What was once my favorite day of the week, has now morphed into a day-long personal challenge - a hunger strike, a fast. What is it about depravity that makes you yearn for something that much more? (Especially when you could, quite easily, have the object in question.) Last week I made it until Thursday before reading the Weekly Review. Today my co-worker chimed in and asked When are you going to cave today? Since when did my favorite moment, bite, simple literary pleasure, become a point of restraint, verging on scandalous contraband?
The whole concept of depravity is something I am not terribly well versed in. Material goods especially.
[But recently I have been in these situations where I am keeping myself from something and I'm not sure why. It has been a long, long time. Depravity as a way of self preservation - it's a funny thing.]
Strange brain battles I have with myself. Perhaps it is my anxiety and everything will settle down when I do in September.
It's so easy to forget how funny people are. There are all of these events, all of these thoughts we have that are not often enough shared with others. For the first time in years, literally, I attended a public reading, and damn if it didn't feel perfect and oh-so-apropos. I started to think a lot about form, about conversations, interactions, thoughts and writing...
Wouldn't it be incredible if everyone you knew wrote a self-help book based off of personal experiences? Giving backbone to the form?
Make a list of things you would include in a self help book. Then make it entirely personal, in your voice as if you were talking with a friend, having drinks and shooting the shit. Tell asinine stories of how you were kicked out of a Walmart in Iowa for drunk and disorderly conduct. Then realize this is a great lesson in Hindsight is Always 20/20, but The Present Moment is Far More Fun. Or Impaired Judgement. Or How to Live Like a Kid again. You can make up your own classifications. Be sure to weave the narrative with the present, all knowing voice of the narrator. (That's you). Give some insight and don't try to be funny. You are funnier when you don't try.
You cannot write some of the things overheard in IT cubefarm land:
The smell of toast reminds me of daycare. and of vinyl chairs sticking to the backs of my bare legs. Of seeing dust particles float through the air accented by dusk's rays shining through living room windows. And smelling my mother. Really smelling her, my face pressed into her floral scarf and long wool coat. Nothing had ever felt so good.
In the mornings my dad would burn toast. I would give the unintentional Mom does not burn the toast look and he would reply that He only got burnt toast when he was a kid. He taught me how to scrape toast over the sink in a moment of weakness or sympathy, I'm not sure which. The crumbs would get stuck to my fingertips and I wouldn't brush them off.
Toast also means pre-packaged stale bread. Grandma ate melba toasts and drank more coffee than any stomach should ever have to handle. The smell of toast and coffee, is her, is mini rainbow marshmallows when I was sick as a kid, and is a look, a feeling of Grandma Save Me and she - this stoic woman - would and still does without even knowing.
Apparently I have to write a story about sex. The topic for Vita.mn's annual summer story contest was announced, and it is everyones favorite taboo, faux pas, and pastime. What?
I have this incredible history of Almosts and If Onlys, and I made a vow last summer after seeing a friend's name blissfully printed across the cover of Vita.mn's Summer Story Winner edition, that I too would start writing again. This event was in many ways what got this blog rolling again. And here the contest is, within my reach. Now I seriously have to write again. No more of this funny business.
So back to high school I go. It'll start with a list. The list will be hemmed and hawed over, I will cross out lines, re-write them in various forms, and conjure up the most lustrous events and experiences of my life. I will then stew. Allow these images to ruminate with every bit of my being until I cannot stand it anymore and then I will write three to six hundred words. I'll then tell myself that it is the worst thing ever penned. That some shitty eighteen year old lit kid will write something in a day and knock it outta the park. But then I will let it set. Allow the story to tell itself to me. And then it happens.
My desk is already littered with notes and thoughts.
Yesterday was pretty surreal. Up to the very end, actually. Between the raise, relaxing, going to the show, then even more coincidental happenings (one of these days, I'm really just not going to say anything to you because this is starting to get old, what with the me saying stuff that you apparently "tweeted" or whatever. There is no way all of these happenstance things could keep coming, but they do and it's freaking me out), it was a lot to take in. Serendipity, coincidence and chance or whatever the hell you call yourself, you're a twisted thing, you know that?
In other mischievious, unexplanable things, my little red thunder (two-thousand-two Cavalier) is being a real jerk lately. I'm convinced she's going to die a slow miserable death. If the rust that has some how flourished on the bottom/edges is any indication though, it's going to be a random, sudden attack (which it has been) that is undiagnosable. And she will ail until the day she decides to stop. Just one more fun thing to add to my list of Worry About.
Businesses are dropping like flies on the stretch of University that is under stupid construction. The latest victim is the lovely restaurant and bakery Cupcake. But don't fret, they are keeping the cupcakes alive with... the ever hip food truck concept? Wait a second. A Cupcake truck? This sounds almost better than the sound of an Ice Cream Truck. I hope they have a bell.
The article made me think about the relocation from a building to a vehicle. Then I had a total oh shit moment and realized, My lease is up soon. And by soon, I mean I don't know exactly when it's up, all I know is I gave my notice, and will be out by either July 14th or July 31st. Regardless, I am not nearly prepared. Parent's house, here I come.
I have so much stuff. So much stuff. And it's a strange feeling not knowing where it is going. Do I just sell it all? It feels incredibly surreal thinking of a month from now and not knowing where I'll be living. I don't think I can articulate this well or enough.
What I do know is that I am going to miss my house terribly. It has become Home. Everything about the space has become second nature and I didn't think I would have that after my first house. And I did. So I will just have to make it again in a new place.
Today is maybe more than I can handle.
One, I found out First Ave was releasing a few tickets to the sold out Iron & Wine show tonight. Tickets: Achieved. So excited.
Two, There has been rumor of me getting a raise at work. In my meeting today, they were still waiting to hear from HR but said they requested "The most possible" for the pay increase. Roughly twenty minutes ago, my boss walked over and told me it had gone through and I got a two dollar and thirty five cent raise. Whoa.
What a glorious day in literary heaven. The Manohla/AO tag team in the NYTimes makes everything okay. Dan Kois of the magazine opened this week's discourse about Slow films by comparing them to vegetables. While most people prefer other food groups, there are those who adore vegetables, and others who eat them purely out of necessity. A right of passage, for health, perhaps. I started thinking about this analogy and realized just how apropos it is within the lens of cultural criticism. There is much adored that is often attended out of a sense of necessity. But then there are some of us, who could watch the observational lens, hear the static fade forever. I'm more than happy to eat my cultural vegetables, Dan Kois
I found myself reminiscing about something I did in the recent months. In talking about it, I took this very level stance, and rather than turning into some grandiose elaborate story, I quickly noted it was just a fun moment in time. How is it that I am able to encapsulate an experience, something seemingly wonderful and elaborate so subtly? Perhaps my subconscious is grasping reality quicker than I.
Have you ever met somebody that you have countless coincidences with? I have found that we are so strikingly similar. Usually these sorts of occurrences make me look behind myself when I walk, survey the area to see if anyone else is watching, or in my brain. But this time, it's not phasing me for some reason. It's simply making me laugh a short smile of Of Course. Sometimes I want to say nothing at all to avoid a potential sameness. And just when I'm not thinking, it happens again.
One. A weekend spent in and out, with friends and alone. It was everything a time of rest should be. (The food was lovely, the film was great, the market was bustling.)
Two. I stood under a mass of light bulbs, was momentarily illuminated under the St. Paul sky along the riverfront. Wind blew across harp pipes and I oscillated the sound by pressing my fingers up and down the wires.
The lost week. It is now June - a fact that snuck up on me - and I have a lot of ducks to get in a row. Somewhere in the last week I decided a few things. One: It's time to focus. Two: I need to start writing, intellectually or about my craft, again and soon. My brain needs to get back in the game. Three: There are lists upon lists for number three...
So yesterday, in the heart of my June rut of I have to get myself going, I received an e-mail from none other than Ms. Jenny Jones. That woman, I swear, knows to write me when I need it most.
I feel like I can never come up with the right words when I have to. I could write simple one sentence love notes all day long. Here are a few of my blurbs:
[Miranda July] Has the ability to create a sense of normalcy with the most absurd events in life.
She has the gumption and wherewithall to say and do what we are all thinking, what we see and aspire for - and create beautiful depictions of the human condition in the process.
[She] Crafts intricate anecdotes of the everyday through various mediums of performance art, film, text - even writing in marker on her stove - to get her stories told.
Her sense of wide-eyed wonderment of the world is what keeps her work unique, innovative and breath-taking.
She is the artist's artist. Through her projects - such as her collaborative work with Harrell Fletcher Learning to Love You More (a collection of simple assignments put forth for the world to complete) - a myriad of responses and questions arise, as she pushes herself and others to make the most of themselves and surroundings.