So it's been a long time since I last wrote here. November was spent managing depressing, seeing the world through a marijuana haze, and possibly a lot of typical crap you've seen here at inkubo.org or heptapod.org for people who remember that site.

After visiting with my dealer on that Saturday I felt renewed. While driving back to Neptune, my soul felt like it fit my body again. Typically I talk to myself and I found my voice to be deeper and more confident after the visit. Anyway we sat, ate, watched the skyline, talked about my dealer's other gig making jewelry, then we went to see Black Adam with her brother. Black Adam was not good. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is not a good actor but he sure as hell makes a good, titular supervillain/antihero visual. Like most movies in the DC cinematic universe, the film was humorless and lacking in fun. Not to mention being too long. I'm not talking Emperor Joseph II saying Mozart's Entfuhrung aus dem Serail had 'too many notes', but something slow and ponderous with very little in the way of peaks, valleys, nor build-up for the plot. Also the portrayals of mideast people verged on being racist since it was through the filter of white, western, well-meaning liberal eyes rather than being true to mideast culture.

I did mention how Leah went to check on me the next day because I had a breakdown and walked to the Asbury boardwalk. She's a good human being, for what it's worth, and I commend her for restraint because I swear I felt she was a red cunt hair away from blowing up at me for being so dramatic.

Speaking of red cunt hairs, many of the mornings in November were spent obsessing over Edna LaMontagne Voegele. The one time I went to visit her, unannounced, and it was time for me to head back into New Jersey. She showed me out and walked with me back to my car. First Edna had her arm around my arm but when we reached the end of her street she slid her hand down and held my hand. I could've cried. Back when we did bookkeeping Edna showed me such affection and involved herself with who I am, rather than treating me as a retarded toddler who needed to be managed in a crowded store.
That time when I was driving her back to Pennsylvania and I took a wrong turn. I kinda realized I might've taken a wrong turn but figured I'd eventually figure my way to her place, then Edna realized it. Rather than lashing out at me, calling me an idiot, and engaging in other cruelty she merely said, "I think we're going the wrong way" and pulled out her phone to help me navigate then pat my arm so warmly and reassuringly. It was this moment where I realized for myself, therapist and a handful of friends aside, where I realized I was in a toxic relationship.
Not to mention another time where I was driving her back home and it was quiet in the car. I drove while she just enjoyed the ride and as I was entering the Route 29 tunnel into Trenton I realized I was getting a spontaneous boner for absolutely no reason. At the time I was really fat and it was affecting my performance, solo or with Leah, not to mention dragging my mood through the black mayonnaise at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal of my soul. Reckon it was because I was feeling happy and that had been rare. Not to mention, to the best of my recollection, anytime I was ever legitimately happy and I was showing it (I didn't clap my hands) Leah would become upset with me or her mood would turn sour. My hypothesis was Leah was upset that I was happy because of something besides her.
Okay this is becoming a digression.
The cherry on top? That Saturday at Edna's where Edna said with some astonishment, "You really love me."

I have such an abiding fixation upon her, wanting to feel that kind of love, intimacy, and acceptance of who I am rather than who I should be, and finally experiencing it after many years. By experiencing I mean finally jumping into the pool, swimming through those warm waters, splashing around, and seeing someone on the ledge laughing because they know I'm happy and having fun as well rather than resenting me.

Then there's the disappointing reality that Edna emailed me, and carbon-copied Leah, to say cease all contact or she'll drop some truth bomb on Leah to make my life more complicated and difficult.

When Leah mentioned how she was included in that email, I told her straight, "One. I don't kiss and tell. Two. Nothing happened. Nothing. And if she wants to say something then it says a lot about her character." To my surprise, after telling this to Leah, she accepted this and dropped the subject rather than drilling me with questions.

Edna aside, there was some bad news in November. Twenty four people were laid off mid-month and I was spared the axe. The Friday after this revelation I got a personal call from my manager who said that the woman who works Monmouth County was laid off because she wasn't amenable to learning and expanding her skills. Now I'm working two counties on top of helping out with Middlesex, Somerset, Atlantic, Cape May, and Morris counties as necessary.

Thanksgiving rolled around, Sarah invited me down again for Thanksgiving. Much to my surprise, my friend in LBI was in contact with me again but they were diagnosed with COVID. Fortunately she's vaccinated and it was relatively mild. While I was heading down to the deepest, darkest south Jersey I phoned up LBI and let slip my nefarious scheme. "I'm going to bring you a plate of food. They cook for an army and I know Sarah's mom will be happy to let me take home double the leftovers."
Dinner was fantastic. One guy named Terry asked what I do, and I responded, "I'm just a title searcher." He stopped me, "No, you're a title searcher. Not 'just' a title searcher." I repeated it and smiled. Kinda reminded me of when I was looking into real estate investing with my therapist's boyfriend and he told me, "You're not a title searcher. You're the title searcher."
LBI loved the food and she was beside herself over the flourless chocolate cake based on the Snapchat videos she sent me. Sometime this weekend I'm going to try my hand at cooking my own flourless chocolate cake and see how my roommates like it, then bake one special for LBI.

More marijuana haze. Wound up visiting with Leah and helped her with chores so I could see the cats and get a free meal. I think visiting her made me feel lonelier but not nostalgic which is a good thing? I hope so.

After nearly three months, to the tune of a $750 deductible, my car has been repaired. My landlord let me rent his car for three days which spared me the indignity of having to rideshare and such. Since my hours and schedule are dependent upon which county I'm maining that day, it wouldn't work in my favor to depend on bumming a ride off someone else. The night it was ready was a night where Leah was working in Trenton. Heading into Neptune wasn't much of an imposition for her and she drove me to pick up the car but she was in a rush because of a prior engagement.
Turns out I couldn't find the key to my car, and when I double-clicked the lock button on my fob the car didn't flash its turn signals and honk at me. The next day I learned the key was put under the floormat and the fix for the latter issue was simple.
Go me, I fucking advocated for myself and it worked out in my favor.

It's good to have Mok back.

Jumping back a little bit in time, on Saturday the 3rd I hung out with LBI. I checked Snapchat and saw she was having lunch over in Asbury and said we should get together and smoke. I was already going to head into Asbury and hit this little tchotchke store called Funhouse to pick up Christmas cards like last year. We walked a little, the store didn't have any cards, and we went back to my place to smoke a blunt.
Earlier that day I bought two new-fangled LED lightbulbs that change colors and they are just the coolest fucking thing ever. We went into my room, she rolled up a blunt and we caught up after not seeing each other for more than a year. I kept futzing with the light and the mood because it's so gosh-darned fun. Told her how I want to get to know her, along with complimenting her on her dancing skills and intelligence. The former is self-evident from her IG, the latter was demonstrated when she was relating a story about being ghosted but wanting to know why someone would ghost her out of the blue after chatting for more than a month.
You're not smart if you're not curious and LBI has it in spades. She's a good human being.

An hour or so after she went to her gig in Red Bank she sent me a few Snapchats of her being silly around a Christmas tree which mitigated my anxiety that I might've done something wrong.

One last thing to bring up as I jump around this timeline without regard for the sequence of events, I really am oblivious to women. Whether it was Edna's "Come wake me up when Leah leaves" a few times while bookkeeping, or Edna saying "I'm in this room" when we did bookkeeping in her parents's basement. Another example being the Satanist goth chick and me being oblivious to her interest in me. Fortunately she wound up telling me, "Nah" because I wrote about her in a circumspect but positive fashion here at inkubo.org then blocked me. Bullet dodged.

The latest bout of obliviousness happened with a visit to Leah where she requested my presence to assist in trimming the cats's nails. I did a lot of chores for her, some of which were not requested, and sat nearby to keep her company while she assembled a new office chair for her job. Around the time I was ready to leave she decided to ask some questions about my personal life, to which I responded about my disinterest and not believing I had much to offer another person. Then she asked, "Does your cock still work?" That was a bridge too far and I told her. Just before it was really time to go she stood between me and the back door, "You know you can ask anything of me. Is there anything you want?"
I thought a long time. About a minute or so. If I was Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation I'm sure my eyes would've shifted back and forth to demonstrate to the audience I'm a machine 'thinking'. First thing that came to mind was to ask Leah to put in a good word of me with Edna but I bit my tongue very hard. "No. I can't think of anything right now."
Flash forward to that Wednesday the 7th where I had therapy. Before going into therapy I called Leah because of something that happened while she was driving me to pick up my car on Tuesday night. "When I was telling you about how I was depressed and feel helpless in the face of world events, you told me I should volunteer or do something rather than sitting hunched over my computer in my little room. You haven't made fun of where I live, but you disparaged the manner in which I live. That's my biological mother." Then I softened the blow a bit, "I know you're coming from a good place, but that was not a good thing for me."
"I apologize."
When I told my therapist this, she was surprised that Leah had apologized. Then I related my Monday evening visit to her and said, "Was she trying to hit on me?"
"Well, YEAH"
"Jesus Christ, I'm oblivious." Sometimes I think women hit on men as if they were hitting on women, using all the little tips and tricks and nuances a woman would catch on like a room full of gasoline. For me, I keep myself reserved and avoid vulnerability along with the assumption that no sane woman would be interested in me. Especially Leah after I moved to Neptune.

That's my peace. Hope to update again tomorrow.

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