Monday, January 28, 2008


By the way, something I keep forgetting to say. Many people have called me, or written me, or whatever the last month or so. Please, PLEASE understand that not a single one of you is undesired, even though I don't get back to you. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, or even to write back--I'm just a bastard sometimes, and one of the ways that manifests is to fail to keep in touch regularly. Or at all.

For this, I am sorry. Please, no matter who you are, if you've written or called me in the last month (or more), I love and appreciate the fact that you've done so. I'm trying to manage myself better, and until then, please be patient while I get my head together so we can talk.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Strangely Okay

As news of this last week has spread, I've gotten more and more messages of love and support from my friends, which I greatly love and appreciate. You are all there for me, you support me, you advise me, and I love you all for it. Thank you.

But believe it or not, everything is as well as can be expected. Better, in fact, because Heather and I aren't at odds. We're out with our own friends, doing our own things, and as she and I had discussed, it's like the pressure is off. No more responsibility toward one another's well being, and it feels great for us both to be able to do what makes us happy as individuals. When we meet, we're friends, and without any awkwardness.

Well, not much—but it's not as bad as you might think. It's a little bewildering that things between us are going as well as what's happening in the rest of our lives as individuals. But perhaps that speaks to the fact that it was time for this to happen. I'm thankful it happened before we really did start to hate one another, and our friendship and closeness was irreparably damaged.

For my part, I'm remembering what it was like the last time I came to Chicago. It was almost exactly three years ago, and I was here for a week to audition for graduate schools. I only needed three days, but I took seven because I love this town and the feeling I get when I'm within it. I became an explorer, spending my off times to find places to sit and read or watch a movie or surf the internet without agenda or plan. I'm going places I've never been, usually riding the train and getting off where I feel. Sometimes meeting someone new, having a Tyler Durden style single-serving friend—the kind you meet in a bar and bond with until you're too drunk or too hungry to stay. Discussing politics, the weather, the differences between a Midwest upbringing and a Southwestern childhood.

Most times, though, it's all about me. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do, or see? I'm remembering that since I was a kid, I've given a tremendous amount of value to solitude. I don't know how long I'll be in Chicago. Maybe a job will pop up and take me away to New York or Los Angles (this isn't just fantasy, it could really happen. More info to follow if this becomes that). Maybe I'll go out for grad school next year and spend three years in yet another town. As much as I love it here, I'm finding more and more that I want to have experiences in this life, varied and often. Let me change jobs a few times. Let me move around, become unsettled, regroup, and find out who I really am (may I never be complete, may I never be content). Because if everything else changes—my job, my environment, my friends, my goals—the things that stay the same about me are the things that really make me who I am.

I'm finding I really like who I am.

In other news, I saved a woman's life last night. Go me! I was bartending, and one of the waiters came up to me and asked if I knew the Heimlich maneuver. I took off in the direction he came from, where a woman was making the most God awful frog noises and grasping her throat. Someone was already on the phone with 911, but no one knew how else to help this poor woman.

It's a simple enough thing to know, but apparently, having the knowledge isn't enough without the confidence to put the knowledge into effect. Three quick pumps and the woman was breathing again, shaken but okay. Her family thanked me, a woman I assume was her daughter gave me a hug. I wasn't sure I actually had any effect at first. I mean, how many times do people choke a bit and work it out for themselves?

Later, though, the woman herself took my hand and said, "Thank you for saving my life." That's when it became real. My hands started to shake, and I suddenly knew how important my responsiveness and actions and knowledge had been. I believe she said she's an "emergency respondent", if I remember correctly, and has performed that maneuver several times but never had it done to her, and knows now what it's like. She told me it's not just about knowing how to do it, or deciding to do it, but having the confidence to do it right. Which I did. And since everyone else who works there said they had either a lack of knowledge or confidence to be able to do it themselves, well . . . . It's a lucky thing I was there.

Funny, I've been in one restaurant or another for nearly 14 years, and this is the first time I've seen someone choke. Indeed, nine years I spent wearing a Superman costume, and only after I hung it up for good do I actually save somebody's life. Go figure.

It puts me in a mind to rant about society, that the clothes to not make the man, that it's not what you wear, but rather what you do in life that defines your identity and individuality, and you can't put a label on that. And fuck all to the people who believe in and perpetuate the idea that a clothing label is more important to identity than the thoughts, opinions, and values a single human mind can express when pen is put to paper or fingers dance over a keyboard.

I could rant about that—but perhaps I've changed topics enough times for one blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Day It Ended

First of all, the temperature in Chicago is currently -7. That's 39 degrees below freezing. I love weather.

More importantly is the news that . . . . Well, it's difficult to bring myself to say, but frankly, I only want to say this once, so please share the news amongst you. Heather and I broke up.

I've been working 50 to 60 hours a week at my office (not to mention bartending on the weekend), trying to turn this temporary position into something more, something amazing that will allow me to finally pursue my acting career without fear of finances. I want to do something important with my life, and it's leaving no time for a relationship. Trying to balance the two just became too much.

I know that may not seem like enough of a reason, but a) that's where it started and b) the rest is none of your damn business. It's between her and me. When I have problems in a relationship, I don't go announcing them to the world. To do so is simply disrespectful to her, and I won't do that. Some things are too sacred to be shared, and the factors that led to the break-up are not available for general public consumption. Besides, I had to go through it all once already; I do NOT want to do it again.

I will say that, cliché as it sounds, she and I will still be friends—that's something critically important to us both. I want her as an important part of my life, and so far, she and I have been able to achieve that (I say "so far" as if it's been more than two days). The pain and reconciliation are going to ebb and flow over this next chapter in our lives—but in the end, she's still one of my very favorite people, and that's not going to stop.

We had 341 days together that added up to the experience of us. Not all of them were perfect, but many of them truly were. They were among the most dynamic and amazing days of my life, and the only day I wouldn't relive is the day it ended.

And to answer those of you who would ask this question, Yes, I'm okay. We're both adults and we don't hate one another, so as painful as this is for us, we're getting through it. Sometimes together and sometimes separately, yet we know we'll be okay with ourselves as we'll be okay with each other.

Next we discuss logistics.