I’ve spent today trying to ignore that I don’t feel right. I need to go hiking because my ribe stick out and my stomach isn’t flat. I can’t go hiking because it doesn’t make it guaranteed that I’ll feel better. Just stare at something and try to focus. Watch Mad Men. Drink coffee. Don’t care. You didn’t care yesterday, don’t care today. Can’t stop poking at internet button pictures. Oh! Conjecture is all that can equate to reality, because people don’t talk anymore. I feel so much more for pictures on television than I do for flesh and blood people. I need to charge this thing.
List of double-binds:
Want to have baby because love babies and think is the purpose of life – Want partner in baby having, but dudes think girls who want babies are crazy.
Pretend that I want to do other stuff?
Love dudes – Average dude thinks girls are crazy. Tend to adhere to Freud’s line: We will never know what women want.
Because you can’t ask them. They don’t speak English, apparently. And they change their minds! No man has ever done that!
Want to be confident writing blog that no one reads – Will that one person I talk to occasionally at the coffeeshop see this?!?! Quel horreur!
Write it anyway and not care because, Jesus, the rest of this thing is just a sob story, really. Can’t get worse, really.
Think people who complain and criticize are such bores – Constantly want to complain and criticize.
So far I just mention this fact and complain anyway.
Feel like I am worthless for not going to college – Think that people who don’t go to college are not at all worthless (favorite people, in fact), spend lots of time reading Wendell Berry and Thoreau who both criticize college constantly.
Don’t go to college? Check. Spend a lot of time thinking up why not going to college is ideologically sound? Check. Consider auditing classes and not taking a degree to make a stand? Sure.
Love making pie – Have nothing to do with said pie because I feel like an idiot trying to give it to people. Eat so much I get sick from eating pie.
I will never solve this. It’s less of a need and more like a burning point of self-actualization. The inner monologue is something along the lines of: I have no education, religion, or life practices that I feel good about, BUT I CAN MAKE PIE, GODDAMMIT!
I keep having dreams about this man who is a first grade teacher and spends all his time walking and skateboarding around town taking pictures. He also travels around to other cities doing the same thing. I’m pretty sure he thinks I am super stupid and insane and useless and all the dumb things I think about myself, but he is the sort of person that I think is the best sort of person. I sat in the sun at the coffeeshop for hours and hours the other day and he was there too and it was pretty cool. In the dreams he is there and. . . I can’t remember what happens but he is just kind of around and I like it. (This paragraph accompanied by horrible flashes of everything awful he could think of me for writing this paragraph. Fuck you, brain.)
Sure is some catch, that catch-22.
I made blueberry jam with gin. Even though every part of me was reminding every other part about the briefness of the point before blueberry jam goes gritty-set I didn’t listen. So there’s five jars of gritty-set super nice gin jam, and memories of what everything looked like at the point I should have stopped for loose gel set for tomorrow’s batch. Apparently fresh blueberries taste so fresh and blue because of a set of molecules called terpenes. These guys are highly volatile and cook out, but juniper and some of the other botanicals in gin also contain various terpenes, so adding a shot of gin after cooking brings back the memory of fresh blueberry spiciness. Lime also has terpenes, explaining why the gin and tonic is such a nice, refreshing sort of thing.
I listen to This American Life incessantly. The title of this post is what Ira Glass just said, naming the title of one of the acts in episode 50 from 1997. Kevin got locked out of his hostel in Jerusalem. He is wandering around the empty, cobbled, ancient streets. After he walks around for a few hours, he finds that the only places that are open are churches. He goes into the Church of the Holy Scepter, the church built over the mound upon which it is believed that Jesus was crucified.
How great would it be to wander around empty Jerusalem?
Kevin got the very strong feeling, from Jesus (because he loved that man), that he ought to live as if he were going to die in six months. He went home and got to know his parents better, then he rode his bicycle across the country to visit his brothers and sisters.
If I had six months to live, and I would never tell anyone, I would get a job or three and earn money for three months, then drive over to California and walk around. See the beach and find all the fruit that doesn’t grow anywhere else.
I REALLY forced myself to talk to people today. I went to all my places and everyone was there and everything made me happy. It all seems absurd. A light absurd, gentle and what have you. I did all of the things that I think are most interesting. I went to Nobrow, Matt was having a booze-related meeting, I got to see him, and in the best possible way, a chance meeting. As chance as a meeting can be when everyone that I want and can expect to see in a day is within a twenty-square block radius. Then I went to Whole Foods because I needed lunch. I got Yellow split pea and spinach soup, and white rose kombucha from the tea house in Portland! The same stuff I got at the Whole Foods last time I was in Portland. The fellow checking me out asked if I had tried it. He seemed like a thoughtful person. He didn’t smile and his eyes were serious. He was talking because he wanted to do his job well, and they make you talk at Whole Foods. Or maybe he wanted to talk to me. Brian was working, so I smiled at him and he came over and said hello. I read my book. Then I drove over and parked on 2nd Ave and M street. I walked up to the cemetary. There were two grave markers from the 1910’s that were tall, white marble that had been carved as tall stumps. They were exactly the sort of thing I like to see. Both women. I didn’t walk around extensively enough to see if there were more. I like to walk around uneven cemetaries. If I don’t remember my dreams, I have always assumed that I had a dream. If I don’t remember or notice things, I ought to be able to assume that they happened. I woke up, didn’t I? I’m here, aren’t I?
I’m always looking to feel solid. Something solid. I’d like to accomplish some solid things. If I have muscles I am solid, if I make something it is solid. Solid means alone. If I believe that being alone is an illusion, what is anything solid? Sounds like I want to make something imaginary that will never be real. Nothing is alone, nothing is solid.
Blogs are nice because it feels like talking to other people more than writing in a notebook does. And typing on a touch screen is like being on Star Trek. The future is now.
My mom and I end up chattering with each other right before going to bed, looking at pictures and talking about things we are going to cook and planing what sorts of things we are going to dream about that night.
Tonight we started out by flipping the page on the calendar! April is an illustration of a mischievous fat, golden eyed black cat curled on a stone wall. You can’t beat cats for good calendars. This one is very James Herriot-esque. Ma looked at the holidays coming up in April; the 25th is ANZAC Day in New Zealand and Australia. I wonder what that is? she says. Having read a very large cookie cookbook last week I came across Anzac cookies, which are oaty coconutty cookies made in Australia and New Zealand to be sent to the soldiers abroad ho were part of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps during WWI. They fought in the battle of Gallipolli. Gallipolli, Gallipolli, Gallipolli. I’ve not tried the recipe yet, so I shan’t write it out, but there is an official recipe kept by the government of Australia. If you try to sell cookies that aren’t made by that recipe as Anzac cookies, the government will shut you down.
This is when my mother cleverly lured me upstairs with talk of showing me a picture of my grandma’s shoes from the 1960s so that I wouldn’t keep my dad up by walking around on the floor. My dad sleeps downstairs in his freezing cold little basement room, and my mom sleeps upstairs in her electrically heated sweat lodge of a bed. Once my dad has gone to bed you have to shuffle around in the kitchen, or he can’t sleep because there is too much noise, from the weight transfer making the floors shift, he says. I fully believe him, Daybreak houses are basically oversized dollhouses: there is very little workmanship or quality material. My cute little princess and the pea parents.
The picture is lovely. Also, what are my arms doing there? Cousin Hollie’s new baby Colton looks loads like his grandpa. People are so grand. We love so many things. We love people and pictures of people, and deciding how new little people look like other people. It’s like if flowers got together and started talking. They would talk about lovely things, the way people do. Even when people are upset, saying awful things, it only takes one person realizing that it’s about the same as a dog barking at a car, and you can laugh. You’re always still a silly talking flower. The wind moves through people as much as flowers, there are as many different kinds and we all die very quickly. Mountains couldn’t even tell the difference between the life of a flower and the life of a human.
I am thinking that the secret to life is that there is no secret. None whatsoever. Nobody knows what they’re doing, they’re just doing it. It’s hardly worth talking about, unless you’re in the mood to chat.
One of the best things about living with your parents after you’ve gotten past the teenage years is that you get to enjoy their company again. I talk to them about something in particular, my mom and I talk about what dreams we’d like to have, and I remember that we have always done this, but I forgot! I run around the house dancing and doing furniture acrobatics and this is who I have always been, there’s photographic evidence. I’m not much of a mystery, and I’m never going to be anyone else. That this is who I have always been, and always will be, then I’ll die and turn into plants! (Naturally, I have hippy dippy plans to be buried in a field without any preservatives. What am I, a can of spam?) I look forward to the plant phase of existence.
We came up with a great dream: something in Paris with Gene Kelly. Ernest Hemingway will be there, because I love him, I have the best dreams about him. He’ll get very drunk and since it’s a dream we will get into a good yelling match, I will not be afraid of him. He’ll eventually be sorry for yelling, but, as frequent yellers do, we will not waste time apologizing. We’ll go have something to eat. That’s much more important.
I went digging through my knitting yesterday, trying to find something to keep my hands busy, “idle hands” and all. I found a finished sock and a cuff from some dark green socks that were originally supposed to be sent to Alaska.
“Oh! It’s those socks for that stupid boy.” I says to my mammy.
“You’ll find another stupid boy to give them to.” She replies.
“A different stupid. ‘What kind of stupid are you?'” I say, in a Blue Caterpillar voice, “I’ll tell you what kind of crazy I am, if you tell me what kind of stupid you are.”
I’m not at all kind when it comes to interpersonal dealings, as you can see. It seems like a huge old mess, and the more I entangle myself the less I know what I’m doing. When I’ve built up a stance in my head with examples to prove me right, something comes along to dash that all to pieces. Par example, I used the fact that this last chap was quiet to prove my point that he never really liked me in the first place (why that is a point I would want to prove, I can’t tell). I was fond of telling myself that the nicest thing he ever said to me was “You’re a sweet girl”. Sweet?! I came up with a million reasons why “sweet” was the most ordinary and thoughtless thing to be called.
Then, last week, sitting at the train stop I read this in Michael Pollan’s book The Botany of Desire:
“Sweetness is a desire that starts on the tongue with the sense of taste, but it doesn’t end there. Or at least it didn’t end there, back when the experience of sweetness was so special that the word served as a metaphor for a certain kind of perfection. When writers like Jonathan Swift and Matthew Arnold used the expression ‘sweetness and light’ to name their highest ideal (Swift called them ‘the two noblest of things'; Arnold, the ultimate aim of civilization), they were drawing on a sense of the word sweetness going back to classical times, a sense that has largely been lost to us. The best land was said to be sweet; so were the most pleasing sounds, the most persuasive talk, the loveliest views, the most refined people, and the choicest part of any whole, as when Shakespeare calls spring the ‘sweet o’ the year.’ Lent by the tongue to all the other sense organs, ‘sweet,’ in the somewhat archaic definition of the Oxford English Dictionary, is that which ‘affords enjoyment or gratifies desire.’ Like a shimmering equal sign, the word sweetness denoted a reality commensurate with human desire: it stood for fulfillment (Pollan 17).”
I have no idea if that less than talkative fellow thought any of those things, that’s the point: you can’t ever, ever know what someone else is thinking or feeling. My imagination will always continue cogitating, might as well keep it on track. Or goddamn Michael Pollan, Jonathan Swift, Matthew Arnold, Shakespeare, and the Oxford English Dictionary will make a fool out of you.
And, hey! Look! I got a tattoo.