Sunday, March 27, 2016

If youth is wasted on the young...

Then it should be said that experience is wasted on the old.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Calamitous Paralysis

The nightmare was bad enough. A device not unlike a record player but significantly larger, and featuring a round, sandpaper like material instead of a vinyl record. It spun rapidly. A man held my elbow to it. Flesh and bone were grinded away. After my elbow was reduced to immobility, the man held the palm of my right hand to the spinning surface, and my flesh began to be rapidly grinded off, strips of dermis sent flying into the air.

I woke up screaming.

I woke up into an episode of sleep paralysis. I still do not know if my entire body was shaking, or if I had the sensation of my entire body shaking. I also wasn't in my body. I slowly floated down from above my bed towards it. Every sound was magnified, loud, my computer was a jet engine and the traffic was a train. Reality was distorted and that was the most innerving thing, that sounds I was wholly familiar with were suddenly, inescapably wrong. The world I knew around me I suddenly did not know. The shaking became worse. I could not move. I was possessed, demonic.

My body slowly fell into place and I stopped the shaking, or the sensation of. I could move again. I rolled over.

The nightmares would follow me the rest of the night, I danced in and out of sleep. I sit at my desk, shaking, for real this time, from an utter lack of sleep. At least I am inside my body.

Friday, March 18, 2016


The present author has demonstrated, both in 'real life' and via this blog - which also happens to be some manner of 'real life' - an inability to do things alone. This inability has robbed certain activities - pleasurable ones - from the present authors routine, including, but not limited to; movies, new restaurants, and travel. The latter of those is the most aggravating, as it presents a real and present danger to an activity that has largely fueled the entirety of the present author's new experiences. Considering the financial burden and time commitment it - that is, travel, - requires, the present author is under no pretense in which there is always someone to travel with. Given the present author's state of anxiety, however; to travel to a foreign country alone, one that does not speak English, and accomplish both memories, photos, and social connections, seems an incrementally impossible task. That the present author might be in the near term future forced to weigh these anxieties against the possibility of more travel, and that these anxieties directly represent the enjoyment of a trip - vis-à-vis wonderful sights, wonderful cuisine, and wonderful conversation - creates a challenge that will either render a sudden and penultimate defeat at the hands of stress and worry, or a victory over fear. The latter, it can be assumed, is the lesser likely.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

If America is Proof that Democracy Works

It is also, simultaneously, proof that it doesn't.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Before We Got too Old We Wanted to See the World

This August, the present author plans to embark on a trip of 3 weeks to Asia, consisting of, tentatively, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. This trip has been a massive, many year can kicker for awhile, in that it has been theorized for about 5 years, but now appears to finally be taking shape. Anxieties, of course, are apparent and plentiful, but given good company and cognizant travel plans, the trip should ultimately be an enjoyable and enriching experience. The present author will endeavor to escape an ever present comfort zone as much as possible. The author will also endeavor to have fun. The latter is something that we all endeavor to do but often fall short of doing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Recent Criticism

The present author, it so happens, has received recent criticism regarding a story, in that the story was an attempt to do too much, to weave too many disparate threads, and was too hard to tackle for an amateur. Likely unquestionably true; this criticism lends credence to the revelations by the present author, in this here very blog, that setting one's expectations too high - too high being any modicum of success - is a recipe for disappointment in all regards. However, it also occurs to the present author that attempting something much simpler and less grandiose will still result in the same utter disappointment.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Age of Not Being Cool

The median age of OkCupid men is 31. The median age of people who stay at hostels is slightly younger. Music festivals and concerts trend young.

So the present author is nearing the age in which one can be described as too old. Too old to be cool, if such a thing could ever be said about one who was never cool in the first place. But there is a definite barrier, a reality, if you will, of when ages are revealed, that the present author will soon be the oldest in the group, in the room, at the club. This is not without its existential baggage and sense of dread. At some point, maybe age 30, it stops being cool to be staying at a hostel or to be single and singing - or singling - at a concert, and is instead considered weird.

Perhaps, though, the present author, who is still routinely asked if concurrently attending college, can peddle relatively youthful looks towards a new reality of being 20-something for many more years, even if, the truth of the matter is, there are only a few left.

Or, perhaps, more practically, one who is going through the perniciousness of aging could simply choose not to give a shit, and do and go to whatever they want, anyways.

Monday, March 7, 2016

If Fear is the Mind-Killer

Then boredom is the mind-destroyer.

Meeting Expectations

I have mentioned, in passing, the immense enjoyment I received from a happenstance, coincidence fueled weekend in Chicago in a hostel and attending Pitchfork Music Fest. To say that a lot of things came together to provide me with a wonderful weekend is an understatement. So I had to go again this year. This, of course, brings the thorny thoughts to mind of how the 2016 experience can possibly live up to 2015, when people and place and time came together perfectly. More likely than not, the social bonds I forged in 2015 were remote chance, and 2016 will be a much more solitary, subdued adventure. That I hold out hope for another perfect weekend likely only sets me up for disappointment.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hostelites and Social Fights

Drunkenly, or perhaps not drunkenly, but certainly angrily, a mixed Australian man and a white American woman debate at 3am in a hallway of a Chicago hostel about privilege, travel, classism, and all, stumbling through conversation that likely happens in many similar locations throughout the world, where generally progressive young adults with better than average access to capital weave their way through whiteness and supremacy and white guilt and middle and upper class guilt and luxury.

To travel the world is to fly - to fly is to pummel the earth with pollution in ways that do incalculable damage. But to travel the world is to also, perhaps, learn to view other cultures, beliefs, people, as human, to shatter nationalist or clan-based ideology. Or perhaps, at its most rudimentary, to enjoy life.

Later this year I will fly to Asia an embark on a multinational journey. I will stay in hostels among people my age, populated by Americas, Europeans, and Asians who all fall into the incredibly enviable position of living a safe life, a comfortable life, and a relatively wealthy one. It is often that one wonders if this is truly the greatest application of the capital on hand that we all have access to; but when you're sitting as a group, swapping stories over drinks and laughing and smiling, it seems as if it is possible to overthink something. Be good, try to learn, do the right thing, and ultimately, have fun. All the social awareness in the world doesn't do you much good if you spend your days miserable.