Friday, May 29, 2009

You Think You Know Someone, Or Heart Vs. Mind

You think you know someone. And then, years later, you find out that you probably don't know them at all.

Here's what I find myself chewing on:

Years ago, well not that many, I found myself pretty much infatuated and in love with a girl I met at school (school being the University of Alabama at Birmingham). I was too inexperienced, shy, and socially awkward to do a damned thing about it and she slipped right through my fingers and into the hands of a friend.

I spent the better part of the last four or five years hating this guy. He's everything I'm not, and since they've stayed together this long he's probably everything she wants.

She was a good friend and because I couldn't handle seeing someone I wanted so badly with someone else who was a friend to me, in essence having two friends causing me nothing but pain, I couldn't be friends to them.

Over the last year or two I've managed to put both of those friendships back together. I tried anyway. With him, it was pretty easy. There's no animosity between us anymore, and no more or less closeness than there was before.

With her...well...that didn't go so well. I know that there is still a part of me, though buried deeply, that still wants her like I always did. I think because of that I treated her differently. I was less than the nice guy she had known before. I was an outright asshole. That's how she's treated me.

I'm not laying blame anywhere, but we can't be friends anymore than I can be friends with my most recent ex-girlfriend. There are too many feelings there...feelings that only lead to pain for me.

And in the end, I've learned things about her that over the years have convinced me that she was never a very good friend to me after all.

I tried, but in the end I know that I'm an all or nothing kind of guy. If I can't have it all, I can't bring myself to treat a person any better than what I think they merit.

It's funny, I think the guy who 'stole' this girl away from me has, in all that time, been a better friend to me than she has. It makes me think, and ultimately to conclude, that the judgements I made about her that led to my feelings for her were wrong. I made a mistake.

The feelings are still there. You can't really escape that emotional stuff. But the actual essence of her doesn't merit the rewards of the feelings that I have in regard to her.

I think this is probably true of my most recent ex, Cheryl. She doesn't deserve me, in a nutshell. That's hard for me to say. And I'm not entirely convinced of it, though all the evidence is right there before me.

My heart is not ready to accept what my mind is telling me. I want her so damned bad, but my head is telling me she is the last thing I need. This is one of those situations where I think my heart is leading me to ruin, and I'm having to force myself to listen to my head.

It's a hard thing to do, but I let my heart lead me for a long time with her and the end result was always pain. She told me she loved me, but she was never willing to fight to keep me. It was always too easy for her to let me go.

It was never easy for me. But I did it when it no longer made any sense to stay.

We had our good times, and I'll remember and cherish those always. But she also taught me some hard, painful lessons and I'm afraid those will resonate more forcefully in my recollections. A part of me regrets that, but a part of me remembers that pain is a powerful and effective teacher.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Damn. Just, Damn.

She didn't have to show up with the new boyfriend in the BMW. At least it was an older model. Both of them.

I'm angry at myself right now. Very angry. I'm angry that this got to me as much as it did. I don't like being this vulnerable to anyone or anything.

I learned a long time ago that anger is a very powerful thing. It can lead to a lot of things. You have to use it, burn it off. That's the only way to deal with it, otherwise you just bottle it up and then depression hits (depression being rage turned inward).

So I'm going to be productive. I've got quite a few projects in the works, or that I've been wanting to start on. I think it's time I put all of my energy into them.

1. I have to get completely out of debt, and salvage my credit. What credit cards I have (saving the one that is going to help me with #2, are going into my safe deposit box to be sealed up).

2. I have a blue 1965 Ford Mustang. I loved that car when I was in high school. I still do. It's time to resurrect it.

3. It's time I got off my ass and lost the twenty or thirty pounds I put on this past year. Or at the very least, I need to convert it into muscle.

4. I need to finish school. I've finally decided that I really do want to be a lawyer. I love the law. And I'd love to be financially secure one day. School starts January 2010. I intend to finish my degree without resorting to student loans. I want to save those for law school.

5. I need to find a way to keep myself motivated. I'm going to enlist the help of friends, and anyone and anything else I can find to help me.

6. I'm putting $60 dollars a week into savings. I've been doing it for a while now, and then blowing it when I get a few hundred bucks. It's time to stop blowing it and keep it in there. Either I should be paying down debts, or saving up for a new car or house.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just Watched Beowulf

I just finished watching Beowulf. This movie is such a travesty it made me sick to my stomach. Hollywood is good at butchering good stories, but here what has been done borders on heresy.

Beowulf is a hero. He is the perfect hero. Hollywood turned him into some kind of weak willed, flawed, LIAR who decided to do the right thing in the end.

That ain't the Beowulf of legend. The Beowulf of legend killed Grendel and his mother. He cut the bitch's head off, then took the head of her dead son for good measure.

Beowulf was not an average man who got lucky, and then lied to make himself seem more powerful. He was everything he claimed to be.

I hope many, many idiotic children fail their literature tests when they skip reading the real story and rent this stupid piece of shit movie.

Flying Spaghetti Monster save me from the coming of Idiocracy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek

I just got home after seeing Star Trek. I'm not sure how I feel about the movie.

In and of itself, it was a great movie. I really enjoyed it.

However, the entire movie was not about the Star Trek that has been around for literaly generations. It begins with an alteration in the time line that ultimately results in the entire movie taking place in an alternate "Star Trek" reality.

I'm not sure if like that. I guess I'm experiencing what a lot of people have when movies have been remade, or changed in way they didn't like.

I can't deny that it was a good movie. It reallys was. I guess I just want to see more from the future of the Star Trek I know and love. I don't particularly want to start all over again. It's not like the Bond films where the orginals had no real continuity and the new ones do and are actually a true re-do. They've acknowledged everyting that has already happened...and changed it.

Kind of feels like a rejection, rather than re-invisionment.

Like I said, great movie. I just felt a lack of respect for what came before. It didn't have to be an alternate reality.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Painful Story From My Childhood

Something happened many, many years ago when I was in elementary school that I feel was a terrible injustice. To this day I feel the reverberations of it, the negative consequences. It's made me socially awkward to the point of almost being unable to act in certain situation which I'll get into as we go. Suffice it to say, it's fucked me up.

Now, I want to say that what happened to me isn't near as bad as some of the things I know that have happened to others. In fact it pales in comparison to the horror some of my friends have experienced as children and teenagers. But, that said, it had a bad effect on me, taking a natural shyness and nervousness and turning it into an almost paralyzing fear of 'making the wrong move.'

I also want to say that while I am telling this story from my childhood to show how what happened to me has been the cause of a lot of pain for me, I am not in essence the 'victim' in the story. That's the little girl in the story. What happened to her was my fault, whether I participated in the worst part of her victimization or not. And it is that, I believe, that has caused the guilt and the fear of ever letting something like it happen again to remain with me to this day.

So here goes:

I think I was in the second grade. That would make me and all the other kids in this story around 7 or 8 years old.

Recess had just ended at John Dolland Elementary School in Norwalk, California. The kids from my class and I were lined up outside our classroom door waiting for our teacher to unlock it so we could go back inside. I was in line near two kids who, while I was friendly with, I wouldn't call friends. Their names were Vincent and Corey. Vincent was the leader of the duo. Corey was weak, and a follower. He followed Vincent everywhere like a pathetic little lap dog. I think that was one of the reasons I didn't like either of them too much.

Anyway, standing in front of us in line was a very pretty little girl whose name I am sad to say escapes me after all these years. I didn't like her very much. She was my best friend Derek's girlfriend, and he spent all of his time with her during recess instead of playing with me. And I think I also didn't like her because she picked Derek over me.

I was not a nice kid, and what happened next just goes to show you that I was a complete shithead.

I decided I was going to knock her down, just to be mean. However, having been in trouble one too many times before I wanted to do it in such a way as to make it seem like an accident.

It probably would have all went to plan, except that I wanted witnesses to my cruelty. So I got Vincent and Corey's attention and said, "Watch this."

I started jumping up and down as high and as fast as I could, erratically, and moving toward the little girl. When I was close to her I fell, on purpose, and knocked her down in the process, landing on top of her.

I got up, smiling at Vincent and Corey in victory. Vincent smiled back at me and then did something that froze me in horror.

He got down on top of the girl and, as she cried and screamed, began pumping his pelvis up and down over her as if he were raping her. I watched, unable to act or do anything but start to feel sick, as he did this two or three times and then encouraged Corey to do the same. Corey, always the follower, gave a half-hearted attempt and then the girl got up and ran to a teacher.

The whole time I couldn't believe what had happened. That is not what I had intended to happen to that little girl, even if I did not mean her well. I hadn't even planned on Vincent and Corey being participants in my own little act of spite and cruelty.

Whatever my intentions, I soon found myself standing with Vincent and Corey in the office of the one person in the world I was completely and totally terrified of. Her name was Ms. Dugan.

I have no idea what Ms. Dugan's position was at Dolland Elementary at that time. She wasn't the principle or vice-principle, I know that. I also know that no matter what rule infraction you may have committed, to her you were always scum and always would be. And she treated you accordingly. She was more vicious in her treatment of students (in my experience) than any other school official I ever encountered. To this day I feel she had no business what so ever in interacting with children.

Ms. Dugan had the story from our teacher. She had the little girl tell her what happened. I listened in mounting terror as I was pointed out as the one who had started it. I protested my innocence but as far as the little girl was concerned I had started it and had done exactly what the others had. I can't say I blame her. To an outside observer it probably looked like it happened just like she said.

Ms. Dugan called our parents. As she dialed the first number she looked at us and said, "Do you know who I'd be calling if your were five years older?"

"No," I managed to answer. I think Vincent chimed in with me.

"The police," she said.

It was at that moment that I realized how bad this really was. At the time, 'rape' wasn't even a word in my vocabulary. I knew what I had seen had been bad, very bad. But I also knew that what I had actually done is something that almost every little boy has done at one point or another (shitheaded, but all in all not terrible).

I had knocked down a little girl to make her cry. I stood accused and convicted of miming a rape. Ms. Dugan treated me from that day forward as if I'd committed the real act.

When my grandfather picked me up at school he was furious. When he got me home I got the belt. I got it worse than I'd ever had it before or after. My ass was bruised for a week. I got exactly what I would have deserved, and part of me feels exactly what I DID deserve for being the cause of what happened to that little girl.

To this day I am terrified of ever doing anything that could lead to a similar accusation against me. I'm ten times nervous around women than I should be. I avoid any physical contact what so ever unless I know it's okay. I freeze up every time a female friend hugs me for the first time. I've never initiated one of those hugs, for fear it may be inappropriate.

In an intimate moment, I'm more likely NOT to make a move on a girl when I'm almost completely convinced she is willing and waiting because I don't want to ever make an attempt when she is not willing, even though I know she'd let me know loud and clear that she isn't I don't want to ever be seen as even the slightest bit forceful.

The first time I'm with a woman I've got all of that on top of natural nervousness to make things that much more difficult for me.

I can't count how many times this has cost me. How many potential relationships down the drain because I let 'that moment' pass without acting. How many times I've let my self-imposed distance and barriers keep me from getting close to people. I can think of two times, one recent and one from a few years ago, where I should have acted and didn't. No matter what might have happened if I had, I'd feel more confident in myself if I knew I hadn't been holding back when I shouldn't have.

It's almost 3 AM, and probably will be when I actually post this. I've been up since 1 AM. I started writing this around 2 AM. I've thought about it many times in the past.

This whole episode in my life is probably one of the reasons I'm so lonely right now. I know that my inability to easily interact with people socially is because I am coolly formal at almost all times. I don't say much. I don't get too close. I almost never touch.

But I also got something else out of this. Something not so negative. I have a deep and abiding hatred for all sexual predators, and an empathy for their victims. My brother's girlfriend was recently the victim of one of those predators. She managed to fight him off before things got to far, but she was still traumatized.

I just barely managed to keep my brother from killing the guy. I did the right thing and distracted him until Law Enforcement officers were able to arrive. But I'm feeling a lot of guilt about that.

I walked right up to the guy who did this while he was sitting outside his front door. He had a rifle next to him. He was waiting for my brother, who was not 50 feet away approaching the back of this piece of shit's home.

I walked up to this would be rapist, knowing he didn't see me as a threat, with a concealed gun on my hip. Instead of doing what every molecule of my body was screaming at me to do and blowing his guts all over the side of his house, I convinced him to go inside and lock the door.

I pretended to be his friend. I acted to the benefit of this evil piece of shit. I could have just distracted him until my brother came up behind him. But I didn't.

I didn't want my brother going to jail, or getting hurt, because I knew his girlfriend would only feel like it was all her fault and that she should have just kept her mouth shut. I didn't want a victim to be silenced. I want justice for her.

I still feel guilty for not helping my brother take that son of bitch out. I think I always will. That's why I couldn't sleep to night. It's one of the reasons I can't get that childhood memory out of my head. My zeal to take the mother fuckers who would do such things out is partly fueled by fear of ever again being labled as one of them.

And the things I've done to myself to help make sure that never happens again are part of the reason I'm alone right now with no one to tell me it'll be okay, no one to comfort me so I can get back to sleep.

But after what I caused to happen all those years ago, I can't help but think I'm getting my just deserts.