Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Deep In The Closet, I Found Some Masks

It’s just me and my computer. Candles are lit. Belle And Sebastian are playing on the stereo. I’m thinking of how things used to be versus how they are now. One solitary year can play tricks on your mind. One year can feel like it breezed by. But times are tough. The past year didn’t breeze by. Too much has happened. Too much has changed…

I spent a good deal of this year not knowing who I was. I guess I still don’t. But I realized a few things. First off, I’m certainly not the person I was 10-15 years ago. I’m astonished at how some people cling to that version of me, for better or for worse. Some still love the little Michael who said “meow” a lot, carried around stuffed animals, and used a lot of exclamation points.

And some still think I was genuinely evil in those days. Using a necktie as a noose wasn’t evil. It was just weird. I didn’t love Satan. I didn’t care about Satan. Or God, for that matter. I wasn’t a slut. I wasn’t a jerk. I wasn’t a category, unless you count “kid.“ I was just me, for better or for worse. But I’m not that person anymore. Layne Cheney died. Nathan Adler died. Only Love & Rockets lived on.

Some still love the older Michael who swallowed his pride and did his best to take care of everyone he loved. The Artful Lodger would do anything for the people he loved, even to his own detriment. Even if they didn’t want it or appreciate it. He never learned lessons. He just took a lot into himself and held on for dear life. And he lied to everyone to make it work.

And some still think I was genuinely evil in those days. Yes, I blocked some people out of my life for what I thought was the greater good. I didn’t know that the greater good doesn’t exist. I forgot about the shades of grey. I forgot to appreciate the little things in life. The Artful Lodger died. Only the memories remain.

So now I’m stuck with The Loss Adjuster.

I don’t know who he is. I’m told he’s actually a halfway decent guy. But he’s a guy who has trouble accepting that not everything is his fault all the time. He’s a little funny, from what I hear. He doesn’t meow much. He doesn’t carry around stuffed animals. He’s learned to not trust everyone. He doesn’t like exclamation points so much any more.

The one constant with all of these characters is their ability to feel too much. They love too hard; they agonize over every lost love, over every love that never was. Passion is a common thread, but not everyone appreciates that.

But The Loss Adjuster is beginning to learn that maybe that’s okay.

(The above photo of Nathan Adler was taken in 1998.)


  1. You gotta take the bad with the bad sometimes- just the way it is. But in the end, after you count all of the shades of grey- you can be who ever you want to be.

  2. i honestly don't think i had another persona until the gutter trash mafia days. and everyone knows thats over...

  3. I’ve changed some much throughout the years you’d think I was schizophrenic. I long for the days I didn’t have a care in the world! BTW you’re an awesome writer!

  4. @bon_don Thank you!