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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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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16 questions

What happened to me?

Where did I go wrong?

How did I come to this place that I feared I might end up ever since I can remember?

What can I do to make it right?

When did this start?

What can I do to change me?

Why am I always not going where I need to be?

Why do I always expect someone or something to come to my rescue?

How can I wind back the clock and start over again?

Is it too late?

Is it not late enough?

Will I be this way forever?

How do I get out of this situation?

Is that even possible?

Is it really worth it?

What’s the use?

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I can’t seem to get going, to get out of this little box that contains and constricts me. I try rousing myself out of ennui. Swimming. Piano practice. Napping. Eating. Attempting to write. I can’t even come up with a good text. Everything is so bottled up. I know that only I can uplift myself out of this ennui. But I am doing a terrible job of it. It’s a bit scary. Unsettling. But I feel settled into it. So unsettling has become settling. And that is the scariest thing of all.

The world outside my box feels impossible to reach. This can’t stay this way, can it? It can’t. Something has to shift. But I need help. I can’t do it on my own. I feel so powerless and … unsettled.

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This is the day after I fractured my foot while climbing down the stairs as I exited the mall after buying a shirt that I will now have to return because it was 1 size too large. This is a mystery. I keep gaining all of this weight, but my clothes sizes are getting smaller and smaller. How is that even possible?

But I was not aware of this as I descended the stairs, somehow landing on the side of my foot on the very last stair and I could immediately tell that something serious had happened. And now I have to go back to the mall to return the shirt even though I was told by the urgent care doctor to stay off my feet as much as possible.

I hope I have learned my lesson. I have so much learning to do. So many things I should have learned at this point in this life this go-round. But who has time to learn anything anymore?

I just have to figure out a way to return this shirt?


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A coincidence

“Do you think that if a person (not anyone I would know) is consumed by thoughts of dying and trying to calculate how many days would pass before anyone notices… do you think that’s a sign of depression?” I asked my therapist.

She said if the person who is thinking such thoughts is not dead, then it might be a sign of depression. If that person is dead, then such thoughts definitely are not depression.

And then I asked, “Is it possible that the person who is not dead might die as a consequence of those kinds of thoughts?”

“In rare instances,” she said. “Most of the time it’s considered coincidental.”

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Valentine’s Day

Roses are wood

Violets are stone

I wish I could save you

From dying alone

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Fool haiku

Such a fool I am.

I don’t want to be a fool.

But I guess I am

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She said, “That’s quite a rut you are in.”

I said, “Thank you. I made it myself. I guess ‘make’ is probably the wrong word. I dug it myself makes a lot more sense. But actually I was hoping you would not even notice it was there.”

She sat there, in the armchair. Staring back at me. Impossible to read.

I didn’t know what to say. “I don’t what to say,” I said.

She continued staring. Or gazing. I guess it was gazing. Gazing continuously for a moment that lasted forever. It was a moment that passed and it made me sad that I would never get it back. It was gone. Gone for good.

She finally said “Why do you look so sad?”

That made me feel so self-conscious. “You’re making me feel so self-conscious,” I said.

She looked away, downward towards the carpet. And she said, “I think I’m beginning to feel self-conscious, too.”

It’s kind of like we’re out on a date, I suggested.

“But didn’t you just tell me you’ve never been out on a date? How would you know?”

I had to think about this. But for some reason, I was having a hard time thinking. And an even harder time pretending I knew how to think. Something about it felt disingenuous. Well maybe not disingenuous. But it didn’t feel authentic. And that made me feel inauthentic.

Finally I said, “I didn’t mean to imply that I’ve never been on a date. But I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date with you.”

She didn’t say anything.

“Unless this is a date,” I added. “Is this a date? Are we out on a date?”

She looked like she was about to answer. But then I was compelled to interrupt. “I guess we are not out of a date. But all of these “is this a date?” “Is this not a date?” questions seem so antiquated, don’t you think?”

“Outdated?” She asked.

“Yes, it seems like we are not out on a date. But it does seem like we are a little outdated.”

And then I said, “I don’t mean that you are outdated. I only meant that we are outdated. But then again how would I know since I’ve never been out on a date?”

“You know more than you think you know,” she said.

“Well, at least that’s reassuring,” I replied. Because it was.


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I’m not sure what the deal is with the past 2 weeks, but I have been in the foulest foulest mood. Irritated at myself. Irritated at people, places and things that are not myself. I just want everything to move as far away from me as possible. Just a few minutes ago, while waiting for the train, somebody stopped to ask me if this was the line for the train to Providence. But I could not hear him very well. Because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids. Because I was avoiding hearing people. Which can be problematic when I do want to hear people. But I had no idea if I wanted to hear this person or not. At first, I thought he was going to ask me for money so I just shook my head ‘no.’ Then I actually did hear him ask someone else if it was the Providence train. But instead of feeling bad for not helping a stranger,  I thought, that’s presumptuous. Don’t you think it’s presumptuous for a stranger to  presume you can hear them or understand their language?  Muttered English is an entirely different language than spoken English.

And then there’s me. I keep dropping things. And then muttering “fuck!” to myself. If someone made a recording of me in my apartment these days, that would probably be the only word they would hear me utter.

I’m so glad you’re not around to hear it. I hope this is not really me.

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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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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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