Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Case of the Mondays on a Tuesday


So I’ve been kind of sad lately. I mean, Tim Russert died, and I had to go home to spend the weekend with my family. And you know how, if you look hard enough, everything can seem kind of sad? Well I went to a baseball game with my Dad and my sister for Father’s Day and there was this guy and his son sitting behind us, and you could tell he just projected all of his dreams and hopes onto his son, because he was too fat or too poor or too awkward to play baseball when he was young, so the second his son learned how to walk he slapped a baseball glove on his hand and made him learn the Phillies' lineup by heart. And even though the kid seemed to honestly enjoy baseball, and this bonding exercise with his father wasn’t yet soured by age and resentment, it still seemed kind of sad to me, because it was only a matter of time before it would be soured by age and resentment.

And then on the train back to New York I started writing this really shitty beginning to what I foolishly believed could be The Next Great American Novel and it was horribly written and clichéd and I thought: I’m losing my touch. That is, if I ever had a touch. And all these kids were commuting from Hamilton to New Brunswick, and they were studying, and talking about Kanye West and I was just kind of alone typing up this shitty manuscript that will never see the light of day because though I haven’t deleted it yet, I probably will when I get home from this fucking mind numbing office job.

And then I got verbally abused by someone for no reason, someone I used to care about, and though I’m not perfect I certainly don’t deserve to be spoken to in that manner. But I felt defenseless and helpless and all those –less words, except for fearless, because I was, admittedly, afraid. I am ruinous, sometimes it feels like everything I touch turns to shit, so I just sit in my room and try not to touch things and listen to Liz Pappademas sing in her clear falsetto about lovers moving West to start consolidated lives and my heart makes this fist and tries to punch its way through my chest but I am too lazy and sad to muster up the courage to let it.

And it’s just like disappointment after disappointment, because apparently even at this point I haven’t learned to stop placing my happiness in other people. Maybe Ali Lohan had it right when she wisely told E! News, “You can’t trust anyone but your family,” which is kind of sad, though, because I don’t even really trust my family. I really only trust myself, but I’m beginning to see I’m kind of this horrible person, or at least I feel that way at this point, so I sit in the bathroom stall at work and cry, and I think about jumping out the window but then I realize I’m too much of a pussy to even do that, and besides, if I were to commit suicide – which, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the balls for so don’t go calling the Wellness hotline – I would at least want to be wearing something cuter than what I’ve got on today. Like one of those Topshop dresses in my last post. Because if I’m going to leave this earth with nothing but a Gallatin Review poem and several pointless AIM conversations and the myriad of ways I accidentally fuck up other peoples’ lives in a subconscious attempt to fuck up my own, then I may as well look pretty while I’m doing it, right? I mean, isn’t that like the epitome of American culture right now? – Self destructive on the inside, perfect on the outside. Not that I’m perfect on the outside, but you get the point.

And I'm reading this book right now, Indecision by Ben Kunkel, where the protagonist's main problem is that he just can never make decisions, so he gets prescribed a pill that is supposed to make him more decisive. And it strikes me that my problem isn't indecision, it's simply that I consistently and chronically make the wrong decision, and why is there not a pill for that? My moral compass is off or something, and always points in the direction of YOU WILL END UP SAD AND ALONE, and if there's a little pill that I take every morning that is supposed to make me not feel this way, there should also be one that helps me to not make the decisions that put me in this situation in the first place.

And it’s like rain on your wedding day or a traffic jam when you’re already late and all of that shit. It’s not irony, it has nothing to do with irony, it’s just the way life is: vaguely disappointing. And we choose to see the things we want to see, all of us, always selective vision. I knew said verbally abusive person had the potential to be verbally abusive, but I pretended it wasn’t true because I saw other things, too. Things that seemed more important at the time but really just blinded me to the truth. How can I be so attracted to honesty and yet so willing to believe in lies? And I thought I had a good head on my shoulders and a solid idea of who I am, but I was fooling myself, and I still am, but maybe we all are?



Anonymous said...

I say you're at an advantage. I'm also going to say this: Make good use of whatever you're feeling.

Don't worry about whether or not your paragraph is flawed; or if your prose is too prosaic, because really it's not benefiting anything.

You need to hone your gifts and use these moments. As a writer, you have so much to say about the world, and if you spend your time worrying about whether or not you're good, then your work will suffer.

There's a great Sondheim quote that I want to share with you:
"Whatever you do, let it come from you. And it will always be new--it will always be true."

I hope you take that to heart. I have faith in you.

Anonymous said...

i love you, jroy. you are beautiful and a great writer and the people who don't see that are blind.

Melissa said...

Cheer up Jessica. As for recommended reading, I love a book called Fat, Broke and Lonely No More by Victoria Moran. Just having the guts to read a book called Fat, Broke and Lonely on the subway means you have enough confidence to have some chance of recovery...it's kind of like reading sex advice from Cosmo on the subway. Anyways, you rock, feel better! I FBALNM might be too half full for you, but hey.

Anonymous said...

i love you just the way you are