Monday, June 29, 2009

It's been awhile...

A couple weeks ago (But for some reason it feels more like a month) I had to deal with the most difficult experience of my adult life. It completely drained me both physically and emotionally but I had to keep going because crumbling into the fetal position and crying wasn’t an option. I did my best to help out but unfortunately this time my best wasn’t enough.

I am not at all squeamish when it comes to injuries. I have my Lifeguard EMS certification and I have worked at sports camps my whole life. I have seen broken bones, bloody gashes and a plethora of other injuries all in a day’s work. But this was different because of the intent behind the injuries. This was different because I had never been in a scenario where helping this person meant putting myself in danger. Okay that’s not true! I have put myself in danger to help others plenty of times, but I have never been scared to help somebody like I was this time. Total it was probably only about 3-5 minutes of me taking charge of the situation, but by the time the police showed up and they let the fire fighters in then finally the paramedics, I was completely drained.

It’s really hard for me to accept any type of emotional comfort from people because I always work so hard to make sure that everybody thinks I don’t need it. So whenever things get to the point where I can’t hide the fact that I need a hug I am so embarrassed that I could crawl into a hole and die. I tell myself and anybody that will listen that I would much rather sit in the dark and cry myself to sleep than have somebody hover over me and try to console me while I am inconsolable, but after these last few difficult days I am starting to realize this just isn’t true.

I don’t know how I ended up with so many amazing people in my life. Taking care of me is no easy task. I am a grouchy angry bastard and I hate it when people see me at my most vulnerable so when they do I can sometimes be a little bitch about it. I yelled at them, I kicked them out multiple times and I basically treated them like crap, but they all kept coming back for more. They made sure to be there to wipe away every tear or just hold me when words failed.

After it happened I was surprised by how much the whole experience affected me. I couldn’t go 5 minutes without completely falling apart. But my friends stuck to me like glue and they made sure I had everything I needed to get through this. Two weeks later and now I am shocked by how much this doesn’t affect me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still dealing and it’s still pretty difficult but I actually smile and joke around now and I am not doing it just to put on a show.

All this craziness really took the wind out of my sail and it seriously messed up my tight summer schedule. I have had to move a million things around to accommodate my little breakdown and I am going to spend the next 2 months paying for it! Lucky for me I love what I do and I honestly feel like this summer is exactly what I need to finish all that mental healing. I have never had to hold somebody as they took their last breath and I hope to never do so again, but I am glad I was there for him as much as I could be. Let’s all just hope this hasn’t fucked me up anymore than I already was.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weekend hook up

What I want is to be needed.
What I need is to be indispensable to somebody.
Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention.
Somebody addicted to me.
A mutual addiction.

— Chuck Palahniuk

Brad took his last final Thursday morning and was in my bed that very evening. We really need to stop doing this to each other. I am going to be a fucking train wreck for days! Lucky none of my new coworkers have known me long enough to see through my plastic smile and fake plastic personality I strap on whenever I don’t feel like dealing with things. That one takes years to figure out and is more complicated to read than the Da Vinci code.

As always my time with Bradley passed way too quickly and in the end it wasn’t the most pleasant of farewells. I’ve had worse, but I have also had much much better. It just pisses me off how after all this shit, just seeing brad makes me melt. Still I kind of feel like this cycle of self destruction and mind blowing pleasure is coming to an end. He’s changing so much so fast it’s scary. It’s only a matter of time before he won’t even be the Brad I spent the last couple years of my life with. And that’s a good thing! It really feels like both of us are getting to a point where we are almost ready to move on.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

West Coast living!

Since arriving in San Jose on Sunday night I have not stopped having fun! My friends from Santa Cruz picked my up from the airport and from there I proceeded to drink so much alcohol that my kidneys actually began hurting! Yesterday I met up with a few of the guys that were going to be taking on this CRAZY summer project with me and after figuring out they were just as hung over as I was, we went for a couple of $9 pitchers of margaritas and plenty of greasy foods. Right off the bat I recognized two of the guys as relatively successful men in the surfing community, and I am immediately aware that this is going to be one of the greatest summers of my life!

I am staying in Santa Cruz with my buddies while all the other guys are staying around San Jose with the housing the company is providing, so I invited all the guys down to SC for some fun in the sun and the ocean. Unfortunately this is NorCal and apparently God hates it here because it’s always gloomy and cold. So this morning I went to a surf shop for a new wetsuit because my fat ass couldn’t fit into my old one no matter how much you greased me up beforehand! Then I met up with all my new buds at the beach.

This was a great opportunity to really get an idea of what each of us brought to the table. Along with our surfboards we brought some cameras to get some footage and stills for our sample projects and talk about how we planned on attacking this summer. I am so impressed with my team I could cry! What I like about the organization I am working for is they only hire business professionals to lead all their workshops and I really like how they went the extra mile to find all these guys for me. First and foremost these guys are surfers, which is probably the most crucial part of this job, but they are also cinematographers, editors, and camp counselors. Trust me when I tell you how hard it is to find people that have all these crucial skills!

I am so psyched to start this summer I can’t even explain it! Two weeks of training and prep work and planning (days almost identical to today), and then the real fun beings!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Goodbye NYC!

Usually when I leave NYC I get to say, “Until next time…” but not this time. This time it is goodbye. I was supposed to sleep in a hotel tonight and fly out to San Jose tomorrow afternoon to begin prepping for the camp I will be running. However I am pretty much dealing with the worst case of insomnia EVER! Maybe it’s all the left of adrenaline from all the crazy things I had to do for the wedding today, but I think it’s more because I am finally understanding that this is all really happening. The last of my belongings were shipped back to LA this morning and now the apartment is as empty as (according to some people who have been emailing and commenting lately) my brain, my heart, and my personality.

Right now, sitting here in my empty living room in the dark, if I close my eyes I can pretend that everything is as it was and nothing is about to change. This apartment and I have been through a lot together. Not even a month after moving in 9/11 happened. I was 2 months shy of being 16 and all alone in a city that felt like it was at the dawn of an apocalypse that was an awful day to be a downtown resident. After some time a few building inspectors, a few major repairs and some renovations I moved back into my apartment but this time feeling like a piece of myself went into making it my home.

For 9 years this little apartment in Battery Park has been my sanctuary. A place that I never had to share with anybody and I always knew it was there for me if I needed it. I can’t believe this is all coming to an end. I didn’t believe it as I was saying goodbye to all my coworkers and friends I have been with for the last 9 years at the runaway shelter. It didn’t feel real as I said my farewells to my teachers and my buddies at the martial arts gym. It definitely was extremely surreal to meet the potential owners of my new apartment. But nothing really hit me like it does right now looking around at my empty home and hearing how even the slightest noise echoes through this shell.

I know it’s not like I am never going to come back to NYC, but when I do it won’t be like it is now. NYC will never be the same again because I have no place here to call my own. I keep on trying to tell myself that maybe this is a good thing. Maybe I have gotten to used to running away to my “other life” in NYC whenever things get too difficult for me at home. I did it after I broke up with Eddie, I did it after I first started dealing with my homosexuality and most recently I did it again after I broke it off with Bradley. Not all 23 year olds have a little getaway in a sprawling metropolis they can pop in on whenever they feel like it, so maybe it’s time I start seeing how the rest of the world copes.

It’s 3:30 am and I have been up since 5 am the previous day doing all sorts of wedding activities a man of honor is supposed to do. I am not starting to feel the exhaustion that a wedding can create and my eyes are starting to feel very heavy. I am going to lay out on this window bench I built with my own 2 hands and spend my last night in NYC here in my home for 1 final time. If these walls could talk…

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Swirlie time BITCH!

***** Hey guy who's reading this post 5 times a day. What's the deal!? You're starting to freak me out. Wanna talk about it or something?*****

The verdict is in, I AM AN ASSHOLE! But it’s okay because nobody’s really surprised by that fact.

On Tuesday afternoon and I am EXHAUSTED after a crazy weekend flying cross country YET AGAIN for a HS graduation and an impromptu party at the beach. I am sitting at a Starbucks with a couple of my friends and some of their friends and we are just having a nice relaxing time in our own headspace as we sip lattes and make small talk. During all this small talk I pick up my laptop and go online because I remember that I hadn’t had a chance to look at Post Secrets yet and I am ADDICTED to it like WHOA! Then I came upon this postcard…

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine! Whenever I hear this ridiculous stereotype on television, the movies, or in real life, I kind of want to vomit! I mean seriously, HIGH SCHOOL IS OVER! If you really don’t care, and never wanted to be part of the cool crowd anyway, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL TALKING ABOUT IT!? Does it make all those screenwriters feel better knowing they got the last word by writing allegorical pseudo-biographies about outcasts outshining the cool kids in the end? The problem with believing what you see on TV all the time is that it’s not actually REAL! The losers in HS turn out to be the very same losers in college, and then they join the adult world never really learning the social skills to be anything else but what they are, because they spent too many years being bitter about not being cool! Like I said, it annoyed me but after a brief pause and a sigh of frustration I was ready to move on but then one of the guys at my table had to open his big mouth!

Guy: That one is so true! The cool kids in HS are all vapid losers, it’s like the only constant in this crazy mixed up world! The great karmic equalizer is that they all peaked at 17 and will spend the rest of their lives knowing their best days are behind them.

FLABERGASTED, I take a moment to really absorb what this guy is saying to me. As a former “HS cool kid” I took offense to this bullshit! I briefly considered putting him in a headlock and dragging him to the bathroom so I could dunk his head in the toilet and flush. I am sure that would have brought back some fond memories! But I don’t because I am a big boy now and big boys use their words.

RGB: That’s the biggest cliché in the book! And what’s worse is it’s not even remotely true! Face facts, when the popular kids grow up they are the ones running the world. Adults identify and elevate the assertive, charming, and personable guys in the real world just like the teenagers do in high school. You like clichés so much chew on this one, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s not just the losers that get to grow up and become fully realized 3 dimensional human beings with thoughts feelings and desires, its EVERYBDOY! Just because nobody wanted to sit next to you at lunch in 10th grade doesn’t mean you have some special insight into the human psyche! Get over yourself and move the fuck on!

That was basically just a small excerpt of what I said to that poor poor guy! I am pretty sure I made him cry. I usually have a sense of humor about these things. Most of the time I laugh it off and I don’t even think about saying anything back. I think my angry tangent was based more on me being tired and stressed than on me being truly angry with what was actually said. It’s just at that moment I was sick and tired of being thought of as a joke because I was well liked as a teenager.