It was Father’s Day today so I got my dad “Pop Rocks”.
I don’t think he was amused.
Neither were the gaggle of young ladies in the Tasty-D-Lite store near my house that doubles as a candy shop.
“See, I’m getting them for my dad.” I told them, hand-upheld. “Father’s Day.”
“Oh.” one of them replied, before turning back to the machine that would grant them their banana-berry swirl.
In my mind, I had envisioned getting him about six of them, but I decided four (one of each flavor) would be enough.
My dad, who is known to have “soup and apple” for lunch, remaking that he “skipped the soup today”, is not exactly Pop-Rocks material.
But he is ruthless with the punnery and not prone to big celebrations. So I thought getting him an un-ironic ironic gift, would work out well.
But he mostly seemed disappointed, trying to hand them back to me.
My mom tried to console me in the other room, even teaming up with Eva who called me after the occasion.
“He doesn’t seem to appreciate the irony.” I told Eva over the phone.
“Pop Rocks!” she proclaimed. “What’s not to get?”
“No, I think he gets it.” I told her. “I think he just doesn’t really care.”
“Give me the phone!” My mom asked theatrically as she consoled Eva over my downer attitude.
“Here,” my mom said, giving the phone back to me.
“Your mom thinks he’ll appreciate it, in time.” She told me.
My dad just stood their stoically through all this, chopping leftover fried chicken from last night into small pieces and dipping them in spicy vinegar.
No thanks, I told him, when he offered me a thigh.
And he shrugged and kept chopping.
Pop Rocks, I thought to myself.
In other news, I’m beginning to question the role of therapy in my life.
Therapy was an easy fit for me, even though I started it late (21). I’m naturally loquacious, easy talking to almost anyone, well, as long as they are willing to hear about me.
But I find myself more and more thinking about my therapy as a crutch: useful for working out what’s going on in my life, but sometimes too convenient.
For instance, the other day I felt depressed walking around, down from too little sleep, a too-early coffee and a possible unreported hangover I thought averted due to excellent water consumption the night before.
I hate myself, I thought walking around. I hate myself and my life.
And I should probably remember this, because it’s going to come up in therapy on Tuesday.
It’s almost comical, the idea of facing some sort of dilemma and just sort of giving up on it and saying “Well, I’ll deal with it on Tuesday”, even if you know that things in therapy don’t always get worked out.
And then when I forget emotions, when I move on from even the intense things that I felt, as is natural to do, I feel some sort of strange sense of loss.
Oh wait, I was really depressed, I think. But now I’m not. Shit, I was going to hold on to it. Now I can’t even bring it into therapy on Tuesday.
It’s a fallacy, thinking that even as I’ve worked out things on Tuesday in my 45-minute therapy sessions, that everything needs to be worked out there.
It’s like taking Motrin, I suppose, which cured my foot pain once and caused me to look for around Motrin whenever I feel bad.
You trust the thing that works for you once.
But in the opposite way, things from therapy seem to spill out into my life in ways they shouldn’t.
My anger about job and my mistreatment there has only become more palpable as I have someone clinical who agrees with me on how it sucks.
My commitment to Census work (now over) grew as I was helped to realize how valuable it was in filling my time.
I even yelled, somewhat irrationally, at my mom the other night, for adolescent woes I’d long put behind me.
But we’d talked about it last week. And it was fresh in my mind. And I was angry.
And when you’re angry, you reach for a knife, or a memory.
When I sat down tonight to write this, I tried to think about what I should write and my mind first went to the list of things in my head that I thought I should discuss with my therapist.
And I’m not sure whether that’s honesty, coming out there, self-exploitation, or both.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about sex and relationships too.
I know what you’re thinking, dear Feitelogram reader (who may only exist in my head): a return to the old diatribes about depression and “not-relationships”.
But it’s more like seeing my friends disconnected and wondering at the world they know, from a distance.
It was my friend’s birthday and I went to Toys in Babeland to get her a present, a tame sort of sex shop, popular with the hip crowd.
I felt very uncomfortable there, standing around dildos and a group of smiling, slightly-amused people who seemed somewhere between asking about cock rings and a job.
I didn’t feel comfortable buying anything crazy there for my friend, so I got her a gift certificate and a little candle that melts into massage oil; as tame of a present as you can get someone from that store, I guess.
The attendant praised my good taste at my suggestion to the tape the candle to the gift card envelope and I felt a little better.
But seeing all of my friends fall in-and-out of love, throw one-night stands and examine their own sexualities leaves me with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach.
It’s summer again, I guess, and it’s to be expected.
But hearing about people I flirted with at a party, or tried to figure out if I should kiss their hand or their face, or who were mean to me, or were kind–
It’s like when I met my girlfriend’s long-time male friend, who she described as her “Josh from Ghost World”. He was well-dressed in a suit, ordered whiskey and hot-chocolates, and shared with Eva things I didn’t even know.
And that frightened me, it threatened me. It gave me that feeling of something tugging at your throat.
Just like I feel seeing my friends entangle and disentangle themselves now.
Sometimes I think we’re all just fucking through our pasts, for lack of a better phrase.
I guess I’ll have to discuss it in therapy on Tuesday.
The last thing, the other thing on Tuesday is a meeting I have with an agent.
It’s not for directing or writing. Though Dan Berk was real nice to me the other night when he told me to be proud of my movie, “LOSER”.
It’s for acting. In commercials.
A month-or-two-ago, I spent a Sunday afternoon making a spec commercial with some friends of mine, Dan Berk and Chadd Harbold, Reed Adler and even some tall frenchie who doesn’t particularly like me but made me look good anyway.
I emailed it around, around the same time I was on TV with the headline “if you have a second…”
A friend at an agency who I sent it to came through, out of nowhere, showed it around the office and got me a meeting.
“Someone’ll call you.” He told me.
It was a tense week, waiting to see when the call would come, psychological-existential battles not being my specialty.
But eventually the call came and the meeting was scheduled: Tuesday (a coincidence? I think not.)
In the intervening time, I’ve done what I always do when something important is coming up: I solicit advice from everyone and anyone who has it.
I call people, I talk to them at parties. I even go see movies with inspirational, self-actualizing potential (“Toy Story 3”) or movies that read like horror-comedies about the industry (“Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”).
The general consensus I’ve heard is “be yourself”, which is pretty much what I heard all the years I was failing at dating miserably.
I talked to my friends, some of whom have had meetings themselves and I wondered what I could have that they didn’t, how I could be pitched differently than them.
Just like my interview on TV, there was an impending sense of “is this even what you want to be doing with my life?”
But eventually I’ve come to embrace the haphazardness of it all. The “if they like you, cool” sensibility.
I’ve even given up on trying to figure out how to get that lapsed pimple off my head.
It’s like I said, I can talk. I can talk to anyone, pretty easily.
As long as they are willing to hear about me.
So that’s what I’ll do.
Next up on my plate: figuring out whether I’m a “textbook narcissist”.
I guess that one will just have to wait until Tuesday.
Here’s my spec commercial for my phone-case, OtterBox. My respects to the professional and excellent people over at Last Pictures and I will take it down, if they wish it so.