Friday, February 20, 2015

On being home sick with the kids today

There will be vomit. Calm down. Let it happen.

Did someone stab me in the stomach with a large knife? Is it still inside of me?

Food sounds horrible. Except for junior mints. Maybe a sweetheart or two. Coffee always.

Yes, we can watch another movie. No this isn't a joke.

Your brother is asleep in his bed fully clothed including his letterman's jacket. Leave him be.

Let's teach you how to make top ramen. It's easy, but involves the stove, so I better stand up again.

Is that Alvin and the Chipmunks on TV? For the first time in 3 decades, I can honestly say that I don't care. Jason Lee...he's kinda funny. He was a pro skater, did you know that? Invented the 360' flip, I think.

Sounds like I got a text...I'll check that in like 20 minutes after I'm done on Facebook and Instagram.

This sucks.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Nightmare

Inspired by the writer I previously posted about, I decided to end my work day today with a little reward to myself. I think this will be therapeutic, if not at least a much better way to spend the last 30 minutes of my day than working. You see, I've been feeling nostalgic lately, and every time I pass by a playground or I coach a game, or I ask my kids "what did you do today?", I catch myself fantasizing about the carefree nature of childhood, and missing those responsibility-free days of laughter and laziness. Then, just a couple of minutes ago, I was getting to the next of Allie's blog posts when it occurred to me that it wasn't always so easy as a kid. No, in fact, there was a significant period of my childhood...the night time hours, at least...that were dominated by a particular recurring nightmare.

A Giant Gorilla Chases Me Around the Apartment Complex at NIGHT!

Who knows what actually triggers these things in the supple and sponge-like mind of a young child, but if I had to guess, my parents were likely watching some old version of the movie King Kong, and I must have caught a glimpse of him at just the right moment.  The reason I guess that is because as memory serves, the image of the gorilla that ruthlessly chased me around the complex in the nightmare that haunted me for years looked a lot like this dude:

Comical in a Frosty the Snowman sort of way? To you, maybe. But to my 2-3 and probably 4 and 5 year old brain, this gorilla was a relentless, mean-spirited, evil hide-and-seeker with a sixth sense about which stairway I would take refuge in. He could smell me out even from behind the big green dumpster that I would hide behind. The same dumpster I had crashed my first bike head first into the day I dropped the training wheels. He was good, because he was BAD. I think a part of me would never run back into my own apartment, because I was always afraid I would lead him back to my quiet, peaceful sleeping family. I couldn't do that to them. I was responsible. I was accountable. 

I was probably about 4, but that's really how I always used to think back then. Childhood for me, it seems, had a more contemplative and thoughtful structure to it than for those kids I knew. I loved my autonomy, loved being free to ride my bike as far as it could take me, and I even enjoyed the sovereignty that watching my 3 younger siblings afforded me from a very young age. But I just couldn't seem to get away from that damn giant gorilla. 

And I mean he was a little over 2 stories tall. He would crouch down slightly behind the south side of the far building that my parents managed when I was but a youth. His black fur was hidden only by the night and the tan stucco exterior of those Idlewild Garden Apartments. I could feel him creeping on me, and then he would reveal himself and I would run, frantic, full of a terror so powerful I only experienced it in my worst dreams. It was the worst kind of never-ending nightmare, and I would often wake myself just before hitting the ground from a leap off of the 2nd floor stairwell, no doubt jumping to elude his final stretch to grab me squish my tiny body. 

I'm not sure how I ever stopped having that dream, to be honest, but I know it did finally stop. Part of me seems to remember taking a stand...perhaps ending in my demise or simply the end of the idea that was always subtext to the dream itself. And maybe I'm just too far removed from my childhood to really know what happened. Maybe that big hairy ape will show up again tonight trying to rattle my cage again...trying to send me back on that hamster wheel of fear and pain. Well, the joke is on him this time...I'm definitely up for a nightmare tussle with an oversized asshole, because when I wake up in the morning, I have a much more terrifying hamster wheel to get back on. This gorilla, it turns out, has been my way off of that wheel tonight and with that being said, I'm outta here. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

On keeping it real...

The previous post recently stirred something up inside of me. Well, perhaps that's not completely accurate. What it actually did was make me laugh in a "what the fuck" kind of way...but the good kind, where I find myself wondering "should I share this with people, because I really get it, and it may be crazy, which makes me crazy too, right?" So I shared it with my sister, Erin. She hasn't responded to the text wherein I sent her the link, so I'm guessing that as a litmus test of I might be crazy if I love that blog post, I have my answer. Then again, Erin is a weirdo, so if she's pretending like she didn't love that post, then she's really just being full of shit, and I'm going to go ahead and expose myself one level deeper here.

You see, I only recently went back to read another one of Allie Brosh's blog posts. Specifically, the one that came immediately before the one I posted...more specifically, the 2nd to last one she wrote. It's here in case you're interested, and to spoiler alert the whole thing for you, it's about depression. Specifically, 19 months of a state of depression that Allie presumably found herself in the midst of, and the eloquent, hilarious and intimately beautiful way in which she illustrated her way through the story for the rest of us. I am blown away. I literally just finished reading this post 15 minutes ago, then proceeded to stalk her about page, her twitter for a second, and even googled her name to discover that she is an absolutely beautiful young woman with an obviously deep well of talent and more important that even that...experience.

I'm inspired this morning to focus on the reality of it all, for I too have ...probably on and off for a couple of years now... been battling with my own version of the feelings. Or more properly, the lack thereof which, I'm beginning to understand, may go hand-in-hand with being depressed. If there's anyone left still reading this blog, then you may know that I could accurately refer to late 2013 to mid 2014 or so as the "whiny" months. Of the posts that I haven't already deleted, very few are worth a damn, and I admit that I have hated myself for my lack of readily available content or inspiration to say something worth while. Work is hard, blah blah...boring. I love my kids...duh. Sky is blue. F!

Well, I'm not sure why exactly I have been so kicked in the butt with admiration and awe by someone writing about how depressed they were. In reality I think that it's a choice I have made to pick this thing like finding her blog and being inspired and thrilled by it's humor and subtle beauty. I think that she too has discovered that we have no control over what things motivate us in those moments when we are thrust forward into the balance of our existence, but they are inside of us. Maybe they are in a shriveled up piece of corn, and we break out in hysterical laughter, or maybe they are in the blog post about the corn and the laughter, and the like. Maybe I'm not making sense anymore, and I am OK with that.

The point is that I realize, again, that the whole point is to keep it real. Not every story is going to be one I want to tell, but for me the catharsis and therapeutic value of writing doesn't happen if I hide from it, so be warned...I may just surprise myself and put something worthwhile out there again.

Or I may leave it to mediocre artists/brilliant writers/beautiful human beings like Allie. We'll see.