The November 21st open mic at the Odyssey was great. A beautiful life affirming start to the week.
Pat Maloney hosted, he’s a for real serious touring musician in the story telling folksy wanderer with grey in his beard and a guitar in his hand style. He played right before me and I felt like I had to bring out the big guns, rise to the challenge.
And I did. I played a Time To Quit Drinking, Pride Of My Home Town, and I talked about Minimum Wage Music and played Pledge Of Allegiance. I recorded the audio on my phone. It felt amazing. When the endorphins were wearing off and I was getting tired was the only time I thought about drinking because happiness plus alcohol equals energy.
I almost texted Mandi. We’d talked about her coming to the first Mic of the year and she was a little bummed she didn’t go, I mentioned the second one to her but wasn’t attached to her attending, and by this one I didn’t even want to mention to her or imagine her being there.
I wanted to share it with someone who would be happy, not exactly for me but with me, or just not make me feel stupid for being happy. I’d put it off anytime I felt like texting Mandi last week because she’d just responded with flippant arrogance. We all know someone who responds sarcastically no matter how little the situation warrants it, and eventually you just stop wanting to talk to them in a Pavlovian way. Mandi and I had a tone of humorous self congratulation in the early, flirty, stage of the relationship but since she destroyed everything inside me I’ve been a little less jocular. She says “You’re Welcome” smugly when I tell her I enjoy spotify premium and it creates a raw nerve because she’s never adequately said sorry for destroying my self esteem to the point I couldn’t look women in the eye. The scales are as out of balance as a sinking ship, she’s jokingly putting herself on a pedestal and mocking down when I’d already put her an even higher pedestal and felt unworthy anyway. So I know talking to her is never going to be fun, it just comes from a self-destructive place now.
So I did what I always do now and thought about Maria instead. Fun, sweet, angelic Maria whose response, sure enough, was to give me affection and support for having a good set. Like a friend is supposed to.
Of course I’ve already overthought this entirely harmless and pleasant aspect of life.
I’ve had miscommunications in the past when I say things like “what’s the purpose of our friendship?” and people always say things like ‘why can’t we just be friends, why does there have to be a purpose?’ Like one of us is using the other.
What I can articulate finally is that I’m always checking myself for self destructive impulses. I can say that someone and I are friends, that we like hanging out together, but what if that liking feeling is just that we don’t judge each other for drinking before breakfast? I feel good pushing myself further from the difficulties of life and closer to the relief of death, that kinda fucks up using ‘feeling good’ as a barometer for decision making.
Talking to Maria makes me feel good, and it makes her feel good too, we’ve talked about how we brighten each others day even when we’re being profoundly negative about life and everyone in it. I can really be an affection vampire so I’m always on the look out for if I’m contributing something to a relationship or merely absorbing.
What was happening with Mandi in the beginning was I could make her laugh and make her think and she made me feel desirable. Things changed when she admitted, to me and to herself, that she didn’t really like me she just liked being liked. Now she wants me to keep entertaining her but she refuses to contribute anything because it might be too close to leading me on again.
That’s my current take. I’m incessantly pointing out when I talk about her to people that I am, in essence, a heart broken ex at this point and not a reliable narrator. I’m struggling between the feeling that she’s perfect and broken-me fucks up everything good in this world and she’s a confused robot who accidentally wounded charming-affectionate-sensitive-me and she’s a bitch and I’m a chump.
Once again this post was supposed to be a declaration of how great I felt because of the open mic and talking to Maria but I can’t talk about feeling good without talking about feeling bad so the overall focus winds up seeming negative. And emotionally complex entries like this sometimes take days to finish and the good feelings lose momentum.