Sunday, January 14, 2024

WTF?--A Braggadocios Confession?

Q tells me that the title of these posts are not always visible.  After I wrote this, I decided the title was important.  

I should have more enthusiasm and energy now that I am almost three weeks without liquor, but that isn't the case.  I am more catatonic than ever.  I am too aware, I think, of the calamities and disparities that surround me, more focussed on the negative aspects of my life.  I may be healthier.  I don't know.  All studies say that my blood pressure should improve.  My heart health, too.  I've noticed some improvement in maladies that I never confess to you or anyone else.  But overall, my joi de vivre is severely lacking.  I noticed it most succinctly in my outing with the factory kids.  I wasn't able to hold court as in the past.  I wasn't nearly as funny.  My contributions to the conversation were, by and large, dull and listless.  In the endless phone pics that everyone was taking, I looked like someone who didn't belong.  Maybe I would term this a Sober Goggles phenomenon.  I've become as dull and spiritless as any non-drinker I've ever met.  

I think eschewing alcohol has deepened my depression.  I must recognize my condition as such.  

I also know I am less creative.  Sober people aren't concerned with making pictures, or if they are, they are  by and large of the mindless kind.  What sober person revels in art?  I'm certain that the dullest of academic art critics are sober as a church.  Well. . . non Catholic or Presbyterian churches, anyway.  

Or maybe it is the cold looking back at what I have produced these past few years starting with Covid.  It is horrible stuff.  Culling old files, when I look at the photographs I have taken from 2020 on, I am ravaged by their sterility.  I should cut myself a break, maybe, as the time was sterile, too, and perhaps the images are a better representation of that time than I am getting.  But oh. . . further back it was all taking chances and much experimentation.  AND I was working.  Where did I find the energy or time?

I don't know, but I know I wasn't a dry fuck then.  Though for may years I have done a Dry January.  

Maybe in February some mojo will return.  I had mojo, and plenty of it.  I've lost it before from time to time, but never this long.  

O.K.  Here's a BIG confession.  I just Googled "How do you get your mojo back?"  Yea, yea, yea.  Don't pile on right now.  It's easier than going to the self-help section at Barnes and Nobles.  

What causes you to lose your mojo?

It doesn't disappear because we're lazy, or because we have suddenly lost our talent or ability. Maybe it's good to take a step back and be kind to yourself. I find my mojo leaves the building when I'm tired, bored, sad, lonely, too busy, or life has just changed, or become too demanding or overwhelming.

O.K.  That makes sense.  Some, anyway.  It is sort of like reading your horoscope.  

Can I get my mojo back?

How can you get your mojo back? Start with one small win – try focusing on doing small things well and you'll restore your confidence and motivation. Focus on your mission and values, not your obligations – why are you doing what you do? Link your tasks to what drives you and you'll find your purpose again.

So, yea. . . as you read more, you realize how generic this shit is.  I would imagine that when you go to a therapist, they are able to personalize these broad isms with details about you that they have learned, maybe much like paying for the personalized horoscope you get from Madame Sosostris.  

"I swear she can see right into my soul!" 

Here's a link to one article f you are interested.  Maybe you've lost your mojo, too (link).  There are pages for people who lose their mojo after 50, post-menopause, after a divorce or breakup, and after losing a job.  What they all have in common are bullet points and steps you should take.  

"Ten Steps Guaranteed to Bring Back Your Mojo."

Maybe I should see the Hoodoo woman and get the amulet or little bag of miracles to wear around my neck.  

Whatever.  I need to start taking chances.  Maybe I've become danger averse.  I'll resist the urge to Google that. . . at least right now.  

Fuck!  I couldn't help myself.  I went to the U of Penn site.  It is called being "risk averse."

Why risk-averse is bad?

People who are more risk averse are more anxious, and people who are less active show more depressive symptoms. These symptoms, in turn, are more common in people with pessimistic attributional style.

Oh, man. . . there is advice on how to become less risk averse. . . of course.  It sounds much like the advice on how to get back your mojo.  There are steps, of course.  You can't do this stuff all at once.  

All my life, I've been told by people who love me that I am too self-confessional, that people are mean and cruel and will take advantage of any weaknesses I might reveal.  

"You think everyone is telling you the truth when they brag about how successful and happy they are.  They are lying.  Everyone lies about such things.  They don't have half of what they say, aren't half as happy as they want you to believe.  They are, by and large, equally miserable.  But you. . . you poor-mouth yourself and everyone believes you.  People use that to manipulate you.  You have to stop it." 

But I have never been able to help it.  Confession is a way of life even if it is only half the story.  The glass half empty, if you will.  But here's The Thing.  I used to feel myself a hero.  I was an athlete.  I was a scholar.  I was handsome and had a lot of charm.  It was not that I was the best athlete or the most productive scholar or the most handsome man in the room nor the most charming.  There were many people who could outshine me in any one of those things.  BUT. . and this is what I felt. . . taken as a whole like a decathlon, I had them beaten by leagues.  I mean, I felt myself a COMPLETE PACKAGE.  I was smart, funny, witty, and I would kick your ass.  And women were attracted to that.  


But that, of course, only masked the other thing, the weak, paranoid, scared, ugly monster that I also felt I was.  And I confessed that, too.  

Boo-hoo.  Love me.

And you know, when shit started going wrong, no problem.  I could always walk into another room--a hero--and heads would turn.  

Now I have just described something inside all of you.  Every one of you.  Don't fucking lie. I'm not alone in this.  It's why men watch sports.  At some time in their lives, every one of them has made a spectacular play in some arena, in a neighborhood lot or on a little league team or in the street.  Somewhere.  They remember the thrill of the time they caught the winning touchdown or swung the bat and drove in the winning runs.  They remember the feeling of making a diving catch or running through a gang of tacklers (no matter that they were just a bunch of neighborhood retards).  It is the winning "swish" of a last second three-pointer.  And when they watch a super athlete. . . they relate.

It's the time that the head cheerleader came over to sit with you during lunch.  

It's why men make money.

It is something.  You may not have climbed Everest, but you did that fourteener in Colorado that time.  Maybe, you know, if you trained for it. . . . 

But man, I REALLY tried.  I played basketball against pro athletes and won tournaments and trophies.  I travelled solo around the country with a backpack, a pair of boots, and my thumb.  I slept with bums in flop-houses and hostels run by religious cults.  I sailed my boat solo into many lone anchorage's and weathered storms.  I crewed on a boat with olympic sailors and won The Lipton Cup.  I got strong in gyms and ran marathons.  I put on the gloves with real boxers and got hit so hard I almost went blind.  I climbed some of the highest mountains and some of the world's classic rock faces.  The world's two best rock climbers and the kayak champion of the world, all strong, beautiful women, have fallen for me--verifiably so.  I've lived through avalanches and trains blown up by terrorists in foreign lands.  I've travelled solo through the jungles of the Amazon with indigenous natives.  Run with the bulls in Pamplona.  I've presented papers around the world at major literary conferences.  I've been paid to play music on stages in front of crowds of five and ten thousand people.  

And I've been the darling of famous scholars.

I did whatever I could do to prove. . . I was something more than the poor-ass hillbilly boy I was born. 

In truth, though, I was always scared.  I didn't want to do it; I wanted to have done it.  Every one of those things was just a self-test.  I used to bump big guys on the sidewalk who took up too much space.  I'd force myself, terrified, even in biker bars where I was alone.  

Ask any woman who knew me.  

They never liked it.  No. . . they hated it.  

"Why do you have to be such an asshole?"

"I didn't start it!  That guy was the asshole."

No, no. . . they were never impressed.  

"I hate that about you."

"Would you rather I be a pussy?"

"You don't have to be anything.  Just stop it."

They were, in the professional parlance, confrontation averse.  Usually, except, you know. . . sometimes with me.

So. . . and here's the thing. . . when I got run over almost to death, all of that changed.  I don't run marathons now, don't climb mountains or run wild rivers or travel in primitive jungles.  And I certainly don't bump anybody.  And I don't want to be bumped, either.  

"I like you better this way," I was told.  

Really?  I didn't believe it.  I wasn't a hero anymore.  I wasn't the guy who was going to right a wrong.  I wasn't Superman or Batman or even The Green Lantern (what the fuck was his superpower anyway?).  

And now I limp. 

And I've never asked a girl out.  Now what do I do?  For whom do I perform.? There is no "traffic" for a man sitting in his house alone, withering and wilting in a Dry January.  

I write stupid shit to C.C., Q, Travis, and my conservative friend.  Sometimes they write back.  Q calls.  

"What do you want?"

"I'm just checking on you, you know. . . suicide watch."

"Oh. Are you for it or against it?"

"I'm not taking sides.  I'm just checking."  


From time to time, Sky checks in.  Red and the girl who almost asked me out, too.  

And of course, my mother.  

Which reminds me, it is Sunday and I should cook.  Yesterday I blew off the gym and went for a big breakfast.  Then, for dinner, I grilled a big steak.  I guess Saturday has become a day of splurging.  I had ice cream, too.  Thus, I feel the need for the gym today.  Gym, cooking, and mother's.  See?  WTF?  I should be out shooting photo-noir.  I should be at the big market taking photos.  I should make a real effort to cull my photos and put up a website.  

Oh. . . but there are things that must be done.  And besides, people scare me now.  

"What do you think, Dr. Freud?"

"If you were a woman, I'd recommend a hysterectomy and long warm baths.  Given what you've told me, though, let's talk about your mother and your father."

"What do you think, Dr. Adler."

"What we need to work on is getting you grounded in you life tasks: meaningful work, close friendships, and an intimate love relationship.  These are the keys to happiness."  

"And you, Dr. Skinner."  

"Get in the box."

I took these photos.  Don't you think that is enough?  

I got a notice from a funeral home that yesterday was the anniversary of the death of My First True Love, Emily.  Pretty, tragic Emily.  She was the most beautiful girl in school and she was madly in love with me.  It was a strange and weird reminder.  Maybe today's post is the fault of that email.  

I drive an old car.  I only have a radio.  I play the college stations, especially the one that plays jazz.  Sometimes now, though, they play some really weird stuff.  I heard this the other day.  The music is good, but the singer is real kitsch.  Somehow, though, I still listened to it.  It reminds me of a David Lynch movie.  It is embarrassingly weird, and yet. . . try it.  You'll see.  

No comments:

Post a Comment