Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ending With a David Ignatow Poem

Has anyone else noticed that I don't write about McChoad anymore? I just noticed it today. The reason I don't write about him is because I don't think about him, at least not in any substantial way. I am a simple person; if I'm thinking it, I write it. I think my confessional filter shut off when I started my existential crisis last year. Actually: filter? What filter? There was never any filter. Which is why my family tries to keep our phone conversations short.

I am so totally single. Single to the point that it doesn't feel weird or awkward anymore to attend the Thanksgiving dinner of my sister's in-laws. I clearly did not belong there, but after quickly acknowledging this fact in my head, I went on to accept a second glass of wine and to eat heartily from an appetizer-laden table, while some gravy-based argument took place in the kitchen. I watched with mild interest as a 9-year-old nephew masticated a child-sized (meaning as large as a child) drumstick. I nodded and smiled when various family members apologized for being so loud and annoying (they're not my family, so I didn't really care). I watched a miniature dog (not mine) wolf down a plateful of Stop and Shop brand stuffing. My sister and I got out of there fairly early, took the train back to my neighborhood and then went and watched totally drunk people attempt to salsa to Pogue covers in an Irish bar the size of my kitchen. It was the kind of day that poets like a lot. There are a lot of those kinds of days here.

Here is the poem. There is no title; it can be found in Facing the Tree:

Where is a rock to bore a hole through?
I need to find a rock to drill
a look through to the other side.
Any rock, any ordinary species.
I'll be happy with a rock.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Live from Smartyville

I was thinking about going out to do something mildly social tonight, but I can't because I have too much acne. Also my back hurts really bad. And my eyes. And I have dishes to wash and laundry to fold. The house is very, very quiet. There is rice in my steamer, cooking. If I close my eyes, I could fool myself into thinking I'm back in Suckville on a typical Saturday night. But I'm not--I'm here, in the land of the I'm Way Smart and Lucky Enough To Have a Doctor/Lawyer/Investment Banker Dad, So I'm Pretty Much Set For the Rest of My Life. Sometimes I feel too dumb and backwoods to even leave my house. But this is only on really bad days. Today wasn't too bad, but like I said, there's the whole acne issue (on accounta my wacky hormones and one of the most stressful weeks of my life). I feel kind of smart today. But I feel middle class. I feel middle class every day, pretty much, being from Suckville and all. Sometimes I look at the tweeded and bespectacled whiteys that crowd the streets of the city I work in, and I wonder how I got here. But I want to live here. I feel alive here. Like when a woman yelled "Grow some balls!" out her car window at a whimp who wouldn't make a left turn, and then gave me, a pedestrian, a humble smile. That made me feel sort of elated.

Earlier today I felt really behind. And I don't mean behind on stupid work or bills or anything like that. I mean behind in the whole hetero myth of couple and reproduce. The mythical norm. Lots of people my age have their person all picked out already, and have had years to learn to hate and tolerate each other. I did that too, but then it got sucked away, like getting the wind knocked out of me. And now I'm just me. People my age who have been coupled for as long as I was are giving birth left and right or at least thinking about it. But not me. Except today I am. Thinking about it. But in order to catch up with these people, I'd have to meet someone who isn't totally nutzoid which I don't know how to do, develop some kind of relationship, decide fairly quickly that we can stand each other enough to stay together for some length of time, and then begin the process of trying to have a kid, if that's what we want. This whole thing could take years for me. And then I'll be 40 and going into have hormone shots. Christ. Why am I thinking about this?

I don't know how to meet people. I don't know if I even want to meet people. I feel ok being single here most of the time, but today I feel like someone's weird aunt. I don't know if I want to be someone's weird aunt. But I don't want to date. I don't want to find "the love of my life" because I don't believe in that anymore. I don't believe in all of the things I was supposed to spend my life pursuing: love and all that crap. I just believe in me, Yoko and me, right? But tonight I feel kind of lonely. I need to make up some new dating service: for thinking people who don't really want to date. Wouldn't that be the best way to meet someone? Come on single friends, let's do it. Call it I'd Really Rather Hang Out with My Dog, But Fine, Let's Go On a Date, Whatever.

I only have a few breeding years left. Arrrggh, did I really just write that? Yes. It's the weirdo hormones talking. I don't want to give birth. But I do want to have a kid. I like kids a lot. I like talking to them. I don't like boyfriends. I don't like talking to them at all. I guess I need to eliminate the middle man and go straight for the product. Maybe I'll adopt in a few years. And be a weird mom that no one knows what to do with. I'll talk really loud about personal topics in coffee shops while playing Scrabble with my son, Ivor. We'll both be in leopard sweater vests. We won't go home for Christmas; in fact, we won't celebrate Christmas. We'll celebrate Jackson Pollock's birthday by throwing paint at a wall. But I'll take him home to see the cornfields so he knows that his roots are in Suckville. Except for I'll have a different name for it by then, because I'll have learned to love it again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First dresses, then tresses

My roomate's friend (my roomate is wonderful by the way--I'm going to dedicate a post to her wonders one of these days) told me that whenever she realizes that she needs something in her life, she asks for it out loud, and then later gets it. It's like praying but without the self-effacement, guilt, and imaginary dead body. It made sense to me. By accident I tried it out during an emergency phone session with my former therapist. During the session I realized that I don't want to be a teacher--that it wasn't simply a matter of getting used to it, I just don't want to do it. Then I said what I did want, which is a professional job doing something somewhat important that I didn't have to think about when I went home, where I would work with hormonal and stress-adled adults rather than with hormonal and stress-adled preteens. And then the next day I got offered such a job, which I just started today (I'm working part time there while I finish the kid job). If it seems like I got this job easily or that it fell into my lap, that's because it did.

Of course, I had help. I wouldn't have gotten the job without NU, as it is within the organization that employs her, and she very graciously let me know about an opening there. But the job I have now isn't the one for which I applied. It's a new position that they're creating for me. It feels weird and a little scary--partly because I'm afraid that they'll figure out that I'm incompetent and send me packing, but mostly because I've never felt that I have valuable skills. I'm kind of in the process of inverting my thinking...I'm employable? Yeah, I guess. Sort of. Someone looked at my CV and didn't immediately send it sailing toward the trash? Huh?

I'm feeling sort of new today. I feel overwhelmed in an excited, butterflies way. I didn't do much at my new job because no one really seems to know what my job is yet. But I think it's going to be good. It feels right, and I'm getting better at trusting these feeling thingies. In half an hour I'm going to go work at the school with the good kids, which happens to be very close to one of the best vintage clothing stores I've ever seen. I'm going to have an actual salary and I think a new dress is in order. And then I'm getting my hair cut, but what I need is a transitional haircut because I've decided that I need tresses. Tresses. I think this word several times a day. I just want to know if it's possible to have tresses. I mean long flowing locks. Because why not.