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A Slight Discomfort

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Slight Discomfort

Planned on devoting today's entire post to the worst of 2011.  But in a year in which I got pretty much everything I could possibly want, what's left to bitch about?  Only one thing, the same thing I've been beating you over the head with every chance I get (publishers, are you listening?), the book deal, made doubly frustrating for having successfully scaled that first hurdle, the landing of the agent, as well as making inroads into the second, i.e., impressing certain editors, only to ultimately come up short.  Like dating Talia Shire in Rocky if you aren't Rocky... But what can you do?  I still have a full head of hair and am really really good looking.  I'll survive.

And as far as bad art of 2011, there is only one piece I feel the need to single out. Inception.  Hands fucking down worst movie I saw all year.  Here is my initial review:, in case you missed it.  I recently tried watching it again, thinking maybe I just had my period or something.  I made it through about 7 minutes.  What a bunch of phony baloney nonsense.  Worse than the most overwrought undergrad film major's thesis.  The people who think Inception is a good film are the same people who claim to like classical music and jazz. Classical music is boring, and jazz is the genre of fear.



I have a hard time with depression.  Not as in "I struggle with it."  I do, but I mean "struggle" more like it's sort of a pussy ailment.  

"What's wrong?"

"I'm sad."

(Pause) "Well stop...doing that, and eat something."

Who the fuck isn't sad?  After childhood, it's just a fact of life.

Most days, I don't really think about it, or if I do, I am feeling so otherwise, that I broach the subject in theory, and it's casually dismissed, like having once been scared of roller coasters or bee stings.  When it returns, full-throttle, it comes with that added shame of having been so bowled over by a mere feeling.  I survived ten years shooting dope on the street, and a high-speed motorcycle crash without a helmet, and now I can't get out of bed because...I'm sad?  Makes me want to kick my own ass.

When I was a kid, Mike Piskorski broke my leg.  I was nine.  We were playing one-on-one tackle football in his backyard.  The game wasn't going last longer than a couple plays if you think about it.  But I broke my femur on the opening kickoff, snapped the fucker right by the acetabulum, the same acetabulum, by the way, that I'd snap off almost 30 years later in that motorcycle accident.  Mike's dad later told my parents that usually after an accident like that between two boys horse-playing he would've just lifted the kid up and said to shake it off, but something told him not to do it this time.  Which is good, because that probably would've fucking hurt.  But that's what I feel like when the depression hits.  Like I should just be able to lift myself up and say shake it off.  Except I know I can't.

Jesus Christ, I sound like Debra Morgan

I know there are people who read this blog who have the same problem, and maybe they are empathizing, even thinking that speaking up about depression takes some kind of courage.  But there are probably an equal number of my friends who'll tell me to stop complaining that my vagina hurts (that's always a funny joke), and I agree more with that second camp, even though it's not in my best interest, like poor people in Mississippi voting Republican.  And I really do sorta hate myself for not being tougher on days like yesterday, which was a wasted, worthless day, in which I walked around like an extra on the set of the Walking Dead.  As I post this today, even though I am writing it yesterday (blows your mind, doesn't it?), I am fairly certain the darkness will be gone, and everything will be fine again, and I'll be left wondering what the goddamn big deal was.

There is no tangible enemy with which to do battle.

Nothing you can see, put your finger on.  You are not recovering from a tragedy, the death of a loved one, a horrific accident (like, say, fighting someone from a depressed position on Mustafar).  You are fighting a...phantom menace.  Sorry.  But you are largely fighting something unseen, undefined.  If you have depression, this is pretty much the conversation you can expect.

(Enter Sad Eyes.)

"What's wrong?"

"I'm depressed."

"About what?"

When I got out of the hospital after the accident,  I had concrete goals.  Get out of the wheelchair.  Stop using the walker.  Lose the crutches.  Walk.  I would go to the gym on crutches, and I'd work very hard to get back what I lost.  It was easy, really. One, I'm a gym rat, and two, I could measure progress.

I suppose I should take solace in the progress.  It's not as easily measured as with the physical, but I've made strides in the last 30-some-odd years.  I'm not sure exactly when the switch tripped.  Somewhere around 16, I think.  A day just came where everything got a little...darker.  Back then, it wasn't hours or days; I'd be mired in a serious funk for months, cutting myself off from everybody, holed up in my room with a crippling ennui and scrambled porn.  When I went back to my 20th high school reunion, no one remembered me that way.  They all said I was a quiet kid, so who knows how you project yourself?

At 41, what used to be an albatross, is now a mere bump, a minor annoyance, a slight discomfort.

We often forget how we get from Point A to B.  At least I do.  But that might be because of all the methamphetamine I did.  Watching Holden, who at one and a half is mesmerized by a paper towel cardboard ring, I find myself trying to retrace steps. I once asked my friend and former professor Dan Wakefield, who is, like, seventy-something, what he sees when he looks in the mirror.  He said he still sees a 16-year-old boy.  Which is what I sorta figured. Since I do too.  Maybe I should be grateful for the reminder, the common thread that ties this to that.  Y'know, like stardust and atoms and all that shit.

So many elements come in and out of our lives; I guess it isn't the worst thing to carry a permanent companion around.  Like a tumor.  A benign, moderately sized, but not altogether unpleasant tumor.

Never mind.  I'm going to eat some rare steak and then go lift really really heavy things.

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