More Noise Than Usual

So today started off like any normal day since moving into the Nest. I woke up feeling good. I fixed myself a nice cup of bustelo with the right amount of milk and sugar. I finished watching episodes of Fuller House. I put on a nice outfit and came to this earth shattering conclusion, “I don’t need to look good for someone else! It’s better that I do things for me!”

I made a Facebook post about it. Got a nice response from a friend who commented, “That’s when you look your best. Fireworks don’t explode or light up their brightest for the people down below to watch, to them, the pleasure isn’t the explosion or blast, it’s in that ignition, that spark, it’s a satisfying energy, it’s friction, its heat, it’s a pop, the brilliance of what follows is simply the aftermath of a beautiful experience. Ignite that spark. Feel that chemical reaction, that minute but wonderful experience, an instance where you what you were meant to be.”

And I added, “I’m not limiting this mindset to appearances alone.”

My friend says, “Everything you do then is beauty in action.”

I concluded that with, “Poetry in motion.”

So I go to my one class of the day. My professor came in and asked if I had forgotten my book. Apparently there was a reading that was due today and I didn’t realize it. I didn’t even realize that my book was missing until this morning because I was caught up with other assignments and the usual neurotic crises I deal with on a regular basis.

He asked if I left my book and I’m confused. Again, I didn’t realize that my book was missing. I’m putting the puzzle pieces together in my brain and thinking out loud, “I can’t remember the last time that I was holding it in my hands and I didn’t see it at the house…”

So then he placed it on his desk and walked off to his computer and I could hear him speak under his breath, “Well it sounds like you didn’t even try looking for it at all.”

I felt like I had just been sucker punched in the gut.

“Did he just throw shade at me…?”

Immediately I had scribbled down on some paper, “Over it?” I circled the phrase. Drew a little arrow that pointed to the answer I had written, “So over it…”

What am I over? Here’s a little something I neglected to write about. I have a crush on my professor. He’s a young professor, 100% gay, and conventionally good looking.

I have a crush on him. I gushed about it to my friends. I day dreamed about it. I kept saying, “Hey! Attendance isn’t going to be an issue!”

I even went through the trouble of making myself look presentable to him since the semester started. That’s hard for me to pull off because I’m probably the one gay man that didn’t grow up with a Fairy Godmother that’s supposed to hit me with the pretty stick and infuse me with all the knowledge on looking good and catching a man. Nor am I armed to the teeth with wit whenever I have to speak in class.

But then I decided to give up on the idea of pursuing him when I got a paper graded back from him. I got a “C” for an assignment that should’ve been an easy A for me.

On the one hand I misunderstood the assignment. I made a fool of myself through writing and that irks the hell out of me. I hate it when something I wrote turns out horrible. I even wrote his name wrong on the paper!! But then I reacted with a thought like this…

“Wow….you are so not cute anymore….”

I was mad about the assignment. I already figured that because of that I no longer had a shot with him. Plus that “C” was a hard blow to my ego.So I told myself, “Not worth it anymore. This isn’t worth pursuing. It’s a stupid crush. That is all.”

So back to the present….

I’m sitting in class, not looking at my professor, choosing to focus on jotting down notes based on what we’re discussing in class. I didn’t do the reading, I needed to do something productive with my time in class. Writing has always helped me. And I was writing notes. I could’ve jumped into my fiction writing except I chose to sit in the front row of the class so I would not have the compulsion to go off into my own little world.

But then when class ended he asked to speak with me. He’s genuinely worried because evidently he’s noticed how withdrawn I’ve been in class. I’ve pretty much shut down since that “C” graded paper. This was probably two weeks ago.

He says he noticed me withdrawn, writing stuff, not participating, and I explain myself, “I was writing notes.”

He brought up the reading assignment, “I didn’t have my book. I didn’t even know it was missing because I was busy with other assignments and I thought we were doing something else.”

He asked, “What’s going on with you?”

I just blurted out, “I have a lot going on in my mind. A lot of stuff that’s best left discussed with a counselor.”

When I said that he reassured that he wasn’t trying to pry into my business. I knew that but I said it anyway to get him to back off. Even though it wasn’t a complete lie.

I said, “I’m sorry if I made you worry. I’ll catch up with my work.” And then I quickly grabbed my stuff and got the hell out of there.

The entire time I’m walking back to the bus stop and the whole ride home I’m replaying the conversation in my head. Bits and pieces of it anyway. My thoughts became fragmented. And I’m criticizing myself. I’m nitpicking at the way I sounded, the things I said, whether or not I even maintained eye contact with him, how many times did I look away, and blah blah blah. I feel like an even bigger fool now.

But then I’m thinking dumb lovesick thoughts like, “OMG he noticed me!” “Does this mean he likes me after all? “”He must like me!”

And I’m pissed at myself when not one hour before that conversation I had convinced that I was, “So over it”.

And here I am now trying to hold it together because I don’t want to lose my shit over a goddamn crush. The whole thing has made me crazier than I already am and I have no choice but to let it work its way out of my system.

I don’t know what to do. I’m 31 years old for fuck’s sake and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have anyone to hold my hand and coach me through everything whenever I’m like this!

I just needed to get that out of my system. My thoughts were scrambled, my brain was blowing fuses, and I couldn’t find the words to describe anything until now.

I need to calm down and eat something. All this has left an empty pit in my stomach. I’m so hungry that I could eat a small child.

Bye.

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Warrior “Monk”

Anyone remember this show? Tony Shalhoub played this dude named Adrian Monk who suffers from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and an endless list of phobias. He was afraid of everything. Even milk for some reason. Don’t know if they covered the reason why. Maybe it was just a running gag. Despite all this he was a genius detective. He had this attention to detail all the other cops on the show lacked. He was always able to find the clues, piece them together, and finally catch the bad guys. He managed to do all of this despite of the OCD or whatever phobia of the week he had to face head on. He was always being forced into situation that challenged him and he had to seriously nut up and endure.

When my anxiety and depression act up I keep thinking that I’ve suddenly turned into Monk. And I mean that in a negative light. Monk was always driving people up the wall with his fears and obsessive compulsion. Even his therapists had trouble dealing with him sometimes and could only handle him in small doses. I feel like Monk in situations where I feel like I get triggered by stupid shit like the ones I’ve mentioned before, I have difficulties doing what normal people have no problems with at all, and sometimes driving people insane with my issues, be it family or friends.

I shared this with my counselor in a previous session. I vented out my frustrations about it and he was understanding. But then he asked me this, “Why exactly would that be a bad thing?” I thought I had already answered that while I was ranting about it.

Just like when he brought up the analogy on the mind as a muscle something about the Monk analogy I made with him is sticking with me. This was last week and now I’m beginning to seriously think about it and I have all these thoughts about it.

Even though Monk had numerous phobias that would obstruct him he accomplished so many things that I would’ve considered impossible if I were him. He did have friends, good friends. Yeah, he drove them crazy sometimes but they accepted him as he was. Monk’s OCD allowed him to pay better attention to things and made him an excellent detective, it didn’t have to be a bad thing for him. Monk had a wonderful wife in Trudy who loved him just as he was. Monk worked tirelessly for years searching for clues to solve Trudy’s murder and when he did Monk still had his happy ending. He found out that Trudy had a daughter before marrying him and was able to meet her in the very last episode.

Here’s a crazy theory. What if instead of fighting my “Monk-ish” side, I embrace it? I bitch and moan about how I feel like a freak sometimes and unable to be normal like everybody else. But then there’s a part of me that says, “Fuck normal”. BTW I totally have a t-shirt that reads, “Normal People Scare Me”. I saw it on the first episode of American Horror Story and I thought, “Oh yes! It will be mine!” I even got it in purple. Trying to fit in with the mundane crowd is so exhausting and utterly pointless. Nothing about me has ever been “normal”. There are days where I don’t even feel like I live a “quasi-normal” existence.

I come from a Venezuelan family and I grew up as the pet gringo. I refused to speak the language and I barely ate any of the food. I’m still not a fan of some of the food. It’s only interesting and exotic for people who never had to grow up in a Spanish-speaking household and be forced to smell and eat it at every occasion; holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, baby showers, etc. I’m the least tanned in my family too and I see no point in it. I don’t see the appeal in sizzling in the sun and getting cooked like a rotisserie chicken. I mean look at Trump’s complexion. It’s not doing him favors. But then again his skin tone is more what I call “Dorito Raped”.

I’m gay and I am willing embrace only so many cliches. I’m probably the only gay guy who doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck about Rupaul’s Drag Race, quote “Mean Girls”, or own a single Madonna album. Oh I am not gifted with song and dance either. Take one good look at me and you can clearly see that I’m not a gym rat either.

I live in my own world. I find more comfort in the story worlds and characters I create, in WWE, video games, anime, films, cooking, and imagination. I cope with reality through the use of my imagination. I see myself as a warrior, I see my skills as powers that I naturally possess, I see my challenges as monsters that I have to fight and take down. It’s an unorthodox way to deal with stuff, but we all have our ways to cope. I could be coping in ways that are self-destructive with drug habits or self-mutilation or God knows what else. I see what people don’t see or never want to see out of fear, conformity, or sheer laziness. That’s a quote from the movie Patch Adams by the way, when Patch spoke with Arthur Mendelson at the mental institution.

I suffer from depression and anxiety. But there has been some good that comes from it. It’s attributed to my imagination and wicked sense of humor. God only knows that if my entire life was nothing but sugar and rainbows then I’d have absolutely nothing to write about. It’s made me stronger, a lot stronger than I was eight years ago when I wanted to kill myself. It’s made me realize how much I want certain things. And when I say “I want” I mean it in the same way people feel intense hunger. Its helped make me into the person that I am today. Its always made me have to take a good look at myself in the most honest way possible. Whenever I get lost I always take a trip back to me. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s always been instrumental in getting back to the right path.

I’m a warrior in my own right. I fight one battle after another within my mind. I’m a neurotic mess. I’m not normal and I’m tired of trying to be when it’s never been in the cards for me. I feel things more intensely than others, I know things they don’t have any clue of, I can do things that other can’t, and get labeled a “freak” for all of it when I find that to be a lot more preferable than being boring and fake.

If being a “freak” is what separates me from everybody else then I will proudly wave my freak flag. I will happily accept who I am and live with whatever consequences come with it. Because if I act otherwise then I’ll never be able to make peace with myself and not have the true happiness that I’ve been seeking. So I embrace my identity as a Warrior “Monk”.