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October 2010

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weaker than you

I met this guy named Tyler in high school. He made it a point to sit next to me in art class. We talked alot of shit to the preppy kid that sat across the table to us. Wanted to somehow think we were better than him. He seemed like an alright guy. He was pretty funny and he had alot of stories though they sometimes seemed over the top. We got along famously.

One day, he stops by my house out of the blue. He tells me that he really respected my musical motivation. That whatever it was I was doing he wanted to be a part of it. He gave me this speech which I'd have to say I was really impressed and taken aback by. He'd never heard me play and I hadn't even known that he was a musician to begin with. Didn't seem like he knew enough about me to really know what kind of dedication I had or not, but at the time, I didn't feel like raising questions. He basically gave me the same exact speech that I would have gave at that age had I met a hometown idol that I wanted to jump on the bandwagon with. Thats not to say anything about myself and my status in this town. I'm not anybody. But he gave me that speech anyways. The one that says "I don't feel like my life is worth anything not worth risking for the idea that I could write music with you and bury my remaining days for the approach of a maybe just a few life changing songs." I was honored. I didn't care what his skills were, if he had the drive, we'd figure the rest out.

So he hung out with me in a moldy little guest house I had my equipment set up in. I didn't have shit for equipment back then. Not nearly enough to write on. We spent a few weeks trying to put together ideas but getting nowhere cause I had ideas a bit too big for what the fuck I knew how to do and the equipment I had. Tyler told me that he had a bunch of equipment. He had a computer, a great sounding guitar, dj equipment and so forth. But the thing that interested me the most. He had access to a house that we wouldn't hardly pay anything for. The house was ran down but in a really charming way. The house had its own lake that it shared with one other person. We had a paddle boat. It was two stories, we had a few bedrooms. The living room had these large windows that gave one of the most fantastic views of the foliage during the fall over the lake. The lower floor that we had the equipment in would project reflections on the walls during the sunrises off of the lake. I loved this house more than any house I've ever lived in.

As soon as we moved in, Tyler quit his job. He really didn't have any legitimate reason why except that he said that he could make more  money hosting role playing games online. Which didn't seem too lucrative by any means, but I still took his word for it.

The first weekend we stayed in the house we had a bit of a misadventure involving a heavy amount of lsd. It was one of those experiences that definitely deserves its own entry.  To summarize as briefly as I possibly can. It was a terrifying experience that completely opened my eyes to look somewhere else. I can not consider any other experience in my life I could point my finger to and say that it change my life more than this experience did. Overnight, I was a completely different person. I worked so much harder than I had my whole life. I was so completely dedicated towards everything I did. My mind was one big switchboard where I knew where all the switches were for once in my life. When I needed to find drive and energy to get anything done it was just right there when I needed it. I was a musician. I was an artist and for the first time I really knew it. And for me to sacrifice anything of mine didn't even require any time to consider. I just fucking did it. And even though Tyler was there in the room with me when this all went down. He stayed awake with me and had what I'd like to think of as the million dollar conversation. I would have given anything for the opportunity for us to have placed a tape recorder in the room, just to know everything we talked about and how exactly I came to all the conclusions I did. Though in retrospect, it would probably be a bit too naive a conversation for me to appreciate nearly as much now. Which makes me sad. But I had changed drastically, and Tyler... not really.

I went out and worked 90 hour weeks trying to acquire equipment and on Sundays I would spend time with Samantha cause at the time we were closer than we ever had been and I'd spend time with Tyler but that was getting frustrating really quickly because he had manage to fall back on every single thing he ever said he was going to do. He played like shit. All the equipment that he said he had that he tried to impress me with was so substandard I would of thought he was fucking joking. I couldn't really make sense of what he was trying to pull except that maybe he was just a lonely person who decided to jump on the bandwagon with me just to give some sort of meaning to his life. Which is not an idea I'm necessarily against as long as he pulled his fucking weight and he wasn't. I was buying the food and paying utilities and he was on his ass all fucking day in front of his piece of shit computer that was intended to be our studio computer except that it couldn't do shit.

On Sundays, I could always count on Sam being at my home. Me and her got really close during this period. And not many people got to see me during this time. I really only had about a half hour to spare whenever I came home from work. I worked constantly. I was in a really different place mentally at the time. I was so hopeful back then. I felt so sure that I had everything figured out. And my energy was so constant. And looking back it makes me sad, cause the only difference between me now and the way I was then was that I felt I had a reason to try. And that's all. And Sam always needed her own reasons. Maybe that's why she was so drawn to me at the time. Cause I was so sure I had all the answers, I seemed like I tried to exude them on everyone else.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night cause the T.V. was blaring. I went out into the living and saw Tyler and one of his friends sitting out watching "Alice in Wonderland". Tyler stated while laughing that he and his friend helped themselves to some of my LSD that I had left in the freezer. I wasn't sure what that was all about. The summer was over so I wasn't going to be able to find anymore for a while. I wasn't too happy about it, but didn't feel like saying anything about it right then. I sat up and talked to them for a few minutes. We started to talk about the movie "Natural Born Killers" for some reason. Then Tyler  said "Why don't we own that movie?" .......We? What the fuck is "We"? Were we fucking married or something? This was the beginning of a trend of Tyler acting more and more strange.

About two weeks later, it was Halloween. Halloween fell on a Sunday that year too which was really fucking brilliant. I was looking forward to a good Halloween in the years post-Misty and Monique when Halloweens were a more sacred occasion since we were too goth for our own good. So I spent it at Sam's, we had a great time. No one thought to invite Tyler. At least, I didn't. So me and Sam drive back to my house late at night, she was going to crash at my house.

I open the door and Tyler is there, almost in tears. Freaking the fuck out and telling me the cops were there. I asked him what happened. He said that his younger brother had called the cops on him just on account of some basic sibling rivalry and said we had drugs in the house. The cops showed up apparently and started to search and Tyler said he had gotten ahold of the LSD in the freezer and was trying to hide it from them but was cornered and had to eat all of it and now he was tripping out.

I'm sure that if I was faced with this situation now, I'd be much more apt to shoot holes in the story. Like how the fuck the house was so clean if it had just got ransacked by cops. At the time, it didn't even cross my mind. I couldn't even fathom how or why he'd be lying to begin with. The only thought in my mind was, if he took all that acid, he was in alot of fucking trouble and we were going to be up with him the whole night to keep him okay. The idea of thinking it was a lie seemed more amazing than it being the truth.

So he had our full attention, we sat down with him on the couch and said whatever we could to talk him down. We went back and forth with him for a long time. Trying to give him a calmer more trustworthy atmosphere. After a while, Sam went and sat next to him. We put a movie on and he seemed to mellow out a bit. A bit too well in fact. Things had gotten to the point to where I felt I could probably go to sleep. Tyler seemed like he was fine and I was too tired to ask any more questions.

I wake up the next morning and walk out into the living room and neither of them are there where I had left them. I walked across the hallway to Tyler's room to what I had hoped I wasn't going to see. Sam and Tyler asleep together. Not that I was jealous, but Tyler had raised alot of red flags with me lately. It was really unlike Sam to just randomly fuck one of my friends and she knew Tyler already had a girlfriend who was a ruthless fucking cunt named Jamie who I know of cause I had the misfortune of dating her at some point. So it felt like a disaster waiting to happen.

Over the next two weeks, Tyler started leaving notes for me around the house. I don't know what you would call them. Bizarre little writings almost like poems. Talking about destiny and shit. I remember one that said "I push you, you push me." Like he was trying to dictate a better idea of what are friendship was. Like it was some partnership where we fed off each other and inspired each other to be better musicians. I think it was a bit more one sided than he realized. Alot of the other times it was stolen lyrics from bands like Nirvana or Tool maybe trying to leave me the impression that maybe he'd written them himself. He had yet to ever state one original idea ever.

Eventually, I had a short sit down with his mum. I had to try to get a few stories he'd told me verified by her. And she shot them all down. She gave me the lowdown on exactly how bad his lying really was. Honestly I think the only thing he might of told me that was honest was his name. I was really pissed off about this. I couldn't believe what a fucking waste of time this guy was turning into.

I stopped by Sam's house right afterwards. She didn't even really get any sort of greeting in before I shot out with "He's full of shit". I told her everything I'd found out and she didn't seem surprised at all. But the most obvious question that came up was what the fuck was the deal with the night when he apparently took all the lsd? What happened to the lsd? Why the fuck does someone do something like that? Who the hell was this guy?

We went back to my house. Me, Sam and our friend Tom. When we got up to the door we noticed Tyler sitting in front of the computer in the dark. As he was every time I came home. Tom came up with the idea of screwing with him. I was down with it. We surrounded the house and started throwing things at the windows. Making spooky little noises. And it worked very very well. Tyler didn't take long to come to the door scared as fuck yelling "WHO'S THERE???!" I didn't really expect that sort of reaction, and while we all thought it was really funny, I felt obligated to let the guy off the hook since we weren't quite enemies yet. So we came around the corner. He said my named and sighed a sigh of relief and he said "Hey man, what the hell were you guys doing?" I didn't say anything. I just shot him a dirty look and we all headed upstairs. Tyler stayed downstairs. Us three sat down in front of the telly and made conversation. I assumed at some point Tyler would come upstairs and ask what was going on or act like nothing happened but instead he sat downstairs like he was too scared to come up and after 15 minutes he left. Despite the fact that he obviously had nowhere to go cause it was midnight.

Two days, he didn't come home. I had heard through the grapevine that he slept out of his car. Which is fucking bizarre enough that someone would be that ambivalent to any sort of confrontation with me. But what would make that even more surprising is the fact that he drove a fiero.  And the idea that someone would go so far to avoid me over what I would consider to be more of a tiff than a legitimate argument with me... I mean, I'm not some sort of raving convict. I think I'm hardly intimidating. I weigh like 140. After two days he finally arrived to see me. He acted like he had been rehearsing this discussion the whole time he was gone. He was stifling the whole time repeating "what the fuck is going on?" I laid it all out for him. I told him I know he's lied about everything. And that he's been wasting my time. I wasn't harsh by any means. I've never been one to ever give any guy shit for being emotional in front of me. But theres a line somewhere between being emotional and being a weepy sort of pathetic and Tyler was crossing that line with his demeanor during this whole affair. We managed to resolve the discussion at least to the point where Tyler could at least feel safe enough to stay in the house. Which was funny since it was more his house than mine to begin with since his Grandfather was renting it to us. He was still avoiding me like the plague though.

The next day I was there in the house by myself. I invited Sam out. Sam seemed more pissed at Tyler than even I was. Just cause she slept with him and she hangs onto her anger much more than I do. She might of been there for about an hour before Tyler pulled into the driveway.  I looked out of my bedroom window and thought "Here we go". Now I was going to have to deal with whatever tension Sam and him were going to have. But then I noticed he pulled just far enough into the end of the driveway, sat there for about 30 seconds and then threw it into reverse and left. I laughed my ass off about that. I said to Sam "Jesus fucking Christ, that guy has to be the weakest guy I have ever met in my life".

Me and Sam sat around the house pulling out all of Tyler's love notes that he'd written to her and his notes that he left me. Every lyric stolen from some album. And then this was, for me, the real kicker. Sam told me that she thought Tyler was stealing my identity. She said that all the time when I was around him I would say something to him and he'd nod and comply and then as soon as I left the room he'd basically repeat it to whoever was left in the room almost word for word. I had never noticed that at all but to hear her say it, it had made sense. It hard to really describe why that angered me so much to hear that. Whatever sense of identity I have, its one that I worked very hard on and it's one I have to value in order to keep any sort of sanity. And this pathetic motherfucker shows up on my porch one day out of the fucking blue. Asks me to move in with him, acting so dedicated to take part in all my dreams and efforts towards writing music. Doesn't ever do a god damn thing once we finally move into a place and are in a position to do something. Quits his job and has me buying all the food. Steals my fucking drugs in the stupidest most insane ruse for attention I'd ever heard of. And then tries to steal my own identity? Fuck him. Seriously. Would it make sense to say that for him to try to join ranks with me and play music with me and do all this felt like he had tread all over my dreams? Cause at the time thats exactly what it felt like.

After a long period of time of Tyler being as scarce as possible around the house whenever I was there, he had finally decided to take a stand and speak out, the best way he knew how. By bringing his dad over to the house to talk to me. I laugh as I write that.  Tyler just kept getting better and better. Sam was at the house at the time. Me, her, Tyler, and his Dad sat around in a room while his Dad did most of the talking. He'd on occasion invite Tyler to put in his two cents. This felt exactly like one of those types of scenarios where two seven year old boys who are friends get into a fist fight and a parent brings one of the boys over to the others house to make up. Only we were young men and this was just sad. After a while his dad had said to summarize, that I was completely blowing the fact that Tyler had lied about everything out of proportion and I needed to stop overreacting and make up with him.... cause Tyler loved me. Not that he actually said that, but it felt almost like that. But on one very serious note.... Sam was in the room. And this was her problem too. He'd lied to her too and he managed to sleep with her because of that. And Tyler paid her absolutely no mind. She might as well had not been in the room. And that was bullshit, and it hurt her. Not cause she cared about him anymore but thats just fucking rude. Tyler's actual girlfriend, Jamie had had a few exchanges with me in the midst of all this. She definitely knew what happened and she hated everyone for it. Including me cause I already didn't like her. My phone conversation with her where I called her a fucking cunt and hung up on her might have displayed a lack of sympathy for her plight.

I loved that house. I doubt I'll ever live in a house as inspiring as that one. I had offered his grandfather five times the rent he was charging if he'd let me stay there without Tyler. He rejected it and took Tyler's side. Which I cant blame the guy by any means. Tyler was family. But it still pissed me off. So I finally left the house and felt I had wrote off Tyler in the same note.

A few weeks pass... its my birthday in December. And Sam who always made it a point to call me on my birthday hadn't. It seemed strange, I called her once or twice but didn't think it was a big deal. Then she called me back. I said "Hey, whats going on? Where are you?" She said "I'm in jail". So she'd told me about how cops had showed up at her house and for some reason they were looking for her and me. She had been growing pot plants. I had no involvement with it. She'd let Tyler in on it while they were dating. So it went without saying that we felt that Tyler was behind it. I told her I was going to beat the fuck out of him. She told me not to. She acted like she had this big elaborate plan on how she was going to get back at him. But she wouldn't tell me about it. In the long run, she never told me what it was and refused to, and had proceeded to not do shit. Thats just the way she ran... she was a fucking nut.

For the next week, I felt absolutely fucking livid. I had never been this angry at someone in my life. I'd never asked him to invite himself into my life in the manner that he did and it's one thing for him to drag me the way he did, but to fuck with my friends to get at me. I could never ever forgive that.

I knew Sam had "her plans" (which I can't say I took very seriously) but out of respect... I never got in Tyler's shit about it. But I couldn't stop at that. I had to at least call him. So I did. He answered the phone. He already knew where the conversation was going. The second I brought up Sam's arrest he said "I knew it, I knew you would blame me for this." I said "No Tyler, I know maybe you weren't the one who actually made the call. That it was probably your girlfriend Jamie. But it was you that made it a point to tell Jamie about it. And you had to know how she was going to react to that. Even you aren't stupid enough to not see this coming a mile away. And you sat aside like the fucking pussy that you are and let her do it. Sam's house has been demolished by the police during the search. She might not even be able to keep her house for this. And maybe I should seek retribution for this. But you know what? I'm not going to. Look at you, look at your life, look at your worthless fucking girlfriend who you dislike almost as much as I do. Your life is pathetic, you are the weakest person I've ever met. You're not ever going to be anything...... What the hell can I do to you? How could I possibly make your life any worse than it already is? You're not ever going to see me again. I'm going to leave this fucking town and find my resolve to life. And you're going to stay here in this fucking town and find your resolve.... by putting a gun in your mouth" And then I hung up.

That.... was far and away.... the meanest thing I had ever said to anyone in my life. I'm never in the nature to say things like that to people. But he'd gotten under my skin like no one else ever had. Maybe I don't like how a statement like that reflects on my character as a person. But nonetheless. I don't regret saying that. Maybe I would have if he had actually killed himself, but he didn't. And maybe that was the last bit of revenge I should have looked for, but I unfortunately didn't stop there. About a month later I used the house key that I still had, broke into his house, and stole only his computer, since I figured it was the only thing in the world that meant anything to him. I sold it to a friend for a hundred bucks. And gave that hundred bucks to Sam to help her with her damages. That felt just. It still feels just. Jamie never saw any retribution but she didn't deserve it as much. After all, she did get cheated on and caught in the middle just like all the rest of us.