Lost has fucked with my mind
teh_orwellian
I was woken this morning by my cell phone ringing though I let it go to voicemail. When I listened to the message it was from New York Psychiatric Services returning my call. This was a wrong number, more than likely, but after a night of insane dreams, I wondered if I did, perhaps, summon a far off state's psychiatric offices to call me just to make sure I was OK.

Having watched a DVR'd episode of the Lost premiere (my wife asked me why they are still using a crummy desktop screensaver for the credits), I took a PM tylenol and hit the proverbial hay. These dreams were bat shit crazy. And scary. I have the habit of waking myself up in the middle of the night and seeing shapes attacking, scurrying, lurking in the shadows of the room. Usually they propel me out of the bed and searching for the light. These dreams have gotten worse in the past decade and last night's was no exception. It is pointless to recreate my dream here, nothing is more boring than hearing someone else recount a dream that they thought was INSANE, but really makes no sense.

Instead I will make some notes about the dreams, thereby remembering the essence of what scared the ever loving shit out of me.

-several people in the dream had progeria, and they wouldn't let me get off the couch, they held me by the neck. When I woke up, i couldn't breathe.

-i couldn't open the blinds to let light into the creepy room. The light from the slats in the blind created a creepy illusion. On the blinds a projector showed two hands playing a piano. I was feeling like I was in the middle of a David Lynch movie.

-two portraits were interesting, in particular, because they were carved into what appeared to be the bark of a tree -- and the faces, distorted and strange, where visible in the knots in the tree bark. I had seen these portraits before entering this room.

-We searched for this apartment, but we couldn't find it at first. We stripped away a panel and the door for the apartment 1141, was hidden behind a rack of clothes, as if the entrance was through someone's closet.

can i call her your name?
teh_orwellian
this beast, named the will to live, will awaken soon and come rumbling out of a cavernous womb. it will prowl, ravenous, through the daytime hours of clouds and sun and wind. it will devour everything, leaving nothing to lose, nothing will be left unwanted. and i hate this slimy animal, this fiendish beast. it is my beast friend, my best friend, living chained in my breast. and i want none of it, but it has to escape or i do not live. it is alive, live, livery, liven, liver.

What's New Pussycat?
teh_orwellian
When distracted she has the annoying habit of rapping her fingers against a hard surface and blinking her eyes faster and faster. I sometimes imagine stabbing her in the eyes with a dull fork. She's leaving me in three weeks but until then she needs to sleep on my couch. Toni tells me that she plans to live it up, read a few novels, and carelessly flaunt herself in my apartment. She’s already seeing some other dude; he goes to my school. His name is Marco and he has a goatee and metal in his tongue.

Toni met Marco when I brought him home to study for our upcoming English Lit test. We were being tested on Rimbaud, Pynchon, and DeLillo. Somehow in the cloud of these study sessions, Marcos and Toni formed some cosmic bond that sparked realization in her skull that I was not her true life-partner. At first, they simply giggled after everything the other said. If Marco said something, even if it was not remotely humorous, Toni would laugh like he he was Steve Martin incarnate. Then she began to place her hands on his shoulder when she's talk to him and he would casually reach up and rub her hand with his.

She is sitting on the couch watching HGTV. Someone is giving their patio a total makeover. I approach her and stand in front of the tube.

“You shouldn’t have taken my Tom Jones album,” I said to her.

“What?”

“That album has my favorite song on it.”

“I don’t have the Tom Jones album. I’ve already looked.”

“The cover has him on his haunches, tight pants, emerald cravat, wild hair. The spotlights are blue and yellow. He is holding a microphone in his right hand.”

“You are a freak, Ed.”

“I really need that album back. I have a presentation in class and I was going to use that song he sings about the cat. Is it in your car? It could be in your trunk in a box,” I said.

“I don’t have the album. I never had the album.”

“I have trouble with your tone.”

“I have trouble with you,” she said.

Toni got up from the couch and grabbed a box of her clothes from the corber. She walked to the door and towards her car, chocked full of boxes, clothes, pots and pans, window cleaner. I do not like arguing in the public domain of my surroundings, preferring to yell and scream confined between familiar walls. Home field advantage, if you will. She finished placing the last item in her car and she breezed past me, bounding angrily up the stairs, slamming my door. I follow sheepishly, looking around to make sure we are not being observed.

Inside, she is looking through drawers, pulling my things out and throwing them on the table. Toni likes the dramatics of it all. I’m sure on the first date she was already looking forward to this day, when she could rummage through odds and ends, separating out what was hers. Finally, she was satisfied with her tear through the apartment and plopped down on the couch. The television was already on and she turned the channel from HGTV to the Food Network. The mood was one of tense regret. Perhaps we should have yelled at each other once and for all, spouting generalizations into the air, retracting our hurtful statements, getting to the last words. We would eventually come to that. For now, though, she wanted to ignore the situation and acquire cooking skills from the television. Thirteen minutes later, she turned to me, and then looked away.

“This is really stupid,” Toni said. “I am really fed up with staying here.”

“You could leave. You don’t have to stay.”

“Where am I supposed to go? Who do I know in this town?”

“I don’t know. You could go and stay with Marco. I’m sure he’d love to have you.”

“Marco lives with is parents.”

“Isn’t he thirty?” I said, scraping the pile of junk on the table back into its designated drawer.

“Whatever makes you feel better,” she said.

“It would make me feel better is if we stopped acting like thirteen year olds and talk this out.”

Toni was almost twenty-five, and she lamented the fact that she was halfway to fifty. She was a part-time fashion model and knowing the shelf-life of those in her field, the older she was placed her that much farther from her career. I told her once that she looked younger than her age. Now she looks like she is fifty, smoking a cigarette and wearing Marcos’ old t-shirt.

But she was never happy with the way she looked, always examining her features in a microscopic way. I’d catch her standing only inches from the mirror, making faces, stretching her skin, plucking and picking. I would walk up behind her, grabbing her by the waist, and tell her how perfect she was. That was part of the boyfriend responsibility. Now, as she sat across the room, her features seemed harsh, her face to angular, her lips to thin, thighs to thick, breasts too small. I wonder what I ever was attracted to. Outside, a car alarm went off letting us know that someone was breaking into a car or that they had accidentally touched it. The rest of the evening we yelled in silence.

the other side
teh_orwellian
I've been tortured by dreams as of late, all starring ex-girlfriends, and all giving me an odd feeling in my gut the next morning. Make no mistake, all of my past relationships with women have ended poorly. I am not friends with many of the women whom I have dated or had a physical relationship with (unless you count Facebook, where I am "friends" with 5 or 6 so that I may occasionally 'poke' them [pun intended]). So, when these women from relationships past creep into my dreamscape, I become apprehensive. What are they doing there? Why are they trying to unpack their suitcase at this seedy hotel and, more importantly, why is my wife letting them?

It is not uncommon to re-examine these past relationships with a foggy eye of remembrance that only recounts a patchwork of highs and lows of said coupling. I've been married close to seven years, and these women from the past seep into my thoughts rarely, but often times when my marriage is less than stellar. Sure, on the surface, my brain is sorting out past relationships as a measuring stick to the current situation. Did I feel this way about past girlfriends and, if so, did that ultimately end the relationship?

After one of the "ex" dreams earlier in the week, I 'googled' her to discover she married in 2007 in her backyard. The gentleman in the pictures looked nothing like me and she looked happy (and a little heavier than I recall). So, what feelings did that stir? None. Absolutely nothing, which is what I expected. So, these dreams are merely random, signaling nothing about the possible feelings I might have (or had).

Last night another woman was present in my dreams, and she and my wife were getting along quite remarkably. The ex 'Swedish' girlfriend was desirable to me in the same way she had been almost eleven years ago. Knowing that she does nothing for me today (as evidenced by our friendship on Facebook) makes me realize that it isn't the actual person in these dreams that has resulted in their presence, but the way that I felt when the relationship was new (lusty) and when it was over (lusty and jealous) -- more than anything, I believe what I am feeling is a desire to have strong feelings of a budding romance. After seven years of marriage (nine together), the bond between my wife and I is strong, but lacks the passion of a decade prior. This is undoubtedly why men cheat and engage in extramarital affairs, but I think it wouldn't be worth the guilt that would surely follow any tryst with 'another woman'.

So, I guess I'll delete my craigslist ad looking for a "sexy young Puerto Rican mammacita"...

Sometimes you must force yourself
teh_orwellian
I grabbed her hand but she slipped through my fingers. Now she was laying in a heap on the ground making a snoring sound. Very funny. Watching my lovely mess of a wife get drunk every night has become something of a tragic comedy. On one hand, we have very passionate discussions (arguments) and the sex is intense. On the other, she ends most nights embracing the toilet bowl violently heaving and speaking in a barely intelligible language.

"It's not like you love me," she groans from under her arm that is covering her face (along with a clump of her hair).

"Right," I say. "Are we really going there tonight?"

"We are so very temporary and you just don't get it," she pauses. "I can see all of the stars."

"How about we get you off the ground and we head to car? Your getting your dress dirty and if people come along, they'll see your panties."

"Let them see my panties, Ed. Let them all see my panties," she spreads her legs so that her skirt is now up around her waist.

"Come on," I bend over and grab her arm. "Let's go home."

She would, more than likely, blame all of this on her parents, specifically her father whose alcohol addiction was passed on genetically. This was exacerbated by her mother leaving the family when she was ten and having her father as the sole role model in the household. She watched her father ruin his life and body by chugging an insane amount of whisky every day for as long as she could remember. His only rule being that he refused to drink alcohol before 5pm, as that constituted the workday. He held fast to this requirement long after he lost his job, which resulting in him drinking from 5:01pm through the night until 1 or 2 the next morning.

"I'm not going with you, Ed," she says to me. She has now pushed her self up into a clusmy Indian style pose. Her underwear are no longer visible to passersby. "I can't ever go with you again."

"Really? Why not?" I have heard this argument from her before, but something was different this time. It was something in the tenor of her voice and the vacancy in her eyes.

"Because this is all been destroyed. I mean, look at all of this dirt and grass and the violent blue sky above our heads," she stops and looks up at me, but she is really looking through me. "You just don't ever understand me, do you?"

We had tried an intervention once, several of her closest friends sat nervously in our living room waiting for her to arrive from her shift at the bar. We all carefully planned how we would tell her that we worried about her; about her problem. I figured she would wake up from her horrible dream and acknowledge that she was, in fact, abusing alcohol. She never came home that night. Her boss called me to say that he found her passed out in the supply closet at work.

"I understand you, Phoebe. But we need to go home and talk. You're drunk."

"I am not drunk, Ed," she hissed. "You always say that but you know that this is how I really feel. That I say these things because I want you to hear me. Instead, you ignore me and accuse me of being drunk. How easy for you, huh?"



more later?

We just need to score more points!
teh_orwellian
I listen to sports talk radio and I am never underwhelmed more than when I listen to the call-ins that are aired on the typical sports radio show. Klosterman makes a great point in an essay (title mis-remembered) wherein he suggests that all sports writers love sports until they become professional sports writers, at which time they become disillusioned with journalism and sports in general. I can see why. Here is a typical caller elucidating on an upcoming game of meddling importance: 

Sports Talk Guy: I've got Sports Fan Paul on the line. Paul, what've you got to say?

Paul: Wow, thanks. Long time listener. I just want to say what a good job you're doing on your show.

STG: Thanks.

Paul: I just wanted to mention how our team doesn't tend to score more points. I think if they score more points in some games, they could possibly win.

Somewhat validating this idiot's point, Sports Talk Guy will say:

STG: You know, thanks for your call first of all, and I happen to agree. It seems like our team has a hard time scoring points lately.

Paul: I think if we get rid of the coach, they would score more points than their opponents, making them win more games.

STG: Coach So-and-so definitely needs to get his act together.

Paul: I agree. I think if they score more points in tonight's game, they have a great chance of winning. I don't know why they got rid of {insert hometown favorite player here} because he was really good. If they would have kept him and scored more, they would have a better record. I can't help but thinking that if we'd score more points we'd be a better team. I just think we can be more better. We need to score the ball and play defense better. We need more defense and more offense and our coach has to do better coaching.

you can barely see
teh_orwellian
a subtle depression. you know that things aren't quite right, things don't seem the same as they were yesterday. food doesn't taste the same. actually it doesn't have taste, which leads you to feel betrayed by even your basic senses. too many questions to be answered, they pile up in your head like a million car pile-up. again, you know things aren't quite right and tomorrow doesn't seem any different. maybe you've got nothing to look forward to, life's become a numbing agent. depression is a cliche. nobody wants to hear that you feel bad, nobody cares that things haven't lined up perfectly in your tiny little world. and you barely notice all of these thoughts creeping into the frontal lobe of your brain like a deadly tumor. and then it's too late and your blinded by it and all you see is bright white everywhere like a blizzard. they will shovel pills into your mouth. you open wide but you still can't see anything and you feel lost at the crossroads of here and there. to and fro. this to, shall past. you lead a life of quiet desperation like everyone else cursed with the feelings that there is always something more, something better, the greener grass on the other side. but you can't see any grass because you're blind

Oldie but goodie
teh_orwellian

I'm officially off the grid
teh_orwellian
and it feels right.  

Exercise (the demons)
teh_orwellian
I have spent the majority of my life in and out of the gym, meaning, I have worked out (exercised) to some extent since I was in 7th grade. At that age, it was part of the physical education requirement and part in parcel with playing football. I always engaged in lifting weights at age 13 the way most adolescents did – begrudgingly. Most of us weren’t trying to get chiseled abs (yet) or bulging biceps (yet), we did it because the coach made us.

As I got older, I contracted the “vanity bug” and worked out because I noticed that the opposite sex took notice when your arms or pectoral muscles were larger than other dudes. Was this a good reason to work out? No, but it gave me a reason to half-assedly visit the weight room once or twice a week.

I got hooked on the protein shakes because I read somewhere that if you wanted bigger biceps and pecs (which were the only muscles I was remotely interested in growing), you needed to consume as much protein as possible, upwards of 1.5 times your own body weight. So I drank these horrible tasting shakes, thick with chunks of powder that never quite dissolved despite 5 minutes on high in the blender. This gave me the foulest smelling farts you could imagine. Something like roadkill mixed with rotten eggs and the foulest of body odor.

This was a passing fad, though, like most of my exercise regiments, and I would go through periods of months and sometimes years where I would not even get my heart rate raised beyond normal rest. I called this my exercise hibernation and convinced myself that my body needed this time off to recuperate (like I was some overworked athlete).

Fast forward from age 13 to 33, and I still sporadically engage in periods of dedicated work-outs, where I visit the gym and run and lift weights and grunt and sweat. Several things have changed in the twenty years since I caught the “vanity bug" though. To wit;

I am more interested in slimming down than bulking up. In fact, I used to want to put on 20 pounds of muscle. Now I just want to stay at a consistent weight and not get a beer gut, which I see most men my age starting to grow (most of them are also losing hair by this age which is unavoidable).

I am more concerned with the actual health benefits of a healthy lifestyle, which means I focus on eating the right protein, limited transfat, and the other engineered foodstuffs that do little more than make us feel “not hungry”.

I ran my first half marathon a few months ago which required me to run several miles a day and avoid adding body weight that I would have to carry for 13 miles. I started drinking water like it was. . .well, water. We’re talking 2-3 liters a day, I cut out sodas, etc. I cared less about my biceps and my triceps and glutes and pecs, but still would lift weights a few times a month. I finished my first half-marathon under my target time of 2 hours and felt really good about where I was health wise.

But like every other time in my life, I’ve entered another (much needed?) period of hibernation and haven’t seen the inside of a gym in three or four weeks. I haven’t run more than three miles since the 11/15/09 half marathon.

But after watching an episode of MTV’s enlightening (and entertaining) program “Jersey Shore”, I have realized that I need to revisit the vainglorious days of my youth and hit the gym and tanning salons with reckless abandon. I will wail on my underdeveloped pecs and chisel my midsection, and grow my arms. I will learn how to street fight and pump said fists and DJ and dance and drink a lot of alcohol (I think I've got that one under control).

For every ounce of muscle I gain, ten-to twenty IQ points will be deducted from my modest intelligence. I will invest in tubs of hair gel and purchase three or four Ed Hardy t-shirts.

Yes, I can feel it now. The beast is waking from its slumber. . .

?

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