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Two-thousand and Eighteen Ano Domini (whichever dominar you choose).

That’s right, we made it. Not by any choice or effort on our part. It just happened. We can’t really take credit for it. Anyway, here’s me rhapsodizing about how great the next year in my life will be, blah blah blah, but really, I’m not so positive. I’m cynical, really.

[CYNICISM INTENSIFIES]

See, instead of going to parties tonight to celebrate with other humans, I’m sitting at home alone. That’s right. I’m letting myself get hung up on friction and with a lack of inertia, looking at the Internet with a glass in one hand and a keyboard in the other. Social avoidance. I don’t mind the party, but I fear the expectation (it’s not you, it’s me). And so, without putting any effort into getting up and going to where the other humans are, I stayed here. Alone. I had invitations, but deftly avoided all of them. Phew, that was a close call.

I guess you can say I am leaving 2017 exactly the same way i lived it. And that’s a fucking shame.

Really, lately I’ve been getting called out for my cynicism and negative thinking. I really, really need to stop that, or at least be more delicate with it. Sometimes people don’t want me to talk like Grumpy Cat. I can’t help it sometimes, but really I can help it by just shutting up. Eh. I need to cull that behavior and try to stop pointing out the riggings underneath things. Sometimes people don’t want to know, and it’s not worth telling them. Anyway, enjoy this educational video to kick-start your self-examination:

I hope 2018 is better. I really do. In the grand, universal scale of things, it means nothing. Earth time is infinitesimally insignificant, and time itself is a human construct, blah blah blah, but whatever. I need to update the copyright on this site and wish us all the best. So here’s me wishing you the best. Happy New Year, from me, to you. Phaysis loves you.

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.

There and Back, Yet Again

A problem with going out of town for a few days is that when I come back, I’ve been on a journey and none of my friends are any the wiser. It’s like Bilbo taking his trip and returning to the shire; life went on in his absence, and still goes on, with no regard for his adventure.

Granted, very little by way of life-changing happens on trips to Texarkana, but when I come home to Austin, my cafe friends are none the wiser that I’ve been away. Matter of fact, it doesn’t register on their radar the fact that I may have been out of sight for any length of time — it’s an unfortunate downside to being in a scene where people come and go seemingly at random and make few out-of-channel plans to meet up.

I returned home from my trip tonight and wanted to go sit in a bar with grown-ups. My cafe friends were oblivious that I needed someone to talk to over beer. No one agreed to my invitation, so I showed the back of my hand and went to be alone over a beer and a book.

Suits me fine.

Panos Solis

Eighteen. That is the number of days that I have eaten alone. The count of time since I shared a meal with other humans and not a screen, a desk, an ergonomic chair.

Companion: a person who is an associate of another or others; comrade. Latin roots: com = together; pan = bread; -ion = condition of being. Literally, a companion is one who breaks bread with you.

Eighteen days since I have had companionship. That is a condemnation, a statement that I am living my life wrongly. I could say my shift job is to blame. I would be wrong. I could say my shyness is to blame. I would be wrong. A smart man would have predicted the solitary season and would have made plans to continue to be with others. I am not with others. Instead, I eat alone. The most basic communal rite, I am doing wrong.

This is not right. In this season of feast and reflection, of standing at the fire and passing the bottle with a tale, I should not eat alone. I should not be alone. But I am alone. This is wrong. I should have avoided the oncoming solitude.

This is wrong. Wrong.

Ugly Face

I shouldn’t do visualization exercises during yoga. Just shouldn’t.

Today we did a five-armed blessing thing, more like a guided meditation. Silently, we’d visualize someone, and then silently give them our blessing. “_____, I wish for you to be happy, healthy, and wise.” Innocuous, and is supposed to help us extend compassion to others. The list of five “people” is as follows:

  1. Myself
  2. Someone I love
  3. Someone I barely know (an acquaintance)
  4. Someone who is a “challenge” to me (difficult, enemy)
  5. Everyone I’ve ever come into contact with (the world)

First part was easy. Ridiculously easy. Of course I’m going to be self-serving enough to wish myself health, happiness, and wisdom. Easy.

Second: someone I love. I thought hard about this. Who did I come up with? My mother. My own mother. That’s it? That’s all I got? My mom? What am I, a 4-year-old? I’m 40. I should have lots of people I love. But I don’t. I have no one. I love nobody. I’m not even partially fascinated with anybody. That’s it. That’s all I could come up with. And I half did it because, c’mon, how are you able to not love your mother? It’s like hating puppies and rainbows. Who doesn’t love their mother? I’m embarrassed, and ashamed. This activity has failed beyond imagination. I have nobody.

Third: someone I barely know, an acquaintance. Which one? Everybody I know is only an acquaintance. There are no friends among them. They’re just people I know. You’re just people I know. That’s all.

Fourth: someone who challenges me. Again, that’s everybody. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt a positive hand on my shoulder, so this puts everybody in the challenge category. You’re right, I’m wrong, and that’s the end of it.

Fifth: everybody I’ve encountered in my life. Same. Same as third. Same as fourth. It’s me, and then where I come from, and then the rest of you. That’s all I got.

In an exercise that was supposed to make me feel good about myself and my place in the world, I met my true self. The pain of being so alone is the sharpest, the weight the heaviest. I am that guy who has nobody to put down on the dotted line as a contact in case of emergency. I am that man who can walk into the cafe full of people he knows, sit alone, and leave when I’m done without breathing a greeting. This is my pitiful, shameful, true self, the inevitable fruit of wanting to be left alone.