Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pray For Mojo

Marty Stark's Weekend Itinerary (or Why You Shouldn't Blow Off Your MCLE Requirements Until the Last Minute)

Friday, January 27th 2006
8:30 AM - 2 [LP] Civil Discovery and Compliance Response On-Line: The New Frontier of Evidence Management
9:45 AM - 10 [LL] E-mail, Voicemail, Snailmail: Privacy Issues in the New Workplace
1:45 PM - 17 [IP] The Interplay between Patents and Trade Secrets
3:00 PM - 19 [IL] Psst, What Do You Know or What Have You Heard? How Cultural Bias Leads to a Clash with Ethics
5:15 PM - 27 [CL] Ethical Considerations During Jury Trial

Saturday, January 28th 2006
8:30 AM - 31 [SS] Ethical Issues and Conflicts of Interest Issues Especially for Small Firms and Solo Practitioners
9:45 AM - 39 [CL][LT] Jury Selection: Tips and Tactics in Criminal and Civil Trials
1:45 PM - 45 [LT] Attorney-Client Confidentiality Under Attack
4:00 PM - 54 [LP] Superhero Internet Fact Finding Strategies and Legal Research Tips

Sunday, January 29th 2006
9:00 AM - 62 [IP] Trade Secret Litigation: How To Win or Lose at the Injunction Hearing
10:15 AM - 67 [SS] Breakthrough Mediation Strategies

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

When I Was A Child I Had A Fever

Back on the Lexapro again. Without the Lexapro, I felt like I was drowning. The sadness, the anger, and the hopelessness surrounded me and consumed me. I couldn't take a breath without feeling despair. I would wake up, imagine the rest of my life doing the same thing over again, feeling empty, and realizing that I felt like I was drowning.

With the Lexapro, the sadness, the anger and the hopelessness is still there. But instead of those emotions feeling like an ocean, they're now little pebbles in my chest. They're the grit in my shoes.

That might sound like an improvement. Maybe it is. But the problem is that all my emotions feel like little pebbles in my chest. What little happiness I have, creativity, my ambition, all little pieces of grit.

So what's left is a numbness. I don't feel like taking a step off a tall building, but I also don't feel like meeting new people. I still do wonder what's the point, but that's only to fill the seconds of my life.

Monday, January 16, 2006

1187 Unterwasser

"By the time I was fifty, I gave up on my dreams." -Marty Stark's dad.

"Painful to live in fear, isn't it?" -Leon from Bladerunner

My kidneys are fucked up again. Back on the strict diet, and there goes yet another part of my life that gave me some semblance of pleasure. I feel fatigued. I could sleep fourteen hours a day if I'm left to my own devices, which I am. Life flickers by very quickly at ten hours a day.

The doubt is back. Maybe that's part of the post-project blues that comes out of the uncertain future, a mixture of the dread of going back to being a lawyer or the dread of not finding a gig before the reserve runs out, and of the despair of thinking about not making it as a writer, of being fifty and still puttering around life, jumping from contract gig to contract gig. Whatever this apathy with a slow simmering fear is, I think about the last novel I wrote and want to just give in and give up.

What keeps me going at this point is nostalgia and anger. I've been listening to shoegazing music from my college days (Chapterhouse's song "Pearl" on repeat) to remember those days when all I had to worry about were finals. To center myself on that feeling of being outside myself when I listened to a wall of sound. And as to the anger, it's an anger against futility, a rage against nihilism. What is the fucking point of this life? If it's to earn money to eat and drink and fuck, that's just not enough. I am not a fucking animal. I can fucking reason, think beyond today, imagine something other than eating and drinking and fucking.

Fuck this noise. I do know that if this novel doesn't pan out, there will be another. And if that doesn't work out, there will be yet another one. I'm not going to be fifty and telling myself I gave up on my dreams.

"Strength and Beauty destined to decay
So cut the rose in full bloom." -"Love Like Blood" by Killing Joke

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I'm agnostic, so I have no faith in a supreme being. Creation ex nihilo is far more miraculous than by deus ex machina.

I believe in free will, so I have no faith in destiny. Better to believe that cute toddler bursting with potential has some say in the path he takes instead of dooming him to a destiny of being some piss-soaked bum stewing in his own shit under a bridge.

So in what do I place my faith?

I used to be a romantic, so I had faith in love. Yeah fuckwit, that's what I said. You want to call me a pussy, I really don't give a shit. I also have anger management issues and an unhealthy desire to beat shit up with a bat. So go ahead, call me a pussy again, you dumb fuck hiding behind some lame ass anonymous identity. Yeah, I thought so.

So yeah, I had faith in love. I also had a shitty childhood where I was virtually friendless, my dad kept asking me what was so wrong with me that I was virtually friendless, and my mom unloaded all her issues--arranged marriage, low self-esteem, her negativity which she denied and blamed on her inability to learn the fucking language--onto me. This led Marty to have a few self-esteem issues of his own. Not to mention an addictive/obsession prone personality. To say I was socially awkward is to say the situation in the Middle East is somewhat complex. So putting all my faith in love was a bit of a bitch. I was acne-pocked Job in shit clothing from County Seat.

And despite all the wholesale lack of any mechanism to pull the honeys, my faith in love remained. The outright laughter in my face in middle school, the crap dates as I began to get the hang of this concept you call conversation, evolving up to scary dates, needy dates and stalkers. Although my faith kept taking hits, it was still there. There was this unshakable feeling that one day, I would meet someone who would melt my heart at the same time making it beat faster and that she would feel the same way.

But in the meantime, this faith permeated everything that made life enjoyable. Or perhaps it's better to say that it was the basis for it. With this faith, certain music could lift me up, to feel awe, or joy, or timelessness--Zero 7's "Destiny" and Twilight Singer's "Teenage Wristband" to name a couple. Certain films and books would do the same. My faith and the creative spark were intertwined.

And then one day, a couple of years ago, I thought my prayers were answered. If you've read this blog before, then you know I'm talking about a Certain Someone. She worked at an office I was at, she had a boyfriend at the time, and she was the boss' sister. Yeah, baaaaaaaaad combination, but the heart wants what it wants. And the boyfriend she had treated her like shit. And we had become best friends over a long period of time. She would call me just to talk, or to get advice, and I'd get pissed that her so-called boyfriend didn't pay attention to her, but be happy that she talked to me. And eventually, we fell in love and I knew, just like I know the sun would rise in the morning, that she was the one. She told me she was going to leave her boyfriend of five years for me.

But she didn't. Instead, she stayed with him after he found out about us, and then he asked her to marry him. Of course I was devastated. But I moved on. I found a new job GatewayGig instead of taking some time off to write a novel. I still had some faith in love. I began to meet new people. But she still kept contacting me. And I let her because I loved her. Yeah, I know, for most people, after someone does something like that, you feel betrayed, get pissed and never let them back in your life. But what can I say. I loved her.

Then her boyfriend decided to break off the engagement. And she wanted to see me. I thought I was prepared this time. I told her that I didn't want to see her unless she was sure she wanted to be with me. But she was distraught, and she was hurting. So what the fuck do you think I did?

We had some very good months. Then I got sick, and she was there for me. But soon after that, she wanted to leave, she wanted to explore. I became angry and bitter. That after I was there for her when she was hurting, after I told her that she shouldn't come back to me unless she was sure and she still came back, she would leave me again. But I still had that faith in love, and I vowed I would not let anyone treat me like that again.

But of course, she kept coming back into my life. And I lied to myself that all I cared about was sex. (So I do know that I am at fault here.) Really though, I was still in love with her and she knew it. She said that she loved me too. But at this point, I told her I would be out of her life if she saw other people. After all the shit she put me through, and given that I was in love with her, there was no way I could let her see other people and not feel betrayed yet again. I realize that this was doomed. It was doomed when she came back into my life that second time. Now, I've let her back four times, and each time she left, she took something of me. I know I was responsible for letting her back into my life, but she also knew I couldn't say no.

We weren't committed. She made sure I knew that. So in the meantime, with that diminished faith in me, I was still able to muster interest in other women. I fell for the cute fileclerk at Gateway Gig. And everytime I showed interest in someone else, she come a calling, once even in the middle of a lunch date. And honest to God, even though I might have had some interest in other women, she was the one that made me feel at home.

Then several months ago, she said she felt trapped and so she left. This after she told me that she couldn't believe how someone could be so in love with her, could treat her so right. She told me she needed to explore, that she liked men who are more active, that she no longer felt the same way about me. I'd be lying if I said there weren't angry phone calls from me after that.

Let's get this out of the way. Yes, I know everyone has gone through a break up. And I can try to distinguish this by this wasn't just one break up, but several, each one taking more and more out of me. And yes, as I said, I'm as much to blame as her, perhaps more so for me saying "I love her" may be shorthand for "I am a dumb fuckwit, and a pussy dumb fuckwit at that." And you can say "of course she isn't the one if she left you," and I would reply, "People have free will, which means they can make dumb decisions, and I truly believe her dumb decision was leaving the one for her." So let's cut through all this and see where I'm at.

It has been several months now, and despite all that internal monologue above, I've come to a realization: I have lost all faith in love. And because the only thing that I had faith in was love, I have simply lost all faith.

All those well-meaning, "Don't worry, you'll meet someone who truly deserves you" misses the point. I haven't lost all faith because someone treated me bad, I've lost all faith because there is nothing left in me to have faith. It's all ashes and cinder there. I gave to her once too many times, and now it's all gone. To quote Greg Dulli, "My soul is like a vacant lot."

The times I've gone out with friends to meet new people, I've felt like I'm faking it. Faking the conversation, faking interest, faking existence. I do it well, but for what end? Yeah, I still get horny, but so do dogs. The purpose of faith is to provide some solace that we are more than just animals rutting around.

The music, the movies, the books I enjoy, I still do enjoy at some intellectual level and at some base level. But I don't find anything transcendant anymore. I haven't felt anything approaching awe or joy in months.

If Naomi Watts came up to me and said, "Oh Marty, you're really the one for me," yeah I'd screw her. But there isn't anything left in me to feel anything more than lust. And as I said, I still get horny, but so do dogs.

So I have lost my faith. The person that I was six months ago, somewhat romantic and naive and sweet (as well as angry and melancholic) is literally gone. What is left is an apathetic, angry and melancholic person whose basis in life has evaporated.

When I wonder, "Well, what's the point?", it's not some goddamned teenaged angst exercise.

Yes, I do have wonderful friends and I do appreciate them. But let's be honest, if friends were all there is to life, then there'd be no need for dating. At the same time, apparently, I'm the type of guy that needs meaning in his life so dating just for sake of getting laid won't help me in being happy. And there's nothing in me to give emotionally (and certainly not love) to any woman who would be interested in me. So what is the fucking point?

And now, I don't get joy from listening to music, watching film, or reading (which is not to say I don't enjoy them, I just no longer find that they add to the feeling that there's something more in this life). With that, the creative spark is, if not gone, rather damaged. I might have to head back to a profession that makes me physically ill just thinking about it.

I guess I'm royally fucked.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Chapter of Angry Yellow: The Novel!

Which has nothing to do with Angry Yellow the Blog. Sheesh, I can't even blog without things getting complicated. So anyways, here's the first chapter to Angry Yellow: The Story of The Chinkies.