“The fact that you do it at home and by yourself – you’re not socializing – that’s a warning sign.”
“You’re doing it from the minute you wake up to the very last moment when you fall over into bed. Don’t you see that’s overdoing it?“
“It doesn’t have to be some illegal substance for it to be a 'drug.' You’re addicted.”
“When I don’t hear from you for days on end, it’s all I can do to wonder what might have happened to you. I picture your crooked, broken body in a dark house…”
These are things I’ve been hearing from my friends and family for the last few months.
“You don’t even realize that you have a problem.”
No, I do know I have a problem, Oh, yes I do, but perhaps that’s even worse. I acknolwedge that I have a problem, but I don’t want to do anything about it. I've just accepted it. I can’t help it. There is so much to do., Things weigh down so heavily on my heart and mind. Work and life are stressful. I just don’t think I know how to deal with everything and it’s turned me into a raging…
I haven’t gone out with friends in months. I work Every. Waking. Minute. Literally. If my brain is on, it’s working. Even when I’m sleeping, I have nightmares about work. My tagline would be more accurate if it said “Always working.” I know I’m addicted because I start to shake when I’m away from my laptop for more than an hour. I stress if I don’t work, but work stresses me out, so I step away, but then I stress about not working.
And I love it.
Because I am a workaholic.
(Normally, I would go into some multi-paragraph self(ish) psycho analysis that would start with reasons why people develop -aholism in any format in the first place then slowly unfold into a revelation about how I throw myself into work because 1) I have nothing else that is more meaningful in my life, B) it’s a more lucrative way to ignore my emotional and psychological deficiencies than say, drinking, and lastly) success in work depends only on me and is a sure thing because I’m a g*dd*amned genius, unlike success in relationships because that depends on scary unknown feelings and emotions of someone else. But I’m not going to do that analysis today.)
As flippant as I may seem about my “problem,” I do realize that I won’t be able to maintain my (nonexistent) lifestyle this way – at least not in a way that’s healthy. Eventually, any sort of –aholism that goes unaddressed leads to complete destruction.
It was time for intervention. I actually tore myself away from my desk for 15 minutes to take a shower. I actually put on clean JaCT (that’s “Jeans and Cute Top” for the uninitiated, and yes, it surprised me that I actually had clean clothes anyway). I actually went out to meet up with my Tribe for the first time in months.
Don’t be impressed about my driving. The Brig is on the westside. Besides, I didn’t drive. I mean, come on. This is me we're talking about.
If you’ve driven north along Abbot Kinney in Venice whilst on that continuous loop with an ever-widening radius to find parking in a neighborhood that has approximately one street parking spot for every 30 cars, you’ve undoubtedly seen the building on the east side of the street with a large mural of a boxer. That’s The Brig, which might be one of the only establishments in the area that has its own parking lot – that is, if an open patch of cracked asphalt with what seems like five space is considered a parking lot. Really, it’s a parking little. We got lucky.
At some point in its history, The Brig was a “dive.” It’s still a dive in that there isn’t much to the interior, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it’s just that it’s not something as noticeable as say, the superhighdesign of The Penthouse. The space is fairly large, and with giant glowing globe lamps hanging from the ceiling, looks like a 1970s basement rec room on its last legs. I suppose that now means it’s “retro-hip.” I have no idea what kind of business they do during the day, but the way that cafeteria-style tables are pushed to the perimeter and plastic chairs with metal legs are stacked or overturned on one another, it makes me wonder if they host bingo for a local nursing home’s field trip before 9 pm. Nonetheless, The Brig’s décor is far less important than the comfortably energetic vibe that comes from the music and the clientele.
Oh, the clientele. It’s hard to characterize the clientele as one “type.” There are Beautiful People, not-so-beautiful people, hipster-but-not-in-a-Hollywood-trashy way people, local beach folks, and of course, on the night I was there, at least one spazztastic blogging workaholic. Regardless of the “type,” though, most everyone is not ugly. Incidentally, everyone was at least 4-5 years younger than me.
The one thing I don’t understand about The Brig is the pool table toward the back. I am guessing that for many people, especially the ones who hover around it, the pool table is a big draw. Yes, I said "pool table." I find it rather annoying. Pool tables are for sports bars. And basement rec rooms. It makes The Brig seem like it doesn’t know what it is. Is it a hip lounge? Is it sports bar? Is it a bingo hall turned bar? Ok, I don’t mind the pool table that much at The Brig since I spent about 99.9% of my time in the front area near the DJ box and the bar, but I still don’t love the idea of a pool table in a crowded bar lounge in general. It just seems dangerous.
Back in my glory days, aka “when I was not as old and bitter as I am now,” I would have stayed through the Ugly Lights and shut The Brig down, but I was starting to twitch. I left before everyone else. I had to. I had photos to upload. Posts to write. Emails to send. For God’s sake, what if someone was trying to IM me?!?? Never mind the fact that all of the friends who ever IM me were still at The Brig?!?! There might be someone who is trying to IM me anyway!
At least I went out.
I think I have eleven more steps to go.
1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd (@ Mil
Venice, CA 90291