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Above the earth
Teach for America Teach for America gotta do my Teach for America application scared lazy what if I don’t get in why am I afraid to try where is my heart what do I want am I destined to live a disappointing life take a chance no what’s holding me back it’s not that much work a few pages two essays I’m afraid of writer’s block of failing of looking at the final draft and seeing what a horrible writer I am of seeing the application and realizing I have nothing to offer guilt in the pit of my stomach.
I had a dismal January. I wrote dismally. But somehow my outlook has changed "one billionth of one degree" (That may be a misquote; Gibby has my copy of "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul"), so the dismalness has become almost enjoyable. Like I finally know what to do with it. "Oh. Dismalness. Yeah. I could feed it to the plants and use it on my chapped lips." How do you pinpoint the middle of a slump? The inflection point? I think it was when the Steelers lost. I turned to Gibby and reflected,
"Well, at least Paul's dead."
Paul is not dead. Not really. But it's fun to pretend he is.
Because, frankly, he sucks.
And he should be dead.
He stole my spineless ex-friend from me. They're married and living in Maryland; she probably thinks she's happy. But Gibby can vouch for me that Paul sucks. I pointed him out once when we were walking down College Ave, looking his usual, pissy self.
"Ohmigod, that was Paul!"
"Back there! Go look!"
So Gibby walks back and starts laughing. Paul turns around, and Gibby laughs harder. Then he runs back to me and says, "What an asshole!"
I had such a pleasant birthday.
I was in a good mood!
I actually tried to be nice!
It started by bringing Gibby back to my house, where he gave me Memoirs of a Geisha, a neat-o book from Better Homes and Gardens, and Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls." Then we ate at the Sesame Inn with T and Shannon. I was got 2 Egg Drop soups. (Cold Outside + Soup = Happy!) T got me the Mansfield Park DVD, and Shannon got me the cool sugar crystal stuff from Bath and Body Works. Than Gibby and I napped deliciously.
My birthday: my friends surprise me with DQ ice-cream-cake. Perfectly acceptable. Contrast and compare to the next day, when I "celebrated" with my family. Besides my mom suggesting restaurants after she'd said it was my choice and I'd already made my choice, there was my cousin. He's the kind of person who'll tell the restaurant to do something embarrassing for your birthday, well, only cake, but ew! He has no right! You don't do something like that for someone you DON'T REALLY KNOW. Yuck! I hate people who impose on you because of an assumed closeness that
I need a magnetic poetry kit.
Remnants of my birthday cake are desiccated onto the serving knife.
There's tofu in the egg drop soup at Sesame Inn.
I'm surprised to feel heat rising from the fireplace at Border's.
If there were a baby growing inside of me right now I'd buy a rocking chair.
My life would be more poignant in black and white.
These observations are trying to say something. They're saying,
I'm bored. Something happen to me please. I'm tired of sitting pretty. I'm a still life on the wall. I want a red scarf, I want movement.
I'm a shitty writer. I resort to swear words in an effort to use up space. (Fuck.) Somewhere in the back of my head I'm disconnected from my imagination. The consequence is that the dreams and images and thoughts I have don't translate to the speaking part of me, the part that forms ideas into words, into a product that can be bought, sold, processed, exported, scrutinized. My imagination's on a road trip watching the scenery fly by, and the conscious part of me is driving and worrying and has no time to see what the other passenger is doing.
Driving. Night. Daft Punk. Orange streetlights. Heading to Wal-Mart. Hate Wal-Mart. Am totally against it. So cheap. So wonderful. Putting everyone out of business. Saves me money. Hate it hate it! Heading to Wal-Mart. 55 mph. Hands are cracked. Hangnails. Stained corduroys. Glaring fluorescent lights. Electronics department. New camera would be nice. One that focuses. Too much money. Unemployed. Bought my boombox here not long ago. Skin care skin care. Sweet-smelling. Big words. Dye my hair red like last time? Need a haircut. Leah, best hairstylist in the world. Saw her in a bar, pointed out my crush. Miss her.
This TFA application was supposed to be done by my birthday. Now I'm trying to get it done by the 10th, but it ain't happening. I still haven't started the essay. What's my most significant accomplishment in the last four years? I dunno, functioning in spite of debilitating melancholy? Sorry. I must be in one of those "no one understands my pain; I am a genius tortured by madness" moods. I hate applications. How do you sell yourself without sounding pompous? How do you stay modest without sounding morose or self-deprecating? Where is the fulcrum? I need a Snickers bar.
Where would I like to be right now? In Jamaica, diving into a Windex blue pool, snorkeling in Montego Bay, eating mangos and passion fruit and papaya. Or the West Coast, because I've only been to San Francisco once on the band trip, and I loved it, and I want to learn how to surf… Wouldn't it be nice to globetrot, armed with an expensive camera you'd know how to use, being driven to intimate locations in a jeep by a native of whatever country you happen to be in today, having epiphanies right-and-left, and finally finding peace within yourself?
It's Monday. The State College-Weezer thing has been decided: Cancelled. For a hopefully bigger-and-better thing: Weezer in Pittsburgh! Much cheaper. No need for $20 times two bus tickets. It's still kind of disappointing not going up to State College. I miss my apartment. And I wanna go to Paterno library, of all places. 1) It will make me feel scholarly, 2) I can pretend I'm still an undergrad and Penn State is my home, and 3) I can do research for TFA. Sigh. But hey, more time at home means cleaner room, cleaner clothes and (pray for me!) finished application.
Triumph at last! My computer's finally connected to the Internet. For the past few days, I was trying to get this generic CompUSA modem to make friends with my Windows XP, but finally I took it back and got myself a nice, reliable, sweet-tempered U.S. Robotics V.90 modem. Yeah, how poetic, I know. I'm assuming it's not my fault the other modem sucked, so my fragile computer-expertise ego is much improved. Anyway, now I can get down and dirty with the next task on my schedule (pronounced SHEH-dyool, in this instance): my Teach for America application…
or at least,
Popcorn, Dr. Pepper, and Jalapeno chips. That's what I'm eating almost every night. Hey, maybe this way I'll finally get fat! Doubtful. There's only been one instance in my life that I managed to keep on more than 120 pounds. I was surprised to have gained any weight at all because it was after getting over Greg, when I'd had no appetite. The first day of BMB 445W, I'd nearly fainted, and my lab mates had taken care of me. (I'm not proud of that incident.) Then somehow by the end of the semester, I'd gained eight pounds. Go figure.
It's weird how I can be really numb to the people closest to me, but a complete stranger will bring out love and happiness and warmth and creativity and all the things I like about me. There's got to be something wrong with that. How do you go about fixing it? Some kind of classical conditioning? Who knows. And it's odd who my heart will latch onto. Well, babies obviously, who doesn't love babies? But then there's the sweet little boy at church and Tom Bowler and Rachel and cats I meet on walks and Seth Rodriguez and
Taylor Hanson was probably the worst crush ever. And the list of notoriously bad crushes continues: My former boss, Dirty Hippie, Ugly Lab Boy, Freakazoid, Bat Boy (these nicknames say it all), the redhead in my math class, Greg, the lead singer of Spider Kelly, Phil Kyler, Darrell Amos (8th/9th grade), Dan Cortese, Joel Hodgson (nothing wrong with that one), Dave Sullivan (12 grade) Gibby (a very good crush, seeing as how it got to the next level),...
the point being that almost any guy has the power to rule my heart, my thoughts, even my self-esteem. That's embarrassingly sad.
Just recently, our cat Tailchaser was really sick with a bladder infection and kidney stone-like things. It was terrible. On the day we took him to the vet, he just sat in front of his litter box (on the cold basement floor!) and didn't respond when we called him or pet him or anything. He had severe uremia and they gave him "aggressive liquid therapy." When he came home, I got to play nurse. I fed him two pills twice a day, which got to be a real bitch by the end because he was well enough to fight back.
Blank page inspire me. No, don't expire me whooooooaaaaaaa! Shit. Let's start over. Blank page, let me sing your praises—oh, you hate singing… a little poetry perhaps?
Sad troubadours seek
Ah, no poetry tonight? Just as well. Perhaps the mundane would suit you better.
The entropy of my dirty laundry has increased exponentially. Once I finish one load, I usually have to do it again a few days later because my messy room prevents me from keeping it in a clean neat place. Hence, everything is so messy to be unjustly relabeled "dirty."
I took out the imaginary ruler today and found that I don't measure up. You don't feel enough. You feel too much. Think more think less. My mind is a hamster wheel, a perpetual motion yesnoyesno machine. My mind is dueling banjos and no one's winning and everyone got tired of watching and left early. My mind is a bureaucracy of Gestapo situated at every corner saying, "You can't think that. Don't DO that!" And all the while the world spins like it's four years old, in the park, knowing it will get dizzy and fall, but loving every moment.
I went to my first Weezer concert. Our seats were in the nosebleed section, which didn't bother me for the opening bands. The keyboardist for Ozma mainly jumps around. Sometimes she holds down some keys. I fell asleep through Saves the Day. Every time I woke up, it sounded like they were on the same song. Gibby and I moved to a better section for Weezer. Their sound was passionate and crystalline, but they barely moved the entire set. Rivers Cuomo occasionally addressed the audience: "Fried chitlins." "Good morning. Time to eat your Wheaties." I wish we'd had floor seats.
An old lady walking on the side of the road stopped and wiped her feet on a grassy hill. It reminded me of my dog.
I hate getting a hair in my mouth. It's the darnedest thing trying to coax it out with my tongue. But when I do, I feel like a superhero.
People are crazy. Yeah, I know.
Ok, I admit it. I'm afraid to be real. Real for me would be full of clichés and inventing sappy sappy ways of describing my life as if it were the most gorgeous on the planet. Real would be embarrassing.
Crying is so sweet. It means I am a little girl in spite of outward appearances. Because the tears flo o o o w freely. My mom snapped at me today. It hurt. She said I took things too seriously, that my brother was only joking. But his jokes are back-handed and passive-aggressive. Instead of making me laugh, I wonder that he looks at the world that way and hope I'm no longer like him. My mom thinks I'm wrong. Am I? If my mom said so… I don't know what to think. How do you make your parents see?
The hair on my legs is extraordinary. I must thank the winter for letting me see it again after several years' departure. It's become soft. When I moisturize after showering, I rub in the lotion against the grain, and there's this neat tickling sensation as the hairs scramble to right themselves. I'm almost proud of them, but I still hide them in public. Last night, Gibby and I hung out with Franz. While trying to hide the exposed skin on my leg from Franz, I apparently ended up shaking my ass in a way that took over his attention entirely.
I think it should be said that, as much as I seemed to not like the Weezer show, I'm happy I went. Now all I want to listen to is Weezer. Russ made Gibby a copy of the blue album and Pinkerton on one cd. So I'm listening to it nonstop. I'm embarrassed when I realize all the words I've sung wrong. I've completely abandoned the green album, which is a shame because it colored all of my experiences last semester. I played it every night I went out for inspiration. Matt, it's what got me to talk to you.
My head is swimming as I reach down to fill Star's bowl. "There you go," I murmur, trying to keep up the appearance that everything's ok but meanwhile, I'm burning all over. I stagger to what I expect is my deathbed, feeling like Dermot O'Brien in "The Matchmaker": "Keep it together, man; not much farther now…" On this, the third day, my fever is 100.7. I sink under the covers, my body threatening to melt like wax, but shivering at some invisible cold. I can't breathe; neither nostril is working properly. My body tired of fighting, I somehow manage sleep.
Race, race, race. Golden beauty streams past the open window. Being sick is a distant thought. Do you see me? I am so cool. I wear a fucking bandana. Listen, hear it? It's Weezer! I'm so fucking cool. You, stopped in traffic next to me, don't you wish you were me? I'm dancing in the seat, pounding the steering wheel. Don't you want these songs for yourself? Look, look at me! I'm so fun and carefree. I'm doing it all for you, leading by example! Roll down your window and join in! You should know this one, it's "Buddy Holly!"
A crab scuttling along
Encounters a pair of Jellies
He climbs inside the left one
Its owner out by the water
Shrieking with glee
Doing somersaults into the ocean
Her feet smacking the wet sand
She runs towards the shoes
Spies the crab
Little crab can you swim?
Propelling the left shoe across the sand
She chases the breaking waves
Offering her shoe
Here, Ocean come inside!
She cheers as the crab sails back to shore
Oh, crab, the sun is setting!
Let's float to the sunset!
Gathering her shoe, the crab
Can only comply.
For the first time in like two months, I wore jeans today… since I finally got around to washing them. I think the breaking point was envying the hot girl we shot pool with last night. She was wearing low riders, and it was funny to watch her perk up at a levi's commercial that featured even LOWER low riders. You could see her make a note of them. She had pierced nipples. You would never have known except she ditched her sweater, and the piercings were visible through her tank top. They looked cool. Too cool. I hate her.
I dreamed about Rivers Cuomo today. We were in high school, and for some reason some evil parents conspired with the principal to lock up all the kids in the cafeteria/gymnasium/dungeon in a pseudo-sleepover. I went over to sit by Rivers. By this time he was famous, so he was used to girls wanting him. Somehow, by my wit or the powers of geekdom I inherited from my brother, I impressed him. We stuck together for the rest of the dream. Unfortunately nothing cool happened, like kissing or holding hands. But there was lots of Dr. Pepper.
Only in dreams...
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