Age

Her (Florida 10): “You don’t look very mean in that picture.”

Me: “Really? Is it the Spider-Man T-shirt?”

F10: “No. Maybe it’s because you look like my English teacher.”

 

It took me a minute to figure it out. Normally, I’m not prone to prolonged bouts of wallowing in self pity. I’m guilty of it on occasion (who isn’t?), sometimes even for a few days at a stretch, but I feel like I’ve been feeling sorry for myself for about two years straight now. Fact is, somewhere along the way, I seem to have become a whiny bitch.

I’m finally having my midlife crisis. A little late, but it’s here.

Luckily, with that realization came a feverish desire to shake it off, and… I hesitate to say it… I’m winning. Believe me, I’m more shocked than anyone.

Yeah, I have some personal man/woman type shit going down; a girl I very badly want doesn’t want me… I don’t want another girl who wants me very badly… a girl I get along with great is in a relationship… another girl completely freaked out on me and we’re barely speaking… and the girl I’ve been crazy about for years still lives on the other side of the country.

Blah. Blah. Blah. ad infinitum, ad naseum. Join the fucking club, right? Right.

The great thing is, once I cribbed to the bullshit my brain and age and hormones were trying to pull on me, I was able to start thinking around it. And for a therapy-averse mammal like myself, that’s how it all starts turning. Is it gone? Hell, no, but I’m fighting it back. I still have bouts of “woe is me,” but they’re brief, I’m able to recover quickly, and largely keep them to myself. Hopefully, I will be a significantly less miserable fuck to be around than I have been. I’ve barely got any friends as it is, I figure I should make a little effort to keep them.

So, here’s the game; when I start rolling around in a puddle of “my life sucks,” I focus on the fact that I have work, (for now, which is the best any of us can hope for at the moment). I have at least two projects coming up that I care very deeply about, so no moaning about being “creatively unsatisfied.” I have a great place that’s going to get better as I pull my head out of my ass and continue to work on it. There are still hot, filthy chicks who want to fuck me (I can’t overstate the importance of this; I know it’s shallow, but feeling unwanted and rejected wasn’t helping the situation at all). And, while I have to admit that I seriously doubt I’ll luck into a real relationship again (which means I probably will die alone), I’m coming to terms with that realization, too, and I think I’m okay with it.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be wrong. Bob knows it’s happened once or twice before.

It’s true I don’t get all squishy on days like this. I mean, I don’t really get squishy at all, but Hallmark holidays like Mother’s Day don’t mean anything to me.

It isn’t that I’m cold. I mean, I am cold, but this isn’t related. It’s that my upbringing was such a confused, fucked-up mess.

My father bailed when I was two. Then, depending on whose story you believe, my mother either asked or was bullied into giving me up for adoption to my grandparents (my maternal grandmother, Sylvia, and her second husband, Cecil, who was not my mother’s father).

That’s right. Legally, my mother is also my sister. Is that Chinatown enough for you?

My grandparents did they best they could. Certainly, I was a pain in the ass kid.

My mother has always been around, to varying degrees. Sometimes I see her often, usually a few times a year.Less since I moved to L.A. I’ve talked to my dad a handful of times, seen him maybe five or six times since I hit 18. But, at this remove, and with both of my grandparents dead, these little card-and-flower fiestas don’t mean a lot to me.

But it’s a big day for “brunch.”

For those who don’t get the reference, it’s from Star Trek. A “dunsel” is a part which serves no useful purpose.

As I near the end of my interminable, self-imposed exile in the wilds of Alabama, I’ve been reflecting on my life. Being on the wrong side of forty, this tends to happen more often than it should. Contemplating the accumulated consequence of my life’s work to date, the words “insignificant,” “trivial,” and “irrelevant” come to mind.

As a filmmaker, my career consists of bad, unfinished, or embarrassing mainstream films, and a laundry list of inconsequential porn films. My career as an actor stalled years ago. As a writer, well… I write a lot of porn scripts. Case closed.

As a person, I’m not doing much better. I recently had another girl I was banging (that’s five in two years for those of you playing the home game) decide to stop seeing me because she was falling for me. In this particular girl’s case, I would never have dated her. But the two previous girls who made this same decision were absolutely girls I would date, so it isn’t a commitment issue, at least on my part. Apparently, the consensus is I’m just unworthy of affection. It’s like a scarlet letter, but in reverse.

That might be the worst analogy ever coined in the English language. But you take my point.

To make matters worse, lately I’ve been a truly miserable fuck. Yes, I’m always bitter and angry, but this has been bad. I’ve been avoiding contact with my friends as much as possible because I don’t want to inflict myself on them. Alice has made a creditable attempt at reaching out, but I know I’ve been driving her insane. And Mischief, if she understood me better, would do anything to make me happy, but I would never let her because she’s supposed to be gaining distance from me.

Until very recently I was actually formulating a plan to simply vanish when the Alabama job was finished, starting a new life under a new name (don’t ask how… I have my ways) and beginning again. Except for cats, and several girls who don’t want to fuck me lest they catch a bad case of the Bryn, there is very little tying me to L.A.

I think the idea sprouted out of the hurt stemming from this (seemingly) constant rejection of me as both a worthy companion (whether I want to be or not), and the more recent, implicit, rejection of my worth on a professional level. I got replaced as the DP on two porn gigs a few weeks ago, and not only did the shoots go smoothly, several people were genuinely relieved to be rid of me.

Given my current mindset, it was an easy leap to make from there to just removing myself from the entire equation, because the fact is, I really wouldn’t be missed. Not for long. I’m not being melodramatic, I’m being logical. People adapt, and move on.

K has her own life and a budding career as an artist. Hollywood, like me, is a pragmatist, and after some initial angst, would conclude it was my decision to make. Alice would feel obligated to miss me, but it would pass pretty quickly (I’d like to think her feelings wouldn’t become actual relief, but it’s possible). Red recently told me to go fuck myself. Blue and D and the rest would mentally shrug and get on with life, as would my old friends and exes. Mischief would be more crushed by my disappearance than anyone, but frankly, my absence would be the best thing for her.

But I can’t. As tantalizing as the notion of running away from home is, I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s cowardly. It also wouldn’t solve anything; as I said to Alice, my biggest problem is myself, and I’d just be schlepping that around with me.

So, instead, I’m going to not give up.

Here’s the new plan: Unpack in my “new” apartment and make a fucking life there. Focus on the steampunk short, Cowboys & Engines, I’m going to be doing at the end of the summer with CM50 (a moviemaking colleague) producing, which is something I’m really excited about. I’ve got lines on getting both The Blood of Virgins and Director’s Cut off the ground that I’m going to pursue. I’m hoping REDACTED, the micro-budget horror film I shot last November, will open some mainstream doors. I’m going to start submitting to auditions again. And I’m going to re-establish myself as a porn director, because that chapter of my life has been pretty good to me, and I need to begin respecting it.

In short, I’m going to try… try… to be happy. It’s not my best talent, but I’m gonna have a lash at it anyway.

And maybe, along the way, I’ll find some filthy little hooker who likes dirty old men. And maybe she’ll want to hang around for a while.

Just a thought.

To Captain Dunsel.

Now that I’m 44, one thing has become abundantly clear: women my own age want nothing to do with me. I currently have an eclectic collection of girls in my life, the oldest of whom is 30.

Fucking 30.

I know the immediate reaction is midlife crisis, but the fact is, I’ve never hunted outside my own demographic before. Historically, I always preferred women my own age or older. But when I stumbled back into the world of single men after 8 1/2 years with K, I quickly discovered that my female peers wanted nothing to do with me. Too much baggage, too much bullshit.

Young girls, however, seem to find my damage fascinating. They’re still ingenuous enough to find my brokeness deep and edgy.

So here I am. I shouldn’t complain; the girls I’m surrounded with are all fantastic, but none of them are – or can ever really be – mine, and I’m starting to weary of being, for all intents and purposes, alone.

Here’s the field identification manual, with the players nicknamed to remain anonymous:

LL
We’ve known each other for years. She’s hot, smart, talented and very sexual. The attraction between us is distracting, and we get along so well it’s almost eerie. And yet this is the girl who recently told me she realized she was avoiding thinking about actually dating me because she was afraid a relationship would really work.

We live 2 hours apart, which is an issue. We’re also both busy as hell, and I worry that I’m just too twisted for her. But if we could figure it out I’d love to give it a shot.

BLUE
Ah, chemistry. We have that thing that makes us stare at each other for long periods until it just feels goofy. She’s brilliant, and a total mess. Which, being a mess myself, I completely appreciate. Hey, whaddaya want? I’m the Crazy Whisperer.

BUT. For one thing, she has a live-in boyfriend. For another, we’re both tops and kind of unsure of what to do with each other in bed.

D
Sexy, dirty, submissive, geeky. Loves it when I hurt her. Willing to take whatever I dish out. Gorgeous. Has magical skin I can touch forever.

Also has a boyfriend, who is perfect for her except that he can’t hurt her, which is where I come in.

RED
To be fair, this is strictly one-sided. I am fiendishly attracted to this girl, and we’ve had some fantastic liaisons. But there’s nothing there on her end. I’m a creepy old perv who serves as a friend, occasional rescuer and shoulder to cry on. There’s a very, very dirty girl in there, but she’s still convinced that the white picket fence is going to make her happy, so I’m little more than an aberrant afterthought. Seeing this one is incredibly bad for my self-esteem.

There are other occasional partners and possibles; there’s Crazy Girl, who is a great fuck, but so looney I finally had to cut her off completely. KC, the whitest black girl in the world, who is stunning but purely casual. JJ, JG, AC, and others whom I flirt with, but have never made the timing work.

Lastly, there’s AS, who is about the most amazing woman I know. So smart, so gorgeous, so dirty. But she just doesn’t know what to do with me. We’ve known each other for years, have shared a lot of great moments, and one fantastic kiss. But NY is a long way from LA, and until we can figure out if she’s even interested, it’s not a commute I’m willing to make.

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We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone. — Orson Welles