Vanity or Sanity?

February 17, 2012

“I’ll trade your vanity for my sanity.” I said to Marcus in 1995.

We never made the trade.

I’ve had another blah day today. I had to do a “Stress test” at my Cardiologist early this morning. My mom likes to take me there to make sure I am ok etc. I slept at my mom’s last night.

I was instructed not to drink caffeine for 12 hours before and no smoking after midnight last night. Yes, I have a heart condition and I started smoking again. Not even close to half as much as I used to. I don’t drink that much coffee. But that’s not the point. It was rough waking up and staying up then going for a stress test. I was stressed from not having coffee and smoking.

I was there for over 3hours and or was mostly waiting around and 2 photo sessions after putting fluid in me for the machine. The only “test” I took was a 10-15 minute treadmill until my hear rate was up to 150 beats a minute. The Doctor was fun to look at except for her wedding ring. Well, it was a nice wedding ring. You get the idea.

I left there so groggy for some reason. Mom took me food shopping. She took me. I paid. Ha. Then we did lunch and I finally bought a coffee. A “French Toast Latte” actually, with 4 shots of espresso. I drank up and had a smoke finally. Ahh. I drank the whole thing and my ass was still dragging.

I came home with mom. I sleep here some Friday nights so I can help my uncle Saturday mornings. I helped my mom with a few things and cleaned out my broken down car in her driveway. I donated it to Purple Heart and they are picking it up on Monday.

It’s a sad loss. I loved that car but it needs too much work and I can’t afford it right now. I did score a bunch of coins from it. SO I took a walk to the bank to cash them in. TD bank charges 6% on the coin machine if you don’t have an account with them. I’ve and accounts with them for years even when they were Commerce Bank and they never charged. Now I don’t have an account and they charged me over a dollar and I ended up with just under 17 dollars. Oh well, it was still found money.

I took a walk into town to get some smokes and splurge on a Starbucks coffee (half decaf at this point) since I had some extra money. Chatted with the friendly kid at CVS I see every week about cigarettes mostly. My old friend from when I worked at Starbucks was working and we chatted it up a bit. One of the girls I used to see there almost every night a couple years back looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back. I used to think she was cute. She still is. I just don’t always think about these things all of the time. Just at my Doctor today.

“Are you the same guy..?” She asked then paused.

“That used to be her every night? Yes.” I answered.

“You lost a lot of weight. You look great.” She said.

I thanked her and almost told he she looked good too but wasn’t sure if that’s what I’m supposed to say or not anymore. I talked to her while she made my drink.

“You used to drive that big red car right?” She asked.

“Yeah. I’m not driving it now.” I said.

“What are you driving?”

“Nothing.”

“Where do you live now?”

“Fairview.”

“Where’s that?”

“ It’s on the edge of Camden near Collingswood. Where do you live?”

“Bellmawr.”

“Cool. Nice seeing you again.”

“Great to see you. Stop in more.”

I took my drink in a great mood. I gained a little of my weight back in the past month and have been a little self-conscious. I hadn’t shaved in a week and my hair was un-kept today so “looking good” was the last thing on my mind. It felt good to hear it. When I first lost the weight after a month or so recovering from my heart surgery months ago I was so confident. I was able to wear clothes I couldn’t fit into for over 4 years. That faded away fast with other priorities making me forget.

It occurred to me that I didn’t even feel bad about not having a car or even a job because “I looked good” to quote my friend John, even when I was at my worst.

I guess it was a good day. Because other people’s opinion’s of my looks makes me feel better than my accomplishments.

In reality I’d rather have created something like a piece of art, poetry or a novel than look good but I was nice to hear it.

I’ll keep my sanity (the little I have) and you can keep your vanity.


Leading You Nowhere . . .

September 4, 2010

I’ve been slacking lately on the writing. When I do write I want to have something to say or talk about and there are no events that have been happening that stand out to talk about. There’s a lot going on in my head but I haven’t felt like writing about it. That’s why I’m writing right now. Sometimes I have to write just for the sake of writing. Clear my head a little bit, ya know? Who knows maybe this will lead somewhere. Maybe what I am writing now will lead to something to write about or maybe it already has. Do you write?

Do you ever get writer’s block as they call it? I think I’ve been getting that lately. Either that or laziness of the mind. The one thing that has always unblocked me as a writer is to just start writing. Hey. That’s what I’m doing now, isn’t it? Are you still reading? Good. Then we have something going between us. I write and you read. A fair deal.

A family friend is an artist. He told me a long time ago that the art isn’t complete until someone sees it and shares the experience. Otherwise its not art to him. I didn’t question him. I believed that. Like what’s going on right now between you and I. This writing isn’t complete unless you read it, right?

Last week my cousin who is also a talented artist was visiting and I decided to share this great wisdom with him. I told him that the art isn’t complete without someone seeing it. Do know what he had the audacity to do. You won’t believe this. He asked why. What nerve? He expected an explanation for my undeniable wisdom that was passed down to me from a more experienced artist then both of us. I couldn’t believe he was questioning me. Do you want to know what really bothered me about his question? I’m assuming you said yes. If not I’m going to tell you anyway. What bothered me the most about his question was that I did not have an answer. My jaw dropped and I tried my hardest to explain to him but my final answer was “I don’t know”. We had a similar discussion about God later but I won’t get into that one.

Here, what I so blindly accepted years ago as the holy word, the truth, solid information, my cousin questioned. He questioned it because he had not heard that before and he is more of a free thinker than I am. He has questions and wants answers as opposed to me accepting things at face value. I guess my faith extends beyond God. I have faith in people and what I hear as truth and simply accept it. This is good and bad for me.

I don’t always fight for things. I accept a no as meaning no. I also hate people that won’t take no for an answer. It annoys me. It could be jealousy or envy but I doubt it. Don’t get me wrong, I fight for something that I feel I deserve or something I believe in but I save my battles for something important. Usually I accept it. You tell me it’s snowing outside in New Jersey in July I might believe you. I’ll have my doubts. I think I’m off track again.

Coincidentally, the night my cousin was over my family’s artist friend came by as well. So I took the opportunity to bring up the question my cousin asked. Why? He explained it and went back and forth with my cousin about what art is. My cousin believes it’s art if you are just doing it for you. We all agreed that we create for ourselves first. My cousin believes the art is art in the process and getting your emotions out not the end result. Earlier, I referred to my art and writing as products. The word product had a negative connotation to him. Product is a word used commercially. To me it means something that I produced. It’s a product. The point of whether art is still art if no one sees it was never made clear that night. I still blindly accept that the art process or my case the writing process is complete when someone or many people are reading it. Are you still reading this. I’m assuming you are. This piece was written for me and I just assume that you will read it. You did. Right?

This piece of writing is complete art now. Now go tell your friends to read this and see if it becomes better writing because more people read it and the process is even more complete.

I knew when I started writing this it would eventually lead somewhere. You are that somewhere. Thank you.


%d bloggers like this: