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Black is the New Purple

“J-Man… Why do you wear black all the time?”
“Whats with the stupid gloves?”
“Why on earth are you wearing goggles?”
“Are your hands cold or something?”
“Forget to put on a color this morning?”
“Going snowboarding or something?”
“That must be very hot.”
“Um… What is on…. your hands”

I wear all black as a test.  People make so many snap judgements.  About everything.  If the fact that I’m wearing all black makes you not want to talk to me, then I didn’t want to talk to you in the first place.  Thats why I’m wearing all black.  So you won’t talk to me.

I just look good in black.

It amuses me that what I have on can affect the people around me so much.  Look at you, you’re actually bothered by my gloves.  See that girl over there?  She’s paying more attention to me than to her boyfriend.  Which is making her boyfriend pay attention to me.  I don’t actually crave the attention, I am just genuinely amused at how easy it is to get.  Good or bad, I walk into a room and people notice.  When I leave, they’re talking about me.  I love it.

Picture this scene
J-Man enters an 7eleven.  He picks up an Amp and a bottle of Dasani.  He walks to the register.  Behind the counter a fairly cute girl wearing black lipstick pretends to not be intrigued.  Her curiosity will get the best of her…
Goth Chick – Why are you wearing Gloves?
J-Man – So you’d ask me about them
Goth Chick – *giggle*
Do you have any idea how hard it is to make goth chicks giggle?  Its freakin impossible.

With even the littlest bit of wind, black is the coolest color you could wear.  People say it absorbs heat, but thats not true.  Think of white like a shield, and black like… I don’t know, something that allows things to pass through.  Not a shield.  White reflects the heat outside, yes, but it also keeps the heat inside in.  Black breathes, lets the wind blow your heat away.  Why do you think the nomads and crap wear all that black.  Because they’re cold?

Because I’m The J-Man.

Yes when the wind stops blowing I pretty much light on fire.

No my hands are not cold, I wear these for the look.

I’m not going snowboarding, but if I was, I’d be ready.

The whole look is really representative of J-Man as a person.  A 50/50 mix of trying too hard and not caring at all.  It’s the same concept behind the weird confidence I’ve got.  If you can manage to absolutely care about everything, and absolutely not care at the same time, the world becomes a fun place to live.  The “All Black/Fingerless Gloves/Goggles” is the official J-Man uniform now.  Its hecka easy, everything I own matches everything else.  It makes shopping incredibly simple.  Is it black?  Check.  Does it fit?  Check.  Sweet, I’ll take three.  I get up, I throw on whatevers handy, then walk outside and it looks planned.  It IS planned.  And at the same time not.  See what I’m sayin?

Gloves, little dude.

Seriously guys?   I don’t know.  I’m just as confused as you are.  Stop asking me you’re making my head hurt.

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Late nights and meandering walks
Deep thoughts and long talks
A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold
Always an “All in” never an “I fold”
Carving his name in a tree with a knife
Risking your friendship to save your life
Calling himself cool but he doesn’t believe it
Setting a goal, and failing to achieve it
Fragile and weak, scared and alone
The strong voice on the other side of the telephone
A super hero, untouchable, shatterproof
An enigma, both warm and aloof
Laughing at the word “aloof” as he writes on the page
A bit actor with a lead role, life is a stage
Catching you falling before you slip
Falling himself, he cant help but trip
Hiding the cracks under a cocky shell
Wearing it proudly, it has served him well
Completely flawed and completely confident
Believing that every moment is heaven sent
Closing his eyes, he’s afraid of the dark
Hanging his life on your thoughtless remark
Rubbing your shoulder to ease the pain
Breaking a bone, calling it a sprain
Wanting your number, but refusing to ask
Running the show and coming in last
Reading your words and soaking them in
Reading your face and hating his sin
Romancing your girl, better watch your back
Cutting corners, saving time, picking up the slack
Wearing all black just to see what you’ll say
12 on a 10 scale, all day, every day

If you’re not in them, and no one’s having sex… who cares? This one’s about my dreams, and you’ll notice there’s an “emo” tag. You’ve been warned.

I had a dream about time travel. Time machines had been invented and weren’t that hard to make use of, but you could only use them once. Forward or back to any year you want, but where you go, you stay. I went backwards. I think my logic was to live in “simpler times”.

The history I went back to wasn’t accurate at all. There were elements in it from multiple decades, and this actually didn’t make sense to me IN the dream. The main feel was early 1900’s (steampunk fan much?). I was in the USA, but we were using Swiss Francs. I specifically had an issue with this because I had gone back with American dollars from the time I was supposed to be going to, and had to find a way to get money that was usable. I got accepted into some sort of ivy league university, studying to become a lawyer. An old friend of mine, Matt Holly, was there… twice. I guess he had gone back in time to go to school, but there was already a Matt Holly there, for reasons I don’t understand and didn’t get to explore.

Liv Tyler was in all my classes. I met her at registration and immediately turned on the charm (of course). I think somehow I ended up getting assigned to live in the closet of her and her roommates dorm, due to the boys dorm being full (give me a break, it was a dream). She was the obvious love interest in this picture, but it never got that far. The setup happened. We got assigned a partners project in our Business/Economics class.  We were supposed to be acting out a retail transaction where one of us was supposed to buy some sort of 3D player (super anachronism) from the other one. We were sitting in the classroom after class had ended, and I noticed she looked sad about something. When I asked her about it, she started to cry, but before I could get her to tell me what was wrong, I woke up.

I opened my eyes and stared at the side of my bed reserved for my phone, laptop, reading material, laundry, and other random storage, and was just bothered. I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming, but I think that may have made the sense of… [loss? sadness? lonliness? lack of accomplishment?] that I felt, worse. It allowed me to wish it was real while I was experiencing it, knowing it was going to end.

I have a recurring dream about Monterey and cigars. There’s a special shop there that I couldn’t find if I wanted to. I walk around it just taking in the rich smells. I’m not alone. The girl that I’m with shows me her favorites. She picks up Claros and Colorados and Maduros, showing them to me and explaining the differences. We head back into the smoking room after selecting a couple. I let her do most of the selecting. The guy running the shop, who’s been flirting with her since we walked in, comes back briefly. He senses that flirting is as far as he’s going to get, and he heads back to the front of the store after some small talk. She sits in my lap and we slowly fade into a haze of smoke and memories. She tells me stories about her dad. She cries. I hold her. When we leave, it’s dark outside. Were we really in there that long? We walk down to the beach hand in hand. We talk, we argue, we laugh. We share our first kiss on a beach in Monterey. Someone takes a picture of it. The flash wakes me up.

I know immediately why there was a picture taken at that moment.  It’s because the picture hangs on the wall in my room above my bed.  It’s blank, of course, because it hasn’t actually been taken. Never will be taken.

I just realized that Liv Tyler reminds me of her.

Damn these dreams. Taunting me with things that are just… out of reach. I often wake up with tears in my eyes, like part of me knew the dream was ending and had started crying before I was actually concious.  The sadness only lasts as long as it takes me to shake myself fully awake, but while it’s there, it’s deep.  I practiced lucid dreaming for a while, hoping that I could eventually control them.  Instead they just became more real.  I was able to remember them more clearly.  Figures…  This is probably why I don’t sleep very often.

I once told a girl that I could have been the best thing to ever
happen to her. She took offense to this. I mean, in my head, I
understood that the statement was true. True in that it was a
possibility. The statement “I could have been the worst thing to
ever happen to you” would have been just as true.

I think stuff like this, and realize that I probably have some sort
of social personality disorder. Then it hits me that one of the
symptoms has got to be not caring about having a social personality disorder.

I don’t know what disorder it is, but I’m comforted by the fact
that having it makes it ok to have it.

It’d be like if herpes was the cure for herpes.

 

P.S. I don’t have herpes.

Macro Performance Life

There is a man named August Brown who writes for the LA Times.  He made a statement about a terrible band called Brokencyde that pretty much summed up a lot of the world we live in for me, so I thought I’d share it.

“Brokencyde has done for MySpace emo what some think Soulja Boy did
for hip-hop: turn their career into a kind of macro-performance art
that exists so far beyond the tropes of irony and sincerity that to ask
‘are they kidding?’ is like trying to peel an onion to get to a
perceived central core that, in the end, does not exist and renders all
attempts to reassemble the pieces futile.”

What with the myspaces and the facebooks and the twitters and the blogs… we’ve pretty much turned our lives into macro-performance art. Be amusing, be clever, be unique. People are watching. People aren’t watching? Then you must be doing something wrong. It’s an odd thing to be able to see, and still be a part of.  I’d stop being a hypocrite… but what else would be left?

Love is an emotion. Like anger, happiness, sadness, pickles… it’s a feeling we get in response to stimuli. Part chemical, part magic, it’s one of the wonderful things that allows us to look in the mirror every morning and pretend that we are more complex than the other creatures meandering around on our planet.

Like its fellow emotions, love affects the way we act. When you are angry at something, you act differently toward it than if it made you happy. In extreme cases, emotions can make us do things that we would never think of doing in a calm state of mind. This has even led to different degrees of emotions taking on new words. Irritated, Rage, fury, elation, contentedness, bliss, miserableness, gloominess, depression (not the clinical kind).

This, however, is where love starts to stand out a bit. In English, there aren’t really any words to describe varying degrees of the wide-spanning emotion we call love. This seems to relate directly to the fact that we put love on a pedestal above the other emotions. If love starts to fade, or weaken; or if we don’t believe that what someone is expressing is “true” love, we find other, lesser, descriptors to associate with the feeling. Infatuation gets tossed around. We come up with cute terms like “crush” or “twitterpated” (thank you Bambi). We have elevated and romanticized it to the point that it doesn’t even really count as an emotion anymore.

Ask yourself: When is the last time someone told you “I am angry at that person,” and you responded with, “Are you sure it’s really anger, and not something else?” When your friend tells you, “This makes me sad,” do you ever think to yourself, “I wonder if they are talking about true sadness.” Let’s be honest, you haven’t. You can probably see where I’m going with this. If I go back and replace either of those emotions with “love”, suddenly those sentences make sense to you, and aren’t comically stupid. Let’s see if I can write a couple sentences without using quotation marks.

This cloud castle that we have decided love resides in has upsides and downsides. I’m going to try to discuss both, but I’ve got to be honest, the downsides have been slapping me in the face here recently and I’m probably going to argue them a bit more fervently.

The first thing that comes to mind, is that we allow love to be a “reason”. Bear with me, despite the fact that the quotation marks have returned already. All emotions tend to make us do stupid things at times. Get too angry, fly off the handle, do things you wish you hadn’t. Get too happy about something, you might overlook pitfalls and wind up yanking the rug out from under yourself, or not notice that someone else is trying to (probably because they are mad at you for being happy.) Allow sadness to saturate you, and you will miss out on things that could turn your frown upside down. When any of these things happen, though, most people sit down and try to find a cause. What made me so angry that I lost it like that? Why was I so happy? I need to figure out what caused that so I can do it again, and keep it going longer next time. What on earth has me so depressed? I need to find out what it is so I can fix it and get out of this slump. We look for the reasons FOR the emotions.

Love, on the other hand, often just gets used AS a reason… a lot of times as a reason for very stupid actions. Why is that woman allowing that man to punch her repeatedly, telling the police that everything is fine, and taking the same abuse the next night? She’ll be the first person to tell you, “because I love him.” Why is that guy constantly pining after that girl? She doesn’t give him the time of day, and seems much more interested in getting beat up by her boyfriend then talking to him. Obviously, he is in love with her. What made that [Insert a gender here, it’s like a “choose your own adventure” book!] give up everything for that [Insert another gender here. It can be the same one, I don’t care. My blog is officially liberal friendly!]. LOVE LOVE LOVE! And that’s as far as it goes! No one ever looks any further. Can you imagine if we did that with other emotions? (From now on, whenever I say something gender specific, just pretend that I did that clever bracket thing instead.)

“Why did you punch me in the face?”
“Because I was angry at you.”
“Why were you angry at me?”
“Isn’t it enough that I was angry at you?”
NO. OF COURSE THAT IS NOT ENOUGH. THAT IS SILLY. Time and time again, though, people do stupid things, and just let the reason be “love”.
“Why did you allow that man to treat you much more terribly than you ever deserved to be treated?”
“Because I was in love with him.”
“Why were you in love with a man who treated you that way?”
“I CAN’T CONTROL WHO I LOVE!”

How is loving someone an excuse to allow them to treat you terribly?

Now, I promised you I was going to try and talk about upsides, and they do exist. People do nice things without considering their motives, because it can all be summed up in a single word. Buying gifts, taking care of needs, going out of one’s way to help someone else. Love will sometimes drive folks to do positive things for others without taking the time to dissect why they’re doing it.

Still, especially in the case of intimate relationships, the explanation behind the emotion can make the act a lot more meaningful. Take, for example, giving a girl flowers. Let me use some more quotation marks to illustrate.

“Oh my gosh, you brought me flowers! They are so pretty! Is it a special occasion or something? Why did you get me these?”
Standard answer: “No special occasion. I got them because I love you.”

Awwwww, isn’t that sweet? He got her flowers simply because he loves her. Wait… Simply? Isn’t love a pretty big thing? What if he thought about that for a second and came up with the actual motivation behind the flowers.

Not using love as a reason: “I saw them in the store, and I remembered that they were your favorite because I care about the things you think and say, and I just knew they would make you smile. Seeing you smile makes me smile. If I could find just one way to make you smile, every day, then I would never have to go a day without smiling. We can both just smile every day forever.”

Did a tear come to your eye just now? No? Well you obviously wouldn’t enjoy this romantic comedy script I wrote.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that simply using the word “love” to sum up feelings that you may not always have the time to write a book about is a bad thing. I’m just saying… THINK about it.

To get back to the negative aspects of this concept (I don’t think I ever truly left them), putting love on its pedestal, and then using it as a reason, also allows us to not take responsibility for our actions. Obviously, if we can’t control who we love, and love = a reasonable response when someone asks us why we are doing something… then our actions are absolutely out of control and apparently we are ok with that. I have personally done some very stupid things for love, and although it would be nice to just blame it on that emotion and walk away, eventually you have to sit down and analyze these things or you will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The flower analogy up there was sappy and cute, but let’s take a look at a more detrimental effect that this can have.

“Dude, that girl treats you like garbage. She is always flirting with other guys, really doesn’t seem to care about anything going on in your life, doesn’t support you in anything you try to do, and just takes advantage of how much effort you seem to put into making her happy. Why don’t you just leave her?”
Standard answer: “Because I love her.”

Isn’t that both handy, AND dandy? By using this answer, you don’t have to examine this terrible situation any further then the fact that all of your actions are based on a magical emotion. Now let’s go ahead and try to break this down a bit. Let’s explain it, as though you are trying to explain to someone why you are angry with them.

“Being single is scary. I, like most humans, have a natural need for companionship, and even though my current situation is terrible, I genuinely fear launching myself back into the world of being ‘alone’. There is also the fact that I have vested quite a bit of time into this relationship, and I feel like if I cut the cord now, I would be making all that time useless. No one wants to feel as though they have wasted large amounts of their time. When I think on this further, I also realize that she has become a regular facet of my life, and that fact alone has caused an emotional attachment to form. I may not actually enjoy her being there, but it feels as though she is supposed to be there. If I were to be COMPLETELY honest with myself, there’s also the factor of physical attraction. She is beautiful, and I like looking at beautiful things. Sex is wonderful, and it is nice to be able to have it, safely, on a regular basis. To wrap everything up, because I have allowed this to go on for so long, I have not only become accustomed to it, but have given myself the impression that I could not find a more fulfilling relationship OUTSIDE of it. I feel like if I sever this attachment, I will not be able to find another attachment. It is even possible that being mistreated for so long has caused me to believe that this is all I deserve, and that trying to find something better would not be appropriate for someone like me. Even a leaky boat is better than no boat, ya know?”

Now, obviously, I didn’t cover EVERYTHING there, but HOLY CRAP. That whole “because I love her” thing can contain so much vital information. Information that deserves to be examined and acted upon.

I made the statement to a friend a while back that I was losing my faith in love. This alone is an example of putting the emotion on a pedestal. Could I lose my faith in anger? Could I lose my faith in sadness? Why is love so special that it is something I could even HAVE faith in, let alone lose it? I am taking back the statement publicly. I’m not losing my faith in love, I am simply becoming very tired of the way people mistreat the emotion and the word. If you tell me you love me, don’t be offended if I ask you to explain what you mean.

Bloggity blog blog blog.

I have a brain. This brain thinks thoughts. Sometimes I think I’m funny. Sometimes I think I’m insightful. Sometimes, when all of the arrogance cells in my brain fire at once, I think I’m wise. On occasion, those around me that I share these thoughts with agree with me. I have decided to test this on a wider sampling of humans.

Welcome to I Am J-Man; a place for me to be me, and you to feed (or starve) my ego by telling me what you think of me (or not doing that). I’m going to be ignoring all basic rules of blogging by refusing to have any sort of “direction” or “purpose” when I come here to type things. I’ll post lyrics for songs I’m working on, creative writing samples, opinion pieces… Whatever strikes me. Maybe it’ll strike you?

Let’s see where this goes together.