Monthly Archives: August 2011

How it sucks having to be mature about things

My last boyfriend is now with someone new. They seem well suited to one another. I know this because I stalked his Twitter, and, after that, hers. Also I know this because when we were still dating he talked about her. I said, “You like her.” He said, “No I don’t.” Then we had a crazy fight.

One thing I’ve learned is that if you suspect the person you’re with likes someone else, you are probably correct. That’s just part of knowing somebody. If you’re in a good relationship, it probably doesn’t matter all that much.

I said that they seem well suited to each other. I don’t know this for sure, but I strongly suspect it. Another thing I strongly suspect is that he is not a bad person. And still another thing I strongly suspect is that we were not in a good relationship.

There are some things I suspect, and there are some things I know. I know that after we broke up I couldn’t sleep or eat for a while. I know that, after we broke up, I secretly hoped we would get back together. I know now that that will probably never happen. And I know now that that is for the best.

In a way, I wish I didn’t have my knowledge or my suspicions. I wish I didn’t even have a clue. Then I could hate his guts and talk to my friends about what a stupid piece of shit he is. I can’t do that in good faith, though, because, based on what I know, I don’t think he’s a stupid piece of shit. I think that I am a fallible human person who had feelings for someone who wasn’t great for me and it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. It’s a bummer to have to think that, but it’s true.

When you know something is true, it’s really hard to think the opposite. There was a time when I could do that, but back then I didn’t care as much about trying to figure out what was actually true. I cared more about feeling good about stuff. Now I would rather figure out what’s actually true, and then try to feel good about stuff. What this means is that I’m more mature about certain things.

Being more mature about certain things is great. Life is way easier as a result. I feel healthier, like if I stopped smoking and drinking and eating shitty food, except emotionally. When I feel bad about smoking and drinking and eating shitty food, I think, “Well, at least I’m mature in ways that some people who don’t drink or smoke or eat shitty food are not.” I guess that’s not particularly mature.

Sometimes maturity is a drag, though. For example, when you can’t eat or sleep. And when you want to tell your friends what a stupid piece of shit your ex-boyfriend is.

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The real you

I have a pretty good idea of who the real me is. Not “good” like accurate, but good in the sense that I think about it a lot. It’s probably a load of shit. People are terrible at determining the real them.

One thing you should never do is try to tell people about the real you. Better to show than to tell, because sometimes the act of telling actually disproves your point. For example, talking about how you don’t care what people think of you. If you don’t care, then why do I have to hear about it?

Mostly you should avoid telling people about the real you because what you are actually doing is telling people about the you of your dreams. They can see the difference, even if you can’t. Laying your dreams bare is kind of embarrassing. And often the difference between you and the you of your dreams is so vast that you just end up looking stupid, like if you argued that Hamlet’s whole problem was that he was gay and in love with his dad.

It’s good to have an idea of the real you because it’s good to have dreams. But you have to realize that people don’t care about your dreams. Maybe they care about you, but chances are they care about the you that actually exists.

Who knows what that you is all about? Not knowing makes being liked kind of wild and goes to show you that everyone dies alone.

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Why things should always end badly

I am in Montreal right now. I got here last Saturday. For the first week, being here was bliss. Right now, being here is good. By next week, I expect that being here will be OK bordering on shitty. That means things are going right on track.

I want this trip to end badly because I don’t want leaving to feel like the end of the world. The palatial apartment I’m subletting is way better than the storage closet I call my apartment. The only way I could feel alright about going back is if ghosts came out of the walls here and told me I was in grave danger if I stayed. Working at some cafe where people are drinking beer at 3 in the afternoon is way better than working in my dark, freezing office, where a solitary beer constitutes a party. To want to come back, I have to start feeling like Nic Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.

People are always saying things like, “Keep it short and sweet.” That doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would you want things to end while you’re still enjoying them? The whole point of enjoying things is to finish enjoying them. Otherwise you will be haunted forever by the enjoyment you cut short and will never have again. If you enjoy the shit out of something to the extent that you can’t enjoy it anymore, you will not feel bummed that it’s over.

That’s why I think it’s best to end things on a bad note. People think this taints the entire experience, but that’s insane to me. Who judges an entire experience by the final five minutes? If I have an amazing dinner and my stomach hurts afterward, I don’t think, “Boy, what a lousy dinner.” I think “Boy, that dinner was amazing. Now it’s time to stop eating.” Same goes for relationships. I don’t want to sit around moping for a million years because the relationship ended before I wanted it to. I want to be glad it’s over. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s better to be glad than sad.

That’s pretty much why I’m in Montreal right now. I came here for two days last November and had an amazing time. It hurt so much to remember that amazing time that I had to come for another two days. I had an amazing time and it hurt so much to remember that amazing time that I had to come for three weeks. I’d better be totally sick of Montreal by the time I leave, because I’ve used up all my vacation time.

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Work and fun

There’s an old saying that goes, “Work hard and play hard.” That’s a good one, but it doesn’t factor in things like beautiful Sunday afternoons when you have work to do. What are you supposed to do, sit inside? I say no. Take the laptop to the park. It’s cool.

Work and fun are two different things, but they exist concurrently whether you want them to or not. For example, when I am out having fun, the mom in my brain screams at me about all the work I’m not doing. And when I’m working, the other mom in my brain screams at me that I’m wasting my youth and that I need to make memories for when I die.

So I try to please both moms. When I get home from work and have more work to do, I do things like drink while I’m working. When I’m out having fun, I do things like make mental lists while I’m peeing. Sometimes I do a fun-work hybrid where I go out for fun with people who work on the same things and we talk about work the whole time. It’s fun.

People tell me that it’s important to have fun without work, but if I allow myself a weekend of pure fun, I’m not going to want to work on Monday. Similarly, if I stay in for two weeks doing work, I will start to think of fun as a sort of witchy temptress. Fun mode and work mode both want you for their own, but you have to keep them guessing.

You may have noticed that I used the word “fun” instead of “life.” That’s because life is work and fun. There’s not much room in between to keep an apartment tidy and prepare good food. One day the work I do will allow me to pay for those things. That’s not actually true, but it’s how I get the third mom to leave me alone.

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Places you will never be again

From ages nine through sixteen I lived in an apartment near Lick’s on Queen East. Lots of stuff in my life happened there. It’s all super interesting to me, but it wouldn’t be interesting to you, so I’ll just leave it at that. I walk past it all the time but I can never go inside ever again.

As a result, I have dreams about it literally every night. I will never get over that doggone apartment. I have felt that way about other places, too. For example, all the other places I’ve lived in. And I will probably feel that way about the place I’m living in now. They’re all rammed full of memories.

It sucks more than anything to not be able to relive your memories. What also sucks is that the events in your memories were nowhere near as good when they were actually happening. That means a lot of the ho-hum things you do now will be devastating when you remember them, and this is partly why people take cellphone pictures all the time. They want to create a bridge from the stuff they’re doing to the memories they’re going to have.

Sadly, they are only cellphone pictures. People are better bridges than cellphone pictures, but they’re still not great, because people don’t want to be bridges to your memories. They want to do their own thing. Places are the best because, as long as they’re standing, they usually remain as they were when you made your memories in them.

There are only two catches. One, most of them you can never be inside ever again, unless you get rich and buy it from whoever’s living there. I’ve never heard of that happening. Two, evil forces can wrest places from the physical world. For example, my old apartment near Lick’s on Queen Street. It will soon become condos.

I know that my memories don’t trump the people’s need for condos. But it would be nice if I could at least take a tour of the apartment before they tear it down. It would be cool to see the place I’ve been dreaming about for nine years, and it would make me feel less like my memories are dead forever.

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