Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Todays started shitty... First off I wake up early at noon. My friend Lisa invites me to lunch. She says, "hey lets get barbecue." When we get to the place I find out that it is vegetarian barbecue. That doesn't even make sense! It is at this moment I realize that going to a vegetarian barbecue is like going to a prostitute that just wants to hold your hand... You leave very hungry.
What a lot of people don't know about me is that I was a vegetarian for 2 years. I didn't do it for any moral or ethical reason. I just looked in the mirror, realized that I had larger breasts than most women. I figured with all the hormones in today's meat supply going meat free was the way to be. Then there was a trip to Virginia. Don't ask why I was there. I just was. I'm with some friends at the Wendy's drive-through because it was either that or go hungry for another hour. I ate a fry with a tiny morsel of chicken stuck to it. I'm was so hungry I didn't notice. This was when the blood-lust kicked in and I was hooked. I ate enough chicken tenders, shakes and fries to kill someone. It was as though I had never seen food before.
As an ex-vegetarian I can comfortably say that unlike homosexuality it's lifestyle choice and manageable. What I do not understand is why vegetarian restaurants keep trying to push shit like fake Chic-en. If you are against eating something that had a face, then why the fuck would you make your food look like something that once had a face? To-furkey? More like wet cardboard. "Riblets" taste like feet smell! Stop it! Making your vegetarian food look like meat is like saying 'I don't do heroin anymore so I shoot up insulin. No saturated fats!"
What I am saying is vegetarians need to stop pushing rank shit like fake-sausage and focus on the good stuff like... Actually I am having a hard time remembering what that is but eventually I'll remember.
After vegetarians the next actually more annoying group are the people who lie and say they are allergic to gluten. Can people stop lying about that shit? I am sure a small percent of them legitimately have issues with that stuff and I get it. I don't get though why they have to make crap like "gluten-free cookies." Isn't that a bit extreme? Why not just eat a piece of plastic? If you are changing your diet to be healthy, here is an idea: STOP eating shit like cookies! Gluten-free beer? Really? Why not just hit yourself in the head and skip the crap beer? At least your taste buds will be intact. To be clear I am not saying people with real gluten issues shouldn't get to enjoy being a lush just as much as I do. What I am saying is why make lame crap like gluten-free bagels when you can just skip the bagel and have something else?
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Today I get to the office after a long night at the Lab. I am super tired and envious of all the San Francisco people I pass on my way to the office. I am late to work and cranky. Walk around San Francisco during any weekday and there are people everywhere, the park, cafes, it’s like they don’t work or all lie and say they telecommute. Right before I get to work I pop by a coffee shop on a blog down from the office. There are people of all sorts, typing on their laptops, sipping their lattes and laughing their heads off while having their conversations presumably about soy products or crap that annoys me. A part of me is envious, wishing I could be like them sitting there on my laptop, sipping a coffee and working on my blog, writing jokes just for fun. Instead I have to be an adult, go to my career-job writing boring ads for things I don’t care about.
I roll into the office at a quarter past 10 in sunglasses hoping no one notices my bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep. All 20 of my officemates are silently working on their projects at their computers typing away. One is clearly pretending to work while watching a movie or something funny on his screen because he keeps laughing so loud the noise is just grading on my tired ears. I get to my desk, unpack and check my email. Usually I have at least 7 emails from my boss and his bosses asking me to do random updates to my accounts. Today there are no emails. I actually have nothing to do. Besides the jackass laughing in the corner, the silence in the office is piercing. I spend the next 2 hours updating my blog with various stupid jokes in my head completely ignoring what is going on around me.
At noon my boss messages me on my computer’s messenger (even though he is just sitting 25 feet away at his desk). It’s strange how passive-aggressive offices are these days with computers being the way you talk to your co-workers even if they are in the same room. He asks me to meet him in the CEO’s office. I assume they are going to give me a promotion or something along those lines because I’m an idiot. I get laid off. This is the second time in my life I have been laid off and I am 24 years old. The only thing I say to them is “again?” Both Director of my department and the CEO look confused and try to coddle and console me telling me that the lay off has nothing to do with me personally just the economy. I have no emotion on my face at all at this moment. I think it scares them. I don’t look happy or sad. I look like I’m in a comma. After they hand me my check, I feel numbed. I go pack up my desk and walk out. As I get into the elevator heading out of the building I suddenly have tears streaming down my face. They are the “I’m going to Disneyland” tears. I am happy. I am unexplainably ecstatic to be done with the office. I am so happy that I am upset that I am not shattered by this lay off and make an appointment to see Dr. John. Since he is booked up for the next 2 days, I go home and write. I don’t know how or why but some stories just flow from me. I write three about my years at the bar on the blog and proceed to pass out for several hours until my bar shift that night.
The night it all happened.
Working at the Lab is fun but not what it looks like. That’s what I explain in my last blog entry. My mom reads it and instantly calls me. She wants me to stop talking about pot in my entries because then people will think I do drugs. I tell her, “If you call pot a drug then yes I do. If you live in San Francisco, it’s considered fresh air.”
After the lovely pot argument with my mother, dad calls me. He is clearly smoking a cigarette and starts choking on his own cough before I get the chance to say hello. This makes me want to roll a joint but I don’t because I’m out. Dad asks me when I’m coming to visit. He hasn’t had a job in several years at this point. I have no idea how he gets by. I ask him why he can’t drive up to visit me. He tells me it’s too far for him to drive. I offer to pay for Amtrak and he then says he’ll get sick on there. I get annoyed and he changes the topic and asks me if I have seen the latest Pay-Per-View fight. I say know and even though it’s on the phone I can hear him shaking his head.
Something that has always bothered me is that I have lived in San Francisco for around six years. My father has never tried to come and visit me. On occasion I have made pilgrimages to visit him by driving the six hours to Northridge and hanging out with him. This act consists of watching a twenty-year old Tyson/Forman fight on a loop for at least an hour, stuffing our faces with enough Chinese food /MSG to bloat and awkwardness. There are a lot of weird silences that we cover up with the sound of the television. After the fights, we switch an old Columbo rerun for my grandmother. She lives with dad then comes by with bowl of grapes to make sure we are fully nourished. She makes light conversation about her daily struggles, current ailments and then my dad goes to the bathroom to suck down 1-3 cigarettes.
My dad makes it very clear to me that he loves me but not that he’s dependable. I remember as a kid my father was supposed to visit San Diego, and take me to the zoo while introducing me to his girlfriend at the time. He never came. This was the third or fourth time this happened. That night I found out that it was because of the Northridge earthquake. He lived around the corner from the apartment building that fell over.
From fifteen year-old and on I always worked. I would take time off of work to meet up with my dad in San Clemente, our agreed upon halfway point between his home in Northridge and mine in San Diego. Two out of five times he would have to cancel the day of which would anger me. After a while I stopped making those plans with him.
I tell Dr. John about how it upsets me that dad hasn’t ever made an effort to visit me. Dr. John asks me to measure my stress-level. Right now I am at an 8. This is on a scale from 1-10. I don’t really have a reason for this. I just know it’s there. He then tells me to just focus on myself for a while. Write out my feelings maybe on the blog and keep my dad at bay for a little bit while I compose myself. I hear what he says but of course don’t listen. That night, while working on a new blog story I purchase tickets from my dad to fly up to see me. I call to tell him about this and he is super excited. The tickets are for the following weekend. It’s a Friday-Monday sort of thing. That Thursday my dad calls to tell me that he isn’t feeling very good and can’t come. It’s like being 14 all over again.
You do PORN?
Dr. John asks me about work. I tell him about this week’s shit. I get to work at the lab and there are a whole bunch of short muscle dudes there. Nothing unusual. Then one of the guys, a tall blonde guy that from far away looks hot and up close looks like he’s had some work done comes up to me. I think he wants a drink so I start to fill a glass up with ice and ask him what his poison is. He then asks if he knows me. I say no but then get cocky thinking he may be reading the blog and saw me on there. I ask if he read the blog, smile and talk out of my ass saying that it seems to be getting some buzz. He says that he doesn’t read. The guy walks away drinkless. After about twenty minutes he comes back to me. This time he is shirtless and has this waxed chest shining in my face. I think he is shirtless to keep people from noticing how much Botox and fillers he’s had put into his face to fight his natural aging face. He then leans in and ask if we had sex together. I say no. This guy doesn’t give up though. He asks if we’ve filmed any scenes together and says, “You know the one with the latex, rope and honey?” I then say unless there was someone crying in the corner of that scene I was not in any porn. I got out of TV stuff at 19 so I don’t think so. When he walks away I find out that he is a big porn-star. That term is such a joke. Why is it that everyone that does porn calls themselves a “porn star” and not a porn character actor or porn background actor? That’s beside the point. Only after he leaves I realize that he thinks I did porn with him because I am that slow. How many people do you have to sleep with not to even remember if you have or have not done them?
Dr. John says hmmm but I bet is suppressing a huge laugh. I bet the second I leave after this story he will laugh so loud that people will hear it in space.
I can’t believe he confused me for a porno person. It happens a lot. I don’t care about that. I do though hate that people often assume that I as a bartender at the type of bar that I work am in that category. It’s almost like they are saying, you must be too dumb for anything else. I hate when my intelligence is underestimated.
Dr. John says hmmm and then tells me that my time is up. As I’m leaving the office my mom calls me asking if I am doing anything for Shabbat, which is interesting. She is the same mother who sent me to Hebrew school but also took me to Indian Casinos on Yom Kippur and has never met a shrimp she didn’t like. Needless to say we weren’t very religious and I liked that. She also asks if I’m going to hang with my Jewish neighbor from across the hall that is “nice, Jewish and single!”
My neighbor Nick he is a nice enough guy but I feel like it’s often a battle of who is a better Jew. He won’t use electricity on Shabbat, which is a bullshit thing I can’t stand right off the bat. This one Shabbat, Friday evening he invited me over to light candles and I was off so figured why not? After the candles are lit he then asks me to light the bong he has on the floor for him because he can’t since its Shabbat. I get annoyed; smoke the rest of his weed and leave.
It’s interesting how Dr. John’s idea of starting a blog really is giving me a voice I didn’t know I had. I have been blogging the past few months about different things. In the past few weeks I’ve started to write about my experiences at the Lab. I answer questions people ask me about bartending, the lifestyle and all that comes with it. I’ve had a few co-workers at the day job get wind my stories posted on my blog. By co-workers I mean one girl that loves reading romance novels and Okay magazine. She comments on every blog post. There are a few people from the Lab who have also been reading apparently. Mind you, all of these stories I’m writing just as a release not really thinking anybody is reading. Why would they? Today Gina texts me a cryptic message, “love the blog, liked working with you.” I don’t understand what she means and ask her what she’s getting at. She says, “Charlie won’t like it.” I’m thinking, Charlie isn’t spending his day browsing my blog; he has more important things to do like spy on his employees while they do their jobs and work on his alcoholism.
I’ve put up a total of like three stories about the bartending based on my experience at the Lab in the past 3 weeks on the blog. I don’t think much of it until I get a random comment on one post saying, “You’ve always been my favorite bartender, what are the real names of the people in these stories? “ I can’t tell if it’s a real reader or someone from the bar just trying to get into my head.
I tell Dr. John about how people at the Lab are starting to get wind of my blog and that I am worried it may hurt me. He frankly doesn’t seem concerned about this concept as long as he’s getting paid. He just says, “hmmm and getting your voice isn’t priceless?”
I don’t really understand what Dr. John is getting at but I do have this unusual sense of urgency with the blog. These are stories I feel I must write because I don’t know who will. The questions I ask myself every moment of my life at the Lab is, what am I doing here? I just got a job at the Lab to pay rent literally with no plans of becoming a lifetime bartender but can understand why one wouldn’t leave. Right now I am making $2,000 a week in cash and another grand or 2 a week from various contract day jobs, why should I leave the bar? The next question is what will these experiences add up to? Will I just end up another lifetime bartender as my youth fades into the sunset?
My mom is upset with me because she too apparently reads the blog. She says she read that I smoked pot and doesn’t like me joking about that in a public forum because then people will think I smoke, which I do. She says, “stop with the jokes! I’m going to create a Jdate profile for you, how tall are you? Are you more the man in the relationship?”
“Mom, we’re both men, that’s why we’re gay. I don’t like dating Jewish guys generally, it’s not my jam!”
“That’s what you think. That will change.”
Dr. John is concerned because he says my mother and I are too much of friends and don’t have a healthy mother-son relationship. When I was a kid we told each other everything. It was hard to hide stuff from her or rebel because I liked her. At one point we shared a room. In high school there was a point where I helped pay our mortgage because I could even though she had never asked. Dr. John seemed to make that sound like burden. He says I need to create boundaries. This is how I know he’s a gentile because he thinks that’s possible.
Dr. John then asks me about my dad whom I rarely mention. I tell him how most of my friends have never met my father. He is a bit of a loner. As a child there were a lot of times where he wasn’t there. It’s a story that I’m sure a lot of other kids raised by single-mothers have. Often he would say he was coming to visit me in San Diego from LA and at the last minute not come. Even as an adult, I take time off of work to meet him at a halfway point in San Clemente and he would have an “emergency.” In the 5 years I have lived in San Francisco he has not once come to visit. Don’t get it twisted; I talk to him every day. I know my father loves the older and me I get, the more I understand he is a grown teenager who did what he could. I still hold a grudge for certain things that can’t be changed. From a young age I learned of my father’s drinking problem mostly by his voice when he calls me. He starts to apologize for stuff which tells me that he doesn’t get me he gets the situation. You can learn a lot about a man by the way they handle their booze. I have never had a problem saying no to drinks, drugs or anything else. My dad goes for months and years sober and then will fall off the wagon just for a weekend and call me nearly in tears. There is nothing worse than hearing your father cry. There is one thing worse seeing yourself in the mirror when you’ve been crying. My main issue is I don’t know how to handle my dad. I simply don’t engage sometimes because I don’t want to deal with him.
Dr. John listens to this and jots notes rapidly. He asks me what my father has taught me. It takes me a long time to answer. I can’t figure out what he has showed me. I learned to shave from my the only grandfather I’ve ever known who showed me love but then started to yell mid-way through the shave because I took too long putting the foam on my face. He is a Holocaust survivor, after 6 concentration camps you’d be ape-shit crazy too. My dad taught me that if anyone tries to hit me, I should hit him or her back fifty times harder. He always would ask if I was in any fights. I would always say no. I had never seen him happier then the one time I told him I was in a fight. I was eleven. A counselor at camp asked me to tell another kid, D.J. that it was time to take his riddalen. He got angry stabbed me in the leg with a pen. I responded by pushing him onto the cement and running away and crying behind a bush because of the pain. In the version I told my dad, I punched him in the face and walked away unscathed.
Dr. John asks why I care what my father thinks of me? The truth is I don’t think I do. I do though have compassion for him but knew from a young age I wanted to do more, be responsible and come through on my responsibilities. This is probably why most people call me intense. I just have always thought I could do better than what people expected of me.
Dr. John asks if I could imagine having kids now. I tell him that babies don’t come out of there. I then realized that I am the age my mom was when she had me and that if I had kids now I don’t know I could handle it.
I have these weird dreams sometimes that my dad will call me really drunk the way he has in the past and I’ll just be out of compassion for him and he’ll do something drastic. I’ll never forgive myself. In the dream I am serving a regular who is so drunk I have to cut them off and eventually kick them out. Because I am the only bartender working, I have to kick the guy out. As I am moving the guy out of the bar he takes a swing at me. He misses. Then I take a swing at him and he falls to the ground. He stays down for a few seconds and as he gets up, brushes himself off he smiles. As the light hits his face he looks an awful lot like my dad and says, “that’s my boy. Hitting like a fucking man.” Then the guy walks outside to fall on is ass. Those dreams always happen on the few nights (once ever few months) that I get drunken phone calls. I always wake up to his drunken call after these dreams. What could that mean though?
Dr. John asks me why I would hit someone like my dad? I tell him about how my dad would make me spar with him. Most kids dads played catch. Mine would have a cigarette in one hand and the other hand out and yell “spar.” He would always tell me to work on that left-hook. We then would complete that quality time with ice cream or a burger. I don’t know the answer to Dr. John’s question.
I am writing this story because I feel that it’s important for one to get the full picture that is my life. While working at the Lab the past few years I have also had other things going on. If it wasn’t college, I was at an internship doing publicity for random clients. After that I was working as a sales man selling online ad space. I was laid off from that job. More recently my current day job working as a paper pusher, I mean Account Coordinator for a Search Engine Management company. If you fell asleep reading that or don’t know what that is, it’s easy. I write ads for various online Search Campaigns. Say you go on to your favorite search site and search “India” and “Vacation” I create the ad that pops up and reads “India come check us out for just $60.” Then you get confused and click. While writing ads sounded great in college, in the office it’s something else.
At night I sling drinks in a hot gay bar and in the day I write ads all day. One-line advertisements. Even though I always thought I would quit the Lab once I finished college, now I am not sure. That would be like leaving family that pays you for hanging out which is way better than any actual family.
My daily schedule is as follows, get to work at 8 or 9am after fighting every asshole in San Francisco to get on a packed subway that smell like urine and pot. I read my George Carlin book while on there just to avoid eye-contact with co-subway-riders. Once at the office, I check out what’s happening on various gossip blogs, “news” sites and pretend to be reading stats on my campaigns. Once noon rolls around I sit at my desk eating salad watching old Joan Rivers' clips followed by updating my blog with the day’s new joke or story I make up. Then I go back to sort of working by sipping on my third coffee of the day and typing really loud on my computer so my bosses think I’m being productive. Then I spend the last hour of the day updating all my campaigns writing over 250 search ads that are similar but with one word difference like these:
“Like travel for cheap? Get a flight here for just $10.”
“Like traveling for cheap? Get a flight here for just $10.”
“Like traveling for cheap? Get a flight now for only $10.”
I am always tempted to make one of the ads funny like, “Fly your mistress over for cheap. Get a flight now just $10.”
After updating all my ads I get back on the subway reading my book, head straight to the Lab to work until 11pm or sometimes 2am and repeat all week long. I took this job because at least I get to be sort of creative-ish.