Another verbose article full of hyperbole… and quite a bit of obscenity

I dedicate this to “Pete” who I sincerely hope goes and fucks himself.

The novelty of having your own apartment is quickly extinguished after you take your first crap with the bathroom door open and jerk off in your kitchen a couple times.  After about a week of that you realize, not only are you a depressed, pathetic pervert but also a disgusting human being.  Having roommates keeps both of those things tempered somewhat.  Without them, my inner slob is allowed unimpeded flow throughout the halls of my apartment.

So, I’ve taken to decorating, which is a delightful activity despite the fact I often find myself climbing on top of things drunk – I have stumpy little arms that can’t reach anything, attached to a hobbit like frame, yet I live in an apartment with ceilings high enough I’m considering raising a giraffe in my pantry.  I need a step ladder.  I would drink less but it helps me deal with the fact that the most expensive thing in my apartment right now is a rug.  I hope it was woven out of pony fur and is being held together with virgin spit because if not, I doubt I can live with the fact I paid over a hundred dollars for a fuzzy brown pattern to put on my floor (apparently it’s actually made out of something called Olefin which I’m pretty sure was the name of a bad guy in a Bond film).

Floors help us cope with our ever present struggle against gravity, providing an important surface for passing out on and making sure we don’t fall into our basements.  I’m not really sure where rugs come into play but I have one now so I guess I’m civilized.  Maybe it’s because I walk around like Charlie Brown all the time looking at my feet that I decided to enliven the perpendicular plane beneath me.  I still can’t help but think that decorating the ground is a bit like polishing your asshole (sometimes my analogies don’t make a whole lot of sense and you should probably know that I don’t care).  It has also seriously limited the space I have for drunkenly practicing my soon to be mad-awesome moonwalking skills.

My dining room, which has massive floor to ceiling mirrors in it, great for scaring the shit out of yourself when you walk from the shower to your bedroom naked, is completely empty except for my bicycle, which has become about as useful to me as a celibate hooker.  For some reason I don’t ever feel the urge to ride anywhere in Austin like I did in Albany.  Of course, I was situated in prime biking real estate back in New York.  Friends, bars, and unsavory Price Chopper parking lots were all a short ride away.  I live in North-East Austin though, which is about as happening a place as my bedroom.  If I wanted to ride my bike down a fucking thruway I suppose I could hit up downtown proper, which is apparently a whole bag full of awesome for any bicycle enthusiast.  Or, you know, I could take a leisurely ride down the street I live on and enjoy the campus of Dell Headquarters.  I think there’s a cement factory after that.

Those mirrors however, are great for scribbling nonsensical poetry and/or physics equations on at three in the morning.  I bought a set of multicolored dry erase markers just for this.  Sometimes I get bored of that though and start tracing body parts on it instead… at least those that will fit (barely veiled big dick joke taken care of).

It may be apparent at this point that I’m trying to be obscene simply for the sake of it.  I’m going to blame television for this, despite the fact that I don’t own one.  I’ve started thinking that everybody has the sort of obscene thoughts as the ones I’ve written, if not worse, and maybe it is of some comfort to see them written down.  This probably isn’t true, and is only a projection of my own character flaws.  I think it would help if these perversions existed to obfuscate some underlying point, but unfortunately I haven’t found much point to anything lately.  The smut I have written is simply that.  It’s a page full of profanity and crudity constructed in a vain attempt to elicit a laugh.  While I used to choose my words carefully, and on occasion created a meaningful sentence that resonated with sincerity, they seem now to fall upon the page with little regard for any sort of substance.  It’s hard to write anything genuine when you stare into life and see nothing staring back.  Maybe Pete is right after all.  There’s this possum (or opossum, I can never remember which is the American one) that lives in the brush somewhere near my apartment.  When I sit on my porch and drink late into the night, he often makes an appearance.  He usually sits on the lawn, stares into the distance, and busies himself with absolutely nothing.  He seems to exist without any clue as to why he is, but I get a sense of smugness from him, and profound happiness.  I often look at him and hope he’ll reveal something to me – tell me something I’ve been missing this past year or so.  Maybe he has some great knowledge hidden away somewhere.  But then I remember he’s just a possum.  He eats trash.  So, I go and trace my hand on my mirror.

Where You Went Wrong

Up until this point in my life I had been working towards something.  The only time I remember differently was as a small child but as I’ve grown older and started drinking like a total fucking lunatic almost every night, I find myself resorting more towards that infant state.  Drunken Matthew and Matthew circa 1988 have remarkably similar habits.  I fall asleep in positions that no one in their right mind would describe as comfortable.  I can’t form a coherent sentence.  Get grumpy for no reason.  Storm out of rooms mumbling. Talk to stuffed animals.  Yell at doors.  Throw things.  Drool on myself.  Wake up and can’t find the bathroom and cry about it, or even worse, wake up covered in my own urine (at least I hope it’s my own urine).  The more I drink the more I have in common with toddlers.  The only possible conclusion is that I’ve found the fountain of youth, out of which pours forth a time traveling elixir known as alcohol.  I can’t say I have a lot of substantial evidence or logic to back this as a scientific theory but I’m prepared to continue my research with an utter disregard for my own health.  I do it for the children.  I’m sure there will be doubters. But people doubted Newton and then he invented the cat flap.  I very possibly didn’t make that up.  I think he did some other shit involving gravity too but the cats didn’t fair as well in those experiments.

I’ve had various goals just about my entire life.  I wanted to learn to read, I wanted to escape elementary school, I wanted to escape middle school, I wanted to have sex with almost every girl I went to high school with (I failed to attain 100% of that goal by the way), I wanted a car, I wanted to get the fuck out of Gloversville, I wanted to graduate college, I wanted to leave New York…. and then something happened.  I hit a brick wall and it all stopped.  I don’t even know what I want for Christmas anymore.  I guess I’d like to want again.  It’s an odd emptiness, not really unpleasant, just a little funny feeling.  It’s like I’m missing out – some party I wasn’t invited to but all the cool kids are going.

I am all of a sudden skeptical of my “alcohol as a facilitator of eternal youth” hypothesis – you know a theory is good if it only takes you eleven sentences to start questioning it.  Drinking to solve your problems is a bit like trying to kill your enemy by shooting him through your own head.  It is impressive looking and oftentimes hysterical for sure, but you do wind up with a rather large and unpleasant hole in your skull.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to quit drinking.  My mamma didn’t raise no quitter, but perhaps I’ll consider other ways to occupy my time.  They say a man needs a hobby and by they I mean idiots.  I’m thinking either model trains or not collecting stamps.

Besides bestowing feline society with the great flappy door entrance, Newton also suggested this notion that light was made up of these tiny so called corpuscles and that matter was made up of grosser corpuscles and they interacted on some chemical level.  Personally, I think he should have slapped a patent on that cat flap invention of his and retired.  He was totally wrong about those corpuscles of course, postulating these ideas well before our modern quantum understanding of the wave-particle duality of light, and unsurprisingly, likely pulled a mad hatter in his later years, dying of mercury poisoning from his experiments with alchemy.  So I know a few things I don’t want, e.g. dying of mercury poisoning is remarkably low on my New Year’s resolution list.  I hope that’s a start.

I am looking forward to returning to New York for the holidays.  I have a rather miserable car waiting for me and a handful of people who make me smile.  Somehow I managed to convince myself I needed to move to Austin because I had something to run away from.  Turns out no matter how far or fast you run, yourself has a nagging habit of catching up with you.  I thought I needed to get further away, so much so I wrote a terrible song about it and made my friend sing it, but I think I missed some crucial truth in my panic.  Of all the things I should want, I suppose I ought to want to be me first.  Maybe I’ll work on that and while I’m at it I’ll try to be less of an emo pussy who says things like I should want to be me.  I need a new haircut.  I part it but then it falls down on the one side and I look like an assbag.

Despite a haircut that seems to fit right in here, Austin continues to exist only as a backdrop to my empty set.  The audience never showed, likely because I never invited them.  It’s only me on stage, sitting atop my throne of alcohol.  It makes me forget for a while but I can’t seem to escape the fact that returning to Albany feels like going home.

How To Leave Albany

nycPhoto Andrew Franciosa

If you find someone you like I highly suggest you ignore that person as best you can.  It’ll make this easier.

Think of all the ways you could die.  Decide on the the worst one.  Then think how much worse it would be if when it happened you were in….

Poughkeepsie.  That’s how far I got before my road trip to my new and exciting life had become a long and boring car ride through the depths of hell a.k.a Pennsylvania. The fog and blinding headlights of oncoming traffic took their toll and my head began to throb.  When I finally stopped at a Denny’s in Virginia and watched the sun rise over a strip mall it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed.  But to be honest, I could have stepped out of my car and seen two cats blowing each other and I would have been just as happy.  Also, Pennsylvanian roads are constantly under construction.  I think when they get to the end of one they just start back at the beginning again.  Big fucking mystery.  Been losing sleep over it.

I think we all reach our Poughkeepsie at some point.  And this is where I’m supposed to say something inspiringly lame like you need to keep driving and wait for the sunrise.  Well the sun rose over a Denny’s.  It was about as poetic as passing a kidney stone.  It’s just that I was so delirious from sleep deprivation I practically became the double rainbow guy.  Fuck double rainbow guy.  And fuck rainbows for that matter too.  The refractive index of a raindrop does not impress me.

So how do you leave Albany?

I suppose the first step is to realize that there’s something better somewhere else.  That’s certainly easy enough but the rest gets considerably harder and it helps if you start warping your vision of the world.  Take everything you see and view it through the lens of apathy, depression, or if you’re a real sick puppy, optimism.  I say this because the first two leave a whispered possibility of being better than you had anticipated.  Optimism or hope or whatever positive outlook you manage to twist your aspirations through will just end in sad realization.  It is best if you just embrace being unhappy and decide maybe it’d be interesting to be unhappy somewhere else.  There are so many people and things not to like there’s no reason to limit yourself to one place.

Also, make sure you realize the reason you’re unhappy and want to leave isn’t because you live in a shitty place but because you are in fact a shitty person.  People love to say Albany sucks.  Well, chances are, you suck.  You’re probably not a very interesting person and there’s a fair possibility everybody thinks you’re frightfully unattractive.  Don’t leave because you think you’re better than the place you’re leaving or better than the people who live there.  You are very likely not.  You are statistically mediocre in every way and only a small handful of people will truly miss you when you’re gone.

So, now that you’ve gotten yourself in the right mind set, it’s time to pack your bags.  If you need instructions or help with this I highly recommend you shoot yourself in the face.  I will give some advice though: everything needs to fit into the trunk and backseat of your car (you do have a car right?), if you own more than two trash bags worth of clothes and shoes I hate you, don’t bring any furniture or anything large and completely unnecessary like a three foot framed picture of your ugly ass dog, and if you’re going someplace hot please remember vinyl records can easily melt.  Lastly, before you pack your car, toss a fat man in the passenger seat.  Do this because, either like me you brought a fat man with you on your trip, or because I figure that’s how much spare room you’re going to want for all the cases of Red Bull and Hostess cupcakes you’re going to consume on your journey.  Be careful with the energy drinks and cupcakes by the way, if you drink three of those things and pound four cupcakes in a one hour period, you will shit out your soul at the next rest stop.  You might also want the room for picking up hookers, serial killer drifters, or possibly but unlikely, a nice boy/girl you meet on your way.

Give yourself a month to announce your departure, quit your job, and say your goodbyes.  Get everything sorted out sooner rather than later so you can spend your last week without the worries of traveling.  Don’t try and see everybody.  Most of your so called friends aren’t worth it.  Focus on the few people you actually care about and leave the rest to show up at your going away party at a crappy Albany bar of your choosing.  Most won’t show and you shouldn’t care.  If you do then maybe you’re not ready to leave yet.  Try and have sex with everybody you have been wanting to have sex with.  The going away forever thing seems to be an effective ammunition for gettin’ laid.  Have sex with someone regrettable while you’re at it too.  Give yourself one last thing to be happy to see fade away in your rearview mirror.

Hopefully you’ve settled on somewhere to go at this point and you’re not just running off to get raped or killed in the moonlight of an unfamiliar city.  I recommend giving Seattle a shot.  People tell me it’s great and it has a high suicide rate.  Get in your car and leave at night.  There’s something calming about driving away in the dark.

You have started again, but when you arrive at your new home and gaze upon its buildings and its people, remember, everything ends.  If you’re lucky you’ll be somewhere nice when it does.

How to get a job, move to an awesome city, and not care.

[tweetmeme]I have never been surrounded by such a pervasive horde of happy people than I have in Austin. I have not caught site of a frown, a tear, or even an unsettled face in the month I’ve lived here. Folks go about their days in such a blissful state I thought for a while the government was dumping Zoloft in the water. This likely medicated pack of giddy Austinites hold doors for you, say please and thank you, and would probably blow you on demand if you asked nicely.

And I kind of fucking hate it (though I haven’t tested the fellatio theory yet). What exhilarating phenomenon are these people partaking in to engender these moronic looks of glee? Is there no sorrow or loss here? Maybe they need a good flood or some good ol’ fashioned fire and brimstone, blood in the water, locust in the sky apocalypse.

They’d probably let it slide right off. Might not even notice. I mean it. There’s a man who collects the garbage from the IT room everyday before I leave. He’s pretty old and I think he had a seizure at one point because one side of his face is a little fucked. This man is happier than me. He’s probably happier than you. I make twice an hour what he makes. I have my youth, my health, a full head of hair, and oh yeah, the side of my face doesn’t look like I lost a fight with a bear. And yet he accelerates towards oblivion with nary a look of woe. Some sort of cosmic balance is off here. I want to tell him he shouldn’t be happy. I want to tell him when I look at him I’m convinced nothing will ever work out and happiness is a pretense, a masquerade we partake in, and under our masks we are all scared and alone. But in this Twilight Zone world the words get stuck in my throat.

I miss Albany in a way. I miss being a sarcastic asshole and having that be acceptable. In New York we’re often total dicks to one another because we know the other person, deep down, is a giant dick themselves. It’s great. Really. I love that. This subtle respect and consideration for one another down south makes my insides feel funny.

I’m not sure what I’m missing about this city and the euphoria it apparently induces. Austin is nice but Albany is….. not really that nice at all now that I think about it. It’s kind of a big garbage dump – not like Troy bad (I think a fucking shitbomb went off in that town, seriously) but it’s a far cry from heaven. Strangely I miss that. I mean, I actually miss how shitty it is. Something about me feels at home in its shadow. We fit.

I think people move to Austin because they are happy while I moved to Austin because…. well, I’ll have to get back to you on that. It was for much the opposite reason though. I did make some world record for landing a job upon arriving in a city with zero job prospects. In five days I was working doing help desk and network administration for $17 an hour. Don’t worry, I realize how absurdly lucky I am. Funny enough, Apple gave me a call two weeks after I got here regarding the transfer I had put in for months prior that I was sure I hadn’t gotten.

Telling the manager he should hang up and proceed to fuck his own face was by far my most joyous moment in Austin to date.

My move here should be hailed as a financial success. Yet, you find out far too quickly, that without anyone you care to spend it with or anyone you love to spend it on, money is about as useful as a windshield wiper on a goat’s ass (that’s an old Texan analogy, I think Davey Crockett said it first).

But let me end with a glimmer of light and a whisper of truth, a solitary moment of optimism. Life is not all misery and despair. I see the night fading and the sun spilling over the horizon. The moon will sink and a warm….. nope, I actually have no idea what I’m saying right now. I’m rather drunk at this point in my writing and thought I’d try and end it on an uplifting note. That’s not going to happen. Nevermind. Life is shit. Always has been. Always will be. But you know, I think I’m okay with that.