I Am an Asshole

Photo on 10-22-14 at 5.51 PM

Don’t read this blog. It’s embarrassing and too revealing and you’ll think much less of me when you read it. You’ve been warned.

I was looking on my bookshelf today at all the books I have that I would love to read and haven’t. I mean my library, even though I gave away two thirds of it when I left Salt Lake, is really pretty impressive, full of good literature, a survey starting with Homer and going forward. I have great African American writers and a lot from Romanticism. There’s some good post-structural stuff. Feminism. Communism. God. I have a few of the Beats and a fair amount of Literary Theory and Philosophy. I’ve mentioned about half of what would impress you and it would impress me too if I’d read it all. I’m a great buyer of books. It is hard for me to read the back of a cereal box. ADD is the most prevalent symptom of my PTSD and it makes reading exceptionally hard. I stood there looking through the books today trying to figure out what I wanted to give my buddy Phillip for his birthday (I decided on my complete David Sedaris; I love Phillip very much) and I found myself wishing that I’d taken this opportunity being down in Alabama for nearly a year to read through as many of these as I could. And to also have spent this time churning out a few more plays. But I didn’t. I fucked around like I usually do and the most noble thing I did with my time was to try and be of service to my family. The rest of the time I spent self-medicating my pain in the boring and stupid ways I do it now that whiskey and heroine are off the table. Goddamn I wish I could get high.

Driving to Birmingham this afternoon (I’m going to a Christmas party with Spud) I started thinking— you know, Jeff, instead of moving to New York in sixteen days with no money, no job, and no place to live, you could actually stay here in Alabama for a few more months and get in better shape, read some of those books, get a lot more writing done so you would have more to shop when you get back to New York— and then the phone rang— and it was my buddy Ron, another Iraq veteran who’s in New York and is waiting for me to come back up there and be his roommate. He’s stuck in his current lease until the end of February so we’ll be looking to moving in together March 1. I’ve got a couple of places lined up to stay with friends while I try to get my bearings up there again. I blew it when I was up there for the six months I lived there before I came home to help with Dad. I had put all all my eggs in the basket of this one producer who talked the big talk about helping me but then had the nerve to get breast cancer— inconsiderate bitch. So I basically blew through about $35K in my six months of living there— alone— in a one bedroom in Brooklyn— going to the theatre— and playing rugby— instead of hitting the streets everyday trying to pimp my plays, writing as hard and as fast as I could, and looking for acting work— well congratulations asshole, now it looks like you may be living in those streets.

Well so be it. I’d rather be homeless in New York than continue on in this downward cycle of despair in Dixie. Being so close to the “scene of the crime” with regard to so much of my early life trauma has re-stimulated me in the extreme in such a way that I’m in a constant state of trying to ease the pain. Then I do things (addictive patterns around food and sex) that make me feel even worse so I do more of them— the same old familiar addictive cycle. I have just got to get back to New York and plug back into my communities. I love a lot of people in Alabama and I can still (as amazing as it seems) romance the idea of The South— Bama football, the food, the good things about the culture— but I belong in New York— and I just have to  get Home. That’s home for me now. New York is home.

So I’m barreling toward Birmingham thinking that maybe I’ll stay longer in Alabama and Ron calls. And I remember how I’d invited him to come to New York almost a year ago to be my roommate and how he’d stuck it out there and made his way and is working as security guard at the new World Trade Center building and how much we’ve been through together and how I talked him into leaving his life in the hills of Tennessee to come to big city and how he stayed there anyway while I’ve been in Alabama this year dealing with all this family stuff and how he was such a good and true friend to agree to not run back to Tennessee with his tail between his legs but instead to remain in New York and be my anchor there until I could return. And about how much he’s been through including getting blown up in Iraq and getting shat on by the country that sent him there.

And so I am going back in sixteen days come hell or high water and I’ll do what I have to do to stay there. That is my fucking Apple and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to let Adam and his two husbands live there in their “yours mine and ours” comfort nest while I live in the land that never wanted me from the get-go. This country treats its artists and activists like shit. Of course it does. Why shouldn’t it? We are the ones who threaten the status quo. If your lucky enough that your “thing” is something this culture bows down and worships (like being a surgeon like Adam is) then you are all set and unless you fuck it up (like Adam is going to do) you are set for life.

Well thank God the urge to unburden myself and tell you about the shitty thing I did when I got to Birmingham has passed. Suffice it to say that if put in the right situation, I can be as big an asshole as anybody I ever shit-talk in my blog— and should I ever find myself in a situation where I need an excuse to take the long walk and I’m having trouble reconciling that with the din of people telling me how wonderful and important I am— all I have to do is think of myself this afternoon, acting like a compete bully, and terrorizing this poor little gay kid— and the choice will no longer be that hard. And this is the guy with a tattoo on his arm that says “nothing human disgust me unless it’s unkind.” What a fucking joke. I am unkind. And I am disgusting.

But today is not September 1, 2015. So the verdict is not due. I’m going to go into the gym and hoist some dumbbells a bit and see if I can do something positive with this self-hatred I’m feeling. I’ve not been in three days. And that was the only thing that was working solidly in my life. I can’t let that part go— after all, I am the way I look, right?

I warned you not to read this blog.

See y’all tomorrow.

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