At some point you have to stop caring.
My jeans have crusted-on brownish-orange patches, on the upper-left thigh, but not so thick. A little translucent, and this will not be resolved so soon.
Yesterday I spilled breastmilk–not my own–onto the sleeve of my gray hoodie and had no choice but to walk around, every hour a bit more sour-smelling, until 9:30, when I arrived home.
I had walked all day in the cold, expecting the moment when I’d reach home and be able to drown myself in a hot, hot bath.
But Mom was running her own bath, and what can I do? It’s her house.
And, anyways, I have no “home.” Don’t you remember, Sarah?
Also known as “What-the-f#$%-a”
Sister Natalie and I planned a stealth mission to surprise Other Sister, Nikki, for her birthday, and she was TOTALLY SURPRISED. We got her boyfriend in on it, and everything. She answered the door, thinking it was a pizza they’d ordered, but it was us! With food from Red Iguana! We stayed the weekend and saw the best that Winnemucca has to offer:
Not pictured: watching Pee-Wee’s Playhouse with nephew Isaac, Nikki’s home-made meatballs, and going for a run through the snow-dusted desert, only to realize half-way out that there was nobody to save me from being r-ed, or being eaten by a coyote.
Do you ever say goodbye to someone and wonder if these will be the last words you’ll ever exchange with them? I don’t, really, anymore, but I used to be mildly obsessed with the thought. Every time I said goodbye or goodnight to my high school boyfriend, even on the phone, I would always make sure to tell him I loved him, that I missed him, and for him to be safe. It was like a superstition, a ritualistic vestige of childhood, like repeating “Now I lay me down to sleep…” every night before bed.
These days I don’t dwell on the possibility of an untimely death for myself or the person to whom I’m bidding adieu, unless maybe I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. But this morning I thought of it, when my mom dropped me off at work, on her way to her own job.
She said, “That house sure looks meth-a-licious.”
Twenty-five means that I’m feeling even worse about my Life Situations, because now not only do I live in my moms’ basement, I’m 25-years-old and I live in my moms’ basement. You know?
But something is shifting, though I can’t tell yet if it’s for the better or towards the worst. I dropped out of Music School, mostly, and that was liberating for a time, but now what?
Now this: drinking on weeknights, watching movies from the 70s, running while listening to chamber music, reading on the bus, strolling the Avenues, lots of Bach, and something in me that has snapped, a string I pulled taut for years, silently ignoring the tension, until it just gives one day and I take a deep, gasping breath in and the air is so real that it shocks my lungs, plunges into my nervous system like adrenaline, telling me to jump. Stop caring, stop peering into the abyss, and just let go.
But no apartment yet, no. Thanks for asking.
The amazing thing about walking…is that if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually you’ll get where you’re going.
I guess really that’s just the thing about walking–what it is, how it works. Its essence.
But when you’re drunk and angry with a long way to go, it seems pretty incredible.
Recently I saw 127 Hours, and it was amazing. It was one of the most exciting, interesting, inspiring, original movies I’ve seen in a long time. And I told people this. And they were unimpressed. Unmoved. Completely unmotivated to see the movie.
So, now that I’ve read this book–Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman–that was a fascinating, intelligent, creative, and telling exploration of humankind in life, as well as death, I just feel like I’m not going to be able to convince a single soul to read it. I just really don’t think so.
Anyways, selling points: I only knew to even look for this book because it was mentioned in a New York Times Magazine article. That’s a trusted source, right? (Plus props to me for “doing my homework” and following up on a thing). Also: short stories! So it makes for a good bus/subway/lunch-for-one read. Here’s a tasty preview:
“In this part of the afterlife, you imagine something analogous to your Earthly life, and the thought is blissful: a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand.” (from Sum)
“The Collectors construct lives of parametric experiments: men and women who adhere well but are shot past one another too briefly–brushing by in a library, passing on the step of a city bus, wondering just for a moment.” (from Adhesion)
“When we’re in a human body, we don’t care about universal collapse–instead, we care only about a meeting of the eyes, a glimpse of bare flesh, the caressing tones of a loved voice, joy, love, light, the orientation of a house plant, the shade of a paint stroke, the arrangement of hair.” (from Angst)
“They watch how each human driver aims for his own private piece of the city, isolated from neighbors by layers of glass and steel. Some of the humans reach out to make cell phone contact with a single friend out of the innumerable hordes. And gazing out over the steering wheel, each human feels the intensities of joy and grief as though his were the only real examples in the world.” (from Pantheon)
“In the afterlife, in the warm company of His accidental subjects, God now settles in comfortably, like a grandfather who looks down the long holiday table at his progeny, feeling proud, somehow responsible, and a little surprised.” (from Seed)
“We are the moment of least facility for the atoms. And in this form, they find themselves longing to ascend mountains, wander the seas, and conquer the air, seeking to recapture the limitlessness they once knew.” (from Search)