Thursday, January 29, 2009


One of my earliest memories takes place on the street where I grew up. It has grown vague with age…and joints, but I still remember the feeling of Brian telling me he had a new best friend. “We can’t ride bikes anymore, I’m going with Jeff instead,” I was devastated. Turns out he became a Bush voter and a suburban cop, so in hindsight the loss wasn’t so great, but the feeling of rejection remains regardless.

I never was a popular kid. I was squirrelly, loud and I ran my mouth constantly, pushing away any potential friends I might have made. I was a nerd in grade school and a junkie in high school who thought he was better than everyone and wasn’t afraid to say so. Hence the “Most Likely to Start World War III” award I won during graduation.

In short, I was a professional friend pusher awayer.

Now, that’s not to say that I wasn’t constantly surrounded by people, but they were mostly the “friends” one makes when perpetually searching for heroin. They used me, stole from me, lied to me and generally treated me like the piece of shit I had grown to become. I had a few real and close friends, but as time went on most of them faded and became hazy memories.

I remember my parents asking me what characteristics I wanted in a college, my response was simple, “That it isn’t in Wisconsin.” I moved to Ohio to run away. I needed to let go of the life of crime and drug abuse that I had built in Milwaukee. I needed a fresh start. But most importantly I needed something I was sorely lacking…friends.

College came and I found myself becoming Mr. Popular. Everywhere I went on campus people would ask, “What’s up Cheese?” Everyone knew my name and for once it felt good to have to ask who they were, instead of the other way around. I had countless friends and my cell phone rang during class and into the night. Then again the more I think about it, it might have had to do with the fact that I was selling a thousand dollars worth of drugs every week. It was simple, I stopped selling and the phone stopped ringing.

I started drinking a lot towards the end of my college career and during those hazy parties I met some of the friends I still have today. I became close with a few of them, closer than I had thought possible with my volatile personality. They had my back, covered for me, threatened to kill people who messed with me and generally helped me out when I needed a hand. I finally felt like I belonged.

This summer I melted down, got in fights with them and worked diligently to destroy the relationships I had painstakingly worked to build. I cursed, punched and screamed at them when they didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I made damn sure that when I needed them the most, I would be alone.

I realized it when the amount of times I got their voicemails began to outweigh the times I got their voices. Now that I’m more overwhelmed and scared than I have been before I find myself by myself, fighting an uphill battle in the snow. I’ve watched the friends I made drift away due to disgust, fear and general misunderstanding of the truly neurotic personality I am cursed with. I watched them disappear one by one, leaving me to go it alone.

So tonight I sit here in my apartment drinking in my solitude wondering if there is anyone left here that cares about the kid who they once called “brother.” I have made some good friends here in the blogosphere but they are only friends until the computer shuts off or it’s time to go home. They can’t be here when the fear clenches its hand around my throat and they can’t be here to pick me up when I fall.

So I think I’ll have another drink. I’ll sit here looking back on the bridges I have nuked and the people I have scarred. I’ll think back on the pain and the betrayal of the past and I’ll think about giving up. I’ll think of what might have been and I’ll loathe the choices I have made. Mainly though I’ll just think…think about what I should have done differently, about the times when a when I sold myself short.

I’ll think about the regret.

So I think I’ll have another drink. I’ll sit on my couch and let the time pass before it’s time for bed. I’ll have another drink and I’ll wait patiently for the inevitable conclusion of every single night:

Turning out the light and knowing that in this life…I truly am alone.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Small Hours

What becomes of the small hours? What becomes of the hours when you lie awake but no one is home? What becomes of the late hours, the hours of fear and regret? What becomes of the sour stomachs and dry eyes as the sun creeps slowly around the planet? What becomes of the hours so alone, miles away from any soul, completely terrified, hiding under the sheets?

What becomes of the small hours?

They are the hours you scrub off in the shower before work. They are the hours you exhale as smoke in the cold morning air. They are the hours you try to forget with loud music in the car.

But they remain.

The terrors of the small hours will leave you cold and alone. Drenching your sheets and twisting your insides. They call to you as you try to forget them, pushing them from your consciousness. You may try…but you will not succeed.

You will struggle in vain to vanquish the fears found in the small hours, but they will always haunt you…even when the sun comes up.

On Whining (Like a Bitch)

I’m going back under the knife today in about two hours. Actually I shouldn’t say “under the knife” per say, as I am having noninvasive surgery for yet another fucking kidney stone. One would think I would alter my diet to fix this problem but that’s a story for another day.

I have complained about this problem ad nauseam talking about how painful it is in my back, how hard it is to piss etc over the past few months. So much so, in fact that it feels like a rehearsed story designed to garner sympathy or perhaps a free drink. Almost as if I am making it up out of thin air. People are sick of hearing about it and my boss thinks I’m using it as an excuse to do God knows what for three hours at the county hospital. I mean, do I really need to bring a note when you drop me off and pick me up from the fucking place?

I’m getting distracted.

In any case, the point I’m making here is that I complain way too much and honestly…I really have no reason to. There are fucking loads of people who have it worse than me right now…take for example this guy. So add complaining into the long and ever growing list of personal flaws I have grown to know about. Complaining has gotten to be a way of life for me, as opposed to actually doing something about the shit I’m complaining about. Beyond that, most of the things I whine incessantly about are self-inflicted.


“I wish I could take painkillers to help this kidney stone.”

“Why can’t he take painkillers,” you ask?

Because I used to shoot up.

Therefore, for me, taking painkillers is like throwing an ice cold beer to your alcoholic brother in law. Yet somehow my half-witted brain sees fit to complain about this when IT’S MY OWN FUCKING FAULT.

This is just a rambling thought but the point is that it got me thinking. Complaining has always been my way. Complain because then it feels like you are actually doing something about your problem. Well complaining isn’t going to get me a new job, if anything it is going to get my ass fired. Complaining isn’t going to get me out of debt; it’s more likely to get me drinking. But most importantly, complaining isn’t going to get my ass out of Ohio.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Riddance.

Pitseleh: cnn just said they did a poll
and 68% said bush's presidency was a failure
my question is

Cheese: whats up with that 32%?

I'm excited about Obama being sworn in today, like really fucking excited. But, let me just say that I am far more excited to say:

Good Riddance George W. Bush.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Down The Shitter: The Rolex

I spent all day yesterday driving around Cincinnati making sales calls in the freezing cold. Some places I had appointments and some I just walked in their back door. I was escorted out of one place by a guard, but had success at most of them. My sales manager was relentless, sending me in to places with security details and gates, at one point following in a truck as the gate was closing. We worked hard, got some good leads and got kicked out of a few places; all in all it was a productive day.

One of the few I’ve had here.

Well that really doesn’t give me the credit I deserve, I am good at my job…I might fucking despise every minute of it, but I’m good at it. So yesterday, when I got home to my High Life before going to my second job I was feeling pretty good about going to work today.

So this morning the manager and I go downstairs to report to the owner and his son about our work yesterday. There was nothing positive said the entire forty fucking five minutes I sat in that conference room. They talked shit about where we went, who we saw, what we told them, when we went and every other fucking little thing they could think of. They gave it to the manager pretty well, saying he had not done shit for them lately and that our fleet of trucks was bleeding money like a fucking hemophiliac with gunshot wound. In the past few months they have taken away vacation days, paid sick days and bonuses. These are the things any normal company would do in hard times, but there are a few things that really get me about this ownership.

My coworkers and I receive shit pay (one hasn’t had a raise in 13 years), bad attitudes and insults about the work we try very hard to do right. And yeah, I’m well aware that hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing the same frustration, so spare me whatever lecture you had for me. There is so much infighting here that has been going on for years and it makes it impossible for the business to thrive. Stubborn operations people, stubborn owners, stubborn drivers and stubborn salesmen are just going to drive this company into the ground. Whatever, like I said, hundreds of thousands of other people that I don’t give a flying fuck about are having the same problems. I’m not all that special or different.

But while sitting in that conference room being chewed out all I could think about was how much blood would come from the owner if I stabbed him in the neck with my pen. I sat there for those forty five minutes and listened to them talk about how we are losing money and salaries are going to have to be cut and layoffs are going to have to happen and blah blah fucking shut up.

You know what.

Look at you, fair ownership. How about that new Lexus you just bought your wife, or the new Saleen Mustang you bought yourself, or how about that fucking huge speedboat, or the new Harley-Davidson. So concerned about when we will make you millionaires, maybe you should look at the thousandaires who work under you, or maybe the fucking hundredaire who works fucking seventy plus hours a week so he can afford his impending kidney stone surgery. Or how about you let us see the fucking books, huh?

“You know we just can’t afford two salesmen anymore.”

Translation: One of you two fucks is going to get fired soon.

You see why I’m so fucking pissed off now? You know that whole time he sat there giving that lecture I nodded my head and looked at the table. I didn’t defend myself, I’ll come bitch on my blog where I’m always right and no one can tell me otherwise, or I’ll just delete the fucking comment. You know, I sat there like the little bitch I am, nodding my head like a fucking retard, “Yes sir,” “Oh I understand sir,” “Well we’re trying sir,” when what I should have said was…

“So you’re wondering why this company keeps losing money? Look me in the eye and tell me something, if we are losing so much money…how the hell did you afford that $15,000 Rolex watch on your wrist?”

Monday, January 12, 2009


When you spin your wheels in a pile of snow it only grows harder to get out of the rut you’ve created. You keep your foot on the gas hoping for something to catch and send you shooting forward, but your efforts are in vain. The trouble is that in this day and age we want everything to happen overnight. We are so hard up on instant access and on demand in our culture that our patience is shot. We want immediate gratification, nothing less will do.

It’s all about results no one wants to wait.

So here I am, my car spun out in the snow and I keep mashing the fucking accelerator expecting something to happen. But time keeps passing and nothing changes, sooner or later I’m going to have to get out and walk. It is a simple decision, to stand and walk, but I need a kick in the ass to get me going, unfortunately…I’m here all alone.

There is still heat here and it feels safe but eventually I will freeze and this will be my grave. I know I have to go, I have to leave, but it seems safe here and the world out there is so frightening. What I need is a catalyst, something to get me moving, an event or a thought. Something to get me out of here.

Sure the progress will be slow and the wind cold but moving forward is the only way to save myself. I have to get my boots into the snow and I have to make it through this whiteout. I might fall and I might not be able to pick myself up, but that seems better than dying here in my car, watching the gas gauge slowly drop. I have to go, it is the only way…even if my motivations for leaving change with time.

I have to go because I mean it when I say that if I stay here…I will die.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Mistakes We Make In Haste

As many of you know I work at a trucking company. What you may not know is that we do a lot more than just trucking; one of our big accounts involves hundreds of ocean containers a year. Now, dealing with said “conts” (as we call them) brings in a good amount of money so we don’t mind the intense hassle of dealing with the Port Authority, Homeland Security and scores of other people involved with each move. There are 15 people copied on each “cont” email, myself and some very important people included. There is one woman who sends out the notifications that the conts are ready, she copies all the important players and sends out the info.

Now, she has been sending these emails for months and I have never noticed anything strange about them until today, when I open my inbox to see an email from her with the subject line of:


I imagine that her conversation with her nearest coworker went something like this.

“Um, Microsoft Outlook doesn’t spell check subject lines, does it?”

“No, why?”

Dear Bill Gates,

You may want to consider adding a spell check feature for the subject lines of your Outlook email program.



Thursday, January 08, 2009

Down the Shitter: Plumber v. Gaza

So I’m reading CNN this morning when I come across another article about the loveable, semi-retarded Joe the Plumber. Now here I thought, with only 12 days until inauguration, that I had heard the last of this Ohio celebrity. But no, as if to prove to me the world is indeed populated by morons, the conservative news outlet Pajamas Media is sending national hero Joe the Plumber to cover none other than the Gaza crisis.

I don’t even really know what to say about this, I really don’t, but seriously….SERIOUSLY…are we really going to be trusting Joe the Plumber to deliver unbiased quality coverage from Israel?

Oh America, you never cease to amaze me.

In any case, Joe’s ten day journalistic visit will more than likely resemble a ten day vacation and most of us plainly understand this, especially with Israeli government being “very excited” for his arrival. Tell me the last time a government carpet bombing the shit out of people was “very excited” to see a reporter there to cover it. Obviously they think that he will be some sort of David Frost to their Richard Nixon, although I doubt Joe the Plumber is going to shake them up with tough questions. But still, the thought that someone, somewhere in this country will watch Joe report on the perils of living in Israel while they are bombing fucking schools a few miles away makes me want to drink bourbon. Even worse is the thought that said person is going to take Mr. Plumber’s word for fact.

Americans already hold some fucked up cockamamie ideas about Israel, I guess I’m worried that ol Plumber is going to fuck them up even more. People seem to think that Israel is fighting this war because they are on the brink of destruction, well that just isn’t true. I tell you, I would much rather take my chances being shot at with unguided Kassam rockets than I would with lazer guided bombs from a fucking plane.

What’s Joe the Plumber’s take on the “dangerous” situation in Israel these days?

“Being a Christian I'm pretty well protected by God I believe. That's not saying he's going to stop a mortar for me, but you gotta take the chance,” said Plumber.

Hmm, that worry is clearly keeping him up at night. Well I’m sure his colleagues on the other side of the border are thinking something quite different. Maybe something along the lines of, “I hope my God is real…because we don’t have a fucking prayer.”

So yeah, I’m looking forward to Joe the Plumber’s “fresh” perspective.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I’ve become a bit of a local celebrity. I go to a local bar/restaurant for lunch about twice a week and have been doing so for almost a year now. The thing about becoming a regular at a place like this is that the help really gets to know you. I used to walk in and have a spot at the bar waiting for me. Wilma would fix me up a bourbon and coke and turn on CNN as soon as she saw me come through the door. A few months ago I told her to hold the bourbon and just leave me a coke when she sees me, but anyways.

As I was saying, I’ve become a regular in this lunchtime Cheers environment so everyone knows my story. The girls who work there, Wilma especially, have been prodding me for info and giving me advice about “this mystery girl I’m seeing in NY.” They know just about as much as you guys do, even to the point that I have been asked for my blog URL…not happening. In any case, they knew she was coming this past week and have apparently been dying for details.

I pulled in to the parking lot and flicked my burned down cigarette off the hood of the Escalade parked next to me. Walking awkwardly across the icy parking lot I came to the door, shivering as I walked in.

“Oh oh oh Cheese is back,” said the owner, as she emerged from behind the hostess station. She put her arm around my shoulder as I headed to my spot at the bar. Wilma had my Coke ready as I sat down at the second chair from the right, turning up the volume as CNN talked about the war in Gaza.

“So…….” she asked.

Well I told her. I gave her the God honest truth about every fear, expectation and worry I could possibly conjure up. The other girls came and went, but Wilma stood, one leg up on the cooler, and listened to every word I had to say. When I finally stopped talking she asked if I was sure I didn’t want a drink, I laughed.

“How can you live like this?”

I finished my pulled pork sandwich and lit a cigarette. She asked me what I planned to do. I told her that I really wanted to move, but fuck was I ever scared to do so. She said that it seemed like I had everything to lose, I was the one changing my whole life. “What if it doesn’t work, do you know anyone else out there?” I really don’t, and she made a lot of sense. I sat there, putting out my cigarette and thinking.

I really do have to make the biggest investment here; I do have to change my whole life in order to do this. Do you know how fucking scary that is? It terrifies the shit out of me, I don’t know if you can understand. I will leave all my friends behind and take one of the biggest risks of my entire life, I don’t know if I have the balls. I know I said I would leave the over thinking and over analyzing behind but you have to understand, this is a huge fucking undertaking. There are a lot of things I’m worried about, namely, what happens if I can’t make it out there? Would she come to me? Am I worth that sacrifice to her? Would she take the same risk as I am about to?

I guess I’m not so sure…I guess that’s a question for another day.

“Kid you looked bummed.”

“I am a bit, not really…I guess a little maybe…but you know it is a lot to think about.”

“I know.”

She said that I need to look at it this way, “You can’t go through your life making or not making decisions that you are going to regret. You have to follow your heart.” She sat down on the cooler and told me that I have two choices…do it or chicken out. She said that the worst case scenario would be if I moved out there and things fell apart, at least I could come home with my tail between my legs and get on with it…but…at least I wouldn’t have anything to regret.

She was right, I can’t and I won’t go on living with a bunch of regrets for times I didn’t try when I should have. If this is meant to be, it will be and if not…well I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it. But now, for now I think my mind is made up. I’m going to take the leap of faith and pray that she will wait for me, deal with my immaturity and understand my dilemma. I’m going to hope that this turns out the way my heart wants it to and all I can do is wait.

Just wait…sigh…that’s all I can do.

Monday, January 05, 2009


You are back on the other end of the phone again, on the other side of the screen. Once again you are electronic and out of my reach, but it’s different this time.

I remember sitting in the parking garage last time, completely distraught. I remember watching you break down as you walked to security. I remember thinking I was never going to see you again. It just seemed too big; I couldn’t wrap my mind around it no matter how hard I tried.

This time, though, it was different. There was a tear or two when we parted, but there was a laugh or two as well. It felt right and it still does. It is still big, but it is so very simple. A question was asked and an answer was given.

“so, this is real?”

Turns out it is.

I told you I was giving up the melodrama and the complaining this year, so here it goes. I’m through losing sleep over the distance between us. I’m going to do something about it. You might be electronic for a while, but someday that will change. I’m not going to let this crush me; I’m going to do something about it.

It’s just that simple.

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Oh and figured out what to do about our little dilemma. It's a brand new year, I'm looking forward to it.