On Friendship (in the Digital Age)

Kahlil Gibran started On Friendship: Your friend is your needs answered.

He didn’t start with wants or desires, he started with needs.

To me, needs has always inferred that it surpasses creature comforts and narcissistic desires. It’s a quality that infers “like it or not, this is what is — and was — required for you”. Sure, sometimes those needs are precisely the sort of thing we like and love having; be it a feed to the ego, a moment where someone recognizes your accomplishments and sometimes even the kind of moments where you can laugh for hours and feel like minutes have just passed by. But at other times, such needs can also leave you uncomfortable, embarrassed, and even miffed/angry/impatient. Something said that break down the bloat of the ego, a scolding for one’s own wrong-doings and even having a deep, dark secret revealed when it shouldn’t have been (so quickly). Whatever it is your friend gives you — it is precisely given and positively required — yes — at the right place, and of course the right time.

He also goes on with the next vital element of friendship: Trust. Now trust is something I understand in spades as it is one of the elements in my life that I have been working on and refining from the blind trust I often gave as a child, to the tentative and often guarded trust I give in mid-life. Trust is about certainty of someone’s actions, the faith that a person will act both according to their nature along with the respect that comes with one’s own boundaries. It’s the confidence that comes with a glint of pride that comes with understanding the person that you label as friend will be able to both enhance and enrich the better qualities in self (as well as themselves) as well as expand the boundaries of understanding in both ourselves and the world around us.

Trust is the vital element of two of the most important relationships in our lives: friends and partner. For without trust, neither of these relationships will last that long.

Kahlil Gibran begins finishing up by saying something that has left a deep impact in me since I first read it in Junior High School: For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live.

That has always left a deep impact on me. First as odd in the way that he had used those words (and mostly because hours to kill has always been so alien to me), but later on in full understanding of what he was implying. A friend is never someone that you should just pass the time with. Fill a need for a moment between one event in one’s life and the next. And most importantly, pass the time with when one is bored. A friend is someone that you spend time with because you like their company both the facets of their personality as well as their flaws. For their wit as well as their candor. Put quite simply for their presence. For the very qualities that bring out the best in oneself as well as draw attention to those very qualities in ourselves we refuse to want to look at. Not to just pass the time, but to also walk along the path from cradle to grave and help us see more than just what’s on our path but theirs as well.

So as succinctly as I’m capable of producing, this draws the basic (and not so basic) framework of friend — and most importantly — what I label as friend.

Where I’m going with this? Well, here it is…

Recently I’ve seen one friend of mine remind people in her friends list post the correct way of behaving in any of the posts that she’s sharing. In a nutshell telling them to “behave or else be removed…” I have another friend ignoring advice because they are “comfortable with what they know” and not realizing the level of their depression far exceeds the boundaries of the causes. And finally I have one friend that deleted a post because it (my posting) wasn’t “positive enough…” to what he shared and said it was deleted because, “he was tired… and didn’t want to respond to it…”

And I ask this question: Is this friendship? Is this truly how you treat your friends and how you want your friends treat you?

There really shouldn’t be a difference between who we call friends in real life and who we call friends online. We homo sapiens often forget this when we go online and into social websites because of our wants to having as many people from all over the world reach out to us to feed us against our loneliness. We desire to have the vanity in us fed by thinking of these “friends” as a big number that defines and refines our popularity. And I’ve seen in my wanderings, sometimes — just sometimes — we want positive and negative discourse between everyone on our friends list to reinforce our want to reinforcing our sense of “sensibility”.

Such big social websites like Google+, Deviant Art and especially Facebook definitely bring out the worse possible parts of our ego and our vanity (and I’m only naming the ones that I’m part of, as I know of so many others that I’ve been a part of and since left) in that not only can we make friends with people out of our past, but also people with people we have passing fancies with. A Band? A DJ? Characters on a show? Actors? YouTubers? Artists? A product that you eat and/or drink? Like and things about them will show up in your feeds & timeline. Follow and you’ll get that and sometimes more. It quickly takes what we look forward to reading into the ADD/ADHD Paradise akin to the motto: “…Instantaneous gratification takes too long…

It’s because of this vicious cycle (for lack of better words) we often forget what it is to actually have friends. We take advantage of what it is to be friends with someone. Sometimes we even treat friends as though they’re just strangers that we merely tolerate.

Is this what friendship has been boiled down both online and off?

The optimist in me thinks not — we have made friends that we truly love, cherish, adore and respect. We look forward to what they say when they say it: regardless of it being a deluge of a million different comments bordering anywhere between the pedantic or the common or just one or two that are well placed smarmy and creative. The realist in me sees isn’t quite so… positive. It sees this as a trend happening more and more; from young and old alike. And the pessimist? Well my pessimism sees it’s high time to call attention to bad trend and break the thoughtform that has been created.

If you have to tell your friends to behave or you’ll delete them from your friends list. If you have to draw boundaries and ignore your friends because they make you uncomfortable. If you have to delete their comments because you didn’t like what they had to say. They’re not really friends. You don’t really know them. You didn’t take the time to get to know them for better or for worse. You don’t show them respect (and they don’t show you the same) and you keep them on for vanity’s sake.

What’s the point of saying you have 500 friends online if you don’t really look forward to what anything (and everything) 490 of them have to say in your time to live?

Why do we have to chastise friends in a public setting online, when we do so in private away from the crowds in a public setting in real life? Is ignoring them when they say something that makes us uncomfortable yet saying you “love them” really love? We cannot take back what’s said in real life, as there’s no rewind buttons (or even a pause button), why do we think we should do the same online when we edit and/or delete a friends’ post?

This is a dichotomy in its worst form and it needs to stop. It’s been created from a schism talked about in public (news and various shows since the popularity of the Internet in mid 1990s about the toxicity of people online) and continues to grow because of the path resistance in maintaining a habit is easier than breaking it.

It’s a habit that needs to be broken.

How do you break it? Well, let’s start with part of my personal anthem as sung by the Flirtations. As they sing in the chorus:

You can live by yourself… You can gather friends around… You can choose one special one… And the only measure of your words and your deeds… Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.

Remember what Gibran said in The Prophet On Friendship and even On Reason and Passion.

And finally this might come off as harsh, but the realist in us all knows this to be truth. If you have them around just for the sake of it. If You have them around because they’re a number and not a person. If you have them around to feed the vanity of popularity and having the adulation of like-minded followers. If you have them around only for the fair weather (or the foul as some folk come together as friends for massive whingefests). Perhaps it’s time to move on (unfriend/unfollow/whatever they call it on the site du jour).

After all, we do this offline (e.g., in real life) all the time. We make acquaintances, that become friends that become best friends… Or we have a difference, a tiff, a rift that causes us to break a friendship. We even drift away and apart because life leads us one way and them in another.

We shouldn’t hoard these “friends” online… Like a number. Like a merit badge. Like sheep to become a herd.

That fact is at the time of this posting, in the three examples of friends that I used as example, I’ve removed one of these three already. The second will be soon (admittedly I’m making sure I’m not acting in anger or hurt, but in love and understanding). And the third? I know that friend will do the right thing like they always do and will remove the chaff from the kernel; I just need to bide my time until sanity and compassion reign. And contrary to some of my history — I am a patient man.

Until the next time…

And now for a word

Entry 8/21/2014 7:16:53 PM – Mentat 707

This is just a quick note to inform subscribers and casual readers that I’m still alive and doing remarkably well in the world (all things considered), but in the time that I’ve been assisting my mother around the house since she broke her ankle because of the dog (as talked about in Entry 706) for the last month or so. I’ve been writing a lot of journal entries and finding myself more at ease about writing and keeping them to myself than I have the last couple of years in writing them that went out to the world.

I realize that this might be what I need to do for a bit longer. Get used to writing for the audience of me until I’m ready to start sharing them with the world again. Truth be told I’ve been going through quite a lot of “performance anxiety” in writing journal entries that I share with the world and because of this I feel like I’ve lost the vision and mission of posting my journal publicly. A feeling I don’t remotely like. At all…

So while I’m helping my mother hobble around the house with the sweeping and cleaning up after her monster child (which seems to shed a Chihuahua every day) along with other chores that she can’t do, I’m going to be offline for a bit. I’ll still be posting some of my Mad Scientist fractals, but those will even be infrequent (well more infrequent than they have been recently).

Keep safe… Keep clean and use soap… (Heh as I’ve said to my mother a couple of times when she’s announced taking a sponge bath). You can contact me through the usual channels (Comments, E-Mail, Deviant Art), you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ if you really want to pester me, and I’ll be around in the background like a Vorlon on a mission to study the younger races.

Hopefully I’ll be back sometime in the near future. Until then…

Hopscotch in Three Dimensions

Hopscotch in 3 Dimensions

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Amusingly I forgot how much fun (not to mention easy) it is working with the program when I’m in one of my speed rendering moments.

And no, I wasn’t listening to Missing Persons’ “Mental Hopscotch” when I named this piece. I only thought of the song after naming it.

 

Preoccupations, Distractions and Drama

07/26/2014 Comments off

Entry 07/25/2014 01:02:38 PM – Mentat 706

As the month is coming to a close, and the laziness of summer is still upon me I’ve got to say that what we’ve gotten for the summer so far has felt quite atypical to me. While it’s had its typical moments of heat and humidity; there have been quite a few days like today: the free of humidity sort of days after a storm front has cut through the Tundras of New England. This is the sort of thing that I got rather used to living in the Crotch of the Bible Belt (Atlanta, GA) and during the winter. The difference though is that the amount of humidity during the summer feels infinitely more oppressive than getting it in the winter.

So there’s a couple of things to cover from the last time I sat down and wrote a journal entry. Sure, I didn’t write or even create all that much in the last couple of weeks; mostly because the temperatures has been swinging like a pendulum between beautiful and absolutely fucking miserable. Sure I have air conditioning and while it’s not the sort of necessary BTU’s to keeping the whole of the house cool (and dry), closing certain doors (and curtains) keep the vital rooms at least comfortable to sit in for the duration of the day until the sun goes down and everything outside is cooling off appropriately.

Fun thing about that was that I learned where the threshold for the fuses for the house are. Didn’t experience it the first couple of times I experimented, nothing really annoying occurred — and so I thought that the electrical balance for the household was better than my mother’s. Then when I was warming leftovers in the microwave and sitting at the desk waiting patiently for it to finish while the fans were running and the AC was quietly pushing cooler air into the kitchen, everything in the house shut down or went blank. A quick rush to the basement and fighting the eroding stairs and busy cobweb spiders, I was able to reset the power without my UPS trying to turn off my computer after an allotted amount of time (to conserve battery power). So like my mother, I need to shut off the AC if I’m going to use the microwave to warm up my food or else everything will shut down.

Then there was the beginning of the week where at 3:30 PM, it was time to go for a walk with my mother and her monster child Jack. My mother’s been walking the dog more the last couple of weeks to get her out of the house for some exercise and to get her used to walking the dog when I’m not around. Normally I’m just there for moral support and to teach my mother the commands the dog’s gotten used to (I don’t use heel or stay, as I use Stop and Go instead). Also to teach her how to handle the dog when he decides on going ape-shit (and more importantly how to avoid the potential). Of course, it doesn’t help matters any as the last month of so, Jack’s been getting more hyper and spastic about the potential of seeing dogs (or more importantly anything larger than an English Sparrow that he could bark at and/or chase) during the 3:30 PM walk.

My mother, Jack and I were in the parking lot on Adams Street on the way to the field off of Marcello and Atwells, when I was dawdling between Adams St and my apartment as I was indecisive about going back to the apartment about a piece of mail I was expecting and catching up with the two of them heading toward the field. Deciding against going back to the apartment, I was a bit behind my mother trying to get nearer to her and the dog when Jack saw another dog and its owner in the field and went completely ape-shit.

Needless to say that my mother wasn’t prepared for him going insane and bee-lining at the dog in the field and while she was braced, Jack pulled her off her feet and proceeded to drag her down the remainder of Adams Street and onto Marcello before I was able to get hold of him by the harness and get him to calm down a bit.

The poor man that was walking his dog in the field looked completely mortified at the fiasco, apologized and tried to get himself and his dog as far away from my mother sprawled on the road as he possibly could.

Jack only calmed down enough to get him back to the house after a couple of swats to the nose, and I only did so at my mother’s request. Though getting back to her after putting the dog at the house did I realize her ankle wasn’t the way it’s supposed to. We both had hoped it was a sprain, but given the shape of the ankle along with the connecting bones — my mother was more sure it was completely broken.

She was also scraped up along her right hand and arm and a bit of her shoulder from the pull down and drag across the asphalt. The thing about my mother (and her mother — my grandmother (RIP)) is the way that if they’ve had an accident in the street, they stay put and not move… In spite of the fact that they’re in the way of any incoming traffic. If I didn’t know any better she did it expecting the police to suddenly show up and witness it as a crime scene or something.

Hell, I tried to convince her when she was insistent I head back to her place and pick up some band aids, towels and antiseptic to move her ass to the sidewalk and out of the road while I’m getting the stuff… But of course she won’t have anything of it. She stayed where she was and waited for me to get back.

A few minutes passed between my going back to her place to pick up what she requested, and getting back to her while she was checking the cuts and scrapes she got from being dragged across the road. A few minutes after that it and after the call to her husband telling him he’ll need to find alternative transportation as she was unable to drive because of her right foot being broken and needing to go to the emergency room.

Then came the final part of the ordeal — supporting her while we hopped and hobbled our way from the corner of Marcello and Adams street to the car in the driveway. Sure, it’s less than 170 feet (51’ish meters) but when you’re trying to support someone that’s stubborn about help and tiring rather easily – it might as well have been a mile.

Fortunately for us, one of our neighbors was on his way to the garage so that he could take his motorbike for a spin and he was gracious enough to help us get her to the car so that she could sit there waiting for her husband get back to the house so they can scoot off to the Emergency Room of the nearby hospital (Roger Williams Hospital).

The final verdict after almost 4 hours at the ER: She had fractured her ankle, completely removing the tibia and fibula from her anklebone. After seeing the orthopedic doctor about it yesterday — it looks like they’re going to need to do an ankle reconstruction involving pins and a plate which is going to be performed this Monday.

My aunt on the other hand, hasn’t exactly been the model of compassion through all of this, as my mother’s pulled me off my aunt’s request for me to head up to the trailer park of the state (Woonsocket) to set up her e-mail so that she can read it in off-line mode. Stories there on that, but I’ll save that for another time. This of course will open up the same old BS with her when I do eventually go up there that will start with such things as, “When uncle…” (her brother) “…calls, you drop everything to help him. But you don’t do the same for me.”

What she always seems to forget is that Uncle calls and schedules something a week (or longer in advance). He always sets which date it’s going to be. None of this, “is this day good… is that day good…” never makes noise about picking me up at my apartment in Providence to bring me to his place out in BFE in Foster/Gloucester (and yes, that’s pronounced GLAW-stah). He basically understands the three-day rule because he lives by it as well. Nothing’s ever sudden or off schedule and if it is, it’s pushed farther ahead.

My aunt doesn’t though. Not in the least. Everything must be dropped immediately and if the schedule can’t be done when she needs, well… manners fly out the window.

My mother talked with her this afternoon on her way back from the CAT Scan and my aunt completely forgot (read: ignored) her pissy attitude from the day before.

[Last Edited: 7/26/2014 4:39:53 PM]

Finally comes the last part of what I’ve been doing during my down-time/lazy days of summer here in the Tundras of New England. I’m not entirely sure how I want to label it; but it’s been partially educational — and I have gotten quite a lot of entertainment from it. Partially it’s been an obsession with me trying to understand (and unravel it). Partially because of the fascination of how such things attract so many people (usually youngins) to watch, subscribe and comment.

What I’m talking about are Youtubers.

Truth be told, I can’t exactly remember how I stumbled across the ones that I did… Part of it I think had to do with how YouTube gave me random recommended when I was sitting at my computer and looking for something to watch without committing to watching something for hours. The rest of it had to do with my ending up in bed at the end of a day, and popping YouTube onto my iPod Touch and watching a bit of something as I either fell asleep – or worse – the random bouts of insomnia I’d get from suddenly waking up at 2 in the morning and not falling back to sleep until almost 4 AM.

Almost two weeks into this momentary obsession (and just the other day), I talked to Glenn (yes, my favourite attention whore and friend) about the discoveries I had made…. And of course being the sort of curmudgeon-in-training that he often is — went off on his usual tear of how fake and pretentious the lot of them are, using the usual disgust and sneer that he has for anyone (and anything) that caters to the 14 year-old girl mentality that he hates dealing with so much in daMN chat and on Tumblr, I personally gibe him relentlessly on it because of how he hates the competition for Queen Attention Whore™ that he gets from 14 year old girls. Well that and he’s so much like a 14 year old girl sometimes. But I’ll digress from my usual argumentative banter with him as this paragraph is sure to cause him to respond later on.

Then again the discussion Glenn and I had about Google/YouTube’s secret algorithm as I linked earlier is probably the culprit between why I ended up with the recommendations I get versus the recommendations he gets. I had been a bit more blunt about it, snarking the ever living shit out of him stating his love of crap videos and checking out the kind of garbage that 14 year old girls squee on is why he ends up with the pretentious, oftentimes fake and extremely controversial YouTubers he gets to watch. I thought about mentioning names as examples, but I won’t.. It’s about tastes and opinions and unfortunately for Glenn sometimes, he gets it in his head to chase after the things girls squee over so he can snark them, deride them and sneer because of his superiority instead of finding the sort of people and channels that would help with a more positive opinion.

While I only subscribe to 2, I find myself watching quite a few more for various reasons. Following is that list of YouTubers I watch regularly and/or subscribe to:

  • Oli White. The first YouTuber I officially subscribed to (though not the first that I watched). Something about his nose and jaw line reminds me a lot of Callum. While Mr. White’s not as tall as Callum (a few inches shorter), there’s also something about his perfectionistic approach that I can strongly relate to. I honestly think it’s going to be interesting to witness when Mr. White reaches the culmination of life experiences that will either change his views to being more of a perfectionist or less. I strongly believe less of a perfectionist than more, but in any case it’ll be intriguing to watch.
  • Tyler Oakley. The amount of energy this man can produce is staggering. While he describes himself as Ellen DeGeneres’ doppelganger; with the glasses that he wears, Mr. Oakley reminds me more of a young Peter Billinglsey from “A Christmas Story” (Ralphie). With the amount of energy that he has and the way he can remain so exuberant in front of and behind the camera he reminds me a lot of my adopted son Keagan. The guild I was part of on Rift (I still am, but not playing that game as much because of the summer and the amount of heat that game generates with my PC) would label him “Out the Window Gay”. Sure they mean it in a good way and have referred to me the same way once or twice; but I’m not quite out the window as they think I am. And certainly not as much as Mr. Oakley can be. Combine this with his enthusiasm that I find watching his channel the most infectious.
  • Marcus Butler. Admittedly I first thought he was Australian until I started watching him more and realized he was a ‘southerner’ (Bristol, UK area). It was thanks to my experience with watching/chatting with Londoners, Cornish, Midlands, Geordies and the Welsh that hearing Mr. Butler talking that I finally got a handle on the various accents of the UK. I’m not exactly sure what it is about Mr. Butler that I keep watching him. Something about his personality or the qualities that he projects that reminds me of someone (or something), but I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s enough for me to maintain curiosity until I figure out what and why.
  • Joe Sugg. And indirectly with his sister, Zoe. There’s something about Mr. Sugg’s snarkish attitude that I find amusing. Even hilarious at some points. It’s also comical the sort of competitiveness that Mr. Sugg has with his sister. That and Mr. Sugg’s use of some (British) slang is enough to keep me on my toes. Oh and he’s an easy mark for practical jokes. There’s something about the straight man that I find enduring.
  • Doug Armstrong. The second YouTuber I subscribed to, mainly because of some of his extremely easy, no-nonsense cooking he does on his channel. Well that and his absolute love of cheesecake and deserts.. And anyone that loves cheesecake at his level can’t be at all bad.
  • Louis Cole. Pronounced (Loo-EE as opposed to the typical American Lew-ISS). Quite possibly the only YouTuber that took me quite a lot of his videos and a long time for me to warm up to. And I believe he might actually be the third that I subscribe to watch regularly. He reminds me strongly of the hippies my parents used to hang around with when I was a child coupled with the Radical Faeries I used to hang around with when I lived in Atlanta, GA. I think I was sort of put off with his “relaxed” attitude but realized that this was only a veneer to a very subtle easy-going’ish come adventurous approach that he actually has to everything. That and his love of coffee. Instant respect right there.

There’s so many others, I could mention I watch, but instead I’ll just give honorable mentions. MarkE Miller (who is the first YouTuber that I actually watched) along with his boyfriend Ethan Hethcote, Connor Franta (though there’s something about his Wisconsin/Minnesota attitude that puts me off. Well other than watching this video which has me cackling with sadistic glee), Good Mythical Morning, Alfie Deyes/PointlessBlog, Troye Sivan (and yes, he has an Australian Accent), Caspar Lee, Sawyer Hartman (although I find it camp when he and Tyler Oakley have their drinking contests), Joey Graceffa (from the Tundras of New England, even though he has a habit of hiding the Yankee accent when he’s in front of the camera) and finally Will Shepherd

Thinking about it as I was proofing this part of the entry, it’s like the old Public Access video channels on local cable television back in the day when I was used to watch it living here in Providence with Darin (early 90s). To answer the question I have in my head and knowing a couple of my friends would ask — would I do it? Would I put my memories to video? Nope. It won’t ever happen. I like my old-fashioned method of writing. I’ve been writing a journal since I was 17. I don’t see any reason whatsoever to change on this either. When I can’t type because of arthritis, I might consider it. Until then I will remain in print.

That’s about it for the time being. Off to make supper and perhaps to blow up things before I pass out with Moe. Until the next time.

Pretzel Arches

07/15/2014 Comments off

Pretzel Arches

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

A little mad fun while watching an episode of “The Musketeers”.

Ambient

07/06/2014 2 comments

Ambient

 

Mandelbulb 3D, Un-Retouched

Just a little something-something created as the day remains as beautiful as yesterday, but with a little more warmth. There no rhyme or reason to this… other than perhaps keeping myself familiar with the controls.

Oh and listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPQjYQZ7wW0 while making this…

Time passes as time always does…

07/05/2014 Comments off

Entry 07/05/2014 11:54:18 AM – Mentat 705

Summer Solstice has come and gone.

Emancipation Day has come and gone… And a lot quieter than I thought possible. More on that in a little bit.

Stonewall Day has come and gone.

Yes, Independence Day has even come and gone.

It’s not as though I’ve been completely uninspired; just mostly for the last couple of weeks. While some of it has to do with the exorcising of demons as part of my Emancipation Day tradition, most of it had to do with the outrageously annoying and extremely draining moderate heat coupled with unbearable humidity that we had been getting through the last couple of days. Now that tropical-storm-turned-weak-hurricane-turned-tropical-storm-again Arthur has come and gone… Well, let’s just say it’s marvelous, the right sort of warm, breezy and the last week’s oppressive, Southern Humidity in the North is totally gone, I’m sitting here with the windows open, fans blowing (with and without the breeziness) and Moe expectedly torn between wanting to chase the little red light and getting up on the desk for some one-on-one attention. Looks like the attention won out, as he’s currently plopped on my shoulder with his tail wagging away (between happy and aggravating). Not that this is going to make typing easy as this is just the usual prelude to, “I don’t like your shoulder, let me casually slide down into the crook of your arm and whack your face with my tail…”

Ha! That’s not going to happen for as long as my notebook’s open…

Starting with last night (and working backwards instead of all over the place), I had my first nightmare in a long while. While the dream itself was only moderately scary — dealing with some sort of infection turned zombie apocalypse — I found myself practically screaming in the night-terrors sort of way as I was waking up. Sure, lucid dreaming was easy enough… During the part in the dream where someone’s son was infected by the virus and only had minutes before turning into some sort of brain-eating monster, I woke myself rather calmly. It was during the wake up process that I had scared myself. It seems that while I was waking up, my semi-conscious mind tried to bring to the conscious one of the zombies and it was crawling up into the bed (and over the covers), to pin me down and eat my face off.

That in itself kept me up for about 2 to 2½ hours as I tried to work through the fear and the hyper-attention I had going for that scary moment. I was rather surprised that it was the semi-conscious part of the brain that suffered from the fright instead of the subconscious/unconscious; particularly when you realize just how psychotic my dream states can be. But after watching some distracting videos (as I wasn’t quite able to listen to ambient music of DI.FM’s Space Dreams), I passed out like I normally would, only to wake up much later than I expected.

I’m not quite sure why or what caused that bad dream turned nightmare. I haven’t been watching anything about zombies or strange mutant-altering viruses; hell most of my television or diversions have been either science-fiction or actions… I’m sure that if I think about it enough, I might have a little luck finding the trigger. Either-or… it’s a first in a long time.

Then earlier in the night (like around an hour before closing time for Tammany Hall), someone was firing off fireworks in Piedmont Street. Between the sounds and the lights, I remember waking up to the noise and thinking, “if that shit continues, I swear I’ll call the police for the cunt that was disturbing the peace.” No, I didn’t do it, couldn’t actually as my phone was in the office on the other side of the wall. Fortunately for me and the rest of the people in the neighborhood, it was a culmination to the various firework noises that have been going on in the neighborhood. Between the neighbor across the street firing off fireworks (and we think getting chastised by the neighbor next door), to the kids over on Knight Street firing them off later in the evening (read: past midnight, early morning), it’s been more noisy than I’m used to during this time of year than when I used to live in the Valley.

In the last couple of years, whenever there was fireworks going off for this time of year it always sounded so… distant. Like it wasn’t part of the neighborhood at all. This year? Ugh, it feels like it’s going on just outside of my house (in spite of the fact that some of it’s 2 streets over on one side, and halfway downtown on the other.

Moe on the other hand, I think has developed a nervous tic. Seems he has a hot spot on his left foreleg. I’m not sure whether it’s from the move, it’s been there for a while and I’ve only just started noticing. Or whether it’s really recent with all the noise and all the windows being opened. It’s not too bad — he hasn’t developed any sores in the process. It’s just been made bald from his cleaning (I’ve finally seen him going to town on the area). While he was good in not running off of the bed and hiding for hours when the folk were firing off firecrackers and various noisemakers…. He has through the last week. So much so, that there have been times when I’ve come home from walking my mother’s monster child, that I’ve found him in the portable closet, hiding for his life. So in the meantime, as I continue to make sure it’s the other possible cause for that bald spot (boredom), I’ve been playing with him more and giving him the treat of napping with me when I take a quick lie-down. Seems all right, but hell during the hotter days, just what I need on my crotch — a sprawled out, legs in the air, purring, fur belt.

Then at the end of last week, Stonewall Day (which sort of is a hop, skip and a jump to the weekend before), I got the usual questions about, “will you be going down to Pride?”

No…

Just no…

Of course I recounted the story to family mostly but a couple of friends that I was chatting with online, about the last pride I went to a couple of years ago (when I was living with that douchebag, drunken artist wannabe)… You know, the one where I felt like I was one of the tallest (and oldest) queerfolk in the land of the Lilliputians. Oh and the only taller person had the hair of Chewbacca… And no I don’t mean he was a walking carpet, but instead hair on his head slicked back and long like Chewbacca.

My attitude hasn’t changed about folk here in this state and with that in mind, I saw no need or want to mingle with the attitude I’ve encountered since coming back to the state. And while that entry was only a couple of weeks ago, it remains a sort of anchor/milestone to my continued approach to the folk and people in the area.

Though for a moment it did raise the question in my mind, “why is it that I truly stay in the state?” Well, other than the obvious answer of my family in all it’s bizarre and sometimes dysfunctionally warring sort of way… I have to say I think I’m finally settled.. The oats have been sown… The mad cow has finally been hit with the right tranquilizer. Mother’s Little Helper has finally helped mother…

[Last Edited: 07/05/2014 07:41:23 PM]

Before Stonewall Day was Emancipation Day… While I didn’t do anything completely dramatic or… well over-dramatic about releasing the left over demons, I can say without a shadow of a doubt declare that I can now think about the douchebag ex-landlord and not think about punching him in the throat repeatedly. That doesn’t exclude the thought of throwing rocks at his SUV if he tries being “nice” in my direction, but at least it’s not the threat of strong physical violence at the sight of the two-faced, delusional bastard. And no… I won’t stop with the names… Even 35 years later, I still refer to my first ex-boyfriend as either “the asshole” or “my first asshole”.

Hell, I can even get through the thought of the ex-roommate douchebag without wanting to give the man two black eyes in the process. Sure, I might be resigning myself to the thought that with the amount of cheap drinking and cheaper cigarettes the only way he’s going to keel over either through lung cancer (or any other cancers associated to smoking) and/or cirrhosis of the liver. It’s a slow way, yes I know. And that silly, petty stealing douche will not only leave the world penniless but also unknown, but hopefully in doing so his kids will completely hate his existence… Evil I know… but at least I’m resigned to karma paying back as karma always pays back. Instead of wanting to take a completely active role in his (and the douchey ex-landlord’s) demise. And again, no… I won’t stop with the names. They dissed me and were disrespectful, they don’t deserve any respect from me.

It took me over 4 months, several attempts at facing it and then letting it go, more times with denial than I would like to admit, and having to say it aloud enough to realize the amount of vehemence and anger that I was containing. While I might not be able to shake the scorn — something I know that I can hang on to no matter what — the anger and rage is finally spent.

And that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I’m still not quite as creative as I should be, but at least I’m a bit more at peace with myself than usual. Now I’m off for the night… Until the next time.

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