BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West

15Jul/180

The Second Thing

I kind of feel like Clay from 13 Reasons Why right now.  I mean, okay not really, like not that... Okay not at all.

But here's the thing... Well, it's the second thing...

I'm still thinking about that crush.  Last night, she was in my dream.... Okay, stop, not like that... She actually was telling me how much she wasn't interested in me.

I think she's starting to fade though.  I mean, I feel like she's not.  Well, if she weren't popping into my dreams to tell me she's not interested... Then... She would be fading.

Although she never actually TOLD me she wasn't interested... At least with words... She just said it with body language.

She said it LOUD and clear with her body language.  SOOOO many times.

Also, she kind of is with someone else... Soo you know how it goes.

Anyways, that's not the second thing...

The second thing is this...

Her and I aren't friends.  We're not friends on social media.  We don't talk.  We barely spoke at camp, this year, last year, the year before...

I don't know, it's pretty obvious that the crush is pointless and not mutual in any capacity.

It's PAINFULLY obvious.

Again, not the point.  I realized this which is why I'm purposely trying not to think about her.

Anyways... Here's the second thing... I feel like Clay because it's like she's a ghost, at least to me.

Like, I can't really contact her, that would be awkward and I would have no real reason to or way to really do it without it being... Just freakin' weird.

Anyway, that's the point.  In 13 Reasons Why Clay keeps being reminded of Hannah... And... You guessed it, I keep being reminded of camp crush girl...

She doesn't know it.  And, I think I'd prefer to keep it that way.

But, it's like that, Just like Clay can't talk to Hannah, I can't talk to her.  I legitimately and honestly miss just seeing her around, I miss even just the casual hey what's up...

It's stupid...

Right?  Of course it is.

Anyways...

So, I've kind of started doing what I do best in this situation...

A) I started another book.  Yep.  You heard right. And guess who the muse is... Camp crush girl.  Hey, it's what I do best.  I like a girl I can't have, and instead, I make her into a fictional character.  It's happened before and... It's happening again.

B) I want to travel to Portland, Oregon.  Why?  Because that's where she's from.  I know, it sounds kind of foolish, but, I did this before.  I made trips to... you guessed it, Northern NJ... while I was writing book number one.

Why would I do something so strange and obviously fool hearted?

Because, A) it's good inspiration for the book... But B) it's.... Well, just like the first time it happened, I had this theory that I people from a specific area are similar.

It's a stupid theory.

People from a specific area are not similar... I mean, sometimes they have the same accent... Or some specific qualities that might be somewhat similar...

For the most part, they aren't the same people.  Obviously, you can't just go to an area where someone is from and find a duplicate copy of the person you like.  And who's to say the second person you meet would like you anyway?

Sounds crazy right?

That's because it is.

See, here's the thing, there's actually science to back up that when a guy likes a girl, he can't think straight.

Go ahead and look it up.  When a guy is taken with a woman... It jumbles his thoughts.  It's true.

That's what happens to me.  It's kind of the ultimate why I can't end up with someone I like.  Because of the catch 22, when I like someone, I can't think when I'm around her.

When you don't like someone all that much, you think perfectly clear.

Weird, but true.

Anyway, so, that's my second thing... As I watch another episode of 13 Reasons Why... I just think about camp crush girl and how there's no possible way to ever contact her, or have it ever be anything more than me, thinking about someone, who will never be in my life in any capacity other than a casual hello if she returns to camp again and I return to camp again.

I do know that she's going back to Portland after camp, but I have no interest in traveling to Portland to find her...

I do have interest in traveling to Portland to do book research and to possibly meet someone...

Not like her though.  Here's my thought, I think, there's a reason why, not 13 of them, but just one... I think there's a reason why I developed this crush...

Okay maybe 2 reasons why.  Reason 1, to write this book, and reason 2, to travel to Portland... Possibly to meet someone else.

Hey, you never know.

But that's where I'm at now.  That's the second thing.

 

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11Jul/180

The One Thing

So... This is probably weird.  Or not.

I mean, It probably is, and by probably, I mean, it is.  TOTALLY.  But I'm just going to pretend it's not.  And I'm TOTALLY safe from it being weird.... As long as she never reads it.

And let's be real, the odds of her finding and knowing about my blog, and reading it, are next to none.  Soo...

I'm pretty safe from it ever being weird!

Or at least, pretending it's not weird.

It's weird though for sure.

Anyway, so, my two weeks at camp this year were definitely not the usual run of the mill deal.

Obviously.

See previous posts.

But hey, I'm back home and back to my usual stuff...

Every now and then though, I think of something, one very specific thing.  And I KEEP thinking of it.

Like, it keeps popping up in my mind.  Why?  I don't know.  It just does.

It's just this reoccurring thought.

You want to know what it is?

It's this one night I was in the main office working on things on my laptop... Actually, to be exact, it was the night after I didn't sleep.

It was the night that I was approached by the one I had a crush on and she apologized for what happened.

Not that I'm really clear as to why she apologized because it's not like she really had anything to do with it and it wasn't her fault.

Like, she was "part of it" but not because of her own doing.  She just got intertwined into it accidentally just like I did accidentally.

She didn't plan any of it, we just ended up crossing paths at the same time for whatever reason and things just happened the way they happened.

Anyway, that's not the one thing.

So, we're in the office eating these "All Dressing" potato chip, which are amazing by the way, and this was right around the time that she approached me to say "Thanks for being a bro last night".

Which is also not the one thing.

But the one thing is the following...

SO she's sitting there chatting with her fellow GLs.  A GL is short for Group Leader.  It means you are in charge of counselor.  You're like a second level counselor.

She's sitting there chatting with them, and I'm pretending not to be listening in, but, I'm kind of hearing every single word because... It's hard to not pay attention to someone you have a crush on.

Even though you already know they are totally with someone else.

That's the problem with feelings and crushes and all that crap, it makes you do stuff you don't want to do.

Again, not the one thing... I'm getting to it.

So, the one thing, is that the Travel Coordinator, comes out and mentions something about Melatonin for sleep.

The Travel Coordinator is like one of the head staff people.  They aren't counselors.  They are, not really "above that", but they are just in a position where they aren't directly in charge of campers in a cabin.  AKA, being cabin staff.

The org chart for camp is a little complex.  I mean, not really, but, it's not super relevant to this post.

Okay, SO... The one thing...

So, the crush girl says something back about how she takes it all the time because she often can't sleep.  And someone says, "Why not?"

And she says, because she stays up thinking.

That's the one thing I'm thinking about.

She stays up thinking.

Like, lays awake thinking.

She has to take it because otherwise she'll stay up thinking.

And now I'm just like... Thinking about what?

Now I can't stop thinking about what she's thinking about when she stays up thinking.

I'm sort of like, stuck on it.

I don't get it.

I'm sure it's just stuff she thinks about.  But now I wonder, what else does she think about.  And now I'm wondering...

What else has she crossed paths with.  What kind of things has she gone through... I mean, obviously that's personal.

And so, I'm just like, that's not really for me to know.

It's not for anyone to know unless she wants to tell someone.

I guess I just can't stop being curious about what she said...

It kind of got my attention even more than she had my attention.

So, now I'm thinking about what she thinks about when she can't fall asleep, but also not so much what, but just the fact that she's a thinker.

See, I feel like some of the most interesting people I've met are always those who think a lot.

So, if she needs a sleep aid to turn off her thoughts at night before she goes to sleep, she's a thinker... And that really kind of captured my attention even more.

It's almost like, there's something about her and this whole situation this year... Something curious about it, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

But now I can't stop thinking about that night when she apologized for me for something she didn't have any choosing of how it played out, and when she said that she thinks a lot...

I feel like it wasn't so much just the words themselves.

There was something more to it, the way she mentioned it, and then quickly steered the conversation away from it.

Like she immediately wished she hadn't admitted that, like there was something more to her thoughts that she can't turn off...

And then she just wanted to quickly turn the conversation away from that fact.

But I kind of sat there wondering... Hmmmm.... I wonder what else she would have said, or rather, I wonder what she was thinking inside her head.

She was saying one thing, but in her mind there was something else.

Anyway, that's the one thing.

I think about her thoughts.  Which sounds slightly strange if you think about it.  But, I don't know, that moment when she said that just keeps popping into my mind for some reason.

Obviously that's not what makes this post weird.  What makes this post weird is that I'm writing about someone and she doesn't know I'm writing about her.

But, I feel like the odds are she'll never know.  I don't possibly see how she could ever know I wrote this about her anyway.  I mean, none of the camp people read my blog, and only one person really even knows it exists and even when I told that person they really seemed to not be paying that much attention and so, I think I'm safe from her ever stumbling upon this.

And besides, this is probably the only time I'll write about her really.  I can't even imagine us ever crossing paths in real life ever again.  So, it's a safe bet to assume I won't find myself in some weird situation in the future where I'm in the same room as her and she has read my blog and it's totally awkward.

So, I'm just going to pretend it's not weird that I wrote all this.  Because, how's she going to ever know anyway.

Well, anyway, there you have it.  When you dream, what do you dream about?  Or, when you think... What do you think about?

I'll never know.  But I keep thinking about it.  I'm sure I'll think about it for a little while longer, but eventually... I'll find other thoughts will start popping up in my mind instead.

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2Jul/180

Fate

So here's one of the things I can't stop thinking about.  It's the weird timeline of events that occurred.

I mean... I guess I don't get it.

My question is... What's the why?

Okay, let me explain.

Let's start at the beginning.  Let's start with the crush.

So, I get to camp... and just like it is EVERY year... It's the usual hellos.

Honestly though, this year?  I just wanted to do my work and go at the end.  The number one thing on my mind was just how much work I want to do around the house.  I PURPOSELY didn't want to really get all that involved with anything other than doing the work and then doing my own thing.

And here's the thing... The crush has worked at  the camp for like 4 years now.  So, it's not like it was all gaga at first sight.  I'd met her before.  Sure, I'd thought she was cute in previous years, but I just wasn't that into her.

And who knows, maybe it was because I didn't think I had a chance in the world with her.  Eh, I still think that.  And obviously, she's into another counselor there...

And that's the thing about it all...

I like to be realistic about life.  If on a realistic level there's no actual genuine possibility of something happening... I keep my thoughts grounded.

It works like 99 percent of the time.

This is why I don't really have celebrity fandom.  Because, why?  That celebrity will never reciprocate.  Anyone who becomes TOTALLY enamored with a famous person, my question is, what's the point?  The famous person will never know you even exist.  So why bother?

That's always been my view with a crush.

Don't bother.  It's probably not a mutual feeling.

Anyway, that's how I felt about this crush.  Which is why she was never a crush.

That's how it was when I arrived.

And see my thing is the camp details, they go on all summer.  The storyline starts when everyone arrives and it goes until camp is over.

My thing is ALWAYS that I don't want to affect that storyline.  I don't want my actions to have a negative impact on the storyline of camp and the counselors.

And I've always maintained that.

I don't know what happened this year.  She just... had some kind of effect on me.

Her laugh, I guess.  And the silly fanny pack she wore.  And her quirky sense of humor.

I don't know.  Like I said, she's cute.  But that's never what hooks me in.

I mean, heck, one of the people involved in stealing my stuff and using it in the middle of the night I thought was cute too.

Being cute doesn't capture my attention.

It's the way a girl says things.  Being unique and interesting...

Well anyway for some reason, it clicked on... I guess one day she laughed and I smiled.  Or she made a cheesy joke and it just... Happened.

The first wave, a small flutter.  A ripple in the water.  And it wasn't anything either that I thought much of at first.

It's like how you don't notice a light breeze because it's nice.  But when the wind picks up and starts blowing things around you start to divert your attention and worry if a storm is coming.

And that's what eventually happened.

I started to avoid talking to her a little.

I knew what was happening.  When I avoided her, she said hello.  It made it worse.

Then I went out of my way to say hello to her.  Or ask her about her day.  Or ask her about the song she played the night before.

The way I know something is happening with me, is if I wake up with someone on my mind.  That's happened a few times.

The first time that happened a few days in I knew I needed to make sure I squashed any feelings I had.  After all, I just needed to get thorough until after I left camp.  I'm not there the full time, like I said, I'm only there two weeks.

I just had to hold out and let it all pass until I got home, and didn't see her smile, hear her laugh, have her walk by me, have her talk to me, look me in the eyes.

It didn't work.

Ugh.

It didn't work at all.

My heart raced whenever she came near me.  I tensed up.  I couldn't think of anything to say coherent.

I said the stupidest stuff and felt so embarrassed.

She gave me butterflies just being around her.

Just looking at her.

Even last night, when I left and she asked me to hand her her water bottle from a desk in the main office because she was already going out the door with a camper and I was standing beside it...

Just her saying my name and asking me if I could hand her the water bottle.  I melted.  Even though at that point I already knew she was with another guy... I still melted.

I jumped at the words to ask me to do her a favor.  I said yes... immediately... and she asked if I could hand her her water bottle... and I said yes without hesitation.

And she said, "That water bottle looking thing there... on the desk..."

And said "you mean the water bottle?"

and she said back... "Yes... I'm... Words are hard today for me." and looked right at me.

And I melted.  I smiled slightly and just... handed the water bottle to her, my heart raced a thousand miles a minute.

God.  I don't know.

You can't just turn it off.  You can't just make it go away.

And I didn't want it to go away...

I'm home now... and I'm waiting for it to fade.  Still just thinking about her... It just... Makes me feel like... I don't know... It's that feeling, that feeling in your chest.

Well anyway...

So the night that I found out she was with another guy, and I walked up and felt insanely jealous.

And then all of a sudden her and I and the other guy were walking beside me.

That was the worst.

I felt just... Like foolish.  Completely.

I didn't want to look at either of them.  But there I was using my flashlight to light their way and make sure they didn't step in the puddles.

I wanted to run.  I wanted to get in my car and drive off back home right then and there.

I don't know, and then a few seconds later when she held the door for me and looked at me...

I just thought, she's a genuine person.  And whoever she wants... That's the way it goes.

It doesn't matter what I feel.

That's when I sat down in the lodge and wrote the first jealousy alley blog post.

I just wanted to let them go.  I wanted to focus on going back to not having an effect on the timeline of the staff.

I had let myself get caught up and I decided to try and check those emotions.

It didn't work.  I just felt foolish and stupid.  And then all I wanted to do was go to bed.

So the last thing I heard as the two of them were leaving the lodge was that the guy asked where they could find a sleeping bag.

I assume, that they were going to go to the staff lounge where I was sleeping.

I just thought how perfect that was.  Of all the scenarios and situations...

The ONE girl that I totally develop a crush on, has to go back to the same cabin where I'm sleeping.

And all I wanted to do was just go back and go to bed and not think about anything further.

I figured if they had gone back, after an hour, they would probably both be asleep.

That was hard enough to get beyond.  The idea that I had to spend the night in the same vicinity as the girl I'm crushing on completely crushing on... But I mustered up the will to just go back, and go to sleep.

That's when my stuff was gone from my bed.

When I left to go on a walk because I couldn't think straight, I just thought...

I mean, what are the odds that all of this would happen in this order?

There has to be some kind of fate type of thing happening and there has to be a reason this is happening.

The girl I start to feel feelings for... She's with another dude, not anywhere, but in the same cabin (although I later find out she's on the other side of a divider, but still), and even my plan to just crawl under the covers and go to sleep to stop thinking can no longer happen because other counselors have accidentally taken my stuff and used it for themselves instead.

I didn't get why this is happening to me.

I still don't.

And I just wanted to leave.  To just call it quits and get in my car and leave.  But I couldn't because my stuff was being used.

I was stuck.

And just... so embarrassed and confused.

It couldn't have been chance.  There had to have been a fate mechanism to it all.  What are the odds?

And then the next day, she comes up to me and sits down across from me... and of course it's the worst.  It's the worst ever because my heart is beating a million miles a minute.

And I know she's with another guy already.

And she's telling me how she thanked me for "being a bro" the night before.

Which I tried to play off as cool.  And was just like oh, no problem, you know, just wanted to give you two privacy.

But I just didn't want to be near her... because I was jealous, so jealous.  It hit me like wave.  Just like a big wave at the beach and it breaks in your chest and knocks the wind out of you.

And then she leans in more and at a lower voice she apologizes that my stuff was taken from me.

And she kind of makes contact just to comfort me...

Ugh.  It was the worst.

It was just... Awful.

Because it was just like... She was being so genuine, but not the genuine feelings I wanted in my direction.

It was empathy.

Which was the worst thing ever.

I didn't want her to feel bad for me.

When you have a crush on someone, sympathy and empathy are the worst.

Because it means... It's not a mutual thing.  It's like... I care about you, but not for you.

And that's when the wave breaks over your head and you might as well just drown.

And I'm just sitting there like...

Why is this happening?

Why did my plan go so wrong?  I planned to just go to sleep, avoid it all, I planned to do very specific things....

And the exact opposite happened anyway.

I planned to avoid her, and I couldn't.

It was just like our paths intertwined even further and the more I tried to fight it, the more it happened.

And now, I can't stop thinking about her and wondering if she's thinking about me in any capacity... I know she's with another guy... But here I am still like...

What the heck do I do to make me not care anymore.

It's like, fine, I liked her, whatever, then why not just have her dancing with another guy, and then her and the other guy go off in another direction.  And that's that.

Why on that night, did we end up walking up together.  I SPECIFICALLY left when I saw them dancing with one another and went to my car and then grabbed my stuff an was going right for my bed.

THAT was my plan.

WHY have her sync up with walking up with me, her and him.  Why have them head to the same cabin I'm staying in... Even if on another side of the cabin.

Why then have someone steal my stuff so I cant just go to sleep and not think about it.  Why have her then have to become involved in it because she's one of the group leaders and now they have to make an announcement about it.  And then she sits down to talk to me about it...

And then I go out of my way to buy pizza and cider and make a big speech in front of everyone to forgive the people who did it, and then the one guy who did it comes up to me to apologize...

And then I say that.

It's like this whole timeline of stuff...

But it was just like too perfect.

Like it forced me and intertwined me.

Even though I tried to run and forget it all, I couldn't.

And now it's worse.

Because if all of this didn't happen, I'm sure I wouldn't be still thinking about it so much, and thinking about her so much.

And that's what just makes no sense to me.  Like as though it's some kind of fate thing that's supposed to teach me about having a crush on someone.

Or teach me something.

Or show me something.

And the best I got out of it, was the way it made me feel by having no way out, by being cornered and having to face it all, and have my stuff used by someone else and not being able to hide from my feelings or jealousy.

Having another guy with the girl I had a crush on... and having feelings forced in front of me and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

Being controlled by circumstance and fate and having no control over what I'm supposed to do because everything I tried to do, was thwarted.

So I gave up and just sat in the lodge that night... Confused and jealous and unable to do anything about any of it but sit there.

But it's just like, there is a reason for all this but I'm just not sure exactly what that reason is supposed to be.  And that's my thing. It couldn't have just all been a random string of events.  It was too coincidental, and I felt too trapped and forced into the situation for it to all just be random.

It was fate... But the outcome from it is just, I feel like... Weird now about how I feel.

I'm worried I changed the timeline of events for camp, which was the OPPOSITE of my plans... and I feel like I was forced into having jealousy pushed into my face and having my stuff taken from me and feeling just, lost.

But why couldn't I just stick to the plan... That's what i don't get I guess.

And why am I now still thinking about her.

None of it makes any sense to me at this point.

And so my new plan is to just let it all be, and let it all go... Her and I don't talk, and we're not Facebook friends or anything like that... So, may plan of action is to just let it all fizzle out.  Eventually, my thoughts about her will fade, and eventually... We'll go back to how things were before I even left for camp.

And I'll just stick by my lesson out of it is that it was to help me to see more insight into those who have been in situations where they were forced without consent.  The lesson to know, is to be able to feel empathetic to that situation for individuals... And I'm okay with that if that was the point.

But now my plan is to just let it go and let the waves settle back down.  Let the strong feelings and emotions settle themselves down back to calm waters.  Just takes time, that's all.

And if fate happens to intervene once again in some way... Then hopefully it will finally reveal an answer or a reason as to why it intervened in the first place.

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30Jun/180

Industrial Way

Yesterday I went to Allagash Brewing.  It was awesome.  I also hit up Foundation Brewing Co.  One of the alumni I know from the camp here is a top notch head brewmaster dude.  He gave me a tour of Foundation.  I didn't get a chance to tour Allagash but I'll do that next time.

It's fascinating because there's actually 5 breweries on the one street.  Allagash is the biggest one and then there's a few other breweries along with food trucks and games setup like bean bag toss and such.  It was a fun day.  I spent a few hours there just hanging out.  Had beer samples and food truck food.  I did a little writing of a new book idea.

After the breweries I came back to camp and hung out with the staff at the hang out area.  I decided to pickup pizza on the way back along with some hard cider.  I'm getting ready to leave now and drive through the night so I'm just finishing up a few things now.  But last night was my last night in camp so I wanted to just do something a little special.  Decided to pick up pizza and drinks for the staff at the hang out spot.  Everyone enjoyed it.

As for the previous few posts... All has been resolved and apologizes happened and things are copacetic.

Well anyway, I guess the big thing is that all is okay again.  Feelings have normalized and I've gained an insight and understanding from the experience.

That's kind of how things go.  Life throws unexpected experiences with you and, I truly believe they are there to teach you lessons and build your character and make you into the person that you're meant to be.  To grow from it all.

The world is meant to teach us.  We are forever life learners.  And the good news is no one here at camp reads all my thoughts that I post on this blog... So, no one is the wiser about my thoughts and feelings.

Anyway, I have a long drive ahead of me so I must be out.

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29Jun/180

My Problem Right Now

I originally had posted this to Facebook and decided to delete it because there's none of the context on Facebook... It's all here in the last couple of posts.

But, here's the post with a little more added...

My problem right now isn't that some people took my bedding, sleeping bag, sheets, pillows, and used it without my consent.  For me, I was able to washing my stuff, and ease the feelings including disgust, anger, embarrassment, humiliation... What my problem right now really is, is that if I feel these type of things with what happened to me and I still feel strange about it, I still feel a little weirded out... and what happened to me is but a fraction of the level of what happens in a different scenario when it's not just stuff that isn't consented to... My problem is, how does someone who identifies as #MeToo feel, and deal?  I can't comprehend how that must feel right now.  Because even this event, which is but a small fraction if anything to how someone must feel when another person invades in an un-consenting way... I can't even begin to imagine that.  But what really gets me is that all of the times I've thought I understood... I didn't.  And I still don't.  Because I can't possibly.  But what I know is in the last 36 hours the feeling was awful.  Coming back to find someone else had taken my stuff and was using it, and possibly in a way that was very personal, the possibility of someone having sex on my sleeping bag and sheets just made me feel sick and shaken inside.

But even this residual feeling right now, the weirdness, the shame, and embarrassment, the question of if it was my fault somehow for leaving my stuff in such a way that it seemed inviting to be used, the anger, the awkwardness, the feeling of people looking at you and feeling sorry, just all of it... It's nothing compared to what someone must feel when their body is taken without consent.

And that's what kills me.  Because the little tiny bit of weirdness and strangeness that I feel, the dread of maybe coming back tonight to the same thing happening again...

It can't even compare.  And that's what I can't deal with right now.  I had a small taste of something that I don't like.  That feels awful.  And if it's just a small taste... I can't even comprehend what it must be like to have an alternative situation happen to someone.  How it must feel.

And it just really hits me hard, I tried to amplify the feeling to imagine what it must be like and just turned off.  I went numb.  I didn't want to know.  I don't want to know.  Because no one should want to know, or should ever have to know what that feels like.

My heart goes out to anyone who identifies as #MeToo... I can't even begin to understand how you must feel.  Not even a fraction of it.  And if the experience I had and the feelings I felt and feel were indeed a small taste of it in any capacity... it's awful.  It's just awful.  NO ONE deserves to feel anything like it, at all, in any capacity, ever.

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29Jun/180

Forgotten Sunglasses

Today I felt something I'd never felt before.  It was an entirely new classification of emotion.

The thing about it is, I have no idea how to describe it because I've never felt it before.

It's really a mix of emotions, and maybe I'm only describing it that way because I have no idea how to describe it... But it's certainly something that I have no idea how to put it into words.

The thing is, I've had things stolen before.  I've had stuff messed with before.  I've had a whole range of things done to me in one form or another and I've... what's that phrase?  "Taken it like a man."

Isn't that what we're supposed to do?  As men?  Shut up and move on.

Suck it up.

Wuss.

There's a whole vocabulary that I've had fed to me over the years.

There was a song playing at the staff hang out spot before we all left to head to bed last night... The lyrics were something along the lines of...

BE A MAN
We must be swift as a coursing river
BE A MAN
With all the force of a great typhoon
BE A MAN
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon
Even disney knows the deal.
But I couldn't help my thoughts doing their own thing.  And why shouldn't they do their own thing?  It's what thoughts do best.
The best I can describe is with a whole slew of emotions coming and going.
So, okay.  Last night when I went to go to bed, my personal linens were lifted and used by others.  In their inebriated state they had reverted to preserving Maslow's hierarchy of needs on a selfish level.
Can they be blamed?  This is the start of my first emotion.
Do you blame someone for something if they are in an altered state?  It's a slippery slope.
"They were drunk."
So, is it okay to take someone else's stuff and use it for your own personal gain or comfort?  I'm not going to answer that question because I'm probably not qualified to do so.
What I do know is that I did say that.  I thought that.  Hey, they were drunk.  But when I got to my own bed at 3am and had nothing but a bare mattress... Where does that leave me?
It leaves me unsure of what to do.  I could have simply climbed into bed and slept on the bare mattress... But I felt uncomfortable.  I felt like I wasn't wanted there.  I needed to go somewhere else.
I left.
I didn't feel angry at first, I don't feel upset.  I just felt, lost... A little confused.  Did I not leave my own stuff in a fashion that made it seem as though it was apparent that it was my own?
Was it my own fault that they took my items in their drunken state?
I still feel that way.  Blame myself I guess.  But I've heard a victim of anything should never blame themselves...
This goes against what I've been told... Be a man... Defense.  They wouldn't have scored on you if you'd have had proper defense.
The same goes here... Is it my fault?
I felt upset... I felt humiliated.  Everyone would know.  I just wanted to have the people sleep through the night, leave, and wash my belongings... and not have a soul know.
But the people who did it knew.  If they say something and I don't, does that make me weak?
I felt disgusted, and gross... I felt dirty.
When I returned to my cabin, my stuff was simply left no top of my bags....
Like, thank you, now clean up our mess.
And that's where my mind got the best of me... Was there a mess?  As in, did someone use the items in any of the ways that my mind could imagine?  Or was someone just not sure what to do and they simply left the items as is....
AKA, did someone just have sex on my bed sheets and leave them for me to clean up the mess?
I felt... Violated.  Or... Maybe that's a strong word but... I felt gross, used.
I don't know... Like I said, this is new territory for me.  I've had houseguests and washed linens before... But it was okay because I invited them in.
This was a situation where I was expecting to simply go to bed and here I show up and my personal belongings were strewn about and being used in some capacity or another.
But why?
And it was this that then lead to me just feeling unsure, unsteady, unwanted in the community I'm temporarily in.
Like I said, I felt something new... Something that I can only guess has been felt by someone who has had their personal space invaded in such a way that it makes them feel like they could take a thousand showers and never feel clean.
It's made me think that it came down to consent.
That, if I had offered to lend something to someone, it would have felt fine.
But to come back to some one making a decision involving my personal space that I did not consent to just feels... Awful.
There's no other way to describe the gravity of it.  Earlier this evening, I started to realize that it's, though not anywhere close to the same level...
It's on the scope of invasion of non-consent.
Take that how you will.
I can only begin to imagine how someone of the ultimate non-consent invasion would feel.  It's this crazy range of emotions... Was it my fault?  Do I feel angry?  Upset?  Sad?  Do I demand an apology?  Do I apologize?  Am I not a good enough person to be respected?  Did I do something wrong?  Why is everyone acting so strange... I shouldn't have said anything, this is my fault now.  If I had just sucked it up and kept quiet everything would be normal like it was before.
All of these thoughts stopped in their track this morning when I went back to start the process of cleaning up.  I had put the items in a pile, I had started to decide how I would get things back to an OKAY status.
It was then that one of the people who had used my stuff walked into the room.
The conversation was short, she simply said nothing more than....
"I forgot my sunglasses."
And she took her sunglasses and went.
My perception was, heartless.  That she didn't care.  That she simply wanted to find her sunglasses after the fact and that nothing else even registered on her mind.
But maybe she was embarrassed too.  Maybe she didn't realized that I was feeling out of place.
I was half expecting an apology... But mostly expecting some sort of questioning... Something like "Wait... Was this your stuff?"
Or some kind of clarification.  Like... "I didn't realize..."
People make mistakes.
Nothing.  She just turned and left.
Forgotten sunglasses...
And nothing else.
It made me feel hallow inside.  Empty.  I knew she was involved.  I knew the last several hours had been confusing and strange for me... I knew I wanted to ask questions... "What were you thinking?"  "Did you not realize this was someone else's personal belongings?"  "Were you THAT wasted?"
But I just said okay.  She took her sunglasses and went.
And I felt awful.
But it's not awful, it's something else.  It's something new that I don't understand, it's a feeling that I don't get...
I don't have a word for it... It's a feel like...
Everything was okay before, and now it's not.
Something changed and I can't figure out what.  I can't figure out how to make it go back.
I'm just here...
Saying to myself, this is stupid and silly, get over it... Move on... Be a man.  It's just stuff.  Who cares.
It happened... Get over it and move on.
I'm just here wondering how many others have been in the same mindset telling themselves the same thing over a situation that happened.
Which brings me to the biggest question on my mind...
What does anyone do when consent wasn't given by the person doing the giving but it was taken anyway by the person doing the taking?
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28Jun/180

More Jealousy Alley

So, it's 3:30am and I'm awake in the lodge.

I'm trying to just... Process things...

I went back to where I was staying... a cabin called The "Staff Lounge"...  Which has beds, and some of the beds have sleeping bags  and pillows.  Basically it's supposed to be where the counselors go if they need a night that can't be spent in their cabin.  Like, if the had something to drink and need to sleep it off.

It's often used notoriously for couples to... Spend time together.

That scenaro happened last night.  I was okay with it.  I mean, last night was different.  It's a big enough cabin and the couple last night stayed on the entirely other side and I basically came in late on purpose.  Just went to sleep.  Whatever.  They had also closed off their area so they weren't visible.

I've had worse situations with roommates in college.  Honestly, wasn't a big deal...

Tonight?

I'm just, not even sure how I feel right now.  Honestly?  I'm not like, upset, I think?  I just feel so... numb or something.  I mean, I guess I'll probably laugh at this a year from now...  I don't know.

I'm trying not to make it a big deal.  I'm trying to just let it all go and know that I'll be back home in my own bed in a few days....

For the duration of my stay I've been staying in this staff lounge cabin.  Some people come and go.  Some have used the showers or whatever... Some have stayed because they had to get up super early to go travel and make airport pickups for campers.

Tonight I decided to wait until 2am.

I figured okay, maybe some people would go back for a little and use one of the beds, but they would all be asleep by the time I got back.

When I got back, there were two people sleeping in the center of the cabin on the floor... They had taken two mattresses and put them on the floor to make a larger bed...  I could only see shapes on the dark but didn't shine a light or really look over for more than a split second.

I was a little taken aback by it but thought, okay... At least they are asleep.  Fine.  Whatever.  I don't even want to know.

I used my flashlight without turning on the cabin light.... I made my way to my bed quietly...

When I got to my bed...

There was nothing on it.

Nothing.  Not a thing.  No sheets, pillows, sleeping bag... All gone.

I turned around and shined my light on the very edge and immediately recognized the sheet and sleeping bag.

Yeah.

So, I'm not sleeping right now.

Let's just assume that these two people just stumbled in slightly intoxicated, somehow didn't realize that my stuff was my stuff... Even though there's a lot of other items that are personal items right there next to the bed... So I'm not sure how you can mistake it.

I think they were just pretty drunk and didn't realize it.

Now, let's assume they just went to sleep.  I honestly really know that's not the case here... But I don't know for sure so I'm not going to assume it.

I also have a really good idea as to who it is... But, since I didn't look, I just left the cabin and walked...

I can't say 100 percent.

I've been sitting here for a little bit and thinking and even if I knew who it was 100 percent, I wouldn't say who it was.

The thing is, like I said in the previous post, I'm going in a few days.  My take on it is... Yes, I'm a little weirded out by it, and maybe I'm upset... I don't know.

But these two people have to work here the rest of the summer.  It's not a story that they should have to deal with people talking about all summer behind their backs and what not...  It would just make for a terrible rest of the summer.  Whatever, it happened... It's not a good situation.  So, I just want to deal with it and let it stay in the past.  There's no reason to make a big production about it.

My plan is to just stay up until the morning, get a trash bag... Go get my stuff... Wash it all... And then go back to sleep for a little while.

I guess it's weird knowing that there's the possibility that something happened between two people on my personal stuff...

I don't know right now.  I'm just trying to decide that I don't want to be upset about it.  I don't want it to be a big deal.

I guess I just feel a little violated or something because it's my personal stuff.  I feel like it was pretty obvious that someone was living/sleeping there.  And even if someone is pretty drunk, they should know not to just touch someone else's stuff without any kind of permission.

I just don't know how to feel right now.  I'm just sitting, and waiting for sunrise.  I'm sure come AM the people sleeping there will get up and leave, and then I'll just go down, get my stuff and wash it.  And that will be that.

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28Jun/180

Jealousy Alley

So, tonight was kind of an interesting evening.  I was going to post something on Facebook, but people read Facebook... And no one here at camp reads this... And I mean, for the most part no one that would make things extraordinarily awkward would read this.

So this works.

Let's do a little bit of a backstory first.

I come to my old summer camp to volunteer.  The money gets donated to help pay for a camper to come to camp that wouldn't be able to afford it.  I was a camper here and a counselor and my mom also worked here.  So, it kind of is a way to connect with her memory.

It's just something I do for a couple of week every summer by taking vacation off work and doing this.

It's fun.  It's always an experience and I meet some interesting people, make some new friends, reconnect with old friends.

But it's nothing that really... "Rocks my world" shall we say.

What I mean by that is, I come, I chill out and work... and I go home.  See, there's this thing called camp drama...

One of the things here at camp is that there have been a lot of camp relationships.  Even some people who have gotten married.  Even the owners of the camp met here as counselors and got married.  There's just this sort of thing in the air that... People meet here.

See... When you live in a confined space with a group of people for an extended period of time, you create close relationships with people.  It's like having 24/7 roommates and friends and coworkers at the same time.

There's no home, or work, or third space... It's all that at once.

The downside is... You get like a "Real World" effect.

I try to avoid it.  And most years I do.  It's hard to remain detached when you're here for the full summer, but when you're only here for 2 weeks, who cares.

Right?

Well, usually.  And you know, the last 10 years, that's how it's been.  For some reason this year, it got me a little.

I'm shrugging it off at the moment because, when you take a step back, I'm leaving in a few days anyway, so... Who cares?

Alright, so all that being said... Some how I let myself get a little "sucked in" this summer.

Okay... Let's start...

There's this girl.  It's always a girl.  Because, that's just what happens when it happens.  It's like, something just happens and you stop and say... Wait... Hey.  But it's a different kind of "hey".  You just look at the person differently.

I'm not going to say her name... But, you know, it's weird, she's been here the last few years too, and I have no idea, I didn't really think much of it.  I said hey to her around camp in other years... We crossed paths... I helped her with something here or there, we had smalltalk.... But she was just...

Another person in the community.  Not really like... Sticking out as someone that I was really curious about.  It was just like hey... what's up?  Cool.  Cool.

But this year, and not even on the first night... Maybe the 3rd or 4th day in... She just got me.

It was like every time I saw her... She totally kind of just made me feel all gushy.

I was like this is stupid because again, I'm only here for a short time.  I just said to myself this is stupid... But the feeling just kept sticking around.  I feel stupidly gushy whenever she's around.

Never mind the fact that I REALLY don't think I'm her type at all, or that she lives on the COMPLETE opposite side of the country than I do even AFTER camp she goes back to Portland, Oregon.

There's soo many reasons why I shouldn't bother to have her on my mind.

But isn't that the beauty of having someone on your mind?  You don't get to choose who you have on your mind.  It just happens.

Well, so... I basically just have been keeping those gushy feelings in check.  Just pushing them back and fending them off until I leave camp in a few days.

Because as soon as I'm out of here, she'll cross my mind a little less, and a little less, and a little less...

Until I'm back to where I was before.  Back to a few weeks ago.

Just ride it out.... But every time I cross paths with her, I can't help it.  Ugh.  The feelings just happened and then I was just like... Sigh.  Well, there's the feeling again, nothing I can do about it.

You can't control these feelings, they just, happen.  The best you can do is just wait it out.

It's kind of like today when I was out on the lake kayaking and waves would come through from the water ski boats and the kayak would rock to and fro....

The best you can do is just wait out the waves.  Just brace yourself and let it happen and know that eventually, it ends and won't go on forever.

That's where I'm at now as I sit typing this.  I know that the feeling I feel right now, has an end point... It will eventually diminish like the waves on the lake.  It won't go on forever.  It's not like 6 months from now I'll still be like... Gushing for this girl.

But, I also know, I won't be overwhelmed with jealousy either.

You see, just a little bit ago, like an hour or so ago, after a night of drinking and dancing... I walked up from the staff area known as "The Yurt".

It's a small building that the staff hang out at during their time off.

Well, I'll backup a little bit real quick again.  So, when I first arrived, like I said, I didn't really have any strong feelings.  It was just hello's and idle chatting.  But then, it grew over a few days, just like... Really fast.

So, again, we're at The Yurt tonight and before that we had gone out to grab dinner and drinks at a local restaurant as a group of staff.

Well, even with all the gushing I felt... I learned quickly that...

She spent a fair amount of the night being cozy with another guy.

And to be fair actually, she had been a bit close with the same guy the first night that we went out drinking which was the second night I arrived, but I guess I didn't think much of it because I didn't really care at that point.  And then I hadn't really seen them really being all that cozy or flirty since.

But tonight they were definitely the very start of at least a fling if nothing else.  And hey, for all I know they could actually be together and I had no clue they were until tonight.  Who knows, they may have been together since last year since they were both here for the last few years.

Again, what do I care... I maintain that.  Not to get invested emotionally.  It's drama that I purposely try to avoid.

And I just did a bad job of it this year.

So, tonight, I'm not having a bad time... It was good, just hanging with friends.  But the problem is, when you feel that gush for someone and you see that there's another someone else in the picture even if it's just that maybe they are a "thing"...

You feel that jealousy.  The gush turns to something else.  It turns to... that go away feeling.  It goes from... wanting to make excuses to talk to them to...

Make excuses to avoid them.

It was at that point tonight that I said, well this is dumb.  I'm not getting sucked into this.  I'm not getting invested in this.

So, I decided to go.  I left everyone at The Yurt and snuck out.

I went to my car to grab a few things, like a flashlight and my umbrella.  I start walking.  Good.  Situation is behind me.

So, out of nowhere, she's behind me with that guy.  And then she's beside me with that guy.  They're holding hands.  Close.  His arm is around her.

So, she says "Hey..." and I say hey back.

I then say hey to him.

I'm just.... pushing this jealous feeling away.  I'm pushing the gushy feeling for her away.  I kick a rock as we walk.

I hold my flashlight out ahead and say "Don't step in a puddle... Don't want the two of you to have wet feet."

Then we get to the the main lodge building and she holds the door for me.

It's the worst.

Because I didn't want her to hold the door for me.

I just wanted it to shut and walk on.  I thanked her for holding the door and went inside too.

I went a different way then planned after that.  Just to get away.

Just ride out the waves... Eventually the waves will stop just like they did while I was in the kayak.

I'm not part of this community for much longer anyway.  I know the drill.  I go back home, I get back to my normal routine.

In a month or two, I won't even have her on my mind.  And I won't feel even a hint of jealousy.

Although right now, it's subsided.  I'm just kind of... telling myself, who cares.  I'm not getting caught up in it.  I'm not getting caught up in the drama, or her, or the experience of having someone make you gush and then walking beside them with another guy's arm around her.

The gush was there... and then the jealousy was there, and then... I just let it pass.

Because, like I said, I'm only just passing through here.  Her and him are here for the whole summer.  I'm only here for a hot minute.

And beyond all that, I don't think the gush was mutual anyway.

It's all so silly and pointless.  Which is why I stay clear of the camp drama and silly camp crushes.

It just caught me off guard for a little bit, but now my guard is back up.

I just let myself feel a way that I hadn't felt in a long while.  I let someone make my heart skip a beat.

It was a mistake and I shouldn't have even allowed it to happen in the first place.

Some how it did even though I know better.

Anyway... In a few days time I'll be back home and far away and in a few weeks time... I'll be back to where I was before... No gushing, and no jealousy.

The waves that were stirred up will become calm water again.

Some people meet here, and that's great for those people...

But the one year, the one time I let my guard down and allow myself to have someone catch me off guard...

I'm sitting here shining a light so that her and another guy can avoid stepping in puddles.

This is why I don't do it.  This is why I don't get emotionally invested in the drama.

It's not worth liking someone because it only ends in sitting alone feeling jealous.

There's not much I can control when someone does come along that makes me all gushy, but I can just try to do a better job of realizing when it does happen and avoid eye contact and pushing any feelings away and trying not to think about that person or care.

There's a phrase that I've heard often...

"Nothing good can come of this."

That's my view when I think of the idea of letting someone capture your attention.

Anyway, so now I sit there just trying to focus on knowing that in a few days time I'll be driving back home and getting back to my usual life.

And that in a few weeks time, she won't even cross my mind.  Gush, crush, or jealousy.

And the next time I'll see her would be next summer if she came back... But, by then... I'll know better.

I know better already.

Nothing good can come of this.  Just wait out the waves and let it all pass.

I've never had a situation where anything good has come from a crush or a gush.

It's always ended badly.

It's best just to take a step away and sit on the sidelines and tell myself that I'm just passing through and I'm not part of any of this for the long term.

It was a close call though.  I will say this last week... A VERY close call for sure.

But now I'm back to knowing better.

Nothing good can come of any of it.

Some people meet here, have flings, or start relationships, or even get married, but for me... It's always been a negative outcome, like what happened tonight.

I was stupid and let myself like someone.

Best just to take all steps to avoid it all.

Let the waves pass.

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24Jun/180

13 Reasons Part 2

So, tonight I watched the 4th episode of 13 Reasons Why...

There's some similarities, by a VERY far stretch, to some of the things in my book.  I mean, not really, just slight, but my stuff is totally different.  But there's a few little things in this one episode that are somewhat similar.

Here's the thing about art... I think creative people are kind of linked, in a way...  Actually, that's not really my own thought...

Wait, let me back up...

A) I'm reading this book Big Magic that I started reading a LONG time ago but I kind of put down... and the concept in that is that creative thoughts go out into the world into the universe, and that a certain number of creative types pick up the universal creative thoughts...

If someone doesn't act on it, another person will.  And if that person doesn't.  Another will.  That's why sometimes you get overlapping art and ideas... Because creative timelines differ for creative individuals.  Some people can have a dream, or get inspired and jot it down... Start a project... And not pick it back up again for months or years...

It's all in Big Magic.

But it's true.  I have many things that I've started, much like I started reading various books and put them down and then picked them back up again years later.

B)

So a short time ago, like less than 2 weeks ago or so, I was in Starbucks and a song came on while I was waiting in line to buy a coffee...

It was a new Dave Matthews Band song... "Do You Remember?".

Basically I thought for a quick second that it was a newly released recording of my friend Jesse's song that he released a few year ago.  His song is called "This Is Why I Need You" and he wrote it years ago.

Now, the songs were released at different times... And they have similar sounding melodies in one specific part.  Argue what you want... But it's very likely that they just both came up with the specific part of their songs on their own and it's just pure chance that they have similar sounding parts.  Just like how there's a small part that similar in 13 Reasons Why that has a slight similarity to a part in my book.

C)

There's no part C, it's just not Part A or B anymore.

Anyway, the point is... Read Big Magic, and watch 13 Reasons Why...

And if you make art, like music, or write, or paint... Just keep doing it.  If you make something and you don't like it... Keep it up, and if you make something and it seems similar to something else... It's probably because we're all humans... We all have the same body parts.  We all breathe the same air.

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17Jun/180

Sunshine and Flamingos

Lately I've had this song in my head... It's called "The Cat In Center Field".

Basically there's a group or band or whatever you want to call them, and they make songs out of news clips, or, basically anything really.  They used to be called Autotune The News all the way back in the day... But they have expanded to be more than just news.

It's a whole thing with lots of history.  Anyway... TLDR... All you need to know about is this catchy song about a cat and sunshine and flamingos... So here's the video on YouTube.

 

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