Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Peevish, Prissy, Pissy & Pissed-Off

With a description of my current frame of mind like that, it almost makes you wish you could hang out with me in person, eh? The adjective “peevish” has some meaning for me. That’s how one of my best friends described me in her journal once. We were living together our senior year in college, but we weren’t really getting along, mostly thanks to our psychotic third housemate. I found my friend’s journal and took it upon myself to read parts of it without her permission. That may sound incredibly horrible, but I thought we had that kind of relationship, which just goes to prove how I never know what the fuck is going on in my interactions with other people. She wrote about how "peevish" I'd been lately. When we discussed it, she didn't get mad at me, but she told me that she used her journal as a private sounding board and asked me not to intrude upon it. To my credit, I never did again.

“Anger is an energy! Anger is an energy!”

In spite of what Mr. Johhny Lydon née Rotten says, anger can also make you impotent with frustration. Today at work my depression and anxiety kept weighing down on me until I just got fed up and angry over the whole situation. Now you have to understand something. As a paralegal, I have to bill my time to the client, and frankly I’m not very comfortable with out and out fraud. When my delightful array of disorders would overwhelm me in the past, I would leave a little early or come in a little late or, once every four to six weeks, call in sick. That is until my last review when my boss informed me that my attendance “is one of the worst in the office.” Of course, she brushed aside my superior work product and flat out denied my willingness to take on all the extra work the attorneys ask of me that the other two paralegals don’t do. (I don’t necessarily expect anyone to believe that I’m not simply delusional since I can’t prove these last two traits, but I could name about half of the office who would attest to them.) So since then, I have for the most part been a good little citizen: punching in and putting out like I’m supposed to. (And I must admit that this has been a lot easier lately since I’ve been off of drugs and booze...) On those days when my productivity is abysmal on account of how I’m feeling that day, I (usually) work off the clock or at home to make up for the lost time.

As for this afternoon, however, I simply left the office early. I told everyone I needed to go to confession as part of my Lenten duty (which is true), that I'd been trying to schedule an appointment with my priest since confession hours fall while I work at the store (which is also true) and that my priest finally called me back and said that he could work me in this afternoon (which was a complete lie). I took a two hour nap, hoping that I would feel motivated to at least go to the gym afterwards. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Still, I went to the store and got a nice dinner and Just Like Heaven, a pleasant little romantic comedy. I'm going to eat, do a little work on the file I brought home, watch my movie, get ready for tomorrow and make it an early night. Hopefully I can hit the ground running tomorrow.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sick Of It All

I'm fighting off a cold, and it's really been doing a number on my mood. I'm already feeling drained by working seven days a week and being overwhelmed by all of the things I need to do (such as keep up with this blog) to get my life "back on track." It's to the point that, whenever the least little thing goes wrong, I get passively suicidal; that is, I sincerely wish I were dead (or never been born, closer to the mark), though I'm not in any actual danger of self-destruction.

The tiniest setbacks set me off. Last Friday night, I went to the apartment warming at an acquaintance and his husband's new place. When you've been alone as long as I have and you don't get out and see different people very often, every time you do go to a party or a club or whatever, you're hoping against hope that this is the time you'll meet the Love of Your Life, even if you hate to admit it, even to yourself. So the fact that the one guy I was attracted to was there with someone else (not to mention about a decade too young for) spiraled me into wallowing in loneliness and despair.

Tonight when I got to my apartment, I actually thought I might get myself to the gym and run a couple of errands, and I even changed into my workout clothes. Then I called the masseur I've been sort of hanging out with about our plans to see Dame Edna in a couple of weeks. I dunno, he's just so odd. He's so incredibly hard to talk to. After I hung up, my phantom energy evaporated, and I started feeling extremely low. I finally figured that the best thing for it was to masturbate and go to bed. (In hindsight, this would have been ideal.) But then the idea came into my head to go to a sex club, which I haven't done in quite a while. But then I didn't feel like going to all the bother for a quicky blow job. But then I got the bright idea to get another semi-legitimate massage from another masseur, which is so stupid and fucked-up on so many different levels that I literally don't want to think about it, let alone explain it. The massage started off all right, but then it got weird at the end. I don't know why, unless it was just because I couldn't cum thanks to the full dose of my obsessive-compulsive medicine Luvox that I had taken an hour before. But who knows? Whatever... So I left there once again feeling better off dead.

Speaking of my OCD, my mind is so perverse that whenever I have any kind of physical pleasure, I feel that I'm going to be, deserve to be, punished. So although I was as careful tonight as two guys can be and still be fooling around, the encounter has awakened my HIV panic. Personally I blame all the bigotry and bullshit about homosexuality that I was exposed to growing up ("God hates fags!"), which I internalized, knowing as I have, my orientation for as long as I can remember. It's like a poison that saturates my brain, and no amount of rationality or enlightened emotion about being gay can ever withdraw it.

Not the Only One with Problems

When I came home from work this evening, my neighbor across the hall was crying in loud, wailing sobs for the second time in a week. This time I gave a tentative knock to see if there was anything I could do for her, but she didn't answer. I was afraid to force the issue 'cuz I don't know if she'd like a sympathetic ear or would just prefer to be left alone. As it is, I can only pray that God gives comfort to those who are suffering.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thank God For Sundays

My poor, poor car is a piece of shit. I moved to Los Angeles from Memphis, and driving in the two cities is a completely different experience. When I first arrived, I didn't have the rhythm of driving in Los Angeles down. As such, I ended up getting into three or four rear-end accidents my first nine months here, and it didn't help matters that I had a cell phone (which I've since gotten rid of) at the time. Besides raising my insurance premiums to an astromomical rate, these accidents left the front end of my car a complete mess. The thing is, my car was totally drivable. The only real problem is that my hood didn't properly close anymore. The mechanism would still catch, but the hood had a tendency to wobble when I drove on the freeway. (This becomes important later in my narrative.) Because of my depression and my perpetually shaky financial situation, I never bothered to get my car fixed.

Now that I'm trying to be more engaged in my life, rather than just doing the bare minimum to get through, fixing my car became one of the things I decided I wanted to take care of. I took the car to a repair shop across the street from the store where I work on the weekends to get an estimate. The owner's son has been a customer for years, and I was hoping that this connection would keep them from screwing me over too badly. (Although after dealing with the guy's father, I'm not sure that this is the case.) Then I called my insurance company to see if they would cover any of the repairing costs. (It has been five years, after all.) They told me that they would send someone out Friday (i.e. yesterday) to the repair shop to do their own estimate. I made arrangements to be a little late at my law firm, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle with my boss. I dropped the car off and had to walk a little over two miles to the train station to take me downtown to work. Since I wasn't able to pick the car up before they closed last night, I had to walk a little over three miles (in the rain) this morning to get it before working at the store. The owner told me that, given the value of my vehicle, the insurance company might just deem it a total loss, rather than paying to fix it. I'd just have to wait until I heard their decision next week.

Today I spoke to my father about my car situation, and he offered to help me in getting a new car by co-signing a loan. But I'm 36-fucking-years-old, and I feel I should be able to handle something as fundamental as basic transportation on my own. I took it upon myself to contact DriveTime about buying a used car because they have a reputation for financing people with bad credit such as myself. I made an appointment for this evening at their lot in Torrance (where my friend Jonathan lives) to see what kind of rates they could offer me and what vehicles they had available. Very adult and mature, don't you think?

I headed to the South Bay after work. Just as I had merged onto the 110 Freeway from the 101 interchange, the catch on my hood decided to give way! The hood flew up against the windshield (though without breaking the glass, by the grace of God). Amazingly enough, I managed not to panic. I was able to pull over to left-side of the roadway without getting into a crash and killing myself or, more importantly, someone else. I even managed not to scrape my car against the concrete median, which was quite a feat considering I couldn't see out of the fucking windshield. I couldn't open my door, and going out of the passenger side wasn't an option as a hundred cars were whizzing past me at sixty miles an hour. I had to roll down my window and climb out of it. I could shut the hood, but it was so bent out of shape that I couldn't line up the locking mechanism enough to catch. Finally I ended up tying it shut with a shoestring from my own shoe. I drove it to my law firm, which was nearby, and phone my parents and Jonathan. Finally I drove it home taking surface streets. Now my car is completely undrivable, and I don't know what I'm going to do to resolve the situation.

Back To My Old Tricks

By all rights, I should go down on my knees and thank God that I survived my car crisis completely unscathed. But I don't have the strength of character to react as I should. Caring is a burden. Now that I care about my life, I feel overwhelmed by all of the things that I have let slide over the months and years that I need to fix. Caring hasn't freed me from my personal problems. It has only energized my will to fight and struggle against them. But I'm still left with the feeling that I have to overcome all of these obstacles alone.

I stopped at a store on the way home I wrote a check that will bounce or at least cost me a $25 overdraft fee for a lot of alcohol and a pack of cigarettes. When I told my friend Jonathan (who is a sometimes annoying voice of uncompromising reason) of my intention to drink tonight, he reminded me that I have given alcohol up for Lent. He suggested that I focus on the fact that I "did everything right" during my emergency tonight and not succumb to the temptation. But I just don't care! I honestly believe that God didn't create me for 24/7 sobriety. Technically, you are allowed to indulge in the things you give up during Lent on Sundays because Sundays aren't counted in the forty days as they are the Lord's day. And technically, at least by some traditions, Sunday begins on sundown of Saturday night. I know that my sense of entitlement is an affront to commitment I made to God, and tomorrow I'm hoping to speak to my priest for spiritual guidance. But for now, I just want to drink until I "can't feel feelings anymore" and until once again my life seems manageable.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Spirit was ambivalent...

...But the Flesh said, "Fuck you!"

I've been feeling rather tired and uninspired all day today. I pretty much phoned myself in at work, so I brought a couple of files home with me to catch up on my billing. (I'm a paralegal at a downtown law firm.) When I got home, I figured the best thing for it would be to drag my sorry ass to the gym and work it all out. I managed to get myself there, but when I started my cardio routine on the stepper, I literally couldn't force myself to keep up the pace. I only did it for seven-and-a-half minutes (out of thirty) before I finally gave up. I was so disgusted by then that I didn't even attempt any of my strength-training exercises, so I left to walk home.

My mood hasn't improved much after that. Life seems such a dreary, fucking farce. I feel as if I'm a prisoner in my own existence, a hostage to my very consciousness. I shamble through my day like a zombie, but feeling as insubstantial as a wraith. Most times it takes such a monumental effort of will just to put one foot in front of the other, to simply do what is necessary to maintain this charade, while I feel at any moment something could snap and fucking freak out. And I wonder why I even bother. I've never aimed so high as to aspire to happiness. But frankly my goal of simply not being unhappy often seems impossibly out of reach.

What I want to do now is pound down a six-pack or two and smoke my lungs out like a chimney. But the kernel of faith remaining inside of myself keeps reminding me that I gave up alcohol for Lent. And I'm not so far gone that I'm ready to go running back to pills, assuming I could even get them. So instead what I'm going to do is get high on an over-the-counter sleeping aid after making love to a box of cookies. Then, maybe after a bath, I'm going to get myself in bed and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another Beginning...

I decided to start a new blog for a couple of different reasons. First of all, I feel that "Blah! Blah! Blah!" is a little more descriptive of the content of my writing. "Live from Hollywood!" was a bit misleading because, even though I live in Hollywood, the blog wasn't about the Industry or star-fucking or whatever. Another reason to switch was that it began to feel uncomfortable for me to have my sister and certain friends read about some of the things going on with me. I don't want to feel inhibited in writing this journal, or it will lose its cathartic effect.

As with my previous blog, I'm just going to jump right in without trying to exposit a whole bunch of background material first. The short version of the time period between the last entry of the "Live from Hollywood!" blog and this entry is that I went on a three-month narcotics bender. I went through out-patient detox in February and have only leveled out in the past few weeks. (All of this, mind you, while holding down a full-time paralegal job, a part-time retail job and an independent, albeit rather boring, life alone.)

I'll probably flesh out the story in the next entry or two, but I'm changing the way I blog. Before, being such a retentive perfectionist, it would take me forever to complete an entry because I was trying to write literary essays more than a journal. Here I'm going to write shorter entries but update the blog more frequently, i.e. several times a week. There's so much I think of each day, things I'd like to be able to tell other people, that I never recorded in my last blog because I was too busy finding the time and/or energy to finish and revise the last entry the Spirit moved me to write. I'll still spew out diatribes about subjects that engage me, but I'm hoping that this more personal and consistent approach turns out to produce greater productivity and, ultimately, be more interesting.