mad drunk genius

I used to have all sorts of problems. Now there's just the one.

Tag: maturity

You’ve loved this much before & know how it ends

Knowing & behaving are cousins, but only
kissing cousins. To be fair, well, we already lost.
——Whores know better than to kiss on the
——mouth. That’s how you mix up work & love,
——esp. when both are pleasurable. But I havent
——learned that yet, or ifI have, I cant
——quit doing it. You cant come back.
There is inside me a powerful critic, good & useful
& worthwhile when pointed at a great many things.
But at myself, in a depression, it is nothing but a
magnificent rot, spreading horrible into everything, esp.
what I love. The peculiar genius is to connect all
that makes me happy back to some triggering incident of
unhappiness. ‘Your grandmother is dying & you’re too
old to be enjoying cartoons.’ ‘Your family is in pre-mourning,
and you dont even bother to tell them about those you
love or why.’ ‘Everything you write is embarrassing,
not just too you but anyone who is connected to you.’
——Your happiness is no less worthy.
I dont see how ‘I ruin people’ is a good addition to my
resume, no matter how accurate it is. She knew better.
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You’re never really dating, just sharpening knives for your future ex

Youth is an experiment in disappointments. Youth is trusting stupidly in the unwitting hopes it turns out well for you against odds you don’t know or don’t believe.

Maturity is the accumulation of aches, not least among them the knowledge that love sours. All sweet wonderfulness felt prior disappears but not invisibly, because like Newton’s Third Law, any affection once gone turns to hate, and so all that you once trusted in a person will be turned against you.

They love you now; they’ll hate you then. If you agree happily to a sex video while mutually raptured, the hell of their solitary relationship confinement ought to make you fret and worry.

I don’t know how relationships work except by this fantasy, and the fantasy is not sufficient to preserve most, even so.

Maybe that’s fine or proper or necessary. Some small portion can be jettisoned off into bliss, or workable hard work, and the rest of us are excised like pus filled infections to torture one another, mostly, till we find someone else poisonous enough complimentary to be antiseptic to our worst impulses.

It’s OK. I have few motivating impulses, but the natural rest of my own misery is one of them. I’ll make no one happy beyond the temporary, but I’ll help a lot of folk learn their future lessons well.

I’m terrible boyfriend material, and I’m non-existent marriage material, but as future ex, I’m tough to beat.

Scribbled year-old impressions recovered

——’Isnt it a lovely
——sweet sort of fresh
——sort of something?’
The window for success
is always opening in
some places & closing in
others. It’s important to
make it as large as
possible & squeeze thru.
——’It’s OK, we’re all subject
——to the bias of our own
——lives & experiences.’
Hey, keep your eyes on the
prize but also on the path
to it.

——’I dont do all the great work
——I could have.’ No one has or
——does. ‘There’s some possible
——universe where I did, tho.’
I am not the man I used to
be. But I havent long been
a man, if ever.
——’Show me how to
——know better what to do.’
——’Do what?’ ‘That’s what
——I’m asking.’

Better than it ever was

When you’re young, all you can think about is growing up. That next birthday, that next grade level. Getting bigger, getting to do more things. When you’re very young, you’re not self-aware enough to analyze your life or be able to imagine what a different kind of life is like, so I guess you could say they enjoy what they have, but they don’t appreciate it. A kindergartner can throw herself into a game of duck-duck-goose, or be swept up in a game of tag, but they can’t understand how much fun they’re having, or how great a feeling it is to be able to do that and think or worry about nothing else.

When you get a little older, you don’t even have that. You don’t want to play kiddy games or enjoy stuff you consider to be immature. You’re totally self-aware and completely unsatisfied. You want be twenty-one or older, able to drive and drink and be on your own and be the coolest dude or chick around. You want to be old enough that no one treats you like a kid or a nuisance, and you can’t believe how stupid everyone is for doing it anyway. You don’t realize how happy you could be, or the gifts you have right now, the relationships you can have with people and things you can do that you’ll never be able to do again.

You can’t appreciate your life as a kid. You don’t know how good you have it, and if someone told you, you wouldn’t believe them anyway. You get to be happier than you’ll ever be again in your life, and then when you get sad, it gets to be about trivial stuff that usually doesn’t end up mattering anyway. Schoolwork, teachers, having fights with your best friend since forever, or breaking up with the boy/girl you were going to love forever. Stuff people would kill to worry about later. Kids can’t appreciate how special that is because how could they?

If they could, they wouldn’t be children. If a child is wistful, nostalgic, and mature, he’s already grown up. It’s too late for him. It’s too late to go back, and even if he was in the body of his younger self again, he couldn’t enjoy it the way he did before.

Children don’t appreciate what they have, and that’s a good thing for what’s mentioned above, but also because that’s our job, because the appreciation makes our lives better. We get to be adults and experience all of those joys and sorrows that come along with being “grown up”. And we also get the memories of the childhood we want to remember, forgetting or ignoring the bad, so we get something that can be close to perfect. We get to appreciate the joy we felt as children as observers, so we can have both that pure feeling, and the deeper understanding.

I can’t go back in time and be seven again, but in my head the years melt away and it’s better than the past ever was.

The Last Spring Shower

When I was a child, I did as children do
I loved the whole world and it loved me, too
When I played in the field, Nature was my toy
And each new day exercised my joy
In those days, Man was my friend
I never thought that it would end

But then one day I saw it had
And saw I was no more a lad
And nowhere could a joy be found
And no friend could be seen around
So I cried out my last childish tears
And wept a dirge for wasted years

When those were gone, I dried my eyes
I knew a real man never cries
I knew I was not what I ought be
But I didn’t know what life had brought me
It’s said a real man can’t be so fettered
I know it’s said, but I know better

The problem with the big Odeezy

I didn’t even know people were calling Odessa that. I’m still partial to “Slowdeatha” myself, but to each his own.

Anyway, I think it’s fairly easy to see there are problems in and with Odessa. Check the wikipedia entry some time for some of them. Basically, though, we’re poor, undereducated, and crime ridden, with especially high rates of drug and alcohol use. On the east side you may not see those problems quite as much, but they exist, they’re just hidden better. Less quantifiable problems such as a high school football obsession and lingering racism might even be worse on the east, and those are fairly obvious.

So the question is “why?” Why is Odessa the way it is?

That’s a much more complicated question to answer than it is to ask, but I’m going to try to anyway.

The first reason is: Mexicans. Yes you read that right, and no, I’m not a racist. If anything I’m a culturalist, because I am talking specifically about people from Mexico, especially first and second generation immigrants. We have a lot of them and naturally, they’re going to bring the average down for the city. I say naturally because a person who doesn’t have the equivalent of a high school education and doesn’t have a firm grasp of the English language is going to have a much harder time getting and keeping a well paying job. This means the person, and his family, is likely going to be poor, and poverty brings with it a lot of interconnected issues, most of them lasting at least into the third generation. Culturally, Mexicans are disadvantaged in America, and this makes them less successful, therefore the city of Odessa is less successful than it might otherwise be.

But that’s not the whole story. Whites in Odessa perform about as badly, drink and use drugs about as much, drop out higher than the national average, etc. Honkies are for the most part poor and uneducated too. So there has to be a common factor for that as well.

There’s an intelligent old man who comes by my store from time to time. He’s smart, but sadly crazy as fuck, so it’s tough to hold a conversation with him. He is of the opinion that Odessa is in the shape it is now because with every oil boom come workers from all over, and most of these workers are criminals or manual labor hands who settle here and dirty up the gene pool.

I disagree completely, at least for the long run consequences. While a criminal may commit crimes, that doesn’t mean his children are predisposed to it. Let’s not forget, Australia, the destination for however many thousands of British criminals, has a lower crime rate than America i.e. the land of the Puritans.

I think he’s right about the cause being related to oil booms though. Almost definitely in the short term, and probably also in the long run.

The problem with Odessa is the economy. It is almost completely dependent on the price and demand for oil. We’ve got it and when other people want it, things are good. When they don’t, things are bad.

It’s a boom and bust economy. Everyone knows that. But the reason that things are consistently as bad as they are during busts, why they are worse than they should be, is that so many people rest their entire futures on oil. Twenty or thirty bucks an hour is good money, I don’t care who you are. But that’s not a steady job. The economy slows down and you’ll either get your hours/wages cut back, or laid off entirely. People don’t get the education they need to have alternatives, so they don’t have the skills necessary to diversify the economy when the next bust comes along.

Things can’t improve because there’s no one here able to improve them. Or at least not enough people able to.

This indirectly effects the drug/alcohol use in the area, as well as teen pregnancies. Because the economy is so heavily focused on oil, there isn’t much entertainment. There’s the mall. The movies… And pretty much nothing else (except football games in the fall). Being so near to the border with Mexico, it doesn’t take a genius to see why there’d be more weed around, but the reason why the use is so high is because we are basically a big rural town. You drink, smoke, and fuck your girl or boyfriend. That’s not an excuse, but I think it’s the explanation.

So what we have is a culture of failure. There are exceptions, of course, but in my experience, Odessa produces two things: people with no skills and people with no ambition. There are many people who want to get out, to go some place and do big things. But they spent all their time in junior high and high school living life and thinking of what they were going to do instead of learning the things they needed to do them. Meanwhile, the other kind of person spent all of his or her time learning in schools, but not developing the goals or life experiences to be useful in practice. Neither kind can truly be successful.

As for the exceptions, they leave because there’s nothing for them here. And it all continues for the next generation.

Like I said, I prefer the nickname “Slowdeatha”.

An update to this because it really doesn’t warrant its own post. A friend of mine from junior high and high school came by tonight, we shot the shit for a couple of hours and then he left. We were pretty good friends for a while but drifted apart in high school, kind of went our own ways. Eventually, he moved to Midland and I didn’t see him again for a million years. I’d seen him a couple of times before he came by most recently, but nothing much had changed for either one of us. He’s still playing World of Warcraft, Counterstrike, and smoking weed, and nothing else. I’m not doing much better, I’m just doing less. But it’s kind of funny. We are typical products of Odessa.

He also reminded me of his original term “Odessolation” which is also pretty nice.