I was drawn to comics as a young kid. They were one of the first things I enjoyed reading on my own, and I enjoyed the larger than life characters, the colorful artwork, and the idea that anyone could save the world if they one day woke up with magical gifts. There were morals to a lot of the stories, Spider-Man was built on the motto of “with great power, comes great responsibility.” But they weren’t heavy-handed or forced, and the characters weren’t always painted with such specific sides of black and white. I also enjoyed my child’s picture book of the bible. Back then.
Category Archives: life
I have social anxiety. It manifests itself in different ways, mostly with me avoiding social situations, but also things as simple as trying a new restaurant or going to a party with people I don’t know can stress me out. It’s also getting worse the older I get. As I get more annoyed with myself, I am looking at ways to alleviate this stress. Couple that with my interest in drinking less, something that makes me more social in most situations, and there are signs suggesting I might benefit from an occasional hit of the old hemp.
Home, to some extent, is Omaha, Nebraska. It’s where I was born and raised. For those used to flying over the areas referred to as flyovers, it’s in the middle. Like for nearly everything, geographically, demographically, entertainment-wise. Not quite politically. It’s a firm red state, but as one of only two states that split their electoral college votes, it threw one of its votes to Obama (in ’08), the first time it ever actually split the vote in history. Omaha is like a large small town. It has nearly a million people in the metro area, but I can generally run into someone I know going any place. Either I went to high school with them. Or college. Or my dad played softball with their dad. Or. Or. Or. It’s a city without a tremendous identity. It’s a lot of strip malls and average-looking houses with huge yards. Everyone has a dog. Everyone talks about their part of town based on their parish. Everyone bleeds Husker red, the Cornhuskers football team being the unofficial state everything. I only remember one distinct thing throughout the first half of my life I spent in Omaha: I do not belong here.
Sometimes, the best ideas come from alcohol. Mostly, the worst, but sometimes there’s a keeper in there. And that’s how it started. I was having people over for a BBQ on the fourth of July and while the adults sat on the table watching the kids play beer pong (full disclosure: I had just finished playing beer pong and joined the adults, and the kids to whom I’m referring were all mostly pushing thirty), someone had the grand idea to go climb a mountain. That’s all it was.
Sometimes, excitement can hit you from different places than you expected. I thought my Saturday evening excitement would come from the game night I was about to host, but then the police came to my neighborhood. Now, I’ll be honest, other than the police officers I know, the sight of that uniform doesn’t instill confidence in me. It’s mostly fear, even though I’m white and generally law-abiding, I still have a long-ingrained apprehension when it comes to cops. It may not be fair, but there it is. So, when my neighborhood was overrun by dozens of police officers, I was curious and wary mostly. But let me go back.
I strolled by the bar three times before I could make my way inside. I didn’t want to be alone. I don’t do alone very well, at least not and especially in public social situations, but I had to go in. My entire trip was built around going inside. I’ve been to nearly 60 countries, been hit by a car twice, there were things to be afraid of in this world, but a bar hosting a screenplay competition where I’m a finalist is not one of them. Still, I was impressed I only passed by it three times. I expected five.
Summertime is awesome. Summer in LA even more so. Summer in LA with no job is pretty damn near perfect. My sabbatical has been going on for almost a month, but only in the past week or so has it finally hit me. Between visiting family and the holiday, nothing has really felt normal, but now I have a new normal, which consists, mostly, of sitting in front of a blank screen. This is amazing and maddening.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. For reals, though. Earlier this year I made a decision to spend some time being selfish, leaving my frustrating but ultimately swell job to spend a year or so writing, attempting to write, and figuring out exactly what’s next for me. And here I am. Day one.
At first, it was just a limp. I had friends over and Radley, my boxer, ever the social butterfly, was bouncing back and forth between guests. She would sneak a lick as much as she can, because that dog loves to lick anything. But mostly, she loves people. And as she flitted about amongst the guests at my house, she began to avoid using her back right leg. I searched for a wound, something, but there was no indication of an injury. She also didn’t make a sound as I mangled her leg around trying to find something. Nothing.
It’s on my arm, kind of where that muscle should be, what’s it called – the bicep? There. It’s about an inch long, this scar. Tight. Not at all indicative of the actual injury. I sometimes can’t even find it when I’m looking for it as I tell this story. I pull the sleeve on my right arm up before remembering it’s actually on the left.