It's not that decisions get harder to make as you grow older, necessarily. It's that they have much more finality attached to them. You need to know the right answer all the time. You rarely get a second chance. The margin of error has shrunk drastically. You just can't fuck up anymore.
I suppose there's a certain group of people out there who can relate to all this. They don't have trust funds, they think too much, and maybe they want too much or maybe they want too much that actually has meaning to it. Most people seem to be okay with being empty and trite. This is easily applicable to both materialistic living as well as relationships. Most people in your life will become as useless as an outdated stereo or a broken piece of furniture. There isn't much difference. It could be argued that the broken furniture is worth more. You can still sit on it. You can still set it on fire when your heating gets shut up. People just make you sad. They just make you sad and they leave.
You build up this collection of "what if's" and store an armada of "what could have been's" in the back of your mind. These create even more self doubt that you already had when you woke up this morning. You see your peers happy (or at least doing a better job of pretending to be) and it's impossible to stop yourself from wondering what it is that is so different about this person that makes it so much easier for them to go through the motions when the only thing you want to do is sleep in or take another shower.
Everything becomes a comparison even though you know it shouldn't be. They're making more money. They've got a fancy job title. They're having more sex than you. They have a fucking wife and two kids already. You get older and it becomes faster cars bigger houses fatter portfolios and other shit that just doesn't fucking matter. They don't wake up with an overwhelming sense of impending doom or a voice in the back of their head telling them that they are wasting their time and it's all a lost cause.
I've been having a hard time caring. I'm sorry.
Not even the biggest ego makes a difference when you wake up alone. You don't want people to help because you can't even help yourself. You don't want people to help because then you end up feeling obligated to them somehow, or some other fucked up sense of attachment is created when you just want to be left alone in the first place. The people you don't care about expect too much, and the few that you do, well, we know how that ends.
I was a little bit late getting to it, but Jimmy Eat World's Invented is fucking phenomenal. There are a few tracks on this album that hit me like a fucking ton of bricks and I can't stop listening. It's almost a perfect blend of Futures and Chase This Light.
Finding albums/songs that make me feel something, or make me really think about something is getting harder and harder as each year goes on, but this album has managed to do that. Maybe I'm growing out of touch with whatever musical scene is left, or maybe I'm just getting too fucking old, but it's a good feeling when the words and the music make your skin light up with tiny little goosebumps.
It's nice to be reminded that you can still feel something.
A band that needs little introduction here on AP.net, The Dangerous Summer, recently released a highly impressive live EP to hold fans over until the follow up to their breakout album Reach For The Sun is available. In a world of absurdly altered vocals, computers being used as instruments, and a pretty face being worth more than a solid song, The Dangerous Summer are a stellar example of a band doing everything they can to stay true to the music. Their live show exemplifies this, the raw energy and passion that made fans fall in love with Reach For The Sun is taken to an entirely new level, making what was one of 2009's most emotional albums sound that much more heartfelt and sincere. If for some reason your ears have yet to experience this, I highly recommend you change that as soon as possible.
I owe you this blog. You know more than most people how much these words mean to me and how important it is for me to get them out of my head. There are few people who have been as big a part of my life over the past year or so, and maybe you will continue to be that, but things change, and usually not for the way we would prefer. We are headed in very opposite directions, both figuratively and literally, and as good as I am with telling you how things will end up, I do not know the answer to this one.
I once said that if I write about a person, it is the most sincere, flattering, and significant gesture that I can express towards them.
This entry feels incomplete, as there is always something more to say to you.
Here you are. After all this time.
"I have to go," I said. I could feel it rising up in me, that pressure in the throat, the burning in the eyes.
There are points in conversations and moments in situations that if you do not remove yourself promptly you will end up repeating the words you've already said, and you will be crying even harder than the first breakdown. I thought I had said everything there was to say. If I didn't leave, I was going to lose it.
I let go of her hand. I reached for the door.
She grabbed my arm. "I love you, I really do," she exclaimed in a voice with an amount of desperation and urgency I've never heard before.
Then I lost it. God, I lost it.
A driveway conversation reduced to nothing but a blur of tears. Two kids crying for an hour in the moonlight. I went on and on, but all I can actually remember saying is, "It's not the end."
I didn't expect it to be like this. I feel foolish for wasting time, missing opportunities, and not being as good of a friend as I believe I could have been. I didn't expect to care as much as I did. As I do. I never thought it would really add up to anything, and I certainly never thought if it did, it would be when it was time to say goodbye. The technicalities of what is and what isn't a goodbye can be argued indefinitely, but the bottom line is that when a person is gone, they are gone.
You can love somebody, and they can love you back, but the truth is that that's just not enough. There is no guarantee for a perfect ending. There's not even a guarantee of a relatively pleasant ending. People change, faster and faster it seems, and as I get older I continue to have trouble accepting these changes. Once something is gone, very rarely does it return. Life gets in the way and people go in different directions. I envy the optimists, for they feel something I may never know.
I try to see the big picture. I don't always, and I get caught up in the moment, the short term aspect of things. But if you can change somebody for the better, if you can leave your mark, if you can become unforgettable, then that is a victory. All of the bad things are canceled out. Try not to let it hurt too much, for too long. You've done more than most people ever will.
"It's not the end," she told me. We said goodbye.
You don't hear it very often, and you believe it even less.
It never fails. You think you've walled off the dangers of the world, turned away most anyone who has the ability to find a way past your defenses. Somebody slips in, eventually, and finds a weak spot. A rogue, trained in the master arts of disappointment and able to tug on heart strings like no other.
The heart is nothing but a Trojan horse.
After knowing somebody for an extended amount of time and connecting with them on a certain level, you would like to believe that you've left upon them a substantial mark, some kind of impression. You'd like to think that you've instilled in them a sort of inner value, a sense of self worth. The two of you are on the same page.
That isn't how it works. It doesn't work. You can think that you know somebody, you can invest time and effort and words and emotions. We all do. When it comes down to it, these other individuals are the ones in charge of their own decisions and their own lives. They are the actor, the writer, the director.
You can't hold yourself responsible for the shortcomings of other people. You shouldn't.
But when you want nothing but the best for them, how do you not feel any responsibility? How can you not feel like you are the one who has failed in some regard and disappointed them? All of your words and wisdom and the bits and pieces of everything and nothing in between seem to be useless. It's as if it never even happened.
People will fuck up at almost any given opportunity. Maybe that's what human nature is. To fuck up time after time and hope somehow things don't get too out of control.
The logic of analyzing who is responsible for what doesn't matter when you're the one feeling let down. When you have a set of standards that are at a certain level, you try to surround yourself with people who live and react accordingly to those standards. It is difficult, if not borderline impossible to find an ensemble that fits your cast list as ideally as you would prefer. All the world's a stage, but the audition process is a fucking joke.
Somebody once told me that my standards, even as high as they may be, aren't a bad thing. What I needed to work on was becoming more tolerant and accepting of the people, however many billions there are, who fail to meet those standards.
I have yet to do that. I don't know how to, or if I ever will. Or if I even want to.
Get your hopes up. Come back to reality. Put the pieces back together. Try to move on.
If you don't ask for help, if you don't let people know things aren't right, then don't expect things to get better. Very few people can fight those kinds of battles alone and come out better off. Getting out alive is difficult enough, let alone getting out improved. It just doesn't happen.
There are few things more futile and counterproductive than writing about not being able to write. So I don't.
These people, Jesus, when you take a step back, when you just take some time to collect it all, to take it all in, you see these insects crawl out of the wood. Rambling on, paragraph after paragraph, (maybe a stanza if they're trying really hard to impress), line after line. None of it is worth reading, so even less is worth remembering.
You don't choose to be a writer. It chooses you. If you don't have the time to write, you're already dead. And you can't write when you're dead. Become an accountant. Become a math teacher. Numbers are good. You can always find numbers to work with. They only go up and down and they don't talk back to you. What you're doing will be or already is pointless in the grand scheme of things and nobody will look back and say "Oh I remember him, he was such a marvelous accountant. They just don't make accountants or bankers or sports psychologists like they used to!" Spare us, or at least spare me, the things you think are worth saying.
The advent of digital photography made everyone a photographer.
The advent of force fed social media has made everyone a writer.
And they thought the Lost Generation peaked after the first Great War. God, if they could see us now.
I've always got lines and thoughts and rants and moments of absurdity that are meant for the page. You just aren't seeing it. At least not like you used to. At least not yet.
A writer is only as good as his audience allows him to be.
I don't know if I've ever been more weirded out by somebody online. This guy is straight up hijacking blogs I have written in the past and taking them as his own. Even questions from my Formspring show up. He changes little details like "Georgia" to "Alabama."
This is creepy as fuck.
Edit: Tumblr suspended and removed the account. Bizarre. Thanks to whoever it was that pointed it out. Here is the Google Cache link of everything:
I wish I could tell you. Show you. Just let you know, somehow. How all this feels.
It's anger, and it's fear.
It's desire, and it's sadness.
It's wanting something that you aren't sure if it's even there.
Waking up alone at 3 in the morning just to stare at the ceiling
for hours and hours and hours
and wonder Where Did It All Go Wrong.
It doesn't matter where it went wrong, just that it did indeed go very, very fucking wrong, and all you have is the now.
It's when you realize you don't have all the answers that they're looking for, that you can't fix everything, you can't fix everyone.
You can try. You can try for a long time. I do, I did, I do. Eventually you realize you've given bits and pieces of yourself away. You've neglected your own battles to fight for others.
People become routines.
You can keep fixing all of those broken hearts, but one day, you'll realize you've forgotten all about your own.
The power has been out for nearly eight hours. It is four in the morning. I have all but decided to abandon this day of school.
My house is astoundingly silent. I sit in my bedroom. The only audible sound is the mechanical ticking of an old fashion alarm clock. Nothing else. Nothing more.
From my shelf, I take a book. Hardbound. Lean. Pages perfectly crisp. Some time ago, I was given this book, which is filled with every blog I had written during 2008. A catastrophic year, documented in nearly incoherent sentences describing loss, frustration, pain, and a lingering sadness which I have yet to find a refuge from. I haven't read these entries since they were originally written. I just don't. I can't. What has happened has been recorded. Once those words are there, once they are out of me and onto that paper or that screen, that is it for me.
There is a painfully fine line between, "Don't dwell on the past," and "Don't forget where you came from."
I open the book.
For part of me, it is as if this was written yesterday. The list of things that have yet to change is far too long.
For part of me, it is as if this was written while stars were forming in unfathomably large clouds of galactic dust so far away that we are only now seeing their dying light. It's not even real. It's not even me.
I don't make it through April. It is too much. I bury my head into the light blue towel that is still damp from drying my hair.
These words. These lines. They break my heart as much as they did before they were ink on paper.
Words are people and places, lines are memories and emotions. I am page after page of heartbreak and self defeat.
I am past the point of trying to explain all of this to people. It takes a certain kind of individual to understand it. To even attempt it.
I am not sure you want to be that kind of individual.
I wouldn't recommend it.
I said I've got the lines if you'd like to hear it,
I can't decide if you'd like to be there, too.
Thursday night at 9pm I will be doing a tell all interview live on the air with the kind people at St. Lawrence University. This will cover pretty much anything and everything, so it should be a fun time.
To make it even more interesting, you get to come up with questions for them to ask me. Post them here, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous, ask them at http://www.formspring.me/anamericangod.
I'll post the technical info tomorrow afternoon, but you should be able to listen through iTunes.
If you found any of the interviews I did on The Gunz show entertaining or enjoyable, I have a feeling you'll really like this.