REPORT A PROBLEM
My summer mistake...that's what I've started calling him in my head. I know, it's a little on the mean side - but I can't help but think how true it is. I don't need some guy in my life who's going to walk away like nothing ever happened; I don't need to get into something knowing exactly how it's going to end. But I don't think I've made nearly enough mistakes in my twenty-four years of life; overall, I've led a fairly safe, sheltered existence. It's time to do a thing or two that I can live to regret!
I told myself I'd be done by now. Told my advisor I'd be done, too. But science isn't always as neat and tidy as we'd like it to be, I suppose. I'm sure it's at least a little bit my fault - I keep making more work for myself, telling myself it's all for the sake of the greater project. Is it, is it really now? Or am I just getting lost in the data and the details? Regardless, I definitely need to keep this project on track to be completed by summer's end. That
a reasonable goal...isn't it?
Too little too late...right? I mean, I gave him a chance a couple of months ago. Things were going well, or so I thought, and then he disappeared. I gave him another shot; he blew it. I decided that he isn't worth the time if he's going to be a complete flake. I put him out of my mind, at least until my summer boy departs. Maybe,
, if he'd at least afforded me a personal invitation, I'd have considered it. But to hang out with virtual strangers on the off-chance that we rekindle things? No, thank you.
"We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"
Yes, I spent tonight watching an old classic. And drinking vodka; it seemed the best course of action given the fact that my car suddenly sounds like it's going to explode. I had invitations to a couple of festivities - one that I opted out of because he's an asshole, the other that I couldn't get to because of, well, car troubles. Hopefully I can get this sorted out soon enough...
I watched the monsoon clouds sweep in from my office for a while before I finally decided to give up and get on out of there - because not only was it the Friday afternoon after a holiday, but my car was also all fixed up and ready to go, and I was anxious to have it back. Plus, the walk to the bus stop I needed was nearly a mile away, and it would be much more pleasant when it's seventy degrees outside and overcast, spewing just a few raindrops - rather in the heat once the storm comes and goes.
Time for another Canada Day party! Sure, the "official" date was earlier this week - but my Canadian friends made the executive decision to push it til this weekend. That's one of the nice things about having several friends from the north; we get two Thanksgivings, and two celebrations here in July (as long as you don't find yourself stricken with too many vehicular challenges). It was a pretty good time, and a better turnout than last year - both in terms of the number of people in attendance, AND in the number of Canadian beers available for the traditional tasting activities.
There was some guy at the coffee shop. He caught my eye once or twice, I smiled politely because that's what I do - and then I turned back to my work, because there's a lot that I need to do. Eventually, about five minutes before he had to leave, he came over to my table, asked to sit down for a bit. I said yes, because I didn't want to be rude. We chatted, and he eventually scribbled his number on a napkin - because he's "old-fashioned". I don't know that I'll actually call him; I guess I probably won't.
He brought me up to the mountain last night to watch the sunset. We hiked off a bit, away from the road and away from the other people at the viewpoint, to find a spot with a beautiful view of the horizon. He mentioned it was one of his favorite spots in Tucson, and that it's not something he shares with just anyone. That made me feel special. I know I'm not, really, especially not in the grand scheme of us - but it was nice to pretend for a little while. It was
nice to wake up this morning....
I can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by! It's been like two months since classes ended - and somehow it feels like I'm in the exact same place I was in back in May, struggling through the same old project monotony. I hate complaining about work, and I feel like I do that too much - but I think I've just grown weary of this particular project. That's a part of science, of course, the tedium. But hopefully something cool emerges out of the data; it's that thrill of discovery that got me into this business in the first place.
There I was, all set to head to rugby, ready to run and get those endorphins flowing and let the stress just dissipate out of my system.
Instead, I hopped into my car to find shattered glass everywhere, my rugby bag - usually stored at the foot of my passenger seat - missing. The next couple of hours were spent filing a police report and an insurance claim. I guess I'm lucky that I have full glass coverage, because someone is coming tomorrow afternoon to fix it up, no charge.
But I'm still a bit shaken up. How safe
It was an interesting discussion, with an atheist-turned-something-else. I wouldn't quite even use the word theist based on what he said; I guess he's probably closer to a deist, with some interesting opinions. I still can't wrap my head around his initial premise; something about "qualitative experience" - that there is a
about being oneself that can't be explained and can't be quantified. I think I disagree with that; just because science hasn't yet explained consciousness doesn't mean it cannot be explained. Just because you choose not to quantify an experience doesn't mean it can't be quantified.
Ups and downs, ups and downs, that's all that life is. I found myself caught between a few conversations tonight, not quite belonging in any of them, but not sure whether to or even how to extricate myself from the situation. So yeah, it triggered some of my social anxiety, some of my social awkwardness. I think I'll need some time to recover from this one. It's not their fault, of course; they weren't trying to make me feel all weird and stuff - I do that to myself. I should really figure out how to stop myself from doing that.
A familiar song came on my car radio this afternoon, and the timing couldn't have been better - or worse? Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered seventysomething kids and staffers making a big circle and singing along, as I realized that many of the same staffers are at camp right now, and that many of the same kids will be arriving tomorrow - and that they're all going to be there without me for the next week. I know it's just too big of a commitment this year for me to make it back, but it's still sad, y'know?
It's so hard to focus. Here I am, at my regular Sunday afternoon coffee shop, trying to force my way through a stack of journal articles that may or may not be relevant. The regular baristas are here, as well as some other regular customers. There's that guy next to me at the bar, I feel like I see him here ALL the time, and that other fellow off in the corner; we exchanged a smile and a couple of words once. This place has grown so...comfortable, familiar. But what's distracting me, of course, is plans with boything later.
Apparently I'm really no good at sleeping in strange places. I end up laying awake late, unable to relax and switch my brain off and retreat to dreamland. Thoughts whiz through my mind and I start overthinking my life's choices and wondering what the hell brought me to the point where I am (no matter
point that might actually be). The only solution, once I make such a fateful decision, is of course to head to work early and start caffeinating. Maybe not the smartest of coping mechanisms, but it'll have to at least get me through the day.
I'm so close right now. So damn close - after all this time, after all this effort, after all this patience, I'm just so damn close, I can practically taste the end. On the one hand, yeah, I guess it's about time - I've only spend the last six months working on little else. But it's a big project; and who knows, the next steps might be even bigger, might take even longer. Okay, "longer" probably not - at least, I reallyreally hope not. If I spend too many more months struggling through this, I'm pretty sure my advisor will cast me aside.
"So last night was full of firsts," he said. All I could do was laugh; I teased him for his lack of baseball knowledge, and how could he have gotten through so much of his life without understanding such an important thing. He teased me for, well, *mumbles incoherently*, but I guess that's almost to be expected. The sun gleamed just atop the fence. And of course, he actually had things to do today, so after a quick kiss goodbye he was on his way into the bright and early morning, with the promise that we'd hang out again soon...
Seriously, what is it with older male acquaintances and me? I don't think I come off as flirtatious; I don't think I'm leading them on in any way - and yet I keep getting these kinds of messages. I can't imagine that he wants to spend time with me in any way other than as friends - but the tone of his recent email makes me wonder. I mean, he's old enough to be my father! And he is as aware of that as I am. So what the hell is going on? And what the hell should I
It's frustrating. I've checked my phone far too often over the last several hours, when really I just need to come to terms with the fact that he isn't going to text me back today. That's one of the things I hate about modern communication; a part of me just wants to eschew the process entirely, but that will just disconnect me even further from the world that I live in. A part of me almost wants to hate him too, but of course that's silly. We have nothing but dwindling time. And I really am okay with that. Really.
I took the day off today. Sure, I've got a massive amount of work to do in the next couple of weeks, but I've been burning myself out. I needed some time to avoid the rest of the world, embrace the solitude that my life so desperately needs sometimes - and there is something surprisingly cathartic about cleaning one's apartment while rocking out to fast-paced tunes while wearing nothing but shorts and a sports bra. I actually found myself feeling refreshed and alive after all of that. Now early to bed, and I might wake up feeling good again tomorrow.
The clouds were looking rather ominous, but we didn't think that was any reason to change our plans - in fact, it was almost an encouraging sign. Just our luck, the clouds took a wrong turn, and the afternoon was perfectly sunny, at least where we were hanging out. I would have liked to get caught out there in a monsoon, but I guess nature doesn't always work out in the way we'd like. We ended up back at my place for the evening, and had ice cream and hot chocolate for dinner. I don't think I'd have changed a thing.
I'm trying not to think about how many hours I spent at work today. I went in early, headed home for dinner, and then trudged back for a couple of hours. The worst, I think, was dragging myself back after dark; it's creepy at night. It tends to be eerily quiet, but the building makes strange noises sometimes.
The moon was out when I left. I smiled, recalling this morning. Sometimes boys just say the darndest things; apparently when the sun is shrouded in a thin veneer of clouds and viewed through sunglasses, it looks just exactly like the moon...
So that was positively useless. I spend all that time thinking about how to approach the next step in my research, and all I wanted was a comment, an opinion, maybe even a suggestion. What did I get? Just the curtest "I don't know" with the subtle implication that I am pretty much all on my own with this one. It didn't come as too much of a surprise, but still, it's frustrating. I'm just a young, inexperienced scientist, and I'd like just a little bit of input from someone who knows more than me. Too much to ask for?
At first he planned on going home so that his mother didn't ask any questions, or learn any delicate details about his personal life. He wanted
to decide whether he stayed or went, but that was a line I just wasn't willing to cross. Because of course I wanted him to stay - there are mere days until he leaves, and I want to savor every moment. But how could I get between a boy and his Jewish mother? He
stick around, by the way; called and said he was too tired to drive allll the way back home.
I keep getting behind on these things. There isn't even a good reason for it, either. I'm just distracted, apathetic, uninspired (in this context). Maybe that's a problem; I remember back when I first got into this whole writing every day thing, and I think it helped me through some shit. Now it's become a chore, a tedium, and I've been slacking off in recent months. I should try harder, be more vigilant, and maybe I'll get this back on track. I mean, life is good - and I'd really like to be able to keep it that way, someway somehow.
It didn't quite hit me until we got back to campus and he said, "Well, if I don't see you again before I leave, it's been fun." I mean, we both knew things were going to end just like this. It doesn't come as any surprise. But those words, one quick kiss, and I'm heading back to work and he's heading on with his life. We might try to sneak some time this weekend, if he can spare it - but there are no guarantees. I couldn't focus all afternoon. And I sure can't deny, it
fun...while it lasted.
Going on four hours of sleep today - the consequence of another party hosted by some lovely ladies from my department. It was, once again, a party replete with physicists, one of whom is particularly notable. We ended up talking for a little while, and dancing. At one point he asked why we stopped hanging out, and it took all my strength to not say, "Because you became a flaky asshat." But it sounded like he wanted to remedy that little oversight. I haven't decided yet whether he gets another chance, but for now it's nice to have some options open.
I hate goodbyes. Like,
hate them. Even when they're entirely expected, even when I knew it was coming from the very first day we met.
It was a bit of a whirlwind couple of months. I felt comfortable with him, like I could trust him, like he wasn't going to turn around and try to hurt me. He appreciated my sarcastic sense of humor and wouldn't take any of my bullshit and allowed me to throw some of my biggest insecurities into the wind.
I'd like to think I'm better off for the experience. I hope he is too.
I took an hour this morning to sit with a hot cup of coffee and my journal. I haven't written nearly enough over the last many months, but today seemed like the perfect time to take a break and just reflect on things. To look back at the way everything played out over the last couple of months, to consider what changed about me over that time, and because of that interaction. This ending is so different from that of every other relationthing I've ever been in, different in a good way.
But I can't help but wonder, what now?
I went to the bookstore tonight. It's nice to get lost in the shelves, wander aimlessly and take in the smell of used books. Admittedly I walked out of there with more books than I'll probably get around to finishing. But what can I say? I am a devout practitioner of tsundoku; my bookshelf is a veritable museum of unread pages. I have high hopes, of course - a week to spend on the beach coming up, and fewer male distractions, at least theoretically. Maybe I'll read some tonight - assuming I don't just fall asleep early, which is a distinct possibility...
This is how a month ends. Not with a roar, but with a whisper...or something like that? I just found out about an upcoming abstract deadline, when I already have an upcoming vacation and a preceding buttload of work to do. I know, I'm complaining about work again, but it's just been an intense day. At work all day, then back after dinner, and now closing the evening out with caffeine and abstract-writing. And listening to the loud, incessantly-chattering redhead at the table next to me. I thought the point of a study group was to
The Tip Jar