Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Glimpse Into The Neurosis

A month or two ago, I mentioned the obsessive editing process I go through with every piece I write, and I thought I’d let you all see it first-hand.  Well, is a picture of something still first-hand, or is that second-hand?  Who the hell knows, I’ve been damn-near mainlining coffee since I woke up this morning and I’m starting to lose it.

I know many of you are looking at the above with a thought in your heads, “Big deal, everyone marks up something they're editing.”  That is very true.  But the thing is, those red marks represent my third round of revisions.  Yes, after writing out my draft and revising it twice, I still found that much about it that I felt needed to be looked at.  Like I’ve said before, it’s a small miracle I finish anything at all.

Some Noteworthy Points:

-This is a piece I wrote today with the working title, “The Moment I Realized Trendy Stores Are Full of Shit”.
-I’ll probably post it tomorrow on Writing of the Slightly Insane.
-Yes, I kick it old-school and edit with a printed copy and red pen.
-Yes, that is a mug from theCHIVE.  Yes, it was fucking hard to get.  No, you can’t have it.

Now that you know more about me, learn about the things around me:
Rusted Bolt
Voice of Others

Saturday, April 7, 2012


It’s a frustrating balancing act to be a part of.  Say something slightly insensitive and you seem like a douchebag.   Leave a remark that’s slightly down in tone, and you look like some melodramatic pseudo Beat Poet.  Come off as chipper, and you’ll sound like some bubbly airhead.  The only solace is humor.  Thank whoever for humor.  Without it, I would be way too worried about how the fairer sex viewed me… making constant adjustments in my speech & action.  A week of that and I’ll be so neurotic about everything, if a cute girl was near I would start to nervously shake like one of those overbred Chihuahuas.   I’ve recently become worried enough as is.

Rocko knows what's up.

God dammit, this is why I stopped chasing after women.  Just a few weeks ago I was a model of confidence & wit, covered with a thin veil of apathy.  I was not looking to date anyone, therefore I saw no need to try and impress anyone.  It was a very stress-free social life – I thoroughly enjoyed being single, and I was fucking good at it.  Beautiful girl walks by, good for her.  She stops and says hi, good for me.  I’d respond with a “hi” and have a carefree conversation, because her view of me was not a priority at all.

That happened to me one night, fairly recently.  I can't remember where I was exactly; I just know it served overpriced coffee inside and had an undersized parking lot outside.  I had just finished circling this puny parking lot for the third time when a spot opened up. I backed in, right in front of a few large windows and the front entrance.  I liked this.  Not because I’m one of those people that like to constantly look at their car wherever it’s parked, or always back into a parking spot just for aesthetic reasons.  I just happen to be paranoid, thinking someone in a huge truck might not notice my pocket-sized two-seater & whack into it… and the only time I back into a spot is when I know it would turn into the Wide World of Maneuvering if I had to back out of it… because god DAMN, that little thing is littered with blind spots.

Look at that crap.  A triceratops could walk by and I'd never know.

Anyway, after I was inside and had scooped my coffee order, I began to set up my little writer’s workstation that hipsters like to duplicate, to seem like writers.  Hey, don’t get mad at me, I’ve seen them do it all the time.  They strategically set up their blank notebooks and unread Bukowski novels, open up their Mac and cruise Facebook, until someone walks by, at which point they open up a document and pretend to work on it.  Once they think no one is around, right back to Facebook.  Apologies for the tangent, but it drives me up a wall when people pretend to be deep and creative just to seem cool.

Shortly after I sat down, a very pretty girl around the age of 25 took a seat next to mine and complimented me on my car.  This threw me off.  See, as a testament to the stupidity of the modern male, the entire $25,000-50,000 sports car market is based off of the notion that women are attracted to men that drive them… but in fact, the only attention that car will get is from other men.  It’s the ultimate automobile irony.  From what I’ve seen, a guy needs to drive something much nicer to start to get that kind of reaction.  I 
however, do not.

That’s why she caught me off guard with, “Hey there, I like your car”.  Once I got my bearings back, I thanked her.  She continued, “You looked like you were climbing out of a spaceship! What do you do?” I saw an opportunity to be a bit of a smartass.

“Ironically enough, I’m an astronaut.”

“Get out,” she shot back at me, “You're not really, are you?”

“Nah, I’m just messing with you.”

“Good thing you came clean, I would’ve found out eventually.”

And that, ladies and gents, is why I titled my March 14th post on Rusted Bolt (AHEM!): She’ll Find Out You’re Not an Astronaut.  The funny part is… I had already written the majority of it, I just went to that coffee shop to do the editing and think of a title, among other things.  We talked for a minute or two longer, then without warning, she left her number on my notebook and went back to her own table.  I didn’t keep the number though.  While getting a woman’s number without asking is extremely rare for me, I already had my eye on someone else… so that little sheet of paper went in the trash with my coffee cup as I was leaving.  But here's some more ultimate irony: not keeping the number probably jinxed me, as the other girl has since not worked out.

The Jinx is a real thing, people.  I’m normally a realist, but when it comes to The Jinx, I'm a believer.  I’ve seen too much evidence from my personal experiences to just brush it off as mere coincidence. But I digress.

Later that night, She'll Find Out You're Not an Astronaut went live.  Now usually after I post something, I keep thinking about it.  In most cases it’s to ensure I haven’t missed any points worth making, or to reflect on the general theme and make sure it isn’t askew in any way.  With this one though, I kept trying to think of other finer points I might know about the fairer sex.  This snow balled into introspective sessions that lead me to second guess myself at every moment.  I accidentally fell back into the awkward person I had spent much time growing beyond and have since then, been fighting my through the quicksand of my insecurities.

In case you're wondering how to do it yourself...

Back in the coffee shop, when that girl reached for my notebook, penning down her phone number, I didn't think much of it.  When she handed me the paper, I simply folded it up and put it in my shirt pocket when she was looking, then discreetly threw it away with my grande cup when she wasn't.  However, in recent days I don’t think that episode would be scripted the same.  I could easily imagine myself being preoccupied with calling her, pacing back and forth through a room filled with action figures, like we all saw in The 40 Year Old Virgin.  Well, that’s a bit of a stretch – being that I only own one action figure.

Hey fuck off, Venom is badass.

The reason for this change isn't a simple matter of psyching myself out with my infamous self-awareness, it's probably also due to the Springtime Itch.  We all know that feeling – coming out of the cold winter months as a single person, and during the day, you start to see people pair up and you want in on that sweet, sweet action.  At night though, the gloominess sets in and the Springtime Itch becomes the Lonely Bug.

Getting the Springtime Itch / Lonely Bug is not something that most people are willing to admit, let alone in great detail, while citing their hindrances and insecurities that add to it.  Then again, like I’ve said many times… I’m not most people.  By now, if you don’t know me personally, you can probably tell I’m one of the more open & honest people that one might encounter.  That’s because being mysterious is just not in my nature.  Well… with one exception that is obvious to some; Wright is not my real last name.  The way I see it, everyone goes through feelings of loneliness at one point – many go through it numerous times – so why bother hiding it?  But enough bonding over our shared embarrassments, let’s get back to my own.  I’m the narcissist here.  Me me me.

Like I said in that post I previously mentioned (on Rusted Bolt AHEM!!!), I only know roughly 2% about women because 98% of the time I think something is heading in one direction… but in actuality, is heading in the wrong direction… or isn’t heading anywhere at all.  Once I think I have something or someone figured out… 98% of the time I am ohhhh so wrong.

At this point, I was going to sum everything up by making sense of the contradiction between the viewpoint of this post and the one I explained in the other, but it’s four in the morning and I'd like to avoid having the sleeping schedule of a vampire.  So instead, I’ll just cut this short and leave you with a line I thought up a minute or two ago. It has nothing to do with anything… and I don’t even think I would necessarily agree with it.  It just like the way it sounds. 

“It’s not what you know, it’s not even who you know… it’s what you know about who you know.”

Thanks Chuck.

Now that you know more about me, learn about the things around me:
Rusted Bolt
Voice of Others