January 10, 2020

Matthew,

Happy New Year, shithead.

I’m writing this in spite of the fact that I have had neither the motivation nor the desire to do any writing.  The intense lows I have been experiencing are an indicator of a person who has once again failed to adapt to his situation.  I have multiple layers of unfamiliarity to contend with, too.  Living in a foreign country where most people don’t want you there is merely the surface problem, if you can believe it.  I’m still left to navigate a job market that seems to want everyone but me, marriage to a woman whose customs and habits are often still unfamiliar and frustrating, and now the stress of a child that is about to enter the world under my care.  I’ve balanced it all to the best of my ability, but it’s no easy task when I always end up feeling unnoticed, disregarded, and unfulfilled.

I’m not saying I need the world to go easy on me; I’m saying I need something to fucking do.  Ever since I quit my job over two years ago, I have dabbled in just about everything my imagination could conjure up, and all with little to no success.  I never thought that my main enemy in all of this would be fucking boredom.  I don’t do well holding still.  That’s why I built a pond and a garden.  In fact, I’d be outside building another section if I hadn’t used up all my materials.  It might be a vanity project (and a bit of a money pit), but at least it has measurable fucking results.

But make no mistake; I don’t wish I did anything any differently.  If I were not afforded this stretch of time to feel low and sorry for myself, I would not have been given the chance to re-calibrate my thinking and look at my life in a more serious way.  If I were immediately successful in any of the things I attempted to pursue, I would have remained immature and careless.  Not that I believe I’m all grown up and will make a perfect adult from here on out, but I do believe that now that I have experienced the bottom, I will operate with a little more care in the future.  Money doesn’t buy you a clue, nor does it do anything at all to promote reflection or advance maturation.

Besides, I have a house with everything I need.  This period of thinking and planning and regrouping has all been made much less miserable by the fact that my home base is comfortable and spacious.  I’ve wanted for nothing and have done my best to remind myself of that fact any time the self-pity gets too strong.  Furthermore, I have been afforded the opportunity to focus on my health, and it certainly shows.  I’m wearing my age much better these days, and I look forward to even greater strides once I extricate myself and my family from this godawful pollution.

So here is the point in the letter where I once again put a bow on the discussion.  I’m actually surprised that something came out when I sat down to write, so now I’m feeling a little better about it all.  Between this little activity and the three or four loads of laundry I will be doing before day’s end, I can feel a little bit better about playing video games and reading all day.

But the bow… yes, let’s get this bullshit over with.

Blah, blah, blah… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Do unto others.  Brush your greens and eat your teeth.  Don’t count your chickens before they leap.  In the name of the Sanford, the Son, and the Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Amen.

pETE

December 28, 2019

Matthew,

You know what my biggest mistake has been?  Certainty.  I was so sure of myself when I walked out of that shitty school two years ago.  I thought I would start a business, play the stock market, and live happily ever after.  I thought I was going to be able to simply transition to independence with only the occasional bump in the road.

I was so sure of myself when I went back home earlier this year as well.  I believed that Thailand had made me sharp and strong, so I figured it would be a no-brainer to walk back into the city that spat me out and justify my presence there.  I’d find a house and a job, no problem.  I had money and I had goals.  There was no way I would fail.

Now, I try not to toss that word around too liberally, because I can’t really say that I’ve failed.  Have I done any of the things I thought I would?  Well, yes and no, but nothing has been the slam-dunk I hoped it would be.  Money doesn’t fix very much at all, as it turns out.  It merely staves off the bill collectors and keeps the lights on.  It doesn’t buy you a clue and it sure as hell doesn’t fast track your growth or maturation.

But what is life without wisdom?  Can wisdom ever be attained without hardship?  If I was going to grow old, I once reasoned, then I certainly would need to be wise.  However, I think anybody who knows anything knows that wisdom comes from cuts and bruises, not from easy days.

Will I be wiser in the coming years?  Probably.  Actually, yes.  I’m sure of it.  But what will that mean, exactly?  I will be 40 in a matter of weeks, and I have yet to achieve any measure of traction in this life.  It’s not like I expect to randomly have my shit together when the calendar rolls over.  You can be as diligent you want to be in trying to gain a little piece of the world, and still never get it.  Hard work may yield positive results, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll simply jump out of the station you were born into.

So I guess I’m looking forward to another year of uncertainty.  That’s the only constant in my life, anyways.  I believe these past two years have taught me not to be so sure of myself, and also not to bank on things going well.  It has also taught me patience, as my options are so dreadfully limited in this sweltering, confusing jungle.

I guess that’s all.  I keep trying to come up with something that wraps it all up and puts a bow on these thoughts, but I’m coming up short.  It’s an uncharacteristically overcast day today, and I believe the absence of that otherwise annoyingly abundant sunlight is preventing anything other than rudimentary thoughts and ideas from sprouting.  Maybe I should take the hint and go back to watching movies.

Yeehaw,
Pete

December 16, 2019

Matthew,

I spent my entire adult life not knowing what “Pumps and a Bump” was about.

When I was in my early teens, I heard the song and thought it was just another typical booty jam.  I thought it said “pumps IN a bump,” so I interpreted it as the bump being a person’s backside, and the pump being some sort of action, perhaps gyration or something.  That’s what all the other songs were about in the early 90s.  How was I supposed to know?   Besides, I was going through my Garth Brooks phase back then.  That man was unstoppable in the early 90s.

I downloaded the aforementioned song a few weeks ago.  I noticed the discrepancy right away, so I updated my interpretation.  I determined for it to all be one phrase about a posterior.  I thought that “Pumps and a Bump” was simply the way to describe the shape of a butt, and I left it at that, satisfied to have corrected an oversight that was nigh a quarter-century old.

But then, Matthew, I saw the music video.  He was talking about the shoes!  Pumps!  So the pumps were shoes, and the bump is the backside.  There you go.  Mystery solved.

Cha-Ching,
Pete

December 11, 2019

December 11, 2019

Matthew,

They really make writers look like assholes in the movies.  The character who plays the writer is always the has-been, the person who had that one noteworthy book and can’t find it in himself to crank out another with any kind of success.  Something along those lines, anyways.  That’s the formula.  One-hit wonder.

And they’re always struggling financially, and their significant other is mad at them.  They have a drinking problem.  They’re stuck in the past.  Dude, is this going to happen to me?  Maybe I should try again to get a regular job soon.

Also, some of them move into haunted houses.  I don’t need that shit happening, either.

CrazySexyCool,
Pete

 

November 26, 2019

Matthew,

For whatever reason, I received an envelope in the mail containing several documents pertaining to my departed mother.  It was from my aunt, one of a few surviving relatives, and the only one who bothers to try and communicate with me at all.  Our communication is sporadic and often forced, but, to her credit, she tries harder than anyone else, and that includes my mother when she was still alive.

Which isn’t saying very much…

I didn’t even know my grandmother’s name.  That’s what kind of secrets my mother kept from me.  She even lied to me about how long she was married and when they were divorced.  It’s just one big drama that keeps unfolding, no matter how much distance I put between myself and them.  They continue to mess with me, even though they are all dead.

And why did my mother change these details?  What did she get out of it?  Was this just an over-correction for all the hurt she endured?  Or did she truly resent me, as the one reminder of the man she despised that she could not discard?

I dunno, man.  Shit like this wears me out.  I’m over here having a nice day, then some unannounced envelope shows up in the mail from an aunt who never really hammered out her guilt or how to handle the maltreated bastard.  In it are death certificates, divorce papers, and a grim reminder of my shitty origin story.  This family keeps pulling me back in, no matter how much I distance myself.

I guess we just see how it all plays out.  This grim parcel has fogged up my mood for the moment, but one glance around this large house filled with toys reminds me once again that I was scooped up and brought indoors.  To continue to resent certain people would be to miss out on enjoying all that has gone right in my life.

That doesn’t mean, however, that these things don’t bring me down.  I’m allowing myself to kinda feel shitty about it all.  I’m just not going to stay that way.  Again, to do so would be to squander this nice situation I am in.

So, fuck it… I guess.  I wish my aunt would communicate a bit more.  Zero plus one equals one, so any communication outside of these awkward and unannounced packages would be an improvement.  But what can you do?  She’s in her sixties.  People love using their age as a reason not to change.  If anything, that is what I continue to draw from my family.  I guess it’s up to me to be the one person who doesn’t turn out so shitty.

No pressure, right?

Girl, you know it’s true,
Pete

November 21, 2019

Matthew,

Eating pineapples seems to exacerbate incontinence.

Never drive in dangerous November tornadoes.

Karate is lame.

Let Henry interview Megan, so Edward loses face.

I’ll be loving you,
Pete

November 7, 2019

Matthew,

The internet really does bring out our darkest selves.  I watched a video of a mother cat adopting a bunch of ducklings, and was completely shocked to find out how much bitching and arguing people did in the comments.  Furthermore, the number of “down-votes” was staggering.

Who takes the time to do these things?  What kind of person sits there and says fuck this thing and clicks some kind of negative button on an arbitrary website?  Who argues about cats and ducklings with other strangers? 

Jesus, Matthew, are people all really that unhappy?  Pot is fucking legal, and you people are STILL at each other’s throats!  When did you all become just so awful?

I’ve got not solution.  Most of us need the internet.  We don’t need the extra shit, like Facebook, however.  I think eventually there will be an exodus from these things once people finally realize how bad it is all getting.  Reason may take a while to kick in, but it generally does.

Right?

High-five,
Pete

11-6-19

Matthew,

People like to brag when they visit some place else.  I live some place else, so I fucking win.

Yatta,
Pete

October 11, 2019

Matthew,

When I was ten or eleven years old, I was at a church camp.  I had been picked on all week by this fat kid named Perry Parker, and on our final day I had finally had enough of his crap and I kicked him in the balls.  He doubled over in pain, ultimately falling on the ground while still clutching his family jewels.

A camp counselor saw the aftermath, and ran over to find out what happened.  I explained that Perry had been bothering me, so I kicked him in the nads.  The counselor looked very upset at me, but ordered Perry to get up and forced us to shake hands and drop whatever our disagreement was.  I was OK with the arrangement, truth be told, as I had achieved what I believed was justice.  After all, I got Perry square in the nuts, and I was actually beginning to feel bad.

But the forced truce was not enough.  The counselor ordered us to stand against adjacent trees, and not to move until we were instructed.  Again, I was fine with the arrangement.  This punishment was a mild one, all things considered, and I figured it would all be forgotten very quickly.

However, after a few minutes, Perry began talking trash.  I was a little surprised that he was trying to start up with me again, so I told him to shut his fat mouth.

Oh, right. I forgot to add that Perry was fat.  Anyways…

I told Perry to shut his fat mouth, so he left his tree and came storming over in my direction.  Without thinking, I left my tree and met him halfway so that I could kick him in the balls a second time.  Remember the look on the T-1000’s face when Sarah Conner blew up his torso?  That is exactly the look that was on Perry’s face as he once again doubled over in pain.

I guess the moral of the story is to be careful who you bother.  Maybe the moral is to guard your package.  Honestly, I don’t know.  I don’t even know why I had this random memory.  I just woke up this morning and thought about how I kicked a fat kid named Perry Parker in the cojones twice in the span of five minutes.  Life is weird.

Your Pal,
Pete