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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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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