Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 55

I’m really struggling with writing this morning. I must be tired. And/or I’m a no talent hack who is the laughing stock of his peers. Or I’m about to die.

There’s a guy outside who looks like he could either be a professional killer – but we’re in burbank, so he is wearing skinny jeans. He’s killed as many men as trees he has saved by driving a Prius. He has a house in Silverlake with a secret vault. Inside the vault: fifty-five guns – but these guns are eco friendly. The bullets are biodegradable – made out of granola. He not only eats kale, he uses it as an instrument of torture. His name is Archibald Grant (distant relation to Cary Grant). He kills for a living. AND he has a yoga certification.

Maybe I’m not depressed – that’s what I’ve been saying to myself as I long for the embrace of a beloved who may not exist while lamenting the fact that I am not where I want to be in live by any stretch of the imagination while obsessing over exactly what out there is going to kill me.

But now I’m pontificating – I am conjuring – I’m trying to invent something. Instead of just being present –

The guy next to me is sniffing – why does this have to happen to me? Why is he sniffing like that? This is untenable. Truly untenable. I don’t want to catch whatever he has.

Archibald Grant’s second car is a Tesla. Of course. He not only kills his targets, but he reuses all the parts of the body.

Change of topic – I’d like to see a Predator movie where the Predator catches Arnold Schwarzenegger, but then immediately releases him because Earth has been deemed a wildlife refuge.

Back to depression. I’m feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety because I know that, in a few moments, something bad is going to happen – it might be a minor bad thing – the printer is out of paper. It might be a major bad thing – the printer says “ready” but isn’t printing. But one way or another, something bad will happen.

Something good might also happen – but what good is good when there is bad?

You can’t have bad without good – can I try that for twenty years and get back to you?

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 54

I joke to people about being depressed, but it’s quite a different thing when I say, in all seriousness, that I suffer from depression.

I still doubt whether or not I even have it, but then again, if that were true, why do I feel better after talking about it?

The next step is a scary one. I need to go on a diet. I use food to cover how I feel. More specifically, I use sugar. And if I give it up, I’m going to feel things a lot more deeply. Life is unbearable without Skittles.

I was informed, today, by somebody who watched my stand-up, that I am more attractive than I give myself credit for on stage. And you know something? This person is slightly correct.

I remember reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, in which the main character discusses the nature of “quality.” Some things have a higher quality than other things – and there tends to be a near universal agreement – the thing (person, place, or thing) provokes a feeling of reverence amongst the thing’s supporters. And based on feedback I have gotten from people, and based on the truthful assessment of my life, I am proud to say that I am, as a man, not that bad.

But that’s the problem with not that bad. “Not that bad” could be better.

Maybe there are no problems. Maybe I am creating all of the problems. Maybe, if I didn’t create all of the problems, all of my problems would be solved.

My fear, conversely, is that if I don’t create my problems, other problems will come along that are much worse.

It’s coming time to renew my passport – not because I want to travel, because I remember my mother telling me “It’s always a good idea to be prepared, in case you need to escape.” And that’s how we roll.

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 52

I sat at a table where I was the youngest, and then a few minutes later, I was sitting at a table where I was the oldest. I felt more comfortable at the table where I was the youngest because it was easier to talk about how there is no hope.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve always felt more comfortable around older people. The last thing I want to hear about is hopes and dreams. I only want complaints. And if I have a smile on my face, by God, you wipe it off with your assessment of our nation’s environmental practices.

How is it that I like where I am at in life, and yet at the exact same time, I hate where I’m at in life. Well, I suppose it could be worse – it could be straight hatred all across the board. And you know something – it will be worse.

That’s what gets me about life in general. The degradation part of it. But I guess that’s how the universe works. It expands, and energy transforms from one state to another. The question is, will the universe keep expanding until it fades out into nothingness, or will it compress back down into something that explodes again, starting the cycle over. The point is, I hate that I don’t have natural sexual charisma.

Here’s what happens when I see a woman I am attracted to. I think “she’s attractive,” and then I think “I can’t imagine being with her. That just doesn’t seem right. She should be with that guy over there who doesn’t injure his knee by sitting down.”

Is this the result of a pattern of negative thinking that has turned into a world view? Or this this a truthful assessment? I feel like only a divorce court could make that final statement.

I’m also terrified that I’m going to lose all my talent. But if talent is based, in part, on suffering – if comedy is, in fact, based on struggle and pain, what I should really be terrified of is how I’m going to fit it all in an hour. This should be the last thing I’m worried about, which is why it’s the first thing I’m worried about. You’d think, at the very least, I’d be smarter about my worrying.

I miss being able to eat Frosted Flakes without severe consequences. There’s a food I can get behind. “Frosted Flakes: Yes, sure, keep telling yourself it’s part of a complete breakfast. Denial is essential to survive in the 21st century.”

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 51

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 51

Tremendous anxiety this morning. I’m terrified that I’m going to have a heart attack – these are my thoughts late at night. When is that thing going to come along that kills me? When is the other shoe going to drop? I seem to have that thought the moment I could fall asleep. I’m dozing off, and my brain suddenly shouts “you just had fried food – cholesterol! Cholesterol!”

I worry about what might happen, and then I get depressed about what does happen, and then I go home and watch YouTube clips of old talk show segments. And that’s when things are going well in life.

I don’t feel like I am living my life to the fullest. I know that being rich and successful doesn’t guarantee that I will live life to the fullest, but since I’m going to be depressed no matter what I do, I’d rather be depressed while being rich and successful.

I don’t want to live an extravagant life. I just want to afford to have a doctor and a lawyer always present. It would also be cool if both the doctor and the lawyer were ninjas. Now this is the premise for a comic book if I ever heard one.

I’m trying to write a set about Westerns, and how I hate them. The day is always saved with guns – the older I get, the less I like watching violent films. Maybe this is why I like Batman – he saves the day without using guns. Well, it depends on the movie – the most recent Batman shot a grappling gun at a crate and somehow had the strength to throw the crate into a the bad guy, smashing and killing him. At that rate, he may as well just use the gun.

The guy runs into the room, takes a grenade, pulls out the pin and looks at Batman as if to say “your move.” This is not the guy you want to make any long term plans with. The one good thing about him is that he really does live in the present moment. No trace of worrying about the future here.

I’m just tired of seeing cowboy movies where the cowboy saves the day by having slightly better aim than the villain. I want to see a cowboy movie where, right at the climax, the villain says “you know, I’ve been paying attention this whole time, and it’s clear to me that your aim is just slightly better. So I surrender.” And the good guy says “what?” And the bad guy says “You win. I don’t want to die. I have a terrific lawyer, I think I can get off on a RICO charge. Actually, if you shoot me and just injure me, I’ll be able to collect disability. Can you shoot me in the arm, or something? Don’t hit me anywhere vital. Here, blow off my little toe. I’ll even take off my boot.”

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 50

Josh and Depression: Day 50

Another day, another constant reminder of how nothing is that great.

Today, my depression feels like a protective blanket. I don’t want to feel joy. Joy is too mercurial. It’s here today, and gone tomorrow. It’s the McRib of emotions.

So why embrace joy when it will inevitably leave? But on the other hand, why embrace sadness when it, too, will inevitably leave? Joy has ruined my sadness on a few occasions. Fortunately, my sadness is resilient (I think I get that from my Russian Jewish roots).

The only thing to embrace is nothingness. Pure and total neutrality. Is this what enlightenment is? Not too good, not too bad. Enlightenment is… a granola bar. Is it your first choice? No. Is it your last choice? No. It stares at you on the shelf, neither preferring nor deterring. Does it make you feel better? No. Does it make you feel worse? Not really. It gives you gas. Bad gas? No. Great gas? No. I think I’ve got this buddhist thing pretty well figured out.

Or, perhaps, the real value in life is the power of our relationships. Well, that just can’t be. Have you met people?

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 49

Sadly, the only way that I can truly be superior to other people is to accept them for who they are. The only solution, then, is to strive to be inferior.

Nobody is serving me at this moment. It’s midnight and I’m at a restaurant. They probably only have one server. But on the other hand, a security guard with an earpiece made eye contact with me. You’d think he’d radio to the staff. If I finish this blog and nobody waits on me, then I think I’ll just leave.

The only problem with leaving is that I will go to 7-11, and that – the server just walked up to me, so it looks like I’m eating here. I’m thinking I’ll get the fish sliders – that way, I’ll die from high cholesterol in my late sixties instead of my early sixties.

I try to order salads. I really try. I look at the salad menu. It’s the same feeling as looking at your work email. I’m already pissed at the title.

I ended up getting the fish sliders. I’m telling myself that fried fish served on a bun with enough gluten to destroy Los Angeles is a healthy option.

Now I have to go fall asleep by counting the number of ways I can die.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 48

Here’s what I’m noticing – when there is a crisis, and it is not my fault, I get excited. This is apparently a classic symptom of being the adult child of an alcoholic. So I guess I belong in comedy due to both nature and nurture.

I want to be the hero in the situation. Ideally, that’s how I’d like to meet a woman – by saving her life, and then acting like it was no big deal. So all I need is a situation in which I can save the day without having to do any manual labor, or anything too complex on a computer. Hopefully, I’ll find a situation where I save the day by updating a wordpress page.

I hate when people wear the tooth of an animal around their neck. Where did you fight this creature to the death? Hot Topic or Forever 21?

I’m reading about Carl Reiner – still active in his 90’s. I can’t imagine that for myself. I can’t imagine being 90, being active, and knowing that, no matter what happens, at most, I’ve got 10 to 20 years left. Then again, at the rate I’m going with my sugar consumption, I’m essentially in the same boat. Carl might outlive me.

I still lose control when I get upset. I hate losing control. I’m supposed to be the Buddha. At least, that’s what somebody with my grades should be expecting. Yes, I got good grades. And do you know what that means? It means I’m really good at doing what I am told. Keep that in mind, future robot overlords. Because I don’t care how advanced you are, you’re going to need somebody to clean the dust on your servers.

I’m trying this new process: I’m letting people walk all over me, saying “yes” to however they treat me, and then privately resenting them for hours. I’m really excited about the possibilities here.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 47

A potentially stressful thing could be happening to me later today, and for the first time in my life, I’m not worried about it. Which is always a bad sign – because it seems like it’s always when I don’t worry about something that it will blow up in my face. But I’m not worried about it because I am too burned out. So hey, Thank God for some small miracles.

People who wear their keys on their belts… I don’t get it. I don’t want people knowing what I have access to – not that I have access to anything profound, but isn’t it a reminder to everyone on the street that I might own things?

But sometimes, when I look at somebody who is wearing keys on their belt, I get the distinct feeling that it’s a fashion choice. Perhaps, a fashion choice that has attracted members of the opposite (and/or same) sex. It could be a turn on for some people. They see the keys and they think to themselves “now there’s a person who might have a storage unit. I need to get me some of that.”

Whenever I see somebody with keys on their belt, I think about the character with the keys on his belt from ET – the government agent who was tracking ET. He wore his keys on his belt. It bothers me that the head of a secret government organization who is tracking extra terrestrials is keeping the keys to the top secret lab out in the open like that. Seems like you’re sitting on a mighty fine breach in security there. And, lo and behold, the kids managed to steal ET out from under the government’s nose. So I think that organization needs some more oversight.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 46

What more can I say about depression? I’m sick of talking about it. I’m turning into the people who I rail against – the people who say “just get over it.” But I’m beginning to feel that way about myself. Just get over it already. But I suppose it’s foolhardy to count on a depression-themed blog to eventually pick it up.

I’m also incredibly tired. But from doing what? Dreading. Dreading takes a lot out of me. I used to be able to dread for a full day without feeling it.

What am I dreading? That’s a fantastic question, now that I think of it, because no matter what happens, bad things will continue to be a thing. There’s just no avoiding it. Life is a mountain path, and we are the idiot tourists who thought it would be fun to go on a “hike.”

I’ve been complaining about Westerns. I’m not a fan of this genre. I’m not a fan of the whole era. Here’s my impression of the Wild West:

“We don’t yet have the technology to destroy the earth on a global scale, but by gum, we’re going to give it our best.”

To think that this era has become romanticized. But then again, every era becomes romanticized – that’s what happens to something when it falls into the past. If something lasts long enough, it’s amazing. Those Ancient Greek pots and pans we find – those may well be the equivalent of IKEA furniture.

It takes some things longer than other things –
It’ll probably be a good five hundred years before a Toyota Corolla is looked upon with awe and reverence.

The family sitting at the table next to me at Pizza Rev (more on Pizza Rev in a moment) is using a selfie stick to take a picture. Why do I desire nothing less than fire to rain upon these people -specifically for using a selfie stick? What is it about selfies that bother me? Pictures have always bothered me. The theme of every picture taken is “everything’s fine. Nothing is wrong. We’re all doing great.” A picture is worth a thousand words of denial.

But back to Pizza Rev. I imagine the “Rev” is short for “revolution.” What’s the revolution? They looked at a Subway and said “let’s do that, but with pizza.” And as a result, the solar system was never the same again – hence the “revolution.” I’m pretty sure that the planet Uranus is on it’s side because, billions of years ago, aliens figured out how to quickly make pizza that was sort of healthy.

When I order a pizza, they ask what kind of crust. I say I want the gluten free crust. They say “is that a preference or an allergy?”

What business is it of yours? And why are they asking that – I feel like, if I say “it’s a preference,” they’ll say “great, now I won’t have to try as hard. I’ll only loosely assume that whatever dough I’m grabbing is gluten free.”

I want to start saying “if I have one speck of gluten, I will die. And my family will blame your family.”

What was I talking about? Oh, right. Depression. Does this have anything to do with depression? Oh, here’s the other thing I’m noticing start to happen. The more I talk about my depression, the more I start to see it from a more objective place. And by “objective,” I mean “too exhausted to react emotionally.” It’s a real pleasure.

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 45

I’m finding that, rather than cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship based upon trust and communication, it’s far easier to not leave my apartment.

I’m also finding that, rather than sharing my feelings to people, I lecture at them in my shower, say nothing to them in real life, and feel defeated. It gives me an idea for a self-help book entitled “It’s Already Over: A Guide To Maybe Prolonging Death And Possibly Not Always Being Miserable.”

Imagine achieving total detachment. I’d pay good money to see the Buddha working behind the counter at a Starbucks. A woman is screaming at him because she ordered her latte with extra foam, and he smiles and says “so true, so true.”

But we all know it would be more fun to see the Buddha unleash a fireball of energy at the woman (I can only assume that the Buddha would, upon achieving enlightenment, be able to throw a fireball a la Ryu from Street Fighter).

That’s what’s so fun about watching superhero movies – we want justice in our lives, so we live vicariously through the fictional characters who meet out said justice onto people who deserve to be punched and kicked. That’s why a superhero movie where the superhero uses passive resistance would probably be met with questionable box office returns. Nobody wants to watch Batman go on a hunger strike (though it might annoy Joker into surrendering).

Meantime, my diet continues to be a parade of bad choices. They keep saying that if I eat healthy, I will feel better emotionally. I have tried this for extended periods of time, and I can say, with absolute certainty, that this has done nothing for me. Eating healthy doesn’t make me feel joy. It makes me feel aggravated that I can’t have sugar.

I’m reading Eddie Izzard’s autobiography, and I admire this man dearly. He’s talking about how he has quit sugar, and he’s finding that he is enjoying the taste of healthy foods – the sugar was obfuscating his ability to taste natural flavors. I am sure that what he is saying is true. I’m sure that the subtleties of the cucumber have finally been revealed to him after years of living in the shadow of the rice crispy treat. However, as good as a cucumber may taste, it will still never compare with the artificially created genius that is found within every pre-packaged “food” that one may purchase at 7-11 when one is on a path of personal self-destruction.

But as with depression, I’m just, for the moment, trying to watch what I’m doing as opposed to judge. And I appear to be watching myself give myself diabetes. But what is the upside? The sugar blocks the sadness – I can feel it working – it gives me energy and makes me jumpy. It’s a false high. This is very bad indeed. And the last thing I recommend doing is worrying about eating too much sugar while eating too much sugar. That’s like when you play that game “Portal” and you jump through three portals in a row and it gives you increased velocity to, in turn, fly up onto a platform 100 feet in the air. Yes, like that, but with real world consequences and death involved.

Watch – I go through all this worrying, and then the planet blows up in ten years anyway.

But don’t let me get you down. Have fun. I’m sure it’ll work out for you.