They say you can never go Home...

Soldiers of Sparta were allowed to return home after lost battles, only if carried dead upon their shields. I'm convinced this is a more practical and time-saving way to go about it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Free Association After a Breakup

Yesterday I caught a fleeting glimpse of you
The first time in what's seemed like ages
You were wearing a sweater
The Color of Pain
The Color of Passion

I went on my way
Superficially distracted
By the work and people around me.
Which always seems to quell the tide
That now surges in my quiet hours
Which recently crescendoes late at night
Which bubbles noxiously to the Top when I'm alone.
The time that was once so precious
Peaceful, recharging, solemn
Is now made loud with the memories of you
And no song is just a song anymore
It is a backdrop--a prop--shaped to conform perfectly to my body
A jigsaw puzzle of heartbreak into which
I fit perfectly.

I pause in the solitude I am left with
I hear the cacaphony of Doubt
The Voices of Recrimination, blaming me.
I miss the days when I was unchanged
When my heart was in the off-position
When it was dead, yet perfunctorily beating
For I wouldn't feel the pain I feel.

So all the words I said:
All the things I felt:
Concerning What Was Best For Both;
All my good intentions and self-protective interests,
Just seemed to go out the door
In a fleeting moment
Along w/ your sweater.

Now I have an exercised heart,
But an interior life that has been poisoned
With the unpredictable miasma of emotion
The Same Color of your sweater.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dates

I've had a couple of dates the last couple of days, which, for me, is pretty incredible.

Ironically, the one "date" that I enjoyed the most, wasn't really a date at all. In fact, I helped her move. She's great! She's athletic, she's adventurous, and she's funny. Above all, she seems thoughful, kind, and honest. I'm kinda intrigued. I knew of her while I was in high-school, which is a little odd too.

Nevertheless, she's on my mind a lot...

So, I figure, about 12 more dates, and I'll know for sure...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Open Season

On Friday, I received three calls from three separate girls whom I believe would like to have a relationship with me.

This is stunning on a fundamental level, because I really ain't all that special, nor good looking.

Nevertheless, the process of juggling these reminds me of exactly HOW BAD I am at dealing with people.

The most notable of these young ladies seems pretty brave. She works down the hall in an adjacent department here at the lab. I have seen her for months, smiled briefly as I passed her office. She's very cute, and easy to smile at. It wasn't until maybe two weeks ago, when I parked myself to do some work in an adjacent office to use the computer, that she approached me, and we commenced to have our first conversation together.

I recently had another conversation with her, about the gravid importance Jamba Juice plays in my life. I told her that I'd bring her one. (And in my classic nature, I haven't gotten around to that yet. That was last Thursday).

This past Friday, she intimated that she wanted to tell me something. I, naturally, assumed she was in a high-dudgeon and, sensing my ability to listen to anything almost ad nauseum, wished to vent. This would have been our fourth conversation, and this would not be at all an atypical pattern for a vast majority of past acquaintances.

But she didn't have time to tell me then. So, I said goodbye and that we would undoubtedly talk later.


Later that day, as she was leaving, she stands in the doorway of the laboratory until one of my lab colleagues announces her presence to me.

(Prior to this, my colleagues had intimated that she intended to say that she liked me, so at this point, I was a little nervous, and wished fervently that What Was Going To Happen, would happen on a Monday or Tuesday, where I might have had some more wherewithal, or time to think about this.)

Apparently, she may have communicated this directly to my colleagues, as she looked not a little bit peeved that I hadn't met up with her yet. "I told you I had something to tell you, how come you didn't come by?" Rather accusingly, I might add.

"Oh! I thought you were going to tell me when you had time!"

"Oh. Well, then here." hands me a folded note with her number written on it in pencil.

I am, at this point, flustered on a level equivalent to Avogadro's number. I nervously stammer, "Here, I'll walk you to your car." The thought of having an awkward social exchange on a matter that I was not prepared to address seemed really undesirable proximaly to an audience consisting of my coworkers who could, firsthand, witness my ineptitude with girls.

In the elevator, she makes it easy for me. She explains that there's a really good movie coming out this weekend. I take my cue: I express interest, and that I'll call her on Saturday morning.

I leave her at the elevator, excited, exhilarated, embarrassed, nervous, returning to the second floor with a proportionally increasing anxiousness:

I remember that it's my brother's birthday AND I'm supposed to go to an Engagement Party I had known about for months, AND I'd made plans to go to a live concert with my good friend and my boss. These were all scheduled on the same hour. On my Only Day off During the Week.

Shit. Did I just commit to doing something I physically cannot?

I'm so embarrassed. Do I call?

I do not. I am a total, total bastard; the epitome of a Typical Bad Male.

But not to fear, because it is now Monday, and apparently she has been storming the halls, checking in with all my coworkers, letting them know (so that they may let ME know, with the gleeful delight of Someone In the Know) that she's PISSED! I can almost feel the Pist Mist filling the hallway after I stroll in all bleary and irritated, having had the equivalent of 5 hours sleep. I hide; I write an email. I apologize like a madman. I explain what happened, though it's not a good excuse. I suggest lunch the next day--it's a little easier to get to know someone.

I get a response.

Wait...

Oh my God, it's a bit bitchy!

But Lunch would be acceptable.

Am I dating this girl already? Granted, I know I'm a prick, but is this behavior of distinct...put-offedness something I need to tolerate on ANY level at this point? I don't even know her yet! I'm essentially ALLOWED to do whatever the eff I want--at peril to my own reputation, natch...

I am instantly transported to ALL THE REASONS WHY I DECIDED I WOULD NEVER EVER DATE ANYONE I WORK WITH, NEAR, ADJACENT TO, ETC. And I haven't even had the first date with her yet.

The nightmare is replete: coworkers ALL up in my business, can't go down certain halls for fear of getting the mal occhio, can't concentrate, I'm reduced to some nebulous feeling somewhere between self-loathing and volcanic, others-oriented anger.

Here I am, at the goddamn lab at 2:48 am, having already worked an 11 hour day, and I'm going to have a first date lunch with someone whom I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to technically break up with simultaneously, because there's NO WAY that the little time I have will be enough for her. I probably will need to eat, but won't be able to, due to anxiousness, but more in dire need of sleep (before I begin my shift of 8+ hours), and somehow, robbed of a little more free time that is so precious to me--so precious that it distills a self-interest that transcends the expected self-absorption that usually dictates what time I take as Me Time.

I can't believe this is happening.

I am reminded of how I often deal with telemarketers. I usually tell them, politely, "No Thanks," but they stay on the line, or on the doorstep, convincing me how I've just made a bad decision, until finally, for sake of getting back to it, I simply acquiesce and decide to deal with getting out of it later.

I just recently called Citibank, incredulous over some stupid subscription charge for some roadside service--a service, mind you, that I receive(d) gratis via Volvo--that I apparently agreed to a year ago. And then, I remember. The woman--she wouldn't shut up; I felt simultaneously rude and somehow obligated: Fine, I can cancel anytime? Great. Done. Thanks for calling.

That will be 50 dollars, one year later.

I am a sucker; I am a chump; I am a pucillanimous excuse for a man!

I will not be buying Another Workside Relationship, mark my words!

The Other Side of Glasnost, Part Deux

I will be the first to admit freely that, having been able to hold Virgin Status for so long, may be an indicator of a few mental problems. However, if I may get all supercilious for a moment, I have spent several hundred dollars in psychotherapy, agonizing over the question of Should I or Shouldn't I just get the dirty deed done. And my psychotherapist has explained that the reasons for my Choices (which really don't seem like choices) are complex and not a little bit justifiable, based on, you know, my Life. So everyone can just Fuck Off a little bit!

But here's what I do know about myself, either as a consequence of being a virgin, or because I simply am a Hopeless Cause:

1) I dislike aggressive women
2) I dislike being coerced, or manipulated
3) I dislike feeling boxed in, beholden to, or accountable for, my time.

Also:
4) I am, in any given relationship:
a) Somewhat fearful and hypersensitive about possibly being
I. manipulated
ii. hurtful
iii. boxed in
iv. held by the balls.

As a result, I have become supremely good at (I imagine) frustrating girls.

I'm 27, and I can openly say that I'm not willing to make time or entertain the possibility of a long-term relationship. It's a distraction to the concentration required to maintain the almost monastic asceticism I use to get through life. Do I suffer from Peter Pan syndrome?

The answer is, I couldn't give two shits. I am much more interested in WHY I feel that my ability to remain so detached, so separate from the rest of humanity--that humanity which must be tossed with the tides of sexual compulsion, that churning miasma of [the concept of] love that keeps a body safely at bay from ever achieving comfort within their own skin--why I feel that this bestows upon me an almost Promethian power?

I feel powerful, I feel vindicated, I feel superhuman.

I feel weak, I feel scared, I feel so incredibly dead inside.

The Other Side of Glasnost.

Having lived most of my life in a house with several opinionated people, I am, myself, opinionated. However, having lived with an overbearing father for many of those years, I feel that I am cautious (if not a little bit guarded) about what I say. Because, somehow, one does not develop a taste for ridicule in the same way that one gets a taste for beer, or wine, (or really, any alcoholic beverage) as they become older.

In the same way that I may be cautious about what I say, I am also a bit cautious about what I Let People Know.

And yet, the sheer stupidity of that statement does register as 1) I do maintain (albeit loosely) a blog and 2) my last blog entry openly admits that I am, in fact, a virgin.

I have come to realize, having "outed" myself to my "friends", that having this sort of information is regarded somewhat as a commodity. It's palpably regarded with a specious sort of value , and somehow, amazingly (to me), interesting to people. I have found that almost exclusively, everyone who knows about my afflicted status, has, in turn, outed me to someone else they trust.

The process is such:

1) I tell the individual who I decide to trust
2) They pretend (or are) a little bit shocked.
3) I assume that they understand that this information is shared somewhat conspiratorily, in confidence, despite being not a little bit mundane.
4) They immediately tell the closest of their friends whom THEY trust.
5) Suddenly, the whole fucking town knows.

Whatever.

One thing more than I vehemently detest, is people knowing anything about me in the context of a relationship, except for--get this--the people whom I trust.

But this is not a matter of assigning blame! when things concerning me come up as a group topic of discussion. Rather, it is the sense that my life is in any way, shape, form, capacity INTERESTING enough to discuss amongst others!

The fact that it, apparently, is, is supremely annoying.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My brother was relating a story tonight, about a customer that he waited upon at the Incredibly Mediocre Italian Restaurant where he works.

The customer was an older woman, shaved bald, with a bandana around her head. He brought her the lunch she ordered, and after eating it for maybe five minutes, asked for a box to take it home with her.

My brother, attempting to be polite, asked if everything was to her liking.

She replied, “Oh, yes. I have Brain Cancer, and it’s difficult for me to eat very much.”

My brother, naturally horrified, expressed his condolences like a madman and made sure to take good care of her for the remainder of the meal.

“What the hell is someone supposed to say to that?” my brother asked us all.
Dad was thoughtful for a moment, and said, “You should tell her: ‘Well, if you keep eating here, you’re going to get rectal cancer, too.’”

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Year in Numbers

It has been well over a year now, since the Year of Zeke was begun. And, it must be owned, a rather long time since any post was posted, from the time whence the year was truly a year.

I feel that there is much relevant for me to document about how Life is; much that I would like to preserve and crystallize upon the interstices of the electronic interweb for my own future arrangement and rearrangement.

Of perhaps greatest relevance would be to get brave and finish writing how things ultimately went down, regarding my dad and working for him. But for the meantime, I have decided that the Year of Zeke will be the Year(s) of Zeke.

I have also decided, in the interests of time, to resort to the type of copy usually found in New
Years Eve additions of any given city newspaper; a sort of Bests and Worsts of the years, to fill in for the missing months.

1 = The number of car-related accidents

2 = The number of syphilitic, decroded rental cars used while car was repaired

40 = The duration in minutes of my morning commute.

80 = The duration, in minutes, of my evening commute.

1= The number of coworkers who have confessed their love for me

1 = The number of microseconds I hesitated while considering the possibility of dating a coworker again.

50% = The probability that I have successfully and politely extricated myself from the above expectation of romance.

1 = The number of female coworkers who has confessed her true hatred for me (to everyone else except me, of course).

2 = Number of attempts above coworker has made to torpedo my fledgling career

100% = The likelihood that above mentioned coworker is a bitch of the highest magnitude who will remain bitter and unmarried for the rest of her miserable life.

3= The number of small (albeit controllable) laboratory fires which have been caused by Yours Truly.

2 = Number of Job offers I have been offered since becoming a temporary worker.

1 = The number of above offers coming from California

Countless = the number of times I contemplated moving back to California.

3= The number of successful mortgage approvals.

1 = The number of offers made on a new abode for Yours Truly

1 = The number of offers accepted on aforementioned abode.

1= The number of mortgage brokers I have fired for being generally incompetent and fucking with my livelihood, by virtue of their incompetence.

1 = The number of broken-hearted younger brothers, whose girlfriend admitted she kissed his (former) friend.

1 = The number of sisters fervently debating how to let said boyfriend know that she wants to get married, without sounding like a total bitch.

33 = Number of miles round trip to get to work

Jobs quit = Two

Quitted Jobs Regretted = Zero

Level of intensity for the gratitude of having quitted those jobs = Avogadro’s number. Multiplied by Faraday’s Constant. Divided by 1 over infinity.

Number of jobs currently holding down= Two

Number of hours I generally work: at least 55.

Number of times sexually harassed while working as a Temp: potentially once

Endured number of attempts to Get Me Fired after rebuffing potential sexual advances in a gentle, naïve way: Three NASTY weeks worth.

Satisfaction derived from seeing this bitch get fired and me getting hired on full time: Godiva Chocolate to the power of 18.

Other Highlights:

  • I turned twenty-seven. I moved out of the compound.
  • I bought my own place and became a homeowner.
  • I made some really good friends.
  • Told my good friends that I’m still a virgin.
  • Learned that my ex girlfriend was a slut, who really just wanted to get laid, and got tired for waiting for me. And therefore dumped me. (And here I thought I was being really forward.) Decided that being a virgin might be worthless at this point. And that I am a total idiot.
  • Had somewhat of a spiritual breakdown about this decision, which is sometimes still in progress, depending on my need for deep emotional drama in my life.
  • Decided that I do belong in grad school, in one form or another, no doubt about it.
  • Taught the Nervous Beagle to understand German.
  • Inclination for the Nervous Beagle to listen to me when outside, irrespective of language employed: Absolute zero degrees Kelvin minus two.
  • I cut my hair really short.
  • Lost about 20 pounts.
  • Shaved off all my chest hair, on a whim.
  • Went clubbing, met girls, danced with several of them.
  • Went to a gay bar and had a good time, despite learning about sexual toys that will do some gnarly things to a dudes testicles (they had a gift shop).
  • Improved my tennis game immeasurably, though my backhand remains a travesty.
  • Swam 2.8 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, without vomiting on the teeming shores at the termination of the race.




Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Calling a spade a spade

A coworker (who I have recently become friendly with) and me were having a conversation togther about theology, when she suddenly punctuated her sentence by expressing her worry that she myave have sounded like she was "trying to convince me to return to The Church." I must have looked a bit confused or stunned, so she said:

"Well, you said you haven't been to Mass in a year; that means you've left the Church." she replied ruefully.

It never occurred to me that my fellow Catholics would have a name for the process that is currently occuring outside of their view, outside of their church, outside of their limited understanding. I had forgotten that it was entirely possible that they would arrive at a pronouncement of the current state of my spirital health much more quickly than I have otherwise managed.

Heretoforth, I had considered myself to be on a hiatus. Don't call me, I'll call you--that sort of thing.

Not sure how I feel about this, other than mostly irritated and only slightly rueful.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rite of Passage?

I’ve been told that, living in this town, one will at one time or another experience a nasty car wreck. This is why the insurance premiums are so outrageously high. The traffic in this city is atrocious. It's also Tourist Season, which means the road conditions are especially snarled.

I was in a four-car accident today, coming home from my second day of work. Everyone, including me, is okay. I’m just a little sore in the back.

I thought four cars was pretty significant; however others in my swim class have me beat—they sustained six plus car pileups, just a few weeks ago.

I’m certainly no claims adjustor, but I would surmise my Volvo is only a few thousand shy of being totaled, which means, of course, the car will never be the same, regardless of the quality of the bodywork. For some reason I am terrifically bummed out, and if I were able to cry, I might.

Somehow this car has seemed like the one constant in my life that has not let me down; has followed me wherever I’ve gone and carted me away from everything I’ve wanted to get away from. People (drivers) are seemingly determined to not let that happen, as I have been backed into, dumped off of car carriers, and today’s coup de grace: plowed into at high speeds while at a dead stop in typical congestion.

I think it's asinine to get this worked up over a stupid car, but there is some symbolism here that my mind is determined to recognize and brood over.

I also think that it’s now pretty ridiculous that I’ve dumped so much money into the thing for upkeep, thinking that this is the car I would commit to after years of being a notoriously philandering car owner. I’m not proud to admit it, but I’ve had seven cars in my young life thus far; four of them new. This car was the one I wanted to settle down with, and retire from a life of monthly car payments. And now, we'll spend the rest of our bland existence together, although she'll have a nasty limp, so to speak.

My driver's seat is laying at an odd pitch, because the WHIPS system has been activated, which is Volvo’s answer to lessening the chances of whiplash injuries. I’m not certain whether this means I’ll need a new seat too. (Can the thing be reset? Is this just some sort of refractory period for the seat, after which the seat will return to its upright position?)

Emotions aside however, this is why people buy Volvos, no? To protect themselves from the philistines that populate the roadways. I always thought that this was accomplished by building these things like tanks; however, looking at the two Fords behind me that were responsible for pushing me into an Accord, I would say that the thought process has changed ironically. Now, it's all crumple zones and the like.