Fear and self-loathing

When my dad died, I would dream that although he was dead, God had given him a month to see his family and say good-bye.  So we would all be around him showing our affection towards him and him towards us.  This is interesting because my dysfunctional family never actually showed much affection.  


The next day I was driving home and I was starving. I had dinner waiting for me at home but I wanted food now.  I pulled into a 7-11 to get a snack.  I looked at the strawberry milk and the microwaveable burrito.  I told myself that those items would be poor choices since it equated to about 2,000 calories and lots of fat. Then the inner tussle began in my head between the forces of good and evil.


GOOD: Remembered your dream and your promise to God. If you eat that you might as well just put the burrito to your head and pull the trigger because you are killing yourself by making poor choices. Just walk away and make a better choice. Don’t do this to yourself.


EVIL: Why not do this to yourself?  Look at Robin.  She is sweet, always smiling, responsible, and good. She does not deserve to die, you do. You are the evil person.  You are a lying, cheating, stealing, immoral, disgusting excuse for a human being if there ever was one.  Think about all the bad things you have done in your life.  Are you proud of them?  Do you really want to live? It should be you who is dying not her.  She is a saint compared to you. She is a decent human being.  You are a worthless piece of shit that does not deserve to live.  You never should have been born.  The world would have been a better place if you were not born; if you were dead. You are a genetic error. So, go ahead and pull the trigger! Die you fat bastard. Do the world and yourself a favor and kill yourself.    


Evil won that night.

Live Like You were Dying

Goldilocks just called me to tell me that the doctors say that Robin has three to six months to live.  I am in shock and the reality has not yet sunk in.  I am angry.  I am confused.  Robin is only 30 years old and too young, to nice, to positive, to wonderful, to die.  I am glad on several different levels that it was Goldilocks who told me but this is news I can do without.  I really don’t know what else to say. 

Saturday, October 09, 2004 at 1:05 AM:

I should be sleeping now but I have been feeling guilty about not writing.  I need to be out of the house by 7:30 AM for an all day event.  Whenever I think about writing, it is never a good time.


I took a few days off and spent 60% of the time sleeping and goofing off and the remainder of the time running around doing errands.


Jen planned two adventures in the last week.  This pleases me greatly because it is nice to not have to be in charge every so often and because her planning led to two very pleasant days.  One day we went to the State Fair – farm animals, corndogs, exhibits and shopping.  I was tired and saw a display for hand made outdoor furniture.  I quickly sat my but down and the next thing I know is that I have just spent $600 on outdoor furniture which will not be used as winter approaches.  I have come to terms with my purchase and decided that I will just need to go out there and sit on it even in the winter time.  I am looking on the bright side – no mosquitoes in cold weather.


We also spent a lazy day walking around an old colonial town (there are lots of them near us).  The best part of this day was that Jen and I seemed to connect and have robust conversations. We did not argue all day.  The food was great too.  Breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon and a bagel with cream cheese at our favorite deli.  Lunch was at a nice restaurant overlooking the river.  I knew it was a nice place because the tablecloths and napkins were cloth and they did the little swan thing with the napkins.  That is usually a dead give away.   We stumbled into a gourmet foods store and had fun looking around and purchased some chocolates, cheese, smoked salmon, and beans.  Yea, I said beans.  I happen to like them. We went “antiquing” the reminder of the afternoon, or shall I say, Jen went into antique shops and I followed her with a blank look on my face.


Jen has had a lump on her head for the past 10 years and on Thursday, she had surgery to have it removed.  So I took half a day off work for that.  She hates hospitals and was quite nervous going in, but felt fine afterwards. They are going to biopsy the lump just to make sure it is nothing, but the doctor was not concerned since she has had it for so long.

Six Month Review

Today my boss told me that she wants to give me my six month review this week.  That really put me in a bad mood because I am not looking forward to what she has to say.  Everyone who has worked with her has left because she is impossible to work for and a micro-manager.  She and I butt heads because I am not used to being micro-managed.  In my last job, I was responsible for projects that were worth $100 million and a staff of employees.  I am not used to being told how to do my job. I am still looking for another job within the company.  Today I was told that one of the jobs I applied for (the one with the travel I wanted so bad) has been pulled.  They will re-post it at a later date. Well, shit! I think I have four or five resumes out there, so hopefully, something is bound to happen.

Hot Gay Sex!!

I posted an ad on Craig’s List for someone to hang out with and this guy responded.  He wanted my phone number so I gave it to him. Then he called me and started acting all weird. There were long uncomfortable pauses in his conversation.  It was like he did not know how to talk. He asked me what I was looking for, and I told him I wanted someone to hang with. Then he asked what I liked to do.  By now he was really pissing me off because all the questions he was asking were already answered in my ad. Then he tells me that he called me earlier but some woman answered and he got scared to he hung up and he hoped that he did not get me in trouble.  I got the feeling this guy was beating around the bush, so I asked him if was looking for a sexual encounter.  I suggested to him that perhaps when my ad said that I was looking for a friend to discuss  movies, restaurants, books, relationships, politics, food, religion, travel, history, or pretty much anything else and that I would be interested in hanging out at bars, coffee shops, museums, restaurants, movie theaters, that it was not some secret code for SEX!! He quickly hung up and I found the following email in my inbox moments later:  “hope you find what you're looking for.  it's just strange to me that a so called straight guy would want to hang out and drink with another guy.”  This was the icing on my cake that I like to call “today”.  Grrr!  


I think you know me well enough to know that I have nothing against gay men or women.  Hell, I’ll even admit to a little experimentation in my youth.  But I don’t think I wrote anything that would lead anyone to think that I was looking for sex.  That’s what pissed me off.  I would not have cared what his sexual orientation was if all he wanted to do was just hang out.


Oh I just remembered that I have not had my happy pills in three days since my luggage was lost Stolen (it is a communist conspiracy...I am convinced of it!)

How I Got My MBA

When I first enrolled in college, I was an accounting major.  Not because I wanted to, but rather because my parents want me to. My parent’s life long dream was for me to become a CPA and work for Arthur Anderson (AA), because the world would always need accountants and in the 80’s AA was the place to be.


Of course, I look back now and laugh. If I was working for AA now I would either be unemployed or miserable or both. They would have rather had me become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer but they told me I did not have the attention span to sit through six or eight years of school. A parent must know their child’s limitations after all. So they “settled” on me becoming an accountant and passing the CPA exam. That would only take four years of school.


Two years into a four year degree, I applied to the School of Business to continue my accounting degree.  They required a 3.0 GPA and mine was only 2.5 so I knew I was not going to get in. A few months later, my dreams of becoming an accountant had been shattered by a letter of decline from the business school.  That was fine by me because I hated accounting.  I had a passion for economics, which was not in the school of business but rather in the School of Arts and Sciences. So, I changed majors to Bachelor of Sciences in Economics.


Did you feel the earth stop spinning the night I told my parents that I had changed majors from accounting to economics?  Both my parents chastised me.  I was told that if I wanted to make anything of myself with an economics degree that I would have to get a Ph.D. and that I did not have the patience for that kind of hard work.  I was also told that I would never amount to anything in life except to work as a gas station attendant.  This verbal and some physical abuse went on all night.  I cowered in a corner of the hall crying as they yelled at me.  


Another two years passed and I became a senior in college.  Part of the Bachelor of Sciences in Economics program was to take Calculus I and II.  All “science” majors were required to successfully pass these courses for the degree.  Therefore, I was required to take the same calculus classes as the engineering and computer science students.  At the end of five years into a four year degree, I had failed Calculus I four times…or was it five?  I don’t know, I was never very good with math.  At this point I got so frustrated that I decided to drop out of school.  I ended up getting a job with a bank, worked my way up to assistant manager, and then through a series of strategic job changes, I came to be where I am today—a vice president.  The irony is that I am doing a job that in some companies would require an MBA and I don’t even have a college degree.

Just Writing

I feel the need to write. So, I do. Free flowing thought. I saw two movies over this past weekend. The Italian Job was a fun ride. The other movie is called Tully. I think it is an Indie film. I got it from Netflix. Yea, I belong to that service. Actually I am very happy with it. I find it to be incredibly convenient and inexpensive (compared to late fees). Tully was predictable, but it had some good acting, so overall I would give it three stars (out of five).


Jen made me go shopping today for pants.  She said that if I was going to spend eight days in Chicago, I had better get some new pants. I don’t know why, but I don’t like spending money on cloths. But I ended up buying three pair of Dockers at $60 a pop. They will have them altered by Thursday.  Tan, olive and blue…because I know you were wondering. Jen wanted me to buy some shirts too, but I have more shirts than I can count so I put my foot down.


What? You mean I forgot to tell you that the Chicago trip is back on? How inconsiderate of me.  The Chicago trip is back on. There! Now it’s official. I will be in Chicago from July 13 to July 20.  I don’t really know why I decided to stay the weekend but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I just hope I don’t end up bored in my hotel room all weekend – or all week for that matter.  I would love to go to the theater one night. I think that would be a lot of fun. I should find out what’s playing.


Laura called me today because I had emailed her about my mom.  Laura was diagnosed with stage 2 lymphoma last year.  She is now in remission.  She gave me some encouraging words and told me not to worry; that it was very treatable. I told her that I was just waiting to talk to the doctors at Georgetown University Hospital.


I have been in kind of a “funk” lately.  I really need to snap out of it because I have a big project due on Friday.  I was going to go into the office Sunday to work on it, but I just did not feel like it.  The problem is that I have not felt like doing much of anything lately – especially work.


It has been a while since I have recalled a memory from my past to place here in the diary mosaic. So today I thought that I would do just that. I wondered what happened to young Jack after Connie decided to break up with him so I searched my memory and came up with the following:


Clearly, I was obsessed with Connie. Not obsessed in a “if I can’t have you nobody can” or “I want to kill you” sort of way, but more in a confused little boy sort of way.  Keep in mind that she was my first everything.  While most people experience this sort of stuff in high school, I was a late bloomer.  She was my first love, first “real” kiss (I don’t count Ally), first sex, first relationship. Being that it was my first relationship and being that it had lasted 3 years, I really had not learned emotionally how to break up. Actually, I really had not even learned how to be in a healthy relationship.


I was depressed and suicidal. We had broken up in August, and the holidays were especially hard because she had mutual friends over to her house and I was not invited. Plus, we had developed “traditions” if you can develop those in three years.


Looking back, it would have been better if I had been strong enough to let us go for a while and then try to become friends. But instead, we still talked on the phone, saw each other as friends, and worked together at our place of employment. This made it even harder for me and much more painful. It just occurred to me that this was the same time that Rachel (Bobby Jean) reappeared into my life by telling me that she was pregnant. Until now, I had never realized that all that was going on at the same time.   


AUGUST – Connie breaks up with Jack

NOVEMBER – Jack runs into Rachel


NEW YEARS EVE – So, since August, I had been seeing Connie as friends while she had been seeing my ex-best friend Bob as more than friends. Sometime in the late fall, Connie and I started having sex again (just as friends). This made me feel like all was right in the world, because to me it meant that she still wanted me. Our group of friends was having a New Years Eve party and both Bob and I had asked Connie to go. She decided that she was not going to go because she did not want to accept one person’s invitation and reject the other. I told her that if she was not going to go, then neither was I. We would just spend New Year’s Eve in her apartment. She did not want that either because she did not want to play favorites, so she decided to go to the party. I was her ride and it felt great.


Everyone could see that she had come with me. Within a few minutes, Bob came over and yanked her into another room and locked the door. WTF, she was supposed to be with me, I thought! I felt a flood of emotions; rage, jealousy, and depression just to name a few. The more I drank the worse I got. Later that evening I asked Connie if she needed a ride home and she said that Bob would take her home. Well I really did not care if I made it home, but some how I did.


It was amazing. The next morning, I felt incredible. I don’t know why but I did not care about Connie and Bob. It was January 1st I told myself. I told myself that last night was just one night. There was nothing special about it. I would have many more nights and days if I allowed myself to live and forget about the past.


FEBRUARY – A very painful Valentine’s Day. Drove nowhere for 4 hours knowing she was with HIM.


MARCH/APRIL – Connie came down with a very bad cold. It was just before Easter. I decided to bring her a little care package. I went to the drug store and bought an empty Easter basket. I filled it up with vitamin C, chicken soup, hot chocolate, teddy bear, and chocolate of course. I brought it over to her place with some yummy sandwiches from this great deli. She started to cry. She said that it was so nice and thoughtful of me to do that. We ate, we talked, we got back together. Mission accomplished successfully!

Bobby Jean

I was in the eighth grade when my dad had his first heart attack.  After that he quit his job because he felt it was too stressful for him.  He did not find another job until I was well out of college.  The burden of supporting our family rested on my mother.  She is a remarkable woman who not only cooked, cleaned, and took care of all aspects of the household, but also squeezed her secretary’s paycheck to make ends meet.  My father was emotionally absent from the family pretty much all my life.  I believe he suffered from depression and had his own demons to deal with.  


I was about 15 years old when she brought me into her bedroom for a chat. She told me that I needed to get a job.  If I did not get a job and turn my paychecks over to her, we would loose the house and there would be no money for me to go to college.  So I went out and got a job at the local Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Parlor.  For the most part I enjoyed the job.  All the employees were about my age and we all got along well enough to get the job done and have a little fun (whip cream fights).  I made about $70 per week which I turned over to my mother.  


Within a year I was promoted to shift leader.  This meant that I had keys to the store and could open and close the store.  In addition, I was responsible for the store and the other employees during my shift. The thing that really depressed the hell out of me was that on Friday and Saturday nights, while my friends were out having a good time, I was working.  It especially upset me when they would come in to visit me and get some ice cream because I knew that I could not go with them to the movie or wherever they were going.  If I was working the closing shift, I would not get out of there until 1:30 AM so I could not even meet them anywhere.  


We hired a girl named Rachel who was a year younger than me.  I kept hearing stories about this Rachel but had not had the opportunity to meet her yet.  I was told on many occasions by different people how attractive she was.  I was eager to meet her but our shifts never matched up.  


Finally, after a month I had the same shift as Rachel.  My first reaction to seeing her was “My God, what do they see in her.  She is not attractive at all.”  It was actually kind of a relief not to be attracted to this person.  I felt a bit more at ease around her.  By virtue of working together and becoming friends, I ended up having a Texas size crush on her.  I asked her to my high school homecoming.  


I did not expect her to say yes, but I figured I would try anyway.  She told me that she would let me know the next day.  The following day she told me that her parents would not allow her to go out.  At the time I thought it was an excuse.  A gentle way of saying no.  But as I write this and the more I think about it, I think her parents probably were the reason she declined my offer.


We stayed platonic friends.  After two years at the ice cream store, my mother told me that I needed to make more money.  So I put on a coat and tie and went down to the mall.  I went into a department store and applied for a job.  The woman told me that they did not hire anyone under 18 (I was 17).  But after talking to me a bit (I have this ability to bullshit in a job interview) she decided that I was mature enough to work at the store.  So, I left the food service industry and Rachel.  


After three months, I went to the ice cream store with some of my friends for what else? Ice cream.  There I was reunited with Rachel except she was not working.  In fact, she had just stopped by to drop off her uniform because she had recently quit.  I greeted her with a smile and asked her how things were going.  


She looked at me distressed and said “I need to talk to you.”  


I pulled her to a corner and asked “What’s wrong?”


“I’m pregnant!” she replied.  


I was shocked.  My angel had engaged in sex and I was not even present.  But this was no time to think about that, she needed me.


“Ok, I’ll call you tonight.” I said


I called her that night and every night from then on.  She had not told her parents yet.  She was contemplating suicide.  Her parents were Southern Baptist and would not understand this.  She was raised Southern Baptist and her beliefs could not allow her to contemplate abortion. Her boyfriend had abandoned her when she told him the news.  She ended up not committing suicide and did finally tell her parents.  They were less than pleased and made her life difficult.  I called her every night.  We talked for hours every night.  After several months of this, I really began to feel very close to her.  I probably felt as if I was in love with her even though we were still just friends.


One day I called her and all I get were one word answers.  That conversation only lasted a few minutes.  I called her the following day and she acted the same way towards me.  


“Hi! How are you?”




“What’s wrong?”




“Are you upset with me?”




I could not figure it out.  I called her a week later.


“Hello, is Rachel home?” I asked her mother who answered the phone.


“No” she replied


“Do you know when she will be back?” I asked


“Rachel no longer lives here” she said.


Immediately I knew.  Her parents had sent her away to a home for wayward girls to have her baby.  They did not want this embarrassment to ruin their reputation in church.  Rachel had briefly mentioned that a long time ago and I had put it out of my mind.


The news came as a crushing blow.  Why didn’t she say good bye?  Why did she act so short with me the last few times we talked?  For the next couple of months I was a walking zombie.  I was in pain and I was depressed.  I kept playing the song “Bobby Jean” by Bruce Springfield over and over and over again.