Blown Loads and Blown Lives

Maybe there's more to life then winning at solitary.

When I was 11 I had a pair of orange, paisley-print boxers.  One day, I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom holding them and something compelled me to rub the boxers against my penis.  I did it.  I became erect.  I kept rubbing and a few seconds later I  came.

Few moments in my life are as crystallized as this one.  Later that day, I kept rubbing and kept cumming.  As a preteen and teen, I typically beat-off 3-10 times a day.  I’d usually do it in socks and underwear.  I also had a soft, red wool scarf that I was fond of.

Soon thereafter I discovered pornography.  Initially, I was aroused by just touching myself, but then I found the experience was greatly enhanced by fantasies derived from pictures or thoughts of girls I was attracted to.

In the pioneer days, what constituted porn wasn’t much—envisioning Christine Endler or Lisa Jones; a JC Penny underwear section from the newspaper or, le coup de gras, a Victoria’s Secret catalog.  In later years, I would occasionally score a Playboy or Hustler.  I would keep these magazines for years as I was too embarrassed (and perhaps young) to get new issues.

The internet was a game-changer.  Suddenly there was more porn than I knew what to do with.  At first, I had masturbation sprees—hours spent in front of a screen with dick in hand.  In later years, as my libido waned, my routine became a more civil once-a-day porn viewing.  Surf, beat, sleep.

Nowadays, I don’t look at porn when I masturbate.  I find rifling through the sites, looking for the perfect image or video, more trouble than it’s worth.  I usually imagine a girl—typically one I would never have sex with in my real life—then do my business and go to sleep.

If this seems all a bit too graphic, you are probably a woman.  Masturbation is an unspoken, all-pervading phenomenon; one that, controversial as it sounds, is particularly male.  Many women masturbate; some might even be compulsive about it.  But all guys masturbate, and the majority of us have been compulsive about it at some point. Continue reading “Blown Loads and Blown Lives”

High Times all the Times

Walter from Big Lebowski looks like a fatter version of Shorty.

Shorty was a 6’5”, buzz-cut, Wisconsin native, who always wore army fatigues and shooting glasses.  He lived in a ranch-style house across the street from the soon-to-be-defunct Stapleton Airport in Denver.  He chose this gang-infested, jet-fuel-smelling neighborhood because it was a discreet locale for his weed-growing operation.

Shorty had a massive hydroponic setup with 5 x 1K watt high-pressure-sodium lights in his flowering room and an even bigger vegging room with rows of florescent lights.  He had 3 x 5’ clone mothers.  Because of the massive amounts of juice the lights used, the rest of the house’s electricity expenditures were limited to a couple bare lightbulbs and a discman with portable speakers.  No fridge, no TV.  Shorty spent his days tending his crop, listening to Little Feet on the discman and pulling hits from his resin-caked bong.

I was one of 2 people who knew where he lived.  I made weekly pilgrimages to pick up his fresh and uncured buds.  While impressive to look at fresh pot, curing it, particularly when I was living with my folks, was not a simple task.  If there was not enough air, it will mold.  If there’s too much air, it would become dry, harsh and brittle.  It also smelled like a dead skunk.

As Shorty’s main distributer, I was one of Boulder’s most reliable sources of hydroponic weed, and though our relationship could be fraught, I felt quite blessed.

I wasn’t a kingpin.  I sold weed to feed my habit.  I needed the shit.  My pre-weed life had been spent as a nervous turd, my waking hours spend wondering what people thought of me—was I dressed okay, do people like me, will I be successful, was I cool enough, smart enough, etc.?  It’s not clear whether weed allowed me to let those things go or merely mute them.  Either way, from the ages of 16-20, years largely spent high, I was able to cope.  I was able to sleep.  I was able to relax.

Dealing pot taught me some things too.  I learned that the way to make sure things went smoothly was not to worry about them; it was to relax and lay low.  One time I got pulled over by the police on my way to Shorty’s.  I had $3K in small bills in the glove compartment where my registration was kept.  I was able to calmly move the money, give the cop my registration and get a speeding ticket rather than a felony drug charge.

Another time Shorty unloaded 4 trash bags of freshly cut weed on me.  I didn’t panic here either (much).  We just unloaded the bags from his pickup into my apartment as if it were the most natural thing.

I haven’t smoked weed in almost 12 years.  After a while, it started to amplify my insecurities rather than mute them.  Yet my years of weed-smoking taught me many things.  I learned that it’s possible to be relaxed in any situation.  I stayed cool through some tense moments with Shorty, who’s chill, iry-vibe was replaced by an angry, violent one after he got into drinking, strippers and collecting guns.  I stayed cool moving pounds of stinky weed throughout Boulder County.  I stayed cool at high school, which had previously been a den of anxiety.  I learned I could be relaxed anywhere.

I was thinking about this today because I have been consumed with future-related anxiety.  How will I make money?  Will I achieve the goals I set out for myself?  What does the future hold?  Will I ever pay that stupid health insurance bill?

Then I thought, “I did so many things that were real threats while high and didn’t worry.  Today, I deal with perceived threats and am filled with anxiety.  What gives?”

I have no desire to smoke weed, but I might ask myself how I might act high?  Would I really give a shit?  Would I really be so hot and bothered about growing up, being a responsible boyfriend, friend, citizen.  Un-fucking-likely.  This is not to promote apathy, which is often the flip-side of relaxation.  I still want to unlock my potential.  I still want to be the good guy.  I just have to realize that tension and anxiety are not the ways to get there.

Checking Out for the Holidays

A TV and child's reunion is only a motion away.

I call Chicago home because it’s the region where I was born and I identify with the midwestern, salt-of-the-earth character.  Midwesterners are like their terrain, earthy, solid and level.  They are less frenetic than the tirelessly ambitious east coasters, yet more resilient than the sunny-day-chasing west coasters.

The downside of this is earthiness is that midwesterners tend be fans of inactive activities:  watching sports, watching TV, sitting long periods, drinking, eating.  This inert disposition has many culprits.  The weather sucks most of the time—frigid in the winter, blazing in the summer, with a perpetually grey, gauzy sky all four seasons.  In Chicago, there are few compelling outdoor diversions aside from a lake that is swimmable for two weeks in August.  You have to drive to get anywhere interesting as the city is huge and public transportation stinks.  In the winter, when I typically go there, driving sucks too; you eyeball the heat gauge, waiting for the needle to go up so you can blast the heat; you then drive a half-hour to get to your destination, spend another fifteen minutes looking for parking, brave the cold again, only to do it all over again on the return ride home.  Oftentimes, the effort doesn’t seem worth it.  You figure you might as well stay home and watch Romancing the Stone for the umpteenth time. Continue reading “Checking Out for the Holidays”