It kind of all hit me for real while I was having a beer at a show at Cagibi. It wasn't anything sung in a song that made me take notice and it certainly wasn't an alcoholic epiphany that opened up this suppressed railway of thought either. Funny enough, it was a set of cold feet that made me realize that I've come back to the worries of yore: the anxiety and restlessness that possessed me on my move out of Yellowknife and down here.
I'd kind of slept-walked through the day: got up late, saw a flick, ate a burger. My buddy Chocolate T told me I didn't seem myself - I'd heard that from a handful of people the past month or so. I was tired and feeling reclusive. I went off to the show, even though I wasn't really up for it. I kind of wished that I had a giant beard, like Pacino did at the end of Serpico, so my eyes could poke out of the fur like a periscope and I could watch what was happening without being detected. I would have fit right in at the Ground Zero of Montreal Hipsterdom too.
Before this starts to sound like an emo song, it's not that I didn't want to talk to anybody, it's just that I didn't feel like I had anything to say. I moved into my own place about a month and a half ago and that means a lot of time by one's self. A friend wrote me and said you are confronted by your demons in a live-alone state because it means you have a lot of time to think. That's really the last thing I need.
I have had a lot of time to think about what has gone wrong in the past few months. For one, my two best friends in Montreal - my two former roommates - had a spat and the house was disbanded as a result. Being who I am and trying, in my own way, to do right by both of them - or maybe to avoid conflict - I played Switzerland and kept my distance. I went home to sleep that last month and that was pretty much it.
Now, I don't really see much of either of them and when I do, some resentments seem to crop up or linger behind the scenes. That's mostly my fault because I find that I don't want to deal with any of this and that's maybe because Montreal has really been a fantasyland since I arrived just over a year ago, with only a backpack full of clothes and books and a sleeping bag purchased in Iceland.
I hit the ground running and saw and did something new every day. Everything in the city was new too and so close and fascinating. Saw a ton of shows. Ate amazing food. Went to some great - and some ridiculous - parties. Hung out in parks and on rooftops and skating rinks. And met new people all the time. I had the same story: just moved here on a whim, looking for work, etc. I fell into a great group in nearly the exact apartment I'd dreamt about living in, while pondering life pessimistically in Yellowknife.
Life was grand. It was new and challenging. It was starting from scratch.
But like the Roots best album, Things fall Apart. People started to leave. I found a job. Money got tight, as I started to live on my income and not my Visa. Free time shrunk. Energy got zapped. Fought with friends. Stress. Got sick of my job. Wanted something else. Got static. Had weekend rut - and hangover gut rut. Lost creativity. Pay Check. Broke. Pay Check. Broke.
Back to the cold feet. Like I said I realized, for the first time at that show, that my feet were cold and that they shouldn't be cold. I'm wearing some black Pumas that aren't equipped for winter. (I'm sure they'll somehow rust, with the amount of salt the city unloads on the sidewalks and streets.)
But the point is, I was discomforted by my cold feet. A year earlier, I wouldn't have noticed them - or if I did, I would have shrugged and sucked it up, because I was in no position to do anything about ameliorating the situation. "I need a job! Feet, you're going to have to wait until later."
Is it possible to feel worse knowing that you can better your condition? I'm less happy the more comfortable I am. Is that weird? I enjoyed living unsustainably, trying to pull myself up onto the ledge. It was exhilarating. Everything I worried about was legit. There was no time or room for idle anxiety. Now I'm on that ledge and I'm twiddling my thumbs about what ledge I should move on to. I've found a job, I've got a roof over my head, I've made friends, but now I hate my job and I'm living by myself and I have had some friend drama and so as much as I tried to fight it, it looks like real life - REAL life - has finally infiltrated Montreal. I'm back to stressing about a satisfying job, finding a spark and I'm spinning my tires about how to go about doing all that.
I want to be dependent and I'm getting there, but it doesn't feel like I'm gaining maturity. Is maturity really about knuckling down, planning, getting real and doing something about something? Am I confusing it with something? Why should deciding on a future be accompanied by so much negativity?
Or am I just thinking too much?
Note: I wrote this at a Second Cup beside a chick who was griping about THE EXACT SAME SHIT with her friend. I found her totally annoying and self-obsessed and enthralled with the sound of her own voice. Heh heh heh.... errr... self-FAIL!
I'm back in job search mode. I suppose I'm always in job search mode, but as happens at least once a month, a few lousy days at work and a few hopeless looks at the bank account have galvanized whatever energy I have to scouring through the craiglists, kijijis, workopolises (workopoli?) and jeffgaulins of the world to find myself something more satisfying, gratifying and... er... lucrative.
Over the past few months, I've consistently sent out cover letters and CVs and consistently got no response or a 'no' response. It's a drag, but the job market for Anglos is competitive in Montreal and, as Sir Smoke-A-Lot once said, "I understand."
However, after not hearing back about a position I was actually kind of qualified for and one I figured I'd at least get a call about, I thought I should check something out that had been bugging me for a bit. Call it paranoia or maybe careful, but I did a google search of 'herbiberous' tonight, just to see what kind of ridiculous statements and examples of poor judgement I'd let loose on the blogosphere and I wanted to see if any of them tied back to my actual name. Keep in mind folks, a lot of the things I write here are done in frustration, in jest or in a state of semi-intoxication and I imagine, at times, it's difficult to tell if something I've put on here is serious or not (and more often than not, it's not.) Really though, much of what I end up posting here isn't fully digested and instead of ridding myself of a consistent idea, I usually spend a lot of time wiping up a messy, ill-conceived thought littered with cornels of tangents that I can't ever remember ingesting (poo analogy: check!). If I was a potential employer and I read some of the things I've written on here -- there really is a substantial amount of this blog devoted to feces and masturbation -- I might hesitate to call this gentleman up. I've heard stories about hiring managers using facebook/google searches to vet candidates, so I wanted to see what kind of damage I'd done to my name and, as a consequence, my job prospects by having literally posted so much crap on the internet.
Not surprisingly, this blog appeared, as did an old myspace page. A little surprising was the amount of nerdy and angst-filled youtube -- and many other message board -- comments I stumbled upon. Maybe surprising isn't the best word. Embarrassing. Yes. Definitely, embarrassing. I suppose I'm probably the only guy in the world who uses the handle 'herbiberous.'
I was glad that the search - or at least the basic search that my limited computer skills enable me to conduct - did not link 'herbiberous' to my real identity.
Something odd did come up though. I found an interview with the band Surfer Blood (aka Montreal Bachelor Party 2010 Alumni) and shockingly 'herbiberous' was involved:
2) What a poorly put together and haphazard comparison. If I knew the comment would have been picked up for an interview, I would have put together an 800-word treatise on their surf-and-sun sound roots, which would have been nearly unreadable because of the hyperbole.
3) Am I entitled to some kind of compensation? If time is money, I definitely dispensed some money coming up with that hybrid-sound-comparison on youtube. It caused me great anguish (Please disregard Three Things: No. 2.) If royalties aren't likely then, do I get to at least put an interview with Surfer Blood down on my CV?
If you're coming through old Montreal, gimme a jingle so we can meet up so we can catch up and have a few laughs and bust each others' balls and get something to eat and we'll head down to make sure we're in line to buy tickets to the place where we're able to get a few drinks and have some more laughs and bust some more balls and chat with some chicks and eventually check out the wise old gents (work father-figures) from the Wind Up Radio Sessions.