Thursday, May 19, 2005


Rub-A-Dub-Dub...I'm a Lonely Slut

Well, I just called this masseur I had an appointment with a couple of weeks ago. Having been kinda down and diving back into the drug thing, I decided to indulge in a semi-legitimate massage. Things got a little frisky at the appointment. While we didn't have sex, we did fool around quite a bit. I ended up giving him a massage in turn, and he told me that I had "magic hands." He's a sweet guy with a killer body. (His ass is like granite!)

So I asked him if he wanted to get together some time. He told me he was so busy with his two jobs that he hardly had time for his regular friends. That, of course, is guy talk for "I'm not going to call you." But I had hope that maybe we could spend some time together when I wasn't paying for it. *sigh* Not fucking likely. I called and left him a message last week some time, and he never called me back. I've tried once or twice since then but always got his voicemail. Tonight, being lonely, drunk and high, I called him yet again. I managed to talk to him, but it was a brief and awkward conversation. Again he wasn't forthcoming in an attempt to get together. So, in my desperation, I asked him if he would like to do something sometime. He hemmed and hawed for awhile but finally told me that he wasn't sure when he would next be free. I gave him an easy out, and that was the end of things. I'm sure he's not going to call me. My only hope is that I have the strength of mind not to come crawling back to him again; however, I doubt that I do, yet the social conventions so ingrained into me should probably keep me from bothering him any more. I can't aim high enough to hope that someone will actually want to make an effort to spend time with me, or even that I will manage to maintain one last shred of personal dignity. The best that I seem to be able to hope for is that I won't come across as too much as a creepy stalker.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Welcome To Paradise!

I've been trying to complete this entry for a while now, but I haven't been able to keep focused in order to get it together. It deals with some pretty heavy things, so I can only hope that it doesn't collapse under its own pretentious weight.

Anxiety and depression have ruled my entire adult life. In technical terms, I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder with corollary Depression. I also have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but that's a whole other story, and blog entry. I struggle with my mood problems every single day, but they tend to ebb and flow over time. They've been particularly severe for the past couple of weeks. I can barely move through their crushing weigh and feel as if I weigh a thousand pounds. (Insert fat joke here.) I walk through my work day like an automaton, using all of my strength to lift my leaden limbs to do my job. It's been hard enough to get the bare minimum done, let alone anything beyond that. I haven't exercised in two weeks, have let my healthy eating program fall by the wayside and have generally been a state of malaise, particularly over any of my efforts at self-improvement.

"Be nice to Patsy. She's been feeling low lately."
"Low? She'd get vertigo in a sewer!"
—Edina & Saffy, Absolutely Fabulous
In fact, I'm particularly disillusioned by my self-improvement kick because nothing really seems to have improved. Granted, my mood is generally better and less erratic when I'm exercising and abstaining. But as the recent past has so poignantly demonstrated, these things are no shield from suffering extreme lows. My therapist says that I get angry when my efforts don't have the "payoff" I'm expecting, a payoff which is nothing more than a self-constructed fantasy in my head. I make an expenditure of effort and then fly into a rage in which I tear down what little I've built up because my efforts haven't resulted in my life being transfigured into this ideal of perfection I can't let go of.

The sad result of all of this is that I've once again turned to drugs. I'm really disappointed in myself that I couldn't make it for at least six month, partially for reasons that are too personal to go into, even in this tell-all blog. Once May rolled around, I dived back into caffeine and alcohol without thinking too much about it. Then I had a terrible anxiety attack one evening. I could hardly bear it, so I considered getting myself some Vicodans. I actually felt as if my will were being tested. (That's very old-fashioned and religiously superstitious in such an enlightened age, I know. But I am Catholic.) I managed to resist the temptation and just went to bed that night, hoping things would be better in the morning, and the next day I felt rather proud of myself for riding out my mood. However, the next night I felt just as low, and it finally broke my resolve. I got myself some drugs and have been using narcotics off and on ever since.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand "Oh My God's"

Regardless of my history with drugs and alcohol, I actually don't have to be fucked up to show poor judgment. In that vein, I have decided to post pictures of my shameful apartment. When I tell people that my place is a wreck, they generally think of an untidy clutter. They don't give me credit for having such a pathetic, insane, footage-on-the-TV-news-after-they've-died, unholy mess. My therapist maintains that a person's home is an external analogy for the internal state of his or her mind, and that makes quite a lot of sense to me. Unfortunately, my apartment reflects just how chaotic and unorganized and flat-out sad my mind truly is.

When I showed a friend of mine the picture below, he said that all I needed was a few garbage bags, and I could have it all sorted out in a matter of hours. Frankly, I suspect he thinks all of my problems are that simple to solve and feels that the underlying cause is nothing more than smokescreens and self-indulgence. I wish all those people who believe that I need nothing more than to pick myself up by my boot straps and give myself a good shake--pretty much everyone I know--could spend a week in my brain. Not in the spirit of mutual understanding, mind you. But as a curse. Let them spend the vast majority of their psychic energy keeping their mood above sea-level and see how much fucking shit they get accomplished. Being neurotic is a full-time job, and every day that I drag my ass out of bed, get dressed and show up for work is a victory.
"infectious sense of hopelessness and prayers for rain i suffocate i breathe in dirt and nowhere shines but desolate and drab the hours all spent on killing time again all waiting for the rain"
—Robert Smith of The Cure, "Prayers for Rain"

The Living Room From Hell

As you can see in this second picture, the frame on my bed slipped apart. And without bothering to fix the problem, I simply slept at a crazy tilt for several weeks. Also, I would hate to guess how many months went by between washing my sheets; it's a wonder they didn't crawl off on their own. While this is one situation I have actually taken the time to correct and I'm now sleeping on clean sheets in an upright bed, it demonstrates how I tend to let things go, how I will live with a mess or a problem without having the energy or the motivation to address it.

My Broken Bed

This final picture shows one of the steaming piles of laundry I have strewn all over the place. Those towels hanging on my closet door have been there for over a year, although that's more of an OCD problem rather than mere ennui. I only do laundry on an as-needed basis. I wash the clothes I need for work or for other activities instead of taking the time to get it all done. I concede that one good weekend and a constantly running washing machine could resolve this; however, particularly in light of the aforementioned OCD, it's really not that simple, for me at least. Even if I could "just do it" (a BIG if), I'd have to deal with having a clean place to sort out the laundry once it's washed, a clean place to put it away all once it's done, etc. It's one more example of how my psychological shortcomings turn a molehill of daily living tasks into a mountain of seeming impossibility.

Dirty Laundry

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Michael St. John
(With apologies to Eric Orner. Hope to see you at "Talking Book World" again.)

As if the photographs above weren't enough, I am also listing a schedule of my activities from last weekend to further demonstrate just how much my anxiety and depression rob from my life. The more astute among you should be able to discern a theme amongst them. I use sleep as an escape to avoid my mood and the problems in my life.

"Believe me, she's much happier unconscious."
—Saffy, Absolutely Fabulous
An Expert Weighs In

I saw my therapist yesterday. We've been discussing the issues presented here for several years now. In this particular session, she asked when I was finally going to appreciate the intelligent and creative "rarity" that I am. It almost made me cry to hear someone say that to me; of course, the unspoken subtext to that is "high-maintenance pain in the ass," but you gotta take the good with the bad. She told me I needed to start "looking outside of myself" and get involved in something that doesn't have anything to do with me or my needs, like volunteering. (The unspoken subtext to that is "stop being such a self-absorbed prick.") She also told me that people like myself tend to be loners and perhaps it's time to embrace my solitude. That kind of worried me because I wondered if she's given up on my ability to construct a semi-normal life.

I don't want to be alone. I know I'm not constructed to be any kind of "social butterfly." But I still hold hope that I'll find my niche in a small but close circle of friends with whom I regularly spend time with. I still hope I can find that someone special to share my life with. On the subway yesterday, this man in his late fifties sort of attached himself to me. He asked me to show him where to get off at the Hollywood & Vine station and started conversing with me. He didn't seem quite right. I don't know if maybe he suffered from some kind of developmental disorder, or some more subtle psychological condition. I also don't know if he was coming onto me or if he just wanted someone to talk to. I was nice to him and chatted with him. Not only because I'm actually a pretty decent guy but also because I saw the potential for my future self in him. Is that how I'm going to end up? Will I be lonely and isolated and attach myself to strangers out of a desperate need for social interaction?
"'s easier for me to get closer to heaven than ever feel whole again"
—Robert Smith of The Cure, "Disintegration"
Now What?

Airing all of my dirty laundry, literally and figuratively, in my blog wasn't only an exercise in self-pity. I've never presented such a comprehensive and brutally honest portrait of my life and my problems. In fact, I'm having serious doubts about the wisdom of posting this entry at all. I'm making mental notes about who knows I'm writing this blog and what their reaction to all of this will be. Still, it has been a very cathartic exercise, and it's actually inspired me into taking some action and continuing my efforts at self-improvement.

So where do I go from here? In Albert Camus' metaphor of Sisyphus in "The Myth of Sisyphus," I am at that moment at the top of the hill when the rock I've been pushing once again rolls back to the bottom. According to Camus, in this moment before I must return to the task of futilely pushing the boulder back up the slope, I should sense the entire landscape stretched before with a sense of freedom and happiness. I must admit that I feel more like Sylvia Plath at the end of The Bell Jar. After everything I've gone through, I see no answers, just more question marks. So where do I go from here? I struggle and I fight to forge a better tomorrow. In the end, I am only one man with only one man's problems. To set oneself against one's adversities is the greatest good, the only legitimate alternative and the legacy of the human spirit.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Tying One On (And I Don't Mean a Rainbow Ribbon)

Or "Relapse" Ain't Just Running Circles Around a Track...
While Yelling "Reee!"

Well, with the passing of the month of April, I fell off the proverbial wagon and drank alcohol last night. I don't exactly consider it a relapse since it was planned. I really don't think God designed me for complete sobriety, and after thirty days without so much as caffeine, I was ready for a break. I'm simply one of those people who "can never say forever." Granted, I was flipping out at church, and I wanted to shout out, "Hurry up! I've got drinkin' to do!", which isn’t a particularly healthy sign. But whatever.

I needed to cut loose after my crappy week at work. First of all, it was "Employee's Week" (née "Secretary's Week" née "Secretary's Day"). While the firm gave us all a nifty clock and a lovely certificate of appreciation, I was kind of cheesed off that my boss didn't acknowledge the occasion in any way. She didn't necessarily have to take us paralegals out to lunch like she did last year, but some kind of recognition would have been appreciated. (Just a "Happy Employee's Week. Get back to work!" would have been better than nothing.)

Also, I've been very run down the past couple of weeks. Possibly my body is fighting off a cold or something, but I've been quite tired, even when I've gone to bed early. When I'm really tired at work, I don't think anything about taking a nap in an unused office during my lunch. It really revives me, and I'm better able to function in the afternoon. I was napping on the couch in the office of a partner who is out on medical leave. In walks another partner who got upset at me and said I shouldn't be "taking my lunch" in a partner's office. I found out from my boss' secretary that this partner had called my boss right after this all went down. My boss was out that day, so I don't know what the repercussions of all of this are going to be yet.

Finally, I made a fatuous comment to yet another partner, which she apparently took exception to. I was just getting up to type some labels, and I said, with a grin on my face, "You wanna type some labels for me?" She gave me a lecture on needing "better boundaries" and showing her more "respect." I wasn't trying to disrespect her. (I like her.) I mean, geez, it was just an off-handed comment. So as you can see, with my nose out of joint and my job in peril, alcohol seemed like a perfectly rational response. As far as my employment is concerned, my only consolation is that I do a brilliant job (if I do say so myself), so hopefully they'll be willing to put up with my little idiosyncrasies.

On a more positive note, at least I didn't take any Vicodin last night. (My dealer keeps calling me. "Hey 'Michael,' I was just calling to see how you're doing and if you need anything.") All in all, the drinking thing was pretty dull. It didn't make me feel particularly good, just fuzzy and slightly nauseated. So I don't think I'll be going back to making it a regular thing.

And now for a Bridget Jones-esque wrap-up report:

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Just A Bit of Humor

After much study (purely academic, I assure you!), I came up with the following list of important life lessons. Enjoy!

Ten Things I Learned From Gay Porn
  1. Every man entering a public restroom is interested in having gay sex.
  2. Men commonly wear cock rings while doing day-to-day activities
    such as mowing the lawn.
  3. ALL male police officers and military men are gay.
  4. Naval ships are great big bathhouses on the ocean.
  5. Conversation is like foreplay—completely unnecessary and usually
    poorly done.
  6. Muscle men wear big heavy boots to keep their legs out of the air.
  7. Gay sex is like a holiday party—the more, the merrier.
  8. Prison can be fun.
  9. Leather is like American Express—don't leave home without it.
  10. Size DOES matter.


Move Over Dorothy!

I was blog surfing last night, and I found out there was this whole circle of gay bloggers in WeHo. Cripes! Not only do I feel out of step with my sub-culture, now there's a sub-sub-culture not to fit in with! I found a lot of them to be really good reads, but I of course hate the bloggers for being funnier and clevererer than I be. All jealous cattiness aside, I listed Vanguard and Jason's Room in my "Notable Blogs" section. I think these two are particularly interesting because not only are they well-written but they also draw from the writers' individual experiences without being self-indulgent
or boring.

"There is entirely too much charm around, and something must be done to stop it."
—Dorothy Parker

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