i have a question...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Some Times

Written a few months later than the first two, after my unemployment seemed...insurmountable. Please bear with the recurring themes...these are questions I still don't have answers to.

October 2005

Sometimes I go hours and hours without speaking. It doesn’t even seem strange except when I get a bit of an itch in my brain to utter coherent sound. It’s not an itch to connect, though. Just to speak.

I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without feeling productive. Sometimes I feel like it’s killing me slowly from the inside. Like the unfulfilled itches within my body to run and speak and get something done and feel purposeful are actually gradually rotting me from the inside out.

I can’t afford a new cell phone, a pedicure, or even a haircut. It’s disgusting to me that having a bit more than 500 dollars to my name means I can’t afford having a roof over my head in this city. Or the city I left. I am homeless again, and I can’t believe it. And this time, I’m not even cushioned by secure finances. I’m stuck selling myself to people who don’t understand how skilled and capable I am. It’s got to be the most exhausting job ever, this of not having one.

I think I might actually be in shock about this. Sometimes I can’t make a simple decision to leave the house, am held captive by my irrational need to stay by the computer (even though it’s a laptop) and the slight joys of watching daytime television. I’m numb to both the reality of not working and running out of money and the possibility that my stagnant, unproductive life might actually change soon. It’s going to be an utter shock when I do actually have to punch in my time card and spend 8 hours a day out of the house, in uncomfortable shoes, trying to make sure not to fuck up on the job. Not to mention that I’ve never had a fulltime job in the first place.

Sometimes all I want to do is smoke cigarettes. There is a pronounced putting-off-of-the-inevitable about the indulgence of smoking. I crave those few moments in the day when all I seriously have to think about is the next drag. It is addicting. I don’t think it’s the nicotine that I’m addicted to; in fact, I’ve grown to hate the smell and taste of cigarettes, the lingering stained smell on my fingertips. But the concentrated breathing of smoking is something that I could call my one addiction. Smoking is just self-destructive enough to be something I could indulge in. It’s also almost productive enough. There’s a morbid feeling of accomplishment as the paper burns away and the box contains fewer and fewer cigarettes, as the pile of butts grows.

I’m muddy-headed again. I can’t distinguish the things that I feel like are wrong with me with the things that I think are wrong with other people. I’ve lost my objectivity in this haze of stagnation. Somewhere I’ve misplaced my ability to judge myself in light of others and on my own. I think I lost it in the move. I’ve taken some steps backwards, beyond my control. The current of this city is sweeping me away.

I can’t tell if I’ve become determined finally or if the resignation of being broke and unemployed has almost become attractive. I’m trying to make writing my fulltime job, as opposed to vegetating and couching. I might as well sit in front of my own computer, as a prelude to sitting in front of somebody else’s and getting paid for it. Perhaps this will force me into productivity. Gradually turn the course of my path to something that begins to feel like home and make sense.

I think this is the first time that I don’t know…anything: where I’m supposed to be or what I’m going to do or when I’ll start making money or who I’ll meet here or there. It’s the first time I might as well be anywhere and nowhere. It’s the scary sort of homelessness where being alive doesn’t really matter that much. Not in a morbid, catastrophic way, just in the way that my existence isn’t making any difference to me or to the world, so what does it matter? And of course, on the other hand, there’s the exhausting thought that this is also the first time in my life when I could literally be doing anything. This is that crucial time everyone always talks about of possibilities being endless. It’s just as frightening a thought as the simplicity of stepping in front of a train, the painless and liberating oblivion of that.

I’ve made decisions that I feel obligated to stick to. My everyday life is demanding tenacity, just to feel like my feet are planted. The depth of my stubbornness and resignation is staggering. I don’t know whether calling it determination is accurate because sometimes it’s just a surrender to unproductivity. It’s not even optimism really, although I am a firm believer that a certain amount of certainty is inevitable. I don’t think a belief in the inevitable is optimism though; I’ve always just considered myself a realist.

Anyway, something has shifted in me, and I really can’t tell if I’ve given up and am subconsciously sabotaging myself or if I’m finally convinced of my capabilities and am representing myself correctly. I used to think I was good at things. I moved to this city confident in my ability to take over, but something has disconnected in my plans. My confidence is shaken, and I don’t know what the next decision I have to make is.

I’m just so bored. I miss college. My homesickness is more a nostalgia. Is that the same thing? I understand that if I went back to Berkeley, nothing would be as I’d left it. I want those moments, those potent, important times, back. When everything was a lesson and my world expanded drastically every single day. When I fell in love and got my heart broken and felt creative and productive and was surrounded by others doing exactly the same and when I played and wrote songs and had dance parties because I needed to move and there was always music. When I felt in control, like I was definitively making positive decisions for myself and surrounding myself with people who loved me and I could tell.

If college is the best times of people’s lives, my best times are over and I know there’s a ton for me to look forward to but when is this forward movement going to begin?

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