Tag Archives: doldrums

I would rather be Superman than Clark Kent

“You don’t seem like a real person.”

Sometimes truth is spouted by unlikely sources. In this case, the fountain of wisdom in question was a beautiful, moon-faced child of twenty, wearing little more than a garter belt and black lace thong, talking to me as I hoisted a drink to my fellow dregs of society patronizing the local lieu de perdition.

“I don’t think you’re real.”

The second time it happened, it came from a Boston comedian who had been crashing at my house for a week while he performed locally. Nothing extraordinary happened while he was here, yet my normal daily activitities merited this comment.

Am I real?

I know I’m an odd mixture of introvert and extravert. I revel in the happenings of the world, but only if I’m contributing to them or observing them. I have no interest in merely participating.

I don’t want to receive gifts. Let me, though, give gifts to you and leave before you open them.

I don’t want to make small talk. I just want to entertain you and exit on a finale.

I avoid traditions. They exist to comfort people who need them.

Why do I need to always do something unexpected? If you think I’ll be pleasant, I’ll be sarcastic. If you’re worried that I’ll be ribald, I’ll be chaste.

I don’t need you to solve my problems, but I’d love to be the one who can solve yours.

I relish the truth and the chance to be vulnerable, but don’t waste your sympathy or concern.

I’d rather be Superman than Clark Kent.

What does it mean to be real? I’m honest and open, often shamelessly so. I support and love those around me, even to an extent that might be harmful for me. I’m present in the lives of many. So why did their statements hit home so well?

I don’t put on a front or a facade, and I’m not insincere.

But it did resonate.

Maybe I try to be everywhere, so I’m never actually anywhere.

And during Christmas, more than any time of year, I feel this urge to disappear. Everyone already has warmth and hope and presents. Nobody needs me. Maybe they want me there, but they don’t need me. If I’m not needed – whether I’m someone who can listen, or support, or entertain, or do literally anything other than just exist, why should I be there?

Maybe this rang so true because unless I’m creating something that’s being mentioned or appreciated or shared or liked or enjoyed, I feel ephemeral. Those are the only times when I truly feel real, so it shouldn’t surprise me that I might not seem real to others.

What makes you feel real? 

Down The Gorilla Hole – Why Not Write Something Depressing on Christmas Eve?

I haven’t been able to write – to really, painfully, ripping off a scab write – in a while.

There’s plenty to say. I always have something to say. Getting it out in the way that I want has been the obstacle. How many ways can I talk about things being hard or difficult or frustrating before it becomes rote? And, compared to the rest of the world, do my problems measure up in any way? What is my hardship compared to what you or you or you are going through?

I’ll try, though.

Business has been slow. Like, agonizingly watching paint dry slow. Every order that comes in keeps the lights on, but nothing more. If I was working in an office, this might be bearable, but I’m going stir crazy at home. I work at home, stay at home to avoid going out and spending more money, sleep at home and it’s all home home home home home. There are moments when I want to burn this fucking house to the ground just so I don’t have to spend another second here.

Friends have disappointed me. There are people in my life who mean a lot to me, to whom I have given so much, emotionally and otherwise, and it’s a painful slap in the face discovering that it’s not reciprocal. I was even told that my friendship with one person couldn’t continue because of her newly embraced religious devotion. Sometimes people wonder why I rebel so much against blind ritual, tradition, and following the dogma of an organization that purports to be religious – maybe it’s because I get to be the guy that feels like shit because his friendship would be against the principles of a church. Not all friends have been disappointing – I don’t want it to sound like that – but it’s happened frequently enough that I’m disjointed and doubting myself.

The fact that we’re sinking neck-deep into the holiday season hasn’t helped, either. The holidays are a place for family and friends and tradition, and I actively avoid traditions, don’t always get along with much of my family, and can’t rely on some of my friends. After a two-hour appearance at a family party this evening, I’ll be skipping Christmas and just waiting on 2013 to hurry up and get here already.


The biggest issue, though, and the reason that I’ve had so much difficulty writing, is the massive crippling disappointment I have in myself. In little over a month, I’ll be 36, and I’m not where I wanted to be by this age. I’ve started over. I’ve gone back to Go without collecting my $200.

I’ve plateaued on my weight loss for a while now. If I can dig down and find that motivation to exercise, I know that I will continue to lose weight, but right now, I’m not happy with how I look. It’s in my hands, but that doesn’t make it any less of a burden right now.

I’m single. I thought I’d be married and have kids. I didn’t realize that I’d fail at marriage, get divorced, and have to find someone new, who I could trust. I thought I found that person, but I was wrong. Her cruelty broke me and I started over yet again.

All of these goals I set for myself when I was younger have been for naught. Instead, I’m divorced, wading through the minefield that is dating, with no children and less security than I had at 30.

Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be? These are the questions that keep me from writing, because to examine them is to face the possibility that I can’t get there.

I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to have this financial albatross. I don’t want this large house filled with useless trinkets and gadgets. I don’t want to keep treading water. I don’t want to continue to wake up alone every morning.

I want to be back in Los Angeles.

I want to write professionally.

I want to have a family of my own.

And I’m terrified that I won’t get any of that.

I think my holiday spirit is in my other pants.

Yesterday, I was reading a post about holiday Grinchiness and I realized that I was feeling the same way.  I really don’t want to have anything to do with the holidays this year.

My Thanksgiving will be spent with my family at my parents’ house in Ormond Beach.  I am usually accompanied by a few friends who don’t have families in the area, but this year, they’ve all got better things to do.

My Christmas will be spent with my parents and siblings in my parents’ condo in Park City, Utah.  I’m flying up on Christmas Eve and flying home two days later, because it is the minimal amount of time that I could spend there.

I usually love buying presents for everyone.  In past years, I’ve spent thousands on gifts for family and friends.  My shopping list sometimes had 30-40 names on it.  This year, I don’t think I’ll be buying a single gift.

My house was always decorated – either a fake or a real tree filled with ornaments that each had a story, wreath on the door, lights everywhere – but not this year.  I won’t even be opening the boxes in the garage that have all of the decorations.

I’ve tried to get excited about the season, but I just can’t bring myself to care.  My Christmas cards that I’ll send out are for the sake of humor, not for the season, and will represent the totality of effort that I’m willing to put forth this holiday.

I don’t know if it’s because this will be my first Christmas as a single man in 12 years, or just a feeling I have that everyone is too distracted, overwhelmed, or otherwise preoccupied to really participate in the holidays, but as much as I try to care, all I want to do is stay home, avoid the stores, and say “Bah, humbug.”

Next holiday season will be different, I’m sure, but this year?  I’m really feeling like a Grinch.