Wednesday, June 19, 2002

escaped and rotting

I am looking out my window now, listening to Bob Marley's Kaya, and can see the vertical concrete strips that line the exterior of the building right next to ours turn white. They have been ash gray all day, along with the sky above them, in fact, they've been gray because of the grayness of the sky above them. I have been holed up inside my room, inside this silly pseudo frat-house, finishing High Fidelity, listening to the roar of buses down University Avenue, wheels moving over wet streets, making that whoosing splashing noise, and now I just hear the buses - the splashing noise has subsided, has left with the dark clouds and rainy weather, moving like Mary Poppins wherever the wind takes it, bringing that wet street traffic noise to some new town, to a new set of people, maybe even to the farmers that surround this little oasis of dense living in this, the Dairy State, in this month of June, National Dairy Month, but probably not, since the noise is the product of dense living - all these famers I'm dreaming of probably don't have Metro buses running down their street. But, they too probably have fun rain noises that amuse them when they are holed up in their homes on rainy days.


In Bruce Springsteen songs, you can either stay and rot, or you can escape and burn. That's OK; he's a songwriter, after all, and he needs simple choices like that in his songs. But nobody ever writes about how it is possible to escape and rot--how you can leave the suburbs for the city but end up living a limp suburban life anyway. That's what happened to me; that's what happens to most people. (136)

While most of the book was just the sort of easy trash that is meant for bored days to occupy your time (but not neccesarily your attention) there were the occasional glimmers of wisdom in the text, where my attention was caught and I ratified the thought with a yes-yes, that is the stuff, the scooby snack I was looking for. Yumm yumm, where's a pen to star this. If I star it, if I just star it, then it means more, the world does, it is made just a slight bit more sensible, if I just keep on starring these things then eventually the puzzle will come together, it'll all make sense. This star with this star and put that one here, right in the hole that looks a Keith Haring figure, and then there will be an a-ha, and the earth will heave a sigh that shakes everything into place, into peace.

And hell, perhaps, you didn't see that that quote was about Springsteen, that alone makes it starworthy. Perhaps, when I am in a fullfilled mood, where I feel like I am living life to the fullest, that I am doing meaningful things and surrounding myself with shimmering people, then I will think that that quote is a load of hogwash. But right now, it could not hit any closer to home - they are the words I am wishing I had the smarts to write instead of writing about sunshine, buses and the building outside my window. They are the words that express all too clearly why I am writing about such banal things - that I am living a dull, suburban life even though that is what I was running from, it is why I did not want to spend my summer at home in Alexandria, VA. I thought that if I could just move someplace totally random, someplace hip, where I knew no one, then I would have my own version of the expat experience, leaving the culture of the East Coast for something that I hoped would be entirely different, a return to a place that is closer to the land, closer to Earth, people kinder and gentler, happy people even. And they are happy people, they are the nicest looking people I have seen in any city - they just project friendliness in the same way that people in the city I was fleeing beemed something close to the opposite of that. The only caveat is that I don't know any of these people, not one, save for the ag boys, who I have very stinted, awkward conversations with in the kitchen.

Usually, I am a person with no regrets. Honestly. But right now, I am sort of regretting- okay let's get rid off all these modifying terms to make it sound gentler, good-bye to "sort of" and hello to a much more honest "I am regretting" that I quit working at PIRG since now I don't even have Bonnie here to play with during the day. And actually, I don't even have her to play with during this week. She is on a camping trip with PIRG until late Thursday night, and while I am not really that bored, I have been managing to entertain myself by reading, listening to public radio, and masturbating way too much - the thing is I just really am not getting out of the house now that we have internet in our room. Before I would at least leave the house for a couple of hours each day to go use the internet at the library. Yesterday, I left the house for probably ten minutes, and that was to just go to the sub shop.

If I had a job, I would feel far less pathatic, methinks. However, getting a job in Madison is proving to be extremely difficult. My only prospect as of right now is the University Bookstore, which is going to let me know by the end of the week whether I got the job or not. So readers, keep your fingers crossed with me, so that that way you can look forward to at least somewhat more interesting entries. My one back-up plan for cash is no longer an option as I mentioned in my last entry. I was going to become a plasma donor and make a whopping forty bucks a week, but after going through like an hour of tests and peeing in cups and paperwork and hearing how scary the actual process of giving plasma is (they take out like a water bottle's worth of plasma twice a week), I was deemed to be unable to donate because of the acne medication I am on. So my life may get even more boring, since I will soon run out of cash, and there may even less trips out of the house.

After I finish writing this, I am going to go down to Wily St Co-op with the hopes of seeing LoverBoy and apply to volunteer at the co-op since that will at least get me out of the house occasionally and will help alleviate the feeling I now have, where I think that I am wasting my time by doing absolutley nothing. I am eager, able-bodied, and willing - give my hands something to do - they will do it. I want to build houses and monuments and amazing things that will make people marvel and will give me a sense of accomplishment, will make me part of something, instead of some floating body on the second floor of this Babcock house, holed up in my room with the door closed, the radio on, and doing anything to occupy my time - No, I want to be doing something with this time, goddamnit, something with you even.

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