My Anxiety, A Love Story

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Anxiety is the shoe that never drops, the anticipated alarm that never goes off, the gift in the middle of the night that keeps on giving. Here are a few recent times my anxiety reared its ugly head and painted a reality different than the actual one.

 

I thought my beard looked like pubes.

I looked in the mirror one day before work, and was suddenly convinced that my beard looked like it was composed entirely of pubic hair. The entire rest of the day when talking to coworkers or clients, I thought that they thought the exact same thing.

 

I took a bumpy plane ride and got covered in Xanax gravy.

I’ve had a debilitating fear of flying since I had an unusually turbulent flight through the Rockies once. There’s nothing more hilariously disorienting than the adrenaline rush of realizing you left your backpack (containing your keys and wallet) back on your plane, right before your connecting flight, while you’re under the heavy Xanax blanket. Continue reading My Anxiety, A Love Story

Homecoming

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I feel it the minute I get off the plane: the air itself is different. It’s warmer, drier, thicker, if the air was a tortilla chip it would be stone ground. I leave the terminal, look for my rideshare. I glance across the airport at the Theme Building, the midcentury UFO-with-landing-gear, whose restaurant closed a few months after I left this city in 2013. It’s then that the chorus swells with the noises I rarely hear in Portland: the car horns raise their frantic duck voices in harmony, I hear the nearby lilt of a family speaking Spanish and I smile. I’m in Los Angeles. I am home.

Los Angeles is everything people say it is. LA is shallow, LA is awful traffic, LA is that guy on Tinder you matches with you and never, ever replies. LA is a city of broken dreams and loosely made promises. Los Angeles is an acquired taste, if you like the taste of garbage. LA is that spoiled child that falls down and looks around to see if anyone is watching before starting to cry.

What I mean to say is: I love every inch of LA. Continue reading Homecoming

Ray of Light

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You are afraid of the sound of your own heart.

You whispered this over dinner, a secret you had only told a few men in your life. You would wake suddenly when your head was sideways on the pillow, you would hike with your headphones in and rip them out when, in between songs, the timpani of your pulse would pound in your ears. It’s not the sound, you explained to him, it’s the fear of it suddenly stopping. You’re afraid you will hear the moment your heart just stops.

You explain this to him, you drop it like a cat dropping a dead bird at his feet. This is what you do, you play the clown so often you may as well have a red foam nose. Maybe he laughs. Maybe he nods solemnly, understanding completely. This beautiful bearded one tilts his head, his lips purse. It is not you, you say to yourself, and offer to get him another beer when you get up. “I’m not good at giving compliments” he says later, handing you the most beautiful red flag you have ever seen. This cruelty is a kindness. Continue reading Ray of Light

The Compassion Crisis

 

I made my first YouTube video! Wow I’m only like, 10 years behind the trend. In this video, I talk about the “empathy void” we seem to have found ourselves in lately, and what we can do about it in the future. Please take a look, and let me know what you think. The transcript of the video is below the jump. Continue reading The Compassion Crisis

A Better Version of Me

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I’m slogging through the holidays, like I do every year. They’re a combination of sweet and hectic: this is my busy season at my day job, and it makes December rush by in a blur. It’s colder than usual, so cold that when I walk and fart I’m scared people walking behind me can see it billowing out, a beautiful white cumulus smelling of my colon that expands forever, slowly engulfing Portland. I’m lonely, too. All I really want is a boyfriend for the winter I can cut open like a TaunTaun and nestle inside wait not that.

I spot the guy on social media, he is my type, maybe even My Type: tiny. Bearded. Professional. We hit it off, follow the steps, I follow theĀ  script to the tee. “Super handsome, how’s your week? I’m Mike.” “Wanna get off this app? I don’t get notifications, text is easier for me.” “Want to grab grub sometime? I promise I’m not a psycho.” The joke is on him, because I am actually a raging psycho. I make sure he is truly single: the hot trend is guys on social media who are in super committed relationships who pretend to be single online just to be more popular. Continue reading A Better Version of Me

This ends badly.