Category Archives: Journal

Personal rumblings. Inner reflections. Sometimes a diary of things going on in my life, sometimes a diary of things going on inside my head. Tread lightly.

Rover Teeth

Getting bored more and more easily. Antsy, even. My acquaintances are, for the most part, not interested in me enough to pull me out of my doldrums; just sitting within earshot of them while I stare at my phone is perhaps the most painful way to spend my time. So I typically do the Irish exit and just leave. Grab my bag and go. No goodbyes. Not worth it.

If you live in Austin, and you want to be alone, this town will happily ignore you. Even if you don’t want to be alone, it will still happily ignore you. You have to bring something to the table and be a producer of something just to lift yourself up to the level of “hey, you’re alright, have a beer.”

It’s an ill fit for a guy like me who came up in a town where you were judged not by what you did, but what you could possibly do, what you might be capable of. The rest of the world doesn’t operate like that, but too late to relearn.

At any rate, by straddling across many, many social circles, I find myself lost and forgotten in the middle, not really central enough in any circle to be missed if I’m gone a while. Generally, if someone’s disappeared, they’re obviously doing something else with their time and are busy. Doesn’t matter if nothing is happening and your phone hasn’t rung in weeks, or there hasn’t been a knock on your door in months, or nobody’s held you in years.

You’re obviously busy and OK somewhere else; out of sight and out of mind.

So, lacking the influx of any motivation or breath of life from those in my periphery, I do random shit like drive for two hours in unexplored corners of the next county over, or throw myself into radio, or get drunk and buy new music, or rent movies, or read books in bars, etcetera, etcetera. Something, anything, to keep me from chewing my own face off. Because I’m not getting that stimulation from anybody else. No connection, no inspiration, no interest, no purpose.

It really deflates everything I do.

Blade Out, Turned Inward, For You

To those of you who follow me on the various social media: you’ve come to expect that most of the personal, introspective, realistic things I post are self-deprecating jokes, right? I can speak something serious, something plain and direct, but in the comments, you’re joking because you think I’m joking. Right? OK. So here’s a fucking joke for you:

Question: How do I talk to pretty girls?
Answer: I DON’T.

Go ahead. Laugh. I fucking dare you.

I might actually be hurting inside and completely alone, but that’s fine with you, right? As long as I make you laugh, it’ll be alright. Right? My loneliness is funny.

This is why I don’t say anything when I’m torn up inside. You don’t take me seriously. Do you ever have a moment where you say, “But he didn’t call for help. I thought he was doing OK. It was a joke, right?” This is that. Fuck you. You’re welcome.

You have all the answers. So do I. I’m not looking for your answers. I’m not looking for any answers at all. I’m looking for your empathy. I want to know I’m not alone. So many times I want to say something, but I don’t, because you have an opinion about what I should be doing. Well so do I. Your opinion doesn’t matter. This isn’t a game. Nobody’s keeping score. It’s not about the nail in my forehead. I know it’s there. I just want to know I’m not alone. Seriously. Reach out to me.

For once in our lives, reach out to me.

To Pam, Ever Steadfast

On Sunday, the world lost the wonder of Pam Blackmon-Bailey. After a lifelong struggle with her own body, she now rests in peace. She leaves behind her husband Craig and three teenage daughters.

Pam was one of my best friends during my time at OBU and one of the reasons I moved to Greensboro those many years ago. We met through mutual friends and over time I was moved to think of her as an amazing woman. From her steady inquisitiveness to her intuitive insights, she was always curious about other people’s lives and troubles, and when she found a solution, she insisted on helping you to find your resolution. She cared. She was inquisitive and steadfast.

I never knew a single soul who found wrong in her.

The last time I saw her was one whirlwind weekend in 1999. She was visiting her sister Stephanie in Little Rock and invited me to come up from Texarkana to hang out with her and her then-boyfriend Craig. We hung out and watched movies, went to bookstores, drank coffee, made dinner, the usual young adult stuff. I went home that Sunday not really knowing that was our last time within hugging range.

I take it for granted that most of my old friends, the ones who I cherish in memory and history, are on social media and that I keep in touch on a semi-regular basis. But I overlook the ones who aren’t there by choice until it’s too late.

You never know where life will take you. But you can know for certain who it will take you from. Don’t let them out of your sight.

Burn Fuel

It’s almost 1AM and I’m more or less feeling my oats. I have to wake up in 5 hours. It’s not surprising that I turn to the liquid pleasures to make my life feel like it’s worth it. Really, though, it burns through my reserves of serotonin so the rest of my day is an emotional flatline. That’s a good and a bad thing. But whatever.

I’m courting a change in my life, a massive change, and getting cold feet. Eventually, anger will override trepidation and I will burn hot coals to fuel my engine of self-preservation. Change is necessary.

It’s one thing to say, “What I would give for a new life,” and a totally different thing to actually give for a new life.