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'S been awhile

Been busy. Finally started interviewing--my resume is attracting amazing amounts of attention, and now it's really only a matter of time before I find the right place for me.

I'm feeling a little nostalgic tonight, and wanted to post these lyrics. I think he knows who he is ;-)

What do you say when it's over? 

I don't know if I should say anything at all 

One day we're rollin' in the clover 

Next thing you know we take the fall 

Still, I think about the years since I first met you 

And the way it might have been without you here 

And I don't know if words from me can still upset you 

But I've just gotta make this memory stand clear 

I know I'm leaving here a better man 

For knowin' you this way 

Things I couldn't do before, now I think I can 

And I'm leaving here a better man 

I guess, I always knew, I couldn't hold you 

But I'd never be the one to set you free 

Just like some old nursery rhyme your mama told you 

You still believe in some old meant-to-be 

Still, I'm leaving here a better man 

For knowin' you this way 

Things I couldn't do before, now I think I can 

And I'm leaving here a better man 

Yes, I'm leaving here a better man 

For knowin' you this way 

Things I couldn't do before, now I think I can 

And I'm leaving here a better man 
So, after 25 years of stumbling around, and four years after just saying "fuck it" and starting over, I finished my undergraduate work yesterday. It means nothing, and it means everything. I am a bit behind the curve, and I have no idea what the future holds, but I did it, and it's done. After starting and stopping so much, it's nice to just have it out of the way.

My ex got married, or is getting married--marriage is in there somewhere--this weekend. I started the week feeling very sorry for myself. Not because I hurt over him; while I can't deny I felt something, it was more that he managed to move on while I still haven't. But I think that's ok, and if he asked me, I would like to tell him that I'm happy he found someone he feels he could spend his life with, and who wants to do the same with him. Everyone deserves that, if they want it.

So it's just been "complicated feelings" week, and I'm trying to untangle all these emotional complexities, neaten them up where I can, and pack them away. I keep saying things like "it's high time I got on with my life" or "I'm moving on" and, you know what? Nothing has fucking changed, and least not in any measurable, objective sense. So I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm just going to be ok today, and say so. And if I'm not ok tomorrow, that's ok too. It may not get me anywhere--my life has been, let's face it, a series of dead ends anyway--but at least I don't have to walk around embarrassed all the time because I'm so far behind the curve. It's ok. Some things just don't work out, and that. is. ok.

The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.
The dreams I have when I sleep have always been incredibly vivid. For the last few years, they've sort of paled, faded like photographs, but remained remarkably detailed, moreso I suppose than--what I can suss out from other people, at least--is normal. I accepted this muting as a sign of maturity or age, if I even thought about it at all. And I didn't think about it very much at all.

Recently, however, these past 5 or 6 months or so, they've bounced back to their immediacy, saturated in light and shadow, remarkably deep and broad and richly textured. Seriously...if I could simply wish them into existence as, say, motion pictures, I think they'd be runaway box office hits. Sadly, though, even when I make notes of them, translating them into words and paragraphs and chapters and stories they're only pale imitations of what goes on in my head.

I'm ok with that.

I am very pleased, though, to have my dreams back. This post isn't coming entirely in a vacuum--I'm working on several stories right now based on inspirations that have come from dreams, or the ideas I have siphoned off from them, at least. But even so, the respite of sleep is all that much more rewarding for having the comfort of these entirely new (usually) old friends back, night after night.

As always, writing helps. And the more I write, the more it helps. One step in front of the other, after the next.

It's not so pleasant
It's not so conventional
It sure as Hell ain't normal
But we deal, we deal...

I am the hero and villain of my own story

Visions of the recalcitrant blogger. I looked, and I've not blogged in almost a year and, to be perfectly honest, I don't even remember writing that last post. I've stayed away because the stale scent of my self-absorption nauseates me. I don't want to be that guy anymore. I just don't, and I fight against it constantly. It's a war that can never be won nor lost; it is eternal, with every defeat a victory, and vice versa.

So...my dog, Duncan, died June 26, 2012. I don't know why it never occurred to me to mention it here, but I didn't. I saw him through his life, a good albeit never ever perfect life, and I never came close to being the owner that damned dog deserved, but he loved me and I loved him, and when he was gone, I laid to die every night, waking up every morning since. And it's only because I'm still here that I'm trying to fight my way, once more, as ever, back into the land of the living.

And I've got to write. Because writing makes things better. And I'm surrounded by people who won't let me give up on myself, and I'm trying.

This is hard. I just want to be clever and interesting, and it's not something that can be forced. Maybe, though, it's enough to just let the words stream onto the screen as words, as heavy or light as they are, and not be concerned about their impact. I think I'm interesting. If nothing else, I'm at least fucking interesting.

So here we go again, going down the only road we've ever known.

Long time no blog

I haven't felt like blogging in a long time. Or, I have, but not here at this one. Or I have, here at this one, but feel ridiculous doing so. I'm not going to go through it all, and cover the distance between my life then and my life now; sometimes it feels like I've crossed entire worlds, and that circumstances and I have both changed, for the better and the worse.

Most of the time, though, it's just more of the same as it always was.

I find more and more that I understand more and more about life. I've been in a phase of resignation over it for about a year. I seriously want to un-understand a lot of things; it was better not knowing or comprehending.

I can't really think of more to say. The desire to say other things is there, but the words vanish in the attempt to express them. But I promised myself I would at least try to write something tonight, and blogging is as good as anything else.

Damage (Un)Control

I'm not even looking to see when I last blogged. It's been many months. I've deliberately avoided LiveJournal out of guilt: Everything got ok (and remains, if but only, ok) and without anything to whine about, I found myself curiously inable to say anything at all. I'm far too private than is probably healthy. I can reveal the depths of my misery, but without misery, I apparently evaporate into nothing. I'm not comfortable when things are going well, or even "all right."

But I've had lots of time to think. Hell, for about a month now, I've been doing nothing but thinking. I've come into a strange funnel of my life: Nothing's wrong now, so I can see clearly.

I can see just how badly damaged I was. I can see how so much of this life wasn't my fault, and I've learned to forgive myself once more for the parts that were.

[insert 6 hour away time]

I promised myself that I wouldn't do what I just did, but I'll do anything, it seems, to keep from getting this all off my chest. Up to and including cleaning my kitchen, it seems.

I fear I've given up. This isn't to say that I'm a danger to myself, but there's nothing, literally nothing, I want from life anymore. I'm not saying I walk around constantly aware of the dark clouds above my head, morose and unhappy. By and large, I'm actually fairly cheerful, and I still have my sense of humor if not the one that manages proportion. But should I stop and think about where I am and how I got here, well, I realize there's just nothing left for me in this world. I'm sure I've said before it'd be a lot easier on me if I had something to prove, and that remains mostly true. Certainly if I felt the drive to accomplish something, prove a critic wrong, demonstrate my inherent superiority, a mountain to climb...something. Anything. But there's not and there won't be. I cultivated a peculiar and particular form of apathy that help me survive, and now it's the only crop I've got to harvest: "How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of the world."

And it seems terribly self-indulgent to put that into print; to say it and encourage a dismissive gesture of my lost perspective. I really want to figure it all out, to make everything I've done and all I've learned work for me and not against me. In those still moments where all of this gets overwhelming it just seems so inconceivable that this is all there is: That it took me four decades to learn how to live in this world, and now it's too late and I'm too far gone to actually do any living.

And yes, I could rush out tomorrow and embrace life, showered in the light that I have learned and I have accomplished and grown and changed and all those things. It might even last an hour.

Revelations and decisions and changing one's way of life aren't like movies or television: One doesn't just decide and then all the pieces fall together, and one rides happily into the sunset, secure in the knowledge and sanctified in the deciding. The knowledge must itself instead be recreated and remembered, and the commitment that this is the way one lives now must be renewed. Indeed, these things may need doing daily or hourly or even minute to minute. And there's no guarantee that they'll stick.

I never asked to be here, yet here I am. And I honestly, truly, really don't know what do about that.

The harbor pilot of destiny

I'm just trying to feel safe. It's hard, because everything keeps trying to boil over on me (oh yeah, it's going to be a night of unrelated metaphors; roll with it) and I'm just trying to be all right because the stress is causing me to react extremely badly (15 hours of sleep, anyone? Anyone?)

People keep reaching out to me, and I keep not slapping them back, so that's good. I need to be as un-alone as I possibly can be right now, to know that I'm not alone, even though I feel like the alonest thing in Lonelytown. But hell, that describes my first seven boyfriends, too, so maybe I'm incapable of not feeling alone.

Trying to write, and succeeding, though creativity does not come without a cost. My mental energies are already pretty low, and trying to be creative just kind of creates a deficit situation. So I keep smiling--SMILING dammit--and pretending everything's ok (I have two settings in times like these: that one and "crying". I think the smiling one is probably healthier.)

It's taking everything I have, but I don't have a choice anymore. I haven't had a choice in years, but I've been acting like I do. I hope I can figure out why I keep turning my life to shit, and fix that. I hope that I can finally write like I know I can, and I hope I can learn to succeed. And while I know that certain things are now out of reach for me, it doesn't serve me or do me any good to say well, I can't have that, so I must deny myself everything. There are things that I can do, and there are things that i want from life that are attainable.

It remains to be seen whether I will be able to attain them, to navigate myself out of this mess and into a calm sea of "It doesn't suck to be me, at least the majority of the time."

We shall see.

In which our hero revisits the recent past

The first thing they tell you about wounded animals is that they are unpredictable. We—and I do mean the collective "we"—seem to forget that when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and that a wounded person, even "just" emotionally, is still wounded and likely to react in ways that we might have expected or even counter to the way we usually know them.

I've said goodbye to a lot of people, some of which were longstanding friendships, over the past two years. In my memory, I at least gave them all multiple chances to not use this time in my life as a chance to score points off me. It's certainly possible that they have differing memories, but in every instance I've got memories that say "you were warned."

Most recently now I lost, became untethered from, burned the bridge to, whatever, the only family I had left in this world.

And it makes me sad. I know I was right. I saw her, finally, truly, for the bitter, ugly person she is now. And she took every little thing I ever did to try to help her and warped it into a weapon, beat those plowshares into swords, and thought I'd just stand by while she did it. I don't even understand why. I mean, I do, it's because she's a manipulative bitch, but who came and turned my sister into a manipulative bitch while I wasn't looking? Was she always this inhuman, this willing to just tear me apart to make herself feel better? And as I write those words, I know the answer is "yes." Even as I was trying to keep the peace, and tell her the things she wanted to hear, while waiting for my chance to get the Hell away from her I realized that the horrible truth of the matter is I've been a doormat for my family, because I knew the very instant I stood up, they would want nothing to do with me.

And it's what happened. It's actually happened over and over. I mean, Hell, I'm 41 years-old; it's not like I hadn't noticed being treated like crap for four decades. But I think I've always needed them. I can't even tell you why. Maybe to manufacture a sense of caring and depth of feeling that never ever existed.

I don't want to be alone in the world. But I am. So now what? Really, that's all there is to it. It's so simple, and that's why the simplest things are the hardest to face. One moment you're one thing, and the next you're not, and there's no going back, there's no do over, it's just what will you do now?

I moved into my own little place, just me and T3H DOG. It's not awful. It's cheap. I have a car too. I'm afraid, because I haven't known a lot of success recently. Or, y'know, ever. But I'm hopeful. One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other. I don't know where, exactly, I'm going but I'm not standing still.

In which our hero steps on the new train

There is nothing quite so curiously torturous for people inclined to the desire to write than the inability to act upon that same desire because the words simply won't come.

I could shut off my computer right now, lie down, and probably come up with a half-dozen different stories to tell, or solve problems that keep me from going forward in other stories. There's several--and I mean several--stories in my writing folder whose problems and plot-lines I have solved and re-solved, night after night. But when I open my eyes, even to jump up and scribble a note, it all vanishes. Those are the bad writing times. The good writing times, everything gets solved and neatly put away. I can write like the wind when the stars align. I guess I merely must wait until those stars align again.

I face some of the same issues when I sit down to blog. I have thousands of really good, non-self-absorbed, thought-provoking things to say when I'm miles away, but when the closer I get, the fuzzier and indistinct those ideas become. I mean, sometimes, yeah, I think I hit eloquence, but more frequently, and all too often, it's more a miss.

I don't think of blogging as "writing practice." When I write here, I'm writing here, hoping to connect with someone, or at least set up a resonance that someone can say "yeah, that has some value." It's sometimes easier to vent what I'm feeling directly than to attempt to populate the artificial worlds of my imagination. I want to do both, and I want to do them well.

This year, 2011, I want though to write. It's gotta be now. I meant yesterday's post: I'm done with the self-pity, with the whipsawn nature of my luck. I've grabbed a different train, running on a new and heretofore untraveled tracks. But I also know that my chances at changing directions are getting more and more slender as time goes on. Staying this course, saying "yes" to writing, among a thousand other dreams I've not had the courage to live, is the right thing to do.

I merely have to find the courage to stay on the train. And hey, who wants to jump off a moving train?

Now leaving Extremetown.

So I've been trying to be more regular about blogging just because it's something I feel I need to do, if only to accustom myself to the task of writing more. I have to write more. I need to write more.

It's my eternal optimism, though, really, that keeps me from it. I don't want to sit down, night after night, and write a treatise about what I ate for breakfast. I also have no desire to read anyone's forced writing, so I consequently have no desire to force words to come and annoy people that way. Which brings me back round to that optimism: I simply cannot sit here and say, in a thousand and one complex and sincere ways, how much everything sucks. At least not day in and day out.

It's not that everything is necessarily terrible, but things are bad enough.

So I will try new things on this blog in 2011. Maybe I'll still end up being as lovingly navel-gazing as I've been in the past; it certainly is within the realm of possibility. I hope not though. I think my time in introspection is done, and I've gone as far, and learned as much about who I am and where I came from. For the change, and for changing, I would like to look at where I'm going. I sure hope it's somewhere.