. . . friends . . . a second thought for the day about friendship . . . and betrayal . . .

(Second post of the day . . . how does a person who writes 1000 words and think it’s a memo prepare himself to write a one word suicide note? Practice, baby. Practice.)

I had dinner last night with a dear friend. Well, a dear friend last night brought Thai food and her sweet company way out here where I am – and I mean that (again) in both the physical sense – as I am far out in the country – and the emotional and mental sense – because I am untethered, without foundation, far, far out somewhere.

She posted this on Facebook (she told me, I didn’t see it, because I am not on Facebook any longer): “I had a super Thai supper this evening with Charles Smith. He’s absolutely glowing with health, looking fabulously pumped from the gym workouts and lack of nicotine. At least I think the glow was from the absence of nicotine but I guess it could have had something to do with the presence of Patron.”

I had one VERY SMALL shot of Patron. And by “shot”, I mean a shot as in a restaurant sized shot, not a shot as in the tumbler from which I usually drink Patron. And I had that shot because my very dear friend – in an effort to make me feel better about something about which I felt horrible and was explaining to her – ended up telling me some things that she knew would upset me, but which she thought I needed to know so I would stop beating myself up the way I was.

It is very difficult being my friend. Evidence of this is that I am down to 3 now.

But here’s the thing; I am a bit glow-y. I’ve been sitting out in the sun here too. (I know, right?) It’s the middle of nowhere and no one can see me, so sunning seemed the thing to do. And it’s so pretty here – look:

Morning vista. Those are my imaginary friends sitting around the table.

Morning vista. Those are my imaginary friends sitting around the table.

Sophie and Judah run the vista whilst I sip coffee and chat with my imaginary friends.

Sophie and Judah run the vista whilst I sip coffee and chat with my imaginary friends.

And I have somehow maintained the no smoking thing for – I have no idea how long – I do know that today I was about two seconds from buying another pack.

The question is, what the fuck do I have to glow for? The discussion last night centered mainly around why I have made the decision not to continue my life, so it seems somewhat oxymoronic to go to the gym obsessively (by the way – I don’t look good – I still look flabby and large and not toned and old) and to not smoke and now, to have cut back on my drinking. I mean . . . I fucked up my whole life, now I can’t even do death right? Well, I made a promise today – I’m going to write everything out before I pull the trigger, because in an act of extreme irony, my final note is going to contain only one word. I swear.

What a fucking fail.

. . . the ethics of friendship . . . under the bus, speedbump . . .

(Today’s post: how I turned into a speedbump under the bus on the road of life . . . and why expecting anything from anyone is a ridiculous fucking idea in a world without a point, no ethics, and a bunch of mewling, puling self-interested jackholes.)

I don’t get the New York Times every Sunday anymore, and when I do, the reading of its sections and magazine tends to stretch over long periods of time. For example, only this morning did I begin to peruse the magazine from July 21 and come across Chuck Klosterman’s column, “The Ethicist: An Operatic Con” concerning a friend who had misled another and, when the deception was discovered, thought it funny whilst the duped friend thought it a betrayal of trust and of the relationship.

I’ve thought a lot about what constitutes betrayal. I’ve though a lot about the obligations of relationships and what are reasonable expectations.

There is a difference between “reasonable” and “rational” – as in, you may reasonably expect someone who professes to love you to behave (or not behave) in certain ways, but, when they repeatedly act (or don’t act) in ways that qualify to you as dis-honoring that love (or friendship or whatever), then it becomes an irrational belief on your part to expect them to behave differently in the future. As in, if someone dishonors what you understood as your agreement, then, chances are, imagining they won’t continue to do so is – on your part – irrational.

That old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I’m a fucking idiot.

I am, admittedly and repeatedly, a fucking idiot.

speed bump 2

However, despite the fact that I no longer believe in god or karma or Continue reading

. . . all i have to say about that is . . .

Sometimes your friends have to tell you things you wish you didn’t have to hear . . . and sometimes friends should tell you things but don’t . . . and sometimes I just wonder why I bother at all. I don’t understand how any of this happened. I don’t understand why people are so fucking awful. I am, as someone said, “in a way.”

. . . today Tuesday 2nd post . . . already . . .

I haven’t turned on my phone, checked my email, nor in any way connected to the world other than this blog and its Twitter connection: instead, I have been sitting outside, in the sun, with the dogs, reading. This might have been the first moment of actual peace I’ve had in weeks. I am having trouble motivating myself to the gym. Perhaps I should skip a day. And stay here, isolated and disconnected.

. . . if it’s Tuesday this must be . . . Boonsboro? . . .

(Today’s entry in which I travel from my retreat from electronic connection of all kinds to the gay-loving Pope to the TEEN WOLF array of peni to Scott Baio’s speedo on old BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS and the LARGEST bottle of Patron I’ve ever seen – amen – )

I am WAYYYYYYYY out there (here) and I mean that in the actual physical – not emotional and psychological senses – in the bucolic backwoods of Boonsboro.

In my long march toward becoming an actual, honest-to-goodness, full-on hermit. I suppose, during this retreat, I will have to be my own Mao Zedong (were it later in the day and I feeling more blasphemous, I might make a joke about that name) and inspire the troops (meaning: all my multiple personalities) to follow me by exhibiting my leadership qualities.

Right. Oh wait, I do have followers – Judah and Sophie –

Sophie, by car, and Judah, lounging. My people. Early afternoon, before the evening TEEN WOLF bacchanalia.

Sophie, by car, and Judah, lounging. My people. Early afternoon, before the evening TEEN WOLF bacchanalia.

although they’ve as little say in the matter as did those peasants trying to resist the Red Army – although, were I an army, I like to think I’d be blue rather than red – but, what the hell am I talking about? This is what comes of pastoral solitude, I suppose – pastoral in the idyllic, countryfied, Arcadian sense – not in the clergy, pontifical sense. ALTHOUGH, this home is the abode of an actual, honest-to-goodness (and she is extremely honest and good) woman of the cloth, so . . . hmm.

Speaking of pontifical, how about that Pope? Whilst all progress is to be applauded, I am somewhat dumbstruck and flabbergasted by the victorious “I told you so” tones of some of those of Catholic-stripe who cite this ONE PHRASE as somehow ameliorating the centuries of criminally vicious attack on women and gays and every other minority. I mean, I am sure this new Pope means well, but this is the leader of a church which Continue reading

. . . synchronicities . . .

Once upon a time, many long decades ago, St. Peter‘s, the Catholic school where I had happily (mostly) spent grades one through three, was closed. I was terrified by the prospect of having to attend the dreaded “public school” where there were people who were NOT Catholic, and NOT guided by the principles of the Peace Tree and Sisters Catherine and Catherine Anne, both of whom I loved an adored and both of whom were close to my family, understood our father-less situation, and kept me safe and encouraged.

The fall of fourth grade, that first day, I honestly thought I might die. I was not a big hit. With kids or teachers. I was in fourth grade but I was reading on a college level. Everything they were teaching fourth graders at Liberty Elementary was something we had already learned at St. Peter’s – except for the social skills; something at which I NEVER quite caught up.

As luck would have it, I was taken under the wing of the kind (unto sainthood) librarian, Mrs. Lyles. Mrs. Shirley Lyles. She was ridiculously good to me the entire three years I spent at Liberty Elementary, a good portion of which I spent in the library with her. I became what would now – I suppose – be called an aide. She made it clear to my teachers that I should be sent to her whenever I had nothing to do in class – which was incredibly frequently. I was ALWAYS asking to go work in the library – and they ALL hated when I asked, which I now get – it must have been frustrating for them not being able to teach me – but at the time, I didn’t understand why they would care, didn’t get they’d find it – perhaps – a bit insulting. All I knew was that I was safe and valued in the library, alone with Mrs. Lyles.

I would even spend part of my summer there – whenever I could arrange it. Nowadays, of course, all the time we spent alone together would not be allowed. But those were more innocent and kinder and nicer times, and she was a wonderful woman who behaved as mentor, friend, and parent figure. I loved her. I worshipped her. I went back, often, during my early high school years – (high school then being 7th through 12th) – until I turned into the crazed sort of emotional roller coaster substance crazed nut-job I became.

Those years in the library; she let me do EVERYTHING she did. I catalogued, I ordered books, I did her administrative tasks, I was made to feel like a responsible adult. EXCEPT!!! I was NOT allowed to touch her African Violets. EVER.

The sill of African Violets

The sill of African Violets

She had shelves and window sills FILLED with them. SO beautiful. SO glorious. And she told me FROM THE GET GO that they were EXTREMELY delicate and sensitive and that they would trust ONLY one person, so, much as she would have LIKED for me to be able to feed and water them, they would NOT allow such a thing.

Later, when we’d gotten to know one another much better, and she had told me parts of her life story, and I had told her mine (or, more accurately, she had divined my secrets – some even I didn’t then know) – she told me that once upon a time she had had experiences which made her like an African Violet, unable to trust anyone – closed off to the possibilities that there were good people in the world who would feed and water you without letting you down; and she WORRIED that I was becoming that person – an African Violet, who was closed off and would only bloom and drink and eat from one person, or, worse, from no one. She explained to me that the world was indeed full of people you should NOT trust, but that there were also a lot of good, trustworthy folk and if I closed off – I would never experience them and so I would have to learn to balance the risk with the reward.

I tried. For many years. But, now, here, sitting a house where there is a sill full of gorgeous African Violets, and where – coincidentally – lives ANOTHER woman who is every bit as glorious a human being as Mrs. Shirley Lyles – and who, like Mrs. Lyles, recognized that I was drowning (am drowning) and afraid and terrified in whatever classroom the hell of the last few years has been – and has taken it upon herself to welcome and comfort me in her own “library” – and so, how synchronous that I was, this morning, here in her home, reminded of this story as she watered her African Violets before she departed, and, well, Mrs, Lyles, I don’t know if you are still alive – I hate to even think about that – but I tried, really I did, to open and trust and blossom – and you know what? You were wrong. I should have stayed closed. I should not have allowed myself to be fed and watered in the way I was, because I cannot tell you how many of those people I tried to trust who – in the end – meant to drown or prune or starve or neglect me away unto death. Except, of course, here I am in the home of someone I have come to love and trust and believe in – so . . . oh dear.

Mrs. Lyles, I loved you very much – but I am also very much afraid I should not have listened to that lesson.african violets 2

. . . i wish i was an artist . . .

Ryan McGinley’s work makes me weep. (Click here.)

Ryan McGinley 2013

Ryan McGinley 2013

And Elliott Erwitt too. (Click here.)

Elliott Erwitt, Normal

Elliott Erwitt, Normal

And Mapplethorpe. (Click here.)

mapplethorpe untitled of sohl

Mapplethorpe Patti

And others.

2 Men 1855069103211a4ff21d801c5e5a04ac025cconjoined twinsart

I have to go get gas. So much money. Go to the gym. Why am I not looking better? Deal with rejection. No money, and don’t look good. Hmm, see, if I was an artist, I could make a photo or painting to express all of this connectedness of loss, rather than have to type about it.

 

. . . dangerous liaisons . . .

Early today I went grocery shopping for the weekend’s birthday fete. Then I went to the gym. Then I came home and started cooking and spent all the rest of the afternoon making white chocolate/macadamia nut cookies and devils food/peanut butter cupcakes and prepping the seafood paella for tomorrow. Then a quick dinner.

I was exhausted. Long around 7:00 I descended here to my lair and watched the end of GOSFORD PARK (an earlier work of the fellow who wrote Downton Abbey and, too, Robert Altman) and now, DANGEROUS LIAISONS has begun. I love both of these films. I am lost in them.

Tomorrow I will go to the gym, make the birthday dinner and have the celebration. Then Monday begins a new house/dog sitting week in the country, through Friday, and then Saturday another. I shall be doing a great deal of driving – back and forth from the beautiful abode in Washington County to my gym in Frederick – so, get used to me Sheetz (that’s where I get my gas – I hate getting gas – it seems like such a waste of money – why can’t I get everywhere on a subway?) because – my week is planned.

And I’m not going to cook a thing. Hahahaha. I’ve a whole new pile of books from the most recent Amazon Gift Certificate I was given which I will be reading – in between the planned bacchanal with my puppy friends.

Now, if only someone would have asked me out for a drink tonight. Or, something.

. . . i am ready . . .

I keep doing things. For example; today I tidied the house where I was staying, went to the gym, got my hair cut. I tidied the house and while I was in the bathroom, attending to refreshing the toilet and sink with Clorox, the evil-beagle-puppy proceeded to chew up the living room carpet.

Bear the evil beagle's handiwork

Bear the evil beagle’s handiwork

I went to the gym, earlier than I usually go – I’ve changed my time this week because the time I was going I kept running into a fellow about whom I was making up too many stories which were never going to come true and so I wanted to avoid him, and someone from my past life was showing up – so I changed my time. Today, I LITERALLY ran smack into the young man, and not ten minutes later, there was the ghost, haunting me.

I went to get my hair cut. I explained EXACTLY what I wanted. 0 guard on sides and back, an inch and a half to two inches on top, Anderson Cooper-like, so it would lay down if I wanted it to but just barely. So, instead, she somehow almost shaves the top of my head too.

On NPR there was a discussion of memory. It is NOT a tape recorder, but, rather, a reconstruction. We “create” most of our memories. They are unreliable and at least partially invented. I have to ask myself, what the fuck is wrong with you? Why would you make such hateful, dreadful stories in your head.

Does this look like Anderson Cooper's hair? NO!

Does this look like Anderson Cooper’s hair? NO!

Cuz my memories at the moment rather SUCK. And so, what am I left with by this NPR story? That not only do I feel like shit about my life and what was – but, in all likelihood, it was NOT that anyway. I’ve invented it. Which, on the one hand, explains all those people who hate me or who treated me like shit to whom I did nothing – or – wait – maybe they aren’t bitches pricks liars manipulators and – maybe – oh – shit – in any event and either way –

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I AM READY. Seconal. Dramamine. Pudding. And a plastic bag. Bring it on.

SECONAL NEELY! SECONAL!

SECONAL NEELY! SECONAL!