Years ago I dated a man named Paul. Paul was originally from Burbank, California and when I’d visited friends in LA, I ended up forming a bond with him. Our paths would cross here and there, even on a trip with an ex he sold me grass. I once got way too stoned in his old 1970’s apartment and thought I’d forgotten how to walk. Paul always made me laugh. He also worked at a record store, which I had at the time and his brain flourished with a sarcastic and juvenile brilliance that could not be compared to anyone else I’ve met since. We began a long distant jaunt after his Mother had passed away and I’d written him my condolences. The emails turned into snail mail, then packages and Skype sessions soon after graduating into visits.
Paul made me happy. His brain was and still is indescribable; a beacon of jokes and categorical knowledge of books and art, movies and music. Paying attention was his nom de plumb, getting to know your personality inside out and dropping off the perfect book or making the perfect meal. We would draw cocks and funny phrases in old year books, watch VHS tapes of Fantasia and cook together using our hands. Paul cooked low and slow, I cooked fast and hot, which I don’t think he ever liked. We would eat In N’ Out Burger and shop for old books. Smoke bongs and dance to records and make out for hours. We enjoyed coffee shop windows and watching people walk by on extremely windy days because it made all of us look as bald as the day we were born. My time with him was open, pure and I don’t regret a single moment, besides my anger. Sometimes I dream about what our lives would’ve been together had we not realized the hard way that we are better off friends.
Living in Buffalo, residing in a house that was mostly empty all the time, I asked him to make the move across the country to live with me. Like all couples we had our share of issues and personality traits to work through, however both of us had passionate hearts and often felt the emotions of the world surrounding us too heavily. Sometimes we would let it control us. At times we still do. Our fights were intensely heated, he called my ranting “belly fire”, it still makes me smile to this day, as I felt that he’s the only one who understood it. When he wanted to make me laugh when I was the only one who was annoyed and speaking in rants, he would accuse me of yelling at him with “the part of me that likes Billy Joel” (Paul hates Billy Joel and once found out I sang along to a few of his songs). It always made me laugh and I still explain that story pretty often. When Paul felt really mad, hurt or homesick he would take HATE WALKS. They are walked as fast or slow as you want, with or without music, as far or as short as you’d like until the negative feelings have depleted. Hate walks were a big thing for Paul, walking calmed him down, I learned to do the same, but not often enough. Years have passed, Paul and I still stay in touch. I still love him just as much as I ever have and he has not changed his glowing charm and neither of us have stopped taking hate walks.
The reason I mentioned Paul and the hate walks was to discuss the methods we use to deal with anxiety. I’m currently on a flight back from NYC and yesterday everything in my brain seems to hit a wall at once. My mind reverted back to the constant feelings I had when I lived there. I felt worthless, drained, nervous, uncomfortable, fidgety and weak. I was overworked and had no concept of pacing myself because in my early twenties I had all of the energy in the world. Soon a section will arise on my life in New York and I’ll be able to discuss some of the finer notes of my existence there. These feelings seemed like they had sank into my age over the passed 7 years and settled down like a soft silt along my feet. I had only visited once since and it was for less than 30 hours to visit a friend and catch a remarkable Kraftwerk show. This visit was hard for me and it wasn’t something I expected to come up so heavily into my psyche. There were many reasons I waited to return, mostly I had no urge to go back to a place that caused me so much pain and unhappiness; secondly I did miss the dirty sadness that came along with my hate walks there.
When I lived in Brooklyn, hate walks were key. This visit started off differently. Eager to reconvene with a friend from out of the country, eventually meet up with an out of town sister, see a band I love and proclaim as my happy place when I’m dancing in the crowd, find the love I’d once had for New York and romanticize over the long blocks and vertigo inducing towers that loomed above your head, lined with flowers and bagel shops as far as the eye could see. It started that way. My host was staying sober this tour and made it clear he didn’t expect the same, but encouraged it. Day one, traveling at the wee hours of the morning on no sleep, coming straight from an overnight at the pub, I stayed sober and watched the show, slept early and woke up amazed by the city I’d grown to hate. I love walked all over that town. Then I went out for drinks the following day with the crew at an arcade. After rounds of Galaga, Tapper, Astroids Deluxe and Tetris my buzz was growing, my chatter was up and I was getting cocky over my new found confidence in a city that had left me broken and defeated. After a long day out, a delicious burger at a random golden spot with an ancient bartender named Tom who was straight out of a novel, I was in bed before midnight and I felt proud that I’d remembered how to maneuver around the city in general. The next day I woke up and felt overwhelmed.
The looming sadness had began to follow me around and the confidence slide like a snake into the mud. The days became hard to get anything done, I’d walk for blocks and not really go anywhere. I’d buy things I didn’t need and forget to eat until 6-7pm, trying to wake my mind with coffee after coffee. After the Second show, day three I got two drinks. The next day I woke up so unable to function mentally, a falling glass could’ve made me cry. I walked down 6th avenue streaming tears down my cheeks for no reason.
My mental status was spent and my endorphins had all been used up. I called a friend, one I’d had a recent falling out with, a very shameful, hateful, manic falling out with. Thinking back on the occurrence I still know why I was so angry, why I wasn’t feeling validated, but both of our behaviors were horrendously heinous. I walked for 5 miles until it saw that I had walked all the way to union square and my conversation by then had been taking a better turn. We talked about life and sadness. How depression can eat you up if you let it. What the hell had happened to us and something we both thought was going so wildly well and fluid, The tears dried as I purchased some flowers and the rain began to fall as I walked back to where I’d came from.
It seemed fitting, the waterworks rose from my head into the clouds. All I could think was how perfect it must’ve looked; my look of exasperated sadness and defeat with an oversized bouquet of gladiolus getting soggy in the rain. I got lost on the train for a while. That was what I used to do when I lived in NY, if I had a day off sometimes I just wouldn’t get off the train when I should’ve and id try and find my way home. By the end of this trip I’ve walked a shade under 50 miles, averaging about 10 miles a day. Those walks reminded me of what I’d been missing. My motorcycle had made me lazy. Editing this weeks later I’ve now had a new problems to deal with.
Two days ago my motorcycle was stolen. It was taken out of my driveway, in the middle of the night while I was feet away asleep in my bed. My hate walks had transferred into hate rides, which I attempted to procure to just rides before putting the bike into gear. NEVER RIDE MAD. Baby Blue was my life, my best friend, my hobby and my therapy. She was something I wanted to pass down to a son or daughter, a beacon of a better day before the world fell to it’s knees. Someone took that from me. This vagrant took something that changed my psyche and balanced my soul; to them it was an extra few bucks. Attempting to see the Buddhist side in all of this I’ve been actively searching, spreading the word, scouring the west side for my baby, all in the mindset that she may be gone forever and should cherish what she’s given me.
Today’s hate walk was different. Walking with the purpose of deflecting the pain with a keen mixture of loss and hope. What it comes down to is dealing with the anxieties. Those stresses reek havoc on your body and to pump them through your veins without release is terrible for you. Whether you walk, run, ride, swim, sleep it out of you, find a way to release it and you’l find your way to peace. Below I’ve posted my sweet baby and her information. Help me get her back and if we cannot, try and take something constructive from this article.
MISSING BIKE: 1976 Honda CB360t – BLUE – Plates 16SZ01