This is going to be loose. Long Facebook status loose, with no shaping, and no filter. Today it seems very important to me that I write tonight.
(We’ll come back to that.)
I had a very fun, very drunken weekend. This meant that I outsourced some of my social decision making to a chemical—Hi, alcohol!—and because I am also cripplingly insecure in some ways, engaged in this weird Mobius strip of personality where the alcohol gave me the courage and looseness to be more assertive and outgoing than my everyday self, but the insecurity and second-guessing and paranoia about being an asshole led me to be a little more mellow and easy-going than I usually am too.
I don’t really need to explain myself. I didn’t need to say all that. What is really essential is this: I spent a few hours on Sunday talking and having a really good time with someone that I would usually deflect attention away from/filter out as not one of my people.
He had crazy intense eyes. He “shit, I haven’t had a real job in years.” He evaluated experiences by how many times it got him laid, and bragged that he knew every hot chick at his college, and referred to the library kids as “the real freak show” at a school where everybody secretly believes that they are the library kids. In short, he exuded that aggro, young straight dude vibe that usually drives me as far away as possible, right now.
He was a little over half a decade older than me, long enough that our high school experiences and college experiences were enough different that there was a little distance. I can’t remember exactly what he said, and I can’t remember exactly what the context was (the drink, remember), but it was something like his was the last generation to experience adolescent rebellion as a “fuck you” attitude, instead of <disdain>posting about it to twitter or some shit.</disdain>
I can’t remember exactly where I was going with that, because I was drunk then and tired now. Probably something about how I think the kids that were rebellious in generations past would be rebellious now, and are probably not on twitter. People kinda keep doing the same shit, I think.
Anyway, I’ve been mulling that little encounter over and over again as I’ve pieced together my weekend and started to move forward—
Oh yeah, that’s where I was going with that: basically he said the weird flipped version of what the olds say about the millenials. Back when people liked us, back when they needed us to elect Obama, there was all this stuff about how settled we are on social issues, how much we like all kind of diversity, how much we were dreamers and wanted to solve the big problems. This dude was basically like you guys are all pussies because when you’re supposed to shake things up and break shit, we’re all trying to get along and be nice. Hold on to this.
—with processing all of the big emotions that came up during the weekend. Because I’ve been thinking about all the effort that I’ve put into living as a better human being, to live with more awareness, to live with a better spiritual balance, and at the same time how weird a thing it is to be a young man with spiritual questions. At least in my culture, in my time. Part of it is gendered. I grew up in a church where men were expected to be leaders of the church, to get involved or whatever, but where women were the spiritual heart of worship. I also was raised partially in a culture of devout Catholicism, but where Sunday was another country.
I need to wrap this up. Feet don’t fail me now.
Am I totally off base? Are not young men, 18-25 the avatar of our current unwritten morality that starts and ends with “have as much fun as possible but try not to be an asshole,” and isn’t it weird when they believe things, like really believe things with prayers and scriptures and beards and robes or white collared shirts and bikes or tattoos or hats or languages?
I’m just trying to have as much fun as possible without being an asshole.
I’m trying to do better. I got some morning pages done. I’m writing right now. This is my second full day without a cigarette—that hasn’t happened in months, maybe years. I’m hoping to have a more consistent presence here. Let’s see what happens.

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