The Garden State is not a location.


I was born in Brooklyn.

It was in the year 2000 that my ex wife and I decided that we’d had enough of living in the city. The constant noise, dirt, crowds, attitudes and everything else was becoming a bit too much to bear on a daily basis. I believe it’s romanticized primarily because that’s what you do when you have no choice, but it’s not healthy. Combine that environment with an asshole boss and you have a recipe for premature death.

At first we tried looking just across the George Washington bridge to shorten our commute. That turned out to be a huge disappointment. The neighborhoods that were affordable were cramped and very close to industrial complexes. I believe we were in Roselle. This was during the summer and there was an ever present acidic toxic smell in the air. I was left asking myself how is it that these people are living here? Being from New York you hear the stories about New Jersey. Typically related to the crime in Newark or the stench on New Jersey Turnpike nearest to New York City. At that time, that was primarily my impression of how living in New Jersey would be. I was ready to give up until I spoke to a coworker of mine who also lived in New York and moved to New Jersey. She said to me you have to go further south if you want anything nice for a decent price. The real estate agent agreed, so my next adventure would take me further south down into Somerset.

We looked at two houses and my ex-wife was immediately sold on the second one without even going inside. It met all of our criteria plus the neighborhood was really beautiful and peaceful.

The only problem that remained was the commute. It would take a minimum of an hour and 45 minutes on a good day for me to get to work. This would also add an additional travel expense that I wasn’t too keen on. I’ll admit that if it were just left up to me, I probably would not have made the decision to stay, but seeing her being so excited about it, (we were also having issues) I felt like it would be therapeutic.

The previous year I’d seen The Matrix. There’s a scene where Neo wakes up and realizes that he is essentially a battery. That hit home with me. It eloquently personified how I felt about living in the city. Doing the same thing day in and day out, being plugged into the corporate machine with no sense of personal identity. That contrast was not fully realized until my first day of driving home from work to our new house. Once I got past a certain point on the turnpike it was like entering another dimension. There was this sense of order and calm that overcame me. I can honestly say this is something that I did not experience coming home in Brooklyn, leaving the work stress, dealing with the mass of people on the subway, and then going home and having to tolerate noise from neighbors. Day in and day out. For the first time in quite some time I was able to really think about myself. I became more centered. The quiet allowed me to contemplate what I was doing in life. Who am I? Why do I make the choices that I do?How can I bring this new sense of peace to other aspects of my life? It was in a word transformative.

I realized that living in the city I was constantly overstimulated. My brain wasn’t getting the breathing space to function nominally. I’ve come to realize that the meditative state should be the primary operating mode and not something you try to squeeze in to a few random minutes. It is in the garden of serenity where good ideas grow.

In keeping with tradition I am going to publish a couple of shots that I have taken since I last posted. I want to take the time to thank you for indulging me and hopefully enjoying the journey.

The Twilight Zone is real


Let me start this story by explaining that I don’t consider myself to be an attractive person. Average at best but nothing to write home about. What I am about to tell you is going to be hard to believe but every word of it is true.

I think, if memory serves, this started happening to me some decades ago. I was a much better looking guy then, so it didn’t really seem is odd then as it does now. I can remember the very first day that I knew something weird was happening with me. I knew a lot of women just from DJing and hanging out in clubs. Everybody wanted to meet the DJ. So when I would be approached by a random women, I thought that was all there was to it. One night I was going to a club in Brooklyn with a friend of mine. As we walked into the crowd, this woman approached me as soon as I got in the door. She comes to me and she says, you’re the kind of man that I’m looking for. I was taken aback for a second. I was thinking that she was drunk, so I let it slide. Let me emphasize that we had just walked in the club and I had gone maybe 10 feet inside before this happened. She had not seen me until the very first time she opened her mouth. She started pulling on me saying come and dance with me. I said to her, give me a minute I just walked in and I’d  like to have a drink first if you don’t mind. Her response was I’ll be waiting for you over here hurry up. So I pivoted and headed towards the bar thinking okay this is crazy, but considered it over because I was not going back. I ordered  a drink for me and my friend. As soon as I got my glass, I felt someone pulling on my jacket. It was her. She said, are you ready now? So now I’m a little annoyed but rather than be rude I decided to dance with her for at least a song thinking she would leave me alone after. We get out on the dance floor and she starts singing to me how much she loves me. Total time from entry, maybe 15 minutes. She tried to kiss me and was very handsy. She turned her back to me while she was dancing and I walked off the dance floor. My friends ex-wife was there so I went over to talk to her to keep this woman away from me. I told her to pretend that we were together and maybe she would leave me alone. It worked but it took some doing. 

That was the first incident.

The next time I was in a club with coworkers. We had gone there for someone’s birthday. Again, I just walked into the club and over to the bar to get a drink. There was a really attractive Hispanic woman sitting there.  She had on this nice leather skirt with legs to die for. As I ordered my drink, our eyes met, and she said to me, do you think I have nice legs? I replied, was I that obvious? Yes you were, she replied. My husband doesn’t think so. He’s upset with me because I don’t have any stockings on. We had a fight so I came here. She went on to explain that they were at some restaurant and she left him there and she was there by herself. My drink arrived. I took one sip and she leaned over to me and said, take me home. I thought I was hearing things because the music was kind of loud, so I asked her what she just said. She repeated, I want you to take me home. Total time in the club maybe 30 minutes. Let me emphasize this fact, she was smoking hot. So of course me being me of those days, my mind started thinking I need to take advantage of this. I still had my jacket on and she wanted to get her coat and meet me by the door. I had to explain to my friends that I was leaving, wish the person happy birthday and we went downstairs and caught a cab. As this scenario started to unfold, my other brain started kicking in. I was saying to myself this is crazy. This can’t be happening. What if her husband is home? What am I doing? So I asked her if it was safe and she assured me that everything was OK. He can’t disturb us because I have his fucking keys. She rolled down the cab window and threw them out in the street. Total time from club maybe 45 minutes? When we got to her apartment building, the complete insanity of this whole situation really started soaking in. I started to get cold feet. I asked her if she was sure that this was a good idea to which she replied, don’t you want to fuck me? Am I not fuckable? I want to feel like a woman tonight goddamnit. Is that too much to ask? The gauntlet has been thrown, I thought to myself. I can’t punk out now. The respect of all manhood is on the table. 

When we entered her apartment she walked over to the bed, lay down with her clothes on and passed out. So, here I am in a strange woman’s apartment that I did not even know and she’s unconscious on the bed, not to mention that her husband was probably going to be really pissed if he were somehow able to get into the building and upstairs. I felt like the universe was testing me.  I stood there for maybe a minute, took off her shoes and then left the apartment. I never saw her again. 

Fast forward to now. 

Against my better judgment, on New Year’s eve eve, I went to this bar I’d been to a few times. I ran into this woman I’d talked to before. I felt safe because she had always been good company. As I was talking to her I noticed this woman standing behind her that was checking me out. The really weird thing about it was that we were having a conversation about the last time she saw me there. She said she wanted to say hi but I had all these women around me. I literally said the words to her “you know what happens when I coming in here for some reason I get molested” and right on cue the woman behind her made her move. She said, excuse me I don’t want to interrupt but I was admiring your ring. She takes my hand and introduces herself and kissed it. I felt like I was in an episode of the twilight zone. This could not be happening but it was. My friend was giving her the dagger eyes but she was not really protesting because we were just friends. I felt like it was way crazy for her to make that move, especially not knowing who I was talking to. Not to mention that she was smoking hot. No one seeing this would believe that I hadn’t slept with this woman in the past. And here I am straining to hear her name over the blaring music and the crowd noise. I said thank you and tried to recover but my friend, being a little put off, decided to excuse herself, leaving me with this firebomb. She had a very thick Dominican accent. I could barely make out pieces of what she was saying. All I know is that she had a child and she was interested..extremely interested. Odd as this may sound, I was completely turned off. I don’t mind a woman being aggressive but not rude. Secondly she went for boy on the sly. I know this is gonna sound like I’m a prude but I don’t like being felt up if I don’t know you or gave the signal that it’s okay. It makes me feel objectified. I don’t like being treated like an object. I know a lot of women believe that all men follow their dicks like compass needles, but that’s not always the case. 

I know what happens to me isn’t common and I can hardly believe it’s happening myself. I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine sometime ago and she told me it was due to my pheromones. I don’t know if I should believe that or not but it’s the only plausible answer I can think of.  It’s kind a messed up because it interferes with meaningful relationships. Women don’t trust that I’m telling the truth. They think I’m some sort of man-whore. I get it but it’s unfortunate. Like I said before I don’t consider myself an attractive person. At one time in my life I felt completely hideous and wished that women found me attractive. I guess we should all be careful what we wish for.

Embarrassing


I don’t know what made me remember this, but I figured I’d share this with the world. Some years ago I was on the subway in New York City on my way to work. For those of you who’ve never been on the New York subway in the morning it’s very crowded. So, I was standing I’m over this very attractive young lady. She was sitting there reading the newspaper. After standing there for few moments staring at her, I got up enough nerve to try to say hello. At that very moment I opened my mouth, a booger shot out of my nose and landed right on her newspaper…

Catching up


OK so it’s been a long time.

I don’t even know where to start, so much has happened.  First it was the earthquake.  That was interesting, by the way, I live in New Jersey.  That was freaky, at first I thought I was suffering from my medication.  So I’m sitting here and all of a sudden my chair started to move .  Then I notice that the house was rocking .  So I’m like what the fuck is going on? I totally get it when people say it lasted longer than it appeared to, because it seemed like it lasted for at least 3 minutes But in reality it only lasted a few seconds .

Initially it took a few seconds for me to realize what was going on.  The thought process that you go through is amazing when you’re in a disaster situation. The first stage is awareness, the second is a acceptance, the third is reaction. It’s the first two stages that usually get in trouble when you’re in an earthquake. By the time you figure out what’s happening and what to do about it you’re probably going to be buried. unless you’re in a crowd and everyone panics and starts running. Actually, being in a crowd or with a group of people can be the difference between life and death. I actually saw footage of a meeting that was being held when the earthquake struck on the news, and the people on the stage were looking at each other in disbelief trying to figure out what to do. Being by yourself you would react, but when you’re in a group, you get your cues from other people and it takes your mind a few seconds to sort out who to follow. Those seconds can mean life or death. So my recommendation to you is if you’re in that situation don’t look around, figure out what to do and bust a move.

OK, so the next thing that happened was the hurricane. That in itself was not too unusual, but the weather forecasters make such a big deal that I kind of got worried. The first thing I want to say is, never take any of this shit lightly. Don’t try and be a hero. If they tell your ass to leave, leave. The next time you feel like being a hero, just watch the weather channel and see what happens to people who are heroes. So that evening when the hurricane did finally get here, I was watching television, CNN specifically, they were focusing on New York because New York is the bigger story. But I live in New Jersey which is south of New York and was expected to get hit more directly. So I said screw this and I turned to the weather channel. Just as I turned, they were flashing tornado warnings for my area. So I’m like holy shit now. A few seconds later, my power went out so I was completely freaked out. I spent a few minutes fumbling in the dark trying to find my flashlight. And then panic set in.. All of my rooms have windows and I was concerned about broken glass. I had just seen on television that taping your windows, which is what you see most of the time in the news clips, doesn’t do shit. So I’m really concerned about the glass.  The only place in my house where there are no windows is at the top of my stairs. So I realize that I need a better plan in case something like that should happen again. I didn’t feel safe or prepared.

I spent the next 5 hours in the dark. I did manage to find an old mp3 player that had a radio. So I’m listening to a local radio station that was taking calls from people in the area and they were describing what was going on. That kept me sane for a few hours and then I was able to fall asleep until 5:00 am, at which point the lights came on. The only damage that I suffered was a fallen tree in the backyard, a small one at that. I consider myself fortunate.

Also, I’ve been working on my music pratically every day now. Once I got the courage to record my singing, at the encouragement of my gf, I have been on a tear. If you’re curious, by all means check out my tracks HERE (it will open a new window)