Lizard King is all about the game, and he is all about being on it. Lolita does not mind this at all about her occasional lover. She is just very happy to have a boyfriend who is very much not an artist. For sure, Lizard has managed to dodge the usual laundry list of creative neuroses – obsessive/compulsive behaviors, depression, anxiety, self-destructive tendencies, mania. LK is the original go-with-the-flow dude, the “it’s all good” kid. Lolita unavailable? No prob – we will hang out with good old Deuce. Money tight? It’s cool. There is always some cougar lookin’ to spend a little quality time with a hot Lizard.
So imagine our surprise when yesterday we discovered our casual King sitting at the kitchen table, hands covering his face, totally moping! Something was seriously up, or down. Deuce, usually pretty sensitive in these situations, approached our Boy. “What’s up, LK?” he asked, sniffing tenderly at a leg.
Now we are still talking about Lizard King here, so it is not like he had lost his faculties or his smarts. He considered carefully about spilling to Deuce. After all, Deuce is tight as Hell with Lolita. But he also knew Deuce honored the guy code, and would not reveal a confidence. So he spilled.
Turns out that Lizard, in fact, had found himself a bit tight financially the last week or so, and decided to hit the bars where cougars room. And sure enough he hooked up. And sure enough one drink led to another, and to his car, and so forth. But unexpectedly for our studly chameleon, there was a bit of a, shall we say, wardrobe malfunction at that critcal point when the pedal should have hit the metal. And this had put our normally unflappable King into a tailspin.
“The crazy thing is, Deuce bud, that I feel like I am letting down Lolita. She counts on me to be strong, the teflon boy.” Deuce listens, considers in his inimitable Spaniel way. He has seen Lizard King hit these crossroads before. Deuce understands that there is a downside to that “thick skin” we are all encouraged to cultivate. There is some peril in so completely disassociating our behaviors from our feelings, or losing touch with our feelings alltogether. Ironically, rather than reducing our vulnerability, at some point this disassociation breaks us. Cultivating a healthy and ongoing processing of feelings allows our emotional state to flex, to tense and relax like pulling gently on a rubber band. Artists are actually pretty good at this, as a rule. Emotional processing and interpretation is after all a veritable tool of the trade. But when we are disconnected for an extended period of time from the emotional content of our experience, the rubber band snaps. That is what happened with LK in the intimate department. His performance had so long been disassociated with feeling, dare we say love, that the system broke.
Of course Deuce spared our beloved Lizard all the analysis and simply offered, “Learn from your Lolita.”
In Deuce’s wise Spaniel way he lets us know that the artist’s time does come. The artistic personality, with all of its flaws and excesses, preserves for us the deep, vital connections between emotion and action. An artist’s identity is naturally quite wrapped up in the artistic process. But perhaps you can feel good, now and then, about just stepping out, and being. For the world needs you.