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10:30 am - Sun 7/11/04
Little Orphan Jimmy And The Time Machine

Little Orphan Jimmy And The Time Machine

(Listening to Junior Wells "Hoodoo Man Blues"...)

Feel a pull between wanting to write in here, and not wanting to confront how bad I'm feeling lately.

How bad is "bad"? Well, here's how I was going to start this entry:

Sat 7/10/04 (1:19 p.m.)

Well, I thought I'd gotten past my post-vacation blues, but apparently I haven't.

Tired. Sad. Lonely. Angry.

Feeling stuck.

Afraid. Downright panic-stricken.

Want to cry much of the time.

I do something fun, but the good feeling ends the second the fun experience is over, or as soon as I get the thing I thought I wanted, the thing that was supposed to "make me feel better".

And I've got no one to talk to, no one to hold my hand and tell me it's going to be okay. No one I can turn to and think "Well, at least I'm not alone in this...".

The other day I was bemoaning how I ended up where I amľA middle aged guy with nothing to show for his life, and pretty shaky hopes for the futureľand wondering exactly where things had gone wrong. Cause I don't think you can be where I'm at right now and not consider the possibility that some really critical mistakes have to have been made somewhere along the line.

But while I can think of things I might have done differently, or things I wished had gone another way, there's nothing where I honestly believe "If I had done this, or hadn't done that, I wouldn't be in such a mess now...".

Graduating from college might have made a difference in my life, or it might not have (I'm not convinced it would have made a practical differenceľA lot of actors have theater degrees, and it mostly rates a big "Who cares?" when they try to make it in the big timeľbut it might have made me feel a little better about myself, like less of an underachiever. But I'm not even sure about that).

I deeply regret how things ended with Beth N.--I don't know if I'll ever get over that--but in the intervening years, I've come to realize we would never have made it anyway (My sadness is now more about what I did to her than over some imaginary happiness I screwed myself out of). Ditto wth any of the other relationships I had, back in the days I was having relationships with women.

I sometimes regret that I didn't stick it out when I was in the Catskills. A hundred miles or so from New York City, where I always thought I was going to end up, and I couldn't make it (I'm not sure where the "mistake" was thereľNot staying with the job at the day treatment center, or not hanging on with the Winged Victory Singers till I made enough money to get a foothold in NYC).

I regret that it took me so long to actually do what I'm doing (That's a regret I'm having a particularly hard time letting go of these days, when I feel so old and tired and afraid of the future, a future that's coming at me like a runaway freight train).

But would any of it have made a difference?

Who knows?

I started becoming uncomfortable with that entry as I was writing it, for a couple reasons:

1) I felt like it was starting to tip dangerously towards "Nothing I did or didn't do would have mattered. My life was just destined to be hard".

If I'm writing about this or that thing I coulda/shoulda done differently, and saying "I don't know if any of that would have mattered", that seems to suggest, if I believe things are "wrong", that things went wrong before I had any say in the matter.

And then we get into all the "Little Orphan Jimmy" bullshit...

And the "Little Orphan Jimmy" bullshit isn't really "bullshit", but whatever it is, it's a done deal.

Which leads me to...

2) This kind of thinking, whether about the bad decisions I made in the past, or about how fucked-up I am because of my childhood, does me no good at all.

What's done is done. What happened happened.

(And here's some almost scary good timing...Put on Bob Segar a couple moments ago ago--Live Bullet--and the song that started playing as I wrote about the pointlessness of obsessing over the past? "Looking Back", with a chorus of "Looking back, they're looking back, too many people looking back...".)

What do I want from the past? Justice? Restitution? 40 acres and a mule?

Whatever it is, I'm not gonna get it.

Yes, stuff happened to me that should not have happened to a child. And did it affect me? It most certainly did.

And have I made a shitload of bad decisions in life? I most certainly have. It sometimes feels like every chance I had, I went the wrong way.

But be that as it may, that's just what happened. Now I have to deal.

And that's the real function of obsessing over the past--If I go over and over the bad events of the past, the bad things that happened to me that were out of my control, the decisions I made from fear or laziness or what-have-you that came back to bite me in the ass, then I don't have to spend any time or energy on what's right in front of me, which I actually could do something about, if I could shake off my fear and frustration and lethargy.

(But I'm going to have to get back to this, because I just got an email message that I want to go check out...)


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