It’s much nicer like this. The cat is scratching herself on my bed. My alarm clock is set for 8:00 AM. I’m just a couple of minutes away from stepping into a nice, hot shower. School only lasts for another week, and then finals, and then we’re finished. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
I hate my hometown. I can’t even begin to express how much I hate my hometown. Coming back is like coming back to a house full of amnesiacs who constantly ask why I’m always going on about that gay stuff and when I remind them that I’m bisexual they are properly shocked and ask “But what does that mean for your boyfriend?” Every home visit may or may not be another coming out. I’ve come out to my mother three times and she is shocked every time. I would laugh if I weren’t so bothered by that ambiguous combination of “Oh, darling. You know I’ll always love you right?” and the offense they feel when their celebrities receive backlash for homophobic comments. Simply put, it’s as if I never told them a thing.
Perhaps that’s been the game all along. Consciously or unconsciously I’ve asked them for years to take a definitive stance, to either acknowledge me and accept me for the person I am or acknowledge me and own their disgust. I cut my hair. I cut it shorter and shorter and one day there will be nothing left. Do you see it now? Does it elude you still? Your girl-child is incurably queer. I am so sorry to break it to you.
Another year, another forgotten memo to pick blueberries in the town where I used to live. On some level I knew that the cold was on its way, but I was much too busy to notice when the temperature began to skydive. It really wasn’t until around a week ago that I noticed–a library copy of American Psycho in one hand and school on my mind–that it was pretty fucking cold. This is the time of year when I start making awkward, gushing asides about how I would really prefer anything to being cold. I would rather starve. I would rather flush my Klonopin down the toilet. I would rather stop taking my thyroid medication immediately–an example I really ought to stop using since I would just go back to being cold anyways if I let my thyroid have its way. Anyhow, it’s a crap habit anyhow and I am grateful to be surrounded by people who either understand the seasonal blues that urge me to say such things or simply don’t care. Really, either one is fine.
But this one may be different, may I hope? In the past months the cat has become large and warm and so cute. At this moment she’s curled up on the futon, one paw stretched out, snoring. And I’ve found so many things to make the winter seem almost like a party–incense, an army of candles, frozen packages of cookies from the local supermarket. And only now does it dawn on me that this is the season that allows me to stay snuggled and cozy inside my house without my friends wondering if something terrible is behind my unwillingness to socialize. Oh, I imagine they’ll say, it’s winter, isn’t it? Where would we be but inside, where it’s warm? And we all win.
Still, the public won’t be too bad, provided that the workplace isn’t set at the freezing point. With my assignments gradually shrinking to nothing, I have the next month and a half ahead of me to check out books and read them on the couch with the cat, to rewatch John Mulaney’s New in Town for the 11th time on Netflix, to eat all of the ham and swiss sandwiches I can fit in my stomach, etc., etc., etc.
At this point I really don’t have the slightest clue why I keep this thing. No matter how I look at it, this dirty habit of letting words fall out of my mouth is a vain and terrible thing, but so what? It’s not as if I have some gargantuan readership that is hanging on my every word, so I suppose it doesn’t matter either way. Ha! Regardless, I plan on keeping this self-centered pursuit as long as I have inane, rambling things to say (which I always will). Perhaps I’ll become more interesting along the way.
I do get a little tired of being away from home, but I’m glad at least that it’s New Orleans. The companion and I just woke up in our tall matchbox of a hotel room that has NO WINDOWS and boy was that bizarre. Anyhow, it’s almost time to register and that’s very exciting. The only thing that makes me nervous is that I still have to finish my writing sample before tomorrow. I have maybe six or seven pages to write.
Uh, yeah. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I won’t go through the whole song and dance about forgetting to write here, so on, so on. That much is obvious from the timestamps.
The interim has been difficult, although I’m unsure if I would have written if I were well. I managed to stay out of the psych ward and got my medications straightened out. Time heals, or so I hear, and I can see a grain of sense in that now.
I am coming home from conferencing–slowly, slowly coming home. I’ve had a great deal of difficulty since my near emotional collapse. I’ve had to start going off a script rather than presenting extemporaneously, and that’s frustrating. It’s silly, yes, but it hurts my pride a little bit. But I’m working steadily to get back in shape.
I don’t really know the point of this post. I’m bored and in the airport and my computer is dead. Also maybe I’ve read too many manga lately. Manga girls are always blogging on their phones.
Oh, it was a weird week. We had one day – one day! – of school before the snow came in, and the rest of it was a jumble of naps and cold pizza. I’m certainly glad to be starting a new week. I turned in my research internship application last week and soon I should hear back about the sociology conference I applied to! Exciting stuff. I also only have five days until I take the GRE. I’d be lying to say that I’m looking forward to it, but I am eager to have it out of the way.
On Monday I took a drive. Well, perhaps I should reword that. Lest it sound that I had the sudden impulse to explore the asphalt trails, I should probably mention that I had a concrete destination. So, starting over….
On Monday I took a drive to meet my mother. I took a drive anxiously, because I’ve never completely gotten used to the concept of piloting a hunk of metal at fast speeds. The act of driving somehow seems inherently dangerous and irresponsible. I had a CD in the player, NPR shows to listen to, but on impulse I decided to drive without the usual auditory distractions. This isn’t some rise to grace; I’m an easily distracted driver who would like to keep up my track record of not killing people (including myself) on the road. I was surprised by how quickly the silence became weighted and started to press down on my insides, so I rolled the windows halfway down. Then, another surprise. Things were moving.
I have a theory about winter that posits that we (I) are (am) miserable during winter because we spend the majority of it in fear of the outside. We huddle around fireplaces, inside carefully heated rooms where we can get blankets, duck under covers, and so on. Then, like animals, we wildly scurry from building to building and then we wonder why we are miserable during the winter season and I believe that is because the world feels dead to us during this time.
But things were moving. Trees were shifting uneasily, as if their roots had atrophied from disuse. Many of my own roots are atrophied from disuse, so I forgive them for their lack of grace. The grass was in the full swing of wind despite being dead. Sweet, slender, reanimated corpses – they did their best. And as strange and disturbing the muted colors of late winter were, it was all so beautiful. The crow supping at the median was beautiful. He walked leisurely in front of me as I drove, as if he was not afraid to die. The eighteen-wheeled truck that did not come to a full stop at an adjoining road was beautiful. The relative dearth of creatures not of feather and creatures of feather was (quietly) beautiful.
I met my mother, picked up the things she wanted to give over to my care, and drove home. The temperature was in the 50s and with the heaters fixed on my hands and feet it was as if I were a well-heated god, cutting through my least favorite season and finally making some progress since the warmth left. Things are moving. Things are moving. The temperature is lower now, but I have seen the future and it is moving.