There hasn’t been that moment yet of: “oh, Lord, what have I gotten myself into?”

There hasn’t been that moment yet of: “oh, Lord, what have I gotten myself into?”

In fact, there’s been a lot of the opposite: “how can I get myself into more of this?”

A and I have probably logged at least twelve hours of time just kissing on the couch. And, it keeps feeling like we should be kissing even more.

I can’t find the words I need to stress how different this is. There is no effort here, none of that business of needing to hide half of myself while I dredge up some glossy fool to put a shine on my dubiously best face.

Dentro de mi mente

Dentro de mi mente existe muchas cosas que no explico.

Cuando yo trato de explicar cosas ciertos, descubro que no puedo.

Es mas dificil cuando hay muchas personas en la misma cuarto conmigo.

Quisiera tomar alguna vez para entendir esas cosas en mi cabeza y en mi corazon.

Yo necesito corrir en las calles como un persona loca. Busco para los personas para ayudame. En sus caras veo preguntas solamente. En sus manos veo regales malos. Estos regales aparecen ser nada mas que humo antiguo.

There are essentially three kinds of change

There are essentially three kinds of change that come to someone in this life: change you didn’t want, but is forced upon you; change you try to force upon the world; and, change you asked for, but doesn’t resemble precisely the way you’d envisioned it happening.

When you are far way from God, the only change that matters is the second one. You’ll be incapable of recognizing the third one, and have nothing but contempt for the first. But, when you get closer to God, the third one starts to appear all the time, and it suddenly looks far better than anything you could have dreamed.

A is completely representative of the third option. She is everything I asked God for, and nothing less, even though I never precisely dreamed up a lady like her. In fact, she is so much more than anyone from those dreams or attempts to force change upon the world.

I am falling madly and completely in love with her.

This moment of me sitting here

This moment of me sitting here, with almost all ties to S place, old friends, old life finally cut. A moment I’ve begged God for since Mom died and I arrived at UW. A moment I sought in all the eyes of single ladies in the workplace, even as it scared them away.

I only kept the old things that I absolutely needed. I no longer prostrate myself at the altar of the past.

My Dad and new girlfriend A are coming over soon to have lunch with me in my new place.

Everything is new, and this is just the beginning. In another two months, I’ll have cut the ties to the S place for good, thank God. The final lingering ghosts will be bleached away, and whatever it is I embrace next will be completely new. New friends coming soon at the church I’m going to make my home. A new relationship that’s just beginning.

And, because I know fully well now that God is nothing but good, a new job with new life for the day is right around the corner. Maybe for a few years, anyway, I can share joy instead of sorrow with everyone I know and love.

Enlightened I am becoming, in the sense of becoming unburdened

Enlightened I am becoming, in the sense of becoming unburdened—all of the old, heavy, bitter and harsh things made light by these changes. No more burdened by false images of Evans that I couldn’t possibly hope to become. Visions of Evan on the set of a movie among the famous, or standing behind a table signing autographs for thousands of people eager to meet him. Visions of being hip and all that matters in cities like New York, Chicago or San Francisco. Visions of an Evan not bothered by worries of God and death and stuff like that (except when he wants to engage a gushing audience in an ironic work of fiction). Visions of an Evan free to drink and eat and consume what he likes, because his talent, now spotted by all who matter, pays all the tabs in hotels, bars and restaurants everywhere.

So, it used to be, to hear those stories of men and women made famous by luck and peculiar opportunities, and lust and pant and grow jealous of them, in hopes that perhaps some quirky, special thing of mine would become in demand and get an audience.

But then, a loathing of them, and finally a pity.

How sad, to be forever lacking in that ability to maintain an inner compass, opting instead to set your so-called “true north” anywhere and everywhere that excites your senses and makes you believe you could possibly be an object of worship for others in this life.

I found a richer, deeper more abiding peace that runs far below much of the madness I witness around me. My “outside world” eyes have responded with a kind of clarity I haven’t had in years. To know and love me now, is to surely know and love me. To have known and loved me through each and every one of those years is a great Love with the only mortals possessing it being parents and such.

My Uncle John died today. He was one of the staples of my Austin life. From twenty years ago when I first visited Austin, through the times in high school and college, then for the past eleven years living down here—he and my Aunt Betty with a few cousins represented something of Austin just as much a standby as the Capitol or UT Tower. It seems almost inevitable that shifts like this are happening as so much else changes. I don’t feel very much sorrow for his death. He was a good man, but a hard man to love or even like. When he was at his most wily, he was highly insufferable, hell bent on trying to inject into me what he and Betty thought were all the proper things parents and teachers had forgotten to teach.

He wasn’t especially easy to talk to—there seemed to be little in the way of an active interest in the outside world for him the past several years. Conversation gambits I proposed would often be met with irritation and an impression of disdain—like I should be more intelligent with what I had to say. Mostly toward the end, he just kept his mouth shut and sat there.

I can’t say that I really cared for him much. I liked his sons okay, and I liked that he seemed to fit well with my Aunt, making for a dependable place in Austin you could go and know what to expect. But, often times, what you knew to expect was a lot of criticism for how I carried myself as young man and the life choices I made.

I wasn’t able to leave Austin to live elsewhere these past few years, no matter how hard I tried or however many resumes I launched into the ether. I just couldn’t get away. Once, even with the final interview in the bag and the plane ticket purchased, I still decided that I just couldn’t leave. Many times I felt like Jim Carrey’s character on the Truman show—some strange force always keeping me from leaving. But, in spite of this, my perspective has at least been given a fresh breath of a shift: from the Skyway place laden with memories and dust to a view of the skyline from the Eastside; from a time when it was more than natural to get drunk almost every night at the endless summer happy hour to a time when I was a workout masochist to a time when I know my own self now well enough that I don’t always need to be trying to chase that high, whatever the high might be.

I’ve had since my brief encounter with the therapist a lot of moments where I could clearly see how little mental processes ran out of control, thereby creating physical and emotional ones that did the same. These out-of-control processes were often encouraged by that childlike notion that more of anything that worked once or twice must most certainly be better.

But, some of them were encourage by me simply not knowing myself well enough, and realizing more and more that this strange vehicle I inhabit has its own rules and buttons and shifters, and obeys my commands if I know when and how to issue them.

A lot of the interests were merely attempts to run and hide from God

A lot of the interests were merely attempts to run and hide from God. Get obsessed in something, or immersed in it, and it becomes your shelter. It might be a thing, or a hobby, or an intellectual pursuit. Or, it might just be a neurosis—some kind of nervous behavior you say you don’t want, but you do more of it anyway, because then you don’t have to present your naked face to the world.

A strange feeling comes over me as I’m examining the Spanish instructor’s toys. She has these little knickknacks that might be on her shelf or in a shoebox. A gold Buddha, some Curious George miniatures, a few Matchbox cars, and other assorted miniature representations of cartoon characters.

The feeling was one of wanting to take comfort in them—to find an artificial childhood paradise waiting for me if I owned several of these objects and associated with them in a way that made them like real for me. I got the very clear sense that this is what it is like to become worshipful of false idols.

The few things I put on my shelf are stuff my Dad made, that I kind of feel obligated to have up there, and they don’t spark that same feeling. They are starkly utilitarian, and go ignored for months at a time.

Not everything around me calls out to be my idol. I don’t feel compelled to worship trees or celebrities. Gadgets have to be primarily functional and useful before I buy them. My car is a practical thing, as is my bike. My dog is a creature I love, but I do not feel like making her some kind of idol.

I often got the idol feeling when painting, and had to stop. It was as if the thing I was making had become so incredibly imbued with the spirit of whatever was crawling from my imagination through my fingers, that I couldn’t put the painting down. Then, months later, returning to the paintings, I see nothing special about them—they might make it to the top of a high school art contest, then again, probably not.

Change came this weekend. I wondered when it would

Change came this weekend. I wondered when it would. I’ve been staring down the black chasm of my lonely, static life and thinking that I must be on the wrong end of a great curse. Sure, the MCE curse lifted a few months before I finally walked away from that place. But, then I found myself living with an ex-MCE roommate for another two years, and kind of dating a MCE employee’s friend for several months. I found myself at a new workplace that was gradually beginning to morph into what MCE had become during those last bad months, and then watched it get even worse.

I found myself with no true friends—sure, lots of people on Facebook labeled as such, and people at UW offering friendship when they needed something from me. But, outside of God, Dad and dog—there just wasn’t anyone I could have a conversation with about non-work-related stuff without feeling like some kind of intruder on their time. Some outside, someone not cool enough, fast enough, hip enough or handsome enough.

Mama always said I should just go to church, and I’ll meet a nice church girl there. Well, I did.

I’d been flirting around with going to CP since I’d read about it in a blog—it’s embracing of diversity and desire to serve the community (rather than merely being an isolate community unto itself that served itself with the occasional missionary vacation somewhere) made me interested in attending. I wanted a traditional service after growing up in a wild, holy roller church that scared me many times. I wanted something consistent, short, but beautiful in the service. A sermon that came as a small portion every bit as nourishing (and maybe more so) as those long-winded rants Pastor Wayne would give.

I decided to go, finally, when it was just about me and God and the church. No hidden agendas around dating church girls or expecting my perfect little dream of two or three male friends, wife and kids to suddenly magically appear. I didn’t care if everyone there detested me—if they did, then the church wasn’t for me, right?

It’s not easy being a heavy sinner most of your adult life, steeped in the ways of the world and sympathetic to agnostics while holding a thin thread of Faith attached to God—it’s not easy being this way and swallowing your pride to sing simple hymns and mouth the words in the audience participation section.

But, you know what? I’m growing again for the first time in forever. I don’t walk around all crumpled up in a ball of vengance, chafing at every slight recently committed or remembered. I don’t care about the workplace situation as much, or worry about how I’m going to pay for everything. Something deep and rich and meaningful is informing me, and I don’t believe I could mature anymore without this.

And, then, there’s A. The first single lady I met at the church—on the second Sunday I was there, she walked around to the other side of the pew to sit next to me. She was immediately agreeable to the suggestion of coffee, and accepted an invite to look at cadavers-as-art at a sports medicine exhibit. She turned out to be a runner. She’s an English major. She has a rich and varied inner life, deep intellectual curiosity, has a cool job and is getting a Master’s and fascinating subject. She’s gorgeous, she smells good but isn’t heavy of perfume. She dresses nice. She has a sharp eye for taking great photos. She’s a brilliant conversationalist. She’s single, without too many friends or obligations that get in the way of spending time with me (none of that “circle the wagons with my friends and try to penetrate that circle if you dare” bs).

She has an animal-friendly license plate. She likes Taffy, and Taffy likes her. She’s not a neat freak, but has a cozy, inviting place.

She kisses very well.

I am having a hard time right now seeing myself with anyone else, ever. I mean, it doesn’t even make sense—thinking of anyone from the past, or any of the ladies at UW who ended up being not even marginally a good fit.

A is a Democrat, but not one of those rabid lefties. She’s a Christian, but not overly zealous. Her mom’s a nurse, her dad’s an investment banker. She is a Texan. She’s just about the perfect height and shape for me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, in every way I can imagine, she just fits. And, I know way too well what it’s like when someone doesn’t.

I just pray to God that I can maintain self control, and not allow any of the old boyishly immature douchebaggery come out. I want A to fall madly in love with me, accept my marriage proposal in about seven to eight months, marry me in about a year, move in with me and live without children for a year or two while we see the world, then deliver two-three children who we will raise in a nice Austin or Round Rock neighborhood while we become actively involved in our church and community, and grow old and happy together, dying at perfectly ripe old ages then ascending to the heavens where we can spend eternity walking with Christ among the mansions he built and all of those who’ve gone before us.

The other change that came was me leaving behind the old Skyway place. I will be renting it for another month and three weeks, but already, I can’t imagine needing to go back there and spend a night on the queen-sized blow-up air mattress for any reason. It’s a place that has long run its course of being able to provide something akin to a home for me. The third-longest lived-at place in my life, clocking it at just under five years. Memories of angry fights with D over petty things, and anger at R for being so insensitive with his video game noise, and anger at the countless neighbors who came and went with their heavy bass, stomping, shouting, woodworking, etc.

Just a place where all of the wrong intruders came into my thoughts and sleep and peace.

This place, this new place, was built two years ago, and nobody’s lived here. Cars are whizzing by constantly, and a panorama of the city skyline is outside my window. I am in the heart of East Austin, a territory once off-limits due to dire warnings from relatives and my own hyperdrive imagination. Thoughts of getting knifed or ending up in a crack motel full of needles in my arm filled my head when I had to drive over here. Gangs would be insistent upon making short work of my tiny white ass once I dared linger too long east of I-35 and west of Bastrop. It was like the worst prison movie scene, but set inside a run-down gutted neighborhood.

Now, I’m here, alone with pup, inside a condo building that screams gentrification, surrounded by a neighborhood that is seeing nothing but change, and a flux of faces—both gangster, hipster and everyone else. And, I’m not missing the old days and the old ways anymore.