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Maya: is it the illusion of multiplicity, the waking dream in which we believe there is an "individual self"? In Hindu philosophy (as I seek to understand it), there is only a "Universal Being" of which we are all part. In truth, "we" do not exist at all. We are not born nor do we die, for the greater Self always IS. Pure awareness draws no distinctions between good and evil or between me and ‘not me.' When, during yoga, you fall deep inside yourself, you discover that you are nothing – and yet at the same time, you are everything.
I feel that I've lost a friend. We fought last night, and I realized how fake and superficial she is. I wonder what she's thought of me, truly, not just in her indifference or feigned sympathy. How far has she changed from the one I knew? She accused me of being self-absorbed, but she is the one who never reaches out when I am lonely. I think she likes to complain about how self-sacrificing she is because it makes her a martyr, a "good girl." She used to be the prudish Catholic schoolgirl, but now she's strayed from her devoutness.
Depression is said to be de-motivating. You stay in bed all day and lose interest in things that used to matter. Is depression contagious? If those close to you are sad about their lives, can you be happy with yours? Do we get too caught up with the way we would want things to be in a perfect world without realizing how little we really require to live and be happy? If I can find a way to keep a roof over my head and food on the table while being with those I love, could I be not happy?
Today's question is whether nature urges us to make love when the one we love is hurting. Could passion and physical intimacy be balms for the soul? For example, if one's lover is depressed and hurting, could the other partner feel "sympathy depression" with similar symptoms and become focused on making love as the cure? It's said that love cures all ills, and perhaps physical actions are included more than we realize or want to acknowledge. In the world created by author Mercedes Lackey, there are special "healers" who work with body and mind, using sexuality to cure if beneficial.
Gently curving grayish-brown trunks stand rooted in the hillside. Yellow and green circular leaves bob up and down in the breeze. A single shaft of golden sunlight highlights the trunks and makes me squint. The screen on the window grids the colors and confuses the eye. The brown and tan leaves fallen to the ground camouflage and make is hard to see any depth or sharp distinctions. To the left, an old stump has two levels of sharp cut-marks from a human's saw. Everything looks more beautiful in the sunlight, and I gaze at the blue blue sky and smile.
Republicans control Congress and White House. A scary prospect for a Democratic liberal. I have trouble talking politics with my father – not so much because we disagree on issues (we do), but because he talks in generalities and insists on name-calling rather than discussion. "Those danged liberals," he'll say, "have all these idealistic policies, but they're naïve and don't realize why things won't work in practice." Now what can one say to that? If he were to ask about abortion or workers' rights or international policies, you could give a specific answer … but to counter a charge of "idealism"?
Obituaries are really interesting if you stop to think about what they tell (and don't tell) about a person. As an intern at a daily newspaper, one of my jobs has been to type up obituaries. I've spent the time "getting to know" the people. Some people have just bare-boned facts written about them, while others "loved to garden" and owned dogs named Lovepie and Coco. One woman, whose obit was obviously paid for by her children, had a "companion" of 33 years who was only listed in the middle of the survivors list – and who lived in another town.
I love Fridays, especially when my boyfriend is coming up to visit for the weekend and the sun is shining and it's warm outside even though winter has been here all week. There's a sense of freshness in the breeze, and my housemates and I opened all of the windows to let in the outside air. It just starts to feel stale inside during the winter, when everything is shut up and people are coughing and sick. Today is a welcome respite, an unexpected oasis. Yesterday snow, today sun and warmth. It's easy to feel the open possibilities of life.
What does one write about in the morning? I usually write later in the day. A dream? I was invited to a scientist's project out in the woods, a deep "sink" in a river where rainbows collected. She was studying the water and light effects, asking us to support her in asking the government not to allow other visitors to the site (a hiking trail) to disturb her. I sent in $10 to oppose her plan, thinking everyone should have access. It turned out a train took all of the money donated for or against her to the river sinkhole.
Our toilet broke today. The flush handle had no stress behind it anymore, so I brought in my man to tell me what was wrong (I didn't know what it was, but figured he would – and I watched so I'll know too next time). It turns out it was a common problem, the plastic connector between the handle and the chain in the back reservoir had snapped in half. The brave man put his hand into the tank (I know it's clean water, but eww) and pulled the chain to manually flush. I called maintenance, and they'll be here tomorrow.
I was drunk for the second time in my life this weekend. It was unexpectedly fun. I grew up in a sheltered and isolated household, so coming to college was an eye-opening experience. The people I see here drink and smoke, two things which I've found it very hard to come to terms with for myself (and my boyfriend, whose life is tied to mine). He quit smoking two years ago, after we had been together for a year. He still has a cigarette occasionally, but usually not around me. Next time I've vowed to join him just to see.
My fantasy is to have my boyfriend tell me that he's found this wonderful, high-paying job that he loves. He wants to buy a house, marry me and take me away from everything. I don't even think that I would take the opportunity; I think I'd still choose to finish school (I only have one more semester) and then be with him, but it eased my mind for a few seconds to imagine that that security was there. Just to know that when things get really bad, he would be there ready to catch me if I needed to fall.
This morning I was reading the entries of another 100 words member, Azdak. I liked how he used short, incomplete sentences. There was a continuity of entries, a growth throughout the month. I felt that I knew him and could empathize with his issues (planning a marriage, remembering a long-distance relationship, changing jobs). He provided a window into his life and ideas, especially political. I've never met him, but I wish him well in Ohio. I feel like I haven't been talking to my housemates enough lately. It's easy to get disconnected when Jimmie is visiting, caught up in us.
I'm still hurting from a conversation I had with Jimmie yesterday. I had been really excited about getting engaged. I feel ready now, but when I asked him about his thoughts, last night he said he was waiting for "the right time." He had assumed we'd wait until after next spring (whereas that was my "deadline"), and he wants his family to be ready to hear about it happily. Why should his family's bad experiences with first love take away the faith and hope in ours? I want the security and commitment of love declared, to gush about my ring.
The ocean. It's so calming to stand near such immensity and be rocked by rhythmic waves reaching the shore, the cool breeze bringing freshness, a smell of salt and fish. Before a storm, you can lose yourself to the greater power of the water and wind. Clouds roil in, the rain stings, and you realize that all of your problems are nothing but a drop. It's like watching a fire, mesmerizing in its mystery. What is my life but an infinitely small part of the greater Spirit of the earth? The ocean is beautiful, but dangerous too. Much like life.
Snow on the ground! New York weather is so changeable. Everyone must have been thinking of their Christmas shopping because Walmart was one big cluster-fuck. I had to go to the far end of the driveways to get in, and the parking lot was full. Incredible! Inside the store people were walking down the aisles with full carts like they had blinders on. Hate when people are inconsiderate, makes me want to be a jerk, too. I got my candles and few toiletry items and lucked out at the register. By 4pm the lot was clearing out; dinnertime I guess.
"Providence" -- Father of the doctor speaking to his daughter's fiancé: "You know, I never said how happy I was to have you as part of the family. Syd made a wonderful choice." Those words would mean so much if I heard them from my parents-in-law (particularly my boyfriend's mother). Jimmie and I have been together for three years and are planning to get married, yet I feel like an unwelcome visitor in their lives. I'm not mean or unfriendly, so why don't they like me? Jimmie wants us to get along; can't they give me a chance for him?
I really missed Jimmie today. First big snow of the season – four inches when I woke up, and white skies kept the flurries coming all day. I would have loved to see his face waking up to the snow. He's like a little kid, and that excitement is infectious. Made me think of when we were together our first two winters at school; throwing snowballs, laughing excitedly, walking to dinner, making a snowman, or sitting inside the warm room and watching flurries fall outside in the dark. The temperature is like 30 degrees, so it's warm enough to enjoy it!
Still a bit tipsy from my little dance party and "OJ mix" tonight. I needed a pick-me-up. It reminded me of Spain and how much I love Spanish music: Shakira, Olga Tañon, Elvis Crespo, Marc Anthony, etc. Merengue and salsa music are so upbeat and energetic. They are truly dancing music styles, something to do with friends and relatives of all ages. I wish that American culture was more free with its dancing and had a style that was pumping, yet mellow enough to include all generations. I miss the clubs of Spain and the family togetherness of Puerto Rico.
I love baked goods, especially chocolate chip cookies. Anything with chocolate in it, really. Not as big a fan of candy bars, but they'll do too in a pinch. Can't get enough of baking though; guess it's a good thing I didn't have an oven in the apartment this summer. Stovetop and microwave only – couldn't find any mixes for that! Agreed with Jimmie to take the day off from calling; we've been fighting a lot lately over stupid little things. Both stressed about the future. Too much (or not enough) going on. Wish we were together again. Soon. Need it.
My mom said it's the little things that sometimes give us the most pleasure. Like getting an email from Jimmie saying he got my card and got turned on. Lol. Waking up to the world covered in white snow, or finding out it's 48 degrees and sunny in the middle of November. Looking at a picture of Jimmie and laughing at the way he turns his hat to talk on the phone, or one where his beard looks like a goat. Looking forward to a massage. Sleeping the whole night through. Finding out you wrote exactly 100 words without trying.
Opps. Well, this is my free skip day entry! I was so busy today. Called the doctor about my nausea (thank goodness no one insinuated that I am pregnant). Robyn and I had a conflict mediation session with four guys next door who play bass that vibrates our rooms. Cashed my check (money). Massage for $25 at school; disappointed because she didn't quite work out all the knots in my back. Ziti with Laura and Maria. Ro's play and Gregg Proops show. Sat with Maria – she drank too much. I had a great phone conversation with Jimmie until 2am.
I am having such a hard time dieting. I exercise four to five times a week, but I eat way too much (I am especially vulnerable to baked goods!). My housemates are so thin and good-looking, conscious of their appearance. Always dressed up and looking sexy. I went tanning with Laura. That was a freaky experience. I didn't like being in a closed booth (although I was relieved it didn't close all the way, leaving some air flow). I felt like my skin was burning, even though I was only in it for six minutes. The hot lights smell weird.
Cleaning is therapeutic for me. It's a soothing activity that lets me justify avoiding work or errands while at the same time giving me a sense of accomplishment. I've always been uptight about germs and messiness. My mom says that when I was four I'd wipe my mouth with a napkin in between each bite of food. During the last summer I cleaned my apartment each week. I also enjoy washing dishes (but only when I'm in the right mood). I was always bored with the "housewife" career, but many of its chores are also benefits with the right balance.
Getting a full set of nail tips is an involved process (it's hard to type with them!). First he buffed the nails with a sander, then glued on the plastic tips. We cut the nails short, then filed them. He used a paintbrush to apply purple liquid and a powder to the nails to thicken them. He buffed the top again and hurt the area (he made four nail edges bleed!). That did NOT seem sanitary to me, since he didn't wear gloves. He filed again, then applied polish. White tips airbrushed. It was intimate to have my hands held.
Mireya said Jimmie can stay with me in Puerto Rico! I am really excited because the two weeks our class will be in Vega Baja are boring because there is only beach – no places to go or people to see. It is a romantic spot for a couple, though! Jimmie has been to Hawaii, but never really traveled much, so the plane tickets for 5 days in Puerto Rico would be much appreciated! This would be a semi-early honeymoon and a vacation for him – he's been depressed and stressed. A bit of sun and lovin' … I can't wait.
Jimmie and I think it would be cool to name a son Peter Jameson (his names in the opposite order). I like the name Elena for a girl because it's the Spanish version of Ellen, so a way to honor my mother. I'm at my grandmother's house in Saugerties. My dad's parents are so into genealogy research! I'm worried about my sister Laura because she brought a friend home to New Jersey and now has to drive up here, but it's 5:30 and we haven't heard from her yet. She doesn't care for herself the way I'd like her to.
Wow. Now I remember how incredibly bored I get at my grandmother's, even as an adult! It's not that I don't like to hang out with my relatives, but when there's nothing else to do. … I ended up eating a lot (fair enough, it is Thanksgiving), but I don't like the new stomach roll. It's funny that the President of the United States gives a special pardon to one turkey on Thanksgiving, and even funnier (to my political sensibilities) that this year's turkey turned around and snapped at George W. You use 101 words to count to 100. Huh.
My drive to RI (and Jimmie's house) was five hours because of constant snow. His family's dog, Riley, is a little black devil – so rambunctious and aggressive. I've always loved dogs, but this one I hate (especially after it bit my face!). Some just don't understand their place below all people in the hierarchy. I was happy because Jimmie's mom actually has a picture of the two of us in a frame. Jimmie also said she is trying hard to get me a good xmas present this year. I feel good about that. Only his brother is home – no parents!
Lying here with Jimmie seems an appropriate way to end my month of writing. Warm and content, curled up together. Lying naked on the blanket-covered floor under gentle candlelight, his body warming mine. Watching TV, holding hands to walk down to the beach and pick out conch shells. Happiness is being together. I feel so lucky every day knowing that we're together, at peace when I am with him. Yes we fight, but he completes me. To him I dedicate "100 Words," as well as the rest of my heart and soul for as long as I live to love.
The Tip Jar