Tuesday, August 14, 2018

But Anyway...WTF


           
            I decided I would write a blog post this morning.

            It’s been 16 months since I last wrote one but that’s not why I decided to write one.

            I decided to write one because of Marc Maron, actually, and I was thinking about Marc Maron because I was on his “WTF” Web site trying to see how deep the archives went. I was in that place looking for an episode he’s supposedly done with Carlos Mencia and I was there because Demitri Martin’s Wikipedia page suggested Carlos Mencia’s Wikipedia page to me and I was on Demitri Martin’s Wikipedia page because I’d just watched his new Netflix special.

            Sixteen months ago I wrote about the passing of Chris Cornell and prior to that I hadn’t written since Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States.

            This is probably all trivial and boring to you, but I’m writing for myself this morning.


            I’m writing for myself this morning because I felt compelled to make myself document the thoughts I was having as I failed to fall asleep for my post-meditation morning nap.

            I failed to fall asleep for my post-meditation morning nap because my morning meditation was a struggle. The meditation was a struggle because I haven’t done one in weeks and I haven’t done one in weeks because I haven’t gone to bed sober in months. There’re reasons for all of these things and there’re reasons for all of the things that’re part of this chain that I’m not listing…

            That or there’s one reason. And if it’s one reason then there’s a possibility that I haven’t figured out which one it is.

            I mean, I know who the candidates are. I’ve seen the lineup. I’ve read the multiple-choice question and all of its answers.

            Like John Popper said, though: “But anyway.”

            I was laying there on my basement couch, scanning the list of folks Marc Maron has interviewed in just the last few years. I’ve listened to the Marc Maron episode of “Sklarbro Country” and I’ve tried to watch a Marc Maron Netflix special. Neither did much for me, but I have definitely been aware of his presence in the industry for a number of years.

            Something that startled me, though, was my sister-in-law’s mentioning of him last summer when my wife and I were in New York. That is, he popped up in an unexpected circle. You know, like when you run in to your drug friends while you’re out with your church friends. Catches you off guard a little bit.

            Anyway, I was scanning the portion of the “WTF” archives and I found myself swelling with admiration for the work this guy’s put in to this podcast. Remarkable list of interviewees. This of course made me think of the work that likely went in to preparing for each of those episodes and that made me think of the fact that podcasting is very much a thing -- and obviously has been for a while -- a person can do and earn a living (or at least a portion of one) doing so.

            And all of this made me think of the absolute shit heap my life is in.

            I don’t use “is in” to frame some kind of empathy petitioning. I really don’t. Most of it’s my fault. Not all of it, but most of it.

            I’m fat, out of shape, depressed most of the time, hopelessly enslaved to nicotine, buried in disorganization, separated from my wife, scraping by at work, and above all, being a shitty dad.

            So there I was, laying on the couch, thinking I ought to lift my quasi-lucid self from horizontal and put some thoughts down on paper.

            That’s where this begins and ends.

            No half-baked plans to do this every morning. No pressure to set myself up for inevitable failure, and no promises that today is the day that I crack the change egg and my life begins to blossom in to all of these things I’ve always wanted it to be.

            As I near age 44, it’s possible that I’m awakening to the notion that life’s map doesn’t have to be bundled with a title page, a table of contents, all of the chapters, and a floral-adorned conclusion.

            It really might be a one-day-at-a-time approach that gets all of the right cylinders firing.

            Who knows, though.

            I won’t have my kids tonight, which is the largest trigger for depressive episodes in my world, and I could be walking down the all-too-familiar path of self-medication and numbing 12 hours from now.

            If I don’t, though, and things go at least relatively well, maybe I’ll be sitting in this chair tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll be feeling a little momentum. Maybe I’ll feel like writing about the last flight I was on where I felt more certain than ever that the maker was ringing the it’s-your-time bell.

            Maybe I’ll feel like writing about what’s it’s been like to think for the last 15 years that I’d lost the ability to cry and how the spring and summer of 2018 showed me just how wrong I was about that.

            Perhaps the notion of body shame will entice, or it could even be a situation where I find myself compelled to write about an old stand-by. Something I’ve gone to often over the years. Something that greases the gears and instills a little confidence.

            That’s too far ahead to think about, though.

            Today’s got to be about loving my kids this morning and not losing myself when I wind down the day without them.

            Before I got off of the couch this morning I envisioned scenarios in which I begin new practices with both of them. Something in the way of a weekly one-on-one moment with each of them. Something that’s tied to their names. Like a session where I talk to my daughter about sweetness and a jig I dance with my son to some kind of new music.

            Who knows.