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Anticipation, empty room waiting for creation, a few hours to kick around, an open bag of chips on the table; I'm waiting for the contest to begin. When I signed up I intended to write plot outlines, character sketches, gather images and quotes and paste them into a motivational collage, now I have nothing but my swift fingers and even swifter mind. I'm nervous about being unprepared. What if I'm fighting for the wrong profession? What if I'm supposed to be a CPA or a struggling tap dancer? Can a person pick the wrong direction or are we always right?
Why is it that my computer seizes up when it's on for over an hour? Talk about frustrating. Here I am mildly going about performing via computer for a contest and my processor bogs down to the point that I have to hard boot to shut down and wait a half hour for it to turn off and start up again. I think it might be the fan. It's is a laptop after all and they seem to always have stupid issues like that. Unfortunately I don't have time to monkey with it. If I had my way, different all.
Sixteen hours of dreadful writing today. My fingers are numb and my forehead feels as though it has swollen by infection. My novel I'm writing is rambling. It occurred to me that average novel size is somewhere around 50,000 words. I only have 15,000. I started filling in excessive detail and dragging my characters around aimless locations, making one sick with starvation and the others jobless and impoverished. I can't wait for it to be over. Each torment I give to them is like a torment I'm giving to myself. My diet is now chips, humus, M&Ms and Red Bull.
What to say? I've had an amazing two days this weekend. Both days have been entirely dedicated to writing. I don't even have to do the dishes I generate. It's been awesome! I decided this is exactly the life I want. It's hard, it requires a lot of caffeine, concentration and random conversations to ignite imagination but, to me, it's heaven. I am so glad I got to sign up for this contest and I am so enamored of all the people who cheered me on with this goal. The only way I can repay everyone is to keep writing
I can't believe it's over. I had a weekend in paradise — except everything happened in my overheated little room, with a tired old computer and the slowest printer on earth. I had a weekend in paradise — except there was no food of substance and the hours were long. I had a weekend in paradise — with no outside contact and a great deal of time-based stress. For all the things so many people would never have tried, for all the reasons so many people would never have done it, I found myself wishing it'd never end, found myself dreaming of more.
At his desk, under his BlackBerry box, he has stowed pictures of his family, pictures of himself as a baby. I'm amazed he hasn't put them somewhere safe, in an album, a frame, a box in storage. The BlackBerry box is covered in dust. It hasn't moved since his work gave him the machine and he learned how to use it. Under the box, under the pictures is something that could change his future — monthly published papers advising of the best investments. These he was supposed to read, to utilize with his 401K. I am certain now he never will.
Maybe it's my fault. I poured bacon fat into a coffee bag and put it in the garbage. It never occurs to me when I do things, responsible things like disposing of food in the trash instead of smearing it on the walls, that the dog will find it opportune. That damn dog. After all the times I've waived my hands in the air, howling angry rhyme, I keep thinking he'll stop. His stomach rules his mind; repercussions mean nothing when all you get is a stern look and sent to bed. I'm not cut out for parenting a dog.
Todai is a banquet-style Asian restaurant known for giving free food to everyone with a birthday. If there's no birthday in your party then everyone pays $30 for the pleasure of picking over piles of barnacle encrusted crab legs, oysters with a posted 'potential diarrhea' disclaimer, dried out sushi, vat after vat of mayonnaise driven salad and deep fried meat product. My sweet Thai grandma took me there last night, insisting she pay and that I eat three plates of food. Somehow I managed to look green enough to skip the fresh oysters. She, however, shoveled in her body weight.
She lies to herself. Every morning she says she will wake up and get to work on time. Every morning she sleeps in and dallies in the kitchen, slurping single-serving yogurt packs and crunching boxed cereal. She scolds herself every morning to take the bus but being late means she has to drive. There goes another $10 for parking, she curses. Her ass barely fits in the bucket seat and she adjusts the steering column to fit her gut. She says because she drove she will exercise after work. This never happens. Once home she sits alone with the TV.
She can't be trusted. She's small, small hands, and grins all the time. You'd think she could be in a penitentiary or asylum and yet she's beside you, eyeing your shoes and complimenting your tie. She has no respect for you. She sees only the contents of your pocketbook and will talk to you only if she deems you worthy. Her palm pilot is close by. Her hair coifed up with gel and careful hours curling. She thinks you're an idiot and feels threatened if you prove capable of life without her. She will walk the dog on one condition.
It's almost Halloween and I haven't a thing to wear. All the previous costumes are in my closet, hung up limp and over exposed, radiating the circumstances surrounding each party of each year. Dare I wear one again and face the tribunal? The only way I can get a new costume would be by picking through Goodwill Bins — the pee stink piles of refuse one step away from compacted landfill. Paying for clothes by the pound has saved me thousands of dollars and certainly has kept my ego in check. I am ready for a personal assistant shopping for me.
It's a hard day, a grinding day. A day where the body feels trapped in a pepper mill, the giant seeds of pepper shift under your feet as you hold on to the curved side hoping your foot doesn't get caught between two stones and drug down into the chopping mechanism. Frustrating day, day of darkness, a day when the sun itself is too tired to rise. It's the kind of day where the pear, normally so sweet, tastes bitter — there's more skin than fruit and the skin grates of your teeth as you chew. Low energy, sore eyes, fatigue.
Every time he looks at me he frowns. It's not a face like he's truly upset, or the look of a difficult shit, nor does he seem to be fully aware that I'm seeing him and yet he presents this face to me. What it reminds me of is a parent putting a band-aid on a child's boo-boo, or, with a slight head tilt, pouting out the phrase, Do you not feel so good? If my face is blank, slumping with age into a frown, what am I to do? Must be my autistic side comes out in the morning.
I don't know what my problem is. I have a perfectly good essay drafted but I can't seem to finalize it. I look at the first paragraph and my stomach goes green, it's all I can do to ignore it and not throw it away. Why do I always have such high expectations? Will I ever be happy with the things I create? No wonder I am afraid of children — their imperfect learning, my desire for perfection. I am one of those oppressive mothers chanting, you can do better than that. What if I stopped expecting so much of myself?
Oh & my & gobstopper! You spend an hour setting up a project so the next person can walk up and easily complete their portion. They show up and totally don't get it. Instead of using your work to their advantage they freakin' have the nerve to pull all your work apart, starting from scratch. As you witness you think, What the fuck! Is he really going to spend an hour re-building that? It seems pointless, so inane that you laugh but you're so pissed off that you grab your head and open your mouth for empty scream of frustration.
Solange gets to work early to get her mind organized. The refocus from her love to her work is an often nauseating task. She's taken to arriving before everyone else to make the transition in the quiet. Part of her fears being caught - outed as someone with hopes and dreams outside the realm of a raise. Some mornings she prays to All that she can huddle through the day unscathed, her focus memorized for her return to love. Other mornings, she shake the hand of dirt and wishes to never be read, left alone with thoughts of solitude, solicitude, Solange.
Work computer stores every keystroke. He is paranoid. What if they catalogue every keystroke? What if they read all his mistakes? What if they find that document he wrote two years ago, the one venting about his wife? They could post it online. They could send it to the papers. He could be rendered unemployable, divorced, scandalized. Molly would never forgive him. Looking back he never meant those things. It was the Novocain and returning to work swollen that drove him to vent. He wouldn't have thought it normally. People didn't talk about Metadata back then. What could he do?
She doesn't believe in Harold anymore. Harold: nice guy, good looking, means well but doesn't believe in himself. Harold, sensing Jamie's disregard, panics. He buys a tub of ice cream, caramel swirl, and eats it while watching reality TV. He hates himself. He stands outside, looking over his yard thinking he should mow but doesn't. He hates himself. Harold pounds the steering wheel when the ignition fails; he burns his canned chili at dinner, flinging the steaming pan into the sink; decides he doesn't deserve to live. Harold, nice guy, good looking, begins his letter. He finds his self esteem.
She pulled the plug on me. She led me to believe that I would be involved but at the last minute, seriously, the last minute, decided to go it alone. We were supposed to be evaluating the merit of something I can't share with you. And it was one of the few things that gave me any credit for having half a brain. I spend all day doing nothing and the one day I was actually getting to participate I was kicked out. I am pissed. I am ready to leave. I am thinking of going regardless of costs, repercussions.
Oh I hate it here. Misery has a name and it is XXXXXXX. Some day this will be a fond memory, a farce to be laughed at, a moment that I'll shrug my shoulders and think, 'What was I doing there?' For now it is horrifying. What am I doing here? How did I go astray? Where is the escape hatch? Somebody help me! Is it any wonder that almost all my time here has been spent hating myself; poisoning, torturing, and discrediting myself? Out of all the dreams I have had this was never a part of the vision.
Some ass-wipe contractors managed to not only use our water without permission; they also sprayed water against the house for over an hour, springing a leak in the basement and flooding the staircase. SO was angry and ripped the bottom stair out to mop the mess. He peeled and chipped flooring and wallboard in hopes of exposing the leak. Turns out the water seeped through the newer foundation wall politely and we must now apply sealant. In the meanwhile, he does not want to blame the contractors though they are at fault and should pay up for the damage resultant.
That morning was so dark, and the cold closed in on Dude until all he could do was peek his head out from under warm covers and say, Can you turn on the heater? He looked miserable and I felt vindictive after everything we'd discussed late the night before. I thought of him as a big mopie baby, pouting, letting me take the upper hand yet knowing he could turn sour at any minute, weeping his way into everything he wanted. They say submissives are actually in control, the dominants having to constantly serve by being served. All the options.
We haven't touched each other in months. It seems like our relationship is essentially over except we still like each other and have all this shared living space. And we have plans, goals, things we want to do together. At the same time it almost seems as though we could stop, sell out and go separate ways. Would we be happier? I don't think I would. At the same time, we'd be free. He could go to Japan, I could go to Stockholm. We could build new lives, separate. But would we be happier? I can't visualize life without him.
We painted the house green. Not just green green, I mean Aurora Borealis Green. Not just bright green but pickle green, or Toxic Spill green, monster movie facial fungus green, Creature from the Black Lagoon green, Alien Landing green, Pod People green, the Incredible Hulk green, Green Lantern green, Green like those bright post-it notes, green like a ceramic Christmas tree with gum drop bulbs that light up, green in that oh my, the neighbors aren't going to like this way, and for a few days I was really nervous about it. Nervous, that is, until we painted the trim.
There's a temptation to journalize on 100words that I try hard to avoid, however I am not in the mood to make anything up or puff the everyday events. I just ate half a pint of ice cream and I have a ravaging desire to watch tube. I hate watching tube. I find myself watching MTV, VH1 or the home remodel station. I prefer the home station so I don't feel like I loose my mind with plastic boobs and thumping bass but often I flip to the lesser channels to avoid commercials and get stuck. Who am I anyway?
Jeff has gotten in the habit of eating fruit for breakfast every morning. He read something about super models eating lots of fruit and considered his gut — something had to change and the easiest thing was his breakfast habit: two handfuls of chips could be replaced with a sliced orange or a big red apple. After a month he began to see a difference. The more difference he saw the more fruit he ate. It wasn't long before he ate fruit for every meal. Jeff was lean and a little anxious and sometimes his hands shook but he looked good.
He has a thing for that age defying lotion. He buys it covertly, online, having it shipped to home and packing it in to his office where he hides it in his desk drawer. Whenever he thinks someone notices he is over 40 he pumps a dollop in his hand and wipes the lotion all over his face quickly, without a mirror, and uses tissues to wipe off the excess from his hands. When he applies his daily dose in the morning he examines every wrinkle carefully, leaning in to the mirror. In the evening, he uses only one finger.
The cat is waiting outside the door when I open it. He slinks in, burs and twigs stuck to his fur, he paces around the corner, heavy paws brown with dust, and flops on the tiles in the kitchen, leaning against a wall. He looks at me with half closed eyes and a contented exhaustion. I'd heard him this morning howling at another cat, the two on the verge of a fight, arguing out their turf lines. I thought about how special he was to not pick a fist-fight, to keep it verbal. He seems proud as well, dozing sunshine.
We've spent the month trying to work two jobs — both of us 8 to 5 then home to paint. I am careful to change my clothes, wearing the same stained, splotchy pants and shirt every night. I feel disgusting. My hands are forever burnished with speckles of spray and drips of dabs that won't wash off, toxic remover or no. My index finger is worn thin after hours of sanding crevices. We'd said it wouldn't take long if we put our hands together and kept on task. Suddenly the month is over and one project has faded into another one.
Yesterday I fell into a spiritual decline. I watched Romance movies, high emotional turmoil on the small screen, and wished someone would arrive at my door with brownies, cookies, sugar treats like some 50s throwback neighbor would. No luck. I drug myself to bed and pretended like it was time for sleep though it was 4 pm. No dinner, I stayed there all night feeling sorry for myself. Everything too daunting, my brain sore from processing, my much needed quiet time interrupted only by an opportunistic cat purring as I let one hand run down his spine. What purpose life?
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