Monday, December 28, 2015

Despite All My Rage...

I wanted to let some time pass from my last post to give an update on that whole situation. Aside from a very brief exchange on Christmas, we haven't really spoken. I'm going to let it stay that way. I'm trying to understand her side of the situation. She is in no way interested and doesn't realize that she's not doing me any favors by cutting me out completely. I'm choosing to be okay with that. It's shitty, it sucks, and it hurts. However, she's dealing with her own thing. If I think about it too long, I get pissed off all over again. So, I'm going to do my best to avoid that.

Speaking of getting pissed off... I had something happen on Christmas Eve that hasn't happened in a very long time. I threw a tantrum. Like a toddler. Of course, booze was involved. I don't remember the conversation that lead up to it, I just remember feeling like I wasn't being heard. I have a lot of unchecked rage and things hit a boiling point. This was a very good and very close friend of mine who was just trying to help. I screamed in her face and literally stomped the ground until she broke down in tears. What's worse than feeling like the giant piece of shit that I am for what I've done, is knowing that I did the same thing my dad would do. I've made it a goal since I was a little kid to do everything in my power to not become him. I don't think I'm in danger of that, but it's a that kind of behavior that I really want to avoid. I managed to calm down that same night and apologize... But I know she's never going to forget it. I scarred her. I did that. There's nothing I can do to fix it. All I can do is try to never do it again. I feel like a monster.

I've said before that I "used to have an anger issue." I thought that was true. I thought I worked passed it after high school. I didn't work passed anything; All that rage is still inside me. The only thing I changed are the circumstances in which it will come out. Truth is, I'm always angry. It never really goes away. I learned how to function with an alarming amount of anger sitting under the surface. I release it in these little bursts. Usually when I'm alone at home or in my car. It's kind of remarkable how sturdy my steering wheel is, because I've tried like hell to break it. This is no way to live.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I'm so angry. Might seem odd that I'm only now really thinking about it, but I had never considered the "why" before. I know that most of it stems from my childhood. I never had a healthy outlet for anger and I never felt like anyone would listen to me. You know that feeling you get when you're in the midst of getting mad about something and somebody tells you to calm down? How you go from reasonably angry to fully fucking infuriated? Imagine that happening every time for over 20 years. I'm not trying to make excuses, but through my entire adolescence, not a single person tried to talk me through what I was so mad about. All my rage was treated as unimportant and inconvenient. If my dad was around, it was met with an opposing anger.

I really need to stop being the victim and parent myself. I'm astounded every day by people my age. So many of them just... Living. I can't wrap my head around it. How the hell do they do that? I'm not even looking for happiness. I'm looking for contentment. Even that feels so unattainable...

Anyway, I'm exhausted and losing focus. I'm mad about a lot of things. I might talk about it more some other time.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Baby, Don't You Want Me?

I don't know why I keep forgetting that this exists.  It seems like I only remember it when I feel like garbage.  I guess I'm ok with that.  There's something cathartic about typing out how I feel and sending it into the ether of the internet.  It's almost poetic to know that practically nobody will read it.  However, it's out there... And, more importantly, it's out of my head.

I'm not going to waste time with a long, drawn out update of the last year. Here are the bullet points. I moved back from St. Louis in March, dicked around in Southern Illinois until August, and moved back to St. Louis. I managed to get back here thanks to a good friend who got me a job and let me stay with him for a couple months.  I owe him.  He's a good dude.

The last two months or so, that's where things have gotten a little shitty.  See, while I spent six months back home, I became friends with this girl.  Bet you'll never guess what happened.  Yeah, ol' Patty Boy caught feelings.  It wasn't immediate, but I'll be goddamned if it didn't happen.

I had seen her at a couple of the local bars for a while.  Always thought she was cute and there had been multiple times I tried to get the nerve to say something, anything, to her.  Your typical "why the fuck should I even bother?  Look at her!  She's gorgeous!"  One night, I'm sitting at the bar with a friend, and we decide to walk outside for a smoke.  This particular bar has little cardboard-circle-things to put over your drink to indicate that you're out for a smoke, and you're coming back to that seat.  Bar etiquette dictates that, if you take said seat, you're a fucking asshole.  I come back in to see that my seat is taken.  By Her.  She's just sitting there with some scrawny, pale, long haired guy and her back is to me.  So, of course, I start making a lot of assumptions.  At this point, I believe that she's some recently 21 cute girl who has no idea how to behave in a bar setting.  I spend the next thirty or so minutes complaining to my friend.  "Who the fuck does she think she is?  Fucking entitled little bitch, thinks that just because she's pretty she can do whatever the fuck she wants.  Fuck that."  Sure, I overreacted a little, but it's not like I said it to her face.  Eventually she also goes out to smoke, and I take my seat back.  Goddammit, am I proud in that moment.  I create this fantasy in my head where she comes in and makes some kind of rude comment about how I stole her seat, maybe throw in something about how a real man wouldn't do so such a thing.  I had my monologue prepared.  I was going to take a stand for all the other unattractive men in the world who feel slighted by the aesthetically pleasing opposite sex!  None of that happened.  She came back in, glanced my way, and found a spot where she could stand and listen to the band.  That was my first encounter with her.

A few weeks later, I'm hanging outside of another bar.  A place where I used to run an open mic.  I'm outside, smoking, waiting for the usual crowd of five people to get situated at the bar and not pay any attention.  A guy I know comes around the corner, so we start in with the small talk.  A few moments later, I see Her walking our way.  I haven't forgotten about the incident, but I think it's kind of funny in retrospect.  As she's walking, I'm trying to think of a funny way to bring it up.  I'm having trouble doing so, because I noticed a big smile on her face as she's walking over.  I can't bring myself to focus on anything else.  She had a look on her face that told me that she had something to say, and I wanted to listen.  She bounds onto the sidewalk and says something to the effect of, "Hey! I see you out all the time! I'm Emily!"  I was taken back.  I realized that I was wrong.  She's not some entitled bitch.  She seems so... sweet.  After a beat I blurted out, "I'm Patrick.  You stole my seat."  I guess I was going for confusion.  It didn't work.  She told me that she realized that after she came in from smoking that night.  Not only did she realize it, she felt bad.  She's fully aware of bar etiquette and was disappointed in herself for breaking it.  It was after an hour or so of reading body language between her and the other guy that I came to the conclusion that they were dating.  Or an item, or a thing, or something.  I asked him at one point, "so... are you guys dating? Talking? Fucking?"  I made it sound playful and like I was just curious.  I now know that I wanted to see where they stood before I made an attempt.  He nervously chuckled and said, "eh, all of the above I guess."  I nodded with a fake smile and said, "cool."  The next weekend I ran into them again.  She seemed way too happy.  She told me she was on acid then called me by the wrong name.  I gave her the appropriate amount of shit and then we exchanged numbers.  It would be another three weeks before she had a last name in her contact info.  Until then, she would be "Emily - Bar Girl."

Every weekend for the next month or so, I'd either run into them at the bar, or text Emily and we'd go to the bar anyway.  It was with them that I tried ecstasy for the first time.  It didn't take long for either of us to realize that we had a very natural chemistry.  Aside from originally wanting to talk to her, I never really thought of her in that way.  I was going to be moving back to St. Louis, anyway.  I didn't see a point in letting my brain wonder in that direction.  There are two events that changed that.  First, they broke up.  She and I had talked about him and their relationship a little bit, but not in that much depth.  She called me that night to tell me about it.  That seemed odd to me at first.  Why tell me about it?  As we're talking about it, I tell her it's probably a good thing and that it seemed toxic.  She agreed, we made plans to meet up at the bar the following weekend, and got off the phone.  Second, I started seeing somebody.  Once it became "official" Emily's attitude changed toward me.  She gave me shit for texting and was generally kind of an asshole.  The relationship didn't last long, and I actually broke up with her over the phone while hanging out with Emily at work.  I saw a small bit of relief on her face.  I didn't really think much of it at the time.  It was during a conversation via text where I named a few basic things I would like in a partner (not an idiot, gets my sense of humor, thinks I'm funny, supportive, all that shit) that she responded with four words that would change everything. "You just described me."

I talked to all my closest friends about this interaction.  Most of them had seen the way we act around each other and they all wondered why I didn't try to turn it into more.  I took two full weeks to think it over.  Think about what exactly I was going to say, the tone I would use, my body language, every little detail.  The day finally came.  I met up with her and another friend for dinner.  While we're outside smoking, she says that she did something stupid.  This wasn't exactly a surprise.  She's reckless and a little crazy, but I found it endearing.  Turns out she slept with a coke head that we both know and now he's kind of crazy about her.  Like, bad crazy.  The same moment that I was going to take to ask if there was something more to our friendship, I get this dropped on me.  Timing has never been my thing.  I hold it in and resort to making fun of her for it, because that's how I show affection.  That night, we go to the bar (shocker) and, of course, Cokey McDickbag is there.  Not only is he there, he as all over her.  Trying to hold her hand, kiss her, and she's not really digging any part of it.  So, as an escape, she spends a lot of time with me.  The night goes on, we get increasingly drunk, and end up at a friends house.  Cokey is in the living room while her and I are in the garage.  She's going on about how he's crazy and she doesn't know what to do.  I, with my fucking masters degree in bad timing, blurt out while pointing back and forth between myself and her, "so, this is a thing, right?"  I'm expecting a groan followed by her pleading that I don't "do this right now."  That's not what happened.  She smiled, laughed, and kissed me.  We talked about it a little through our drunken haze, but it seemed mutual.  I don't think I've ever felt real joy like that before.

We decided that we needed to talk about things while sober.  The following weekend, I came back to town, got blackout drunk, and took acid.  There's a whole story with that part, but I wrote a bit about it.  Just come to a show to hear it.  What I will say, is that her and I spent another night in that same garage.  I know now that it wasn't really a conversation.  It was me talking about how I felt, her also being on acid, and the acid letting her feel what I felt in that moment.  There was crying, kissing, laughing... it was pretty great.

Things are different now.  Much different.  She doesn't want to be with me, which is ok.  I can handle that.  She just won't come out and say it.  She's going through the typical crisis a 25 year old that parties a lot goes through.  I'm trying to help her with that.  Not because I think I'll win her somehow, but because she needs a hand.  I want to help because I care.  Part of her process of being a better person seems to include being on her phone less.  As much as I understand it, I also really hate it.  I don't get to talk to her much anymore, and it really bothers me.  She already told me it's not anything personal toward me, and I believe her.  I just don't have many people I want to talk to... And it sucks that the person you want to talk to most, isn't available.  So, here I am.  I live in St. Louis, I work full time, all my friends here have relationships and lives, and I'm more alone than ever.  Maybe it's the perpetual self-loathing, or maybe this is true... But as miserable as I am, it feels right.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tuned Out

I think we should all just agree that this thing is not going to get updated weekly.  That'll never happen.  I'm way too lazy for that.  Plus, it's not like anyone is clamoring for it.  Which, makes sense.  There aren't many people that want to hear my bitch in person, let alone read some half-assed stream of consciousness. I guess this thing is more for me.  Let's face it, this is more of a journal.  But I have just enough of an ego to make it public just in case somebody wants to know what I think about... Stuff.  And things.

So, it's been a couple months since my last post.  Not a whole lot has changed in that time.  I still work the same job, I still get paid just enough to live, and I still don't do as much standup as I should.  I changed my schedule to get a little more time, which is nice.  Now I'm just lacking motivation.  I haven't written anything new in months and I'm starting to forget what it feels like to do well on stage.  I'm not the first person to say this, but standup is a lot like a drug.  You try it and, if you realize it's for you, it completely consumes you.  You've become an addict.  Doing well just becomes your high, and you're constantly chasing that.  That's why a lot of people don't mind bombing.  It just means that the next time you kill in a room, you're going to get an even bigger rush.  Now, it's been so long since I've done really well.  It's almost like the withdrawal phase is over and I'm back to the guy I was earl 2012.  Not happy about where I'm at in life, not sure what to do, lonely, and trapped in my own head.  Only now, I can look at this thing I've spent the last two and a half years of my life doing.  I want that feeling back.  I want put all of my effort into my craft and fucking make it.  It was easy before I moved.  I didn't have much else to worry about.  Now that I'm here, I HAVE to make money.  I have to pay rent, I have to take care of my dog, I have to maintain my car... I have to be an adult.  I'm a week away from 27 and I can say, with absolutely no shame, I'm not ready.  Don't misinterpret, because I understand that my life isn't especially hard and that I'm being a baby.  I'm very, very aware of that.  I've just also had a history of doing things my way.  Usually, I make things harder on myself.  I just don't like being told that there's a set way to do things.  I know what I want to do with my life.  There are so few people that can say the same, and I'm proud of myself for that.  However, in the standup world, you're told that you only have a few options.  Get on stage as much as you can, grind through the clubs, work and tweak material, and eventually someone will give you a chance on a bigger stage.  Then, you repeat this process over and over until you get to where you want to be in your career.  Fuck.  That.

I'm not the only one who thinks that process is bullshit.  We live in an age of constant sharing of content and ideas.  There are so many outlets for whatever you want to do, that there's no goddamn reason to not try.  So, I've been working with Eric Brown and Sarah Bursich to take a DIY approach to all of this.  We're taking a page from The Nerdist and starting our own "Network."  A website for comics, run by comics, where you can post whatever the hell you want.  Podcasts, sketches, short films, blogs, it doesn't matter.  And we're starting this with a podcast hosted by myself, Eric, and a friend of mine by the name of David Yeck-Stauffer.  Nothing super original on the format, just talking with someone that we like and learning more about them.  Eric and I with a few years of standup under our belts, plus a chemistry that we've discovered after hosting shows together, David is a funny guy I know.  He's thoughtful, introspective, and will keep Eric and I from spending the entire podcast talking about a bunch of dumb shit that absolutely nobody but the two of us care about.

So, that's that.  There will be more info coming along shortly.  But, if your'e interesting and interested in being on the show, just let me know!  I'm actually excited about this.  I think it could be really great. And that's coming from a guy who gags on positivity.