So - here I sit ... sipping coffee and getting ready to enjoy a slice of blackout choco pound cake at Urth Cafe on Melrose (yes, the place where every episode of Entourage is filmed) -- This frickin' city amazes me... it's like the city itself is one big studio backlot... but I digress.
I've come to realize -- wah-huh -- HOLY SHIT!!!! They just delivered my pound cake and it's enough for 3 - Christ, nothing like big portions to remind you you're by yourself... Anyway - back to it!
I've come to realize this... I no longer know what I want when it comes to women (at least when it comes to relationships). I mean, sure, the physical connection is awesome and even just having amazing conversation with a girl is great, which obviously works more within the realm of the emotional connection... but where the two intersect are now more unclear than they've ever been -- I no longer know what I'm looking for... It is a feeling that is both freeing and horrifying --
I do know this (and I've spoken about it before) -- I want to love someone and I want someone to love me back ... But who I was before and who I am today are so different. I am a stranger in my own skin -- I am a relationship junkie going through withdrawals because the relationship drug I had become accustomed to no longer works - in some ways it's hell - hey, at least they serve cake and coffee here in hell.
So, what is it I want? What's the fix I need to cure this uncomfortable feeling I have? God, I wish I knew. I know that I used to think life played out like a movie - where fate and love at first sight were a given and everything had some sort of meaning or connection (there was some sort of story being told). I'm not saying those things are impossible -- especially the LAFS thing (love at first sight!)... But I think that when we're young and idealistic we're more willing to give ourselves over to those concepts. But when you've lived through it and you're coming out the other end - there is just... just... just - I don't know the word. Hope? Maybe that's the word. I hope... I am hopeful that it can and will happen again for me.... however, I'm realizing that it's going to be different and it's going to take time. I don't mean different as far as the external - I mean different internally. The way I experience it, the way I process it, the way I act in it. I am no longer the person I once was, so there is no way for me to expect my relationships to play out as they once did.
Please don't ask me if there is a point to all this rambling -- I couldn't tell you... That's why it's called rambling. This is me with an hour to kill and this is how I choose to spend it -- with me, myself, and cake & coffee and some stream of consciousness word play.
A year ago I was killing it at Tribeca Film Festival for a client and upon my return I found myself to be a stranger in a strange land. Yes, I've been able to navigate and stay the course, but it's unlike anything I've ever experienced. I always knew this outcome was possible, but I never fathomed what it would feel like. And even now it's indescribable -- I sit here, looking around, and I watch the man and woman sitting nearby who are clearly meeting for the first time for coffee to see if there is potential - I see a woman selling roses - I see men sitting with men discussing women - I see women sitting with women discussing men -- and Frank Sinatra plays through Urth's speakers (he's got the world on a string)... And here I sit - cup of coffee and too much cake -- too much cake.... yeah
I think what I'm trying to say is - and I don't say this to out of depression or sadness - I say it with hope (I like that word) -- what I'm trying to say is... I think it would be nice to have someone to share my cake with...
Granted, that scene is an extreme example of how bad it can get for a guy... but the scene works because it's true in what it's trying to say. We've all been there, we've all felt the anxiety attributed to what is or isn't the right move in our attempts to court members of the opposite sex (or the same sex for that matter - although that's probably a whole different can of business I know nothing about). In that moment, Mikey is just a man desperate for something/someone and he's so afraid of messing it up, it's exactly what he achieves. Doesn't make him a bad person... he's simply human... but alas, as a guy, we feel like assholes when experiencing moments like this because our insecurities and neediness are getting the better of us.
What I also understand about this scene is that it shows how we as men like to roll on instinct and it's society's "rules" that muck it up for us... in fact, much is said in "Swingers" about the "rules" - Me? I've never liked them when it comes to relationships and feel that trying to instill rules sets one on a path of constant self doubt. Additionally, I feel it simply moves men and women away from the most important element of a relationship... "truth". As soon as we try to play by rules, we're ceasing to be honest and in turn "truth" is suddenly relegated to the back seat. I don't know about you, but I think that's wack (yeah, I said wack - what of it?!). Ultimately, Mikey is being faulted for daring to be honest, daring to act on instinct and doing what he wanted. If he didn't have self doubt already in place because of the rules his friends try to instill in him, he wouldn't have given the call a second thought... it's who he is.
I think if it were up to us, we would see what it is we want and go after it - bottom line. Screw how much time we're suppose to wait to call. I meet a girl - I want to see her... WTF am I waiting for? We're then either accepted or rejected and act accordingly (the rules really have no place in this world)... for cavemen, it was a matter of clubbing a lady on the head and dragging her into your cave... at least, that's what the funny cartoons from the days or yore would have us believe. I would like to lead my newly single life by this philosophy, but I am working against a system that's been place for God knows how long.
What do we know about rules? Well, first and foremost, they are limiting and once you try and limit someone's behavior they are immediately more drawn to want to go against it. Tell me not to do something and I'm more inclined to want to do it plain and simple. And, make an individual play by rules and you're no longer getting a true picture of who the person is. That's not to say there aren't guys who will wait three days to pick up the phone, but if that's who they are... then great - as long as they're being true to themselves and not doing it because they think that's what they have to do.
Now you may think I'm just laying this on men or saying that men have it tougher than women? I'm not. In fact, my guess would be that women experience these same moments but in different ways. I'm not a woman, so I couldn't say with any degree of certainty. I'll leave it to you ladies to tell me. If I'm to believe that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then I must accept we are opposites (not talking about interests, hobbies or even religious beliefs - I'm talking about the hoo-ha and hey-nany-nany). It's this core difference which makes us opposites. What's it mean? Like LOVE it's probably indecipherable.
SIDE NOTE: Please don't take this as a sweeping generalization. I do know there are exceptions to all this... I definitely do not see the world in black & white.
So, with that, I ask this question. Is the instinct for "action" on the part of a man when it comes to pursuing the ladies countered with the woman's ability to be inactive... especially in the initial phase of the pursuit? Again, I have to look to the ladies to speak on their attitude/motivation when it comes to this. Or maybe it's because women potentially have more options (more suitors)that they can distract themselves while they decide who they want to move on.
Obviously there are endless debates as to how long one should wait to call, kiss, or run the train, etc., etc. - But I believe it's Mikey's insecurity, self doubt, or whatever you want to call it based on the shitty advice he gets that kills it before it can start... and that stinks like yesterday's garbage.
I would like to go on record and tell all of you reading this to do away with the rules. Do what you want to do and enjoy doing it... be your true self whatever that is and don't apologize for your actions. You want to call that girl up the next day (or even that night like Mikey did) - FUCKING DO IT! Or don't. I don't care... as long as it's what you're honestly feeling.
For months now I've been trying to define LOVE. In the aftermath of an eighteen year relationship, I have tried to look inward at what brought me to this point. I'm sure the both of us could laundry list you all the reasons things didn't work out, but if you asked me would I have done anything different the answer, for the most part, would be no... We did what we needed to do and the relationship ran its course. We as individuals are on individual courses. Sadly, the cliche of "ships passing in the night" holds true. Some just take a lot longer to pass. Are we still friends? Thankfully. We have the ability to look at the evolution of our relationship and know that no one is to blame... no one is at fault. Two people simply acknowledged things had changed and both had seen enough episodes of "Real Sex" on HBO and the lengths couples will go to keep their relationship afloat (tantric body painting sex parties anyone?), to say "no thank you!"
... but I digress -- this entry is about defining LOVE.
So, what is it? What is LOVE? Hell if I know... that's the problem - I can't seem to hold on to what it all means. It's not like I haven't tried to understand LOVE. For the past 9 months I have been trying to wrap my head around the concept and I'm afraid this blog entry will fall short of providing the answer.
In the beginning, I started with the easiest point of entry into the subject... I looked to Webster's dictionary. What did I find? Well, first of all it's fucking homophobic. When the definition states LOVE to be a "strong affection for another person, esp. of the opposite sex" that's just all shades of wrong -- Really, Webster? In 2010, you really need to go the extra mile... not that I'm trying to say I'm Gay and offended... I'm just offended... not Gay... not that there is anything wrong with that. Beyond that, I do get what it means to have a "strong affection", but what constitutes a "strong affection"... well, that comes down to the individual. And we are like snowflakes... we are all different and all attribute a "strong affection" to mean something different... huh? My head hurts already...
Look, I really don't know what to say about the word and what it means anymore. It's so odd - every time I think I've got it figured out it, I lose sight of it... it's like trying to think of how that song goes you heard on the radio and for a moment you remember and then "woosh" it's gone the next time you're trying to remember it. At least with a song you can go on iTunes and find it, download it, listen to it a billion times, and commit it to memory. They don't have LOVE on iTunes and there isn't an app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad either.
There are moments when I feel what LOVE is, but just when I'm trying to attribute words to what it is I'm feeling, it falls apart and no longer makes sense.
What I can gather is this... L-O-V-E comes down to the individual... you (the individual) knows what makes you feel good both emotionally and physically (this of course takes on many forms and can be the explanation for both healthy and unhealthy relationships) - Depending on what we're looking for, LOVE can bring out the best and worst of us. Based on many external factors of your life and the fabric of your DNA, you know what you are looking for and it's unlike anything anyone else is looking for, which makes finding a www.perfectmatch.com impossible -- we can get close... but a perfect match? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! You must expect and respect the differences otherwise you're doomed.
The key is to find someone who inspires you -- who brings out the best in you -- who makes you feel how you want to feel... and when it comes to the stuff you don't see eye to eye on you're comfortable accepting it without expectation that the person will one day change. That's not to say they can't or won't, but that's up to them... not you. You can't blame them if they remain the same person they were when you met them. But again, the flaw in this is people can and do change and they may very well become someone you know longer care to be with. It's so tricky, so fragile, so indecipherable.
I've been out there in the world now for about 9 months and I can tell you that the task at hand is daunting. I know this about myself... I like spending time with someone. Is it healthy, normal, too soon? Who knows... I will say the alone time can be introspective and valuable (hey, it allows me to write this horse shit) - but as I said before, we as individuals know what makes us feel good (and to me that's one of the most important elements of LOVE) -- One thing is for certain, it's nice to know LOVE is out there... have I experienced it in those 9 months? I couldn't say... but what I know, what I've experienced, what I've learned, and the concepts I've pondered tell me that there is LOVE out there... and not just for me... for everyone.
We all want to LOVE -- it's finding someone to LOVE us back the way we want that's the tricky part. So don't give up and don't be afraid of it. It's out there.
To quote Lloyd Dobler and his quest for LOVE: "I WANT TO GET HURT!" - And that my friends, is the only way to truly experience it... let the guard down and allow for the possibility to get annihilated... you'll be miserable when it happens, but that just means it's working.
IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE, I PRAY THE LORD MY SOUL TO TAKE ME OUT IN A BLAZE OF GLORY... - 18 Century Children's Prayer with a little Bon Jovi... dig it!
Let me say this first and foremost... I am a father with two kids and hope to live a long healthy life and be here for them as long as possible. They're the best.
When meditating on the subject of life and death recently I came to the conclusion that there are indeed two ways one could go out... the Summer Blockbuster way or the Independent Film way...
OK -- "Less Than Zero" may not the perfect example of an Indie death... however, it's what I could I find on YouTube to best illustrate my point... plus, I dig that Killers song.
Love him or hate him, Hudon's journey in Aliens leads to a badass departure from life... (feel free to jump ahead to 5:25 in the clip -- Gamer Over!)
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not going out and looking for trouble with aliens in order to fulfill this destiny - I am simply putting out there that I am not opposed to some heroics at some point which will take me beyond with some degree of dignity.
Perhaps watching my Mom wither away and die in a hospital bed has a lot to do with this. I sat and watched her become a shell of who she once was and when the end came it was awful... no point in going into detail... but simply put... no dignity... it was sad, it sucked, and I don't wish that experience on anyone.
I want to go out with Michael Biehn by my side -- with monster robots who can transform into vehicles attacking -- I want to go out John McClane style (although he IS invincible). Guns blazing, sacrificing my own life to save humanity, or a killer dance battle which ends with me pulling a neck breaking head spin that alters the course of dance history (don't ask, but I aint talking a "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" death).
Given all that, I do need to make sure there is a moment to say what needs to be said to those I care about before the final curtain call... after all, what's a death scene without some incredible life altering dialogue... I want slow motion, explosions, and car chases -- not Philip Seymore Hoffman standing over me and chewing up scenery as I try and hold on to every last morsel of life.
I'd like to propose a new business venture... I think filmmakers like Michael Bay should make themselves available to direct death scenes on a "for hire" basis to the public. Think about it... your health starts turning South and it's going in the Paul Thomas Anderson death direction. First off, no one should see you detriorate... then when you die, your family holds a screening and get to see how you spent your final moments... and BOOM - Popcorn, Red Vines, some ice cold Soda and a badass ending.
So, who would I want to have direct my death scene? Hmmmmm....this won't come as a surprise but I would say Bay.... however, I wouldn't be opposed to something like Brian De Palma in "The Untouchables" or Michael Mann in "Heat" -- I do like the Scott Brothers as well... so there are really a lot to choose from...
I think I made my point.... explosions = good --- hospital bed = bad
And there you have it my friends.... till death do us part!