The Chef And His Patron


There once lived a man named Francisco. Francisco was a world-class chef, having decided at the age of 16 that the culinary world was his calling. He started looking up obscure recipes and experimenting in his parents’ kitchen, and soon everyone in the neighborhood was trying to get invited over for dinner at his family’s house. He read about the histories of French cooking, Asian traditions, Latin America. By the time he attended the Culinary Institute, he had already developed his own unique style, and was the envy of his peers.

Everyone expected big things from Francisco.


Francisco opened a restaurant soon after, L’Unica, and reservations were booked months in advance. He was the toast of the town. Even other chefs were leaping at the chance to taste Francisco’s cooking.

Francisco was thrilled. All of his talents were being used to their fullest ability, and he was bringing joy to hundreds of people every day. He was interviewed by top restaurant critics, given offers to host his own TV show. But for now, he just wanted to make sure his restaurant was the best it could be.

Everything changed when he met Lara.


Francisco was asked to cater a banquet for a rich, local politician. At first he declined, but eventually the offer was too good to refuse. So he set about planning a grand menu, thirty courses of seafood, exotic meats, the freshest produce, and pastries of his own creation. He hired a serving staff of one hundred and trained them himself, so they would all be as knowledgeable of the food as his own sous chefs.

The banquet was a sensation. The guests were there for the politician, in name, but soon he was an afterthought. No one could stop talking about Francisco. He was the man of the hour, the name on everyone’s lips. Francisco. He shouldn’t let it go to his head, he thought. There was so much more he still wanted to accomplish.


He heard a woman’s voice. Sultry, feminine, knowing. He turned and looked upon a beautiful woman, who was older than he had expected. She had an air of dignity and class about her.

“I…” he stammered.

She smiled. “Lara.” She reached out her hand, turning it up so he would kiss it. He did.

“I’m Francisco.”

“Who?” She laughed. “I know that, of course. The man responsible for all this.”

Her eyes were alight with fire. She had barely said a word, and Francisco already knew that he had never before met a woman like this.

“How can I help you?” he asked.

“You can cook for me,” she replied.


It turned out that Lara was a princess. She was a distant cousin of the royal family, but she still had an estate that was grander than any Francisco had ever imagined. Acres of manicured gardens extended as far as the eye could see. Clay tennis courts overgrown with beautiful vines. A line of Rolls-Royces and white-gloved drivers waiting to take Lara or her guests wherever they wanted to go.

Francisco turned down her offer the first time. And again months later. He was a young chef in his prime, still out to prove himself. Why would he become a private chef cooking only for one woman? Every night he met interesting new people, shared laughs and stories, and felt that the whole world was revolving through the doors of his restaurant.

A year later, things had started to change for Francisco. He was exhausted. He had opened a second restaurant, and it was also acclaimed. But the constant stress of trying to top himself and keep innovating was wearing him down. It must have been fate that Lara came to him one more time, at his most vulnerable moment.

It was the end of a Saturday night. A festival in town had brought a high-end art crowd to the neighborhood, and Francisco had prepared a special, seasonal menu to wow them. The night had gone off without a hitch, but Francisco’s head was throbbing. He wiped his face, and sat down at a table in the empty restaurant. He exhaled deeply. Then, Lara walked in.

She made him the same offer again. Cook for me, she said. You will have every ingredient you need, from anywhere in the world. Money is no object. You will live like a king, with servants waiting on you, making your bed, doing your laundry. We will travel together to interesting places. And your salary will be richer than you could ever spend.

This suddenly sounded more tempting to Francisco. Wouldn’t it be nice to slow down? He wouldn’t have to constantly impress the critics; this woman was already his fan. The constant grind of masses of people coming in and out of his restaurants, trying to make a profit while keeping his quality high, it was all becoming more of a burden than a thrill.

And so, he said yes. His life would never be the same.


The first years were what Francisco had hoped. Lara was elated to have finally won him over. She said that every meal tasted even more delicious because she knew that no one else in the world got to taste his cooking but her. He was pleased to make her so happy.

It was relaxing to have this stable arrangement, one patron to support him. He experimented and made delicious new recipes, catered to Lara’s refined tastes. Thankfully she was an adventurous eater, and Francisco did not feel stifled. He had no expenses, and his bank account grew astronomically. In his off time, he could swim in one of Lara’s pools, play tennis or golf, even go hunting for fresh game.

But as time went on, things changed. “You know, I don’t care for beef much,” Lara told him one day. She doesn’t like beef? he thought. Who doesn’t like beef?

She was aging and her temperament was changing. She preferred the same dishes over and over, and soon Francisco was being asked to cook chicken almost every day. His assistants were able to do all the work, and he sat in his chair lazily overseeing. Francisco grew despondent. He didn’t want to rock the boat, but one day he finally confronted her.

“My darling,” he began. “Are you sure you would not prefer something different? Fish? Veal? I can bring you anything here from around the world. Are you sure you want chicken again?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m sure.”

“Lara. My princess. I am a world-class chef! If I’m only making chicken, the same dishes again and again, my skills will wither away. I want to cook everything! There are foods and recipes I haven’t even discovered yet! This requires variety. Perhaps I should travel more to learn, and bring you back what I can find.”

“Out of the question!” she screamed. “If you leave and travel around the world, what if you find a patron richer than I am? What if you abandon me for someone else?”

He smiled. “I go so that I may be better for you.”

She was not having any of it. She stormed off. Francisco was dismayed.


He had promised her his service, and he didn’t know what to do next. Should he quit? It had been years since he ran a restaurant. What if it was too much for him now? He had been exhausted before, and that was in his prime! There were younger, hotter new chefs on the scene now, and he wouldn’t have the enthusiastic support he did the first time around. It was possible, but nothing was guaranteed.

This is still a good arrangement, he tried to convince himself. I have everything I needI don’t need to worry about anything.

But there was a second voice in his head, arguing with the first. Of course you should worry! You’re not being challenged! You’re too comfortable, and it’s killing your soul! 

Why couldn’t Lara compromise with him? Didn’t she understand that he just needed a little variety to reinvigorate himself? If he was able to travel, sample some new dishes, find some new inspiration, his time with her would be so much happier. But he knew in his heart that she would never understand. She wanted him all to herself.

Francisco felt overwhelmed by the decision. So he put it out of his mind.


Another five years passed.

Francisco had put on some weight and slowed down. He spent his days checking in on the kitchen staff to make sure everything was proceeding as normal, and then he sat down to read his newspaper. He distracted himself with books, and slept most of the day.

Every once in a while, a stray thought would pop into Francisco’s head.

What are you doing?! it would silently scream. You might be the greatest chef in the world! You don’t belong here! Run away! Just get up and go!

So he would take another sip of his scotch, and the thoughts would fade away to a whisper again.


When Francisco was 45, Lara died. Her health had been failing, and she suffered through a hard last few years. She probably would have died sooner if it hadn’t been for Francisco’s delicious chicken soup maintaining her strength.

He was heartbroken to see her go. But he was also terrified to think about what it meant for him. What was next?

The royal family decided to sell off the estate, since Lara did not leave any heirs. Francisco was an extremely wealthy man now, but he hadn’t lived on his own in many years. He had become accustomed to having the servants around; they were his only companions.

He found a small house and moved back into the city where L’Unica had been. The partners he had sold the restaurants off to had run them into the ground, and they were long closed. Walking the streets, he thought someone might recognize him. Are you Francisco? he thought they would ask. But nobody ever did.

Francisco did befriend his neighbors. There were a few families on his street, and over time he got to know them. One day, he worked up the courage to ask them over for dinner. “Maybe next week,” the husband said, “we’ve got a lot going on right now.”

“No problem,” Francisco smiled.

Do you have any idea who the fuck I am?! he thought. The most powerful people in the world fought to have a chance to eat my food! And you “have a lot going on”?

But a few weeks later, they finally agreed to bring their kids over for dinner.

Francisco was elated. He went shopping for his ingredients– no chicken, of course– and even though he was a little rusty, it was still the greatest meal that any of them had ever had. The family’s youngest son eagerly devoured the brussels sprouts. “He hates them!” his mother exclaimed with amazement.

At the end of the night, they thanked Francisco sincerely, and said they would gladly return any time he invited them. Francisco was proud to know he could still bring joy to others with his cooking, even just a few neighbors.


That night, Francisco lay awake in his bed. Is there anything more for me to do in this world? he thought. Surely this can’t be my destiny. I am meant to do something greater.

He pulled the scotch out of the drawer near his bed, and took a sip. Soon he drifted off to sleep.

The next day, he heard a knock at the door. It was Pierre, the father of the family who had joined him last night.

“Francisco,” Pierre said. “Last night’s dinner was unbelievable.”

“You’re quite welcome,” Francisco replied.

“I was stunned. None of us could believe how good the food was.”

“An old man like me should have learned how to cook by now…”

They laughed.

Pierre continued, “I was thinking about it all last night. And then I remembered years ago, when I was a kid, my father had taken me to a restaurant in town. L’Unica. And he was going on and on about the chef, this guy named Francisco. And… I just thought it was a strange coincidence.”

“That is quite strange.”

“Well… was it you?”

Francisco hesitated. “Yes, it was me.”

“What happened?”

Francisco didn’t know what to say. What happened? How could he even know what had happened… put it into words…

“I fucked up,” he finally responded.

“What do you mean?”

“I left it all behind. I was on the right path, and I gave it up.”


“I wanted to take a break, and the break never ended. It was a mistake.”

“It couldn’t have been a mistake.”

“What do you mean, Pierre?”

“You did it for a reason. I’m sure you believed it was the right thing to do.”

Francisco paused. He couldn’t argue with that.

“Francisco, how old are you? 50?”

“I’m 48,” he replied.

“What are you going to do next?”

“Nothing. I’m done, finished. What more could I do?”

Pierre laughed. “You’re 48, man! You have decades ahead of you. I tasted your cooking last night, it’s better than anything I’ve ever eaten. Besides the last time I ate your cooking! You still have gifts. People would pay for this, people might kill each other for this.”

“I’ll think about it,” Francisco replied.

He shut the door. Then he went and found his scotch in the drawer.

He finished the whole bottle.


Another few months went by. Francisco didn’t go outside much, and he didn’t invite the neighbors back over for dinner. He spent his time reading the newspaper, drinking, and making himself world-class meals. It depressed him to realize how delicious each meal was; it seemed the more talent he believed he had, the more he knew on a deep level that he had squandered his gifts. What was the point of any of it?

He thought about killing himself. He had some rope in the basement and could easily hang himself. He sometimes thought about which room he would do it in. What he would wear. What time of the day. Would he eat beforehand? What would his last meal be?

He could never decide what his last meal would be. That was probably the only thing that stopped him from actually doing it.

Food. Just the word made his heart jump. He had loved it for so long. It was his singular passion. It was everything to him. It was synonymous with being human. It was his art, his medium of expression, his way to feel alive. His way to love.

What are you doing? the voices said again. You ruined your life. You had it all and gave it up. For what? It’s all over now. Just give up, you’re done.

They’re right, he thought.

But then a third voice answered.

Fuck that, it said.

Who was that? he wondered.

Would you quit it with this bullshit?


Every day you sit around, doing nothing, for what? It doesn’t matter. You could stop any time. Stand up, go outside, and get a damn job. Tell someone who you are. You’ll have a new restaurant by the end of the week. 

That’s not true, I’m washed up. I’m a loser.

Bullshit! And you know it. What’s the difference? You might as well try. Better than sitting around here rotting, waiting to die. 

Hmm, Francisco thought. He makes a good point.


He stood up, put some clothes on, and went outside. The sunlight hit his eyes hard, and he squinted in pain.

Francisco walked to the center of town, to the site where L’Unica had once been. It was a chain coffee shop now. He looked up and down the street, and wondered which way to go. He finally picked one direction for no apparent reason, and kept walking.

Further down the road he noticed a fancy-looking restaurant, just bringing in tables and chairs from their outdoor lunch seating. He walked up to the busboy in front.

“Is the owner here?”

“No,” replied the busboy. “Giuseppe, the manager. He’s here.”

“Thanks,” Francisco said.

He walked inside and saw a tall man wearing a tie counting money from the registers.

“Are you Giuseppe?” he said.

“Yes. How can I help you?”

“My name is Francisco. I am a chef from the area.”

Francisco?” Giuseppe’s eyes lit up. “Francisco of L’Unica? The same one?”

“Yes, that’s me,” Francisco smiled.

“My God! An honor to meet you!” Giuseppe shook his hand. “I grew up around here, and your restaurants inspired me to get into the business too. What are you doing here?”

“Just going for a walk.”

“We re-open at six. Did you want a reservation?”

“I was actually looking for a job.”

Giuseppe laughed. “Here? This is a nice place, but for you? Why?”

“I haven’t worked the last few years. I need to start again.”

“The owner is my brother. I will call him right now. If you are serious.”

Francisco thought about it for a moment. “Yes, I’m serious. If he is willing to have me. I can work with him on the menu, maybe bring in some of my own style, but I can also work with what you already have. Whatever you prefer.”

“How can I reach you?”

Francisco wrote down his home phone number. “I’m ready to start immediately. Let me know.”

“I will,” said Giuseppe.

They shook hands, and Francisco left.


He got to the end of the block. What now? he thought. I guess just head back home.

Francisco felt proud that he was taking a step to get back on track. He could have just stayed home and killed himself. He could have given up. But even though he wasn’t on top of the world, he was going to be cooking professionally again.

He reached a busy intersection and paused to wait for the light to change.

All those smiling faces again, he thought. He imagined the families, parents and children, grandparents, all breaking bread and delighting over a meal at his new restaurant. The light changed and he stepped into the road.

It will be a new beginningI will work my way up, however long it takes, and perhaps one day I will have acclaim again, I will have my own restaurants, and the world will love me.

Francisco walked on, smiling. He never saw the red sedan coming late through the intersection. But he felt it. A thunderous smack to his side. And then all was black.


Terminal Oneitis


Go fuck 10 girls, they laughed. Then we’ll see what you say.

Of course… Pussy. The magic solution for everything.

Go fuck 10 girls, they commanded. And I did. They were in their early twenties. Brunettes, blondes. Some of them objectively hotter than my ex. I met them at bars and on Tinder. Got a few numbers at grocery stores along the way. Probably kissed 40 different chicks in a few months.

Go fuck 10 girls, they urged. And all your problems will be solved…

Except nothing changed.


I was lying in bed in Miami next to a 21-year-old Cuban girl with a goofy foreign name. She had that funny accent they have, that just comes out on certain words like when they say “L” sounds. We had met earlier that night, our first date after matching on Tinder a few days before.

It was 3 AM, and she was laughing because her stepdad kept calling her to try to find out where she was. I imagined maybe he was secretly into her, and jealous she was out with a guy. It turned me on, so I rolled over and fucked her again, imagining her stepdad banging on the door trying to stop us, or hugging her when she got home with a sad, hidden erection.

She started screaming like some kind of Latin stereotype. “Ay papi,” that kind of shit. I don’t know exactly– I don’t speak Spanish. I had to say no hablo more times in Miami than I could keep track of. Thankfully no one shot me.

So she was waking up my neighbors, and I was pulling her hair and giving it to her pretty good. Then she started digging her nails into my back. It’s happened before, but not like this. This was deep. I almost stopped. It fucking hurt.

But it kind of pissed me off, too. So I started fucking her harder. She got even more into it. “Son of a bitch!” I thought. “What if that was her plan all along?” Then I got angry that she was manipulating me like some kind of giant sex toy for her own selfish pleasure, so I fucked her even harder.

She came. I came. I stood up and my back was bleeding.

There is no greater gulf than that between a man before and after his orgasm. A second earlier, I had been some kind of demonic beast– thrashing, slapping, choking with the fury of Hell. Now I looked at the worst scratch in the mirror and felt like a sad little kid. But I didn’t let on.

“The fuck is this shit?” I queried.

She smiled. “I’m a happy camper,” she said.

I went to the bathroom to flush the condom, and took a minute to wash up. I put a towel on the scratches. They burned. I figured I’d put some peroxide on them later. First I had to drive this bitch back to her car, about 20 minutes away. Thankfully there wouldn’t be much traffic at 3 AM.


We got back to the public lot where she parked, and her car was the only one there. I felt a deep sense of relief to finally be rid of her. There was nothing wrong with her, per se, but sometimes being around a stranger can make you feel pretty lonely. And I’m an introvert, so at a certain point, company has just outworn its welcome.

I pulled up next to her car. “Nice meeting you,” I said with my trademark smirk. I brushed my hand against the hair on her forehead, traced it over her ear, and kissed her goodnight.

Her car was booted.


“Did you pay when you got here?” I asked.

“I thought you pay when you leave,” she said.

Turns out she was wrong.

She called the tow company that was listed on the boot. “‘Bout 45 minutes,” the gruff, ethnic voice on the other end of the line replied.

We sat there for 2 hours. I almost bled out. She played Candy Crush on her phone, I caught up on my Twitter feed. We called the number back a few times, and they kept assuring us we were the “next stop” and the previous one had just run a little bit long.

At 5 AM the guy pulled in. She got out of the car to greet him. He had the boot off within 30 seconds. She paid him the $75, and we said goodnight again.

I got home and parked as the sun was rising over the Atlantic, a couple blocks away.


God damn, I thought, crawling into bed. Another night of this shitWhat the fuck am I doing with my life?

It felt hollow. Why was it any different than jerking off? I could have just imagined fucking a 21-year-old Cuban chick with a goofy name, and still had the companionship of my ex.

These negative thoughts had been running through my head on a loop for months. Always centered around my ex. “You made a mistake…” they whispered. “You hurt the person who loved you the most. You’ll never find someone else like her. You’re going to be alone forever.” In all my times of stress or exhaustion, the voices got louder. And I couldn’t help but believe them most of the time.

It’s interesting looking back, because I didn’t have “Oneitis” while I was actually with her. I did try to talk myself into dating her in the first place, to an extent, because I had been so anti-relationship leading up to that point. So there was a process of pedestalization. “She’s worth it, because she’s different. She’s not like all those other dumb bitches.” It was true in some ways, but love is irrational and comes from a primal place. You can’t talk yourself into being excited about it. So my mind, my heart, and my dick could never all agree. I shattered myself into multiple pieces trying to keep them all separate.

But the depression, the obsessed oneitis that I felt following the breakup– where did that come from? Even though I put her on a bit of a pedestal in my mind during the relationship, I never got obsessed with her while we were together. I was a leader, I was indifferent, I was unmovable. But as the whole thing came crashing down, something fell apart in me too. It was terminal oneitis.

This is a separate issue than normal, run-of-the-mill oneitis. This is what happens when you first meet a girl, or get taken-advantage-of while you are seeing her. These forms of oneitis can be dealt with by reminding yourself to stay emotionally detached, practicing good game (such as “The 16 Commandments of Poon“), and reminding yourself that she isn’t completely unique and irreplaceable. But she’s still there. This form of oneitis is born from a belief that she is “out of your league” or that you are inadequate to keep her.

Terminal oneitis is the version that develops after she’s gone, and it can coexist even with a belief that you can get any girl you want. It’s a form of idealization, a fear of being alone, and a deep obsession and regret about the past. It keeps you stuck in place, afraid to move forward. You go back to her in your thoughts constantly, because you believe your happiness is tied to her. She is your object; she is your drug. Even if that wasn’t even the case while you were still, actually together. Suddenly, you believe everything could have been different, because you are so scared to actually let go of her.

I believe terminal oneitis is born of a deep-seated insecurity that some of us carry from a young age. Mine always seems to connect back to my parents’ divorce in some way, of subconsciously identifying my situation with what I felt about my father back then, when he had to be “abandoned” in a new place and exiled from the family, while my mom moved on to new men. Regardless of exactly what causes it, terminal oneitis is brought on suddenly by the end of a relationship, even if the rest of the relationship had a perfectly balanced dynamic. And the circumstances around the breakup can exacerbate it.


Most of the time, the girl is going to find someone new before the guy after a breakup. She can literally trip over a guy who is willing to date her just by walking outside. It took my ex 2 days after moving to a new city to meet her next boyfriend– he literally lived next door– and now she’s engaged to the guy 6 months later. Knowing that your ex has “moved on” so quickly can compound the negative feelings associated with terminal oneitis, and it will fuck with any man’s ego and self-confidence.

I have a bad habit of wanting all of my thoughts and emotions to mean something. In my most fragile moments, I become fatalistic, believing that I’m doomed and that I would need a miracle to be saved by a better “destiny.” It leads to romanticization of my ex, and also of the new girls who I do like. “Maybe this is meant to be, just like my ex knew right away that her new guy was the one she was supposed to be with!”

The only problem is, I don’t really believe it works that way. Girls have the luxury of believing it’s “fate” that they’re supposed to be with someone, because 90% of the time, whatever guy they choose is going to just stick around and be grateful to have some pussy to call his own. If I meet a girl and believe she is the predestined “One,” and start being too familiar, comfortable, or committed before she has sized me up and fallen deeply in lust, the whole thing crumbles into dust before my eyes.

Obsessively wanting your life to mean something is a form of suffering. There is no answer to this question, and you will just think yourself into oblivion. Conversely, being depressed that life is meaningless is a form of suffering. The key is to stop thinking about the issue of “meaning” altogether. Just keep doing stuff– pursue projects and adventures, find a way to contribute something to the world– and you’ll feel better.


The cure for terminal oneitis is not a tangible one. It’s not as simple as fucking 10 new girls, because if your mindset is in the wrong place, even positive new experiences make you feel worse. I sometimes felt guilty having sex with new girls, feeling like I was still betraying my ex. Or that I wasn’t allowed to feel proud or happy that they were “hot,” because it was shitty to my ex.

Like most guys following a breakup, I also got disheartened when I didn’t feel the same “connection” I did with my ex. But if it was easy to have that kind of connection with a girl, it would be meaningless, and not at all special when you do find it. So it’s a good thing this is the case, overall. Also, it’s important to remember that when you meet new girls, you’re comparing your first interactions with the endpoint of your last relationship, when you were at your most intimate and knew each other extremely well.

All that you can do when faced with terminal oneitis is to keep moving. Try to realize that your thoughts are not “real,” but they are distractions meant to keep tearing you down. The more you can escape from all thoughts, clear your head, and focus on things that make you feel fulfilled, the sooner the voices will quiet. It’s a gradual process, and yes, eventually, finding the “next girl” might help in this healing. But you must forgive yourself, and radically accept everything from your past. You must feel grateful for everything, because you got to experience the high highs (even with the lows), and it taught you so much and changed the course of your life.

If you are able to let go of all the irrational fear, you can regain a strong footing in yourself and the world around you, and soon you will be back on the winning path. But if you keep falling into the same patterns and do nothing to actively change it, then your terminal oneitis will truly be terminal. And there are wandering, lost souls out there who never got over a heartbreak, and decided to give up. There are nights when I’ve wanted to give up, so I can relate. And it’s a sad phenomenon to see.

It’s not so much “time” in and of itself that heals you from a breakup, or sleeping with new girls. Not to sound like a cheesy self-help magazine, but it is really about learning to love yourself again. Once you are able to truly love yourself again, to completely trust yourself and feel at ease with wherever life takes you, the stakes don’t seem so high, life doesn’t seem so scary. You can go out to a restaurant by yourself to eat a great meal again, without feeling like you’re acting out some kind of pathetic tragedy. You get back in rhythm, one day at a time. It’s a gradual process.There is nothing short of a lobotomy that can heal terminal oneitis overnight. But it’s an active choice to regain the feeling of irrational self-confidence. If you act as if everything is okay, soon it will be.

Once you re-learn to love yourself, some girl can finally come along to ruin it all again. Just kidding.

But when you do find the next one and the one after that, you get to repeat the cycle over and over, hopefully learning a little bit and getting better each time. Terminal oneitis can be avoided altogether, once you have gained more mastery of yourself through having experienced it, and overcome it. Ideally, when you are able to observe and identify this automatic process your thoughts and emotions go through, you’ll be able to minimize it and have a more seamless transition between relationships, or stages of life, in your future.

The ForeverCast, Episode 2: Gambling & Game


In episode 2 of my new podcast, The ForeverCast, I discuss the life lessons that can be gleaned from the seedy world of gambling: particularly poker and blackjack. There are many useful parallels to the pursuit of women, and to life in general.

I discuss some of the basics of card counting, the right mindset to approach gambling, challenges that a gambler will face, and the winning perspective to maintain.

Leave your comments, questions, and stories below!

Getting Out

Coffee Shop

My new lifestyle has a lot of perks. More free time, no boss looking over my shoulder, getting to use my brain to its full capacity.

But one of the challenges has been a sense of social isolation. This is why my phone, and the internet, is such a tempting salve to this nagging itch. I’ve come to over-rely on it to feel connected. Swipe swipe swipe. Matched with a girl. Never message her. Repeat.

I travel for this job, and am finding myself in cities I don’t know, surrounded by people I don’t know. I have my days free, and teach at night. With this lack of structure, I fall too easily into a pattern of sleeping late, staring at my phone, and doing nothing with my days. I didn’t realize how much the “9-to-5” type of job actually helped keep my momentum up.

It’s a challenge I’m still working through. Building good habits becomes even more important when your life is in constant flux. One thing I realized today is that it’s much easier to get lost in an echo chamber of your own thoughts when you spend all day alone. It’s unnatural, and invokes a primal sense of fear– the sense of being lost from the tribe.

But something that seems to be working for me is getting out. Forcing myself to put on some pants, and walk outside. Get in my car, and go. Even if I’m tired and don’t feel like working out, I go to the gym. I’m around people. And today, I’m sitting at a coffee shop, and I feel immediately more at ease. I’m even able to concentrate enough to sit down and write this post. And before I wrote this, I was working on another piece I’ll publish soon.

Overall, it is calming to be around people, even strangers, just to know that the world is still here. Other people are all around us. It’s a nice bonus to know that if a pretty girl sits down next to me, there’s a great chance I’ll end up with her phone number.

So much suffering comes from our thoughts gaining monstrous proportions and weight in relation to the rest of our being. Sometimes mine feel like a megaphone, or concrete being poured over me. Just physically being around others can quiet this noise.

I think this will have to become an integral part of my daily routine. If I’m going to waste all day on the internet, I might as well be doing it around other human beings, in public, as part of society. Perhaps then I can channel everything I’m feeling into a productive direction, writing, telling stories about girls giving me handjobs… you know, really contributing to the Western literary canon.

We’ll see.

Reflections on a Saturday

My ex is getting married today. My first girlfriend, I used to call her “Longterm” on my blog. I should probably care more, but I don’t. We were together five years, and we haven’t talked in six.

I’m staying home and relaxing. Watching the family dog while everyone is upstate. Might order in some fried chicken from the local joint in my hometown. Maybe play some guitar, or work on a script. Maybe jerk off and think about the night we lost our virginity together, or that time we did anal, and how some other guy is marrying her now. Ha. I got laid last night though, probably won’t need to.

She sells beauty products, apparently. We’re not Facebook friends anymore, but I can still see some of her profile. Looks like she got deep into some kind of non-toxic, chemical-free pyramid scheme resulting in a neverending stream of sales pitches on her social media. She even used her wedding as an excuse to publicize a special discount offer.

I think I dodged a bullet with this one.

Sweet girl, though.


I do have her to thank for my blogging career, really. I still remember the day she told me she was back hooking up with her douchebag ex-boyfriend and how I was a “beta male.” She read that term in a novel. Coincidence.

But moreso it was the beginning of my coming-of-age. My process of growing up, to whatever extent you could say I’ve done that. It was our breakup that cast me out into the wilderness, alone in Los Angeles, and forced me to blaze a new path for myself.

It’s funny looking back at how devastated I was over her. I grew past that, found a new footing in life, laughed at my former naivety, and then did the whole thing over again.

But looking back at her helps me to see my last breakup more clearly. What upsets us most is losing the object of our happiness. It’s a mental construct, a projection of what they made us feel and who we were able to feel we were around them. We can care about the people, miss them, but the feelings are where we really touch the void. If we could bottle those exact feelings– that specific emotional symphony– we might move on overnight. But maybe we’d also miss out on some indelible human experience. Or some bullshit like that.


It’s complicated. If you never decide to let go of someone, you can keep your life on pause forever. Looking back at how I really got over that first girlfriend, it all stemmed from my immersion in new areas of personal growth that made me feel “powerful”– in the sense of becoming more fully actualized in the world, more in control of my destiny. In other words, I resolved to move forward, and also look forward rather than back. And I gave myself plenty to look forward to.

Putting a breakup behind you, then, consist of 2 elements:

1) Acceptance

2) Forward Drive

Working in tandem, these two factors can keep the demons at bay, and return you to the realm of the functional. And from there, you can unlock the potential of being truly exceptional again.

It can be a non-linear process. Mine is a messy serpentine of carnival ups and downs. Extremes of high and low. Sometimes I want to get off the ride. But somewhere deep down I know it’s all beautiful, in some divine, fucked up way. Life is so much simpler than we allow it to be. We have to be careful not to lose our heads too far up our own asses. Speaking mostly for myself, here.

To borrow some terminology from statistics (which I believe I’ve borrowed before), the graph of my life is a random walk with an upward trend. The key is to maintain the calmness, patience, and trust (you can call it faith) that everything doesn’t have to happen today, this instant, but that your life is unfolding gradually, at its own pace, and great things lie in your future. Just beyond the horizon.