November 9, 2007
are so many interesting things in this room. Kakuro for Dummies is sitting
untouched on the bookshelf because I couldn't figure it out. I wonder if that
means something. Another book about how to rebuild my life so I'll look younger
and reverse the aging process. Last week a teacher who was younger than I am
mistook me for one of his students, and the book lies in front of me unopened. There's
a pay stub for my largest paycheck I've ever received in my life, and I think about how it won't cover the necessities and
I should get another job. There's a plate I won in a dance contest with two candles
on it. One candle has burnt all the way to the bottom, the other is only half
gone. I lit them at the same time. There's
a bottle opener to remind me of the things I did last night that I can't remember now.
On the shelf there are the remnants of plants I can't keep alive, including a wilting pineapple top, a drowning avocado
seed, a deformed stick of bamboo, and a potato that fell over. My father disowned
me last week. He said he couldn't talk to me anymore until the divorce is over
because he showed me a text message a year ago asking his new girlfriend to marry him, and somehow my mother had found out
about it. He said I was the only one he showed it to. I don't remember him showing it to me. I said I wouldn't bother
him anymore and to have a great life. He cried and walked away. I paid a ridiculous amount to have my tires changed. There's
a drawing on my wall I did years ago of a flower with a moon in the middle. I
leave it there so people will know that I'm creative. I haven't truly drawn anything
in years. I have hundreds of language books on the shelf, and I haven't opened
one in months. My boyfriend, Justin, is moving in with me two days before Thanksgiving. He's what I have to be thankful for. He's
tall and slightly feminine, naturally thin, and has a Master's degree in music. He
wants to move to Boston, too. He loves me.
I have a drawing on the wall I bought in Mexico that hangs above a globe I got at a flea market for six dollars. I haven't been to Mexico in over two years, and the globe still has the USSR listed
as a country. It shows I'm a world traveler, but I'm worried about driving my
junk car six hours to Maine next week. I had to learn a shorthand version of
typing for my job, which has made it virtually impossible to type long sentences on a normal computer. If it involves more than one line in a chat window, I get frustrated and start yelling at myself like I'm
retarded. I'm writing this entry on my work computer because I couldn't take
the stress of dealing with the normal system. I read part of an article about
memory today, and how there's promising research that might end alzheimer's disease.
It's funny how the things I've always wanted seem to just pop up sometimes. They
always come about at just the right moment, but only if I really need them. My
gastric bypass was like that. Before I got severely obese, "stomach stapling"
was a horror story of the eighties that only crazy, out of control people would ever do.
When I started my journal, the word "blog" didn't even exist. There were
almost no other sites at all about gastric bypass, and those that did exist were written mostly by older women. When I had my gastric bypass done at my hospital, I was then the youngest male to have ever had it done
there. None of those things are true now.
You can read all kinds of things about the twenty different versions of the surgery.
Open roux-en-y gastric bypass is almost obsolete in the field, and people are back at work within a week of having
the surgery done and nobody knows they even had surgery. I couldn't leave the
hospital for four days when I had mine done, and I couldn't really get out of bed for almost two weeks. Today I talked with a homeless traveling singer on the street. His
name is Alex. He plays guitar really well.
He was so happy to just be out there singing, and he wasn't even asking for money.
I gave him five bucks and said I was sorry that he wasn't staying longer than today.
He's from Indiana and is crashing in different places every night with two friends he's met in his drifting. The guy friend is from California and the girl is from D.C. All
three of them were very attractive, and lovably artistic. I wanted to go with
them. Instead I went to pay my rent in the office building full of women who
smoke right at their disks, and their skin is yellow, and there's an old worn out sign on the front door of the building where
you can just barely see the words "No Smoking" in faded red paint. The lady didn't
know how much rent is for my apartment, and made a joke about wishing she could keep the money. I could sadly relate. I bought a sticker for my car that says
"I'm too sexy for this car" on it. It's funny because everyone's too sexy for
my car. It's leaking brake fluid and I have to fill it up over and over again,
and all I can think is how much I must be killing the environment, and I wonder if the fact that the car is tiny and great
on gas makes up for that fact. The gas gauge doesn't work, either. It always reads full or empty, so I have to count the miles since the last time I filled up. I can go about two hundred and fifty miles on twenty-six dollars.
I've stalled out at the pump twice in the last month because I ran out of gas.
Maybe it can only go about two hundred and forty-nine miles. My little
sister ran away from home for one night. She came back begrudgingly when my dad
and uncle wouldn't let her move in. Last week my mother found a big bag of marijuana
in my twelve year old brother's room. She gave it back to my cousin who insisted
it wasn't his. He didn't give it back, that I know of. Next semester I am going to be in a sign language class. The
tendinitis in my right has gotten so bad that some days I can barely move it at all from all the typing I have to do for work. It's funny how much pain you can get accustomed to.
I decided I'm going to push the Burlington City Marathon next May. Justin
said he would do it with me, then the next day asked if he still had to. I said
it was up to him. I started training a couple of days ago for it, and the first
fifth of the marathon seems pretty easy. I can't train on the actual section
of the second leg of the race, as it's a highway, and they don't allow pedestrian traffic.
I've already had this fight. I'll just push a different area of the same
length. I also realized a few days ago that I'll be 27 next year. I don't know why it's suddenly significant to me, but it seems like an old number to me. Some people it's thirty, some forty. For me, it's 27. Then I think how believing that I'm older will actually make me older, so don't pay
attention to it. Just keep going like age isn't a factor. It's worked for me so far, hasn't it? Hasn't it? I've also noticed that time seems to be passing much slower and faster the past couple of weeks. Let me explain. The weeks are flying by so fast, I feel like
it's out of control, or just zipping by. But at the same time, it's slowed down
so much that I have tons of free time to do other things, and still I'm sitting here writing this and I can't believe it's
only 7:36PM. And yet there are so many things to be done. I need to practice my guitar. I'm flushing money away on lessons
that I never practice for. I have so much reading to do. I have shelves lined with books that I bought on impulse, and now they sit, waiting and staring at me. There's been a load of laundry in the washer for nearly two days that I haven't put
in the dryer. Why not? It would
literally take me ten seconds to do it. I want to learn a new language, one that's
useful and I haven't studied seriously before. I want to take a class. I work at a fucking university, and I actually don't take classes that are right in front of me. How sad is that? Perhaps the most odd part of all these things
is that I feel so complacent and content with it all. Things aren't perfect,
but they aren't that bad, either. I have the freedom I've always wanted to do
what I want. I can physically perform any task I would care to take on. I have a relationship with a man that is healthy and going places. I'm on the road to financial freedom. I know I could be passionate
about so many things. So why do I feel stagnant?
Not like something is missing, but just... blah. Maybe that's what we're
meant to feel. Who said that every moment has to be over the top or under the
bottom? Oh, but there are so many things I want to do. I want to travel the world, and I really want to speak at least twenty languages. I want to sing on stage in front of hundreds of people. I
want to have a big country home on the edge of a haying field that I can visit in the summer.
I want an inner city apartment in an artistic district with friends that come over for dinner parties and argue about
mundane governmental policies. I love hippies.
They're so happy. What do they know that I don't? Where'd their stress go? They're so happy with nothing. Maybe having nothing is what makes you happy, ultimately. Because the things we own end up owning our thoughts and world in a feeble attempt to keep those possessions
and get more of them. Then we throw them away or sell them cheaply, forgetting
the sense of worth we applied to them when we picked them out on the rack at Walmart.
Or we keep them forever as hidden keepsakes in a box in the closet, because that's where our most valuable possessions
go. We keep them locked up for our lifetimes and forget they exist until one
day we decide to look for a picture of a dead relative you thought of, and you come across this artifact from a section of
your life you had forgotten ever took place. And you would probably give your
life for a little piece of stuffing or plastic that was a gift or something you bought on a specific day at a specific event. Because our lives are always so much better when they're remembered. Why don't we ever treasure our present the way we treasure the past?
Isn't right now what the past is made of? Maybe it's because reality is
only something that can be experienced, but not something that can be contained or held on to.
There's a light shining out my window in the darkness of an early Vermont November night. It reminds me of the lights I saw over Ireland when I was flying to England. It reminds me of trips I took in the backseat of the family car to Florida when I was a kid, and how the
orange contrasted so strongly against the black skies of home that were all I had ever really seen. I wonder what that light's shining on. I like to imagine that
it's shining on an empty cobblestone street and it's scary there, like in a Sherlock Holmes story. The wind is blowing slightly, and you know for a fact that you're completely alone in the world. You could cry and scream or laugh, but no one would hear you. So
you don't do it. You stay silent. I
don't do anything for myself, I only do it for the reactions of others, whether good or bad.
Perhaps fulfilling others somehow fulfills me. The fact that I affect
the life of someone else is ultimately what I want out of life. I want to matter
to someone else. Maybe that's what we all want.
I assume a lot of things. I assume many people are happy or unhappy, that
they're well put together or falling apart. I imagine what their lives are like
when they get home and see the people they care about or despise. I think about
how they act differently toward me because they don't know who I am. They smile
at me because they're self conscious and feel threatened by my looking at them. I
think a lot about life and death, and how I'm probably completely wrong in everything I think about the reality of the universe. Maybe god is a big pigeon. Maybe I'm
wrong and there's nothing at the end, and this is truly all we have. Maybe we're
specks of dust in a closet of some inconceivable giant. Maybe we really are alone
in the universe. Maybe I'll still hate how I look when I see myself naked in
the mirror, no matter how thin I get. Maybe I'll never get to my goal weight
no matter how many chest presses I do or how many miles I push in my wheelchair. Maybe
I'll get old and die and in two hundred years, no one on earth will even know I existed at all. Maybe I'm already dead, and just a ghost that doesn't realize it.
How many of us would ever choose to be a ghost? Maybe my whole life just
started right now in this moment, and every memory leading up to this one was implanted in my head as some part of an experiment. Maybe the truth to existence lies within me.
Maybe I can already speak Dutch, and I just don't know it, because it's part of existing, which is universally part
of who I am. I just haven't figured out how to tap into it. Maybe I think about things too much. I still can't do the
damn Kakuro for Dummies, no matter how deep in my soul I look. Maybe
I'll be the one person to ever stop aging now and never get old or die. Maybe
it doesn't really matter if I think about it or not. Maybe I should shut up.
November 12, 2007
wild thing going on inside me. I’m not sure what it is, other than a sudden
realization that I’m going nuts. So many thoughts are careening out of
my brain over the last few days. I don’t want to do this forever. I want to be free to run off and see new and crazy things. I miss seeing the world from unfamiliar eyes. I look at the
sky and wonder what it really means to have the spirit of man. Is there a being
of existence beyond my own self-awareness? I’m beginning to think not. What is it about the fear of freedom that keeps us all from following the dream of
getting on the road and sticking out our thumbs to hitch a ride with the overwhelming majority of people who haven’t
dared to get out and hitch a ride themselves. We admire and look to those who
dare to do what we would never do ourselves, sitting in our air conditioning, convinced that we have it better than our grandparents
did. It’s hard to look at concrete buildings and steel beams, and see the
same potential as our ancestors saw in the forest that stood there first. We’re
unoriginal with our lack of raw vision, overly comfortable with the lot we’ve been handed down in life. There’s something valuable in hard work, overcoming incredible odds, and persevering determination. But how often in our daily lives
do we honestly find ourselves faced against the odds of unrelenting nature? Why
do we find so much joy in overcoming severe challenges, and yet we’ll do nearly anything to avoid confronting them? Freedom… freedom. We all want it
so badly, but we don’t want to do what it takes to attain it. We want the
cake we don’t want to bake. All great accomplishments begin with a single
step, a single action, but we’re so busy stuffing our faces with more stuff while we sit on overstuffed stuff looking
at our computers so we can order more stuff delivered to our door without ever having to move.
God, it’s disgusting how lazy I can be, how lazy we all can be. Have
we really gotten so comfortable in our lives that getting up and going to the restaurant instead of having it delivered, could
actually be a rebellious act of freedom? It sounds grotesque at best.
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