The Fragile Art Of Speaking Too Soon

When I first began writing this, the intention was to cover the second half of my meth-dealing journey into the Pacific Northwest. However, I’ve just experienced a momentary change of heart (you can thank my recently – and finally – diagnosed Bipolar disorder for this) and will be getting the narcotics-laced adventure to you on a later date.

See, a newfound surge of emotion has been approaching me over the past couple of weeks, no doubt in correlation with the imminent “New Year.” Now, this is odd because I usually write these things off as unimportant; it’s not that I don’t appreciate the holidays, but annually updated numbers usually do little more to stir me than the sorry sight of my own flaccid genitalia.

Of course, in these moments of anxiety, my mind begins to scatter in search of answers. Maybe it’s that I’ll be twenty-one, soon? Or perhaps something related to my current (and potentially permanent) withdrawal from college? No, neither of these seem right. And what about my insecurities regarding romance? Dying alone? Seeing old faces over the holidays that I’d rather not encounter? The sheer amount of booze that these holidays bring, and the social and mental pressure that my tiny Irish brain will confront in its wake? Eh, not really. At least not any more than usual.

No, this is something different (potentially new) that entering “adulthood” has awoken within me. And even as I pitifully shit these sentences into a pirated word-processor, I cannot grasp an adequate way to communicate them to you.

You see, whenever I attempt to convey these emotions to others, the situation ultimately devolves into one of two scenarios: me jerking off all over myself in attempts to appear sympathetic (And deep! Don’t forget about seeming deep!), or me clamming up and remaining awkwardly quiet for the remainder of the day (this can really kill a party). Either way, one singular conclusion is always reached – a grand finale of silence and proverbial shrugging – and I spite both myself and the uncomfortable companion for never reacting with enough extremity. There are no explosive tears, screams of love and/or terror, theatrics that make me feel more important than I truly am.

In my greatest  fantasies, I weep harder than Christ at a late funeral, my compatriot hurling their shaking frame to my feet in a fit of weeping, dragging me down to the floor and running quivering fingers through my greasy mess of hair (fuck it, maybe they give me a hand-job as well). My nasty little heart is massaged and the weird issues that I have with affection are soothed and mitigated (see: adoption).

But this obviously never happens and so I continue to flop around uselessly, coldly and unpleasantly wading in the fecal waters of self-directed remorse, soaking up every minute of life that passes un-seized and un-utilized.

Stress headaches leads to the couch – the couch leads to rest – rest leads to sleeping – sleeping leads to five o’clock in the afternoon (and but a single hour of consciousness spent in the earth’s natural daylight). And, at the end of this disgraceful chain of first-world misery and hopeless bitching, we arrive at the end of another day, another month, another year (in this case, 2015). One’s feelings swell up like an elderly prostate and the proverbial urethra of their mind closes up, the figurative piss-stream of their once rushing thoughts and passion stagnating inside the urethral canal of their right hemisphere (or left, if you’re a technical sort of fellow).

It’s sort of like making a mix-tape (mix-CD?) for a friend whom you haven’t encountered for a very long time, where every song ends up sounding like the end-credits track of a really terrible indie film. You can’t order them right, because they all sound like you’re about to walk off-stage, draw the curtain, announce it’s “the end.” But everything is happening always, and the show is never “over,” even if you kick the bucket. You get all whiny and confused and fucked-up and existential and write blog posts that span over a thousand words, filling them up with your uncomfortably personal bullshit that nobody else really wants to read.

Oftentimes, I blame my parents’ chaotic divorce for my inability to properly connect with other human beings (and while I’m at it, the rest of my life’s problems, as well). There was yelling, thing-breaking, and even a bit of law-enforcement intervention. But of course this is really just a scapegoat (and a crumby one, at that), whipped up so that I don’t have to address my own shortcomings as a human being.

And mostly, it works.

I get to be the trouble-child, the victim, the “poor baby.” I get to sleep on the sofa until mid-to-late afternoon, mentally wading through a delicate fog of memories and inventions as my brain composes and compartmentalizes, tenderly cradling and carrying me into the following year, before I even have the chance to scream.

Happy New Year.

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Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 3 – The 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed

So here’s the fuckin’ deal: When I went to college, I went to a film school, and as part of the program, we all got MacBook Pros and thousands of dollars worth of software. We got these in December of 2012, and it was as if Crushmush came early.

Exactly a year later, in December of 2013, my Mac shit the bed.

I was trying to copy some files from a USB drive over to a folder and in the middle of the process, the fucker froze. I let it sit, half expecting it to un-fuck itself, and waited. After an hour or so of waiting, I gave up on the situation getting any better and forced it to shut off, holding down the power button until it powered down.

After it turned off, I gave it a few seconds before turning it back on again. However, when it turned on, it lingered on the gray screen with the Apple logo, the shut itself off. I repeated this infuriating little game over and over again, but to no avail. Shit was fucked, yo.

I scoured the internet (on my trusty PC) for hope. For something. Anything. Anything at all that could fix the little metallic bitch of a door-stop. I had so much work on it and all these expensive programs. The night it happened, I was so angry and sad and depressed, I sat down on the floor of my apartment all alone in the dark and wept pathetically before getting up and leaving to get dinner.

The next day, I bought an external hard drive and tried in vain to use the disk utility to try to copy my files over. Then there was a glimmer of hope. My roommate, Eli, walked in with his friend Josh. I asked Josh if I could borrow his Mac so I could put mine into target disk mode and transfer files from it through his over to my external HD. He obliged, and set his computer up. I put mine into target disk mode, plugged in the fire wire, and plugged it into his Mac. There it was, sitting on his desktop, ready to be plundered for all its sacred data.

I spent the bulk of the day copying the entire HD over to the external, being ever so careful to not accidentally unplug one, or let them fall asleep.

When the deed was done, I scheduled an appointment for the Genius Bar at the nearest Apple store, which for me at the time living in Hollywood, was in this magical place called The Grove. I asked my roommate’s girlfriend Stefania if she could drive me down to The Grove on the specified date (because she was the only one of us who had a car).

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out....

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out….

Now, I loathe Los Angeles. But The Grove, man…. That place was beautiful. It was lined with all sorts of high-end shops and restaurants/places where I was too poor to enter. It was beautiful nonetheless, especially considering it was Crushmush time, so they had all the decorations up and the soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Crushmush special could be heard intermittently over the speakers. The See’s Candies was giving out free samples. We bought mint toffee lollipops. We met Grumpy Cat. We perused the Barnes & Noble, which was three stories high, and bought Starbucks holiday coffees.

Eventually, my appointment came around, and I ventured off to the Apple store. I climbed the glass stairs, checked in, and sat down to await the illustrious Genius. They arrived and I went over my predicament, explained how I backed up my data, and they began tinkering with the machine to see what could be the problem. As it turns out, the drive had been completely fucked and was unable to ever boot. I was lucky I was even able to get my data off it at all. He was going to need to replace the drive. I handed him my Mac, thanked him for the help, and I returned to Stefania and Eli so we could depart from the consumerist wonderland of The Grove.

…As in Benito Mussolini. I like to think I was being subtle; Josh told them “Adolph….” (Yes, I know, I did eventually trim my nails.)

A few days later, I received an email to notify me that my Mac had been repaired and that it was ready for me to retrieve it. We made another trip to The Grove, got my Mac, snagged some more free samples, killed time in Barnes & Noble, and got the barista at Starbucks to write the names of horrible historical figures on our cups, and finally left. I spent the rest of the night transferring all my stuff back.

I thought that was going to be the last major problem I was ever going to have with my MacBook Pro.

I was so fucking sorely mistaken.

Exactly a year later, which, you know… is this month, I went to do some work on my Mac. Was gonna fire up Illustrator and get some graphic design work done. I was loading up some fonts when I saw there was a new software update. I finished what I was doing and installed the update. After it was finished, it needed to restart, which I let it do.

During the restart, a gray screen with various lines of text in a multitude of languages popped up saying there was an error and to press any key to continue or to let it do so on its own. I let it go on its own, not wanting to jinx it. What followed was an hour-long stint of the gray loading screen with the Apple logo and a little spinning graphic. I powered down the computer as a bead of sweat graced my brow. I powered it back up again and was met with the same image. A wave of heat coursed through my body. It happened again.

It was the 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed….

Again, more searching for answers. More solutions that don’t work. More sweat. More tears. More anger, more depression.

The good news was that I hadn’t done any extra work since the 1st Bed-Shitting. Anything lost honestly wasn’t worth saving or it wasn’t finished/hadn’t had a lot of work put into it.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

So I was off to yet another Apple store. I made an appointment for the Genius Bar at the new Pioneer Place Apple store here in downtown Portland. The store is beautiful and so is that area of Portland, but not much merriment, or Starbucks, was had as I only had time for them to fix the Mac. The operating system was practically non-existent due to the error during the install. I had to get the OS re-installed.

And now my Mac is back to square which-ever-number-it-was-before-the-first-bed-shitting.

Here’s the thing about Macs: They’ll do a lot of nifty things and they’ll do them well. But when they fuck up, THEY FUCK UP HARD.

(I guess this is also a reminder to back your shit up.)

[Next: True Jackassery – Tales from Hollywood 1
A new series about my crazy-ass college experiences.
Floor-Sleepin’ will resume at a later point.]

Sandpaper Sleeping Bags

My personal perception of the perfect joy would come in the form of a scent. It would be early Christmas morning (every morning) and a steaming mug of Mexican coffee would be planted in one of my two hairy fists. Cinnamon candles would sit aglow atop the fireplace mantle; upon the couch, my wife would rest with one majestic tit flopped out and the nine-month amalgam of my crudely-squeezed seed suckling from its tip. I would lean in and deeply inhale the wistful stench of musty fabric and breast milk, and I would say to myself, “Wonderful.” The audible utterance of this word would not faze my spouse, as nobody would question my feelings or motives in my world of blissful perfection.

These were my thoughts as I lay splayed in a heap of (at least) four adolescent bodies, our thoughts and feelings wafting silently into the air above us and pooling together in a cloud of private nostalgia, the notion of sleep closing in upon us. I smelled my left armpit and prayed that my bladder would hold overnight, briefly visualizing the image of my companions as they awoke in my piss, my many years of beds un-wetted suddenly dropping their streak of success. Moments later came the fear of sporting morning wood, accidentally spearing the young man beside me as we wakened in the winding sheets. Soon enough, the lines of my consciousness blurred and both worries became the same, piss-drenched boner hell leaking into my oncoming dreams.

“Where is the bathroom?” I broke the brief and peaceful silence.

“My roommate has the West Nile Virus,” the young host responded.

Crawling out through a nearby window, I stood on the asphalt shingles and scanned the cozy neighborhood. The sight of a neighboring house caught my eye, the home of a childhood friend. The emotions invoked cut deeply as I unzipped my pants; leaning off the side of the building, I produced my penis and unleashed a wave of urine across the homeowner’s recycling bins.

After returning inside, I shared my stories of Lebanese youth who have their limbs amputated and replaced with hooks. This is done so that the given consumer may effectively hang them (right-side-up or upside-down) from doorways, closet rods, shelf brackets, or whatever else they see fit. This is done for sexual pleasure. Stitching their mouths shut is an optional addition for the client, which I also believe is somehow related to sexual pleasure. They are sold over the darker corners of the internet.

I like to call these creatures “Hook Children,” because it communicates the point snappily whilst putting a minimal emphasis on the horrible reality of the situation.

That night, we fell asleep to the sound of crying. It was very soft crying and I almost got an erection.

Living in America is pretty okay, sometimes. Trying to kill myself was a weak-ass move.

My previous life as a superior guitar player. One day, this photograph will grow up to be a stock image. Just like it's father.

My previous life as a superior guitar player. One day, this photograph will grow up to be a stock image. Just like it’s father.

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 1 – My Bathrobe

So I developed a habit exactly 2 years ago: I like to wear my bathrobe all day, every day, during the winter season. I had started college late in 2012 and after a few brief months of enduring the acrid stench of Hollywood, I was allowed a short reprieve for winter break and returned to the amnesty of Portland for a short while. I slept on the couch and almost constantly wore my bathrobe, using it as a second blanket at night as a means of defense from the cold that the heater tried so fruitlessly to stave off. It didn’t help that the damn thermostat took the piss sometime last year and stopped working, rendering the heater just about useless, making my robe all the more crucial.

I elected to forego a shirt in most instances, keeping the robe closed with the sash, and hardly ever wore boxers under my pajama pants. This way, I was never too hot under the blanket but never fully subjected myself to the cold. (Yes, I am currently wearing underwear as of this writing… but for how long?)

This trend became a mainstay last year out of a combination of nostalgia/tradition and a compulsion to stay warm (for reasons stated above). I returned to Portland, cagey and in need of companionship, glad to indulge in winter break of 2013, bathrobe at the ready. Starting about sometime last month, I donned the illustrious garb and sauntered around, constantly sleepy-eyed, as the cold was making its presence known and my more vulnerable parts weren’t too thrilled. Mind you, I prefer the winter seasons, mostly because I can deal with the cold easier than the piercing simmer that is summer. Living in Portland, you’re treated to a most interesting style of winter as it doesn’t snow often, but you can always count on the infamous rain. In Portland, you don’t “bundle up and grab an umbrella,” unless you’re an unwitting tourist or a Californian pansy. Instead, we “liquor up and grab a hoodie.” Not exactly being of age, my dealings with the cold usually devolve into binge consumption of holiday coffees, peppermint teas, and spiced ciders, welcoming the warm, festive swills into my system, excreting jolliness in the form of half-lidded facial expressions, excessive lounging, and general laziness.

This year, I have added a scarf to my wardrobe. So… that’s new, I guess. But it has recently donned on me that in almost prophetic coincidence, I have become Patton Oswalt:

The way he describes his depression’s puppy-like enthusiasm, especially and most certainly regarding the bathrobe, is my life all throughout the holiday season. And rather than The Princess Bride, it’s the same old holiday specials we’ve all seen in tandem with the Cartoon Network ones from my childhood, heady with the musk of nostalgia. It is my essence, my very being. However, rather than a puppy (belligerent, repugnant cretins), I’d liken it to a fluffy kitty: Lazy-ass cat curls up and sleeps for half the time, the other half is spent ignoring any other outside stimuli with the exception of the occasional display of affection, instead focusing on whatever trivial distractions it feels up for, and eating. It is truly the vapid nature of my depression kitty that embodies the holidays, undoing any good intentions the Prozac-like months beforehand had.

At this point in the writing, I’m no longer decent (so have fun with that knowledge), and in need of a new trivial distraction.

I love the holidays!

[Next: Ep. 2 – The Perfect Pussy]