Happy Sad

Yesterday, social media exploded with happy posts celebrating the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Many of my friends were thrilled with the decision, as they should be — it’s a fantastic thing that was long overdue. Naturally, I was happy about it too, but since I’m incredibly self absorbed, I couldn’t be as happy as I should have.

Yesterday was the first day this week that I saw someone other than Asika. Paul and I caught Ted 2 for review. Paul has a calming and comfortable presence, but I was still nervous about seeing him. I’ve known Paul for a long, long time, but I don’t really know him; I don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation about hopes, dreams, and stuff like that. I didn’t tell him that Asika and I would no longer be spending time together; I’m not really sure why I didn’t. I was also nervous about randomly crying while we were out. Thankfully, I only had one crying spell and it was during the movie (thank you darkness!). I enjoyed Ted 2, but as I was watching it, there were several times that I wished Asika was next to me. I’ve always loved hearing her laugh and there were several scenes that would have cracked her up.

For the last couple of years, weekends have usually meant vaping events. I’ve turned down work at a couple of them and have ignored invites for a few more. I just don’t want to see many people right now and it would be embarrassing to start crying at a vape event. I especially don’t want to see couples, whether I know them or not. On my daily walks, I get angry and bitter and sad whenever I see a couple holding hands or being cute together. I want them all to be obliterated by a laser defense system.

Hmmmm, wouldn’t it be funny if I were hosting a vaping event and had a meltdown on the microphone? It would be like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. Yeah, maybe I better not host anything for a while. A public breakdown would be bad for the brand.

Lugubrious Loop 2015 Toma Edition

In no particular order…. (Also, don’t judge me.)

  • “Time After Time” — Cyndi Lauper
  • “True Colors” — Cyndi Lauper
  • “Sometimes She Cries” — Warrant
  • “Something to Believe In” — Poison
  • “Life Goes On” — Poison
  • “Life Loves a Tragedy” — Poison
  • “Born to Be My Baby” — Bon Jovi
  • “I Saw Red” — Warrant
  • “Blind Faith” — Warrant
  • “Heaven” — Warrant
  • “Heaven” (Acoustic Version) — Bryan Adams
  • “Dreams” — Van Halen
  • “Why Can’t This Be Love?” — Van Halen
  • “I Won’t Forget You” — Poison
  • “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” — Poison
  • “I Remember You” — Skid Row
  • “Was it Something I Said?” — OMD
  • “Never Tear Us Apart” — INXS
  • “Never Tear Us Apart” — Paloma Faith
  • “All Of Me” — Stryper
  • “Honestly” — Stryper
  • “More Than Words” — Extreme
  • “A Thousand Years” — Christina Perri
  • “Just the Way You Are” — Bruno Mars
  • “Bold As Love” — Jimi Hendrix
  • “Bold As Love” — Elise Testone
  • “I’ll Be There For You” — Bon Jovi
  • “More Than This” — Roxy Music
  • “My Fondest Wish” — Laura Watling
  • “My Fondest Wish” — Sometimes I Wonder

Bold As Love

“Anger, she smiles, towering in shiny metallic purple armor.”

I think I’ve entered the “anger” stage of my depression. It’s a generally unspecific anger. I pretty much hate everything right now. I’m trying to be angry with her and on some level I should be. There were some things — a lot of things, actually — that she could have done better and there were several times when she took me for granted. It’s frustrating that I can’t direct my anger towards her; when I think about Asika, it’s mostly about all the things I’m going to miss and the beautiful moments we had…and how she’s my dream girl.

And no, I’m not angry at myself. I know that I have a lot to offer and Asika was lucky to have my attention. I’m confident that I would have been a great boyfriend to her and I would have worked hard to make her happy. For several months, I treated her better than anyone else in my life. Was it deserved? Some people have told me that I was too kind and generous to her. I don’t care. It’s what I wanted to do for her as a friend. She gave me things that I haven’t had in a long time and made me feel things that I haven’t felt in a long time. In my mind, she deserved everything I gave her.

So I’m left with these weird “Ari Gold” temper tantrums. The anger just wells up and bursts. I’ll see something completely innocuous and want it to die. I’ll see someone on the street make a simple mistake and hope they get hit by a car. I tried to punch a bee today because it flew too close to me while I was walking. You know, after typing them out, none of these are good examples. I’m having a hard time explaining it. Oh well, I’m sure the rage will pass and the tears will come back (not that they ever fully went away).

And yes, some people might think it’s sacrilege not to post a clip of the excellent Jimi Hendrix version of “Bold as Love,” but I like the Elise Testone cover. Jimi’s is the best, of course, but Elise’s version is sexy.

Goodbye Asika Habib

2015-06-25 09.46.00

Asika left my place for the last time — well maybe the last time or perhaps the last time for a long time. Above are some lovely parting gifts I got for her. The card is something I wrote to say goodbye. The champagne was to celebrate the new job she’ll be starting next week. Lastly, the 120ml bottles of juice were a gift for our five-month fake anniversary on Sunday. The pillow is something I’ve had for a while, but she liked it way more than I ever did. I had her take it because seeing it reminds me of her and I need to not think about her so much. I’m a good person to abandon, you see — at the very least you get lovely parting gifts.

I’m happy I got to share some of my feelings with her before we said our goodbyes. I want her to know how completely wonderful she is to me. Asika truly was the best thing to happen to me for years and the months we had were amazing. For several months, she was all I had. Now that she’s gone…it’s going to be difficult. I’ll get through it, for sure, but I fear that I’ll end up more damaged than I already am. How many times can a person break before they can’t put themselves back together again? I guess I’ll find out.

On a side note, I tried to drive somewhere just now and discovered that my car battery died. That just…sucks. It’s probably for the best though; I’ve had a bit too much champagne to be driving. Thankfully, Geico is sending someone over to give the car a jump.

Miss Asika Habib…you are completely wonderful — an incredibly beautiful person inside and out. I’m going to miss you so, so much. Thank you for everything.

Depression x.0

Depression is a funny thing — not funny “ha ha,” but curious. It’s rarely the same way twice. There’s almost always a new or different wrinkle when lugubriousness strikes. I’ve struggled with depression numerous times in my life. In the past, I’ve found some comfort in binge comic-book reading or getting lost in a Japanese RPG. Stress eating has always been a part of my depression routine (obviously). This time around, things are different.

I haven’t really eaten since Sunday. I’ve had a lot of water and a few sips of Soylent, but no real food. Since things went down with Asika on Monday night, I haven’t felt like eating, which is just shocking for me. Last night I forced myself to buy a burrito from the local taco truck. I stared at it for 30 minutes before wrapping it up and putting it in the fridge. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that in addition to water and Soylent, there has been vodka.

While I’m fairly confident that the drinking won’t be a daily thing, I’m mildly concerned about the food thing. Certainly I need to lose a lot of weight, but something about this depression has me viewing food differently. In the past, a photo of a nice steak or a commercial for a restaurant that I like would make me hungry. These past few days, those images have kind of repulsed me. I don’t recall that ever happening to me before.

Maybe it’s because I’ve often used food to make me happy and I’m so absorbed in my moroseness that the thought of being happy disgusts me. (And yes, I realized how ridiculous that sentence was right after I typed it.) The lack of appetite is just so strange for me.

On the plus side, I’ve been walking a lot. It started last Friday when I was lonely and didn’t want to be in my apartment. I walked around randomly for two hours. Since then, I’ve been walking for two or three hours every day. Most of my walking has been in the late afternoon, so I’ve gotten some sun. My skin has already improved, which is nice. Mostly though, I just feel trapped and alone in my apartment. When the thinking and feeling become too much, I walk. The nice part about having a bad knee is that I’m so concerned about taking a bad step that I’m constantly scanning the ground to make sure that my path is clear. That’s one way to think less. Yay walking!

In less than a week, I’ve lost five pounds. Yes, I know that most of that is water weight, but I shall take any small victory that I can get while I’m feeling completely worthless.

The Return of HBK!!!


After being left in July, I was pretty much dead inside for the rest of the year. Being abandoned by the person that’s supposed to love you…feeling like a failure — it scarred me to the point where I chose not to feel much of anything. I became quite good at having a reasonably chipper exterior while blocking any meaningful emotions. And then Asika came.

I knew her for a little more than a year, but never said too much. In December, I helped her start a WordPress blog and I read one of her posts while I was visiting my family in Hawaii. Her words, her feelings, and her emotions — I was instantly drawn to her. The depth of her sadness was just…moving.

She ended up indirectly getting me a nice freelance gig, so I took her to a nice dinner in January. While I always found her attractive, I didn’t know how smart and charming she was. I was fascinated by her on a platonic level and really wanted to spend more time with her. And we did. Lots of time hanging out and hundreds of thousands of words over iMessage. I discovered a wonderful person and made a truly beautiful connection.

I think I fell for Asika at the end of March. Her company and attention made me the happiest I’ve been in years. All the best times I had in 2015 were with her. She mentioned a few times that she didn’t want to be in a relationship, so I never shared my feelings with her, out of respect. That was, perhaps, a mistake.

A few weeks ago, she told me that she started having feelings for an old friend. My heart just spilled onto the floor (yes, I stole that line from Warrant). I was shocked and heartbroken.

Asika finally asked if I had feelings for her on Monday and I’ve never lied to her, so I told her. Continuing to spend time with her wouldn’t be good for either of us, so I’m ending our friendship on Thursday. Honestly, I wanted to do it sooner and had a plan for it. She’s been struggling with work and desperately trying to find a new job. I’ve been trying to help her, but she ended up finding a new job on her own. I was going to wait until she received a start date to end things. I figured that she’d be happy with a new job and her new boyfriend that losing me wouldn’t matter.

I’m going to miss her tremendously. For the majority of the year, she was the best thing in my life. She’s a beautiful person with a beautiful soul. Until she started seeing her new guy, she was always there for me. There were so many days that I woke up to texts from her and went to bed the same way — those were always my favorite days. She accepted me, despite my craziness. She encouraged me to eat better (I have been) and tried to get me to the gym (just started last week, so I’m late). She made me feel care for and loved, while trying help me be a better me.

Asika is just an incredible woman. I adore who she is now and respect the person she’s trying to be. I find her company absolutely delightful and could stare at her face for hours. I love hearing her voice and listening to her talk about anything. She doesn’t know how smart, beautiful, and strong she truly is and I wouldn’t mind spending years helping her realize the truth.

It’s going to be really hard without her. For most of this year, she was my everything — literally, the only person I had. Yeah, I know a lot of people in Los Angeles, but it’s not like my life in San Francisco, where I had lots of people to run to when I needed to cry or vent or whatever.

I know that I just need time, but I don’t know what to do or how I’m going to do it. The initial plan was to not eat and drink a lot of vodka. Part of me wants to leave Los Angeles; I’ve just failed at too many things here — marriage, work, and my friendship with Asika. Part of me wants to go back to being dead inside.

You see, that’s thing about feeling again. While Asika gave me so many beautiful memories that will live in my heart for a long, long time, she also broke my heart. I feel so much pain right now. I wish the heart had an off switch.

Double Ouchies

I am in quite a bit of pain at the moment. For most of October, I was bothered by retro-something bursitis in my left heel. It sucked, but was somewhat manageable, thanks to some powerful painkillers. Unfortunately, I took too many and did some gnarly things to my stomach. I had to manage the pain with over-the-counter drugs and was finally able to shake it towards the end of the month.

And then I got a bit of gout in my right foot. That’s all on me. I ate and drank poorly while I was in New York for Glenda’s wedding. Gout pain I can usually deal with, but I had a trade show to cover…which required a lot of walking. Day one I managed to walk around on my own. Day two, I needed one crutch to to hobble about. That night, I was pretty much done. My right foot was incredibly swollen and the left heel flared up again from the stress.

My crew did an exemplary job taking care of me after the show, but it was also kind of wreck. Cameraman Nate was sick and really wanted soup, so I suggested Soup Plantation. Me feet were so bad that I had to ask the guys to get my food and drinks. After dinner, I could barely get back to the car, so the crew went on a quest for crutches (I only had one). Unfortunately, they were for people 5’10” and taller — a tad too big for me, but enough of a difference that they’re uncomfortable to use. Ha!

Yeah, at this point, it’s all rather funny. I can barely make it around on my own. My crutches help, but are also too big that movement can be awkward. One bad limb, I can manage. Two is more than I can handle.

Oh well, it’s ice and bed for the next 1/2 day before I torture my body (hips and back are suffering from my awkward movement too!) for a Gwar interview.