Intentional community

This woman named Fatima contacted me about a possible apartment share. I’m not sure how she found me. Oh yes, it was probably Craigslist. The apartment was in  In Arlington. Everything is in Arlington. So I left the forest and drove to Arlington to meet her and her room-mate Paul who actually was the first occupant of this apartment… of which he modeled on an “intentional community.” When I first arrived, Paul was not there and I was chatting with Fatima, who seemed nice enough, as they say. But then Paul arrived and he was chatting with Fatima and his daughter Yuni or Yooni. And I was listening and after about 10 minutes wondered if Paul would ever speak to me. Finally, out of nowhere, he asked me to describe my “eating style.” I pretended like I knew what he was talking about before I eventually realized he was asking me about my diet. And I guess he was asking because he is a vegan and Yuni or Yooni has only eaten macrobiotic foods since she was in the womb, and was highly sensitive. So they use separate plates and silverware and pots and pans, which makes sense. I said I did not really have a style, but if I did, I would probably be a pescatarian. I think that may have been the wrong answer.

Then Paul asked me what I could only label as a trick question. He said, if I were to get up in the middle of the night to walk from my room to the bathroom, would I wear slippers or go barefoot. I thought about this very carefully because I knew there was a correct answer. I just needed to find it. But then I said, “neither.” and he gave me one of those quizzical looks, the kind of look that founders of an intentional communities might give you. So I explained that I would probably be wearing socks because my feet get cold at night. But this was the wrong answer because socks are more likely to spread dust around than slippers, or something like that. And I don’t think he understood why I would have cold feet. even in the summer. It’s something I’ve never understood either.

At that moment it occurred to me that maybe I was not an ideal fit for an intentional community. I mean,  I can’t think of one thing I’ve ever done in my life that was actually intentional. I live in a world of happenstance. Perhaps I should found a happenstancial community. I bet there would be a lot of interest.

 

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Hovering

Have you ever noticed that when you take CBD oil, you get this floaty feeling? Sort of a feeling that you have already died, and now you are ghost hovering the body you once inhabited. Sort of there and not there. I do think about this a lot. That I may already be dead, but there’s a ghost that is trying to correct my many past mistakes and transgressions. I can’t tell if it’s a Holy Ghost or even a friendly one.

*I just discovered that the auto-correct on my ipad insisted on capitalizing Holy Ghost. It just did it again.

****however. Auto-correct does not have any issues with hungry ghost. I’m sure there must be a reason for this.

But what I’m trying to describe is how CBD definitely does not get me high,, and it’s best it gives me a ghostly floating feeling with a calm acceptance that my life does not seem to be going anywhere. And it can probably accept that I will never leave my apartment, or never speak again, or never feel desire, nor ever feel not lonely. CBD just sort of takes the edge off.

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bless you

I’ve been sneezing all day. Like every 10 minutes. Precisely. on the clock. But then I turn on cable trump news and I get sucked into it. And I forget about sneezing. Although I continue to sneeze. I’m just not as conscious of it. And I am grateful for these days where I do not have pneumonia. So grateful. But I sneeze a lot at work and since I work in an open office, there’s no hiding it. Once in a while someone will call out “Bless you!” which is always a surprising because somehow I’ve never connected office work with any higher power who could bestow such a blessing. I just read that “bless you” may have originated in Rome during a time of bubonic plague… and I guess the plague caused a lot of sneezing. I never knew that. Did you?  Pope Gregory suggested that a tiny prayer after a sneeze would protect that person from death. So the next time I sneeze at work, in a few hours, and someone says “bless you!” I will send them a thank you note for protecting me from death. Maybe I could add “I hope I did not put you out of your way. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

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concrete

Today’s the day. The anniversary. 3 years. 3 years in exile. trying to remain hopeful, but so far i don’t see any concrete signs.  i see lots of concrete but none of it speaks to me. But really, how much longer do I have to live this way. I want to live a long long time. but not like this. some humans are not built to be alone.

If I could just see a flicker of hope for better things ahead. i don’t even care if it’s a false hope. why nitpick?

 

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I forgotten

The thought of you on another train on Christmas Day in 2018. A solitary resident of the Quiet Car. But it was never your intent to be so quiet. It was never your intent to be alone. Never your intent to fear connecting while at the same time yearning for it. What happened? How did you become the way you are? How did you reach this place? What trickery of the universe brought you here?

You’re not sure why you are going to New York. To reawaken something dormant perhaps. To shake up your infrastructure. Possibly. For someone apprehensive to leave the cocoon, it’s strange that this is where you are going. Or maybe New York is the perfect place. So many others living in so many other cocoons

You carry this hopelessness on your back. A weight you are trying to shed and you’re not quite sure how you will shed it. It needs shedding, doesn’t it? Hopelessness. If you were not alone you might feel differently. Or you would have other things to think about. Anything would be welcome. when was the last time that happened? Probably a month ago. In Chicago. When was the last time you actually laughed? It must have been in Chicago, too.

You worry way too much. Oh how you worry! Especially about being forgotten. Everybody you know is preoccupied with something or other. How much do they think about your existence? There may be 1 or 2. You may be thought of nostalgically. Reminding people of a time and a place that reminded them of you or that you reminded them about. But that time and that place are not you. That’s the big fear. That you will be completely forgotten until it’s too late.

Gosh you wish you could think about something else. You wish someone would write something else about you. But that will probably require a little research. Because you’re difficult to track down. Predictable but unfindable.

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Crumbs

Sometimes I feel like my neediness will swallow the world and there will be nothing left but shadows of crumbs. And then my neediness will sweep those up, too.

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Freezing

It was freezing today. Not outside. But inside. I couldn’t do anything. I started out with good intentions. Well maybe not that good, but definitely intentions. I thought I would venture out to one of the 2 new ‘recreational’ marijuana stores that just opened in Massachusetts. I had what I thought was a simple goal of buying CBD/THC oil and THC pain cream, but neither of the stores had any in stock. Or I would not know for certain if they had it in stock without waiting in line for 2 hours since no one answers their phones. I then spent 3 hours at my computer researching the differences between CBD and terpenes and if they were better in combo. I realized that I really needed to find an authority on this, someone other than a stoner 20 year old working the cash register. So my quest for a store that was not a smoke shop took another 1 or so of research before I was overcome by a heavy fatigue. And took an hour and half nap.

Then I decided I really needed to step out of my head rather than work on planning a Montreal trip, especially since I could not even decide which travel guide to buy or where I should buy it. I still don’t know.

I ended up going to the movies, The Favourite, which I did not understand at all.  even though my hearing aids amplify the sound more than adequately, for some reason British accents sound all blurry. This is the 2nd movie in 2 weeks where this has happened, the other a Harry Potter spin-off with British actors.  I wonder what can be done about this. My hearing. Not the Brits. I think actors should be able to find work regardless of their accents. Don’t you?

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Vanishing point

I was just thinking about the vanishing point and how I may have stumbled beyond it. And it’s scary to think of how resigned I am becoming to that fate. It’s beyond my control. I can’t get a handle on it. My world I once inhabited is vanishing further and further away and I seem to not be following it. I’ve lost sight of it actually. I’m not sure how I am supposed to feel about this. Acceptance could be an option, if it didn’t feel like death. Death could be an option if I could accept surrender. Surrender could be an option if I could accept defeat. Defeat could be an option if I could accept surrender. So many many things to accept or not accept. But I’ve lost sight of all of them. I guess that explains why I watch so much TV.

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Havana night

On the train home from the holiday party (the theme was “Havana Night”) at work where I endured and apparently survived an hour and a half of awkward meandering around people I see everyday but have never spoken to and I don’t know their names but the music was so blaring that even when I did attempt conversation, I could not hear anything anyway and I’m sure they could not hear me (so I guess I found something I have in common with them) and deep fried appetizers that immediately made feel nauseous, thus defeating my strategy to drink as much alcohol as my body could handle and the only drink I could handle was ginger ale but all of those drinks were successful in leading me to several bathrooms breaks, although the layout of the bathroom was a little too open for me to take a nap in and now on this train, I am beginning to stop visibly shaking.

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3

3 years.

3 years of what?

3 years of something.

3 years of knowing less and less than I did the previous 3 years

Although aging seems to be objectively speaking undeniable

But it’s all a blur. A meandering, mercurial blur.

Or maybe millions and millions of micromoments of blur that somehow accumulated to form 3 years.

And what have I to show for it?

A new driver’s license in a new state I cannot imaging living in.

3 years of living in such a state.

I’m trying to think of all of things that I could have made happen in 3 years,  but chose not to, even when they could have been in my self-interest.

3 years of living in a self I am really not interested in knowing.

3 years of time I could have spent with you instead.

but how would you ever know that?

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I feel like I owe the world an apology. I know I am supposed to stop apologizing but I am trying to figure out how to handle the shame and embarrassment I feel over things I have said or done to people I love and admire. 2 of them in particular. E and N., neither of whom have responded to my recent emails. And it pains me. It even hurts to think about it. What could I say to remedy the situation?

Dear E.

It was wrong of me to not write to you in months, or communicate beyond Likes and Hearts. And then to reappear to tell her that my niece will be working in NYC this summer and is looking for a sublet and if E should have a vacancy in her basement apartment and would like rent coming in, I offered to connect her with my niece. It’s so embarrassing to reappear like that, out of nowhere. And then to ask for a favor. But it was more of an inquiry and an offer than a favor, wasn’t it? Because the rent from my niece could help pay E’s bills. Still it felt like a favor. And I’m so embarrassed about that.

And then my email continued with attempts at witty, self-effacing banter. But I added that I hoped that things were getting resolved or were less stressful with her divorce. Maybe that was the wrong thing to say. The last time I spoke to you was almost a year ago. Back then she were looking for a divorce lawyer. But maybe the divorce is not happening. Maybe it was totally inappropriate for me to mention it. Maybe I’ve become an acquaintance to you, and who would want an acquaintance to mention things that a mere acquaintance has no place asking. I wanted to express concern. It would have felt strange not to acknowledge that. But maybe I overstepped my bounds. It’s a big overstep to take when one resurfaces from nowhere, as I have done. What kind of friend is that?

Sigh.

Dear N

I am confused about my I have not heard from you in over a week when in the past you respond to my messages almost immediately. Was it because I asked you to read a story I had written that was not very good? Was it because I was not completely suppressing the infatuation I am not letting myself feel for you which I am convinced would make you feel uncomfortable? Was it because I asked if you could send me suggestions for zines and publications where I could send my writing? Did you think I was using you? Did you notice a leakage in my suppression container? Really, I hope you would not feel like I would ever act upon it.

If either E or N would respond, my world would be greatly profoundly uplifted. But without hearing from you, I am bereft. Embarrassed and bereft.

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Gingko Biloba

I saw this guy walking outside the train station, gazing down at the sidewalk. Murmuring (to himself, I think), “Fuck! Fuck! God dammit! Fuck! Fucking shit! Fuck!” I wanted to ask what was troubling him. But I was a little reluctant to approach. So I followed him for several blocks, through the park, past the discount shoe store, past the Panera, past the fake Chinese restaurant, past the mall, down the stairs outside the mall and finally beneath the highway underpass, where he turned around and said, “Don’t worry. It’s not your fault.”

At first, I was so immensely relieved, I can’t even describe it. And then I thought, “Gosh, do I really across as someone who worries? I hope I don’t look that worried.”

And then I continued following as he walked several blocks ahead, along the river, past the old foundry that was now a condo development, through the construction zone, until we reached the parking lot of the IHOP where he turned around again and said “Excuse me. Excuse me, but would you happen to know anything about the universe? There’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask it.”

I said “I personally don’t know the Universe all that well, but one of my cousins is fairly close with it. She lives in Iowa. I can call her now, if you like.”

He said he appreciated the offer but that he preferred to speak to the universe directly. And I said, “Totally understandable. If I didn’t have a cousin, I would probably feel the same. Do you mind if I ask what kind of question you would like to ask?”

He said, yes, he would mind. Then he said, no, he wouldn’t mind. If only he knew how to put his question into words.

I told him that my cousin always says that if you ever have the opportunity to speak to the universe, you had better watch every word you say.

“Well, I’m not sure how to word this, but I’d like to know what the universe has in store for me. Like what are its intentions? Because things have not exactly been going my way and I wonder if it’s something I’m doing wrong or if there’s some reason behind all of this.  Maybe that’s too generic a question.”

I said, “That doesn’t sound generic to me, but I think my cousin would be a great person to ask because she happens to work as a psychic and she might have training in this sort of connecting with the universe sort of thing.”

He scratched his left ear which I took to be a sign of interest.

“No, wait…. I’m sorry!” I said. “Now that I think about it, she might not be the best person to ask because she’s more of an animal psychic. Mainly farm animals. Goats, cows, sheep, ponies, roosters and hens. But she might know somebody who might know somebody who might know the universe.”

He said, “Hmmmmm … I have to think about this.” And then he walked on.

I followed him for another few blocks, into the Walgreens, past the skincare and the antacids, through the grocery aisles, into the cereal section, where I found him scanning the shelves. I interjected, “It’s a pretty terrible selection, isn’t it?” He said it didn’t matter because he wasn’t really sure why he was there in the first place. He had plenty of cereal at home. “More than enough,” he added.

Suddenly he broke down into tears and scrunched down onto the carpet. First a stifled weeping, and gradually volcanic eruptions of tears. I knew I had to do something.  At least make an attempt. At least a gesture. But I thought if I called too much attention to his weeping, that might embarrass him. And then I would feel embarrassed. That was way too risky for me.

So I said, “If you need me, I’ll be in the vitamins and supplements section.”  He probably didn’t hear me, I thought as I walked away, scanning the shelves for gingko biloba. I could not find the brand I was looking for, or maybe it was there, but perhaps I had mis-remembered the name. I think it was Norwegian. I was trying to think of the person who recommended this particular brand to me. It might have been the nutritionist at my allergist’s office, or maybe this woman I knew 7 years ago. She seemed to know a lot about naturopathic medicine. And I found out she knew a lot about a lot of things during our 45 minutes together,  before she ghosted me and disappeared into oblivion. Which was really disappointing to me at the time, until I realized maybe it was I who was the ghost. I always feel like a ghost around new people and maybe I’m not even aware that I have been ghosting people all along. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to ghost tours. There’s always the hope that the people I have ghosted will be on the tour and maybe they will find me and then I can apologize for abandoning them. But I often wonder about the woman I may have ghosted 7 years ago. And she never even game me her name. But I wondered if there was really any difference between brand name and generic, The generic was probably just as good as anything else. For some reason, I never quite trusted generics. Which was really dumb because that’s all I could actually afford. I don’t know how I became someone like this. Someone who lives beyond their means and then complains about being broke all of the time. It reminded me of that Traffic song, The Low Spark of something or other, was the title.

The percentage you’re paying is too high-priced and you’re living beyond all your means. And the man in the suit has just bought a new car from the profit he made on your dreams

This was so odd. How could I remember something like that, out of the blue, and never anything really useful? I could even hear the synthesizer solo playing in my head. Every note of it. I think it was a synthesizer. Maybe it was an organ. Or a guitar with some sort of fuzz amplifier. Maybe the song didn’t even have a solo and it’s my memory that is the fuzz amplifier. Should I be worried about this? I guess I should be worried.

Now I’m really worried,

So overcome by worry that I had nearly forgotten about the new friend I had abandoned gosh, I don’t know how long ago.  I promised him I would return. But then again, technically speaking, I had not promised him anything, All I said was, “if you need me.” I guess I would have liked to feel needed. But it felt like a promise. Another promise. So many promises I never fulfilled. Yet I always mean well, I told myself. I liked to think I always have good intentions, which is almost a consolation. But how can I transform my intentions into actions? There must be a way. There must be a way I can learn to do that, if it isn’t too late.

Eventually I found my way back to the cereal section. All of the boxes were still in place. But my friend was nowhere in sight.

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A reaction

Why is it so much easier to react to things than to be the one who causes a reaction? If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that question, I would be a very rich person indeed. And if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what that question actually meant, I could build an empire. An empire of what? Another question that may have some value in asking.

Why is it so scary to sleep alone night after night? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I’ve never gotten used to it? Also very valid questions. But why? Years and years of sleep deprivation because of that dread of the moment of climbing onto the mattress unaccompanied by an adult. Even an adult canine. How can I explain such fear? And who to explain it to? If I had a nickel for….

If I am condemned to a life of sleeping alone, maybe it would be easier to replace the mattress for a trampoline. I’m willing to give it a try. I mean what’s the alternative? Not sleeping on (or in) a trampoline? I’d rather not contemplate that right now. If I do contemplate it, that inevitably brings up my fears of sleeping on a trampoline alone. some might say I am over-reacting.

These are just a couple of the things you may notice me reacting to. In fact those may be the only things you notice me reacting to. I guess I am reactive, but within a very narrow range of alone or not alone… asleep or awake…. or trampoline or mattress. In case you are thinking surely there must be something more going on with this person, I am afraid I may be a real disappointment. What you see is what you get.

I think I’ve just accidentally written my new OKCupid profile.

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Right to life

Thoughts after the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation:

Things are really catching up with me and I’m not sure if I can adapt to them. At my workplace, there was a 401(k) meeting and the 401(k) consultants or whatever they are called (advisors?) Maybe? Whatever they were, they were advising us to deduct 15% of every paycheck to the retirement fund. And whatever I am doing, I am doing it wrong because with each paycheck, I am lucky if I even have $1 left before the next paycheck. And I am not spending any money at all on anything enjoyable.

Although paying for my blog to be ad-free is something that might be a luxury item. If there is anyone out there reading this, I hope s/he appreciates that.

And the advisors kept talking about the typical age for retirement. Which set me off into further panic. I have barely anything saved. Selling my digital piano will not help. What will I do? Is running out of money a good enough rationale for assisted suicide? Maybe I should be saving up for that.

Although the Supreme Court will probably make sure that assisted suicide is illegal. All of these right wing right-to-lifers who make life as difficult as possible for the people who really struggle just being alive. What purpose do we serve in their grand scheme? How would my death impact any of them? It wouldn’t even be a minor inconvenience.

But this is where my mind goes after a 401(k) workshop. I guess it’s better to know sooner rather than later.

But I think one can have a better quality of life if one lives a life of denial.

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This chair

I’m doing a terrible job of making time stand still. And I’m not quite sure what to do about that. It’s a real problem. A real problem. I guess this is what happens to people. People like me. People who wait and wait and wait for something to shift. People who wait for a better time. Who keep waiting and are never satisfied so that this better time never comes. And then they freak out they’ve let so much time pass.

And now look at them. What have they learned in all of this time?

Some of them have learned avoidant behavior. Denying that time exists. Because if there is no time, there is no past or future. Which might lead one to think there is a present. But people who have learned avoidant behavior avoid the present as much as possible because it is too uncomfortable. Much like the chair I am sitting in. This chair does not really care about how comfortable it is to the person who is sitting. This chair does not not care. Maybe this chair is afraid that it cares too much. It cares so much about the ones who are sitting in it that it forgets why it is there in the first place.

 

 

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