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1:04 pm - Monday, Sept. 05, 2005
\"Everything Ends\"
Sun 9/4/05 (2:32 a.m.)

“Everything ends.”

Just finished watching the last episode of Six Feet Under, which I received from Mark and Jane in yesterday’s mail.

And if that was not the best ending of any tv show ever, it certainly has to rank very high on the list. Perfect closure, perfectly in keeping with the show and its themes–I was a very satisfied customer.

(For the uninitiated, the show centered around the dysfunctional Fisher family, and their family run funeral parlor. So it seemed fitting when, in the last ten minutes or so, there was a montage of “passings”, as each of our main characters, in their own time and fashion, “shuffled off this mortal coil”.)

And now, as I try to say something at least borderline coherent, my mind is simply too full of thoughts–I’m thinking about Hurricane Katrina and the people who lost their lives basically for the crime of being too poor to get out of town, I’m thinking about the chat Jane and I had about spirituality recently, I’m thinking about all the little lessons in “inpermanence” I get on a regular basis, I’m thinking about how afraid I am of losing any member of my very small “extended family”, thinking how afraid I am of dying young (dying middle-aged, anyway), before I’ve figured out why I’m here, before I’ve created anything of value, before I’ve done anything that mattered.

I’m thinking about how, as a “worrier”, I can often calm myself down by convincing myself that the thing I’m worrying about is probably never going to happen.

But not this time.

I’m thinking about how “fear of death” is indeed the actual fear of dying, at least in part–“Will it hurt?”, “Am I going to die alone?”, “Is there a ‘Hell’, and will I be ending up there?”, etc and so forth–but much more a fear of never having lived.

I’ve been afraid I’m going to die, much earlier than I’d prefer, having lived a life of no special consequence, and having been of no special consequence.

(A subsidiary thought: Why can’t I just live?. Why isn’t it enough to simply be, with all the requisite joys and pains that entails? Why does it all have to “mean something”? It’s so exhausting and pointless...)

And I know I’ve said it in here before, but since coming out to L.A., I’ve become obsessed with losing people, terrified of getting a call that someone’s had a stroke, or died in a car accident, or what have you.

As I said to Jane during our chat, “I guess it’s the ultimate ‘fear of abandonment’ issue”. In close to four-and-a-half years out here, I haven’t made one new friend ( I’ve met any number of people I’ve enjoyed, don’t get me wrong. But no one I think I’m still going to be friends with five, ten, twenty years down the road, assuming I even have “twenty years down the road”), so it’s feeling more and more like whoever’s going to be a lifetime member of my “team” has pretty much already signed on.
And there’s not enough people “on my team” as it stands, so I sure as shit don’t want to be losing anyone.

And I don’t have a “God” to make this all be okay. I don’t even have a therapist to help me deal with these scary thoughts


Speaking of “scary thoughts”...

For the past 24 hours or so, I’ve been trying to take back my apartment from the forces of filth and disorder.

I’ve taken five bags of trash out to the dumpster, along with any number of empty boxes.

I swept the kitchen and dining room floors, a couple times over.

I’ve taken things–most notably a lot of old computer stuff–out to the “giveaway area” in the lobby of my building.

I wiped down the oven, managing to do a fair amount of damage to the surface with my exertions (When the 409 and paper towels weren’t doing the trick, I switched to a scrubbing pad, which apparently is a bad idea when you’re dealing with some kind of enamel-coated finish).

And I did the dishes.

When you’re me, and you leave dishes in the sink for months at a time, tackling that chore is never exactly “fun”.

And it becomes even less “fun” when the drain’s clogged. I did what I could, then went to the store and bought some Drano, hoping that would do the trick. But sadly, it didn’t really “take”, and the sink was still draining so slowly I couldn’t finish the dishes before I left for work.

But I did manage to finish today (Reminder to self: Buy more, and more powerful, drain-cleaning stuff).

And now, as always, the point is going to be to keep things from piling up and becoming too disgusting to want to deal with it, which when I think about it, is a good “rule of thumb” in just about any situation.

And as I write this, I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed by the fact that while all this felt like a lot of work (And for me, it really was “a lot of work”, considering I don’t typically ever do it), much work remains–The living room is virtually untouched, as is the bathroom. I have to mop, vacuum, bag up more garbage from the living room, wipe down the fridge, the bathroom sink, etc ad infinitum.

But it’ll get done.

As I’ve been working on this, I thought about something that struck me kind of “out of the blue” –I don’t remember what prompted it, but one day some time back, I thought “I want to be really great at two things–acting, and keeping my journal. With anything else, a range of ‘adequate-to-pretty-good’ is gonna have to be good enough”.

I think a big thing that keeps me from getting stuff done is the desire to have it be perfect, and the frustration that results when it isn’t. It’s not exactly inspiring when you do something–clean your apartment, for example–and when you’re finished, all you can see is “the black spot on the white piece of paper”, as Jane often says.

But really, a lot of stuff doesn’t have to be “perfect”, it just has to get done.

And it does have to get done, if you’re to be effective in pursuing the things you really do want to do “perfectly”, or at least as perfectly as humanly possible.

Mon 9/5/05 (12:19 p.m.)

(Have been listening to the commentary track to Sideways, by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. If you haven’t seen the movie--or if you only saw it in the theater--rent the dvd, cause these two guys are funny as hell. But anyway...)

I’ve been meaning to say this forever now, and have kept forgetting it–I’m successfully using the grinder and coffeemaker Mark and Jane bought for me, enjoying coffee just like they serve in fine restaraunts (That first terrible cup was strictly “operator error”; for some reason, even though Jane enclosed written instructions, I used three or four times the amount of beans neccessary).


The last time I wrote about Kipper, he was still adjusting to his new, reduced circumstances.

I am happy to report he is now adjusted.

Me too, for that matter.

I’ve got to buy one of those disposable cameras, because I want to get some pictures of him to scan in here (He’s really quite a handsome fella).

(I told Jane recently that a couple days after I got Kipper, I caught a comedian on late night tv, who said if you’re a single guy and you have a cat, you’re either gay or a James Bond villain. So if I don’t want people to be confused, I guess I’d better start working on a plan for world domination.)


Happy news on the commercial front: Tomorrow I have a callback for the TBS spot I auditioned for a couple weeks back (The one starring John Cleese, where I’d be a scientist at “The TBS Center For Comedy Research”).

You have to go back to around mid-July for my last callback, so I was relieved to be “back in the saddle” on that front.

I’m also happy because it was something I really wanted to get, but thought I’d screwed up at the audition (There were two auditions, actually–they messed-up, and had to have me go back to do an extra “bit” they didn’t get on tape the first time).

Anyway, that’s tomorrow morning (If I book it, it’ll shoot the following week, or the week after. It could be a two or three day shoot, which would be great).

Wish me luck–This has been a very disappointing year thus far, commercially, and I want more than anything to pull it out of the fire in this last quarter.


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