gonna be henry for a while

Last night at a relative’s birthday party in Coral Gables I drank a lot but, sticking to beer, didn’t get as hideously fall-down drunk as I did last Friday, when I was hanging out with Bob and Lynda while still in the grips of uncertainty about how things with Rosie would turn out; but I did, last night, get drunk enough to do a little oversharing on Instagram. I made some latenight post from a bar stool, talking about how happy I was to’ve spent the day being productive, reading and watching something from the List, and to’ve then spent an evening being sociable before disappearing into a bar to just sit and be comfortable by myself — which is kinda true, I definitely did feel all those things, but it’s obviously always suspicious when somebody goes outta their way to talk about how comfortable they are, how happy and proud they are, to be alone.

And of course it’s always cringe-inducing to wake up and look at your drunken Instagram story and think of the impressions other people must’ve had.

But, there’s this popular reddit post where some guy expounds on this philosophy of No Zero Days. It’s a whole long screed, you can read it here, but he’s responding to a person who’s written into the forum to say that he (let’s call him Jake) isn’t being productive, that he feels like his life is going nowhere, he’s hating himself, etc. And so the response that Jake gets, from this motivational Canadian polyglot, is this idea that, whatever you wanna accomplish in life, whether it’s writing a book or getting fit or falling in love, you need to take some kinda step toward that goal each day. If it’s 11:59 p.m. and you haven’t exercised, do one pushup. Because one is more than zero. Write one sentence, interact on one dating site, eat one vegetable. it’s best to do more than that, obviously, but his point is pretty clear. Anyway — somewhere in his insanely long post the guru guy talks about how everybody’s got three identities: their past, present, and future selves. And those three identities, he says, have gotta be friends who look out for each other. Your present self is gonna forsake the ice cream as a favor to future self. Etcetera. And one of teh things he talks about is that the present self, being a friend, does sometimes need to forgive the past self. Because that’s what friends do.

So am I glad that I overshared on Instagram? Nope. But, I know I’m gonna end up hating myself if I take these mishaps too seriously.

Like, I just had a breakup, I’m sad — it’s fine. I’m gonna do stupid maudlin shit. It’s ridiculous for me to hassle myself about allowing it to show sometimes. I was just reading the second volume of James Kaplan’s Sinatra biography and learned that Frank — always the portrait of a heavy-drinking tough guy or whatever — fuckin tried to kill himself several times when Ava Gardner left him. He got stubborn and dragged their divorce out for seven years. He was a fucking mess. Just couldn’t cope.

Everybody’s a fucking mess sometimes.

So this morning I woke up hungover, I took my dog downstairs to do his business, and I’m standing there cringing at dawn, barefoot in the parking lot and wishing I could undo that Instagram post…and I start laughing about it. It just seemed so ridiculous that I should’ve posted it in the first place and expected it to not seem awkward, and then, weirdly, even funnier that I now have to live with the fact that my effort at proud discretion was actually anything but either of those things.

It’ll be helpful if I can carry a sense of humor about this.

Also gonna try to be super productive because an obvious by-product of this breakup is that I wanna talk a lot. The writing takes shape with a little more urgency and ease. So lemme just go ahead and do lots of blog posts and get active on Twitter, interact with people. At work today I checked out two volumes of Henry Miller, the patron saint of oversharing, and I think I’m gonna be Henry for a while. Talk at shameless length about myself. Celebrate this chaotic internal stuff. Acknowledge that shit’s not going well and then just…not judge it. I mean I’ll hold myself accountable for things, of course, but I’m not gonna come down on myself every time I overwhelm a conversation over the next few weeks, or every time I relapse and message Rosie, or get sentimental/nihilistic within earshot f a friend. If there’s something visceral going on inside me, I don’t see the point in trying to hide it. Better to just be mindful of it. Get some creativity out of it. Learn.

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