My back is fucked up and I love L.A. Or is it the other way around?

Addiction.
The word brims with negative and tragic connotations.
I rebuf them all.
Addiction, in my mind is a neutral descriptor of a person’s obsessive tendency to become attached and dependent on a ritual or behavior.

Big deal, is that so bad? I was once addicted to Brussels sprouts.
I literally was fucking addicted to that shit (literally). Is it that horrific?
Other than the gaseous emissions which I tormented others in my vicinity with, I would hesitate to paint that addiction in negative tones.

Oh, and of course, I’ve entertained the many obligatory addictions which placed me harm’s way. You know, the big bad addictions that get all the press, all the special attention. The shit we automatically think about in our numbskulled non-thoughtfulness.

I’m addicted. To a relatively harmless ritual.
Weight training.
I literally have a difficult time functioning normally if I don’t fulfill my thrice-weekly allotment of 1 hour weight lifting sessions. At times, this leads me to lift when I shouldn’t. For instance, if I’ve slept like shit; if I have a nagging injury; if I’m sick; if I have no time to set aside because of other obligations; if a girl is begging for my attention which is busily focused on the iron. No matter…I still tenaciously manage to squeeze in the weights. My weight training is the one annoyingly immutable element in my life. At the expense of all else. This is one of those favorable addictions which straddles the line and threatens to subvert any sense of normalcy. Right now, I think it’s time to let it breathe.

The common consensus in the weight lifting community is that if you lift hard and heavy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with extended rest periods (in fact, they are probably necessary) every few months. These lengthy respites allow your body to mend and recuperate from sporadic little injuries that you’ve accumulated over the long months of heavy lifting which strains your core and joints.

I’ve given extended rests a shot in the past…but the addiction always creeps back, motherfucker.
One week turns into…three days.
I surrender to the iron.
I rest three days and I feel that my body is shriveling up into a muscleless heap of bones and cartilage. I find it hard to resist. My mind plays tricks on me. It sucker punches me. It tells me my musculature is fading away. Never mind that 3 days of not lifting one weight is really not going to put much of a dent in my muscle mass. It’s mental, like all addictions.

Right now, I’m hurt. Hurting.
My lower back has been stiff and wrenched, for at least 4, 5, even 6 months. I remember the moment it started. I was trying to pull a PR on my deadlifts, and in the process of failing the lift I felt a twinge, a strain in my lower back. It hasn’t been right since.
I ignore it, I deny it, and barrel through my routines because it hasn’t hampered my lifts. Well, it has started to eat into my squat and dead lift numbers. When your lower back is strained, it is weak and you favor it. Routines involving lower back and hips go nowhere. A couple of months ago, I was unable to re-rack 350 pounds and the entirety of that iron mass went tumbling to the floor of my 2nd floor aprtment. Thankfully the downstairs neighbors weren’t home and weren’t able to enjoy the raucous performance.
Also, my right elbow is messed up. A sharp, burning, searing pain has been radiating from the area which circles the outside of the joint. I injured it by using improper form during my rows (not to mention trying to pull a weight I had no business trying). I think it may involve a ligament. It’s disabling.

Bottom line is, I’m a mess. At my age I can’t rely on physical resiliency to cut a swath through injuries. I need to nurse and baby this shit. It’s time.

Time to take the break.
Time for a week off. I lifted yesterday and I don’t plan on lifting anything heavier than a grocery bag until next Sunday, 23rd. The long weekend.

It freaks me out. But there’s no choice.
These injuries ain’t going away. It’s OK to work through soreness, but you should never work through injury pain. You need to listen to your body. Problem is, I ignore every little plaintive plea from my muscles and joints at times like this. My body yells rest, please, rest.

I guess I’ll spend the next week doing light cardio, walking, get the blood flowing, the healing and nourishing blood flow.
It kills me.
Addiction is an odd hang-up.
Did primitive man suffer from addictions?
Is it a modern affliction thanks to our Golden Age of excess?

I think I’m addicted to the internet.
In the past year I’ve had a couple of unusually lengthy power outages and I had no problem coping with the dark, the ruined refrigerated items, the lack of television…but I had a major problem with the lack of connectivity. I was gripped by an emptiness, a void; brought on by the state of being disconnected from the global matrix. I had no signal. Stuck in my little cocoon, dark. I studied the neighbor’s lights longingly (on one occasion, the blackout was specifically confined to my apartment), at their well-lit living rooms, the well-lit units where someone was probably typing happily into the cyber village. A village I was not part of now.

The pain was spiritually excruciating. Every single neighbor’s wireless connections were password protected so I couldn’t even tap into their signal. Bastards, all of them. I’m empty without my internet fix. Yes, it makes me happy, it fills my private little loner world, it’s my connection to something awesome and weird, the blogosphere. God, I’m addicted to this? How can it be? I might have felt ashamed of this at one time (and actually, I still do) but I find communal solace that this is not unusual .

There is no doubt in my mind that sex would be an awesomely pervasive addiction if it weren’t such a chore for most guys.

If acquiring sex was as simple as a pocketful of loose change and a visit to the local 7-11, I guarantee you drug pushers would be out of a job.

Conversely, if hooking up with a 40-ouncer of Steel Reserve entailed the level of commitment, expense or additional “add-on” expense which would largely erase any doubt you would be paying for that bottle for another 18 years, MADD would be reduced to a bunch of bored nags working on new sewing patterns.

Hell yeah, pussy is too much work sometimes.
Even when it’s not.
Acquiring pussy is a great test of that little cost/benefit analysis circuit that hums away in our little brains. How much do we want it, just how important is that specific pussy that we would be willing to sacrifice or risk all manner of goods and assets and reputation to attain? The hornier you are, the worse your cost/benefit analyzer functions. In fact, very little thought goes into the equation when you’re young and oozing testosterone. At that stage in your life, it’s all about the benefit. In fact, the equation is only a benefit/benefit cost margin.

Costs? Ha! Where, when, what, me? Costs??

Nah, as you get older, more seasoned, and you’ve put in way too many laps around the block, the costs just rise and rise and rise and soon the benefit better be really fucking good in order to make you drop everything for it. It’s sad, I suppose, the jaded insolence of Middle Age, but it’s liberating as well.

Speaking of the unattainable, living in Los Angeles can suck. Pussy is plentiful, yes, but the problem is, nature has seen fit to attach it to women. Egg or chicken?
Pussy or woman?

Which follows? The horse. The cart?

If pussy was displaced, grown in vitro, sans torso, arms, legs and flowing hair, would there be much of a market for female companionship? In L.A., that would be questionable.

Funny, I read a blogospheric discussion about the dating market from a man’s perspective, the typical discussion in which men indulge in their favorite pastime of My Female-induced Wretchedness Sucks style of one-upsmanship. Washington D.C.’s dating scene is the worst, some rattled. No, New York, others.
No one seemed to think L.A.’s was the worst.

I do.
L.A. sucks man.
L.A. has the plastic vibe.
L.A. is the anti-intellectual capital of metropolitan U.S.

Whereas New York and Washington D.C. have a rich intellectual history (forget that, they have a history), Los Angeles is a fabricated town. Everything here is fabricated. There is no time-tested culture in place here that has weathered and grown through the trials and tribulations of the city. Los Angeles is an accumulation of imported parcels and blocks. There is an air of transience and displacement here. The city is unabashedly anti-intellectual. And I use “anti” as opposed to “non” because I believe that better describes Los Angeles. This city, by virtue of its show biz history redolent of manipulative artifice, is not only indifferent to intellectualism (and genuine humanity), but seriously antagonistic to the intellectual nature of good people. This is the place where your mind does not serve you well; this is the place where facades and make-believe clutter the physical and mental landscape. Superficiality and elitist conformity are proxies by which your sense of self-worth is monetized.

This is a terrible town to date because though the environment I cite is restricted to certain areas and social circles of Los Angeles, and very many publicly viewed individuals, it is insidious and seeps down to the street-level like a really skanky fashion that looks photographically hot on a strung out runway model but which looks like shit on a typical bellybusting hoodrat (who aspires to mimic her adulatory celebrity Goddesss). That intellectually void airheadedness permeates the air in Los Angeles just like the gooey brown smog in days of yore.

Los Angeles is now home to fabricated store fronts, restaurant fronts, facades, architecture imitating an artificial history, one which borrows histories from other cities because we never had one here. Any area of Los Angeles that dares to eschew the fashionable pseudo-history looks bland and boxy and featureless. It’s no accident Disneyland, the land of Everything Fake, was born here. The aura of impostors radiates its hollow glow at night. You can see it from thousands of miles away. Nothing is real or dependably original.

What does this have to do with the dating scene?
Everything.
Women, typically flighty and capricious by nature, find themselves in a town whose temperament is identically feminine by nature. Their natures are pronounced. The less desirable female traits are tempered in a cultural environment that is consistently and intelligently disciplined…and this town does not offer that. I can tolerate phoniness, but phoniness, upheld as an admirable trait unto itself and flaunted as a source of pride and character makes me sick. L.A. is a fair-weathered friend. Today’s hot item may be tomorrow’s window ticket booth clerk. L.A. begs you not to value deep and intricate thought…in fact, it begs you to embrace a culture of wax figures who look like the real thing and soon you aren’t sure if the real thing is not really the wax figure. Which is real? The dating scene here mimics that morally porous container, an unstable and bimbo-ridden town where consistency of character is confined to the stack of 120-page movie scripts cluttering Beverly Hills desks.

L.A., she will wreck you.
Or if you don’t mind parting with your soul, you may join the rest, and be part of the emerging indigenous culture.

By the way, I work in the “Industry.”
I’m just that important.