Now where am I going – Metaphysical Edition

Today’s Music: Johnny Clegg & Savuka

So last time, I used this title to show off a bunch of compasses I own.
Because I’m the kind of guy who thinks compasses are cool. (much like bow ties.)

Bow ties are cool.

At the bottom of that post, I promised I’d give you the Metaphysical Edition. Because I’m an idiot.

So come now, as we delve into the sludge and confusion that slosh and ooze inside my head. (No, not the eggs I put in my nose when I was 6. I’m talking about my brain. Sheesh, this is gonna be a long post…)

Any good psychiatrist will tell you that in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.
I’ve worked in kitchens. I’ve worked in offices. I even once assembled newspapers (that lasted one day).

Sunday NY Times. Lots and lots of pages.

I’ve traveled (not extensively, but a bit), gone to 5 or 6 countries, many states and countless bars and restaurants. Not that the number is so high they can’t be counted, it’s just hard to use numbers when you’re that drunk.

I’ve been ridiculously happy. Extremely sad. Criminally mischievous. Incredibly well dressed. I’ve worn Hawaiian shirts to work, and tuxedos to bars. I have a wicked sense of humor and enjoy being the perpetrator of a well played joke, as well as the victim of one.

Way back when I used to sweat for a living, it was my job to keep a semi-homicidal group of immigrants/junkies/alcoholics functioning well enough to serve 800 dinners a night out of a hellishly hot kitchen. I yelled, threatened, cursed, and when necessary, I showed my guys that the way I said to do it was right by doing it in front of them.

Those were their choices.

This led to a long and destructive period of aggressively enjoying the hell out of myself, and drinking way too much. It was also during this time that I met IrishPaul.

At the point where my knees decided they didn’t want weren’t going to work in restaurants anymore (and after I almost cut someone’s finger off for eating a french fry), I went back to school for a computer certification.

For that stretch, I worked as little as possible, relied on friends (bartenders) for food and drink, and generally recovered my head.
When I was about 28, I started a job as a pc tech. I had just moved in with a friend (bartender), went in for a drink that night on his shift and saw a girl (the most wonderful girl in the universe). And eventually married her.
(all that will eventually be another post.)

Everything up to this point had been a whirl of drink, food, road trips, good friends in bars, too little sleep and a ton of late nights.

3 months after I got my pc tech job, the dot com I was working at closed and I started a new job in a Network Operations Center (sounds cooler than it is – no windows, canned air and the constant whirring of server fans), working 2nd shift (noon to 10 pm).
Then they moved me to mornings.

I had a great boss (despite him thinking music began and ended with The Beatles), who didn’t fire me when it took two weeks for me to actually show up on time for the day shift.
but I couldn’t stay out all night if I had to be in at 7am. So I stopped staying out all night.
I grew mellower. I was sweating less. I was holding intelligent conversations that didn’t loudly speculate about an individual’s questionable intelligence or favorite farm animal.

Things were going well with the girl. She came skiing with me and learned to love it. She introduced me to new music, some of which is great. She got me to start cooking again (really, when I left restaurants, if I couldn’t nuke it, boil it, or eat it out of the bag, I wasn’t eating it). She suggested day trips, vacations, kayaking.
It was a perfect life.

I slowly started waking up in the morning. Looking forward to the weekend.
Speaking in a socially acceptable manner (i.e.every third word wasn’t a curse). I relaxed a bit more.
I became accustomed to the joys of the daily rush hour commute. To drink and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. To sweat less and smile more.

That’s continued for about the last 10 years. My girl and I have a simple life. I do most of the cooking and ironing, she makes sure the bills go out on time and (occasionally) laughs at my jokes. We have things that only move one of us, things that move both of us, nad each supports the other pretty much no matter what.
She knows (probably better than I do) what’ll piss me off or set me on edge (she doesn’t linger at/near/in smelling distance of the perfume counters at malls or department stores!), and always manages to keep me calm.
I tell her I love her several times a day, which she does too – not for reassurance, but because it’s nice to hear when it’s sincere.

So, I get up, I go to work. I come home, make dinner, lie on the couch with my girl as we read our books or she surfs the web and I watch tv.
I have time to play my guitars, or video games, or to work on my model railroad.
On weekends, we do our grocery shopping and other chores, visit friends, go to museums/restaurants/stuff we want to see, and live what I guess are normal ordinary lives.
I go to as many concerts as I can (sometimes with, sometimes without her), she also has stuff she does on her own.

It’s a stable, good life.

At this point, I probably won’t throw my gear and compii into the car and just go for long ride.
I’m never going to be a Marine Biologist. Or cure cancer. Or headline at Madison Square Garden.

I will work every day to justify my wife’s faith and love in me. I will still say as many inappropriate things as I think I can get away with. I will keep playing with my food.

One day, if I’m lucky, I’ll go see a man about a horse (in this case, a horse is a kayak/motorcycle/sailboat/small island…). I’ll keep having mini adventures (skiing, surfing, paragliding, driving in midtown) as I can fit them in.

I will probably work, retire when I can, worry about health, money, the Mets…
I’d like to do that someplace tropical. I’d like to understand more of quantum physics (thogh I do finally understand Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle).
I don’t know if any of that will happen. And, despite the beginning of this post, I don’t really know where I’m going.

But, for the moment, I’m content.
Because I got the girl.

Everything else is noise.

32 responses to “Now where am I going – Metaphysical Edition

  1. It turns out it was a love story the whole time.


  2. Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your post. It’s very nice indeed to be happy and content, and enjoy life whatever comes along. 🙂


  3. Great music choice.

    I really enjoyed reading this. If I may add an outsider’s perspective…

    I won’t dispute that you are an idiot. You know yourself better than I and you may, in fact, be an idiot. It sounds like your path – like most – has taken you through many ups and downs and while battle scars are par for the course, there are many different ways to wear them. I’m impressed at how you wear yours. It’s inspiring that you seem to have overcome what sound like very challenging circumstances and been able to make good -healthy – choices for so long. They probably weren’t all good choices and I’ll bet having the kind of support you share with TMWGITU makes it easier and also more important to make better choices. I might even go so far as saying it sounds like you’d be a great role model. Thank you for the inspiration.
    I would take back all the touchy feely stuff (which isn’t my style anyway) if I had reason to think you were going to put eggs in your nose again. That’s just weird.


  4. therecoveringbrit

    Love this post! The description of you being “criminally mischievous” is awesome! But the overall sentiment is just perfect. It truly isn’t what you do in life, but who you’ve loved, that matters.


  5. Thanks, therecoveringbrit.
    You’re absolutely right. the funny thing is, if I’m unhappy in what I’m doing, she’ll push me to do something that does make me happy.
    It’s a win-win!


  6. Wow – Deja Vu, big time.


    • In what way, John?


      • Worked and played until my mid twenties, partied, travelled coast to coast, worked restaurants, then met the one. Now we work hard every day and plan on how to enjoy the rest of our time on this planet with each other and where. We are the people in the restaurant that don’t sit at their table staring at the wall, we are the ones actually talking to each other. Over 30 years and we still have lots to say.


  7. Inspirational. That’s what we’re heading towards too.
    Although the where for us is less important than the “as long as we’re together”.


  8. “When you start by getting the girl, the world puts the book down and lets you start your ‘happily ever after’ early.” – Edward Hotspur


  9. Sounds like you’re living in the garden of Eden. What would you do if your girl wasn’t as supportive as you needed. what if she didn’t encourage you to be happy. what if she didn’t.t bring out the best in you or make you the best you could be? What would you do?

    Seems like there might be a good answer out there. I like the blog and the comments.


    • Thanks Adam.
      I often ask myself if I’m exaggerating my relationship with my girl. But when I look at the evidence – How I feel about her, how when looks at me and acts toward me, the life we live together, I think my perception is actually one of reality.
      I think, if I weren’t with her, I’d be out drinking and raising hell, possibly traveling more, almost definitely enjoying myself.
      I don’t think it would be a bad life. But compared to what I have with her, it certainly wouldn’t be better.

      And if she didn’t make me a better man, I probably wouldn’t have been with her for 11 years. I am nothing but lucky that she picked me.


  10. the most wonderful girl in the universe

    I got the guy and he makes me furiously happy.


  11. Awww. Very nice post.

    And, humans assemble newspapers?


    • Several of the Sunday sections arrive separately on Saturday. The main sections and the rest arrive (separately) on Sunday morning.
      All 16 or so sections need to be put together. One of the less rewarding jobs I’ve had…
      Thanks for stopping by!


  12. This is one of your best posts ever!

    It’s nice to get to know the dude behind Guapola. I mean, we’ve heard a little about TMWGITU and quite a bit about your restaurant days, but this gives a good overview of your whole adult life.

    I’m glad you’ve found so much peace and happiness, especially after the roller coaster ride of your younger days.


  13. Wonderful post. At first you convinced me that you would be a travel agent … after all – travel to many bars, wearing Hawaiian shirts, and having a sense of humor is paramount. Then – oh no … here’s going soft … to only end up in the Cialis chairs at the end.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the good lady.


  14. If you don’t mind, I’d like to just sit and bask in the glow of the coolness I have just read. Wow. There has to be a better word than coolness but, just for the sake of saying ….
    I am in awe. I’m a little veclempt, talk amongst yourselves – oh my oh my.
    It’s ok I’m not crazy ummm… I felt it. I was overcome with emotion and
    Obviously I am at a loss for words – there is an uncommon occurence – It seems that I recognize you for one….that’s kinda a tough one to explain but maybe you get what I mean. Second, this was just hear tflowing on the page, so open and, well I would take this as a birthday Christmas, anyday, just life gift if I was the lucky woman who you wrote about (bet she does too?) And you are indeed a lucky fellow. I could be sappy and gushy casue I just am but this …
    I think I’ll just bask in the glow for awhile. Many blessings and joy to both of you. I am in awe.
    Peace 🙂


  15. heart, flowing on the page…the whatever does it when you hit post comment made it appear a typo so just fixing it.


  16. Pingback: Where I’ve Been – Overview | Guapola

  17. Im a large fan already, man. Youve performed a brilliant job making certain that men and women realize where youre coming from. And let me tell you, I get it. Great stuff and I cant wait to read a lot more of your blogs. What youve got to say is crucial and needs to be read.


Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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