The Old Me

I don’t know how long I can go on like this. There comes a breaking point, in every unresolved situation where in the past I have done or said something that definitely ends the debacle, but doesn’t always turn out to be the best move to make.

So here I sit on the floor of my room, on a rainy, damp night in December, pondering which move I should make for three completely different situations, all of which have one common denominator. They all involve a woman. Naturally.

I have kept this fact to myself and a few others for a long time, but, I don’t fucking care who knows anymore, so here it is. I haven’t been fucking laid since 2017. Up until a few weeks ago you could have also added “made out with” or “fooled around with” or even “spent an hour in the presence of ANY” woman for the last 5 years and 4 months.

Go ahead and laugh if you want but don’t you dare feel bad for me. It was my choice, and I was ok with it, but I didn’t want it to last forever, so now that I’m finally over being a non religious celibate, I gotta say that I’m still fucking confused when it comes to women and I don’t remember them being so… polarizing. I’m not certain that this affects all women, and in no way am I trying to arrive at a sexist point, because I know plenty of men who act just as ridiculous as the three women in my life have been acting.

The old me would have acted like a dick, and thought that it was somebody else’s fault. That’s good for the truthseeker in me, but horrific for the part of me that wants to understand everything. I’ve definitely changed, and I know it’s for the better, but I can not deny the fact that maybe I’m the one who is polarizing. This is one trait the old and the new me share.

I can see that, clear as day. Usually I am disliked from the start until I prove to someone that I am not that thing they think I am. Or, people are drawn to me and my energy for some reason they can not explain, yet they follow that intrigue blindly, and are never disappointed by what they find.

I can tell right off the bat who is on what side of my polarizing balance beam, and I adjust my level of energy as needed. I don’t do anything to try and change their minds though because that is a futile waste of time. I have learned no matter what you do, people will always think of you in whatever way suits their ideology. If I lived my life to please other people, I think I would only arrive at peace of mind if I were dead. Somehow though, I am still alive and doing well even though I was reluctant to carry on.

So, here I am, still on the floor of my room unable to figure out what to do, why it happened in the first place, and whether or not I feel it’s even worth trying to figure it out at all. That’s really all I care about… it worth it? You may disagree, and that’s ok with me, but at the end of the day, if I have $20 to give to one person, I’m going to give it to the person who will appreciate it the most. Sometimes, that means I keep the $20 and I say nothing.

Maybe that’s the move. Maybe that’s always been the move and it just took me til now to figure that out. December is fucking rough for me. It brings me to a whole new level of emotion every year since my Mom passed, and this year is no different. I’ve gotten real good at masking my emotions and I’m sure there is an unhealthy element to it, but there is also a healthy need to curb them, deal with them later, or choose which ones to embrace instead of letting them run my whole life like I have been guilty of in the past. I ran it alright….right off the road. That was the old me.

The old me would have yelled back at that arrogant bitch today. He also would have made some snide comment under his breath last week, exactly the way that Karen did, and it would have come out all wrong and inappropriate. And the old me would never be so cordial and understanding to a person who can’t even look me in the eye right now without feeling something they don’t want to talk about.

It’s not women that are polarizing, it’s me. It’s just how I am perceived, in this case, by these three women, so FML then because I know I can never change someone’s perception of me, unless they want it to change. The old me would have tried though. He would have convinced himself that he could conquer the impossible and the old me would have been disappointed over and over and over again

I’m pretty glad I’m not the old me anymore.

Only In Dreams

It’s some time before 9am on Saturday. I woke up with some recollection of a dream I can barely remember because life always starts out that way. Needing my attention immediately for some trivial act or noise I couldn’t help making this early in the morning. It seems like lately every thing I have to do somehow becomes a major issue to everyone else around me, and right now tbh, I wish there weren’t anyone around me.

I have not had the easiest time assimilating myself back into society. I come from a broken social scene, one where we express how we feel about something like I was taught to, but my words seem to fall on deaf ears, or impatient minds that can’t take a second to listen to what I’m saying or even allow me to finish this goddamn sentence in my head.

So I write it all down just in case the cancer that is forming in my brain needs an avenue to escape from. I wish there was a road I could walk down where I felt confident in the direction it’s taking me, but I seem to be stopping every now and then at almost every exit wondering if that’s the way I should go right now.

Not everything in life that works for me now is a sustainable act that I can keep up for a long time. It feels like the new challenge is living in a situation that is bearable, but could use some improvement that I know would work, but I can’t get the words out before I need to be able to pivot and keep going on.

I just wish I knew where the road is taking me. If I’m going to be one year older in one months time I want to be able to look back on the past year and really feel like I have evolved, and made some solid connections, and that the issues I had then were just faded memories now. I guess in some way it is like that, but why does it always seem like when one problem gets resolved, another murder mystery pops up begging for me to solve it.

Is there no one else around who is able to figure things out through deductive reasoning? Am I ever going to find peace of mind and body at the same time, or is this just a pipe dream that someone sold to me back in the day when I used to believe in my dreams?

The truth is, I kind of believe my dreams more than I believe my reality. Maybe that is an adolescent or immature way to live, but this is coming from someone in their forties who looks like they could be in their twenties, but who has enough life experience to convince someone that I’m in my thirties.

BTW, have you met anyone over the age of thirty lately? I have. They are like big kids who refuse to eat their vegetables but who also have mortgages, responsibilities and children, but who still refuse to listen to reason from another human being, unless that reason comes from that rectangle in their living room.

My dreams don’t lie to me, they have no idea what a lie is. My dreams don’t keep things from me, like what they are thinking, or the reason why they chose this course of action. They do, however create a cypher in my head that I spend the next few hours trying to decrypt, but by then the obstacles of the day have taken center stage and I stand there wishing I could just go back to sleep.

The Trade Off

It’s been about a year since I moved here. I can’t believe it’s only been, one year. You would think I have been living here for awhile since I know my way around,I have friends who think I’m a good person, and I hold a job where everybody knows my name. It takes ten years to become an overnight success, is what they say about Hollywood, but it only takes a year to be a success in Santa Rosa.

I don’t know how I’m doing it, but I think it’s a choice I have to make every day. Thing is, my life is good now, maybe even great, but even though the big things fell into place quite quickly, it’s the little things that fall to the ground, with help from gravity.

You might see me smiling at nothing when I’m stopped at a red light, or tapping on my dashboard to the beat of the song on the radio, or perhaps I’m holding hands with an attractive girl in the mall and you might think I’m happy, but don’t think for one second I didn’t earn it, or that I don’t have to work for it, because I do. I work for it, by making the little things a challenge. A challenge I don’t remember choosing to accept, but at this point I think it’s a trade off.

Yes, the struggle is real, and as soon as I can grip the tips of a plastic grocery bag and open in less time than it takes to write out this sentence, I will continue to have issues with the every day obstacles life puts in my path. Have you ever bought a box of band aids at a CVS, only to lose them in your car on the way to the Safeway, after you spent a good ten minutes looking for them with the flashlight on your phone and been unsuccessful? Then, when you finally give up the search and go into the store, you come out fifteen minutes later and the box of band aids is laughing at you from the dashboard where you swore you looked. That was just earlier tonight for me. Just one debacle in a series of simplistic routines that go awry more often than not.

Still…I can’t complain. And that’s not good for a blog with complaining in the title of it. I mean, truth be told, I’d rather have not much to write about because I’m out living the good life, then stringing together a bunch of depressing words and phrases to try and explain the pain, hurt, and aloneness I’m feeling. I guess it’s hard to feel like a loner if you don’t really feel alone.

I can remember a few months back where I asked to be shown the way. It wasn’t like some scene out of a religious scripture where I got down on my knees and prayed to God, but it was kind of the modern version of that. Maybe I asked the question out loud, or I sent God an email, I don’t know, point is, the last few times I’ve come to a cross roads and don’t know where to go next, I’ve been shown the way to go by someone coming into my life. And for the record, most people have exited my life the last few years. I didn’t understand why, they all left, but I get it now. It’s how we change as people.

I have stayed out of the spotlight for many years now. I went underground at some point in 2017 and since then I kind of got used to my life. It was safe, and controlled and only I knew the combination to the file cabinet with all the bad stuff in it that can hurt me. You know what stuff I mean, talking about things, human interaction, a healthy social life, love, trust and hope. All of those things were absent from my life until these last few months. So I don’t know when I went from being a loner to not having to be alone to know who I am, but I’m sure as hell never going back there anytime soon.

There’s something about this life that won’t let me go too far without knowing the safe word, and there’s something to be said about that. I guess for the first time in awhile I feel safe, and I feel ok with how it all went down. But I still have to work at it, which is why I have had to adjust the position of my laptop twelve times in the last three paragraphs.

I know what you’re thinking….Is it worth it? Is having the perfect life, one that you have always thought was possible but not a reality until now worth the trade off of dropping things on the ground or having them fall into your lap just because you moved an inch to the right a bit? Yes. It is worth it. It’s fucking great up here, and it feels good because I don’t miss anything or anyone anymore. I’m in it.

No Alarms and All Surprises

I woke up coughing in my bed, unable to get anything other than my own saliva out of my throat before I could breathe again like a normal person. I haven’t woken up choking on my own bodily fluids for a long time. I think it happens when I’m in a deep state of sleep, induced by the quarter gram of alprazolam I bit off some time in the middle of the night. It’s not my favorite way to be woken up, but at least I woke up.

Just saying that out loud is a good thing for me to hear. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t care if I woke up at all. I don’t know if that surprises anyone, or if anyone even gives a shit if I wake up or not, but I’d hope there are a handful of people who are still alive today who do care, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

I have had to put on a good show these last few months, and by that I mean exactly what I said. I’m literally living a three act play, or musical starring me, my alter ego, and all my drama which up until recently has been taking center stage. In between the scenes you might catch me backstage puking my guys out, or yelling into the mirror at a stage hand for doing absolutely nothing instead of something which is really all I wanted them to do.

I was going through the motions of life, yet I felt like I was far from living it. There is a difference between living life, and allowing life to happen to you, the latter of which I am trying to transition to. The simplest explanation I can give between the two is, one requires you to plan out every move you make, leaving nothing to chance. This method is practiced repeatedly in eighty five percent of people. They prefer and gravitate towards a routine. Wake up at 6am, make coffee, eat breakfast, get the kids ready for school, go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, go to bed. All alarms, and no surprises.

Then there is the second, less popular method of living life which is allowing things to happen to you that you don’t plan for. This method requires you to be flexible. It needs for you to let go of preconceived notions and realize that the only thing we really have control over in life are the actions we take towards the things in our lives, and the reactions we give out when things in life happen to us. It requires you to be more in tune with yourself and the world around you that you don’t even set an alarm anymore. Somehow, since I’ve been practicing this method I have been late for something, zero times.

For example, going through the motions of life would be I’m driving to Target and suddenly I am rerouted because of a road closure, so I follow the detour to get to where I want to go, not paying attention to anything else along the way. The second method starts the same way, but when I hit that detour I ask myself, “Do I really need to go to Target this bad? Or can I just get what I want somewhere else?”

Ironically, in that moment is usually when something pops up out of nowhere that has been there the whole time, but perhaps we hadn’t been able to see it because we were so focused on getting to Target. Had we looked up prior to this moment we might have seen that there was another store on the way that had exactly what we wanted, without making the whole trek through the detour.

There is nothing wrong with taking the detour to get where you want to go. Nine times out of ten, that’s what I do, but every now and then I look up and I happen to see something I wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t so focused on this one task that I got blinded by it. It may not always be a golden opportunity, but I have to at least find out if it is or it is not. At least, that’s how I choose to live my life now. No alarms and all surprises.

The truth is, I’ve been a lot happier lately because I’ve redefined what happiness is for me. It’s not getting what I want, nor is it waking up every day without choking to death. For me, it’s seeing where life takes me naturally, without me having to try so hard to make it go in this direction, rather than that direction. There are still plenty of challenges and ups and downs, but I’m not deterred by them anymore, meaning if I can’t go forward right now, I’ll wait until I can go forward.

However, if there is a possibility of going forward by moving to the side slightly, then I’m going to go that route instead, and I’m not going to look back, ever. There is something about looking back while moving forward that is conflicting to my life and it does no good for me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t liked my past these last three years, but I’m starting to really enjoy the present. And that’s where I want to be right now.

You Can’t Go Home Again, But You Can Try

I guess I’ve always been good at moving on or letting things go yet to some degree, I can understand why it’s such a difficult task for people to endure. Maybe they need more time. Maybe they aren’t ready to see the other side, or maybe, they feel like IF, they see the other side, it would negate the stance they have been poised in for quite some time. Either way, it’s a difficult pill to swallow, especially if you’re dying of thirst.

I just got back from a nightmare of a road trip where everything I had planned on doing, ended up getting ruined by something I did or said years before which I can’t go back and change now. I thought I had cleared the air, or at least put those issues to rest years ago, but as I mentioned earlier, it is not an easy task for everyone to let things go. Even though one might say out loud, I’m over it, or I forgive you, or I’m sorry, just those words alone aren’t enough to make things better. They are nice to hear and it’s ultimately what we want to hear, but sometimes words alone can’t fix the damage that had been done.

I hadn’t been back in Los Angeles since the summer of 2018. During that time I was high as a kite, destructive, and angry at the world. I had just been arrested two months earlier and my life as I knew it was over and I took it out on a couple people who had nothing to do with it, myself, and my car, which broke down somewhere on the 405 before I had to leave it and all that I couldn’t carry with me at my old mechanics place in Hollywood.

I would eventually have to jettison most of the material possessions I brought with me to get home, and I had to go through hell in a suburb of Phoenix Arizona for a week with no ID, no money, and no phone. There I was dumping ecstasy pills and ketamine in a trash can outside of a Circle K because I knew I couldn’t take them with me on a plane. The flight took off without me on it due to TSA regulations. However, I swore one day, I would get all my stuff back. Not the drugs per se, but the blanket I had to leave on the side of the road, Madonna issue of Playboy in mint condition, the pillow I dirtied up while riding a Lime Bike through the city, and the fifteen or so articles of clothing I dropped off at a laundromat in Scottsdale and never picked up.

The people in my life at the time were understandably confused by my actions. How could it have gone so wrong for me? How was it possible that just a year ago I was having a goodbye party with twenty or so friends of mine at a bar in Los Feliz and now, I was getting blocked on social media and my phone calls and messages weren’t getting returned. I may have been physically in the same body as I was when I left, but I was not the same person inside and that was something I had to deal with for the next four years. It was not an easy road back to L.A. But when I got there, I realized something I hadn’t thought of before.

I can change everything about me from the way I look to the way I walk and the way I talk, but I can not change the perception of me that other people hold true. No matter how many storage ottomans I had to give away or buy back, regardless of all the court hearings and the months of probation and the certificate I received saying I have been successfully integrated back into society, if I said or did something to hurt or alienate you four years ago, it doesn’t matter what new person I have become. All you’ll ever see is who I was before.

I’m ok with that now. It sucks though, especially when you’re trying to turn over a new leaf, but as much as I wish people would be able to let go of those things I did or said which I expressed and remain remorseful about, I can’t make them let go of those feelings. I wish they would, and I hoped that they could, but as it turns out, not everyone is capable of letting go of the things that happened, and I don’t have the power to speed up the process. I would even venture to say that it is futile to try. I would be engaging in a great disservice to myself if I allowed their preconceived notions of me to become my reality now.

For a long time I envisioned myself going back to Los Angeles and having things go back to the way they were before. I thought, I could get my life back again just like I was able to get back that gold pair of Nike Air Max Zeros I used to have. Unfortunately, I was wrong about that life and like Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “You can never go home again, but you can try.”

He was right. I tried, but not everything can go back to the way it used to be, and I think I’m ok with that now. Truth be told, I didn’t like who I was four years ago, and apparently, neither did a lot of other people. I like who I am now. I like who I have become and I take with me all the responsibilities of that person I used to be, it’s just that, I’m really not him anymore. I wish other people could see that, but they don’t. They’re not ready, and I don’t think they ever will be. I’m learning, with a slight air of familiarity that I can only control what I put out into the world, not what people take from it.

I know they are just material possessions and they can never replace the relationships I’ve lost, but it does feel good to put my feet back into that pair of gold Nikes I used to have. I sleep well at night with the plush blanket I bought last week, and even though it’s not as comfortable as I remember, I can easily sink into that club chair I got off Amazon which replaced the one I accidentally left in the back of my car when I sold it three years ago.

As for my lost friendships and the unwillingness to let go of those hurt feelings, it’s a shame, but it’s also what I deserve. Even though it’s healthy to let go of who I used to be, I never let go of the desire to have the things I used to, which gave me some level of comfort during that time. Those things have been replaced, but not everything in life is as easy to replace as a pair of sneakers. But I can try.

This City Is Killing Me

This City’ Is Killing Me

As I rounded the corner of Sunset and Argyle, I noticed yet another business I used to frequent that has changed names, or remains an unoccupied building with no lessee in sight. There was something about the energy in Hollywood that made me feel like I was somehow in the middle of movie where corpses were walking around with no agenda, and lacking any sort of spirit. The town looked different, but even the perfect twilight weather and the most amazing Mexican food couldn’t blanket the feeling of emptiness that has now shrouded this neighborhood I used to call home.

“You can’t swim in a town this shallow.” are lyrics about L.A. from a Death Cab song called Why You’d Want To Live Here. When I first heard that track, way back in 2004 I understood the lyrics and kind of agreed with them, but for thirteen years I overlooked them in the hopes that maybe Ben Gibbard just had a bad few days in LA. But as much as I would like to keep living in my fantasy world about this place, Death Cab was right. It just took me another 18 years to feel it.

I could also include the track “Los Angeles” by Sugarcult or System Of A Down’s “Lost In Hollywood” as subtle hints as to what I would eventually find out, but again, my optimism was blinding me to some degree I’ll never let it get to again. “Phony people come to play. Look at all of them beg stay. You should have never trusted Hollywood.” says Serj Tankien of S.O.A.D. So true. But you can trust Hollywood to be exactly what you think isn’t.

The thing is, not only did I see that local business have turned into a Chipotle-JambaJuice Star-Target Mart, the people here are walking around oblivious to how it used to be and acting as if there is nothing wrong with a shallow existence in a soulless town just a few miles from the beach, the desert, Disneyland, the ocean, and the mountains. How ironic that so much beauty on Earth is located in the most vapid 90 square miles in the country.

On paper, it’s a no brainer. You’d buy this dream in a heartbeat and maybe you would even do things you didn’t want to do to get where you wanted to go. Maybe you’d make excuses for the truth, taking into account how you never wanted to admit you were wrong, or you never wanted to admit that you had seen this display of entitlement all along but you believed one day it wouldn’t matter……but that day never came, and it most likely never will.

I had heard from a few people how different it was, and I believed them, but I really needed to see it with my own eyes, and feel it in my own heart. And what I saw was a perfect illusion. A smoke and mirrors display on the biggest stage in the world, and I clapped at the end of it because it was so mesmerizing. But what I felt, was something worse than disappointment. It was the emptiness and the stubbornness that you thought people would have outgrown by now.

You know, I have spent the last year going through my life and wishing for the first time ever, that it could be “like it was before.” Someone might say that’s a foolish way of thinking, but although I agree now that they are correct, I couldn’t just take someone’s word for it, I had to see it for myself.

I’m not saying L.A. is a terrible place. If you are happy with complacency, and somewhat attractive, and don’t mind driving a lot everywhere, and paying for parking even when you know you didn’t have to, and have some dream of being famous then yeah, this place is for you. But if you have a big heart, and a conscience, or you like to help people, but don’t mind them never helping you, or stabbing you in the back, then I can only this. I don’t see why you’d want to live here.

How To Avoid Looking Like A Dumbass While Driving

It’s around 2:30 in the morning on Monday the 12th of September. I decide to drive to the 7-11 for a few late night snacks and maybe if I’m lucky, some cheaper gasoline. I’m listening to my latest playlist entitled “Summer is Back with a Vengeance” and even though there are less than two weeks of Summer left, the title still resonates with that terrible heat wave all last week. My music is loud, and there’s no one on the road and it’s perfect. I love it. I like to totally immerse myself in music when I drive, and usually that results in me blocking out the rest of the sounds of the world around me.

The whole ride there I feel good. I have the next three days off, I’m stoned, and I hear the lyrics to the song say “I Just Wanna Go Fast Baby” and that’s exactly what I want to do, but 40mph is as fast as I drive nowadays. I pull into the parking lot, and I pull up to the gas pump, rock out to the last few seconds of the song and then I turn off the engine, realizing I’m on the wrong side of the pump, but I decide not to get gas tonight anyway. I get out, and I accidentally bump into my own car. I’m sure that is the result of a mixed bag of THC induced stumblization, and a little fatigue so I laugh out loud cause it’s funny to me when I lose my balance.

However I can’t say it’s amusing to everyone, especially those two guys hanging out in front of their SUV’s who are dressed in police uniforms and who I can only assume heard me coming down the street and watched me almost fall down when I got out of my car. I immediately stop laughing, and clear my throat and walk into the 7-11 unable to think of what to do or say next.

It’s too late to apologize, and even if I did, that would be drawing more attention to myself, as if I didn’t have enough being drawn to me in the first place. I make my way down an aisle and I wonder if I have just given them probable cause to search me and my car, which would be a futile attempt to catch me doing anything illegal, but also an activity I would rather just avoid all together.

I proceed to take about fifteen minutes to do ninety seconds of shopping while I look for a back door to escape out of. I’m killing time inside the 7-11 just to wait them out, and I forget that I haven’t done anything wrong, but my paranoia comes full circle and it always stems from the three dozen or so incidents in New Jersey when I was pulled over for anything and everything and then ticketed for pretty much the same anything and everything, none of which mind you, was ever a traffic violation.

In my head I’m running through my checklist of things that I have on me or are already current on my car so as to not give them any reason to ticket me, or pull me over if that were to be the likely scenario once I leave. If, I leave that is. Perhaps I’ll just take a nap next to pump #6 until they leave first, but it’s in that moment when I realize I have forgotten something at home that I might need in this situation. My driver’s license.

I’m paying for my items with the cash I grabbed from the car, realizing I only have $10 on me. The total has already reached $10.75 when I ask the clerk to stop and not ring up those last two packages of cupcakes. I look at the price, I apologize for being short, and then I ask him to wait a moment because I remembered all that coin change I have in my car outside. Outside… in the parking lot… where the cops are going to be…. most likely watching every step I take back to the car and then back into the store, only to come back out again a minute later.

I had no choice now. I was seventy five cents short, no debit or credit cards on me, much less ANY form of ID, and I had already ate one half of a pumpkin spice muffin and had gone back for another one when I decided to leave everything on the counter and go get those three quarters so I could go the fuck home, hopefully while not being tailgated or watched by the police.

Now, I know some people might say my paranoia was the result of inhaling the smoke from a marijuana cigarette which then proceeded to fill my brain with inaccurate thoughts of this particular situation, but no, that isn’t the case at all, Me blasting music at 2:30am while driving and bumping into my own car when getting out of it and looking up to see those two people were actually Rohnert Park Police is ALL my fault. Don’t be blaming the weed. As I have said before, I take full responsibility for everything that happens to me, good or bad and I own it. But I’m having a hard time owning this one, without fearing what I know might happen, but which also is most likely not going to happen.

In New Jersey, if you breathe wrong or look like me you get pulled over and bullied and if you aren’t smart enough to talk your way out of it, or if you don’t have you’re shit together, they’ll find a way to give you a ticket. I haven’t had a moving violation in a decade but in the four years I lived back there I acquired four tickets that also required me to go to court to pay them, instead of just being able to pay online. Failure to obey traffic signals, Invalid License Plates, Failure to make repairs, Cracked windshield, and oh yes…failure to possess ID documents are all the tickets I had amassed in less than eighteen months in NJ. Even though I lived there for four years, after the last ticket, I had to sell my car cause between the repairs and the tickets, it was bankrupting me.

So I’m naturally paranoid when I see cops, let alone when I stumble out of my car like an idiot in the middle of the night, in front of two officers who, I’m sure probably thought I was drunk as fuck. Yet, I almost forgot where I was for a second. I’m in California, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Foolish? Maybe, but I don’t get pulled over here for stupid shit because the cops aren’t corrupt. Well, IDK for sure but I do know that as I walked back to my car and got in, I made eye contact with one of the policeman and I nodded, and I think he understood.

What that nod was meaning to convey was how sorry I was for acting like an idiot in their presence, and in no way does that reflect on my driving ability nor does it mean I am impaired in any way, shape, or form. I don’t remember if he even acknowledged my attempt to level the playing field, but I started my car, and drove off into the night unfollowed and without a ticket. That would have NEVER happened in Jersey.

I’ll take that as an unwritten warning, one which I won’t need to endure again because at the end of the day, I learn from my mistakes now, and I don’t repeat them for obvious reasons. Will I ever be so relaxed that I wouldn’t have even seen those cops in the parking lot before they saw me? Maybe. Maybe not, but either way next time there won’t be any need for me to think about it because it just won’t happen again. I’ll still be driving around blasting my music and I’ll probably stumble over my own sneakers again, but it won’t be probable cause to be pulled over and searched, it’ll just be some dumbass thing I do when nobody is looking, and I can live with that.

The Routine Of Not Having A Routine, Is My Routine.

I have had several routines in my life over the last four years. Not all of them would I choose to repeat though. You couldn’t pay me enough to wake up at 6am every morning, have me make my bed and stand outside my cell, NOT holding my morning cup of instant coffee right before I sit on a cold steel table and watch a movie with no sound. That was my jail routine. Never need to repeat that again to know I don’t want to go back there. But what it made me realize, amongst other things, was the advantages to having a routine, just with a few slight changes to it. First of all, our story doesn’t take place in a jail, at least not a physical one, but life can be jailing if we let it. I should probably mention that it would be in your best interest to think outside the box here, and pretty much in all of life if you want to know a secret.

Anyway, back to this routine that has changed a lot for me. See, I never liked routine when I was younger because I associated it with boring. “Don’t you get tired of doing the same thing everyday?” I often ask people of routine. “Isn’t predictability the step son to a wasted existence?”

It would be correct to say I shied away from all of those things, however as much as you resist some thing in life, you in fact, cause it to persist. So, eventually I found my way back to routine again and I think I get it now. I would like to first mention I’m still not an advocate for boring, or predictable, but a routine can and has fit into my life now, and if I were to describe any part of it to you, those are not the feelings I hope you would get after reading about it. But, if you do feel that way, why are you reading this blog in the first place?

Speaking of, writing this blog actually IS part of my routine. I mean, I haven’t had the longest streak lately of doing the same comforting things over and over again, and that’s probably why my nerves are shot, and my patience when I’m alone and no one can see, is laughable and quite non existent too. I know what is causing it all, and this week feels like I’m finally passing the hazard on the side of the road and it’ll be in my rearview in 3, 2, 1.

I’ve had to adjust my life to fit my surroundings multiple times since I moved here. First, it was living in a trailer with not many possessions and looking for a job and a car and getting my California license. Then it was adjusting to the sleeping schedule my roommate kept which I had to adopt as my own being that I shared a room with the kitchen, TV, and living area. Then it was moving all my stuff which had grown exponentially to cause me to rent a storage unit and keep other things in my car. Then, just when I got used to that routine, I moved into a room in a shared house where for four days last month, I finally was able to put all my things and settle down, only to have to pack everything up again and move it somewhere else.

Here’s a thought, perhaps my routine of not having a set routine is in fact, my routine. I don’t want that routine though. It’s not one that I find benefits me at all. It’s annoying, and unsettling and I hope the next move I make will solidify my life into a structured set of things I do, and will be the last time I have to adjust my residence to fit my surroundings…at least for another 6 months or so.

Next week I will begin a new routine. I’m moving again, my work is restructuring some things and I’m on for more days than I asked for. Something I have wanted for awhile. I guess to get what I want right now, I have to act like there is another option out there and actively seek it out to get the thing I really want to take notice and want me. It’s almost like dating in a strange way.

Ok, maybe I’m not going out and having a drink with my wants and needs, but I’m flirting with the idea of what else is out there, and what seems to have happened this week is that the thing I originally asked for is going to be what I get. Look, I don’t care how I get it, as long as it comes relatively soon. The only thing I would want to know now is next time, how do I get it faster?

Oh right, patience. Patience, is also part of my routine and so is making coffee at 10am when I wake up, and drinking it out of my thermal mug on the patio while smoking a cigarette and scrolling through Reddit. When I don’t have that small, predictable, yet needed routine, I just go crazy. Not even in a way that makes sense, but in that way that only I can understand because I know what it’s like on the other side. I’m sure we all do things when we’re alone that couldn’t be justified or understood by everyone. Maybe we scream at inanimate objects, maybe our frustration causes us to forget to pick up our keys, wallet, or phone, or maybe we cry at stop lights because the pressure is too much. It doesn’t matter, because those moments are needed to balance us out.

The next routine I get into will start soon, and this one, where I complain about it will be ending, and I can stop tripping over all my belongings I have piled in the center of my room. It looks like I live in a storage right now. A lovely, carpeted 10×10 foot storage unit with electricity and wi-fi and all of my shit packed up in the middle with a bed laid out in the corner.

Could be worse I guess, but never something I want to get used to. I’m ready for the next phase of my life. And after that, I’ll be ready for the next one. I’m just gonna make sure my little routines never get broken again.

Coffee is For Closers, and For Spilling on the Ground

I have to admit, I have been quite clumsy lately. It usually manifests late at night when I am settling in with my bowl of cereal and bottle of diet ice tea or gatorade. Speaking of which, gatorade in an aluminum can is far superior to a plastic bottle. I feel this applies to all beverages, but since I now feel like I’m on a tangent, I’ll get back to the point of it all.

I’ve been spilling my bottles of water, gatorade, ice tea or coffee pretty much twice a week now for the last 6 weeks. I fucking hate when that happens. In fact, it immediately makes me regress back to a state of anger and I don’t like feeling that way and haven’t for awhile, with the exception of these random liquid accidents that usually happen in my room, on the carpet which I’m trying to keep clean because I’m moving again in a week.

I don’t really care about the move anymore, but I’m really annoyed with myself for constantly making my life harder by spilling shit on the light colored carpet of my room, and I can’t ignore it anymore. So, this morning I was in my car with my coffee and a smoke listening to an old album from the Counting Crows. I got really into one song and started singing, and when I was ready to take a sip from my coffee cup, I looked down to find it laying on it’s side, as all of it’s contents had been spilled onto my passenger side floor mat.

That was it. That was the moment that sent me over the top and caused me to drop said coffee mug on the ground, where I know it WILL NOT break because it is aluminum. Although, drop, is not quite the word I should use. Maybe I threw it? Idk, but I won’t ever use that mug again. It had a defect to it. The top is a plastic sipper with a rubberized gasket and it had been used so much that sometimes, when I went to sip the coffee, the lid would be closed and I’d get nothing. Other times, it would be wide as fuck open and I thought it was closed, and I got a huge mouthful of piping hot coffee which would then burn my mouth and make me scream.

When the coffee doesn’t come out, it’s kind of annoying, but fixable. However, when the coffee spills onto the floor or in my mouth and it hurts, that pisses me off. And it also makes not want to drink coffee anymore, but only in that moment. I act like it’s someone else doing this to me, but I know it’s not. I mean is it really the coffee’s fault for being hot and fresh? No. That’s mine cause I made it but I just don’t know why I keep spilling it too.

At first, I just spilled water which is easier to clean up, but still annoying. However the last few nights it’s been ice tea, red gatorade, and coffee. All of which are not clear liquids and all of whom have left a small but noticeable stain on wherever they fell. So here is my esoteric question of the day..

If I am the cause of everything in my life, and I am also the creator, then why am i spilling shit on stuff so often that it causes me anger and I guess inspiration to write about it?

Alison Wonderland is a favorite artist of mine. In her song Loner she says, “If I’m such a creator, then why can’t I make you?” Referring to someone she wants to be with, but somehow can not commit to. I kind of understand that because here I am asking a similar question but on a much smaller scale. But, is it really?

Look, I have bigger questions and answers going on right now inside my head, but they aren’t in my control exactly. I want to know why I have to beg my acting manager for one additional shift when I know I deserve it, I want to know why I had to pack everything up and move, twice in two months, and I’d love to know what the fuck is up with this girl I met and what the fuck should I do about it, but those answers are not totally up to me. This coffee cup spilling shit is all me though. Congratulations, I guess. I won the responsibility award because I own up to my mistakes and blunders, so I’m buying a new coffee cup today because that’s the answer to the problem….for now.

Will it be an issue tomorrow? Probably not, but if it is, so what? I just don’t want to get angry about it and mad because I hate myself when I do, but I don’t really hate myself for it. I might hate myself for something else, but for the most part I kind of love my life right now. I’m not stressed, I’m not exhausted and I’m not depressed.

I’m usually in a good mood at work, and always in a good mood when I’m on the stage and for reference, work IS my stage, but behind the bar is really the stage and the kitchen is kind of like backstage. Any way, like I said I love my life right now. I just wish I had diamond hands when it came to beverages the way I have diamond hands when it comes to my possessions and finances.

I mean, maybe it’s like an old way of life coming out by making old things in my life fall over and spill. I’ve had that coffee mug for awhile, and while I’ve been packing up my shit I’ve thrown out a lot of the things I collected that have no use anymore, or in this case, tainted use. All I really know is that I can only complain about it for so long. At some point I have to do something about it. And that is probably why I a writing this blog, and then heading back to the place I bought that coffee mug to buy another one with a brand new sipper top that hopefully won’t burn my mouth or leave it empty any longer.

As for the reasoning behind why it’s happening, I don’t think I need an answer. I would like one, but who the fuck is authorized to give it to me? I guess I’m the only one, so if I had to speculate, based on my life experience, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my emotions and the months of keeping them bottled up so to speak. It should come as no surprise that it isn’t a healthy choice to make, and that I can only do that for so long before they inevitably spill over into my life, and onto the carpet where I know they don’t belong.

Reddit Manifesto on “The Game is Rigged”

Reddit post 8-13-22 1:47am

I am older now and I understand that the game is rigged. This used to make me mad and angry when I was a teenager or a twenty-something.

At thirty I realized the obvious. If that game is rigged, then chances are all the games are rigged too. This made me confused, but I kind of saw that coming.

At forty I realized, I could just start a new game. I dont have to agree with everything they do and say, politicians that is, but I always will want to tax uber wealthy corporations and share the wealth idea. I don’t need 29 pair of jeans, but everyone in this country should be able to own a pair.

Its just sad that politicians manipulate the public with the fear of something happening, that hasnt really happened yet, or ever will at all
Fear of a fear? Gaslighting at its finest.

Unfortunately I’m not afraid of anything. You’re prob like me maybe. Im just too strong minded and I’ve been through some shit. Worse shit than higher taxes or seeing a crackhead on the street in the daylight. btw, Who fucking cares?!

They have a lot of power and an unlimited money supply. Those are hard to fight against. It’s an extremely unfair game if they have unlimited money.

What if they didn’t have unlimited money though?

I’m The Bad Guy

As I am packing my belongings up again, for the second time in two months, I am simultaneously ok with this unexpected move, and also completely annoyed to the point where every piece of tape or pushpin I remove from the wall is driving me crazy. I didn’t want this to happen, but I’ve come to accept in life, 10% of it is shit that happens to me, and 90% of it is how I react.

If I can be totally honest, I’m giving the middle finger to my slumlord who conveniently flip flopped on our rental agreement, but only, of course AFTER I paid rent for the month of August. I ignored the red flags in the very beginning because I needed out of a horrific situation where I couldn’t sleep more than a couple hours a night, and I had no privacy. I don’t think I made a terrible choice at all, I just shouldn’t have taken someone for their word, which is a sad state of mind to be in. I just can’t understand why this is happening, how I’m going to come up with another first and last months rent in 21 days, and if my original plan of splitting my time between a storage unit and the back seat of my car is a viable option.

I’m a pretty straight forward person, and when it comes to sharing a space with people, I’m considerate because I’ve had to share a jail cell, with two dozen inmates over the course of six months, a halfway house, with 31 other dudes who were the furthest from empathetic and understanding, and a 27 foot trailer with one other senior adult, who didn’t act like one towards the end, and believe it or not, the trailer was the toughest challenge I’ve had to date.

Somehow, I find myself in a situation where I’m always the prime target to be painted as the bad guy. I’m never the victim, I’m always the passive aggressor, but ONLY when it fits their story and ONLY if you ask them what happened, without asking me the same.

Am I really the bad guy, or is it just a convenient label and easier to point the finger at me, some forty something punk kid with a record who never grew up and who somehow catches flack for working less than 40 hours a week, but who still pulls in decent money and never is late on rent or strapped for cash.

I’ll be the first to admit I am not the easiest person to share a confined space with, but give me my own room, and I’ll be fine and you won’t even know I’m there unless of course, you’re looking for something to go wrong, which at that point is on you. Why would you want something to go wrong, unless you’ve been conditioned to think that is just how it is.

I don’t live like that. At least not anymore. It’s beneath me. Sure, there was a time when I couldn’t enjoy the moment and I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the cure for that mentality, at least for me, was to lose every material possession I had in the world, the two people I cared about most, be stuck in a place I didn’t want to be and have to work and build my way back to a life I feel was somewhat familiar to what I had before.

Where’s the selfishness in that? Has everything in life been given to you, or have you had to work and sacrifice to get what you want? If you’re like me, I had it easy for awhile, then I lost it all and the dark clouds hung around my life for four years. But, now that I have it again, I appreciate it more than before and don’t think for a second I’ve forgotten how hard it took me to get back here.

Maybe I’m not the bad guy, but maybe I have to be sometimes because those people pointing the finger aren’t strong enough to look inside and ask themselves what could they have done differently, nor are they confident enough to speak up about something that bothers them until its too late.

I spent a lot of time restless in my bed thinking along those lines, and now I sleep through the night, and I don’t feel bad about who I am and where I came from. At the end of the day, sometimes I have to play the part of the bad guy. It’s fine. Sometimes you need to appear one way just so someone else can make sense of their story.

I just wish I wasn’t so god damn good at it.

Who Am I, Where Am I Going & How Did All This Stuff Get Here?

Eight months ago I knew the answer to all three of those questions. I was a youngish man about to start over in life for a third time, on my way back to California and the only stuff I had, was the suitcase I bought and packed with all my clothes in the world, my two pairs of shoes, and the backpack I carried with me which held my computer, some documents, odds and ends, and a bag of weed I held onto for a few weeks before and after I arrived

I was confident for the first time in awhile because I knew those three details about me, and after two years of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, I no longer felt constricted.

But life is ever changing. Not everyone knows the answers to those three questions all the time, and if they know the answer to one, who’s to say in a month or two, that the answer will be the same. I was pretty sure of who I was and where I was going because I had a ID card, and a train ticket. However, there wasn’t much “stuff” in my life that I owned like physical things. Whatever material possessions I had in the world fit into that suitcase or that backpack, or were in the custody of the NJSP but I would get those back eventually.

Life was simple then. I didn’t have much, and I didn’t require much, but I had the means to survive without a job for two months during this transitional period thanks in part to the small weekly investments I made in bitcoin over the past year, and the sudden ability to save money that I never possessed in the past.

Almost two weeks after my move to Northern California, I was a licensed California driver again, with a modest $3000 Nissan Sentra sitting in the parking lot, I was about to start my new job right after the Thanksgiving weekend, but something was off. Sure I had been a bartender for many years, but during the last three, my social skills had not gotten the workout they needed, and, I was, in a sense a little rusty like a metal garden rake which had been left out in the rain since the beginning of the fall.

Then the inevitable happened. I stopped knowing the answer to those two questions. When I got off the bus November 10th, I could tell you exactly who I was and where I was going, and the third question didn’t really apply to me at the time, but that would change with every week that went by and with every paycheck I suddenly found myself in the middle of an identity crisis, with plenty of ways to distract myself by purchasing things I thought would make my life a little easier and more able to be defined.

The stuff we own, ends up owning us said Tyler Durden, but if you don’t have any stuff at all, then who owns you? At this point I was thinking short term, plus I only had about 35 square feet of space to “decorate” so I did what I knew was the most convenient and cost effective, I printed pictures of the people I cared about and the celebrity women i wished I could have dated but never did, and hung them up around my area, which was furnished with the plastic milk crates you find behind 7-11 stores that are marked with the phrase, “its is unlawful to possess this milk crate for personal use.”

I was getting back into my character, which is a little rule breaking bad ass attitude east coast kid who shows up to town and is planning on….leaving as soon as possible. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what the fuck I was doing here or who I was. For months the unfamiliar feeling of not knowing who I was became a familiar feeling that I couldn’t get used to. I started trying to plot my escape back to a familiar backdrop like Seattle or Los Angeles, but phone calls to friends and associates had proven to be less promising than I had anticipated. It felt like something was keeping me here for now, and this time I just went with the flow, like when you turn onto the 101 South on ramp and it’s bumper to bumper.

I didn’t need to touch the gas for awhile, so I just cruised.

Spring time would come and I would be met with the challenges of suddenly outgrowing my thirty five square feet of space. I wasn’t able to sleep very much as long as I lived in the trailer, nor was I able to keep most of my possessions with me, unless I spread them out to include the space in the trunk of my car, and to a lesser extent, the backseat. I had suddenly dropped fifteen pounds and the shirts I bought 100 days ago didn’t fit me anymore. I had storage containers in my car, and I had just got back my old laptop which had been out of my possession for four years, and for weeks I searched those files in the hopes that I would find some more forgotten bitcoin, and perhaps a clue as to who I am now, because I could answer only one of those questions I asked myself when I got here,

Who was I? I didn’t really know.
Where was I going? I knew the short term answer, but I had no idea where I was headed, and I knew exactly how all this stuff got here. I bought it, I have always been a person who feels better when he buys something he wants, over something that he needs, so when my roommate saw my collection of sixteen rolls of colored duct tape she couldn’t hep but ask, why?

Simple answer, before I lost everything and went to jail, I had a collection of duct tape that rivals the selection at Target. I had dozens of memories encapsulated inside of moderately priced picture frames, and furniture that I loved but lost or gave away in the move/downsizing of 2018. I also had a wardrobe that was color coordinated and contained upwards of 125 different t-shirts, with only twenty or so in my regular rotation. I had eight pairs of sneakers, three external Hard Drives, two computers, and the list went on, but I didn’t have any of those things anymore, yet I was determined to get them back in the hopes that they would help me to define who I am now, because the only other things that felt familiar to me was the pain and loss and anger I carried with me on my back like a cross which I would have ended up nailing myself to if I weren’t careful.

So I started with the duct tape. At $4 a roll I could easily afford to pick up two new colors a week and it helped to make me feel more like me. Now a somewhat healthy size medium, I started slowly searching for my favorite t-shirts I had back in the day, and I looked at all the photographs I took before I got arrested. I was thinking these pictures I hadn’t seen for years would cheer me up and give me a clue about me, but I ended up feeling like I was trying to build something out of false memories.

Sure my Mom and cat were solid ground to build on, but they aren’t here anymore. The pictures of my friends from high school, the weddings I went to, and the life I had in Seattle and Hollywood all seemed like the right places to start rebuilding my identity, but after weeks of rifling through folder after folder of the past which I thought would save me, I had come to the realization that those memories were nothing but hollow bricks that I used in the past to support myself, but I know I can’t build a foundation out of air and filler and expect it to last. So I had to start over, again, to find out who I was, now that I didn’t need to feel validation from anyone about my life except for me.

I think is was around May 16th when I started to realize I was about to face an all or nothing type of decision in my life. I don’t like the, all or nothing at all mentality, per se, but it is a definitive way to figure who you are and what you can handle. I chose to put out the effort at work, and change the course of my life by accepting the fact that work is merely an exchange of our time for money to live the life we want to live.

That’s the dream. For me it’s not about having a lot of stuff, its about having the stuff that I appreciate which makes me feel like me again. So when June came around and I was now keeping stuff in my car, in the trailer, and in the storage unit I was renting, I knew that this was a transitional period in my life that would soon be over because the only thing I despise more than not knowing where things are, is knowing where they are, but also knowing that they could be in one of three places.

On June 28th of 2022 I was rewarded with a new schedule and a night to bartend all by myself, a very lucrative paycheck that went to the first, and last months deposit on my room rental, the sudden and surprising Walmart Visa credit card approval which I used to help buy my bed and bed frame, and the familiar, yet forever fleeting feeling of confidence I used to have knowing who I was now.

July 1st was the first time since November of 2021 I could tell you who I was, where I was going and how all this stuff got here.

It’s easy for me to define who I am when I have material possessions. I can point to a picture on my wall and remember that I never thought I’d spend two hours staring into a hole in the desert called the Grand Canyon, but I did. More than one time actually. I love that memory and I like that picture which I’ll post below. Starting over in a new town is like getting a second, third or maybe fourth chance at reinventing yourself, and when you do that, you start to find out who you are, by remembering who you are not.

Today, I’m just a guy who knows how to get what he wants in life and who isn’t scared to try something new, because I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid of failing, and I’m not afraid of doing something only to find out it’s not for me. I would rather try, fail and try than never try at all.

At the end of the day, no one handed this life to me. I claim responsibility when I destroyed in it 2018, but I also spent the last four years building it back up from nothing. I’m surprised at how easy life has been for me lately, but it’s not because anyone gave me a golden ticket. It’s because the only way I know to make it through this life, is to take what’s in front of you. If you don’t, someone else will.

Today I know all the answers to those questions, but that doesn’t mean I’ll wake up tomorrow and still know the answers. However, I’ll never forget who I am again. Not because I have the same t shirt and shoes I was wearing the night I got arrested, but because I know all the memories I have are inside me, and no one can take them away from me. Although, I will say, it’s nice to look up and see them hanging on my wall everyday. It’s where they belong for now. That may change tomorrow, but I can only live in the moment. And right now, the moment is good.

IDK If I like Living, But I’m Happy I’m Still Alive

Friday, July 8th 2022 1:30am

I can’t tell you why it happened this way, but I’m learning why as I go, and it goes whenever it wants to, so I can’t make anything happen until I have waited for my opportunity, and then grabbed whatever olive branch life was handing to me. I don’t know if I’m happier than before because I don’t measure my life in terms of plus one or negative one. I just go with the logical and most times obvious choice, and I think staying here for another few months, working a lot, and moving into my own room in a shared house is the right step for me.

I gotta admit, it feels good. It feels good to be alive for the first time in awhile. I don’t know if I like living, but I’m happy I’m still alive. To not have something like privacy for the second time in five years really makes me aware that I constantly will now work towards there never being a third time. Being in jail and sharing a single wide trailer with a woman born in the sixties is all it takes for me to be appreciative of the fact that I’m sleeping on my new bed, on my new bed frame, no box spring either, in my room with the door closed writing this at 1:30 the morning.

I admit it. I missed my past life before I got arrested and I never looked back at my life before and felt that way. I missed feeling free. I missed my Mom and my cat too, but I know they aren’t coming back, yet there I was going through all my old files and pictures and it appeared prior to April of 2018 life was OK. I could have used some extra money, but I was golden. I was moving back to L.A. I had a job there, and I had furniture. That is, until I didn’t.

I did go back to L.A. but I only could stay five days before it all fell apart and I found myself clinging to a ripped plastic bag somewhere in the Arizona desert using my t-shirt as socks and completely lost and alone and at that point, I realized, if I did ever make it out of there alive I wasn’t going anywhere for awhile.

And in that time I dreamed of having just one picture back so I could remember what it was like. What was it like to be me before it all got so fucked up and unnecessary?

Thing is, it kind of HAD to go that way eventually. There was no other logical culmination of events that could have taken place. If it all is meant to work out a certain way, then I literally created this struggle I went through, to learn to appreciate life’s simple things, like the 8 hours of sleep which I got Wednesday for the first time in seven months.

I’ve been doing similar things as before. I still frequent a CVS three times a week and use those coupons for shit I might not need, but it makes me happy to have it. I feel like I am more myself now than I was before.

That is to say, I am more like the me I wanted to be then than how I used to be. Maybe I’m a little materialistic, but what really makes me happy is to get the little things I had before, back in my life now. That’s why I’m writing this on my laptop that the police took from me 4 years ago, but returned to me, last year. It’s satisfying and almost comforting to buy the exact same club chair that I had in my apartment in Jersey in 2017, in a different color. It’s blowing up a picture I took at the Deadmau5 show back in Seattle and hanging that print on my wall again that made me feel like it was home.

Material things don’t necessarily make me happy, but these particular items I’m bringing out of retirement, so to speak are things I never wanted to let go of. It’s simple when you just decide to see what you want to see, and know what you really know. And that is how I got through this and came out almost spotless on the other side.

It took four years to get back to this point. Four years where I had to do something else, to get to the point where I’m at now which is the best place for me to just sit and wait for the next opportunity to arrive.

I’ll be ready for it too…even if it takes another four years to get here.

Free As My Hair

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that lately writing blogs about my life feels like the toughest thing to do. I feel stuck and I know change is coming. That is to say, I felt stuck, and I can’t really talk about it right now, I just have to let it happen to me.

Of course, I’ll try my best to steer it in the exact direction I want it to go, but there is no promise that says it will happen that way. But I have to try. If I just accepted the situation I am in, I wouldn’t be doing justice to the architect. So I’d be screwing myself over by creating what I wanted, then saying, “Nah, I want something else now.”

Obviously. No one forced me to go to California and get a job as a bartender again. It was what I wanted to do. I think sometime in the mid 90s someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life and my answer was genuine. All I wanted was to make enough money working some job to live comfortably and have a few days off in a row to go somewhere or do something.

That was my dream job. I could have accomplished that so many different ways, I guess this whole time it wasn’t really a struggle to get here, because that vague description of who I wanted to be when I grew up is the person that I am now.

Fucking, finally. I have made this life for myself and even though I’ve been trying to find out what to do next, the next thing to do, has already been done. If I’m smart and lucky, I can stay up all night and get a lot of things done, but that doesn’t make sleeping more than three hours even a possibility yet.

And I stress, “yet.”

It’s been quite a ride so far, and I’ve been driving, my car, ANY car for the first time in 2 and a half years and I wonder how I got along without him before. I think this time I just know how to make it work, but I also know my limits, even though I strive to one day live limitless.

The restlessness will fade, and the rest will fall into place.
A new day is coming, and I am finally free.

So, What’s The Deal With You & Miley Cyrus?

My roommate came home yesterday and saw I was using my clip on fan. She made a comment about what the fan was clipped to. For the fan to be able to be placed anywhere, I figured out clipping it to a 5×7 plastic picture frame works. However the picture frame she was referencing was an image of a topless Miley Cyrus.

“You sure do like boobs.” She says.

And she’s right, I do enjoy boobs, however I don’t put just any nudity on the wall, and normally I would have hid that frame before she came home, out of respect. Even though I like boobs, there is more to this mild obsession with Miley Cyrus and a few other female empowered artists aside from body parts. I don’t just put up random tits on my wall, and in my car, they have to be attached, so to speak, to artists whose music and I enjoy as well. Over the past few years my taste in music has flourished to include a few main stream artists with top 40 hits under their belt onto my Spotify queue.

They are always 99% female, and they sing about how love didn’t work out, but they are stronger because of that experience. as well as living through the heartbreak, failure, and self doubt that comes along with it. Wow. Sounds like my life a few years ago. I can definitely relate, and ironically, they seem to have a knack for writing those sad lyrics in a catchy pop melody or, anthem if you will, that reminds me what it felt like being younger and making decisions while dealing with the mindset not knowing who I am yet, but wanting to fight for the right to choose whatever I stand for in my way. It doesn’t matter if it is someone else’s opinion or the rules of some collective group of people in power. Basically I’m referring to cops and the government. Damn the man, but also I do not give a shit about what the man or other people say or think of me either, and those ideals are prevalent in pretty much any song off of Miley’s Bangerz album.

I first heard “We Can’t Stop” while I was on a date in 2014. The girl I was with pulled me onto the dance floor at the bar on Hollywood Blvd whose name I can’t recall but which has probably been changed by now anyway. It was catchy and I wouldn’t say I immediately was a fan, but after that night, I would eventually listen to that song over and over again because not only did it have a positive memory attached to it, when I heard the lyrics, it reminded me of MY life. I was at a point where I had to do what I had to do, and I couldn’t be told otherwise. Sometimes people don’t understand or judge something simply because they haven’t been through it. Like they don’t go out at night but…

Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?

Can’t you see it’s we who ‘bout that life?

I was about that life for many years. My life. About a year later I left L.A. for Seattle. I needed to figure out some things about my life, and during the process I guess I did find out I am a sucker for “love” so I also got my heart broken as soon as I got there by a girl who was almost half my age. Exactly like a character in some song or just like an idiot would. I also think I told her we should get married like two months in, but I’m pretty sure I just said that as a tactic to try and get her to stick around a little longer.

Anyway, one night after we broke up I was driving to the grocery store and for some reason the radio was on. They were playing this really cool song that sounded familiar, but I knew I never heard it before. I needed to know what song this was, so I pulled out my phone and Shazamed it. The song was Style by Taylor Swift. Of course.

Of course it was Taylor Swift because she’s the next logical step from Miley and that’s the name I put my ex girlfriend’s phone number under. It was an inside joke, T.S. is calling I used to say but after I got home that night and downloaded the 1989 album it was starting to seem less like my ex and I were going to work it out, and more like I was on the road to becoming a Swiftie.

Taylor is a little different than Miley in regards to music and lyrics, but I can still relate. Taylor is the modest but crazy ex I dated once who I know is an artistic genius but who also is a drama queen who I prefer to just watch and listen to from afar. I like that Taylor writes her own music, but why are all of her lyrics about either living happily ever after, or destroying the life you have now and living in hell?

Where’s the middle ground? I guess that’s what my life was like for awhile, so it suited me. But as I matured emotionally, or just got older, Taylor grew out of her old Reputation and into the Folklore of American Grammy Award album winner and it does sounds new and brilliant and possibly her best album ever.

By the end of the summer of 2017 I was regularly listening to both Miley and Taylor, and now Halsey, Lorde, Haim and Lady Gaga. It seemed like all of a sudden only female pop artists were able to write songs and release albums that I HAD to listen to over and over again because of how good they were and how I deeply I felt every emotion they were singing about. Halsey’s “Bad At Love” sums up my dating and relationship issues with just the title of the song. I was like, yep…that’s me. Im good at a lot of things, but I suck at love and that’s alright. That’s what I needed to hear.

Then there came the time to move back to NJ where I would realize I was totally alone and addicted to the rush of feeling happiness. I tried to medicate it and it worked for awhile, but the songs I were hearing were all telling me that it was far from over yet. In fact, it felt like I was heading into the eye of the storm and I had no idea how long it would last and there was no one there to weather it with me.

I had a Miley picture in a frame next to my dresser as a reminder. It was of her brushing her teeth, which I needed to be reminded of at that point in my life. Then it was a framed picture of her above my bedroom licking a mirror, then four more popped up all over the apartment, and more followed.

At one point I believe I had something like 50-75 picture frames with Taylor, Halsey, Madonna, Lorde, Miley and Gaga adorning my living room, and every couple nights I would find myself at the Walmart picking up printer ink again to print more pictures to frame. I will never be able to have every picture of every thing even though that information is a google search away. I would start looking for one thing and had downloaded forty eight other images I found along the way.

My favorite was the middle finger collection of pictures I amassed during that time. I moved out of that apartment, but I left those pictures in the frames, right there on the wall on purpose. I’m sure they probably threw them out and thought I was saying to fuck off, but what I really did was create an art piece.

Again, I go into the night misunderstood and unsatisfied, but I had my muses. All of them were packed up in an eleven by eleven inch crate and I would take them with me when I went to California and had to turn around almost immediately after getting to L.A. I would put them up in hotel rooms I stayed in as a sign of comfort and to make the place feel like my own. For the next few years, it was just me and Miley, Taylor, Stefanie, Ashley and Ella. (Those last three are the real names of Gaga, Halsey and Lorde, respectively.)

I’m sure you’re probably thinking, Christian, having framed pictures of twenty something pop stars hanging on every wall isn’t that unhealthy, its just really weird and totally a huge red flag to probably every woman I would meet. But I don’t care, and also I don’t want to meet a woman that wants to date. No way am I ready for that bullshit and I don’t know if I ever will be.

I’m sure a therapist would earn their money dissecting this little nugget of obsessive compulsory and possibly a blockage in my emotional and mental state of mind and tell me I am using the pop stars to fill the void of a girlfriend or woman in my life. And they would also maybe say the loss of my Mom three years ago was the catalyst to this blatant cry for help and understanding by the female species, but I’m not trying to attract any women at all. That’s why I’m walking around in a Billie Eilish t-shirt, at the age of 46. I just like her music and I’ve been wearing band t-shirts since I was 14, so why would I stop now?

So, the deal with me and Miley and Me is pretty simple. She will never break up with me, or tell me she is in love with my best friend. As far as I’m concerned, these muses only exist to keep me alive and inspired which I do feel often, especially now as I am finally finished writing the blog I have been wanting to write for over a year and half, but just couldn’t put it into words that made sense, and didn’t make me look like an dorky idiot creep who has an obsession with twenty something celebrities.

I do think I have issues towards dating and love and maybe I’m closed off to women, but I don’t need any of those to survive. OK, maybe love helps, but it also hurts, and I realized I can mimic that feeling by putting on a song that I love, and imagining that it’s me they are singing about.

Alison Wonderland came out with a new album last week. Her last album helped me through the loss of my Mother so when I put on Forever, I cried when I heard it. I haven’t cried in two years, but I also haven’t felt much emotion in that time either. It didn’t make me sad, it validated my life and it seemed to understand exactly what I’m going though right now. I posted a picture of the album cover on Instagram one night last week at like 1:30am when nobody really gives a shit what you post. In my opinion it is her best album yet, so I hashtagged best album ever #loner, #forever, #alisonwonderland etc. etc.

A few hours I get a notification. Your post received seven likes. Big deal, right? Seven likes is not very good if internet points actually had monetary value, but one of those seven insta-likes was from the artist herself, Alison Wonderland.

I have never tagged a celebrity in a picture and woke up to find out the celebrity was looking at my Instagram and liked a post. I don’t think it means anything long term and it’ll probably never happen again, but it does feel good to be understood and acknowledged for once, even if it comes from an outside source I’ll probably never meet in real life. Maybe it’s better this way.

I can hear her voice any time I want to, and it might give me chills or make me smile, or I might sing along, but I could also just ball my eyes out after the first verse of the first song and that would be alright too. At least I’m feeling something instead of the numbness from the past three years.

I don’t care how old I get or how strange it may seem to anyone, I’m going to continue listening to music that makes me feel like it’s ok to be who I am. Taylor gets me, and Miley does too, but I only get emotional for lyrics that hit close to home. Its funny how home has become a state of mind, rather than a physical dwelling, and its amazing that these lyrics to that song I heard are so simple and so revealing at the same time. Its almost like magic.

Lyrics to Forever:

Where Have All My Great Ideas Gone?

This is going to be short, but sweet. I have had so many great ideas for blogs in the moment of life.

Then a few minutes later I have another idea, might not even be on the same topic or thought process. Unfortunately, that’s how my brain works. Maybe it’s fucked up, but we all are fucked up in our own way, who cares if I have 25 thoughts a minute.

I guess I do because I think they are great in the moment, but then that moments gone and I don’t write it down. I’ve tried recording my voice for a quicker more efficient route to the end.

Not like the “End” but the end of an idea…when it becomes a reality.

That’s what we’re all trying to do here I guess, but there about 35 recordings of supposed brilliance I swear I was going to listen to to transcribe, but I haven’t

Remind me why I’m still alive?

I wrote down 5 ideas I just had, three of which will probably make it to print. But just because I won’t use those other two doesn’t mean they were a bad ideas. The only bad idea would be to NOT write everything down and think I can just recall them whenever I want.

I wish it was that easy but, its not for me. Everything all the time is a perfect way to describe what life is like for me. Up until today I felt nothing. Or maybe I just forgot what it was like to feel?

See, that’s a deeper question meant for a blog all its own. It’s not this one, but it soon will be. Forever.

Happiness Comes Later, Or Never At All.

It’s been kind of a slow and less thought provoking life I’ve been living lately. I’m sorry if I’m hard to live with but it’s living that’s the problem for me. My manager at work was let go last week. Thursday I text him to tell him I’d be out that day when he replied with the news that he was fired and I’d have to call the Chef myself.

Justin and I weren’t close at all. I think we may have had one or two moments where I might have made a positive impact, but theist month I’ve kind of been in the middle of drama. I know there is a only a short span of time left for me here. I was never completely sold on the idea of this setup lasting for very long, but I know it will last as long as it needs to until I can find a new path. I may have found it, but I’m going to try a little harder to let go this time.

I told Justin I was sorry that he got let go through a well manicured text at 7:30 in the morning, and I wished him the best of luck and said it was a pleasure working with him because he is one of the only managers who ever got behind the bar and made drinks when it got busy.

I respected that and I told him. His response was probably something he didn’t think about for very long, but it will be something I’ll think about in the future s much as it is something I think about today.

He said I hope you can find something to be happy about in the future. I know you’re trying to find it in a job.

All I want is to be happy. But I know it doesn’t matter what job I’m doing to make money my real job is to keep my expectations of myself at a level where I can learn to give myself a break and know that life doesn’t always have to be a quest for something that will make me a better person.

How does this guy get that about me so quickly and with not a lot of interaction that isn’t work related? I guess it’s because I told him myself in a meeting I had a 2 weeks prior to this one. I guess I probably come off as someone who has a hard time faking it and being somewhere he doesn’t want to be for the money aspect of it. And that’s the only reason I still work there, but I think that’s not enough to make me stay.

I can get up and go. Tomorrow, in 6 hours, at the end of this sentence, it doesn’t matter. I’d probably like to get some sleep before I drive so I’m gonna need at least 6 hours, but after that, I’m good.

Maybe that feeling scares some people, or maybe they haven’t felt that way in so long, or couldn’t ever get up and go. I imagine with families and kids the latter becomes almost something of an impossibility. To me, nothing is impossible, but you are listening to the words of someone who knows how to get out of wherever and has done it well. I’m not afraid of starting over, I’m afraid of staying in some place longer than need be.

I suddenly have four days off in a row. I could get another job somewhere and slowly transition over to renting a room somewhere for a shit ton of money I don’t want to spend, and I almost would do it too, if there was something more in it for me than just material success.

I want to be happy with who I am, so I can learn to appreciate it when I’m not happy again cause I know that’s going to happen. Ive been searching for something my whole life. Without the search, life just feels automatic and I’m not needed in control.

Justin is right. I do just simply want to work somewhere that does cater to my happiness, and a bar at a private golf club is a far reach from happiness in my mind.
I must have started seven blogs in the last week and half and couldn’t finish one of them.

But I I finished this one and I’ll finish the next one, and one day I’ll remember how simple being happy can be, if I just decide what makes me happy. Today it’s finishing this blog, and going to sleep.

Bye for now

Orange You Glad You Wore Orange?

I’m drawn to certain colors in this life, and I have stuck with them over the last fifteen years or so. Blue, purple, gold, sometimes red, and of course, black. Black may be the absence of color, but in reality, it’s all the colors mixed up together to form a perfect circle of darkness. I like green sometimes, but rarely will you catch me wearing an article of clothing that is pink, yellow, white, periwinkle, brown, or orange.

My Mom however, was a huge fan of the color orange. It didn’t matter what it was, if it was available in orange, she wanted that one. I never understood why she was drawn to that color, but over the years I would always keep a lookout for something she might enjoy, and something that was orange. I think there are a dozen or so pictures of her wearing this Dunkin Donuts beanie she got one winter. One time I was walking the aisles of Walmart and looking for her, and the only reason I found her was because I spotted that orange beanie from the home and garden section.

I never really liked the color orange on me, and I think the only time I wore it was when I was wearing Philadelphia Flyers fan gear, and even then, orange wasn’t necessarily the primary color of the shirt or jersey. There was some orange in it, but that’s as close to that color as I wanted to get.

I wasn’t scared of orange, but at the same time I knew it represented being in police custody, then pumpkins. I like the latter, but me in an orange jumpsuit would never be a good look.

Four years ago this week, I put on that orange jumpsuit for a few nights and days, and you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I was in fact in the custody of the police. I remembered why I wasn’t very fond of that color. It’s not actually the color itself, but what accompanies it. Steel. Handcuffs and orange jumpsuits were like my shirt and tie I wore to the office.

I swore when I got out of jail, I would never wear orange again. I hope I didn’t swear on anything or anyone important, because less than a year after my Mom died, I would find myself wearing that orange jumpsuit again, but this time it was a lot longer than a three day weekend.

I would sit in my cell and wonder if there was some rhyme or reason to this madness. I get why prisoners wear orange, but was my Mom looking down on me from Heaven thinking..”I’m not happy that you are in jail, but at least the orange jumpsuit really does look snazzy on you!

If she had the chance, I’m sure she wouldn’t even comment on the color of the jail attire, but she would have used the word snazzy exactly the way it was intended.

So when I finally get out and start working again and buying new clothes, I load up on the black. I also go to the nearest thrift store and get a maroon shirt. a purple, a red one, and a few different shades of blue and I am content for the next few months, until I buy a new Bitcoin t-shirt with just the orange logo on a black shirt. I think to myself this is probably the first time in over a year I had worn orange and to my surprise, my PTSD wasn’t triggered. I don’t even know if I suffer from PTSD, but for awhile there, certain things I heard or smelled or ate reminded me of jail and my Mom dying and that really sucked. It definitely was something I knew was going to take awhile to process, but it was under control.

A little before my probation was done, I decided to purchase a new backpack to carry my laptop and to provide ample storage space for my move back to California. It’s a black 5 compartment urban backpack with orange inner lining. It’s really fucking cool and it reminds me of Halloween, which is just a few weeks away at this point, and so is my departure date. In fact, I left Philadelphia on October 31st of 2021 at 830am., and I never looked back.

But, if I were to look back, I’d see my orange and black backpack, and my orange shoelaces which I found myself purchasing as if I was looking for them all along. I spent a little money this week because I have been saving for months now, and sometimes it feels good to buy that thing that will give me instant happiness. The art of finding it on the shelf, thinking it was made for you, and then purchasing that thing is what I like the most. I know that no one has ever owned this particular shirt, or pair of shoes and I wonder if the inanimate object I’m gushing over loves being owned by me as much as I love owning it. I don’t think I’ll ever get an answer, but I do feel connected to that color orange now, and I’m just going to go for it,

I went to and donated $25 and purchased a replacement t-shirt I lost after my arrest. Ross Ulbricht was the alleged creator of the Silk Road. The first of many free online markets places, otherwise known as darknet markets.

Anyway, they had about 7 or 8 choices of color. I looked at all of them and realized Heather Grey is not a good match, light blue makes me look like a cotton swab, forest green is just a few shades away from crappy brown, yellow and white look nice but I know I would spill something on it immediately.

’ll take the orange one.”

Why did I choose this color for this shirt? I have never worn an entirely orange t shirt since I was in jail, and ooohhhh , riiiiiight that makes sense now. I need to be reminded of it and I need to remember my Mom too. Plus, I know what it’s like to be Ross Ulbricht. I didn’t run a drug market or order 20 fakes IDs to my apartment in San Francisco, but he is in prison for life. No eligibility for parole and I believe he is the only non violent offender who was denied bail and got a life sentence.

He’ll be wearing orange for the rest of his life. My six months felt like a lifetime for sure, but they did pass and now Im here and I’m lucky to be out.

I guess I met the power of Orange, and I’ve learned to just steer clear of the steel, but indulge in the color. It actually does look good on me.

The day I left jail I walked into a grocery store and I was blown away from all the colors on the shelves that I forgot existed. The shampoo bottles were so bright and alive, I felt like I was tripping on acid. It was one of those moments I have just so I can be reminded of where I came from and where i never will go back to.…..which was a four story concrete building attached to a courthouse in Mt. Holly New Jersey where everybody walked on the right side of the tan hallways while wearing Orange onesies, or Red if you get into a fight.

Poison The Well

No one is as good as I am at two things in this life. Number one, I’m the best at over thinking any situation at any time of the night or day. I proved that theory immediately with this blog that I didn’t want to write about a situation that I don’t want to be in. But, life is always a constant trade off of doing things you don’t want to do, in order to do the things you do want to do, so here it is.

The second thing I do better than anyone else is sabotaging my not too distant future, by making a shitty decision or decisions in the immediate present or a few minutes ago. I think I’m making a smart choice by eating that handful of goldfish behind the bar as I’m working, but I forgot that I have to chew them for at least 25 to 30 seconds and there is no way to hide what I’m doing without a mask on, or without moving my big ass lips. Which of course, I immediately have to do as I turn around and see that a guest has walked into the restaurant,

Hello there!”

I say from a muffled position next to the sink. And if it’s not a guest coming around the corner, it’s my Jim, the other bartender I work with three, ah, two nights a week now. He is the complete opposite of me in almost every aspect of the job, except we both have twenty plus years experience doing this job. In fact I think Jim has 30. Recently I have been made aware of an issue I did not know I was having at work.

I guess being in your head a lot has it’s advantages. I’m always prepared for anything, especially when someone else is trying to sabotage me. I can smell that from a mile away and it has been happening for the last month or so, at my work, and the Toad, err, Jim is responsible for the saba-tagie!

Thing is, he picked a pretty horrible time to try and get away with it. I’m the master of self sabatoge, so when I’m making a conscious effort to change for the better, any sort of distraction or negativity towards that effort sticks out like a sore thumb, and it’s even MORE obvious to me now when I just caught that Toad blatantly talking shit about me to a guest while I was in the back. Luckily, I appear seconds before either one of them realized I was in earshot so I’m able to catch the last few words of a conversation, which immediately goes quiet when they see I’m closer than they thought.

So, if you haven’t figured it out, I’ve been having some issues with one of the bartenders I work with. He is older, and rounder, balder and sadder than me, yet he isn’t jolly nor do I even think he has a sense of humor. I wonder sometimes if it’s a good thing that he has 32 years of bar experience, or if he just hasn’t evolved since the early 1990s when he first started mixing drinks and nit picking his workspace.

So, here I come with my sense of familiarity blazing, because I’ve done that trick before where I’m talking about someone I work with just as they re-enter the audible space we’re in. I’ve had my hands resting on the bar and tried to signal the other person I’m talking to by waving a few fingers in the air. I know it got way too quiet when I walked up at the right time to hear, him say

“Yeah, I have problems trying to manage some of the people I work with as well.”

Yet still, even though I called him out about talking shit about me he, then tried to sell me on the lie he was just “waving goodbye” to that guest. The guest who was still sitting at the bar? When was the last time you waved to anyone who is still sitting directly in front of you and not a few feet away, which would constitute the need for a wave.

It’s so ridiculous that it’s not funny. Its perplexing and confusing. The reason why is because when I started there I was not up to speed with my walking and drink making skills. It had been four years since I tended any bar and now I found myself in a private golf club establishment on a mountain in Santa Rosa wine country California where everyone has a name, a member number, and is that unfamiliar shade of white privilege. Rich enough to afford to bitch about the little things, but dependent on them because the little things are what keeps you in balance.

I get it now. I used to get worried and stressed because I wanted to make a good impression. After all, these members literally pay my salary, so when I had the chance to sharpen my skills so to speak, I took those tips the Toad gave me and I ran with them. I bought the little notebook, I left the bar and took some tables, I laughed at jokes that weren’t funny, and I made a few myself right before I walked back into the kitchen with their extra ramekins of ketchup, ranch, bleu cheese and garlic aioli. I gave 110%, I didn’t complain about anything or so I thought, and I started becoming almost happy to be there.

The funny thing is, it fucking worked. I started implementing these suggestions he gave me and within a week or so I was getting extra tips on top of the gratuity. People were handing me cash or coming in to see me Friday night and maybe sit on my side of the bar instead of the other side and I could tell they noticed a change in me because they were smiling and not giving me a hard time just to see how I’d react.

I did what I needed to do. I stepped it up and I got noticed and I took advice from this person who now, suddenly is being so petty that he has resorted to micro managing me while I’m drinking a glass of coke through a straw behind the bar. He was once giving me tips on how to make a black manhattan, until I guess I started making the drink too well. I made it so well that I didn’t need him anymore to give me help, although I appreciate it, I think I got this now.

What started out so meaningless for me, actually became something I looked forward to. Work. I wanted to be there. Honestly I thought he’d be happy that I got to be a better, stronger, more confident soul behind the bar, but it appears that not everyone liked my new found popularity and my success has only made him bitter, like the bottle of Angostura I put in each and every Old Fashioned.

There are only two explanations for this sudden about face. I’ve thought about this for a week now waiting for this chance to have a sit down with the him and the managers, and the only two things that make sense are if this is about money, or if it’s about spite. And, believe me, I hope it’s about money and popularity because that would be easier to stomach instead of knowing you’re acting like a bitch and poisoning the well for selfish and childish reasons.

If it’s about money, I really don’t think two hundred dollars here or there makes that much of a difference in how you treat someone, but its it does, take it. My life isn’t complete or falling apart if I don’t make a certain amount of money every week. It used to be that way, but I’ve grown up.

I wish I could say the same about you.

A Picture Is Worth 2,763 Words

I didn’t post a blog last week, nor did I write in my personal blog which no one has even seen. It’s not that I wasn’t motivated to write, in fact the opposite is true. I was so inspired that I had too many ideas floating around my head and I got overwhelmed with which one thing to write about so, like the master of disaster I am, I tried writing about all of them. I am left with 6 text edit files scattered around my desktop with two or three paragraphs each that sound ok, but I don’t feel the need or desire to finish them and make them a complete thought.

But just when I thought I couldn’t figure out what to write about, I was reminded of why I was so distracted last week. It was the week I received the contents of my old desktop computer, the one that has been in police custody since April of 2018, some four years ago this month. Man, that was a fucking trip. Going through all those pictures of my life prior to the arrest was intoxicating and uplifting, but at the same time, extremely grounding and massively thought provoking.

I had finally figured out what has been missing in my life. I saw it in those pictures. In almost every single image I clicked on I could tell that they were created during a period of my life that I will never get back to, no matter where I live or with whom I have as a friend in my life. The summer of 2017 I moved from Seattle back to New Jersey. This was a move I didn’t want to make, but I knew it was going to happen anyway, even years before I packed up all my belongings into my car and a moving truck.

I could tell what was going on in my life immediately when I saw Tasha and I in Seattle in this picture, and I remember taking that sunrise picture on Interstate 40 near Kingman Arizona when the light hit the windshield of my car just right to capture an emotion as well as what I was seeing. Maybe you don’t feel the emotion, but you see how it can be possible for me to miss that aspect of my life. The beauty of this roadtrip, and the inevitable downfall of my life are both prominent in this picture. It’s like being able to see the good and bad for what it was, and now, to know that I never have to go through that again.

I have been searching for those feelings of meaningfulness for months and I found them looking right back at me through these pictures I took, but I would never in a million years want to go through that ordeal in my life again. And I know these pictures wouldn’t exist without the tragedy that I lived through a year after they were taken. You can’t spend $100 on something and still have $99 left over. I can’t pretend to now what happiness is without first knowing what unhappiness and emptiness feel like. I think you get what I’m saying.

I was looking for something that doesn’t exist anymore. I’ll never have that summer back and even though I was happy in that moment, in that picture, there was still a lot of anger and frustration and epic craziness that went on during and after the summer which I apparently also took pictures of. When I looked through the pictures from my old phone which I had saved on that desktop computer, it showed everything leading up to the day I was arrested. Before April 27th 2018 I had a inkling that something wasn’t right and I could almost feel what was about to happen wasn’t going to be good. but when I looked at these pictures…. Yeah, I did see it coming this time. It was quite obvious to me, but again, I have the knowledge now of how it played out because I lived through it. And now it’s time to close the book on that part of my life. What I was searching for was actually found.

I never missed anything or anyone in my life before that summer. I’ve spent the last three years hoping they were just a nightmare I would wake up from, or praying to have those good times from 2017 back again in my life now, but they can’t exist without all the other shit I had to go through which… I don’t want to go through again. So I won’t.

I have to find a new way to replicate what being happy feels like, and maybe it will never get to the same level as before, but my life doesn’t have to be dramatic to be memorable. Maybe my happiness today just comes from finishing this blog, and finally completing one out of the seven attempts I made to get these thoughts out of my head.

Or maybe it’s looking at this picture of my cat that I forgot I even took and how friggin cute she looks sitting on the bed of the Motel 6, but most importantly, how looking at it doesn’t make me sad anymore because she’s gone.

I’m just happy that I found this image of her that I didn’t know existed until now. That’s a moment I can get behind, and one that I don’t fall too deep into. That’s the kind of moments I need to have more of in my life. So it starts with this one.

The Good Life

I wanted to write outside this morning, but the reflection of the sun cast a glare onto my computer screen that made it impossible to see what I’d written. So I’m stuck inside on a beautiful day trying to write my way out of this headspace I’ve gotten myself into.

Recently, I received a package in the mail from my sister which included this laptop, a hard drive, and two old cell phones that hadn’t been turned on since April of 2018. I’ve been living the last 4 years without the contacts in that phone, and with the knowledge that on that hard drive were the digital memories of my mother and pets that have since passed away. I had my lawyer contact the DA after my case was over to petition her to get these items back to me, something that rarely ever happens in the New Jersey State Police system. I knew these items held the key to my past life and I remember it vaguely, but I what I really wanted were the files and the pictures and the voice memos and videos of those 13 years of my life back where they belonged, in my possession. When I finally got the phones, laptop and hard drive back, I was beyond disappointed.

It was an older hard drive that required a power source and a five pin USB cable which I had to order from Amazon before I could even see what was on it. One morning in February I had all the pieces I needed and when I plugged the hard drive in, it registered under the name “Slow HD” on my computer. I immediately knew that there was probably nothing of value on there, and to my lack of surprise, sure enough all it contained were three old porno movie clips that I guess I had left on there from back when I got arrested and all these devices were taken from me.

I felt so foolish and cheated. For the past two years I was under the impression that the police confiscated my two computers, and my two cell phones and the hard drive which I thought contained all the pictures and video files of my life since I first got a computer back in 2004. I was wrong. I was so wrong in fact that I sat there in disbelief unable to comprehend what ever happened to that hard drive that I knew had everything on it?

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had that hard drive in my possession a few weeks after my arrest while I was walking around Scottsdale Arizona with no ID and no drivers license and no way to prove who I was. The hard drive, and my collection of illicit substances were in a plastic bag that I had been clinging to for miles as I walked through Paradise Valley in the 106 degree heat looking for any landmark that was familiar.

How I got to that point is another story all together, but at some point during that day I looked down to realize that plastic bag had ripped open and most of my collection of advil, xanax and that hard drive were long gone, probably sitting on the side of the road somewhere near Camelback road and McDowell Ave. I’m actually just guessing at the location of where I was because I had no idea what street I was on, I just knew that I had to keep going until I found something or someone to help me.

Fast forward to 2022. I’m sitting on the couch in the trailer I live in for the time being, staring at these three movie clips in disbelief thinking this whole time I was pining for a little black box that I thought held all the keys to my past, when in reality all it contained was some wank material I had forgotten about four years ago when I must have put them on this drive. This whole time I thought the police were in possession of the memories I made prior to my arrest, but aside from a burner laptop and phone, and a desktop computer that is 3,000 miles away from me, all I was left with was searching my old broken Samsung Galaxy 8 that doesn’t hold a charge and can only be turned on through safe mode.

How pathetic. Not only was I confused as to why there was nothing of value on these devices, I believed for almost two years that when I was arrested the police not only took my life as I knew it and scarred it with a felony, they took the proof that I had written, recorded, or captured anything close to the good life that I remembered having. The whole four years the laptop, phones, and the hard drive sat in an evidence locker in Trenton, I was unaware that they had nothing of importance on them, except a text file with log in and password information to the multiple email and website accounts I had created over the years. Ironically, one of them, was the login and password to this blog.

I got to say, it was a pleasant surprise to regain access to this website because at some point, in 2017 it was gaining popularity and I had two hundred or some subscribers and I thought, I wonder if any of them knew what had happened to me, or if they just thought I stopped writing for the last 4 years and that my blog was now a dead link. Maybe they thought I was dead too. It certainly felt that way for awhile.

I immediately made a new post to this blog and I have since been writing about the arrest that happened and how it got sorted out and whatever else comes to mind because a lot has happened in the four years I was gone, and I realize now that although I’m grateful to be posting on my original site, it doesn’t matter how many people see this post, what matters is that I post it in the first place and I keep posting and writing what I’m feeling because at the end of the day, this blog is my therapy. I’m brutally honest because I HAVE to be. It’s in my nature. And even though I’m writing these posts for myself, it’s good to know someone out there is reading them and hopefully they can relate or empathize with my ever changing situation.

I definitely felt lame as fuck when I first got everything back from the cops, but the one thing I wanted so badly is actually on it’s way here now. I walked my sister through the arduous task of turning on my old desktop which sits in her spare room in NJ, and I mailed her the cords needed to power it on and a new external hard drive so she could copy the home folder and mail it back to me so I can finally have those pictures and memories of my past life. I don’t know what I expect to find on those 257 gigabytes of data that were copied and mailed to me, but I’m not going to act as if everything in my life depends on whether or not the copy is readable or if somehow the data got corrupted when the computer logged itself out with 30 minutes and twenty gigs left to copy. Nothing is going to bring back my mom or my cat or my rabbit or my life before this regardless of how much I wish they could all be back on this earth.

The silver lining is at least I got this blog back, and I wasn’t even expecting it to happen. I may be locked out of all my old Gmail accounts because I don’t possess the phone number attached to the security protocols, but I have all my contacts from years of living in L.A. and maybe I should start hitting them up to see if there is a possibility or a way to get me back there, but only if I’m ready.

I have been wanting to get back to Los Angeles since the day I left there, January 28th 2016. I’ve been struggling to fit into ANY place I’ve lived since then and I know that it’s not the same place that it was when I left but I have been dying to find out if the shape I have become is still a shape that fits into that southern California backdrop. It’s the only move I have left to make, but I can only make it once and I have to be ready for whatever happens. Am I ready? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out. I’d rather be wrong and know the truth than wonder what could have happened if I just took a leap of faith one more time.

I Love It Here

I got in my car just now and continued to listen to the random shuffle of the three thousand two hundred songs on my Spotify playlist. It’s just all the songs I’ve liked since I opened my account, so when the song Falling Apart by Stonebank and Pegboard Nerds came on, I didn’t think I’d get that deep about the ride to the Walmart Marketplace I just came back from. I was wrong. This is gonna be pretty fucking deep.

I have become desensitized over the last few months. I’ve bordered on the baseline of thinking I have anhedonia and and it’s a problem I’m working on, but I feel like I should at least remember where I came from

I hear the lyrics of the song and I turn the volume up and pay attention.

“Watch my life pass me by, never knowing where I belong. I can’t breathe. I can’t see. I’m losing sight of everything. I feel the walls closing in.”

I feel more often than not that I don’t know where I belong and lately it feels as if this life I built for myself here is crumbling as I’m repeating the same notions over and over and just watching life pass me by. It’s either that, or I’m so lackadaisical about it that I don’t feel anything and instead of life falling apart it somehow remains together enough for me to live with. I can’t find a routine that works for me, because I don’t like routines. I find them boring and predictable and the one thing I hated about being sober was the routine that I got myself into. I remember it feeling so pathetic to be alive.

I would buy my food from the Walmart across the street because it was cheap, it was close, and they always had what I liked. I think there was a total of 15 items I would purchase regularly as food for my body. I rarely changed it up because I had a strict budget, but I did not enjoy eating the same thing over and over for almost a year. Food stopped being a source of enjoyment for me, unless I ordered a pizza or went out to the diner which I could only afford to do once a week at best.

I loathed the alarm clock I had to set every night to wake up for the warehouse job I hated going into, and I hated the nights I couldn’t immediately fall asleep while my brain would run on overdrive, so I wished for a small bite off a xanax bar to give me what I wanted.

What did I want really? Did I just want to be able to do drugs again and not be sober? I mean, in some sense yeah, but it’s really not as clean cut as that one statement. I know I wanted to at least have the choice to do that or not.

And then the song that randomly played on my shuffle playlist, the one that I’ve been listening to for three days says to me..

I just want to be free.

That was it. That is what I wanted. The freedom. I wanted to be free from the monitoring, the reporting, the drug testing, the fines and penalties I had to pay and now that I AM free, I find myself going to a different Walmart on the left coast, buying the same but slightly different things to eat and going to work at a place that pays well but is becoming so toxic for me and I look around at my lonely little world of picture frames and pop star photos and I think to myself

is this the routine I really need? Is this what being free meant to me back then, or is it something different now?

Is this the best use of the freedom I worked and slaved for or am I just wasting my time, slowly falling apart and watching it happen like a horrific train wreck. I hated routine when I was sober and I hate it now that I’m not, but that didn’t stop me from joining a gym this morning or blowing off my first day working out for smoking pot and eating red velvet Chips Ahoy cookies.

I got what I wanted. Everything I told myself I would get, I have. I left New Jersey, I saved my money and I found a car, a place to live, a job, and the freedom to do what I want, in California and I’m complaining about not being able to feel happy or joy anymore in the place that I created for myself to be happy.

That doesn’t feel free to me.

I forget that just because I’m not in jail anymore, or no longer in a state sponsored drug addiction program doesn’t mean that I’m free. There are still limitations I have put on myself maybe as a way to curb my happiness or to be more down to earth about my expectations.

I used to be a believer in the power of positive thinking. I used to not dwell in the past as much as I do now, and although those are some good qualities to have, I also got hurt a lot easier back then, and I was too sensitive to everyone’s words and I’m not quite sure if its a fair trade off, but I’m ok if some of those traits of Christian before me, don’t ever come back.

And yet, I still find myself wishing that I could figure out who I am without the drama, or what I stand for without the dreams.

Even though I struggle with the world around me, and I sometimes can be a little too petulant, I end up falling back together into a routine that I never wanted to create in the first place. I guess it’s inevitable and I suppose I am a creature of habit. I should stop fighting it so much and maybe try to figure out a way to make routine work for me.

I grabbed my two bags of groceries from the checkout, and I walked back to my car as some girl who is far too young for me makes eye contact like she knows me. Me, in my blue hoodie, orange shoelaces, and matching bitcoin t-shirt, ray bans on with a black face covering masking my lonely as fuck life and my old enough to know better than to do anything other than just walk away demeanor.

I love it here in this free life I chose for me. I keep telling myself that anyway. Maybe one day it’ll be true.