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11:40 PM - 12.27.16
How High Is High Enough?

How High Is High Enough?

When you've been keeping a journal as long as I have - I started in 1980 - an occupational hazard is that it becomes harder and harder to write about certain yearly events (like holidays), because "there's nothing new to say".

But this year, I think I may have started a new holiday tradition...

I got high, went to the movies (Saw Rogue One), then came home, and got more high.

(My connection's baker recently made a batch of holiday "edibles", and I bought enough that I thought I had four "portions", though turned out I only had three. But more on that in a bit...)

When I realized, a few weeks ago, that I wasn't going to have anywhere to go for Xmas this year, I got really depressed and anxious, and worried about how I was going to handle it (Which feels kinda stupid now - It's not like I haven't spent many Christmases alone and lived to tell the tale - but I guess I'm feeling especially "fragile" these days).

But it helped that I thought about how I'd handle "The Big Day" beforehand - A big part of the reason I bought the edibles was that I thought they'd help me "negotiate through the holidays" (Though now I'm wishing I'd saved something for New Years - But again, more on that in a bit...).

And the nice thing about not having gone to the movies much this year is that going on Christmas day actually did feel like a treat (More of a "treat" than I'd intended, actually - I went to the Korean theater at Wilshire & Western, because it's within walking distance, but didn't realize they were only playing the movie in 3-D, so I spent $16 on a movie I could have seen for $8.00 at the Vista when it was playing there).

(3-D doesn't mean much to me as a movie-goer - It's novel and fun for a few moments, and then I just feel like I'm...watching a movie, and it doesn't seem worth the extra money. But anyway...)

My attention waxed and waned a bit, due to being high, but not as much as I would have imagined (I thought it was a good movie, and I'm only a casual Star Wars fan).

When the movie was over, I walked back home (I thought about going somewhere for Chinese food, and doing the whole "Jewish Xmas" thing. But then I thought better of it, since I'm ostensibly trying to lose weight, and I'd already eaten a bunch of cookies).

When I got home...well, I don't remember exactly what I did, but I do remember at some point debating getting more high/staying high longer, or saving my remaining edibles for New Year's Day, as planned (I also thought about drinking, since I currently have more alcohol on hand than you'd expect for a guy that doesn't really drink - a 5th of Jack Daniels, a bottle of champagne, and a bottle of "Two Buck Chuck" - but decided that I've enjoyed not having hangovers for however many years now, and would like to keep the streak going).

I ended up eating my remaining edibles (Four more cookies)...which was a mistake. That was probably around 5:00 or 6:00 pm, I was already quite high, and I was still quite high when I went to bed after midnight (I actually got to a point where...well, I don't know if I got "bored" with being high, exactly, but I definitely started "wanting my mind back"). I regretted over-doing it.

And while I'm not "worried" about it - I don't expect I'm going to turn into a serious "stoner" or anything (Can't afford it, and if I could, my waistline certainly couldn't afford "edibles" being the "delivery system" of choice) - I definitely took note of a tendency I've noticed before, how when I get drunk or high or what-have-you, I can hit a point where I just can't be high or drunk or (in the case of food) full enough.

In the time since, I've pondered "What is it I'm looking for?" when there's that urge to "keep going" with a mind-altering substance, when "too much is not enough".

Do I want to feel more...or do I want to feel nothing? Do I think I'm somehow going to "access" more of myself, or do I just want to obliterate myself?

I don't know.

But it does make me realize that, while I've never had a real drug or alcohol problem, I definitely have a touch of the substance-abuse gene that runs through my family (Which is why I think it's fortunate that I don't remember there being alcohol or drugs around while I was in foster care. Once I found out about my family history, I realized I probably "dodged a bullet" in that regard).

But again, I don't see myself developing a "substance abuse problem" in my mid-50s - That would just be...goofy.


Tues 12/27/16 (11:15 pm)

One thing I'd planned to do Xmas day was watch some of the screeners I've gotten from SAG (But, due to poor planning on my part, I couldn't figure out how to make it happen on ITunes, and was too messed up to fight with it).

But in the time since, I've watched Jackie and Captain Fantastic (I thought both were "good" but not "great").

This wave of late-in-the-year movie-going/movie-watching is making me realize something: I like watching movies for their own sake, but I've also just felt guilty about "not knowing what's out there". I've convinced myself on some level that I don't have to know about movies because "It's not really my business" (And they're kinda not - I hardly ever get movie auditions, and 15 years down the road, have yet to book a role in a major movie), but it still feels wrong somehow, to be so ignorant.

Similarly, it feels wrong, and shameful, that I don't really read anymore (Hanging out with my friend Josh recently, he asked me if I was a reader, and when I had to admit I really wasn't anymore, I was as embarrassed as if I'd confessed to biting my toenails or eating my boogers, especially after he expressed genuine surprise at my illiteracy).

Not for the first time, I'm finding it funny that, as respect for me has grown in some quarters (Because I came out to LA, and now, I'm on a TV show), my respect for myself is taking something of a beating.

I like me better as a reader.

And I like me better as a guy who, if he hasn't already seen the movie that's being talked about, has probably read a couple reviews and an article or two about it.

It's an issue of "identification" - that's the person I want to be, and the way I want to be seen by others - but it's also a question of "feeding my soul". Because I don't really have "relationships", per se, so I need to "fill myself" with something - Things to feel, things to think about, vicarious experiences to have.

And the idea of "feeding my soul", while having a value all on its own, is also important in terms of the "career" I would still like to think I could have - All the movie-watching I've been doing of late has me thinking about not wanting to be "empty inside" when I walk into an audition room for that big movie or TV role I've dreamed about.

And I just don't like feeling like I'm more boring and dumb than I used to be.

Well, this is not where I expected things to go tonight, but I'm okay with that - In fact, I kind of like it when I'm surprised by where an entry takes me.

But right now, I should be taking myself to bed, because it's gotten late, and I have to get up (relatively) early tomorrow.


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