Giving myself the run around.

I often forget just how much I love to play. Play for me covers all aspects of life. If the situation allows for it, why not find the most enjoyable way possible to make it through the day? This could be as simple as cracking a couple of dumb dad-jokes or puns, some light friendly teasing or something far more literal. Running, climbing, jumping and tumbling are all things that I somehow haven’t shirked since my days in the old school yard. We used to laugh a lot. As I’ve grown outwardly and upwardly through time, that youthful love of giving myself to wild abandon has done little to dissipate. I guess it’s not so strange to imagine myself teaching children gymnastics, given that I’m basically just a large child who’s capable of growing facial hair. I’ve always been into playing around, but as a kid who was never terribly active, I had a late resurgence once I realised I could run without immediately winding myself. Suddenly whenever I got the chance I’d bolt about, climbing/crawling/swinging all over whatever.

Over the last few years my greater awareness of my body’s limitations has meant that I’ve been throwing myself around even more. Any time alcohol and playgrounds mix, things are bound to get giggly. I love climbing on top of any kinds of structures, swinging higher than children are meant to go on swings (but not over the bar, that’s très cray cray hombre) and loping around like an unshackled animal. I have a longstanding desire for some kind of massive scale indoor adult playground to exist. My only qualm would be creating an environment where drinking was encouraged, but with the awareness that it’d hike cleaning prices up to astronomical levels. How does one even begin to remove vomit from a ball or foam pit? Think about how great that would be; there’d be trampolines, big padded mats, bars to swing on, ropes and rock walls to climb (wait, am I just describing my workplace?). We’re so often coerced by societal pressure to “act like grown ups” or “behave maturely”. Isn’t the privilege of being an adult the ability to decide how you want to respond to the outside world? When did letting go of that child-like jubilation and ability to give yourself over to the laws of physics become cast aside in favour of pretending that you have any idea what you’re doing with your life?

So given my love of playing, I seek out opportunities whenever I can. At the Crush event last night there was a stripper pole tucked away upstairs. Once I discovered it and everyone else had cleared out from it (I may have been quite liquored, but that doesn’t eliminate all self-doubt), I had a small play (hi mum! Look how your boy’s doing). I’ve always wondered if, as someone who engages in gymnasticish behaviour, I’d be able to achieve any of those awesome techniques I’d seen from my one or two times at strip joints (not even understating things to appear more adjusted. I think strip joints are usually sleazy, classless places that make me feel mega uncomfortable. Burlesque on the other hand…). I tried a basic invert, which was actually not particularly difficult. The pole was kind of slippery, so I found it tough to stay up without slipping to the ground. Super fun to give it a try. I saw people coming, so I got back to my feet and headed on out.

I also discovered a playground right around the corner from my friend’s house. On the way back from a routine popsicle seeking expedition I had a swing on the rocking horse contraption that was clearly designed for people a third my weight. I’m pretty sure your back and face aren’t meant to be touching the ground at each end of your swing. Holy shit, I think I was physically convulsing with laughter. I couldn’t tear the smile from my face and even thinking back now I’m incapable of frowning. There’s a video that you could see on my Facebook page, if we’re that close. If we’re not, just imagine howls of laughter and a face pulled into a Joker-like grin.

I may just be a large child, but that’s integral to my being. If I don’t occasionally accede to my more primordial instincts that don’t harm another human soul, then how am I supposed to look at the world as a place worth enjoying? The older I get, the more value I find in letting go of preconceived notions of what it means to age. Because why should we let the failings of others dictate our actions? They’re gonna be the first to go when the floor suddenly becomes lava.

If I were part of a superhero organisation it’d be called the ScAvengers.

One thing I’ve noticed in Toronto that’s not replicated back home is people putting free unwanted things out the front of their house. Passersby are welcome to take these things back to a loving home. I’ve seen any number of old couches and mattresses (matri?) that were likely bedbug ridden. I’ve also picked up a bunch of things myself. They don’t always work out for the best, but occasionally I find something new to enrich my life. I found a microwave once. It was pretty heavy, but as our home was lacking in radioactive devices I lugged it back on my shoulder. Plugged the thing in and turned in on. It hummed away pleasantly and I was chuffed beyond belief. Put some frozen chicken in to warm it up and pow, it came out frozen. I guess its inability to heat was the reason it was tidily presented for the taking on someone’s lawn. There was a keyboard (computer, not chopsticks style) that turned out to have sticky keys (as in they got stuck, that was not a seminal joke. Get your mind out of the gutter. Which was close to where I found the keyboard), so that one went straight out the front of our place for some other poor schmuck to pick up. A kettle joined the ranks of faulty devices that auditioned for our very own Kitchen Idol. As with all the other wannabe appliances I gave it scathing criticism before unceremoniously tossing it out on the front lawn. Joke’s on me though, inanimate objects don’t feel shame.

It’s not all Bad News Bears though. I’ve picked up one or two things that’ve found a place in my life. The first was a stack of plastic drawers just sitting out on the kerb. They’re not flashy, but I’ve packed them to bursting with essential components for couchforts and disposing of corpses. Wait, did I say corpses? I meant… copses. I like to wrap excess trees in sheets for disposal. *Wheuf*, nice save man. I walked past a place last night and saw a bunch of kid’s stuff on the curb. The family was still in the process of dragging things out so I asked them if it was up for grabs. Affirmative, they said (actually, the kids looked at me like I was a weird stranger asking if I could have their old toys. Fair enough. I asked them if they could talk to their parents and see if they minded if I rifled through it. Sure enough, I was free to fossick away. Things I was tempted to grab:

But given my limited carrying capacity (which would’ve been extended with a toy basket) and large distance to cover I opted to just grab a sealed copy of Anomia, which is a great game I’ve played before. Totally a bonus from a day that marched to the beat of its own drum.

As a vulture of sorts, I’m always on the lookout for free things. There’s a house around the corner from me that keeps putting out baby related things. For some reason (because I’m an awful person) my initial thought each time reflects some notion of infant mortality. Blame Lullaby (wow, today is getting link heavy). Seriously, they put out a stroller, a high chair and a large fluffy bear. Wouldn’t you think that their child had passed away in some tragic mishap? Maybe I’ve just seen too many traumatic movies (and I guess this is the wrong thing to be bringing up when I’m on the cusp of becoming an uncle) and my pessimism engram (as a scientologist (fuck you Google Dictionary, scientology doesn’t deserve a capital letter) would say).

It’s a cool service provided by the people of Toronto. I know we’ve thrown out a bunch of clothes, baskets, pots and pans. It’s like the inorganic collections back home, but all year round. If someone else could actively use the stuff we’re jettisoning, why not throw a smile into their day? It’s a mutually beneficial engagement, much like some hookworms. Keep it up Toronto. If only so I have another excuse to use the plural “passersby”.

I feel like making fun of Creed in 2014 is unnecessary, yet fun. No judgement here.

The digital sands are running and this piece has got to get a move on. So basically I’ve set the timer and I’d feel strange if this entry finished without any content. I’m not gonna attempt relevant content, because I so rarely ever do. Writing in an impaired (read: intoxicated) state is hardly conducive to contemplative thought, so stream of consciousness is more likely gonna be the order of the night. Today was an eclectic assortment of happenstance, which, while unexpected was not unpleasant. I tried starting off with a jog in my new running shoes, only to find my flat-footed nature grossly rejecting the shape of this flashy footwear. I was set for my 10km loop, but after about 20 minutes I was wracked with unimaginable pain in my footsies (seemed like the cutest possible name for them) and felt my entire posture slipping. I walked home before limping became my only viable option.

I ventured back out to look for remaining bits to complement my CrushTO costume. I guess a little backstory is in order. CrushTO is one of the tiers within a specific group/community here in Toronto. It’s totally open to all sexual persuasions and gender identifications. The key words are acceptance and consent. The first tier (ranked on material of a sexual nature, rather than any kind of status thing. The groups are all non-judgemental) is Puppy Love. I’ve talked about Puppy Love before, it’s like the fever dream of an early 90s 12 year old: Arts and Crafts, dating games, Truth or Dare, Spin the Bottle and dancing to non-clubby hits. It’s an awesome mixer that encourages people of all sexual persuasions to get out and meet people. Many random hook-ups thrown in. At the last one we filmed a truthful take on the “20 random strangers kiss for the first time” (rather than 20 models advertising for clothes) and had a bunch of Truth or Dare sloppy makeouts. Quite co-incidentally everyone I’ve talked to post-event has come down with some form of flu that was obviously passed through lip on lip action. It was a fun night that paid dividends in terms of meeting new people, which meant that my diminished health was an acceptable loss.

CrushTO is the next level up. I’ve also talked about CrushTO events before (filtered through my love of dancing with lesbeans), but I’d do them a disservice if I didn’t cover them again. So CrushTO events are all themed. They’re far more clubby than the Puppy Love events. They involve some kind of onstage performance and a culture more predicated on meeting people and pairing off. Private rooms are provided in case people want to get hot and heavy, which means that anything truly tactless gets moved away from the dance floor and into a safe space. I felt pretty intimidated by the idea initially, but my fervour for libatious lesbean liasons of a precocious prancing persuasion (holy shit, those two sets of alliteration kind of rhyme) led me to have an outstanding night. The theme for tomorrow is “Foxy Fiction” and I figure my costume will earn me at least a modicum of nerd cred, which is all I’ve ever asked for in life, apart from a Mercedes Benz. It should be a stupendous night on the town and one that’ll nicely cap off my last evening of drinking for at least a month.

The last tier is that of the SPIT Play party. This is a barrier I haven’t crossed yet, but I’m considering heading along to see just where my boundaries lie. The SPIT Play parties involve a live porn shoot occurring on the premises. Volunteers can opt in to participate (I might leave this one to others) in advance, or just come along for a night of consensual touching and sharing. As with each of the above tiers, participants of all sexual persuasions and gender identifications are welcomed and encouraged. The idea is to leave your sexual hang-ups at the door with your coat and just enjoy your body and those of the people around you. Once again, consent is that magical word that makes the world go around. As I said, this might be beyond me at this stage, but perhaps I’ll head along at some point.

I feel like whatever this was meant to be, it’s become an unflinching advertisement for the group I’d Tap That. Fair enough, they’ve offered me a bunch of great nights and introduced me to a number of outstanding people. Only fair that I pay it forward, right? So if you’re in Toronto, consider coming out (no pun intended) to one of the parties. You’d be welcome with arms wide open, but not in the Creed sense. Because friends don’t let friends like Scott Stapp.

I just realised it’s taken this long for me to add “love” as a category. I swear I’m not a robot.

In this weird limbo right now. I’m waiting to hear back from home as to when I’ve officially become an uncle. My brother and sister (in law, because otherwise that would be weird. That being said, she almost feels like birth family at this point)  are awaiting the arrival of their first child. Leading up to this moment I’ve seen a number of ultrasound shots that’ve proved its forthcoming emergence, I think. To me ultrasounds seem about as discernible as Rorschachs or images in clouds. I know there’s meant to be something right in front of my eyes, but I feel like looking at them under a certain light changes what you see. Maybe if I went cross-eyed everything would perfectly align and a hidden image would pop to the forefront. “Yo bro, that was an awesome sail boat picture you sent. I love the blue shadowy filter you chucked on it.” If my big brother and sister give birth to a sail boat I’ll be pretty impressed. Even more so if it can transform into an infant at will.

At this stage I’ve heard nothing. There was no early indication (or if there was, they’re keeping it close to the chest) of the gender, so I don’t know whether I’ll be giving piggyback rides to a boy or girl in years to come. Whichever gender, they’ll be great parents. They have so much capacity for love and so much to offer that the child is gonna be cared for, supported and encouraged at whatever it chooses to do with its life. In defiance of my site name, I’ve got no doubts as to their ability to raise and nurture a young life. So here I sit, awaiting the news.

One of the things that I find strange about the situation ties into the distance. They’re in the opposite hemisphere, hours away. For all the value of this hyper-connected world we live in, it’s gonna be years before I get to hold my niecephew and offer said piggyback rides or make stupid cartoony voices in an attempt to curry favour. It’s a surefire indication that life and the world go on without my help. Whatever it is that dominates our experiences, people all around the globe are living complex, nuanced lives that are unaffected by whatever menial trivialities concern us. The hardest thing I had to deal with today was teaching a bunch of lively children gymnastics. My sister is expelling another human out of her body.

I was thinking the other day about how bizarre and surreal it would’ve been for the first ever human baby to be born. I guess it’d be learned from years of apes giving birth, but how would our ancestors understand the umbilical chord for instance? Who looks at some long, meaty cord protruding from their belly and thinks well I guess I don’t need that any more? How could you resist losing your shit when you felt this overwhelming pain in your lower half? Every stage of the ordeal would be confusing and terrifying. The baby’s head crowning? What the shit? Why are there eyes poking out from down there? I mean, I guess the common consensus is that pregnancy is a beautiful thing (which it is in the abstract), but I’ve seen a fair share of horror films that involved screaming in pain/terror while blood spurts everywhere.

So I guess you could say that I’m excited, because I love horror films, but I also love my family. The idea of having more of them sounds doubleplus good. I know I’ve got more than enough space in my heart for someone else to support, to offer them wisdom, guidance and understanding. To share laughs, smiles and cuddles. To learn whatever I can about the way they view the world and encourage them to seek their dreams. I know that I love the spirit that my brother and sister put out into this world and the physical embodiment of their love for each other seems like something the world could benefit from meeting. I look forward to meeting it too.

All this illness is gonna land me straight into a coffin fit.

I’m tired of being sick. Again. I feel like my time here so far has been underscored by the tune of a certain malady. I’m becoming fluent in illness, an ever-present cough or sneeze punctuating my speech like gunshot. Over the past 10 days I’ve often awoken in the middle of the night (around 4-5am. It’s the middle of my night anyway) with a rough start, throat heaving as if exorcising something unearthly. Getting up to grab a glass of water doesn’t help like it should, I’ve probably inhaled a desert from being incapable of breathing through my blocked nose. All great Neptune’s ocean couldn’t stop that irritating scratch at the back of my mouth. I’d drown first. Eventually it subsides, but coughing fits keep recurring at inopportune times.

At my haircut today, for example (and as an aside, I know I went to a hairdressing college for a cheap haircut, but how can a trim take 2 hours and still leave me with a borderline bowl-cut? Maybe a cross between a bowl-cut and a Lego haircut. It all worked out so well last time. Gone is my excessive fringe and Adam-from-Girls scruffiness. I’m more like season one Adam, but more shirted. I’m still shaggy, but on the dorkier side of it. It’s not even adorkable, because much as I love portmanteaux, that word makes me want to cruelly socially isolate people who use it in earnest. Is it even possible to say “adorkable” without wanting to succeed at self harm? If not self harm you’d at least inspire violent thoughts from everyone in earshot) I had to repeatedly stop her from cutting while I had my own coughing fit, so as not to come out looking like Van Gogh (as a redhead, obviously). Maybe that’s why it took 2 hours. She offered me a glass of water, then upon discovering they had no glasses, said I could go to the café across the road and ask for a glass, so she could fill it with water. I declined, telling her I’d rather not have someone perceive me as adorkable. No I didn’t. I wouldn’t risk saying that word around, not in a room filled with sharp objects.

I even had to stop in the middle of… going out to dinner with a girl (smooth, because innuendo works best when you basically just rephrase the common vernacular. The ellipses were a dead giveaway too. Also when has it not been appropriate in this project to use the word cunnilingus? I guess since it was decided that this wasn’t an academic paper and I’m fully entitled to use colloquial terms that real people say (like “adorkable”. Okay, that was the last time I swear. If I say it once more I’ll probably start using it ironically, and irony is only a few steps away from sincerity). Like eating someone out. Okay, it’s settled, I probably should’ve just said that in the first place. Then again these entries have been awfully lean on parentheses lately (wasn’t I just talking about speaking like a real boy? Brackets, everyone, not parentheses), so we would’ve missed out on some beautiful unnecessary irreverence. What a shame that would’ve been. They’re probably more interesting than whatever I was writing before) because I couldn’t stop coughing. But that’s why we were born with fingers, right? To find other ways to… communicate? Digitally, that is. Dumb. I don’t even want to think of what kind of innuendo “smoke signals” would be used for (too late). Also the quick mental association I just did between that “digital communication” remark and the fact that I’m typing has left me quite confused and a little aroused. Dumb, just dumb. Staaaaahp it. Cut. It. Out (okay, occasionally my attempts to find cute synergy backfire. What the fuck is this?).

I don’t even think I know how to end this properly. So to compensate, here’s an awesome video of a slime mold solving a maze (with time lapse, of course. Still fascinating). You won’t believe what happens next ([spoiler] the video ends. Fuck you Buzzfeed[/spoiler]).

Time for me to step up 2 the streets. I would’ve typed the word “two” but I was far too lazy.

You can almost taste the spring in the air. Almost, because you can’t. Firstly I was using evocative language to paint a picture. Also there are still the lingering lumps of snow scattered about. I’ve now remembered that we have a lawn in front of our house (that we’ll have to mow sooner or later. Is mowing preferable to shovelling snow? Well I’m equally slack at either job, so the real answer is that it makes no difference). I thought about this lawn during my time in Costco yesterday, when I espied a gargantuan playground complete with swings, slides and other climby things. It could’ve been mine for a mere $1099 or pound of flesh closest to the heart, but I decided I needed both of those things to live and thus left the playground behind. For a split second I imagined the joy of being in house of twenty-somethings all with access to this fun wooden structure. My heart swelled as I foresaw parties that broke down into booze fuelled play sessions before it was crushed by the cruel weight of reality. In another life, maybe.

That didn’t quash the joy of spring arriving though. I’ve had no major issue with the winter here, unlike the locals. According to most, my arrival has heralded one of the worst winters on record. The ice and snow have enveloped us like a cloak, blanketing the city in an eerie pallor. Yet again, according to the locals. Once I found my winter stomping boots (the second ones, not the second-hand ones that fell apart on their second walk. Should’ve given those a second thought) and warm coat, winter wasn’t shit. Okay, so I’ve basically spent the whole season inside a heated flat on the internet, amassing static electricity like a corpse draws flies. Not a bad life. I have experienced precious little melatonin though, so perhaps when it’s safe to lounge outside (we’re getting temperatures of over 10 degrees next week, fellow Torontonians. That’s practically summer, right?) I might make a point of doing so.

I’m keen on the idea of doing some spring cleaning of my own. When April strikes I’m looking to do a month sans alcohol, coffee and bread. All things I don’t need, that do nothing but ultimately slow me down. Given that I’m not making as much as I thought I was, I can scarcely afford liquor when I’m socialising as much as I am (and drinking as much as I am. A bottle of wine shouldn’t be considered “pre-gaming”). Coffee’s another drain on the pocket too. If I get four of them a week that’s at least $20 I’m pouring down that sink. Much as I love the short rush it throws my way, I know it’s just filling a deficit it’s created. A few days after having dropped coffee I tend to feel more awake and alert. It stops that chain of coffee keeping you awake, which leads to poor sleep and the subsequent pouring of coffee as you’re sleep deprived the next day. So quitting for a little while won’t hurt me (and if I plead hard enough, maybe Hammer won’t either). Bread just makes me feel heavy, bloated. I don’t think I’m gluten intolerant or anything, but eating too much bread leaves me with the same lethargy of drinking too many beers.

Aside from easing financial pressure and giving my body a break, I know that at least part of it is motivated by vanity. If I could drop a few pounds of flesh closest to my belly, get down to my goal lean weight, that’d be greatly appreciated. I’ve been spending the winter hibernating and feasting, giving less concern to what I put into my body, which has led to a sub-optimal output. I bought a new pair of running shoes at Costco yesterday for $40, which (unlike my cross-fit New Balance shoes. They’re lightweight and were excellent while I did the sport) have great heel support and will be a boon once the rest of the ice melts. I’m hoping to supplement my body weight training with cardio on my off days. There’s a choice 10km route through the surrounding streets of my area. It’d be a nice way to get out in the sun, replenish my melatonin, stoke my heart so cruelly crushed by the reality of not being able to afford a playground and listen to all of those sweet summery sounds. Maybe I can almost taste spring and I think it’s making me hungry.

Cue next week, when I try to scribe the story of the pokérap.

I don’t know what possessed me to write a rap about one of New Zealand’s most iconic children’s books, but something did. If I get bored maybe I’ll try to record it. It’s kind of tricky syllabically.

Out of the gate and off for a walk
Strode a badass dog that didn’t give a fuck
Furry little terrier, you best be wary
Goes by Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy

Assembling his posse, from down on the street
A down dirty gang lookin’ for bitches in heat
Six canines with twelve sets of paws
Rows of sharp teeth on six fierce jaws

First a mastiff, a rough ‘n’ tumble soul
A massive hound, larger than a foal
You’d pay him respect as a matter of course
It’s Hercules Morse, as big as a horse

Next dog wasn’t loko, but sorta crazy
You step with him you’ll be dead like Swayze
One wild dalmatian who calls the shots
Name of Bottemley Potts covered in spots

A sheepdog stacked like pile of wool
If you think he’s soft then I pity you fool
You cross his path? You best walk away
Watch out for Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay

Now the next in the crew was a special kind’a mean
Some say scrawny, hell I’d say lean
A crafty little whippet, eyes all stony
That’s Blitzer Maloney all skinny and bony

Last up a German mutt with no sense of morality
The only thing lower than his centre of gravity
The brains of the group, bitches under his thumb
Holla Schnitzel von Krumm with his very low tum

Suffice to say their disposition ain’t sunny
They’d give the Killa Beez a run for their honey
Posse roaming the streets, lookin’ for tail
Six hound dogs, strappin’ young males

Sniffin’ around for a bit of rough-housin’
Knockin’ over trash, feasting, carousin’
Whatever it was, each pup had a niche
Like a mongrel gone feral, desires unleashed

This went on for hours in the dead of the night
Until out of the shadows stepped a terrible sight
This pussy had talons and a roar like a lion
Even look at him wrong and you come away cryin’

A black hearted cat some called Kitty Soze
Would they tussle with him? No way hosay!
They had to back up, they had to step down
Don’t mess with Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town

Six against one? Those odds weren’t right
Not when their bark was worse than their bite
Their confidence cracked like a basket of eggs
They scattered at once, tails between legs

Yowling, howling with a wail and a cry
None of these pooches wanted to die
And Hairy Maclary, the pup who led
Ran those little legs, straight back home to bed.

Three hundred and sixty five days of writing in a row? I don’t think I even managed to wear pants that consistently.

What am I doing with my life? For the first time in my life I’ve found myself wondering this on a constant basis and for the first time in my life I’ve found myself struggling to really care. Wow, no, back up. Let’s reel it back a tad before this sounds too much like a call for help. It’d be more accurate to say, not that I don’t care, but that I’m not worried. Stuff, things and whatnot are in flux, the world is spinning away merrily on its axis and life continues to be interesting. I’m just finding it hard to come up with any major problems in my day to day. I’ve found, as of late, that I’m having difficulty getting wound up. I’ve unwittingly embraced some kind of internal policy of letting go and it’s leaving me calm, contemplative and carrot. The last one may be at odds with the others, I was just looking for any word that started with a hard “c” sound. “Carrot” sufficed, as carrots often do.

It wasn’t until recently that I came to this revelation. I’ve changed. I mean, we all do. It’d be hard to walk through life without being affected by the world around you. I’ve undergone a number of massive changes logistically, socially, job-y (I never claimed to be a writer). I don’t know if those are really the true agents of growth that’ve pushed me towards this epiphany. It’s this. The reason we’re both here right now. This project, this writing. I feel like splaying my mind open for us all to dissect has sculpted me into a more honest individual who’s comfortable about everything that makes me a unique entity. If anything is on my mind, rattling around my skull I can type it out and work it out. We’ve long known the power of venting, giving voice to your problems in order to better rationalise them. I’m getting the cathartic release of ridding myself of that negative frame of mind. So many times I’ve finished an entry only to feel the large gravitational push of worry dissipate. If a problem shared is a problem halved, I feel like I’m giving them away faster than I can hold onto them.

I guess the reason why I’m saying this is that today marks my 365th entry. The numbers have been piling up at what seems to be an accelerated speed. 365 days in a row. A page every day, regardless of situation or circumstance. I’ve been plugging away, jotting down, typing up. Whatever you want to call it (I favour the word “scribing”, but I’m a romantic at heart. Oh that these keys were the neck of a quill. Or not, there are children under 5 with better handwriting than me), I’ve been doing it. Everything I’ve gone through, whoever I’ve become, no matter the context of my days and nights I’ve painted my thoughts onto this blank canvas. “Painted”? I’m gonna stick with “typed”. Having this kind of outlet is remarkable. I don’t know where it places me, I don’t know what it means (if it means anything at all), but I’ve accomplished something here. I still refuse to classify myself as a writer because, while I help define myself with these words, I don’t think these words on their own define me. Does it feel weird (and kinda meta) to write about writing about myself? How do I respond to reading things I’ve written? Is there anything I’ve looked after the fresh glow of creation dies down and thought “seriously?” I wrote that? Could I even recognise if I’d written something of value? How does one even define value in stream of consciousness? If I’m writing this for myself, why is it on the internet? Is my narcissism really that expansive? Does it ever get old using a keyboard to ask myself questions?

Speaking of questions, the one I’ve fielded most since starting this project is “what happens when you get to a year?” They ask me if it finishes, will I have accomplished what I set out to do? The answer, invariably, is no. This is just something I do now. I know that Western culture loves for things to be conclusive, but if life isn’t, how can this project be? Since I begun scribing (see, doesn’t it sound spiffy?) I Have My Doubts, my only goal has been to become a better writer. Who’s to say if that’s happened, or if that will ever happen? All I know is that right now this project is helping more than it’s hurting, so I’m keen to keep it up as a forum for everything consuming my mind. Because I need somewhere to talk about adulthood, alcohol, animals, books, Canada, cartoons, childhood, clothes, comedy, comics, communication, consumption abuse, creativity, cringe, Dan Harmon, dating, death, dogs, doubts, dreams, education, family, fear, fitness, food, friends, Game of Thrones, games, geekery, gender, happiness, health, hobbies, humanity, insects, internet, isms, masculinity, media, memories, movies, music, narcissism, New Zealand, nostalgia, personal growth, podcasts, Pokémon, porn, rap, relationships, Rotorua, sanity, self-image, self-loathing, sex, sleep, society, spirituality, stream of consciousness, technology, television, the feels, the future, the human mind, thought, timelines, toys, travel, turd dinosaurs, wankery, words, work and writing.

This may have caused me to listen to Semisonic on repeat. Don’t judge me.

I bought a new computer chair today, it was a trying, but ultimately rewarding experience. For the past 6 months or so I’ve been sitting in a plain wooden chair for several hours a day in front of this portal to the internet. My posture, accordingly has begun to resemble that of Clark Kent as opposed to Superman (apparently Clark Kent‘s official height is lower than that of Superman (who stands at a commanding 6’3) because he slouches. Dude should’ve bought a better computer chair). I decided that I’d be wise to rectify this situation and last time I was at Ikea, I selected the perfect chair to do just that. Then I piked out on buying it because $100 was more than I could afford. Because I’m many times povo right now. Fortunately while shopping for costume bits at the Salvation Army I found a perfect office chair for $20. I say perfect in that the height of it can’t be adjusted and the left armrest squeaks when you move your elbow back. Happens far more often than you’d expect. For my purposes though, which involve minimal to zero amounts of fisting with my left arm (let’s not mention the right) while typing, the seat fulfils its function impeccably.

Once I’d decided that this chair and I had more chemistry than Semisonic and a 90s top 40 playlist, the next obstacle was getting it home. Rolling it along the ground was an option for a while. Unfortunately the turnstiles at the TTC (train, for non-Torontonian Train Commuters (actually not the right acronym)) didn’t allow for my now extravagant width, so I tried buzzing the Landsdowne attendants as to the possibility of using those large glass doors reserved for people with transport difficulties. Wheelchair commuters and the like. No go, they said (which begs the question as to how wheelchair commuters on Emerson Street actually get there), I’d have to come around to the other entrance. This (as in, to enter. I wasn’t casting spells or anything) entrance happened to be a good 200m or so away. I covered the distance holding this chair, which is about half my height (but about a 3rd of Superman‘s height), on my head.

I soldiered on regardless, carrying this weight upon my dome like a crown (don’t let them see you cry). At some stage while walking down the stairs I heard some small metallic clink and I rapidly turned to see if I’d dropped anything. The children behind me froze like they’d caught Medusa’s glare. The chair had no screws loose, it was merely a quarter falling from its position wedged within the seat itself. A lucky omen if ever there was one. I carried it down the steep staircase until finding purchase on the tiled floor. After being encouraged to move it through the accessibility aisle, I eventually found myself on a platform waiting for the train. 3 minutes to wait, what’s a fellow to do? I sat down on that there chair , a luxury I’d clearly earned. As soon as the train “rocked up” I boarded it and tried to find a seat. None were available.

Thankfully I’d brought one of my own.

I sat, cool as a cucumber (or overused Mortal Kombat character) as if nothing was afoot or remiss. I heard a few giggles, noticed a few smirks and , with one foot casually perched upon the opposite knee, pretended to ignore all jeers. Jealousy is so petty, amirite? I rode the train back to Ossington, only to be refused passage if I was to sit upon my newly acquired throne. I compromised and formed a tight seal, keeping it in place. With one shin placed against the chair, my left arm gripping the stability pole tight, I wedged my right leg against the opposing seats and held on to a hanging grip with force. I don’t think I was standing up straight at this point.

Thankfully I got the chair home and I’ve since worked the kinks (squeaking left arm fisting sound (pun entirely intended)) out. Let’s give a Vulcan salute to living long and prospering with this new comfortable, well earned seat.

Am I missing out by not having seen Crash? Then again I still haven’t watched Back to the Future 3.

Been feeling strangely down this week for some reason I couldn’t discern. I’m sure it’d be evident by the tone of the last few entries. Or not, consistency of content isn’t my strong point. Nothing particularly disagreeable had happened, I’d been seeing friends, getting out and about, doing my writing on time. I couldn’t find anything out of place, yet for some reason I found myself pulled into an inescapable spiral of ennui. I tried thinking back to what it could’ve been, but with no great success. Alcohol or caffeine taking their toll? I hadn’t been particularly excessive (by my standards anyway). Was I sleep deprived? On the contrary, I’d felt that I’d been having unusually pleasant, restful downtime as of late. I’d been on a soaring high since late last week and really crashed around Tuesday evening. I kept scanning the events of the past week for a clue until *ding*, I’d found my answer. After a large shot of oxytocin, I’d been suffering withdrawal.

Having had my not-quite-one-night-stand (that really gave the wrong impression. It sounded like it was an extended tryst instead of [spoiler alert] something that didn’t really happen [/spoiler alert]), my confidence was filled to the brim. Bolstered by this new-found energy and resulting charisma (the wondrous effects of self-respect) I managed to be sociable and friendly, eventually endearing myself to a lovely woman (wow, I still feel too young to use that term in reference to a female of a similar age) who was bold and kind enough to invite me over for a sleepover. This night awakened some things in me that I think have lay dormant for some time. I realised the extent to which I’d always loved the electric feeling of touching someone else intimately and being able to offer them whatever pleasure I could. I recalled the feeling of aching for someone, the joy of teasing and the associated push and pull of playing with status. I experienced the intoxication of trust, of giving yourself over to primal release, a domain where words held little sway. This woman was kind enough to remind me of things that’d always been there but just needed that spark to catch alight. After such a powerful infusion of oxytocin, my mood soared. I felt like a nerd who’d been accepted into the cool clique. Or rather, as someone who was brought up in New Zealand schooling that didn’t seem to ascribe to such rigid social structures, I felt like the evocation of how I’d feel a nerd who’d been accepted into the cool clique would feel judging from pop culture stereotypes. Straight up Sandra Dee, yo.

All of this was great for the ol’ self confidence, reminding me that, yes, sometimes it’s nice to be seen as desirable. I’m sure I’ve spoken before about everyone’s need for affirmation, how being desired has such a strong pull. I recently read a piece that highlighted something I’d always suspected was an issue for me but never really knew how to articulate it. It brought up the idea that what women want most is the enticement of being desired (as do we all, right?). Knowing that someone perceives their worth, the validation that most of modern society’s unrealistic body images chisel into a seemingly insurmountable goal. The concept that stood out for me was the tension between showing desire and showing respect. As a devout beta male, I know I often have trouble displaying interest for fear of causing discomfort. I’ve joked that I fear objectifying women so much that I don’t dare inflict myself upon them. I’d also intimated that I’m entirely incapable of flirting with someone until after I’ve slept with them and I think I’ve finally discovered why. I don’t claim to speak for all beta males out there, but as someone who fears the idea of making someone feel uncomfortable and thus unsafe, being too forward or too sexual without confirming boundaries makes me nervous beyond belief. No matter my level of attraction, I fear the concept of exhibiting creepy behaviour so much that I’m probably giving an unfair representation of myself as a sexual being. So often I must come off as bland and milquetoast when, well, I just like to make girls happy. Once I know that they’re comfortable around me, that they don’t perceive me as a threat, I can start to treat them as an object of desire without fear that they’ll worry I’m objectifying them in lieu of sincere respect for them.

All I know at this moment is that the pallor has passed. If this miniature depression is the cost of being close and intimate with somebody, if a connection brings with it a toll, then I know that it’s a price worth paying. There are so many of us on this earth and the fact that most of us wander blindly, only recognising humanity by accidental encounters, makes me ponder the number of missed connections in this vast network of life. I feel like if this were an episode of Scrubs I’d have something affecting and all encompassing to say. Don’t be afraid to reach out. I fall in love every day on the subway, but so rarely offer as much as a greeting. Don’t be afraid of connection, no matter how small. Because for all you know, he/she’s just waiting for you to blush and mention the weather.