Hey, Pig

I got an e-mail about this blog. The person wouldn't comment on here, afraid I may say something. The blog, according to her, is depressing. I'm dragging her down. Bumming her out. "I know I'm not your best friend, but if you lost a friend, so what? Get over it. Friends come and go."

I refrained from responding. Friends do come and go when you don't care, but when you keep the gates like I do, any friend leaving is like losing a limb. (And truth be told, I think I can salvage this lost friendship if I'm given a chance.) What I wanted to do with this letter writer was show her how it feels. I wanted to drag her into the gutter and put a cigarette out on her cheek. Instead, I got a phone call from another friend from back East, and I was thrilled.

I was kind of explaining the situation (and I thank her for offering to show up at my place wearing nothing, and if that ever happens I will take full advantage of the situation if the mood strikes me), and she said something along the lines that all this heartache goes away, gets better, and you forget about it and move on.

I begged to differ. It goes away, gets better, but you don't forget.

I compared it to being shot in the face. The bullet catches your lower jaw and just tears it to shreds. Your tongue is a mess. Teeth are gone. You are rushed to the hospital. Surgeons do what they can, and they are pretty amazing, so they've got you back together. Your jaw, however, is wired shut. For the next few weeks you'll have to sip soup through a straw while your wounds heal. You'll have an IV, too, but you've also got that delicious chicken soup. You can't forget that. Once the wounds heal enough, the docs will clip those wires. Now you'll need therapy so you can talk again. That won't be fun. And did they mention the scars? You'll see them everytime you shave.

You don't want to forget that pain. You don't want to be shot in the face again. Yes, you'll get better, but only a fool forgets. Only a fool wants to relive that.

The shit I write here is my therapy. It beats carving up people or burning down banks. It keeps my mind off my mind. I'd be doing it even if nobody was reading, and I don't know how many people actually are. (If the publisher of my poker book puts this blog on its site, I think more will be coming my way, though.) I don't care, however. It's out there. If I can connect with just one person, which I think I have, I'll have done my job.

Not every post is going to be about how AT and T is staffed by morons or how great Voodoo Rhythm Records is. Some are going to be dirty little wounds that quickly grow into infections.

A co-worker, who is also a friend, told me today that I was the luckiest guy. That I always had women at my desk. I told her she was crazy. That I'm not lucky. That women don't swoon over me. In fact, I think most women hate me. I have issues. I'm not a "bad boy" (meaning I don't beat women or think I am the center of the universe), and I think I'm socially awkward. I have never had an easy time meeting women, but the one's I've met have been great. I don't do the dating thing. I try to treat the opposite sex as equals, and I try to be a nice guy. All those things are sexual/romantic/social poison. I don't have all kinds of women at my desk at work, and I don't think I'm a "good catch." I think I've been lucky ... in some cases very lucky. But the losses have been great, and that's hard to deal with.

My luck, as little as there ever was, has run out. I'm broken, bruised, battered and bitter. I'm also tired. I don't care about this anymore. I don't want to care. I have fallen under the spell of apathy when it comes to my life, and that scares me. I'm not boiling animal skulls anymore, or shooting the windows out of cars parked at the bar, but something is brewing ... and that something can't be good.


elistia said...

this is not going to mean much to you right now and maybe not even in the near future but i'm going to write it anyway because possibly, at some point after our friendship has deflated (everything ends...i started preparing myself for this ending last night), someone will say something to you & things will click in that noggin of yours. you will be reminded of when i told you this: your view of you is askew. i think that you & i have spoken enough that you know i don't think much of most people. the people i value, i tell them so...usually in writing. i've assigned you an adjective...one that i would use to describe you if someone asked me to describe you. i've told you what that adjective is & you were & still are pretty disbelieving... although you thanked me for the compliment. i tend to be very selective about how i use my words. that adjective fits you perfectly. as a matter of fact, you're listed as that adjective in my phone (i've got nicknames for just about everyone in my cell phone). and whatever co-worker told you what they told you about women around you at work...umm...that person is right. i observe A LOT. actually, i've gotten irritated a few times because i thought some of these women were keeping you from working. but i said nothing because maybe what they were talking about was work related even though their body language suggested otherwise. aside from that, i am the keeper of many secrets & i would not be betraying a trust letting you know that quite a few women think very highly of you. it's been verbalized to me.
i've got NOTHING to gain by telling you how i see you. i actually think it could potentially get me in trouble if someone wanted to twist my words. and i'm sure there are people in that building who would. but fuck 'em. i started my list of who i'm writing off. and the people who would want to mar my reputation are at the top of the list without me even having to write down the names.
you're a good guy. i've seen you fuck with people but never maliciously. and i've never seen you fuck someone over. you don't play hot & cold with people. you don't play games. you don't appear to be judgmental. you're intelligent. you're creative. you're a Good father. you mostly keep to yourself. you're not perfect & you don't pretend to be. that whole package...that's magnetic.
i hope that one day you will see at least a fraction of what others see. it probably won't necessarily make a big change in you but for a moment, you'll feel something positive. and just like that, it will disappear. but that moment will be crucial.
knowing this shit won't change your circumstances or how you are feeling or thinking right now. it won't change that really horrible shit happens to good people while assholes haven't a care in the world. that's not my intent in telling you what i'm telling you. i'm not that dense. but it's still shit you should know.
i'm going to look for owls.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

You know, with how I feel about friendships, and how my great ones have gone on for decades, this one that we have is one I'm definitely not expecting to deflate. You're right in that it can happen, but I think I've shown that I try to keep things going. (Starting to wonder why now with a certain person who wouldn't even go with me to the courthouse after all I've done for her, but to use her word, whatever.)

Any woman that comes up to me at work is usually talking about work. There are rare occasions, but despite my joking around at work, I do actually take the work seriously and don't like to be distracted unless I need that mental break. (It often helps me, when stuck, to turn to something frivolous for ten minutes and come back to the problem at hand with a clear mind.)

I don't see what you and supposedly others see, and hope I never do. I never want to be that comfortable in my skin. I feel all too alien, all too human, all too animal and for all the wrong reasons.

I'm afraid with my opening up some of the shit is starting to slip out. I can feel it in the way people are handling me. Some people, not all, are starting to move beyond concerned and worried and into that other territory. You know the place. It's like they are planning an intervention mentally, but want to wait to see what that next step is.

All I can say is that I think they are right in that it is coming.