Thought of the Day: From Hyde to Jekyll

Certain sensual  triggers can take you back. For me, there’s smells that bring me back to the bar. They aren’t pleasant, nevertheless they were scents that I’d smell while drunk.

If you’ve logged hundreds of hours in bars like I have, you know what those scents are.

I’ve been away from the scene long enough, yet recently I caught a whiff that stench. Normally, this would prompt me to long for a cold beer, jello shots, or some strange mixture on the happy hour menu.

Not this time.

When I thought back on the actions of bar-hopping Wes, I hated that guy. I took my last drink a month and a half ago, yet it feels like it’s been an era. I don’t recognize that man. It feels as though those memories aren’t even a part of me, like they’re some alien implant. But they are me.

The common (and idiotic) saying is “a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.” And it’s not true. I say shit when I’m sober that I don’t mean. BUT, those drunken words do emanate from somewhere.

Since I’ve been sober, I keep hearing this saying: “I have to remember where I came from, so that I know where I’m going.” Or something like that. And when I hear those words, they never quite sit right with me.

I get it. But I don’t want to remember “who I was”. Do I need to? I don’t even recognize who that person was!

When I was in rehab, I was placed on a medication. No shock there. But I began experiencing what I thought were side effects. I was feeling exceptionally joyous in the afternoons. Thinking that it was something that needed to be reported to the psychologist, she simply said “perhaps that’s just you being you and you haven’t felt that way in a long time.”

Weird, I know.

But could it be true? That it’s been so long since I’ve felt happy that I thought it was strange when I started feeling HAPPY? Where has that Wes been for so long? Well, obviously drinking, but….I completely forgot what it was like to be me.

That side of me has been buried for eight years. For eight long years, I was buried in self-pity, paranoia, and general discontent…brought about largely due to alcoholism.

(Mind you, I was drinking before then. But it was 2009 where I’d say it exploded into full-blown alcoholism)

Now that I’m on the path to where I’m somewhat regaining this “pre-alcoholic” Wes, I’m coming to hate “alcoholic Wes”. That guy was an obnoxious asshole while drunk, and just plain an asshole while sober, while on the inside he was fretting over problems that he made in his head. I hate that guy.

I hate his ideas.

I hate his cynicism.

I hate his humor.

I hate his drunken hobbies.

Yet I am him.

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde analogy gets thrown around a lot with alcoholics and addicts. It certainly feels apt in my case. Yet even during my sober hours, I was still that dickhead drunk. For me, Mr. Hyde overpowered Dr. Jekyll and stayed that way for years.

Only now the genuine self, I believe, is emerging. And it’s difficult to recognize him. I’m slowly growing to the point that I don’t hate everyone I meet. I’m far more present in the now, I feel, than I’ve ever been. I don’t feel that piece of shit that I was for so long.

And it’s strangely alarming to think that that was who I was. Perhaps he’s still lurking somewhere in the dark corners of my mind, waiting for his chance to rise once again. I know I haven’t fully overcome that. And maybe that’s why it’s important to remember who I was.

That bastard’s waiting. Waiting for a slip up. I can’t forget for one second that he’s there.

But in the meantime, this so-called “real me” is prevailing. Joyous occasions aren’t some abnormal experience, that’s who I’ve been the whole time.

 

Watching WAY too much “Fast and the Furious”

Everywhere I work, everywhere I go…the same bizarrely specific person appears.

I can’t escape them.

As I mentioned before, I live in a red state. But I imagine that this type of GUY can be found anywhere. But the shape he takes down south is this: A huge TOOL fan (along with a number of other aggressively mediocre metal bands that appeared in the late 90s and the 2000s), thinks of himself as a mechanic but has to reluctantly accept his current job (and despite being a “mechanic”, he has a shitty car), grew up unknowingly white trash, believes himself to be a “genius”, and hates life and blames everyone but himself for his shitty predicament.

Oh, and he has facial jewelry of sorts. AND, perhaps worst of all….he has an overbearing sense of cynicism.

I first became aware of this type of guy when I was in the Army. That pretty much describes every other white guy in the military. Of course, I was young then. The Army is full of faux-alpha male types, so I didn’t realize that these people were just self-loathing buffoons.

Then I briefly dated a “goth” girl. I was 19 and she was 25. She had all kinds of male friends (that she was probably fucking). Now I wouldn’t classify the guys I’m discussing as “goth”, but they certainly run in the same crowd. And this provided me with a brief peek behind the curtain.

All of these guys were in their late 20s or 30s, so I didn’t realize how pathetic their lives were. But they had the strangest conversations. I don’t even know if we could call them conversations as they were really just talking at each other. There was no sense of emotional reciprocation. Not that they didn’t have emotions. They just didn’t KNOW that they had emotions. But the topics of conversations were all the same: cars, buying parts for cars, motorcycles.

And they smoked. A LOT.

However, on occasion something strange would happen. They’d break from their usual topics and mention an absolutely horrible story. Usually something traumatic that happened to them. And these stories are nearly impossible to believe. Yet they always ended the same way: they felt nothing.

What the hell? Why would someone tell a horrible (and unbelievable) story only to say that they didn’t feel anything afterwords? Is it a cry for help? Is it an attempt to create an emotional connection? What’s the point?

And that’s where I discovered another trait: an obsession with the “dark” aspects of life that supposedly have no effect on them. It’s self-loathing masquerading as cool, that THEY believe makes them look tough on the exterior.

I hate Nirvana. The band, not the religious philosophy. It’s sad that Kurt Cobain killed himself. I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone. But he was this symbol of a movement towards making sad and horrible things cool, yet being in complete denial of one’s own feelings of the sad and horrible things. Nirvana, for me, symbolizes this wallowing in self-pity. It’s not cool. It’s just shitty music.

Thankfully the relationship with the “goth” girl didn’t last long. There’s only so much of that shit one can take. But it left me with an awareness of this brand of unaware and deceptively smug jackass.

And they were everywhere. It’s understandable that teenagers would be that way. But grown ass men?

You’re probably wondering “what’s your point?” Or “who gives a shit?”

But it is becoming bothersome. Why do I keep running into these assholes? Do they actually EXIST? Or am I projecting that image onto them?

If it’s the last question, then I have a major problem. Obviously. Why would I project that onto them, and why the hell do I despise the shit out of them?

I wonder what people think when they see me. I wonder what it’s like to have a conversation with me. Do I come across as being cynical? Do my stories sound like absolute bullshit? ARE my stories bullshit?!

Unfortunately I cannot know what it’s like to have a conversation with me. I’d like to think that I’m an engaging, charming, and handsome character that people trip over themselves to meet. But what if that wasn’t true? And what if I KNOW that that’s not true, and somehow I’m trying to bury the fact that I AM a cynical piece of shit that people hate?

So perhaps those guys aren’t the problem….I’M the problem and I just see too much of myself in those douchebags. And that’s why I keep running into these mother fuckers everywhere I go.

So it’s ME that’s engaging in self-pity!

Son of a bitch!

But the ultimate question I want to ask is: what are these guys called? Is there a name for them but I’m too much of a homebody nerd to know what the cool kids are saying? If there isn’t, can I give them one?

They’re not alt-right. In fact, I don’t think they have an understanding of politics at all. Plus, these guys do get laid, so that definitely wouldn’t fit the alt-right definition.

But I’ve got nothing. Someone help me out.

Anyways, I get the feeling that these guys watch WAY too much Fast and the Furious. So that’s why I posted a Fast and the Furious video. Peace!