by Niall Doherty

1.

I’ve stretched and done push-ups and situps for twenty-five consecutive days now. Takes less than ten minutes each time, but it’s keeping me in good shape. On lazy Sundays like today, when I was out late last night and almost feel hungover, it’s so much easier not to do it. But I have that penalty set. One slip will cost me $1k. So, actually, it’s easier to just go ahead and do it.

2.

Back at Toastmasters Club #234, at the big library on the avenue. None of the old faces are here tonight. I feel my hands shake when I stand to introduce myself, and reckon I ramble too much during table topics, but somehow I come away with a ribbon. Which is nice, but mostly I’m left thinking I can be a lot better at this. Someday I will be.

3.

Is it weird when your ex messages you to say she just finished a marathon sex session with some dude? To be clear, she wasn’t saying it to hurt me, but just as a wild/interesting thing to share, because we’re close like that. Or are we? I’d like to be okay with it, and I probably would be if I was getting laid more myself right now. But as things stand, I’d rather not know.

4.

In a coffee shop, thinking of going over and talking to that girl. My lizard brain is trying to convince me otherwise. Looks like she’s studying, I’d be interrupting. It’s too quiet in here, what if someone overhears? That’s probably her boyfriend she’s texting. I reckon many of the other guys in here are thinking similar. Today, I’ll be the one who won’t succumb.

5.

Apartment hunting again, trying to find a place for me and two buddies for an upcoming ten-day rampage. As usual, the hunt is exhausting, taking up far too much of my time. I’m very much looking forward to signing a one-year lease in Amsterdam in June, and basking in the knowledge that I won’t have to do this shit again for a whole twelve months.

A magic tree in Midcity, New Orleans.

A magic tree in Midcity, New Orleans.

6.

I’m a guest speaker at an improv show tomorrow. It will be a bit like a stand-up comedy routine. In preparation, I’ve spent the last three nights writing out stories and rehearsing the telling. I’ve also been approaching more. I ask myself, “What would the most confident man in the world do?” And then I try go and do that. Because it’s all practice.

7.

I’m not sure she’s faking. Might just be a ruse to distract from the fact that $60 has disappeared from my pocket. I ask her straight: “Did you take money from me?” But she’s not hearing a word, too busy wailing about her phone. Apparently it cost $900 and she can’t find it. Now she’s got the tears streaming. Somehow I feel very calm with all this going on, almost amused.

8.

It’s 7 a.m. as I’m cycling home. There’s a sky growing red beyond the Mississippi. I go out of my way to pass by Coliseum and Fourth, as I usually do, stop and take some deep breaths on the streetcar line. It was a long night, but fun as hell. Once again I’m going home alone, but it doesn’t matter. Resistance was fought and defeated. I’m the happiest man in this crescent city.

9.

I studied up on fashion and bought some new clothes last month. In the past few weeks I’ve received more compliments on my style than I ever heard before. I realize now that if people aren’t regularly complimenting your dress sense, that means you’re not dressing very well. Good news is, it’s a very simple thing to fix. Cost me less than $300.

10.

I’m incredibly horny lately. Have a quick fiddle, take a nap, wake up hard yet again. Damn thing is like whack-a-mole. Not that I’m complaining, especially after my struggles the past couple of years. Right now I’m feeling more alpha than ever. And it couldn’t be happening at a better time. Niraj arrives tomorrow. The rampage is about to begin.

Guest speaking at The Megaphone Show in New Orleans. Some video here.

Guest speaking at The Megaphone Show in New Orleans. Some video here.

11.

Three years since we last saw each other, my brother of a different color. We hit up Parkway for a surf and turf po’boy, his first meal in New Orleans. As we’re leaving he notices someone striking sitting with friends in the window, steps right up and knocks on the glass. With a confident smile and a gleam in his eye, he mouths the words, “What’s your name?”

12.

We’ve lost most of the awkwardness. Maybe one in every twenty interactions is awkward now. We have enough experience and confidence that we can handle almost any situation. Like that displeased boyfriend yesterday, or the girl who turned out to be way too young on second glance. Even shutouts and blank stares no longer phase us.

13.

Kawehi live at the HoB. This girl is phenomenal. There must be twenty people in the world with no talent because the universe gave her too much. She mashes Tears for Fears, 2Pac and Britney like it’s no big deal. Show over and the spell broken, we spill out into the Quarter with three hours to burn. Three men sober, and we’ll have more fun than most.

14.

And then comes the crash. Partly it’s lack of sleep, but it’s also the same old resistance surfacing again, holding me back. And it kicked my ass today. I can’t even get to sleep now, mind racing, neurons trying to right wrongs. With nothing but green lights, why didn’t I make a move on her this afternoon? I have no answer. Only self-loathing.

15.

I try to keep in mind what I’ve learned before. Right now I’m in the trenches. It’s tempting to just quit, to convince myself I don’t want it that bad anyway, that it’s all stupid and they’re all stupid and I don’t want to play anymore. But then I remember those times past that I stuck with it, leaned into the discomfort rather than backed away. These are growing pains. And growth is good.

St. Patrick's March in New Orleans. More pics here.

St. Patrick’s March in New Orleans. More pics here.

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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