Friday, July 22, 2005

Sometimes there are certain moments that just sum everything up so succinctly. Like an evening on the couch where I'm flipping through the channels. I knew that I was watching something good just a minute ago. But then I changed the channel and I can't for the life of me remember what the hell I had been watching for the last 15 minutes. God if I had just not changed the channel then I know I could still be there watching whatever it was I was watching. Or maybe those 15 minutes never really happened.

There are four elevators that go to the 11th through the 18th floor. Two on one side of the hallway and two on the other side. When the doors open you're always staring at two elevator doors. And it doesn't matter how much attention I pay in the lobby, I never know if I need to walk off the elevator to the left or the right to get to my office. I never remember which side I of the lobby I got onto the elevator from.

I never have a pen when I need one. I try to keep one in my pocket all the time at work. But somehow there is never a pen there when I need one. When I need to write something important down. I reach in and let my disturbingly long fingers fumble around my keys and my cell phone and maybe my ipod mini but there's never a fucking pen. I must go through ten a week. They don't end up in my office or my car or my apartment. Where do they go?

I keep bananas right next to the box of cereal on top of the fridge. The idea is that every morning I will grab the cereal and pour it in the bowl and grab a banana and slice it up and put it on top of the cereal. Maybe four days a week I get 3/4 of the way through my cereal before I realize I forgot the banana. The fucking banana that was staring me in the face right there on the fridge. And by then it's too late. I mean the cereal is already half soggy and I'm late for work and I'm kinda fullish and it would just take so long to slice the banana. So at the end of every week I throw out three or four brown bananas. Cuz my mom never taught me how to turn them into banana bread.

Doesn't that just say it all?

Nothing you're thinking is new. There have billions of people on this planet. At the very least there are thousands living out your very same situation. There are plenty who have lived it in the past. Don't' worry. If you fail someone else will succeed in your place. They'll be willing to take a stand where you are not. They'll write down their convictions in zeros and ones. In ink on paper and under skin where it will never fade.

I've never been willing to get a tattoo. There's not a thing in this world that I ever thought was worth carrying with me forever. Nothing I believed in enough to tell people always. I just can't commit to anything But that's just because I'm afraid to accept that life is short and finite and in the end the places we go and the choices we make aren't for anyone but ourselves. There are few things I know that I'll always believe in. But if there's one thing I'm ready to wring down in the most permanent ink it's that nothing lasts forever. If I put anything on my body it will be a reminder that you're not stuck in one place. In one body. In one state of mind. Rebirth. Something that represents the constant changing of life. Rebirth. A tattoo of rebirth. Renacimiento. Renaissance. Renovatio. If there's one thing I believe in enough to carry with me always it's that no matter who you think you are. No matter where you think you can go and what you think you can do, nothing is set in stone unless you mix the mortar and set the bricks yourself. Renovatio. Rebirth. Renewal. Rejuvenation.

I heard about a great tattoo artist in Venice. I'm ready to write it down. Deep down where no one can get to it or change it or ever convince me of anything else. Now that's what I call a souvenir.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sometimes I come across as emotionless.. Like I'll pretty much roll with whatever comes my way, unflinching like a soldier who has seen so much that nothing could possibly jolt his world. Truth is I used to get all worked up over the world. I used to fret the little things to the point of insanity and I cracked more than once. But the thing is I've slowly came to a fantastic and awful realization about the world. Or at least about my world. What works for me doesn't mean it will work for you but that's life. Thing is I'm white. I'm white and I'm middle class. I'm white and I'm middle class and I'm decently smart and I'm not ugly and my parents cared enough to teach me right from wrong.

Slowly I started to realize that all I have to do is smile and follow the rules. Follow the arrows on the floor and everything will be alright. If all I do is keep my mouth shut and look forward and keep walking I'll get my job and I'll have my house and I'll have a wife and I'll be able to put my kids through college and probably even retire to Florida. If all I do is smile and nod and keep walking. I mean what idiot would screw it all up just because he thinks that he knows better. Just because he thinks that maybe there's something more to it and that even when he gets to party alongside movie stars and pro athletes and not have to worry about keeping a roof his head or the electricity pumping cool air into his bedroom while he sleeps under the cover. He can have everything that they tell you a man should want. How could he even dream of throwing it all away. When millions of people, probably billions of people would give anything just to have a taste of what he has. Just to have a glimpse into his life. To walk one single day in his shoes.

It was the most liberating and most depressing thought to ever cross my mind. To know that everything is sitting right there in front of me. To know that I've got the golden ticket. But when you know that everything is going to work out, it's hard to ever feel anything. I don't get angry, I don't get very sad, I don't get excited. It all works out.

But deep down inside there's this voice screaming to be let out. Praying that maybe someday someone will come along and see past the jeans and button shirt I wear to work. Will see through the unflinching smile. They'll hear my words but no there's something else there. Beyond the boring drone. Deep down I long for the kind of girl who's ready to break a lot of rules. She knows how to really smile. She knows how to enjoy life instead of just sit and wish she was enjoying it. a girl who's been breaking rules for a long time. And somehow she looks at me and knows that all I really want to do is break them all too. That I'm sick of living black and white. That all I need is someone to give me a little push to get my spiraling off out of control and unleash a beast inside that been waiting patiently. He's keeping all my emotions and all my excitement bottled up with him. It's a siphon and once someone starts it's flowing. And all she has to do is walk across the room, sit down next to me and say hi. All I need is one word. One word to get all the arrows pointing in the wrong direction.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

An old friend called me over the weekend and though a few of my coworkers are certain that I never get worked up over anything, if they would have heard our my conversation with a friend from so long ago they certainly would have changed their tune.

I have so many crazy stories, I told him. I mean, I have stories that I don't expect you to believe because that's literally just how crazy they are. And he chuckled and said, I remember when you called me and told me you were taking time off school to go chase some crazy sport. And I remember when the phone rang and you told me that you were going to Alaska to fish for salmon. And last summer you had some girl in New York and you were flying around chasing each other. Really, if I'll take anyones' story on faith I think it would be yours. But I have a pretty good…..

I cut him off and launched into a tirade about how completely insane things can be. I have so much to tell. But I thought I would start with something he could get the humor of and I asked him if he remembered what I told him last summer about how I was in between houses for a week and a nice friend of a friend invited me to stay with him. And how this girl I had met weeks before (you might remember her as the TMG) who, just by some cosmic coincidence, happened to be the ex-girlfriend of the guy I was staying with. And how, as luck would have it, decided that the night to hook up with me would be the night that I moved in with her ex. And how she kinda played me but I didn't care cuz it was fun to be played a little and how the guy never really found out until months later when he could care less.

But he had heard all of that before. Of course he had, but if we could see the bottom of the rabbit hole then no one would have written a story about it. Turns out one of the 3 girls I would have dated in the Sorority where I worked (ya guys, I worked in a fricking sorority even though it seems so far away now and I think I called her Ghana girl) told me about her older boyfriend who graduated in December. What are the odds that it would be the same guy I lived with last summer and what would be the odds that she would get some job working for a surfing magazine near LA and what are the odds that she would call me the afternoon before I was headed to the Playboy mansion and invite herself to come along I mean seriously Jason what the fuck are the odds of me hanging out in the backyard of the fucking playboy mansion with a beautiful blonde girl from Virginia who's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend was on the first few posts of this here very blog? I can't make this shit up. I can't possibly come up with this stuff because it's really that ridiculous. And this is just the tip of the iceberg that is my summer. The Playboy mansion and celebrities and lust and desire and fancy cars and betrayal and beautiful people. What story could possibly top that one?

The line was silent for a second. "I'm engaged," he said. Mother fucker.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ya, so you know I can write the fairy tale stuff when I'm in the mood and the mood is key. Emotions aren't frugal they're wild and unyielding and they're all friends. They're all connected and they're all conspiring against you. One second you can't live without her and the next you can't live with her. I love you. I love you so much. I love you so much that it hurts to be with you. It hurts to be with you. I hate to be hurt. I hate you. I Hate you. I can't stand you. I can't be around you. You disgust me.

Cue the ending credits and hit the lights because the movie's over. My movie, well it would have ended right there a year ago with those warm fuzzies. I chased the girl around and she chased me. But now we don't talk. Last time I had her on the phone she told me she was in a car in Idaho driving to Oregon. B lives in Oregon. Somehow she had hidden from me that they were back together. Because it's hard to keep tabs on a girl who is 2000 miles away. And it's hard for her to know how much she can hurt you. For her to understand that there's only one place she can ever go that you can't follow. And that she went there. There's no turning back no matter what fantasy world she lives in. Even if she tells you that she still thinks about you. Even if she says she can't call you on the phone because it hurts too much. Even if she gets back with him to fill that place in her life you left open.

Run. Run as far as you can to LA and surround yourself with beautiful women and fancy cars and tell yourself it will all be OK and that the story is always better then the real thing because it's free from doubt and distraction and blogs and inhibitions. Can you really know someone who lives 2000 miles away? When you only get to see each other for a week at a time. You don't learn the crinkle in her brow when she is annoyed. Or the way her toes cringe when she's having nightmares. Or smelling her in the living room when you come home from a long day on the road. Thing is you don't know her. And that's when you realize you're not in love with a girl, you're in love with a story. I can write the fairy tale stuff when I'm in the mood. Just don't ask me to live it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

One Year Ago Today:
This isn't all of it, I told her, really I think this is just the beginning. I'm going to see you down the road. It's not a question. "I know," she said. We had one of those 'I don't want to close my eyes because you might not actually be here' kisses. Then she walked away from me. Just like I walked away from her 3 years ago. Of course back then I didn't know she felt me walking away. I felt it. I just didn't know how much. I wish I could go back and be there. Or at least watch it on TV. Do you want to take a step back there with me? Cause usually you and me are living in what is and what is to be. Because I am not a person who looks backwards too often. When you look back your mind likes to play tricks on you. And the what-if's can ruin your life.

Apparently I shook her hand like a dead fish. Her hand was so small. I was smaller then too. At least on the outside. But I've always had crazy big hands. I am living proof that what they say about guys with big hands is true. And that deuch bag named Zach introduced us. In the basement. In the library. Somewhere far away from here. Over 2000 miles.  And all 3 of us were miserable. We all wanted out. Out of that place we had been stuck. Out of the cold. I wanted out so bad I thought I would burst. I remember looking at her freckled face and falling into a what-could-be. But we didn't talk again for a while. I think we even forgot about each other. Spring came. There were 6 weeks left and I was ready to leave. I knew that I was not coming back. But she broke up with some idiot who wasn't even there. Ha was the reason she was so miserable. I guess she had been dating him since before she came there. And now that she was free she decided to come back next year. And I was hanging with my bro B. He knew her. He lived right down the hall. He liked her. He was a child. No depth. That was fine. He was fun to hang with. And I started to feel things in my stomach when I was with her. But I was leaving. And I was never with her without B. So why not put the two of them together? The spring came. I took trips. One trip with the 3 of us. We went to NYC. I remember the oceanside bench in NYC. I remember looking out at Lady Liberty. I remember the sun setting behind her. And there were three of us. All sitting on the bench. And I pushed the two of them together. Cause it seemed right. What else could I have done? Even though she was like me in the worst ways. In the funny ways. In the ways that matter at the heart of it all. In the ways that sometimes it makes your heart hurt when they're not sitting there with you. In the way it almost makes you want to cry. I was leaving. And a few weeks later I did leave.

And in the fall I was far away from her. I was here. I would never forget her though. But B was there. And they were together. Which was fine because I thought that he could teach her a good lesson about how people like me and her maybe need someone a little deeper. We still talked. I don't even remember why. Or about what. But I knew that I needed to see her again. That I would see her again. All year she dated B. And then that summer I was in Alaska. And she went to see him. Fuck. They weren't supposed to be together this long. But they were. I came home and I let the sport take me. Cause all the girls I dated were horrible to me before that. I didn't need a girl. I let the sport consume me. It can take everything if you want it to. A man and his work. He can give his work his heart and his soul and every ounce of his strength. But even then we kept talking.

And she went to Italy. While I was traveling around competing. And we wrote e-mail to each other. Beautiful e-mails. I wish I had saved them. E-mails between friends. About deep things. And finally B broke up with her. Or she with him. They weren't even supposed to be together. It didn't matter who broke up with who. And she came home from Italy. And I left a message on her phone. And she left one on mine. And we IM'd. Everyday. It was amazing. It was summer. I gave up the sport. I was ready to be broken down. And she did it from 2000 miles away. She did it during my night and weekend minutes. She did it on IM while I was trying to get work done at the super cool magazine. She did it with text messages. She broke me. She broke everything and I didn't even realize it.
 
And we joked about me coming to NYC. About me coming to see Conan and about what it would be like. Then she said she wanted to come here. I was petrified. What if it wasn't the same face to face? What if she looked different? What if we were different? I was anxious and I told her not to come. Then I told her to come. She told me I killed her. But she came. And her plane was late. But when I walked up to baggage carousel 3 and I saw her standing there and I knew all was going to be OK. She hadn't even seen me yet. But I knew. And when she saw me and smiled I knew in a whole new way. And I knew for sure that I was broken. Broken in the best way. In the way that I might never recover from. Cause this was 3 years in the making. 3 years of words. Words on the page. Words whispered in my ear. Words on my cell phone. Just like these words you are reading now. All words with no physical contact. This was the shit they make movies about. The movies you don't believe could actually happen in real life.
 
When she told me that since the basement in the library she had always wanted to be here I almost screamed out loud. The whole time she wanted to be here. The whole time she was with B. The entire trip to NYC. Those 10 minutes on the bench by the water in the sunset. The entire time she was in Italy. While I was in Alaska. And the whole time in between. The whole time. Sure we saw all these other people around us. And we touched some. But that didn't matter. And the whole time she was here I didn't want to stop touching her. Cause that's all I will really remember. Not the hikes or the movies or the lunches and dinners or the drinks or the car rides or the saying goodbye. Just the touching.   Well, maybe I'll remember her looking at me. Maybe I'll remember her smell. Maybe I'll remember more. The first kiss. Sometime between 2 and 4AM. When you're not quite sure if you're even still awake or already dreaming. But I don't know for sure. And now all that's left are her toothbrush, 2 hair-ties, the smell of her perfume on my bed and 2000 miles. I don't know if or when I'll see her again. I don't know that when I do it will be the same. If we will be the same. If it can ever be the same.
 
But This isn't all of it, I keep telling myself. Really I think this is just the beginning. Yes, I'm going to see her down the road.  I know I will. It's not a question.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

When I was not so very much past two years old I cornered my mother in the backyard of the bungalow house she and my father somehow managed to purchase on the salary of a teacher and co-owner of a spiritual bookstore. My mother always said that I was an incredible small child because I mastered the skills of language long before any other toddler near my age. At daycare I would be over carrying on a conversation with the adults while other children were learning the intricaices of the idea that when you pull the cord, the voice tells you, "the cow goes moooooo." So it was my first leap ahead, it was my first taste of isolation from my peers and it is the curse of why any conversation I have in my head or any book I read cannot proceed any faster than I might be able to say it out loud.

And all afternoon that morning the gears had been churning inside my head. miniature gears that churned out questions like "how does a motorcycle go" and "how does my tansformer make sparks shoot out?" But that day they had been working on a greater problem. I could lie and tell you I remembered what exactly I was thinking but a grown up can never really understand a kids brain even if it is your own younger self. I'd give a million dollars to go back to that day to sit down and have a good long talk with my two-year old self.

Mom.

She didn't respond.

Moooooooom.

"Yes?"

I have a question.

She put down her hand trowel and wiped her forehead " What is it honey?"

What's this life about?

She cocked her head sideways for a moment. "what was that?"

What's this life about?

At that point my mother realized she had heard me correctly. I hadn't been to school. I hadn't had a job or loved or lost or killed or drugged or traveled.

"Well..." She grinned and paused. "let me think about that for a minute." My two-year-old self got bored of waiting so I walked over to the swing and started to play. The swing was attached to the tree at only one spot so it swung forward and back and spun around all at once. A few moments later my mother walked over and laid it on me. She could have said, "money and power" or "helping as many people as you possibly can" or "making sure you get into heaven" or I would have even accepted "sex, drugs and rock & roll" but she wasn't so kind. Oh no. And all these years later her answer is still making it tough for me today.

"You know," she said, "I think it's different for everybody and... I think you're going to have to figure yours out for yourself."

I've been passive-aggressive to my mother ever since.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I knew I was in over my head when I was walking down the beach staring off towards the sunset. It wasn't the sand in my toes or the rays of sun on my face or the passers by that I couldn't handle. It was the silence. It was the perfect kind of moment for my mouth to remain steadfast and silent while the voices echoing through my skull should being waxing all philosophic and remain distracted with some problem bigger than the beach and greater than my flesh and more popular than all the movie stars I had met at the special Malibu event the night before.

But the problem was that I really think I could hear the wind whistling in one ear and out the other. There was not one damn thought but "Look at that pretty sunset." "The sand feels nice between my toes." "Breath in, breath out." And for a moment I paused and turned around. Maybe had just dropped something. Maybe if I just retraced my steps I would find it gleaming in the sand just a few hundred yards back. Maybe I just need a good night's sleep. I walked back to the co-workers apartment where I was staying because the actress-turned-writer who had promised I could live in her giant Santa Monica loft-apartment for the rest of the summer had sold the relationship self-help book she has been working on to a publisher and couldn't leave town to spend the summer at her second home in the mountains far away.

As I walked through the door to the quaint little house the girl from the research department asked me how my day was. I waited for the voices in my head to pipe up with some cute, sarcastic remark. They were silent. "Good," I replied with an air of disappointment. And then I thought about my blog. And how I had made a big scene about this city not stealing your soul. And I wondered if maybe it had and I just didn't notice. Did it melt away in the sunny rays and slide out onto Venice Beach? Did the waves pound it out while I surfed the sunset break and unknowingly watched as the waves carried it back out to sea? Did the sound grumbling from speakers in the Viper Room shake it out onto the floor with the stirrer straws and soaked napkins and gum wrappers? Did the bartender sweep it up afterwards and fling it into the dumpster behind Sunset Boulevard?

I found a place to live. It's simple but it's nice and there are plenty of young people around. I've got internet. I know a lot of girls but none I want to get to know better. I try to tell them my story but even an adventure sounds boring if you can't tell it with a fire in your belly. Every weekend I have something fun and free to do in this town but I don't have anyone I want to do it with. I have a celebrity's number in my cell phone. I'm never gonna call it. Cuz when they become real people they're scary and needy and alone. Even if they tell you you're cute.

If you know anything then know this: I love to write. I love to write to you. I'd put it in a song and sing it to you if I could. But if I became a real person you would jsut think that I'm scary and needy and alone. Not that I'm famous. Oh so far from it. And that's the only thing I'm smiling about these days while I walk down the beach with the sun setting.