the depression was pretty thick today. i’m not exactly sure why. i was able to soldier through it, mostly, and convince anyone i came in contact with that i was perfectly fine. i am not going to speculate why, but just mention that my office was empty, and very few people came to talk to me. several of the items i’ve been working on hit snags, either through endless revisions, lack of interest on the part of others to move forward, or my own lack of attention to detail that caused me to screw things up. i felt more than ever like i was doing work far away from the work i’m supposed to be doing on this earth, and didn’t even feel like what i am doing is all that integral to the success and health of the organization i work for.

today was olive’s last day, and i only discovered she was having a happy hour after i checked my boss’s outlook calendar for his availability. the outlook invite had a whole list of names on it, but i wasn’t one of them, which surprised me to a great degree. i mean, i knew olive has pretty much stopped giving a shit altogether about me, but i thought we were still cool enough that she’d think to add me to the initial invite list. of course, i could have gone to the happy hour, as someone else from her department invited me, but at that point, i pretended like i had no idea this was her last day and she was having a happy hour–i mean, it wasn’t far from the truth since i’d only seen the invite an hour before–sort of like ramon’s wedding–someone asking me on the day before–oh you got an invite and you’re going, right? uh…

at the very end of the day, though, imani stopped by my desk, and cheered me up greatly. i hadn’t seen or heard from her most of the week, but wasn’t too concerned one way or the other. just seeing her face made me very happy–someone came by just to say hi–not because she needed something from me that was work-related.

i don’t think any of the above caused the depression, as the depression just moved in like a fog before any of the days events had really happened. the depression just left me feeling incapable of holding my head up, lethargic, almost irritable at lots of little things, and mostly like a damn victim of the universe. i really can’t explain it, the sense of utter hopelessness when it blows in. the booze definitely made it worse, and i’d kind of hoped that being a month out from my last serious bout of drinking there would be no more moments like these. it was almost better to be drinking all the time, because then i could attribute all of the gloomy feelings to alcohol recovery. now, the feelings are almost more acute, it would seem, but without so much pit-of-stomach dread.

i’ve gotten much better at catching my mind as it goes off on these endless, self-reinforcing feedback loop jaunts, and am more than a little impressed at just how much damage i can do to myself simply by letting my mental and emotional states spiral out of control. it almost makes me wonder what i could do with my mind if i could trick it into being just as productive as it is counter-productive.

someone got visibly upset with me today, and it affected me more than i wanted it to. i find myself trying to explain things in a way to people that is very explicit as to how they would benefit from something, and i hear them essentially throw up these fogs of unwillingness to change, or at least an unwillingness to have a constructive dialogue with me to shape a new approach.

as the person charged with trying to attract new visitors to my organization’s website, i primarily see my approach as being one of trying to provide timely, relEt content on the site and the blog, and this can be broken down further to simply getting folks to tell the stories of the work they are doing. this challenge is identical to the one i faced at ahmis, where the upper management felt the same way about using a blog (or at least updating the main website more frequently than twice a year) as being a superfluous activity that a geeky, socially retarded person like myself should be preoccupied with, while they, the adults, went out and did the real work by selling.

never mind the fact that at both organizations i’ve been frequently told that the content needs to be updated more and the new visitor traffic needs to increase–somehow, i am supposed to just magically produce whole new sections of the website out of thin air, and hope it ties in to the work the organization is actually doing.

the lady i was talking to that got so upset with me started saying the exact same things every other “higher up” has told me–i’m too busy to stop and take fifteen minutes out of my week to build a list of bullet items that you could turn into web content. imagine that–not fifteen minutes to share with the world what you are doing!

of course people like her are NOT too busy, she simply feels like what marketing does is best kept in its own little silo, apart from what she does, and that her time is too valuable for marketing, who are there to just “pretty things up a bit,” anyway.

this kind of attitude might work to some degree if you are a salesperson bringing new business into the door, but when you are working in some other capacity where the work you do needs to be noticed by people with money, guess what? at some point, all the f*ing work you do won’t mean jack shit because nobody will know about it, and that includes people with money. i mean, how do you convince someone that she’s taking fifteen minutes out of her workweek for her own damn good, and not just to keep me and the pretty little website happy?

i said pretty much the same to her to end the conversation, minus the curse words.

the upshot of it all is that it really drove home to me how people feel about the work i do, which is to say, it’s cutesy, pretty, and nice to have around, but only necessary when communicators need a crutch or a prop–be it a brochure or a web site (which is just a giant electronic brochure to most of them, in spite of the fact that kind of mentality should have died ten years ago).

in a perfect world, there would be no webmasters or other gatekeepers of the content. everyone would take ownership of it, and the audience would participate and collaborate with the content as well. obviously, that’s not going to happen any time soon, and so i resignedly skulked back to my desk to dork around with video.

tonight was the next installment of my intro to catholicism class. this time, i didn’t feel as warm and fuzzy about everything while i was there, but at the same time, i felt locked in to something very powerful that i’m not getting anywhere else. just in that hour and a half time span, i feel like i am participating in something that is a billion times closer to my life’s purpose than when i’m anywhere else.

lucy suddenly popped up again as my friend on facebook, which was very bizarre. i thought of saying something to her, but then i decided that there’s absolutely nothing useful that could come from trying to communicate with her. i paused and read down through her updates, and looked at some of her photos. the fact that i was once so close to her, and so deeply in love with her, seems to be an utter impossibility now–other than her smile and her dog, i can’t imagine feeling like much of anything about me resonated with much of anything about her. such is the result of being so far away from knowing who you are, and trying too hard for your own good to make something work that couldn’t.

yesterday, i hit a few snags at work with my ability to communicate with humans. i endured a complete trashing of a video project i spent hours on because the initial script wasn’t edited and revised like i’d initially asked for it to be. often, i think people believe i am asking for ego-validation when i ask them to review my work or give me feedback, when in actuality, i am trying to make sure i am on the right track to save a lot of heartache later. there is nothing so disappointing and defeating as to be standing there, listening to your boss tell you that we are doing a complete about face for a project in terms of messaging–AFTER he’d already reviewed the initial script and told you it looks good. it’s a childlike reaction on my part, too, because i am standing there knowing full well that many people in the building and this town would kill to have a job like mine where they can goof around with video and graphic editing software all day, and get paid and often praised for it. but, i am also keenly aware of how much time i can spend on any one thing before it starts to cut into other requests, and can’t help but feel defeated when something gets scrapped that could have been different, more like what was wanted and needed, in the first place.

i felt strongly like writing about it last night, and then it kind of dissipated. but, i decided that i must keep journaling through mid april, as promised, and so there you go.

i also had a small triumph of communication with humans when i was asked to give a tutorial for how to use a new piece of software to a group of strangers. it’s hard enough speaking to people i know and am comfortable with. i hate having the attention of the group upon me. it’s like i can sense each consciousness in the room, bearing down on me, and critically turning over every single word i say, every tic of speech and face, every intended and unintended display of body language. to top it off, there was an unexpected number of people who were conferenced in to hear me speak, and i hadn’t planned for this, so there was no webex kind of presentation strategy set up. i had to basically direct them through logging into a site over a speakerphone, incessantly repeating the url and password information–serious frustation building activity.

overall, though, i didn’t completely shrink up, hear myself start to ramble, lose my train of thought, become ungrounded, etc., like i usually do. i also didn’t react to every little scowl on each face in the room, opting to be the actor, not the re-actor, something i learned from esl tutoring.

communicating with humans is mainly an exercise in masochism. you can be clear, specific, but comprehensive in your requests, and they inevitably fail to deliver. you can be redundant, repetitive, almost condescending, and they inevitably act hurt because you’ve insulted their precious intelligences. you can get burned after carefully covering your ass, and you can spend an hour listening to your boss repeat the same thing over and over again twenty times, even though you are practically leaping out of your skin, screaming, i get it, i heard you the first time!

you can wince and contort yourself into all kinds of new shapes trying to decipher a cell phone conversation full of pauses, breaks, loud noises, crackles, and the inevitable realization that the person on the other end is busy doing something else while attempting to have a conversation with you.

you can lose everything valuable you ever learned in school after thirty minutes of texting, im’ing or tweeting.

you could marry the most grotesque, rancid blob of a creature if she communicated with you better than 99% of the people you’ve ever communicated with.

communicating with humans is mostly a symptom of trying to steal something from them that you don’t have, all in the name of persuasion or salesmanship.

with the leaving off of the other blankets, i fear this one has been kicked off of me as well. all these things i sought to keep because i believed them to be pieces of me are gone, set free, and so is the urge to leave my mark this way, with the things i couldn’t say.

the weekend was mainly a waste, a bust, an excursion into the celebration of the sleepy side of the mind; the dull, blunted mind that wants to watch television and drool, letting the senses soften it even more, if that were possible. just because the booze has been removed from the equation, doesn’t mean that the mind is suddenly a diamond ready to cut into any body of thought that man pursues. the mind is, in fact, the same mind it’s always been, with a few less brain cells than when it was sharp and prime and seventeen, and every bit as flighty. it’s that same mind, minus the suffocating blanket of booze, but it doesn’t require booze to be drunk and stupid.

there were no special dreams this weekend to relate for posterity, no great insights into the workings of my soul, or triumphs of spirit over flesh. just a nice evening with a lady i could easily fall in love with, were things to go in that direction. but, it needn’t be made into anything but a nice evening, because we know now that the appearance of operating on the same wavelength doesn’t imply resonance between two people.

further reading into the area of study i hope to embark upon, the subject matter i hope to indulge myself in at a graduate school–it has turned up a little more pessimism that maybe i am too old, dull and stupid to change and learn new things beyond the things they write for laypeople, and the stuff that hollywood screenwriters prescribe for our imaginations.

the conversation takes its twists and turns, teetering on the brink of extinction. what will you say to her next if there is nothing more to say about the workplace, pets, gadgets, food, friends and family? will you exhaust everything that can possibly be said between the two of you, as if there is a finite sum for any two given individuals on the earth, except for soulmates, who can share each other’s thoughts infinitely? but, somehow, the ball hits a corner and the two of you keep going.

it’s like last july when you took maria to a tex mex place, and then invited her to continue the conversation over coffee. because every conversation you’d had with any given individual since lucy left had ceased once the limited number of topics in common were exhausted, you assumed then that the two of you were connecting in a deeper fashion, and she understood this as well, but much later she confessed that she didn’t hold a five-hour conversation in as high regard, apparently being one who knows many friends, lovers and family who can carry on this kind of conversation with her–thereby making you much less than the special prince you’d thought you’d become in her eyes.

so, when you repeated the exact same choreographed ritual, knowing you needed to in order to tell if she could indeed be the right one for you, or if there was going to be the moment where the conversation ceased to move forward, or it started running on fumes, you weren’t as quick to believe that imani could be your soulmate even though the flow of words stayed mostly steady for several hours. even though there was nothing forced or difficult about the way you were insanely attracted to her, wanted to be sucked into all of her that was the other to all of you, and meld in a gorgeous yin yang taffy experiment, you still held back your judgement on whether she could be the one or just a special friend.

then, your ears pricked up when she said that she might be going to church tomorrow, and you begin to think, well, maybe that base can finally be covered–i don’t have to worry about any of the old fears bothering me–the ones mother left behind–because at least she is a good church girl. then, she confessed that it was mostly a social activity with friends, and that while she believed in God, she could never believe Jesus is God, and never be married in a church.

the you of a year ago would not have cared so much, you know–we can work through this–after all, lucy was a sworn agnostic who somehow managed to be brought around, at least temporarily, to some notion of there being a higher power and the ways it could benefit her beyond the cycle of dependence she had on her shrink and meds. but, the you of a year from now would probably get up and walk out, or never return her calls, and become coldly and politely a “friend” upon hearing that she has made her mind up thusly.

but, the you of today is a sea of contradictions and uncertainty. after all, you felt an enormous sense of peace and experience of “things fitting” when you sat in the catholic intro class last wednesday. and don’t forget to consider the fact that you have not felt such a strong pull, an instant attraction that runs deeper than deep to another human in forever maybe ever. there is a level of comfort with imani, as if she immediately gets you in ways nobody else ever has.

before making any sort of profound, life-altering decisions involving your next move with either religion or relationships, you will need to devote an entire weekend alone, someplace quiet, and gaze deeply inside past everything about you that you’ve accrued since birth.