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Picking up the Pieces - johnnyboatshow
Picking up the Pieces
Well I haven’t written in a while.

There are numerous good and bad reasons. A good one is that I’ve been working really hard on this book I’ve been trying to write while I’ve been out here, and I didn’t want to ruin any of my magical book writing motivation by doing this instead.

A bad one is that I’ve been battling the dreaded “GI.” If you’re not familiar with “GI,” it’s a nautical term for “when a grown man poops in his pants.” I feel like the less said about this the better, although if you ever get on a ship, yeah, absolutely, sanitize your hands as often as possible. Also if you find that you’re a grown man and you’ve pooped in your pants, a funny thing to say out loud is “oh no!”

Another reason why I haven’t written much is because I couldn’t figure out how to do it without betraying anybody’s confidence.

But then I thought, well, what the hell, right? It’ll come out in the wash eventually.

So here are the things I’ve been dealing with since being on the ship:

1. My Granddad died, which is sad on its own a little, but the manner in which he went is pretty legendary and more cause for celebration than dramatic crying and “woe is me” proclamations. I guess the complaint there is that I missed the party, which is indeed a bummer.
2. Between agreeing to go out on this ship and actually going on it I met somebody in Chicago that I really really like. A lot. And we figured, “what the hey, let’s go for it here and not worry about things moving too fast” because I’m going on a ship anyway and we’re enjoying this. We left things off on the “let’s take a break while you’re on the ship” tip and then I went on my merry way as planned. But then since I’ve been on the ship that person has had some bad news come her way. If you can put two and two together and you know who it is, please don’t approach her with the oversensitive “I heard you had bad news and I’m here to talk to you about it first to overtly comfort you because I’m so obviously nice and then, later, to spread gossip about the situation” routine. I’m not sure she’d like that. In fact, I hope she doesn’t get pissed at me for writing this. But anyway, I’m out here on this ship with a dead Granddad and a girlfriend who’s entangled in bad news and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be here anymore. But them’s the breaks. The big thing is I’m sort of leery of starting up any sort of companionship with anybody because I don’t want to be the type of dude who fools around on a ship while his girlfriend is in Badnewsville. That ain’t right. So I’m lonely out here, but no biggie. At least I know what I want for once. It’s a step in the right direction.
3. I’m writing this book because I want to accomplish something on this ship that will maybe push me further into the realm of “guy who does creative things for a living that don’t involve cruise ships or toothless comedy for businessguys.”

So that’s in a nutshell what I’m dealing with over here. The first two are varying degrees of bummers with silver linings, and the third one is majorly exciting. I’ve just been plugging away at the book, a collection of how-to essays with a personal spin tentatively titled “The Douchebag’s Guide to Life,” and recently I pulled all of my existing material into one word document and it’s 140 pages already. So that’s good news. It’s not impossible. I’m going to do this.

The other thing on my mind is we’re getting out of Europe soon, which I’m extremely excited about for a number of reasons.

Reason number one is that the fact that we’re leaving Europe means that a certain amount of time has passed. Once you know for a fact that you don’t want to be here anymore, that’s the first thing you root for. It’s like that joke about the Duke football cheer. “Go clock go.”

I’ll also be glad because Europeans, by and large, do not speak English. It makes little things like buying toothpaste and figuring out which train to take and performing a comedy show in English into bigger hassles than they should be.

And also I think I’m about done being impressed by European things. I never was all that much anyway, and really now everything I see when I get off the ship just reminds me of constant thought number two and how much better everything would be if I was with her instead of out here alone. It’s depressing when you hate everything you enjoy.

Also, I’ll be excited about spending some time in Boston and New York, two bastions of old friends of mine. It’ll be nice to go to a city and know where things are and not feel like I’m missing out on the secret fun part of town. I know where the secret fun parts of those towns are.

So I’ve been working hard on the book lately. It’s not much to report, but it’s way better than just saying “went to Casablanca. Didn’t like it.” Because that’s an asshole thing to say to a bunch of people who aren’t in a position to go to Casablanca any time soon and therefore are convinced that maybe they would like it (you wouldn’t, it’s tense, you have to get into a screaming match if you don’t want to pay 30 bucks for a five minute cab ride, plus there are creepy dudes in the park that get into a staring contest with you and you think they might want to kidnap you because you’re being paranoid but also Casablanca is just like that).

I haven’t even been getting off the ship a whole lot recently, which has been strangely liberating. It’s nice to sleep until noon and then decide “you know what, I’m not going to Barcelona today. No thanks, Barcelona. Maybe I’ll go up to the spa for a free facial, but I’m not going to Barcelona.” It’s like a whole new level of guy you can be, when you’re deciding to pass on Barcelona. It’s downright regal. Sometimes a little devil pops up on my shoulder and says “But I haven’t seen the Sagrada Familia,” and I’ve gotten to the point where I can just flick him away and laugh and say “I’ve gone this far without having seen it, why waste a good thing?” And then I write 3,000 words about how threesomes are overrated.

Later when I see my friends and they’re like, “What’d you do today?” I perk up and say proudly, “I slept until 12:45 and then ordered room service and then wrote 3,000 words about threesomes, how about you?” And they say, “we waited in line for two hours and then paid 20 Euros to see an apartment building that Gaudy designed and it was worth it,” and I say, “great,” and silently cackle into my fourth half-price whiskey. It’s kind of great. I feel like a living, breathing middle finger.

So that’s all for now.

I’m sorry it’s been a while, and I’m also sorry in advance that I think it’s probably going to be a while until the next one. What do you want from me? I’m basically living in a cave right now, and for once I’m kind of enjoying it because at least I’m being productive.

Confidential to Mom: No, I don’t have a joystick for my Mac. Yes, “say goodbye to your wife and kids” sounds perfect. I don’t know what else to tell you about gift ideas. I’m in a pain in the ass situation out here where anything of any kind of bulk at all is going to turn into a significant burden come January 26th when I have to haul it all the way home. Cash is pretty easy to carry. So are things that will be delivered to my house in Chicago. Like magazine subscriptions. I don’t get Discover anymore.

Confidential to Bad News in Chicago: Take care of yourself, ok? I’m going to buy you something from Morocco.

Confidential to Everyone Else: Happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for you.
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