Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 0: Settled In (Well, Physically Anyway)

Alright, I'm in my place of sorts, that is, the place I'll be living for the next three or so months. My brother and I are sharing a one-bedroom here in West Hollywood, in the epicenter of the gayest part of LA, and perhaps, after the Castro, the country. Hey, I'm down. The gay fellas know how to make a neighborhood nice. One of my favorite neighborhoods in San Diego, a city I by and large detest, was Hillcrest, the "gay" neighborhood. Good restaurants, clean, fun shops (not that I'm really into shopping). Same here. Place is nice too. Big enough that Cort has the bedroom and I have my little space in the living room. This apartment in Manhattan would cost double what it does here, if not more. Cort's going to be happy here I think. That makes me happy. And both of us have had enough time kickin' it with the gay community to be totally comfortable getting hit on, which undoubtedly is going to happen a lot in this neighborhood. So be it, let's do this boys!

Yea, that's right, welcome to the good life.
So yes, "home". Not really, but that's OK, I'm content here. I bought myself a cheap twin bed and mattress off Craigslist. A cheap desk from Target. Bedding. A towel. A lamp. A folding metal chair. Some clothes hangers. Deodorant. The basics. I don't need much else, besides a job. Stay busy. Make money. Continue to plan my next move, and, when the time comes, make it.

I'd be lying if I said I was happy. I'm not. I'm not unhappy either, really. I just am. I'm existing. I feel very flat-lined emotionally right now. I'm figuring out ways to make the days go by. Just finished a great book - A Thousand Splendid Suns. Talk about putting things in perspective. Here's to hoping the Taliban never manage to regain control anywhere ever again. Better yet, just eradicate the bunch of them from off the face of the planet. I've no sympathy. Not for people who make life so horrific for others. OK, yea, settle down Quinn. Anyway, good book. Read it.

I like being with my brother, and being with my pup, and I like being able to see my dad and stepmom fairly regularly. It's nice to see Mike and Christina and Ginny and Ariel and Jenni and other close friends. Still though, I'm lonely. It became clear to me in Haiti that I'm ready to give myself to someone, but it's also clear to me that I'm not going to pursue any random girl to make it happen. I'm not that type of person. I'm happy to wait, and be patient, and, when the right one comes along, I trust I'll know it. I had glimpses of it before, in a beautiful woman I was with before Haiti, and I truly found it for the first time in Haiti, where I met a girl I became very close to. I know now what it feels like. And truth be told, I'd be lying if I said I'm still not hurting a bit in regards to that girl from Haiti, which would suggest I'm actually not yet ready to try and partner up with someone else, even if it might make me feel better in the here and now. It isn't really fair to the other person. Sure, a more playful, casual thing I'm open to. That can be a lot of fun in its simplicity. But something deeper right now? Nope. Not the time. Not yet anyway. Besides, I chose this. I could have walked a different path. I didn't. I chose trying to build a life I can be proud of before trying to be partner to someone I'd come to love and respect. It seems to me the right order of things. You can't really be with someone in any truly healthy way over the long run until you're happy with yourself - with who you are, and with what you've made your life mean. With what you do when you wake up in the morning. I'm not quite there yet. I'm getting ever closer, but I'm not there. Not yet. Hence choosing not to relocate to London. Hence being here for the next few months, even if I know it isn't where I want to be, or where I'm going to be. It's good to remind myself of that. It grounds me. I'm at the point now where I trust my gut. It wasn't always that way. I'm really glad to have reached that place, even if on occasion I need to remember that that is, in fact, the case.

So all said and done, I'm cool being where I'm at with it all. I suppose it's natural to miss the person who unlocked something in me for the first time, even if it was brief, and now, many months ago. And I'm fine with hurting every once in a while as a result of not having her around any more. It's part of being human really. In many respects, it's the most powerful part of being human - hurting. It brings out your compassion, and humility, and, if you let it, it will make you a more honest person, with yourself as much as with others. That's invaluable. Most people don't like to hurt though. They'll do whatever they can to avoid it. I've got my methods, definitely. I'm no better than the next guy. But right now I'm not engaging any of them. I'm not drinking, I'm not wasting hours on end playing video games. I guess reading is an escape, but it's one I'm happy to allow myself. I suppose that's why time feels strange right now - I'm present to it. Maybe this emotional mutedness is part of it. If you're truly present, it's hard to swing dramatically. That usually comes as a result of pushing furiously into a nonexistent future, or clinging desperately to a dead past. I still do play in the future, and linger in moments past, but I know when I am, and something about knowing it strips it of its potency. I very rarely find myself truly in pain because of it anymore. I'm very rarely all in. It's usually pretty easy for me to snap back to present. Mornings, after I've been dreaming, can sometimes be tricky, but I suppose that makes sense - dreaming is one thing I can't control, or realize I'm doing (never did figure out that whole lucid dreaming thing), so its potency isn't diminished. And dreams aren't real. They unfold in pasts and futures and alternate presents. Waking up to the real present can be jarring. But it passes, and I'm out of bed. I'm in the shower, and then getting dressed, and now my dog is wagging his tail at me with his goofy grin, and I'm smiling back and speaking in that ridiculous voice reserved only for him, and my brother is figuring out what to do for breakfast, and I'm here, and that's good enough for me right now. Paciencia gringo, I tell myself. It's a big beautiful world out there. Do what you need to do now to get out into it again soon. Or, the wise man sayeth in return, realize that you're in it already. Now. Right now. Really?, I say, Los Angeles? Really? Really? Fuck. You're an asshole you know that? You're right, but you're an asshole. Then I realize I'm being a dick. Check yourself Quinn. You've so much of what other people only wish they had. Haiti was proof enough of that. The world is proof enough of that.

The Hype Machine is great. One of my favorite things to do when I'm simply being is hunting for music. I'm a bit of a madman in how excited I can get when I find new songs I like, and The Hype Machine is a great resource for that. Highly recommend it for fellow music junkies. Here's a few I just found, remixes by one of my favorite bands, Home Video:

The Naked Hearts - Only For You (Home Video Remix)
Bear In Heaven - Ultimate Satisfaction (Home Video Remix)


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