Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inside The Neighbor's Studio (And Not Her Apartment)

The mind can be your worst enemy, trust me, I know. Little things that one person would never notice can speak volumes to another. Even the person doing whatever it is may never know the significance of what they're doing. Why? Because they're not actually doing anything. The human mind has the cursed gift of bending and transforming a harmless and innocent action into an agonizing attack of malicious intent. That's the torment of creativity, maybe that's why artists are fucking crazy.

Which leads me to St. Patrick's Day (the real one this time). I went to New York on Earth to join in and brought Tony with me. Marley wouldn't go; first of all, she doesn't like crowds, second, the idea being immersed in an environment where everyone is engaged in a destructive vice is a rather unsettling thought for a former heroin addict (we invited Suzanne, but she had her own plans in Chicago).

St. Patrick's isn't an anxiety inducing holiday like Valentine's Day, but it does have its own mystique, in that it's a national excuse to drown your sorrows. I saw a dude by the bar with the textbook signs of hurt on his face, and started a conversation about the game he was watching (lonely people in bars have nothing else to do but watch sports). I turned the conversation in the angel direction, and thanks to the sudsy truth serum, it didn't take much prodding to get his problem out of him (so much easier, St Patrick should be the patron saint of angels).

"There's this girl in my building," he said. "We used to always stop and chat whenever we ran into each other, now she hates me."


"I don't know. But she doesn't really talk to me anymore."

Waited for him to elaborate, but he just drank his beer. "And?"

"And what?"

"That's it? That's hatred?"

"Well wouldn't she want to talk more if she didn't have a problem with me?"

"Who knows?" I said. "There's any number of reasons for something like that. There's only so much you can say by the mailboxes in the lobby, maybe now that you've gotten through the usual, "What's your name, where you from, what do you do?" conversations, it's more complicated to keep the small talk going. What, you like this girl?"

"She's cute, yeah, but I'm not devastated or anything."

"So whats the problem?"

He said, "It would just be nice to be appreciated, you know?"

What do you do with a guy like that? Girl doesn't stop for Twenty Questions and he loses his fucking mind. My talk gave his head some healthier (and more reasonable) explanations that should help him in the here and now, but this sort of thing is likely to recur if he doesn't learn to recognize his anxiety. Gotta tell my old classmates about this bar. Looks like I've found a hot spot.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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