Monday, September 26, 2011

Sydney-Rain and Resolve

Blueprinting resolutions is one thing. Carrying out the construction until completion, is another. I say this as somebody who’s abandoned the building site multiple times before. And though I’ve rarely relinquished resolve to a face of adversity besides the one in my mirror--I’m almost tenacious to a fault in that regard--there have been times when a shake in my self-assurance has been sufficient enough to quake a crippling riff in the foundation, and convince me to toss the whole plan in defeated despondency, until desperation calls for me to commence rebuilding once again. The runaway I’ve become so accustomed to throughout the years... But I’m merely recycling turds; you’ve already heard this shit before.

Overtime however, I’ve ascertained through asinine repetition that even the most concrete resolve can be cracked unto collapse. In fact, the ones most unrelenting seem to be the ones subject to the most devastating disasters. And perhaps my foundations have been rocked to rubble so many times before, because the expectations with which they are made--the expectations I hold for myself and the situations I ‘think’ I should be in control of--are so unrelenting. And that last week or so in Sydney, became a ‘bend or break’ paradigm. I learned to let a little give in myself, and the world around me; make that foundation a little bit quake-proof. I realized sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow, lest you drown fighting the current. There was a lot that I wasn’t in control of, but it wouldn’t be that way forever, so I might as well grab myself a beer and enjoy the ride down the river. All while at the same time, maintaining that resolve. It didn’t mean I was letting go, I was just giving myself some slack. Sometimes slack can give you graceful strength. It can give you endurance.

And I’ve come to find that when strength of mind successfully keeps the body of that foundation intact, resolve is like a drug. A self-packaged steroid. An eye opening amphetamine to the likes of which Dr. Leary would approve. The more you push and stretch yourself with victorious force, the more you learn about yourself, the world around you, and what you’re capable of. The more bullshit you drag your feet through, the better you get at marching past it. You subject yourself to a series of self-revelations. Beautifully, results are aggregated exponentially. The more doors you kick open, the more you find on the other side. The more you stretch yourself, the broader your perspective. You get hungry for the knowledge, and experience outside of what you’ve known. And though you might find yourself a bit surfeit with it through the next morning, week, or month, eventually you’ll develop an appetite once again. Mine started slowly growing in Sydney. I came close to snapping, but still came out mostly smiling in the end.

That being said...

The rain didn’t let up for more than ten minutes for ten days. It looked like the gods were set on making Atlantis out of us. I didn’t mind it too much at first. I always found the rain rather refreshing in intervals. Besides, I told myself that there wasn’t much that could be done about it. I still sloshed through sidewalk streams to make it to where I wanted to go. Kevin couldn’t stand it. He seemed to think the skies had begun to exercise a personal vendetta against him. He stayed in most of the day in the hostel, indignantly cursing the clouds. On days he accompanied me to the gym or elsewhere, the constant complaints almost became grating.

“Bro! This rain fucking sucks, man. This is ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m in this right now. Uhhhhhggg... Fuuuuuck... It’s so wet.”

“I know, man. You and four million some other people. You didn’t have to come to the gym with me...”

“Uuuuughhh! So Wet! Fuuuuuuuck... (In the cadence of John McClane circa Nakatomi Plaza-Glass Removal From Foot Scene).


But I did my best to give some give, and maintain resilience. Besides, I figured maybe he had begun to succumb to a bit of the worry that I had in that hostel room about his own current situation. And bitching along with, or against his bitching wasn’t going to make us any drier.

And to be honest, there was a point at which the gall of his grievances became frankly humorous in the most baffling of manners. He had a knack for reminding you how insanely deep the bullshit was while you were doing your best to crawl out of it. Like sideline spectator who reminds the losing team that they’re twelve points down with one minute left. Or the guy who stood beside me while I once watched my truck go up in flames in San Diego and said, “Oooh, that doesn’t look good. Something go wrong?” And it always seemed like a competition of personal catastrophe that Kevin sought to win like a champion, not matter how powerful his opposition might be. Like the ass-tulip who violently coughs and emphatically expresses how rough his cold virus has been to a bed-ridden cancer patient. I eventually just learned to laugh at it, it amazed me.

*Now please don’t get me wrong. I love Kevin like a brother, and he has grown up a great deal since those days. We both have. We’ve both developed patience and greater perspective. We’ve both learned to put up with each other’s shit, as well as our own. In fact, Kevin would be the one to make mention of it over a year later in Thailand, mid-discourse on traveling with company:

“Bro, you just have to learn to deal with people’s shit. I have to deal with yours, you have to deal with mine, and so on...”

Well stated, Sir. In that case you could have called me your personal Turd Trader, I dealt with your shit in surplus. Jk. Though you still do owe me a fucking jacket...

And perhaps most importantly, in the midsts of his complaints and that perspective, I was given the chance to see things from the other-side. I was able to regretfully reconsider all of the times that I had bitched, pissed, and moaned about my rather trivial ‘problems’ back in the day, like a fucking infant while others dealt with problems of equal and far greater proportion than mine, like adults.

Sorry about that...

Lesson learned...

A couple of times he pulled the same “this rain is shit” routine after losing a rain jacket he borrowed from me, earlier in the week in a drunken stupor. And if I wasn’t just so impressed with the sheer audacity of it, I’m fairly sure frustration would have forced me to shit a brick and hit him with it.


And the peeved huff and puffs played out for nearly every situation I already knew to be well shitty...

“Bro! The cut on the inside of my lip hurts so bad. Those Kiwi’s totally fucked my lip up... Fuuuuuuuck...”

I can barely open my jaw, and I’ve still got a plumb for an eye. Really?

“What do you think hit harder Kev, those Kiwis, or the concrete?”

“Bro, fuck you.”

I smiled and laughed.

It even played out for the diarrheic spending spree that continued the entirety of our stay. There came a point when we both knew we needed to stop hemorrhaging money. Of course, I was aware of it. But fiscal responsibility for the most part, tended to be something within conscious control. And that was easily washed away with the aid of tipping tumblers as I mentioned before. An action we consciously commenced... Still, early mornings found us re-establishing self-assertion to keep the cash flow a bit lighter. Kevin’s mornings were doubled down with contrition after he’d find some record of the last night’s expenses. I remember one time in particular, in the elevator as we made our way to a late breakfast.

“So, uh, what the fuck happened last night, bro?”

“Fucking Side Bar happened, man.”

“Well played Side Bar, well played.”

*Kevin excavates his pockets looking for clues and finds his credit card receipt*

“Bro! I spent a hundred and forty dollars last night...”

“Oh yeah, you ended up buying rounds for those four girls from Indiana.”

“Awesome... Did I get laid?”


“Shit... Well did you at least?”


“Well god-fucking-damnit...”

“If it makes you feel any better, your dance moves were worth at least fourteen of that hundred and forty.”

Wait for it.


There it is.

A smile and laugh encore.

Again, even here, I decided to give myself a little bit of slack. And I’m glad I did. There’s nothing more ridiculous than spending a grip of money and being too butt-hurt after spending it to enjoy the time you bought with it. Or being too butt-tight to spend a bit of money for the good time in the first place. I can count multiple times I almost backed out of nights, trips, sky dives, bungee jumps, or other experiences I’ll never forget, from that day onward because I was worried about spending the money. Luckily from that day onward, I had kept in mind that you only get one ride on this big blue ball, and money is meant to be spent. Of course I wouldn’t suggest pawning your shoes for crack, but within reason, there’s no shame in living a little bit. And when the money’s spent, it’s spent. No sense in whinging about it. If you need to reform your spending habits, then do so. But if you’re going to blow money out of your ass like Montezuma’s Revenge, you can’t cry over the mess you made, or the monetary weight you lost.

As for me, I realized I could slightly reform my spending habits and still get blasted. Maybe, I’d just turn in a bit earlier than 3 AM; when the nights seemed to get really expensive. Cut my losses and head to bed unless something exceptional seemed on the brink. I’d stick to beer and leave the pricey shots and cocktails off the tab. Mostly though, I was going to make a conscious effort to not worry about it too much, or whinge about it, if I did get carried away. And it wasn’t always easy. Ironically it usually took a couple beers and a few minutes to convince myself that it was all going to be okay. That I could ride that account a little longer. Kevin on the other hand, did a wicked job of keeping up the hundred and forty dollar nights, and coming down on himself hard and heavy the next morning... Maybe Von Disco was beginning to get the best of him.

Now some of you might have understood Kevin’s inquiring as to whether he got laid or not after buying those rounds, as a means of justifying the money spent. And if you did, chances are good that you have a penis, or you don’t, and you have a good understanding of how all that is attached to the penis works. And as I’ve never been one to candy-coat a turd, I’ll deliver this one real straight and forward-like. Any man who offers to buy a woman a drink with no intention of being shouted back--with the exemption of being a relative, friend, or someone who is trying to get rid of a surplus of money--usually has expectations. *Although those exemptions are not always beyond those expectations... For the most part, expectations are vaginal. Though sometimes anal, depending on the venue and/or drink. I don’t condone it, I’m just explaining it. There’s a reason I don’t buy random girls drinks.

I’ve got 99 problems... I kid, I’m far from that cool.

Kevin was caught up in it. In fact, in the beginning, we both were. How couldn’t you be. We seemed stuck in a Victoria’s Secret spread all day and night. You couldn’t think straight most of the time as the majority of your blood seemed to spend full-time in the front half of your pants. Either way, nights found us back in the hostel empty handed. And that's something that begins to wear on you after a while. I understood. Especially given the scene. You start to feel like a diabetic in a candy store. It’s all over the aisles, and that’s where it has to stay. I think when it came down to Kevin, he just got too drunk to even remember his own name, much less carry on a conversation with somebody of the opposite sex, and lead it elsewhere. He still tried though. As for me, as I mentioned, I let go for the most part and kept to myself, and I’ll get to that. I suppose there are just sometimes when I would rather sit and drink my beer, than think and hear. I know that the beer will eventually give me a headache, but at least I’m guaranteed to enjoy it’s company. It didn’t always work out that way with the other company.

You are officially an alcoholic...


And for the most part, any built-up frustration in and around your balls can usually be relieved with a high-speed internet connection in the comforts of your home, or public restroom depending on your criminal record. But dormitory dwelling doesn’t really provide the luxury of that relief. You can’t really head back early from the bars at night, crack one off with your pants around your ankles, and pass out with a beer in the other hand. And for those of you who might be saying hot shower! No. Stop it. Aside from just seeming wrong, most dorm showers share the same room with the shitters. And the thought of trying to rock one off while there’s a good chance that some other dude in proximity could be going purple-faced trying to pinch one off, makes my puke want to puke. Now, it of course has been my experience on multiple occasions that unreserved sex in the dorm room--no matter how many sleeping parties are present--is totally passable. In fact, I’ve placed ‘hearing the sloppy couple bone down in the dorm bed beside you,’ a close second behind ‘watching Basic Instinct with your parents’ on the list of Moments I Wished I Could Teleport. That being said, the most obvious way for you to relieve that tension, is to make like that sloppy couple, or twenty take minutes of cold shower to chase the heat away... The former didn’t seem to be happening for either of us. Luckily, the cold showers came with a step outside. Frustrations were still voiced on the daily.

“Bro, I think my balls are starting to get heavy.” Mentioned Kevin, with an anxious grimace on his face as he glanced around at the women surrounding him.

“Ha. I’ve got to write that one down. And yeah, I know what you mean.”


I laughed and shook my head. “I’m going to head to the bar.”

“It’s two in the afternoon, there aren’t going to be any girls there.”

“Kev, if it was two in the morning and the place was packed with ‘em, do you think you’d make anything of it?”


“Case and point, Von Disco, I need a cold shower and a beer. I’ll figure I’ll get the shower on the walk there.”

And there you have it. As some of you might have assessed, part of my letting go may have been facilitated by my holding onto a lot of bottles. Fuck it. It was pouring rain, and after a series of sights seen, and errands run, I had little else to do but sit and drink. I didn’t want to deal with much else. If I couldn’t control everything, I could at least kick back, and soak up the suds and atmosphere, and maybe learn something in letting it all control me.

Cut yourself some slack. You can surface when the storm is over. For now, stay down and enjoy the chaos.

Besides, the buzz was a bit of my own vacation away from the constant complaints. Especially when it turned out the ‘conscious lights’. And I knew that for the most part, it would be a temporary trip. I was on holiday anyway. In addition, it seemed to help me think positively. At least from the parts I remember.

Didn’t Dickey Barrett once say something about “drunks and fighters?” After three sheets, the subsequent ones seem to know your best ink...

So, glued to a barstool with a beer before me, I had a lot of time to sit and turn out subtle revelations that I’m still cognizant of today. Parts good, parts bad, and parts neutral. Either way, they kept me wanting to continue with resolutions.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sydney-Part Three

Sydney - Part Three

The morning succeeding that sidewalk scrap felt like round two all on it’s own. I was knocked out of sleep once again by that same fucking dream. Panting through liquor lacquered lips and sweating sour booze in a panic. It was all there. The sand, the friends, my father, the gut grinding anxiety. Except this time it took place in that studio.

You’ve got to be kidding me... That place seems to spend more unwanted time in me than I spent unwanted time in it...

I tried to collect consolation in the comforts of my locale as I had done before, but it only came in a fraction of the surplus it had come in earlier. Somewhere between the hangover headache and the bruises, consolation seemed slight. I could barely open my mouth without feeling like my jaw was tearing from it’s joints. My eye had begun to swell shut, and I could have sworn that either one of those gentlemen had left a hatchet buried in my brain, or Kirstie Alley was getting her Lord of The Dance on, in stilettos on my skull. I chewed over the situation with bitterness heavy on my breath.

What the fuck?...

My stiff eyes stretched slowly across the dark room, and I felt a dose of delirium overtake me. I chuckled and felt tender ribs torqued into sharp pains. I chuckled harder until the pain finally wrenched me down, into a fit of hysteric despair. Hopelessness took to the top of my spirits like an anchor, and tore me south, through dreaded introspection. And I don’t think it really had anything to do with thinking about the fight on it’s own, I still found that halfway humorous, and that’s probably what induced the delirium. I think what followed was maybe just the surreality of my surroundings wearing away, and revealing my position to me in quite a clear, ‘realistic’, and disquieting manner.

What the hell am I doing!? I just let go of everything I knew and owned, and now I’m expecting to have a clue about my life when I own nothing and seem to know even less? I came out here to find myself and the words to write a story and I have no idea where I am or how I’d go about doing so?

I attempted to envision a road before me as I had done so before, laying on that bed back in San Diego, staring at the ceiling. A path. A direction. A course to some sort of fecund fruition. But a mental manifestation seemed somehow made impossible. Once again, all I could seem to manifest was the miscarriage of romanticized expectations.

All I could see was a widening chasm. Darkness. Nothing. Failure. It scared the shit out of me. I considered retreat.

This plight is becoming as trite as it is tedious...

No way. No way. Not this time. Try and sleep it off.

I rolled over onto my side, and felt the stings from the pressure of my own weight against those bruises slowly fade away as I slowly faded out once again.

I woke up an hour later--still before anyone else--a bit more calm. I was somewhat grateful to head down for breakfast on my own. I needed the space, and I needed the time. Plus, I figured it was going to take me forty minutes just to chew through good eggs with a bad jaw anyway, and that just makes for a bad breakfast buddy. I took a seat beneath an umbrella just outside of the Wake-up! Cafe, and listened to the rain pound against the pavement. And with the accompaniment of space, time, a hot breakfast, and the drone of downing skies, I was able to re-establish a stance on TWO fronts. I put it all on the table next to those eggs.

One, I was going to trudge though this no matter what. I was going to step forward, even if I couldn’t see what was before me. Even if it was darkness. Even if I was scared. Even if I might step into another ass-beating, in some shape or form. I was fucking tired of running away. I was tired of failing to finish the endeavors I started so eagerly.

And was ‘running away’ an exercise that may have delivered me half a world away in the first place? Possibly, but we’ll get to that later. For now, in such an instance, running away from running away just seemed like an act that would put me on parallel with being Chicken Shit’s chicken shit. It was doubling-down in a game of Dickhead, and I’d be fucked if I was going to let that happen.

The other front seems even more like a much needed wake-up slap in the face as I write this now. And of course, it seems ever so simple in hindsight as well, beyond the entrapment of my intermittent neurosis. But, said slap in the face and aforementioned neuroses have continued contention for years.

Please excuse the tangent...

Ironically, both contenders have always been backed, and kept in check by my Imagination:

The architect of my aspirations, romanticized expectations, mechanisms of self-annihilation, and trepidation...

On the plus side, at least I never get bored.

As kids, most of us are endlessly schooled about the positive power of vivid imagination. And even the negative, as it sometimes becomes the unsolicited sculptor of ‘things that go bump in the night’. As kids, most of us have lots of time to think vividly. We have lots of time to imagine. Either way, we’re mostly encouraged to embrace it, as it’s often the catalyst for constructive creation. Or maybe it’s just a way for adults to keep us occupied without having to constantly stimulate us...

Anyway, as we grow older, some of us trade vivid imagination for conventional reality. Some maintain it, keep it under control with the reigns of reality, and make it work for them; creating outside of the conventional. And some of us, maintain vivid imaginations and let them reign us and our realities.

*Keeping in mind of course that these dispositions are far from mutually exclusive. I think almost everybody dabbles in all three areas at different times and places.

And though I’ve aspired to mostly place myself in the populace of the second option, I’ve been guilty of finding myself amongst the third more often than I’d like. Especially when concerned with constructing catastrophes in my conscience. My brain’s got a knack for masterfully setting up a series of disaster dominoes, and they are all loaded with Potential-Fuck Shit Up-Energy. One awful outcome ready to tip the next into action. A practice, possibly partially developed under years of conditioning from a father who advised to “always expect the worst”. Well, cheers Pops, looks like I’m fucking rad at that. I kid. I’m not pointing fingers, I’m an adult, and it’s a problem I’ve learned to address like one. Besides, it’s far less problematic than it used to be. There were times back in the day when the slightest mishap could send my guts frantically following the path laid down by those disaster dominoes, until I felt ready to heave those dizzy guts and their soured nerves up like a bulimic at a buffet.

Once on the freeway down to San Diego from Temecula a few years back, I took my eyes off of the road to switch the radio from The Doors, “Light My Fire”. I hate that fucking song... A previously unseen motorcyclist sped past me; the sound of his bike alerting me of his existence. And for some reason I couldn’t help but subsequently envision a scenario where I accidentally cut him off during my ocular aversion, and he was forced to redirect himself in front the school bus full of kids behind me. The bus of course was forced to swerve, over-turn and combust, engulfing every child inside--who was, as you would know, on his/her way to do charity work for a local hospital--while onlookers watched in horror. The hillside then caught fire, and the blaze grew to the size of Vermont, devouring lives, households and several Ma & Pa businesses as it grew, completely bypassing three Wal-Marts. As follows, plagued with guilt and anxiety over the tragedy, I began drinking like Hasselhoff, until one day in drunken misery, I hear The Doors “Light My Fire” shuffle onto my iPod, and end up having to Cobain myself with a shotgun, given to me by one of those children’s parents for just such a purpose.


And that’s the abridged version, I left out the whole part about the van full of puppies and Nick Hogan publicly calling me a ‘Careless Twat’. Fucked, right? And it’s one thing to think about that shit. But to then have made myself feel anxious and ill about it for the next six hours is goddamn ridiculous.

Alright, so that’s rather extreme, and possibly a bit embellished, but not too far from the truth. In other scenarios, sans hyperbole, I used to make myself sick for days mulling over imagined outcomes for situations important to me, gone awry. Sometimes to the point where I couldn’t sleep for days. I couldn’t breath right. My whole body would ache from the anxiety. Most of the imagined outcomes beginning and ending with failure in some sense on my behalf.

If I can’t make it work with this girl...(insert series of imagined consequences)..I’ll be alone forever...

If I don’t pass this test, I won’t graduate...(i.s.o.i.c.)...and I’ll be poor and alone forever...

If I don’t write this story...(i.s.o.i.c.)...I’ll never do anything worthwhile...I’ll be alone...

If I don’t make something of myself here in Australia...I’ll never be anything...

Point being, I’ve come to find that the majority of anxiety attacks I’ve had throughout the years seem to all have one thing in common. They all share the problematic propellant of a powerful imagination, out of control. And I suppose that such a thing only becomes problematic when left unchecked as exactly what it is, an imagination. I think far too often, some of us fail to realize how influential an imagination can be. Some of us fail to realize that ‘mind over matter’ tends to be more of a subconscious phenomenon than the maxim seeks to imply.

Consider the mother ‘worried sick’ because her son didn’t call home at the time he said he would. Or the spouse wrought neurotic because his/her partner is at the office late with a coworker he/she doesn’t trust. Or the hypochondriac who actually makes himself ill with anxiety because he thinks the rash on his foot might be something terminal.

And I think that for the most part, it all arises from a fear of the unknown. Some of us would rather create some sick scenario in our skulls--not intentionally of course--than just consider the fact that we don’t know one hundred percent what’s really going on, or what the outcomes may be. That motorcycle might have just switched lanes and avoided any collision. We attempt to rationalize, no matter how irrationally we may go about doing so. Even if the story we structure, builds well beyond the realm of what’s plausibly possible. I heard the ridiculous stories regarding ‘Obama Care’. Even if the story defies physics, biology, and logic. I’ve read the bible.

*I will however to some degree give the worried mothers/fathers a pass. I think that’s just something intrinsic. I assume I might worry the same way someday if the world is ever unfortunate enough to see me procreate.

I started to fabricate my own story of what lay beyond my own plans in that hostel room. Because what was beyond my ‘plans’ was ‘unknown’. I couldn’t see how everything might work out for me the way I wanted to, so I started to expect the worst. At the time I was scared shitless that things might not go to ‘plan’. An idea itself which was a bitter pill to swallow.

I know, right?

A lot of things never really go as planned, you fuck-wit... Figured you would have learned that in San Diego...

And while I write this now, somewhere in southern France, broke, jobless, and momentarily directionless, on a borrowed laptop--after mine was fried from a tray of spilled beers in an internet cafe--and after all the traveling I’ve done, I’m well aware that things don’t always go to plan. Once again, hindsight is 20/20... You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.

Should have heeded the words of Andre 3000 years ago...

Granted, it’s been a laborious lesson to learn. I guess it’s been part of my programming. I come from a family whose father used to plan family ‘vacations’ down to every meticulous minute on a time-sheet. Any deviation from the sheet was looked down upon and would garner a guilt-trip for days and years to come. If you don’t stick to the plan, you will most likely end up, face down, living in a van down by the river, giving hand-jobs to the homeless just to put some food in your hobo-phallus, stroking fingers! I made up the last part... The imagination once again hard at work...

I also come from one of those cultures and subcultures which, for the most part, seems to pride itself on planning every detail in every day, and subsequently through months and years. The youth are ‘persuaded’ to follow a path through higher-education, find a mate, purchase a home, procreate, buy a mini-van, and plan their own funeral behind a white picket-fence, blah, blah, blah. Even if their interests find no overlap with the path previously mentioned. Any deviation from the path is usually looked down upon. To the advocates of the path, if success can’t be measured in an exorbitant surplus of dollars, it can be measured in the procurement of the nuclear family--circa Leave It To Beaver--model. Ironically the self-procurement of an exorbitant surplus of dollars will automatically give you a pass from the path, and you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want sans fear of judgement.

I think if I ever make a few million I’m going to spend two week planning a three week vacation to Alaska with my Pops, and then have us flown to South East Asia for four weeks instead...

And is it bad to ponder less than pleasant possibilities? Not at all. I think doing so is what keeps us aware and cautious. It kept my eyes on the road the rest of the way down to San Diego. It keeps us curious and questioning. If you feel inclined, maybe you should ask your spouse if they should be worried about that coworker you don’t trust. Or maybe you should get that pseudo-leprous foot rash checked out before you strap on another pair of bowling shoes. Maybe I should do my best to pass that test. But to let those possibilities devour your days is a double-doozy downer. It’s fucked, and debilitating. Especially in extreme cases, like a few of mine. Either get it figured out, or at least take your mind off of full-throttle. I know, easier said than done...

I also understand you can’t always help what you think of. Don’t think of a Ballpark hotdog... I said DON’T think of a Ballpark hotdog. You just thought about it twice, didn’t you? Oh, maybe just a third time. What you can help, is how you react to those thoughts. You can either inflate the faintest ideas you fear into full-blown hells, or you can just see them as a possibility--or not--and act accordingly from there. I’m slowly learning to do that latter.

I say all of this of course, as someone who constantly has to check himself, when his imagination starts to get the best of him. Letting it get the best of me is a bad practice I’ve been practicing to keep in control. The human imagination is responsible for everything outside of the natural word. It’s powerful as shit. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. And I’d like to thank Dr. Robert Anthony for making me aware that:

Imaginations conceived cities and sky scraper. They conceived trains and airplanes. They conceived music and art. They conceived heart transplants. They conceived “I Have A Dream” and “Gettysburg Address” speeches. They conceived nuclear energy. They conceived wars, ‘ethnic cleansing’, murder, Mickey Mouse. They conceived non-alcoholic beer, ‘Promise Rings’, and the notion of hell--though I do find those synonymous to a degree--etc.

The imagination is a beautiful thing, but can be just as dangerous. Although I’ve come to find that many of the most beautiful things often are...

Thanks for taking that walk with me. Sorry if it was lengthy. Think I had to get it out of the way. I suppose it’s a reoccurring motif throughout these pages of experiences I’ve stock-piled.

So there’s the neurosis.

That being said, I sat at the table and decided that I wasn’t going to let what I didn’t know drag me down. Maybe I didn’t have an idea as to exactly how everything was going to pan out. Things might not go according to plan, but that didn’t mean it was going to wind down to the worst. I hadn’t even really given it a chance. I couldn’t let wayward worry twist up my guts and send me running for the hills.

And here comes the slap in the face...

Besides, things could be way worse...

Fortunately from a young age, my mother had done her best to bless me with the exercise of exchanging perspective. I suppose it was an accessory of her optimism. Whenever I presented a problem she’d offer a possible scenario in which my dilemma could be compounded in some other awful fashion. And then usually came the time when the disaster dominos tipped the other side of the scale. That imagination of mine seemed to work in my favor.

In reality, I was twenty-six, single, healthy, had enough money to feed myself, and was in one of the most incredible cities in the world. I could easily have been robbed blind the night before, and shanked with en e.coli coated screwdriver. I could have been dragged to the desert Wolf Creek-style, and butt-fucked by a kangaroo. I could have been shanghai’d and left for dead in Fallujah. Or Bakersfield... I could have been that guy I saw on the Discovery Chanel that one time who got his junk torn off with cement-mixer in his back yard.

I could be broke, sick, and dickless in Bakersfield...

I winced with that thought in mind, and gave myself a quick cup-check just to make sure the DNA dev. department was still safe and intact. An air of relief flowed through me, and I was brought to thought of a maxim that often used to make its way between a good roommate and better friend of mine back in the day. It roughly translated to “Stop being such a fucking pussy...”

Lift your skirt, grab your balls, and go for it.”

I smiled, and took in a deep breath. I was going to ‘go for it’. Maybe the fact that I didn’t know how it all was going to unfold was a good thing. At least it wasn’t boring. Maybe things would turn out better than I could imagine! I figured I had a year, and knew that a whole lot could happen during that time. I might as well try to have as much fun, and experience as possible within it.

Isn’t experience what backs a writer’s arsenal anyway?

The sky was still gray and coming down in sheets, but it had begun to look a good bit brighter. Maybe my stance just brought me a little closer to the sun. Good thing, as that flood didn’t seem fond of finishing for the rest of our time in Sydney. And the waters seemed set on testing that stance...

That One Time, That One Chick, Spilled That One Tray of Beers on My One Laptop...