please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The 13th Step?

So lessee: Had that seven-day week there, then we went out to the coast. That was three or four days of beauty; made a fire on the beach each night. Then, another seven-day week, although minus the ten-hour days and near-death experiences.
Another year, another PICA shirt: It's TBA (Time Based Art) festival time again, which is kind of like class reunion for me. These tend to be days spent with people I literally work with once a year.
And 'PICA'? Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, not the psychological disorder in which you eat highly inappropriate things (like your own feces, or drywall), or the type-size.

In the middle of all of this, the Bear starts texting me again. A couple months ago, I received another one of those messages that seem to be aimed at the former holder of my phone number: "Hey man wuz up?" kinda shit.
As always, I respond, "Who dis?"

But this time, the response is "The Dream Team".
And I say, "What?"
And it comes back, "Is in the house".

Ah. That's the chorus to "In the House", by the L.A. Dream Team (members: Rudy Pardee and Snake Puppy), a mediocre dance assemblage of the early 80's. And yes, that was th' Bear, my old dance club-goin' buddy. I didn't say anything back.

As you may recall, the last time I had heard from him, he was on step nine of his twelve steps, where he was making reparations.
As you also may recall, I feel that above all else, this person is a vampiric presence in my life, and I don't want to encourage him in any way. He can find his own friends, and perhaps grow the fuck up a little...But the particular variety of insanity he displays is one common to many Americans: overwhelming self-absorption. These people tend to be violent when they fail to receive the proper kind or amount of attention, and I don't feel safe around them.

Oddly, Bee and I had just found a small copy of the Alcoholics Anonymous book on the beach, and had been enjoying it while also enjoying a few beers. When I get back to my phone, it showed me that he had sent me one that just said "Fuck u".
I wrote back, simply, "Stop."
He wrote back, "No".

Hehhh...So as usual, I know that if I engage him in any way, I'll be there all night. We drove back to Portland later on, and upon our arrival, I see that he has texted, "Puck you motherpucker".
This signals to me that perhaps that was a friendly fuck you earlier? Or something? And as always, I'm just failing to see the special, life-changing humor of this special, special guy who is only trying to broaden my perspectives and alter my consciousness with Zen-like pranks. Or something. In any case, I again did not respond.

This morning, I get a text that reads, "Sorry for trying will let go". Oh, I see. You were just passively aggressing and sort of behaving like a stalker in an attempt to show your love and care for me. Riiight. And I also see that it is my fault for responding in the expected and appropriate manner.
The thing is, I believe that he is being encouraged by a couple other friends of mine, who have expressed that it's just damn tragic that two people who were once such close friends can not find their way past their differences. One of them holds a degree in psychology, and in most other cases I believe would very easily accept that people have a right to put distance between themselves and those who make them feel unsafe.
Our differences here being simply; yes, I can't trust him, and I believe him to be borderline enough that he'd fucking harm me, given the proper "reasons". And too that it would be my fault for not seeing the simple beauty and indeed, Enlightenment in his fucked up behavior. I am a terrible, terrible man.

Interestingly, I note from the writing of Bill W. in the Alkies' Bible that the whole "higher power" concept -so problematic for the legions of alcoholics who also happen to not believe in God- sprung out of Bill W's equal disgust for religion, and its brutal effect on humankind. He goes on about it at length. The fact that the "higher power" thing -suggested to him by a successful ex-drinker- for some reason seemed a decent substitute is a matter for study, I feel.
It may very well have been the first time in American culture that someone suggested the whole mushy I-don't-know-what-it-is-but-there's-something spirituality that is now practiced, I feel, by most Americans. Before that, the idea of picking and choosing your divinity would have been pretty damn not okay, I think.

Post script: and since I wrote Disco Boy about this issue just a minute ago, Gmail did its usual helpful number and thought it might show me a few other places where people like me -with our interest in bears- might like to go. It came up with the Gloomy Bear Store. Enjoy at your own risk.



Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

The cult of Twelve Steps indeed.
Check out 'Addiction is a Choice' by Jeffrey Schaler. Right on, brother.

11:11 AM  

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