EXPERIENCE (n): What you get when you don't get what you want.*

Either my head is spinning or the rest of you are. Lately, I can’t get out of my own thoughts. With every person and everything in my life, I’ve been incapable of curbing the flood of ideas about what matters most to me and where I want to be. I’d see a therapist, but it’s cheaper to sit on my own couch and not resolve my issues there instead. I figure with the new year approaching, I might as well air out some of what’s been circling in my mind. What place could be more intimate than the internet?

For starters, I’m nearing the end of the rope with my seemingly inexhaustible empathy. I swear (to a god of your choosing) that I have been understanding and/or supportive of more crises than FEMA. I’ve been hit with more than just your garden-variety set of “catastrophucks,” yet emerge like some pillar of uncompromising compassion and acceptance. I once earned a merit badge for martyrdom. But seriously, this compassion is killing me. I used to have a severe hero-complex, but now it manifests less in me trying to fix everything and more in me trying to be some paradigm of a good person. No need to worry though, I’m moving away from psychological complexities, neuroses, and most complexes altogether, including warehouses and most residential buildings. I have also been working on wrecking my candidacy for sainthood as well, namely by gratuitous off-color remarks and a playful prejudice against Irish Jews and Walmart greeters; but I’m going to have to work harder if I want to be more of a dick in the new year.

“I keep finding that girls are attracted to my Jekyll but really just want to bang Mr. Hyde.”

While I’m not here to brag about my good works, I’m also not going to pretend like I’m not aware of what I actually do. I’m a caring friend, a passionate human being, and a number of profiles sure to have Protestant women swooning back in 1760 (especially while wearing my overalls and shackles). Here in modern times though, I find myself equipped for nothing short of the monastic life. I can’t help but consider how my every action affects other people, particularly those I care about. Additionally, I try to consider their reasons for their actions and continue to support the person, if not their decisions. Here’s the scoop on that line of thinking: if you find yourself having to do it often enough, you grow to loathe people. I find my entire persona shifting into that of someone who supports the removal of warning labels as a means to control overpopulation.

I occasionally undergo this Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde phase when things get too frustrating. Worse yet, I keep finding that girls are attracted to my Jekyll but really just want to bang Mr. Hyde. Again, this is one of those things that makes me want to snort over-the-counter drugs directly over the pharmacy counter (why wait?). Are we really this warped? Do I have to ask that question every week? Does my ass make these pants look fat? It’s indicative that people want the right thing only when they’ve realized how horrible the wrong thing is unless the right thing happens to be the easier choice. No, I’m not saying that I am or always know the right thing, but that truly depends on who asks the question.

Sure, I’ll admit that my hero-complex literally runs my life. Were you waiting for a “but”? Honestly, my belief in making other people happy strangely resembles a belief in making myself miserable. The irony of my obsessive introspection is that, upon closer inspection, you can clearly see that I am out of my fucking mind.

For example, I started seeing this girl who had just gotten out of an increasingly unfulfilling relationship. Though they both were already one foot out the door, it took for him to sexually assault her before she left. Save your lotto tickets, folks. I’m the one picking the winners here. I tried to take things slowly since I’m not really looking to take this other guy’s place or join his cellblock. Everything seems to go okay, if your definition of “okay” includes the phrase “worst idea ever.” While trying to take things slowly, she drops by my apartment one night, closes my bedroom door, and tests the acoustics on my emergency broadcast system. Don’t worry, it was only a test. 15 minutes into it, she had a bad flashback, and I had no idea how to return to our regularly scheduled programming. We didn’t need a ref—clearly a yellow flag had been thrown. I know what you’re thinking: sex is no place for flags.

What followed were weeks of less traumatizing intimacy, but more significantly, I couldn’t just let things happen any longer. I couldn’t sleep with her again because I was so caught up in trying to be supportive emotionally. Whatever I was smoking, toxicologists still cannot conclude. I ended up talking to her a lot. In fact, I told her pretty much everything I felt or was thinking about. I was so open and honest that I may have won a Lifetime Television Award and a year’s supply of whiskey to help me forget winning the award.

To recap, I overtly wrecked any romantic appeal I could have in order to focus on being her friend. Any guesses on how that worked out? Here’s your hint: she freaked out at my honesty and found that without sleeping with me there wasn’t anything else she wanted. Clearly, tis’ better to have cared and screwed than never to have cared at all. Oh well, so much for her. Of all the significant life experiences I’ve had this year, she wasn’t one of them.

Chin up, readers. It’s not all bad. The truth is that I’ve come to accept that it’s okay for me to indulge in feeling things without reflecting every moment. I used to have a better sense about when to turn my mind off and to actually think with my extremities. It’s honestly a part of life, particularly the part that makes it more exciting. The younger we are, the more likely we are to give in to impulses. It’s when we’ve grown up and experienced the outcomes that we become jaded enough to hesitate following desire and impulse. Sometimes we just have to be a kid again though, especially while we’re still young enough to flee the country should a paternity test return positive.

They say “a bachelor never makes the same mistake once.” If only such wisdom were useful! At this point, I could reflect on what went right and where things went wrong, but I’ve a whole new year to attend to instead. Forget Vegas—the odds of me running face to crotch with calamity (Jane) is the surest gamble you’ll ever make. Ladies and Gentleman, place your bets. Welcome to 2007: let’s make the most of it.