The Cheese Shoppe
For some reason I feel the need to say this. To let you all behind the curtain for a moment. The last year or so has been one of the toughest of my life, for a lot of reasons. The end of my 7 year marriage, followed by another intense and passionate relationship that ended very badly (in some ways, although we are still friends), the usual ups and downs of career, friendships, creative relationships and all the stuff we all have to deal with from time to time.
There was a time when I pretty much lived completely openly online. Good, bad and ugly, I put it all out there for anyone who cared to see. Over the years, I’ve changed and started trying to pretty much keep it all positive. I don’t really care to expose everything to the world at large any more (and besides, no one wants to hear a bunch of “woe is me, feel my pain” BS) but for some reason I just felt somehow deceptive or something sort of keeping this all to myself.
Now here’s the thing: my life is 95% amazing and awesome. But then there’s the 5%. A toxic 5% that somehow seems to permeate, infect and somehow seem to counteract the other 95%. It casts a grey funk that sits just below the surface, like when you have a dull throbbing headache so subtle that you’re not even sure if you have a headache but yet it still saps you.
Obviously, some days are better, some worse, but I feel stuck, like the weight of my past has finally become too heavy and I can’t get out from under it. I know I will and it’s kind of weird because there is still plenty of happiness present within me. I’m not some depressed wreck or anything. Just that constant dull throbbing, dulling everything else. A part of me that seems broken and damaged. I’ve loved so deeply that I’ve left pieces of myself behind each time and now there’s not enough left to want to try again.
Now I’m no fool. I know myself. Eternal, hopeless romantic. I know that the day will come when I will meet someone who makes me go all Googly eyed and there will be full on double rainbows, all the way and all that. But for the moment, I’m so sick of this weight. Of the inability to escape my past, enjoy the present and look to the future.
So in short, if I’ve been less than the greatest of friends lately, it’s not you, it’s me. To quote Billy Joel, “When I’m deep inside of me, don’t be too concerned. I won’t ask for nothing while I’m gone.”
I love you all and appreciate all my friends immensely, even if I can also be a misanthrope and a loner. I’m a complicated man and no one understands me but…uhh…wait, no, that’s “Shaft.” Ah well, works for me too.
I have always been anti-smoking. My mom has smoked for pretty much my entire life and I always hated it. Hated the smell. Hated that I seem to be extra sensitive to smoke. The slightest whiff, even from quite some distance can choke me up. For example, tonight, several people were smoking on the balcony with the door open and I had to close my bedroom door because I could smell it. Of course there’s also the extreme amount of money smokers spend and the whole issue of supporting the evil tobacco companies and plenty of other rational arguments that could be made even if you’re one of the people who believes that there is no scientific evidence that smoking is linked to health problems, but that’s a whole other subject and I don’t want to start that debate here. My issue is more personal.
The part I don’t understand is my own vehement reaction to it. With everything going on with Jess, I think one of things that hurts the most is that she has started smoking again. She smoked before I knew her but had quit before we met. The fact that it even registers on my radar sounds ridiculous even to me. Why do I care so much? Why is it such a big deal? Why is it so important to me that my loved ones not smoke? I feel the same sense of hurt and distance when Larry occasionally smokes too. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that no one is doing it to be hurtful or anything. I just don’t understand why it means so much to me. The first time I saw jess light up on our balcony, let’s just say my reaction was completely and irrationally emotional. Maybe because of our separation my subconscious read more into it like because she knows how much it means to me maybe I stupidly saw it as a big final “fuck you” which, of course, I know it isn’t. I’m sure we all know the stupid things we can think when we’re emotional.
But the fact is is that is a big deal to me and I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s a judgmental thing, but admittedly I could be wrong. I don’t think any less of her for it and I don’t think I’m better than people who smoke. I really do think it’s more of a connection thing. It makes me feel distant and disconnected and I do legitimately worry about the health of the people I love and supporting the evil empires of tobacco (which ironically is a trait directly instilled in me by Jess). To me it feels like it comes from a place of caring and concern and not a confrontational or judgmental place. I value my connections with people and anything that interfers with those connections bothers me.
I just don’t understand why I feel the way I do. I don’t want it to interfere with my connection. Why can’t I just not care about it? When Larry smokes, I feel down. When Jess smokes it’s of a whole other order of magnitude. It feels like it almost hurts as much as our separation which should be ludicrous! I’m sure there must be some deep subconscious motivation at work here. I just can’t figure out what it is. I’m really trying to be better about this and at least not be judgmental or sanctimonious about my feelings. I’d love to find the root of this and find a way to overcome it.
When I’m at my lowest points (such as now) and have all these pessimistic negative feelings, I don’t know what to do with them. I decided that I don’t feel comfortable expressing them here for various reasons, I can’t talk to Jess about them, and talking to anyone else doesn’t seem to really help all that much. This makes being caught between the Scylla and Charybdis seem like an appealing vacation idea.
I’ve avoided making this entry for a long time. Why I’m not sure. I guess for one I didn’t really want to talk about it. Also I didn’t really know if it was just a temporary thing or not.
Jess and I are separated. Have been for a few weeks now. We’d talked long and hard about it before coming to this resolution. There was no one thing, no big blow up, no cheating, no drama, no single event that brought this on. I do however think that while it was mutual, it’s mostly me who broke it. I don’t like it, I’m not happy about it. I think the separation has had the opposite effect on each of us. It’s pushed me more toward wanting to work things out and pushed her further toward thinking that life apart is the way to go. She’s moved on, written “The End” and closed the book. I think we’ve both moved 180 degrees and completely swapped places. At least I can’t help but laugh at the karmic irony.
That is all. Just thought I should let anyone know who didn’t already. Thank you all in advance for the sentiments but I don’t need words of comfort, as there is none to be had. If anyone still reads this blog anyway, I know you all care. Thank you.
MIA: One Joie de Vivre. Yesterday I did nothing. I’ve been working twelve hour days, and some weekend time for the last several weeks. Doing not much more than working and sleeping, usually having time to watch one TV show with Jess before bed. Initially we thought we were going to have to work Saturday and Sunday so when we got Sunday off, I quite looked forward to just shutting off and becoming a human vegetable for a day which is pretty much what I did.
I have decided that Darin Murphy is my arch-nemesis. Who is Darin Murphy? Ahh, where to start.
Darin Murphy is a professional working musician here in Austin. I actually remember him and his sister Trish Murphy playing around College Station many years ago when I lived there. When I first moved to Austin and started trying to do some freelance work with that studio here writing jingles, I quickly found that there was this little clique of artists who get most of the work there. One of these people was Darin Murphy. As time went on, I heard his name (and that of the others in the elite cadre of musicians) more and more. I would hear him performing on the morning radio show. Then I heard about how he had been cast in the Broadway show, “Lennon” and moved to New York temporarily while he was in the show. It was especially noted that he he was the only person cast who had no acting experience at all, but had still impressed people so much and knew some great contacts. As I read his blog it just depressed me that this guy seemed to have it made. He seemed to be my successful twin. There was definitely a kindred spirit thing there too. A familiarity. I didn’t hate him. On the contrary, I felt like we’d probably be great friends and have a lot in common artistically and personally, but he seemed to be somewhat living the life that I so often feel is missing. He seemed like an alternate me who had usurped one of the better time lines that I could have followed leaving me in this time line disconnected and wanting. He is what I could have been.
As I studied up on my nemesis, I found out that he’s also in a cover band called the K-tel Hit Machine. The other members of the band are those same compadres from the Elite Cadre clique whose names seem to keep wafting into my life like a taunt. The band sounded exactly like something I would be a part of or would have started. I heard them on the radio this morning. They were awesome. I hate them.
Darin Murphy has stolen my soul. While he isn’t necessarily living my dream life 100%, he’s living what I see as a most realistic version of what could be a point in my journey to my life’s ultimate destination. He’s like my doppelganger living a version of my life that I’ve yearned for. This is the stuff comic book villains are made of. I don’t really hate him, of course. I envy and respect him, but it’s much more fun to blow it up into some mythical duality where he’s somehow cosmically stolen my life and therefore he is my arch-nemesis. I seem to constantly be taunted by references and allusions to this whole musical league of super heroes, and with each occurrence, the wind is sucked out of my sails.
He lives the life while I do what I’ve always done…dream.
For the record, while I’m a bit grumpy and misanthropic today, this post probably sounds much more gloomy than I actually feel. Just a heads up that in reality I’m doing pretty damn good, and am not in some kind of deep funk or anything.
I realized today that I hate people. This includes most of my friends who I really like. I hate them too. They’re all annoying. Let me ‘splain.
Most of our friends fall into at least one if not several of the following categories:
- Have or are having children
- Are impossible to get a hold of
- Have their lives dictated by other people
- Are so hard to coordinate any time with that launching a space shuttle or getting a bill through congress look easy by comparison
- Live or are going to live very far away (very far ranging from 30 minutes to another country)
- A litany of other self absorbed selfish gripes
Take my cousin for example (as a complete side note, I absolutely can not write “cousin” without writing “cousing” and then correcting it).
Now I only use him as an example because a)he illustrates many of my points, b) he is the most amusing example, and c) I don’t think he ever reads this. So this not to pick on him, just to illustrate my point.
He has always been like a brother to me and is one of my favorite people in the world to hang out with. I thought it would be so great when we moved to Austin because then I’d get to see him all the time! The first barrier to this is getting a hold of him. It is such a farce that we’ve come to call it the “Casey lottery”. If we do actually reach him we jump and yell and celebrate winning the Casey Lottery. As you could probably guess, Casey does not have a cell phone, nor does he want one, and in fact is vehemently against owning one, bu that’s another story.
The strangest part of the fact that he is never home is that when we do see him he usually can’t ever stay away from home for very long because he has to get back to take care of his pets. This makes any kind of trip out of town next to impossible. There is a whole sub-irony to that fact due to how often he is watching other friend’s pets for them while their gone (which seems very often), so you would think he’d have a plethora of people willing to do the same. He can’t ever leave home for too long, and yet he’s never home. It’s a mystery/enigma burrito. Of course we often hear about other trips he took to camping or go out of town with other friends, so that pretty much leaves the option that he hates us.
If you do manage to get a hold of him, finding a time to actually do anything with him is a whole other hurdle. Even if we manage to get together with him for some particular purpose (like filming part of our movie yesterday), as soon as business is done he usually has to go. He’s tired. He has to wash clothes. He has to go kick his dog. Again, leading to the inevitable conclusion that he hates us.
Another big part of his presence being as common as ice skating on the river Styx is the fact that he is very popular and unfortunately has many friends who are extremely demanding, guilt trippy and far more aggressive and effective than we are at grabbing his time. He’s obviously hanging out somewhere all the time, but it’s not with us, nor are we ever invited. There’s this whole separate group of friends who we know and like, yet can’t crack into ourselves. It’s the secret Casey society, and we don’t know the handshake.
There was a time when I thought we would make the greatest roommates ever. At one point I proposed this to him since he lived in a three bedroom house all by himself, and he very politely shot me down saying he was enjoying living by himself for the time in his life. That was fair enough actually, but it was kind of the crushing blow that made realize the cold hard truth: My high regard and brotherly affection for my cousin was not a two way street.
This is an important fact. Important because it is a recurring theme in my life. Whenever there is someone I really want to be good friends with, it is rarely ever reciprocated. I’ve written before about being so excited to find old friends and wanting to strike up th old friendship only to be met but polite indifference and only when I initiate contact.
I have decided this must be Karma. Karma because I, in fact, am a totally crap friend. I suck at keeping in touch with people, and have let more great friendships fall by the wayside than some people ever have. So I guess it’s only right that the people who I really want to hang out with and get to know better, or foster real lasting friendships with don’t always feel the same way. It was quite a realization to me. If you believe in anything like karma then it really does fit.
Thus I have become a huge misanthrope and it only seems to get worse as I get older. People are annoying. Even my friends. They probably say the same about me.
“Outlook not so good”
As you may remember, I have some friends who work for a company that I really want to work for, in a department that I really would like to work in, in a career and industry that I would absolutely love to pursue. There were some job openings, and after hearing that I had applied, they put in a word for me to try and get me an interview. A few weeks went by, and I made a follow up inquiry, and they thought they might start interviewing in the next couple of weeks, and that I was on the list to be interviewed as far as they knew. About a month later I made another inquiry and found out interviews had been going on. They went and talked to their manager only to find out tht he had forgotten I was a recommendation, and that I did not make the but to be interviewed due to my totaly lack of industry experience, and the fact that another company had recently gone away and thus flooded the market with experienced folk.
This has hit me quite hard, even though I was trying not to get my hopes up. I feel absolutely gutted, and pretty much on the verge of tears all day. I feel totally trapped in a job I hate, with no foreseeable future other than going from one unpleasant job to another, forever slaving for the man due to the fact that regardless of what skills I possess, I don’t have anything to really show or prove that I am qualified for anything.
I am quite taken aback at how hard this has hit me. I didn’t realize how tight I was clinging to this hope to keep me afloat, and now that’s gone, and I don’t really have anything to cling to now. Just a general grayness overlaying everything I see now. I’m sure it will pass, but this is the worst I’ve felt in a long time. I hate wallowing in self-pity, and it bothers me when other people do it, and yet I can’t shake the funk. I see no light to look forward to at the moment.
Boo. Boo, I say. Cheery post, eh?
So some friends of mine are putting in a good word for me at a company that I’ve wanted to work for since I moved here. As far as “jobs” go it would be about as good as they come. In fact it would be one of the jobs I have been actively pursuing. However, something dawned on me last night that is also kind of scary. If I did end up getting this job, I would not want to leave it. That sounds like a good thing, I’m sure, and it is in many ways. However that puts a scary angle on my acting/film crew/music work. If some opportunity arose, I would not leave my job to pursue it unless it was a proverbial “big break”. If I got some kind of offer for a month long PA job, acting job, music tour, etc., I couldn’t take it because I sure wouldn’t quit such a great job for a temporary gamble.
So this raises the question, “Which is more of a prison: a job you hate or a job you love?”
Now to be fair, I would still pursue it all to the best of my abilities and work around my job as much as I could, while also being far happier at my job and outside of it, but still it’s a scary prospect in some ways. Considering I haven’t even had an interview yet, I realize this is putting the cart before the horse, as it were, but I’m a ponderous guy.