still on (msnvwls) wrote,
still on

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First real post in years

When I was little I loved the X-Men, was subscribed to X-Men and Uncanny and Wolverine and maybe even a couple of the others - Generation X, X-Factor maybe - even watched that cartoon that was on Fox Kids or whatever the fuck1. On Saturdays when my mom would lock me out of the house I'd run around the neighborhood pretending to be some sort of mutant. I think I was always one of those bullshitters whose superpower was "whatever became necessary in battle," like early Superman. The reverie wasn't limited to daylight hours, either, as - in a fantasy that perhaps portended future emotional issues - I'd imagine I was in critical condition, as a mutant, after a colossal battle (usually with Apocalypse, my favorite villain) and that all of my mutant friends were surrounding me, hoping for my speedy recovery. This method was an almost sure-fire way to get myself to fall asleep in a matter of minutes and was employed God knows how many times for years of my childhood.

With the fairly recent emergence of comics as a popular commercial/critical art form it seems regrettable that I didn't stick with the magazines. While some of my friends who never read comics before Watchmen got named to that Time "Greatest Novels" list still have fairly stilted understandings of the medium's workings relative to me, I feel like there's a lot more I could be getting out of them2 if only I'd remained a "true believer." But other interests always get in the way of what we love as little kids: for me it was sports, music, movies, eventually girls. These all came with their own set of headaches, complexes grown out of adolescence, until one day I'd forgotten how I fell asleep easy all those years before a warm body or booze accompanied me to bed.

Then a few days ago it kind of came to me again, and I decided to give it a shot. I got over the ridiculousness of a man my age pretending to be a new arrival at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, worried myself not with the elaborate imaginations of a fated battle. I imagined myself there, in bed, broken and battered, maybe even comatose, with imaginary friends silently pulling for me.

I can't believe I was surprised it didn't work. I'd had a similar experience just a few months before: around the time the second Iron & Wine album was released I figured out that either of those first two records could put me to sleep in three songs or less. For a month or two that was the go-to sleep aid, but then somewhere along the line rating communities (yes, I'm blaming YOU) spoiled the experience for me. Let's call it May of this year when I decided to download a bunch of stuff I was into before heavy LJ-addiction, including those Iron & Wine albums. When I listened to them in bed this time, initial happiness at still being able to enjoy songs like "Lion's Mane" and "Bird Stealing Bread" wore off with complete annoyance at stuff like "The Rooster Moans."3 Soon, the album was over and if anything I was more awake. Maybe familiarity with the songs (or, in reference back to X-Men, familiarity with those characters and storylines) in years previous is what allowed me to drift off without thinking so much, or maybe this kind of stuff just doesn't cut it for me anymore. I don't know. Sleep remains difficult. Another old strategy, reading books, doesn't help much anymore, either. I was up until four last night reading Helter Skelter.

I've written so much now about my trouble sleeping that if you're still reading you're probably wondering why. I'm having a similar experience with LiveJournal. I don't want to say that my posts from years ago were necessarily planned out, but I went into them with a sense of purpose - maybe not a theme but an idea of what I wanted to say, exactly - and had some sort of practice that allowed me to carry it out. A few weeks ago I promised a post with a starting point in mind: I'd recently returned home from spending a couple of days at my Grandmother's for Thanksgiving and found myself emotionally drained, not from spending time with the family but from the drive down there, roads I hadn't spent much time on since I lived in Savannah/Statesboro. I-16 and Highways 19/41 represent for me a past sadness. I can't be on those roads without thinking of Ivy, who isn't relevant anymore. There's a house on 41 that's been sitting in the same state of construction for years, in front of it a Rolls Royce covered up, it too having not moved or changed in forever. I was hoping to use it - its incompleteness, the abandonment, a made up story about the hows and whys - as some sort of metaphor.

Point is, the post never materialized. I couldn't seem to get myself back into that same blogging zone, even though all the parts of the post were there in my head. Even writing this feels different than what my memory of those posts over three years ago were like to write, so I wonder if reading me now is in any way the same sensation. I have a reputation now of being something of an asshole. People say this to my face, meaning to inform rather than to offend, and I wonder if I even remember what it is to be nakedly emotional. In other words, I wonder if people say this to me because I'm stonefaced. Because I don't cry anymore. Because I no longer have anyone to use as a personification of my troubles. Because I don't come here and get my catharsis (and frequently much-appreciated validation4). Because I drink more now than I ever had before. Because I only clumsily ache for acceptance, because I'm too self-conscious to whine about my ankle being sprained, because I only think of the right thing to say too late.

I don't know, I got pretty into that. If I'm not familiar enough with LiveJournal anymore to get what I used to out of it, then maybe I should be looking for something else, but if I think it's going to help me I'll do it here. I won't make any more promises about posting and can't follow comment threads the way I used to (fuck, I can't keep up communication with anyone, ever, so be hard on me), but I want us to be friends again. And the couple of you out there I know are already new: hello, nice to meet you.

1. I even made my parents take me to Pizza Hut so I could get the VHS tapes of that show. A couple of years ago me and some friends watched an episode - the one where Wolverine runs away to be an Eskimo but Sabretooth follows him and starts menacing his tribe to remind him he can't escape his past (literally screaming, I think, "You can't escape your past, Wolverine!") - and while I think my friends enjoyed it ironically I felt a supreme sense of disappointment at how simple-minded the dialogue and plot were, even for children's programming.
2. For example, I think I could get Shintaro Kago's "Abstraction" a lot better if y'all would buy me these.
3. The second album is a very similar experience now, though for me it's particularly back-loaded.
4. I hope this isn't taken wrong - I never thought of anyone here as an enabler, more like pairs of understanding ears.
Tags: welcome back
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