You Have a Small Penis

Pick an apple. Put it in a barrel. Pick another. Put it in the barrel. Do this enough times and you'll get a bad apple. That's just the nature of life. So it is with friends.

"He's highly insecure," I said, remarking on a friend of ours who had went off on us for a very severe problem. What problem you might ask? Forget about a bear chasing you. Forget about a gunman holding a gun pointed at you. And forget about the terrorism happening in the world. The problem: Halloween party. My girlfriend asked why some of us needed to bring food and drink when other guests would only bring food or drink for the party. I know, first world problems. 

Our gentile friend got really pissed off and berated my girlfriend. So she left our long-running group chat because she didn't want to read his rants. I wanted to attack him (verbally...ok...physically too) but I simply asked for the reasoning behind why the core group needed to contribute more versus others. His answer made complete and total sense: It was his party, he made the rules, if you don't like it, then don't come.

This obviously didn't go over well with us because we were his friends, and none of us would treat each other in that way, let alone go on a tirade about such a small and stupid issue.

Another in the group, I'll call him The Politician, talked to this reasonable fellow, and he professed that we attacked him, that we didn't appreciate his efforts for putting the party together, that he spent a hundred dollars of his own money (your choice bud), so the fact that we wanted clarification upset him. He wanted to disband the group chat, and the Politician said, "This isn't your group. Even if you disband the group, the rest of us will reform it without you." Our former friend shook his fists at the gods and lamented and demanded that this was his group. But eventually he decided to leave the group chat, and several days later unfriended me on Facebook. Oh, the horror!

So when we all came together to discuss this very important issue, I had made the statement, "He's highly insecure."

"Everyone has insecurities," The Politician said. And he's right.

But here's the thing. Our former friend is insecure as a person, a human being, maybe even as a man. Because I'm Chinese, he kept poking fun at me, saying I have a small penis. I guess it would be funny a few times, but he mentioned this to me almost every single time we hung out. I don't know why he was obsessed with my penis, but maybe he's a latent homosexual and has yet had the courage to come out of the closet. And this isn't a sneaky way of calling him a fag. That would be too good for him.

And every chance he had, he'd tell me if he was single, he'd have this girl in the bathroom, or that he's slept with many women, or that it was his girlfriend who had asked him out. Yes, he has a girlfriend. And, no, she didn't ask him out. Her culture is known to be very conservative, so she wouldn't have been the aggressor. Hell. American women rarely find themselves the aggressor. And that's the other thing. He continually makes fun of his girlfriend's culture.

I know. He ain't dat brite. 

His girlfriend tried to help by saying that he has a lot on his plate. Sorry, my lady. But we are all adults. We all have a lot on our plates. And having a lot of plates let alone heavy ones doesn't give anyone the excuse to treat anyone like shit. This is a telltale sign of insecurity. People express it by attacking friends, loved ones, putting down friends, or covering them by drinking, binge eating, doing drugs, or unfriending people on Facebook.

I bring this issue up because insecurities are a norm for all human beings. I feel short sometimes. Other times I feel unsuccessful because I've yet to be published while others younger than me have found huge success in the publishing world. But I don't attack anyone because I feel this way. Eventually, these feelings will go away because that's the nature of being human. Waves ebb and flow. We wake from sleep, and sleep after being awake. Flowers open in sunlight and close after sun fall. Our feelings change, we get over stuff, we move on. Confidence isn't just the absence of doubt. It's the ability to go on while being mired in it.

The Shunned

Since postponing the move to Hawaii, I've gone on a bevy of hikes, happy hours, house parties, game nights, BBQs, writing groups, and whatever else you can think of. Well...no swinger parties, but not because I wouldn't...just don't really know where they're held. Aside from that, I seem to have a hard time connecting with people, save the writing groups. Interesting discussions and analysis are always had, and I've always connected with people in those groups as they've helped my writing. Maybe because we all have a singular goal, I'm not sure, but I look forward to those whether I've submitted something for critiquing or not.

Damn Dat is One Skinny Pencil
Damn Dat is One Skinny Pencil

Recently, I've really had a hard time connecting with non-writers. On an urban hike to sightsee holiday lights, I ran into an acquaintance of mine and said Hi to his clique of photographers. Fellow artists, right? They joked about who had the longest lens, and one guy asked another if he was happy to see him. If you haven't figured this out, ladies, they were all men. So I quipped, "It's the girth. Girth is more important."

The breeze blew. Crickets fell silent. Even the stars seemed to stop twinkling. Girth. It's a double entendre. Common! The width of the lens is an important factor. Same goes for the penis. Ask any woman. Pencil dick is a real term.

What Tha
What Tha

They stared at me like I was an uninvited guest. I was, and my attempt at inserting myself into their banter failed. Or maybe they all had pencil dicks and wondered how I knew.

Aren't we all artists? Can't we just get along?

In high school, I always found myself with the nerds and geeks, not that I had a problem with that. I loved my friends and loved being passionate about geeky stuff. But, at this point, my inability to connect with fellow artists was the tipping point.

There's gotta be sumthin' wrong wif me. A Jew even scolded that my sarcasm could be construed as truth. Uh...yeah. Sarcasm. Look it up.

What do I need to change to gain acceptance? Am I too aggressive? Too assertive? Can people sense the anger boiling behind the humor? Do others feel my antisocial tendencies? Or am I so set in my ways that I just choose not to connect with people?

Then I got a hold of myself and shook. I found that to be rather difficult, easier to do to another person. Thinking back to the people that I had talked to, I wouldn't hang out with most of them. I didn't feel any type of connection to the group of photographers even before I said one word like the woman from the hike and dinner, whom I wouldn't touch with a ten foot electric cattle prod. OK. I would but that's because she's a freakin' bitch. In fact, the only people I seem to connect with are people of depth. Often times, peeps ain't open to discussing anything that deeply, which is kinda sad.

Chatting it up with a dude one time, I asked him why he thought his son needed to choose a practical career. "So he can get a slice of the financial pie." But is that going to make him happy? "You're thinking too deeply about it. He needs to support himself." I didn't dispute that, but if talking about happiness was too deep a subject, then, shit, what isn't? The weather?

Sun sure is bright and yeller.

Yeeup. And circular like a circle.

Is That Poo?
Is That Poo?

For a moment, I feared that I scare people away. Then Oakland came to mind. Whenever I looked lost in the murder capital, brothahs have always helped me out. And one guy who was late meeting up with his buddy asked if he could use my phone, then offered to pay me a buck for letting him. Common. I gots me unlimited minutos.

A part of the issue is people are afraid to feel. They don't mind feeling good, but anything that makes them feel bad, NO, stay away. Unfortunately, bad feelings do come up. That is the nature of being human, just like the nature of the weather is that sometimes it's sunny, sometimes it rains. We need both in order to grow.

Think about Hawaii. Everyone thinks it's a sunny local, and never in their minds would tha islands rain and have overcast. But they do. And it's not bad, nor is it good. It's just the nature of weather. Dammit! Somehow I made the weather a deep subject.

Coming back to my problem of not connecting, I realized there was nothing for me to do. For one, it isn't a problem. Trying to run away from a bear that can run faster than the fastest human without breaking a sweat is a problem. I'm going to connect to some people, but, at the moment, I don't connect to most. Changing myself, applying a filter, is the worst thing I can do because, as a writer, I have to allow my creativity to fly. Are there times when I need to filter myself. Of course. But at an outing when we're celebrating life? Fuck no.