a priori/a posteriori

Thursday, November 29, 2012

As Usual, Patrice Shows Up

NOTE:  I was journaling yesterday (which I strongly suggest to everyone), and as he often does, Patrice O'Neal came up.  As I was writing about him, I realized that the anniversary of his death was tomorrow (today, as I'm writing this note).

Through the past year, I've thought of Patrice often.  The guy tried.  That's what I miss most, I think.  He really did try.

I realized midway through my journal entry that I was going to publish it.  So that's what this is.  I hope you all have a great day.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012. 3:39 p.m.
The Alley, NYC

I'm not really in the mood to journal. But I'll try to do it for 15 minutes. What I would really like to do is...

I'm not really sure. I wanted to write that I want to work on the book idea I have with Steph Simbari. But I'm not sure I'm really that excited to do so. It's just not that big a deal.

What am I writing? I'm writing without evne thinking. And not in the cool, free-writing session kind of way. I'm just typing garbage. AT least that's what it feels like. Maybe not. Maybe everything is something. That's probably true. Why did I write that it's not that big a deal? I don't know. Myabe it was just the natural thing to write after I just wrote “I'm not sure I'm really that excited to do so.” Or maybe I actually meant it, specific to this situation.

I'm really struggling in my life right now. But not in the way that I have in the past. In the past, I just haven't done anything. Now, it's not that I'm not doing anything. It's that even when I do something, it still feels like nothing. That's the terrifying part, probably. I'm starting to really try, and really use my days to the fullest, and it still feels like nothing is changing, nothing is getting done, and nothing is progressing. Nothing is worth doing. There it is. Nothing is worth the trouble of doing it, just for the minimal results it will bring, even best-case scenario.

So that's what I have to start making peace with, or continue to make peace with. The idea that even when I'm working at peak efficiency, it's still not a sexy result. It's still not that great.

So that's the fight. That's the battle. That's what I need to continue to realize, but also to overcome.

Not overcome, maybe. I just need to make peace with it. Literally. I need to realize that it will never go away. That reality will never be “defeated,” per se'. But I can make peace with it. I can make peace with the monster. And it's a presumed monster.

It's a monster like Patrice. I've been taught to be afraid of it. But have I ever talked to it? Have I ever gotten to know it?

That's it. I need to talk to my monsters. I need to talk to my fears. I need to get to know them. I owe them that. And selfishly, I owe myself that. Some will be a dark energy, like Neil Constantine. But at least some of them will be light. Almost like air. It will be incredibly uplifting to meet them, and get to know them.

So who is this Patrice? This Patrice is the idea that even if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams, it will still feel like nothing.

Okay. Hi. It's nice to meet you. Sorry that this is awkward. Or not “sorry.” Whatever. You get it.

Haha. The first time is always awkward. It's a joke I have. Or a point, I suppose. But you gotta go through the weird first time, if you ever want to get good. Right? I say yes. It's funny. So I trust it.

Do you ever want to be funny, Deepest Fear? Are you funny sometimes? Does it bug you that everyone gets sad when they see you? A lot of people don't even talk to you.

Even the “scary” people – the ones with a “dark” energy – I bet it's worth getting to know them when they're drunk. You get to see into a soul in a way that you wouldn't see otherwise.

I've been afraid of you for a little while now. The thing was, it took me a long time to get to meet you. Because I've been meeting other fears along the way, almost like they were blocking me from you. So now that I'm finally meeting you, Fear That My Best Will Change Nothing, I have a bunch of assumptions about you. Assumptions that probably have nothing to do with you.

I thought you could kill me. I thought you were surly, and that you liked seeing people sad. I thought you went out of your way to ruin people, to ruin their days, to make them feel like nothing.

Wow. My first instinct is to apologize to you. But that's not the way I want to live my life. Even when you apologize, it's still about me largely. “I'm sorry.” It's still about me. I'm patting myself on the back for being willing to finally stop being an idiot.

Well, Deep Fear, thank you. Thank you for being so patient. Thank you for waiting, longer than you needed to, for me to figure it out.

I just took 10 minutes off from writing. Because I realized that tomorrow is the 1-year anniversary of Patrice O'Neal's death.

Was his life pointless? I think he was frustrated with how meaningless his best efforts were. But the dude was a human being. Louis C.K. Dedicated his special to him. Jim Norton dedicated his special to him. He was a tremendous influence on me, and anyone who I have any influence on, he'll be a huge influence on them. If I'm not mistaken, Stephanie Simbari was a tremendous fan. Calise Hawkins is still impacted by his words, by what he had to say, by how he tried to live his life. There were many. And the number is still climbing.

I think I may have miscast you, Fear. How frustrating it must be for you. Frustrating to want to be a positive, motivating factor for people. And then most people end up hiding from you. Most people resent you, because you represent things, because you bring things to light that perhaps people don't want to see. And so you take the brunt of the punishment. People say they hate you. People do hate you. But they shouldn't. They're just not thinking rationally.

That's what Patrice was. Patrice was fear, personified. But fear isn't a bad thing. You're not a bad thing, Fear. But I've miscast you all these years. I've thought you were there to hurt me. I thought you were the bad guy.

I think I just realized I'm going to publish this. I'll make it public. Cool.

Patrice was fear. In that way, Patrice, you're still with me. You were the energy of Fear. But Fear isn't a bad thing. Fear isn't mean. Fear is love. Fear is Love. So someone like Neil, who comes off so negative, who so embodies “fear” - yeah. That makes sense. People like that, they're like human fire alarms. Not always pleasant to be around – in fact, usually unpleasant – but they are negative out of a desire to be positive.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Right? Yeah.

People that personify “fear” - if they were in fact “evil,” or whatever word you want to use, then they wouldn't be so uncomfortable to be around. It wouldn't make sense. It wouldn't be the worst thing to do. Fear is not the bad thing – it's the friend that doesn't want to see you blindsided by the bad thing that might happen.

I have family that are proud Republicans, and I have family that are quiet Republicans. Fuck quiet Republicans. If you are what you claim you are, I can shake your hand. I don't care what you are. Be a pedophile. Just don't tell me you're not. That's what evil is. Evil is dishonesty. That's all that evil is. It's dishonesty.

Patrice was many things. But he was, above all, not dishonest. That was what his life goal evolved into – to be righteous. To not lie. Half the reason he wanted to understand himself was so that he could make sure he wasn't lying to anyone about who he was. He didn't want to hurt anyone else's pursuit of understanding.

Evil is dishonesty. Patrice was the opposite of that. Patrice was love. Patrice was Fear. But Fear is Love. Patrice is Love.

Damn I miss that dude. Like, in the human form. In one collected grouping of fat, black, dude. But he's still here, really.

But still. Fuck. It was fun to see that in human form. 

4:26 pm, Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back when I wore collared shirts
(February 2010)

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