Dreaming to Forget

Dreams keep me awake at night.

Past loves.

What ifs.

What might have beens.

Regrets and fears.

“I should have done it differently. I’m so stupid. Fuck, this hurts. Why isn’t there a reset for this?” I can’t escape my thoughts. And every chance I get to improve the situation, I sabotage myself. I’m afraid of success because I don’t know what it is. I’ve never experienced victory before. It makes it easy to fall back into dreams. But my dreams aren’t dreams of “what could be,” they are dreams of “what might have been.” What do you do when your dreams are also your regrets?

Last night I was up until 5am because of my dreams. Youtube videos help to pass the time, but they don’t quiet the anxiety that keeps my skin itching. An inability to act. Fear.

I want to dye my hair pink. I’m in-between jobs. Why the fuck not. I’d be happier in life. My next job isn’t going to be corporate. I know enough to know that isn’t me. I’ve “independent” written into my DNA. “Independent” fostered by a body that was annually playing catchup with the other lads. “Independent” because even my teachers didn’t understand my thought process. And finally, “independent” because kids are awful and afraid of outliers and non-conformity.

Independent is what I should be. I should own that shit and stop holding back. Holding back because I’m afraid. Anxious. Full of regrets. Unable to be myself around anyone. I’m afraid of life.

Multiple bosses, acquaintances, and family members have told me that no one really knows me. I don’t open up. Because no one listens when I talk. “When people think you’re dying, they really listen to you instead of waiting for their turn to speak.”

That’s my experience when trying to open up to someone. Eyes glaze over. Interest fades. Empty stares and half-hearted replies. If this is all I encounter from people, I’d be pretty stupid to ever open up. Never got me anything except rejection or indifference. It’s how I’ve become a great listener; no one has ever had any interest in what I’ve had to say. So, I’ll learn all about you. And don’t worry, after we’re done exploring your story, I won’t ask you to participate in mine. I don’t expect your ears to function as designed. I bet if I cut the ears off of humanity, daily conversations wouldn’t change a bit.

On a side note, humanity needs to learn to be better actors. Ya’ll are so easy to read.

But I’m also so stupid and quick to fail.

And I’m easy to doubt myself.

And quick to fall into despair.

And quick to regret.

So I fantasize in quiet moments about ending up with someone from my past. With staying in Japan. About walking the streets of Tokyo. Being someone important. Doing something worthwhile. Dreams that are equal parts soothing and damaging.

So why do I dream? To escape. To find hope. To forget. Even if it damages me more than cures. There is a me that follows real dreams; future possibilities. Now, I dream to forget. But I want to dream to and forget.

December 12th Daily Track: The Courtney’s “Minnesota”

If there is a way into my heart, it’s with reverb and fuzzy guitars. And if there is something I’m trying to recapture, it’s the fire of my youth. This track has all of these traits in spades. It’s the perfect length at 3:40. it’s singable. It’s sloppy. It’s a open and oppositional. I think that’s what life is. Plus the album has a pink cover. I like pink. You’ll like this simple fuzzy guitar sound.

The Courtney’s “Minnesota”

A New Hope/A New Beginning

I hate Star Wars. At least, I hate Star Wars as I am now. As a kid though, I was unaware of what Star Wars really was. My parents didn’t enjoy it, and no matter how much I begged, we never watched it on VHS. I thought it was supposed to be something amazing!!! But when I finally saw it in full, it was… meh. As Bill Burr put it, I was too old for it. Plus, I grew up with Star Trek (objectively superior property) so I had a “space fix.” Data was infinitely more interesting to me than a big ship that shot a big laser. Engage me (wink) with a story, don’t try to win me over with untrained actors playing with plastic swords.

However, at 18, I was all about Episode 5, because it was dark and had “meaning.” Clerks clearly outlined why it was superior and a young man needs a dark story to penetrate the world and shine a light on the truth. But looking at the movie at 35, I just see a 124-minute stop gap in the Star Wars mythos. Don’t get me wrong, it could be worse. Return of the Jedi is shit. Plain and simple. I loved Ewoks as a 5 year old kid, but thats’ just a kid being dumb. It’s a dumb movie, with a rehashed plot, and no balls. And sometimes I feel like that is who I am; a dumbshit with no balls.

I’m 35 now, and I don’t know who I am or what I became. The fire of youth is gone (though I still feel a few embers smoldering in depths that I have trouble accessing.) My body needs more time to recharge after going to the gym. My dick doesn’t stand to attention as much as it used to. My hair is thinner, my back hurts, I don’t sleep so well. Where is the man I used to be?

A few weeks ago I was let go from my job. It’s a good thing. The job sucked, the management was aimless and self-congratulating, the atmosphere was ugly. Now the stress is gone, but where do I go from here? Jumping back for a minute, I had a hand in orchestrating my fall from grace. I schemed for my own downfall in the fashion of Little Finger or Varys. I’m a self-fulfilling prophesy of lies and destruction (but with unemployment benefits!) The outcome is bittersweet. Sleep-in mornings, and drunken afternoons. For a moment, anything seems possible. So now, with the burden of corporate overlords off of my back, I’m trying to be honest with myself in order to turn the corner and find meaning in life and find meaning in me.

So… what I am? What happened to me? How did I become this coward and how do I reignite the fire and drive of youth? I’d settle for a pittance of my original inferno, if I’m being honest with myself. Am I meant to sink into my couch and complain about TV or comics without contributing anything new? And even if I might have a talent for criticizing media, does that really mean anything? Do I have anything to say or am I just an empty vessel with self-agrandizing fleets of fancy (or is it flights of fancy?)

That is what I aim to find out. Who am I? What can I contribute? What kind of a person have I become and why am I so disappointed with myself? (I promise to have fewer questions as this string/stream of essays and random thoughts continues.) For now, I’m happy that I’ve actually gotten off of my ass and started to do something, even if that’s just to shout into the void.

And so it begins. With a question… and a soundtrack! Because if there is one thing I am indefinitely confident in/and that I know hasn’t left me, it’s my taste in music. Your daily track, with at least a few sentences of accompanyment, will follow from this day forward. Hopefully an album recommendation will manifest itself on the weekend as well. It’s a new beginning, and a new hope that I still have a bit of fire that I can fan into something worth spouting about.

Today’s track is “No Way Down” by Air France. I’m trying to catch an updraft and make a correction to the flight path that Google Maps has put me on. A manual correction. It takes effort. I’ve got to find the well of youth and a bit of coffee, I imagine. Life is to be lived. Let’s see if I have anything worth living.

Air France “No Way Down”