Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 58

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 58

For the first time in awhile, I have some free time. Which means I can ponder how much of a failure I am.

As I’m writing this, I’m looking at an attractive woman with her boyfriend. He is well built, and he has several tattoos – I can’t see the tattoos up close, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that they are not tattoos of the Starship Enterprise.

Update to this observation – they got into separate cars. Maybe they’re not dating. No, they are dating. How do I know? Because I find her attractive. If I didn’t find her attractive, they would just be friends. But, specifically because I find her attractive, the universe has conspired, in this moment, to ensure that they are dating.

It’s been four years since I had sex last. Somebody said to me yesterday “you don’t have to do that.” Yes, yes, I suppose, if I really wanted to, I could put some effort into it and have sex. Of course, the possibility exists that even if I put effort into it, I still may not have sex. I would almost want to put maximum effort into it, not have sex, and then feel totally justified in telling this person they are woefully incorrect.

Then this happened yesterday. I asked the photographer to take a picture of a cake. A few minutes later, I asked if he took a picture of the cake, and he said he did, and that I had already asked him. I completely forgot that I had asked him in the first place. And it wasn’t until several hours later that I remembered asking him – probably – I still totally don’t remember asking him. Naturally, I jumped to thinking I have Alzheimer’s. This on top of the heart problem that I’m worried about. It’s not like I’m TRYING to be Woody Allen, here.

I heard this nugget of wisdom from Barbara Holliday – “instead of trying to figure out how to make a million dollars, figure out how to communicate your message.”

Well, here goes: I’m terrified that I have heart and memory problems, and I would like to have casual sex, so long as all parties involved take blood tests and sign consent forms. Where’s my sitcom?

And as much I probably shouldn’t, I can’t help myself by continuing to chronicle the adventures of Rex the Surfing Detective, and Marvin, his shark sidekick.

REX: Oh. So it was the photographer. He’s the one who killed her.

MARVIN: How did you figure that out?

REX: He took a picture of himself killing her. He’s getting a ton of likes on instagram.

MARVIN: You know, it’s just getting harder and harder to make your mark in social media.

REX: Well, I guess the investigation is finished.

MARVIN: Is that code for “now you want to be alone?”

REX: I didn’t say that.

MARVIN: But you were thinking it.

REX: I was not thinking that at all.

MARVIN: So you do you want to go for a drink?

REX: Well…

MARVIN: You don’t have to lie to me.

REX: It’s… to be blunt, you make a lousy wingman.

MARVIN: What on earth are you talking about?

REX: You’re a shark. You take up 80% of the bar. And you flail a lot.

MARVIN: So I gesture when I talk. What do you want from me?

REX: Women find it unsettling.

MARVIN: Has it occurred to you that maybe the reason why you don’t do well with women is because you’re emotionally unavailable?

REX: I’m not disagreeing with that. I am saying, however, that, on top of my insecurities, it is difficult to flirt with a woman in the presence of a shark.

MARVIN: Maybe you’re going after the wrong kind of woman. Listen, I know a great place to meet people.

REX: I’m not going scuba diving.

MARVIN: There are a ton of tourists down there right now.

REX: how am I supposed to have a conversation with a woman while scuba diving?

MARVIN: That’s the beauty of it – you can’t talk. And that, for you, might be the key to making a good first impression.

REX: I’m a terrific conversationalist.

MARVIN: Remember when we went to Applebees, and you tried hitting on the girls sitting next to us? You kept going on and on about how a wave is a metaphor for a human soul.

REX: I got her number, didn’t I? Besides – she was so taken with my story, she didn’t notice you trying to bite off the arm of her friend.

MARVIN: First of all, have you tried calling the number? Because I’ll bet you dollars to sand dollars it’s fake. Second, wasn’t taken with your story. She was mentally trying to figure out how to come up with an excuse to leave. I can tell. My Shark senses are heightened.

REX: No they’re not.

MARVIN: Yes, they are. By the way, you should sell your Tesla stock. My Shark sense is telling me things are not looking good.

REX: You don’t have shark sense. You just read the BBC like everybody else.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 57

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 57

I’m terrified that I have a heart problem. It feels like palpitations, and a momentary weakness – a flutter of the heart. Mild sweats. Fatigue. WebMD is useless – according to WebMD, either I’m hyperventilating or I’m a Southern Belle who has the vapors.

This is why I was rich. If I were rich, I would have a doctor at my side at all times (bonus points if he was also a ninja). He could run some tests on his medical tricorder that I’m sure rich people have, and tell me it’s in my head.

It’s been difficult trying to relax. I’m writing this at a coffee shop, and I’m watching a moth try to escape to the outside, but the moth is struggling with the concept of a window. I feel a kinship with the moth – everything the moth wants is on the other side of that window, but it cannot understand how windows and doors work. So to, do I see everything I want on the other side of a window of self-doubt.

When I get on stage and my primary objective is to talk to the audience and have a conversation with them, things are fine. When my objective is to prove how good I am as a writer, I’m stuck behind the window.

I’ve also noticed the heart palpitations when I try to do anything physical – could this be the beginning of the end? This can’t be the end – there’s so much more in the world that I want to continue to hate. So many more grudges to hold against people without ever telling them I’m holding a grudge against them in the first place. I’m crafting a life, here, damn it!

I’ve always had this suspicion that Confucius’s mother didn’t take his crap. “Don’t quote yourself at me. You don’t know anything. You haven’t had kids!”

Meanwhile, Rex the surfer and Marvin, his shark sidekick, (characters from the previous blog – see day 56) are on the case of the murdered Instagram Celebrity.

REX: I need to surf.

MARVIN: We’re in the middle of a homicide investigation here.

REX: I do my best thinking while surfing.

MARVIN: So you’re saying that whenever you need to do serious thinking, you have to surf?

REX: That’s right.

MARVIN: How did you get through your SAT’s?

REX: I didn’t. I asked my teacher if I could catch just one wave, and she said no. I was one wave away from Harvard, Marvin. One wave.

MARVIN: That’s a tough break.

REX: Did you talk to Linda?

MARVIN: Sort of.

REX: Marvin, where’s Linda?

MARVIN: Who can say?

REX: Where’s Linda, Marvin?

MARVIN: I think, subconsciously, she wanted to end it.

REX: Marvin!

MARVIN: I convinced her to have lunch around Amity Island.

REX: Marvin, you know as well as I do that Amity Island has a sheriff who gets to the bottom of things. Sharks should never attack in that kind of a situation.

MARVIN: I only knew that peripherally.

REX: I’m not sure what that means.

MARVIN: Anyway, I’m sure it was painless. I mean, if an oxygen tank explodes inside your mouth – that’s pretty instant, right?

REX: Oh my God, Marvin.

MARVIN: She was cheating on me with a dolphin! Ok! Look, Rex, I’m a shark. I deal with things differently than humans. I could have just mauled her to death. But I didn’t. I let nature take it’s course.

REX: Why do I keep getting partnered with these loose cannons?

MARVIN: I’m not so much a loose cannon as I am a sort of an Iago figure.

REX: That might be worse.

MARVIN: Well, certainly for Linda.

Josh And Depression Vs. The World: Day 56

Josh and Depression Vs. The World: Day 56

Failure. I think that’s at the core of my depression. The fear of it. The fear that that is how other people will see me. I’m told that I am the one who defines success and failure. That doesn’t make sense to me. That’s like if Shakespeare had a best friend named Steve who said “Yeah, Hamlet was ok, but it’s got nothing on my story about a surfer who moonlights as a private detective.” We are (in spite of my best efforts) a communal species. We are what we make of each other. Is it so much to ask that I am worshipped as a God? It doesn’t even have to be the main one – I’ll take one of the supporting Gods.

The surfer’s sidekick is a shark. I think that goes without saying. And the surfer’s name is Rex Riddick. It would be easy to name the Shark “Sharkie” but I think his name should be Marvin.

REX: If you look at the gunpowder patterns, I think it’s pretty clear that she was murdered. This wasn’t a suicide.

MARVIN: Linda left me.

REX: What?

MARVIN: She left me.

REX: When?

MARVIN: Last night.

REX: Where did she go?

MARVIN: I think she’s having an affair with a dolphin.

REX: Is that possible?

MARVIN: What do you mean, is that possible? They can’t procreate, but they can certainly have a lot of fun.

REX: I’m sorry.

MARVIN: It’s my fault. I wasn’t paying enough attention to her.

REX: Do you need to jump back into the ocean for a minute so you can breathe?

MARVIN: Why bother?

REX: There are plenty of fish in… I hate to say the expression under the circumstances, but I can’t think of anything more appropriate.

MARVIN: There aren’t as many available sharks as you’d think.

REX: What about that man-eating shark who terrorized the bay for three months?

MARVIN: I just get the feeling, if we got into a relationship, she’d misdirect anger.

REX: You’re too picky.

Failure is unavoidable. I read a book about how we have to reverse our thinking on failure. Instead of trying to avoid failure, we should embrace it – because it takes failure to generate success. Just ask the people who’ve been married for nine times and who still can’t find happiness. Well, that took a depressing turn – glad to see I’m sticking to the theme of the blog.

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.