Monday, Nov. 04, 2002
With Alundra out of the race, my only other interest was Emily. Trying to track her down is about as easy as licking my elbow. And so far, the effort has returned about the same. I do like (and to some degree envy) that she's so busy doing all kinds of neat things. It's one of the reasons I find her so darned attractive. A person who pursues their own life is so much more interesting than someone who waits for one to fall in their lap. (Interpret that sentence however you may.) But my doubts about breaking into Emily's life began creeping in about a month ago. Yeah, she's got projects to work on every day of the week. Yeah, her schedule's constantly up in the air. Maybe I should try calling her on a Sunday night. I got that line two weeks ago, and I'd just about had enough. Jane warned me that Emily is incredibly flakey. If she wanted to do something with me, wouldn't she be the one to call on a Sunday night? Some people just aren't looking for the same things at the same time. Or, they just don't know that they are. Her, or me...?
Losing one's prospects isn't nearly the tragedy it could be while one still has OHP. I can still pick up the phone, tap that On Hold button and have Pussy before the end of the week. (I hear if you're a pimp or a rockstar, the waiting period is far shorter. I'm working on my credentials.) These are the blessings I'm counting while Alex and I share a pitcher of Terminator Stout in the theater lobby at Kennedy. He was having one of those "low" days, low energy, low chemistry, low positivity. He'd spent the day with a cranky 50-year old woman in the body of his pal Chris. (Everyone get that?) Recalling anecdotes about Tiffany always seems to make him laugh, and I've got more musings on her than I know what to do with.
He told me his mind had been fixated all day on Marie, his former English prof in community college. To Alex, Marie is the ideal. (Everybody catching all this?) And, christalmighty do I know exactly what he's talking about. (A little Easter egg for those of you who can straighten out the names.) Anxiety and depression have a tendency to develop, what I would describe as mental bedsores. Some particular element within the spectrum of human needs is so neglected - in Alex's case, companionship - that it eventually becomes a weeping wound. It steals nurturing attention away from all other needs: esteem, accomplishment, satisfaction, et al, and becomes this ugly scar one wears everywhere they go. And everyone can see it as plainly as the nose on your face. So the cycle goes; the slightest grain of negativity feeds this festering wound on the psychie. Sometimes the wounds generates its own feast. Just realizing the problem is there is enough to fling your soaring esteem into the gutter. I think Marie recognizes that Alex is one of the walking wounded; she never returns his phone calls or eMails. The deathtrap in depression is believing that filling the wound will heal it. The same way I thought a relationship with Lisa would solve all my problems, I'm afraid Alex believes attaining his ideal will make him feel better, too.
The trick to beating depression is balancing the perceived negativity with actual positivity. That sounds ridiculously obvious. But developing positivity is so fucking hard because depression is a mental illness. Maybe we don't wear foil-covered head wraps, or argue with the statues in the park, but we deal with similar illusions that healthy people just don't see. Alex was tense, to the point of irritability, with the notion that he was going to see Marie at some point that day. It was ten o'clock at night, which made his premonition seem unlikely. Nonetheless, we moved from the center of the room to another, more comfortable table against the wall. I sat with my back to the room so he would sit with his back to the door. Just in case.
I began to explain my home made theory of developing positives to counter the poisonous negatives. My biggest problem during the last eight years is not having any successes that I can talk about. Nothing. I've not been successful at a single damn thing I've tried for the last eight years. It's taken me these last two to figure out that a girlfriend makes nothing better. Quite the opposite, in fact. Companionship, if you can wrap your mind around this, is the end, not the means. Having someone love you is the reward for loving yourself first. The best way to deal with the weeping wound of forsaken love is to pour time and energy - passion, pride, pain - into that which really gets your fire burning. For me, it's writing and producing. What I want to do with my life is not become someone's boyfriend. I want to write. I want to produce films and television programs. Those are the things I need to pay attention to, and the loneliness will eventually be overcome by the joys of finally being successful at something. I think my writing has come a long fucking way since my first entry. Last week's production meeting with Greg, Sean and a gang of really smart people made me feel like I'm in the middle of something that I really want to be in. Greg introduced me to everyone as his producer. Holy shit. Suddenly I could care less about not having a girlfriend.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to properly develop and relate to Alex these thoughts before she walked in.
It seems, by some mysterious configuration of psychic energy, Alex is my remote receiver and amplifier. Earlier that very day I was still rehearsing mental dialogues with Alundra for the next time I might see her.
"Haven't heard from you for a while," she would say.
"Funny, that. I've never heard from you," I would say. I was trying not to be bitter.
The moment Alundra walked into the theater lobby I forgot my lines. I forgot I even had lines. The only thing I remembered was that I had no good reason to be bitter with her. As she approached our table I stood up and gave her a solid hug, something I've always wanted to do. I think I smashed her nose into my shoulder. I introduced her and Alex; we talked about progress on Dary's short; typical shit-chat. A lotta nothing to say. When she'd gone into the auditorium I just sat there and looked at Alex.
"Okay, that was a bit fucking weird."
But wait. It gets better. Take a pee break if you need to.
Today Alex and I had lunch at this little Indonesian hole-in-the-wall on Broadway. Michael Moore's "Bowling For Columbine" is playing around the corner, which got me to thinking about Emily. In the last fragmented conversation I had with her we talked about seeing this movie together.
"I really want to see this, but I'm poor," she said. "You wouldn't want to take me out to a movie, would you?"
"Actually, I'd love to take you out to a movie," I said. I really said that! "But I'm poor, too."
We decided on nothing. That bit was followed a few days later with the annoying "call me Sunday" eMail. I was thinking out loud in Alex's general direction when I realized it has been almost two weeks since then.
"Maybe you need to declare another fourteen day deadline."
"Nah. I've had enough," I said. "I'm done with her."
Guess who showed up on my front porch this evening? I'll let you know what I think of the movie.
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