Drink to that!

I know I’m not unique when I say drinking runs in my family. It runs in a lot of families. The substance itself has a devilish appeal when everyday life just isn’t cutting it. Bad day at work? Girlfriend dumped you? Friends betray you? Whatever the case may be, just have a drink on it! Or not.

I grew up in a house with a beer tap. I remember going with my mom on a fairly regular basis to get a new keg. It was actually a pretty cool setup. We had a ‘TV room’ with a huge burled wood plaque affixed with a standard bar quality tap handle. The beer was fed from the garage right behind the wall. Of course I always knew that I couldn’t have any, nor had I any curiosity. I remember there being little plastic monkey figures that had been placed in the rotted sections of this ornate wooden plaque. I always felt like those monkeys were keeping an eye out and would be bad luck if I ever messed with it. Is funny how these things come around years later pouring over with irony.

Through my teen years to the end of high school, I actually never really drank. The taste did nothing for me and it wasn’t my kind of fun. Things changed after high school though. I found a fantastic new way to socialize on a level I never thought possible with myself. It was an amazing time to be selfish. I had an excuse to act goofy and hit on girls. I got attention that I could brush off with the excuse of having a little too much. Where has this fantastic substance been all my life? I could have had thrice the number of friends and been a bit more popular if I really wanted to.

By now if you’re reading this you are probably waiting for some crazy twist in the story about how someone I know got killed in a horrible car accident due to the effects of alcohol. Sorry, not going to happen here. I got lucky. Plain and simple. For the most part there was no harm and no foul in my experience with drinking. Most of my stories are drama-based and have no real weight in story telling except for something to fill space and time. This is my blog though and I feel like talking about a few of them.

The moment that I should have realized that drinking was no good for me, actually made me drink a little more. It was after my second deployment and I was sitting in my apartment in North Carolina. I had a decent life. New car, new Harley, good friends, good job. I started getting into a rut. I’ll spare the sob story here. I ended up drinking an entire bottle of Jameson (my poison) within about 2 hours. I was obliterated. I laid out on my bathroom floor. My bathroom was amazing by the way. Huge garden tub, separate shower, two vanities, walk in closet and even a towel closet! Anyways, I tried to puke in the toilet but I couldn’t find the strength to hold my body straight and level so I decided I’d just lay on the nice cool tile. I threw up. A lot. Sad thing was I couldn’t move myself away from it. I was paralyzed. Nasty shit colored vomit was soaking into the nearby rug and into my hair. I tried to scoot away from it but ended up vomiting more. I decided to stay there the rest of the night. Luckily I lived alone and didn’t have to answer to anyone about what had happened. I cleaned it up the next morning and went for a four mile run. I was a champ!

All those cliche statements went through my head about not drinking anymore. Unfortunately, the lifestyle I immersed myself into wouldn’t allow such pure thoughts. I continued on with my drinking while keeping it under control. I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself in front of anyone else.

During my two trips to Ireland, me and my dad did a fair amount of drinking. It was good though. Nothing crazy except for the two hour drive from Limerick to Dublin at two o’clock in the morning after tying on more than I could count. Asking your dad to help focus on the road to stay between the lines is quite humbling when I look back on it. Especially when driving a manual transmission with the steering wheel on the right side. Most of the other drinking consisted of bus rides and brewery tours so we kept it under control. The major downfall about Ireland is that they didn’t have an abundance of lavatories. I remember me and my dad doing the potty dance on the double decker bus coming from Dublin to our hotel room. The bus stop was about six blocks from the hotel so we ran back trying not to wet ourselves. I ended up taking a dog-leg into someone’s fenced yard. It was probably the most satisfying feeling ever! Not really sure if anyone was home watching what I was doing. My dad continued into the hotel where they had a wedding going on. He sprinted to the toilet through the reception and got quite the welcome when he was dancing through the door trying to avoid an accidental discharge. Good times.

I could go on and on about drinking stories. Many I don’t tell because you ‘had to be there’ to really appreciate them. I recently quit drinking. Sort of. I’ll still have a few now and then. I’m not a total prude but I’ve learned that a good time doesn’t have to orbit around the essence of alcohol.

I the next year of writing I’m sure I will bring up drinking again, so this is just another one of my writings to help get me back in the mood. I’ll probably come up with some introspective pieces that hopefully sheds some light on what drinking really does to us.

(That last paragraph is actually a bullshit group of words because I’m tired and just wanted to finish writing this. I’m stuffed up and feel like crap and the last thing I want to talk about is ‘not’ drinking).

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By dsmythjr

Stagnation

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In my two minute research of this quote I couldn’t find a definite source so I don’t feel compelled to “quote” this. It could’ve been Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin or Alcoholics Anonymous. Who cares? It’s a good one-liner that someone may look upon to help re-center themselves.

When you expect change in life, it’s really up to you. Not God, your parents, or even luck. We all will have those defining moments in life when we realize life will not be the same depending on the choice we make. Even if its up to God, he’s still waiting for you to make the first move.

When I was in AIT (before being assigned a unit in the military) I had a choice to make with no time to think. It was at the end of a long day and we were getting ‘smoked’ outside the barracks for some guys that snuck down to the female rooms the night before. I think they forgot we were there to learn how to drive trucks, not be conductors on trains. Anyways, as we were laid out on the sidewalk they called for volunteers to be sent to Fort Benning and jump out of planes. I raised my hand almost immediately. My fate would be sealed. I learned shortly thereafter that if I wouldn’t have volunteered, Colorado would have been my first duty station instead of Fort Bragg. If that were the case my deployments would have been different, I wouldn’t have the friends I do and I’d probably have a different attitude in general about my experience with the military. Hell, I may even be dead by now.

I did what I did for myself. I wasn’t happy with my life and I decided to make the change without anyone else’s input. Things turned out all right. I had my fun, I learned my lessons and now it’s time for the good stuff. I hope.

My question at this point is ‘What now?’ Who’s going to be there when the day is done?

By dsmythjr

On to the next

I’ve been at a little bit of a loss lately though I’m at a fortunate place in my life right now. Sort of. I have nothing tying me down. I have a few debts and obligations of course, but there’s nothing keeping me from doing anything I want. Dilettantism is defined roughly as an amateur of the arts. A bit more of a cynical definition would be slightly good at a number of things but not to the expert level. As I’m writing this my lack of expert knowledge in the grammatical arena is preventing me from using it properly in a sentence. The general concept should be understood though.

I like to think I’m fairly good at a lot of things. If I really put my mind to it I could be really good at a lot of the things I do. There’s something that stops me and I can’t quite admit what it is. Much of my indecision has had to do with my ‘professional’ life. I use the term professional lightly. Rough count of jobs that I’ve had in the past eighteen years is about 38. Here’s a few: (no particular format)

Golf course groundskeeper-McDonalds-Construction-Pizza parlor(three times up to store manager)-disposable camera assembler-vacuum sales-toy store clerk-gift store clerk-Verizon,AT&T,cingular sales/corporate-lube tech-alignment tech-general tech-newspaper delivery (multiple times)-taxi driver-telemarketer-bartender-server-cashier-website design (small scale)-truck driver-tree climber-military (of course)-garbage man-Starbucks supervisor-lumber sales-restaurant owner… There’s quite a bit more I could list but its already confusing enough.

Soon to be on my résumé is something that has to do with flying planes. Pretty cool I guess. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to fly for a living. Maybe I do and I just don’t know it yet. I’m already thinking of the next thing I can do. I’m very unsettled when it comes to these things.

A important aspect of this quirk that I have with commitment is interpersonal relations. I’m sure that people look at me and my life and see instability. I see it as simply having a huge open space all to myself and no one to answer to, so I might as well wander around. To be honest, I’m scared of committing to just anyone. I’ve had my run with flakes and phonies. I’ve given myself for the sake of possibly creating something better only to be taken advantage of. Whether it be cheating or simply not communicating, I’ve found myself in situations that I should have known better. I guess a lot of people have this problem in different forms. It sucks.

I’ve given up a lot of things in recent years in hopes of leaving room for something better. Judgement and guilt has found it’s way into my life and it helps answer a lot of questions as time goes on. I want to live life for me, but also in consideration of what comes next. I’m waiting for a road to travel down and though I can always change my mind, I want to make sure that when I commit, it’s going it be good. My stagnant lifestyle appears lame to many I’m sure. Every once in a while I’ll venture out and try befriending some random people. I quickly learn that it’s all a show, and I don’t give two shits about trying to impress anyone. I try to give the benefit of the doubt when I can. Any relationship is about give and take. I’m becoming a little more aware of people’s actions (or inactions) as it applies to their motivation to be in my life.

The only thing I would truly have regrets about in life, is not trying. Whether its a job, a hobby or finding a partner, there’s nothing that should hold us back. If it doesn’t work out… It’s on to the next one.

By dsmythjr

Something from recent past

As I see it. 17 September 2011.

Your playing small does not serve the world. That is an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address. The speech as a whole serves me well however this one I choose because of where I am in my life. I’ve done a lot with my life. I am grossly unsatisfied thus far. Today is the first weekend of flight school. A few people asked me if this was wanted I wanted to do or just a phase. People ask funny things sometimes. You know, I have no idea what I want out of this. Maybe I’ll get a commercial license, fly for a while then sell off everything I have and sail around the world. I have a million stories I could tell but I don’t feel like any of them are worth a damn except for the people who have greatly influenced my life in this strange but incomplete journey I am on. As much as I want to write about some people right now, I will refrain for two reasons. It would take hours to list and explain what each person has done and some people may scratch their heads as to why or how they were such an influence on me. You know who you are if you are one of the few that will actually read this.

Of all the “things I’ve learned” over the years I am intrigued and sometimes disturbed at the actions (or inactions) that a high ratio of my acquaintances do that do nothing to contribute something to the life that we are living in. I’m guilty. Self centered assholes we are. It’s all about what WE want out of life. What we provide for others is simply an alternate avenue of self gratification. Doesn’t it make you ‘feel good’ to do something for someone else? You charitable person, you! We donate for the good of the man who has less than us yet we have to make sure we get that tax deduction right? We do good for the sake of karma or to avoid being banished into an imaginary place we call hell. Once again we do good for the sake of what it gives us in return. Enough of the bashing for now.

There is something I want to do in my life yet I feel like I haven’t even started. I find myself challenged by learning new intellectual and motor skills but few things have challenged my character or my supposed destiny. I may or may not do right by the order of rules or law. In the end no one really cares if you broke some rules along the way. Sometimes those who live the most interesting lives didn’t do it by following the rules set forth by our predecessors.  It’s a wonderful notion that the drug addicted prostitute turns her life around and provides the most sheltered and protected life for her child but what good will the child become without being able to fly on their own accord? We can learn the lessons from those who have tried to fly with wings made of straw but we cannot avoid the fact that we will inevitably have to try flying with wings made of bricks before we can understand the full scope of what we are here to accomplish.

A snippet of a recent conversation created a storm of memories in my head. Don’t shit where you sleep. It’s a common piece of advice (albeit it comes in many variations of that concept) that is typically passed on from those who have done it and found that it didn’t work out like they thought it would. I’ve done it. A few times. I don’t regret my choices because some of the things I experienced are painfully unforgettable and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sometimes you know that when you get into a situation it has an end-date before it even starts. Maybe you see it, maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter really. Fuck what other people think. Do what you do to put a smile on your face and if your world stops turning just remember that there is plenty more to come of this life. No one really cares when we are all six feet deep.

What goes unspoken in our lives can either haunt our dreams or hinder our progress in life. Granted, tact has to be a part of your expressions but what we hold in can do more harm inside than we realize. I have yet to find the connection (again) that I have been longing for to express what’s inside me. I have revealed too much to all too many people and I find myself in the same spot as always in my life. One might naturally think that if you’ve gained the knowledge of things we should be able to pass it on. Well, I disagree. Most of what we learn in life is merely an interpretation of our opinion on a subject. We can’t make someone else feel any different about what they want out of life. If anything the most we can do is present a story to enlighten others of any given possible outcome when a certain decision is made.

I think we all should search for our own fuel for life. Let’s not forget that as we are looking down at the path we are walking on that there is plenty more going on all around you. Keep your chin up stand tall and don’t forget to enjoy the finer things in life. It’s not all about getting that piece of ass or making that huge paycheck. Oh and when you think you see something that you are supposed to find, look twice pick it up and see how it feels. (figuratively speaking of course).

I’m excited for what’s in store for the future. I just hope I can find the drive to surround myself with people who have a fire inside for a life a little more interesting than the norm.

By dsmythjr

The Robbery

No shit, there I was. April 5th 1998. Four days before my 18th birthday. It was a late Sunday night at Papa Murphy’s pizza. About 10:20pm to be more precise. Me and Richelle were finishing up some extra cleaning in the store when some dude walks in the back door. At first glance I thought it was a co-worker or friend of ours that was being funny walking in the back door. I was standing right in the middle of the store and she was towards the back door. He was yelling at us to get on the floor while pointing something at us. Still thinking it was someone we knew, it took me a minute to realize what was happening. He was wearing pantyhose as a mask. Once Richelle got on the floor I decided it was probably best to rethink what was going on here. He tied her hands behind her back then checked the rest of the back room for anyone else. He ripped the phone cords out of the walls and quickly spotted the safe. I immediately started pleading with him that I did not know the safe combo and had no way to open it. Of course he was nervous and did not want to hear what I had to say. He proceeded to tie my hand up behind my back as I lay face down on the floor. Whatever I was doing with my hands, he didn’t like because he couldn’t get the zip-ties secure enough. He told me to put my hands out in front of me and he tied them up palm to palm. (Ultimately this is what allowed me to escape)

He drug me over to the safe and of course wanted me to open it. Being that it was a drop-in safe, without the combo nothing was happening. It weighed a few hundred pounds so ripping it out wasn’t really an option for him. He took my keys out of my pocket which obviously didn’t do anything. He proceeded to kick a hole in the office door, which was right next to the front register/safe. As he crawled into the office, I managed to jump up and hit the panic button I which had always given us grief with false alarms. Phew! I thought! He rummaged through the office, took the video tape out of the VCR and started to crawl out again. I managed to jump up one last time just in case to hit the panic button. He came back out and held his knife to my neck. All I could do was tell him I didn’t have the combo! Was this guy stupid? Why would I protect this money? We had the entire weekends worth of cash in there so it was pretty significant. It’s not worth getting my neck cut over!

He got on his knees right ahead of me and proceeded to wail on the side of my head. To this day I have a pretty significant numb area where I got cracked. I can’t really count the number of times I was hit but as I started to black out I remember trying to yell ‘I don’t have the combo!’

He sat down on the floor and put his knife to his side just as I was coming to. He started to reach in his bag saying ‘time to start cutting you up.’ Richelle was still tied up in the back. I decided I wasn’t going to go out like this; getting robbed and beat up by some piece of shit like this. I thrust myself up with my hands still tied and ran to the back door. I jumped over Richelle and as I was opening the door, the zip-ties broke off my hands. (Adrenaline I guess)

I ran across the street to a Taco Bell, which seemed to be the only place that was still open. I tried to stop cars on the road to get attention but of course no one stopped. Once I made it into Taco Bell, I was pretty tore up and upset. The reason I was so upset is because I realized I left Richelle there. What was he possibly doing to her? Since I figured he was still in there, the police assumed it may end up being a hostage situation. They ended up dragging her out through the drive-through window before learning that he actually had chased out after me when I ran out.

After going to the police department to get all the statement stuff taken care of, we went back to the store so I could describe what had happened. Since we had just cleaned the floor before this happened, the powder that the detectives put on the floor showed a peculiar picture of what had happened, including the three feet or so I had moved from being pounded in the head.

Things were different a few weeks later when I decided to go back to work. Talk about being on edge! I’ve gotten over it though over the years. I understand why people like him do these things. Desperation comes in many forms. We just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I used to run through different scenarios to handle the situation. I could have grabbed the cheese knife and possibly lopped off his head, or I could have simply tried to run the first time he crawled in the office. I don’t think anyone really knows what they would actually do in this kind of situation until they experience it themselves.

This is a good starting point for some good stories in my life. I’m sure I’ll be able to tie in some morals someday. Maybe during my 365 days of blogging this year ill have some introspect about this and what it may really mean.

Forgot to add this… The panic button that I was able to hit a few times, had been disconnected several days before. The owners were tired of false alarms.

By dsmythjr

I’m a dick

I like to think I work hard for what I want out of my life. Though my decisions haven’t gotten me very far in respect to where I want to be, I worked hard for the shitty situation I’ve found myself in. I truly try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Only for a bit. After they show their asses then I start to turn around. I think I’ve earned a little gumption in my life to talk some shit. Not too much though.

When I’m a dick to someone, most of the time it’s because I know they won’t listen to the voice of reason so I might as well entertain myself when I’m in their company. Unless I simply feel like being nice to someone, my silence can have two meanings. Lots of times I’m quiet simply because I like to ‘be’ when I’m around someone else. No pressure, no worries. Other times when I’m quiet, you may not really want to hear what I’m thinking. Part of my madness comes from my own stupidity in allowing myself to be in the situation I am. The other part comes from the fact that some people are extraordinarily rude and disrespectful. Condescending. Ignorant. They think their shit doesn’t stink. They say and do the most ridiculous things. They have no reason for me to take heed to their false experience in life.

The stupidity is easy to handle with some people because their intentions are good and they can take input from others without crying. I was loading some lumber into a customer’s vehicle one day and we looked up in the sky and saw the contrails from jets flying overhead.

He asks, “You know what that is right?”
Trying to be witty I said, “Yes, that means that there’s a bunch of people going somewhere that I’d rather be right now.”
He gives me a look of shame and says “Son, you’ll learn one day. That’s actually the government launching rockets and changing the atmosphere. It’s how they are making money on all these hurricanes and tornadoes.”
(I chuckled, yet he was dead serious)

I’m speechless at this point. I honestly can’t process the sheer amount of ignorance in this man’s statement. I can’t help him, so I humor him. “I never knew that!” He was on his soap-box way too long. I lost brain cells listening to his conspiracy theory.

I guess what we learn in commercial flight school is bull-dookie.

This is an example of extreme ignorance in my opinion. It wasn’t that he mis-interpreted a snippet of information and he was slightly incorrect, he was oblivious to common sense. He is not alone. While subjects differ, the magnitude of ignorance doesn’t change. The current issue of it being illegal for a legal owner of a weapon to carry (concealed) into schools, parks etc., is another prime example of ignorance. Outlawing the possession of a weapon will do nothing to stop a killer from killing. All it does it take away the ability of people to defend themselves legally. I digress.

The real concern I have about all this, is the fact that so many things in life go un-checked. We are guided in random paths during our lifetime, many times by the direct assistance of others. How do we know that those who have guided us aren’t complete wack-jobs? I’m not targeting ‘loved-ones’ so much as I’m speaking of people who stand out as leaders and experts in our society. These powerful people seem to know what’s best for all of us. They work on the premise that people have been clouded and don’t know any different. **insert discussion about politicians here**

Bullshitting a bullshitter…

When I owned my restaurant, I sat down at the local watering hole for a drink one night. I was next to a guy that was talking about ‘Dave’s Burger Joint.’ I acted curious and prompted along his apparent knowledge of who ‘Dave’ was. He spoke of this guy as if he knew him forever and all the things he’s done. It wasn’t even a lie, it was a completely irrelevant story with zero correlation. After he was done, I introduced myself. Not a peep was made from him, he finished his drink and left.

When people say things, I think I have generally sound judgement as to whether or not they really know what they are talking about. Even if I don’t know the topic, the delivery of their message says a lot. I’m no expert at anything really, but this seems to be the root of why I’m a dick. Especially in my current situation, people are more transparent than they realize. Who am I kidding, they’re right. I’m just a stupid thirty-two year old guy that has gone nowhere in life.

By dsmythjr

Bankrupt

I’m conflicted today with my topic of choice. I’ve cleaned a lot of crap out of my room today. Most of it is random shit that I piled up thinking I’d filter through one day and think of what I need and what I don’t. Well, today was that day. Sort of. I got my ass handed to me when I decided to clean my room out of crap when I was a kid. I can’t stand clutter but for some reason I find myself surrounded by it. It’s not by conscious choice that I collect things. I guess it’s just the guilt I feel if I throw something away. I think I was about eight years old when I went ‘bankrupt’ on my room. Instead of taking the time to decide on each individual object I had, I threw it all away. I would take handfuls of toys and junk and toss it in the garbage. Well, when my parents looked in the trash and saw a family portrait laying in the rubbish they decided to teach me some family values. After that day, I resent the fact that I had to keep that picture. Funny thing was that I never ‘chose’ to throw it away in the first place. It was simply mixed in with all kinds of other things. I felt like I needed an intervention of sorts. I’d pick something up and think the normal things. ‘I might use this one day’ or ‘maybe I know someone that can use this.’ I always learn a lot about myself when I do this. Most of the crap that I hold on to really has no meaning in my life. There’s only a handful of items that I truly can’t bear to part ways with. For those I have a safe that at least keeps them protected if the house burns down.

What we keep around may reflect what our life is like on a social or emotional level. Sometimes we have to go bankrupt on what keeps us doing the same thing over and over again. I’m about to make a move in my life and I want the least amount of crap to drag along. If not for me, for someone else that I may find myself with. Sometimes I’ll hold on to moments in my life in hopes that they’ll come around again. I’ve been stood up too many times, yet I’ll still put myself out there. There’s a fear that if I pick up everything I have and leave, that I’ll lose everyone and everything. Funny thing, I still go to bed alone. I’m not whining about it but it’s something that humbles me when I give people too much credit. When I wake up in the morning it’s just me, and my things. Not the most exciting life.

For anyone that read this. I’m sorry. It’s filling space and time. I sit here on Christmas Day alone. Again. It’s my choice I know. I can’t write anything of value at times like these because all I seem to think about during these times is how much I want things to be different in my life.

By dsmythjr

Dog-nuts

Today at work, I bought everyone doughnuts. Or as I otherwise like to call them, dog-nuts. I knew I shouldn’t have. I might as well pull up my shirt and rub them all over my stomach instead of allowing them to destroy every valuable part of my digestive system just to set up shop as inescapable stomach fat. I figured if I only had one then I wouldn’t feel so guilty. After my fifth one they just went down so easy. No else was eating them so what’s the point of wasting donuts?

I love feeding people. It’s my happy place. When I owned my restaurant I used to watch people from the kitchen as they ate their food. Creepy I know, but I absolutely loved watching the look on people’s faces when they took their first bite into my awesome half-pound, hand packed beef cheeseburger. Maybe the look on their face was because they paid less for mine than they would get a nasty-ass triple whopper for. Either way, it was the highlight if my day. A common complaint I got was that my burgers were too big. I’m sorry?

I don’t expect much from people. Sure, money is a nice repayment but I think gluttony is what I really after.

You know, as I’m writing this I realize that a lot of what in say is bullshit. Most of it. My views are skewed because of my own personal situation in life. I have too much time on my hands and nothing to direct my energy into. I ‘buy donuts’ any chance I can get. I don’t do it for the recognition or even a thank you. I do it because whether people will admit it or not, they like to be happy. Donuts make a lot of people happy. So does ‘please and thank you’, ‘yes sir, yes ma’am, and ‘I’m sorry?’ I guess a twenty dollar bill makes people happy as well. My dream is to amaze people. Even if its on a small scale. I want to amaze at least one person in my life. I don’t want pandering. I want genuine amazement. It’s truly not for me. It’s for them. And it’s not just about the dog-nuts.

By dsmythjr

Fences

There’s something I’m dying to get out however its not the right time yet. I’ve been thinking of topics that I could start with today and I figured this is a decent fail-safe topic.

Fences.

I grew up surrounded by fences. Fences in the yard, fences inside the fence to separate the ‘off-limits’ areas. Fences around the pool, the deck and even fences in the house. The little baby gates that kept me in or out of trouble. I was confined wherever I went. Growing up, we lived on the top of a hill that overlooked the Exxon refinery. Out the back end of the property was nothing more than a valley that separated me from commandeering the refinery and taking my pirate ship fort over there and taking over the world. One day when my parents were gone, I snuck out the back fence and walked about ten feet. I still have dreams based on that today. Words cannot explain the exhilaration I got from escaping even just for a few minutes. I got scared of getting my ass whooped so I promptly found my way back before getting too lost.

We moved to Washington and after a short while in a townhouse apartment we moved into a house. It had a fence. It kept the dog in and the stray dogs out. It was a comforting feeling in a way. Nothing much changed in regards to being confined. Sometimes a ball would end up on the wrong side and I almost felt dirty having to climb over to retrieve it.

Quite a few years later, we finally moved into a brand new house. It was amazing! I was excited to finally live in a house without that shitty hi-lo carpet. I hated that stuff. The smell of fresh paint and light oak trim made me happy. The most exciting thing about it was in fact, the neighborhood had no fences! Whether it was a covenant of the association or simply because it was so new, I didn’t care. I felt liberated living in a community where neighbors welcomed others and I didn’t have to knock on someone else’s door just to retrieve a ball that ended up in someone else’s yard.

Things changed slowly. Neighbors moved, grudges grew and life took over. The neighborhood had become just like any other sub-urban melting pot of underpaid, overworked working class families that had better things to worry about than loving thy neighbor. One by one, fences were erected.

Luckily I had moved out before I had to witness too many fences being built. Whenever I go back to visit, it feels so…confined. It’s home to me, and I don’t want it to be.

People put up fences all over the place. Mostly around their hearts. Only by special invitation are we invited into someone’s special place. Even then, it’s not a ‘come as you please’ mentality. I close myself off to people when I don’t want to. I notice that others have a similar habit, though most likely not because of the same devices. I wonder sometimes why some of us are OK with this. We want to share our lives with others via social networking yet we privatize it as to screen who we let in to our worlds. We only want certain people within our network just as in real life.

You’re in, you’re out. Take your pick. We can’t have the best of both worlds. Here’s to my life and creating something without fences.

Slut

Though this is meant to really start at the first of the year, I figure I might as well try to get myself in the habit of writing as much as possible so I don’t falter in my goal. These are filler topics for me. Nothing less important than anything else, but something to get the cobwebs out.

An ex girlfriend of mine used to love having sex. Not with me so much. My god she was a slut. I was twenty one and she was twenty nine. Why it happened I will never know. I really thought she was out of my league. Eh, didn’t matter because alcohol seemed to be the social lubricant needed to make things work out in the beginning. We had a good night together within the first week or so. I felt the weird fuzzy feeling when we parted ways. Little did I know that the ‘fuzzy’ feeling was actually the green monster. Jealousy. She told me that she had to go see a friend of hers that was in prison. A little weird I thought but whatever. I just met this girl and I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. As she was driving to Aberdeen (a few hours away), we talked on the phone. I wanted to assure her that I wasn’t a jealous kind of guy and that if I’m going to have a relationship with someone that honesty and openness would have to be paramount for it to work. She agreed and we talked on and on about it. Upon her arrival to the prison she cut off the conversation and told me she’d call me later. She was going to stay in a campground that night since she didn’t want to worry about a hotel. This should have been my first red flag. Conveniently there was ‘no cell service’ at the campground so she’d just talk to me in the morning. “How cool is it to have someone I can trust!” I thought.

Years later I went to visit her while she bar-tended at a local steak house. A not so mutual friend came in as well to see her. Lets call him ‘Chris’. She got really nervous and I could tell I wasn’t welcome anymore. He was a strapping man; muscular, long hair. Fabio-ish. I started to leave and she decided to greet Chris by giving him a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek. “So good to see you! I haven’t seen you since you stayed the night with me after we visited *** (guy in prison)” he exclaimed.

Later that night shit hit the fan. Why I stayed with her for another few years, I’ll admit later on. When everything was squeezed out, she admitted she went and saw him that night only to accept his marriage proposal. Apparently through the course of our relationship, they had a ‘falling out’ and she broke it off with him.

Years later I find myself living on a sailboat. Small yet livable for one guy. My neighbors were fun loving, retired old farts with nothing better to do than get drunk, gawk at women and sometimes smoke a little weed. I loved them!

I was walking down to my boat one day after work and Paul was having a little party on his boat. I saw a handful of guys a few women and some hands holding up solo cups full of margaritas. “No thanks guys I have… actually I have nothing to do, mix me a fresh one!” I was introduced to everyone there including this gangly looking man without a shirt. His name was Chris. (His name is actually a little more peculiar than Chris so it was easily identifiable as being unique). I greeted him by saying “You slept with my ex… Several times! And you were going to marry that whore?” He was looking for a way to jump off that boat and get the hell out of dodge. What he quickly learned was that I had zero ill-feelings towards him. “At least someone had a good time with her,” I expressed. The mood lightened quite a bit and we drank a few more. He never actually knew of me back when I (we) were seeing this girl.

As I found myself in this weird predicament, I was dumbfounded at why I was so intimidated by this guy long ago. He was actually scared of me now? I’m not a big guy by any means but if you’ve ever read “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” you’ll know size doesn’t matter. All of a sudden after all those years of feeling inferior because I was cheated on so much, I felt like a new person. I was, and am in fact, much better of a person than people have given me credit for. My standards were officially raised at that point. There’s about four other guys I could talk about her sleeping with during our relationship but who wants to hear that.

I’m at a crossroads again in my life and I have to find a way to shake the prejudices about starting a relationship with someone. People have their own lives and who am I to expect a complete one-eighty from someone just because I want to feel secure from day one. What my ex and many others never seem to understand is that honesty truly is the most important thing. Some things are hard to admit, I know. If you’re going to keep it a secret, you better have all your bases covered.

Aside from that, she was a great person.

By dsmythjr