Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sex vs. Books (Part Three)

 
Back in Montreal, meaning that I am back facing some old problems.  Those problems include lack of a phone (remedied today), lack of a car (am working on it), lack of privacy (soon about to find my own place without bearing afraid that I cannot afford it in the long run), and lack of contact.

That is the key, I think. Lack of contact.  No one to really connect with.  Not that it was much better when I was at home for two weeks.  Family is family; you know what to expect from them.  Love and perhaps an unending amount of patience (if there is some luck on your side).  What I also found was that I was more willing to get rid of many of my old books, things read and unread; things that I thought I could learn from and now I am much better for pretending otherwise.  A large midden of ideas and thoughts all stacked up by a bookcase that is still loaded with too many other ideas and thoughts. 

 

Now, sex.  Well, it is my own bedroom.  My old teenage bedroom.  Many a lonely and desperate day, night and long afternoon wondering if I would ever spend time in there with a girl (never happened).  Of course, there was a guitar, books, and my own thoughts. 

But that stack...  If I am willing to give up one thing, does that mean I am willing to embrace something else? Is there change in the air?

2013, I see your raise...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sex vs. Books (Part Two)

Orwell, you had it so wrong.

 


I'm sorry, I should explain myself.  I have just re-read George Orwell's essay "Books vs. Cigarettes".  He argues that it is actually more affordable to buy books than to spend money on the old nicotine sticks.  Now, maybe back in 1946 when he wrote the essay, the arguments against cigarettes made sense.  But we are in an age where smokers no longer have the respect they once enjoyed, where stores now cannot advertise their particular brands of smokes, and where the information on the link between smoking and cancer is now common knowledge.

But did he have a point?  I wonder about the trade-off between vices.  And yes, I will admit it: reading is my vice.  Not even porn has the same hold over my free time.  I don't keep stacks of videos or magazines in my room or hidden in a box in the basement.  I do however like to keep books in boxes all over the house and I have piles more back home at my parents place.  I did notice how easily I gave up certain books this month when I donated some to a local charity, but I also noted how charged I felt when I passed by a bookstore today to do some Christmas shopping (no falling off the wagon...yet).

Now, I have mentioned porn but not sex (a distinction that I will explore soon).  I feel that the trading of distractions is something that I am always going to have to deal with in my life.  Books provide a means of control that can be more than a little tempting.  If I like a book, I can keep it, put it on a shelf, and return to it when the mood takes me.  If I do not like it, I can put it away, not have to think about it, and never doubt that I am missing something.  Cold?  Yes, but it does not mean that it is not the truth.  As I said, embarrassing and fun...

I know that I have to get over my need to control things.  I also know that I need to talk about why I have to control things.

Wait for the next entry...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sex vs. Books (Part One)

 
Okay, the move has been made.  I have a room at the front of our place, with a lot of natural light being reflected off of the windows of my neighbours' homes across the road.  Never really considered how I had to watch out for my own privacy after five years living so closely in my own darkness and with no real concept of the word.  It is a type of comfort that I never knew I missed.

Of course, there is another problem.  Books.  Books, books, books...  I have too many of them.  Not the worst addiction to have, but it is still one that I am now have to contend with.  I am not sure how I managed to move around the space I am in with all of the history of my reading around me.  But, I now have a plan.  Donations, re-gifting and not giving a damn.

Now, I think that the title of this particular blog is going to cause a lot of comment.  In fact, I know this already.  A friend has already grilled me by text messages about what I intend to write about with such a title.  Here is a sample of her queries:

  • Why sex over books? (Never alleged, but her assumption)
  • Why such a choice? (Why not?)
  • Why limit yourself? (Not from choice)
  • Why choose? 
Now, that last one deserves some thought.  I have thinking back over my life and noting how books, music and film took me away from a lot of the pleasures of a sexual life.  Not being a virgin, I should be happy; being published and able to play the guitar and write a film script, I should be elated.  But as I said, the books are going out the door, bag by bag, box by box. 

Maybe a sexual life is in the offing...  Maybe I should learn not to use the word "offing" in a blog.  Either way, this is going to be in multiple parts. 

Get ready and get set...  This is going to be embarrassing and fun.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Time to Move...

I am about to move on to another section of our place to take over a space left by a former roommate.  Now, this is not something that I would usually take the space of a blog entry to record, but this is different.

 

Let me explain: I live in a box.  Not a cardboard box where I feed on roasted pigeon and beg for change, but in an apartment where I share space with three other people.  Two of the rooms face the front of the home onto the street; the other two are windowless.  Guess where I live(d)?

I will finally have a window in the place, including a balcony, curtains and natural light when possible. This is what I have longed for over the last five years living in this place.  But I have to admit that I will miss the box.  When you sleep in complete darkness, it is a total and complete experience of nothingness (ignoring the clock, cellphone and blinking light on my laptop).  It may even be good for me to have no other distractions.  I notice that I am writing much faster now, and have less distractions in the form of the old pleasures (see previous last few entries).  There is a restaurant where patrons actually eat in the dark for the sensation of only having their concentrated experience focused on food.  This I now understand.  There are certain things that you often have to leave behind to enjoy what is around you.

There is another advantage: It gave me something that I could get away from and contemplate avoiding for a few hours in a cafe with pen and paper.  I know that my family was not too happy about me moving into the box, but I assured them that I would not be spending too much time in this room to do my work.  A half-truth, since I consider my guitar to be a private indulgence that I need to practice here alone.  The reading, writing, music-listening, relaxing and the like could all be done out of the box.  Sleep and a sense of containment (rather pleasant in itself) could be done in the box.

Not sure I will like having a real room with a window and real, everyday life in front of me.  Will keep posting to see how things change.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What weekends mean...

Another weekend down; actually the last weekend of November, which makes me think about how fast this year has passed.  Not a very pleasant thought.  I am in my own celibate hole, the work I am doing at the college is a form of performance art that is breaking my week up into different points of dullness (whatever that means), and I am still trying to prove things to myself.

 

Yes, I am still in my self-denial kick (am I setting a record yet?), so I decided to go out on Saturday night and do something I have not done in a long time: I had a drink.  Not monumental to most of the human race, but I often feel like the only reason to drink is to pretend that I like the people around me.  One mojito at one noisy bar before heading home was nothing special, but I was on my own. Not a smart move.  People can smell loneliness, I think.  But it was an important lesson in a series of lessons about me and the weekend.  Just do not need liquid courage to handle the problems in my life.

What else?  A good friend has, once again, figured me out.  I have an emotional barrier/shield/wall around me that keeps me from connecting with others (no wonder the whole celibacy deal is not such a big deal).  I have built it as a means of dealing with life and it has helped.  I may as well admit that there are things in my life that I could not have done if I was connected emotionally with others.  But, like anything that you indulge in far too often, it ruins you.  I sit in cafes alone with my notes and papers and music and wonder why I am repeating things in my life.  My own fault.  And that is enough. 

That good friend?  A good lady...  She has told me what is needed to connect with her camp if you are a guy; what to say, how to act.  My plan now is to add this to the self-improvements in my life (along with the gym, the language studies and guitar).  More challenges for me...

And what do weekends mean to me?  A time to reflect, think and maybe hope more often than I ever have before.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Down with Denial


From my last post, it may seem like I am still looking for pie-in-the-sky answers to questions in my life.  But I now realize that I have to seek things out on my own and come to my own judgements.

 

First, Cindy Gallop.  I really do not know who this women is and what she is trying to pull with her web site, but the whole concept of "MakeLoveNotPorn" is just a bad joke.  I wrote that I was selected for a beta group by her, but there is not much on the site to make me think that she is doing anything different than the other porn web sites.  People have been posting videos of themselves having sex with some commentary.  That's it.  It is not a forum for debate or discussion; I cannot find any part of the page that does not mention commerce or merchandising; and the members are far too confident in their sexuality to actually help someone like me who has given up on porn.  Miss Gallop could at least be honest about what she is trying to sell.

Back and leg are great.  Now, the problem is balance.  Dr. S. has me trying to steady my form with exercises that have me mimicking the actions of a rower.  Much harder to get that balance than I thought.  I have lost weight and enjoy my time at the gym, but the whole yogic control idea is still something that I have to work towards.  Time to get back to my own state of satori.

 

Now, the porn: yes, I am still watching it.  Just not participating in my usual responses to it.  I found out about the NoFap movement through This Magazine, and now it feels like a real test.  How long can I go before I have to go? What really interests me now is how I look at women and work.  More focus on both and more energy to be engaged in having a real life.  Not sure how long this will go on for, but I am in the running.

And all this on a Saturday morning...  Need breakfast and a couple of phone calls made right now...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A few things in my life...



I now have a good excuse for not being as committed to adding messages to this page: the modem in our place is out.  I have been lugging my laptop to cafes and libraries for the last few weeks and I am really fed up with it.  But there is more than just my complaint out access to wi-fi to fill up this space.

 A little injury at the gym led me to the very kind hands of a chiropractor.  Dr. Jocelyn Sicotte has been prodding the bones and muscles of my back twice a week for most of early November.  I admit that I was worried that I had done some damage, but now that things are getting better, I feel relaxed enough to talk about it.

A little information is a lot of strength. I am listening to Cindy Gallop, creator of Make Love Not Porn, discuss why she has created her web site.  I have been chosen as part of a beta group, meaning a limited number of people are a part of the team, and they are posting videos of their sexual acts...for a price.  Now this bothers me.  She claims that she is trying to deal with how porn influences the way we look at sex using the very tools that porn producers use to get us hooked.  And she admits that she is a fan of porn.  I am still not sure what to make of her message.  I have given up on porn (easy without a modem), but it is everywhere.  Maybe I really do need a girlfriend...  Maybe...

Finally, work: Just one day a week of teaching at the college, along with some private students who entertain me.  This is good for certain reasons (more gym and reading time), but not so good for other things (gym and reading makes me think of everything else I am missing).  I feel like there is some sort of lesson that I never learned and never will learn when it comes to relationships.

So, there is a lot to think about and make my way through this month.  Will keep you informed...