions about love, and also what we think about when we imagine a love with someone. I guess love is intrinsically associated with  some sort of pursuit of happiness– an alignment of desire for physical intimacy, emotional support and someone you can just count on being with and around. I hope it is evident that I’m not putting much effort into defining love and the forces that drive the need for it.

I also think that when I imagine being in love with a specific person, it has a lot of variability, but then again, there are a lot of similarities. I think on this stage, I’ll just leave it at that. I thought about divulging an example, but I think that is something best saved for one-on-one conversation.. it was more just a thought exercise for myself, and a future question to ask people in conversation. Curiosity sparked.

I have many more thoughts on the forefront, but I’m having trouble writing given the environment I’m in. A 4 person chat group decided to assemble next to my work area, so long 5 hours of peace I’ve enjoyed. I have to get back to work anyway.

This time last year I was laying in my bed 16 hours a day, trying to hide from the rest of the world; using sleep as a numbing agent to everything I was feeling. Now, I’m about to finish up a couple more presentations and barrel on. I get stronger everyday.

social parasite

wake up at 4:45 tomorrow. Damn, that is going to come quick. Just forget about it, get it tomorrow. Get the extra 20 minutes. I’m writing garbage tonight, anyway. No, no, stay up. Churn it out. I’ll let another butterfly flutter-by — off again. These thoughts, my thoughts, are like light particles, never again will the same waves touch my face in the way they do in the present. Tomorrow, it might still be light that hits me, but it won’t be the same. Force the thought out, I have to, I’ll sleep when my body KOs me.

Pardon the inner monologue, but I’ve been battling with myself to force this out and sacrifice a small amount of sleep for poor quality, or maybe not get around to writing for who knows how long– and not on the kernel of thought I want to write on. So I’m doing it.

I hate that I didn’t do any writing on here for the entire month of September. It was a great month. I don’t even just mean that in the paradigm of my life, but September is always such a pleasant month, filled with some of the most pleasant, beautiful days that the calendar year carries. Sorry for not treating you as well as you treat me, September.

I’ve been busy. I think I’ve finally gotten a grip on this schedule. Since I last blogged, I’ve ‘powered up’ by many orders of magnitude. As much as I hate to relate myself to a Pauly Shore movie, I feel like Encino Man. I was brought out of stasis in August. I spent most of September recovering from severe atrophy. October, will be the first full month I have to make use of it all.

There have been a lot of significant changes in my social sphere. After yesterday, two of the biggest are the return of two of the most kindred spirits I know, Robert and Joshua ‘Big Cheese’ DeWayne Homer. I’m out and about, almost all of my closest friends are all back… here. In many ways, I am at full power, or at least I’m back at my peak capability.

With a small amount of insight, you would know that I don’t care for personal chronicling in such a manner, so herein lies my main point from all of this; I am a social parasite.

Maybe it isn’t quite a parasitic exchange, but that is how I relate it in my head. I have trust to be myself around my best friends. I trust myself in different ways with different ones. Thus, the more I have around, the more complete level of trust I have in everyone else. I feed off of that. I feed off of being with a few friends. I am comfortable by myself, but I don’t let people see much of myself when I am. I am merely comfortable subsisting. It would be nice if it weren’t this way, but I’ve accepted how it is going to be.

Thing is, I’ve had to regain a lot of the comfort and trust I had with those that I actually had the comfort and trust with. I was out with 3 of the most inner circle I have last night, and I often felt myself comfortable to just subsist, instead of realizing that I, the prawny, tiny parasite had so much more at my disposal than I am used to. I had the vehicles in place to be bigger than my body, larger than my personality, to be the mythical creature I dream that I used to be.

Robert and I have had a lot of talks lately about being ourselves; feeling like ourselves. In the weakest period of my recovery and ‘exile’ as I’m now calling it, I often wrote about not feeling comfortable in my own skin, about being some foreign entity operating this… thing, that was supposed to be me on some inefficient, poorly designed proxy. The good news is that I go through long stretches of days now where I feel like I am pretty much the me of today– the combination of the me I used to be and the changes that have stuck from being dinged around like a pinball the past few years, but I know that despite that, I still won’t fully reveal myself unless I am able to enable myself via social parasitism.

When the thought that is now the words on this blog first materialized in my head, I had a lot more to say. I’d like to think it was more intriguing and insightful, but now, I am just reflective and vague.

Last night, I had a conglomeration of 3 of my entourage that I rarely, if ever, get to be with all at once. It was nice to have that comfortable, almost untouchable feeling. I could feed off of that comfort that they brought to me and flourish. I did. I think I am accepting that I will never be anything more than a social parasite. Socially, I can either be a weak, sickly non-entity, or a mythological demigod that wears a cape, but it is purely dependent on who I have around me, and how recently I’ve been able to ‘feed’.

I won’t stop trying to fix that, but I have other things to worry about, like veiled interest. I gotta make that stuff more direct, eh?

The Parasite. I hate parasites, but I don’t think I mind calling myself that, either.

Oh ho ho, had to put some sort of self-loathing quip in there, or was it?

¿

Thoughts from a deceased conversation

Last night I was talking with some friends and on multiple occasions each of the writing proclivities of my friends in the room and I go brought up. There was sort of a pre-approved consensus that one friend was the poetry guy, one guy was the short story/fiction/narrative guy, one guy was the song writer and I was the anecdote/essayist/non-fiction prose guy of the lot.

This wasn’t to say, “Oh, well you’re this and he’s this, there is no way you guys can or ever write anything else,” but the general point or acceptance seemed to be that we each tend to write in these mediums because they are our strengths and the mode we prefer to write in.

In the brief span of some hours, I’ve managed to find the time and energy to think on that some more. I don’t remember consciously thinking about it, which must mean that it has been eating away at my brain for a little while. Something about it didn’t resonate properly with me. It is only as of an hour ago that I realized I disagree with the sentiment.

It kind of relates to something Dr. C went over today in Venture Planning about virtue. Virtue is basically the active representation of ones character, thus (and in this case, in business) actions and decisions people make are defined by virtues. These virtues aren’t something that is a conscious process, but something that has been cemented as part of that person’s character over a lifetime of previous decisions and actions. In the case of the class, the example was people who have conducted poor business practices (like a Madoff or Enron crew) didn’t have the entire internal process before deciding it, they likely just did it, because that is how they’ve done things throughout their entire lives.

I don’t think the previous paragraph will relate a whole lot to the rest of the writing, but I think my thought there is that I wish the concept of virtue applied to productive output. In this case, I don’t believe it does.

I don’t write in a narrative format very often. Though I did with moderate regularity when I was younger, I rarely write poetry anymore. Even when I do, I don’t consider it poetry. Only recently in my life have I started writing songs, despite it being part of my lineage, but just because I don’t do these things, doesn’t mean that I don’t gravitate for them.

Let me drill straight into the core here: I don’t think the format that you usually see me write on this blog, or other avenues is my strongest point as a writer. In fact, I think it is one of my weakest. Maybe my best practiced, and also the one I have easiest access to, but not my strongest. If you asked me what I thought my strongest suit in this deck of cards was, without any hesitation I’d say it was narrative. The thing is, I almost never write in that format. When I do, I don’t often finish what I start (even if I finish a draft, I don’t revise, rewrite, etc.). And even when I get that far, I almost never let anyone who doesn’t have my set of eyes see it.

Maybe you don’t agree with me and are thinking, “Well, James, if it really was your strongest area, you would involuntarily do it more often.”

Look, I don’t know if I could accurately identify why I don’t, I think there is an element to these other forms that is much more personal than just writing personal accounts and and egotistical essays. In this format, all I need are a couple of ideas and a vocabulary and I can express everything I need. It isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but I do enjoy it. In something like a narrative, I still have the foundation of ideas, as far as themes go, but I also have to have ideas for the narrative, as well as direction and an entire different set of tools for structure.

When I write something like this, it is like someone giving me a box of bike parts and saying, “You. Build 2 wheel machine!”

When I write a narrative or anything of the like, it is more like someone giving me a couple tools and a gun to rob people and dropping me off in the unnatural median between the forest and the city, then instructing me, “You! Go build something resemble spaceship. Use what find around you,” (don’t ask why I decided to make this part in stereotypical caveman speech). Definitely more daunting.

So now you might be arguing, “well, James, that is my point. You aren’t better at it/suited for it because you don’t want to undertake all of the creative and structural responsibility involved.”

I still disagree. Sure, I tend to write like this because it is convenient, but that isn’t the ultimate factor by any means. I might have said this above. If so, I reiterate, it is more personal. Not just for me, but for the audience (even if there isn’t any). If I write a story, the person reading it can immediately be turned off because they don’t like how I decided to tell it, or a ton of other reasons that come down to taste. If I write an essay on my opinions on planking, you can conclude that it isn’t well-written and my ideas are crap, but even if you have a strong negative response to it, you aren’t really going to take force against the creative decisions I made, because my entire purpose was the spread ideas and opinions. Like I said, assembling the bike. I can invent just about anything and call it a spaceship with the world around me, and maybe if it doesn’t resemble something from Star Trek, you won’t like it.

I almost feel like the act of reading profusely, as well as considering yourself as member of a particular craft skews your expectations of things. Oh wait, I absolutely believe that, and I think most sane people do. That, unfortunately, is just really annoying. Over the past few years I’ve changed a lot in my perspective on how I react to creative craft. There is still a part of my that will always have an emotional reaction to what I consume, but there is an equal partner in that which acknowledges the risks that person took to craft something, let it leave their head into something that others consume and ultimately (and most crazily) share it with someone outside of themselves. I’ve watched, heard and read things of which are qualitatively bad from both perspectives of refinement and whether or not there is anything in there I can personally enjoy it, but you’d best bet your house that I still appreciate it.

Who am I to judge anything?

I’m really tired and I lost a lot of stream from my first couple paragraphs from now, and I also have to wrap this up due to time constraints, but I think I got a couple points across enough.

I don’t think that my actions define who I am creatively, because my actions are gated. As the gatekeeper, I choose who sees what part of my creative estate. You could say that I am flawed in my abilities as a poet, lyricist/songwriter or anything else if I don’t choose to be confident or comfortable enough to share that part of myself. I won’t agree with you nor will I argue against that, but the point still stands, I don’t think you can necessarily bracket someone in to something because of the unseen. Maybe you do see all there is to see, or maybe there are other hidden strengths. The point is, there is no way of telling. Even as myself, I don’t know all of my talents and hopeless faults.

It is a shame I only had 40 minutes and a poorly functioning mind to write this, but this is the medium that I feel comfortable ‘settling’ with.

cast into the deep blue

It is almost a new week. For me, the weeks have never started on Sunday. I’ve always considered Monday to be the true start of the week and Sunday to be the secret bastard child that is masquerading as heir to the throne.

This won’t be an ordinary week. I feel like this week will be a new genesis of my life, a restarting of what hasn’t been for a long time. This can only mean that it will not, by any means, live up to what I expect it to be.

Let me briefly cover the daily life I have known for a few months shy of a year now. I go to sleep congruently with the sun’s rising. I shiver, shake, sweat and suffer through twisted dreams that are a shade too close to reality until I wake up in the early afternoon. Almost immediately after ascertaining my reacquired consciousness, I get yanked off the ledge as if I had two huge stones tied to my ankles and sleep inertia reels me back in for another hour or two. At this point, it is usually mid afternoon when I truly enter the game. The remainder of the sunlit day is met with lethargy. Occasionally, I have something I actually need to do, or am able to do and like an eager, yet mistaken Houdini wannabe, I violently struggle to break out of the binding lethargy and take care of the things I need to do to re-enter society. This might entail bathing and grooming, something I am increasingly become adept at. Sometimes I need to go outside and workout, or do some chore such as mow the lawn, or maybe tend to some sort of life administrative task. At that point, I barely manage to get on my way in time, and almost always end up cutting corners on these things I usually afford to sloth my way in doing.

Usually, though, I do just slog about, because usually, I have no pressing matters or obligations of time to meet. So I slowly gain charge throughout these hours until the sun has almost completely set. At this point, I start to feel alive again. It is at this time, that most people are starting to wind down, but I’m wound up. Maybe I do one of those tasks I mentioned earlier, but I likely only sit around, bounding from my bedroom to my living room to my porch or back deck, watching TV, scouring the entirety of the Internet, playing guitar or just staring at the clouds and the treetops. I do these things as long as I can until my body tells me that I need to do something; until my subconscious tells me that I missed out on daily human interaction. Then, I try harder to distract myself.

Somehow, I manage to keep myself distracted until the arrival of the 3 to 4 AM hours. At this point, my body usually starts to wind down, out of boredom and disappointment, of course, yet my brain trades the body’s excess energy for fatigue, and uses it for its own purposes, thus ramping my brain activity beyond the nimbus clouds. This period of time, I try to produce, process or absorb as much information and knowledge as I can until the brain sputters out and I plummet to my bed like a fallen angel meeting the hardened Earth. Repeat, ad nauseam.

That is the gist of my existence since last November, a life which became even more consistent when I broke up with Kara in January. I guess I was being generous by calling it an existence. I think calling it a holograph of life is more accurate.

That changes this week.

This week I am going back to school. If I am lucky, I may even find myself soon employed, too. One of those elements is enough to register a 9 on my personal Richter scale. It is only now that I’m realizing that I have an irrational nervousness about it all.

It have been unplugged from everything for so long that I have nearly convinced myself that I’m going to fail miserably at being plugged in– everyday. That’s how this stuff works, though, right?

For instance, every time I’ve suffered a significant injury in basketball, I have always been paranoid that when I get back to playing I won’t have as much as I used to have, or that I will be much more prone to hurting myself again (likely from rolling back in full steam too soon). There is an element to it all that is true. I spent a few days last week flinging myself back into things. Waking up early for about 5 straight days, living off of power naps, being plugged in to the outside world on a regular basis– pretty depressing when anyone can say that about themselves in a notable manner. It is almost as bad as being able to say, “Oh yeah, I am getting back around to giving that whole breathing thing a try, but my lungs are still pretty out of shape!” Nobody should ever have to go through a near total removal of society. Those things are usually labeled rehab, inoculation or imprisonment. I wouldn’t say I underwent any of those things, unless you wanted to use the term ‘rehab’ very liberally. I kind of had a personal rehab of restructuring my life and getting back onto my feet, but that is stretching it.

I guess I never expected to ever be at a point in my life where I thought to myself, “it’s gonna be ok, you can do this, you’ve been a regular member of society your whole life. School? Work? Leaving your house every day.. every week.. yeah, you got this, kid.” That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever thought, and my brain impulses usually play to the beat of absurdity, but it is reality.

In my fear I admit I am afraid I won’t be able to hack school anymore. I am afraid I won’t have the competency to handle a job. I am afraid I will shell up around people and live the life of an unentertaining mime. When I think about it consciously, I know that is stupid, but as soon as I lose the power consciousness has over fear, I curl back up, sweat, quiver with weakness and feel my stomach and throat crawl towards each other, engaging in the most awkward, uncomfortable dance since Lindsay dances with Eli in the pilot episode of Freaks and Geeks (ok, ok, Millie dancing prior to that was more awkward.)

I’d wager the true roots of this fear, beyond just simple atrophy, stem from the fact that a lot of these fears were things I recently failed (or felt I failed) at. I quit school. I couldn’t get a job that wasn’t part of an MLM scheme, over the course of several years, I drifted away from almost all of my friends and didn’t make many new ones, and I cut ties with the best friendship I had so I could be selfish and young.

I think back to childhood fears that were never conquered. For instance, those certain kids who always tended to pick on you, or just seemed to be cooler and better. I had a few friends like that at our old church. It was always just a kids being kids thing, and I never had anything against them, but now that we are all adults, I still can’t help but see or think of certain people in that light. I guess it is almost like Abuse Jr., conceptually; well, I take that back, more like Abuse V– it’s too far down the line to be considered right under it.

Speaking of which, here is a crazy story from last week, which is somewhat related to that last paragraph.

I don’t usually share these weird collusions of thoughts and reality I experience. I find them too personal to really reel them off like a deep sea fisherman casting a helpless minnow into the deep blue. Anyway, it relates to a family, of who’s kids I always felt inferior to growing up, but it was one of those things where our family’s were relatively close; at least close enough to go on a spring break together once when I was a kid. These kids were always cooler, much better looking, bigger and stronger (well, I guess that doesn’t apply so much since there was only 1 son?), and so on. I don’t know why that even matters to a 10 year old, but it did for me enough to intimidate me thinking about it today.

Basically, I was never personally close with any of them, likely in part due to my quietness and shyness (aided by the intimidation), and also because our paths diverged at the prime years of youth, from about the latter middle school years through high school and beyond. So with an exception or two, I haven’t had any personal interaction with any of them for nearly a decade at this point.

Thus arrives last week, before my ankle imploded on me. I was headed out to Brentwood for a basketball game, an event, might I add, that I looked forward to for weeks. I’m easy to please. As I’m about to pull in to this place, Christ Church YMCA, I get barraged by a flurry of thoughts. The first being that I knew where I was at, but wasn’t confident until the next thoughts hit me.

“Oh yeah, this is where Horse interned. This is where we filmed Jazzercise

Some more thoughts follow. Each of them were increasingly more insignificant and random.

“Man, this beat on ‘No Church In The Wild’, wait, that’s a frickin guitar dude!”

I was disappointed it took me two days of listening to it to realize. The inner monologue continued.

“This place is forever far from my house. I’d like to have the trees out here in my yard. I think I’ve managed to get lost again– in a parking lot.”

On and on the hit the hull of my consciousness, until the final one hit and, due to its sheer randomness, snapped me out of it and I left the meteor shower of thought.

“I’m going to see X here tonight.”

About 15 seconds transpired as I idly drove my car around this parking lot and smacked myself on the head, in my mind, that is. With the same innocent candor of a subordinate timidly questioning the judgment of their boss, I asked myself, “Did you really just think that?”

I guess I did. Never could figure out why. That is just how thought works sometimes. I wake up some days and my brain convinces me in the first 5 minutes that I’ll have my head will fall of my shoulders if I leave my room. One time, I woke up in a half-awaken state of delirium in dark Tel Aviv hotel room, convinced with a conviction almost as heavy as the Holy Spirit that terrorists were going room to room, knocking on doors pretending to be room service and then executing people as they answered the door. That delusion lasted a couple hours. So I am not stranger to odd, stray thoughts. I merely shrugged this one off and tossed it into the mountainous pile.

A bit later, I was shooting around, trying to get warmed up in about 5-10 minutes, which is one of the most displeasing things to do. I’d rather have absolutely no warm up, at least that way adrenaline kicks in quicker and helps out. I wasn’t feeling in sync at all. I am very ritualistic with my warm ups, even if I am just playing pick up outside at the park. If I don’t feel it is working, I’ll do something to reset my mindset. A good way I do this is going to get some water, which I did in this case.

On I go, out the gym doors to the water fountains located right outside. On my way, I punch the doors open and almost run into two young women. Typical James move, actually. I’m spry and aloof enough to have a strong propensity for such things. I did my weird freeze, pause thing, where my balance teeters around my body, sliding up from my feet to my head, like a reversed hula hoop motion. Eventually this chaotic, yet subtle motion drops back down to my feet and I hop as excessively far out of the way as possible and mutter out an apology I likely don’t really mean.

As I’m having an intimate moment with the water fountain, I get hit by my dulled, blunted, primitive spidey sense as I realize:

“Uhh……”

I consternate.

“Was that X?”

It couldn’t have been. The thought was already random enough, I don’t need any sort of psychic justification messing with my head any further. I initially put my faith in the fact that I hadn’t seen this person since I was 13 or 14 (assuming memory isn’t failing me), at some youth camp. I assured myself I must have been mistaken. Chalk it up to some sort of bizarre thought fueled pareidolia. Of course, my mind was already raped at this point, and the train wasn’t ending any time soon.

I was mostly preoccupied with playing basketball for the next few hours, so I honestly didn’t put much into confirming or denying any sort of bizarre coincidence, but what little thought I did siphon away to figuring out if it was who I thought they were (the Bears), led me to sit at about a 92% confidence interval that it was.

In retrospect, I probably should have just asked and been done with it, but beyond my primary physical preoccupation I mentioned, I was too bothered by the way things actually unfolded in my head. Coincidences happen daily, constantly. Sometimes they are just overwhelming though. I must have my biggest ones when involved with playing basketball, though. For instance, my longest breakout of deja vu was 2 minutes long, in the middle of a summer tournament in high school. Imagine two minutes of competition, where people are trying to stop you from doing what you want to do, realizing you’ve seen what is happening before, thus dictating everything that happens in your head right before it does– for 2 minutes.

This stuff messes with me. This strange anecdote has little to do with what I initially wrote about, but I guess there are a few tie-ins.

Everything messes with me.

Certain people and things in life will still intimidate me for the same reasons, until I am given and take an opportunity to show myself that I am working myself up over nothing.

Weird things happen. That’s life.

Pretty girls are people too. That’s life.

Nobody will always succeed the first time or how they want to. That’s life.

Some people will pick on you. That’s life.

Any heart is susceptible to being broken. That’s life.

Ankles get sprained. That’s life.

People wake up early and force themselves out of their own shells every day. That’s life.

On and on it goes. In the end, all I know from all these things is that as long as I am alive, I have an infinite number of moments to conquer in my life.

I’m scared as hell about this week, despite it being something I used to do effortlessly, but I’m going to force myself to become a conqueror a few hours from now and not look back. At the least, I will play one in my very own story about my own life.

I already cast out one minnow into the deep blue, now I am diving in, myself.

– James

EPILOGUE

Also, in the veeerrry rare event that anyone involved in any of the events, whether directly of indirectly, ever happens to read this, well, uh, Hi? Jajajaja

Finally, apologizes for doing weird things with verb tenses throughout. I’m tired and don’t care to proof read/fix.