I know this blog has gone off the rails lately as my life has gone off the rails.
I'd normally cut this into two entries because
1) people glaze over the long entries
2) saves me the trouble of blogging for an extra day, like preparing meals in advance
But I just want to get this out of my system in one go. You can treat it like two entries in one. This first is a tale of terror I'll call..."WHO'S THE BOSS?"
Saturday, my mom came to visit me. It was not one of those frivolous "haven't seen you in a while" visits. It was a "Malice is in a crisis" visit. Usually, those involve me suffering through some bad breakup with a girl. This time, it was because I've been perilously unemployed and needed to ask my mom for some financial assistance. Strangely, suffering a bad breakup and worrying over not being able to make ends meet... kinda feel similar...
"Humiliation" comes close to covering what I was feeling, needing to do this. "Deeply ashamed" is another good description. My mom doesn't have a lot of money. The only way I could live with asking her for this was knowing that I will eventually start making some real money, at which point I'll make sure she's well compensated for all she's given me throughout my life.
It was a painful visit. Telling her about the hard times I've been having. The coup de grâce being me losing my backpack last week (with my ipod and keys and other things). It's painful to lose things when you know you can't afford to replace them.
My mom was really sensitive to everything. Wished she could do more for me. She bought me lunch. Took me to buy a replacement backpack. (Not the same model as the one I lost, but a good bag.) Got some groceries for me at the new UWS Whole Foods and took me to get a long overdue haircut that I'd been putting off because of the expense...
It was a small barbershop in the W. 70s I'd gone to before. A few minutes after my haircut started, Tony Danza
walks in and starts getting his haircut right next to me. He seemed to have an old rapport with his barber and was updating him on everything happening in his life: updates on his family, his new tv show.
And I'm sitting in the chair next to Tony Danza, getting a haircut that my mom is paying for.
If a picture had been taken, the caption would read:
"Which one of these men is a complete loser?"
(I love my mom.)
The next entry in this recession era value pack is something I'll call..."LOST WEEKEND"
I wasn't going to go away for the Labor Day weekend. When you're so broke you're afraid to swipe your MetroCard unless you REALLY can't take the time to walk the distance, it's hard to justify going away and navigating all the incidental expenses that go along with hanging out with people.
But the invitation was there. To hang out at a friend's family's house in South Jersey. I was wringing my hands over this all week. The idea of getting out of the troubled city and just chilling out with fun people for a few days was really appealing to me.
I was just afraid of the cost. Even though my friend said he could spot me for the shared expenses.
A few minutes after my mom left on Saturday, I was in my apartment and I just knew that if I didn't go out I'd probably just stay cooped up in my Fortress of Solitude all weekend, stewing in my worries.
Half an hour later, I was at Penn Station boarding a NJ Transit train.
I ended up having an incredible time. There were a lot more people crashing at the house than I expected and everyone was uniquely fun to be with. We played a shitload of drinking games. (I played beer pong for the first time.) Had one of those deep, up-till-dawn conversations with this one guy: the kind of soulful talk that you can only seem to have when you've both had way too much to drink.
Sunday night, we went to Atlantic City. It's so surreal how those casinos are designed like massive theme parks for adults.
I didn't gamble though came close to trying one of the slot machines that had a Wizard of Oz theme; I stared at the blinking jackpot amount and marveled at how many problems it would solve. I briefly imagined what many desperate people must imagine in a setting like this: what if FATE has put me in front of this machine at the exact right time ...?
Maybe I should've played it anyway, but I resisted.
We ended up at a boardwalk dance club that was bizarre in its own special way. But I was having such a great time with everyone, it didn't really matter where we were. We made the scene better.
I honestly had the best time I've had in AGES...
... until I woke up Monday and two days of relentless drinking finally caught up with me.
Not immediately. I was feeling a little spare when I woke up but nothing unusual. I cooked an entire package of turkey bacon for the house and something about the methodical process of cooking it all felt comforting; in addition, I felt a peculiar sense of satisfaction in watching it all disappear as the house began waking up and people got to feeding.
I played a few rounds of a game called "Catchphrase" with a bunch of the people. The kind of game where you have to try to get people to guess a specific word or phrase. For one of her hints, my friend's wife said, "(Malice Highload) is an..."
There are a lot of snarky ways that statement could end, but the word she was going for was "ARTIST". And I was strangely moved that she saw me as an artist. Even if it was just for a boardgame.
But the end of good cheer was nigh...
I proceeded to have a beast of a delayed-response hangover that killed me for that final stretch of the weekend. Not a headache but a much more profound sense of illness that I could not shake. Compounded by a general lack of sleep and renewed worries over everything I had to do in the next few days. I kept trying to nap but I couldn't fall into a deep enough sleep to get any sort of relief. The feeling of being simultaneously exhausted and sleepless is awful.
Those last few hours, I turned into a totally antisocial douchebag. I didn't even say goodbye to everyone adequately. I was just feeling rotten on every conceivable level.
Now I'm back to the post-apocalyptic wasteland of my life. A lingering sensation of sourness internally but I think a proper night of sleep will help.
Despite the botched ending, I really did have an amazing time. Times like that are so rare for me these days. I'm so glad that I went.
Dreaming of better days.