You're going to have to trust me on this, because even though I hate it, I'm going to do it anyway. I feel it's important for some reason. For what reason, I don't know. But it's important to me, and that importance outweighs the self-conscious notion that by saying it, I'm looking for some kind of consolation, or worse, a congratulation of sorts.
In the darker moments the congratulation appeals more to me than the consolation does. I don't need consolation. I live how I live, I reap what I sow. I do well, I fuck up, the results are mine. But I do like a good handshake.
All of which is bullshit. In the lighter moments – which are more real than the darker ones – I don't want either. I'm happy to be where I am. Quite delighted, actually. I'm just happy to be here. Really. It's a great place. Sure, some things suck sometimes. But not always. And most of the time, everything is the opposite of Suck. So Suck, you can suck it.
So here goes. About two and a half weeks ago, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. The details aren't important, and legal-wise, I probably shouldn't be talking about that anyways. But I was hit by car. I guess it was going pretty fast. I don't know. I don't really remember it. Luckily for me, my very dear close friend John was right there when it happened, and he took care of everything. Called the cops, called 911. Got me to the hospital. A fucking rock.
I swear, if it weren't for John, I'd be dead 10 times over by now. I owe this man my life. Not just for being there that night, but for being there time after time after time.
In the absence of memory, I'll stick with the stats. I fractured the temporal bone of my skull in two places. Lost the hearing in my left ear. Knocked the timpanic bones in my left ear out of place. Brain bled. Deep bone and muscle bruising in my left leg. Bell's Palsy has set in, leaving me with very little muscle control in the left side of my face.
Okay, so that's the damage, and we can let that be. See, just saying that makes me feel self-conscious. No "awww..." or anything like that, please. I got hit by a car. It happens. I just wanna be like I was, which looks like it's going to happen.
No, scratch that. I don't want to be like I was. Please, not that again. Fuck that. I'm already better than I was in a lot of ways, and I don't want to go back to anything. The car shot me forward, let's keep going that way.
Before I go any further, I just want to thank everyone who's called, emailed, IMed, texted, and especially come to visit me. The love I've received is far, far more than I ever would have imagined, and maybe even more that I deserve. Thanks for the cards, the candy, the dinner, the hugs. All that. People often like to boast that "I have the best friends EVER!". Well, that's silly. How does one compare the quality of one's friendships against another? And why would you? That's fucking retarded.
So I'm not gonna say it. But you all have outshined even my own estimations. And that's not an insult. I've often underestimated the human being's capacity for loving. That will never happen again. Too many people have shown me that People, we're better than I thought, and we're all gonna be OK.
I swear I haven't gone soft. Just bear with me. It's just that everything is new to me again, and newborns yell when they get out.
I dunno...I don't talk about these things so much, and if you don't want to bear with me while I navel-gaze for a moment, I can't blame you. Not so long ago, I dunno, roughly about six months ago or so, I was pretty out of it. I was very unhappy with myself. I didn't like where I was or how I had gotten there, and really didn't see myself getting out of it. So I stopped giving a shit about pretty much everything. I started being crappy to people I cared about. I shut down, stopped talking to most everyone except for a few trusted comrades who I'd text message every night until the wee hours of the morning. Try to get through the next day only so I could go to sleep again at night. That was the reward. Do just enough so that I could sleep with myself at night. Because sleep is where I'm a viking.
I bring this up because I remember one night in particular when I was not feeling well at all. I remember thinking "you know, if something were to happen to me, I won't fight it. I'm tired, and I can't say anything to rebuild whatever I've broken, and I really just want to sleep." So I texted my friend who knows me the best and told him that if anything happens to me, he's got to take me somewhere and burn me. No funeral. No announcement. No gatherings. Just burn me and never speak of it again. And that if I was ever his friend, he would do this for me.
He promised me he would, just like I knew he would.
Now, this was a while ago, and I have been feeling way, way better than I was at that point. I dunno, must've been an emo phase or something. I don't think I'm that downward normally, and I don't think that behavior really jibes with they way I actually operate. Just a blip on the radar. A momentary phase of crazy.
I mention this because one of the few memories I have of the night I was hit is of sitting in the ER getting my head stapled together. My friend John sat with me while I closed my eyes, surprised at how little the stapling actually hurt. And I remember thinking as the staples went through my head "I have so much to do. So much to fucking do I don't even know where to start. But I'll start by finally recording some fucking demos for once. Take it from there."
It made me think of a story my dad told me once. I don't remember exactly when or how it came up. In lack of a true story, I'll tell it how I imagine it. One of my older relatives must have died. Someone I didn't know very well, but my parents did. It must have dawned on me that death isn't something that happens to people you've known for an hour and a half in a movie. That someday my own people would be gone. I think I brought that up to my parents at dinner.
And my dad said, "Well, I'm never going to die. If I was going to die, I'd be dead already."
To hear him tell it, he had drowned or something. His brain had been without oxygen for four minutes or whatever it is, and they brought him back. And again, to hear him tell it, you'd think he honestly thought he would never die. And that scared the shit out of me. Of course you're going to die. Every fucking person who has ever lived has died. Well, except for the people who are alive right now. But the odds are... I mean, how much data do you need?
And I honestly believed that he thought he'd never die. Like, up until recently. When he was in the hospital with complications from whatever you call colon removal surgery. He didn't take so well to the surgery initially. And for a few moments there, he knew it. He could go. I know. I talked to him. He was scared there for a little while.
But he didn't go. He was sick for a little while, but the bastard bounced back. He's fine now. Better than ever. Guy looks fucking good, and he's happier than I've ever seen him.
Of course he didn't really believe he'd never die. That's just how he psyched himself up. To put his own well-being in the way for the people he loved. Like me, my brother, my mom. Etc. And when things get dark – WHAM. "I'm stronger than this. This won't kill me. Fuck that. We ain't goin' out like that."
And he's right. We do not go out like that.
So I sit there thinking about that, and I think about how I've lived for as long as I can remember. I'm so fucking spoiled. Everything came easy to me when I was young. Never had to try for anything. Good grades came without much effort. I could walk into an audition and just get cast. I could charm the pants off anyone with easy, non-attentive conversation. And when I couldn't just get by anymore... well, fuck it. I'm not gonna try. Why try to make a career out of this? If they don't want me, fuck 'em. It's not worth the effort. I don't want to hear "No". I don't know "No". I am not going to try. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" my ass. It's "nothing ventured, nothing lost", and I don't lose. Not losing > Winning.
And what happened to That Guy? That Guy was OK with being dead. I want to live.
So let's pay our respects to That Guy. Let's set him on fire and kick his ass out to sea on his Sleep Viking Ship. Let's show up to the funeral just to piss him off and watch him flame out to sea. And let's never see him again.
There's so much unfunny shit on TV that gets passed off as comedy. There's so much music out there that absolutely sucks so much balls that I can't stand it anymore. Surely, I can do better, right? I have something they all want, right? At least I feel like I do. I've been rejected enough that it doesn't hurt anymore. I've lost hard to things I wanted to win, even if I didn't do all I could to win 'em. I know defeat. I'm still here. And fuck, a Lincoln speeding fucking Town Car couldn't take me out. God pity the fool who thinks they can. Certainly not nobody's "no".
I can make you laugh. I can make you smile when you don't want to let yourself. I can show you how to yell. I can kick a part of your ass that doesn't even know it needs a kick. I'll go with you when you go somewhere on your own and didn't know you needed backup til you did. I'm there when you don't even know I'm there but you wish someone was. You were all that for me. That's why I'm coming back. To be that for all of you.
I don't remember if I told you, but I fucking love you.