I haven’t written anything in a while, but trust me — there’s been a lot on my mind. Today, I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about what’s going on in the world, wishing we could all be full of rainbows and glitter and get along — and knowing that we can’t.
I recently had a dream that was very troubling. I haven’t had many like this, so it was something that could have been a recycling of current events versus actual deep-seated fears. However, with all of the shootings going on, the dream consisted of me being at Disneyland and there was a terrorist attack by a group of Japanese schoolgirls. We couldn’t figure out how they got the guns into Disneyland, because they do a bag check — though not an actual pat down — and then it was discovered that the guns were being implanted in the balloons, and then the Japanese tourists were buying the balloons, popping them and going on their attacks.
Okay, it’s not something that is very reasonable. But hey — it was a dream. My subconscious telling me something.
I’ve watched the rhetoric continue to rise over the course of the last several months, all due to the political system, and I am frightened for my country, for my fellow countrymen, for my family, and for myself.
I am a gay man. There’s no secret about that. To hear the things that come out of the mouth of someone who is hoping to be the president of our country is frightening. Not only frightening, but terrifying. I can’t rationalize how anyone in their right mind would think that he is a good, safe choice.
But politics aside, what it is doing is breeding this fear that is now running rampant. I’m afraid of how this will end — in bloodshed, in harmless hurt. I don’t know how to stop it, and it’s frightening.
So, what do I do? Continue to love. Continue to be who I am. Continue to preach tolerance and peace, while condemning the hurt and hate that seems to be the default reaction and go-to emotion for so many.
Dreams out of fear are quickly turning into nightmares.
This is specifically titled, “Untitled,” because I don’t quite know where this collection of thoughts is going to go.
A lot of things have been swirling around my brain this past week. Mortality, being alone, jubilation at the passage of Referendum 74 in my home state of Washington, and a bunch of other thoughts that may or may not make it into this blog. We’ll see how adventurous I am at 11:59 at night.
The first thought – mortality. That chapter I described in an earlier post , has got me thinking about my own mortality, people close to me, what I want to happen when I should pass on, as we all must. I already know that I want to be cremated, and perhaps a small portion of my ashes spread at the ocean, the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, and the rest can be thrown away. Silly, I guess, but there are two very specific reasons why.
The ocean, because water is always important to me. The ocean has always been a place of refuge, a place where I seek solace, ask questions to the universe, and remind myself that there are things bigger than me when my ego gets in the way. Not that I necessarily am an egomaniac, but it’s nice to be reminded that there is a force, a life force out there…call it God, call it the Great Spirit, call it Chuck E. Cheese for all I care. It’s just something that is important to me, and when I die, I’d like to be a part of it.
Disneyland, because for me, it’s the happiest place on earth. For a long while, my life was a musical. Even to this day, songs and melodies accompany almost everything I do. I can be walking along, see the most innocuous thing, and suddenly, a melody pops into my head. It helps me get through the day. Some of the songs are good. Most of them are not. But the ones that need to be kept alive continue coming back, are refined, and then put out into the world. It’s how I hear the world, through music. And to me, Disneyland represents this happiness, this joy. I can walk down Main Street and suddenly feel like the rest of the world is gone. I’m not stupid. I know there is still poverty, and the sweatshirts in the gift shops most likely were made by child labor. I’m not naive or simple. But it helps me to forget a lot of the things that plague me, those daily reminders that while everything on the outside may seem happy, inspirational, and upbeat, inside lies a dragon that every so often rears its ugly head. Like tonight apparently.
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. If you were to put two and two together, you could probably figure out what it was. It marked the end of an era, and a beginning of a new one, probably for the better. But in it, there was an aspect of my being, a part of what made people relate to me in a weird sort of way suddenly a much more difficult path to be able to utilize. I’m not saying that my sexuality (the physical act, not the part of being gay) was my defining characteristic, but it certainly was a tool in my tool kit.
Without going into too much detail here, I could simply say that I thought that the person I was with and I would be together forever, as we were in the same boat. Yet, five years later, he decided to try to pray the gay away, and I’m here, looking in the world, like a kid in a candy shop. My eyes are big, but I feel the big hand of THIS telling me that I cannot, and should not ever touch. Fuck.
This thought became issue number one after the whole death of a former boyfriend thing, and has seemed to magnify over this week. I think about it and know that I’m still the same human being underneath, despite having THIS. The dread IT. The whatever the hell you want to call it. Yet, because I’m also a nice guy, and an honest guy, I recognize that finding someone who is willing to accept that part of me as simply part of me is a difficult task. Add to that the joys and desires of starting over at age 35…where my boyish good looks are no longer eye-catching, my hairline receding, and what could essentially be referred to as “gay death,” it seems insurmountable.
A friend and I had dinner, and we were talking about life in general, and about referendum 74. It was bittersweet for me, the passing, as I thought that he who shall not be named (apparently I’m dating Voldemort) and I were going to be together forever. We had discussed marriage. And now that it’s an actual possibility, a real, live possibility, I see many acquaintances getting engaged, announcing it to the world, and yet I sit here and wallow.
I mentioned to this friend that I would die alone, probably a crazy old cat lady. Why? Because I’m one cat away from Junior Cat Lady merit badge status, and because of the previously aforementioned reasons. The IT. The THIS. The nothing that is destroying our world. I’m glib about it, but it is something that weighs heavily on my mind.
Add to that a dash of non-typical gay, and the fact that my job that I despise isolates me from the world in ways unimaginable, and it is the perfect recipe for isolationism, or to end up like this.
Thirty-five, and I seem to have no knack for connecting with people. I don’t drink. So, I feel stupid going to bars, by myself, where I can meet people. My job literally is the most soul-sucking employment on the planet…honestly, I feel like being a garbage man would be better. And frankly, more rewarding. At least I could see that my job is doing something instead of just being a simple cog in a machine, no hope of recognition, no thank you, not even a raise. Dear god, I need a new job. A direct quote from one of our managers, when speaking about the boss, “She views you all as Kleenex. Disposable. To be used and thrown away.” That gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies.
And then, there’s the fact that I am simply a nice guy. A nice guy who would do anything for people. Because I’m nice like that. Or, if you want to get into my psyche even further, because I have an insatiable need to make people like me due to sexual abuse that happened when I was five by a jerk-of-a-guy babysitter, and have been playing catch up ever since. Having to be the grown up, having to be the caretaker, making sure that people were all right before myself.
The funny thing is, I would go to the end of the earth for someone with no questions asked, simply because that’s what I know how to do. If I were a robot, it would be part of my programming. I would be the “iFixIt 2000.” That’s what I do. Take care of things for people. I don’t need you to do anything for me.
But Jesus (or Buddha, Allah, Mary, or crazy man on the corner who spouts biblical nonsense at me all day) I could use a break. I could use just one break. Or two. I don’t mean to be greedy. But I could use one.
Every day, I post something on my Facebook wall that is inspirational, a quote of the day, if you will. Via Twitter. (@turpinharry if you’re interested). People always comment about how they love them. How it brightens their day. Great. I’m happy.
But the thing is, I’m not happy. That dragon that I mentioned earlier lurks just under the surface, brimming with his sadness, ready to break out of the skin, and take wing, overwhelming any sense of happiness, joy, or positiveness that I could possibly contain.
Because I realize that I am alone.
People don’t answer my calls. Maybe because they’re rude. Maybe because they don’t get to the phone in time. Maybe because they simply don’t want to talk at that time. Who knows the reason. I certainly don’t. And yet, I still continue to call, hoping that someone will pick up, we can exchange pleasantries, and I can feel that human connection that seems to be missing in my life.
People do, however, call, when they need something. Remember “iFixIt 2000?” He has practical purposes. Call him, and he’ll get it done. Because he doesn’t say no.
Even at work, I say yes to the point where it wreaks havoc on my body, afraid that if I say no, they will no longer ask. And then, I’ll be out of work, and even more destitute than I am right now (and believe me, I’m living so paycheck to paycheck that if that were to happen, I would be homeless in a matter of minutes).
This is a lot of stuff to carry. And if you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing it for the world to see. Though, as of this time, my blog has -1877911 followers so I don’t think I need to worry too much about it coming back to haunt me.
So, now perspective.
Tomorrow, I will wake up. I will totter to my desk. I will sit down, put my headphones on, and lose myself in the sorrows of other people as I do my job that I despise. I will answer any phone call that comes my way, in hopes that someone wants to spend time with me, but knowing that they probably want something specific and I’m the guy to do it because I’ll get it done. I’ll finish work. I’ll wait for the evening to come so I can go to sleep, so I can start all over again. This machine is permanently set on wash, rinse, repeat.
I’m tired. I’m tired of being the person that people come to for advice. I’m tired of carrying the weight on my shoulders. I’m tired of having the THIS. I’m tired of a lot of things.
And yet, I’m not so tired that I give in. Because I hope that someday, somewhere, someone will see me for what I am — the most perfectly flawed version of myself that I can possibly be, someone who recognizes these thoughts, and does his absolute best to change them within the confines of the reality that envelopes him like darkness.
I do my best to remain as light.
But even lights burn out.