REPORT A PROBLEM
Despite all my thoughts yesterday that this year would bring significant change, it doesn't
like it yet. "Here's to 2010 because 2009 was brutal," Hal said, raising his champagne flute for another toast. Below the balcony, I glimpsed some of EMU's campus, covered in snow and devoid of students. I saw it as the last testament to my childhood, but chose not to reminisce much. Hearing Jefferson Starship's song, "Nothing's gonna stop us now", was the highlight of the evening even after people started puking and I began gazing longingly at one of the few men present.
I walked down the insulation aisle with an uncharacteristic confidence, simply aware of my thoughts without necessarily getting lost in them: I wondered when I would love someone the way I loved J again. Would I be old? Am I already getting too old to experience something like that again? I waited in the left-hand turn lane for a time, curiously observing ceiling fans running through the windows of the abandoned Don Pablos. How dizzy they must be, spinning through all the aftermath. I'm lonely. Perhaps impartially reflecting on what I had isn't a good idea. Perhaps it is.
Today began as a 7:11 day. Work was at 7:45 and I was frustrated my phone's alarm did not work again. I felt irritable against the seat warmer and I missed my own car and the independence. Ironically, it was The Cars' song, Who's Gonna Drive You Home? that set things straight on my way into work. Now I am grateful for what I do have and what I can do. I can paint the different colors of the sunrise and sunset as skillfully as the red, orange and green of 7-11's logo for instance, and will.
I thought it was worth mentioning that the snow resembled baking soda today as opposed to its usual flour-like consistency. The rest of the evening included a closing shift, music and inspirational people. I think someone can get used to anything if they do it long enough whether it is working, communicating or thinking. The trick is choosing what to get used to...like making a 100 words entry everyday for example. While browsing a jukebox selection I observed many songs I've gotten used to and played them for the masses anyway, depressing or not. Big Girls Don't Cry.
I don't want to get too ambitious, but I'm done with smoking. I pulled out a cigarette just a few minutes ago and counted how many I have left, thinking about tomorrow. Seven. If I could just quit altogether, I wouldn't have to worry about paying for a habit that's only bad for my health in the long run. I just sketched a picture of a native american settlement; they smoked, but I would have too if I was regularly hunting buffalo and massacring neighboring tribes--and even then, their tobacco didn't include the 5,000 chemicals in it today.
Felt kind of stale today, like the can of Reddi Whip in the fridge. It was my second day off working a job that falls somewhere between employment and unemployment. Nevertheless, the alarm still went off as I heard the back door shut and viewed headlights through the white drapes. I get up so early not so much because I believe there's a lot I can accomplish, but because I value as much time to myself as possible. Maybe I could pursue technical writing or a career in hotel management. Or eventually succomb to an America's Next Top Model marathon.
I'm beginning to enjoy the warmth of an empty word processor. Instead of slowly waving my hands around like I do in front of a heater, I roll a pencil around and close my eyes--until I'm able to access that part of myself that knows what's best for me. My breathing slows, I take in more of my surroundings, and whatever I write about is capable of taking me back to that point in time...particularly when I write creatively. It's just something I've committed to so infrequently though that the last dozen times take me back to 2000.
I slowly obscured myself behind a cooler as Dina approached. She stopped, sensing what I was doing then, and peered her neck around the corner. When she saw me, she let out a ridiculously loud laugh and showed me a clementine dressed in a mini-skirt. I called it just that...a clementine. "But it's a cutie!" the artist exclaimed. "Don't ruin it!"
One of Cuties's main selling points is that they're 'easy to peel'. If only writing was like that, but often times it requires peeling off several layers of skin, all amidst a growing heap of compost.
Young Carl was playing a
instant sweepstakes game from Rite Aid as I sat in the passenger seat and failed at making good conversation. We drove by James and Sergei's old territory--giving me a chance to reflect on the dinner parties and good times. I observed their local gas station through the icy window and questioned my expectations when I decided to meet angst-ridden Carl...treading through the snow to the movie theater next door because I didn't want him to know where I worked. Gone are the days of meeting people easily it seems.
I jumped my car this afternoon and drove it around for half an hour. I forgot how quickly time passes when I drive...an activity that gave me the opportunity to process information and observe the bare, slushy surroundings. Fear clouded my head a little more than I would have liked, especially at red lights, but I managed it well. I tried to focus on the little things, like the fortune-telling Burger King mascot featured in a clever advertisement on Yahoo! the other day. "Your real friends will always surround you...IF you eat BK funnel sticks." Love it.
I'm a little late making an entry tonight. It's 12:03 am and I've just gotten into bed now and signed onto my laptop. It was snowing here most of the day and evening, and I was given a front seat due to working in the lot again tonight at the Home Depot. Very few customers were in the store, so I spent most of the evening chatting with co-workers at the contractor register, self-checkout, and the service desk. When I was finished, I just started over again at the contractor register. It was an evening of chats.
I was tempted to watch a movie at 11:11 tonight, but decided it was too late. Besides, I wouldn't have finished this 100words entry on time. So here I am, in jeans and an unbuttoned shirt, with the answer to my question: I saw X-Men, The Last Stand in theatres Spring of 2006--not 2007. I went with Sergei, and ended up buying a drink halfway through and sipping it furiously in an empty stall, quelling a panic attack. I saw Congo in 1995 with Eric, just before HS, just before I lost a best friend growing up.
As much as I love the night, I need to maintain a consistent bedtime. I have been working more evening shifts this month; however, my thoughts are that the longer I consistently make myself available during regular business hours, the more likely it is I will attain regular business hours, which is ultimately my main goal. My life is considerably quieter ever since my doctor told me not to drive...not to mention a lot less dramatic than it used to be over the past few years. And the truth is, I needed it once, but don't need it now.
This morning I watched a NakedScience program about the life cycle of the Sun, but noticed the program was called The Death of the Sun, for all intensive purposes. The producers used a sundial to measure the Sun's lifespan between 6am and 6pm. According to many astronomers, the Sun is currently at 10:30am. By 11:30, the average global temperature will reach 160 degrees farenheit as the sun swells and the Earth loses its oceans. According to this timescale, less than a milisecond ago I was 16, on the deck tanning and listening to U2, Staring at the Sun.
I had to chuckle at Lee Child's bias against the middle class this morning when I turned on the news. One of the newscasters had unbelieveable poise and announced random birthdays in town just like he said, like she had known the dates all her life. I chuckled, but was subdued when I was informed more about the tragedy in Haiti, and again later in the day listening to NPR's live broadcast in the disaster areas. I had to change the channel... I was driving myself to and from work for the first time and didn't want to get upset.
Tonight I watched Groundhog Day followed by Revolutionary Road at my mom's apartment. I was scratching my ears alot, having pet her shih-tzu too much, so I took a Benadryl and had a smoke in the laundry room. An array of sweet detergents and softeners was on top of the dryer. When I returned to the couch moments later, we fast-forwarded through the rest of the commercials as the dog snoozed beside me, startled occasionally at the sound of a train. The place felt warm but stuff and my biggest wish of the evening was for world peace.
I only worked four hours today again, but used the time beforehand to clean up. My blankets and sheets were in an uninviting hump on my bed. At least 3 or 4 empty glasses littered my nightstands and dressers, and my dirty clothes and clean clothes were unorganized. In the words of a previous 100words author, my space needs to be clean in order for me to take my life seriously... otherwise, I sink into a cycle of archaeic needs and wants. The football game this afternoon was my que to clean up before work, and I'm glad I did.
I'm typing with one hand tonight, the other's been in a sling since this morning. I remember being driven quickly to the hospital on the interstate. It was still dark, and the windows of other cars were plastered in ice. Each lamp appeared to be a star in very close proximity to Earth. My dad drove me back from the hospital, but I have no recollection of what route we took. When I arrived back home I remember having a glass of orange juice and an english muffin with jelly before eagerly jumping back into bed and sleeping for hours.
I had to stop what I was doing today and do a double-take. Is this really happening to me again? What did I fail to learn from my last seizure that I must learn from the one yesterday? Is there really anything to learn? Has my growth over the last couple months not pleased God enough? Why I ponder over the latter question probably has to do with my Christian upbringing because I'm agnostic now. However, regardless of my reigious affiliation or how hard it is to accept, I'm simply not as young as I used to be anymore.
I was going to attend the Society for Technical Communication's first event of the year tonight. I remember telling John about it at Karl's Cabin a few weeks ago. We were sharing a pitcher and he was discussing socioeconomic status--the cabin sat in limbo off 14 between Plymouth and Ann Arbor and was expensive. I took a picture of the place, but it later came out looking like the entrance to a haunted house. Today it was hard keeping up with my daily tasks, let alone attending an event I know nothing about: Sharepoint from a Human Resources perspective.
Just back from Longhorn next door to Westland Mall, complete with old-western decor and cow-hide lampshades. My breath smells of sweet potatoes and garlic. The steak took a long time to chew. I wondered if my diet was meant to consist only of fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, figuring how I've already been deprived of good health as of late, I unstrapped my shoulder sling and dug in as the A1 was delivered. My gaze stupidly followed the politically correct waitstaff, complete with a gay man, while internally I struggled with the arduous task of accepting my newfound limitations.
I walked into my room tonight as if it lead to another room in the Detroit Institute of Arts: I didn't know what to expect. Some rooms contained the many gaunt faces and fleshy undertones of the European Rennaissance, others were more abstract and modern in appeal, like the way I'd characterize the space I write in for example. Perhaps my body stores stress in ways equally unknown to me. I hope some of it was released earlier as the steam was released above the sewers downtown, or the way an artist like Matisse unwittingly released convention into pure genius.
I browsed multimedia on PBS.org today, inspired by the 18th century colonial I saw at the DIA last night. Everything on the website was about a century earlier than the exhibit: there were panoramic views of old colonial homes, video journals from actors portraying colonists, even quizzes for gauging how well modern society would survive in 17th century America. The snow was melting outside so I immersed myself in learning about the past. And like a chain reaction, I began applying for jobs in Tampa again too, my unfastened sling hanging down to the floor. I'm definitely in denial.
I'm thinking about the scent of fresh rainwater, light green forests in early spring and empty dark movie theaters rolling credits. After seeing Legion at Laurel Park tonight, I left unimpressed, so I let the sights and sounds of working there over 12 years ago return to me. The grand piano, where the box office used to be, played a procession of chords as the young concessionists, security guards and ushers conversed. I quietly filled my soda cup, looking at familiar things behind the counter, thinking about a design in the years that followed, but seeing only more convenient accessories.
I never considered how much of your shoulder goes into using the computer. Tonight I am typing again with two hands, so it is slowly getting better, although I am hoping it is ready for work as a cashier tomorrow. Not up to that much here, just getting ready to start another novel, 1984 by Orwell. I will probably take a peek at the reviews before I begin. Shoulder and neck are a little sore from wearing the sling so I unfastened it again. Just applied for an assistant underwriter job and about to get a handful of cherry sours.
In my predictable dream this afternoon I was ringing up a man who forgot his method of payment at home. I had a line but my co-workers were unabashedly using my register so I agreed to drive him home, running down a long glass hallway, tripping over him and sloshing in the snow--avoiding the supervisor. He drove my car, placing chocolate shakes in the cupholders--there was a 3-D image on the bottom of one. When we reached his house, I felt indebted to him, shaking his hand, but he offered to take me out to dinner.
Was walking through 12 oaks mall last night with Reed, remembering the sights and sounds of the economic powerhouse--marveling over how empty it was while listening to Don Henley's, The End of the Innocence, over the loud speakers. Reed enjoyed ruffling the sales assistant's feathers, whether it was the two woman from Yankee Candle high on the scent of wax, or the aggressively flamboyant business woman from Bath and Body. I usually let him joke around as I smiled when I had to and told them I was just browsing, seeing only dollar signs and profit in their eyes.
I got to thinking about Reed's triangle earlier, and about how everyone either plays the victim, persecutor or rescuer in social interactions with others. I'm not sure where I am on the scale, but tonight I immediately recognized the persecutor in someone else. I did all I could for him because I knew this, but at the same time didn't want to expend too much energy on him either. He used my name a little too often and a little too loudly, like a bully on a playground. He wanted a response--but I chose not to give him one.
I didn't work today, so I watched half of Milk and wrote in the brown leather chair, watching frozen patches of ice in the backyard reflect the sunlight. It was my dad and brother's birthday and I didn't have cards for them, but I figured it really is the thought that counts, and I was full of them. My brother stopped by with a friend and asked me if I wanted to smoke a joint but I declined. His friend sat down while he roamed the house in memory. My dad came home late, tired. He deserved more from me.
Anna's face was hidden by a swath of her long brown hair in the dark movie theater. The story line was theatrical, centered around love--that which we all aspire to but especially among people her age who feel they are invicible and the world is still their oyster. Her heart was broken by another gay man, but this time hanging out with her I made it a point not to mention him or indulge in conversation with her about him. I remember the stories she used to tell, and knew it was real for her--when he was around.
One of my favorite quotes by Emerson:
"Do not be too timid or unsure about your actions. All life is an experiment. Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. To be great is to be misunderstood."
In the words of an author on a boomerang kid message board, I believe that
the adversarial relationship I have with myself must end NOW,
to be replaced by a goal, by feelings of excitement over looking outside my own window on a sunny day, dust motes floating about, writing, living for myself and myself only.
The Tip Jar