Tag Archives: behaviour

a stranger in strange times…

aka ‘the text, the livingroom on ludlow & the homeless-penn-station-shuffle’.

14 Aug 2010
A Stranger in Strange Times: This is what I am.

To begin:

Late in the week: My friend E texts me…. doesn’t know where I am. Nobody really knows where I am these days. This is not metaphorical, mind you. There are literally a handful of people that actually know my physical location. And this, simply because I’d neglected to mention the fact. Where ever I may be, the aforementioned text also says that, where ever I am, he would be in both of the potential places that I would be, at certain times and invites me to 2 separate soirees in two separate cities on two separate coasts… you guessed it, approximately two weeks apart.

  1. That Saturday (three days?), he will be downtown at the Living Room on Ludlow playing with his band.
  2. The aforementioned some later time, he will be in that opposite coast place, at his apartment/duplexy home, co-hosting a barbecue.

In keeping with the adult theme (not like dirty adult… just like actual ‘taking responsibility for your person and your actions and thinking beyond the next 2 seconds-adult), I want to be where the barbecue is. I want to go to the semi-domestic-type barbecue that I’ve been invited to with his girlfriend and young-adult chatter. I want to pretend, again, that I already am something that I’m, currently, half-commited to be. I really really really kind of want this.

Alas, I am 0 for 1. I am not in that opposite coast place now; far away only in space… but space counts, I suppose as much as time as far as practicality goes. So…

Going back to number 1, I will be downtown and available to see a friend on Ludlow Street on that Saturday. No substitute for the adult-soaked Mid-Wilshire barbecue and/or a growing semblance of evolution, but as good as I can get at this point? Sooooo, I go.

Annnndddd…. ACTION!

It’s really not like that, however. I decided to tell E where I was and actually go and not just surprisingly show up somewhere a la kiko of years past because I was rockin’ the adult thing. And because I thought that I may be able to transcend location (space, whatever). With my friend E, I feel that I had started this sort of thing. Respect and general relatively mundane adult behaviour. …I say ‘relatively’ mundane …to syringes and speed and benders that went on for days. In any event, I kind of really didn’t have any sort of business going at all, what with my no-money and no-job and no-actual anything and all. I went because it seemed like an adult thing to do. Or atleast, it resembled the closest thing that I could grasp as adult. Sooooo….

Subway downtown.

And this is where “action” should really be called.

For routine’s sake, I suppose… subway downtown, wine in a Coke cup with a straw. Didn’t need to get my drink-on… just thought: It’s wine in a cup with a straw. It’s also around 9:30pm and I’m completely sober… these things somehow = ‘this behaviour is okay, makes sense and therefore, I don’t really have to think about what I’m doing, ergo… learn and adjust potential behaviour’. Really, it’s embedded routine and a taste of autonomy vs. chill the fuck out (this is not five years ago, you’re not going to W 4th to see the guys play The Bitter End, you don’t care about being fleetingly fun and cute and… whatever).

Anyway, in the end, as traced from the beginning “fleetingly fun and cute and whatever” wins out… routine, man… it’s fuckin’ routine, man. And now, I can’t say that I don’t know how it happened, all wide-eyed because I’ve just told you.

*The rest is mostly written LIVE-like on a blackberry wordpad as I progressively get drunk. (that’s why it reads like I’m on crack)

I walk up the stairs from the subway… somewhere downtown. …somewhere downtown east, even. hmm… Disoriented (as exiting any subway station, for anyone… even the most embedded of denizens of this city are), I am ‘between’… among, a sea of others. …must ….manage ….energy of ‘winning the stairs’.  Must go up as fast as humanly possible. However, vertically, horizontally, everything-ly, I am between… among and possibly burdened by the external. …however, it’s not a burden; it’s a sea of people that move. One adjusts their speed or pace and ‘winning the stairs’ in one’s real-time, becomes, a concept though so singularly focused, comfortably adjustable here-and-there. In that way, I might, leg-half-lift’d, wait a millisecond more for the person in front of me that might also wait for the person in front of them in the same manner as I  (or conversely struggle just a bit with the pace). But the sea of people move but we all adjust and somehow become one. But somehow, we all remain intensely individual.

So now, I slo-mo clop up the stairs in the intensely individual pseudo-socialistic adjustment bureau that I find myself in. It smells like NY… late summer. This is comforting. This is something familiar; something familiar that strikes one over the head like an all-engulfing mallet (smashing an entire hemisphere of one’s brain to absolute minutiae) with no effort on the part of any party on any side of this ill-conceived metaphor/simile.

I stare, though. A wide-eyed stare that I once rocked as ‘my thing’. …a million years ago. Similar-to anyway. …the stare. Familiar again in a displaced manner; a displaced tone. The same low energy. This low-energy concerns me, however. I know its not the same… Its not as naïve and sweet and pure.

I may have depleted all of my dopamine or actually, it seems, serotonin receptors yesterday…. at T‘s place. I forget that I’m not the severe, ritualistic alcoholic that I was just a few months ago… Physically. And physically, I handle it in the way that only a novice/born-again-whatever can.

Everything is up for grabs now. This is grand without saying. But the ritualistic and unfamiliar just catches one sometimes… Off-guard and all. …when they are presented in such a stringent and spontaneous-like manner. I’ve spun so many things in so many directions too many times, most likely. And now, when I can ‘check myself’ for a second… Even the most familiar is based on this spin. The familiarity is incongruent, discontinuous, piecey… and dizzying as a result.

And I know enough to know better (atleast I’d like to think so), but its still a jarring prospect that nothing can remain the same.

Drinkdrinkdrink… watch the band. Hug people. Say hello to others. drinkdrinkdrink. Say hi to E, talk as much as we can above the music; but there is something going on. Something that doesn’t involve me, probably. I sense this, so I go… (he tells me that he is kind of offended, though, that I hadn’t mentioned the whole picking up and definitively moving to the other coast)

Even later…
And so, some cute-kiko version of the beast has been unleashed… Moremoremore. And walking on ludow, I need to focus on getting to the F or something. I am not hungry… But I needneedneed, somehow now. And need equals hunger? Then… Katz’s… Yeah-yah! I don’t but I do… Want roast beefish things inbetween bread… Even though I actuaLly can’t fathom chewing and esophageal southward movement of ‘stuff’ to eventually fester in my stomach. Then food pregnancy. But for some reason… I want for anything. More alcohol; consumption of food…. Something… Moremoremore… Something, please. I go in… it’s all confusing… and really all I really want is more drink.

This is not drink. And so, finally, I end up at the Egyptian boy.

Oh, I hadn’t mentioned the Egyptian boy? There is an egyptian guy. Or boy. I am again in penn station and again, I am confronted with time. Slow… Fast… Passage, time. What-the-fuck-ever. The egyptian boy works the place that sells the french fries (grave fuckin yard style… the working of the boy; not the style of the fries). I see this as I pass (off of the uptown a,c,e… Whatever) I am as drunk as my body can accept (abnormally… Incongruently)… I am also poor as fuck.

The rest of the night/day goes:
1. sleeping in the transitional place between penn station, nj transit and armtrack? or whatever that other thing is.
2. major headache hungover, can’t deal.
3. sitting miserably downstairs against a penn pole
4. weird child molester-looking guy talks to me. he is not a child molester… but I feel that he is autistic. I say this multiple times. He says that he is in sports. Um-hmm, sports. He rarely speaks, but when something is awesome to him, he prefers the term “fantastic”.

I don’t fuck him or anything. I mean, this is all just too mundane. and, yes, Leon, I am a stranger in a strange land… in strange-ass times.

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Three and a Half Years Out…

I thought that it’d be appropriate to come semi-circle, if you will and write a bit about what this whole thing… this whole like, 23rd Street Chronicles… this whole, okay… Blooooog or something… started as in the first place.

Three and a half years out… I feel that this is a safe landmark of sorts.

I’ve always been a proponent of cognitive behavioural-ish approaches to things. Aaron Beck, ‘fake it ’til you make it*’, ‘‘just do it’, etc. And for the most part (including all of the destructive drug usage) these are the tenants that have, for me, been most effective in my blind-eyed, flailing-armed experience of the world.

In so saying, I discontinued a behaviour. I stopped using meth.

…this. last. time, anyway.

As an action, I ceased this behavior. I discontinued an habitual action in the same manner that I had ever begun one. …multiple times and ceased multiple times in various colours in spades.

See, it’s all the same. It’s all behaviour. If you do, if you don’t. That’s it.

Mouse, maze, cheese. Flowers for Algernon.

I’m not saying injecting street drugs is the same as just not injecting street drugs. I’m not saying that I am the same as you because I do the same things as you nor am I the same as you because it doesn’t matter what we do at all.

This is nihilism.

But behaviour is behaviour. And we should recognize the potential in which it can be abused. Yes, in a certain sense it is ‘better’ that I’m not injecting street speed into my veins. …I guess…

But this secession is exactly the thing that has placed me in this limbo for this entire time. Things obviously change, once one changes behavior (especially behavior as extreme as this). Furthermore, increasing time in itself, does alter experience.

But alteration or secession of behaviour alone does not a ‘cure’ make. It fucks you all-the-more. Yes, alot of extraneousness is stripped away creating something more clear. …like a tumble-weeded out Western perhaps.

But, i guess, this whole thing… I’m here to tell you… limbo is limbo for a reason. No one is supposed to stay here. I discontinued the behaviour… but I’m still here.

And I know… as I’ve known all along, I suppose… that something is still awry.

None of this is really about drugs…

I’m sleepy. Shout out to the J-man: sleepy-dance.

Don’t even think about it.

…not done. NOT even.

…if you’ve read any of this ghey-ass blog, any of it.. one post… you can do me the favor of staying with me here, for this one.
because sometimes, it’s important.

And, so, one again: To be Continued…

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a minor detail

So, I have this minor lingering ‘thing’ (that would probably be addressed if I had ever gone to rehab or NA… but then, this blog wouldn’t exist, atleast in this manifestation, if I had) that plagues me and prevents me, in part, from easily sliding back into the human race.

Like, what the fuck do people do? As leisure and all of that?

The way I see it, this issue has developed and built upon itself in a slightly exponential manner via a few channels.

a. Relative sobriety, for me, meant that I needed to find substitute behaviour. The aforementioned substitute behaviour would have been work. Work for work’s sake. Very ‘meth’, if you will. Meth behaviour without methamphetamine. This, in itself, is very suspect. Though I might add the physical quitting of the actual using of the meth is far and away the largest step in the correct direction. …or atleast, that’s what common sense seems to dictate. And furthermore, I just need to add, I am naturally very inclined toward repetitive, action-oriented meth-like behavior in general. Some might classify this as slight OCD, I might (read: do) classify these people as retarded.

Okay, back to why this is suspect… I began working at a new place, but continued doing things that I’d been doing my entire professional time in Hollywood. …things that I could do with my eyes closed, both-hands tied behind my back …oh, and high on meth and drunk on white wine. For more detail, see: ‘this took a bit more planning…’ And this may seem a bit backward, but I had been doing these Hollywood assistant-type things, at this point for about two years high and drunk. Yeah, there were about two years before that where I wasn’t. But I wasn’t very good, either: shy, learning and really just unaware of everything. And so, I was sincerely afraid that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do these things in the way that I’d finally learned to do them (communicate on the phone, blahblahblah) if I wasn’t. …high and drunk. So, it became a very focused effort to get to work on time and do my job as well as I could. Plus, one thing at a time, man… I mean, I didn’t even know that I’d be able to function in any sort of human capacity in general without the glory of intoxication.

And it may strike a longer sympathetic chord when I remind one of the fact that Hollywood is Hollywood (behind the scenes business-ness or not)… meth makes you skinny with minimal effort. When one’s only expenses are meth and 2 buck chuck… the money that would have gone to food now goes to cute, funky clothing and highlights. And not to digress too much, but the alcohol drops one’s normal filter and heightens one’s warmth and humanity and certain degree of no-holds-barred honesty while meth acts as a strange but directed filter on the ‘normal’ filter that alcohol dropped. Then meth brings forth the stagnant ideas floating around the brain while the alcohol soothes the anxiety that the meth ideas bring forth. It all balances out in a way that, on paper, seems like, “why bother doing any of this?”.

I can’t say anything to this other than “try it”.

So, in the end, I was obviously able to do my job. And because obsession is rooted in fear and I am me… it, like most things, became a highly ritualized no-brainer. But a highly ritualized no-brainer that I lived and died by. I came in early (imagine that) and stayed late. I did nothing else. …well, except for the court-ordered weekly DUI alcohol program that wasted my money and ate my soul for three months. But after this, it was seriously almost three years of nothing but work, weekend hibernation, work… you get it.

Toward the end of my Hollywood tenure, I did become more comfortable in my own skin and thus went out just a bit; slightly dipping a toe here and there back into the land of eating disorders not-otherwise-specified… oh, and drinking half a bottle of white wine a night, after work. All mild stuff (not excusing any of the behaviour)… but it is what it is. I was milder in my self-destruction and older in my time-line. So, as it goes, the intoxication became less absolute, dramatic and spiky… and more the equivilent of a bud light or something absolutely… slow and exquisitely mundane.

…to be continued. (I mean, because you can’t just have an a.) that way).

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