Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Saturday, November 06, 2004


King of Pain

Most people, I would surmise, don't like being hurt. Most people, on discovering that something causes them pain, will strive to avoid that thing. It's a simple, pavlovian sort of stimulus-response reaction. When the monkey is given electric shock every time he smears his poo on the wall, he stops smearing the poo. I am the dumbest monkey ever.

My high school and college relationships were early examples of my inability to not cause myself pain. Time after time, I dove head first into wading pools of love, smashing my head on the flimsily metaphorical concrete of reality and wound up nursing massive head wounds. I would fall helplessly in love on the first date, torture myself with jealousy whenever the object of my desire was in the same room as another man and then spill my guts about a week into the "relationship", which most women, shockingly, found off-putting. I didn't learn the first, second or even third time this happened. I got over that particular habit, but I continue this type of behavior today. Por ejemplo...

Frappachinos. Love 'em. They're tasty, they're caffeinated, they're available at least twice on every block here in New York City, where Starbucks spring up like dandelions. Without fail, though, they cause me intensely painful brain freeze. Maybe not with every sip, but with at least every other sip. And there's no really good way to drink them to avoid this, at least for me. So you'd think that maybe I would either not drink them or at least let them melt completely until they're the same temperature and consistency as those prepackaged versions they sell in SevenElevens nationwide. But I can't not drink them. They're delicious. And I can't let them warm up, because then I'm essentially drinking a Yoo Hoo and who the hell wants that?

Tonight is Saturday, as all the normal people who are out drinking and socializing can tell you in between pints. There's a show broadcast on Saturdays that is telecast live. Its city of origin is New York. It sucks. This is a show that has only been sporadically funny for the last fifteen years. Even without Jimmy Fallon, it's still laden with Horatio Sanz. I rarely like the musical guest. The monologues are usually pathetic, even worse when the guest host decides they want to sing. As funny as Tina Fey is, the news is only one section of a too long show. And yet, I will probably watch it tonight. It would be easy enough to just keep the television off. But there's some idiotic little part of me that says, "You loved it as a kid! What if they do something really funny! It happens every six years or so, maybe tonight's the night!" Then I watch and regret. I can't learn.

The prime example of my thick-headedness right now is my aching, throbbing back.

I am murder on shoes. I wear them out and wear them until they are tattered threads hanging together through sheer force of will and the occasional piece of duct tape. Part of the reason for this is that, economically, I can't afford to go out and buy new shoes every few weeks. So when I fuck up and buy a pair of shoes that doesn't work out entirely well, I tend to try to make the best of things.

Such is the case with a pair of black shoes I bought for some special occasion that has now entirely escaped my memory. They fit better than anything else I'd tried on that day, although not perfectly. I didn't feel like test-walking every goddamn pair of shoes in the place, and I figured I'd only be wearing them for a few hours. They served their purpose and were then relegated to my closet.

Recently, though, I found myself without a "go-to" pair of shoes for work. The shoes I had been wearing were now not only completely without tread, but had, in fact, worn completely through the sole, so that water, pebbles and small rats could find their way in and harass my foot. So I pulled the black shoes out of the closet and slapped 'em on my feet. After a week of wearing them through school days that saw me on my feet about 92% of the time, my back began spasming. Of course, I was far too thick to realize at first that it was the shoes that had done it to me. I was thinking maybe I'd lifted something without realizing it or perhaps that some pissed-off student had gone to their houngon and gotten them to fix up a Mr. Wack voo-doo doll, sticking some nice sharp pins in the lower back.

Only after I changed shoes and immediately felt slightly better did I come to the correct conclusion. This is where a normal person would have tossed the shoes in the garbage. However, I'm a huge putz, so I put them right back in the closet. Then, the next time it rained and I needed something on my feet that wouldn't leak like a sieve, I put them right back on. I made it through a day feeling okay. I thought maybe that was the trick. I could just wear them for a day and that wouldn't be long enough to fuck me up.

Folks, ignorance is not bliss. It's just ignorance. Today, a day after last wearing the Shoes of Pain, my back feels like I've been hit by a very small car. It hurts to sit up, it hurts to walk, but mostly it hurts to think about what an absolute moron I am. I hereby vow to never wear these shoes again.

Does anybody want them?

On the off chance that they would actually fit- yes. When one has half their clothing stolen they stop being picky.
Do you have orthodics? It is my firm belief that we should all be fitted for orthodics. Before I got mine I thought that my feet were perfect and didn't need fixing. Then I experienced what true podiatric comfort was. Dont worry Joe, you're not really like the dumbest monkey. I see you as more like the smartest lemur, and even they learn eventually.
Joe - after all these years treading on the planet I thought I was alone. You see, I've spent my life with a chunk of my brain missing, the chunk that tells you to get some new bloody shoes. How many summers have I endured blisters on the top, bottom and sides of my feet. Heel spurs, toe spurs, bunyons galore. Have I tried orthodics? Wearing them now as a matter of fact. Is it making a difference? I'll never know until I stop torturing myself. Strange - it would seem that I treat my feet in the same manner as I treat myself. Yeesh, I'm not laughing anymore....

I like your blog.
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