David’s acting up again; someone needs to have a talk with him

THE FEELING’S BACK – Suicidal Tendencies

I wrote a letter just the other day to nobody in particular
But if anyone were to read a bit-they’d think I was a bit peculiar
But it matters not what they think of me, it’s only what I know is real
And so all that’s left that matters now-is that the feeling’s back

The feeling’s back and you just can’t stop it
The feeling’s back and you just can’t stop it

I fought a thousand times-I never knew the meaning of the word fear
Till that one day when I stood alone-staring straight into the mirror
It’s not a pretty sight-and even worse it’s so hard to face
Until I realize I’m the only one that put me in this place

I’m gonna breathe I’m gonna live-that’s right-nothing’s gonna stop me
I’m gonna shout I’m gonna scream-that’s right-nothing’s gonna stop me
I’m gonna run I’m gonna fly-that’s right-nothing’s gonna stop me
I’m gonna fight I’m gonna win-that’s right-nothing’s gonna stop me
Nothing’s gonna stop me, nothing’s gonna stop me now-
Cause the feeling’s back
and you gotta love the feeling

I dug my hole too deep-I couldn’t admit, I didn’t know when to stop
But you can only dig your hole six feet until the dirt comes back on top
I’ve got a long way left to climb but I’ll still look you straight in the
eye
And I can honestly say I’ll never quit-not even on the day I die

I believe that in many cases, a person’s blog is the weather vane of their soul.

I’ll rephrase that. Now that I think about it.
A weather vane is such an archaic concept. It seems embarrassing to use it in the context of 21st Century cybertechnology.
No, not a weather vane.
I believe that a person’s blog in many cases is the 3-5 day computer-modeled meteorological forecast of their soul.

I specified “in many cases” for a reason. It is not always the case. There are as many blogs as there are bloggers. There is no right. No wrong. There is only different. There is what you like, what you don’t like, and what you simply don’t even think about. So when I say that not all blogs are a true reflection of the blogger’s psyche, that is not a damnation of those blogs. And to say that a blog is a genuine reflection of the blogger’s soul is not necessarily praiseworthy either.
Hell, look at Phoenixism.
This shit has become wayyy too interchangeable with the mysterious (and slightly scary) quirky mind I possess. And it is such because I’m incapable of any other way. I pour myself entirely into this blog’s writings. Whatever I’m feeling and experiencing at the moment of posting is exactly what the post will mirror. This was sorta born out a couple of months ago when I took the Myer Briggs personality test and discovered I was an INTJ type. At the time, I found another website which scans your blog, churns what it finds (words, phrases, ?) through its secret machinery before it gives your blog an alleged Myers Briggs score. Phoenixism was INTP. If that scan test is to be believed, what I post here is pretty true to life. I’m not terribly surprised, basically the words you find here are undiluted and unfiltered. I would say I withhold about 5% of my life from the readers…everything else is fair game.

I’m not here to impress or make friends or exchange cutesy cuddly tales. If that happens, it’s a great byproduct which I welcome. But it’s not my goal. The point of this blog is to literally bare my soul to an overwhelmingly disinterested global community.

Some blogs are centered around politics or crime or news or entertainment or the attention whore owner who uses her blog as a vehicle for attaining male attention and adulation, the whole gamut man.
If I had to put a lame tag on it, I’d say Phoenixism is a “self-discovery” blog, a blog of personal revelations and introspective examination gone bad.
It is for this reason, and this reason only, that Phoenixism is such a grueling reflection of the tortured mindfuck that goes on behind this pretty face.
Good, bad, ugly, who knows, and who cares. It is what it is.

When I was 10, my neighborhood friends had a nickname for me. A terrible one, actually.
“Acting all serious.”
That was it.
Not only was it pathetic and lame, it was incredibly long.
“There comes ‘acting all serious’,” I was greeted.

Because I was serious. I’ve always been serious. But I’m not. That’s the curious thing. I’m one of least serious people you’ll ever meet.
In fact, my absence of seriousness and gravity is a source of strife within my life, then and now. I can be way too light-hearted and glib and impulsive. Yet, my exterior persona conveys absolute seriousness. There is a disconnect.
Utmost seriousness. I’ve never done small talk well. I’ve never done goofiness well. I have the greatest Goddamned sense of humor but I’m reluctant to use it as a vehicle to entertain others. Well, I do use it on this blog, but the entertainment factor is questionable.

So I had this ridiculous nickname that took a jab at my serious facade and all the while, I was anything but. I’m not built like others, never have been. I don’t find the same sense of joy and disgust and fear and horror and delight and satisfaction in the same stuff most people do. Which is a very alienating experience, but I’m so used to it now, I don’t care anymore. Total acceptance.

Sometimes, though, shit just hits the fan. I think I’ve been sinking into a peculiar state of mind and it’s revealing itself on this blog.
I’ve looked back at what I’ve posted in the past few weeks. And the feeling’s back. The darkness has returned, the morbidity.

But there is no despair. This is a personal challenge. A call to arms.
As the darkness settles in and envelopes my soul, I will fight and prove myself stronger. I will vanquish the night. Light will return.
But for the time being, I am the King of Morose.

I need to keep my eye on the ball. Life must remain…as usual. I need to remove, sequester, something that I know is triggering this stormy pall on my psyche.
The knowledge is comforting, the knowing reassures me, for it offers me something I can wrap my hands and brain around and forcefully steer it clear of my life. It will take every last ounce of mental and emotional strength I can summon. A battle looms.

Keep my eye on the ball.

The ball for me is routine. Normalcy.

Tomorrow morning, my periodic widowmakers.
Widowmakers, haha. A snarky little term used by weight trainers to describe high-rep squats. Usually a widowmaker is made up of 20 reps and it’s exhausting as hell. In my last widowmaker, 4 weeks ago, I did 25 reps of 225 lbs, which is OK, not great, but good, considering I’m not the biggest guy.
I think I have a little more in me but you can’t race ahead of yourself when it comes to weights or you’ll be looking at some serious hurting or injuries. There is nothing quite as dramatic and ugly as a failed squat.

My weight training keeps my head clear and out of the clouds. It builds strength without, and strength within.
Because the clouds are proving too dark for my own well-being.

I have no mouth and I must blog

You’re reading an experiment.
An experiment in blogging.

This post is my own personal experiment.
I’m writing off the cuff.
I sat down to write about fatherhood.

Thought about it, determined by committee of One (myself) that the fatherhood post is not good. Not now. Not the time. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday, maybe in June.
I will not use the word “fuck” today.
So played out.
Nope.
Amazing that words flow so smoothly off my fingertips. They flow, and flow, and don’t stop. I may have nothing to tell the monitor’s white glare, but once I start tapping the keys, I find no shortage of words nor the will to relay them.

Amazing.
Because I was thinking earlier, as I sat looking at my cellphone as it lazily sat on the living room table, the Verizon paperweight that it’s become, and thinking about how much I’ve come to hate talking.
Seriously. I dislike talking.

Rather than write a post that degenerates into “hate” I will instead cloak all my negativity in value-free phrases, terms. Like that. Dislike.
“Do not enjoy.”
“Avoid.”

That’s how I feel about talking.

Avoid it. Dislike it.
Find no joy in it.
It’s worse now. I’ve never been a big talker. Even my best and closest friends, male and female, are fully aware of my verbal reticence. I’ve never been one to walk into a room and start frothing at the mouth without shutting up. Not my style.

Yet.

I’ve been told that even though I don’t talk much, I’m one of those people whose sparse utterances thus seem more valuable.
ie.
I don’t talk much, but when I do, it means more.
Each word, by virtue of its scarcity, is gold.

Which is cool, ya know?
I’ve always been like this, it’s my nature.

Deal with it.

It’s gotten worse.
I used to not mind having phone conversations.

I once knew a girl whose pants I could never enter. Forbidden land. I was a helpless and effete Beta. Especially with her. I humored her, I worshiped her, I bought her stupid gifts and mailed them to her parent’s house because I wasn’t even on friendly enough terms to visit. I panted after her marching Queen-like strut and placed my own life on hold for her. I spent anywhere from 5-6 hours on the phone with her overnight.

Overnight, I shit you not.
We sometimes chatted from 10pm until 3 or 4 in the morning. And it was all about her.
I listened and nodded approvingly.
I welcomed her “friendship” because I was convinced it would lead to a lot more.

I even had a chance once. She was in my Hollywood apartment, alone, on one of my kitchen stools, wearing a short skirt, we were giggling. And I didn’t do a thing.

I’ve grown up since.

You will never find me on the phone for 5 hours with any girl, I don’t care who she is. And you will never giggle alone with me in my apartment without getting the Big Beef Injection.

Talking is such a chore.
So much energy.
Expended.
Worthless.

In crowds it’s rare for me to join in.

I went out on a department lunch the other day.
Blahblahblahfuckingblah.
I tried to interject some thoughts, but they didn’t fit well into the womanspeak going on.

I must shut up.
Easily done.

Silence is my friend.
Silence holds my hand and soothes my soul.

Talking drains me.

Texting is talking.
I turned that off also.
My phone is technically incapable of texting.
Ha!!!!
Beautiful.

Texting is 21st Century conversing.
As in Facebook, any sort of IM, Myspace…you get the point?

Any medium which asks for my input, for a patented response, which demands such, inspires repulsion and disgust from me. Don’t tell me what the hell to do.
If I want to open my mouth, I will. If I want to scream, maybe I will. If you need my input. Good luck. If you want my opinion, once again, good luck. Maybe. When I’m in the mood.
The only woman in my life I met who feels the same is the only one who ever captured my heart.

Selfishness, isn’t it?
Self-absorption.

You know, I didn’t talk in Kindergarten. I didn’t utter one word.
Not once.
The teacher even called my parents in (a lot) about it.
Still. It was 1969. I managed to do well enough and they advanced me to the 1st grade despite my shady post-toddler mentality.

In the 1st grade, I did a complete turnabout. I would not shut up.
Once again, my parents were called in. But this time it was because I would not keep quiet and I was disrupting the class.

My social life, a cycle of involvement. Or alienation.
Right now,

This is my soul.
Uninvolved.

Late night musings about CYA and despicable bean counters

This is a late post for my aspiring geriatric ass.

Usually by 10:12 pm, even on Fridays, I’m beginning to wind down. Settling into sleep mode, closing my eyes.
Not sitting on this blog letting the shit pour out my fingers.

I’m a little wound up.
Leaving work, the drive home, I saw something that needed to be written, documented, engraved into the historical record for all to amuse at, or at the very least, ignore.

That, and tonight a fellow blogger posted a video which was certainly captivating.

Anyways here I sit, writing. Spewing. Spurting.
Ha. Yes, in my realm, blogging is best described by these words. Splattering.

On days I drive to work, I always check in here before hopping in my car and racing home.
Racing. Ha. That’s a crock, there is no racing anywhere in this town during rush hour.
The traffic map simply tells me whether I will be taking the freeway or the surface streets to get home tonight. This evening, the freeway was red. Blazing hot snail’s pace red.

So I decided to take Sunset Boulevard all the way home. Not much faster but at least I don’t have to bear with the stop and go. Stop and go is death.

In Echo Park, in a district full of crosswalks and small indie shops, there were some Lefties hoisting signs intended to elicit honks. “MONEY FOR SCHOOLS, NOT WAR” they proclaimed and some cars did honk. I’ve been known to entertain some Lefty ideals, but I’m way too discriminating and leery to part with my honks so freely.

Money for schools, not war. No shit, Sherlock. Who wouldn’t be for that idealogical nirvana?
It’s such a bland and indisputable slogan. How can one argue with its spirit without coming across as a complete ogre? Is it as simple as they say? Are we literally removing money from school funds and diverting it directly to the War on Oil? Tell me how this money, earmarked for schools, is instead finding its way halfway around the globe. Explain it to me and I’ll be glad to honk my damned horn.

Of course, most normal and civilized human beings would gladly trade the horrors of war for the sensible improvement and maintenance of our schools. But. Is it that simple?

What is their motive?
Who is backing this demonstration?
What is their political agenda?
What is their game?
It’s the oldest trick in the Church of Scientology and Jehovah’s Witness books of cultological recruitment. Win the sheep with simple and inarguable logic (which really is not logic, it’s just common sense shit that everyone can agree on). Having won the weak-minded to your side by virtue of your broadly stated simpleton grievance (money for schools, not war!), then you slowly draw them in further. Once you’ve built a comfortable camaraderie and convinced your prospective member that they have found a welcoming ideological and philosophical home with your [fill in the blank], they are yours.

Recruitment.
So you wave placards which blare “money for schools, not war” and yes, it’s hard not to agree with that and the Revolutionary trigger is armed.

I’m not that easy man.
I probably agree with these people on a deeper level than their stupid signs. So I didn’t honk.

I kept driving and wondering what I would wave a placard for.

And it hit me.

I would wave one that said “Ban CYA!”

Do away with “cover your ass.”

CYA.
Man, that shit is a malaise on the soul of modern day America.
It’s a blight on corporate culture.
The one where I work, included.
CYA.

Everything in fucking writing.
Paper trails.
Everything stamped, chronicled, memorialized, tracked.
CYA is bullshit. It is poison.

It has seeped into our society for so long.
Perhaps the early days of the last century are overly romanticized.
But wasn’t there a time when a man’s handshake was as good as his word (or signature, circa 2010)?

Auditors, the great puppets of the CYA culture.
Auditors, the pencil-necked geeks, little striving bean counters paying their stinking internship dues working for the big accounting firms, the little number crunching scumbuckets attacking in waves, making sure everyone has dotted their “i’s” and crossed their “t’s.”

Fucking auditors.
It’s late and I’m having trouble thinking and articulating without the prolific use of “fuck.”
Sorry.

But CYA pisses me off.

What happened.
CYA is cowardice.
CYA is the inability to powerfully and forcefully express one’s righteous conformity with laws and regulations minus reams of paper back up.

Most bureaucracies, accounting rules and procedures, and corporate cultures are seeped with intricate architecture designed around the function of optimizing CYA. Everything fueled by the powerful and fear-driven need to CYA.

Trust.
Trust in tatters.
Too many have lied and abused and pummeled the once reputable airs of capitalistic American industry.

And destroyed the last vestiges of trust.

CYA.
Cover that ass you sniveling, snot-nosed know-nothing overpriced and overschooled MBA geek.

Good night.

An Ode to Chatroulette: Might have beens…

Phhhtt.
That’s the sound of my inflated sense of self-esteem punctured by the indifferent wrath brought to you courtesy of the internet. Courtesy of Chatroulette.

Thhbbbbbtttt.
That’s the sound of my inflated sense of self-esteem flying crazily and uncontrollably around the room, propelled into maniacal bumblebee-like aeronautical sputtering as my sense of grandiosity roars out the confined mental area.

One second is all it takes in the 21st Century.
One second to shrug it off.
To make a decision and live with it. Easily done because it’s easy not to think of it. Be unaffected

I could have loved you. You could have loved me.
We might have shared a beautiful life. If not a life, a good portion of it, spending the days together.
Frolicking in the fields, eating exotic Asian dishes (surely that would be up your alley judging by the banners sporting Eastern hieroglyphics in your background). The possibilities, so endless, so limited.

What might have been.

We might have written love letters.

Run in the grassy fields, holding hands, rolling on the beach in a warm embrace, your silky golden hair running across my face, tickling my skin.

And we might have shared secrets, stories. We might have shared dislikes, we might have shared passions, we might have shared vulnerabilities and fears. Shared our darkest experiences. Our darkest notions.

Alas.
We share nothing.
We are nothing, we speak nothing, we are cursory footsteps skittering through each other’s life. Not even that, we are a sigh, an exhalation.

We are but specks on the surface of the other’s terrestrial surface . Spots. Fleeting images.

And nothing.
We are nothing. A flicker of an existence passing before our eyes.

This digital world. The cyber world.
Makes silicon objects of us.

And in turn, our emotions and humanity, submerged and frozen, plasticized in this ion glaze, an infinite jumble of wires and circuits, lost in the endless silicon sea of nothing.

Will our paths ever cross again?
One second.
Is all it took for you to sentence a stranger.

One second.
You react, you don’t study nor immerse.
It’s all superficial and fleeting, nary a genuine human emotion involved.

Robotic of mind.
Robotic of heart.

Because we can be.
There are no repercussions to this vastly tisssue-thin layer of existence we continue.

I could have run my hands across your snowy skin.
We might have lain on a steep grassy hill under the windy sky and enjoyed the moment together. Our bare skin goose-bumped in the cool wind, I would flick off ants that crawled on your toes.

We might have learned Zen Buddhism together. We may experienced mindfulness.
We might have driven along the ocean. Stood on a rocky cliff and beheld the wondrousness of the distant sunlit horizon and the world’s awkward beauty.

We might have lived. And talked and touched and felt and experienced.
Experienced.

Instead we watch. We observe. We calculate.
We do the math in our heads.
The math of life.
Do not experience, but think. Analyze, calculate.
Disconnected from something greater, something whole, something human. From desire and from disgust. Insulated by the digital bubble.

Disconnected, we distill the odds coldly.
Reduce life to equations, and as such we turn up the contrast on the screen that is our psyche; wash out the gray, tone down the blur, leave only an “either/or” shading scheme in the palate of our existence.

We click “new game” because that is what we want and need. One second to make a lifelong decision. Who to leave in. Who to leave out.

In the street I pass people and we dismiss each other, but. But. It’s different.
It exposes an immediate sense of dismissiveness.
And intertwined, physically connected sense of dismissiveness.
A sense of having intruded on another’s life. Which, however insignificant and brief, still, an intrusion. A physical mark, a stain. Like a planet circling a star…spun round and round, in absentia, with the star never touching the planet. A mark. In our real lives we leave marks upon others. We walk by each other, we see each other, hear each other, trade pleasantries; but through the maze of the online world we do not intrude and thus dismissiveness is meaningless. Yet, it also carries great weight.

I sometimes wonder if cyberspace exposes us to too many; more faces than humans have a right to expect.
I wonder if we lose ourselves in the sea of humanity.
I wonder if we lose meaning and value.
We become less. We lose personal currency.
Our wonderful uniqueness washed away. Traded down in this interpersonal song and dance of commoditization.

We might have loved. We might have hated.

We might have flourished. And we might have suffered.
We might have lived. And died.

We might have crossed paths in the street for a second and swerved slightly to avoid each other’s path.

Our thoughts and lives, a deeply buried secret. The mystery of the unknown made real. For a second.

…and it loves company

Hmm.
I’m going to post about something but not post about it, really. Directly, I mean.
In other words, I will mention something, but use it as a vehicle to go into detail about something else I thought about. Once. Previously.

Fuck. What am I trying to say.

OK.

Sofia posted a bloggish kinda chain post/email thing…a series of questions you answer in a post on your blog. And in turn you link to another blog. I think that’s how it works. The kinda crap we’re all fond of. I sure am. Anyways, the post, “meme,” links to a questionnaire on another blog fittingly called “The Proust Questionnaire.”

You’ll find a long list of questions well-suited to a drinking game. The first question did something…

It triggered a thought, a memory…

Triggered.
I love that word when it describes mental phenomena.
A thought is triggered.

Mr. —-, what “triggered” that thought?
And what thought was triggered?

And why.

Why, motherfucker!
Tell us.

OK.

Well perhaps I should first state the question.
Question #1.
As far as I got because I don’t have the patience to answer or even read the entire list in detail. I’m a skimmer. I mean, does anyone remotely connected to me care what my favorite bird is. (I don’t have one, I actually despise birds).

So question, the first.
Triggered. Elicited a remembrance of mental misery past.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Yup, that’s it.
Lowest depth of misery.
That is saying a lot.
Misery is bottomless.
Even in your worst state of misery, I would still venture to guess you were nowhere near as low as most Earthly inhabitants, past and present, have ever experienced. We don’t have it so bad. Not at all. Our toilets flush (we HAVE toilets), our meals are refrigerated. When we want to eat, we pull them out and, in the span of a few short minutes, cook them with high-energy waves. We are insulated from the inclement weather outside.

It’s not perfect, but we have it OK. Misery…is relative.

I thought of a theoretical state of misery.
I have no idea if it exists, nor do I want to know. Or find out just yet.

But I had a what-if thought once.
What if…

In the infinitesimal flicker of a moment before you die, the minutest microscopic point of time right before you take your last breath and the final traces of life seep from your body, just before your brain closes shop for the last time. What if in that atomic-sized sliver of time, so narrow that it’s unrecognizable as reality, in that last living millionth of a second your body will ever grace the surface of this planet…

What if, in that moment you experience a chilling and ethereal distance from your own life, your own history and your own prized existence.
In that moment, all you have known, everyone you have known and loved dearly, all of it, loses complete personal value and importance, for a millionth of a mental second before your mind checks out.

What if all you lived for, all you would sacrificed your life for, just does not matter. Does not matter in a tremendously impersonal and detached manner.

All you have loved and lived for, in that span of microseconds, becomes no more important or significant than a random leaf scuttling across the road or a cloud floating across the sky. In that moment, all memories become utterly equal. Empty. Neutral. Absent of meaning.

Is that not the lowest form of misery?