Thursday, December 5, 2013


I'm already mining archives of old blog posts. Strangely my expedition resulted in my finding this entry which is especially enlightening to me for various reasons. I'll explain in a moment. First, the entry, dated December 11, 2003. I was 27 at the time.

i don't wanna make it rain, i just wanna make it simple

the rigorous testing process at my job-to-be (maybe) has ended and it is now my duty to...wait. 

there is a cold rain in the city today that i simply don't mind in the least. 

i picked up tim o'brien's the things they carried again for the first time in years and so far i have wept openly three times. if you want to be left alone in new york city, start crying on a crosstown bus, or anywhere full of people with not a lot of room to move. people are afraid of solitary criers. me personally? i am afraid of solitary laughers (despite the fact that i have been one on more than one occasion). laughter can turn quite maniacal at the drop of a hat... but tears are usually melancholy, or angry. today mine were empathetic, as they always are with mr. o'brien. 

maybe i'm feeling a bit sissy-fied today. it is one of those days, unique to this life i'm living, where i don't actually feel i know anyone. perhaps i spent too much time walking around midtown this morning. i feel anonymous. i feel solitary. wholly without connection to another person. 
i am lacking and wanting connection, physical and otherwise to one other person. 

of course this is all a product of reading about war. cold isolation is the partner of knowing about what can and did happen, i suppose. but it has to be told and it has to be read, doesn't it?

you know what i need right now? i need some ice cream.

The title of that post comes from Rufus Wainwright song "Want" which was new at the time. I loved that album something fierce, still do.

I don't know what job-to-be was at that time. Maybe my indexer job? Maybe a job I had interviewed for and didn't get? It is difficult to say since I was doing a lot of interviewing back then, fresh out of library school and in the midst of a swirling, bustling economy. Remember those days, when they would give out jobs offers free with proof of purchase. Yeah, me neither.

I remember rereading Tim O'Brien's book. I was very, very big into Tim O'Brien at the time. I had recently read "In the Lake of the Woods" which tore my brain and heart open. That reminds me, I should reread that book. I loaned my copy to someone and never got it back; someone should buy it for me. I also remember crying on the bus and I'm still very suspicious of solitary laughers...laughter can cross over to mental instability without much warning.

In that post, I chalk up my feelings of isolation to "reading about war". But I know now that I was wrong. What I never remember, what I should remember, is that sense of isolation and loneliness I felt and that I felt it even living in NYC. I usually romanticize that time in my life into a perfect circle, something whole and formed solidly all the way through when in reality, it was an amorphous blob. My brain still worked the same way as it does now. I still want everything at the same time. I still gobble up time with going and doing and planning and getting, wondering why nothing is quite sticking. I also still turn to ice cream in confounding moments.

 I think many people who know me well are confounded by my ability to do a lot of things and still be bored, to be around a lot of people and still feel alone. This is a chronic condition I have, regardless of where I'm hanging my hat. It may serve me well to remember that when my solution to everything is "move somewhere new". I think my own version of nirvana will be calm contentment as opposed to blissful, ecstatic happiness. What can I say? I"m a whirligig.

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