Day 231: The Man and the Dangers of Ladders and Vases; ‘Baby’

So here’s a thing that’s a thing now. I’m kinda tired of talking about my ex. Like, I saw the prompt was ‘baby’ and yeah I immediately thought ‘oh, you know, she used to call me baby‘. That was her nickname for me. She’d always call me that, and for a very long time before we got back together I missed being called that.

But that was it. That’s all that came out. A brief memory, but nothing attached. No nostalgia, no drive, no desire. Like walking through a cloud. It fills you but it dissipates almost as soon as you inhabit it. And with a little puff of breath, it’s all gone.

obama-dropWhen it comes to getting over something or someone, you need that, I think. That moment where you go, ‘I’m exhausted by recalling all this every time’. I think I hit that point a while ago actually, but you know there would be times when it may have been relevant or poignant or maybe even to some extent necessary, to bring it up and talk it out for some reason or other. I know NaNoWriMo really helped me out with that one, fleshing out every part I held onto. And over time my posts have become less and less about her or my past relationship, and on the advice of readers I’ve really stopped even calling her on her or referring to her by her old nickname too. I think it’s a natural progression, a healthy one and a necessary one, for myself, but also for others. Who wants to be around someone who beats a dead horse. You want to know what else they can think about, what other stories they can share, what other worlds they live in.

So I do put it out there, to anyone who might be going through heartbreak or has experienced it, no matter where you are in your timeline, keep looking for that moment on the horizon when you can think to yourself ‘okay, enough of that, I’ve exhausted this, it’s exhausted me, I want to be more than this one thing’. And like passing through a cloud, you can’t hold onto it, you can’t keep its form, let it pass.


Besides, there is a muuuch better use of today’s prompt than rehashing old wounds.

My man, doing it like no one else can, baddest man in all the land, Jaaackie Chaaan!

No he didn’t recently have a baby. And as far as I can tell he’s never called me that either. He has done movies with babies though. One of my favorites is his film Rob-B-Hood where he plays a cat burglar who becomes an unwitting accomplice in the kidnapping, and care, of a wealthy family’s newborn baby. Good movie if you haven’t seen it, definitely try to catch it somewhere. When my local Blockbuster went out of business I made sure to buy up every Jackie Chan film they had in stock.

What I love about Jackie Chan in his films is he’s unlike any other action star out there. He never puts himself in a completely invincible position. He is always the underdog. In fact, some of the best bits of his style of action/comedy are when he’s either hurt or, being in a disadvantageous position, is forced to get creative to work his way back to the top. More than just a hero or a star, that’s the kind of person I want to be. We have too many Rambos and Terminators and solo stars running around out there. These characters that are so perfect that they are unflinching and unbeatable. It takes away the humanness of it all. I like seeing my heroes hurt, because then I get to see them rise. Take for example, Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the famous MI6 agent James Bond. Far more than any of his predecessors, Craig takes multiple beatings. He gets hurt. He gets brutal. He’s in the thick of it. And I appreciate that because only Craig’s Bond could take a brutal beating with heavy duty rope to this groin and near-fatal poisoning and still get the girl. Around hisball-death bright, baby-blue eyes might be scars and bandages but he still disarms with that boyish charm. Which means I’ve seen him work for this. I believe he’s earned it. That puts him above Connery, Brosnan, and definitely Lazenby (who likes Lazenby?) In the same way, I root for Jackie Chan’s eventual success because I’ve seen how much he’s had to overcome to beat the bad guys. He’s deserved the big finishes he gets. In Mr. Nice Guy he runs over the evil gang leader with a hovercraft. In his first Police Story he descends from the top floor of a shopping mall in a hail of electricity and sparks as he slides down a lighting wire. In his first real big hit, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, he claws the evil Eagle Claw master to death. (In the same film he also grabs this Russian mercenary’s balls. To death. He dies from that.)

So one of the best iterations of this underdog mentality is this long-running internet inside joke that the most dangerous fighter in the world is a Jackie Chan holding a baby who doesn’t want any trouble. (He only narrowly beat out a Jackie Chan fighting inside a ladder factory.) He’s also done some great work with priceless vases that he can’t let be destroyed. I think if you’re a fan of his work and have ever seen any of his films, you would appreciate the humor in the idea of how dangerous Jackie Chan would be as an underdog if he had a baby in one hand and was just trying to get away from the fight. And you’d know his favorite weapon of all time is most probably a ladder. It’s that creativity and adaptability that makes Jackie his own unique style of hero. Undeniably human yet limitlessly resourceful. In many ways, this is how I want to be as well. I don’t want to present myself as invincible or untouchable. I don’t want to always come off as pristine and perfect. I like getting down to the nitty gritty and making a mess and you know, making something of the disadvantages I may have to deal with. And so, I leave you with one of the best examples of fight choreography I’ve ever seen. It is by no means his best film or even best fights, but definitely shows off the sheer adaptability Jackie has in a scene and his incredible use of the strangest weapons. Yes, there’s even a ladder.

Day 231

Man: 198 Loneliness: 33

Day 210: The Man and the Blast From the Past, Gift from the Rift; ‘Clean’

So it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying to go to sleep…

And I get a text message, which immediately startles me because, if any of you play the Michael Scott.gifMetal Gear series, my text alert is the *BWOMP* sound the game makes when you’ve been discovered by an enemy.

Who the hell is texting me at this ungodly hour…

It’s Bird. I haven’t spoken to her since the holidays to wish her a merry Christmas and happy New Year. I’ve for the most part gotten over my crush and besides all indications are that she’s still going strong with her boyfriend so I’ve made my peace and moved on.

It’s a picture of an online pre-order receipt for Mass Effect: Andromeda. The latest game in a series that we are both fans of and liked to talk about. ‘Okay,’ I thought. ‘She got the game. Good for her.’ Underneath it though was the caption ‘my ex bought Andromeda for me L M A O’.

Huh.

It was a weird sentiment, at such a random time, but maybe it was the half-awake half-asleep mind or that calm and peace of the night, but it immediately brought up a whole slew of emotions and thoughts that were just too much to process. So I decided to wait until now to go through them.


First, this was not the first time that any one of her past exes has been brought up in conversation. I couldn’t really pinpoint when, or where, or why, or how, but somehow or other in sporadic bursts in our conversations she would find it appropriate to bring up exes. This one who’s still obsessed with her and trying to get back together, this one who was a jerk and a mistake, this one who was ‘really just for the sex and loneliness’, or this one who ‘still felt bad about the breakup’ and is giving her gifts therefore for some reason? Iono. As I like to say, ‘whatevs to the evs’. But maybe it’s not so ‘whatevs’? Am I wrong or is there something strange about constantly bringing up ex talk? For comparison, about as much as she knows about me is that I was dating a girl who I used to date back in college and then a couple months later we broke up. That’s it. The entirety of my romantic past in summation based on her knowledge.

Carol Brown.gifSo I’m trying to process why this seems to keep coming up. And I’m trying to come up with positive, flattering reasons why. I’m drawing blanks. Because here’s what I’ve come up with. For the most part, I find people who consistently bring up their exes often times do it because they draw a certain sense of self-worth by quantifying how desirable they are. ‘Look at me, I must be good, because look at this list of people who have thought so too.’ And I would like to think Bird is above that, because I think that’s a very sorry and sad way to view yourself; only in terms of how others have, and specifically how others have in terms of lovability or at the very least, likability. You shouldn’t be after trying to get as many people as possible to want you. I’ve always felt that the goal was to find the one. There are lessons and values and wonderful stories created from my past relationships, I certainly can’t deny that. And when appropriate I do enjoy sharing them. The funny, the folly, or the downright fails. But I don’t call on this history as a means of validation. I think I might have in the past though, to be honest. Or at the very least, I think I and most other people can relate, after breakups it is hard not to diminish your sense of self-worth because you are suddenly unwanted. There have been relationships in the past whose ultimate demise have caused me to question myself, my sense of self. I can understand that. But with time you get over that, and you have to realize that the actions of others, their wants and desire, have very little, if anything at all, to do with you, your values, or your worth. And in as much freedom and strength as there is in realizing that someone not wanting you means little, there is the same in realizing that people wanting you means little as well.

Second, I was wondering why she wanted me to know about this at all anyways. If it was about the game and sharing some excitement, then I would have understood completely. How exciting and how great to have that pre-order and already have the peace of mind and anticipation of knowing that on the day the game comes out there is already a copy with your name on it in the mail. Often times pre-orders also come with some extra goodies, either physical goodies like special collector’s edition cases or other paraphernalia or digital goodies like extra content or special items to help you gain an early advantage in the beginning of the game. Personally I am against the concept of pre-orders because it creates too much hype and rewards developers and game companies even before the product is release, which gives them less accountability to make a quality game. But that’s gaming politics and something for some other topic way off in the future if ever. But fine let’s jump up and down and say yay and oh my god that’s so cool.

Andromeda.jpegBut if it was about the game, why would I need to know the part about her ex buying it for her? It’s that extra superfluous piece of information that just gets me confused about the underlying message here. Am I supposed to be…jealous? Impressed? How do I respond? It’s such a strange thing. Why would people feel the need to add all these extra bits of information except for to use the main thing as an excuse to detract focus. And if it was a play for jealousy…I mean…am I supposed to be jealous of the game, or of the act? And isn’t there someone else more relevant to play this on? Like I don’t know, her actual boyfriend? Look I get this makes me sound supremely self-centered. And again, I could be, and hope to be, wrong. These are the semi-lucid musings of a half-awake man. But I definitely think there is something there at least to learn or come away with. Don’t use the actions of others as a tool to incite jealousy. It doesn’t motivate or inspire others to act. It either repels them if they can see through the action or demotivates them. Jealousy is a petty way of getting what you want. If you want me to celebrate with you, I’ll celebrate. But don’t also try to make me jealous. Because then I can see no benefit in sharing this with you.

Third, after my vision began to clear and I wiped the sleep from my eyes and saw that message, the first thing I responded with was ‘wait, are you going to take it?’ I kind of thought and hoped the answer to that should be clear.

‘Eh he wants to give me a gift then fine lol he still feels guilty about our breakup 3 years ago so whatever’

Hand on Head.gifHuh. Guess the answer wasn’t as clear as I thought. Again, way more information than I need, and I guess I mean good for you for being so monumental in his life for the past three years but…like, so what? Anyways, isn’t it strange to be accepting gifts from an ex? Let’s start with just that very general blanket statement. Call me crazy, but I am more in the habit of cutting off contact with exes, so forget accepting gifts from them. It seems like a potentially messy and complicated situation. Now we add on the fact that a) we are to assume she is still in a relationship and b) we are to trust she is accurate and true in saying that her ex for whatever reason ‘still feels bad’ (implying motive? incentive? I don’t know) and it just seems way too much of a hot mess to even want to step into. Maybe in a perfect world with perfect people we can maintain somewhat healthy relationships with exes. But it doesn’t seem this relationship is healthy or even ended in a way that could have facilitated anything healthy. In my opinion the best thing to do after a relationship ends is first of all to make sure everyone involved understand and is clear about the ending of the relationship and then make about as sharp and clean a break as possible, which means no contact. As the break-upper, the broken up, and the potential future partner of either party, it seems best and most conducive to do it this way. Am I being too old-fashioned? Is this such an old and sentimental value it is no longer realistic? Again my god what world of dating am I entering into at the end of my year? It seems against all better judgement to accept anything from an ex. I know from personal experience both as the giver and the receiver, it is almost impossible for these gifts to be given without some ulterior motive or underlying emotion still lingering.

Ultimately, before going back to bed, all I could respond with was ‘mazel tov’.


Okay, let’s be reasonable. I was groggy and therefore possibly grumpy, and maybe a bit overly judgmental. The truth of the matter is this has very little to do with Bird, and more to do with how this seemingly innocent and inane conversation has surprisingly given me so much to think about and wanted to flesh it out in a more cohesive manner when I have full possession of all faculties. It did help me to further ‘humanize’ Bird though. I got to see some shortcomings, get a better feel for her outside of the crush I had. I can’t say that was such a bad thing either. And in the morning when I woke up, I felt neither more nor less for her. She was human, capable of making mistakes and free to do as she pleases. It was her life to live anyways, not mine. Through it all at least I got some wonderful food for thought to sustain me and feed my mind throughout the day. Interactions with exes can be tricky. I think it best to avoid them. Maybe there are more mature, more complex, more capable people out there who can handle them and choose to do so, but I’m fine as is.

Day 210

Man: 178 Loneliness: 32

Day 208: The Man and the Total Recall; ‘Scent’

If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still see the deep, rich hazel of her eyes. I can feel her hair tickling my neck as she rests her head on my shoulders. If I take a deep enough breath I can still catch a slight trace of her scent in the air. Sweet with a tinge of melancholy. In the most profound and all-encompassing silences of the night, her laughter echoes, and in my weakest and most desperate moments, I can hear her calling me ‘baby’ again.

Image result for closing eyes gif

That is the beauty, and the burden, of memory. What’s more, as a storyteller, a writer, a creator, I cling to these scars like bubbling wells when I might feel thirsty or starved for inspiration. I am, for the most part, free of the emotions of these memories. When they first started popping up, I felt like a lost lonely little child in a haunted house, surrounded by the ghosts of something long dead and gone. But I’ve grown up and realized that these are benign ghosts, more like tragic tapes on permanent playback than harmful poltergeists. They are no longer intruders upon my house, but fixtures, like a chandelier that creaks in the wind or a squeaky floorboard. I can walk and weave my way through them, letting them pop up and occupy my mind for a few seconds before floating away, like wisps in the wind. I don’t think I could ever truly be entirely free of them; the memories are too distinct, too significant, too much a part of my life to be forgotten, like the name of my favorite stuffed bear when I was a tiny baby. What life, love, or longing is gone, but Beautiful remains.

And I’ve often wondered if I’d be better off forgetting it all. Freeing myself of even the seemingly benign burden of slight reminders. To say goodbye permanently to the good, the bad, and the ugly of what, seven years more or less of an intertwined story? Would my life be better, would any of our lives be better, if we possessed the ability and the luxury of wiping from our memory all of the failed, faded, or lost loves of our lives.

Now this is not a new concept. And it’s heavily and thoroughly investigated in one of my
all-time favorite movies, it’s come up before once or twice on the blog I believe, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. After a painful breakup two former lovers undergo a procedure to erase each other from their minds, only to run into each other and contemplate the possibilities of being together, knowing what could possibly await them again.

I mean, the immediate appeal is there, for sure. There would be no painful reminders. No fear of going back to some place and falling into some emotionally deep memory that you can barely get yourself out of. In the beginning of it all I might have gladly taken the option. I would have found myself in more places around my home, places I’d barred for fear of feeling too attached to the memories they brought up. Anyone who’s gone through a painful breakup can relate to that desire of wanting to just be rid of it all. Usually it is because we focus so much on the good times, the perfect moments, the snapshots, that we then idealize and gild them until they are placed on a pedestal of unrealistic proportions. The more we focus on these moments, the more we miss them, the deeper the hurt. And yet we go back to them, again and again. Why? Because a familiar pain is better than an unknown one. Why not wallow in the familiar sting of long lost love when the alternative is to go back out into the world and open yourself up to newer, potentially deeper, scars? So, burdened with the memory, we live in pain. Wouldn’t forgetting free us, then? Wouldn’t it allow us that blissful ignorance, hopeful optimism, necessary to chase after the love we once wanted? But it doesn’t work so well. Case in point, look at the characters in the movie. Look at Kirsten Dunst playing the doe-eyed assistant in love with her married doctor boss Tom Wilkinson. Spoiler alert: near the film’s conclusion we learn that the two of them have had an affair already previously, and here they are in the same situation once more. ‘Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it’. What if the price of forgetting our follies is being stuck, like those ghosts, in permanent playback, doomed to constantly chase after the same, make the same mistakes, and run away from the same problems?

Up until now, I’ve lived in that sort of realm of possibility. I’ve only ever wondered, ‘what if I could forget’. And it is partly because I’ve never had an alternative to consider. Until that is, I watched Netflix’s show Black Mirror, and in particular the episode The Entire History of You. A wonderful piece of technology from the future, only referred to as a ‘grain’, allows its users to capture everything they ever see and play it back either in their minds or on screens in homes and at offices. An infinite playback reel going back to infancy, capturing every moment, every nuance, in picture-perfect real-life definition. It lets people replay interviews to analyze how well it went, watch a baby’s feed to make sure the babysitter was gentle and safe, or even play back those better moments of past relationships. But total recall comes at a price, the price of security, privacy, trust, but most surprisingly, happiness.

As one pro-grain user in the episode says, ‘half the organic memories you have are junk’. It can’t be trusted. How many memories have we blown out of proportions. How many childhood lakes as large as oceans and filled with pristine beautiful blue waters have turned out to be shallow mucky ponds in adulthood? Wouldn’t it be better to have preserved everything as it truly was. There’d be no doubt, no worry. I could replay over and over, again and again, catch myself browsing ‘redos’ in my mind until I go dizzy. I’d catch the moments in picture perfect clarity, to bask in past glory or to fanaticize over failures. But then again…that’s the problem. I’d catch the moments in picture perfect clarity, or fanatacize over my failures. There is this wonderfully poignant scene where the main couple are making actual real love in real life, but the movements are generic, uninspired, mechanical, their eyes glazed over as if possessed, because rather than engage in the now, they are both independently playing ‘redos’ in their mind of better, more passionate, earlier times of having sex rather than trying to capture that now. And how many of us would be guilty of choosing to relive the past rather than appreciate the present. And with permanent records, how many could resist the temptation to go back to fantasies and memories of past loves. Or grill our partners on their past. With the power and the ability to project exact memories, how many of us could resist digging into that even knowing full well how painful those memories could be? The history of your partner is right there at your fingertips. You know it could possibly hurt you, maybe even too much to handle, and yet…the temptation. The possibility. The all-too-familiar pain.

And so I pose to you this conundrum. What would you rather have. In what world would you rather live. How best do you move on. Would you rather forget everything after a breakup, or have everything captured forever. Total recall, or total wipe.

And, before some of you answer, while you are contemplating this over your morning toast and tea, I say you must choose one or the other. Making a choice, to remember or to forget, reveals a lot. Remaining neutral does not. So, no ‘neither, because I believe you can make new and better memories with the right person that will override past memories and I need to remember the past to learn from my mistakes’. Sorry, can’t play both sides. Hahah. (Just teasing, but yes, you will need to make a choice. :P)

Day 208

Man: 176 Loneliness: 32

Day 192: The Man and the Spoils of Choice; ‘Marathon’

I was listening to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on the way to work like I normally do, and Elvis mentioned an interesting article that Cosmo posted based on an eHarmony study. Now fair disclaimer, that means I am hearing a summary of a summary of a report, but I did do my research and yes, there was a Cosmo article, though I couldn’t find the actual study that eHarmony Australia did.

It basically raised two very troubling (if true) statistics about modern dating that make me worried about the kind of environment in which people are trying to find love. The first is that on average, a modern single person is now ‘dating’ up to six different people at the same time, and that because of this it is becoming increasingly more common for people to simply ‘ghost’, that is to say ‘disappear and no longer communicate with’, one another than actually face a breakup.

This bothers me for three reasons.

First, is that clearly somewhere along the line the term ‘dating’ changed, and I’m not sureImage result for dating options gif I like where it’s gone. It used to be, a date was a commitment. Not a huge one, mind you. Not something exclusively for those already in relationships. But it stood as a distinct separate entity. Now I hate myself for saying this and sounding so old, but I do NOT believe in ‘Netflix and chill’. Guy or girl, you used to get nervous asking someone out on a date. There was this giddy excitement and eagerness because you knew you were trying to say something, hint something, investigate something between you and your date. It took time and effort and people had to actually come up with ideas. With the abundance of options and choices now, people stopped trying. If you were the one asking and they didn’t like the plan? No bother, you could just find another. In a way, there’s no more risk, which means no more reward. You couldn’t, in my world at least, manage to ‘date’ six people at the same time in the same level of intention and attention. The only way I could see this happening is if the dates themselves have become passing thoughts. Exchanging flirtatious texts but seeing each other only once or twice a month is by no stretch of my mind ‘dating’.

I mean come on people. Is this the best we can do now? I get it, you’ve got plenty of options, there’s no more of that fear really, that trepidation. We’re no longer on our toes. We’ve forgotten how useful, how powerful, that motivation was though. I never wanted my date to feel bored or uninterested, and I wanted to show just how much thought and effort I put into whatever it was we did. I’m not saying it was better because I spent more or did more. I’m saying it was better because it meant more. Bowling, billiards, mini golf, they were all fun because there was a bit of competition in them and so you could rib each other, place harmless little wagers, and bond in the spirit of rivalry. Escape rooms, painting classes, any sort of collaborative activity builds companionship and compatibility. If it was a movie, it was a movie we were both really really wanting to watch, or maybe a horror because you know, she would have to move closer to me during the really scary parts. Hahah. Across the board, both men and women complain in their existing relationships that one of their biggest frustrations is lack of interest/involvement/variety in planning dates. People, let me repeat that. These are people already in relationships. Now if you’re single and looking, if you’re already starting with one of the major obstacles as the defining characteristic of your dating style, is it any wonder you’re unhappy?

Second, can we talk about the sheer number of people we are supposedly ‘dating’? Does anyone here find the idea of trying to manage and handle a mature, complex, multi-Image result for dating too much giffaceted relationship with not one, not two, but six different people particularly appealing? I don’t even hang out with six people in group settings. Again, I fear that the seeming abundance of options and possibilities has created this paradox of surrounding ourselves with people but lacking the ability (or is it the desire) to really connect with anyone. Social media everywhere but not a single friend. Relationships are beautiful, energizing, exhilarating things. You might think then ‘the more the merrier’ but that’s almost never the case. Are these other people even aware of each other? I can’t imagine the feeling of being mislead or misinformed and thinking that I might be pursuing something with this one person and not realizing that not only are there a whole bunch of others, but maybe I’m not even top of the totem pole. I get the desire to want to be able to keep your options open, and of course wanting to get to know people more to decide what might transpire, and certainly life may throw more than one really strong possibility in our face and we would be remiss not to take the opportunity, but if I’m ‘dating’ you, I’m dating you. And if there are other people, I’d like to know up front, because I don’t want to throw myself so heavily into something that could just end up crowded and complicated.

Third, and I think this is very strongly related to the second, I am absolutely ashamed and embarrassed that this concept of ‘ghosting’ someone has not only become more popular, Image result for ghosting gifbut that it is becoming accepted. In case you are not aware, ‘ghosting’ someone is when, rather than telling them up front you are no longer interested, you simply avoid all their communication and effectively ‘disappear’ off the face of the earth so that they get the point. Well yeah I mean if you’re going to be dating six people at a time that’s potentially up to six different breakups you’ll need to go through so I can see the appeal of wanting to avoid the confrontation altogether but then I’d argue, if you’re not mature enough, prepared enough, capable enough to handle one breakup, don’t date someone, let alone six people. Yes, break ups are hard. They’re messy and painful for both people but they serve a very important purpose in our development and well-being and growth as adults capable of love and care and empathy. They teach us skills and vocabulary about love and loss and appreciation and pain. There is something to be said about being able to break up with someone in a mature and confident way and, on the other side, being able to handle being broken up with. Instead of creating this community of stronger, more understanding people and lovers, we create cowards. Cruel, cold people who can’t see past their own noses. Now I have to admit, before I realized this was a thing, there were a few times in high school and after college where, seeing that there was no real romantic possibility with this person, I thought I was sparing their feelings and doing them a favor by seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth. But it’s not true, and it’s never true, and please, from me to you, do not ever kid yourself into thinking it may be. You know humans need closure. That lack of knowing, that constant wondering, that could hurt more. And you never know. What you have to say to us might be the difference we need, the spark of understanding that helps us grow and improve. Don’t deprive us of that chance.
know we’re better than this. We have to be. We can’t be both the generation of countless rom-coms and epic proposals and all this other super cheesy ridiculous stuff that’s too far off that deep end and yet also be the same people who normalized ‘Netflix and chill’ and ‘ghosting’. It’s just too far off on both spectrums. Dating is Image result for dating too muchcomplicated enough as it is. But it’s an important part, a beautiful, vital part, of living and we can’t just compromise with it so much. That’s what I think I fear the most. What we’re beginning to be willing to live with, to accept, to normalize. Now, I know I’ve written before about my passion for what I call ‘marathon dates’ and I’m not by any means saying that should be the norm either. Besides, that’s my specialty. That’s what I bring to the table. Get your own. Hahah. I’m saying that let all the new benefits of modern online dating make us better. Because there are so many options, because we have so much more freedom now, we should be trying harder. Getting deeper to the heart of people. Understanding more of what we want and what we have to offer. We shouldn’t be trying less just because we know that if it doesn’t work out, there’ll always be another.

And as if I wasn’t already too much of an angry old man over this, here’s a wonderfully funny, yet still quite relevant, dating video from the 50s. This is a real one, btw. Not a parody.

Enjoy.

Day 192

Man: 161 Loneliness: 31

Day 100: The Man and the Hundred Day Update

On a side note, I can’t believe it’s been 100 days!

Yes, it does mean that 100 days ago my relationship with Beautiful ended, and that was a very tough time for me emotionally. But it means so much more than just a timeline of heartbreak. I’ve been single and pretty happy and secure for 100 days. I’ve been writing for 100 days. At an average word count of about 1,000 words, that means I’ve written around 100,000 words! I don’t think I’ve ever written so much in such a consistent way over such a long period of time. They might not always be the best words but they’ve always been my words; genuine, authentic, purposeful words. For 100 days I have been moving ever forward and I’ve found my little niche in this enormous community where my words can find a home and even an audience. For 100 days I have been reflecting and learning and growing.

So I look at my M/L ratio so far, and I see I’ve had 80 days for Man and 20 days for Loneliness. That’s not too bad, I should think. If we break it down, it does still mean that I have a bummer day every 5 days. That’s still like, one or two a week depending. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it that way, but it’s interesting for me at least to think of the past three months in that way. Obviously it hasn’t been as consistent as just one a week. For the most part, the bad days came often times in a row. A slump to get over. It makes me wonder though at the end of the road, what my days will look like. I’ve never quantified them in this way. Thinking of how many good or bad days I’ve had to experience. I hope in the end I could say I had a bad day in every ten, or maybe even thirty days. I think that would be a very satisfying life.

What I have learned though is that my enemy was not who I thought it was. In the very beginning, Loneliness was the by-product of my breakup. I felt Loneliness in the void Beautiful left in my life. It was the bad reminder of good times long gone, like the charred remains after a house fire. I feared anything that would remind me of her or my relationship, so for a while I lived a shell of a life in isolated sanctuaries I knew she hadn’t yet entered. But I can’t live my life afraid of being burned by a fire that has already passed. So I moved on. Yet Loneliness remained. So I thought it was because I was without a relationship. But I have surrounded myself more now than ever with friends and family. I have been learning to cherish and appreciate these other relationships in my life. I could balance time with others and have time to myself to be alone but not lonely. So I have relationships right now to keep me happy and fulfilled. Yet, Loneliness remains. And now I’m beginning to see that I can sort of see the silhouette of what it is I feel so lonely for. This special, higher, much more intimate relationship. I’m beginning to reflect more on what it is I want in a relationship. I’m not just chasing the shadows of images confusing them for the real thing. I want to investigate the nature of what I want. And now those moments when Loneliness wins, it’s not so bad. It’s a bittersweet reminder of the intense feelings that come from being alive and having loved and having lost. Loneliness is the cloud from which there would otherwise be no silver lining.

I don’t know why but recently I’ve been on a serious binge of really sappy love songs on Spotify. I’d come into work and turn on my computer, log into Spotify, and almost immediately Celine Dion is playing. They don’t write love songs like they used to anymore. Celine Dion, Boz Skaggs, Lionel Richie, those love songs you feel in your heart versus your pelvis. Recently I’ve been having more dreams with these mysterious dream girls. Always different, never the same, never even someone I know. Just these various versions of what I’m looking for. Last night she had long hair and was short and we met in martial arts class. The other night she had short hair and had this pale skin like the full moon and she let me rest my head on her lap. I used to hate these dreams because I’d wake up and focus on not having these things but now I wake up and love how much I want them. I’m not gonna lie I’m almost itching to get back to dating. But I can see so much of the benefits of this time away that I don’t want to stop. There is value and worth in discretion and discipline. I knew it would be difficult and I knew I’d want to get back real soon but I thought it would be out of fear and desperation. Instead I find it’s out of excitement and enthusiasm and wonderful curiosity.

Beside the fact, I wouldn’t even know where to fit dating into my life again at this time. Hahah. What started as attempts to drive loneliness and fear and insecurity from my mind as distractions have become genuine interests and passions. My days are full of activity and growth. On Mondays and Thursdays I’m taking boxing classes. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays I am still going to martial arts. On Fridays if I’m not there I’m hanging out with friends or going out on my own. This Friday I’m seeing Kurios with a friend and her family. On Saturdays I am almost always either with friends or family. Sundays are my days to myself to rest and recuperate or to enjoy my own company doing the things that I love, fully comfortable on my own. I cook more. Next week I am planning a meal for my family and I can’t wait to cook and take pictures and moreover I can’t wait to share with you all a post I already have planned about what cooking has taught me about life. I am blogging now almost every single day and that takes up a good amount of time. Quality content doesn’t come easily or quickly and I’m still trying to find it. I’ve taken up archery. I even built my own target stand. I try to shoot 100 arrows a day to develop my muscle memory, my eyesight, and my instincts (no fancy equipment or sights here). I thought my life was defined by my relationships and that without it I would only be left with silence and thoughts. Instead I find that without a relationship to define me I am filling in the blanks with my own interests and values and spending my time defining myself for myself.

I won’t lie, I miss having someone though. I still fall ever so slightly in love with every beautiful woman who looks my way. But there’s no pressure to do anything about it. I’m not killing myself not having it. Just enjoying that rush and that feeling. I miss having someone’s hand to hold as I walk through the special and wonderful places and times of my life. I miss hearing sweet words directed at me. I miss a beautiful woman’s laughter right next to my ear. The unmistakable sugary flowery sweet smell of a woman’s perfume on my pillow. I miss the gaze of a woman who can see into my soul and see her world. I miss it because I want it. I refrain because I want to earn it. I write these clumsy words because I want to remember how to cherish it.

Day 100

Man: 80 Loneliness: 20

Day 92: The Man and the Taste of Figs; ‘Tree’

Fig 1.jpg

I’m going to share another story with you.

A story about me, about Beautiful, about choice, and even yes, about you.

Fig 2.jpgIt is true, that when she first asked to meet up again after all these years, that she was already with someone, and that she had been with this person for the past three years.

It is true that I respected that, and her, and even him, and that I never did ask her to leave him or to go back to me.

It is also true that after we went as far as our carefully parsed words could take us, we
spent an amount of time in each other’s fig-3arms, trying to continue to reach beyond the emptiness and silence to bridge the years apart.

It is true that I promised myself that I would approach this meeting with no expectations
but I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t have some assumptions. And my silly, stupid, hopeful mind raced. I couldn’t be the one to tell her what to do or to be the one who influenced her decision so in the quietest, subtlest, most honest way I could, in the warmth of my embrace, I tried in earnest to broadcast to her the only thing I knew to be true.

Fig 4.jpgThat ‘us’ was still a choice she had the option to make.

Now pay attention to how I phrased that. I didn’t want to tell her it was a choice she had to make, it was just an option she had. What years apart had done to our perceptions was that neither of us thought that the other would ever want anything to do us anymore to even begin to consider getting back together.

I was a single guy who had the whole world to choose from. I wasn’t tied to any fig-6choice and
I wasn’t exactly poised to make one before her appearance either. But she had made a decision and had stuck to it for three years. I was okay with that. I didn’t want to change that. I admit, I don’t think I could ever possess the ability to be happy for her per se, but I had at least come to accept
the reality of her with someone else. I wasn’t meeting her to catch up. I had no desire to know how her life was without me. For better or for worse I had learned to live in a world without her and I didn’t need that to change. I met up with her because she asked to and if I could acknowledge any agenda on my part, it would only have Fig 5.jpgbeen that I wanted to make sure she knew that she was with someone because she wanted to be, because she was happy, because she was better, and not solely because I did not want her. Maybe that sounds arrogant or self-centered. I just wanted her to know that the option was always there if she chose but I wanted no part in the decision making process. I placed my fig at her feet just to let her know it was all part of the same tree.

That is, honestly and openly, all I did with her that night. We met up and we exchanged the pleasantries of twofig-7 people who used to know and love each other. We talked about new interests and hobbies and people who have drifted we knew and forgot, filling in the holes we had created by blocking off portions of our lives. Then we had nothing left to say. I never asked about her relationship, she never shared. We embraced and I walked away; my only objective was to let her know I had never written us completely out. And, much like many other things with many other women, this meant more to me than it did to her.

Fig 8.jpgThat’s all I have to say about that night. I never asked for what happened next. I never wanted it or even expected it. Our lives are full of choices that we have to make. Sometimes we are burdened by the weight of how many there are and other times we feel hopelessly adrift because we feel there are none at all.

I don’t regret the choice I made to see her again and to reconnect. And I don’t regret her choice to want to see me and, eventually, on that rainy night a month later when she showed up at my doorstep, her choice to come back. At least we were making choices. We were moving forward.

What hurt was how long it took for her to make the decision to eventually leave. And her fig-9decision to hide her true feelings and reasons to me. What hurt is that while she was feeling unsure and hesitating to pick her fruit, I was blindly content thinking it was okay to watch the rest of my fruit wither away as well. Could Bird have been a fig I wanted to taste. Was I looking in the wrong places for the wrong people for the wrong things. I would never know now because I was happily partaking in the fruit before me.

I can’t think too much anymore about the probabilities of the past. There are too many ‘should have’s and ‘would have’s and ‘could have’s that could keep me up at night and drive me insane. The past is done and decided. Instead I find myself worriedly and unasurredly looking into the future. I wonder how I will move on. I wonder when and where and with whom.

The past is heavy, the future is light, and the present is based on how much we choose to carry.

Fig 10.jpgThe most important thing is that I continue to find the resolve to keep making choices. You might think that my decision to abstain from relationships and dating for a year is actually retreating from choice but actually it was me picking the one fig that I knew was always there but was too afraid to try. I always saw a version of myself that was single and alone but it was almost always only in nightmares. Now it is my reality and rather than worry about the past versions and all the other things I could have done or would have done or should have done I am moving forward with it and deciding what to bring with me.

Like you and this blog. Perhaps this is the only reason why this is no longer a waking nightmare for me. This is the fig that nourishes me under the shade of so many others. But when this is over, will I have the resolve to pick another and the wisdom to pick correctly. Or will I fall back into the same bad patterns. There is this impending dread on my shoulders that I am watching a lot of fruit fall off the branches of my tree and the only thing keeping me from gorging on the level of egregious and grotesque is this vision I have of me writing through it all and finding an audience to read it.

I cannot judge or measure the weight of my past except for in the slouch of my shoulders Fig 11.jpgand the bags under my eyes. I cannot bring back rotted fruit that had its time and withered away. There are perhaps plenty of relationships I should realize for the husk that it is now. I am since still content with the fruit in my hand but I hope when the harvest comes once again, I will be able to see what is left and pick from those that have yet to fall in the time it took for me to find myself.

Day 92

Man: 72 Loneliness: 20

Day 86: The Man and the Big Ball of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey…Stuff

‘People assume that time is a strict progression of cause and effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it’s more like a big ball of…wibbly wobbly…timey wimey…stuff.

The Tenth Doctor

Reflecting back on this episode brings back such good memories. For those of you who are Weeping Angel.jpgunfamiliar with the series, Doctor Who is pretty much credited for being the prime source material for the nightmares of every single child who grew up watching the BBC. It is one of the few series I know that is at its best when it is centered around tragedy and loss. This particular episode, Blink, is especially notable. First, it is the premier appearance of what is now one of the most famous and feared of the Doctor’s enemies, the Weeping Angels. Real nightmare material. Beings that can only move when you can’t see them. They kill you by throwing you back in time and letting you live to death. Second, it guest-starred Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow. I loved her performance in the episode and I’ve Sally Sparrow.jpgbeen an avid fan ever since. She is the perfect example of just irresistible adorableness and pixie-like waifishness. Third, the Doctor, played by the incredibly talented David Tennant, barely makes an appearance in this episode yet it is still hailed as perhaps one of the best of all time. This is a testament to the show’s ability to capture so much without relying on the same people over and over again. Some shows never quite grow out of their cast, but this proves that Doctor Who is timeless and is so much more than just the sum of its greater parts. Fourth, and most importantly of all, the writing in this episode is just spot on. The entire episode is quotable. For example, here is Sally Sparrow checking out an old house with her friend:

Kathy: What did you come here for anyway?

Sally: I love old things. They make me feel sad.

Kathy: What’s good about sad?

Sally: It’s happy for deep people.

I think there are many of us who would heartily agree with that sentiment.

Still for all that I can say about this episode or the series in general, we cannot forget that the real reason why I brought any of this up in the first place is the line the Doctor uses to try and explain the true nature of our relationship with time to non-time travelers.


Everything that could ever possibly happen, has already. We are just slow to experience it.

Once again this is mainly a problem of perception. We view the world, and time, always in relation to us. This is understandable, as it is our best frame of reference. Since our day is structured as wake up, brush, shower, dress, breakfast, drive, work, etc., this is how we view time. Everything follows the previous in a nice, orderly line. The problem is we aren’t alone. At the exact same time you are doing your daily routine, millions and billions of others are doing theirs. And what they do could in some way impact what you do. Their present runs parallel to yours and their past affects your future. Everything becomes…jumbled.

Two things to consider when it comes to our minds. 1) We don’t like chaos. We always try to find order and reason behind things. We try to justify events with understanding or else we’d be too afraid of our own minds to ever step foot outside. So we try to convince ourselves that the other people that exist somehow don’t affect our realities. We can be perfectly immune from the action of others. 2) We have very limited vision. It’s hard for us to see beyond our own noses sometimes. Because of this we struggle to realize how many events are taking place independent of our own lives or the lives of only those who are closest and dearest to us.

If we took in everything that happens at the exact time it happens we’d be pinned to the floor with the sudden onslaught of information and experience. To keep ourselves from going insane we parse everything off. We create blocks of time. Seconds become minutes become hours become days and we place everything we experience into a schedule otherwise we could never process it all. This creates that order from chaos so we can say ‘oh this happened at this point’. It also helps us process when too many things are happening at once. We all know that feeling when we are weighed down by our concern for others or when we are thinking about all the people we care about for positive or negative reasons. We can, for those we care about deeply, think about all of their individual timelines at the same time. We know that we can think about say, maybe five different people and know what they are all doing simultaneously. But ten people? Fifty? One-hundred?! We divide them out. They are separate.

The world doesn’t run like this though. There are an infinite number of things happening at every single moment. Every possible outcome, event, experience, it is now, nownownow. Imagine an infinite amount of straight lines shooting out into the universe. But at the same time the gravity of our actions start to tug and pull on other people’s lines. My heartbreak intersects with so many people’s timelines. Your decisions are curving and warping the straight lines of time of every person around you. What started as a collection of parallel lines starts to turn in on itself. We get…wibbly wobbly.

Time is not a progression. It isn’t a line that we define on our own. When we gain the insight, the patience, and the broader vision to consider other people, time becomes a definition of our relationships with others. We all want more time. It is our most precious commodity. Perhaps the easiest and best way to gain more time is to let more people into our lives. A day lived through the relationships of five people is four days more than a day lived on your own. We might not be able to live forever but we can certainly keep touching more and more lives and adding more lines to our own twisted and curved time and live more.

Day 86

Man: 67 Loneliness: 19

 

Day 85: The Man and the Third Day of the ‘Who’s WHO’ of Wisdom

Day three of the quote challenge and it has been a lot of fun to actually do this. More than I thought I would, not being a quote person. Before we move on to the last quote, let’s review.

kitchen-confidentialWe now know that the first day’s quote came from Anthony Bourdain’s hugely popular first book, Kitchen Confidential.

‘I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.’

I chose this because of the brave and wildly reckless attitude towards good food and good life. Bourdain is a culinary and lifestyle hero and I’ve lived by his creed in all the ways I can. (Yes, this does mean that every girl I have ever dated has had to pass his infamous ‘sushi test’.)

Yesterday’s quote source is revealed today.

‘Worse than the feeling of loss that comes with a breakup is the feeling of losing. Loss is a state of emotional injury that you can get past; losing is a feeling of humiliation and defeat that stays fresh. The latter causes most of the problems in the world. If there is another man involved, it is almost impossible not to judge yourself as a failure and see him as an enemy.’

Attempting Normal.jpgThis is an excerpt from the wonderfully manic and depressed comic Marc Maron in his second memoir, Attempting Normal. I like this quote because it deals so poignantly with the origin story of my blog. I could certainly speak to great length about this very true and very deep feeling, as petty or vain as it may seem. A breakup does feel very much like losing. Say what you will about the folly of pride but it is an undeniable accompaniment to loss. There were plenty of sleepless nights spent imagining Beautiful with her ex, the one she left for me and then left me for. In a relationship you spend so much of that time idolizing the other person and being idolized in return. You shower each other with praise and admiration so consistently and constantly that you begin to believe it in the deepest most dangerous parts of yourself.

To that, I say there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is Beautiful’s words have begun to fade from memory. I’ve separated her perception of me from my own self-perception and am beginning to identify and characterize myself for myself, not for what I once meant to someone. This is a major point, I believe, in the process of getting over someone. The bad news, ironically, is that this would have been a really great piece of writing. So before I completely heal I’ll need to pick at this wound just a little bit to capitalize on what sad inspiration is left.

The truth though is that this quote is too mature, too insightful, too serious to really capture Maron’s spirit and prose. This is a wonderful book full of trauma, humiliation, self-deprecation, and insecurity. It is a love song to paranoia, self-doubt, and feral cats. If PokeMeme.jpgyou’ve ever seen or heard Maron’s material or seen his short-lived IFC sitcom Maron, you would know that this level of self-awareness and confidence is so rare in his environment of self-loathing and self-destruction. I like broken heroes. I prefer the Batmans of the world over the Supermans. Both Bourdain and Maron lived lives that were so dangerously close to the edge of peril that I want to hear their stories because they survived. I can’t deny that I’ve had a pretty god damn cushy life. I have two parents who are happy, healthy, and together still. My brother and I are closer than ever. I’ve got a nice job, friends, and I enjoy a regular diet of good food. I can’t change this. I can’t just suddenly inject myself with so many drugs that the still living ghost of Keith Richards suddenly appears at my door to take me to nirvana. I live vicariously and destructively through these idols. I love a broken psyche. The fact that these guys have not only hit rock bottom but have then eked out more than just an existence but a success story is all the more compelling. I don’t aspire to live their lives or be them. I’m just glad that these people exist for our benefit. You need to read these stories. You need to see that the human spirit is not only capable of incredible victory but that it often times craves intense loss.


Time for quote number 3! This should be a dead giveaway for fans. I had to do this in video because his delivery of the line is just so perfect as well. Enjoy, if you recognize it I hope it brought a smile to your face, and there is a whole beautiful post lined up just for this that I’ve been waiting to share and lines up perfectly.

Allons-y!

Day 85

Man: 66 Loneliness: 19

Day 84: The Man and the Second Day of ‘Winning’ Wisdom

Time for day two! As a reminder, Tantei M. Gin has challenged me to share three quotes in three days. Yesterday was day one and I shared:

‘I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.’

Before I share Day Two I’d like to first reveal the source of this quote.

kitchen-confidentialI love this man. If there were the possibility of reincarnation I would be happy to just be his left arm. Kitchen Confidential helped me become more realistic about my ambitions when it came to food. I definitely still love to cook and there is still this passion in me to bring my creations to a broader stage but his memoir on his experiences in the kitchen have helped me to be much more realistic about the expectations and responsibilities that come with it.

Everything Anthony Bourdain does originates from a deeply profound love of food. I think the reason why he is so interesting is because he sees past the pretentiousness and surface vanity of food. You can’t fool him with pretty garnishes or influence his opinion by spending half an hour explaining to him how the ingredients were made or what techniques were used or why your food is supposed to taste good. He knows honest cooking when he sees it no matter where it comes from. I loved watching him in No Reservations and his newest program on CNN, Parts Unknown, is like a travel checklist for me. His love letter to Tokyo is one of my all-time favorite pieces of television.

Anthony Bourdain is as close to a hero as I’ll ever allow myself. He is an incredible author and TV presenter. I’d highly recommend reading his first book, Kitchen Confidential, or his follow up, Medium Raw. You can catch him on television either on reruns of No Reservations or on repeat and new episodes of Parts Unknown. He is opening a food hall in Chelsea sometime next year in New York and I cannot wait to live in that space.


‘Worse than the feeling of loss that comes with a breakup is the feeling of losing. Loss is a state of emotional injury that you can get past; losing is a feeling of humiliation and defeat that stays fresh. The latter causes most of the problems in the world. If there is another man involved, it is almost impossible not to judge yourself as a failure and see him as an enemy.’

Appropriate, don’t you think?

Day 84

Man: 65 Loneliness: 19

Day 77: The Man and the Enemy Revisited; ‘Silence’

Silence Please.jpg

Back on Day 8 I wrote ‘The Man and the Silence’ which you can read here if you’d like. Beautiful had left me only a week ago and I was still getting accustomed to my new job. My sleep pattern was shot to hell and I was keeping myself up with the background hum of my hotel television because I couldn’t handle the permanent ringing silence that had characterized my nights.

When this all started, I thought the definitions were set. I was a lonely, heartbroken victim trying to pick up the pieces, Beautiful was the hungry consumer who took everything I had given her to figure out her feelings for someone else, and on that day, Silence was the enemy to be conquered.

I likened Silence to Loneliness and believed that the presence of one would surely shortly The Silence.jpgbe followed by the presence of the other. I feared and hated the Silence because it only reminded me of the void I had in my life. My stories were caught in my throat with no one to share with and there were no soft, gentle voices to accompany me to sleep.

I realize now that I was mistaken to consider silence and loneliness as equivalent. After all, how many times have we felt alone amidst noise and chaos and how many times have we spent quiet, contemplative nights with the people we love? It is the loneliness we feel when surrounded by the noise of so many people that strikes us with the harshest clarity and it is the ability and comfort and ease of spending moments in silence that characterize the strongest of our relationships with others.

To conquer my enemy, I must know my enemy. Silence is not the enemy. It can most definitely be a symptom of loss, but it is not the ally of it.

Since that original post I have been sleeping better (as much as a night-owl can) and sleeping in silent peaceful contented solitude. I have been able to bring back and appreciate a facet of life that I used to always be comfortable with.

So what changed? Why this transformation and how?

Over the course of my writing I have begun to create a much clearer image of who the enemy really is and what it is I am actually fighting against. It was never silence. I was so caught up in defining myself by my relationships that to me, I thought anything that was not a part of that was the enemy. Beautiful was the enemy for ending our relationship. Loneliness was the enemy for creating the vacuum next to me. Silence was the enemy because it meant no one to listen to or talk to.

Loneliness is still the enemy. Nature abhors a vacuum. Beautiful, I wrestle with from day to day. But I can guarantee you that Silence is never the enemy. It gets a bad rap because Silence is an ally we all need but never want. It is the only one that speaks the truth.

When we are left in silence we are stripped of the distractions and pretty things that keep us occupied. It forces us to face the things we hum away in our mind with catchy songs and jingles. I hated Silence back then because it was only in its presence that I began to really reflect on the relationship and start to pick apart the good from the bad and learn to survive and grow on the scraps. The silence rattled me because I could not keep playing my victim song over and over. It offended me because it tried to understand Beautiful’s own journey and my place in it. It reduced me to tears because it couldn’t answer the questions I kept yelling inside.

Why not her.

Why not us.

Why am I alone.

Will I ever find someone.

Can I do this on my own.

But, it was also in the company of Silence that I began to acquire the wisdom to answer for myself. And the humility to let go of the questions that were not mine to contemplate. I stopped trying to control and justify the actions of others. It was in silence that I stopped obsessing over Beautiful’s actions and began to only hold myself accountable for my own.

It is always in silence that I find the best words. It is in silence that I find the best company. I used to fear that having no one to share with meant silence. Now I hope to find someone to share silence with.

Silence can sometimes be a grim accompaniment but is always a necessary companion. I do think for the same reasons I’ve said that too many people fear the Silence.

Perhaps it is possible to live a happy, blissful life never confronting or being comfortable with Silence. Perhaps, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Not for the curious and insightful soul. Not for the true consumers and devourers of life. If you are hungry, be quiet. Silence accompanies all the great emotions that are responsible for great writing. You are so happy you find yourself speechless. Grief overcomes you with such immensity that your sobs stay in your throat. Fear grips and steals your breath away. Love overwhelms in a way that cannot be expressed. Beauty freezes every part of you.

I am now okay with sitting next to Silence. It is my friend once more. I know to seek it in the largest moments of my life as that one brief moment when I am not distracted by little things. Silence is the sharp intake of breath when you take everything in for the very first time. It is your purest reaction.

Know your enemy. Conquer your enemy. Silence is not your enemy.

Loki Ssh.gif

Day 77

Man: 59 Loneliness: 18