Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Now Pronounce You: Dead

This blog is mostly just stories about me and my friends getting drunk and acting stupid, but every now and then I write about something a little deeper and I guess this time, personal.

So anyways, words are a trip aren't they? I mean as in how arbitrary they are. For example, at some point some dude decided that the word "matrimony" means a man and woman getting hitched. And at some point some dude decided that the word "suicide" means to kill yourself. But they could just as easily have made the word "suicide" to mean to people getting married and the word "matrimony" to mean taking one's own life ;)


On August 11th, 2014 beloved actor Robin Williams committed suicide. I wouldn't say I was fan of his even though he was in so many movies I loved. Don't get me wrong I liked the guy, who didn't? I even wrote a post about his death. But to me he was "just another" talented actor who made movies I enjoyed no different than the rest. And yet for some reason his death struck me hard.

I didn't get over this tragedy like all the rest of the sad stories you hear in the news everyday. Over the course of the next few weeks I started having my own thoughts of matrimony. At first I didn't think much of it. We all have random thoughts that pop in and out of our minds from time to time even occasionally a morbid one. But as the months went on the thoughts only grew stronger and more obsessive.

I was already very depressed. I was told I had to quit boxing when I went to see the doctor for chest pains. She put a stethoscope to my chest:

Hmm, yeah that's not good.

What is it? What do you hear?

Well a normal heart goes BA-BOOM, BA-BOOM, BA-BOOM

Dammit doctor! I'm not a super-genius! I don't understand this these technical terms you're speaking in, just give it to me straight!

You have an irregular heart beat. Right now your heart keeps resetting itself, but if you strain it too hard it won't reset and you'll die. You need to quit boxing ASAP!

Damn, you didn't have to give it to me that straight.

I meant Ryan Seacrest straight, like straight but kinda not really.

by Duncan Rawlinson - @thelastminute - Duncan.co

I had also started going to school. School was extremely time consuming. I couldn't go out with my friends practically at all anymore. I even missed a Vegas trip with the Hak Pak which would have been epic. A year prior I had moved in with my Uncle Tats who I used to be so close to. I thought moving in would him would be just like old times, but sadly he had fallen victim to Alzheimer's.

His mind was slipping further and further into dementia as the days went on. His antics were a strain to deal with on top of my very high stress manager job where I was putting in mad hours and still trying to prove myself. There is nothing lonelier than to live with someone who's mind is gone. Loneliness is something that has plagued me from as far back as my conscious existence goes.

With all these circumstances, with over thirty years of undying loneliness, I guess I just started to crack. I become obsessed with the thought of matrimony. I would think of where and how I would get married. As more time passed and I became more and more obsessed. It was more than something I wanted to do, it felt like it was my destiny - something I had to do.

I had dreams about walking the city streets and everyone I walked by listed to me all the ways I was a fuck up. They told me I was was a failure. They wouldn't take their eyes off me. I've always hated eye contact. It's an invasion of a world that is mine and mine alone. I couldn't shake them.

I couldn't escape the truth. I wanted to, but the thoughts were stronger than my will. It felt like I was losing control. I was not only depressed, I was scared. Things went from bad to worse. The thoughts came to me during the day, while at work, when hanging out with friends. How do you get rid of loneliness if you still feel alone when you are surrounded by friends?

A picture is worth a thousand words

As more time passed, I started swinging from thoughts of matrimony for days to all the sudden feeling more happy and alive than ever before. During the highs, I would only sleep for 3-4 hours a day and yet I felt fine and full of energy the next day. While it sounds awesome, I knew something was wrong. These bouts of extreme joy and energy that seemingly came from nowhere weren't normal. They didn't come from somewhere healthy.

I was so afraid that I was going to tie the knot for good despite myself, that I typed up a matrimony note for my friends. I never cry (except when I'm drunk, but that doesn't count), but as I pounded away on my keyboard the tears came streaming down my face. I wrote to them about what I was going through about how scared I was. I asked them not to remember me for my would-be tragic wedding, but instead as the affable, party-loving Brick they had always known me as.

I never showed the note to anyone. I kept it saved on my computer, but my computer crashed just recently and it is now gone forever (along with a movie script I was writing and some skits I had written). Let that be a lesson to you, when typing your matrimony note on your PC make sure to back it up to the cloud.

Come to think of it, matrimony is simply your final upload to the Cloud...

by Daniel Pascoal

Its easier for me to look back now at that very intensely negative time in my life since the chapter is now closed. It was about a year ago and fortunately I got out of it alive. That is unless I'm actually dead like that movie with the guy from Die Hard and the nerdy little white kid, and all my interactions with people have actually just been an extremely long string of highly unlikely coincidences.

This clip of a movie about a child being tortured by souls of those who died gruesomely should lighten the mood...

And now I'm going to answer a bunch of questions no one asked.

Why didn't you tell anyone?

Well actually I did. Sorta. I told my friend Pun that I was going through severe depression and that I thought I was going crazy. He handled it perfectly not freaking out about it, but instead talking to me frequently. He invited me to his pad in SD and didn't talk about it. I needed the conversation. I knew he cared and it helped me out so much. Got nothing but love for Pun my brother.

Why didn't I tell anyone else, and how come I never brought up my matrimonial thoughts even to Pun? Honestly beyond the stigma, beyond the fear that people would look at me different, was something I was far more afraid of.

I keep telling the kids it's so worth to not have a reputation to protect, but they just don't wanna listen

What I was really afraid of hearing; what would really have made me feel infinitely more alone was; the four words: you should seek help. Some answers are so devastating, you would rather suffer alone than risk hearing them.

"I appreciate you reaching out to me as a friend, Brick. But you know who you really should talk to about these most intimate, and tremendously scary thoughts? A complete stranger who is only talking to you because he gets paid to and will probably pump you full of meds that will turn you into a zombie."

by Tuftronic10000

But you have friends why would you think about matrimony?

Not really. I know some people might take offense to me saying "not really" because they have been such good people to me. But allow me to explain before you get all miffed. I am a B-lister: I always get invited, but I'm nobody's best friend. I get invited because I am the life of the party. Who doesn't like a loud-mouthed, drunk who tell jokes and gets people pumped up about partying? ...in the right circumstances.

But no one invites me to lunch. No one calls me to go over the minutia of daily life. No one wants to hang out with me one on one. The reason I get invited to parties and not lunches is because I entertain people, I don't relate to them.

"So, uh, you like... food?"

by lyk3_0n3_tym3

It goes back as far as kindergarten. I remember throwing my sweatshirt over my head and fumbling around saying, "Hey! Who turned out the lights!?" to make my friends laugh. Or when our teacher told us playtime was over and we had to put all the toys away, I would grab my friend and ask the teacher, "What box does this guy go in?"

He would say, "Hey! You can't put me away, I'm a person! Hehehe." I desperately craved the attention and love my parents never gave me. This desperation, sadly, has shaped so much of who I am. I learned what made people smile, what got them to open up meanwhile hiding my true self afraid that if people saw my ugliness they wouldn't like me anymore.

That's why I can seem so social at times, but am actually one of the most anti-social people you will ever meet. It's why I can't form meaningful friendships or relationships beyond getting drunk, telling jokes, and other things. Love is a language I never learned to speak.

Bigger picture! More words!

So.... why are you still here?

There are three reasons I didn't go through with the thoughts of matrimony:

1) I'm Catholic. The value of life has been drilled into me from my faith "from the womb to the tomb" as they say. Life is only God's to give and take. Also, I feared everlasting hell. It would have been better to deal with another thirty years of anguish than an eternity of suffering so bad I'm not even capable of imagining it.

2) I'm a narcissist. 98% of the thoughts I have are about myself. Even the other 2% of the time that I think about other people, I only think of them in terms of how they relate to/affect me. I don't know if you can really do something as bad as wedding yourself when you love yourself to that extent.

3) God gave me the gift of Tummo. Tummo is a Tibetan form of meditation that allows its practitioners to raise their body temperature using nothing more than their minds. I had seen a Youtube video about Wim Hof "The Iceman" which intrigued me. He's a man who climbed Mt Everest in nothing but a pair of shorts and sandals. He mentioned his use of Tummo, and that got me researching the ancient art.

Tummo allows you to withstand extremely cold temperatures. There's not much use for that in a permanently warm city like Los Angeles - except that it happened to be the coldest winter on record. Midnight temperatures actually fell as low as 30 degrees. Add to that the fact that I would sit in the grass with the sprinklers going and it makes it a little more legitimate even if it couldn't compete with Mt Everest. Hey, got to start somewhere.

Tummo takes time and effort. I would concentrate with all my mental focus on the building the flame inside my body. Since Tummo required a clear mind and so much focus, I wouldn't be thinking about matrimony when I was practicing it.

Tummo is a mental way to deal with the cold. It's more than just forcing yourself to be out in the cold until you become physically numb to it. It would be a trip to turn on the hose in 30 degree weather and hold it over my head. My body would brace itself and tighten up in anticipation of getting hit with cold water in the middle of the night.

But as soon as it hit I would relax. It felt as warm as if I were playing in the sprinklers on a hot summer day. Even though I had trained myself to do this, it still felt weird but in a good way. It was as if someone socked you in the face and all you felt was a cool breeze.

No one quite knows exactly why Tummo works, but my take is that it's not so much making something work as stopping something else from working: our interpretation of the world around us. imagine for a second that a friend drops you off at your house late one night. As he drives off, you realize that you left your keys (along with your sweater) in the house and you are locked out.

You will have to wait for a half hour till your roomate comes back from work to be able to get inside. You sit outside in the cold, miserable and thinking of nothing else but how cold and miserable you are. All the sudden your pocket vibrates. Your best friend is calling you on your cell.

You haven't talked to him in a week and you have so many things to tell him. As you liven up talking to your friend excitedly, you completely forget to be cold. Once he tells you he has to go and you hang up, you remember once again that you're outside and that means you're supposed to be cold. Cold is not what you are, cold is what you interpret yourself to be.

Tummo is simply redefining reality to be what it really is - not what we interpret it to be. Tummo is looking at a Monet and realizing that you aren't looking at a willow tree but rather just a series of colored dots. Tummo is not learning truth so much as it is unlearning lies.

What it did teach me, if nothing else, is that peace, like warmth, comes from within. If you are seeking peace of mind from the outside world you won't find it. You must look within. Searching for happiness is an oxymoron. Never before was there a more crucial time in my life for me to learn this truth (or unlearn the lie that kept me from this truth).

Tummo, the life saver

by Wonderlane

If you didn't tell anyone before why are you telling us now?

Well it all started when I posted on my facebook about how I planned on dropping out of school because between working two jobs and going to school, I hardly get to see my friends anymore. Up until a few days ago, I hadn't seen one of my best friends, Nacho, for three weeks, and he lives not even a mile from my house.

I have some friends I haven't seen in over a year. The post got quite a bit of criticism. I wanted to explain to people why having time to spend with my homies is maybe a little more important to me than maybe some others who have much deeper support systems than I do. (And who still live at home with their mammas!!)

Passive aggressive

I express myself through writing, and also, it's easier for me to talk about the time in my life when I was thinking about matrimony now that some time has passed. Who knows, maybe if some people actually read my fucking blog, it can help someone else who is thinking about matrimony. Also please take a minute to check out this article.

Don't do it bro! You have so much to live for, don't throw your life away!!

by Kelly Sue

And to all my homies who are reading this: I don't want to talk about it! It took me a long time just to put this out there. Don't bring it up. Seriously. We are men, let's deal with life accordingly: by sweeping gayass emotions under the rug and drinking ourselves fucking stupid!!!

Oktoberfest is pretty much the only holiday I get excited about.


*Don't forget to check out my book, Moby Brick!

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