Ziggy

Remember the show Quantum Leap?  Remember Ziggy from that show, the little hand help computer that resembled a smart-phone.  This young woman sits next to me, probably between 17-21.  I’ve been here for hours writing and she’s been here roughly the same time.  I’m 34, so hours to me, perceptually, are much shorter to me than her.  She just sits there with only her smart-phone to engage with, for roughly 3 hours.  Because of it’s small size she holds it close to her face and she leans forward on the couch to read it. She is completely engaged with the phone solely.  Almost, purposefully trying not to notice any of the life around her.  Purposefully, seeming to surround herself in a bubble of self.  Meaning, she is just in her own world completely, just her and her phone and it seems purposeful.  Why?  What a waste to me, that is to play on the phone for 3 hours.  No book, no magazine to read, no verbal engagement, or social/personal interaction.  She just blew her nose and sniffled, her hood is up.  I just noticed she’s had her hood up the whole time. What is she hiding from, what is she avoiding.  Why doesn’t she want to read something and collect some sort of information from the environment.  Whenever I get a free moment I always try to squeeze in a book or collect information on some topic that has recently interested me.  But she just sits, still glued to her phone.  From the time I started writing this until now, she is still just texting.  To me, I think, how painful.  Does she know she will be old sometime soon, that the less action she takes the more nothing will change for her?  She knows little for her to waste time in such a way.  “Youth is wasted on the young.”  Does she know she will die or that should could die at any time?  What does she know?  What does she know that I don’t, that is what I really wonder, it is something?  She certainly knows something that I do not and I wonder what it is.  Is it a bullshit lesson or a really important meaningful one?  I could ask her but she is young and I wish not to frighten her.  Oh well…

The Plot Thickens

My previous post outlined me recently meeting a new woman who I found both interesting and erotic.  This morning I was working out at the gym.  I find it best to work out first thing int he AM.  I try to arrive at 515-am but typically make my appearance closer to 530-am.  Going early helps me gradually awaken and supports my energy level throughout the remainder of the day. Also, you avoid the “meat-heads” also known as professional exercisers; the folks whose self-worth is positively correlated to the weight they lift.  Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable working out around meat-heads?  Isn’t the level of awkwardness amplified when their wearing some silly weightlifting outfit (e.g., spandex with lighting bolts on thighs, fluorescent string tank top, etc.) or grunting like an ox. The energy they create is a mixture of desperation, confusion, oblivion and denial.  I say denial because they may view themselves as healthy because they exercise and their outward appearance but inside they’re a pool of toxins (e.g., drugs, steroids, processed protein products, supplements not approved by the FDA, etc.) baked just right via tanning beds. They often appear orange from their tanning protocol and they may or may not be wearing cologne/perfume while exercising.  They make me uncomfortable with how much emphasis they place on appearance.  “Hey my man you’re gonna get old, you’re gonna get wrinkly and you’re gonna die this is the nature of things, just be cool with it.”  Regardless, as I started my routine and increased my heart rate I gradually became more awake and more conscious.

I started to go over in my mind my date from Saturday with JB.  I recalled she mentioned she loved to smoke pot, 3Xs a day even.  Too much for my taste, I’m a once or twice a month type of guy.  She indicated early on she has ADHD and she said pot helped balance her out making it easier for her to attend.  I have other friends who have ADHD and say the same thing.   ADHD folks have a different perspective on things.  People with different perspectives fascinate me since I view popular thought and culture as deranged.  I can only assume what they feel and what problems their physiology might inspire but I would love to understand better.  Anyway, she had ADHD and she loved pot as a result.  She told me her Ex loved pot too.  They had a Volcano (vaporizer) which he kept after their separation. While I was at her volcano-digital-vaporizer_4place she offered me some tea and I accepted.  She said she only had one mug.  In the cabinet I saw multiple mugs, I said “what about those?”  She said those were her Ex’s and if I used one that would be a little strange for her.  I understood and complied but then realized it was strange for her to keep her Ex’s dishes.  Especially when her Ex was physically and emotionally abusive to her and her child.  So these cups just sit there, never to be used, like a monument to what once was?  I don’t get it.  I wondered if she was over her Ex.  When women refer to their Ex 3 times or more during a first date, as a rule I conclude they are not over their Ex.  I would say JB referred to her Ex at least 8 times during our date.  First she mentioned he was physically and emotionally abusive.  Then, that they once went to the Caribbean together and considered opening a bar but declined since you needed to be a resident for one year prior to any business ownership.  Then again that he was physically and emotionally abusive.  The mug thing.  Followed by, him being a bad father for showing their 3 year-old horror movies rated R.  Also that he took the $700 Volcano vaporizer with him upon their separation.  And finally, she said his name was Dave.  How strange her Ex kept working his way into our conversations.  Then I thought whatever and went back to my workout.

After a 2 mile run I grab some dumbbells for shoulder press.  I started thinking about vaporizers and recreational marijuana use becoming legal in Colorado and Oregon.  I thought it was just a matter of time before it was legal in Cali and Washington.  Then I thought once that happened recreational use would certainly be bound for the Northeast.  I remembered I told JB that I estimated NY would legalize medical use within 5 years.  It’s all about money.  Alcohol kills so many but because of money these deaths are overlooked.  Marijuana kills virtually no one and maybe Hostess will still be around if it was legal.  map01Then I began to think about vaporizers and how the weed I smoked recently was so strong and with a vaporizer it’s tough to gauge how much you inhaled because there’s very little smoke on exhalation.  I’m a light weight, a one hit wonder, I don’t think I would ever need a Volcano, that thing is serious.  Wow JB really blazes a lot, I’m not sure I could keep up with her, I don’t really want to try.  Then I thought about the only time I ever used a vaporizer was at my friend’s place, one of his buddy’s from work brought it over.  Then I remembered this buddy’s name.  It was Dave.  Interesting coincidence, the one guy I ever smoked a Volcano with was named Dave like JB’s Ex who took their Volcano.  This guy Dave I had hung out with a few times before.  He was a good guy, tattoos like me, cool, seemed really calm, laid back, friendly, funny, an easy person to talk to and seemingly get along with.  I remembered once over the summer we had a beer on the water, my friend, Dave and I.  He told me he was single and had a son around 2 or 3.  Hmm interesting.  So Dave lives around here, has a Volcano, has an Ex-wife, has a 3 year old kid and is roughly the same age as JB.  I realized there at the gym while doing shoulder presses that I smoked out of a Volcano vaporizer with JB’s Ex, that we had a beer together prior to that and that her alleged physically and emotionally abusive Ex-husband once came to a party at my old apartment.  I immediately sent a text to my friend to confirm my suspicion. To be continued…

The King of Awkward

tumblr_luoc5t5TGX1r0slpco1_500I’ve decided to write more things down.  A friend recently passed away and at the funeral others and I were reminiscing endlessly.  I began to recognize how much of my life I can’t recall on command.   All the really great experiences that I can no longer access, on command at least, I would need some association to draw upon them.  Not that I want to revel in the past, I don’t feel that’s beneficial.  But I often forget who I am.  The Buddhist books I read would say you are who ever you are in the moment and that the past is irrelevant, an illusion, a distraction, as well as false.  I believe the present moment is all there is however the past has value, at least to me it does.  So let this post be the beginning of what I would call an online diary.  A chance to document my particular journey.  Concurrently, let us agree that I am no “writer” but that I do have a certain style, we all do.  My intent is not to be the best at grammar, spelling or dramatic effect, but to develop insight into myself and shoot my thoughts out into the universe to become whatever they may become.

As this is being written, I’m sitting in a coffee shop studying the pyramidal and extrapyramidal pathways from a motor speech disorders text book and having trouble maintaining focus in light of the prior nights events.  The man sitting in front of me is missing large patches of hair in random spots on his head.  I wonder what causes this to happen.  The coffee shop is in Patchogue, New York.  There’s a social services office nearby and some of the local homes here are reserved for those who have trouble providing for themselves, people with mental illnesses etc., who receive social services. The coffee shop is a prime hangout for these folks as well as others.  I suppose it’s an attractive place because It’s proximal, warm, offers a pleasant ambiance and coffee is a relatively cheap item, as is a bagel or a muffin.  typically, this particular population is remains hidden, hard to spot like tigers in the wild, they exist way down in the subculture.  You see them on the news but most ordinary citizens infrequently make their acquaintance.  For example, there is one woman who’s a fixture at the shop.  She always sits alone.  With her she carries a few bags filled with who knows what, body parts maybe.  She often sits in the corner and talks to herself.  Pop diagnosis is schizophrenia.  She has a certain style, she wears a long tweed overcoat which is probably old and donated but suits her well.  Her overcoat has character, and strikes me as stylish, it fits her like a glove, compliments her; to me she is like a character from a book, two dimensional, I’ve defined her in an effort understand and control her, she’s an aberration to me.  One day she drew me a picture.  She drew something on some folded up loose-leaf and handed it to me.  As I write this she just sat down outside with a green wool hat on and her tweed overcoat.  2013-01-13 11.31.11The colors and textures of her clothes strike me for some reason.  Everything she wears is knitted and looks seems cozy and warm.  Getting back to the drawing, the drawing she gave me was just a collection of squiggly lines drawn in pencil.  They had no form and seemingly no function.  On the back of the drawing written in script it read “For your family, frame in 8/12 gold leaf, to make larger library 10 cents.”  No one has given me anything more interesting than this.  I interpreted it as a random act of kindness however it was more likely the gesture of a disordered mind.

Another time while in the coffee shop a man sat near me on the couches.  I had seen him before, he mostly lingered by the outdoor tables at the shop’s front.  He was about 6′, 45 years-old.  He smoked cigarettes and carried around a book. He wore glasses but always up on his head, maybe they were for reading.   He mostly chatted with the younger kids in the summer.  The kids who smoked cigarettes outside.  He was very animated when he communicated.  I would always see him from inside through the plate glass window so I could never hear what he was saying although I could see is paralinguistics (i.e., body language).  Everything he said seemed imperative and was colored by exaggerated gestures.  He sat next to me this day and asked me what I was reading.  I was reading a text book on aphasiology and I began to explain in layman’s terms what aphasia was.  I started by saying I was studying the brain when he cut me off.  He jumped to the conclusion I was reading about psychology, aberrant behavior, psychological disorders etc.  He told me he takes anti-homicidals which I’m not sure is a real word or thing.  I guess what he was saying is he takes antipsychotic medication?  Maybe he thought by using the word homicidal he could shock me.  Either way, he said he was taking them but he stopped.  So I replied by asking him if anyone had died since he stopped taking his anti-homicidals.   This was my attempt at humor or a way of letting him know he was incapable of shocking with that particular news.  He went on to say that he hated the side effects which I believe he did.  He had went to many doctors in life but really started to improve when he took responsibility for his mental illness.  He said he consulted the literature, read the texts, self diagnosed and extracted what information he could to help himself, admirable I thought to myself.  I complimented him and then he rose and left.  He had a high level of anxiety and his pragmatics were askew.  I also put him on gay.  I feel like I attract gay men.  I think it’s because of my fairly open and generally friendly nature.  The people that come to this shop live on the fringe, way down in the subculture.  I admire them.  I find them interesting.  My coffee shop case studies.  I eavesdrop on them.  Like the boy who came in once and asked me for change.  What did he say again?  Oh, he complimented my hat and then a few moment later asked me for some change for a drink so I gave him $2.  One of the baristas told me she went to high school with him.  According to her story he was by all means a regular sweet high school kid.  Sometime during the course of his education he delved into drugs and damaged his brain in the course.  He’s now bit slow to process things, also with pragmatics askew, however quite warm and more thoughtful than average.  I haven’t seen him in awhile.  I would hope he comes in again and asks me for money.  He was the only one that asked for assistance in the coffee shop.  I suspect patrons complained.  I’d love to buy him a meal and whatever wacky coffee concoction he desired.  Somewhere I once read “have fun with generosity” seems like a fun idea.  Have fun with generosity, this doesn’t necessarily mean money.

The normal day-to-day social interactions which follow traditional pragmatics have become boring to me.  I crave drama, passion, authenticity, a fresh perspective, truth and beauty.  I feel like that’s asking for a lot.  The universe is not here to pleasure me?  I also wonder if pursuing the aforementioned may result in a certain amount of pain and suffering.  Everything seems to have a price and the most valuable type of growth typically comes with some pain.  I’m asking for more feeling in my life and to be honest I don’t care how it manifests.  I’m addicted to experience and everything has become so predictable that I can’t get as high as I once could.  You say this to that person, this to this person, you do that when this happens, this goes here, that goes there.  Life seems redundant.  I’m about to graduate grad-school.  I think to myself I mine as well move to a cheaper more beautiful part of the country.  Then from there investigate the environment and seek interactions.  But that also feels a lot like running away.  Why can’t I do that here in NY?  It’s bullshit.  It’s kinda like a story I once read in a Jack Kornfield book:  A man moving to a new city while on the train going to the new city asks an elderly woman sitting next to him if she knows how the people are in this city.  She replies with “well, how were the people from the place you are leaving?”  He says “they were terrible, boring, unruly and an ugly sort.”  She replies “oh, that’s unfortunate, you will find the people in this new city are very much the same.”  The next day another man on the train moving to the city asks the same woman during her commute what the people are like in the city. She replies with the same question “well, how are the people in the place you’re leaving?”  He says “oh they were wonderful, my friends, my family, I loved them, I will miss them greatly, but I had to go because of a great opportunity that has arisen.”  She replies “well, do not worry you will find the people are the very much the same in this city, you will be quite happy with them.”  It’s all in my mind.  I’m searching for where I belong, for people who will make me feel alive again.  What a curse because they are here now but I can’t see them.  Sometimes I can see them but it’s a challenge.

I had a date yesterday, let’s call her JB.  I can’t remember the last time I went on a date.  I’m 34 and single for the last 3 years.  I really liked this person.  She was so authentic.  That was her most appealing feature, initially.  She was petite with a rack, great eye contact, pretty smile, a nice red tweed over coat.  She wore little buttons on her right lapel with graphics of mustaches.  She also had on white rain boots with assorted graphics.  She mentioned her boots had a tear inside and they would need to be repaired soon.  I asked her if she was good at that sort of thing. She looked at me a little funny and said “it’s just sticking fabric to the inside of a boot what is there to be good at?”  She paused after that and said “but no I’m not really good at that stuff.”  Looking at her was easy, fun even and I didn’t want to stop.  I wanted to have sex with her ASAP.  She mentioned to me she was little awkward and strange and she repeated this theme throughout linner.  She also said she had ADHD and sometimes had trouble with attention.  She was missing the knuckle on both her ring fingers.  I Googled this trait and found many people have this same trait and that it’s associated with the following etiologies: OCD, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis and migrains.  I admire and seek out awkward and strange, I consider these things beautiful, rare and misinterpreted. She told me a little about her son.  She was separated and had been in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship.  Hearing something like that upset me, immediately I wanted to protect her.  To an extent I see myself as a protector of those weaker.  Concurrently, who the fuck do I think I am to protect anyone.  You can’t beat up all the things you dislike, that is often what I want to do, life would be infinitely less complex if I could.  In my line of work a redundant quote is “use your words.”  It has been shown that proficient use of words to reflect one’s internal state can support in offsetting aberrant behavior.  I think I may have a language disorder.  I often notice that I lack the skills to handle certain social situations.  I frequently want to beat situations up and since you can’t beat up situations it turns into beating up people.  My frustration is multiplied by the fact I can’t fight.  So as a result I seriously think about taking self-defense classes, whatever the most violent efficient type is.  Something with a death punch or five finger exploding heart technique.  Truthfully, I seriously doubt I would assault anyone.  These are just feelings of anger because I haven’t developed the skills to yet navigate certain situations.  But, here she was post abusive relationship and an intelligent whole woman, candid and authentic.  Her honesty and candidness soon became her most attractive feature.  She had interesting tastes in music, people I’ve never heard of she categorized herself as a music snob.  She either said that about herself or her transgender friend to whom she was once engaged to, I can’t remember which. Regardless, she was a music snob.  She told me she had two sisters a mother and a step father in her immediate family.  I never asked her about her real father.  Her step father had recently received some serious medical news.  She mention he was a good man however he treated his body like truck, smoking and drinking.  Her mother was a health nut so-to-speak, a great cook and adhered to the Paleo diet.  She mentioned to me Sunday they were going food shopping and going to cook a glorious healthy, paleo-meal.  She said they were going to Wild and Natural but I assume she meant Wild by Nature.  An interesting error.  She described the meal they were planning and some dishes her mom had produced in the past, to me it sounded like Paleo thanksgiving.  She explained that she liked to eat healthy.  She said she spent between $700-$800 on food per month for her and her son.  I know healthy eating can be expensive but these figures seemed extravagant.  She was close with her family, closer than I was use to which I liked hearing.  I resent my family at times I’ve noticed.  I blame them for certain things, qualities or skills I may be lacking, as if they were supposed to provide them to me?  Like they failed in their job raising me.  She said her one sister was in AA and although she resented the mob mentality of AA she did appreciate the results they inspired.  She also shared that while in school she had been bullied, that once a popular jock asked her to the Jr. Prom and that it was actually a joke.  That’s pretty cruel I thought, my heart sank a little.  I wanted to tell her I thought she was beautiful, but I have rules on telling women their beautiful.  I wondered why someone would bully a girl that way, it seemed overtly demented.  I hope that jock is an alcoholic now.  I wish him to be a latent homosexual married to a morbidly obese woman with chin hair and access to a strap-on.  She also mentioned once at lunch a popular boy poured a milkshake over her head in front of everyone.  I felt a little hurt when I heard this.  I thought she was beautiful.  I loved her little braid of brown hair that went across her head.  Her stories reminded me of when I was young.  I was picked on in elementary school for being chubby and overly sensitive but I turned the corner in the middle school via sports, though I never totally dropped all the baggage.  I remember once around 8 years-old I was invited to a birthday party up the block from my house.  I didn’t go because I thought it was mistake or a joke.  I was so paranoid and devoid of confidence that I convinced myself my invitation wasn’t genuine.  The day of the party I could here the voices of my classmates echoing down the block, the splashing from the pool and their laughter reminding me of all the fun I was missing.  I sat in my backyard and just listened torturing myself. I experienced a lot of emotional turmoil during my elementary years.  I spent a lot of time by myself thinking and practicing being an introvert.  I had friends, I was always able to make friends but often preferred the company of myself.  It was a lonely time and I felt like I could relate to the difficult experiences she was describing.  I have grown since but experiences like this never really leave you.  When this is how your social life began and persisted for the majority of its development certain notions about yourself and others become branded into your consciousness.  What is consciousness if not the sum of all your experiences?  You are your past, but the past isn’t real or true it’s just a perception or idea of the truth and therefore subject to misinterpretation.  In essence the past is a story, the only thing that matters is the present; an interesting paradigm, no?  I mean on the one hand we have all these past experiences that we put so much emphasis on.  We define ourselves via our stories of the past.   On the other hand these stories are not true, they are gone, they no longer matter nor exist and the only thing we have control over is the present.  I asked her why she wanted to meet a guy and she said because she had love to give and wanted to be loved in return or something very close to that.  She was a special education teacher, I asked why she chose that career and she explained she had been involved in that work since she was young and loved the population.  I liked talking to her about her work because it was so similar to my course of study and I felt like she found her work rewarding for all the same reasons as I.  I tried to understand the intricacies of her position as she described them; I would never completely understand since I’m a not a special education teacher.  I noticed how I enjoyed watching her talk about her career with passion and proficiency.  She was confident when she spoke about her work, she was committed to do doing good work and I found both these things highly attractive.  At the same time I was thankful that there are people out there like her operating this way.  I found her sexy in those moments where she discussed behavioral plans and strategies for desensitization.  I found her easy to respect.  I felt like she held sacred many of the same things I did, again I felt I could relate, I felt we shared some common ground.  She’s wasn’t interested in money, material goods (besides toy mustaches) and all the other things that distract us from our true nature.  She told me she often disregards her boss and company protocol in order to provide effective and ethical service to her kids.  I hate authority and even more so when it conflicts with common sense.  I liked that her commitment was to her kids and not her job, that takes balls.   She had a freedom about her that I enjoyed.  She just texted me telling me she likes me and thinks I’m cool.  That was helpful since last night I was an awkward mess in my opinion.  I thought I fucked everything up.  She told me all day how she was awkward but she didn’t seem like it.  I on the other hand was a mess.  But if she says it’s cool  then it’s cool, who am I to argue.  She had this little book of surrealist paintings on her coffee table.  Lot’s of blood and lacerations, decapitation, childlike figures with big eyes and small mouths.  It was interesting.  A little dark but…  I buy T-shirts from bloodisthenewblack.com some of their art is disturbing like the “I smoke crack” T-shirt.  I understand how drugs alter perspective and can help you see things anew but simultaneously they can also take things away.  The artists on that site, at times, seemingly celebrate drugs.  Life is a celebration of oneself and art is creation and an extension of that celebration an extension of self-love.  Celebrating drugs for the sake of drugs absent love for oneself is just addiction and we all know where the path of addiction leads. I’m reminded of the one time I did acid.  Literally, nothing was the same ever again for better or worse.  In a matter of one night I could never look at the world the same again.  That was a milestone and a celebration of my life, an adventure into my mind and it happened only once because I knew that was all it needed to happen.

JB has pretty much inspired all the above.  She evoked all these feelings and emotions for me and brought me to places I hadn’t been to for awhile.  She makes me nervous; she excites me. I wanted to jump on her.  I wanted to kiss her lips, her neck, run my hands all over body, through her hair.  I wanted to understand her body through multiple modalities.  I wanted to feel her body and breath on me.  I wanted to know how she tasted.  I wondered a good portion of the night what she looked like naked.  How her boobs fell on her body when she was completely naked.  What kind of nipples did she have.  How would she look in the light of the room.  I wondered where she liked to be touched.  Where is she hypersensitive to my touch to my tongue.  What did I need to know about her body.  When I hugged her she felt so small and fragile.  She’s about 5’6, 110lbs.  I’m 5’10, 185lbs.  She was so small and delicate but not necessarily to be treated delicately.  I wondered what her turns on were.  She had mentioned she liked both men and women.  I wondered what got her wet.  What would she let me do to her.  What could I get away with.  I wondered what she might want me to do.  Was there any weird shit she wanted that would turn me on or off.  I wondered all the things that men wonder about when they meet someone new and beautiful.

I was so blown out high when I was hanging with her.  I wanted to pay close attention to her so I could understand her and get to know her but again I was so blazed.  I like pot.  I don’t like alcohol which I consider way more dangerous than marijuana.  But I realize I can’t function optimally when I’m high.  I have my insecurities still.  My current motto involves agreeing and accepting whatever I’m feeling in order to avoid conflict.  According to J. Krinshnamurti denying your feelings results in internal conflict leading to inauthenticity and pain.  Acknowledging your feelings and accepting them avoids this conflict.  For example, if you’re anxious then be anxious revel in it, understand it, be with it, develop insight into it, it’s natural and what is fighting it is irrational.  Easier said then done.  Sometimes your feelings aren’t overt they exist in the subconscious so acknowledging them and their root involves a search  (i.e., meditation).  Nevertheless, I was so blown out and socially awkward I could not “use my words.”  I had no fucking clue what was happening just that the person next to me was something beautiful that I wanted to interact with further.  She was an anomaly, a universe for me to explore and that excited me.  She was something I wanted more time with.  From what I have read and explored “wanting” leads to certain suffering.  How can I best honor her and myself?  My current plan is to proceed absent of thought and with a listening mind.  I will meditate on cultivating a listening mind.  I am me.  What can I show her?  I have some things to share.  I will see her again, kiss her again.  IDK.  I know nothing, knowing this helps me greatly:

“There is really nothing you must be.

And there is nothing you must do.

There is really nothing you must have.

And there is nothing you must know.

There is really nothing you must become.

However, it helps to understand that fire burns,

and when it rains, the earth gets wet”

188