The Games We Play

I’m currently sitting on the floor typing while another version of me is currently playing on the television beside me. I’m making copies of the Anne Heche show for someone, and I’ve spent the morning calling people while watching them perform monologues. It’s a strange meta thing to talk to someone while listening to them yell. It’s even worse to watch yourself while trying to write about yourself. I’d say it was narcissitic, but I don’t have the ego.

I generally don’t watch myself on television. I still have a copy of my episode Beat the Geeks that Michelle sent me that sits, unwatched. I find that once I see myself up there, see what I imagine other people see, I tend to get a little depressed. I don’t like my voice, my forehead, the way my hair looks tired. I don’t like the way I rush when I talk, how red my face gets when I’m excited, the way my shoulders hunch towards my neck. I don’t like the way I move, the way my chin looks when I laugh, the way I tend to tremble when I’m holding something as a prop.

The more I watch myself, the more self-conscious I get. Then I start talking myself out of what I’m doing, and the next time I’m up on stage, I can’t help but feel like I shouldn’t be there. I try not to watch myself at all anymore, as it makes me change what I’m doing, and takes some of the joy out of my work.

I’ve recently discovered that the same thing happens to me when I’m playing board games. It seems that one-on-one I’m fine, but once I’m in a group, I can’t stop thinking about my role in the group, how I’m contributing, and if I’m going to ruin everything for the group. I tend to get quiet, allowing the other team members to make the final decisions. I question myself because I have a responsibility towards the group. If I was by myself I’d boldly choose my answers. I wouldn’t hesitate, or belittle myself. I’d take more risks. I’d win the game. But put me with someone else, particularly someone with a strong player (if I have a weak teammate, I tend to play harder, stronger, filling in for the weaknesses of my teammate), I’ll defer to the alpha and try not to cause any problems.

All by myself, when I’m not thinking about what I look like, or what I sound like, when all I’m trying to do is make someone laugh or win the game, I’m fine. But the second there’s a mirror in the room, a reflection of myself, my mind starts to wonder, “What the hell am I doing here?” I guess that’s why I tend to lead things instead of joining. If I’m too busy leading, I don’t have time to stop and talk myself out of it.

I went to Vegas this past weekend, spending time with good friends as well as making new ones. It was the annual TWoP summit, and was quite a bit different without Dan. Instead, there was AB, which is kind of like having the opposite person in the room. I’m smack in the middle of AB week, by the way, with Allison’s wedding in just a few days, so my days here in LA are just a pit stop before I’m at an airport again. By the way, Allison wrote in her last entry that I’m deluded into thinking I’m some kind of “Other One” when I’ve got a rack like mine. I love how she makes it sound like she’s some kind of cathedral wall — hundreds of feet high and completely flat. It’s not true. I’ve got the picture to prove it, but she’d kill me if I posted it.

But there was a point when I just started getting more and more exhausted, and the thought of continuing on was almost too much to bear. I thought it was maybe because we were such a large group of people, and I tend to try to make sure everybody’s happy (somehow I was leading groups of people to and from casinos, as if I was the Vegas Hospitality Council or something), and the next thing I know I’ve got three different plans all going at the same time and someone gets cancelled and I feel guilty and then I try to make it up to that person, which only slights another person and the only choice I have is to never, ever sleep.

Or perhaps I’m just getting older, as Kim suggested, and that’s why we weren’t as interested in hitting a bunch of scenic points in Las Vegas, but rather enjoyed just sitting around chatting. But I think it was because the pressure was off to have things to entertain us. We were more content just catching up. Everybody looked really good, healthier than one would expect in this economy. It was nice to see such pretty faces, all smiling and happy to be together again. Those are some funny fucking people, too, so the entire weekend was spent laughing. Oh, and I completely broke even, which is the most I’ve ever won in Vegas. Total success!

Not one picture taken, as I’m becoming forgetful in my old age.

And not one joke in this entry, as I’m obviously too worn out to have a sense of humor.

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