Friday, October 28, 2011

A rare example

 "Forgive this dilatoriness- but I do not like writing letters while traveling."
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Today I was driving to the hardware store and the car in front of me stopped in the middle of the street so I honked the horn. Then I saw there was a pedestrian crossing in front of the car, and I really felt like a bag of shit for honking. I looked into the rear view mirror and studied my chin instead of making eye contact with the guy on the street. I bet both he and the car in front of me were both just thinking Wow, Go to Hell! I know they were thinking that. Because whenever I'm walking across the street and someone stops for me, then someone behind them honks or tries to swerve around them I always think, Go to Hell! And I shake my head and look at them angry.

Then I started thinking about my life in Seattle, how weeks and weeks pass by and I just feel terrible. Every day. Either miserable for no reason, or my stomach is all clutched up like a fist, or my back is stiff and I stretch at the corner of each block like an old person. It's probably my diet, which is stellar every Sunday and Monday and then plows downhill, fast, for the rest of the week, or the depleting amount amount of exercise I make myself do, or my abysmal sleep patterns, or this new strain of strong and pervasive boredom I've come down with, or whatever.

Anyway, I was realizing in the car that my days in Seattle currently fall into one of two categories. I am either the shit bag in the car honking at the pedestrian, or the pedestrian telling the shit bag driver to go to hell. This is a rare of example of something that can be taken both literally and in terms of an analogy.

What is up with that? When did that happen? Either way, I don't wake up every morning and think "Yay!" like I used to when I was a kid. I usually get up and drink Pepto-Bismol (a knock off kind) from the bottle, just a few swallows, because of the stomach ache I always have. Pepto Bismol has traces of Lithium in it, the element I was assigned to study when I was in 4th grade, and it's pretty effective.

So I'm thinking maybe I should move to New York City where everybody feels terrible all the time because life is such a grind. This according to the Paul Simon songs. (Kathy, pass me a Cigarette! I'm empty and I'm aching!) 

As for pedestrianism, from what I gathered on my trip last week, you cross the street in giant herds and you're never alone with your condemning thoughts. You can lay on your horn, for no reason, at any time, just to announce that you're alive. I wouldn't be driving, anyway. I'd give up my car. Probably my dog, too, because I'd be working too much and my apartment would be too small. Then again, I don't have a job in New York. I don't have too many friends there. I don't have a reason to be there at all, which would give me a good, solid reason to feel terrible all the time, which I already do.

I'll snap out of it, the way I've done before, the way you did yesterday or three years ago. And I apologize if anyone turned away halfway through the second paragraph, thinking to themselves they'd heard enough whining already today. (Moot, however, since they won't have made it this far.) But I promised myself that I'd write everything. That's the point of this website, to Write Everything. It wouldn't be fair if I thoroughly strained every word and presented only the very very good things that happened, would it?

I didn't think so. Because lots and lot of very very good things happen to me.


Yoni said...

Actually I know exactly how this feels. Ah, how to put this, I think it's hand in hand with being an artist, even a successful one. Good think we're a tough bunch. Yoni

Aimee said...

Well written and very relatable! However I must say--my very very very favorite years of my life happened to be from living in NYC. Looks hard on the outside but SO much goodness in the in. It's the only place I ever lived that included a living pulse. If I didn't marry and have kids you can bet your boots I would still be a part of that pulse. :-)

elissa said...

it would most definitely be cured if you moved to burlington. (or at least we could suffer in unison)

Lucy said...

This reminds me of when a friend of mine returned to London from Prague and didn't seem happy with it. I asked if she had missed anything at all about London and she said yes, the anonymity - in London you can walk down the street in tears and nobody stops to bother you about why. (Not quite true actually, I've done it and someone did stop - but years later I still remember her as a stand out).

I can identify with you here, I wish I had a good answer to it. Thanks for writing everything! I have been reading through old posts, and your wonderful writing and honesty makes me feel less terrible. Even though you write about some brutal truths, it somehow feels good when other human articulates shared feelings so well.

Melina said...

Aimee....actually, NY is calling me very loudly. VERY loudly...I want to hear more about your life there...did you write about it on your blog?

Melina said...

E- Burlington would come directly after NY. I love Burlington.

Melina said...

"Even though you write about some brutal truths, it somehow feels good when other human articulates shared feelings so well."

-Lucy! What an eloquent, beautiful comment. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

When people do not write about this stuff, we feel entirely alone and even more like shit. My friends and I like to have our-lives-our-shit-parties. Well written thank you.

Anonymous said...

i've been feeling this same way, and wondering, is it an external or internal problem, or both? is an adventure the cure?

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog! I appreciate your openness and honesty. Keep writing!

Also, I think there is a fine line between finding happiness within and moving to a location that makes you happy. You could risk running around for the rest of your life.