Sunday, April 14, 2013

From my lips to Dr. John’s ears.

            It’s interesting how Dr. John’s idea of starting a blog really is giving me a voice I didn’t know I had.  I have been blogging the past few months about different things.  In the past few weeks I’ve started to write about my experiences at the Lab.  I answer questions people ask me about bartending, the lifestyle and all that comes with it.  I’ve had a few co-workers at the day job get wind my stories posted on my blog.   By co-workers I mean one girl that loves reading romance novels and Okay magazine.  She comments on every blog post.  There are a few people from the Lab who have also been reading apparently.  Mind you, all of these stories I’m writing just as a release not really thinking anybody is reading.  Why would they?  Today Gina texts me a cryptic message, “love the blog, liked working with you.”  I don’t understand what she means and ask her what she’s getting at.  She says, “Charlie won’t like it.”  I’m thinking, Charlie isn’t spending his day browsing my blog; he has more important things to do like spy on his employees while they do their jobs and work on his alcoholism.
            I’ve put up a total of like three stories about the bartending based on my experience at the Lab in the past 3 weeks on the blog.  I don’t think much of it until I get a random comment on one post saying, “You’ve always been my favorite bartender, what are the real names of the people in these stories? “  I can’t tell if it’s a real reader or someone from the bar just trying to get into my head.
            I tell Dr. John about how people at the Lab are starting to get wind of my blog and that I am worried it may hurt me.  He frankly doesn’t seem concerned about this concept as long as he’s getting paid.  He just says, “hmmm and getting your voice isn’t priceless?”
            I don’t really understand what Dr. John is getting at but I do have this unusual sense of urgency with the blog.  These are stories I feel I must write because I don’t know who will.  The questions I ask myself every moment of my life at the Lab is, what am I doing here?  I just got a job at the Lab to pay rent literally with no plans of becoming a lifetime bartender but can understand why one wouldn’t leave.  Right now I am making $2,000 a week in cash and another grand or 2 a week from various contract day jobs, why should I leave the bar?  The next question is what will these experiences add up to?  Will I just end up another lifetime bartender as my youth fades into the sunset? 
            My mom is upset with me because she too apparently reads the blog.  She says she read that I smoked pot and doesn’t like me joking about that in a public forum because then people will think I smoke, which I do.  She says, “stop with the jokes!  I’m going to create a Jdate profile for you, how tall are you?  Are you more the man in the relationship?”
            “Mom, we’re both men, that’s why we’re gay.  I don’t like dating Jewish guys generally, it’s not my jam!”
            “That’s what you think.  That will change.”
            Dr. John is concerned because he says my mother and I are too much of friends and don’t have a healthy mother-son relationship.  When I was a kid we told each other everything.  It was hard to hide stuff from her or rebel because I liked her.  At one point we shared a room.  In high school there was a point where I helped pay our mortgage because I could even though she had never asked.  Dr. John seemed to make that sound like burden.  He says I need to create boundaries.  This is how I know he’s a gentile because he thinks that’s possible.
            Dr. John then asks me about my dad whom I rarely mention.  I tell him how most of my friends have never met my father.  He is a bit of a loner.  As a child there were a lot of times where he wasn’t there.  It’s a story that I’m sure a lot of other kids raised by single-mothers have.  Often he would say he was coming to visit me in San Diego from LA and at the last minute not come.  Even as an adult, I take time off of work to meet him at a halfway point in San Clemente and he would have an “emergency.”  In the 5 years I have lived in San Francisco he has not once come to visit.  Don’t get it twisted; I talk to him every day.  I know my father loves the older and me I get, the more I understand he is a grown teenager who did what he could.  I still hold a grudge for certain things that can’t be changed.  From a young age I learned of my father’s drinking problem mostly by his voice when he calls me.  He starts to apologize for stuff which tells me that he doesn’t get me he gets the situation.   You can learn a lot about a man by the way they handle their booze.  I have never had a problem saying no to drinks, drugs or anything else.  My dad goes for months and years sober and then will fall off the wagon just for a weekend and call me nearly in tears.  There is nothing worse than hearing your father cry.  There is one thing worse seeing yourself in the mirror when you’ve been crying.  My main issue is I don’t know how to handle my dad.  I simply don’t engage sometimes because I don’t want to deal with him.
            Dr. John listens to this and jots notes rapidly.  He asks me what my father has taught me.  It takes me a long time to answer.  I can’t figure out what he has showed me.  I learned to shave from my the only grandfather I’ve ever known who showed me love but then started to yell mid-way through the shave because I took too long putting the foam on my face.  He is a Holocaust survivor, after 6 concentration camps you’d be ape-shit crazy too.  My dad taught me that if anyone tries to hit me, I should hit him or her back fifty times harder.  He always would ask if I was in any fights.  I would always say no.  I had never seen him happier then the one time I told him I was in a fight.  I was eleven.  A counselor at camp asked me to tell another kid, D.J. that it was time to take his riddalen.  He got angry stabbed me in the leg with a pen.  I responded by pushing him onto the cement and running away and crying behind a bush because of the pain.  In the version I told my dad, I punched him in the face and walked away unscathed.
            Dr. John asks why I care what my father thinks of me? The truth is I don’t think I do.  I do though have compassion for him but knew from a young age I wanted to do more, be responsible and come through on my responsibilities.  This is probably why most people call me intense.  I just have always thought I could do better than what people expected of me.
            Dr. John asks if I could imagine having kids now.  I tell him that babies don’t come out of there.  I then realized that I am the age my mom was when she had me and that if I had kids now I don’t know I could handle it.
            I have these weird dreams sometimes that my dad will call me really drunk the way he has in the past and I’ll just be out of compassion for him and he’ll do something drastic.  I’ll never forgive myself.  In the dream I am serving a regular who is so drunk I have to cut them off and eventually kick them out.  Because I am the only bartender working, I have to kick the guy out.  As I am moving the guy out of the bar he takes a swing at me.  He misses.  Then I take a swing at him and he falls to the ground.  He stays down for a few seconds and as he gets up, brushes himself off he smiles.  As the light hits his face he looks an awful lot like my dad and says, “that’s my boy.  Hitting like a fucking man.”  Then the guy walks outside to fall on is ass.  Those dreams always happen on the few nights (once ever few months) that I get drunken phone calls.  I always wake up to his drunken call after these dreams.  What could that mean though?

            Dr. John asks me why I would hit someone like my dad?  I tell him about how my dad would make me spar with him.  Most kids dads played catch.  Mine would have a cigarette in one hand and the other hand out and yell “spar.”  He would always tell me to work on that left-hook.  We then would complete that quality time with ice cream or a burger.  I don’t know the answer to Dr. John’s question. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


No Deposit Casino