Tip Ring Sleeve

Feb 11, 2010

Sometimes life seems like an almost-broken pair of headphones that you continually have to jiggle the plug in order to experience clearly.
And you'll do it, too.
You'll get to be some sort of headphone plug jiggle savant. You'll know all the secret spots, all the ways to lean your fingers against the connector. It's just a matter of knowing what to listen for, not trying to twist too hard or rush the correction.
Just keep working to find that groove, and everything will come back to stereo.
That, or just buy another pair that fucking works all the time.
I wonder sometimes if the world is really divided that way. If those of us out there who get in the car and look at that spot just out of reach of the windshield wipers with unmitigated angst like the world is against them are just an eternal joke to those of us who simply roll down the window, scratch it off with their fingernail, and move on with their lives.
Distill it down. Look it in the eye. Don't make it more than it is.
Recognize the tendencies. Analyze the trends. Adjust. Reapply.
I don't like that there's polarities within myself to navigate. That the centerline is so narrow, leaving me all to often on one side or the other. I don't like that I so often have to be brought out of my shell.
It wasn't always like that (or ..was it?)
Feb 16, 2010

Somewhere around the week before the Superbowl the headphones I wore everyday at work, every time I walked the dog, every time I wanted to play guitar after 9pm started to crackle and drop out. They weren't particularly expensive or high quality, but they were a variety I had found to be pretty durable and reliable. This was my third set of the same type.

Headphones wearing out is part of the game. Getting new ones is actually a secret victory -- like finding two prizes in your cereal box or getting an extra fortune cookie with your takeout order. New headphones are crisp and bright-sounding. They hug your ears with the passion of a new lover, and remind you of the presence of frequencies that you'd long grown used to missing out on, despite the warming comfort of the pair that you'd grown to know so well before.

At the time the headphones started to go -- I was blogging every day, walking 5 miles a couple of times a week, ahead at work, and seemed to be filled with clear sky type days.
I was also sort of quietly unhappy, unfulfilled without really fully realizing it.
Things too far away. Things too undefined. I was holding down the fort with ease in areas that I had fallen off with at the end of the previous year, but once again the effort seemed to be without reward. I wasn't losing weight. I wasn't getting promoted or paid more. I wasn't this, I wasn't that. I was just busier.

Communication matters. When you plug into the headphone jack, you need the points to contact, the current to flow. When that doesn't happen the right way, you only get parts of what you need. The energy is all there, but the flow is off. Chi interrupted. Music only comes through in spurts, and you find yourself putting extra effort into trying to get that full sound back in your ears.
If you're not careful, it can become the only thing you really focus on.
I'm not trying to throw a pity party. Emo Dan has not checked in. But somewhere mid-week last week it became clear that I was kinda, I don't know.. off. I wasn't writing, I wasn't doing much of anything but pointedly trying to complete things to cross off the to-do lists. Things were getting done, progress was being made, but things just weren't ..I don't know.
Something was just ..off.
Occasionally I turn into that guy who has to stop, get under the hood and figure out where that friggin' rattling sound is coming from. Some people are like that all the time, and if you're one of them more power to you -- but I tend to be fairly laid back about stuff (up to a point). Being all aggro and worried all the time makes Jack a dull boy that people generally don't like being around, so not flipping out at the first sign of trouble has become something I do on a fairly regular basis these days.

And yet, when it became clear that there was an issue -- fixing it didn't seem to completely help. In other words, new headphones made the music sound clearer, but once it was apparent that the flow was still disrupted even with that reconnection -- I kinda got into a loop where I just wasn't sure what it was all about. This frustration, these clouds overhead. Was it just the winter? The miles? The people around me who seemed to have it figured out?
Was I just making something out of nothing?
I started, deleted, edited, re-started, abandoned, and came back to this blog entry I had started. This metaphor about old headphones that at times became just an all-out mope session complete with horrid metaphors and self-bashing.

Have you ever hit a place where things aren't that bad -- you're coasting along at a good clip, you see promising things on the horizon, and you're nose to the grindstone to reach them -- and then someone innocently asks you, "Hey, how's it going?" and your answer is paragraph after paragraph of just mope and frustration? To the point where even you're asking yourself, "Whoa, where did
that come from?"

It's been like that lately. Frustrations apparent, temper flaring. Answers and questions disconnected. The energy there, the productivity high, the connection looking right -- but the music still not coming through all the way.
I want to fly. I want to fight. I want to fuck.
All the good F words. I need them. I don't have enough of them in my life right now. I have made choices that in some ways keep myself from them. Either that, or I wrap myself in music, words, or whatever to the point where they pass right by me and I don't even know it.

Which is perhaps why when the music started sporadically cutting out and then eventually just died altogether the resulting silence seemed so ..bothersome. I honestly think my mood was sort of one that thought things were pretty cool, stuff was going well -- only to realize that there was more on the horizon than just some pressing deadlines at work, little league practice, tax preparation, a carpet to be cleaned, or any of the other little things that I let fill up my days.

So what do you do? Blame your responsibilities? Look at your obligations both real and imagined and resent your ties to them, the tethers that hold? I could have
this if I didn't have to that?
..Where does that get you?
I should have been writing about the Superbowl, or
The Bad Girls Club, or a million other trifling things that were able to fill my time but in the end did nothing to help shake this feeling.
But I guess had to get past this headphone thing first.
Do you ever get like that?

[Listening to: Soilwork - "As We Speak" ]


Anonymous said…
You know, sometimes it's not the headphones that's the problem, sometimes it's the jack.
Both of my iPods have malfunctioning headphone jacks.

The relationship between the headphone plug and the jack is very much like the relationship between the penis and the vagina. The penis wants to go in, but the vagina doesn't want to cooperate. And then whatcha gonna do? Well, I got a new iPod. But then the new iPod started to have the same problem. So now I'm just swearing off iPods altogether.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: women and iPods ain't worth shit!
Satorical said…
Those are awesome new headphones you have. They're very you. I can tell you feel comfortable in them. So why blame them for your favorite band sounding like shit, when you should be blaming the band's decision to get a new lead singer?

You are a master of finding new music.
shaina said…
"women and ipods ain't worth shit!"

yeaaaaaah, blame it on the vagina.

that makes perfect sense.
JerseySjov said…
i'd rather be wildly upset than languorous. the highs arent as high if you can't hit the lows.

good luck getting those headphones figured out.
Werdna said…
It's Friday night, it's time to fuck or fight! Let's get a gut full of suds, and go and hammer some cruds. Have a beer with Fear....
Bef said…
interesting blog entry...I love your writing style...

I've had that "feeling" before...all due to a broken heart

as I was reading this I kept thinking who broke Hex's heart...that trick needs her ass beat lol

seems when we are brokenhearted no matter what good is going on around us...we can only dwell on what or who is missing...that begins to consume us...even if we don't know it...it's that "off feeling" you have...you have no real reason to be sad...you have so many things going for you in the right direction...but that one thing...that one person...

humans seem to be consumed with paring up with another human...

so no matter how good life may be, if you are alone then life is not so good...

it's a vicious cycle...one I try not to get on anymore...

I've been there...had no other reason to be upset other than this man left me, or is still in my life but treats me like a doormat...

the boy was healthy, had a good job, own a home, nice car, money in the bank...all those good things that should make me happy...

but this man...this human has this power over me to make me not see the good in my own world...all while he's probably happy as a faggot in jail...

I don't wish that feeling on anyone...it's horrid...it can turn into a monster and just fugg up every thing....

I found what really pulled me from it was focusing on being the best parent I could be...I had to actually just stop being selfish...having self-pity...yea I'm single, yea this fool broke my heart...but you know what...there is this little boy that looks up to me...and needs me...so I decided...OK let me be a mother...let me focus on the right thing...easier said than done for some folks...I guess...

for me it seems being a parent made it easier to get over the broken heart...sounds odd...I know...

I truly hope you aren't brokenhearted cause that shit sucks monkey balls...

but if you are...get her completely out of your life...if you are playing the lets be friends game (I should blog about this game...it sucks monkey balls too)...and allow yourself to get over her and the situation that cause the break up in the first place...

focus on being super dad...and super Hex...and just breathe...
Hex said…
wigsf -- So if I understand your metaphor correctly, you're ..dating men now? lol.

Satorical -- Sammy Hagar knows what he did.

Shaina -- He's just mad that iPods can vote now.

Jersey -- "The highs aren't as high if you can't hit the lows."

It's a good point you make. It's just that sometimes the swings from one point to another can be jarring when you don't see the changes coming.

Werdna -- I love living in the city.

Bef -- It's not really about being brokenhearted (I can see how it might be read that way), it's more about the disconnect between the times when you're charging hard and being productive and yet still somehow feel emotionally wrecked. Disconnect is a tough thing to navigate, because you have to figure out where the break in the line is -- which isn't always easy.

I know what you mean about finding ways to drop the feeling of heartache, though. It's not fair that even when you try to replace it with other emotions and activities that it tends to shadow your moods and feelings.

Sounds like your little one is a treasure, btw.
Monster said…
Brother, you know I get there.

For me, the worst is that there's nothing really WRONG, but nothing really inspired, either.

Things that are supposed to come naturally don't, and plodding uphill seems to yield everyday normal shit as opposed to the amazing shit that usually comes from serious focused effort.

At the same time, things are happening, stuff is basically okay. What do we have to complain about, anyway? Don't beat yourself up, take what the world gives you, all the clich├ęs that make me monster.

Is it just a matter of expectations? Do we just need to cope? I think that's true to a degree - but I also think that there's nothing wrong with having an extraordinary standard.