Misaligned

I just went through a flurry of job interviews in a short span of time. And came up empty. I was hoping upon hope, pleading, putting everything I had into getting this job in Minneapolis, but they went with a candidate whose qualifications more closely align with their needs… or however they phrased it. I don’t know how much more aligned I could have been. But I guess I must be a very mis-aligned person. I guess I must work on that.

But every time this happens, I cry out to the universe:

What am I doing wrong ?

Is it really my fate to be so unhappy and lonely and isolated until the earth is done with me? Has that been my fate from the very beginning?

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Tethered

My brain is running me ragged. It doesn’t stop churning. On and on it goes. On and on. It’s so monotonous. And it’s exhausting. And it doesn’t seem to care that it’s exhausting me.

One would think my brain would have the sense to think of someone else besides itself. One would think. But that kind of thought never enters this brain’s thinking. Not even for a splinter of a second.

And it keeps dragging me along. It won’t let go. No matter how hard I try to set myself loose, it simply won’t let me. It’s so unfair.

So then what is this brain thinking about? All of those what/if/then/that kinds of thoughts. What/if/then/that and then if/that/what/then/if. The content is irrelevant. The point of it is to exhaust me. And it is succeeding. I wonder if it feels a sense of pride in that kind of success.

But my brain does not feel success or failure or much of anything else. My brain does not believe that there’s no success like failure … or that failure’s no success at all. My brain does not know what to believe. My brain is not in the business of believing. Believing in something. In anything.

But it grinds away. Unremittingly. And I am tethered to it. It’s an unfortunate situation.

But I like to think there is hope. A flicker of hope. I hope for the day where one day my brain looks up and sees the sky. And looks around and sees the sky all around it. And begins to notice there is earth below. And upon there that earth there is me. And maybe at that moment, my brain will experience a realization of some sort. A realization about something and someone outside of it.

And perhaps then it will feel some sense of responsibility to others besides itself. Even if they are intangible. I wait for that moment to occur.

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Colleen

I’ve decided that it might be a good idea for me to spend more time in conversation with the dead, especially when I often cannot think of anything to say to the living. Tonight I was talking to this friend of my sister’s who I knew all too briefly, who I really think could have been a significant person in my life before her departure. I was just sort of talking to her and reminiscing about our fractal of time together, but I felt bad because I could not recall her name. You know that feeling you have when you’re talking to someone whose name you have no excuse for forgetting, but you are drawing a blank? I believe they call it Nominal Aphasia. Isn’t Aphasia a beautiful word? Sort of like Fantasia and Aphrodisia fused together.

But just when I had given up on my ability to rise above Nominal Aphasia, the name COLLEEN appeared out of nowhere.  In a flash. Of course, Colleen! Just like that Joanna Newsom song.

What an amazing spirit you were when you dwelled among us… artist, writer, English Channel swimmer, authentically beautiful human. I’m so glad I’ve reconnected with you. I feel so much better now.

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Longing

I long. I am longing. I am not lacking in longing. Longing is something I do. I cannot say for sure that I do it well. I just do. The days I am not longing are disconcerting. To me. I wonder if today is such a day. So far nobody has asked me about this. So far, at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon, no one has asked me anything. So far, no one has spoken to me nor have I spoken all day. This does not feel like a very healthy way to live. My under-used vocal cords would probably agree, if they could speak, which they could if anyone addressed them. they are waiting. they are longing.

You may ask me, what is it like to long? I might say longing is the same thing as yearning. To which you might respond that this was not a very helpful answer. I would think about it for a moment or 2 and then I would probably agree. But I would probably need more time before I thought of answer.

And it might not even be the right answer. Longing is an acute awareness of what one is lacking in one’s life that is smushed together with a fervent desire to acquire what one is lacking.

You might say that this answer sounded so formal and academic.

Which is exactly not the response I was not looking for. I worry that this impression I give others of seeming formal and academic obscures all that I am capable of being. So maybe I should try a different answer. Like maybe I should say that longing is a feeling of great depth and passion that I have, even when there is no subject, no object to receive it.

That would probably be a better answer. Even if it were not entirely true.

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Follow Up?

I’m trying to figure out if I should send a follow-up text to my okc date from the other night. But what do I have to say, especially when the expectation that I will ever see this person again in what remains of my lifetime is so low?

I guess that is one of the purposes of a blog. It’s sort of a sandbox to try out things that I may or may not try in my life outside of the blog.

And I should feel especially unencumbered to try things out since, as far as I can tell, I am the sole reader of this blog.

Perhaps I could text her:

Hi _____! I hope you had a great time rock climbing this weekend. I spent most of my weekend waiting for your text, but something must have gone wrong with my phone. Would you mind re-sending?

Or

Hi _____! I hope you had a great time rock climbing this weekend. It must have been a great release, especially in light of the stress of meeting me the other night. Actually even though I have never climbed a single rock (but I have tripped over many) … and even though I am afraid of heights…. rock climbing is probably much less terrifying than asking you if you’d like to go on a 2nd date. Even climbing Mt. Everest would be less terrifying.

Or

Hi _____! I’ve been meaning to write to you to let you know that when we met, I was so consumed by self-consciousness and worries over how I came across to you that I barely remember you being there at all. I don’t know if I would even recognize you if we passed each other in the hallway. I have a vague image of someone with long hair wearing a black shirt and drinking a local IPA, but I am not convinced that was you. It could have been anyone. Would you like to meet up again and maybe this time, both of us will be present? I would like that.

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too much brown

now that I feel nothing except for a headache, I’ve decided that now might be an opportune moment to write. now that I’m numb and i’ve run out of time, I thought this moment is probably more opportune than any other moment that came before it.

i’ve been trying to distance myself from the heartache of another okcupid date. not even heartache. i’m not convinced my heart was all that invested in this person. I had not even considered whether or not that was true.

the hurt comes from just trying to be liked, regardless of who happens to be doing the liking. It could be Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini or Eva Braun or Tiffany Trump or Dick Cheney or Liz Cheney or… . i can barely even recall what I thought about you. you seemed nice. and authentic and curious. that is all I could have hoped for. But now, it’s looking like my fears might be realized. i don’t know if I’ll ever hear from you again.

And I’m trying to decode what could have possibly gone wrong.

Was it the fact that I am 10 pounds heavier than in my photos?

was it because I was not as fast and witty and engaging in-person as I am in text? Although I warned you, this would probably happen. the in-person me might take some time to catch up with the SMS version.

Was it my shirt? Maybe I was wearing too much brown.

Or sometimes people read things in my facial expressions that are completely divorced from however I am feeling at the moment. Maybe I looked too anguished or too pre-occupied, or too worried, or maybe my face is just responding to the right things at the right moment. But whatever it does, should not define who I am.

But tell that to this okcupid person. If you can find her. I have the feeling she’s vacated the premises.

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Frank Poole

I spent the day driving in circles, or in some cases, ovals. I couldn’t seem to get anywhere I needed to go, but it probably didn’t help that I had no idea where I needed to go today. Completely directionless, motivationless and passionless. Devoid.

Round and round I went. Over and over. It took me over an hour to find the river trailhead. And once I found it, I quickly realized that I needed insect repellent which was not in my possession and I just couldn’t handle it in the woods. I am such a lightweight.

So I thought, OK, skip the nature today. Maybe a tiny adventure to a new cannabis store in Uxbridge, MA. I waited in line for 1/2 hour and I was so proud of the quick decision I made to buy a disposable vape, cbd:thc 1:1. I was really excited about it. But I had no cash. And my debit card was nowhere to be found.

So I finally gave up. And headed back home.

Hoping I would feel different. Hoping for something unexpected. But it turns out, if you rarely leave your apartment, the likelihood of something unexpected occurring drops exponentially.

My world just keeps shrinking. Shrinking much faster than I could ever keep pace. And I float further and further away.

From connection .

From feeling and being authentic.

From feeling and being anything.

Drifting away. Floating away. Like the astronaut that HAL murdered in 2001. I think his name was Frank Poole. or Pool.

 

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falling short

i wish i could find a way to get people i would want to sit next to me on the train to sit next to me on the train instead of the people who sit next to me on the train.

I feel like a terrible person for saying that.

I should be open to everyone

And everything

But I fall short.

Again and again.

I fall short.

I wish I did not fall short.

I was placed upon this planet to live up to my potential as a human.

But so far, I am falling short.

How can someone who is so tall fall so short?

My legs are far too long for the seats on the very train where I want someone to sit next to me, whoever you are. I know you’re out there.

But what is the purpose of being tall if I am falling short?

I am thinking a lot about purpose these days, as I struggle with purposelessness.

Unless I can find purpose in searching for purpose.

If that is the case, then I guess I may be falling less short than I imagine.

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Hyper-Hyper Sensitive

It’s become an obsession. Maybe not an obsession but a hyper-hyper-sensitivity to the movement of time. I’m ultra aware of each second ticking by and each second I am doing nothing nothing positive or new. Nothing that I haven’t done before. And it’s getting me nowhere. Nowhere in a hurry. And the seconds whisk by and I am frozen. Even now, more seconds are ticking by. The problem is … the problem is that I sense I am running out of seconds. But instead of making the most of the seconds as they happen, I sit here petrified and frozen. Are typing these words getting me anywhere? There’s so much of the world I want to see, so many experiences I have yet to experience. But I just can’t get anywhere. And more seconds whisk by as I contemplate not getting anywhere.

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Am I Who I am?

I keep hearing all of these politicians say, “that’s not who we are” in relation to something odious said or done by the most odious of humans who sadly tragically odiously occupies the White House; or another horrific odious incident of white nationalism that he inspires. Or sometimes the politicians will say, “this is not who we are.” This or that is not who we are.

I wish I could say that all of the time. It would have come in handy as a reply to the job rejection email I received the other day which probably should not come as a surprise since I was not at my best during the interview. I’m not ever at my best at any interview. Especially a search committee on the phone interview.

I wish I could have written a reply to the search committee, something along the lines of “that person you interviewed… this is not who I am.” Perhaps this might lead them to think they have failed to reject me because the person they rejected is not who I am. And then they might decide to consider the person who is who I am.

And all of the rejections from dating which I never do because I am too anxious and self-conscious and make a terrible first impression. But if at the end of a bad date, instead of looking for clues as to whether there will be a 2nd date, I could simply let them know that the person they went on a date with was not who I am.

And the homeless people I walk past and do not acknowledge because I never carry around money and I’m in a rush and if I had more time I would direct them to a soup kitchen but instead I walk past them and try to convince myself that this is not who I am.

And the people at work who think I am eccentric because I have no idea how to start a conversation with them and they never start one with me, but if they did, they would see I am an actual dimensional person instead of this person who is not who I am.

So the real question is who is who I am?

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Piano teacher

Do you ever have one of those days where not being dead is like this rude inconvenience?

The kind of day where all of your hopes and pleas to the Universe for something to come through for you–something that might make you happy—all of your hopes and pleas are dashed, quite rudely, and you begin to wonder why you bothered surviving the crash that almost killed you 10 years ago?

Like what was the point, if there even was a point?

Like was there some sort of lesson I was supposed to have learned?

Like am I supposed to be grateful to be given a second chance…. a second chance to experience a despair and aloneness unlike anything I ever experienced before the crash? Is this something I should be grateful for?

I know, I am sounding very ungrateful. And it’s wrong of me to take it out on the Universe because I am the one who is responsible for every bad decision that put me in this predicament which the Universe is not helping me find my way out of.

But it’s not like it’s the Universe’s fault.

It’s my fault for expecting the Universe to be there for me at my every beck and call.

It all points to the same realization. Some people are good at living. Others are not very good at it. It’s like when I asked my piano teacher if she ever had to tell any of her students to give up piano because they just were not getting anywhere with it. And she said, yes, she has had to tell people a couple of times. And I said, “You will tell me if I reach that point, won’t you?” She said she would, but then said I’m not there …  yet.

Some people are not cut out to play piano or tennis or basketball or knit or cook or clean or drive or park or navigate or do math or love, or in my case, live. I know I’m not very good at it, but maybe there is a teacher out there who might offer a different opinion.

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something good

I’m a nervous wreck today. I think the Mueller testimonies really got to me in not very good ways. So very very depressing. It looks like Trump and evil have prevailed. I’m frazzled by the whole experience. People in this country are so stupid and they might overlook all of harm he is doing on so many levels and he might win again. And things might slide downhill even further.

Or maybe not. Let’s try to be optimistic.

Why am I taking it so personally?

Because he is the epitome of what I dislike most about humans.

But still, I should be able to work past that, right?

I’m just not ready.

What else?

I have less than a week to decide if I am going to keep my apartment in Providence or move closer to my job in Boston which may not exist in a couple of months. And each time I look at apartments on Craigslist, my eyes glaze over and it feels impossible to make any decision at all. Impossible.

I just wish things were easier for me. Everything is this humongous struggle and it’s exhausting. I’m depleted.

When will something good happen?

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kindnesses

it’s only happened one time before. And this time, just as the last time, I did not know quite how to respond. To someone noticing my fracture boot on my left foot and offering me their seat on the train. Each time I was so moved by the offer. So moved that I had to decline because I thought each of these people (who happened to be women) deserved the seat far more than I. Because I wonder if I would have done the same if the boot were on the other foot. I mean the other foot of the other person. Would I have been aware enough and compassionate enough? I cannot say yes, with any certainty or no with any certainty.

And I can’t say with any certainty that declining the 2 kind offers and allowing the 2 women to stay in their seats was an act of compassion, unworthiness, or just not being prepared to accept kindness.

I have to figure out what to do about that.

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Lyft talk

With this foot fracture, I am not supposed to walk to and from the train for my commute each workday morning. So I’ve been relying upon Lyft. This morning’s Lyft driver was very friendly and chatty. But he had a thick accent I could not identify and I was also not wearing my hearing aids. So I had no idea what he was talking about, but it had something to do with drinking. He was miming drinking and I could not figure out why. It didn’t seem like he was talking about himself. And I am not sure he was even talking about alcohol. So my understanding was that someone was drinking something. From a bottle. Not a glass or a straw. I guess it could have been a can. Or a carton. And now I’ll never find out.

 

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moon landing

My mother just called me. She is not yet 90, but almost. I wasn’t really in the mood to talk and I tried to talk myself out of not wanting to talk, but I think it showed. Maybe I’m just out of practice. Not speaking for over 2 days makes it inconceivable to imagine speaking ever again. Maybe some day I will speak, but I worry that by the time that happens,  I will have forgotten the words. And if I remember even a few of them, I won’t know which ones to use first. I won’t know how to prioritize. It could be a real problem.

There was a pause in the conversation. And for some reason I found enough words to complete a sentence, a question rather to my mother. Asking her if she had watched any of the TV shows about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And she had. She wondered why the the project (as she called it) came to an end and what happened to all of the people who worked on it. I said, well, I guess they ran out of money. Nobody has money any more.

I know I was projecting my own financial crisis onto the world of space exploration. It’s a very narrow perspective. But it was the best I could offer.

And my mom asked me if I remembered how she went out and bought all of these stamps commemorating the moon landing. Which of course I could not. I said, “Mom, I was 11.” Which was less a statement about my memory as much as a memory about me at 11 just not really paying close attention to stamps or the price of stamps. She was collecting these stamps from all over the world and she had to stop because she was running out of money. It’s always about money.

Then she told me about my oldest sister who had just moved to the area and was renting an apartment for her and her dog and she wanted to stay there a year but that the landlord just told her that he would not be renewing the lease and that she had to leave when it ends in month or so because the dog is creating a disturbance. And now she was looking for a house, but can’t find anything decent that’s affordable and she’s going to try to rent a house instead.

And I thought, gosh, shouldn’t my sister who is 64 and a doctor have done a better job of planning her relocation? It seemed odd that she didn’t see consider all of these potential issues. But I didn’t say anything.

Even if I was well-practiced in saying things, I probably would still have not known what to say.

And then my mom said “you should call your sister.” And my body tightened up. The only thing I could articulate was “mom, you shouldn’t tell me when to call her. I’ll call her but I don’t need to be told.” And of course I instantly regretted that terse response. I am such a jerk. And she said, “well, nobody in this family calls each other.”

And I said, ‘well, you can’t force it.”

I’m not sure what happened after that.

So now there’s the guilt. But I can’t myself to do anything about it.

I think this might be one of the family curses. We’re all smothered by loneliness, but incapable of responding to each other in healthy meaningful  effectual ways. We are exactly the wrong people to rely upon.

I see my mother and my sisters, both of them, and I feel lonelier than ever.

 

 

 

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