This was taken from the window of Lafayette French Pastries over on Greenwich Avenue.
I almost passed it after noticing it, just deciding to go on with my day. After all, Greenwich Avenue is one I pass through often, a quirky diagonal that I use to walk home from the Magnet on late weeknights.
But it just stuck as I saw it, it looked to egregious.
And after all, I do have a blog I have to supply pictures for.
But what really got me was that this store that already was calling out the extremely questionable logo “Say No to Obamacare and YES to COOKIECARE!” in it’s window along with an article from what looks like Talking Points Memo was the same goddam bakery that almost got rioted for making “Drunken Negro” cookies 3 years ago in “honor” of Obama!
I have linked to the article right there but I will include the picture just for goddam effect.
So, after a giant stink about this whole thing, you think the guy would back down. You think after a boycott of his business along with the VERY few supporters of racism and/or hardcore republicans in the quaint corner of the West Village that Lafayette French Bakery is located in, this guy would back down and stop doing stupid shit?
But no, he puts that ridiculous goddam poster in his window and I have to stop and take a picture.
Even though it has nothing to do with me.
Even though I have practice now calming myself and trying to take in the world as I see it.
Even though it’s cold outside and I have places to go.
Sometimes, you just need to feel it and fucking get pissed. To be in your emotions and screw everything else.
And accept that it won’t always make sense.
Today, I woke up on Valentine’s Day, Valentine-less.
Now, I have only had a Valentine who was a person who I was “with” (one time a girl gave my flowers away, another time a girl called another guy up to literally take her home from my apartment) one time in my life.
But for once, I didn’t feel crappy.
I looked at myself in the mirror and could see the outline of my abs, for the first time in memory. I weighed fine despite the orgiastic amount of dark chocolate I had consumed the previous evening. I had recent memories of girls flirting with me or at least looking at me in a different, more considering type of way.
I also just felt happier about my life and where I was in it. I’d let go of (most of) the terrible expectations of myself. I had a good community full of friends and something of a loose schedule in which I could fill my life. I also, through Yoga as well as Improv, had learned to feel the change in my body and mind, checking in with myself, becoming more patient, but also allowing myself to have fun.
Even my family problems had more distance than they’d had before as I allowed myself to see them from a distance, accept them and know whatever was going on would happen without the violent helplessness I used to toss into the mix.
It was nirvana by no means, but it was something to wake up with on a date-less Valentine’s day.
Until I thought about 10pm and realized I’d probably be date-less at Mustang Sally’s, handing out chocolates to girls at the bar without dates trying to get them home with me (where my 40-ish couch crasher is, which would be a problem, if it ever even got to that, which it wouldn’t).
Or when I sat in the back of a show at the Magnet getting angry at student-performers for not giving a good show, since the fate of the theater depends on them, which is ridiculous, because it’s a make-em-up class-show in a 40-discarded-terrible-movie-seat improv comedy theater.
Or even when I sat in the back of my first ever Advanced Study event at UCB and saw someone who had gotten passed out of a class I hadn’t and was lit anew with the fire of anger at my teacher, I was better than this fuck!, I wanted to scream, you goddam fucking moron!
And there I was. I had passed. My teacher was not a moron, anyway; I learned a lot in his class and he made his decision. Everyone was friendly here. and it was a great time.
But sometimes, even when you get happy with yourself for those changes, those pounds, how less hard you are on yourself, it’s good to just remember that there’s always a lot of fucked-up inside of you to go around.
Or at least inside of me.
I used to be proud of this kind of thing, righteous anger, I’d own in the moment, defend it in the moment after, it still has that force of justice or some sense of a burden lifted or self-validation.
But really, what am I doing?
I told my therapist today (and a girl over the weekend) that the difference between me now and me a year ago is that I’m not in as emotionally compromised a position. When we are centered and something pushes us, we have our normal reaction–happy, sad, angry, whatever–and then we step back and make a rational call, to the best of our sense, as to what our action should be.
i.e: If someone pushes me in a bar, I will probably get scared and angry, but then rationality will set in and I know I don’t want to fight anyone so I will try to apologize and extricate myself from the situation as well as I can.
But, if someone pushes me in that same bar and I am emotionally compromised–maybe angry at my family, sad at my loneliness, afraid for my life–if I have big, unresolved things going on, maybe I’ll push the guy back. Maybe I’ll yell at him. Maybe I’ll cry. I don’t know. The point is my reaction would be immediate and irrational.
There are degrees of this too not just in the physical choices or active choices we make outwardly, but in the inward choices we make for ourselves.
If that guy pushes me in the bar and I’m fine and we apologize to each other and everything’s good then I go on with the rest of my night relatively unfazed, barring shenanigans.
But if I’m not in a good place and that happens, maybe I don’t fight, but maybe I just get really angry, get really sad, maybe I dwell on strong emotions unhealthily.
There was a good article I read on burn victims and virtual reality treatment, which is more effective than morphine. The thought is if you are “in” your pain and can’t escape it, you shine a spotlight on it that makes it more pronounced in your psyche. But if you can focus outwardly or on other things, despite its presence (like even virtual reality), you can learn to manage something backgrounded.
The point that I am trying to make is that I still do tons of stupid things and I also still feel lots of stupid ways, I hold grudges, get angry, give rants. Also being defensive is another way around that, literally, you are trying to ignore someone or something trying to help you because it is too painful to admit your own mistakes or perceived failures.
The only way it seems like for this is acceptance and just noticing everything, bit by bit, as you live your life.
And also being okay with how fucked up I am.
So, I’ll go see people on Valentine’s Day. I’ll probably sit in that bar with those chocolates. I’ll try not to be pissed off at my old teacher, or at least try to remember how pointless it is.
I might even try to forget that stupid racist republican fuck over at Lafayette French Pastry, since he probably can’t even help the way he is, if he’s that far gone.
All of that and try to have fun.
Which I seem to be doing a pretty god job of.
Most days, anyway.
This sandwich was good.
I’ve been going to Better Being Underground over in the West Village forever and have plugged it many times here, but it really is close to my heart.
It’s secret, it’s hidden, the sandwiches are really good and they always give me extra pickles.
Other than the Fu Man Chu (a Korean BBQ-chicken Sriracha-Kimchi-wich) and the Whole Wheat St. Luke’s (a big piece of fried chicken with Peppercorn mayo and pickles), I had been looking for a new sandwich to get from there to expand my sandwich-y horizons.
This one comes pretty close to those two all-stars.
I wandered in, as usual. they complimented me on how good I look, as usual. They gave me a ton of pickles, as usual. And I ordered this.
Macerated (Smashed?) Chickpeas, some lemon, dill, mint, garlic, tomato, red onion and Kashekeval cheese on pumperknickel bread.
A bizarre combo.
But an intensely delicious one, kind of like a Mediterranean sandwich explosion, greasy, bound by the dark Rye bread, full of crunch and juice from the pressed tomatoes.
Mix and match it half-and-half with the Fu Man Chew.
That’s what I do.
BETTER BEING UNDERGROUND
The Kashekval (Chickpeas, Kashkeval Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion, Lemon, Dill, Harissa)- $10 bucks
St. Lukes Pl. bet. 7th Ave South and Hudson Sts in the basement of a brownstone.
1 to Houston St. ACEBDFM to West 4th Sts.