Monthly Archives: June 2016

We Turned New Orlean’s into Our Bitch

I’d like to start this by letting you all know that Homeboy always seems to be ordering pink drinks, he is perpetually sunburnt, he does not take himself or anyone else seriously and he reads out loud every sign that he sees.  He is also the only real friend I made when I was living out in Los Angeles.  The only person who truly cared about me there, during a time when I had no one.  So needless to say, he holds a special place in my heart.  I had only seen Homeboy once since I left California, (3.5 years ago) and it was while I was on tour, so that doesn’t count because trying to see people while on tour is a nightmare and if you can make it happen at all, it generally consists of meeting for coffee for thirty minutes and apologizing for your hygiene.  So Homeboy and I decided to get serious, and meet up in New Orleans to hang out and catch up on some friend time.  He was the absolute perfect person to go to the Big Easy with.  We definitely kicked NOLA’s ass.  Cut to the shitshow.

The most important things that happened on the first day was that I possibly gave Monterey staph infection, and Homeboy and I found our bar.  Monterey is a good friend of mine who was a fellow roadie on the ballet tours.  I spoke about him in Adventures of Touring Christmas Edition, and beautifully enough, he now lives in New Orleans.  He picked us up from the airport, showed us a bunch of shit and made me the best gin gimlet of my life at the swanky restaurant/bar he works at in the Quarter.  I knew it would be fancy because they spell Revolution, R’evolution in the name.  Monterey just got surgery on his clavicle, so when he picked us up, he was sitting shirtless in his fucking yellow car that he stole from his Dad, and attempting to bandage up the wound with one arm, his seatbelt still on and simultaneously taking hits from his apple pipe and subjecting tourists to his loud easy listening alt-rock blaring from the car.

Monterey.


That pathetic little scene was oddly cute and endearing, so my empathy which usually stays dormant in the base of my cold heart, became active and rose to the surface.  I sat on the center console and gently bandaged Monterey up as he told us about the sink holes on Canal Street that had sparked a renegade “Sink Hole de Mayo” party on May 5th.  I think that Homeboy is probably STILL laughing at that.  He always laughs so hard at the most rudimentary of jokes.  Monterey did ask me if I had washed my hands recently, to which I said yes, but then realized that in between washing my hands thirty minutes ago and now, I had touched countless items which would be considered a germaphobe’s nightmare, including hotel remote controls, which is a rule straight from the fucking bible I feel like… to sanitize after coming in contact with hotel television remotes.  Whatever.  To my knowledge, his shoulder hasn’t disintegrated yet, so I consider my temporary nursing career a success.

That night Homeboy and I attempted to go to this bar/jazz lounge called Maple Leaf, which seems to be a well known establishment.  There was a line, and he and I are both way too pretentious for that, so we immediately said, “Nope,” and walked into the bar next door, which only had five people in it.  Much more my style.  At this point, even though we had only been in the city for approximately five hours, we had probably already had ten drinks each, and homeboy had STILL not figured out that New Orlean’s traditional cocktails are mostly not good.  He probably ordered something with SoCo in it.  I tried to steer him away, but he didn’t learn until the third day that I am always right when it comes to decisions involving liquor.  I know everyone feels like they have to have a Hurricane while in the Big Easy, but why?  Gross, sweet, syrupy drinks do not geographically discriminate.

In the Quarter.


By the end of the night we were feeling gangster, so we were sipping on gin and juice’s once we rolled into what would become “our bar.”  It was superbly sketchy, located on the controversial Lee Circle, and seemed like it was an old house that someone decided to chuck a bar into and the city just doesn’t give a shit.  Actually, New Orleans seems to have zero laws or permits when it comes to alcohol.  Love.  I call NOLA the Wild West.  You can basically do whatever you want.  From what I’ve observed, there is minimal infrastructure, laws are nominal, sewage is still something that civilians have to deal with, no one gives a shit about liabilities, the colors and architecture are unlike anywhere else and people sing and dance when they want to and it’s not weird.  Basically, in a lot of ways, New Orleans functions like a Second or Third World country.  People complain that it’s dirty… which it is, literally and metaphorically, but I thrive on filth.  The city seems to open its’ arms to all eccentricities, making it such a beautiful freak show.


Anyway, the only reason why we knew that our bar was a bar and not a house, was because there was a sign outside that simply said BAR.  That’s it.  I was immediately in love.  Then when I saw that they had Old Overholt Rye whiskey, and that they were heavy handed with it, I knew I was home sweet home.

The next day, Homeboy was having a rough time.  Too much gin.  I love gin, but I know to be cautious with it because gin is a terrible hangover, only second to wine.  I wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed, but I chugged half of a warm beer in the morning and was ready to take the day head-on.  Homeboy high-fived me and said, “I’m impressed,” while he probably threw-up in his mouth a little bit just at the thought of drinking a beer for breakfast.  Monterey brought us to breakfast at a joint called Elizabeth’s, which I highly recommend, then we rolled up to a drive-thru daiquiri shop, and enjoyed taking a scenic route around town with alcoholic beverages and an apple pipe.  Wild West.  Then Homeboy and I went on a cemetery tour where we met Shiela, who was one of my favorite frumpy middle aged white women.  Maybe Homeboy and I were just drunk, but we were cracking up at a lot of what she was saying, while all of the other chumps stayed silent and smoked electronic cigarettes.  Other than the cemeteries being above ground, the other interesting thing is that multiple people are in the mausoleums, and not necessarily all family.  As Shiela put it, “you can shop around” for a tomb you like.  When a new casket goes in, the old one is taken out, the bones removed, and then thrown back in there, along with the new casket and all of the other bones.  It’s a damn party in those things!

Shiela!


That night we found a 24 hour gem called St. Charles Tavern.  A fair amount of bars are open 24 hours there, and what is also great is a lot of them seem to serve food and all of them have liquor because as I said, I don’t think a liquor license is a thing there.  I went full blown NOLA and got fried catfish and red beans and rice.  It was beautiful.  I don’t even remember what Homeboy got because I was busy having a love affair with my plate.  The next place we stumble upon was called Lucky’s Bar.  Honestly, I didn’t remember the name of it at first, but I just did a google map search and found “Lucky’s Bar: saloon with live music and laundromat.”  Yes!  I totally forgot that they had a full blown laundromat in the back!  Homeboy and I didn’t really understand what this meant, but we just chalked it up to “hashtag, NOLA” when we saw some early twenty-something year-old’s emerging from the back with laundry baskets and basketball shorts on.  The best hashtag NOLA thing we came across was a car parked literally in the middle of the road, just not giving a fuck.  Back to Lucky’s, we just thought we were sitting and having a drink at some random bar, but immediately after our drinks were poured, someone came to the mic and announced that it was stand-up comedy open mic night.  Homeboy and I looked at each other and started cracking up.  He does stand-up in Los Angeles, so of course, of all of the bars that we could have walked into, we go into that one.  Without words, it became crystal clear that he would HAVE to sign up.  So we stuck around there and he drank his weight in Hendrick’s gin and went up and did the best stand-up of the night.  Of course, we ended the night at our bar and then stumbling back into the hotel room where I forced him to listen to Jack White songs until we passed out.

The third day, and again, Homeboy was sucking at being a pro drinker.  He was not feeling great, but we still got up and went to Cafe Du Monde to get beignets and figure out our game plan.  We decided to walk for years, to go to the garden district.  I drank a beer on the walk and Homeboy got more sunburnt on the walk and then fell in love with a fucking cuban sandwich that he purchased at a corner store.  I swear that sandwich was his favorite part of the trip.  I just had another beer.  After a few more miles down the road, we ran into a Whole Foods and Homeboy made the executive decision that I needed to eat.  I like when guys kind of take control like that.  I wasn’t drunk or anything, but we had just walked six miles and I had only consumed a piece of friend dough, a beer for breakfast and a beer for lunch, so he basically made me get some vegetables into my world.  He was very right.  I immediately felt better.  He got Kombucha like such a white person.  This is in no way relevant to anything, but I just have to mention that there was an entire cooler for all of the different Kombucha’s.  There must have been at least 40 different flavors, and Homeboy picked the very last flavor I would have chosen.  It was some green bullshit with the word algae and living in the name.

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That damn cuban sandwich.

Later that night we finally made it to Bourbon O. so that Homeboy would shut the fuck up about meeting this guy named Eric.  One of Homeboy’s friends from Los Angeles is from New Orleans, and she told us that we should go visit her brother who works in the Quarter at a bar called Bourbon O.  Well, this was Homeboy’s number one mission.  I was down because whatever, it’s not like it was cramping my style or anything.  I just thought it was a potentially awkward confrontation.  Actually, I hoped that it would be awkward.  I pictured Homeboy walking in and saying to Eric, “I’m Punchy’s friend!” and Eric just being like, “cool, man” and then we just sit there looking at him like assholes.  That’s what I wanted to happen just because he had been talking this meeting up so much!  However, Eric turned out to be a cool motherfucker, and the bar turned into one of our favorite spots.  So, if you’re ever in New Orleans, give Eric at Bourbon O. a high five, drink one of their moscow mules (they make their own ginger beer and it’s the best I have ever had) and stick around and listen to the band because they had some of the best live jazz that we came across.

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Jazz at Bourbon O.

The next morning was when I turned into New Orlean’s bitch for over an hour.  I had passed out in my dress, and woke up needing to take a shower and wash my hair so I could begin functioning like a human again.  I needed stuff from a Walgreens or wherever to make that happen, so I just threw some sunglasses on (because I didn’t feel like taking the time to remove the eye crust and smeared eyeliner) and some ridiculous boot/sandal shoes and walked out the door, leaving Homeboy alone with his continental breakfast.  According to google maps, there was a CVS 0.2 miles away.  Perfect.  SOMEHOW this turned into an hour walk at 8:00 in the god damn morning while wearing a tiny dumb dress and my hair piled on my head like a friggen gypsy whore.  Once I realized how lost I was, I didn’t even care about the shower anymore, and just wanted to find a Daiquiri shop.  Turns out, I was in the only part of New Orlean’s that doen’t have a bar every fourteen feet.  I’m sure I was quite a spectacle for the construction workers that I kept passing due to my temporary inability to decipher North, South, East and West.

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I took a picture of my pathetic reflection.  8:00am HOT MESS.

After I got my life together, we walked out to Bywater, which is a neighborhood of New Orleans.  There, in essence, we bar hopped from dive bar to dive bar, but it was a great time.  Everyone we met was prime.  Other people might say, “everyone was so nice!”  To which… sure, everyone was nice, but normal nice can be kind of boring.  I mean, most people can be described as “nice” in one way or another, so that word is such a useless description, in my book.  People are much friendlier in the South, that’s a more effective description.  They want to talk to you and it’s not just an act or a means to get something they want from you.  The people in New Orleans are real and genuine and make visiting there such a good experience.

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Dive in Bywater.

That night we went to Frenchman Street, which is a congregated area of lots of bars with live music.  My Heaven.  I love jazz, but I love real Blues even more.  Like every big city, there is a lot of music, so you have to sift through the garbage to find the gems.  This is my field.  Live music shows is when I am in my element.  I took the reigns and found us a hole in the wall that had two men city in the corner with a slide guitar, a three piece drum kit and a microphone.  That’s it.  With just the combination of those three sounds, these guys pulled at my heart strings and stole me away.  I was good after that.  I let Homeboy make every decision from that point on because I felt completed in my New Orleans adventure after listening to twenty minutes of blues from two men in a moldy corner.

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Random mural near Frenchman Street.

The next morning, Monterey took me to breakfast again, and showed me the part of the city that had been hit the worst by the Katrina flooding.  Where full neighborhoods once were, there is a sporadic, obviously new house with solar panels.  In between those, there are rows and rows of empty lots with overgrown grass and the occasional stack of a few bricks from what was once a base for someone’s home.  The people and the city is still deeply effected by the disaster.  You see it everywhere.  Every local we spoke with, mentioned something about Katrina at least once in casual conversation.  Pre Katrina and Post Katrina are two very different periods to those who live in New Orleans.

It’s a remarkable city with a lot of history and if you have never been, definitely get your ass down to Louisiana.

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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 2 of 2

If you’re just tuning in and have trouble staying focused like most humans seem to when it comes to the written word, this means that you didn’t finish reading the title of this entry which ends with “2 of 2.”  So, to get the most out of this topic, which I think is important, please click here for the first part of this write-up so that you fully understand why the hell I’m discussing people currently in my life.  Or as I like to call it, “my village.”  I know that a lot of you won’t click… so I’m going to first encourage you again to do so, otherwise this may be confusing.  Then, because I know a lot of you still won’t, I will quickly summarize the point I am attempting to make.  In modern romance, we have grown to expect one person to satisfy all of our human desires, from security and dependability to adventure and spontaneity and that’s unrealistic.  Different people play different, yet integral roles in our lives, and we need all of them to keep us fulfilled and happy.

Every Sunday night I drink gin gimlets with Snow White.  Her and I have a lot in common, so when you parallel our personalities, it might make sense that we would get along.  We both have a unique perspective of the world that others may classify as odd or eccentric.  The unexpected part about our friendship is that she is barely twenty years old.  Twenty-year-olds can be entertaining for a second, but for the most part, they are not going to hold my interest every Sunday night because there is little chance that they can say something that I haven’t already thought about.  There are exceptions, and Snow White is one of them.  She’s further than an exception,  I would describe her more as an anomaly because she is not like talking to a girl.

Girls are great, and having a girly outlet is a need in my life.  Having a person in my life who I can have cerebral discussions with is also a desire I seek, but you don’t often find yourself in a cerebral conversation with chicks.  Snow White and I at times have challenging conversations that I’m finding inspiring.  She is one of the smartest people I know and she makes me want to learn more.  Somehow she makes things like the value of entropy sound like something I want to study.  Having inspiration in my life is definitely a role that I need present.  I’m used to being creatively inspired, but I’m really enjoying Snow White’s scholastic inspiration.  I’d like to think that in some way I do the same for her.  We have a kind of beautiful complementary friendship because she will teach me about acute pulmonary embolism, and then I’ll tell her stories, summarizing for her the poignance of Of Mice and Men or the genius ending to Lord of the Flies.  It’s a nice little routine and I love my Sunday night’s with Snow White.

I used to need my significant other to inspire and challenge me.  I still LOVE when boys I am with do that, but now I’ve recognized that maybe that doesn’t need to be what their principle role is in my life.  If I keep people like Snow White in my “village” and others who inspire me, then that desire will be fulfilled and I won’t feel unsatisfied by my boyfriend if he is not the one making me run to an encyclopedia or a canvas to everyday.

Then there is Lady Insanity.  Lady Insanity is a 50-year-old woman who matches her eyeliner color to her shirts, she is obsessed with mini bottles of hand sanitizer, she owns a tanning bed that is in the guest bedroom, her favorite drink is Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, and she slaps me when I “take the lord’s name in vain.”  I don’t know how or why, but I seem to have recently ended a lot of my nights with this crazy woman.  We absolutely have some great times (bordering on sloppy), but we also have become strong friends.  We talk to each other about a lot, and we support and help each other.  It’s a very unexpected friendship.  Sometimes she satisfies my spontaneous desires because I’ll think it’s going to be a low-key night, but suddenly I’m with her, singing along to Snoop Dogg songs and then going to talk to psychics.  Then some nights she plays the role of a more maternal, voice of reason to my life.  We all need days when we get wasted by the pool and then think it’s a good idea to dance in public.  And we all need days to talk shit out and get insight and advice from someone who has been there.  Lady Insanity is one of the ones that meets both of those desires.

Kristy is my best friend and you would NEVER guess it.  She looks like she was in a sorority, she is loud and outrageous, she is the most high strung person I have ever met, she is obsessed with “nippies” which are nipple covers and she will happily tell you all about them and send you a link to the ordering page.  Essentially, Kristy was a Xanax girl.  We all know those.  The chicks in college who were into Xanax, they all have very similar characteristics am I right?  If I had to sum them up… borderline obnoxious but fun.  Kristy is like that on the surface, but then you get to know her and she is such a beautiful human being.  That girl has been there for me through every single life obstacle I have gone through post sophomore year of high school.  A lot of these obstacles, I probably couldn’t have fought through had it not been for her.  She has been my life support during times when I thought I would never recover.  Kristy is the only person in the world who knows EVERYTHING about me.

Luckily, I really like her fiancé and her other friends too.  So often there is about five or so of us who go out for drinks, and it is always such a good time.  My cheeks hurt from laughing.  I’ve come to notice that almost every time we are all sitting around a table drinking beer, Kristy’s asshole gets brought up.  I don’t know how or why, but it seems like at some point in the night, we all start talking about her butthole for some absurd reason.  The last time was her fiancé asking her if he has been in her ass the furthest.  “I don’t need names!” he said, “I just want to know that if anyone else has been in there, that I have been in the deepest.”  Such a ridiculous conversation, but I was dying.  I’ve been sitting at a bar with them before when they ordered a sex toy on their smartphones from amazon.  Obviously, Kristy plays the role of “best friend, trusted confidant” by which she meets my human desire for “dependability and permanence.”  All at the same time… I have so much fun with her and that girl can make me laugh.

These descriptions of people who make my world go ‘round, leads to me Logan.  Logan meets multiple desires, but I would never expect him to meet all, which is why even though he is a new addition in my life, I still need all of the people I’ve already discussed in order to maintain a healthy romantic relationship with him.  If I abandoned those relationships, or if he abandoned his, then we would seek ALL of those desires from each other and that is unrealistic and unfair and would ultimately lead to an inevitable demise and most likely resenting each other.  Basically, what happens to a lot of couples who devote their lives to one another and don’t nurture the other integral relationships in their INDIVIDUAL lives.

What is amazing about Logan, and one of the reasons why he impresses me more and more every single day, is that he is the only boy I have ever been with who seems to TRULY recognize that, and does not just pretend to.  He also impresses me because even after telling me that he shaves his fucking forearms because he thinks it makes the swollen muscles show up better after leaving the gym… I’m still obsessed with him.  That’s a feat.  He deserves at least a high five for that because normally I would be gone before that sentence was even complete.  We have grown accustom to a point system using high fives.  So when he tells me that he shits his pants once a decade (which is something that I could very easily write an entire entry about), he gets at least negative a million high fives.  But when he says “I was super into Xena Warrior Princess when I was younger … For real, I was all about that bitch,” as a way to prove that he is not sexist, it makes me laugh really hard and want to kiss him and he gets at least two high fives for that.

So world, meet Logan, the boy with the dodgy eyes.  The first time I saw him, I crossed my fingers that he would talk to me.  According to him, it was my smile that honed him in, but for me, it was his eyes.  He has this dangerous, kind of shady look about him that was really doing something for my boy crazy side.  Three months and about multiple boys later, and Logan is my rock.  I’ve always found that line to be incredibly lame, but if I said, “Logan is my tree trunk,” that would be weird.  I do think of him more like a solid tree trunk though, because I koala the shit out of him.  That’s what he calls it.  I latch on to his torso like a koala on a Eucalyptus tree and he just walks around with me like that with no struggle.  Or throws me onto the bed and manhandles me, which is my favorite.  I lay on him, and kind of climb all over him (especially when we are laying on the couch and I am making him watch Dawson’s Creek), and his body can take it all.  He is big with a ridiculously solid, strong core.

What this description is leading up to is that part of Logan’s role in my life, is like his stomach muscles.  I know that is a weird thing to say.  I’m definitely a weirdo, and Logan definitely is not.  He’s a self-proclaimed bro dude.  A lot of his interests are so douchey.  He likes football and fights and power lifting and he was a bouncer and listens to OG hardcore and has a fucking tattoo of Florida, among other douchey tattoos.  Every time I see the Florida tattoo, I say “Flo Grown!” and he rolls his eyes and says something like, “Okay, you bitch.”  And that makes me giggle and then he just sighs and lets his arms flop to the side until I’m done laughing and then I probably make fun of him for something else like, “remember the time you went to a vape convention?”  Then I REALLY start laughing and he sighs again, and then says, “are you done?” and I’m probably not, but he’ll grab my face in the middle of my laughter and kiss me and look me in the eye and say, “you are so fucking beautiful.”  I am so fucking lucky.

I have embraced his douche bag qualities because when you put them all together, Logan is gold.  He has embraced my weirdness and adapted to it.  When I explained to him that, “you are for me, like your stomach muscles.  I can punch it or koala it or put my weight on it, and it doesn’t falter.”  His response was back, “I pinky promise that I am always going to be like my stomach muscles for you.”  When he said that odd sentence, I knew that he had fully embraced my weirdness and was learning to speak my language.

A friend of mine, named Mark, said something to me a while ago that stuck.  He is much older than me… maybe in his late 60’s or early 70’s? so it felt like words of wisdom.  He told me that one should NOT marry their best friend, but instead marry for lust.  I’ve never been an advocate for marriage (to put it lightly), but I still heard what he was saying.  People often advise, “marry your best friend,” but even at a young age, I never felt that I agreed with that, though I couldn’t articulate why until now.  Mark is right.  There should be people in your life that already meet those “best friend” desires.  You shouldn’t need a best friend in a partner, you should WANT your partner.  Sex.  Lust.  Whoo!  Fun words!  Sex and lust are basic human desire and unless we want to start debating monogamy, is a desire that in our culture we tend to get from one person at a time.  So why not be with somebody who wholly satisfies your sexual desires?  The one thing that no one else can give you.

Obviously, other characteristics are important.  You can’t have lust and nothing else.  But I think we write off lust too quickly when considering partners because for absurd reasons, people associate lust with sin.  I don’t think that I should necessarily be giving relationship advice, but you’ve made it this far, so I might as well continue with my self-righteous solution.  I think that the person you decide to really try with, should be the person who you can’t wait to talk to about your day, and also the person who you can’t wait to grab their face and make-out with.  I think that Logan and I will be okay because on top of wanting to rip his clothes off AND talk to him about everything constantly, he meets my human desire for stability, acceptance, laughter and dependability.  Money doesn’t matter to me, but the older I get, the more I realize that stability does.  Logan is stable, and it’s hot.  Like I said, my tree trunk.  He also accepts me wholly.  We all need people like that in our lives.  Those who accept our past and flaws and nuances and show no desire to change any of it.  And Logan makes me laugh.  A lot.  Which is sexy.

So world, meet Logan.  I thought I had eradicated hope from my life, but I do hope that he is around for a while and that you all can get to know him.  And I still cross my fingers everyday that he will keep talking to me.

To truly bring this full circle, I’ve realized that none of these people would be in my routine and none of these human desires would be met if I was still touring a lot.  Road life was absolutely what I needed over the last few years, and I loved it.  I also truly believe that I am a better and wiser person because of my roadie life, but I think I’m ready to move on from that now.  I was using touring as a form of escapism and while it was a friggen blast at times, I currently don’t feel the need to escape and I have all of these people to thank for that.

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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 1 of 2

Back in December I had turned down a couple of tours for the first quarter of this year.  One of them because the band’s manager is the most hated man I have ever met and I will absolutely never be associated with him ever again.  The second one because they weren’t offering enough money and it was for a support band on a five band tour package… and I’m a snob.  I very much prefer working for the headlining band, or co-headlining band because it’s a lot less of a headache.  I knew that by turning down these gigs, it would mean that I would be home for a while and the thought of that usually makes my vagina shrivel.  I was expecting the Post Tour Blues to kick my ass immediately.  I was not in a great place because I had just left the Viking for a second time; a true modern romantic tragedy that I may tell someday.  And I also was expecting to come home and be with a certain boy, but life doesn’t give a fuck about your plans, so that didn’t end up working out.  I thought I would spiral into a major depression and then jump at the first opportunity to runaway and onto a bus with a rock band and drown in immediate gratification, new faces to make me forget the old ones, and lots of whiskey.

What actually happened though, was that I was okay.  I’ve been home for a while and surprisingly, I’m good.  My demons must be tired from years of antagonizing because they are laying dormant right now.  My sister and I signed up at a boxing gym, and I think that helped a lot.  We decided that we wanted to be badass boxers, so I dived into that.  Don’t piss me off because I can hit you with a one, two and it will hurt.  Definitely don’t piss my sister off because she is diligently looking for any reason to hit someone with a solid one, two, hook.  In that spot of one’s soul that we keep hidden, I have love and empathy and Raven has rage and violence.  I’m waiting for the phone call from her in the middle of the night telling me that she killed someone with her barehands and needs help cleaning up.  I’m kidding.  But she seriously can’t wait to knock a mother fucker out.

Another reason why I think I’m okay, is that a lot of my human desires are being met, through a kind of routine that I developed.  I never thought that I would use the word routine without rolling my eyes and throwing up in my mouth a little bit, but look at me now!  All grown up!  Well, I can’t get too carried away.  I still get very excited when I come in contact with a bouncy ball, and I still play in the rain and giggle when I see a penis drawing.  My routines are not lame, which is what is saving me.

A long time ago I watched a Ted Talk by Esther Perel about the secret to desire in a long-term relationship.  Firstly, if you don’t watch Ted Talk’s, you’re being dumb.  That talk is one that has always stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone, even if you’re not in a relationship.  Clearly, most of my life I have not been, but I still took a lot from this lecture.  Her thesis statement is that around the globe, where romance enters, there seems to be a crisis of desire.  I will paraphrase.  In modern day relationships, we except our partner to provide all of our needs and wants for us.  Back when marriage was an economic institution, what was expected was children, social statures and companionship.  Now, we expect all that from our partner, but ALSO for him or her to be our “best friend, trusted confidant and passionate lover and we live twice as long.”  When you think about it like that, it’s really ridiculous.

She goes on to say that as humans, we seek security, dependability, and permanence but we ALSO seek adventure, risk and spontaneity.  For some retarded reason, we have grown to expect ONE person to provide all of that for us, when until modern society, it was an entire village which provided those needs for one another.  This lecture of course led to some introspection, and I started becoming aware of all of our “roles.”  No matter what type of relationship you have with someone, you play a role in their lives that in some way meets at least one of the human desires.  For example, Fat Face for a while satisfied my adventurous, spontaneous side, but didn’t meet my innate desire for security and dependability.  I had to get that from someone else.  This confirms for me my theory that it is very healthy and 100% necessary to maintain friendships with the opposite sex (or sex of your choice) when in a relationship.  It’s plain dumb to think that one person can satisfy all of your desires when taking into consideration the grand spectrum of desires.  So, after watching the Esther Perel talk again, I recognized that all of the people currently in my life, play a different role so that my desires are met, which leads to health and happiness.  Like she said in the lecture, a small village once provided all of these things, so this is my small village.  The friends and family and lovers who meet my needs and are helping making this weird life less painful and sometimes down right beautiful.

I’ll start with Rach.  Rachel is my age, but married with three children and doesn’t drink at all.  Basically, we could not have more polarizing lives unless she was a Sudanese woman married with three children and malaria.  However, her and her whole family meets my kind of family, “wholesome” desires.  Each time I leave them, I feel so uplifted and just- – I don’t know… wholesome!  I have become this weird extra appendage to her family.  Think of when people have an extra finger or toe… that’s me.  I’m the strange extra flab of questionable skin to the Holm family.

Rachel thinks that my life is so interesting, but I think her life is so interesting.  She has a cat named Jeff for crying out loud.  I think that is hysterical.  And she has an adorable little four year old girl named Matt.  Okay… her name is Mattie, but I call her Matt because I’m a twat and just find it funny.  When all of us go out to eat or do something, her and her husband fight over which one is going to be on “Mattie duty.”  They’re serious about it, but I just giggle at the side and play soccer with the son using a wadded up piece of paper.  Once we are settled, Rach, me and her husband attempt to use code words and gestures to discuss adult matters such as, what it means that a guy I was dating couldn’t get it up… and how much they do or do not make-out as a form of foreplay.  We manage to have full blown conversations about this while Matt is singing “up  town funk you up” to herself, the boy is coloring and the oldest girl is playing with my bracelets.

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Me and the fam.

Rachel and I have known each other since we were six years old, and we were very close from then, and all the way through high school.  After high school we drifted apart for a while and I think during those years, our differences kept us apart.  Now, I think it is our differences that seemed to have brought us back together.  When you’re someone like me, who is constantly going through an existential crisis and sometimes can’t remember if I may or may not have made-out with two different boys in the same night, it’s good to have people like Rachel around to hear about how they need to bake 300 cookies in one day (for reasons I still don’t understand) and how her kids all play Bloody Mary together in the bathroom.  Seeing Rach and her family has become routine, and the role that they play in my life is getting doses of wholesomeness and innocence that I don’t get regularly from anyone else.  Another integral role that Rachy plays in my life is that she encourages me when I think it’s a good idea to buy a floppy hat and sparkly fake glasses.

On this same vein, there is Cody.  I never thought that I would be watching movies in my living room on a shitty television and ordering shitty pizza with Cody again.  Just like Rachel, I thought that our best days were behind us.  We have been extremely close since age 14, but after a few years of not living in the same area (during our mid twenties) and having very different lives, I figured that we would just continue growing apart until we both realized that the only reason why we were pretending to be friends still was out of some morbid obligation we thought we owed to our former selves.  Close to a year ago though, something changed (including proximity) and I remember announcing to my sister, “Cody is cool again!!!”

Him and I have been hanging out fairly regularly since and it has been my favorite thing.  We have nacho night about once a week which simply includes making nachos, drinking PBR and watching stupid youtube videos.  We also play pool occasionally though we never seem to get better, we watch movies, we talk about writing movies, he tells me about albino snakes and I tell him about books I’m reading and we laugh over the things that we used to get pissed at each other about when we were young and in love.

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Cody and I.

Cody satisfies my desire to talk, and also to be 100% comfortable with someone else.  We talk about all of it.  It’s great to have someone who you can discuss the psychological effects of the technological boom with, but also turn around and laugh about how weird nipples are and if we would rather fuck Fiona Apple or Alanis Morrisette.  Laughter is the most integral to life, so include as much people as you can who make you laugh.  It’s also important to have someone who you can be 100% real around.  Maybe a lot of people get that from their significant other, but that has never been me.  Right now, I’m getting that from Cody and my sister and realizing how important it is to have that in your life.  We all need at least one person who we can be completely unimpressive around and don’t give a fuck if we have sweaty armpits or if we just feel like eating a lot of Taco Bell and not being judged.  What I’ve learned the most through this resurrection friendship with Cody is that sometimes, you can go home again.  That’s part of his role, he provides me with a sense of home and comfort and it helps keep me grounded.

My sister, Raven.  I’m living at home again, and that means spending more time with Flava’ Rave, as Cody calls her.  She is just so funny because she is a paradigm for her generation.  My morning routine seems to be, make coffee, then talk and laugh with Raven for about an hour and a half before we contemplate what we are doing with our day.  Considering how far apart we are in age, Raven and I are very close.  She’s nine years my junior, but I can still talk to her about A LOT.  She’s a total B though too, and if she is getting slightly annoyed with me, she’ll just put her hand up and say, “bye.”  It makes me laugh every time.  She actually just left the room and we both were cracking up because she is being so NOT chill about a current crush she has.  We honestly just spent 15 minutes deciding on the exact words and punctuation to use in a two sentence text to her crush.  In this role, I think it’s more about what role I am playing.  I’m her big sister and providing that role for her, provides me with a small sense of purpose which we all need.  I am there for her in every sense of that “you’re my blood” type of way.  Essentially, she can do no wrong and no matter what, I got her back.  That unconditional love should absolutely be in everyone’s routine.

To be continued…  Part 2

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Raven and I.

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