I can forgive myself for fucking up this deal with this young woman I can go on and on about on this blog. Lack of accessibility serves to undermine a lot of relationships, or in our case, lack of accessibility could totally undermine our deal. High powered movie star couples split up all the time because one or the other is off on location somewhere and they can't see each other. If my own insecurities about my lack of access to this young woman fuck up this deal, so be it. I definitely won't be happy about it, but I can live with it eventually, because that is so understandable. Maybe I'm in a place I've never been before and I don't know it. Or, maybe I'm in a place I've wound up in too many times already. The only thing I can do is be nice to this person when I see her, and be ready for anything.
I've decided that I will renew my commitment to the one-man civil rights protest I announced several posts ago. So once again, employees, management, and owners of any businesses I target for this action can expect this protest to manifest itself in behavior similar to the behavior of participants in sit-ins of segregated lunch counters during the Civil Rights Era of the 1950's and 60's. I will just go about my business at certain retail and/or food service establishments with no intention of bothering any customers, employees, management, or owners of those establishments. I will follow such rules and guidelines as appropriate attire and masks and social distancing, practice appropriate personal hygiene so as not to bother anyone with a personal odor or unclean or unkempt appearance. I will strive to treat all employees, customers, managers, and owners with appropriate courtesy and respect.
Believe it or not, this kind of action-action that I've undertaken before at that diner that I mentioned in the last post on this subject- proves more effectual than a typical bystander or observer might initially expect. I remember this waitress who inspired this course of action by me in 2012 shaking with rage after I talked to her a little one time as I went about my business at her place of employment back then. This intent of this course of action was never to just make people mad, and I will attempt to illustrate the gist of my actions at that diner from about June of 2012 to about October of 2014.
This waitress inspired me to take this course of action due to a conversation I overheard between her and another waitress in the Summer of 2012. The instigating waitress went on at length about her ex and their kids and the conversation seemed pretty intimate for a customer to just overhear inadvertently. The conversation centered around her struggles as a single mother, and I wondered if a t-shirt I used to wear quite often might have offended her. The t-shirt had a silhouette of a stripper and said, "I support single mothers," on the front. The shirt read, "One dollar at a time," on the back.
I decided to stop wearing the shirt any time I ever dined there from there on out. This one male waiter seemed to try to ally himself with her. One time I ate at the diner early in the morning right at opening time. I said something to this male waiter, and for some reason he sang the the opening lyrics to the Carpenters' '70's hit, "Close to You," as he walked off. "Why do birds suddenly appear/ every time, you are near/ just like me, they long to be/ close to you."
If this kind of stuff strikes the reader as suspect as a kind of out and out harassment, well, the reader can note that I maintained a stance of emotional distance and boundaries in relation to these people as I ate there. I displayed appropriate courtesy to employees and customers, went about my business, tipped well, and would just go on my way. So any paranoid thoughts that resided in my head at the time just stayed there, as I made no effort to bother anyone with those thoughts.
This waitress, to my way of seeing things, had other allies who joined in her efforts to harass and intimidate me. These included her righteous boyfriend, the owner, and another waitress who displayed a kind of over-the-top friendliness to me for a time. Plenty of other employees seemed to have no part of this bullshit, and when things shook out, finally, I could count their number quite clearly.
So, one afternoon in October of 2014. I walked into the busy diner to find a table, and another waitress exclaimed in a louder than usual voice, "Like your Butthole Surfers t-shirt, Richard!" I said, "Thank you," and sat down. The waitress I accuse of instigating harassment and intimidation against me almost two and a half years prior came to my table and looked at me as if she saw ME for the first time as she attended to my drink order.
So, I will renew my commitment to this kind of action, because I recently saw it as necessary. I have the right to patronize any business I want to in a courteous and appropriate manner as often as I see fit to those guidelines. As long as I go about my business in such places and don't bother anyone, I'm fine with everything else. The personal lives of individual employees don't really concern me, and I will make no effort to connect with any employees, male or female, but especially female, on a personal level.
In a lot of my blog posts I refer back to a lot of failed deals for my frame of reference in how I negotiate my way through my current deal. I just don't have a lot of successes to refer back to, and it seems to me as if the successes I enjoyed in my past stand as a product of their times, while a lot of the failures seem eternal. Well, if this current deal I find myself in with this young woman at this business whom I can go on and on about turns out a failure, that would hold no surprise for me.
I've found a lot of honor in a lot of the failed deals in my past. Some of the worst ones had me suffering nervous breakdowns in their wake. A lot of those deals had me honorably letting my love interest go when I read the writing on the wall. And well, I've just gotten better and better at negotiating my way through failed deals. Remember the Invisible Woman? That one seems weird, but at one time it seemed very real to me. Nothing on this blog or anywhere else on the internet or anywhere in the world will come back to haunt me as something I regret in regards to that weirdness.
I've negotiated my way through plenty of failed deals these past eight or nine years, and in the years before, that simply don't compare to the dramas of the eighties and nineties, so I don't talk about them much. This blog of the past couple of years might just serve as a manual for how Richard Alexander negotiates his way through a monster of a failed deal. There's honor in negotiating one's way through a failed deal honorably. If we in our society are relegated to choosing mates through the institution of romantic love, then failed deals will come with the territory for, probably, most of us. As someone who has diagnosed himself with love addiction, I have a lot of failed romantic love deals to draw on.
On the other hand, I may now find myself in a place I've never been before. I say that without an ounce of sarcasm, cynicism, or pessimism. Who am I to come off as sarcastic, cynical, or pessimistic about something I don't feel as if I know a lot about? Looking back these past however many years, I've sometimes said to myself something along the lines of, "On the other hand, Rich. This could be an experience that so many people see as one of the greatest experiences in life a person can have, so be ready for that." So far, no, I've not had one of those experiences when I've had this train of thought going, but I've also not had the crash and burn experiences I've so often brought up on this blog.
In September 2012 I revived the experiment that I first tried in regards to Sara, a girl I had in an art history class at UT-Austin in 1988. Briefly, I came to the conclusion that my problems with my relationship with women stemmed from love addiction. So, when Sara started letting me know through her actions that she would not just leave me alone, that she would continue to play the role of tease and tormentor, I started a train of thought that began with, 'This girl and all that goes with her may represent a shot at love," and I wound up thinking, "What if I turned my back on love?" In pursuing that line of inquiry, I put Sara and the observers of the situation in the class on notice that I would just let what ever perceived opportunity with her slip through my fingers if push came to shove. Sure enough, on the day of the final, I just let her walk out of the class while I finished the test. At that point I still didn't even know her name.
Taking such a path seemed to sublimate whatever challenges my still-raging hormones posed (I was twenty-three at the time) and allowed for a process of delayed gratification to come into play. I took Summer classes in 1988, where I one day saw Sara looking at a bulletin board as the door of the elevator I rode in opened, I pointed at her, she turned to wave, and just then the door slid shut. I laughed heartily, she then showed up in my painting class one day soon after, and I finally pulled the plug on the whole deal when I cut her loose in August of 1988 after not seeing her for two months and getting some attitude from one of her friends.
I think the whole experience with Sara demonstrated to me and others that I proved trustworthy over the course of time. I never came off as particularly confident. I had no concept of some ultra-sharp, proven-to-work game to lay on Sara or the situation. Whatever interest in me I managed to generate from her stemmed, I believe, from the trust that I managed to inspire in her over the course of several months. Trust that comes from a "relationship", I use quotation marks because I'm not talking about a fully realized, romantic love relationship, just what developed between myself and Sara; trust comes from a "relationship" that one builds over time with another person. I believe that kind of "relationship" can prove hard to fake, should one have an interest in putting something over on another person, because the truth often does come out about someone's actual intentions over the course of an extended period of time.
A guy can tell himself he has all the confidence and pick-up game in the world, and he may actually have that sort of thing going for him, but some women, at least, actually worry about whether such a dude will attack them in some sexually charged or otherwise way if the dude ever saw an opening by which to do such a thing. I had a friend who could pick up a lot women and have sex with them by, if not the first time they ever hung out him, almost certainly by the second time they hung out with him. I think it says more about him that I rejected him after thirty-plus years of friendship than it does about me. I think it also says a lot in general that I would refuse to jump through Jenna's hoops in potentially intimate situations, whereby she would hook up with some other dude a short time later who may have played that game with her; I think it says a lot that Jenna seemed to really like seeing me in the years after things shook out as much as they could possibly shake out between myself and her.
As much as I'd like to carry on with tooting my own horn about matters such as these, I have a point to what I'm writing here. I'm trying to favor that young woman at that one business whom I can go on and on about at length with attention these days. So far things seem okay, but I have to realize that she just may find this extra attention annoying and I may come across as some sort of pest to her. I will try to stay in my lane, so to speak, as much as I can while still favoring her with attention, but there you are. She may wind up hooking up with some guy who has far, far easier social access to her than I do, if she does not already find herself in that kind of arrangement as of this writing. I sometimes feel as a sword hangs over my head in my efforts to get something going with her.
I still really, really like this young woman, and I absolutely want to go out with her and get to know her better than I do now. But if I'm serious about building trust with her, the best way I know how to build that trust involves potentially giving way to the inertia of the situation we find ourselves in with each other, and potentially giving way to how she ultimately wants to conduct her life and how that life might never involve me at all. EVERY damn situation I've ever found myself in with women over the years only improved once I unwittingly let such a process unveil, or, after I became conscious that such a thing could occur, eventually, no matter whatever drama and bullshit preceded it, I would play to the notion that such a process could unveil, given time, if I would just "get out of my own way." That kind of long game can prove hard to play, but if one comes across as a romantically obsessive, mentally ill guy-which, to the best of my knowledge, translates as "bad guy" to a lot of women-and one has tried to make things happen in more conventional ways, then one could do worse than to give such an approach a try.
I tried to make small talk with this young woman I go on and on about while we conducted our business the other day. Things went reasonably well. Real quick out of her after I initiated the small talk exchange, she asked if I worked certain hours. I blurted out something about how I'd get a job "as soon as things ramp up a bit" in the world. I walked out of there thinking I wanted a job toot sweet. I asked one of staff at Austin Clubhouse if he knew of any place I could apply, and he gave me a promising lead.
Then, as I leisurely lounged around in my apartment looking forward to listening to West Coast baseball on the internet at nine and working on my last two books of my current comic book series, I thought, "Wait a minute." "Wait a minute," I thought, "This young woman is a love interest. A love interest is not a girlfriend. A love interest resides in a whole different set of parameters in regards to me than does a girlfriend." Now, I adore this young woman in her current status as a love interest to me, but isn't the idea that I should get a job because she might possibly want me to get one a little presumptuous on my part and a little premature on the whole?
I get money from Social Security Disability and family gifts to me. The level of support from my family remains at a level similar to the level of support I got during those years when I helped take care of my dad. My dad passed away in March of last year (not COVID BTW), and the sibling in charge of disbursing assets left by my dad for my care had a very transparent dialogue, initiated by me, about my level of support from these assets. As of this writing, my family makes no demands of me to pull more of my own weight.
I understand where this young woman comes from if she would like the idea of anyone she gets involved with to have the responsibilities and demands of a job; part-time, full time, temp work, professional, menial, whatever, "Just have a job, dude, okay." I've been one of those people with that same requirement most of my life too. But realize that if she and I went out to eat at just about any place in town, she would have no worries about whether I could pick up the check or not. Not because I'm some free money tree, but because I could plan and budget for such an occasion with the monies provided my by my current sources of income. I can cook some pretty nice meals at home too.
Let's just say this issue might come up as an issue on the table for further discussion should we ever make more of each other's acquaintance some day, I hope. That's fine. If my current position on this issue proves a deal killer for her, no matter that we hardly know each at all in so many ways at this point, well, chalk it up to the dating options of an early twenty-something, very attractive young woman who could just as easily reject a guy because he likes crunchy hippie jam band music as she could reject me because I reside at a different place in my own working life than she does in her working life.
Myself and this young woman reside a very, very different places in our respective lives in so many, many ways. In my last post I talked about fundamental issues of incompatibility potentially killing off any deal between us before we ever get started, and this one possible issue could do that, but so could so many other issues as well. In other words. "She likes po-tay-to, I like po-tah-to/ she likes to-may-to, I like to-mah-to/ po-tay-to, po-tah-to/ to-may-to, to-mah-to/ let's call the whole thing off."
Last week I thought about avoiding this business I patronize when I knew this young woman I can go on and on about works there. Then I thought, if the issue comes down to simple incompatibility between myself and this young woman, I don't see how skipping out on opportunities to be around her and see her will help. If we are fundamentally incompatible, then we are that, no matter what. I have absolutely no desire to meet other women at this time, because I think of this person so much, and I would at least like to get a chance to know what she's like before I try to move on with my life in general, if it comes to that.
Here's how I spend MY days these days: I generally sleep a few hours at night. I have an early breakfast, usually a breakfast taco I make myself. I'll usually sleep some more that morning sometime. At some point during the day I may go to a coffee shop, the post office to my P.O. Box, and to a couple of other places that often include the business where this young woman works. I spend a lot of time at my apartment, where I will play guitar, work on my comic books, straighten up around the place a little (I try to do this every day), and do other things such as read comics, prose books, listen to music, text friends, and watch, read, and listen to stuff on my computer or my phone. I try to exercise, usually by walking for about thirty to forty minutes a day, I try to eat right and monitor all of that everyday. The vast majority of my time I spend by myself at home. Even before this pandemic period, the vast majority of the women I saw socially at music clubs and whatnot had longterm boyfriends or husbands, many of whom are my friends.
I'm still vey open to the idea of initiating some effort to get to know this young woman better, but I've gone over and over the issues that inhibit me a lot. Those issues have almost everything to do with how I'm acquainted with her in this world in the first place, namely, that she works somewhere I do business a lot, and that's about the extent of it. But still, I won't say no to making a substantial effort to getting things going in a major way. It just may take some time.
During the years 2012 to 2014, a waitress at a diner I patronized spearheaded a campaign of harassment and intimidation against me because she saw my mental illness as making me vulnerable to such treatment at the hands of herself and any other employees of this diner who cared to join in with her. When I caught on as this activity started to ramp up, I made a decision. I decided that I would engage in a one man civil rights protest against any staff, management, or owner who chose to engage in discriminatory behavior against me simply because I patronized their place of employment and/or business as a person with a mental illness.
Right now, employees, management, and owners of any businesses I patronize are put on notice that I will once again initiate a one man civil rights protest against any such discriminatory, abusive, and harassing attempts to intimidate me simply because I patronize their place of business and/or employment as a person with a mental illness.
For my part, I will not attempt to initiate any effort to reach out in a social manner to any management, owners, or employees in any social way that would include such things as asking a female employee out on a date, giving a female employee a comic book I made or a CD I made, or inviting any female employee, or male employee, to any musical performance I might plan when things open up more.
I will only attempt to engage a female or male employee of any business in activities such as small talk about my day to day life or theirs at those establishments where such activities are already the established norm for me and them. I will otherwise just go about my business at these places and try to not bother anyone, male or female, low level employees, management, or owners. In other words, I will just "stay in my lane" for the most part. If any employee, customer, management, or business owner has a problem with my stated course of action, well, that's why I'm embarking on this course of action in the first place, and that is why I label this course of action a one man civil rights protest.
The other day I patronized that business where that young woman works, the young woman I can go on and on about, and she seemed inappropriately cold in her manner towards me when I greeted her. I say inappropriate because she had previously favored me with very nice, affirming attention. I conclude that this young woman figures that she can get more information from me and about me by blowing hot and cold than she can get just being nice to me and letting me know she likes me. I find this kind of controlling behavior very, very off-putting.
In other news, I've given myself permission to think a lot about someone else in my world. I figured long ago that I could think obsessively about someone such as that young woman at that business whom I can go on and on about as long as I did the right thing when all was said and done. So, if I can allow myself to think obsessively about someone such as that young woman, I can allow myself to think about someone who strikes me as an entirely different type. Right?
I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to rebound from any setback, perceived or genuine, that I may have experienced in regards to that young woman at that business. I associate "rebounding" with finding another love interest who will essentially take this person's place. Looking for someone to take this young woman I can go on and on about's place brings to mind the adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." Do I really want a love interest who can take this young woman's place in every sense of the word? No. This other person doesn't rate as a love interest, yet, and she may never rate as a love interest, but I feel as if I've done enough thinking, and doing, outside the box these past twenty years that I can permit my mind to wander from that young woman at that business to someone who may or may not represent greener pastures.
I've just spent a lot of time thinking about love matters large and small. For me, right now, because I don't feel I have the energy or inclination to go into everything I've thought about this morning, it comes down to this: I expect myself to function as my main provider of personal happiness. Whomever I select as a love interest, sex partner, girlfriend, spouse etc., whether now or in the future, I don't expect them to shoulder the burden of making me happy. I have my problems, god knows, and I don't expect a person I care for to solve them to the extent that I can if I put my mind to it. I got this concept from Feeling Good. David Burns says something like; making oneself the one responsible for one's happiness provides that person with the most reliable resource for that goal.
In a Joe Coleman art book I bought a long time ago, there resides a timeline of Joe's life that includes an entry about his first wife, and how she "abandons marriage, 1992," or some such. To Joe, and to pretty much everyone else who has ever really made a go at a marriage, they can see it as an entity unto itself. Married people often talk about how a marriage requires a lot of work.
The two times I had a girlfriend in the eighties demonstrated to me that even such a deal as that can require a lot of work. It can take a lot of work to compel women to take in interest in me in the first place, and it can take a lot of work to date them once they do take an interest in me.
My last post talked about how even having a love interest can take a lot of work, and so it can. One can straddle an ambiguous world between a totally unattached, single life and the promise of some good times with someone that they care for. I've seen reams of YouTube videos posted with titles that suggest how a man or woman might negotiate their way through this time. Seeing how romantic love and all that attends it dictates how we choose a mate in our society, one would do well to pay attention to this phase in one's life should one find oneself in the midst of such a deal.
In other words, such a time, for me at least, is not some exercise in effortless spontaneity where I just serendipitously find the embrace of my beloved. Sexual encounters themselves can seem like these random, chaotic events, and negotiating the realm where one desires one person but has an opportunity with another at some point often saw me "saving myself" for the one I assigned the status of love interest. That has everything to do with a time in 1985 when I had a seemingly random sexual encounter with a female friend who was not my beloved Veronica Ortega. The psychotic episode that followed this stressful incongruity between the two women and what they represented to me led me to turn down similar-seeming opportunities later on down the road, much to my regret.
Yep, I'm still single, and the life of a totally single person can take a lot of work, with or without a love interest. For me, the work of single life these past many years showed itself in finding things to do with myself that proved constructive and sustainable. I spend a lot of time on music and art, and on generally maintaining my health and well being. The vast majority of this time since 2001 saw very few opportunities for a dating or sex life with women. But as I shed the bad habits such as smoking, drinking, drugs, AND assigning love interest status to women in my world that invariably seemed to strike these women as arbitrary, premature, inappropriate, and INTENSE, I think the overall package I've made of myself helped me make much more intelligent decisions about all of that dating, love, and love interest stuff. And that all takes a LOT of work, spontaneity or no.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.