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I have this constant feeling of rushing to get out of where I am and then anticipating my fear of the free time on my hands once I get to the next destination. Telling myself: calm down, you’re ok, once you get ‘there’ you can do this            . Then the blank is filled with a mundane idea like, brew a fresh pot of coffee, smoke, write, make art, eat candy, wash your hair, take a bath, return a phone call. In the start of the day I have this feeling that it’s going to be alright if I know the plan for the day. If I’m going to meet up w someone – specifically if I will be with someone I know. It removes the anxiety from the day because I know how my time will be filled. I won’t be alone with myself for too long. This bit I fear is kind of crazy.

What I can remember about the origin of this idea, is living alone in one of my first apartments and experiencing such debilitating depression that I felt physically laden with delirious hopelessness. Wherever I went, there I fucking was. I wasn’t willing to take medication because of The Butterfly Effect – maybe this is the way I’m supposed to be, this is the straw I got, what if I change this one thing and then I feel different so I make a different decision like meeting up with a friend who otherwise would have stayed home and then the friend gets in a car accident. Butterfly Affect. Or…..maybe a child’s assumption of false power. Or OCD, or who gives a fuck, it’s just a goddamn story. I spent most of my time in this apartment reading the DSM IV, attempting to diagnose myself with an answer – because lord knows I must have had something I hadn’t discovered yet. In the end, I came out of it with over 70 symptoms of normalcy, an addiction to saccharine due to all the red-dye #5 I was consuming in candy and the title of my next body of work: 72 Field Notes From The Still Sick & Suffering.

This all took place in my second apartment. I had lived alone in my first apartment as well but while I lived in the first one I was dating this insane Portuguese woman who I found to be gorgeous. The latter makes everything better. [Until it makes everything worse.]

A few months back I had woken up certain of my need to stop drinking. Nothing had happened the night before. I drank, went out with friends, didn’t kill anyone, didn’t fuck a stranger, no bodily fluids involved, no cops, nothing. I just woke up that morning and I felt like a child. Absolutely fucked. I was miserable sober and miserable drunk. I knew who I was, was unbearable and I couldn’t get away from myself.

A friend said to me, “Yeah but everyone’s felt that, you’e not unique.” I don’t desire a diagnosis of terminal uniqueness and at my worst, I don’t give a shit what other people are feeling. I care about myself. So I think about myself all the time and I hate myself and I can’t see a way out of it because when I feel uncomfortable I’m pretty certain the solution is suicide. So if you come to me and say “Well, we all feel uncomfortable, you’re not alone..” Just because we all feel like shit, doesn’t mean I’m reprieved. I’m going to assume the solution to be a mass suicide – Jonestown style, and not the solo act I had stored in my rainy day fund.

During the days when I’m walking around, stuck in my head (which is always), I carry this fear of the darkness and anxiety moving back in with permanence. Like if I let it stay around long enough it takes out a mortgage and it’s years before I get my head back. As I walk, I replace the loop with a distraction loop. Often this is some type of horrible happy song. If You’re Happy & You Know it Clap Your Hands, Beyonce’s Bootylicious, Patsy Cline’s Crazy (that one probably doesn’t classify as a “happy song” but it makes me personally happy). Yesterday it was raining slightly so my silent and invisible DJ party consisted of Creedence Clear Water’s Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Barbara Streisand’s Don’t Rain on My Parade and The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men. The last one makes me giggle as I walk because I’m gay and the only kind of gender specific climate I’m interested in is pretty much female.

My principles about love and relationships are basically, if you’re doing what you want and not hurting anyone then I think you’ve figured out the formula. I like to experience love. People. I meet some people and I love them madly and immediately. Male/Female.

I shared a bed with a friend this past summer during what was inappropriately referred to as “The Summer of Love.” I’m not sure how this became my life but we were all living together in this ghetto version of a commune, making art but mostly making ourselves vomit from drinking too much and spending money on booze and not food. In our heads, we had this glorified, avant-garde version of ourselves. At the grassroots level, it was dysfunction at its finest. That summer’s bedmate, is one of the finest human beings I have ever known. I love him madly and unrealistically. I would trust him blindly. That might not even be the right thing to do but I would take the risks. In one of the many fantasy versions of my life, we leave this country and spend the rest of our lives together and I rest knowing everything will be ok.

– JT

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