A sort of life

Breaking bread and barriers

RICHMOND, Va. — Sabbatical comes to mind. It’s been a while between you and I. It’s been a while.

I wish I could say I took a trip around the world. I wish I could say I fucked all kinds of girls. I wish I had a story to tell, or some sort of mischief to unfold.

I have none of it. I’ve done little since my last writing in early April. It’s hard to believe we’re in November now. I meant to write, I really did. Believe me. It was not my intent to leave you all hanging.

Not that you’re hanging around any more. The regular readers I once had surely have vanished like dust in the wind. Like what wise man Ted “Theodore” Logan said: “all we are is dust in the wind, dude.”

No, but seriously now: Some people I haven’t seen or spoken to in many years have been writing me on the Facebook. I can’t really remember why I joined. I’m no fan of social networking. Probably was weakened by my sister’s coaxing. But I figure it’s about time to come back down to earth.

But before we go on, know that I really hate this sort of thing.

I don’t know when that started. I don’t remember always shunning things of an online nature. I mean, I do have this website. It’s been going since May 2003, more or less. But I never had a MySpace. Never did much of that sort of thing. I turned off my instant messenger after moving to Australia. I found the whole constant contact thing too exhausting. I can rationalize it a million different ways, but the bottom line is that I just got worn out.

I’m still feeling that way.

So, April huh? I don’t remember what happened in April. Or May. Or June. July. You know the story. I just don’t remember. I can give you a general overview.

I’m still working for the same telephone company. A few months ago I was promoted. I moved from being a floor lead in the technical support call center to being a programmer on the application development team. I wont give specifics here, but I’ll say this: If you live in the mid-Atlantic or Midwest region of the United States, and if you happen to use my company for internet service, then there’s a good chance you’ve seen my work. Now I know that’s a lot of “ifs.” But we’ve got a lot of customers. You could be one of them.

Right now I’m coding a brand spanking new e-mail management application. I’m doing this from scratch. I wish I could say that I’m one of a team of people working on the thing, but it’s not that way. I’m it. It’s done well to stroke my ego. When it’s done, my application will hold sway over every e-mail address used by our customers. If a customer wants to change their password, they’ll need to use it. If a call comes into the call center, the tech on the phone will use it. And while that is cool, to me at least, that’s not the coolest part.

My work on this e-mail application is replacing an antiquated system my predecessor wrote not six months ago. The work I’ve already done will save my company $10,000 over the next 12 months. Small potatoes. When I’m done, my company will have saved over $100 thousand over that same time period. That’s a nice chunk of change.

My personal life is like a flat cola. I wish I could tell you stories. I had a good several months since we last spoke where I went out drinking most nights. If I wasn’t out, I stayed in drinking. I smoked like a chimney and played with party favors. I don’t remember much of those days. Not because I got too trashed to remember. Because those nights ran into one long night. I remember laughter. I don’t remember why I was laughing.

Haven’t been doing too much drinking lately. Cut way back on the smoking. I quit, and didn’t smoke for a few weeks, but then the wagon hit a bump.

I’ve got nothing to say about the women folk. The prospects I had have dried up. I don’t care enough find new ones. It’s a strange way, I know. My whole life–day in, day out–I’ve spent a good portion of time thinking about women. A good portion of that time I spent thinking about getting in their pants. That’s just my nature. My disposition. But now it’s just not that way.

I care, don’t get me wrong. I’m not dead. I still enjoy looking at women. But lately I just haven’t done anything about it. I work my ass off during the day. Crumple on the couch at night. That’s about it.

Come to think of it, that really is it. While I’ve never been the one to have long-term relations, I’ve always had an angle I was working. Maybe not pressing, but working. I’ve never been long without. Until now. I have no angles. I’ve done no working. I knew things had slowed, but I didn’t realize until now how slow it’s been.

Let’s see if we can’t jump start this son of a bitch situation of mine. Let me reflect on it, and I’ll get back to you. Hopefully it wont be April before we speak next. I know my reputation. But remember it wasn’t too long ago that I use to write on this thing every day. Those were the days.

“Breaking bread and barriers” is from Volume One: Frank’s Wild Years (1983–2009). Written between 2003 and 2009, Volume One was this author’s attempt to find meaning from life as a young twenty-something. While this endeavor would ultimately fail, what remains is a comical tale of loneliness and debauchery.

Teaching me to lick a little bit kinder

Teaching me to lick a little bit kinder

A pillar candle illuminates a darkened room during a home brew beer tasting session at the home of Lindsay Naylor-Jasper in McLean, Va. on June 6, 2005.

Let's see if we can't jump start this son of a bitch situation of mine.