Monday, June 10, 2013

N 32

I took a psychology course in High School. The teacher of the course, his name which unfortunately I can't remember, was this guy in his thirties who seemed like he had never evolved from what was probably his high school jock personality. He called people losers a lot in this humorous bro way. He was very impressed by his own jokes in the way that certain people are whose conception of their own intelligence is quite exaggerated from what it actually is. He was the assistant football coach and for some insane reason he was teaching psychology.

I don't know why but the memory of what an absurd situation that was flashed over me while I was taking a piss in my bathroom just now. He had a big picture of Charles Manson taped to the front of the classroom and he would talk about Manson's eyes a lot, how you could see the scariness in them, the craziness in them. I now think this teacher might have been taking some sort of speed workout supplements - Stacker 3 or something. He talked about serial killers a lot, circling again and again throughout the class to the eyes of Charles Manson.

On the wall in my apartment, there is a calendar of handsome Roman priests. Mr. June is kind of bonkers. I just looked at him not too long ago and got distracted from whatever direction this narrative might have been headed in. Every morning, groggy, I walk into my kitchen to make some breakfast and am always made a bit more awake by the sight of this priest. I get nervous, I get shy, like there is some really cute guy in the room that I have a crush on and who I am working my courage up to talking to.

I am listening to Eleanor Friedberger's new album and it is so, so good - everything I want and need to hear right now, and there are words, lovely strings of them, that accompany perhaps an even more lovely backing rhythm, and together, the two of them together, look out. Smoke a little weed and if you don't see what I mean at this moment, you surely will during that one. You are welcome, by the way.

I swam in the ocean again yesterday. Today, at work, I wanted to dive again and again beneath the water, to let a wave crash against me, to feel the shock of cold water, to be immersed in something, to really inhabit mentally and physically the same place for once, a rare thing these days, my mind and body often in very different places, different countries, different decades, different beds.

A couple days ago, I saw Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. Saturday matinee screening, a barely filled theater. I sat in a row to myself and let the tears every now and then fall from my face, not bothering to wipe them away. The acknowledgement of this sadness, this release of it, felt good. Give in to it, feel sad, let the tears fall. You will feel better and you will reach for that cigarette in your bag when you get out of that film with all the ardor to exhale, the ardor to enjoy this moment of calm after a release that couples on film so often show, the camera cutting to the moment right after sex, the reach for those cigarettes, the exhale of smoke a substitute for the moneyshot the filmmakers couldn't show and still get commercial distribution. I smoked this cigarette and walked around downtown, taking in life, the stuff that happens around me, these people, many of them cute, walking around, being alive.

On Wednesday, a little more than 24 hours from now, another bingo number will get called and you can feel the nervous energy in the room knowing that the game is nearing its end, that someone had that number, they announce it, and they follow that annoying announcement with an even more annoying one, saying that they only need one more, one more 'til Bingo, while meanwhile you still need four numbers and are not going to win the thing, unless the next four numbers called are somehow all your numbers and only your numbers, but you can feel it, that it's another notch towards the finale, the tension rising more and more. And clearly, that analogy is overstretched and dramatic, but sometimes when you're a little stoned and drinking wine and listening to Eleanor Friedberger, you tend toward the dramatic, toward what might make the better story, or the easier one at least. I am turning 32 on Wednesday and it has me bummed out in the ways that birthdays always kind of do. I have never actively celebrated mine the way some other people do with weeklong festivities. I go out and I get drunk and I invite some friends to come out and dance with me but I do this because I want to go out and have fun - it's a fun independent from a celebration of a birth, that were I really to contemplate the thing, to do what I would like, I would take a hot bath and drink some wine and listen to Gillian Welch and think about all of the possible turns I might have taken at various points with various people. But then there are other times where I do just want to go out and stuff singles down a go-go boy's g-string as I jump around to some song I really like, some song that I am so happy the DJ is playing, am ecstatically happy about, yelling in your ear as I shake you up and down that no one ever plays this Bjork song! I waver between these two poles all the time, but every year as my birthday approaches, these swings back and forth quicken, become bigger and bigger, the lunges in opposite directions.

I look at the wrinkles that appear around my eyes more and more. I look at my body sometimes naked in the mirror as I jerk off, taking dirty pictures of myself for boys on Scruff or for my own benefit. I wonder about my body, sometimes try to assess its attractiveness. I think about relationships. I think about living alone now and I think about living alone when I am 40 and I think about living alone when I am 60 and the thought becomes somehow more and more depressing the older I get in these imagined scenarios, and I ask myself why, but only engage the question for a little bit because there is Mr. June greeting me every time I wake up, greeting me every time I look for a late night snack, this smile, this encouragement, the sight of this man bringing about the knowledge that certain things do in fact exist in this world, somewhere out there, and even if maybe it exists perhaps only in Italian seminaries, there is still the knowledge that it at least exists there, somewhere.

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