I learned to not fear the ferris wheel, the upside down pirate ship, and other horrific rides by the time I reached 13. My earlier years were fraught with trepidation and horror – only the smiling rainbow unicorn dotted merry-go-round was a friend – but as I matured into my teens, I realized just how much life sucked. So what if a screw came undone or a bolt popped out at the vertex of the Coaster? Life wasn’t worth living anyway. And of course, as a 13 year old man, I knew everything. Just like now, I know everything again – but a bit more everything than I did at 13.
I look back and wonder and think just how wise I was. The numbers have reversed and I’m 31 now, but how horrible would it really be had my youthful prophecy been made true? Or how bad would it be if the brakes to my car were cut, or if my next croissant choked me to death? Life is a constant oscillation of backs and forths and undulations of peaks and troughs. No doubt the peaks span longer than any trough, but these troughs sink deeper than any peak reaches high.
This is the first time I went online to submit a prayer request. “Prayer request type”, the online form requested. I scrolled through the list of request types for what seemed like hours only to be disappointed that there was no option for “all of the above”. “Describe your request”, the form asked. After typing for what was hours, the “submit” button returned a simple “Your prayer request has exceeded our maximum character length.” I had only thought my God had forsaken me, but the Internet made it very clear He really had.
5:45pm December 29. My grandma took her last breath. The holidays are a tough time. I’m three for three for December family member deaths. It’s like God just earned himself a turkey in bowling. My extended family is on cue. We’re acting out a Korean drama. Crazy aunt and uncle. Check. Someone who will likely try to take sole ownership of the will. Check. Lots of tears. Check.
I want to make things easy for my funeral. Quick and simple. Tombstone, I want Helvetica. Not some variation of Helvetica, just plain old Helvetica. I want a black choir singing (specifically black, with a strong voiced strong willed dominant singing black lady doing the solos). The song I want sung is “Que Sera Sera”, with a nice sprinkling of some Christian songs. I’d also love to get some open mic action so that everybody can get a chance to go up and talk about how great I was. A tenth of all I own goes to Tenth Ave Church, and everything else goes to my niece, Leanna. Put me in my nice pair of CK’s, grey Banana Republic suit, throw me in a casket and lower me under.
Done. I just wrote my funeral itinerary and will in a blog.
I regret not being there when my grandpa passed that December evening. I was the second last person he saw before he went, but on his third year anniversary, I was the first person he saw. I walked through the manicured hedges and lines of tombstones to the familiar marker of my grandpa. It was midday, but no flowers adorned the tomb aside from the ones I had brought. Why wasn’t anybody else visiting? I hardly ever cry. It’s rare anybody has ever seen me cry. But the one time that I cry without fail is at the foot of my grandpa’s grave. I’ll sit and talk, apologize, lament, and pretend he can hear me. I cried extra knowing nobody had visited so far but me.
I love Christmas, but am always boggled by how lonely and sad it makes me feel. Tonight is no exception, as I sit sipping tea, listening to Adele while blogging away in my empty bed in my empty apartment. But it’s not me who I feel sad for, but for the ones I love but couldn’t save.
The last place I want to go is home. Tonight, home is this coffee shop for the next two hours. Home is however long the battery on my MacBook lasts. Home is anywhere but where I should be. Like the hipster grandpa sitting to my right, we’re both probably finding some kind of empty companionship alone in busy coffee shops. Hipster grandpa, you and I both, you and I both.
There are dark feelings and unsettling thoughts lingering in the back of my mind, and I know it will feed on my isolation and grow. Like a cancer. The type of feelings that make you pensively drink wine, smoke, and listen to Adele and Coldplay. The type of period pushing entitled high school girl feeling that makes me think “nobody understands me, it’s me against the world, I’m alone, woe is me”. I feel estranged from the world I’m so desperately submerging myself into tonight. Like a fake orgasm in a bad porno, it has to happen, but sometimes it’s just not the right place or time. And if my life were a porno, I would think it came too little too early. Too little climax and too much denouement. It would be an ugly “o face”, poor casting, and a shaky camera – something not quite worth watching. I would probably call it “The Most Pedestrian Porno”, and it would end up in the recesses of shady sex stores, in the darkness, where the light never touches.
Tonight’s dinner consisted of two slices of cake, a tub of nutella ice cream, and some popcorn. I guess this is what people who live alone do.
I woke up from a sleep to the saving grace of a door knock. I remember last night, I was floating away in a market in Thailand, where dinner and a massage resulted in me lost, with my wallet missing. I was alone, trapped in anxiety and worries, with no clear idea where the right direction was. Running everywhere, ending up nowhere, looking for everything, finding nothing. Is that my own personal fear manifesting itself in dreams? Being lost? Or are my dreams simply conveying what my reality is?
I remember as a child, the easiest thing in life was to receive. You could meander around life lost, and you would never be – because you would be receiving. Receive gifts. Receive love. Receive freely. As an adult, the tables have turned. It’s so much easier – even expected, that you give gifts, give love, and give freely. Now receiving is the difficult part. Am I so lost in the narcissism of giving that I’ve forgotten how to freely receive? Or am I simply so busy with the giving that I’ve forgotten to receive?
In officially a week, I will be a homeowner again. Downsized from a 1000 sq ft apartment to a 625 sq ft apartment. I have a fear that my old friend loneliness will not be so well acquainted with me anymore. Terrified even. The thought that my own personal loneliness will be amplified within my new four walls horrifies me. There is no doubt that I will be alone – but will I be lonely? Maybe I can get a cat. A dozen cats, a few spools of yarn, and a rocking chair. I’ll knit sweaters for my cats.
I also have the choice to not be alone. Would it be better to be alone by yourself, or not-as-alone with the wrong person? As terrified as I am about being alone, I think I’m even more terrified with the thought of a lifetime together with the wrong person. Who is the right person? Who is the wrong person? Is there only one right person? Am I the right person for anyone?
The thing I hate most about New Years Eve is the stroke of midnight. We all laugh, embrace, and then we give that one big kiss to our loved one. It’s only a split second of group euphoria, but it’s that second that stings when you realize you’re the only one in the room with no one to kiss. Again. For the 30th year in a row. I wonder what it’s like. To share the beginning and end of a year intimately with someone. To be able to share your life with someone.
I’ve had a sick feeling in my stomach ever since seeing the picture of my ex locking lips with another man. I can be happy for other people, but I can’t seem to be happy for myself. The mental image and the animated followup that ensues is adulterous to say the least. And every time that movie plays out in my mind, a hand grips my stomach and twists it, over and over again. In the past 48 hours, I’ve consumed a yogurt, a persimmon, a hard-boiled egg, a slice of cheese, a piece of lamb, and a slice of turkey lunch meat. I know if I have to take in anything more I’ll vomit. The upside to anorexia is my abs look great. This is how I’ll start 2015 – not with a bang, but with a whimper.