Running with Freud

I keep walking down the streets of the city and randomly feeling the urge to throw my bags on the ground and take off. Maybe this is the superhero unconscious in me, but in my head, I imagine leaving everything that weighs me down right there in the streets and beginning to run. I would dash around corners, through crowds, turning at red lights and letting the beautiful serendipity of Time direct my path. In my head I always end up in a field. Or a bridge. I quietly collapse into a puddle of exhaustion, legs giving out and curling underneath me, head falling delicately into my hands then into my lap or straight onto a pillow of flowers and wheat.

I call this type of running “Running with Freud.” It’s when you let the id totally take over and become purely physical. Haruki Murakami talks about this is his book “What I talk about When I Talk about Running.” He relates the experience of being asked what he thinks about when he runs and tells us that honestly, he really doesn’t think about anything. He puts on his music, lets one foot follow the other, and succumbs to the physical drive to move forward, onward. I have this same sort of feeling when I run, like there are no decisions and the only thing you have to consider is when to stop.

Freud related so many of his unconscious studies to sexual behavior, but a part of me wishes he had spent more time just studying the physicality of the body in other experiences. Considered that sex, while physical, is still largely a mental act for men and especially women, it is only when the body is under duress that you lose the ability to keep thinking about things and have to focus all your energy on just getting through. Maybe this is why torture is effective in the sense that you lose your ability to reason (although that’s probably an argument for its ineffectiveness as well). But sex shouldn’t be torture and when you do lose yourself in it, it usually only lasts a few minutes at best (during orgasm).

The only other time I feel this sense of abandonment is when I am out dancing. Lost in a crowd, with the inability to communicate verbally, one can essentially isolate his or her self from society and totally let go of inhibitions. In Israel, they have events called Nature Parties, which mainly involves a bunch of kids doing a lot of drugs, but also emphasizes the act of letting go, listening to music and letting your body do what it wants, free from the mind. In America, we expend so much effort everyday cultivating this personality, this way of being, and in the effort required to maintain, we end up with little or no time to explore who we are in a natural state.

So I try to explore this state everyday by putting on shoes and pounding the pavement, free of thoughts or inhibitions, with the only thought in mind that at some point i will stop. But maybe one day i won’t. I will give into the id and keep going letting my body take over. If it ever happens, I think Freud would be proud.

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Check Please

It has been far too long and there were many many adventures, most of them involving a midget who turned out to be an asshole, and I have neglected my friends. I apologize for my absence and hope to give you all the gory details in the future. For now I will give you the episode recap (and part of me wishes i could do this with sappy music and a montage).

First- summer in Minnesota. I worked for a camp, felt like a child, fell for a midget, and broke all sort of rules. Also I worked for the circus. And may or may not have gotten fired.

THEN

I moved to the big city in with our favorite guitar playing, LES songwriter: Margot Kelley. Our apartment is great, and cheap. We rarely see each other because my responsibilities keep me plugging away to bring you tomorrow’s new literature during the day, and Kelley keeps the wealthy full and happy at night. Plus- there’s always the adventures.

So now I’m here, working, living, trying, lying, and slowly dying, and this weekend I had a dilemma.

I got asked out. By a boy. and he’s cute and nice and I want him to like me. Earlier in the week he asked me if i would like to go for sushi for our date. Two things went through my mind, “YES and hungry.” I love sushi. In fact I love love sushi. But sushi leaves me hungry. or broke, which is really the issue at hand.

I know it is common practice for boys to pay for girls when they take them out on a date, but i loathe it. First off, I refuse to pick the restaurant because i never want to pick any one that may be out of his price range so I end up sounding like a girl with no opinion. This also means on several occasions I have suffered through meals I hated. Then, once at the table, i never really get to order what i really want because the prices are RIGHT THERE and i have to order something mid-range, even if the meal i want is the cheapest because you don’t want them to think you think they are cheap. Finally when it gets close to the end of the meal, I start to panic.

The waitress begins to clear away our plates and we both know what’s coming. This is the part where I usually down what’s left of my drink. When she finally sets down l’addition, I want to weep. I think the problem is that it makes me feel indebted to someone. I don’t want to feel like I owe the man i am with anything, and I don’t want him to feel like he has to pay for my company. I want us to be equal, and maybe, able to leave at any moment’s notice without regretting the things we left at the table.

Honestly, I feel this way about relationships in general. We should each have our own checks and take on only what we can pay for, but the nature of a relationship is to share responsibility, which means when the check comes, it gets messy. Either we must dive back in to hash out what was fair and what was not, or we must simply give up and leave our hearts on the table. How sad.

As I mature, and meet more men, and have more dinner,s I am trying to change my approach. Because the dishes are delightful and each serving brings something new and interesting to my palate. I develop new tastes and explore new sensations. The things before me are enthralling and exciting and delicious. So now i try to forget about that bittersweet moment when he raises his hand, calling out “check please,” and just enjoy each bite of life as it comes.

Au revior. Bon apetite mon amour!

The Man Date

fun date

fun date

Recently I was having yet another chat with my buddy Hookah D, and we stumbled on a topic with which we both have struggled. I mentioned to him that I met a tres, tres chic lady at my internship and, as I am sort of new in this city, I wanted to ask her to hang out. Here in lies the dilemma, how do I ask a foxy chick to hang out without seeming like I am a vagina eater? Hookah D has encountered the same problem.

“I can’t ask a guy to hang out alone,” he says. “That’s a man date.”

Hmmmmmm, I thought. I guess I am not the only one who has had this problem.

My conversation with Hookah D lead me down a tangent I can only explain as a mind trip in the most basic form. I began to wonder, aren’t all hangouts really dates? Have I been dating my friends? Am I, in actuality, in relationships with several ladies and a quite a few men? And thus I found myself at the logical conclusion- what do you call a girl who is juggling several people at one time? A WHORE.

Fuck.

I am a relationship whore. You know what’s even worse? I am a long-distance relationship whore. All of my friends live in different states meaning I spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what time zone I am calling and who I will be waking up this evening.

Suddenly though, it occurs to me that we are all relationship whores, and the panic passes. But why then do I create so much anxiety about asking someone to hang out?

I blame this all on college. And an unfortunate experience in middle school, but that’s a story for another… well never. I went to a delightful mid-west school chock full of the most awkward people you have ever met. Every class was like the first day in an episode of The Office, without the adorable Jim and Pam. We had dances every weekend- where drunken freshman would make-out while older classmen looked down condescendingly, thinking, “I wish I was a Freshman so I could make-out again.”

And it wasn’t just the dances. There was a kid who ran all over campus in shorts. He was aptly nicknamed, “running boy.” And another kid who lived outside. I forget his name, but I think it was something like Squirell or Gopher. People rarely dated publicly, and meeting new friends was so tough for the Awkwards that I believe most of them stayed friends with the kids they met on the first day.

Not that this is bad. It’s fine to be awkward. But what happens to the bright young minds of tomorrow when they leave school? We are forced to have daily interactions with new and interesting people whom we have no idea how to approach.

Thus, the man date. Or the girl date.

And I can only come up with one solution to this problem. Go ahead and ask. Embrace your awkwardness. I recently hung out with two very awesome Dudes who explained that they became friends by going on a few man dates. One of them, an Intellectual with a dash of Euro-trash said, “We kept hanging out and we kept getting really drunk. I really liked him so I decided that we had to hang out sober. One day I called him and asked him to ride bikes. We’ve been friends ever since.”

See! Now isn’t that sweet. It sounds more homosexual than two peas in a pod, but it isn’t. And if there’s anything I learned from school it’s that, “If they won’t love you if you’re gay, then they might as well not love you at all.”

p.s. booo California.

p.p.s. Another proposed solution is just to hang out with members of the opposite sex so they don’t care if you are asking them out on a date. But that could lead to real whoreness so proceed with caution. 🙂

Until our next Date! Mwah!

Lou Focker

Why I No Longer Smoke Crack

Greetings friends and foes!

I come today with a new chapter in the adventures of a duo who will henceforth be known as The Unsinkables. It pains me to say that this was a semi-solo mission as the faithful Kelley is still MIA, flown the coop, adios amgio. In reality she is searching out a new lair for The Unsinkables as we speak, but more on that another day.

This past weekend I witnessed foolishness unseen since the days of my youth. There was a midet in a raincoat, a red carpet turned brown, blood and gore, and a category of slutery that will hence forth be known as “Courtney”ing.

I set out on this crazy night late into the evening. I should have known from the start when Cali-Girl (as she will be known to you) called me and asked me to join her at a party where there was to be a VIP room in a fat kid’s bedroom. “No good will come of this,” I thought, but I went against my better instinct- camera and pencil and paper ready at my side.

The second warning came when we pulled up at our rendezvous and I recognized the place as being the same apartments where my pseudo-grandmother lives. “This is where The Dick and Faux Painter Boy live?” I asked Cali-girl.

“Yes,” she replied, “but we are just picking up Faux Painter Boy.”

Faux Painter Boy’s apartment was a bachelor pad in the vainest of terms. And yes, he had a faux painted dresser. For those of you who do not know what faux painting is, it is a bizarre graffitti-like practice where basically anything is painted to look like a texture/substance. Faux Painter Boy’s dresser in particular was leopard-spotted. I can only imagine this was to match the leather couch and get girls in a “wild” mood.

Do not fear though. I got out of there as soon as possible as the techno beats nearly deafened me for the few minutes I was present.

We finally made it to the party around 12 or 1. I parked in the synagogue next door. (Again, I should have known better, having spent the better part of the evening at services downtown.) Walking to the house, I ran into Bob, who needs no introduction for he is as ridiculous and small as he sounds. “Bob” I yelled. “How the hell are you?” and tapped him on the shoulder. I did not realize he was urinating and what proceeded was as unpleasant as you could imagine.

When we made it to the door, there was indeed a red carpet. The torrential downpour earlier had turned it more of a crimson color though. There was also a random photographer snapping precious memories of legions of boobies bursting from dresses and men behaving like outrageous drunks. My gray wife-beater and jeans stuck out like a lion in a petting zoo, but I rocked it all the same.

The next few hours went like this. Drink, drink, drink. Smoke. Blah Blah Blah. Smoke. Drink. Blah Blah. Smoke. Blah Blah. Line for the bathroom. Blah Blah. And so forth.

THEN- disaster. Most Drunk Girl is getting her groove on while on the dance floor when she slips and face plants, knocking herself unconscious and bleeding profusely. Now, this is the difference between high school and adulthood. In high school, this would have ended the party, especially after someone announces that an ambulance has been called. In adulthood, all the guests were shuffled to the backyard until the ambulance had come and gone and the party continued.

During this calamity, the midget made his appearance. Leaning against a hallway, talking to some lady friends, I suddenly turned and behold! A small fat man in a rainjacket came out of nowhere. He was zipped all the way up so that only his face peaked out and I had the strange image of a turtle coming out of his shell.

Cali-girl nudged me and whispered, “That’s him.”

“Who?” I said.

“Him,” she said, “The one who mounted me when I slept here once and tried to make me touch his penis.”

“That is FAT DAN? No!” I shouted. (I don’t think he heard me, but…)

“Yes,” she said, “I will never recover.”

(Insert hug and touching moment here. tear**)

Later on I saw old friend Jackass as he was being cornered by his obnoxious ex-girlfriend. In the spirit of charity I tried to assist.

“Jackass, want to come have a smoke?” I asked.

What follows angers me for two reasons.

“No.” he said, while looking prickous and dick-like. “I don’t smoke.”

so 1- Jackass does smoke, especially when he’s drunk, which he was and

2- I was trying to rescue you from Psycho Curl you fuckwit.

Let that be a lesson to me- do not help people that date Pyschos. They are,in fact, crazy as well.

As the night waned, I looked about and noticed a few things. One- everyone was skinny. Two- everyone was possibly (i say this with only the slightest uncertainty) on drugs. Three- there were maybe four people attending with IQ’s above what could be classified as borderline retarded and all of them thought they were sober enough to drive home.

What can be learned from this debauchery?

Well, I do not, nor have I ever, smoked cracked, but if I ever felt the temptation I would reflect on this night of drunkeness and moral depravity to remember that all of those people’s parents probably smoked cracked. And I think I will have enough on my hands as a parent to deal with without giving birth to a Moron.

Check back for pics.

Love you later,

Lou Focker

ps- I apologize for my deviation from the standard format of my messages to You. There comes a time in a writer’s life when one must stray from the past and experience the foreign in order to learn and grow in their uniformity.

The BEST

Recently I read a New York Times article discussing grades. To put it simply, it claimed that colleges were having difficulty with students expecting As for effort. According to schools, no matter how hard students try, they might never receive an A, as an “A” should go to the students who perform the best in the class.

Something in this article spoke to me, even more so now that I am teaching in a classroom. It is evident that there is a lack of healthy competition between students today. Rather than pushing themselves to achieve as much as possible, they are content to simply coast along catching the As as they fall gently in their lap like manna from the sky.

When did society decide that everyone deserved to be the best? The best, by definition, is exclusive. It stands as singular and isolating. There should only be one winner at the end of the day, and just because you try does not mean you will win.

The devastating consequences of a lesson never learned are more evident than ever now that I am a college graduate. All around me I hear the cries of my peers complaining that they deserve better jobs than the minimum wage ones now available. They feel it is beneath them to do anything less that the most prestigious jobs. So much so that many are willing to move back home.

I must take a minute to add an aside. I too have been living at home for a short period since graduation. But in my defense, I was working the lowly jobs so many of my peers turned down. I chose to stay at home to save moeny so that when I set out to pursue to my dreams I will be adequately prepared for success. (I may also be prepared for failure, but I choose not to see that as an option.)

I also see evidence of the entitlement of my generation each and every time I enter a bookstore. The sheer amount of trashy literature decorating the shelves is astonishing. Who told these people that they could publish a book?  Furthermore, who published them?

There is much more to be said about the topic, but I find myself overwhelmed and annoyed. I can say this much though, my students who get “A’s” this year will really deserve them, and I hope to leave them with a greater message than “An A for effort.” I hope they will learn that everyone can succeed at something, but not everyone can succeed at everything.

Oh! This reminds me. I once met a devastatingly handsome man who was good at everything he tried. It was disgusting and I could barely stand to be around him. In the end, he is alone because no one can stand comparing them-self to him. So who really wants to be the best at everything?

The End

This is Phenomenal

Old guy complaining about the youth of today

http://crabbyoldfart.wordpress.com

Why I Hate “Cool”

 

I stood next to an ex-boyfriend of mine and stared at a friend of ours. She walked around an open restaurant, stopping to pick up an empty cup and talk to customers. She wore green shorts over gold lame leggings, a baggy yellow tank top over a gray sports bra. She probably hadn’t showered in a few days, and knowing her, I could imagine what she smelled like. I looked up at my ex and he turned his face to me. “She is so cool!” he said.

This was not the first time I realized that I think “cool” is stupid, but it was probably the most profound. I twitched my head as he said it, creating my own sense of deja vu- a misstep between the neurons firing in my brain. “What?” I asked him.

“She looks amazing” he replied, his eyes shining with envy.

I had to admit, this girl had more confidence than a charging rhino. She could have walked up to the president in a dirty t-shirt and never had a second thought, but part of me rebelled against what I was hearing.

“She doesn’t look cool,” I said. “She looks stupid. She is wearing green shorts over gold tights and it looks ridiculous.”

“No way. She looks awesome.”

I realized I was doing the equivalent of trying to convince a raccoon that the piece of tin foil he held so dearly was worthless. I gave up.

So here’s my dilemna. I understand that the ability to wear anything and pull it off effortlessly is special. I also appreciate style. But where is the line between style and poor taste? How do we know the difference between someone who’s edgy and someone who’s oblivious?

The truth is it’s irrelevant. Because there’s NO COOL. If a person wants to wear a beanie  and a tutu everyday of their life- Who cares? It doesn’t make them better or worse than me. It just makes them a person in a beanie and a tutu.

And if a person likes to listen to pop music, watch bad action flicks and television shows, it doesn’t mean they are not worthwhile. People can like whatever they like and embracing that they are who they are is all part of the game of life.

Just a short time ago, I used to be very concerned with being in the “know.” I wanted to be the first to find cool bands, to see cool movies, to spot cool artists. But I realized that the effort it takes for me to find those things is an effort I could be using to do those things. What if, rather than trying to be cool, we re-direct that effort towards being better- better people, better artists, better lovers. My aunt once told me that to be a master of something, you must work on it for 10,000 hours. So in order to be a master of cool, you have to work on being cool for years and years, and by then end of that time, you will undoubtedly not be cool because part of coolness is not trying.

Basically, it’s a Catch 22. So stop caring. Decide what you like and what you don’t like, but there’s no need to judge. Except for cool people. You can tell them they suck. Because if they really are cool, they won’t care what you think.