Everyone has played at least one game of cards so it makes a fine analogy. Immediately after taking the cards from the box you skim through the deck for the manufacturers/rule cards and jokers, you pluck those and shuffle. Well, what about the times where you leave the jokers in? Have those not been some of the most entertaining games that you have ever played? Sure, some people get a little snippy because the “wildcard” dynamic skews the game too dramatically for them to have fun. I’m going to step outside of the metaphor here for one second to point out that these are the people who don’t like that the shifted dynamic has drawn attention away from them, or made them feel less in control. Which is the point of the wildcard to begin with. You aren’t playing house rules, gritty, stand-off style poker where the goal is to walk away with everyones money, this is supposed to be fun. Right? That’s what the wildcard means to me anyway, by joining a game where the joker is left in you tacitly agree to enjoy yourself and not be a fusspot when things don’t go your way.
Enter bipolar type 2 stage left. I do not come to social functions with a contract that states up front that by inviting me you waive the right to be a whiny little turd because nobody is paying attention to you. I should have in retrospect, it might have put some people at ease, or at least deterred them from bothering to waste everyones time on a perfectly good night. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally to blame… Well, in so much as a blasting cap is to blame for a building demolition. I make a marvellous catalyst for other peoples personal and psychological issues. The great instigator. Could be why I find myself alone on a big heap of bones in this dusty lair full of women’s panties… However, I posit that there are those that have learned rather quickly to utilize my not insubstantial talents to their advantage in very short order. You might recall me mentioning that there were times when I would let Jack loose in a given direction and reap the rewards. Others had learned to do this as well. Not in an exploitative sense, playing a joker with an ace is so much more effective than playing a joker alone and the joker isn’t stupid.
For a time in my twenties I had a stacked deck. I was the lone joker and I had pocket aces, life was good. I miss those days but nothing can last forever and eventually some of those aces met queens and became kings. I stayed a joker and ended up rolling around with another joker, which was a bad scene… Two wildcards might sound like a big win, but you get accused of cheating and you might not walk away with the pot at the end of the…. Oh fuck the cards analogy. I ended up on kind of a drug bender in my late twenties going into my early thirties. I was at a pretty big low and washed out rather badly. I always hoped that I would find myself. That I would find a place to belong. I thought I had in my twenties with my friends, I thought we would remain relevant to one another for life. Such was not the case and while I still know them we rarely speak. Life goes on. I still have yet to find a place where I feel as though I fit in. Like a discarded joker, lost from his deck. Stuck in the spokes of some bratty kids bicycle.
I was always the wildcard. I was always the one with the crooked grin and fire in my eyes. I’ve run circles in the streets with roman candles in my pockets in front of the city hall of one of North America’s largest cities. I approached a bouncer at a nightclub who was frisking people wearing a trenchcoat and managed to not get groped by proclaiming: “OH YEAH! TOUCH ME BIG FELLA!!!” I caught the attention of a currently popular female sitcom actress when she was on her last show and had her spend the whole night hanging off of me (I had no clue who she was for about an hour). I’ve danced on tables. I’ve entered wet t-shirt contests. And almost won. As a man. Against a woman with fake breasts. By audience applause. I Iggy Popped that shit. At the end of the day, the ones who burn the brightest burn out first, obviously. So when people tell me that they went to college straight from high school, did some “crazy drinking”, graduated, got hired in an unrelated field for way less than expected, married and had kids… Oh, and once they saw a blimp… I feel sorry for them. I really do. Because the things I describe above are only a quick selection that I pulled off the top of my head and I am a nobody.
So, my total inhibition in certain settings has been a mixed blessing. Having kissed a starlet is a nice story even though most people don’t believe it. The flip side being that when I sit down to make a bucket list I draw a blank. Go see the louvre? Sure. Can I get a blowjob there? I know, the historic majesty of it should be enough and by now you would figure I would have had enough bj’s. In reality, it takes more and more to get my engine to turn over. So as vapid and basic as it sounds, cheap thrills are kind of what does the trick. Perhaps I damaged a synapse or two while I was pouring copious amounts of narcotics on them. The core problem being the vehicle that brought me here in the first place. The hypomania that is the driving force behind these behaviours. That has taken me so far away from anything that I can call a home. That has left me here broken and alone with a collection of stories and nobody to tell them to at the bottom of the well. The hope has always been that I would round the next bend and find a place where I fit in. Find a group of people that understood me that I liked. People who liked me who I could remain relevant to for the rest of my days. Some sense of belonging and security. To get shuffled back into the deck and played along with the rest.