Like him, I’ve often felt lost.
I often walk through the cold without a coat.
I remember running up to Young Israel of Century City one Shabbos afternoon. It was cold and I didn’t have a coat.
“We’ll have to get you a coat,” said my friend.
I could’ve gotten myself a coat but I’m not practical in that way.
I tend to have a disparaging view of myself and of everyone else. I’m not the type to drape myself in a warm coat on a cold day.
I’ll never forget something Neil Strauss once said about rock stars: “They have a wild glint in their eye and can mesmerize a crowd. They’re also incapable of doing anything for themselves.”
That’s me. I’ve certainly got that wild glint.
The coach in this movie says, “Most kids from bad situations can’t wait to be violent and that comes out on the field.”
My violence comes out on my blog. I can’t wait to tear someone’s head off, particularly when it is a religious leader abusing his authority.
I was a pretty lost kid but I liked living at Pacific Union College in the Napa Valley. Then my dad got called to Washington D.C. in late 1979 to defend his controversial theological views.
I thought I was about to get snatched from eighth grade halfway through.
One Sabbath morning, this kid in my class became friendly for the first time. His mother had asked him to ask me if I wanted to stay with their family to finish eighth grade.
“No way,” said the kid. “You ask him.”
He was afraid of my cutting remarks.
So I was brought back to this family for Sabbath lunch and the mom asked if I’d like to stay with them and I got very excited. I said yes.
This family kinda adopted me.
My older siblings are eight to ten years older than me. I’ve basically grown up as an only child. But this family had kids my own age. I got to feel what it was like to be part of a normal family.
I’m not normal. I’m not good at taking care of myself. I remember driving down to UCLA a month early in 1988. I had no place to stay. I didn’t want to spend money on a hotel. So I lived out of my car for a month and slept in the bushes behind a softball field at UCLA.
A normal person would’ve made arrangements for a place to sleep.
When I moved back to Los Angeles in 1994, I lived out of my car for several months. I had a friend at UCLA who was going to invite me to live with him but he found me sloppy and irresponsible.
I could’ve gotten a job and an apartment, but I preferred to live out of my car and to go to acting classes and auditions.
I’ve always been convinced that I’ll be a big success one day and would be able to find people who could do a better job of taking care of me than I can do for myself so I can concentrate on what I do best.
The way people look at the Michael Oher character in this movie, that’s how they’ve looked at me.
I love that scene early in the movie where Sandra Bullock asks Michael Oher why he’s headed for the school gym late at night.
Michael says, “Because it’s warm.”
That’s why I like attention — because it’s warm.
Like Big Mike, I was a lousy student in school. But I was blessed with some teachers who turned me on.
I was a lousy Jew. But I was blessed with some rabbis who turned me on.
“Do you have any place to stay tonight?” Sandra asks Mike.
He nods his head.
She says, “Don’t you dare lie to me!”
He shakes his head.
Then she takes him home and makes him all warm and comfy.
I loved that.
Like Michael Oher, I’ve always had the good sense to surround myself with good people, even when I didn’t know how to interact with them.
I don’t enjoy therapy any more. It used to be my favorite time of the week, but that’s changed.
I used to charge into therapy eager to regale my therapist with my adventures. I’d say things like, “You wouldn’t believe the blowjob I got last night!”
I don’t tell so many stories any more. I just find myself spending most of therapy swimming in icky emotional waters. Sticky, oily water, filled with bugs.
I remember once watching these hot chicks wrestling in jello. That’s what my therapy feels like these days, like I’m wrestling in jello.