Posts tagged: Love

Scoring My Life

By , December 31, 2010

In November, while I was packing my life away, I found an old journal in which I had begun to keep a sort of score for each year of my life. I had a running tally going, with each year earning either a 1 or a 0. If the year in question had been better than the previous year, it earned a point. If it had been worse, it did not.

What with today being the final day of 2010 and all, it seems like the perfect time to share my scores with you. The journal was from many years ago, so I have filled in scores for the subsequent years. I suppose without some sort of commentary, it will be a meaningless set of numbers, so I will try to annotate it in places.

1995 1
1996 0
1997 1
1998 1
1999 1
2000 1 (I fell in love for the first time)
2001 1
2002 1
2003 1 (2001-3 is a big, long blur of contentment)
2004 0 (Mom got sick)
2005 -1 (worst year ever)
2006 1 (how could it have been worse than ’05? also, pretty good in general– traveled for first time)
2007 0 (transitional crappy year of blah and bad judgement)
2008 1/-1 (started super happy but it all fell apart by the end)
2009 1 (moved from LA to Oakland, made new friends, had best summer of life)
2010 0 (everything fizzled out, ended up homeless in Africa)

My score in life thus far is 9 out of a possible 16. That would have been a failing grade in school, but I have a hunch life is graded on a curve, so I don’t feel so bad. Plus, I hope I have at least a few more years left in me to run up the score a bit.

As you can see, I had a long run of good years, followed by some uneven times, and while my recent life has been somewhat lacking in the happiness department, I have a sense that better things are to come. For the first time in six years I feel little sparks of my old self flickering inside of me.

My life has been peppered with so many dreadful events since 2004, and I feel as though I numbly staggered through them without being affected in any meaningful way. It’s as if I stopped caring that bad things were happening to me, and felt no desire to seek good things. I let life wash over me. I bet there is a clearer way to state this, but I find myself unable to do so at the moment. The best way to put it is to say that for nearly six years I have felt extremely detached from the world around me: I could see my life falling apart around me, but had no drive or desire to prevent it from happening.

Now I care again. Of course, my life is an absolute wreck, but at least I want to fix it. I don’t know if I can do so, and I may be doomed, but that is not as important to me right now as the fact that I don’t want to be doomed. Before, ironically, when I still had the means to prevent it, I didn’t care that my life was disintegrating, and even if I now fail at rebuilding it, knowing that I once again want a happy life makes all the difference.

Do I have a New Year’s Resolution? To take active steps to make sure in a year’s time my score for 2011 is +1.

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My Fake Plastic Girl

By , February 27, 2010

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

For the most part, I’ve not read any of my old blogs since I wrote them, but as I move each one from the old url to this new one, I am more or less forced to do so while fixing links, updating the format, categorizing, tagging, summarizing and so forth. It is not easy. Sometimes I’m more than a little chagrined by the less than gripping writing or the trite choices of topics, but the hardest ones to reread are those like the Dreaming post. Reading that again evoked a complicated mixture of emotions within me, from the bittersweet to the embarrassing, and for more reasons than I can list, I want to travel back into time and smack myself over the head.

I was so unabashedly open about how in love I was. Which is fine, except that I can’t help but feel foolish in retrospect that I was going on and on about how wonderful our love was, and how amazing she was, when it was all a big joke at my expense. It isn’t as if she became a different person the day she up and disappeared; she was always that person and I was too blinded by love to see it. I realize that now, and so I look back at what I wrote I can’t help but feel awfully stupid.

The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker peckin’ at a plastic tree.
He looks at me, and “Friend,” says he,

“Things ain’t as sweet as they used to be.”

I think the crux of what I feel when revisiting the old entries stems from the fact that I know what is to come. Just as each time I reread The Great Gatsby, I futilely hope for a happy ending, yet know all along that Gatsby is going to die, no amount of hindsight can change what I know came next in my life. If I could rewrite history by rewriting those old journal entries– if only it were that easy– I would do just that. Gone would be gushy blogs about true and perfect loves with best friends. No more would be the maudlin posts about future weddings, nor would there be any extolling the virtues of dream girls, and there most definitely would be none of these. In their place, I would write of my fake plastic girl: emotionless, selfish, dishonest, and uncaring.

If it seems like I still care, I don’t. If it seems like I am still hung up on her, I’m not. I’m past it all, and I’m again ensconced in a happy, productive life in which I am the master of my own heart and destiny. I wrote this in part because the old blogs have dredged up memories which seemed worth exploring, but mostly because amidst all the previous blogs devoted to my love for her, and later those of heartbreak for losing her, there needed to be at least one entry here that named her for what she really was– my fake plastic love.

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Lessons Learned

By , January 26, 2006

In my heart there’s flowers growin’,
On the grave of our old love

There are two kinds of people: selfish and selfless. While it may seem noble to be among the selfless, it’s also very painful. We bear the burden of the selfish. We may sleep well at night knowing we’ve done right by those around us, but we are forever at the mercy of those ready to trample us for their own gain or amusement. But do selfish people really think they’re doing anything wrong?

I don’t think people like Fizzy think of themselves as bad people. Sure, in the cosmic good/ bad scheme of things they are unquestionably the bad ones, but they must be able to justify their actions to themselves. How else can they make it through the day? I get caught up wondering stuff like “how could she?” or “why did she?” when I really should just chalk it up to the fact that it’s her nature. A selfish person takes it for granted that acting out of self interest is acceptable, rational behavior. The pain they cause those left in their wake is to them probably some sort of unfortunate byproduct that can’t be avoided. “Better you than me” most likely sums up their attitude.

I remember so many things that I should have seen as signs, but I failed to read them at the time. I was blinded by love, as they say. I remember how she always stole things from her workplace, or how she lied to her parents and sisters all the time. I remember her one day cutting all ties with her then best friend, and never telling her why or even looking back. Somehow, it never registered to me that one day I might be on the receiving end of such behavior.

So what have I learned from Fizzy? Many things, both good and bad. I know what it means to be in love with someone. Moreover, I understand that love transcends all rational thought. I know what she did was wrong, and I know I shouldn’t love her anymore, but I still do. I hope I’ll fall out of love, and if I do, I now know what true love is, and I forever have a barometer by which to measure future emotions. I’ve also learned to try not to let love blind me. I placed unconditional trust in her. I overlooked the aforementioned telltale signs, and it was my downfall. I know better now. I’m confident that one day I’ll be ready to try again with someone new, and I know better than to let my guard down. I think I can eventually trust someone again, but it won’t be without careful consideration. I know I can never be 100% sure about anyone, but maybe I can be sure enough to try again. Maybe.

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What is This? MySpace?

By , January 6, 2006

Since MySpace is all the rage these days, here is the latest ridiculous “survey” that I’ve filled out there, saved here for posterity. And for future embarrassment.

9 lasts.
last cigarette: I don’t smoke, but I had my last pretend cigarette whilst getting air outside at the Chinese Hospital casino bash
last beverage: coffee at Fenton’s
last kiss: friendly? Chloe, unless I kissed Josh tonight. I think I only bundled him up. romantic? Tzuen.
last cd played: actual CD? Brian Jonestown Massacre. Last song, Joy Division is playing now.
last bubble bath: at the Madonna Inn in October of ’04 with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
last time you cried: this morning :/
last time you laughed: Moments ago whilst foos-balling with a super-stoned Josh

8 have you evers.
have you ever dated one of your best friends: no
have you ever skinny dipped: no. wait, yes. forevs ago
have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it: boy howdy have I ever
have you ever fallen in love: yes
have you ever lost someone you loved: yes
have you ever been depressed: consult previous blogs…
have you ever been drunk and threw up: *nod*
have you ever ran away: no. but ask me again in a couple weeks.

7 states you’ve been to.
1. Alaska
2. New York
3. Michigan
4. Arkansas
6. Hawaii
7. Texas

6 things you’ve done today.
1. got drunk
2. ate cheeseburgers, plural
3. listened to music
4. read comics
5. wilded in the streets with Teddie, Bronson, Kevin, Josh, and Nick
6. sent a fax

5 favorite things in no order.
1. my friends
2. being massaged
3. cooking
4. her, but not the her you think I mean
5. film noir

4 people you can tell [almost] anything to.
1. Teddie
2. Kathryn
3. Chloe
4. Diane

3 wishes.
1. to be happy again
2. to trust again
3. to love again

2 things you want to do before you die.
1. spend time in at least 50 countries
2. find out why

1 thing you regret.
1. trusting her, the bad her

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Promises

By , December 27, 2005

I wasn’t going to post this. I wrote it, and decided it was much too personal to share in a blog. But I did share it with a friend, and she responded with her thoughts on the matter, and her own experiences. Other friends have shared their versions of the story, and when it comes down to it I think what I have learned from all this is the true nature of love. When someone falls in love– truly, honestly falls in love, it’s forever. There is no undoing it or going back. The love becomes a permanent part of that person. When both people fall that way, it works. When only one does, he spends the rest of his life trying to forget something that can’t be forgotten. And so:

At some point years ago I realized I was going to love Sue for the rest of my life, and now that I’m no longer supposed to do so, I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to shut off those feelings. I know she’s gone, and never coming back, but my heart still belongs to her. It’s been over nine months now. For many months I didn’t know where she was, or if she was even alive. By now it has become clear that she decided to vanish one day, and couldn’t be bothered with saying goodbye to me. I also know that wherever she is, she isn’t thinking about me, yet once again I am sitting here missing her, just like every single other day since she left.

Every time I promised to love her for the rest of my life, I meant it. I don’t say such things lightly. She is the only girl with whom I’ve ever fallen in love. It was a gradual process. By the time I first told her I loved her, we’d known one another for nearly two years, and I was already hopelessly in love. Over the next five years, every time I promised my love to her, I absolutely meant it, and every time, I felt it even stronger than before. There were times that I held her in my arms so tightly that it felt like we were one person. I’d sometimes feel so much emotion that my body would tremble; I’d honestly feel so much love inside that I would literally shake on the outside. I’d never experienced anything remotely similar to that in the past, and I doubt I ever will again.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t break promises to people. I just don’t. If I promise I will do something, I always do it. Now I am faced with the fact that I am supposed to break all the promises I made to her over the years. I don’t know how to do this. I can lie to myself and pretend I don’t love her, or that I never did, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do. I meant what I said to her. I really will love her for the rest of my life. It’s unfortunate that she has left me, but that really doesn’t change anything, does it? My promises, like my love for her, were unconditional.

I’ve tried dating. It feels wrong. I feel like I am cheating on her. Which makes no sense, because she is long gone and not coming back, but I still feel the way I imagine a person cheating on his girlfriend must feel. I met someone wonderful recently, and by all rights, I should be focusing on her, even though the circumstances surrounding her point to another doomed love affair; I should at least be able to find out.

I need to fall out of love with Fizzy first, and that just isn’t happening. It doesn’t help that the last time we spoke, the last thing she said to me was “I love you.” She once promised that no matter what happened, how she felt, or how hard it was, if she ever thought what we had was finished, she would tell me so. She broke her other promises to me, and she seems to have lied to me about many things, so I shouldn’t be surprised that she was lying when she said that to me, but there is still some stupid part of me that believes in her. And every time I try to start over with someone new, it just feels wrong, because I’m still waiting for someone who is never coming back, and I’m still in love with someone who stopped loving me a long time ago.

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HHGFF

By , December 25, 2005

It’s half past four on Christmas morning and we just finished cooking and cleaning crabs for tomorrow night’s dinner. Someone has been kind enough to adopt me for the holiday, and we’ve been hard at work preparing to make dinner for her parents and relatives. I’ve been looking forward to it, and I know it will be a marvelous Christmas. Of course, I have one Christmas wish, which I know won’t come true. Yet, at the same time, if asked with whom I most want to spend this day, I would say with all honesty there is no one in the world I’d rather be with this Christmas than exactly whom I will be with. I may be far from “over” the past, but the present has been a little bit better of late. I don’t believe in fate in any way, shape, or form, but it is remarkable how things sometimes work out. HHGFF. And ever.

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Anniversary Redux

By , August 19, 2005

This is the only entry that is too cubbing to re-post to the new blog.

If I change my mind, I’ll post it. *cub ears*

The comment exchange with my stalker is pretty rad though. At least you can still see that bit of lore.

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Crushed

By , August 12, 2005

My first crush came when I was about 10 or 11 years old, which would put me in the 5th or 6th grade. Her name was Heather, and I can’t really recall much else about her beyond that. But at the time I thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Of course, since I wasn’t a popular kid by any stretch, I never did anything about it other than silently admire her from afar. Our sole interaction came in a class project during which her hands became messy with some sort of clay or paste. She asked me to roll her sleeves up for her, as my hands were clean. It was the highlight of my week, but for her it was surely just the dorky kid doing her a meaningless favor.

I’d like to think that as I’ve aged I’ve become more sophisticated, or at least more able to express my feelings to members of the opposite sex, but that moment has pretty much repeated itself with every crush I’ve had since then. From age 10 on into adulthood I periodically crushed on various girls, never finding a way to express my feelings. I usually found myself in the role of the uncool outcast with whom they would not associate. When I was able to initiate a relationship, I seemed forever relegated to the role of the platonic friend who occasionally does a meaningless favor.

All the ridiculing and teasing, ostracization, and outright abuse was painful of course, but for the most part it rolled off my back like water from a duck. I didn’t have enough of an emotional investment in anyone to give them the ability to truly hurt me. But that eventually changed. I met Fizzy.

We spent nearly two years courting one another before we became a couple. After that came a long period of absolute bliss, and without a doubt the happiest time of my life. For the first time I was content and confident about my future. My older blogs are peppered with tales of happiness and love, and even a cursory glance at my older posts demonstrates how important she was to me. In short, Fizzy turned my world around. I dropped my guard completely, and let myself love and trust her unconditionally. Had someone asked me six months ago if she would ever lie to me or hurt me on purpose, I’d have staked my life that she wouldn’t. I knew that the same way I knew the sky is blue…she was my absolute in a world full of uncertainty. Or so I thought.

Now I don’t know what to think, because I don’t know where she is. I mentioned last time that I have it on good authority that she is not dead, but beyond that– I have no idea where she is or why she left. I hope she isn’t sick, or hurt, or in jail, or… well, I could go on forever. I really don’t know what happened, but the more that time passes, the more I am starting to realize that she isn’t in any sort of trouble, she’s just gone.

I never saw any of this coming. I didn’t even acknowledge the risk I ran by putting such faith in her, because it seemed so impossible that she could betray that trust. That only made it worse when she did, because I realized that so many years of my life were devoted to someone I wrongly believed cared about me enough to be honest and fair with me when it mattered most. I don’t pretend to have been perfect by any stretch, but I was a devoted, honest, and caring boyfriend/fiance. Am I wrong to think I deserve some sort of closure?

Still, there is something sadly liberating about having had my heart so thoroughly destroyed by Fizzy. I realize now that *anyone* can betray you, and as such I shan’t be betrayed again because I simply won’t trust again. I can’t. She has left me utterly unable to ever trust or love anyone the same way. And while I may never completely heal, I will eventually get past this pain. And then I will never, ever feel this way again, because I just won’t be emotionally capable of giving another person the power to do this to me. See what I mean? Sad, but liberating.

But first I have to get past this pain. And it seems every day I am, one tear at a time.

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Flirt

By , August 8, 2005

Well, if I could tame all of my desires
Wait out the weather that howls in my brain
Because it seems that it’s always changing
The winds indecision, the sorrowful rain

Yeah, I was a postcard, I was a record
I was a camera until I went blind
Now I’m riding all over this island
Looking for something to open my eyes

I have a funny, somewhat paradoxical attitude towards my prowess with members of the opposite sex, and it’s hard for me to know exactly why. Sometimes I feel like I am completely inept at meeting women, and that none ever take an interest in me, while at other times it seems like there is always some girl chasing me, at least when I’m single (and occasionally when I’m not). And while most of the women I meet don’t take a romantic interest in me, enough do that I should be confident, if not downright cocky about my sex appeal.

I know that at least part of my reluctance to admit to myself that I’m attractive to women stems from my first experiences with dating. Ever since my early teens, girls have flirted with me, but I’ve never felt like I deserved it. I think part of that disbelief stems from the way the girls who actually knew me ignored me. Throughout grade school and most of high school I was always the least popular kid in my class, and no girls ever asked me out or agreed to go out with me when I was the one asking. It was only when I went somewhere else that girls occasionally showed interest. Obviously, I attributed this to the fact that the people who knew me well disliked me; strangers were more easily duped into finding me attractive.

Once I got to college, and the slate was wiped clean, and I was surrounded by others with interests similar to my own, I was surprised by how many girls were into me. I just wasn’t sure what to do about it. I’m pretty sure that all those years of being ostracized by my peers taught me to expect to be ignored by others, so I wasn’t prepared for a girl showing interest in me, hence my uncertainty. Even today, all grown up and years removed from being unpopular in any sense of the word, when a girl tells me I’m cute or fun or interesting, or anything of that nature, I don’t believe it. I feel I must somehow have tricked her into thinking so, because I know the real me is plain and uninteresting. No matter how old I get, or how often girls seem attracted to me, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m just a heartbeat away from being exposed as unworthy of such affection. Or that there must be something wrong with the girl saying nice things about me. That sounds really harsh, but it’s true. I honestly feel this way.

There is another aspect to this that I have yet to mention, and while using math to explain love is seldom an effective route to take, I think this time it is justified. So here goes… let’s try to graph love! Throughout my life, there have been a number of girls for whom I was utterly smitten– crushes, or what have you. Let’s plot all of those girls on a line called something like “Girls What That I Like.” Granted, I don’t crush easily or often, so it is a small line, but it is a significant line nonetheless. The other line on our graph is “Girls What That Like Me.” This is a noticeably longer line. Unfortunately, the two lines never intersect. That is pretty much the point of our math exercise. I’ve liked some girls, a bunch of girls have liked me, but none of the ones I liked ever liked me back. Until…

Fizzy was the big exception to that. I liked her, and she liked me. More than that, when she became my girlfriend, it didn’t feel as though I’d pulled a fast one on her; we seemed like a perfect fit. And she became, for better or worse, a sort of badge of honor for me. I extolled her virtues to anyone who would listen (not to mention the entire blogging world), and I guess in retrospect maybe it seemed like I was bragging. In a way, I suppose I was. I never imagined someone so wonderful would ever take an interest in me, much less agree to marry me, and I wanted to shout it from rooftops.

Whenever friends would consult me about problems with their love lives, I’d remind them that true love and happiness is possible. I’d tell them how I never thought I’d find it, but then one day it happened. I never meant to gloat or boast, but maybe it came out that way. Now I feel sort of foolish– I was obviously wrong. True love is harder to hold on to than I ever imagined, and even someone you trust and love unconditionally can unexpectedly lie to you or hurt you without reason. Even when things seem perfect, they don’t always work out.

I have no idea why I’m writing about this. Wait, yes I do. I think it has something to do with the gradual realization that I may very well be single again. I mean, I am not entirely sure that I am, and I don’t want to go into all sorts of personal details here, but Fizzy vanished without a trace (or a goodbye) about three months ago. I have it on good authority that she is not dead, but beyond that I know nothing. So yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s over, which means I no longer have an excuse to ignore flirtatious women. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? Why would I want to ignore them?? I wish I knew. I’ve always been this way– it’s as if I actively try to make women disinterested in me so I won’t feel surprised when it turns out to be the case. At least when I was with Fizzy, I had an excuse to ignore other women. I was taken. Now I have no excuse. But I still find myself doing the same thing. I think it is the lack of closure that has me in this holding pattern. Without resolution it’s hard to move on. Not to mention the fact that I don’t really want to move on. I was very happy for a long time, and the last thing I want to do now is “get back out there” and try to meet girls again, but it seems that eventually I am going to have to do so. Rats.

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Music Saves

By , June 28, 2005

I’ve been through many times when I thought I might lose it
The only thing to save me has always been music

- Mike D

At one point in time it would have been difficult to imagine a Beastie Boy lyric being used as the epigram for any bit of serious prose, but there you have it. Today I turn to Michael Diamond for inspiration. The above couplet resonated with me when I first heard it, and it has never rang true so clearly as of late. A while back, a groom’s request of Fifty Cent prompted me to write in semi-jest about the power of music, but in all seriousness– music has always been integral to my life (which I’m sure it is to many people’s lives), and a never-ending source of solace when circumstance deals an unexpected or difficult blow.

I think it was also Mike D. who rapped:

Life ain’t nothing but a good groove
A good mix tape can put you in the right mood

Of course, mix tapes gave way to the mix CD, which has in turn been replaced by the iTunes playlist. I’ve concocted a fair number of playlists since the advent of the mp3, and lately I’ve put together a new one. At the risk of appearing old-fashioned, I will confess that mp3 playlists always feel more than a little bit sterile to me. I’m not a hardcore vinyl purist, but I still prefer whenever possible to listen to an actual record. I often consider selling my vinyl collection– after all, most of it is languishing in storage– but I reconsider whenever I play one. A song feels so much more alive on vinyl, whether it be from the physical act of dropping the needle into the groove, or the faint crackle of dust in the background… Tangent aside, I’m here to talk playlists. The title of this one says it all– Melancholy. And before anyone chimes in with a comment advising me to avoid playing sad songs when I’m sad, let me offer this bit of, well, for a lack of a better word, wisdom.

There seems to be two general ways that one can deal with great sorrow– either hide from it, i.e. bottle it up, push it deep down inside of yourself, and try to forget about it, or embrace it and let it take you places within your psyche that you would otherwise never dare go. I am a big proponent of the latter method. It has always been the saddest times in my life that have taught me who I really am, and allowed me opportunities to improve myself. Often it seems that only by listening to my darkest emotions and visiting the farthest reaches of my soul can I get to the bottom of what ails me. Sure, my method is not a happy one. You’ll visit dark places, and you’ll suffer, but when you emerge from mourning, you are a better person for the experience. Conversely, I think the people who ignore or bury the sad feelings find those feelings cropping up to haunt them later in life, usually in altered, unrecognizable forms which take years of therapy to identify and conquer.

What does this all mean? It means that lately I’ve been listening to a lot of sad songs. This trend has not been the result of a conscious effort; I haven’t trawled my iTunes folders on a quest for unhappiness. It was more of an organic process, but the resultant playlist, which I’ll share below, definitely has a consistent vibe to it, hence the aforementioned name I assigned to it. For me, music and poetry have long been my main access points to my inner self. I frequently find myself aware of an attitude or emotion I didn’t realize I had, or at least had been unable to crystallize into coherent thought, after hearing a similar sentiment expressed in a song.

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