Nothing like good food with good friends.
On this day three years ago, I was freezing and insomniac in a shared apartment on 26th Street, New York. And I wrote this:
It’s 6 p.m. My roommate Heather’s not back yet, so I have the luxury of listening to my music without headphones. The day is winding down, much too soon, and cars honk here and there as they rush home. Wheels sound slick on wet roads.
It’s 7 p.m. My suitemate Kristen takes her usual evening shower. Maybe I should shower early tonight, too. I’m tired and I’d like to go to bed early, maybe wake up early to finish studying. But Heather will be back soon and I wouldn’t be able to sleep with her in the room, typing away on instant messenger. My pills rattle as I look for my glass bottle of Vitamin B6. I press down firmly on my pill splitter until one tablet snaps neatly in two, giving me two manageable doses of 25 mg. No need for 50 mg at this time of the evening.
It’s 8 p.m. Our heat’s broken again; I turn on my electric heater. It clicks merrily as it heats up the oil inside. The satisfying click, the promising click… Heather’s back, and we make our usual small talk, but there’s more to talk about tonight. Sometimes I think we turn every mundane event into drama to compensate for the lack of excitement in our lives. An ambulance blares and honks its way down our street as Heather and I discuss the latest passive-aggressive behaviors in our suite.
I haven’t posted in a week because I’ve been busy with job interviews. A decision will be made in about two weeks, I think.
I’ve also been busy dealing with people, people who might become characters someday.
The past week has seen me taking a lot of risks and making both good and bad decisions, and the bad decisions have really taken a toll on me, so I’ve been taking it easy. Probably won’t be writing much next week.
On the drawing board:
Life has been…interesting. So much happens day by day, week by week, that I wish I could just collect the events in my life and my thoughts about them in a jar as they occur and drift it off your way.
The little joys and trip-ups seem so significant when they happen, but once I sit down to write to you about them, I exhale once, and they are blown away like a dry leaf in the autumn wind.
I have nothing left to share with you. Only vague feelings and torn images and words remain, and I’m afraid a collage of mismatched information wouldn’t do you any good.
I’m awfully lonely without you here; I remember when we saw each other every day, talking about our day over snacks and drinks. You had the best cookies and I had the best teas. We pulled out all the stops when others came over; we loved to host and entertain, and we knew we were the best at it.
It’s lunar new year weekend (happy new year!), and I find myself busier than ever. A job interview went fairly well this week, so I have to prepare a teaching demo for next week (the second stage of the recruitment process). The position doesn’t really appeal to me, but I still have to make this demo perfect. It’s a matter of pride.
So the following are in progress:
Since the last update, there has been a major glitch with #20 (the Korean text with images), so that is on hold for now. And poem #24 is on hold as well.
Also, my friends are ridiculous:
“Please give me something and then ask that I respond to it in such and such manner. I am reactionary.” – Computer Scientist / Artist
“A man could disappear staring into the blackness of your hair.” – Intellectual Pothead
Every time I have a discouraging job interview, I re-play the most depressing bits over and over in my head until I get home, eat an unhealthy meal, browse the internet, and think about which movie or TV show to watch for the rest of the night.
But I never get to watching anything, because at some point, some unexplainable force compels me to work. Do work of any kind. Produce things, complete tasks. So I reply to emails, send out more cover letters, and schedule more interviews.
And then I write. I write like my life depends on it, because this is why I left my job. I quit because I wanted to write more, and I’m not gonna let that decision go to waste. I write because it calms me and stirs me at the same time.
I write to be okay. I write to be okay with the fact that I’ve sent out 54 applications and only had 4 interviews. I write to be okay with how little I’ve saved up over the past two and half years. I write to forget about the numbers, realize my mistakes, and recognize that I’m doing the best I can.
I write because no matter how many people refuse to give me a chance, I’m never going to give up.
Right now, I’m working on a series of short stories dealing with sex, and I’m terribly disappointed with the drafts. Why? Because they read like cheap erotica.
I see two possible reasons for this: my generation’s discourse and language of sex, and the nature of the sexual incidents described in this series (#18). Sex is over-discussed and frequently consumed, both the real thing and media depictions of it. It’s such a vital part of our existence that it has become an inevitable topic of our daily conversations as well; and through these dialogues, we have created a common language of sex, one that is rife with overused vocabulary and innuendos that are understood universally, sometimes even across languages.
And when I write about sex, especially sex that is nothing more than pure carnal pleasure (you might call them “one night stands”), which is what #18 explores, most verbs, adverbs, and nouns (there are only so many other things you could call the various body parts involved) start glaring off the page as clichés. The print starts mocking me, Of course, what else would you do with that? How else would he grab it? Where else would it go? Ha. Ha. HA.
blast Icona Pop.
…and welcome to my brand-new site! I’m very excited to launch this new blog and share my works and thoughts with you.
You can go to the About page for more on how this blog came about and peruse the Contents list on the right for easier browsing.
I’ve mostly been focusing on Project: 60 Hours of No Human Contact, and you can read the entire series here. Now that that’s over, I hope to spend the next few weeks fine-tuning some of the prose and poetry I’ve been working on.
My goal for now is to update the blog with new content at least once a week, even if it’s only one line (baby steps, right?). I’ll also be re-publishing old content from elsewhere.
Since I won’t be able to post as frequently as I’d like, I will be updating this news post regularly with my progress in writing and living.
Thanks for visiting, and come again!