Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sid is Innocent

I was walking through Chinatown last week, listening to my ipod on some awesome new headphones I got on sale via the Wendy Williams show (“How you doin’?”), past spitting old Chinese men and sad fish markets. It’s a nightmare, overcrowded, slow-moving and stinky, but cool that it still exists in all it’s old school New Yorkness. I was feeling melancholy. Drew and I just can’t see eye to eye at the moment and it’s painful, even though I understand his point of view and that it’s part of the process. I’m doing pretty well now, but I am still processing deep personal change/death, so while insanity and darkness seem past, residual sadness clings like a smoky film some days. Sometimes I wake up with the words “I’m sorry.” already on my lips. I apologize constantly in my sleep. I remember nearly every transgression I’ve ever made, starting with that kid in high school who made a comment about the Doobie Brothers that I shot down so hard I know I destroyed him. I’m so sorry, dude. I still wish I could take it back. But I find long walks with a musical accompaniment are good for head sorting, even if it’s also accompanied with a bit of elderly Asian snot rocket dodging. An exceptionally sad song came on and the sorrow under the surface came bubbling up and expanded within me until it felt as if my chest would crack open. So much sadness in this life, how do we manage to process it at all?  No wonder so many people become drug addicts. And I am fully aware that my first world issues are not really problems. It’s a luxury to fester the way I do. I let the feelings roll through me without judgment. A phrase popped into my head--”the exquisiteness of sadness”. Then I thought, all emotion is exquisite really. Love, sadness, joy. That’s why we love music (and art and movies) so much, it makes us feel. Our souls are here to feel. Pain sucks, doubt sucks, fear sucks, numbness sucks. Anger can be good, it’s my personal favorite. But it’s only a protection and often destructive. Sadness, when it’s allowed to rise in its pure form, isn’t so bad. It bubbles up and flows like water, sometimes rushing, sometimes rolling quietly. It passes by. I allowed it to consume me, tears behind my sunglasses, and then let it flow out of the cracks and through the top of my head. After a few minutes I felt better. And then a drunk Euro kid with a big backpack slurred, “...You’ve got a good ass for an old lady…” and I went back to pissed off with a soupcon of amusement. Fuck you, Junior. And thank you I guess. Anyway, the primary focus for me today is not sadness, but the energy shift that seems to be fluttering under my feet, preparing to carry me somewhere new soon. I have spent my life suspicious and fearful of money and of people who have it. It didn’t fit into my rock and roll mentality; punk rock and I came of age together and from the time of first memory I always felt that I was “other”. I related to very few kids in school, I purposely marked myself with clothing and hair and jewelry, later tattoos, to telegraph to the world that I was unwilling to join the club. Some of that bravado was conscious choice, some of it was rejecting “them” before they rejected me. The popular kids scared the crap out of me. They always had a handle on what to wear, they didn’t worry about chewing food in front of each other, they knew the right things to say, there was an ease of movement that I never had. Until I put on a Fiorucci snake print stretch tee and a homemade “Sid is innocent” button and raised my middle finger. Then they all thought I was darling without me having to say a word. So, into adulthood carrying that flag, wearing that flag. Rock and roll life, rock and roll boyfriends, East Village wildlife, drugs, fights, passion, obsession, music, I’m crazier than you, tougher than you, harder than you, I raise that same middle finger to the popular kids of my adulthood, which I suppose are investment bankers and models and the children of the famous and wealthy these days. In some ways exactly like it was in high school, what has always hidden behind that finger is fear and the feeling of being less than. I had a terrible, awful time when Drew was in the band Bloody Social, because most people in and around the band were models, children of the wealthy, children of celebrities, everyone rich from birth, gorgeous to look at, younger than me, more confident than me, shittier than me. They didn’t give a fuck about anything. They were the real nihilists because they could afford it. I was older than them, covered in tattoos, hailing from another era that they could neither reference nor respect. I fought with Drew constantly as bisexual 20 year old beanpole assholes spilled drinks on me as they shoved past to throw their vaginas full of gold cards at his head. Excruciating. I drank and scowled and railed against it all until even the nice ones had a hard time breaking through my angry wall. It wasn’t until the incandescent May Anderson ignored my cornered snarl and pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels out of her purse, grinned and handed it to me, that I was able to breathe and let my guard down a little and make a friend. But only her. That experience was devastating to me, but with the cushion of time, so informative. Fast forward to now. I posted a status about this on facebook and got an avalanche of response, so it must be hitting a nerve--maybe it's our age or maybe it's a movement of the tide. I was sitting in a basement watching a friend’s band, at a show I had booked, and this thought came floating up and lodged itself in the front of my brain. I could die happily never seeing another rock band in another basement for the rest of my life. In that one moment I was changed forever. What? Blasphemy! Or preaching to the choir, depending on where you sit, rocking chair or bar stool. But before you send me a dreary email saying you never go out anymore, you hate going out, people who go out are losers and you’re content to knit potato chip bag cozies by the fire, understand that I am not talking about that. I don’t want to retire necessarily, more that I feel the urge to live fresh  I’m talking about releasing an energy that has had a hold on me since I was three and dancing in front of the television to the Beatles. I still wanna go out; I just want to go out FANCY. I want to use graffiti-free bathrooms. I want to wear my good shoes without fear of stepping in mystery liquids. Or I want to sit on a beach chair looking at the ocean with no shoes on. The details aren't important. I just wanna get out of that basement that I have been sitting in for about 30 years now. I'm not afraid anymore. Again, first world pondering, but I gotta give you what I got. I am still very much in love with my world, but the ATTACHMENT to only that has dissipated. I am ready for new experiences, new environments, new people, new outfits. Somehow, after this long stretch of suffering and confusion and self-hatred, I am expanding inwardly and seeing glimmers of what could come outwardly. I can see now how my mental state of insecurity and judgment has kept me stuck at a less than perfect financial state, at less than perfect contentment levels. And along with that I can see that it’s all an energy game. I can be whoever I choose to be now. Well, except for a bisexual 20-something asshole beanpole with a vagina full of gold cards. I suppose that ship has sailed. But there is still a myriad of possibilities. I simply need to make space for myself, for the options to show themselves. That is incredibly freeing. So I’m doing the work. I’m working on my thought patterns around money, I’m taking a second to ask my body what it wants before eating. I’m actively choosing quiet time, I’m walking around Chinatown crying it out instead of picking up the phone to try to fix what isn't mine to fix. I’m allowing people to pick up the check without fighting about it. I’m accepting compliments without deflecting them. I’m cool with my age. I'm cool with some people not liking me. I’m daydreaming about all of the things I can do or see or be that I never considered before because I thought I was anchored into one state of being for this lifetime. I’m feeling love and forgiveness for myself without having to do a big flagellating apology and atonement dance first. For the first time ever. It’s weird. But cool. If you are new agey of mind, this particular video has been very helpful to me:

If you’re not, watch this instead because it's time that more people appreciate the awesomeness that is Linda Belcher.





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Post-Apocalyptic Adventures in the Big City

So many random things to talk about! I'm kind of bored of the deep stuff, so I'll tell you a tale about the dating scene in NYC.

I will get a teensy bit serious for a moment, though, to say I've been sick for four days with a sore throat and sore tongue (?) that is now kind of drifting into a mild cough. And I am convinced that it is purely a mind/energy disturbance.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I live in a city where there is always something happening and I work in the center of those happenings. I bartend one night a week, I book rock shows, I manage a gallery with openings every month. There's always some new and usually fun social obligation. I love having dinner and brunch with friends, I receive a lot of invitations and have many people I want to see. I also, when possible, want to include new or outside people who are eager to be included. I grew up lonely and insecure and I know how hard it is to live on the edge of the party. But sometimes it becomes an entourage of insanity. And because of my mom energy and co-dependent tendencies, boundaries get blurry. I find myself counseling needy nutbags at midnight, feeling pressure to answer long emails from people who want a private response to their opinions on my blogs, or fending off advances from women who think that making out with me will make them feel wild and free. Some of these moments are harmless, some rewarding, some draining.

And since adding the very popular Sam to the mix, things can be even more intense. So without getting into detail, I'll merely say that one night last weekend was a giant clusterfuck of some serious soul-sucking in which both he and I walked away feeling violated. It was as if one person was a bird of prey: tapping, pecking, clutching, snapping, sleeve-pulling, needing the very core energy of both Sam and myself. If it wasn't so stressful it would have been fascinating. When I protested I was met with tears, so I backed off and allowed myself to be emotionally manipulated to the point of exhaustion. And now I am sick. I honestly believe that my throat and tongue ache because I did not allow myself to speak up for myself out of fear of drama, of hurting someone, of being perceived as mean, etc. In the end I felt so grossly violated that I woke up the next morning feeling angry. I burned sage and frankincense and myrrh into a great billowing smoke fog in my apartment to fumigate myself and my surroundings.

The end lesson for me is the same as usual with these things, I simply have to walk away and/or say no more often. I have to protect myself the same way I would a friend.  It's really not that complicated, just another aspect of learning self-love. I'm mentioning it not because I need any more advice on energy vampires, more to simply state to the Universe that I am no longer allowing my fear of being disliked to keep me in the muck. Enough is enough.

Now, on to the dating tale.

I have a friend who is really good at dating. She attracts wealthy men like I attract clingy maniacs. Last time we went to a show we were seated at a group table and within ten minutes some yachting mogul was sharing his French fries with her. It's really fun to watch.

She met a wealthy, attractive, fun, professional guy on Tinder, and although she wasn't intent upon being exclusive, thought that he could be a good possibility for down the road real boyfriend material. They went to dinner a couple of times, had little daytime adventures, slept together after a few dates. It seemed like a nice fit. He booked a vacation for the two of them on a tropical island. She was happily working on a mental packing list when she got this via facebook:



Lord.

Since the message came in at three am, my friend wisely waited until the next day to answer her. The girlfriend, a nurse from a sexy South American country, called her immediately and said that she had suspected him of cheating for some time, so she put a pill in his drink (!!!) and went through his phone while he lay comatose.

"Nothing that would hurt heem, Dahling, just to make heem a teensy bit drowsy, you know..."



I have done my fair share of suspicious girlfriend sleuthing throughout the decades, but I doff my fascinator to this crafty woman for taking it that extra mile. I might also mention that I have a hot-blooded friend from this particular part of the world, and I would say don't mess with these sassy beauties unless you're willing to experience some excitement. And, it seems, an occasional dosing.

The girlfriend went through everything, taking screen shots, charting out names and dates, places and times. She put it all on a calendar. She knew about the vacation, she knew where my friend and the man sat in a particular restaurant, she knew the address of the apartment he held his trysts.

Because as it turned out, this man lived with this girlfriend. And the pad that he had called his own, that he had brought my friend, was an apartment that he and a male friend rented for this particular use. Like something out of an old movie, The Apartment without noble Jack Lemmon keeping things from getting too sleazy.

My friend was flummoxed. She is no dummy or naïf. She did get a little suspicious when he first suggested renting a hotel room, but when she refused he came up with this apartment on the next date. So her spidey senses were assuaged. She really like this guy. He seemed normal, honorable, attractive, responsible. He had an ex-wife and kids that he saw regularly. He had a dog that he loved. He even placed a dog bowl in a conspicuous spot in the apartment to make things look more natural. 

The day after she spoke to the girlfriend, she received this from him:


Both the man and his girlfriend hammered her with messages for days, each claiming the other was lying. Some quick facebook sleuthing backed up the girlfriend's version. My friend wisely bowed out and told them to work it out between themselves while she sadly mourned the real loss--that romantic tropical vacation.

This was a couple of weeks ago, yesterday the girlfriend sent her a text to say hi and ask if she had heard from the man. I told her to block their numbers.

There is no moral to this story. I just think you'll find it entertaining. Men, if you're prone to cheating, don't do it with passionate women with access to drugs. Ladies, it appears it's still a jungle out there. Check the closets when he goes to the bathroom.