Fortune Telling and Real-Time Travel

Though not a betting man, I could comfortably guess that most of you are at work right now. Or school. And after a nice spell of days off, too.

Not all of you though. I know I’m not. I tend to work the holidays though.

But there you are.

Here we are.

In this moment of time brought to you, more than likely, by boredom whilst near mindlessly scanning through social media. It happens. Just a bad habit, like smoking or masturbating on the subway. Well, maybe not exactly.

Nevertheless, it is here we be and be we shall. But being can make you think of what has, or might have been. It may stir pondering regarding where this all belongs, your life or just life in general, when it becomes a finished story.

We all wonder that. Where it all might go. The past comes up, sure, but the past is dead.

It is an imperfect human record anyway.

Things slip away.

That time I evidently nearly broke some older kid’s nose on the school bus because he was making fun of me. Or that other time we haggled over the price of microwavable stuffing in the only store left open on the block at four in the morning. Those were stories that I had lived, yet were only revealed to me years after occurring.

But the true wonder, I dare say, comes from what might still be. Maybe you have supernatural foresight of coming events. Maybe you all do, and are just intentionally keep me out of the loop. Which is a total dick move.

Still, I say with near certainty that we all go through time as it comes and goes.

And I also say, with slightly less but still pretty good certainty, that it is the best way to go. The less you know, the more you learn. And let me tell you folks, the more unpredictable, the better. Or at very least, the more profound. That may just be my opinion, though.

Unexpected circumstances have grown into a sort of forte for me. Personally and professionally, though I may be better at one of those categories more often than the other. But hey, practice makes perfect.

But which one among you has a top ranking memory that you saw coming? That you knew was going to happen as it did? And I’m talking about one of those swept off your feet or kicked in the ass kind of moments. The ones you could and probably did set as some sort of foundation for personal expansion. I dare to reckon that most of what you thought might happen in your life, just passes without much thought or concern. The big moments, however, maneuver through surprise.

A night out with friends no one expected much from yet is the one you still talk about all these years later.

Almost getting hit by a drunk driver.

The first time you ate cheesecake.

Someone important to you dying too young.

The day at summer camp you met your still best friend.

The one who got away.

If you don’t want to say things like that have changed you, they at the very least influence how life is perceived. Absorption of such phenomenon can take time. Sometimes, it can take a life time.

For example..

It may be impossible to fully understand the gift that is my daughter.

amelia_1.jpg

If luck is a thing, I’ve been granted vastly more than a king’s share. As I write, that little girl of my own flesh and blood is most likely gazing up the vast world in big blue eyed wonder, as smiles paint her face and laughter fills her body.

Or she’s filling her diaper. She’s only three months old, after all. Her hygiene skills are not very developed.

Yet, without ever knowing that she would ever exist, I now refuse an existence without her. And this will only grow as she does. It won’t be effortless though. She will turn sixteen someday, you know.

But this has not become a parenting blog just because I’ve become a parent. I’ve only been one for a few months anyway. Who knows how good I’ll be at it? I’ll give it hell though. Having good parents myself helps as a model, so I should be able to figure it out. Her mother does a damn good job at it so far. After all, they say it’s always easier when you love what you do.

So I say now, fire your soothsayer. And don’t go seeking another one. ‘Tis not worth it, friend.

Be it a blind, old wise man or a palm reading gypsy woman with a mustache and an apartment that smells vaguely of burnt rubber- it makes no difference. Even if what they said could even slightly resemble the truth, it’s not worth knowing until just as you need to. Who wants to ruin the surprise party? Or march right into the doomed fate you had worked so hard to avoid?

Prophecy might sound great and all, but I rarely hear of it being sunshine and roses. Just ask Oeddie and Jo. They were as able as headless chickens in missing the cleaver.

But the ol’ timey Greeks were a bit grim, so I would advise trying to dodge the foretelling of doomsdays as much as possible. Keeping the TV off should help with that.

I cannot say when the next time I write will be. It hadn’t felt right for sometime now and despite my hope for reinvigoration, I’ve dropped the ball before. But since the first short story I drummed up without being told by a school teacher, my mind has known it cannot go with trying to string meaning from the written word.

But no writer wants to be a drag to read. At least I hope not. So I shan’t waste your time. Not while you could be ever reaching into the unknown, heart a-pounding and mind agape.

Just be ready to be unprepared.

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Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things

You can stare at the fingerprints on the edge of your rocks glass until they mean something.

You can look at the patterns the light leaves inside your closed eyelids. You can sit and sulk and daydream about things being other than how they are. You can wish you’d done better. Been a better person. Tried harder, or tried something different. You can dwell on all the things that are not, while ignoring the things that are.

You certainly can. I know I have. I’ve gotten very good at it. Too good, I fear.

I know, I know… It’s been a while. A very long while since the last time I’ve written anything here. As a young man, just shy a quarter of a century, it’s hard to believe I’m able to say that I used to write a lot. I’ve written poems and songs and essays and short stories. I’ve written a whole novel, a complete first draft, that I’ve ignored for months. I used to act, too. Lots of plays, funny and sad- Improv too. Hell, I used to do stand up comedy. I opened for someone currently on Saturday Night Live, what seems like a lifetime ago.

Very few men my age get to say such things. Not that it is any sort of blessing. It may only mean that the peak was too soon. That it’s all been used up. That there is nothing left. It may mean that, but I certainly hope is does not. The younger man I used to be most definitely does not. But he might have been better than I am.

Yet…

If there is one thing I was brought up to despise, it is a pity parade. And even with the sacrifices made, willing or otherwise, I am here, at this very particular moment in time. I hold my baggage, as do you, if you happen to be bored enough to read this.

Sensationalism was never my forte, and I cannot pull myself to do a “top ten things that 20 somethings feel about blah, blah blabbity blah”. You know, that shit websites love to pick up and litter across your social media addiction. I won’t be reposted by Huffpo, or Buzzfeed or anything of the sort. I won’t even be reposted by my friends, most likely. Maybe a dozen people will read this. Maybe less. Maybe no one. But I don’t write because it helps other people. I write because it helps me.

A year, and a few days. That’s the last time anything new was published to this lonely blog narrated by a boy struggling to learn how to be a man. A year ago was a different world. My hair was longer and my eyes had seen less than the ones resting in my skull now. I wasn’t obliged to do much for anyone unless I felt the inclination. Not now.

Now it’s my job. It’s my job to help people, strangers, in whatever we’re called for. That would be myself and the men I work with. We never know when the tones go off, and it doesn’t matter what we were doing. All that sound means, is that it is time to go. But that is my profession. That is how I earn my living.

Further than that, is even more profound. Further than that is the only thing that will really matter to me. You see, in a few days, everything will change. In a few days, really at any moment, I will be a father.

Pardon me, that took a moment. I needed another sip and stare at the fingerprints upon my glass. Fingerprints that leave behind DNA. The same sort of stuff that has been brewing another person. A person who is part me, though I hope she will be spared all of my poor qualities, as many as they might be. But I’m not here to talk about her. I won’t speculate about her, as she is not here yet. And I will not talk about circumstances, as they are not business of yours.

Just know that while you read this. To those who are parents, I am only on the cusp of understanding. To those who are not, know that it is not something that you cannot even pretend to understand. Just be grateful if your parents were good to you. And if they weren’t, know that it is the largest burden that our species faces and it is most certainly not for everyone.

But that is enough about that.

I don’t know exactly why this was the moment I chose to write again. It may be desperation. It may be that the time is right to reinvigorate the lost passion. I cannot say for sure. Yet, I am writing just the same.

I don’t have the answers. If you were hoping I did, I apologize. I don’t know if anyone does, but everyone has their own slice of the universe. We all have our own lives. Our own pasts and presents and futures. We mat share many of those, but no one shares them completely. Our singularity may be a curse, but it is the one thing that makes us undeniably human.

I hate to leave this so vague, but I cannot truthfully give you anything more specific. I will keep trying. I will try and keep the promise that I made to a young man who shares the skin I’ve worn down. But all I can do is try, as that is all any of us can do.

If anyone told you they have the answer they are a liar. If they told you that they didn’t know, know that they told the truth. I will try and write again. I cannot guarantee that it will be worth reading. I will guarantee that I will try and make it worth your while.

Until next time.

capandme

Oh Captain! My Captain, Goes Down with the Ship

“Reality: What a concept!” – Robin Williams

I didn’t know him more than most of us ever did.

I knew him from the screens from which I would watch him as a kid. I watched him as I grew into a man. A boyish man, but a man just the same. I idolized him. I am a comedian, though currently in a slump of performing. I am a comedian, among other things, as he was. Robin Williams inspired me for as long as I can remember. He made me laugh like no one else did when I was a kid. He was Mrs. Doubtfire, John Keating, Rainbow Randolph, Patch Adams and Peter Banning, to name a few, and yet so many other things. He had a fire that no one could compare to and that no one ever will. But fires that burn hot, will burn out faster.

Although I’ve never seen Robin in the flesh, I have seen some go by their own means in the flesh. I’ve watched the last moments drip from a soul who chose themselves their means of exit.

It is ugly.

To say it is sad would rob it of the true tragedy that occurs when it happens. I’ve seen the ripple of hurt it causes. I’ve felt it. To blame myself, most would say, is too much. But I’m a comedian. Too much is what we do. It is our burden to bear so that joy, if only for a moment, could be had by others. Our friends, our families and our lovers and more. Yet the better you get at it, the more you end up doing it for strangers. They come out to see you. They pay money to give you a shot to take away their own pain, if only for an hour or so. Yet any thanks you give them, any thunder of applause or roar of laughter will not be enough. It doesn’t last, you see.

To say that I knew his pain would be grossly incorrect. But I do know my own pain and I do know my own moderate success and how fleeting it can feel as it goes. Some nights, after a show, the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment can fall from you faster than anything you’ve ever known. When the theater empties and they all go off into the night, it is only you and those thoughts, dark as they might be. Those thoughts that first propelled you to the stage, that threw you in front of that microphone to pour your own tragedy that you’ve twisted into entertainment. That you’ve twisted into art.

Now, let me say this. We are all part of the problem. We will get sad because a man who made us all laugh not only died, but decided to do so by his own hand. Yet, we (and I include myself) do almost nothing to make this world that so many, big and small are opting out of, any kind of better. All over the web people recall the laughter and warm feelings that a man on the the stage and screen had brought us. Yet we sit on our hands about fixing any of it.

If he thought the world was worth staying in, Mr. Williams probably would have stayed in it. You cannot say he did not try to do his part with whatever he had at his disposal. He did, and although I cannot say for sure, I will be so bold to take the guess that he felt as though he had failed. Whether he thought he failed himself or something larger does not matter. In the end, he felt and believed so strongly, that he failed. Our laughter fades and sooner or later, we’re back to our pettiness.

And trust me, pettiness is the privilege of those of you who can read this without a translation. Because outside of that spectrum, is suffering that we cannot imagine. Even if you see the pictures and stay slightly tuned to the news, you do not understand. WE, do not understand. We don’t live in a war zone. We concern ourselves with what we are going to eat today, not if we will. We have water that we waste flushing down the drain every time we take a piss. We don’t die by the hundreds from disease, or famine, or war.

No. Not us. We die from getting too fat. We die from getting old or taking too many pills that were supposed to make us happy. We die from smoking, or drinking, or drugs, or driving faster than we should. Rockets don’t bother us in our schools, our homes, our hospitals. Viruses don’t rip through our villages and towns. Religious maniacs don’t trap us on mountain tops to wither and die, or line us up in a row to be torn down by bullets and bombs. We die from gluttony much more often than from true tragedy.

I’m not naïve enough to think these words I’ve typed up will make anything that much better. I’m also not naïve enough to think that pouring a bucket of water over my head will cure a disease. A few dollars might help it along the way but it is the person losing sleep in some laboratory that will ultimately fix the problem. He or she, of course, will not get that much credit. After all, it is Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the dime, not Albert Sabin.

I don’t mean to guilt everyone though, at least not more than I mean to guilt myself. For even though I’m saddened by his loss, Zelda and Cody and Zachary are more upset than we’ll ever be about it. We can’t understand the way they do. We all idolized him, but to them, he was real. He was Dad. And what do you do when Dad gives up? I know I can’t say.

I’m lucky. My father hasn’t given up, even with all the hurt he’s seen. The least I can do for him, and Robin, and all the rest of you apes, is take what ever skills I’ve got and make a better world out of it. That’s what he did for me, some sad punk kid he’d never met and never will. My only hope, is that I can do just a little bit more for those who come after me.

Sunday Morning Thoughts 7.20.14

  This, right now, was once the future. Isn’t that wild? And, what used to be happening is now all behind us. Guessing games and wishing for time machines won’t get us any where though, will they?

That’s what I was afraid of.

Oh, us humans and our struggles in the forth dimension! It’s interesting, almost complete madness, how my former fear of the future makes me ache to have the past back again. And how my past unhappiness of my own fabrication made my disdain for the present and my hope, fool’s hope though it may be, to get a better future. I don’t know if you all struggle with it, but hindsight has certainly provided me with a plethora of grief and guilt and regret. Of course I’m not counting my many accomplishments and successes in all that. Why? Because I don’t think about those as much. I am consumed much more by my failures but then again, I always have been. Then again, who among us isn’t?

There’s a guy who wrote song involving something like that. The line in reference was something like-

I’ve never learned to count my blessings,

I choose instead to dwell in my disasters.

Great song, if you don’t know it. Some bloke out of New Hampshire penned it. You can find it if you like. If you’re reading this, you clearly have access to the interwebs.

I could bore you all for ages by vaguely describing the specific regrets that plaguemy heart. I could, but I won’t. I won’t because it’s probably most definitely inappropriate and, more importantly, there is nothing that me telling any of you about it is going to do to make it go away. It doesn’t apply to you, unless it does, in which case, you’re already very well aware.

See? There’s progress!

I think I’ll count some blessings instead.

To start, and I don’t mean this to be insensitive, at least I don’t live in the Middle East. If I did, there would most likely be a lot more bombs happening in my life. Everyone and there sister over here in the West has their two cents or fifty billion dollars about how to fix the problems in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan and so on but I can tell you for certain what won’t work. I can tell you this because if you look at the history of the human race it becomes tremendously clear. What won’t work is violence. It never has and I can prove that it has never worked because there are still people, a good number of times children and other innocents included, who are being killed by someone else’s bad intentions. If violence worked to end wars, I would have to imagine we would be done with that business by now. Yet here we are, more violent than ever.

Alright, well I’m doing real grand with this counting the blessings things since my first attempt was to say, “well at least I’m not some dead Palestinian kid.” Let’s try to move on.

So, I finished the first draft of my first novel. It’s incredibly messy and needs a good bit of revision but I’m working with my editor on that one. Some day, I’ll figure out a method of payment for her.

Anywho, I have now created a story that begins and ends and that people who have read it seem to like. There is still a long journey ahead to get it out to all these strangers in the world, and possibly even longer until it inspires folks to try and save our planet but it’s been written. Sure, it was heartbreak and pain and guilt and anger and the sort that made me pump out the last fifteen-hundred words in a week, but I’ve heard myself say that pain can truly make some beautiful things. At times. Not all the time. Sometimes pain makes bombs.

Was that better? I thought so. It’s like I said right off the bat, I’ve never been very good at counting my blessings. I also hate the word blessings. I don’t like fortunes either but that might only be because I have been very fortunate in my life. In fact, aside from a a small few traumas, most of my misfortunes are self-inflicted. I’d stop it but my younger self always seems to have it out for future Brian. Every since elementary school, the Ghost of Brian Past has really been making sure that Future Brian has a lot of work to do. The Brian of Christmas Present only does so much to help either of them out. His problem, like when in school, was staring out the window too often. He is a creature of fantasy worship which has gotten us (by us, I mean me) into many of our current predicaments.

But like I told my editor, we’re making progress. Those damn creative types though, always trying to milk their misgivings and misfortunes. If only they would have let themselves be happy way back when. Time is tricky like that. Around this time last year, I was in the writing room of my greatest inspiration’s, greatest inspiration. My idol’s idol, if you will. That was a very good day. I’ve had a lot of those. I hope to have them again.

Sunday Morning Thoughts 7.13.14: On Attempting Impossibilities

 Another week gone and here I am again. True, I don’t feel as dreadful as I had this time last week, especially regarding physical aspects, but I’m still misaligned. Terribly so, I might say, but I might be a liar. But this isn’t new. The only part that was truly new in almost half a year, or much longer really, is understanding the root. The cause, or what have you.

If there is a such thing as tragedy, it would have to be that it took this long. For you see, as much abuse as I’ve tossed my own way the past seven days, and many before that (although I know I promised that I would try to fix that, and I am, I’m just a slow learner), an admission was made that should have been made a very, very long time ago. Oh! To be in a galaxy far, far away. But since I am without a time machine, or any kind of sonically driven tool, or a British accent for that matter- I will have to make do. So stuck in time, in gym shorts, in America, I will do what I can.

It’s a tricky thing, wanting to a be a writer, especially of good fiction. I can only speak for myself here, but a story without struggle and hurt, is no story worth reading. And although I only speak for myself, I figure a few of you might agree. Now to understand good storytelling, you must live an interesting story, or so I have decided to go about it. However, there is a limit and there are lines that should be watched. To be a sadist regarding your fictional characters is one thing, but to be that way with someone you love in this real world of ours, is something totally different. Those lines and limits I was talking about? Yes, well, I’ve crossed them and am none to proud of it. Most recently especially.

But.

If there is something that could be pulled from that, it would be the thousands of words I’ve added to the made up tale of a soon to be not so young man named Mitch. Some of you may have even met him. Now Mitch and I, we have our similarities, some would even say that we are one in the same and we almost are. The difference, I hope, is that Mitch is of fiction, whilst I am not. Also, I hope, that only Mitch realized where he had been going wrong, romantically specifically, far too late. I might be too late as well, but I can only say what’s going to happen to Mitch. I am, in a way, his god after all. But, to make the two of us the same again, even when faced with impossibilities, we shall try and try just the same. Be it in vain or achieve the aim, we shall try.

Before this day is done, Mitch will be thousands of words further. His story may even finish, in which case, if you’re are interested, let me know. You could give it a read and let me know what you think, if you’ve got the time. It will be rough and sloppy, much like having to date me, but I think it will be worth it in the end.

Oh! And poetry. I’ve written a good bit of poetry this week. It’s an interesting thing, poetry. I have been without it for too long and what a shame that is. I’m glad to have it back but less than glad that my verse and prose is grim, where it used to be the opposite. The last time so much poetry was produced, the circumstance were much more grand. I also got some written for me, to me, which I must confess my friends, there isn’t a thing more wonderful in the world. I still have some of them, though such things can only prove to make me sad now. I hope to change that, but again, I can only speak to the future of Mitch.

But a week can be long, as this one had been. A lot can happen in a week, as happened for me during this one. I don’t know what the next one will bring, but I know what I’ll try to do with it. Failure is, as it almost always, the worst thing that could happen. And since I’m already there in a good few senses, what is there to be afraid of? I’m not a total failure, of course. I just want to be a more total success. I used to be closer to that but hindsight, much like insomnia, is a bitch.  

Ode to Creative Self Loathing

Masochism,

this schism which I live in

is choice,

not destiny,

I’d confess to thee

If only this soul could see

past the sadistic narcissism

I’ve crafted to be my home

 

So surrounded by love,

I’ve willed to be alone,

To groan,

to moan,

and own a retched identity,

Superfluously

a supreme fallacy,

to make certain to go not a moment,

without contrition

for words said

and deeds of this bed,

made neatly for a boy

who would grow

to be a man

if he could only understand,

that which others can see

 

Yet he,

I mean I,

will it not to be free,

in hope that beauty,

can be made

from the clay

of such self treachery

I suppose we shall see,

shan’t we?

 

Sunday Morning Thoughts 7.6.14: On Regret and the Sort

 For a person who isn’t very good at them, I have found myself spending a lot of time apologizing. I wouldn’t have to do so if my behavior was that of a more decent human being. I’m not saying that I am always a vindictive self obsessed and loathing human being with masochistic tendencies but I certainly have my moments.

I’ve done many a great things with my life but I still have managed to spend the majority of my day brooding over the mistakes I’ve made. The good may outweigh the bad but it is difficult to see that when the tragedy and travesty hang so heavily on my mind and heart. Loneliness is a terrible thing and has caused me to do some terrible things but if I spend all my time so fixated upon my downfalls, my life would waste away in a pool of regret.

I had a few conversations today concerning my many follies and even though the demon liquor may have helped my viciousness along, to blame it entirely on that would be very incorrect. The truth is in my heart somewhere and I may just be too terrified to make right all that I have wronged. But even with all of that, many wonderful people have forgiven me for my harsh words and deeds and though I don’t understand it, they must be able to see something in my that I just refuse to look at.

I want happiness, as we all do but unlike many others, that which stands most prominently in my way always seems to be myself. It has been a long journey to get where I am and yet the same struggles keep plaguing me and they are almost all of my own invention. I’m not a liar but I certainly have a tremendous fear of the truth and as one of my many dysfunctional idols had said, the truth is what is and what should be is a dirty lie that someone told the people long ago.

But to get back to this loneliness of my own creation, I must confess that despite my talk of despise for the many negative traits of man, I still feel obligated to help save this world and all who are in it. It has a lot to do with my ego, which is a monster that often gets out of control. I want to be loved by so many and so few at the same time and yet I can’t seem to find that love for myself. I know I contradict myself constantly but I can’t seem to find the satisfaction in my soul I claim to crave so greatly. I’ve made mistakes and I know I will in the future but if I don’t do something about my pettiness, it will surely destroy me.

I say I want happiness but how could a person claim such a thing and yet always be the one preventing it? The only explanation I can give for that is my own existence which is living testament to my own inability to accept things for how they are.

But how are things?

That’s a question I have dodged like Al Capone with his taxes and if I keep it up, we may share a similar fate. I’ve been at this point before and I’ve always failed to fix what is broken. I’ve pressed on but there has to be a limit and I may be reaching it, if it hasn’t already been passed. I’m not perfect but I’m told I could be if I would just let myself be so.

I don’t know. I was hoping that writing this would bring me some answers be all I can see are more questions. I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused and I can only try and do enough good to outshine the spots of heartbreak and tragedy I’ve caused. It’s messed up, but that’s who I seem to be and who I strive to be. Maybe it has to do with the people I try to emulate and aspire to be being dysfunctional degenerates who manage to create beautiful things from that. Comedians, writers, actors musicians and the like all make wonderful things but they ones I like the best make them from sweeping up the shatters of their lives that they have broken themselves. To quote one of these men, “I don’t know someone loves me unless I can make them cry.”

Awful, I know, but you’d be just as much of a liar as I can be if you didn’t admit it was true. Someday I’ll make everything better but today I will wallow around in some self pity and deprecation. Again, I apologize and I’ll try to make it better if I can.