When I Made the Leap But No Net Appeared

I thought the path was concrete
But really it was water vapor

My instincts were like iron tanks
But the bridge was made with tissue paper

For someone who claims their lenses so clear
He was keeping his distance
I thought he was standing right here

Crossing that kind of gap
No smile would be wide enough
I embarrassed myself but I got him to laugh

People say, “I bet guys fall for you all the time.”
Well it’s quite the contrary

All the people I fall in love with
Turn out to be imaginary

"Like Tears In Rain" by Martin Wittfooth (2013)

“Like Tears In Rain” by Martin Wittfooth (2013)

Advertisements

Le Crush Redux

I saw my “going-on-two-years” crush again today.

Virgo

“Virgo” by Julie Dillon © 2012

It was through a pane of glass – and just by chance (and my passing by) – our eyes met and he smiled at me. Instant emotional sunshine bomb in my whole day.

I realize I am tending a soil that will never turn a decent crop, but simple actions that produce radical endorphins are difficult things to stop yourself from enjoying. Couple that with an overactive imagination residing in my neural network, and you have a lovely mirage of a bountiful harvest. That mofo’ doesn’t know what he’s missing. This creative sombitch does birthdays and anniversaries like nobody’s business.

 

New job titles I am up for: Illusionary Zoo Keeper, Pipe Dream Smoker, False Impressionist, or perhaps just an Apparition on a Hard Drive Partition.

The Kitten In the Cactus

I think one of the most difficult situations is one where you must provide comfort to someone while simultaneously causing pain to yourself.

kitcactus

I call it “rescuing the kitten in the cactus” because it’s excruciating as hell, but sometimes you have to do it. What I am talking about of course, is when you have feelings for someone and they either don’t like you in that way or they don’t know it yet (but it’s not a good time to reveal that information). I recently had a friend (who I’ve harbored some intermittent heart palpitations for) confess to me his undying love for some tramp that broke his heart years ago. He metaphorically cried on my shoulder via text message (such a strange communication method for an Oprah-style conversation), and although I guess I didn’t have to, I do care about him and I wanted to be the good friend. Now, I’ve made it clear several times in the past that I’d be cool with dating him but he always retreats or changes the subject. I don’t have to be C-3P0 – or fluent in six million forms of communication – to know his answer is probably: “No. Like never.”

In any case, I can’t help but hold back the bitter swallow when someone is lamenting their shitty situation and I’m thinking, “What am I? Chopped liver?”

Well, I guess I am. So come here and seek refuge in the cold comfort of my chopped liver hug, you goddam bastard.

Why I Am Nice to the Elderly

elderly

I’m definitely someone who curses out people who drive too slow, walk too slow, or don’t get to the point quickly. As such, you’d think the elderly are #1 on my shit list, but they’re not.

If there is one thing I have learned about life on this planet, it’s that it’s fucking hard. Probably harder if you are in a third world country, but let’s face it – it has its crap moments no matter where you come from. I don’t think people give enough credit to old people for simply surviving it all. We’re talking broken hearts, failed marriages, lost jobs, deaths of everyone you know and love, and then you get to look forward to health issues and possible imprisonment in a nursing home where the highlight of your day will be a crochet group or the 3:00PM poker game.

Naturally, when describing all this I am leaving out all the magic of life which makes it worth living, but everyone knows you can survive a good omelette. It’s the frying pan you have to worry about.

The older I have gotten, and the closer my 40’s and 50’s loom on the horizon, the more I feel like my brain’s computer has developed a “parenting program”. I run this program whenever I encounter a frustrating situation with another human being. I call it a parenting program because I feel like parents often have to self-program themselves to stop their first instinct of wanting to react negatively toward a bad situation and say, “Ok, I am the parent. I have to be the logical one and solve the problem” rather than putting your emotions on autopilot and feeding the tornado (which is what I would normally do).

So far, it has only worked with the elderly. I stop my initial emotional response – anger – and step back. I think to myself, “This person went through a lot of crap in this life and they don’t need your impatient bullshit.” For some reason it works on me. I shut right up and think, “That’s going to be me someday, so I better just deal with it.”

That Banana Has a Cough

My mother called yesterday. Here was the entire introduction to the phone call:

Me: “Hello mom.”
Mom: “Hey, it’s your mom.”
Me: “Yes, I do have caller ID. How are you?”
Mom: “Well, funny you should ask…I was at the super market the other day and I had a bad cough so naturally I was sucking on a throat lozenge. Anyway, I was in the produce section and I had a coughing fit and believe it or not, I shot that cough drop right into a pile of bananas.”
Me: (laughing)
Mom: “Anyway, how are you?”
Me: “Well, did you pick it up?”
Mom: “No. Why would I? That’s just gross.”
Me: “Mom! You can’t just leave your infected cough drop in a pile of bananas. That is so inconsiderate and uncleanly.”
Mom: “Oh it’s fine. They’ll just put them in bargain bin for 99 cents tomorrow.”

And there you have the disconnect in logic:

  1. Does the store know my mom coughed a germ-infested cough drop right in to some perfectly good bananas? Probably not.
  2. Were there any witnesses? Did she even tell anyone at the store? I don’t think she cares.
  3. Is this really the standard sales procedure for viral contaminants shot (in a projectile manner from human mouth) into fresh produce? “Just sell it for 99 cents. People are willing to contract illnesses for a bargain.”
  4. An even better question: Would my mom buy contaminated food to save a buck? Well, she thinks other people will, so chances are…probably.

banana_sick

The Inability to Quantify Love

Love_by_arlek_in

“Love” by Nikolai Bashkirev (2006)

At the age of 39, I find myself in a quandary: After years of dating and assembling personal relationships only to have them collapse like a house of cards, I decided to try to quantify what makes people “fall in love.” As you can imagine, it’s virtually impossible to determine a definitive answer. So after surveying the wreckage of my past attempts, I tried to glean from the remaining particles what forms the axis of a potentially solid foundation. In much discussion with friends, I often feel ping-ponged between opposing view points. They often contradict each other in advice and approach, but somewhere between the refractory points of view, I settled on the following factors:

1. Humor: There must be laughter. If no laughter, then what will sustain you both when you’re in wheel chairs with leaky colostomy bags? You better have some jokes for glue. Several friends say that only one person in the relationship need supply the laughs and that as long as the other person is entertained, the circuit is complete. Since I’m a moody bastard, I feel like I need both ends. Sometimes I like being the magician, and sometimes I like being the audience. I am not sure if it is reasonable to assume you can be both. I do know that a good laugh dismantles emotional walls, it coaxes smiles out of the fox hole, and it disarms the nuclear trigger of a raging temper.

2. Intelligence: Not IQ-driven, but a certain level of intellectual compatibility. Everyone’s mind is a satellite adrift in the Nothing, but when transmissions fall upon familiar frequencies a reciprocity is created. I’ve always believed that two people need not work for NASA to communicate effectively with each other. But a similar level of idea exchange turns consonants and vowels into construction material. Can’t cross that violent river? No problem, we’ve got sentences stronger than the thickest bridge cable.

3. Self-Responsibility: I think a lot of people drive their relationships without this one. I find that being with people who are not very responsible is ultimately detrimental to both parties. I’ve also been weary of those who would not provide an equal contribution to the partnership, and I’m not necessarily talking about money. These are the cleptoparasites who will feed on your emotional well-being. I’ve often found that people with a good work ethic, the ones who will do a good job – even if the job itself is not particularly prestigious or profitable – are sterling examples of this cardinal attribute. It may not always carry over to other parts of their life, but it is often a divining rod to a quality person. In my experience, it denotes a person unfettered by obstacles who is willing to work on something, rather than give up at the first sign of trouble.

4. Decent Hygiene: I know this is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people come up short in this department. No one has to be OCD, or carry anti-bacterial wipes in their wallet, but a modicum of cleanliness is like having a home with good manners. I’ve certainly let my apartment go to hell during a busy week at work, and I get behind on laundry just like everyone else, but there comes a point when even I cannot stand it. I once read a book on playing chess that said, “An ordered system loses less energy.” Well, in my book an ordered house, projects good energy. I think of all these points, this could probably be the one I bend on if the other factors were strong enough. After all, I would be willing to have a pet in the house (if I really wanted one). I just can’t kiss one that smokes.

5. A Physical Connection: Ah, the great differentiator. My mind has a habit of drilling down to the essence of what makes something stand out. I was raised to believe that you seek out someone in life to be with as an extension of the family you are already born into. Of course, in my teenage mind, the physical obligations of a marriage seemed contradictory to that line of thinking – so you add this person to your family except you have sex with them? Seems weird and metaphorically incestuous. However, I think a sexual relationship is quite important (at least for myself) if you’re going to be bound to the Earthly plane for 70+ years. Judging from my more liberated friends, sexual attraction is relatively easy to find and I think that’s probably true. Surface quality is the fastest thing to identify, especially with the Internet’s one billion profile pictures. Unfortunately, many are false advertising for the empty containers they merely decorate.

Despite the accumulations of this list, I still can’t help but think I am missing something. That unknown factor. I am hesitant to call it “supernatural” or “extrasensory,” but I do know that I’ve met people who satisfy all of these criteria and still my mountain within is not moved. The heart is a fickle invention and it excels at cryptography.

Damn you, human heart.

Fresh Urinal, Hold the Pube Salad

I’m not sure which is more rare… a unicorn or a clean mens’ room.
The Lexicon Ninja Guide to Wisdom

As a precocious (but not ‘out’) gay school boy, I remember my female friends sneaking me into the girls’ locker room for lunch hour. There we would sit and laugh over our standard meal of Saltine crackers and Hi-C juice boxes. The one thing that still stands out in my memory was that the place was immaculate. It smelled like a wrestling match between Secret underarm deodorant and AquaNet. The lockers were decorated with colorful stickers, and the showers were filled with bottles of fruity lotion and flower-scented body wash. It was probably the least offensive smelling bathroom I had experienced in my teenage universe.

By contrast, the boys’ locker room smelled like rotting flesh. There were walls filled with crusty boogers and toilet paper (some used) was strewn everywhere. Add a few mangroves to the floor and it would’ve looked like the bed of a drained swamp. I dreaded changing for P.E. class in this “chamber of death”. Upon entering, tears would well up in my eyes from emotion – but also (no doubt) from the gaseous breakdown of various hydrocarbons and bacteria. The whole scene was basically a crime against humanity.

urinal

Luckily those days are long behind me. However, I often get a surprise flash from the past when I enter a public restroom for the gentlemen. Lately, at work I’ve been noticing that someone is leaving a “pube salad” in the urinal. It’s revolting, and as a dude, I really don’t care to have it staring back up at me while I do my business. It’s like looking into the Sarlacc pit from Return of the Jedi where certain death awaits as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.