Thursday, January 29, 2009

The post I shouldn't make.

Out of money, no motivation to go out and do much of anything, I found a five dollar bill in my jeans pocket a couple of nights ago. It was cold outside. Colder than I thought it was. Shivering, the pain in my feet skyrocketing, I went to the 24-hour pharmacy to see if there was anything I could get to last me a few days.

When I left, the light for me to cross the intersection was turning green to red. I'd have to wait. To protect myself from the cold breeze, I huddled behind the large sign outside the pharmacy.

At that hour, traffic has thinned tremendously, but was still existent. I watched as people accelerated to make the light, as they had no idea when it would turn red on them. As they sped by, the unbidden thought came to me. A few well-times steps, a fifty mile per hour collision, and this miserable farce I call a life is over. I can call it quits. All I need to do is wait for the right moment.

Well, obviously I didn't do it. The thought came and went, as it usually does when I'm on my meds. But while the suicidal plan vanished, I wondered why I'm trying so hard to accomplish anything at all.

My family doesn't view me as a burden. They see me as a fool who is wasting his time, or "faking" my disability.

I think of my friends, who say they will do something, make the promise to do it, and then I find myself chasing them to keep their promises.

I think of Mush, the friend I've had since age 14, and wonder why he's made no effort to call me since I called to beg him to help me get to my "dying" brother (who miraculously lived).

I think of my friend Julie, who is facing a fight with her live-in boyfriend for custody of his son, and how I can do nothing to help them.

I think of each month, and how I can never make my finances last no matter how frugal I become.

I think of the slum I live in, and how my neighbors have absolutely no respect for other people.

I think of the meds I'm now taking for a year, and wonder at the odds of me having become addicted to prescription painkillers.

I think of the foolishness on my other blog, and wonder if my message will ever get out there; a message that loses focus every day.

I think of the family I'll never get to have, since I'm far from a catch for any woman.

I'm getting tired again. Tired of existing. Tired of being unable to live.

If I were truly suicidal, I wouldn't write this. You'd never know what was going on in my troubled mind. But sometimes I wish I could simply surrender and be done with the nonsense that my life represents.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Pep Talks

It's been a few weeks since I spoke to my brother, Stu, and thought it was a good time to check in. He's suffering with a cold, but is otherwise okay. Well, for the next 60 days he should be okay. Circuit City, where he was employed during the holidays, decided to keep him on...while they liquidate their assets. They've filed for Chapter 11, and are closing...permanently.

Things like this make me more emphatic about my campaign for the Presidency in 2012. My brother has been fairly directionless most of his life, but he has a family now, and is trying to face his responsibilities. With our economy being flushed down the toilet, he's having a hard time doing this.

So there's good news on the horizon, Stu! Your brother is seeking the Presidency in the next election! I decided that now was as good a time as any to tell him what I've been doing the last few months. His response? "Well, there's at least one person who you can count of to NOT vote for you." Through the chat that followed, he told me I'm delusional, I'm an idiot, I should grow up, and that the idea of me running for President isn't funny. He then went all-out bigot on me when referring to President-elect Obama, as well as delving into possible paranoid schizophrenia when discussing Mr. Obama's campaign finances as being a foreign conspiracy.

Stu also refuses to see the nice guy in me. You see, since I've moved into my apartment and received my new phone number, I have gotten calls for a business that hasn't had this number for years! As I found out today, they actually got rid of what is now my phone number back in 2001. Now, I could be telling people that they have the wrong number and hang up on them. But I'm too much of a nice guy for that. Instead, I found the proper number and have been giving that out for years. I am friendly, polite, and usually filled with good humor. Stu believes I'm wasting my time, and should be shouting at them to update their contact information and hang up.

Why is it that the people whom I grew up with can't believe I am who I say I am? Sure, I could easily turn back into the abusive bastard that I grew up as, but then I would rather treat people with the same kindness and respect that I want to receive. Even new people don't believe I'm real. I mean, after receiving yet another call for that business today, I called the business and asked if there was some way I could receive some kind of monetary reward for redirecting people to the correct number. I wasn't looking to be placed on the payroll. I was very clear about this not being some kind of strange blackmail plot. All I wanted was a small way to supplement my meager income. The woman who responded couldn't believe that I'd been giving out the proper number for years, and shockingly gave me the same advice as my brother. "You should tell they have the wrong number and hang up."

Is this why I'm not married and have a family? Is this why I am unsuccessful when relating to people when I venture out of my apartment? Is becoming an ass the only recourse to meet with any kind of success in the world?

If the answers are all yes, then I have the distinct impression that I'm wasting my time on Earth. I don't like the guy I used to be, and the guy I am now seems to be paying a heavy price for being nice. When the people who know me the longest put me down for being a concerned and caring citizen of the planet, it makes me want to stay away from them more and more. It also makes me regret ever becoming more of a nice guy, since there only seems to be a reward of punishment for being kind.

I'm actually shedding tears at this moment. I'm going to go shake and cry in a corner for a while, and contemplate my true value to those I know and love.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wake up! I'm wonderful!

As noted, my friend Julie is living with her boyfriend. They've chosen to not get married because they've been married before, and it seems those previous adventures turned into horror stories. While they remain as happy a couple as they can be, her man, Joe, is going through hell in the way of a custody battle for his son by another woman. I would love to tell you what this entire drama entails, but we don't have that kind of time. In a nutshell, it involves a crazy woman, physical abuse by her or her new boyfriend to the child, idiotic laws that favor mothers over fathers, and boatloads of other kinds of stupidity.

So Julie and Joe have been experiencing incredible amounts of stress, and have been holed up in their home, simply trying to remain happy in front of the kids, while also trying to come with this nonsense.

Along comes little old me, who calls Julie to just be my goofy self. And goofy I was, rambling on in various silly voices as I ranted about one thing or another. It was especially fun reading her my Media Morons post from my political blog; each time I read "the Cardinals won the playoff game," my voice became more and more hysterical with feigned excitement. This had Julie laughing so hard that she was almost in tears. It was after my silly tirades that she told me about the custody battle, and how she desperately needed a decent dose of humor to brighten her day. Thus, a speech was prompted...

"I don't get it. Every time you talk to me, you come away feeling a little better, because amidst all the goofiness, you know I care, and am willing to listen to whatever is going on. You know this. Yet for some strange reason, when things are at their worst, you manage not to call to help make yourself feel better. Damnit, Julie! When are you going to realize I'm wonderful?"

More laughter from Julie, because such displays of ego on my part are not all that serious. It's along the lines of telling her, "Y'know, if the world would just realize I'm right all the time, things would be a lot easier."

Then there's my lady friend, Rush, whom I once had the potential for romance, but bowed out of that particular race. She, too, has stressful incidents, especially since she's on a quest to find her true self, and is often wrapped up in dramas of her design. She would call, spend some time on the phone, and after hearing me tell some stories or make off-color jokes, she would feel better.

Alas, Rush got it into her head that she's bothering me when she calls, so she avoids picking up the phone and dialing me up. On the now rare occasions when I get to speak to her, she feels better after our chats. Again, I don't understand why she doesn't realize I'm wonderful. A little venting, a lot of laughter, and she could be feeling better. Does she call? Nope. The goofy woman thinks she's bothering me.

Crackheads.

I don't really believe I'm G-d's gift to the world, but I know I can help my friends in times of crisis. It's how I've earned all the financial help I receive randomly.* If it takes a sick and twisted joke to make my friends laugh and feel better, I'll make that joke.

Want to know one of the sicker jokes that gets them giggling? It usually comes along when the chat has turned toward sex. I'm not one to delve into the details of my bedroom adventures, but making the occasional reference to get a laugh is always worth it. I may say something about an ex, like, "She could suck tennis balls through a tennis racket." But that's a standard joke. The one that inspires the most laughter is when I mention my one-legged ex, Robin. I never actually said this to her, but it creates warped images in people's heads when they imagine me looking down at the woman I loved and saying, "Ooh, baby...spread your leG." This joke is usually followed by me saying, "I'm a BAD man." And my friends...? Well, they tend to be on the fence about laughing at such a sick joke, and then cave because it really is funny in the end.

While some of you may be grimacing at the above, you must understand that this is the way I am. I know that laughter releases endorphins, and endorphins make people feel better physically and mentally. For the most part, I'm deemed an honorable guy, steering clear of taboo topics...but I'm willing to sacrifice some of that honor for the sake of helping a friend. In short, I only pretend to be evil, as it's fun for all.

And now, friends and readers, it's time for me to run. I have a toddler in the over, and if I don't baste it, it'll burn. (Insert evil grin here.)

Be well, all!

*By the way, it's time for me to make my monthly cry of, "HEEEEELP!" I have a mere $15 left in the bank, and $1 in my wallet. If anyone out there can lend me some kind of aid, it would be greatly appreciated. Those who don't know how they can help can e-mail me at alwayswrite2001@hotmail.com .

Monday, January 12, 2009

Comedic break

Okay...So I have my political blog, and it's there that I discuss all of the serious issues I have with the government, the media's coverage of the government, and all things that are...governmental. Still, there are things I think about outside the blog that are related, but really should go there.

For example, I don't want to run as an "independent." Let's face facts; independents never win. I need a political party of some kind. Republicans...Democrats...These are the parties that represent what our democratic republic is all about. But I need something that appeals to the people. A party that says to the people, "I know what's in your hearts and minds, and I am with you!" Thus, I'm considering creating the "Pirate-Ninja-Robotic-Zombie Party." Raised from the dead, my staff of ninja-pirates will have cybernetic parts specifically designed to stop them from devouring the general public.

I know what you're thinking. "Bor, that's gonna cost you a lot of money!" Okay, I admit that's probably not what you were thinking at all, but it's what I was thinking. This is why instead of cash contributions, I'll be looking into advanced Erector Set technology, and ask my constituents to send me the toys themselves.

I'm also considering advanced Lego technology, though I'm not too sure how to attack the plastic to undead flesh. Maybe the answer is in super glue?

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In a discussion with my buddy Thanatos, it was suggested that all land battles be decided, not through physical conflict, but by getting world leaders at a table and have them play a game. The loser is to consider him/herself conquered, and surrender their entire country to the winner. Thanatos suggested Chess, and I insisted that it couldn't be a game of skill in any way. He then put in a bid for Poker, and I demanded it be simpler. I mean, there are skilled Poker players out there, and we can't have them using their pesky tricks in a fight for worldly control. No...When resolving a conflict, it will be done by playing the kid's card game, War.

Think historically of how things would be different if, say, during the American Civil War, if Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln sat at a table with just a deck of cards and played War to settle their national differences. Imagine Jeff Davis having three of the four aces in his half of the deck. Who knows? The Confederate States of America might well be a reality today, and there wouldn't have been such a tragic loss of life.

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I'm going to have a problem when it comes to family values. I'm single. I have no kids (that I'm aware of) to hold before the cameras of the media and demonstrate what a good father I am. Of course, all that could change by the time I reach office. There are lots of women out there looking for a good man...or me.

It would be infinitely more helpful if I at least had a wife at my side. The pickings are kind of slim in my part of town, so I need to hop that bus and get to where the single females are hanging out. I'm thinking Tempe, which is wall-to-wall college chicks. They're legal, and they're alive. These qualities are considered pluses in the world.

The problem is that my pick-up lines need work.

"Hi. How would you like to be the future First Lady?" It's a bit presumptuous in terms of winning the election.

"I need a wife and children for my pending campaign for President. Wanna get married and breed?" My thought on this one is that it's a bit too forward in terms of an icebreaker.

"I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue." There are multiple problems with this. First, as an opening line, it just doesn't hold the same power as "Hello." Next, there are many women who probably wouldn't understand what such a talent implies; it's an "over-their-heads" kind of thing. Finally, while it's an impressing skill to have, it's also a lie; I cannot, in fact, tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

You can see where I'm having problems, so I'd like to ask people send money, Erector Sets, and women.

Thanks.

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Finally, the influence of GitP plays heavily on my mind when contemplating the position of one of the most powerful leaders in the world. The denizens keep linking various things in the forums...links I follow, and end up investing time into memorizing the things I end up watching. Here are a few of those things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcbazH6aE2g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDiDK_yBCw0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjMiDZIY1bM (Especially humorous since one of the nicknames for Rob is "Bob," which I've been called in the past.)

Now let me ask you...Are these the songs you want to have the country's leader singing aloud in the halls of the White House during slower moments of governing the land?

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Okay...I think I've done enough damage here. I'm off to use one of my holiday gifts and rob a bank or two in Paragon City. Be well, my faithful and, hopefully, amused followers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New York State of Mind

Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach
Or to Hollywood
But I'm taking a Greyhound
On the Hudson River Line
I'm in a New York state of mind

One of the movies I received from that friend back in December was Inside Man, with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Directed by Spike Lee, this movie is one of those that brings a full-blown flavor of New York to it.

For one thing, there's the foul language. I grew up with it, and while I have done my best to steer clear of it as often as possible, there's something about a New Yorker's ability to color a sentence with it. Yes, there are alternatives to such language, but try teaching those alternatives to the common New Yorker and he or she is bound to ask, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

Then there are the accents. Three of the roles in particular bring out those regional pronunciations in such a way that I become nostalgic for my old stomping grounds.

Samantha Ivers plays Nancy Mann, and her New Jersey accent is as strong as it is probably natural. You can't expect a girl born in Hackensack to be able to drop that accent at the drop of a hat, thought she might be able to. Even easier is summoning it back, as I do with my NY accent. There are people who hear me fall instantly back into the speech patterns of my roots, and they're amazed, as well as amused. Ms. Ivers kills me almost every time I hear just one of her lines, "Fat ass? Are you kidding me?!?"

Then there's Victor Colicchio, who probably lands any and every role he's had for his NY accent. If you want to know what a real New Yorker sounds like, listen to every line delivered by Sergeant Collins. That's a New Yorker from head to toe.

Finally, Bernie Rachelle plays Chiam, who tosses around a Yiddish accent like nobody's business. Throughout the movie, there are clips of everyone being interrogated. At the end of Chiam's interview, Denzel's character asks about diamonds. Chiam's response is in a through and through Yiddish accent.

These things...They make me wish I could simply board a plane and visit the neighborhood I grew up in. Then maybe take that long walk to the Wantagh train station and head into Manhattan, and wander the city for hours on end. If I could afford to stay in the city, I'd visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. I'd also visit the site of the World Trade Center, where I'd probably shed a few tears for the lives lost there. And somewhere in there, I'd try to sneak in a trip to Brooklyn, and visit the site of our old family business.

I don't necessarily want to move back there, but I so do miss the colorful people and the city that never sleeps.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I tried to tell him

My Dad called yesterday. He was just checking in, making sure I was okay and to give a status report on end. All is as well as can be for him and mom. He tries to make it sound as though he's pleased to be in an assisted living facility, but I think it's making him crazy that he's not younger and more active. I was on a path similar to what my father experienced, in that he worked his entire life. From the time he could work, he worked.

It was very much the same for me. In a most technical sense, I started working when I was eight years old. Dad realized I could hit the buttons on the cash register and count back change accurately, so Saturday was my day to help out with the family business. Let me tell you, that $5 he paid me for a day at the register was a fortune, and Sunday was the day for me to enter comic book heaven.

Now Dad and I are in a similar boat. We want to be more active, and we can't do it.

But Dad also wants more for me. It would seem he's accepted the fact that I'm disabled, and that my income will forever be limited. This is not a prospect that either of us likes. He wants me to apply for something called Section 8 Housing. An apartment complex that accepts Section 8 will accept a third of my income as my contribution to rent, and the government will pay the rest. (That's how I understand it.) The problem is that, as far as I know, Section 8 is closed until they catch up with the millions of applications they've already received. Dad was also under the illusion that if I move to a Section 8 community, I'd be safer. He doesn't like that I live in a neighborhood loaded with drugs, prostitution, and violence. Well, I shattered that illusion when I told him that I'm living in a Section 8 community, and they're all like this.

During our housing conversation, I made mention that I was looking into renting the White House for four years come 2012. He instantaneously dismissed it as a stupid joke, and moved on to other topics.

I am resisting the strong urge to call him back and say, "Dad...I wasn't kidding. I've already started campaigning for office." Either it would start a fight, or it would cause him to have a heart attack.

*sigh*

Well, he'll find out eventually. I just have to muster the news to tell him before he sees it on the news.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

13 Barbarian/12 Monk/3 Marriage Counselor

So I received a call last night from Leroy. He's a truck driver, and time spent on his hands-free phone helps the miles pass faster for him. So he called to just have a chat, and it turned into a rather distressing call that his recent marriage to Debbie was coming apart. They seem to communicate up to a point, and then it comes to a screeching halt. Before Leroy hit the road again, he was so frustrated that he threatened divorce.

To look at Leroy is to view a fearsome character. He's about 5' 7" and may very well be part grizzly bear. He may not be the most loquacious character, but he gets his point across, sometimes without a word. If he plants his patented "death-stare" on you, you're likely to find G-d in that instant and start praying for mercy. Underneath all of that, he's a mush. (Just don't tell anyone, because he'll "death-stare" me to death.)

His intent to gripe about his marriage was nowhere on his mind when he dialed my number. But once asked how he was doing, it all started coming out. So we talked about what was weighing him down, with me spouting my usual stance that communication, or lack thereof, kills almost every relationship. Immediately, communication with Leroy sometimes requires a translation of sorts. He has a hard time summarizing a story. That is, he tells the tale, and doesn't sum it up all the time, leaving a listener to that task. What that means in a personal relationship is that he does a boatload of hinting, but doesn't get to the point. This problem is narrowed to discussions of the heart.

I can't blame him. Long gone are the days when cavemen pointed at a woman and grunted in desire. Poetry, stories, gentle hints...These are the ways men try to do their thing, and only a rare few walk up to a woman and propose sex without some kind of preamble.

Thus, Leroy would speak of one scenario after another, and I would sum it up for him, and he would agree with my assessment. It's like a language; I speak and translate fluent Leroy.

I'm also talking about a guy who doesn't unload his personal issues to just anyone. Private matters are, indeed, private for him, and only family and trusted friends would ever hear about such things. Right out the gate, I'm touched by the fact that I now fall under the category of "trusted friend."

It's for that reason that I made an extremely rare offer. I don't like getting into the middle of another man's relationships, especially with his wife. But I've also seen how Leroy and Debbie can be a great couple, and to see them come undone because there's a communication gap is distressing to me. If it's within my power to help my friends, that's what I'll do. I offered to talk with Debbie immediately, and Leroy asked if I would also have her call him from my place when we were done chatting. I altered my offer, saying that I would bring Debbie back to my place, we'd chat, and then I'd have her call.

Debbie is a woman with a troubled past. I am sworn to silence on those issues, so I can't and won't go into details. Simply put, it's a past filled with psychological and physical nightmares, and trust is the greatest issue she has with the known world. Her rapid defense is to become child-like.

We got to my place. I opened the blinds so that anyone passing would know without doubt that nothing funny was going on. Leroy and Debbie know me better than that, but none of us needs the stupidity of the rumor mill. She sat on my computer chair, while I sat on my futon. Because I told her on the way to my place what the general topic would be, Debbie was already nudging toward "kid mode." I looked at her and said, "Debbie...Grown up mind, grown up voice. This is serious."

Leroy forewarned me that she might go on the offensive during our conversation, but I can be rather disarming when I speak. If anything, her posture while sitting screamed that she was on the defense. While she never really got off the defensive, she did relax a bit, especially when I plainly stated the purpose of my wanting to talk with her.

When I was on the phone with Leroy, his chief complaint was that he didn't feel emotionally close to his wife. Since I've come to know them, I know that Debbie has issues, and I reminded him that with all of the garbage in her past, she is likely waiting for the other shoe to drop. She's waiting for him to betray her in some way, and the things he says when he's mad fall precisely into that category. While chatting with Debbie, she said as much without any prompting from me. This, of course, allowed me to lighten the mood of the chat with a joke. "Y'know, if people would just realize I'm right from the beginning, these arguments would be a lot shorter."

Debbie and I spoke of personal betrayal, and I was as plain as could be with her. "Debbie, I have no expectations of you trusting me to a great extent. I have made my best efforts to eliminate the phrase 'I know how you feel,' because until I've lived an entire life in your shoes, with your family and your friends influencing me, and suffering every trial you've been through, KNOWING how you feel is an impossibility. But I know betrayal from my own perspective..." I paused here to show her the deep scar on my left wrist. "...so I have a sense of what it's like, and I'm telling you that if you don't give Leroy a chance, the two of you are wasting time being married."

Now, the biggest mistake a friend can make with me is to lie. The biggest mistake I can make is to put a friend in a position where they are forced to make a promise they probably can't keep, thereby making the promise a lie. I didn't corner Debbie into making false promises. What I did make her promise was to try to let Leroy get closer emotionally.

Then, having done my good deed, I furthered my efforts by handing her the phone and told her to call her husband, while I stepped outside to give them some privacy.

Now, this post has finally been put up a few days after I started it. In the time between starting to write it and completing it, there has been a change of tone from Leroy. Without the words, I can hear how grateful he is that I made an effort to save his marriage from an emotionless doom. Also during this time, my phone has started dying; the battery is no longer holding a charge as long as it once did. Leroy called to tell me they have a spare cordless phone they're going to give me, without me paying anything toward it. A gift of kindness for my gift of kindness.

It's the act of a friend. It's that tone I hear in his voice. It's these things that add to my claim of having wealth beyond measure. Large sacks of money and physical possessions would be nice, but friends are WONDERFUL!