I mention a lot that last summer was bad for me, possibly the worst time of my adult life. I want to write a post that bookends last year and talks about where I am now.
So as the gateway was winding down I started working part time nights at Roosevelt. It wasn’t awful but it felt strange. I was the new guy and in the past I’ve always put in a ton of effort professionally and socially when I’m the noob, it usually brings out the better parts of me. This time though I knew there was no point in finding a way to like my coworkers or the job because it was totally temporary. And it was a douche bar, the staff and patrons were the exact type of people I hate being around. So I gave no fucks and the only bright side was I liked the chef. I went on tour for a week though and during that time the flames washed out of the play offs so I returned to almost no hours.
I took a day job at Shillelaghs and lasted 4 days. Everything that can be wrong in a kitchen was wrong in that place and meanwhile I was feeling more detached. I hate having “just a job”, I need to care about the place I work and the people I work with or I climb inside my head and go nuts. All the jobs I’ve stayed at for years have been because of a tight group of employees and respect from management. I only leave those places when those things change. Shillelaghs was a dysfunctional, hopeless place and I dreaded going in there everyday.
I went out drinking to blow off steam and apparently I had a lot of steam to blow because I woke up drunk the next day and didn’t go in. That nagging part of me that wishes I had the mythical WASP work ethic piped up and I felt like an asshole and a coward. Why couldn’t I just go to work like everyone else?
I felt cut loose from the narrative of my life. I felt like dressing in all black so I did, I felt like going over to the Justine household so I did, and I think it was on the way over there I decided to kill myself. Because I went from there to practice with the old band and I remember that same old suicidal feeling of this being the last time I see these people, that the things I say will be held onto as the last time they saw me.
I went to Vern’s after that practice and drank myself sick. I was buying Kenny drinks at the end of the night because all I had to look forward to was going home and jumping off the balcony.
I used to stand on the other side of the balcony railing a lot. Sometimes I wasn’t feeling suicidal at all and I’d do it anyway because I think it’s better to go out when you’re feeling good than when you’re in a low. That night though, because my plan was to do it not just think about it, I put a chair out and put my feet on it, sat on the railing, and tried to fall backwards. I thought being really drunk would make it easier but trying to fall off a ten story building is really sobering. I told myself I was going inside to warm up and once I got inside I knew I wasn’t going back out and I didn’t want to die. I went to sleep fully clothed on the couch.
The next day was Monday and I talked about it with Fitzy at Vern’s. We cried, we laughed, which was not unusual for us anyway but I felt a lot better. In a tight, well written plot twist though that was the night Miles thought there was something up between Carla and I. The fall out of that I’ve already written about.
I was still part time at Roosevelt and Chef Tim wanted to help so he offered to transfer me to 1410 full time. I really wanted it to work out. I felt like a self-centered loser who couldn’t support himself or anybody, I wanted Chef Tim to be proud of me.
1410 was the cinder block that broke the camels back though. I tried everything to function there but the atmosphere was like living in an abusive household. The chef there is by far the worst person I’ve ever dealt with. And because of his abusive and dismissive attitude employees worried more about keeping their head down than helping anyone else. It was a nightmare but I knew I couldn’t handle a third new job in a month and I wanted to tough it out, I wanted to get passed my self-image as a quitter and a selfish loser. I blocked out everything except wanting to be good at my job, I just had to hold on for one more month.
Then I got a message from Pip saying I’m out of the Caught Off Guard reunion. At the time I assumed it was because of the falling out with Fitzy.
When I told Simone she said she planned on going to the reunion anyway. Pretty much everyone close to me said the same thing. I’m not selfish enough to ask anyone not to go, or even to tell them that going would hurt my feelings. I thought I might end up going too because I was so lost inside but Rob said he wouldn’t go because I was in the right and those guys were dicks. Which made me feel like maybe I wasn’t crazy, my moral compass still pointed North if at least one other person saw it.
In another seemingly scripted coincidence Lauren’s birthday party at the Grove was the same night as the CoG reunion show at Vern’s.
Amy came over to my place for a while before going to Vern’s and while I was waiting for her Rob texted me to tell me he’d gone to the reunion. He tried to tell me he felt bad about it which was a veiled apology but I’d given up on everyone in that world already. Amy and I had a few drinks, she tried to trick me into going to Vern’s, then she went her way and I walked over to the Grove.
I’d been avoiding that group of friends because I knew that if I had a good time I’d give up the forced mentality that kept me going to work. Which is exactly what happened. I felt happy with Jay, Ben, and Adge, my oldest friends. We stayed up until dawn, in fact we stayed up past the point where I should have been at work, we cried, we laughed, we sang. It was a great night and I was happy.
Happy in a nihilist way, as in life is short so I’m going to not to anything I don’t want to do. And I do as a general philosophy embrace nihilism and I don’t regret any of jobs or personal relationships I walked out on because we are all going to die and it’s always going to feel surprisingly soon and we don’t get any time back.
So that night I decided to embrace life and do whatever I felt. And the next day I decided to embrace death because no one loves me and I’m a complete failure who’s broken inside forever.
I got home on a beautiful rainy summer morning after Lauren’s party and slept fully clothed on the couch for a while. When I woke up, sobered up, and reality set in again I couldn’t see any future. I’ve always used the distance into the future I can see as a suicide-barometer, as a worrying type I often can’t help but think years ahead of anything that happens. My normal amount of foresight is 3 years, anything farther away than that doesn’t feel real to me. And when I’m depressed that time gets closer. If someone tells me about an event 4 months away and it doesn’t register then I know I more depressed than usual. That day I saw nothing. I couldn’t even think about going to bed in the evening because that would mean thinking about getting up in the morning.
I locked myself in the studio and laid on the floor writing in my paper-and-pen journal for six hours. The only feeling I had was that I wanted to get in the shower and slit my wrists.
I had no job, no one who cared about me, everything I thought was good was a lie, and I’d always been a miserable fuck up. I saw nothing, I was completely lifted free from the stream of life. I didn’t feel alive. I was already a ghost.