Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Burning Bridges

I’m not sure if the following counts as an update or a rant. The only thing I know is that I should be posting it on Group Hug, rather than on the blog. But here it is; for some reason, I just don’t give a fuck. Enjoy.

I’ve been in a really foul mood since coming back to DC in December, and the frustration is starting to crest. I feel something is about to break, and I have no idea where I’ll end up once the dust settles.

I’ve put aside the work I’d been doing on the 1995 novel, and begun to focus exclusively on the 2005 material. It’s closer to where I am now, and it kept biasing the other book. I was trying to keep the 1995 novel in the style/mindset of the 20 year old me, but my current problems began leaking into the 1995 story-line. It got ugly.
Personal issues are like bowel-movements, there’s only one thing that you can do once they start to come out – sit down and get it all out.

The 2005 writings are sporadic shotgun narratives with no unifying narrative structure, but excessive overlapping themes. They were mostly written in the middle of the night when I ran to the computer when I was too wound-up to get to sleep. They tend to surprise me when I read them later. They’re not nice, but they always hit the raw-nerve of truth.
I feel petty when I’m reading them later. I’ve got a great job that’s very fulfilling, and a nice house in a good neighborhood. I’ve got more material shit than I can handle: stacks of books – unread, and piles of DVDs – unwatched.
I’m one lucky son of a bitch, so why am I up at 3 in the fucking morning on a work-night drinking Bookers neat, smoking like Auschwitz, and banging away at the fucking keyboard like it punched my Mom?
Well, my personal life is a huge smoking train-wreck. Hell, whose isn’t? At least I don’t have a wife or (God-forbid) kids to keep me tethered to this shit.

Well then, what the fuck is wrong?

I don’t know; it’s as simple as that. I know that I’m not happy, but I have no idea what I want to do past next week. I feel trapped. I see my life playing out before me like a bad made-for-TV movie, and there’s little that I can do to advance the hackneyed plot.
I want to put everything that I own into storage and run – far. But where?

I think it’s just this age, and all the existential bullshit that comes with it. It’s time that I’m supposed to make the ‘serious’ decisions about the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be any more unsure (Craig touched on this topic briefly, but I’m not gonna drag him into this shit-storm). The question is: What’s worse; dying alone, or being miserable everyday up to that death?

Sometimes I just want to take the easy way out… and find religion.

Wow, that should just about do it. I think that I’ve alienated just about everyone that will read this. Another job well done.

For anyone who's left; here's a treat for putting up with all of my bitching.


edP said...

The real treat here is the cartoon at the beginning of the post.

Re: the things that tether us to this life (spelling not withstanding)...or "taking the easy way out" as you put it - I'm not going to gently back away from these like I usually do. I think you are asking your friends here to confront you back (using better grammmmmargh)


Quite frankly, to return to our embarrassing, over-the-top philosophical conversation from the blogs a few months back...I think the feeling you describe matches up nicely (not to say horrifically) with the problems of modern liberal philosophy and post-modern bullshit. Not saying that you are full of bullshit - you're not, you seem to be honest enough to admit things are going off the rails on this crazy train - but in this culture, with our awareness (yours and mine...this is not just a problem that the DC Liar has...I have it too) - it is very easy to view our lives as "played out" - or watch as they play themselves out...the problem of narrative metanarratives etc...

...and I don't think this is a problem that is spirited away by turning to religion. Since you're talking about the two books you're working on...I've found that writing about these parts of my life (some may or may not be similar to yours) has not fucking helped. I was so sure it would. Writing has sort of made me lose some of the perspective on my own life. I'll send you the intro to the longform bio (egostroking ed) I've been working on as a book 'n record for the past two years. But I ended up writing, rewriting and re-rewriting the intro (which I proudly refer to as the "Preface 2 Da First Folio")...and why write the dopey four page intro over and over and over again...while my kid is crying and my God is calling me to take some boxes of Aldi cereal to the food pantry or some shit like that....

...because like a mathemetician struggling with Lorenz transformation problems (Dave if you're lurking, a little help would be nice - because this is a sort of math problem)...the proof didn't make sense - I couldn't justify what I was doing. There is no easy way out...especially as it involves religion as I understand it.

Even regarding this stupid set of comments I'm making...I don't know how the fuck my religion helps me in responding to my friend who clearly has a problem that's related more to philosophy than revelation...

and before I can say Aquinas says this, Augustine (of Hippo) says that blahditty blah blah...honesty compells me to say - I feel it too - I just get to forget about it when I take my kid to see the World Series trophy at the stupid US Cellular Store in stupid DeKalb.

This angry - frustrated as fuck attitude (I think) is the right response to this situation. More to the point, I don't think you're being a crybaby by coming out and saying 'I have all this stuff so why am I drinking Bookers like KoolAid at 3am) - I think that is how a real man reacts to this. Creature comforts won't make us happy...bullshit modern life (the Lockean joyless quest for joy disguised as the pursuit of happiness) won't either.

But don't stop writing both of those fucking books...even schmucks like us have to charge the windmills w/ lufas or some shit like that.

What are we rebelling against?

Brando: "Whatya got?"

Spiderman: "A death, even the death of a man like the Green Goblin shouldn't be senseless or pointless....otherwise it means we live in vain."

Tranps like us
Baby we were born to suck

edP said...

I meant tramps like us. Now I've completely discredited all my previous thoughtful remarks. Damn me.

Jeanz said...

I'm going with much dumber advice: spend some time doing something you don't normally do. Go stare at some art, sit in a park with nothing to do, take a bath - anything that involves zoning out, alone, in unfamiliar surroundings (not that your tub is unfamiliar to you, but I think you'll get what I mean). Chill out, as the kids say. An hour or so of mindlessness with minimal distraction can at least get you out of the elements for awhile.

edP said...

Hey, I thought my advice was pretty fucking dumb

Jeanz said...

Ed, I am totally dumber than you and you'll never get me to say otherwise.

edP said...


Prairie Dawg said...

Everybody, to the blogmobile! Commiseration for the DC Liar is the mission du jour!

The Old Dog said...

I'll listen to you bitch all day.

Gundy said...

As I said, I have never had more conversations about age and aging in my life than in the past two weeks leading up to the Big 35.

The Old Dog replied to my "Getting Old" post via email, cuz he got all sappy and shit, but here's an excerpt from my reply that echoes your post in a creepy way:

I know I have nothing to complain about regarding my career and the skills that got me where I am, and I certainly don't take them for granted. I work with an amazing group of people who reward hard work and dedication. I can't ask for more than that.

What's more, I know I wouldn't feel any better if I had children or owned a home. It's just that damned number, I think. I really don't think 36 will bother me at all.

Having good friends (like you*) goes a long way to make me feel better about everything.

The ocassional round of casual sex helps too (I'm only human).

Other recent topics include "When will my mother stop asking me about grandchildren?", "Am I too old to shop at Hot Topic?", and "Is Rogaine better than Propecia?" It's a real mess over here on Gunder Mountain.

*I got a little sappy too. Where's my AK47?

Michael K said...

Josh, I recently joined the ranks of the medicated instead of the self medicated and that is helping me (Fuck you Tom Cruise!). I still don't have a job and my problems aren't going away but I don't seem to feel as bad about them anymore.

I think I know where you are coming from. I keep thinking that I should have done so much more with my life than I've done so far. Tried a lot more things. All kinds of shit. Problem for me is, I can't shut off that part of my brain that is searching for the next thing instead of being happy where I am. I was able to shut it off for a while when I first met my wife cuz I was really happy and everything seemed like it would be all right. Since then things have been shaky sometimes and then it's bad. Hard to stop searching. Meds help a bit but I still need to find that source of joy and trying to scrape it out of my wife is driving her crazy. Gotta find more sources. New experiences help a lot. Jeanz was right on that.

Age is a fucked up thing especially for those of us without religion. We know life has a terminous and as we age relativity makes time seem to progress more quickly as each year becomes a smaller percentage of our total age. That really pisses me off. I flip off the calendar and curse Einstein every day. Gotta find a really boring job to make my days seem longer.

So what's my point? I feel ya man. Get it out and try to have fun while you can. And go see someone who knows more about this shit than me.

Anonymous said...

In case any of you were wondering, topical Rogaine is way better than Propecia as first line therapy. Propecia may effect, as Dr. W. Cook would say "Mr. Wood" rendering Gundy's one sweet pleasure in life an impossibility :).

jes said...

All I have to say is damn. When I read this, I was a little surprised and then a little not. I have totally been in your exact place. I guess my only advice is in the end, regardless of everyone else, you have to do what makes you happy. Sometimes you have to tell everyone to f off in order to get happy again (I did). It isn't necesarily selfish to make decisions for yourself. Sometimes your decisions will hurt others, but better to get things in motion than to be miserable and in a stagnant rut. Ugh, Josh. . .things will get better once you face the problems. And that is my two cents. Take it from me, a girl who has all her shit together! LOL Kidding. . .

DC Liar said...

I'm just cranky. Actually airing my dirty laundry out in the open for all you e-diots to gawk at does a world of good.
Maybe I'm just an e-xibitionist.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Kim said...

Fucking 38 years old over here.

For me: Wine. I found a new brand that doesn't get me that hungover.

For you: BIG GUNS!

I think everything's gonna be okay.

Prairie Dawg said...

This post was about SEX?

DC Liar said...

Sexual frustration...

Hey guys, I've got another name suggestion for 'Big Drag'.

edP said...

What is it?

DC Liar said...

re: What is it?

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands (and knees) together for... Sexual Frustration!