In Moments Of Great Internal Strife…Shoot Guns

I’ve never been one to shy away from my emotions, be it via blog, Facebook, Twitter, Mekong Delta Blues or whatever. And while some friends have criticized me for wearing my heart on my sleeve too much recently, others have told me that I need to keep writing in order to more-fully understand what I am experiencing. My mom asked me to try blogging today about something happy, so this entry is basically just to teach her a lesson. I’m not ready yet.

It’s been a harrowing ten days. Has it been ten days already? Has it been only ten days? I’ve been using the word “brutal” a lot to describe it, because that’s how it feels. Savagely violent. Over breakfast with Andy and Lisa last Sunday morning it was described as the worst drug trip imaginable while having the flu. There have been moments — and they come sporadically, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes when I’m laying awake at four or five o’clock in the morning — when I believe I can actually feel my blood. It burns with anger. It’s flow fuels my depression. I have never been more in tune with what’s going on inside my body. Fractured thoughts. Broken heart. Pulse. Muscle aches. I couldn’t eat for the first 48 hours. Then I tried and got sick. Food has been touchy ever since. Sleep…don’t even get me started. With the exception of last Saturday night when I drank to the point of blacking out at a shitty Hollywood club, I haven’t slept in ten days. Thirty minutes here, an hour there, ten minutes…it’s just not happening for me right now. Xanax, Ambien, Tylenol PM, alcohol. Some of you out there who have experienced this kind of shock — and it is literally shock, like the kind you experience after a high-speed car crash — can attest to the fact that the mind is stronger than all of those chemicals combined.

For the most part it has been shit. Pure unadulterated shit. The lowest of lows, where you feel like you’re a tiny entity trapped inside your own body clawing at your insides trying to break free. The long stretches of darkness are dappled by scant rays of sunlight. A smile from a stranger. Kind words from a close friend. Reassurance. Guidance. Hell, in the moment, someone telling you “You’ll be okay” almost seems rational. Almost. But as I just said, the mind is a powerful thing. Just as quickly as it can build you up, it can raze you to the ground. Listen, I know I’ve talked a lot of talk on this website for the past five or six years and given you all the impression that I am a rock, that I am a cold, shallow, emotionless asshole who finds joy in mockery and snark, but it’s very obviously a facade. I would go so far as to say I am more sensitive than most men my age. I hurt, I cry (a lot sometimes), and I feel things very intensely. I can expend all the words I want on the male-female paradigm, about getting over breakups, about bedding beautiful women, about using and objectifying, but I don’t believe in it. It’s comedy to me. It’s a joke. Honestly? It’s a projection of a kind of person I not only could never be, but that I never want to be. So yeah, I’m having a really hard time right now. I know I’m not the first person to ever go through this but that hasn’t stopped me from feeling like I am. The bottom line is, I thought I had a great thing going, I thought I had my future planned, I thought had everything I needed in life (except for maybe a better job), and now I have to rebuild myself and my life. It fucking sucks. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And that’s not just a cliche I actually have worst enemies.

But there have been some bright, cheery, funny moments during these last ten days that I think are worth noting. A lot of them are totally macabre, but sometimes when something devastating happens it helps to see the humor in it. I know that’s warped, but I guess I’m warped. I mentioned a Sunday morning breakfast with Andy and Lisa last week. During our conversation Andy relayed some stories of his own, and offered me a bit of advice. He called it a warning. He said to me, “Evan there will come a moment when you think you’re over it. It’ll be like a crack in the cloudy sky, and you’ll truly believe that you’ve weathered the storm. You’ll say to yourself, ‘This is amazing! I’ve done it! I’ve made it through the shit!’ And you’ll naively convince yourself that the worst is behind you. And that’s when it gets you. Ten-times-fucking-worse than it was before. Please don’t allow yourself to have that moment.”

That was on Sunday. On Tuesday I was walking to my car after work and I cracked a smile. On Tuesday. And I said to myself that I was okay, that I have weathered the storm. I thought, “This is amazing! I’ve done it! I’ve made it through the shit!” Then I remembered Andy and his warning. And, I swear to God, I said to myself in that moment, “Fuck it! I don’t care! I like this moment! I know I’m naive, I know I’m doomed, I know it’s going to get ten-times-fucking-worse, but this feels really good right now!” I laughed for the first time in days. At myself. Because it was funny to me how quickly I disregarded a warning.

Last night I met up with my old friend Brian. I mentioned him a few weeks ago during a post about a mix tape he made for me in 1994. Brian’s doing really well right now. He’s about to direct a big-budget Independent film with an impressive cast, he’s waiting anxiously to see if Tron 2 DVD sales are going to be strong or not, he’s living in a great house that was pretty much given to him by a friend, and…oh yeah…he just saw a relationship end as well. So he picked me up at my apartment last night after a few back-and-forth texts and he drove me to Shabu Shabuyo in Little Tokyo. In the car on the way over he told me to lay it on him, so I did as best I could. While stopped at a traffic light near 3rd Street he looked over at me and said, “Brother. Have I got some stories for you.” And over dinner, as we cooked our beef and our pork, drank our beers and caught up for the first time in maybe 10 or 12 years, he shared his stories. One of them, in fact, closely paralleled my own. It involved him moving to Hollywood when he was 22, and the timeline of events was spot on. It was the most accurate account of a similar situation I’ve heard yet. Even though I’ve been forcing myself to stay busy with friends for ten days now, doing shit like going to the beach and going to bars and taking people out for dinner and singing karaoke and meeting new people and all that shit…in that hour or two over dinner I felt the best I’ve felt yet about my situation.

And then he took me to the LA Gun Club. He described it on the way over as the best stress release mechanism he knew other than meditation, but he couldn’t teach me meditation in one night. Holy shit did it feel good to take out my frustration on inanimate objects. People say to hit a pillow when you’re angry, but why would anyone choose to do THAT when you can get a GUN and SHOOT stuff! I’m pretty sure that, in my current condition, I’m the last person who should be handed a firearm and told to use it, but that didn’t stop the friendly staff at the LA Gun Club from taking my ID and thumbprint and sending me on my way with a small arsenal. We rented a beretta semi-automatic pistol and a medium-barreled .357 magnum. It felt fantastic. I got to harness all of the weird conflicting emotions inside me and focus them on shooting fake people in the face.

After that of course (because I never know when to leave well enough alone), I stupidly went out drinking with my friends. Which meant I went to sleep late. Which meant I woke up two hours later thinking I was hung over, but realized after another three hours of tossing and turning that something was really wrong with me. So I got up and showered and went to the Urgent Care Center to see a doctor. As it turns out, it’s pretty easy for bacterial infections to ravage your body when you’re not sleeping or eating. Medical science…I’ll never really understand it but I’m endlessly fascinated by it! So now I have to take a bunch of antibiotics for the next week. Awesome.

Don’t call this a comeback. When I’m feeling it, I’ll blog. In those rare moments of sunlight. When I need to share something happy with you. Someday we’ll get through this, you and I. Until then follow me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll post silly pictures or try to make light of my situation.

16 comments

  1. |

    So.. you’ve been a bit ill. Is that what all this is about?

  2. |

    I’ve been through this myself and it sucks. But trust me on this: at the time, I kept reminding myself that in, say, a month I would feel better than I did that day, and a month after that I would feel even better, and so on, and lo and behold, 2.5 years later, I look back on those days and months and realize I not only feel better than I did then but that I also feel better than I ever did before period. And you will too. Would Amelia McDick-Party ever lie to you?

  3. Tyler Kent
    |

    Fuck man… 15mg Oxycodone, stat! Then 15mg B.I.D. (that’s twice a day) for a week. We’ll discuss tapering you off later. And for fuck’s sake, quit drinking. The hangover gloom could be your downfall!
    Slainte, bud!

  4. |

    Dr. Spock – Something like that. I’m surprised you haven’t killed yourself without any new blog posts for a week.

    Amelia – You’re amazing. See you soon.

    Tyler – Don’t need oxy, though I’ve actually stumbled my way into some percs recently. They’re on hold for better times. Why waste, eh? Thanks for all the positive comments and good vibes.

    Jack – I saw a Chinese Free Mason lodge last night and thought of you. It looked like the world’s most insane secret headquarters. I wanted to break in.

  5. |

    You had me at “I’ve”…..some of your best writing in years…..until you quoted LL Cool J in that last paragraph and it all unraveled. But nonetheless Bravo, Boy Blunder, get back up on that horse and ride again you little cowboy.

  6. |

    Sooo…did you prefer the Beretta or the .357 mag?

  7. Tyler Kent
    |

    I’ve got a .357 in my bedstand and even though I live in a decent suburb of Chicago it allows me to sleep easy. I haven’t fired her in ages though. It IS therapeutic.
    BTW, Oxycodone is the active ingredient in your percs too… mine just doesn’t have the additional aspirin or Tylenol that yours does. And unlike Oxy-Contin mine are immediate release. I do think they (or your percs) would rapidly improve your mood… but for long-term relief the only thing that’ll work is time. I was in the exact same place you are back in 1988 and had a couple rough years until I met my current wife in 1991. I guess I wish I could impress on you how unnecessary your suffering is, but at the end of the 80s when people tried to do that for me it went in one ear and out the other. Methinks this is something you must overcome at your pace and that the best healer of all is time and your next love. Here’s hoping she finds you sooner than later.

  8. |

    please note…NO lesson learned. i still contend that writing this trumps not writing at all. just think of it as an extension of your secret journals when you were a kid.

  9. |

    Hey! How about we share the most embarrassing, overwrought songs we’ve ever listened to in times of mental anguish? Obvious, semi-cool answers like “Wish You Were Here”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, The Cure’s Pornography or anything by Joy Division not acceptable. I’ll start.

    The Fountains of Lamneth (by Rush, the 2nd side of Caress of Steel, for those not in the know) ;-)

  10. Tyler Kent
    |

    Friday by Rebecca Black! (Nah, I’m fookin kidding.) Uh, well Fountains of Lamneth is a great answer! I don’t actually think its embarrassing however. I guess my answer would be one of those dramatic (and overwrought) Lou Gramm songs like Live Without Your Love. Not even sure that’s the title… or that it isn’t actually a Foreigner tune… but you get the idea.

  11. |

    Oh how in the midst of fresh breakups from long-term relationships does it feel like the end of the world. But there is always a silver lining: You A.) Feel something. It may be shitty, but it’s a strong human feeling in which you can soak yourself into. B.) That feeling makes things intense. Like music, which you love. Oh how every song means something. It’s kind of nice in a dark and twisted way. But, honestly, you listen to lyrics and tunes like you were a teen hearing music for the first time. (Same with movies) C.) When you finally get to that point in which you start to get over the breakup, you find a new interest in yourself. It’s like dating yourself and figuring out what you like again. D.) Lastly, there is a relationship in which is better than your last. Until then: Scott Walker – “Through A Long And Sleepless Night” and then you can move onto: Lonnie Donegan “Get Out of My Life.”

  12. |

    ‘It’s comedy. It’s a joke.’ Tell me about it. I’m a good guy. But, now, I can’t tell a joke on camera or shoot off an email unless it’s g rated. My ex and I exhibit the same humor, but recently in court my jokes are ‘sexually abusive descriptions of women’. A retainer fee for a lawyer to defend punchlines, so I can see my daughter. That’s a joke.

    Check out… Albert King – Lost My Baby

    It’s easy for some people to move on from their girl leaving, because their girl wasn’t that exquisite, they say you can’t argue taste, but if you pride yourself on discernment and appreciation of music, or wherever you allow your superior quality control to blindingly shine, then more than likely she was something else. probably a best friend. probably physically approximating everything you could want from a girl. probably nurturing w/ a sense of humor that held the strength of twelves muses. probably had a brain. however you call it. i’m projecting, but somewhere in there maybe two or three words are relevant to you.

    It’s harder to get over those girls. It’s like you have to lower your standards for future chicks. You don’t get the louvre. You have to settle for a shitty gallery. It sucks.

    Then eventually, you invest completely in yourself and your talents. If you find a siren or three, it still hurts, the truth of what was, especially if you wanted to marry her.

    The biological explanation of breakups is more interesting than my explanation.

    I don’t know your story, but there’s my stab in the dark.

    Youre sensitive. Her memory’s not going away any sooner than the songs that have moved you.

    At best you’ll lose your edge and become lame and it wont hurt so much. j/k

    Grief is a documented process. It’s like standing in line at the airport, you have to go through the rigmarole, you can’t dart by security into the cabin, so take your shoes off, let them look through your clothes or cavity search your vagina.

    you’ll go from bill murray in groundhogs day to bill murray in le chien andalou. what.

  13. |

    zandy, there’s a lot i wish i could say in response to your comment but this is simply not the place to do so. thanks for sharing your thoughts. if you actually want to hear from me, it’s not hard to find my e-mail address…

  14. |

    […] In 2011 I refused to use this space for self-reflection. I penned a post about how it felt to shoot a gun in a time of strife, then feigned normalcy. After two months I wrote “Happy Foot / Sad […]

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