The Disappearing Marriage

I’m going to write now. I told myself that I would take a month or so off from writing, but sometimes this need to express things is stronger than my ability to not. Especially when I am loaded on caffeine. So let me say this, my marriage is dissolving. It is flattening out into a very dull two-dimensional image that looks nothing like what it used to be. Fuck.

I love my wife very much. I think she is a very good and sweet person but I am terribly bored. What have we done to ourselves? I often think. We have just about let all things pertaining to maintaining a working marriage go. We have stopped having sex. We have stopped trying to be sexy for the other. We have stopped really talking about interesting things. We have stopped holding one another. We have stopped kissing (this is especially my fault since I notice that my head slightly turns now when she comes to give me a dispassionate peck on the lips). We have stopped enjoying our time together because now when we go out anywhere together we usually fight. In the same way that a feeling of disillusionment and fear has taken over the American landscape, resentment and boredom seem to be taking over my marriage.

I am not good at this marriage thing. Not good at all. I was married before my current wife and that marriage failed long before it’s end as well. My first wife and I really loved each other but we stopped working well together. We fought a lot. We stopped having sex for years. We resented one another even though we were both good people. We grew fatter together. I left my first wife to be with my current wife. I felt like my second wife would be a chance to have a new kind of life, one not shaped by my parents unhappy fate. She was the one who would offer me, after a lifetime of trying, one of those happy and healthy relationships I occasionally saw people involved in. One of those relationships where the couple actually looks happy together. Where they actually get along. Where they actually seem happy when in one another’s company rather than lost on their smartphones. Where they actually maintain an active sex life after years together. Where they are connected and engaged with one another. Where when one of them is acting like a jerk the other can have compassion and not take it so personally. I thought I would be able to have this with her and for a while I did. But old habits die hard, and of course I managed to maneuver my marriage back to the same place where every single one of my relationships seem to end.

My wife is attractive and a lot younger than I (fourteen years younger). She is smart and sweet. She is a kind and loving person (she really loved me a lot). She has a lot of youth left in her. With her I had the best sex of my life (and this is saying a lot since I have had a good amount of sex in my life). She was sexually skilled and masterful at certain things. She had no shame sexually. An exhibitionist at heart she could be sexual and naked anywhere and in front of anyone. I loved it. And what a body! To see how our sex life has ended up today, really is a tragic thing and I realize that much of it is my own fault.

I am fucked up when it comes to relationships. I blame my intrapersonal dysfunction on my mom and dad. They had a terrible relationship when I was growing up. My dad was a complete asshole and still is most of the time. My mother withdrew into resentment and submission. These were my teachers and now I have not a clue about how to maintain a relationship without the presence of continual conflict and difficulties. How do people do that? How do people actually love and desire one another most of the time? It is hard for me to be sexual with the person I am close to. I become shy and withdrawn. I have a hard time desiring them after a while. It is only with people I do not know that I can avoid sexually freezing up. I am often critical and upset. I notice all the things that my partner is not doing. I become hyper aware of all their failures to be this ideal version of themselves that I need them to be. Why don’t you exercise more? I can’t believe you are so messy? Why can’t you get more organized? You are never sexual with me anymore? You have let yourself become a boring person? You are way more interested in our dogs than you are in me. You have stopped trying to make yourself sexy. Why don’t you go out more? Go out with friends. Go out and sleep with other people. Go do something to make yourself more interesting. Stop being on your phone all the time. We have both become so dull together. It goes on and on like this. And I seem incapable of just keeping my mouth shut when I am really upset.

Maybe relationships are not supposed to work out. Maybe this is some kind of deluded dream that humans have thanks to Hollywood. Maybe a marriage that really works well after a few years of constant use, is an illusion. A fantasy. A bluff. Why we keep holding on to this fantasy I do not know, but maybe human beings are just not meant to be married and live together in harmony for long periods of time. I mean who does? The fact that a marriage gradually grows bitter and asexual may be much more realistic than this idea that a relationship should remain sexual, engaged and connected for long periods of time. Maybe our collective failure to embrace the reality of what happens when humans partner up together for long periods of time, is what keeps us miserable.

Maybe.

I know that I am unhappy. I know that my wife is struggling. She loves me very much and I love her but we are no longer working well together. We have too much responsibility. This married life has caused us both to bite off more than we can chew. House, business, dogs, cars, bills; maybe we have cracked under the pressure of these things. Maybe these day to day domestic shared responsibilities are the greatest threat to the couple’s shared libido. Whatever the case, I do not like what our relationship has become. I do not like feeling bored and asexual. I do not like feeling like my wife resents me. I do not like knowing that at any second any conversation we have can turn sour. I do not like not feeling very attracted to one another. I do not like feeling like she is very depressed and discouraged and this is why she struggles to apply perfume and purchase new razors and deodorant when she has long ago run out. None of this feels good but I can not seem to stop focusing on all the things that I do not like.

Old habits die hard. I am doing it again. I am turning my marriage into something I don’t want it to be. I’m always upset, my wife tells me (so is she). I’m rarely happy. I want to sleep with other women. I want to be left alone. I want to be with her. I have no clue how to keep this marriage from becoming the disappearing marriage that I fear it has already become.

The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men

I recently finished a project called The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men. It is a wall drawing that I used black ink pens to draw, over the course of the past year. The idea came from a group of mentally challenged men who walk past my house, several days a week, on their outings. They are some of the less fortunate members of society, the one’s who have dropped out of the game. I thought I would pay tribute to them in some small way. It was a pain in the ass. The first few days were fun but after that I kept thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” Now that it is finally finished, I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy and thank you for your support.

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The Bitch

I am a bitch. Pissed off about everything. Sirens have been going off all morning and all I can think is, “Why can’t people just enjoy a Saturday morning?”

Being a bitch is an inherent sign that a person is unhappy. Why am I unhappy then? I don’t know. My life is not what I want it to be. Things are not the way I want them to be.

A bitch is impossible to please. You see, the thing about being a bitch is that nothing can ever be the way that they want it to be. Nothing will ever meet their expectations. There will always be problems. This is why being a bitch is a real mental illness that has usually grown out of a lifetime spent in conflict.

A bitch usually has a parent or parents who were bitchy. These parents or parent raised them on a diet of bitchiness. I have grown up in continual conflict. My father knew how to make money and problems. These were his gifts. There was always money. There was always problems. This is what I grew up in.

Maybe this is why I am such a bitch. Maybe I really can blame it on my father molding my mind around problems.

Alcohol is the one solution for a bitch. Not always but often a bitch is much happier when drinking. A bitch is much more able to express love when under the influence of moderate amounts of booze. If a bitch drinks too much things can get bleak. If a bitch does not drink at all things can get bleak.

A bitch is fucked. They are basically doomed to be unhappy. They continually create their own unhappiness. They are wired to sabotage all goodness in their lives.

I’m in a continual state of bitchiness. Especially when I don’t allow myself a glass of red wine a night. Especially when I don’t listen to music all the time. Especially when I think about the conditions of the surrounding world. Especially when I think about what I have accomplished in my life. Especially when I think about money. Especially when I have to do things that I do not want to do. Especially when I spend too much time with a person. Especially when I think someone is dumb. Especially when I am not interested in a person. Especially when I am bored. Especially when I am not doing the things I need to be doing. Especially when I have to pretend to be someone I am not. Especially when I realize that so many other people are doing creative things in the world that I seem incapable of doing or figuring out. Especially when everything in my house is not exactly as it should be. Especially when someone speaks to me in the wrong tone. Especially……..

My Impulse Control Disorder

I became a psychotherapist to get better control over my impulses. Isn’t that why most people come to being a therapist? Isn’t it because they have certain psychological issues and that is what draws them to the work? For those who are mentally messed up, becoming a psychotherapist is a kind of illusory redemption. The world sees you as being more psychologically competent. You work hard at maintaining this ‘I got my shit together” image automatically ordained on a person with a psych degree, but when you go home you are just as messed up as everyone else. If not more.

Such is the reality of most forms of professional life. It is a façade. A costume. An image that is not real. “I am doing great thank you. How are you?” This is the fake party line of the cult of professionalism.

I am trying to fit in. I am trying to do my job responsibly and professionally. I know this is what people want. We are all guilty because we want to pay for the illusion. We have all voted for the cult of professionalism with our hard-earned cash. We all want to know that the professional person we are dealing with has it “all figured out” and so we pay good money to enable this illusion. In a universe that is chaotic and out of control, we crave certainty.

This is why it is not good that I have been getting up in the middle of my therapy sessions and dancing around. This is why it is not good that I have been using the fuck word more in my therapy sessions. This is why it is not good that I pick my finger nails, nose or hair while I am listening to my clients speak. I think I am starting to freak them out, as entertained as they sometimes pretend to be.

Impulse control is a very serious thing. I have suffered from it since I was a kid. In first and second grade the school bus would drop me off in front of my house and once off the bus I would pull down my pants and expose my butt or turn to face the bus and pull on my developing penis. The students on the bus loved it but the professionals did not think it was funny. I was put into impulse control therapy for the vast chunk of my developmental years. It did no good.

As a young man my lack of impulse control ruined my life. I would walk downtown in the nude. I would spend all my money on things I did not need. I would scream at people whom I felt were acting like assholes in public. I would steal things from stores. I ate way past the point of being full. I would take prostitutes out for lunch. I would take money from the register at whatever service job I was working at. I would have sexual interactions with strangers when in serious relationships. I would spend my entire days in dark strip clubs. I would eat red meat even as a vegan. I would masturbate when on an afternoon jog. I had no ability to control my life.

There comes a point in every person’s life where they must get their impulses under control or else they will end up dead, bald, fat or in jail. I worked hard taming the beast within. I went on month long meditation retreats. I studied with the renowned mindfulness teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn. I became sober (even though that never lasted long). I was in weekly psychotherapy with a highly regarded Gestalt psychotherapist who eventually ended up jumping off a bridge. I studied Greek at UC Berkeley hoping that the knowledge of this ancient language would bestow some wisdom upon me. I went to weekly AA meetings. Years passed by and even though I was able to get some of my more destructive impulses under control, new impulses developed.

Now I deal with the impulse to say outlandish things during serious conversation. I also deal with several other impulses that I am yet unable to control: massaging my penis when walking down a busy street, standing on my head at fine dining restaurants, picking my nose when talking with other professionals, making terrible decisions for the healthy development of my life, using the fuck word and dancing around during serious psychotherapy sessions, leaving status updates on Facebook that provide too much information about the less positive aspects of myself. The list goes on and on.

As a forty-five year old, married man I feel that I have gotten the more self-destructive impulses under control. I no longer cheat on my partner. I no longer pick up prostitutes in dangerous neighborhoods and take them out to lunch. I no longer pull down my pants in public. I no longer spend my days in strip clubs. I no longer drink or do drugs excessively. I no longer steal. I no longer walk out into public in the nude. But I still over eat. I still scream at people who are acting like idiots when in public places (especially when people are talking on their phones around me). I still struggle with impulse control and now that I am a professional who owns a home and has a reputation to protect, this concerns me. Will my inability to control my darker impulses end up destroying my life and reputation? Will I lose everything because I can’t stop swearing and dancing around during my psychotherapy sessions? Am I saying too much on Facebook? I have been meditating a lot more recently. I have a lot more to lose now than when I was young, but these fucking impulses still feel way out of my professional control.

What’s The Point?

What am I doing here? I am not asking an existential question. I am asking a realistic question. Why am I doing this? Why am I making such an effort almost every day so that you can be reading these words? What the hell is the point of this? Why do any of us do it?

First off, few of us are being paid for these digitalized words you are reading. We are giving it away for free while the websites which carries our writings makes money from the content we provide. What the hell is the point of that? We are not even getting a dollar a post. I have a friend who is a published novelist. He publishes with an independent press. He writes six or seven hours a day and receives a check every month, which allows him to live moderately. He is what I call a “real writer.” He is not giving it away for free all though occasionally he will post on his blog. Being a “real writer” is possible for some of us but most of us just keep giving it away for free. Why?

Most of us who post these kinds of things are doing it for free. Why? Oh, I know, it is a labor of love. We do it because we love to give expression to the ideas that machinate in our heads. It is not about the money. It is about helping others or inspiring others through the words we write and as a result getting out ideas out “into the world.” What a bunch of bullshit. There are few things I despise more when people will say to me, “Don’t give to receive, just do it because it is rewarding to you. Expect nothing back.” What a bunch of crap. Of course, we all want to succeed. We all want to be appreciated. We all want some kind of acknowledgment that what we are doing is really good. When this is not obtained in a way that feels satisfactory to us, it is miserable to try and convince yourself that you do it for the love of it.

For the most part, posting writings on-line for free on a regular basis is a thankless job. Readers feed off your blood and sweat and sometimes tears and then forget about you. Like any other glutton, readers are always looking for more from you but then poop it out when done. Sometimes they will leave an appreciative comment but for the most part all you get in return is a deep feeling like you don’t get much in return. But you keep doing it anyways hoping one day things will work out. Someday you will really matter. What a bunch of crap. What will happen is that one day you will either give up because you realize there really is no point to what you are doing (as far as improving the quality of your own lived experience goes) or you will keep writing and posting on-line and end up bitter and pissed off because you have gotten so little back from the surrounding world.

What the hell are any of us doing? Are we really so narcissistic that we have to articulate the thoughts that spin around in our heads even if we know we are giving it away for free? Do we really need to be heard that badly by others? Were we really that ignored and un-listened to as kids that we need to feel like our voice matters as adults? The various blogging sites provide us possible narcissists with platforms to post our thoughts on. While they make all the money from what we write, all we get in return is this illusory feeling that we are being heard, understood and appreciated. That our ideas matter. And for narcissists, feeling like your ideas matter is the most important thing.

So we are willing to sell our labor for free. We are in such a desperate need to be heard, to be listened to, to be validated, to feel like we matter that we are willing to write, edit and post all for free, all the time. What suckers we are. Maybe we will get a nice comment or two in return from some person we will never be in the physical presence of, from some person who is basically a digital ghost occasionally haunting us. Maybe we get some temporary satisfaction knowing some one far out there is processing our words in their heads, but what fools we are. What is the point of this? Why can’t I stop doing it? Maybe I just figured all that out.

The Good Losers. A Serialized Blog Novel. 1-8.

“To make oneself understood is impossible; it cannot be done.” -Thomas Bernhard

1.

The first job I was fired at was Straw Hat Pizza. I was fired for serving my fifteen-year-old friends a pitcher of beer.

This began my career of getting fired from jobs.

Fired from my job as a shoe salesman for being too indignant, fired as a barista for not being friendly enough, fired as a mortician’s assistant for not being able to handle the heat, fired from my job selling bagels, fired from my job at Macy’s for ringing up my own sale (twice), fired as a waiter for kicking a snobbish customer out of the restaurant, fired as a waiter for not attending to customers well enough, fired, fired, fired.

Final job I was fired at: A high end and crowded restaurant in Sacramento where I was working as a bartender and was fired for being too slow.

2.

I’ve always been too slow. Too slow for success. To slow for winning. I don’t like speed. Makes me nervous inside. I’m always nervous inside. My Zen Friend is never nervous. Never has a single problem. Never. He tells me I need to get better at this. I lack focus he tells me. I lack the discipline that is needed to be at peace in today’s competitive world he tells me.

I can’t tell you his name because he no longer goes by a name. He is a disciplined Zen practitioner and as a result he has detached himself from any egoic identity. I will refer to him as my Zen Friend. My Zen Friend and I live together. I rent a room and in the apartment he is renting. We are both almost fifty years old.

3.

I haven’t been able to find my driver’s license. This is very frustrating since I remember having it several days ago. I have searched my closets, my pant pockets, my jacket pockets, books that I have been reading. I think I have lost my drivers license. I don’t really need it anyways. I mean I need it but what is the big deal? If someone stole it or found it and is using it, then ok. What do I care? I will get a new one eventually. Until then I am not going to worry about it.

My Zen Friend shakes his head at me when I tell him this. “Hommie that is not good.” “Hommie you need to take care of your things.” “Hommie you need to stay on point.” My Zen Friend calls me Hommie because he is black. I am white but call him Hommie because he is black. It is a term of endearment for both of us.

“Hommie, I know.” “Hommie, I realize I should be more on point with taking care of my things.” “But Hommie you know that everything is impermanent. You know that the more attached to things we are, the more we suffer. I am just letting my drivers license go for now.” This is what I tell my Zen Friend. He understands.

“True dat hommie,” He says. He is almost fifty years old and he still says, “True dat.”

4.

Our apartment is minimal. I have more things than he does because I have been married twice. Because he is a self-declared minimalist, the little that he owns is high quality. High quality sheets, shirts, shoes, pants, mattress, desk, computer, underwear, towels, body products, socks, jackets, speakers. In my room I have some high quality things like my organic mattress and my Eames Longer but I have a lot of things that just fill space. Books, magazines, art, records. He has none of this stuff. I prefer culture. My Zen Friend prefers nothingness.

We spend a lot of our time at home. Neither of us go out much. Sometimes we will but we prefer to remain behind a closed (and locked) front door. The outside world is no longer a place that either of us care for although I tend to stay home more than he does. “Don’t trip Hommie!” he tells me. “Just go where you need to go and don’t worry about it. Stay present. Stay out of your head G. Don’t trip.” This is what my Zen Friend tells me about going out more. We both call each other G most of the time.

I am trying not to get fired from the job I currently have. I work as a college level literature tutor. The job is better than working as a bartender. For one I can sit down when I work. I also don’t have to talk to people I would rather punch in the face. Working as a bartender is a sentence in hell, but like most people who reside in hell, the vast majority of bartenders do not know that they are in it. This is one of the benefits of working with a substance that numbs the mind- it allows you to tolerate things you could not normally get through. I prefer working with words and college kids, although I would much rather not have to work at all. Work is a terrible thing that humans have done to themselves.

The other day I went to one of my student’s house to help him write a paper on Franz Kafka and Existential Imprisonment. The idea was mine. His mother and father were screaming at one another in the next room about some bill not being paid on time. The husband kept screaming, “You need to get better at this. You need to improve at paying bills on time!” This is what Existential Imprisonment is, I thought. I didn’t tell him this.

5.

In the evenings, several times a week, my Zen Friend and I have a ritual. We share a bottle of red wine and eat a pizza. Not just any pizza but an organic New York style pizza. As we drink and eat we will listen to music from his Apple desktop computer. We will talk about various things. “Hommie, how are you doing in your life?” “Hommie you feel like you are on point?” “Hommie, if you died tomorrow would you be cool?” “Hommie you meeting any ladies lately?” He will ask me things like this. I will ask him: “Hommie you figure out a career path for yourself yet?” “Hommie, what do you want to do with your life?” “Hommie, any desire to get a better job?” “Hommie, you been looking for a relationship?”

We will answer each other’s questions and laugh a lot. He finds everything serious funny. I find anything serious a waste of time. We will spend all night sitting on the Ikea couch, asking each other questions, losing ourselves in songs when we feel the grove. Then we will clean up and go to our own rooms. My Zen friend goes to bed a lot earlier than I since he wakes up every morning at 5am and does Zazen meditation for an hour. I will stay up and read or go on-line. Currently, I tend to have a social media addiction, but I don’t want to talk about that now. I would rather talk about the silence, the stillness, the feeling of being fully present and abstract in the quietude of my life as I read my book in the rented room.

There is not much more I can say about that.

6.

No one ever discusses this but I often wonder if as a man grows older his desire to care about things declines. Maybe not, since I was never one to care all that much. I was never ambitious about anything to begin with. The first job I had at Straw Hat Pizza I did care about. My parents psychologically manipulated me into the job since they made me believe that I would be a failure in life without one. I didn’t care about the job because I did not want one. Serving my friends beer was more important to me. If I was given the same opportunity to do the same thing all over again, I would still serve my underage friends beer. It is more important to live a good life than it is to work. On my first day of work I was without a work ethic. To this day I am still yet to find one.

When I was fired from my job as a bartender my Zen Friend said, “Common G, you need the money. Why you getting all caught up in liking or not liking it. Just stay present and do what you got to do.” I told him that I did not like working with the general public. That I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I told him that I knew I needed the money, but that I would figure it out. “I always do.” He said, “True G. True dat.” Then he dropped it.

My Zen Friend does not have a lot of ambition or drive either. He has a good paying job where he trims the leaves off of marijuana plants. This job requires a large amount of focus and discipline so he is the right person for the job. I couldn’t do it. He is present all the time. Doesn’t think about the future. Enjoys his life as is in the present moment. Rarely ever trips over thoughts. I trip a lot. When I do he will say, “Why you trippin G? Don’t get hung up in that thought stuff. Just stay present with what is. Let it go G.” I don’t disagree with him but I still trip. I am a man of thought. He is a man of the present moment.

I don’t care about the things that an almost fifty-year-old man should probably care about. I pay my bills but that is about it. I don’t go to the dentist. I don’t have car insurance. I don’t have health insurance. I often don’t call people back who call me for tutoring help. I’m not interested in enlightenment or spiritual development. I am not interested in what the few creditors who are after me want from me. I am not that interested in anything really. I suppose I am tuned out but not turned on. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I just don’t see the importance of things when we are all facing an eternal void that any of us can fall into at any moment. Up against the eternal void, nothing serious really seems to matter.

7.

My Zen Friend and I spend a lot of time cleaning and organizing our apartment. It is the one space that we can control in this out of control world and we like to have the space that fills the inside walls of our home well curated. We will vacuum, mop, scrub, dust and arrange at least three or four times a week. As we do it we will play various kinds of music. New Wave music. Classic Hip Hop music. Experimental music. Indie Rock music. Post-Punk music. Avant-Garde Classical music. As my Zen Friend cleans he will laugh out loud. He will occasionally say things like, “Whooooo!!! Isn’t this great? So grateful to have our own nice place to clean G!” He will also say things like, “Whooooo!!! So great to be alive! Lovin it G!” I will smile at him and appreciate his enthusiasm for life. I don’t mind cleaning and organizing but I do not feel as enthusiastic about life as he does. Maybe I should practice Zen meditation.

8.

I was thinking that if someone else has my driver’s license they could steal my identity. “Don’t trip Hommie. Let’s make a trip to the DMV together,” my Zen Friend said. We went to the DMV.

As we were both sitting in a chair waiting for my number to be called my Zen Friend nudges me in the arm and says, “You present G?” I was lost in thought. I was thinking about how people are like sheep. I was thinking about how the DMV is like an Orwellian Big Brother organization that has control over almost everyone. I was thinking about how willingly people seem to participate in this system. I was thinking about how annoying all these people are. I was thinking about how we all looked like slaves. I was thinking about a younger girl’s nice body. I was thinking about her coming home and having sex with me. When I told my Zen Friend that I was not very present he made a clicking sound with his tongue and shook his head in disappointment. When they called my number we both got up and walked to the counter with a miserable and overweight looking woman behind the counter. She wouldn’t let me get a new drivers license because I did not have any identification.

“Well that sucks,” I said as we walked out the front door of the DMV. “Don’t trip Hommie. You will figure it out,” said my Zen Friend.

After the DMV we went to nearby café. He drank green tea and I had a cappuccino. We sat outside the café and watched people walk by. Everyone on the go. Everyone trying to get some place else. It was like everyone was playing a game, which each of them was desperately trying to win at. We watched and both of us noticed attractive women as they walked past. My Zen Friend would say, “Man she is fine!” and I would say, “Look at that girl over there. She is hot!” When we were done, we returned to our rented apartment.

The Dullness Inside. Conversation #52

I have been in a shitty mood this morning.

What’s the problem?

I don’t know. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I have a lot to do that I am putting off. I had to take my large German Shepherd to the vet to get his stitches taken out.

That must of been fun.

It wasn’t. My wife can’t control the dog. She freaks out. Once we got him in the car he gets hair and crap everywhere. Makes a mess of what used to be a nice car. On the way to the vet my wife is driving so that I can control the dog. She is picking her nose off and on the whole way there. I don’t know if it is a nervous thing or what but it really bothers me. I see her picking her nose and then putting her fingers on the steering wheel after. It is disgusting. Between her picking her nose and her inability to handle our dog it was a frustrating morning.

Did you say anything about her picking her nose.

On the way back from the vet she was doing it again! Finally I had to say something. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I told her it was disgusting and I needed her to stop. Ladies should not pick their nose as they drive. A bit is fine, but enough is enough!

Did she get pissed when you told her?

Of course. She is used to her mother and father telling her how great she is. Anytime I point out a flaw she gets really upset.

Too bad for you.

Its rough. But I don’t think this is why I am pissed off. These things are just symptoms of my pissed-off-ness. I think I feel an emptiness, a boredom that is eating at me. I don’t know what it is.

An emptiness and boredom?

Yes, like nothing happening that is interesting in my life. It is all pretty mundane. Routine. I buy things but this doesn’t even excite me much anymore. I guess I just don’t really feel interested in anything. It all feels forced. I am just buying time. Hanging around. Trying to fill my time doing various things.

Like what?

If I am not at work I listen to records and tapes, I read, I write, I make art, I exercise, I watch films and documentaries, I clean, I post of Facebook and Instagram- stuff like that.

Just passing the time?

Yeah it kind of feels like I am just waiting around for something big to happen. Know what I mean?

I think so. Seems like you are just living a very conventional, quiet life in a way.

I don’t know. I am not interested in spiritual enlightenment or figuring out the nature of existence. I am not really that focused on anything. I am sure I could be a great writer or artist but I am just not interested enough to put in the daily, hard effort it would take. Maybe I have just become apathetic. I don’t know. I love my wife very much but I do think I am bored in my marriage. I look to Instagram or Facebook to give me some meaningful social contact but that doesn’t really work. Maybe I am just bored. Just a lack of meaning. I really don’t know. Sometime the feeling of emptiness just makes me irritable.

I understand. Sounds like you are bored. You just don’t have much going on that you are really engaged in. Your work as a psychotherapist provides you with enough money to survive and buy the things you need but it is very unfulfilling work. It is work you do not enjoy and on your days off you are left feeling empty.

I guess. I try and fill in the holes. I try hard. I interest myself in so many aspects of culture and stuff like that but it doesn’t totally work. I try and write but I am not able to put the discipline into that or anything. Yeah, I hate to say it but it all feels very flat. Yesterday I posted something on Instagram that said, “That was fun but I always end up back at home again where the boredom begun.”

I guess the best you can do is learn to live with the boredom.

I suppose. I am trying to befriend it. Trying to get along with it. I’m not leaving my wife or moving anytime soon so I really have no choice. Now that I don’t drink booze anymore I don’t even have that brief period of alcohol induced fun anymore. Is a lot of this a symptom of living in the suburbs?

Could be. We are social creatures. The suburb where you live is very dull. The dullness that surrounds you could be seeping its way into you. I also think that the whole way you are living your life right now is just filling you with this feeling of boredom.

I wish I could figure out exactly what it is.

Lets get into this next time. I have to go and do some things. Talk later?

Ok, sounds good. Thanks for talking.

Sure.