Being a “person of modest immune system means,” I tend to poop out faster than I used to. True, I am no longer fueled by cocaine and self-hatred like I was but this little 3 letter biological glitch that I have can make me one tried ass bitch. The old battery signal blinks red and before you know it I wanna collapse like a broken windup toy. However, my HIV isn’t entirely to blame here. I think this exhausting modern world is at fault too. The antidote to this is, of course, lots of naps and self-care and generally being better to myself. All of which is necessary and fantastic. Besides, I’ve decided that being exhausted certainly beats being negative and exhausting.
Oreo, Pickles and Marlo Bundo. That’s it. Those are the three things I don’t hate about the current White House. For those of you who are smart and have thrown your televisions out the window and only read old copies of Highlights stolen from your dentist’s office, those are the names of Vice President Mike Pence’s two cats and pet rabbit, respectively. And that is literally the only piece of news related to the current people in charge that I don’t hate with the passion of a thousand flaming hemorrhoids. Two cats and a rabbit. Everything else can bite me. Traditionally, I’m a sliver lining type of guy but when it comes to all of this bullshit, I’ve only been able to muster up enthusiasm for these three animals, who by the way, I will gladly rescue at any time. I’ve had it with your Jareds, your Bannons, your Ivankas, your Mar-A-Lagos. I am done and can say from a place of inner peace and understanding that I fucking hate all of it. It’s all beyond gross and depressing. Yet these nearly 11 weeks (ONLY 11, PEOPLE!) have done something interesting: I’ve been beaten into a state of exhaustion that has turned my swirling black hole of negativity into an attitude of, dare I say, optimism.
Oh don’t get it twisted. I am not optimistic at all about anything happening in the news and should probably be handed a complimentary Zoloft flavored Slurpee every time I read The New York Times. My negative, Irish, alcoholic ass is pretty convinced that the worst is truly yet to come. But I’m so freaking tired that I don’t have the energy to spend a lot of time hating everything. Hate is a lot of work and it’s hard work with no benefits and zero pay. Blah. I’m too old for all of that. After all, I didn’t stop actually killing myself only to mope around and act like I wanted to kill myself all the time. So instead, my optimism/exhaustion has allowed me to let my guard down. I’ll pretty much agree to anything that sounds fun, uplifting, distracting, educational and related to cheese/chocolate/coffee. Please read yesterday’s post as proof of my willingness to soak up and enjoy any and every little thing that might not suck. I mean I just booked a spot at a free discussion about Anne Sexton at the library and I’m excited about it, for crying out loud. The main bi-product of all of this is a sunnier and less gloomy outlook.
Yet this new little optimism by way of exhaustion is not without its troubles. Sure, getting tired and over everything in the news has pushed me to pursue positive things that make me happy. But I still struggle with this whole “staying informed while not trying to murder myself with information” thing. I am not alone here as there’s only been about 2,000 essays written on it since January. I don’t know what the answer is. There’s no easy way not feel horrified and I don’t think we should stop. Normalizing any of this stuff is not the freaking answer. Like I said, it’s tricky. Also, as a person in recovery who struggled with dishonesty his whole life, I have to keep it real that my pursuit of sunshine and rainbows doesn’t lead to delusion. And lastly, there are times when I just really don’t like the world and the people who inhabit it. Those are days when I need to hang out with animals or books or people in recovery.
Alas, this clearly isn’t a post about how changing your attitude can change the world or some crap. But I will say this: as I was getting ready to write earlier this evening, I was dragging my feet. It’s been eight posts in a row and I felt like I was out of gas. Then, like a good homosexual, I put on YouTube videos of musical numbers from Little Shop of Horrors. Not sure why but they instantly made me feel happy and lighter and made me realize yet again that Ellen Greene is totally underrated. Within moments I was ready to write and even jotted down ideas for future posts too. The thing is listening to muscials and writing, I know the truth. The truth is I am still a silver lining guy who is optimistic. I am optimistic that I’ll continue to be loved and love. I’m optimistic that people and this planet are acutally okay. (most of the time) And I’m optimistic that we’ll get through all of this shit together.