MOB

Most of what I know about anything comes from television. I don’t mean things like… Well, I’m not even sure how to describe it. Let’s say general life things. What I get from television is more of a… unusual knowledge. Trivia, sort of. It’s probably not even what I’m supposed to take away from what I’m watching, but there you go.

My dad was a fan of the classics: The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, the “Road” movies with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and more. He encouraged me to watch them and, probably, like them. So much so that when I was young (say, 7 to 9 or so) and the local station was playing a Marx Brothers movie at midnight or 2AM or whatever, he would wake me up if I asked and let me watch for fifteen minutes until I fell asleep again.

I don’t know anyone that would do that for their kid, especially knowing the youngster would just fall right back asleep again. There were a lot of reasons to love my dad, and that was one of them. I don’t think he ever knew just how much that meant to me.

Anyway, one of the things that would crop up occasionally (aside from all men wearing hats, ice being delivered to the home and other things that we don’t really think about these days) are ‘mail order brides.’

Mail order brides tend to crop up in westerns. Women from the East coast moving out West to marry some guy they’ve never met. The man would, from what I can tell, select a woman from a catalog and then they’d write letters back and forth until it was agreed that they’d get hitched. I’m not really sure what the woman got out of it or why they would sell themselves that way.

One day, I wondered if they were still a thing. Do women still list themselves in a catalog in the hopes of getting married? It turns out that some do. Technically, I guess all dating sites are sort of mail order bride/groom sites. Women from different countries can be part of a ‘dating’ site in the hopes of moving to a different country and getting married. The first few that I found were set up to match Ukranian women to men in the west (what a coincidence). In this case, though, it was western countries and not the Wild West.

I looked at a few profiles and saw some very beautiful women with college degrees and what sounded like very good jobs. For the most part, they could speak several languages (with English being one of them). It was at that point that I realized that I really had nothing to offer these ladies except for a ticket to America. I mean, they were pretty, they were smart, they had good jobs. Coming here to marry me would be a step down.

So, my idle curiousity sated, I forgot about it for several years. I was married twice to women that could only be described as mentally unbalanced. I mean that in a very serious sense. One of them was only slightly off, but the later one was bi-polar and, probably, suffered from borderline personality disorder.

Since then, I’ve been alone. I don’t get out much since going out alone doesn’t excite me. I have no friends, so there’s no one to go out with. I work in an industry that is primarily (and stupidly) male so there’s no one to meet. I’ve been signed up for dating sites but I’m hesitant to make the first move. Most of this stems from a fear of finding another person like my second wife because that was the most trying, and worst, time of my life. I could literally write pages upon pages of what I went through. I am still deeply damaged by that time and I don’t even realize just how deep it is.

But I’m alone. And it sucks. So I started thinking about those Ukranian mail order brides again. Would it be such a terrible thing? Even if they’re sole purpose in latching on to me was to get citizenship here, at least I would know that up front. Maybe if I married young enough and kicked the bucket they would get my life insurance and have a fairly decent time of it. That wouldn’t be a terrible thing, would it? They would get a foot into the US, and I would have a reason to go out and show them all kinds of things, have dinner, watch movies, and who knows what else. Because I’ll do all those things for someone else, I just won’t do them for me. That would be something, right?

Unfortunately, it would involve taking trips out of the country. I don’t have a passport and I lost my love of flying when the airlines decided they should pack people on a flight like cattle and then treat them like shit by staying out on the tarmac for hours at a time with no regard to life, limb, or sanity. Maybe, though, that would be good for me, too.

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Holiday

In the US, we’ll be celebrating Independance Day or, also known as, The Fourth of July. It’ll be a day full of families and friends gathering around to picnic, grill, and watch explosions in the sky.

That’s great for people who have families and friends. I don’t. So I’ll be doing a lot of nothing except for being happy that I live in the US. I’ve never lived anywhere else so I’m kind of fond of it for nostalgic reasons.

I was never big on fireworks, though. They’re neat and all when you get to see them, but I don’t go out of my way to see them. I guess it’s a bigger thing when you have a family and take them out and the kids enjoy them. The universe has made it quite clear that these are not meant to be for me.

No, what I get to do is to enjoy my day(s) off and look at Facebook with everyone else posting pictures of what a wonderful time they’re having with their families and what-not. I probably sound bitter. I am.

I mean, I’m not overly bitter. I don’t walk around muttering to myself about how shitty life is and how I wish everyone else was as miserable as I am. I don’t even think that and I’m genuinely happy that other people appear to be having an enjoyable life. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to look at what other people have and not wish that I could have something like that, too.

People may look at my life and think that I make a good living, I can afford to buy stupid things. I don’t have to worry about spending money on family things or kid things or whatever. Or, maybe, they’re envious that I don’t report to anyone; that I can do whatever I want, when I want and don’t have to explain it or justify it. I get my ‘alone’ time.

Except, I don’t want my alone time. I’ve had enough of it. I’d rather be out doing something with someone, enjoying them enjoying themselves. I won’t do things for me, but I’m more than happy do something for someone else. That’s the way I’m wired, I guess. It’s a shame. I could, I think, make someone very happy and secure. But somebody would need to take a chance on me and that’s never going to happen.

Nothing

Another Saturday of doing not much. I get to have another long weekend on account of the Fourth of July landing on a Tuesday. The nice people at work decided to let us have Monday off as well.

For the past couple of days I’ve been posting stories up on my other blog. I guess people are reading them, although no one has said very much. I never know if people like things or not. It would be nice to get some kind of feedback once in a while. Or maybe even once.

I’ve got two more to post. I thought about putting them up today and tomorrow, but I figure with the weekend and all nobody would see them and then they’d be forgotten about by Monday. And, since Tuesday is a holiday, nobody would see it then, either. So I’ll hold off until next Wednesday.

Now, my normal style of writing is to just write shit down and be done with it. I never re-write things. I never re-read things, until years later. Then, when I do, I’m usually amazed that I was the person that wrote it in the first place. Anyway, I figure with the time off I can actually read the two left and maybe make some improvements.

This probably seems a little weird since I’m sure I said the other day that I wasn’t a writer. I went from not writing anything new in years to suddenly writing five short-short stories.

Now, I’m sitting around getting the shit scared out of me watching The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. It’s weird, because I’m familiar with Ed and Lorraine Warren through various books and things from when I was younger.

Guilt

I’ve got this weird problem. I feel guilty for things that other people (as far as I understand it) don’t.

For example, I finally had an opportunity to spend my weekend without having to do anything. No errands to run, no place I had to be, just nothing to do. Sure, there’s always something I could be doing around the homestead, but there was nothing pressing.

So I played a computer game. For two days. And I feel bad about it. I couldn’t tell you why, though. I feel like I should have been doing something productive, not playing a game. So I feel guilty. I know other people who wouldn’t feel guilty. They’d be elated. They would label themselves, “gamers.”

If I take a sick day I feel guilty for doing anything other than laying in bed. Resting. I don’t answer to anyone but myself. You’d think I’d be worried about my dad showing up and berating me for watching TV while I’m sick. That’s all me, though. Weird.

It’s like I’m not used to doing anything for myself. That is completelyl true, by the way. I’m not. It’s been nearly a decade since I was required to be helpful and do things for people, but here I am feeling useless if I’m not doing something for somebody.

Sad, isn’t it?

Labels

Boy, do we love labels. We slap them on anything we can think of if there’s more than one of them. We love them so much we even have machines that will print them out. They’re handy.

Like, if you have more than one file for your accounts you might be “Accounts” on a label on the file folder. Or maybe the whole file drawer if it’s full of accounting files. Because that’s what we do.

We label music (Rock, Classical, Easy Listening, That shit my cousin listens to), we label books (Classic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi), we label people (hipster, suburbanite, yuppie).

I guess for the most part that’s okay. I mean, it’s handy for keeping things sorted if they need to be. I think it’s a problem when we embrace a label that we’ve been slapped with, though.

As a for instance, I don’t get out much and have no friends. So I don’t end up at parties, I don’t go out on dates, or much of anything. I just sort of exist. People might be tempted to say, “You’re an introvert!”

But I’m not. I want friends. I want to go to parties. I would love to go on dates. “Then you’re an extrovert, maybe!” Could be. I do know that it’s difficult for me to work up the energy to go somewhere (introvert!), but once I’m there I liven up and (usually) have a good time talking with people (extrovert!).

So I don’t know what I am. But some people will proudly exclaim that they’re so far introverted they’ve achieved oneness with the nothingness. I don’t see that as something to be proud of though. Acceptance, sure. But not proud.

Or people that exclaim happily that they’re gamers. Or nerds. Or geeks. I mean, gaming is fun but is that all you do? And can you really be a nerd or a geek anymore? Most people now sort of fit the bill, there. Just about everyone uses a computer. Or a cell phone. Maybe playing games on their phone while they wait in line for something.

When someone asks or tries to tell me I’m an extrovert or introvert or gamer or nerd or whatever, I say, “I’m just me, baby.”

Welcome

This is the post excerpt.

I used to think I would be a writer. I had dreams of writing books and stories and going to conventions and signing things and being covered in groupies and, after seeing some novels turned into blockbuster movies, of selling a book to be made into a movie and making a billion dollars.

But I’m not a writer. I’m just a guy with a broken dream who, when the feeling hits, writes things down. I haven’t had a new, original, thought for more than twenty years. I just re-hash the same old things that go through my mind (a mediocre one).

It took a long time to come to grips with the idea that I wasn’t, and would never be, a writer. It’s a sad thing. Being as old as I am, even if I were struck with inspiration it would be too late for me to do anything about it.