I Remain Below the Radar

I have a theory.

I read a new report on the top 50 video influencers in real estate today. Let me back up. I subscribed to various YouTube channels that are in the real estate space to acquire knowledge and grow my personal brand. Both in the space of selling residential real estate and in learning to hone my craft as a YouTube creator. The latter is a hobby.

Today one of my most cringe worthy content creators, name withheld because I don’t care to emphasize my jealousy over another person’s success in a space I plan to dominate. I almost went there.

Anyhow, I was watching the channel, which my I add is the last time I will do this, and saw there was another new top list. You know those lists that are comprised of one persons opinion of who is who in the space of x?

When I saw this list I knew the regulars who would be on the list. They are earned. But there were a few individuals who were there and a few who were not. Namely me.

Even as I write this I fell like a total crybaby pussy fart.

I can’t help it. I work so fucking hard at this and yet I remain unrecognized. Rejected. Overlooked.

Many years ago I was on a softball team for men. It was more like a one-off pickup game but it meant something. There were even custom shirts. the shirt was a high quality jersey that cost me $50 buck. It was hideous and I gave it away to someone who looked better in it than me.

There was the moment where we were being picked in the roster for going up to bat and the whole selection process had begun. I was last. What the fuck? Sure I was fat and over 30, but why the hell was I last? I run marathons for fuck’s sake! Can you tell I am still butt-hurt?

In the middle of the game after I was benched I began to make an observation. This was a popularity contest. A god damn high school, teen-aged bullshit click that I had once again lived to suffer through as an adult. My god, how?

In high school I will admit I was an outcast. It said strange things and stared off into space a lot. It was not that I was awkward or carry it was that most conversations bore me and looking at humanity without being cynical about their flaws against mankind made me very uncomfortable. OK maybe I was odd. I suppose that insisting that I sit at the table with the short bus crowd did not help. But hey, they were more like me than the cool kids.

So there I was thirty something benched and rejected once again. I got up and asked to take the field on one than more inning and kept getting passed by. That did not bother me so much as the demographic that I was being passed up by. Some of these guys looked like a health hazard. Seriously, there was a composite of what can only be described as a parade of middle, over the middle-aged men who’s cholesterol laden arteries were actively being washed by the 7 cooler of beer in the dugout.

Don’t get me wrong I was probably at my heaviest but I was still fast and full of energy. Did I mention I ran a marathon that year. Ok, ran is not the operative word but I did finish. That has to count for something.

I had to get in the game. If not to play it was to not like a total fucking reject. I was seriously the only one on the bench. The epitome of a bench-warmer and the culmination of my entire life being displayed for the universe to witness. The gods of cool were once again having a Louth at how much I can withstand in this ocean of popular fish while this random sea weed remains planted for them as a backdrop for their cool stories. Like a movie extra who looks at the camera and the director overlooks it only to be on the cutting room floor before the premier.

I approached the captain of the team.

“Hey, Can I get in?”

“Not Right now”

“Dude, I am not sure why I am the bench. I am faster that half the team and although I can’t really hit that great, I do run marathons you know”

“To be honest this is not a marathon. Your just not in my top ten”

I sat down.

Top ten? Top ten?! Holy shit. Are you kidding me? Top ten?!!!

Asshole.

I find it funny that over ten years later that top ten joke remain a part of my mental playlist.

Now you know why this list I have to suffer through became so painful this morning. It was like someone up there wants to see me remain a number 11.

The gods of coolness and clicks has had another chuckle at my expense.

So I remain below the radar. This is my theory.

I have a theory that James Festini must remain below the radar of popularity because it is not my time. THat somehow the gods have a plan for me. That somehow no matter how much energy I pump into the sky there cannot be rain. That once my time comes there will be a great flood and the world will come two by two and join me on my arc of oddities and outcasts to dance in the glory of our triumphant journey through the field of socially acceptable assholes and rise above them.

We will crowd surf through the ocean of those who once overlooked my art and now the want nothing more than to wonder how it was that I came out of nowhere as an overnight sensation.

It’s not like I am a superstar athlete or a musician with a talent. I am just an artist and a businessman. I am trying to create a sub genre of individuals who work hard and play hard. I suppose there is nothing sexy or popular to what it is I do. I suppose there is a reason that I remain below the radar.

It may be because I suck.

I may actually have created an art form or business niche that is either ahead of its time or too late for acceptance. SO I remain steadfast in my effort to document my effort in the field of sales and create content around my whims and spew my recycled wisdom in the form of audio, text and video until one person at a time hears me. and when they do hear me they listen and they become members of a family.

Remember that Blind Melon video for their this song rain? It was about a little girl who was dressed as a bee who tap dances. She wander around the city dancing for people who just don’t get her. Towards the end of the video you can see her number 11 status grow into a pitiful sadness. Until she stumbles upon a field of tap dancing bees.

I just cannot believe it is so hard to find my tribe of tap dancing bees.

This is my theory.

I have a deep-rooted belief that individuals like Anthony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Casey Neistat, James Ray, Jason Silva, Casey Neistat, Benicio Del Toro, Gary Vaynerchuck and even Grant Cardone are not my gurus or even my idols but that I belong in their company. Like an artist colony were Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali and Frida Kahlo sit on a sand short and paint landscapes and drink wine for months. I truly believe that in my heart I may have to be dead to be “discovered” as one of the originals.

I don’t want to be the king. I just wasn’t to sit in the court of the king. Even if I am the jester.

That being said. Fuck that top 50 real estate influencers list. Fuck that top ten coach, fuck that top 5 real estate podcast list and fuck the naysayers. Even if I am the only one who gives a shit.

I will continue to fly below the radar.

I will continue to provide my unique perspective on business and pleasure in a renegade documentary format commonly called vlog. I will continue to creat art and mount it to the wall of my digital museum for those to walk by and ignore. I will wait and watch for those few who get off of the short bus and engage them in intellectual conversation.

We will laugh and enjoy tap dancing in our bee costumes and make our own top fifty list of those who passed over us while we stayed diligent in our madness. That we were unwavering in our originality at the cost of losing popularity. Those who love us are offered a glass of wine and a paint brush. Those who disrespected us will sit on the bench and watch us play.

This is my theory.

The Season is Upon Us …like a Wet Dog on Carpet

The winter marks December morning patterns of sunrise too early and sunset the same. I pay more to the troll under the bridge so he can fan his fire. I try harder and harder to run across but the warmth of my castle and safety in the embrace of my queen call me to lay in our who knows what count Egyptian cotton sheets. I know the jackal awaits outside the castle walls hoping that I let my guard down. Knowing I will put my guard down. I throw buckets of ice water over the fence to scare him off.

One of these days I will shoot that dog.

The winter marks the season for giving because others have not. The blankets that the homeless need so bad but do they need Egyptian cotton? Certainly they want food more. Their unintentional fasted state must be coming to an end soon. If not because of me than who? I want to do something for the wild jackal I allow to freeze in cold and wet. But feeding him will only bring fleas and more howling as I try to slumber.

The dog is hungry. I must shoot the dog. Out of pity.

I have far too much on my plate and yet I push it away in disgust over my three decades of decadence. My best years lost to morbid obesity and oblivious blissfullness engraved and branded by a suit of armor and a smile for the ladies and a scowl for the men. My lucky stars that the flesh displaces well those secrets I do not tell. I contain my laughter because that would be inappropriate for there are people crying.

The dog is crying. He is cold. Grab your bow we are hunting.

I cannot imagine that the dog could be tame or domesticated. I give into my one guilty pleasure and throw a bone for him to suck on. Like a malnourished whore who will settle for inappropriate proteins and calories.

The dog is disgusting and hopeless. Poor dog. Poor pitiful jackal.

The rain come this time of year and washes away the natty dreads that cluster like a duster. Full of objects from the ground and fleas from the sky. Ticks from the trees and worms from the earth. Eating from the outside and from the inside. Pustules of pus fill just waiting to be lanced and drained. Disgusting. Bloody stool from the bones and shards of garbage thrash the intestines leaving only a liquid shell of what once was a glorious hound.

The dog is dying. I must put him out of his misery.

The frozen tundra crunches from the weight of his frostbitten feet and he whimpers at each step until he finally lets out a painful cry as he collapses violently enough to rattle the thirteen foot gates of the castle. The guards hurry to look for what it could be. This battle cry not of the beginning of war but of defeat and surrender. Not one of a man but of a beast.

The dog must be dead. I should stomp its head.

Looking down at the emaciated mass of matted hair I do not see the threat of a monster but the terror in the eyes of a beast. Too weak to bite he growls with great effort as I attempt to lift the bastard of the wild. It takes a village or at best three of the strongest individuals to take the injured soul to a shelter inside the city walls.

The dog is dying. Let it have its final moments in comfort.

I clear a place on a priceless rug and direct the landing. I cover it gently in the Egyptian blanket that I know the queen would most certainly kill me for doing and would burn after the news got out. I not care. I have faced this fear for far too long. I must confront it for what it is. Unjustified.

The dog licks my arm. Gross. It likes me.

I lean in for an embrace and I hear a faint heartbeat. Then I feel a deep sigh and a long exhaustive release of a full lung of air. I see and feel the bones and smell the stench of the soon to be carcass. Then a piercing sensation travels from my arm and to my chest. A tear rolls down my face and I am guilty.

I should have shot the dog. Before it was too late.

Moments pass and I cannot hear a sound. Only the river winding outside the door. The dog is no more. Flashes of time pass me by. Scenes of the years that I would throw buckets of waste and garbage that I knew was not going to waste. Every once in awhile I would take a prime cut when no one was watching and toss is over. Knowing is was not going to waste. It was appreciated. Although I never saw I knew. I knew I was feeding my fear.

The dog takes one last breath. Then more silence.

I sit crouched in a corner alone. Scared and anxious. What will I do without this animal haunting me? The fear was what made me stronger and now my fear is gone. And so is my will to fight. I have no more competition. Suddenly, I realize that without the fear I would not be alert. I would not be inspired to wake up and challenge it. I would not have the edge. My strengths were drawn from my fears and now my strength was gone.

The dog must live. I must save it and save myself.

I jump up and grab a warm bucket of water and put it slowly over the old man and begin to rub its side. Another bucket and another. I can feel it is stiffening and getting colder. Hotter water. Ten buckets later I begin to see a coat of hair frayed and peppered in black and white as it captures the sun through the window.

The dog inhales. I exhale. I need to feed it.

I laugh out loud and his eyes open. I take off my gloves that have no fingertips and make a cup. I scoop out warm water and place my hand where one year ago I would not dare. At the mouth of the wild and savage animal. One year ago my hand would be gone had I placed it in the spot. Yet today it is acting as a small dish. He raise his head no more than an inch or two. The dog slowly jets his tongue out and laps the water from my palm. I grab another handful. He is done. His head falls bad to the floor. I grab wads of the luxurious bedding and shape it around the bottom of his massive skull that I can barely lift. I wipe a most nauseating substance from around his eyes. Something white and resembling mucous and saliva. They were tears. Dehydrated tears.

The jackal is warm and wet. He will live. He must live.

I carefully walk around the room gathering supplies to mend and cleanse the beast of burden. I trim and bathe carefully. Not knowing where the lines are between friend or foe. Will he gather a burst of energy and rise to kill me or will I shove my shears into his pathetic eyes? Neither. Hours pass. The sun sets and rises. The sun sets and rises. The sun sets and rises…slowly.

The dog sits up. I am afraid. I question not letting him die.

I freeze in my tracks. The dog looks strong. I am afraid. He is large but thin. He seems weak but strong. The layers of hair that I cut away and the ticks that I burned off leaves a muscular frame filled with scars and small actively bleeding wounds. Coagulated scabs and tremors rattle in waves along the giant ripples along his striated mass. Sitting upright I see now why it took so many men to drags him in. Now the animal sits on my floor. In my home cloaked in my sheets.

We face each other. Not a word. Not a growl.

I walk slowly over to a table were my meal grows cold. A large turkey leg with excess meats on whatever bone attached it to the bird under cooked remains. I extend my hand and it lunges. I thought I was dead. Instead, it ran out the door and across the courtyard. Through the gates and into the wilderness.

The dog is gone. The season remains. The beast is stronger.

So am I.

Nostalgia…Meet Serendipity Let’s Hang.

It feels like it was just yesterday. Maybe because it was just last year. But pressing play on Colin Hay’s Long Way Home was all it took. I almost turned on the fireplace and made an English muffin and a cup of coffee. It would have been more than Déjà vu. It would have been a time machine. I feel it in a place somewhere between my lungs and my heart. It was nostalgia. It was serendipity. It was pity for my lost years and hope for my years that I have left. It was optimism in the moment and thankfulness for what I hold so near to my soul and it compelled me to write.

Fortunately, I call myself a writer, so this will make appropriate the mystery of this sense of morning melancholy that would perhaps bring me into a flow state. If not for only a brief moment.

The holidays are upon us and the feelings I grasp to capture and put in a bottle become far more frequent during this time of year. Maybe it is the crisp air. It could be the perpetual darkness the shut down my vision like a fog so that I cannot allow my mind to see to far. Only grounding me int h=the present like an isolation chamber or sensory deprivation tank. Whatever it is I like it.

I want to live in it, this moment forever. I want to be in touch with my present in a never-ending loop with only my actions to break up the pattern and enjoy that which is in front of me and now want for what imagine could be better if only I possessed it.

If only I could be somewhere else. Yeah, that would make it even better. Like being on vacation and seeing a beautiful landscape and darting into the nearest bar for a drink to hold. Yes that would be the cherry on top. Only to find out that the minute you complete preparations for the moment it has passed. Never to be captured.

Could I have just settled for oxygen instead of spirits?

Fortunately, I do not drink anymore. Not that I quit, I just did not continue. I always imagined that if I could stop drinking that then I would be able to enjoy more of these landscapes. Now that I don’t partake, it is no different. I was quite the party animal in my younger years. I often thought then that if I stopped these unspoken habits that I would be able to be present and feel more often this very same moment more often. This too was not was I was missing.

Is it that I needed to plant seeds of the moment so that I could live them again in the future? Like little love notes to myself to remind me that life is beautiful if only I was to stop looking here. Here being the future when I open the note and here also being the moment I wrote the note to myself long ago.

Even as it sits in front of me like a fire-breathing dragon panting hot air on my cheek and the sound vibrating in my skull, and my eyes adjusting to the breaking dawn, I am still looking upstairs to the aspirin in the medicine cabinet. Thinking to myself if only I did not have this mild soreness from yesterdays run. Yet I know that if I get up from this place I would return to a room that has been changed.

The furniture would cast a shadow in two directions. One from the fire and one from the fire of the morning sun. My heart rate would be elevated, and my skin would be flush from the quick detour.

I would re-enter this room only to find that this life was not the one that I had hoped. THe sense of presence in the moment would be like a beautiful butterfly that floats away as you reach for your camera. The snapshot would never exist.
LIke that special song before sunset. The very same couch next to the unlit fireplace. Pressing play and lighting a match. Watching the room fill with light and writing frantically as if it is about to disappear. That I was doing this very same thing one year ago to the day and by simply recreating the moment I could feel this way. Only one thing is missing.

Me.

Earth’s Obituary

See me, I’m a rock on the edge of the Earth

Take me away to the day of my birth

Only I am so little to the rest of the void

Poor me with my toxins I am being destroyed

Though my head is dizzy I have been spinning around

Only it is you who can feel when I rumble with sound

Remembering the beautiful skies I once tasted

Then you came around and the flavor is wasted

Under my skin you bury the carcass of your slaughtering

Rotting forever is there nothing more bothering

I alone see my changing face losing my hair not so easy to replace

No never you mind I just chalk it to life, ever giving everything I have ever

Gracious planet wife,

Earth

Earth’s Obituary

See me, I’m a rock on the edge of the Earth

Take me away to the day of my birth

Only I am so little to the rest of the void

Poor me with my toxins I am being destroyed

Though my head is dizzy I have been spinning around

Only it is you who can feel when I rumble with sound

Remembering the beautiful skies I once tasted

Then you came around and the flavor is wasted

Under my skin you bury the carcass of your slaughtering

Rotting forever is there nothing more bothering

I alone see my changing face losing my hair not so easy to replace

No never you mind I just chalk it to life, ever giving everything I have ever

Gracious planet wife,

Earth

Earth’s Obituary

See me, I’m a rock on the edge of the Earth

Take me away to the day of my birth

only I am so little to the rest of the void

poor me with my toxins I am being destroyed

though my head is dizzy I have been spinning around

only it is you who can feel when I rumble with sound

remembering the beautiful skies I once tasted

then you came around and the flavor is wasted

under my skin you bury the carcass of your slaughtering

rotting forever is there nothing more bothering

I alone see my changing face losing my hair not so easy to replace

no never you mind I just chalk it to life

ever giving everything I have ever gracious planet wife,

Earth

Who Have I Been?

I need a fix cause I’m going down. The first lyrics of the Beatles Anthology Album. Things don’t happen on accident. There is a network if unseen synapses that bind the universe into one massive web. What touches the north will vibrate the south. The still moments that the spider waits for movement are the moments reserved for strategies. A time to collect the energy necessary for an effective response regardless where on the web the prey lies.

I too have been building a web but if you were to look at it through the light of the morning sun you would find that the pattern is off. Although there would be connections and perhaps every so often symmetry this would not be the web photographers would love to capture after a light drizzle.

Give the spider a drop of lysergic acid D and the web would appear delusional. That is me.

Who have I been.

I have no one to hold me accountable for the structure of my web. So long as the spider capture the fly and wraps it than the web is effective.

My web has been effective. Effective just enough not to starve. It is because I rise in the morning before dawn and go through the motions of connecting the lines and appear to be busy. So long as I produce the strands of adhesive shit across the tree line there will be fortunate events that occur.

I have been, for too long allowing my work to be just that. Dull and dumb, faded and forgettable.

Who was I and who did I become?

I keep log of the seasons of my life that can be analyzed and restated to reveal one truth. It was in the times of cleanliness that my web was most beautiful. It was a time in which I had faith in the potential of what my efforts could be.

I would think and believe in dreams that only a mad man or obsessed genius could fathom. Yet, here I sit a sad and broken Humpty Dumpty alone in the silence of the struggle that can only be mine. To declare my weakness would be a decree of failure and not one of a lesson for success. The story cannot be told in the present. It can only be well documented. And so therein lies my epiphanies.

I will make an attempt. On this very day I will attempt to discover who I have been. Masked and concealed behind the vail of a shadow so powerful and secret that only the angels and demons can converse over their true impact on my potential.

I can no longer deny that my pursuit of a more permanent flow state has been watered down and medicated to the point of obfuscation. Blind to that which has been right under my nose only to pass through my lips in an attempt to hide the truth.

The truth that I am powerless against the force that draws me towards great things. No matter how hard I try to negotiate with the gods of reason there is no more room for compromise. I cannot give into my demise so willingly and so indefinitely inevitable.

When the spider agrees to the dose he cannot predict in the moment how long it will last and if he will meet hit angels or confront his demons. He must sit patiently and wait for them to appear in the forms that only the gods can reveal. the gods and time.

Give it time.

Just this one day.

Allow the seconds to pass and merge into minutes. Allow the minutes to melt into hours and then the sun will set and you will know what you are. The moment of defeat or victory over the unseen forces that tear at you perhaps only pull on the delicate strands in the morning.

Just wait.

Allow the universe to reveal the natural beauty of the sunlight that you have been avoiding for nearly 20 years. Covered in sheets and shelters so that the truth cannot be seen. Afraid of what might be if I actually faced myself in the mirror. Naked and alone.

Just be.

Crouch in the center of the web. Allow the warmth of the star to cover you soft brown hair. Feel the breeze pass through the opalescent creations. The heart of the sun and the heart of the spider beat in a rhythm. The universe will help you find your weakness and allow you to build on your strengths. If by faith alone.

Be patient and be silent.

I am not who I was. I am not who I will be.

I am.