Sunday, April 5, 2020

A really boring Sisyphus

Friends, I've lost something. 

I know I tend to wax metaphorical in this blog and I do love me some abstract symbolism, that's not what's happening here. 

I literally lost something, a flash drive to be specific. Not just any flash drive. A flash drive that contains many spreadsheets and records that have accumulated over the five years I've worked at my part time job. A flash drive, the existence of which, up until today, I've never needed to return to or acknowledge in all that time. A flash drive I treated with carelessness.Which was dumb of me. (I make no excuses for the chaos that inhabits my drawers, my closets, my bookshelves, basically every flat surface in my personal space.) But here's the rub: against all odds, I DID locate it in the back of of my overstuffed desk drawer this afternoon and, upon removing it from the drawer, smiling to myself that I had once again defeated all attempts by the me of the past to confound the me of the of the future, I walked into my bedroom to retrieve something else. And in the 45 seconds or so that it took to walk from my living room to my bedroom, it vanished.

I have torn my room apart, unmade my bed, moved boxes, overturned shoes, took off all of my clothes. (A few weeks ago I "lost" an earring that later turned out had been a stowaway in my bra.) Nothing. I checked under furniture, in between couch cushions, searched deeply into the eyes of my cats for a sign that they'd absconded with it to their nest of toys. Nothing. There is no explanation or probability. It has simply, suddenly, and quite maddeningly disappeared. 

Now, this isn't a tragedy; I don't mean to present it as such. The documents and files on that drive are, however time consuming and annoying, able to be retrieved elsewhere. But not without about triple the work compared to what it would take if I could simply shove it into my computer and download to my heart's content. But so what; I get paid by the hour. I'm really just confounded by the fact of its disappearance. I have, in fact, spent the last several hours intermittently saying aloud, "HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?" And there isn't, presently, an answer. Only the prospect of hours of extra work. I fully expect to spend the next few days tearing everything apart again. Over and over, in vain. Like a really boring Sisyphus.

And I can deal with all of that. I've lost things before. I lost a beloved, irreplaceable ring recently that I got in Galway. I cried for hours about that ring in the silence of my room because I felt both like an idiot for not paying closer attention and so stupid to be so sad over losing an object. (We can't all be Elizabeth Bishop, after all.) But again, where in the actual fuck could it be??

I don't know why I'm writing in here about this; it's so trivial. I'm fully aware of that. I feel the need to make that disclaimer. 

I acknowledge that we are all collectively living through an era of loss, that we've all lost something or somethings in recent weeks, by degrees, or all at once, in trickles or in a deluge, that we've lost loved ones or our ways of life or the chance to further budding relationships or the opportunity to see and hear and touch our friends and loved ones or our precious, precious uninterrupted alone time, that we're all slowly becoming so numb to losing things, even if we don't realize it yet, that I've already become so accustomed to the feeling of having lost something, it's usually unclear what, and that I fully expect my brain to prod me awake tonight at 2 or 3 a.m. as it has done for decades and that I will awake with my arms wrapped around question mark shaped anvil and I will pry my eyes open to my brain making certain I've received the particular synapse that communicates something is missing...and that all of that means more, is way more significant and important that a ridiculous piece of plastic and miniature circuit board. All of it. 

But I still just put all that down in here because though I'm not superstitious, I have been known to find things if I state aloud "I can't find (insert whatever it is that is missing)" like a very obvious and lame incantation. So here's my long winded attempt to find just one more thing I've lost. 

I'll let you know if it works. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Back in the "golden", pre-Russian-owned days of Livejournal, I would update and post on my blog every single day, sometimes for consecutive months. Looking back on that type of journaling today, from the confines of my apartment in enforced quarantine, the world outside draped in malicious, piecemeal shrouds of disease, I'm fascinated by what the hell exactly I was writing about. I suspect I was gathering all the anthills I encountered throughout my day and piling them on top of each other to create one messy, dramatic, unstable and, let's be honest, mostly boring mountain. How I long to be so bored that the most fascinating thing exists in the recesses of my navel! You never know what you've got until it's threatened with a terrible illness which may or may not kill you. Isn't that the old adage?

I could, of course, easily return to my old account (it still exists, embarrassingly enough) but in the past month, I've experienced a gradual grief, hysteria, longing, loneliness, fear...I just don't need to add nostalgic cringe. All this preamble to say that I've decided to begin updating this blog just in time for me to be holed up inside the five rooms of my apartment with only the frayed wires of the internet tied around my heart and brain and eyes to connect to. That's not strictly true. I live with another person and two cats, I leave the house to do laundry and get supplies. I can see birds and the sky and the what I am certain now is an abandoned moped in the alley outside my bedroom window. Life has become both infinitesimally concentrated within walls and exploded into the outer reaches of humanity and philosophy and economies and other abstract ideas that have no end and placed them all into the world to see how we react to the results. (Is it just me, or does it feel like we're test subjects at the moment?)

I'm mostly doing this as a type of therapy. Back when I journaled regularly, I connected this way. I articulated what I couldn't say out loud, however silly or melodramatic; I miss that. I miss it most in times like this, when I want to have so much to say, but instead I have to dig around (sometimes rip it out from the root) and I find meaning in the search. I would like to find meaning in the search again.

So I guess I'm writing in here again?