Ok! In contrast to last month which was a lot about me, this month is only incidentally about me. I mean, of course it’s about me, me being me and all. But I’m just a stand-in for a principle that’s really about you–because it’s a principle. I’m just a symbol representing an archetypal process that we all go through. McLuhan would like this one. Otis Funkmeyer as semiotic representation. Geez guys you’re making me feel all academic and shit.
Our topic for this glorious month, now passed, when winter gives way to Spring, time of birds, bees, and a good fling or two if you’re lucky (or a strong declarer of intention), is flexibility. Flexibility in relationships and primarily, but we’ll just say flexibility all over.
As I mentioned in passing, Jenny and I are working well together for the first time in our relationship. In the past, we had a glorious relationship in 90% of our life and nearly murdered each other at knife point in the other 10%. That 10% ate at me for a long time. Why is that? Why won’t it go away? Why won’t she change? Why don’t I just quit? I tried all of those things and none of them worked. She’s just too lovable to quit, she’s just too stubborn to change, and God just wants me to deal with this too much for it to just go away.
So, if you’re still with me, hopefully you’re wondering, well, what changed?
What changed is me!
Shockingly, stupefyingly, beyond reason, Otis Funkmeyer was able to change! To become flexible! I know, I know, it’s about as unlikely as determining who really built the Gizan pyramids–but it happened. As that little kid in Magnolia says as the frogs descend from the heavens, “this is something that happens!”
Let’s backtrack, shall we?
Why 10% Of My Relationship Sucked
The short version is that I was inflexible and controlling. The medium version was that I thought Jenny was inflexible and controlling. The long version is that we were both equally controlling because shit, Jenny isn’t even real! Just another figment of my imagination like all ya’ll mahfuggahs that are supposedly “out there” “reading this.” Good game, God, good game.
Being not real, she was just a mirror that I projected to show me what I was, which of course was inflexible and controlling. The beauty of life, the meat and potatoes of this essay, the takeaway that you have been desperately hoping would come at some point, is this: life is a mirror, but it’s a mirror on acid, literally. Meaning, it shows you who you are, but slanted. When you look too closely, your face starts melting and you forget why you’re standing in front of a mirror. This happens over and over and over while the same situations keep repeating around you. People who (in my case) are controlling and inflexible appear. They really get your goat as the kids used to say in the 19th-century and you think, man, thank God I’m not inflexible and controlling.
And then, if you are intellectually honest and a true spiritual seeker, one day you realize that OH SHIT! I’m inflexible and controlling. It was me all along! But I was inflexible and controlling in a way that is totally different than the people in front of me are inflexible and controlling, and so it made me think that I wasn’t like that.
To give an example, Jenny was controlling by telling me how to hold a camera, how to setup a shot. I don’t do that to her. Ever. And so I go on thinking it’s HER! It’s HER, that bitch! I’m the good guy!
And then one day I wake up and realize that the problem that Jenny and I are having working together is because I won’t let her bring on more people to work with us. I keep trying to stay small. I couch this in terms like “frugal” and “lean” and “just getting started,” but the reality is that I am CONTROLLING AND INFLEXIBLE. Ain’t that a bitch!
And that’s how it goes, EVERY SINGLE TIME. That’s why psychedelics are so gratifying if you manage to have a trip that doesn’t involve you almost going insane. Because it shows you the process whereby reality is created. You get to see that it’s just a series of loops, as one snake eats what appears to be the tail of another snake, but OH SHIT, that other snake is just the same snake from a different angle and like wow, we’re all just the same snake and look at those colors and then what was I talking about?
It’s a glorious game of distraction. It’s a real challenge to stay on top of these things, to see your own patterns, because they are constantly trying to dart away from you and keep you asleep, thinking the things that annoy you exist separately from you. Even as I write this I can think of like eight other situations in my life right this second where I’m projecting onto other people. So much for self-congratulations! Ain’t that a bitch!
This is why I advocate sobriety at this point, especially to those who got cracked open by the weed or the acid or the DMT. Cuz it’s like, yah you get it now… and so the real mindfuck can begin.
So yah, I saw the whole pattern. And as always, what it really came down to was that I was afraid. I was afraid of being on camera in front of other people. I was afraid of being silly. I was afraid of showing myself. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe they’ll think I’m a fag. Maybe I’ll realize I’m completely kidding myself. Self-doubt’s a real doozy sometimes.
But fuck it, man. I’m going for the gusto. It’s like Tom Petty or bust for me. Cuz I won’t back down… Im’ma stand my ground.
And so I started hiring people. As I sat there with an editor watching footage of myself talking in baby talk, rapping, dancing, just me and him, oh my god it was enough to make my stomach churn like so much butter. But I won’t back down.
I’m just gonna suck and flail and vomit my way to the top. Purging my insides, dying over and over like some kind of life-long ayahuasca journey until I become a person who’s like MUTHAFUCKA IM OTIS MUTHAFUCKIN FUNKMEYER YOU BETTA ASK SOMEBODY! Or at least someone who has confidence.