Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As I watch my car being towed away

... It occurs to me that, clearly, I am doing this wrong. I am supposed to be glad that it overheated when I had some money to throw at it, glad that it happened before I moved out and had a million little things like dustpans and coffee filters and a bathroom rug to worry about. I am supposed to be thinking positive, that maybe its just the water pump and not the head gasket.

But I'm not. All I can think about is that the goddamn money was supposed to get me out of this house. It's almost my 37th birthday, and I can't go somewhere nice for the night. All I can think about is how the universe already HAS my good job and my house and my optimism and one of my cats, why does it need my car and freedom, too? The editors finally all write back, "no;" my clothes don't fit; the lousy cat I have left is going completely crazy in house where he's not welcome.

What do I need to do? I know I have flaws; I have done some crummy things in my 36.999 years on this Earth. I'm selfish and I hold on to resentment (obv).  But I have tried to be generous with what I have. I  always thought that I had potential to do great things.I just had to get past "this one obstacle."

Whether it was finishing a degree, getting out of a bad marriage, or relationship, moving across the country, changing from a crappy job--there was always something to deal with first. Now it it starts to become clear: there is no way out. Like the dream hallway that stretches on and on no matter how fast you dream-run. Just as I see some light, another stone is dropped into the gap. There will always be obstacles and I can either spend my life clawing for air or doing something else. Am I supposed to love this empty hallway? Love the stones and forget what I wanted on the other side? Maybe I am meant to work in a grocery store and live with my parents forever. I always thought that everything works out. Maybe it did, and this is as good as it gets for me.

It's just that I can't see how can that possibly be enlightenment.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The thing is

I can't write. There are ideas in my head, but when I sit down to the laptop, they freeze up. Whole monologues rage through my head all day, while I am organizing Earth shoes by size on the sales floor, or sitting in traffic for hours with quite possibly the shittiest, nastiest, most dangerous drivers I have ever encountered. During the walk from the busstop, I rework a paragraph that I have reworked every walk home from the busstop. I get home. I go to my room--with it's piles of clothes on clothes on books on shoes, with the three small pieces of floor that allow me only to stand in front of the bed, in front of the dresser, in front of the door, the only place to sit, the bed, and through the vents, the TV downstairs is blasting American Idol or Survivor or Amazing Race. And then everything just retracts. Like a turtle into a shell, all of the words are gone. There is no escaping the loud, jangly, awful noise of the television in this house. The frigid blast of the AC. There is nowhere quiet to go and gather one's thoughts. I sit dumbly in front of the keyboard or the notebook and before the tears come (AGAIN) I just give in and go turn another TV on. Sometimes I pack it all up and go somewhere else to write. The closest coffeeshop is 8 miles away, and is occasionally quiet. The library, near the freeway, is rarely quiet, but I've tried there. It is quiet right now in the house, the only time until 10 at night.

For two months every single dollar I could spare has gone to pay off my car so I could try to get an apartment. (It won't stop all of the anxiety attacks, but at least I will be able to have them without having to (not) tell my mother what the matter is every time. How do you say, thank you so much for your hospitality but it is killing me slowly?) I still had about two months of payments, and I was trying to breathe through that tightness. I am so thankful for this roof over my head. I am so thankful for this roof over my head. 

All that was left was to figure out the damage on my taxes. She helped me figure out 2008--I had always been too afraid, what with the huge severance, cashing in the 401k, untaxed unemployment... It was this monolith in the back of my mind, and I was sure there were stories and poems and essays behind it. We put it all in the computer... And it spit out a refund. Enough to pay off the car. I still don't belive it, and won't until the deposit shows up in my account. But, the letting up of the tightness. I stayed up until 2 am doing 2009, afraid it would eat up the windfall. It didn't. The small wavering flicker of hope!

I called an apartment I had talked to that had been just slightly more than my budget would allow. Everything available right now is either way too sketchy or too expensive. I toured the place--it was old (and not in a good way) but there was a pool, two treadmills and a weight machine. The manager seemed nice. It had a gas stove, it was near Bikram and a knitting meetup and a coffee shop I like (and, most importantly, much closer to someone I would like to be much closer to). Without a car payment, I could do it. It would be a snug fit, but I could cook, do yoga, take bubble baths again. It would be so worth it. I dropped a deposit and then allowed myself some optimism. I planned a writing, studying,  and workout schedule. I rearranged the furniture in my mind.

When it came time to get a background check and sign the lease, the son of the manager and I joked around. We swapped nightmare tenant stories. He told me about why there was a clause stating "no windows shall be covered by foil or anyother reflective materials." I told him about the guy with a million animals in my old house. And then he handed me the lease. The rent was over $100 more than what I had been told. I stammered, I explained. The son freaked out, called his dad, who said he never would have told me the wrong price. This tightness in my stomach, started to implode upon itself, getting tighter and harder, pulling my guts into it. There was no way I could afford the new rent, and for it, I have seen much better so far. He said to call if my economic situtation changed, and I said the same to him. The tightness floated up to my throat and started to expand, a supernova and I raced to my car, shut the door and just bawled. Big, ugly barking sobs. I tried to choke out the tightness, cry through it. Please-dont-let-anyone-see-me-and-want-to-help sobs. I sat there for several minutes before heading back to my parents. To my room. Where the editors don't return my emails, the journals send no-thank-yous, and where I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I'm doing anymore.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The universe was just kidding. I'm still stuck where I am in every possible way.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Karma seems to have come through. I just put a deposit down on an apartment... I may be moving in for my birthday. Hopefully this isn't a big old jinx, but it seemed important to set a goal:

Thirteen months of deep breathing, hard writing, and no whining.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Countdown to everything else continues

I just wrote a big crybaby rant about my home life. Then I accidentally deleted it and decided that I'm a bit too "older than 15" to rewrite it.

I am trying. I really am. It wouldn't kill you, karma, to throw me a goddamn bone.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

OK, it's an ad... but an ad for me at least

I am just starting to do some Demand Studios freelance work, and my first piece is up!

How to Get a Beginning as a Story Writer

I have other eHow articles up, but the new Demand platform includes copyeditors, styleguides, and strict standards. Hopefully this will vastly improve the quality of writing on eHow and other "answer" sites.

Anyway, I get paid if folks read the article, so take a look and pass it along to anyone who might find it useful. (And let me know what you think, natch.)