ADD

The Impending Doom

Pretty soon, very soon, I will be another year older. For all practical purposes, it could be said that I am already that year older. I mean, what is a few days, really? Providing I do not meant some unfortunate end between now and the actual date that signifies my eruption into this world, I really cannot see what a few days matters. Not at all. In fact, you could say that I started dreading this day last year, or the year before, or the year before.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Way ahead. I have already told you, dear Reader, what this voyage into my hackery is all about. I left no suspense, and probably little reason for you to read on and discover what other sort of drivel may be involved in this posting; little reason to read on and find out what this is really about. That is one of the big problems with ADD and writing. Sometimes you put the end first. Or the middle first.

Living a life with competing mental issues is a strange existence. On the one hand, ADD gives me a bouncy, be-bop way of thinking. Sometimes my brain feels like Coltrane, or Davis, or Parker composed my thoughts. Twisting and churning, solos turn into chorus, turn into a main theme. Often I am the only one able to get the theme; improvisation is cruel like that. By the time the listener reader gets my words, the message has turned into a jumbled, foot-tapping beat. Unless you are hip to what I am laying down in the first place, very little may make sense.

When it comes to the other participant in the competition to make me a total mental fruit cake to the observer, OCD…let us just say that I find myself in a world completely alone. Like that fellow in from “The Twilight Zone” who was the last man on Earth and had a library full of books I more often than not find myself alone in a world that just does not get me. Sure, everyone “understands” hoarders (not really, but you get what I mean…if not, keep reading, you may dig my vibe). Beyond those future guests on “American Pickers,” when people think of OCD, they think of some poor schmuck stuck wearing latex gloves to protect from microbes (I have issues with germs, I just try to avoid touching things that are not mine, or letting people touch my things). They think of someone who has to have an immaculate house, or their clothing perfectly, fanatically organized. Most people, however, do not understand rituals, the necessity of ritual, or the sense that every single thing in the world will go wrong if the ritual is not followed.

The biggest example of this has been writing my blog. Really. I tried extremely hard to be consistent. To write as often as possible. I did the same with reading the blogs that I follow (I even tried to steal a creative device from this blog. I am really freaking out because I am not sure this damn app will insert that link correctly…). The problem for me has been this iPad and the stupid app WordPress has developed for using the site. You see, I like to add pictures to my posts. While I can still add them using the app, I cannot place the pictures where I would like them to be, or give them some groovy format. No, I cannot do any of that. Instead, if I add a picture, it will show up in the top center of my word vomit, preceding everything. It will show up there, looming like some flaccid erection or self-important god-head glorifying in the fact that it gets to be wherever it wants to be and not where I want it to be. My choice? Either accept that, or just do not use a picture. Oh, I could add one later. That is another option. An option that sucks donkey-ass because I hate editing — the idea of going in and retro-adding something makes me feel dirty. And not in a way that I do not mind feeling dirty. Since the picture was not there, adding it later destroys the self-perceived perfection of what I have presented.

And then there is MySpace. Oy gevalt, MySpace! I was finally able to download my blog from MySpace. Hooray, right? Wrong. The format is not one that is easily uploaded to WordPress. Fortunately, not being able to import them has actually been a blessing is disguise: I have to go through them, check the editing, and selectively reprint the items that may have been breaches of the Fourth Wall. So, goody for me on that point.

Beyond my BD (Blog Dysfunction. Bob Dole needs to do a commercial about this. Where is Bob Dole lately?), the other rituals I follow appear (to me) to others as quirks that I can just “get over.” I cannot just get over some things. My seven-knock is not something that is a minor quirk to me. My morning rituals that I follow are not just “things I like to do” or “want to do.” No, these are things that if I do not do them, then the rest of my day is totally shot. I get horribly depressed and chalk the day up to a loss. Something terrible is going to befall me since the rhythm of my life has been irreparably dashed to rocks. OCD is not bebop; it is more like classical music: if one note is missed, the whole symphony notices it. There is no common theme that is to be recognized amidst the running improvs. Classical music is as the conductor wants, which is typically how the composer wrote it. After the rhythm is broken all that is left for me is to wait for the next day to see if it all starts up correctly…if the ritual will be left in tact.

Ritual is what makes me avoid Catholic Churches now, I get sucked into the Catholic ritual (and now this new Pope has me contemplating a return to those roots…). Ritual is what makes me start a knock and feel compelled to finish it somewhere else if someone answers my knocks before I finish them. Ritual is what makes or breaks my day. Ritual Is.

And now, for my ritual companion: obsession. I am never what component of OCD ritual belongs to; is it compulsion, or obsession? I always stop listening to my shrink when she tries to explain that to me. Perhaps being obsessed compels? Eh. In either case, I have obsessions. Many obsessions. However, more often than not, my obsessions go dismissed as things that I simply like or desire. However, it is not that simple. I am a Sagittarius. I crave excitement. I crave the sense of mutability that fire brings to my sign. What I mean is, I can roll with change as long as it brings excitement. Lately, all of the changes in my existence have been bringing me grief. This is gone. That is delayed. Where am I going? Nowhere. Fundamentally, I am not the same person I used to be. Xavier used to be sex-crazed, absinthe swilling, gun-toting, high-flying limousine riding, monster of cock. Now, he has turned into a hermitic, bored, frustrated ball of depression and doubt. Xavier has ceased to be; in his place an “old man.”

Which brings me back around to the new doom looming over my skull like one of those hideous baseball caps with the mesh backs that truckers and farmers are so fond of. Well, I guess it is not new doom — it is the doom that surfaces every years around this time. The doom that signifies getting old, more advanced in years. To me, all the upcoming year represents is another day closer to Parkinson’s, heart disease, the possibility of having to get one of those wretched canes, or some other mobility assistance device. To me the upcoming year represents gray, and wrinkles, and ugly, and “who wants a threesome/orgy/sex party romantic evening with a hideous old geezer”? To me I am going from sexy to dirty old man. To me my desires and dreams have all become distant fantasies: teases of things that will never be a part of my world again. Then I will die, and that will be it. Another birthday, another day close to death…just like every other day. To me, all that birthdays bring are depression fueled by memories of days gone past. Fortunately, I do still have my lovely locks and the Thunderdome. Two of of seven would not be so bad if there were somewhere for me to finish this particular set of knocks…

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So-So New Look, Shabby (Even for a Hack) Title.

I have been making changes. Many changes. In fact, I had gotten so caught up in changes, that I had completely forgotten that I had this blog. Actually, that is a complete and total falsehood. I was fully aware that I still had this blog. It clung to the back of my brain like a cybertext yarmulke. However, it was causing me a large degree of anxiety. A tremendously large amount.

To begin, I hated the way the damn thing looked. Being unfamiliar with how the formatting thing-a-ma-stuff works here, I am unable to manipulate the design as I was able to back on MySpace. On MySpace, I was a God! I could format the blog’s appearance, and add pictures, and adjust the layout of each blog entry so I could dazzle and amaze! Then MySpace became terrible, and Facebook seems to have something against blogging, so I came to WordPress. I came to WordPress where I saw things like CSS and strange empty windows that would allow me to somehow type something in them in order to create a spectacular looking blog. I searched for templates on the web. I did not have the patience to try and figure out anything I found. Sure, there may be an easy way to go about doing things to give me the blog of my creative dreams, but I just do not have the patience to sit and figure all of the subtle cyber-nuances that would help me create the design of my twisted dreams. C’est la vie.

I know I am being harsh, but I already agreed the old design sucked more!

OCD is a terrible creature. It makes life difficult in the most innocuous, but crippling ways. For me, the anxiety of having a blog with dysfunctional pages was making me nauseous; just thinking about the idea of of WordPress was giving me cold sweats at times. This may sound weird. But it was not WordPress, per se, it was the pages that were a part of my blog that had no data and were just sitting there like failed cyber trash or those blank pages that you can never get rid of in a Microsoft Word document unless you get certified in its use at one of those seminars taught by some IT geek from the regional office of your corporation. Certification that is going to be invalid after the latest update comes out a week later.

To avoid the anxiety, I ignored the blog, occasionally suffering guilt from not writing, and more from disconnecting from the words of friends and colleagues that I share this bloggy part of the net with. I managed to log in periodically and keep up with the blog of a Mr. D. A. Adams. He tends to write daily, and I did keep up with most of what he had going on, but I refrained from commenting on things as I have been feeling significantly less that witty, or able-to-say-something-meaningful-y.

I did try to write a few times during this dark period of apathetic writer’s blockage. I have about four lengthy drafts stored up, waiting for some sort of finish that more than likely will never come; I have grown to hate those drafts. While they started out as interesting tales, they now only seem as relics, fossils, of a lost time period that started with a catch line that was the greatest thing since “Once upon a time,” and eventually came to that senseless drivel that you can read in the fifteen or less line at the local Piggly Wiggly or Kroger or where ever you get your groceries.

And then Arabella posted a blog, And another. Two from her that quick was a bit of a shock to my system. And then Apple sent me an update for my WordPress app on my iPhone. The technology that I had been using on a daily basis was starting to remind me about WordPress. That was odd, but a little motivating.

And so here I am today. I decided to figure out how to remove the offending pages (which I did), find a new design (I stuck with a non-custom design, I hate the fucking orange highlights), and that is where I am at the moment: a new look and a shabby title, and hideous, orange, fucking highlights. Shabby title for now. I have decided that it would be a good idea for me to take small steps. And this is the smallest step that I could imagine taking. For the time being. Yet, in that small step, I also took a spectacularly large lunar leap for Xavier-kind; those that know me well, would have seen that right away. What is this thing? It is the picture of myself that I have added to my blog. There, on the sidebar, a picture of me in full color, non-oldtimey or black and white. A picture that further defies convention and shows me wearing a blue, three-piece suit, rather than my standard black, two-piece with black tie. I am not sure how I feel about that one for the time being, I may remove it once I come up with a better title for my blog.

However, my anxiety and apathy does not begin and end with this blog. I stopped training. All aspects of training, I simple ceased. It was easy to stop running because I hate running and can do without that means of cardiovascular exercise. But I stopped lifting, and calisthenics, and stretching, and most significantly – jujitsu. I stopped going to the dojo. I even stopped thinking about technique. The idea of doing anything just crept from my mind and body. It was if my brain decided to go on strike, and my body joined in a sympathetic shut down of operations in solidarity. Next my desire for inane fun left; the Playstation 3 sits there getting dust, the newly discovered verb, “Batmanning,” slowly creeping from my vocabulary along with the Third Street Saints and Ezio Auditore.

“Bonnie Parker”

What I have been doing, is riding my newly acquired motorcycle. Ever since the last one was crushed by that imbecile, I had been displeased with riding. Sure, I was able to replace the mirrors and turn signals, but I felt like I was riding a victim. It felt as if taking her out was a further violation. And then, the gear shift broke. So, I was no longer faced with the guilty sensation of pushing my poor, injured, bikey to her limits unnecessarily.

Fortune smiled upon me and I was able to acquire another vintage beauty. A nineteen eighty-one Honda Silverwing. I named her “Bonnie Parker” after Clyde Barrow’s infamous, but compelling partner in crime. Since I got her, I have added a windshield (which was graciously given to me from a fellow rider, more on that later), and even gotten some luggage for the back so I can carry things, like tools, Monster drinks, and spare ammunition and tazer cartridges. Oddly, one of the things that pleases me the most about Bonnie is the convenient helmet holders on her sides. Once I figured out how they worked (Thank you, Manthony), I was fascinated with them. I have no idea why. It just is what it is… And yes, although the great State of Michigan has repealed the mandatory helmet law, I still wear my helmet when I ride.

I also joined a motorcycle riding club. From what I understand, there is a definite and distinct difference between a motorcycle club and a riding club, I am a member of a club of the riding variety. While I may offend few by saying this, I wish to be completely honest and say that all that matters is that I have a few cool cats to ride around with and learn how to become a more skilled rider. Sadly, I have not gotten to ride with my new pardners, my schedule is being a total bitch. Happily, my schedule has not prevented me from riding Bonnie. In fact, my schedule has become one that ensures that I have to go places, and the recent spate of decent weather has further ensured that I have had the opportunity to ride to those places.

So, I guess this is where I am. I hope that I have finally gotten through those doldrums that I have kept me in a see of apathy, non-motivation, and generally ho-hummity.