Eeyore and I Have Something In Common

Today is being spent in recovery mode. I’m tired, sore, sunburned, blitzed. Yesterday was a big expense on me. It was…busy. Nothing of any lasting importance, mostly. Just a large expenditure of energy, and I’m not accustomed to that. Aside from a few bright spots, it feels more like a waste of energy.

I went to Eeyore’s Birthday.

I wanted to do it all up right, so I played the part of Joe Pedestrian. I opted to leave the car at home and catch the number 5 southbound from my apartment down to where it transfers to 338 southbound. Got to the park at 1pm. The busride home was an abject failure; sat in the sun for 40 minutes waiting on the 338 northbound, then when I got to the transfer point, I saw on the schedule that I’d have to wait another 25 minutes for the 5 northbound. Fuck that. Thirty minutes later, the number 5 whizzed past me as I was walking back home. Capmet inefficiency in action.

I only stayed at the festival for an hour and half. It’s not my scene anymore. I’m not sure it ever was. I saw three people I recognized, and not one of them was a friend of mine. There was the World’s Tallest Hippy, the dude who rides his bicycle wearing a thong on his ass and a fluffy cat on his shoulders (he was wearing shorts), and The Silver Man. I saw no one else that I knew, not even the people I expected to show up.

There was only one drum circle this year, and it was rather pale. Maybe I was there too early for it to really cook, but there it was: lame. No viceral throngs jumping and grinding. Just an open space where the few who felt like dancing threw themselves around among the four disorganized clumps of drummers getting drunk on their own rhythms and five-hundred onlookers standing there with their cameras held high.

Beating a drum does not make you a drummer.

It’s not quite the free-thinking and self-expression rite of spring that it used to be. It’s family-friendly now. Not so many people dressed up in costumes or flopping around toplessly or passing the douchie on the left-hand side. The festival seems to attract people (like me) who are there because it’s “uniquely Austin”, and that by going we can make a tenuous grasp at some slim claim on being “open minded” and so very bohemian.

It’s not my scene anymore. My season for free expression is over. I’m no longer a 20-something. I can’t look into a crowd like that and say, “ooh, fresh opportunity!” I don’t see the throngs as people I could potentially interact with; I see them as that which gets in my way. I’m thirty-something; I need some people I know there with me, not strangers. My opportunity comes from traversing the bonds I have with others, and since I went alone (my fault), and since I left alone (my fault), I can’t totally fault the festival for my poor experience. It’s just not my scene. So I vent here.

Perhaps Eeyore and I do have something in common: we hate being happy.

Exit Stage Left

My first week in my new apartment; the dust is settling and I’m starting to settle in on a nest of my own. Moving out, so far, is proving to be the best gift I could have given myself to mark my 36th birthday last week. I am now, finally, my own man.

My former roomate and I have practically broken all ties, and good thing, too. Less stress, less drama. He tried to draw me into some drama last weekend; hadn’t even been moved out 18 hours and he was yelling at me about taking the cable modem; a case of I-said-You-said. The jackass stole my cable internet account without my permission, and, if I have learned right, the only way to do so would be to file a bunch of paperwork at the cable office to transfer an account from one name to another…and both parties must file. So, it looks like someone impersonated me. A heady accusation to make, but it would be fitting as a final “fuck you” to someone he no longer cared about.

After being on the phone with Time-Warner sunday, I decided that the best disposition of the modem was to go to my old apartment, open the door, attach a note to the modem that said “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!”, drop it and my old keys on the floor, and lock the door on my way out.

I dusted my hands on the walk back to the car.

It pleases me that we are no longer in each other’s sphere of influence. I can remove the gloves when necessary now instead of biting my bleeding tongue in an insane fit of diplomacy. That I stayed in the same household with him for almost six years speaks volumes of my insanity, laziness, fear, poverty, and an unwillingness to rock the boat. It’s a testament to intersocial constipation. I held back so much shit over the years, it just stopped flowing. The long winter. The dead season. The minutes of decay in the hour of life.

After our friendship went sour, I stopped communicating, he stopped trying. We found comfort in plausible deniability: I was simply closing my door because I didn’t want to bother him with my loud music; he closed his door because he didn’t want to bother me with his smoking. Our avoidance of each other was because we didn’t get along, but acting as such would have been unbearably direct. We had to find nonverbal excuses. Everything was unbearably passive-aggressive. We didn’t talk beyond an infrequent “hey” and a terse discussion of bills. On occasion, it was friendly, but that was just on the face of it. In private, fingers would fly. In public, tongues would wag. Our rare instances of actual contact over important issues met with inflamed egos and enraged anger. Usually, someone left the house shortly afterwards.

But no more of that.

I am in my own place now. I can stretch out. I can change. I can grow, create, do stuff without commentary, remarks, surprise. I can sit in the common area without bother. I can watch a heavy movie without the risk of someone barging in the front door dragging three strange friends and interrupting the moment at a particularly heavy part of the plot. The environment won’t change suddenly without my hand on the handle.

I am in my own place. Now, instead of having to avoid when I go home, I only have to avoid in the rare public place. That’s easy enough; avoiding in your own private sanctuary is much more difficult and taxing.

I am in my own place. It’s over now. I hope he and I can reach some shred of reconciliation, but right now, it’s doubtful and for the short term unwanted. I’m out. It’s over. We’re done.

I am on my own.