Sunday, December 25, 2005

This Is The Easy Time, There Is Nothing Doing.

So of course it's contradictory to have faith in ghosts but none in whatever they call The Afterlife, and, well, okay, it is maybe even more ridiculous that this incredulity somehow doesn't stop you from sometimes imagining the people walking down the street wearing blurry lit outlines. Unlike the movies or TV shows you have stolen this narrative from, however, usually your outlined spectators aren't entirely peaceful or generous; instead they are cranky and critical, they are skeptical of how you spend your time, you can hear their voices from the other side buzzing, lamenting that you are wasting it wasting it wasting it, the same way you let the tap water run too long and leave lights on in rooms you aren't even in. You are using it, squandering it, because you can, beause there seems to be no end to it.

But what can you do? Sometimes it feels just right to sit in a stupor and do nothing, to let that nowhere-to-go, nothing-to-do-ness wash over you. You wake up early but then take a nap, and later sit on the couch and spend half an hour or more looking through an outdated movie guide, doing unexplainable things like counting up the number of adaptations of Wuthering Heights and then maybe a comedy. You look through old cookbooks from the 70's that contain recipe ideas that seem vaguely like torture devices. (Try your hotdog with catsup and pineapple! Peanut butter, bacon, and pickle relish make a great sandwich filling combo!). You declare in a voice louder than the room or situation require that this brand of staying put fits you exactly, and the raised eyebrow response you get is alright, because what you've said is true, what you've said, for the time being, is enough.

Happy Christmas, to all of my friends. I really do love you.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I've Gone To.

So what do you do, anyway, in a situation where problems cannot be resolved -- a situation, well, where they can't even really be broached? What do you do with that sort of quiet, domesticated anger that ends up piling up, rotting and stinking like months' old garbage?

I halfheartedly do a Google search for something ridiculous, unanswerable, some suggestion for this kind of thing. I find a website that insists that no one can make you angry, that you alone have control over your emotions and reactions. The website also suggests thinking of anger as an iceberg. None of this sounds quite right.

I try to tell myself that anger is just thwarted sadness, that it can sometimes be protective against further damage, the emotional equivalent of quickly yanking one's hand away from a hot stove. I tell myself that this anger (and sadness) isn't (aren't) even just about this one particular situation, but the fact that this situation feels uncomfortably familiar, and that if I don't actually fucking acknowledge this, I'm not going to get anywhere. If I don't admit to myself that at this point these emotions are more about me than about this other person I'm going to have to keep feeling them over and over and over.

I try to tell myself that something in this mess will eventually help.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'll Be Fine When The Rain Hits

Still, inexhaustible homesickness. It's enough to make you feel worn out and depressed: where does it all come from? The time of year certainly isn't helping, either; everyone knows fall is the most nostalgic of all the seasons, and the still uncomfortably strange weather and lack of pretty leaves are only aggravating things.

So: thinking a lot lately about that talk I had with that friend of mine, about how I told her I wasn't so sure about moving to Berkeley, nothing personal; Berkeley is a great city, but I just thought that, considering the situation at home, we wouldn't really hit it off. I told her I was thinking about staying in San Diego, where I could finish at City and keep my job for a little while longer, maybe even move up in the company. She said something about the necessity of sacrifices, about how sometimes you have to just tough the bad part out to get to the good part. If your situation seems maybe to be simply a matter of finance and endurance, an opportunity to build character (as it maybe could be euphemistically called), what should you do? I didn't want to think of myself as someone who couldn't tough it out.

I also think a lot about Emily Bronte starving herself at a boarding school in Brussels so she could return to Haworth, Coleridge's poems about missing home, John Clare's nervous breakdown after moving four miles away from the cottage he had lived in his whole life. No one seems to get homesick anymore these days. (I sometimes get overly suspicious, think to myself that the abundance of strip malls and Starbucks must have something to do with it.) I feel like this is supposed to make sense to me, that maybe this emotion has been made obsolete by airplanes and cars and highways that turn into turnpikes that turn into freeways. But somehow it doesn't. Not completely, anyway.

I guess the trouble with talking about it is, though, if you're stuck, you're stuck. And it's silly to be living with the love of your life and blubbering about wanting to go home. Maybe even worse is the vague feeling that it's something you should discuss sparingly -- not just because it seems sort of ridiculous to people, but because it is not a problem with which there is an obvious way to make progress (short of actually moving), and if nothing else, you don't want people to get sick of you because they're sick of your problems.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Am I A de Winter?

Do you remember the scene at the beginning of Rebecca where the heroine is just getting to know the seductively brooding Maxim de Winter? She tells him she's an orphan (they always make the best protagonists, after all), and that her father, when he was still living, was a not so successful painter, largely due to the fact that his sole subject was a single tree that he found particularly striking. She explains, maybe a little bashfully, that her father's philosophy was that if you found something perfect, you should stick with it. The way the anecdote was treated seemed to want viewers to find the father eccentric and charming, but maybe also acknowledge the impracticality and absurdity of this mindset. Being sixteen and a dutiful viewer, I did just that. What a totally stupid idea! I thought to myself. Who cares about trees, anyway!

I'm still not so sure why I remember this particular part of the film, but now that I'm amassing a collection of old postcards of similar style, I find myself sometimes thinking about this father and his tree, and am starting to realize we maybe have more in common than I initially thought. I guess I just mean that the idea of trying to reimagine the same subject or scene in a variety of different ways doesn't seem redundant or boring to me anymore. Now it just seems like a pretty nice challenge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

For A Potential Professor:

Three semesters maybe isn't enough time to have observed enough to know all that much about teaching, but surely it's long enough to be able to sense when students are reacting to the professor in ways that seem less than desirable. Is this how you act with your other professors? sounds too much like a rhetorical question, when really they might be wondering, waiting for some sort of answer.

But the trouble is, even if the problem is the students, it is still because of professor. There is something about their demeanor, apparently, that suggests that it is okay to complain to or confide in them, to be restless, childish, to be, well, whiney.
Your plan of wearing your glasses to class to appear more authoritarian now seems a little like someone slapping on Groucho Marx glasses to seem more serious. You still aren't exactly intimidating.

Not that intimidation is really the desired effect. But also, you most likely don't like having this problem simply because of what it entails: a whole new kind of self-consciousness. A nagging feeling of needing to change some fundamental part of your personality, and wondering, well really, how you could ever actually accomplish that.

I guess being a human entails that all the same.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Humble

I'm so tired at the end of each day. I try to resist the feeling that I'm being slowly swallowed alive into the next day where I find myself in the belly of a closed room while I wait out the day until I'm coughed out.

I would like to learn to look forward to each day. For a while, it seemed as if I was shifting to that but I'm weak.

Maybe I need a new tattoo to remind me of these things.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Robert Browning Was In Entertainment Weekly?

One of the really nice things about Robert Browning - besides the pretty refreshing lack of didacticism and the feminist dramatic monologues and weirdly colloquial language and the crazy love letters to EBB - the really nice thing is that he lived with his parents until he was in his mid 30's, and didn't really start writing the poetry he'd become famous for until even later. This seems somehow a good thing to know, an important bit of information to remember when thinking about the awfully endless list of people who seem to burn out at a relatively young age and then spend the next several years or decades static, rehashing.

Also, I suppose I am a sucker for Robert Browning's late-bloomerness/underdog appeal in sort of the same way some people are for celebrity high school yearbook pictures in entertainment magazines. Meaning: it is maybe comforting to know that at some point these individuals were ordinary.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Lady Of Shallot

How has it come to this? Sitting here with very little to say for myself other than trying to articulate some vague feeling that after awhile reading so much Tennyson and Gerard Manley Hopkins through the internet begins to seem the same as reading too much of them, even with nice lines like:

But where I say Hours I mean years, mean life

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike gloomy poetry - in fact for several teenaged years it was my very favorite genre! But lately reading bucketfuls of poems laved with doubt and anxiety and other dangeroud things is starting to get a bit draining. Or maybe it's just easy to tell myself this, because I'm already feeling sort of gloomy as it is. (When in doubt, blame the Victorians!) Last week I heard a radio segment about a new book on Abraham Lincoln's melancholy, and whether or not the book is very well founded, the auther made an interesting comment about how there was once a time when sadness was an acceptable quality in a leader/public figure. I've been thinking about this a lot.

Speaking of being gloomy, I have found a pretty good way of cheering myself up, which is simply by taking a long, hard look at this:



Considering that this is from the 1904 World's Fair, it seems sadly unlikely that Jerry can be reached for questioning, which is too bad, because I'd really like to know about the details of this postcard - do you think ferris wheel rides were just longer back then?

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Love Taker, Don't You Mess Around With Me.

This afternoon I read a bio about Tennyson that described him as a "heartbreak connoisseur" and walked past a clothing store on Shattuck that had "We love you!" etched on the store windows. Later I remembered a conversation I'd had earlier in the day about the difficulty I sometimes have with separating dreams from real life, and found myself thinking: well, no wonder.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Inertia

Um. So. Writing here, again, sort of feels like the internet equivalent of trying to get in contact with some old friend you have been meaning to email or call or whatever for days that turn into weeks that turn into months, and of course the longer you put it off the worse it gets, and you start to think to yourself, well, surely too much time has elapsed now, for no good reason other than the fact that inertia is a hard habit to break. And the thing is, at some point during this whole process you find yourself feeling a bit bewildered about why it is so hard sometimes to do the things you actually want to do, and if that's the case, what are the chances that you're ever going to get around to the tougher stuff?

I always wondered where people went when they stopped updating their journals. It turns out, somewhat disappointingly, that maybe there's not much of a mystery at all. They are simply laying in bed too long or getting up too early, listening to the same music and reading the same books and peeling potatoes as potential fries and eating the shortbread in front of the TV. They're doing exactly what you would have expected.

In more current news, Monday was Halloween and I realized a little bit too late that we had somehow managed to not carve a pumpkin.

Halloween used to be so significant in my life. Where has it gone? And if it has infact gone to some other place, might I be able to someday casually bump into it?

If only it were something so tangible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Not Fall(ing) Anymore

As much as I long for the winter and miss it, I am terrified of the leaves leaving. Once they are gone there will be nothing but long elegant bare fingers pointing me out to the world. Pointing at me and telling everyone where I am.

But I don't have to hide anymore. Not that I had a valid reason before, but now I have a reason not to.

I know, I confuse myself sometimes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

In Case You Were Wondering, I Had A Great Time.

Making conversation over dinner by asking someone about how they had liked living in the South, and receiving the expected response: Not very much at all, thank you. Somehow or other this prompts someone else to remark on how extremely little I ever say about myself.

I look around the table and they're all nodding somberly in agreement, staring at me like I'm some sort of master of international espionage. I try to explain that it's not secretiveness, but merely a desire to not tell what doesn't want to be heard. This must seem as good an invitation as any, because then the questions start. Where did I grow up, What highschool did I attend, What am I majoring in, What's my favorite book?

Deadeye Dick, I say, not because it's true, but because The Diary of Anne Frank sounds like too much and The Bell Jar doesn't sound like enough.

After spaghetti was perfectly aimed and thrown to hit the ceiling, the laughter began and I began to think about how amazing it is to be surprised. That making friends was just so much easier than I had expected it to be. I'm not sure if I am surprised by other people's perceptiveness or by my own oblivion, but either way it's a humbling thing.

Friday, October 7, 2005

I Am The Old Man And You Were The Swordfish.

Let's discuss long lost friendships--you were my best friend, companion, savior. I remember calling you crying over an aching heart and somehow you were there, and I spent the night in your bed instead of my kitchen table.

So it's possible I associate you with a lot of things.

Like being normal. I miss you a lot.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Pssst

To rectify the glaring lack of entries pertaining to the boy who believes that this journal is a bit too revealing but would also like to know just why, exactly, he isn't ever mentioned:

Look, you exist.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Another Way To Tell

On TV, the host asks the winner (who's holding her hand just so toward the camera so the audience doesn't forget the gargantuan diamond engagement ring) to pinpoint the moment she knew she had fallen in love.

Is this how people think it really works, with a neat before and after, two precise halves, or is this just the made for TV version? Exact moments seem more appropriate for recording earthquakes and tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Thinking about this somehow prompts a delayed addendum to that whole "reading someone else's book recommendations secretly means you're madly in love" silliness. Another surefire (although somewhat precarious and not for the faint of heart) method of determining whether or not is it love:

Look at the old baby pictures, photographs from elementary school, and if you're feeling terribly brave, jr. high and high school. Look at the pictures from six months ago, a year or two years ago, before the weight was lost or the hipster cool image was fully formed, before the confident (or distant) expression had time to be perfected and donned as the favored suit of armor. Look at the mess of photographs and remember that it is not because of a pair of emo boy glasses or particularly nice pompadour (ahem) or outfit, and it is never just one exact moment.

If you will be wondering in 11 hours how the weather is in Long Beach, call me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Miss You, Is What I Am Trying To Say.

Can I tell you a favorite memory? I promise I won't get too sentimental. Some Friday night when winter was still holding its breath, the trees had lost their leaves but we were wearing t-shirts, walking down University looking for a place to eat. We passed a thai restaurant and I got one of those grins on my face, tugged your hand and declared that we should get the biggest roast duck dish that money could buy. You shook your head in disapproval, said that I was very cruel to my vegan best friend. To you it must've seemed a harmless enough thing to say; you hadn't been warned, didn't know that people tended not to say things like that to me, and I wasn't sure whether you were very stupid or very brave. After all, there's a difference between having connections and having friends, and I wondered if you knew about it.

Today was empty and blue and the sun was bright as ever -- causing a slight discoloration in my hair; it's very orange and I'm not sure wether or not I like it, yet. Fall is fading fast but the winds are coming in. All I need is sugar and more tea to really fool myself into thinking that it is winter and that I'm perfectly on top of my life.

Tonight is a tiresome night and I am a tired, lonely girl. I only wish... well... I think I'll just leave it at that for now.

Good night, starshines.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Am In Desperate Need Of Company.

Lately, too much time spent wondering why I don't know anybody. I like to come up with all sorts of creative excuses, so tonight's involved my dislike of inconsiderateness and cacocraphy (seeing how so much of the world's population seems to fall victim to at least one if not both of these afflictions). I wonder how many people I've known who have claimed to have as few friends -- Hundreds? Thousands? Well, at least five. I'd always found out later that their concept of friendlessness was a bit more figurative than mine, and I couldn't help feeling tricked and hold it against them. It's only during the lulls that I manage to remind myself that life is not an unpopularity contest.

I read somewhere not too long ago that Samuel Beckett blamed his claustrophobia on having a painfully acute memory of his mother's womb.

Samuel Beckett always cheers me up.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It Was An Interesting Day.

I found this little guy at Paper Heaven which is my absolute favorite place of commerce. Ever. Their entire second floor is replete with postcards!



Paper Heaven is located downstairs and around the corner from this little apartment here in Berkeley, Ca. I couldn't ask for a better location.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

South For The Winter

Funny to talk to somebody from my old home and learn about the things that have changed in the meantime. They've cleaned up The Triangle, replaced the warm thrift stores with icy boutiques and the Ethiopian place with a sandwich shop and the punk kids don't hang out in front of Vintage Vinyl anymore. When a group of people just disappears like that you can't help but feel a bit like Holden did about those ducks and wonder what happened and hope that they've simply gone somewhere else, because you're surprised to find that the possibility of them having grown up or stopped existing is just terribly depressing.

The mosquitos are thirsty and it's cold out tonight. I've shut the windows as tight as I could and I can still hear the night going by.

The noises outside my window depend so much on the weather. Winter is edging near and it has me thinking of a time when the ice cream man would return for his runs around the neighborhood and I could hear his music trying to lure the little children from the swings and slides to his truck with the help of Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Or perhaps it may be inaccurate to say ice cream man -- perhaps the ice cream man was a girl who wouldn't in the least approve of her gender being casually tossed about -- but what do you do in such situations? Ice cream person seems to suggest something entirely different from 'one who sells ice cream,' and besides, much like exchanging snowperson for snowman, it really kind of just takes all the fun out of living.

Ho Hum. Anyway.

The ice cream man came to my house on Diane St. an exact total of 4 times when I was younger. All of these times were quite by accident, I'm sure -- they had perhaps hoped to turn down our road and uncover a subdivision teaming with ice cream deprived kids, but instead found nothing more than a few lonely mismatched houses on a little rock road. And something tells me they didn't pull up directly into my driveway to sell me ice cream so much as they had come to the dead end and needed to turn around. Fortunately I was a very spry child and was always able to run outside and assault them before they had time to drive away!

I think my favorite was the ice cream shaped like a foot. Do they even have those anymore? There was something so disgusting about devouring a pasty gelatinous appendage (with bubble gum toenails!) that I couldn't resist.

Anyway, after the fourth time, they seemed to wise up, and never again returned (despite the fact that the last one vowed to come back and save me Disney popsicle). Sometimes when I was outside in the backyard, I could hear them drive by on the main road, the sound of The Entertainer quickly fading behind them. I don't remember being bothered by the lack of sidewalks or having to ride my bike on an unpaved road or the distance and time from our house to every other point on a map; I just remember vowing that when I grew up, I'd live somewhere the ice cream man could easily reach me.

Don't worry. I am not fully grown up.

Yet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Have You Ever Held On?

I'm really beginning to wonder what's keeping everyone around here from killing themselves. Myself included, of course.

I'd like to ask, but I'm not quite sure how to work that into a conversation: The weather is so nice lately! I can't wait to go bowling. So are the unappreciative members of your lecture group making you want to gouge your eyeballs out of their sockets, too?

The really sad part being that I still have no idea how I am going to lead this lecture all on my own.

It's not even like it's a sense of unhappiness about being here in particular. I'm just not sure how to not feel hopelessly bored by everything, by being a grown up and going to a job where I'm supposed to copy boring things into a boring notebook and go without seeing Adam for what seems like days. Sometimes it seems that I'm so bored that I can't even tell how bored I am, that's just how bad it's gotten. I used to think that people went crazy from too much going on, but perhaps it's even easier to just lose your mind because there's simply nothing else to do, like the pioneer women who went mad living alone on the prairie with nothing else to do but listen to the wind.

But wait. That sounds kind of nice.

I think I'm just extra restless lately because it seems like everyone else in the universe is on break right now, taking road trips to Chicago or gallavanting through lava tubes or something. It's hard not to be jealous, and yet I feel very silly and immature. After all, no one else seems to want to run around their classrooms screaming simply because it's 11 a.m. and they're dressed in khakis.

I keep wondering what my problem is.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Swans Sing And Dance And Play

I think, right now, it's better to feel nothing than to feel everything. Some people have tried to tell me that those aren't my only options, but they don't know me very well. And they most certainly don't know what's best for me.

Still and yet I feel like I am constantly working, moving, doing, and there is an endless list of things to do when I get everything else finally completed.

And at the same time I feel like I'm doing nothing, or maybe just nothing worthwhile.

This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough. This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough. This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough. This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough. This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough. This is not the verge of a breakdown. This is the edge of a breakthrough.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Empty Promises Of Weathermen

It used to be that strewn about my bed, five or six different books, all of which I had started, but none of which I had gone farther than page 82. They'd lay open on their stomachs, pages hanging out like intestines, and every time I would look at them I would feel slightly guilty. I remember someone once chastising me for such unruly behavior, said that there is no faster way to to break a book's spine. I'd feel bad regardless, but something about the the idea of a book being a vertebrate makes it seem particularly awful.

The clouds have been changing from white to purple all week. A sky full of bruises everywhere you look! The silly weather people had said that it would rain, but apparently they were mistaken. I've been paying attention to the weather an awful lot lately, which for some reason always seemed to me something that only grown ups did, like drinking coffee or reading the paper.

I've coaxed the Windows Media Player on my computer into playing a continuous stream of Songs: Norah Jones, The Magnetic Fields. For some reason I have convinced myself that there's no better welcome for Fall than melancholic piano and banjo music.

Today's the kind of wonderfully dangerous day in which you could convince yourself to feel nostalgic about nearly anything.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

You Called It Compulsion

Just heavy, tired, stressed, sad. Under the bell jar.

I had a slight case of panic when I realized how late in the year it actually is. And how little I have done in the way of trying to keep connections going. I think I knew it was the beginning of The End when I stopped counting the days until I got to see friends again. Then time just started to work its magic, and days blended together and eventually, it didn't matter if or when I ever saw anyone again. When I left, I thought my heart would burst, but it just kind of split a small seam. And it's healing. Slowly, but it is healing.

I'm sure that this is all just a case of the Morning Wednesday's, because I usually love and miss the few friends that I do actually still have.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Not Anymore.

How well do you have to know someone for them to be able to say something like this?

I can imagine you getting very heartbroken at the end of a relationship.

But then, perhaps it doesn't even matter much, as it was said just the same.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'll Take It From Here.

Can't help noticing that so many things that really scare the shit out of me -- rape, abortion, childbirth, etc. -- are fears entirely dependent on being a girl. Makes me wonder what I would be afraid of if I were a boy. I came up with: sharks, heights, unwanted back hair. But surely those can't be right.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Looking and Seeing

A few nights ago I was reading an astronomy website for kids which had a special section about studying the moon entitled, "The Difference Between Looking and Seeing." I'm thinking about this a lot now whenever I look out my window at night. It helps, too, that the earth is in its proper rotation for the fall, and now, the view isnt just tall buildings and bare night sky. Now, staring out at nothing and having it stare right back at me, like one of those awful prop windows on a set of Our Town, is the way its been. It's just as spooky with the lights off, I assure you, but also pretty nice, too. If you've looked moonward lately you probably know why: lying still and waiting for sleep while the light worms and wriggles across carpet.

Some other things of note:

A picture of a pretty nice pair of arms.

Tofu Omelettes are delicious. Especially from the Berkeley Farmer's Market.

From an online biography about D. Wordsworth: With her brother Dorothy occasionally played a curious game - they lay down next to each other outdoors, pretending to be in their graves.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Birds And The Bees

At nine am, more awake than could have been expected and listening to an archived radio show online about a man who performs what he calls interspecies duets with birds and a woman who fell in love with bees. The latter tells the host the sort of things that maybe only a person in love with bees would know, about how they were once used in warfare (hives hurled via catapults over castle walls) and how beekeepers eventually build up a resistence to bee venom. There's something I really like about the tone of her voice when she says that for right now the stings still hurt, that it will take time, but she's getting there.

After that, the walk to the bank seemed almost worth it.

I deposited my check and stepped into Ross (now, because of a lack of walking distance to others, my favorite store) and purchased a wire wisk, mixing bowl set complete with measuring cups and spoons, Soft Baked chocolate chip cookies for Adam, Milano double chocolate cookies for myself, and spiced Tofu Salad from the coffee shop down the street.

Today has so far been very productive. Without the ever so happenings of wailing my arms in the air and actually accomplishing Nothing.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Box Of Moonlight

A few nights ago we saw the kind of movie that makes you feel guilty and grateful. Do you know what I mean? The sort that makes you (atleast momentarily) acknowledge that you are lucky, that things are good, or at least that you are not so terribly unlucky, and that things could certainly be a lot worse. My eyes left the screen with my head politely, shamefully bowed, and talked online about my plans to make amends, to be less whiney and more appreciative.

Hours or minutes later, though, and all of that business is right out the window, I'm right back to where I started, feeling sorry for myself about things that are probably not so bad, feeling inconsolable despite the fact that the most urgent of these issues have deadlines, and that they will consequently evaporate in a matter of weeks. Why is it so hard to hang onto that feeling of gratitude, anyway, I mean, why is it so necessary but exhausting to try to keep inside of you?

Once again I drift and melt back into the "I Need A Friend" fiasco of May, June, July, 2005.

Although, for the most part, I find myself walking around level headed and confident, without needing anybody to walk with.

I find myself enjoying my solitude. And so I guess I am maybe and possibly just used to wanting a friend, without actually wanting one.

Well, I'm glad I've solved that. On to the next:

Adam and I just made fries. I should have taken pictures of him peeling the potatoes and getting very in touch with his Irish heritage. Also, no matter how many times I've washed my hands, they still smell like Crisco, which I'm finding out is not such a terrible smell.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

My Night-Fancies.

I confess an occasional night-mare; but I do not, as in early youth, keep a stud of them. Fiendish faces, with the extinguished taper, will come and look at me; but I know them for mockeries, even while I cannot elude their presence, and I fight and grapple with them. For the credit of my imagination, I am almost ashamed to say how tame and prosaic my dreams are grown. They are never romantic, seldom even rural. They are of architecture and of buildings--cities abroad, which I have never seen, and hardly have hope to see.

Lately bushels of dreams, and so many of them seem the same. There's never any plot or point, they're background music, scenery being watched out a train window. Dreams about things that have already happened, things that will to continue to happen, nothing wonderful or calamitous, but predictable and small, inconsequential things I didn't even realize you could dream about, like eating breakfast or watching TV or making up the bed. Boring enough to make you fall asleep, if you weren't already. Is there maybe some late night snack that can be consumed to induce better dreams? I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Home, (Bitterly Smelling) Sweet Home

I've returned home to Berkeley and the first thing I thought to do was to Google "a sight for sore eyes" hoping to uncover the history of the phrase, and found a piece about how "sore" once meant something very different than you'd expect. In the afternoon I thought something about being very lucky and having good friends, but in the evening this thought has become hazier, I drove this thought around feeling like there is only so much I can control, and then embarrassedly realized how this sentiment relates to some earlier conversation about external or internal loci of control, and how for all the effort I had put forth to staying awake in AP psychology, I don't remember ever being told or finding out how to change from being a person who thinks the former to one who thinks the latter. I'm not really sure if it's possible to reprogram yourself in such a fundamental way, but I'm somehow convinced that it's a step in the right direction to try to convince myself that it is.

Its safe to say that I had spent too long of my summer break in San Diego. I'd seen everybody that I wanted to (or people that I was obligated to see) within the first week, and spent the lot of my days struggling to keep the heat off of me.

I brought home:
a DVD player with surround sound - mainly to upset the neighbors.
cooking spices
a small vacuum
a small but seductive lamp
two boxes filled with Angelina Jolie magazines. (yeah, I know.)
two Fresh Baked candles (Blueberry Muffin, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie)
black shoes with pink elephants
Linus Larabee the hermit crab. And I hope he'll stay alive, dog knows I don't have very much luck with animals.


I don't think I spent enough time with my mother. But I'll just have to make it up to her next time.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Zombies (in love!)

Well, today I lapsed into quite an impressive little stupor. Sitting or staring or laying down for seconds or minutes or hours, as if there was othing else to be done. Driving up to Berkeley Hills to pick up a rickety bookshelf (it was free) with Adam. Noticing that by the hour, the ends of my hair were in an attempt to flip outward. Wondering what it would be like to read an elderly copy of David Copperfield in a place that vaguely resembles Tomorrowland, and wether or not the place has that old book smell yet (it is awfully hard to imagine). Moving very slowly and not thinking but not really doing and well, truthfully, not thinking very much, anyway, and reading that once infamous but now mostly forgotten (or maybe entirely unkown, depending on your level of interest or age even) Sassy interview with Kurt and Courtney in which the former talks about how being in love is invigorating yet also sort of zombifying (in that you end up caring maybe less then you should about nearly everything else), how being in love is so exciting but also, quite frankly, somewhat embarrassing. Feeling like I agree entirely but uncertain as to why this would really have to be the case. Thinking it must have something to do with the same mixed feelings of desire ad ridiculousness that arise when wanting to sit on the same side of the booth at a restaurant (but not doing so for the obvious stupidity of it), and remembering my mother recently telling me that she is always outwardly embarrassed but inwardly charmed when this happens.

Not only am I moving in slow motion, but it seems like I must be feeling in slow motion, too, and I don't quite know what else to say about this past week but this: sometimes forgiving someone is less exhausting than staying mad, and sometimes being angry is less exhausting than all of the other emotions you might feel if given the chance.

This summer is nearly over, and it really only just began. But I promise I won't sulk too much because the weather is really beautiful and an awfully nice reminder that fall is edging closer and winter always follows. This year I want to see a star show at the planetarium, carve pumpkins, buy a bike, and find a roof to sit on.

Heck, I might even make a friend in the process.

My flight for San Diego leaves in 6 hours. I'll grab a window seat for you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Lately, My Heartbeat Seems So Conspicuous.

I have been holding my breath all morning, trying to keep from writing here because if I had written something it would have been about how queasy I am about flying to San Diego tomorrow and how I've been contemplating the pros and cons of leaving Adam to embark on this new and more suitable feeling of visiting home. It's more than just a few blocks away, and I forget that sometimes.

But now it's over and it wasn't so bad, you know? So I am seriously going to just have fun while I am out there and take in as much as I can. Honest.

Also, one of my cousins found me online and wanted to know when I would come and visit her and the rest of my baby cousins. She asked if I could bring her a book that I reccommend.

How could I possibly say no to that?

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Kick The Beckett

Lately I have been thinking that I would really like a tattoo of that Samuel Beckett line I can't go on, I'll go on. Preferably somewhere fairly accessible on the body, just in case I needed to refer to it in a moment of crisis.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sense And Sensibility

I can't remember where I first read it, but I once came across something by Virginia Woolf in which she claimed that the ideal way of recording one's progress over an extended period of time would be to read and write a personal reaction to Hamlet once a year. I remember thinking that this was a really great idea, and that I'd get around to doing it just as soon as I could figure out what to use in place of Hamlet. Not that I have anything against it - but it just didn't really seem quite right. The chosen book would have to be something I didn't love or hate, but could appreciate, could feel some sort of emotional investment in, you know?

Right now I'm giving thought to rereading Sense and Sensibility and it is making me think of the first time I read it three summers ago, foggy and convalescing on the livingroom couch, waiting for the stitches in my hand to mend so I could get back to daydreaming about college. I liked it in the same way I like Emily Dickinson's poetry, the same way I like certain old silent films that are beautiful but make you feel a bit impatient.

Now I am older and wiser but still very impatient. What is different, though, is that back then I thought Elinor was so painfully dull and stuffy, so abnormally reserved. What is the point of a heroine who lives so internally, whose heart can break so quietly that no one else hears it?

Thinking about it all this time, I am not nearly frustrated by her ability to keep dangerous emotions out of sight; really, I just sort of envy it.

It is possible that today I will purchase it, and quite possible that I will commit to writing a personal reaction.

Also: I keep finding that I've bookmarked some awfully weird sites:


The International Cemetery Postcard Museum

???

Who Is That With Jeremy?

Ice Hotel Canada

Friday, July 29, 2005

High Score: 196!

Before moving here I never would have imagined that anyone could or would want to have so many conversations about San Diego. I'm not even sure how or why they come up but they always do, as if living here entails existing on such a different plane that it really warrants its own conversations. Do you think people in Kentucky or Ohio or New Hampshire have these kinds of discussions? I'm not even sure what there is left to say, except that I am always feeling very heartsick for snow from going up to the mountains. The funny thing is that it's been so long since I've really felt winter that I'm beginning to wonder if I'd still be any good at enjoying it.

I'm playing the This Time Last Year game a lot lately, feeling fragile/invincible at the thought of how much things can change.

On a somewhat related note, my new secret talent is underhandedly winning online scrabble games.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Art Appreciation

Nearly this time last year, I was dragging someone to the art museum to look at William Blake etchings with me. Given that the exhibit was my idea, I felt sort of ridiculous about the fact that I somehow restlessly, impatiently finished looking at the pieces too quickly, and had to wait several minutes for the person I had gone with to finish looking at them, too.

I wonder if other people have this problem, of having a genuine enthusiasm about art and being able to stare at prints in books for a long while, but sometimes feeling a strange pressure when in an art museum and in front of a painting, feeling like a certain amount of time is supposed to be spent admiring it, or a that there's a certain reaction you are obligated to have, etc. Performance is I guess the word I'm looking for.

I remember once planning a trip to the Hirshhorn with a boy who hoped to eventually be able to make a living off the strangely staged, cryptic photographs he took. Instead we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It felt sort of scary at the time, to suddenly find myself in an art museum with an artist whose work I didn't understand, looking at pieces of artwork I didn't understand. I remember finishing looking at a particular photograph too quickly, and he smiled one of those smiles that isn't really a smile at all, and said I seemed to be having an awful time. It wasn't true, but I remember thinking, grimly, psychically, that it wasn't going to work with us, he wasn't possibly going to be able to handle me as an only friend.

The real point of this entry, though, is this, and I wonder (worry) about it maybe more than I should: Where do people go when they stop updating their journals, anyway?

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Lily Pads



I've always loved these sorts of pictures when I was younger, somber ghosts of men and women, their expressions never quite acknowledging the strangeness of full grown adults standing on top of lily pads. These photos gave me all sorts of ideas when I was a kid, but what they fail to mention in the captions is that even if you take the trouble of slogging your way through the sticky summer heat to get to the garden, you still won't be allowed to actually stand on the lily pads. Do you think there was a specific time and date when lily pad loitering was outlawed? This is the sort of stuff they never tell you.

Anyway, I want a time machine.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Unexplained

Itchy eyes and itchy sheets. Doing the laundry and meanwhile wearing a towel as a non electricity sucking cooling device.

No matter how inevitable it may be, it's always sort of startling to discover at 1 in the morning that there are still moments where it seems, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that time isn't moving quickly enough.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What You Can Learn From Sitting Very Still.

Having someone visit feels vaguely like being given a pop quiz. Over the course of a weekend, I will be tested on how good of a hostess I am, my ability to think on my feet and suggest fun things to do, and whether or not my knowledge of the city has improved since I've moved here.

You are sitting on the futon and I am sitting beside you and neither of us are talking. I'm facing the TV so I can't see you, I can't tell if you're watching me or the TV or neither, perhaps you're eyes are closed. I'm morbidly aware that this kind of behavior is frivolous, soon you'll be on a plane again or bus or train and it'll only be after you're gone that I'll really start to plan what I wanted to say and how I wanted to act.

It's on the way home from the station that I'll be faced with the hardest part of the quiz: attempting to solve the riddle of what is time well spent. Is it visiting enough landmarks and going to the right restaurants, or is it something more obscure and minute, sideways glances and the pressure of your hand pressing into mine and all that can be said during a long silence?

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Loss For Words

Spent today reading a collection of articles about Charlotte Corday and daydreaming about camping out in abandoned castles.

Is it like this with you, too?

Whenever I feel fine it's as if my brain slows down a bit, runs out of the right words. I'm not sure if my vocabulary for discomfort or sadness or frustration is so much stronger and more varied because of something to do with me personally, or if it's just simply that the feeling of contentment doesn't necessarily demand the kind of articulation that another state of mind might, you know?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

What To Do When There's Nothing To Do

Oh, you know you're in trouble when you catch yourself listening to "All the Umbrellas in London" on repeat.

It's both relieving and unnerving that some part of my brain has actually become convinced that if I don't write something down, in some way it's like it never happened, isn't happening.

Once early in grade school before manners and emotions had become domesticated, I walked right up to a boy who I'd been told liked me and asked if the rumor was actually true.

When was the last time I was ever quite so straightforward about matters of the heart?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

You Could Be My Evidence.

Ages ago, when I was still in grade school, I remember reading an article in the newspaper about the key to having a lasting relationship. It featured a happy couple in their 80's, real life proof that this sort of relationship could exist, that it wasn't just a figment of our imagination. The piece insisted that statistics showed that the whole opposites attract business was nothing more than a myth, and that the real secret was to find someone who was as similar to you as possible. The elderly couple boasted about having many common interests and their closeness in disposition and age. They even had birthdays only weeks apart.

At the time I could hardly have any qualms with an apporach to love that insisted on such an uncomplicated and straight forward formula. Eventually the appeal of it dwindled, but isn't it funny? Somehow that never stopped me from secretly thinking that liking or dating a boy who turned out to have a birthday in early summer must have been an awfully good sign. Every boy who's turned out wrong for me was born in late fall.

These days I'm not so judgemental toward birthdays and stars and zodiacs. I just believe in what I feel

Also, I bought a ticket to San Diego today. Afterward I positioned myself on my back down on the floor and cupped my hand over my heart to see if I could notice any difference.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Addendum

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the idea of having a period of time in your life that you consider to be the happiest or the most productive or the best. I remember being told in middle school and then in highschool and again when I was at City that this was it, this was the time I'd look back fondly on someday, these were the moments I'd want to escape into when the present got too rough. It puts such an awful pressure on you when someone says something like that, it makes you feel like you must be missing something or fucking things up if that isn't how you feel. What's funny is that once you're old enough to realize how ridiculous anyone who tells you that must be, people stop saying it to you altogether.

I've never asked anyone, but I'd sort of like to know if most people are aware that they're experiencing this sort of period while it's actually happening to them. Can they feel it inside them, do their bones whisper, Hey, this is the as good as it gets, and are they grateful for it, or is it the sort of thing that you can only spot in hindsight, something that nostalgia tacks onto a memory?

Either way, I'm trying to be on the look out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bad Art Hurts So Good

It is hot here in the brutal humid way that suffocates you slowly in your sleep like a meteorologic boa constrictor. You wake up covered in sweat, panting and thirsty and full of nightmare seeds. There have been no bike rides since I have yet to find the perfect bike. I am left to taking showers to cool myself, to balance my agitated energy with the raging spray of fresh water. And I delight in this, I do, but I miss being able to mereley and passively recline in the tub like some paralyzed dehydrated mermaid. I enjoyed the one or two baths I've had in my life.

Summer is such a crucible for me, the heat and the lushness bring out a longing and restlessness in my soul that makes it hard for me to feel level-headed. Summer makes me feel wild and reckless and inflamed with desires for constant motion and travel and adventure. The most difficult thing for me to do is stay in one place (as I am) and act like a practical adult (which I am). It is a tired metaphor, but I do feel like some kind of firecracker with a long fuse that has been ignited by this new land of excesses and it is only a matter of time before I explode. (will it be beautiful or merely loud?)

There is a site called artpad that has a flash program that lets you paint a picture and records the process of its creation. It is insanely addictive, strangely relaxing, and fun to watch the resulting movie.

View my masterpiece and then make your own.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Get Off The Internet.

The internet is there for a reason: Researching, and for me, researching. I found these at the store and immediately found Tia in my head. The internet allows us to be friends even though distance is trying to fight it.
Re-searching, finding, something?

The trouble with having a "blog" (or the internet in general?) is that it allows you to believe all sorts of people actually do exist, that it is maybe possible to step outside your front door and make friends with people who also daydream about having antique cookie jars and pet frogs and being friends with ghosts, and if you havent met them yet, that is certainly no one's fault but your own. Have you also noticed while perusing people's profiles that there seems to be an endless supply of teenaged girls with a penchant for picknicking in graveyards? It is enough to make one feel rather indignant, enough to make you want to throw up your hands and exclaim in disbelief, "Where were these people when I was in high school!" It is either a great relief or very unpleasant to find out that they have apparently, allegedly, existed all along, and to consequently be forced to remember that so much of one's interactions is dependent on these unwieldy things of timing and luck and convenience.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

The Problem With Translations

There are perfectly good recipes for treats rotting in my head; I just don't have it in me to make the things I'd like to make. I don't even have it in me to eat them. Not alone anyway, and I am quite positive that Adam won't want to. What do normal people do in these situations? Drink or smoke or fuck or cry it out of their systems? I am never quite sure what to do with myself, vices such as eating too many sandwiches and checking my many accounts every five minutes just don't really have the same affect. Intentionally or not, I'm not caring much for anything. It occured to me today that Emily Bronte did the same thing, apathy as protest, and I was so excited, until I realized that she's probably not a very good role model.
Someone offered me a hug the other day, and I was silly enough to decline. What was I thinking? Hugs don't just grow on trees, after all.

A certain event has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Everything that was ever said sounds so different now. I replay things back in my head and am suddenly aware of a secret language that I wasn't aware of before.

I don't know if it's sadness just so much as a feeling of being utterly worn out.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Woke Up With A Craving For Death and Chocolate.

I dreamt that I happened upon some book that proclaimed that there are a good many things that the reading public doesn't know about Emily Dickinson. Her tattoo, for instance.
Only after I woke up I somehow didn't realize it was a dream right away, so I've been wondering how in the world Emily Dickinson had managed to get a tattoo and where I could find some sort of rendition of it.

And then it got even worse: I started thinking to myself how really lovely it would be to have the same tattoo as Emily Dickinson, surely it was something very pretty and birdlike and obscure, and I could always add something to it. Perhaps a line from one of her poems.

I did a search on Google but only found some fleeting mention of a boy with a tattoo of Emily Dickinson burned into his backside, which isnt quite the same thing.

It was about twenty minutes ago that I realized I'd made the whole thing up, and I feel a little disappointed. But, now I'm wondering what other crazy things I come up with that I never end up even realizing aren't true.

The dream was no accident, though. Lately my head has been full of Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte and Jane Austen and sometimes even Ann Frank. I am having a party and any lonesome girl with a pen in her hand is invited!

I should go shower and clear my head with beads of water.

I should really make a friend before I forget how to altogether.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Au Courant

I write and rewrite what could be my fall schedule but I just never know if I could handle it. 1030am to 0600pm. Is that too much? I'm going to submit it tomorrow morning.
I've been generally satisfied and seemingly less creative, or less creative in the usual ways. My bad jokes get a little more elaborate but not much better.

Adam is working on his class paper which happens during the evening while particularly nothing good or worth my time is on the tele.

I'm warming up some tea and orange juice and preparing to watch The Burbs.

Boring, I know. But I enjoy these moments.

PS. I'm going to the Berkeley Art Museum tomorrow. Cross your fingers for pictures.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Take One, Pass It On.


This was taken in front of a Safeway earlier today.

I think one of the most useful things that I’ve learned in the past year is that it is quite acceptable and sometimes even healthy to have regrets.

So long, of course, as it’s done in moderation

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Okay.



Will it always be like this? Wondering how people make friends with one another, just like that? It feels too much like being 13 years old and trying to figure out how sex works, knowing that it happens all the time, that it’s perfectly normal, and despite spending so much time imagining it, you can’t actually ever imagine it will happen, you can’t imagine how it would happen.

Usually I don’t pay much attention to personality tests, but the other day I took one and the results said that I was equal parts schizoid (someone who doesn’t hang around others and doesn’t want to) and avoidant (someone who doesn’t hang around others but does really want to) and I couldn’t help thinking that the two of those together is contradictory, nonsensical, and completely true.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Washington Mutual

My credit card company's website has a very long list of possible security questions to choose from, the most exciting of which is probably: What is your favorite element on the periodic table?
I am somewhat ashamed to tell you that I have never given the periodic table much thought, much less chosen a preferred element, although I very much like that this question seems to presume that maybe I have. Do such people exist? Who are they, and what are their favorite elements? I would certainly like to know.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Patience Is A Virtue, Apparently

And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren’t any other people living in the world.
Said daily, under my breath, as if attempting to memorize lines for a part in a school play or reciting a secret prayer of the Church of Disaffected Teenage Girls. Have you ever been able to feel certain lines or phrases living inside you? Ages ago I said something like this to Richard about my favorite Tennessee Williams play, but he didn’t seem to quite know what I meant.

Lately I’ve been trying not to think about the past or the future of it, and for the most part I do okay.

It’s kind of tricky though, you know? It’s hard to stay in the present, to exist in the moment when the moment is only a split second long. It’s hard to give the present meaning or direction when you’re trying not to focus on what came before and what will come after it.

I’m the sort of girl who starts novels by reading the last sentence first and makes plans for the summer in February, so I don’t suppose it will come as any surprise that the concept of just sitting around and waiting to see what happens takes so much more than just sitting or waiting.

In other news:

Somehow, either late last night or early this morning, a coke can cracked and burst from inside the refridgerator, sent the cola spilling onto any and everything inside each nook and cranny.
To add hilarity to the situation, Adam had accidentaly turned the machine off, which caused the frost in the freezer to melt. So everything was wet from melted ice, and sticky from the exploding coke can.

This morning, was a lot of laughs.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Prefer Not To

It’s such a small thing, but sometimes hearing someone say your name when you weren’t expecting to is really kind of wonderful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

As Seen On T.V.

Lately I'm having these moments that are hard to imagine other real life people also experiencing, although somehow it’s very easy to envision them happening to fictional characters.

Also, (perhaps related:) recently I’ve been having daydreams about growing out my hair specifically to get a haircut and handing the stylist a picture of Emily Bronte for inspiration.


I hope atleast somebody finds that as amusing as I do.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The New Yorker

So today I decided I would send away for a subscription to The New Yorker. I’ve clearly decided this somewhat against my better judgement since, as far as I can tell, it’s kind of like paying to have someone come to your house on a weekly basis and torture you with descriptions of exciting events and museums and restaurants that you can’t possibly go to, tell you unfunny and slightly pretentious jokes, and make you feel generally inept for not knowing about/appreciating certain artists and authors and books.

But at least I wouldnt be paying very much, as the price will be at a discounted “professional student rate.” Did you know that I’m a professional student? It’s news to me, too.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Typical

– Sometimes I wonder if people who think TV is utterly ridiculous, idiotic trash that turns viewers into lobotomized zombies are aware that they’re making the same sort of argument that was being made about novel reading 150 years ago. What do you think?
– Do you remember that TV show about the girl who could stop time by pressing the tips of her index fingers together? There was one episode where she started to take advantage of her power and kept freezing time in order to get done with her homework before all the other kids. I think this would be a really great superpower to have, although using it to do homework seems pretty lame, if you ask me.

– There are many reasons to have a crush on Jason Bateman’s character in Arrested Development, but the most obvious is his unwavering loyalty to his bicycle. That show needs to slip into a new time slot so that I may view it once again.

Ah... Tonight, tonight is a very different kind of usual night. Tonight feels strange to me. Somewhat novel to my system. I feel as though maybe I had just moved to Berkeley. Or that I am still only visiting. When will I come to call this home?


When I was younger I used to try to imagine myself all grown up but I never could, the face and body and future were always blurry and would come in and out of focus, like a photograph trying to decide if it wanted to be developed.
Eventually I became a bit worried that this psychic failure might mean something, that it was a bad omen, that I was going to be the victim of a gruesome and improbable accident like an Edward Gorey character and then never make it to grownuphood. When you’re a kid the number of ways to die seems infinite, and I imagined the airplanes we always heard overhead crashing into the house or the ceiling fan in my bedroom coming unhinged, taking flight and chopping me to bits during the night.

I suppose it is somewhat reassuring to now know that my inability to picture some other, older version of myself wasn’t because I wouldn’t exist so much as it was a mysterious case of a simultaneous lack of and overactive imagination.

Feeling anxious or guilty or mismatched because you are not sad or upset or regretful about something you had expected to feel those things about is maybe one of the silliest things in the whole world.

But oh. I wouldn’t put it past me.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Brownings

It seems slightly crazy (in the best possible way) that Robert Browning began his introductory letter to Elizabeth Barrett Browning like this:
I do, as I say, love these books with all my heart -- and I love you too.

I wish I'd had time to read all of their letters and in their proper order, but because I didn't I scanned the pages impatiently for anything that looked particularly dramatic and promising, and discovered that by page 38 they were both calling one another "dearest" and unabashedly proclaiming their love. I sort of wish I had known about the Brownings when I was 14, because it would've been nice to have known that such a relationship had existed and could exist, that it was possible to have creative collaboration and (for girls who wanted to be writers to have) happy endings. Maybe if I had, I wouldn't have wasted quite so much time sunk in stupid fantasies about being Ted and Sylvia.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Deflated

Lately I’ve been wondering an awful lot about how we (“we” meaning you and me and everybody else) get to the point of convincing ourselves that certain pieces of our personality are inflexible, immobile. Mountains not to be moved. I mean those pieces that we don’t like, the ones that we don’t even have any real proof of being unchangeable (other than the flimsy excuse of inertia). Seriously. What’s going on there?
Not so long ago I was reading the journal of someone I know (or maybe it’d be more accurate to say someone I used to know or may one day know again), and came across a part in which this person declared that he was worried that he had some inherent capacity to always be sad or dissatisfied or something equally despondent. My first reaction (which I’m sure would have surprised him very much) was to want to tell him that I somehow deep down did not believe this, that I thought he was made of something stronger than this. Truthfully I’m not sure what I was basing this on, and I’m not even sure if I’m right. But how does he know he’s right, either? It seems pretty terrible to be sentenced to thinking of yourself as being one particular way forever, to be convinced of your inability to alter that, for (perhaps) no reason other than familiarity and habit. History can tell you about the future, but it’s not really supposed to predict it, right?

Maybe it’s unfair to use someone else as an example, though, so I will tell you this: I’ve been really afraid, for as far back as my memory will crawl, of wearing people out, of exhausting their good opinions of me, of being left because I was “too much work.” This has happened all too often, though (at least, as far as I know. What other possible reasons would people have decided, "Nope... can't talk to you anymore..."). So what created this fear, and why is it so instinctive? Why does it continue to linger and how the fuck do I get rid of it?

Lately, my heartbeat seems so conspicuous.

childhood fears:

moving to mexico
not growing up (1)
car accidents
junior high school
cancer (and diabetes)
Unsolved Mysteries
being buried alive (2)
ocean


grown up fears: (3)

being mediocre (4)
making bad decisions
bad teeth (5)
getting old alone
Roe vs. Wade being overturned
not being understood (6)
“writer’s block” (7)
ocean


____________________________

1. This led to a self-imposed cartoon ban at age 10 for fear that if I didn’t stop watching them then, I’d end up being 35 years old and still watching DuckTales or something.

2. Okay, I was a creepy little kid. Maybe I read too many Poe stories? I remember thinking that a glass casket like Snow White’s was the way to go. You know, just in case.

3. Relatively speaking here.

4. e.g., Of Human Bondage

5. This may or may not have something to do with the childhood memory of being punished for having perfectly straight teeth. Seriously.

6. e.g., The Catcher in the Rye

7. Fuck me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Flaucinaucinihilpilification

I’m all kinds of out of sorts today. I’m not sure that sentence even makes sense, but I’m going with it anyway.

I am at the coffee shop down the street from where I live and it is very very busy and noisy and it is making me fantastically agitated. I have my laptop out and my mom on the phone through my ear-peice. I’m pretty sure I’ll catch on fire shortly as penance for attempting to be technologically advanced. Well, at least I don’t have an Ipod, so maybe I’ll only suffer minor burns. I thought coffee shops were equivalent to libraries in regard to noise level. Apparently I’m not enough of a coffee shop afficionado. They probably don’t even call them coffee shops anymore.

Some young girls, six of them, are next to me, playing cards. They are at that precise age where they still like their parents and have slumber parties (without alcohol and drugs). They are completely awkward and haven’t grown into their real bodies yet. Free of makeup and thongs. Lankiness. Braces. How I envy their innocence. Truly.

I hope the older ladies behind me aren’t reading this. As if they really care, or can see font this small from where they’re sitting. Really. How self absorbed I am.

Like I was saying, I’m in a panic today. I haven’t felt this, on the edge, feeling in quite a while. I’m not having a panic attack or anything (unless I don’t even know it), but I feel like if anyone asks me anything the wrong words will spill out of my mouth.

Random person: You think it’s going to rain today?
agreenleaf: Soylent Green is people!!!

So, I think I’m going to avoid discussion where possible.

Some sort of switch needs to be flipped in my life. I am out of control. Please. Do the honor. Flip that fucker. What? I have to do it?

[Old ladies to the rear have left and now a younger person (hence better eyesight) is behind me and making me super fucking anxious. He’s moving chairs and shit around. Walking around the table for the seven thousandth time, like my friend Megan’s dog that is always circling. Always. Circling.

Also, I don’t know how this guy across from me can study while the six girls play some loud and fast moving card game that involves lots of hands being slapped down in the wooden table right in front of him. I wonder if he thinks about any of the girls. You know what I mean.]

There is a little baby near me. Well, she’s probably 1 ½ or so. I want to hold her adorably soft chubby teeny hand. I think that would fix all of my problems.

I think we might be entering the Era of the Great Hermit-ing of 2005.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

My Life Is In Berkeley

I feel oblivious to what is going on around me lately. Like a tree, completely scenery to everyday events.

I know that it's very unhealthy to disengage but I need a short break to work things out... put them to song if the need be.

It's funny but I can pinpoint almost exactly why I get hung. It's getting dark out before I get off work; so I'm not riding the bus anymore. Something as simple as physical exertion daily makes me so much more balanced.

Guess I just needed to talk things out minus the poetics. Blah, blah.

But days are so good with Sonny Rollins in the mornings and Ornette Coleman at night. An old friend whose new puppy's name is reluctantly on loan from a famous Poe poem. And an older friend who urges me to go to Merced ...soon, maybe in Autumn. And my loverly pal Adam who keeps me from railing over trivialities. If it were not for him, I'd be that delicate mess too often.

We are all jazz, at least for now.