Thursday, July 4, 2002

4th of July

I almost didn't want to update, since it is now 9:00 and the fireworks will soon be starting and all socially healthy people are very obviously not sitting in front of a computer by themselves on the 4th of July - they are out with family and friends doing fun things, enjoying each others company, drinking beer, eating bar-b-que food, and for a day, enjoying concepts of the State, knowing that we are all doing something wonderful, and then watching together with a large mass of people, advanced pyrotechnics, and feeling like a child with hundreds, thousands, millions of other people.

And well, I am not doing that, because sadly, I have no family or friends here in Madison, Wisconsin. I really more than anything would like to be at home in Alexandria right now. I have wished this so many times today - just click my heels, and everything will be all right - I really want to be with my family on this Independence Day. I want to feel loved, damnit. Someone hug me, ask me about life, tell me a funny thing that just happened to you. Give me the most banal chatter you can come up with, and I will gobble it up, treasure it like gold right now. I am living in Wisconsin with Bonnie, but that is a little deceptive, because that would give the impression that I did not spend 90% of my time here by myself. Bonnie is off with PIRG on some retreat for the weekend, and I am here alone in Babcock House. The parking lot is cleared out except for Bonnie's car, which I have the keys to. I could conceivably go somewhere, and do something, but as has been stated, I really have no friends here. I hang out with the PIRGers, who I know through Bonnie, and who are all camping with her on this retreat that has left me alone by myself on what is usually my favorite holiday.

I was going to go see a double feature tonight of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon at the Majestic Theater when I was in a more joyous mood than I am right now, and I thought noone else would be loserish enough to go watch four hours of movies on the night of the 4th of July, but how wrong I was, the place was packed, and tickets were no longer available. I think that was the point at which today became a I'm-a-big-fat-loser Day. And don't pretend you don't know what I am talking about. Prior to that, I had spent the day re-reading "Song of Myself," thinking that that would be a wonderful way to celebrate this wonderful day. And it was, it was beyond lovely, and perhaps that is another culprit in this moody day. Whitman elevated my mood, made me ecstatic for life, made me far more emotional than I normally would have been. I spent a long time re-memorizing this section I really love and memorized fifteen more lines, and felt so accomplished and felt the poetry even more since I could recite it without looking at the book, and really I was pretty damn emotional at this point, but in a totally good way, alternately yelling and then softly intoning this one stanza over and over:

To walk up my stoop is unaccountable . . . I pause to consider if it really be,
That I eat and drink is spectacle enough for the great authors and schools,
A morning-glory at my window satisfies more than the metaphysics of books.

And so, when I was not able to go see old black and white movies on a big screen, my emotional state became progressively more melancholy. I came home, sunk into my couch, tried reading some in front of our fan, fell asleep, too sad to even concentrate on reading, and was lullabied to sleep by the sound of the fan, by airplane engines next to my head, so so soothing, and I flew to places where I had people to be with, to Alexandria. I woke up and really wanted to call my mom, to just say hi, but I knew that I shouldn't - that she would be worried about me because I would not be able to pull off sounding happy and might have even told her that I wasn't doing anything today, was sitting at home by myself on the 4th of July. And she would have sighed motherly, very worried that I should just come home for the rest of the summer if things aren't working out in Madison. And they are, or at least, I am finding ways to occupy my nights. My days are just spent sleeping off those nights, half-assed searches for jobs, and too much time on this computer, this internet, doing all jack shit. Maybe I wanted to hear her say that, maybe that's why I wanted to call, to know that someone wanted to spend time with me today. But, I couldn't. For some reason, I like to paint a more together picture of myself for my mom, since I think she already worries too much about me sometimes.

And, since it is the fourth and all, and I am not about to nix out this day's customary beer just because I have no one to celebrate with. I just started drinking a Harp's beer. Not even a fucking domestic one. What the hell is up with this 4th? The rest of the night looks fairly unpromising. I could go to the Rainbow Room by myself, where I am sure I could find people to talk to, maybe even someone to have sex with, but that involves me walking all the way there by myself, the nearly two miles, down State Street, past happy groups of people, all doing stuff together like the good, normal people of the world tend to do. And so, even that does not seem like a realistic option, even though Bonnie and Rebecca encouraged me to do that this morning. More likely, I will drink the other two beers we have, try to read more, listen to mopey music, and invariably fall asleep in front of our fan.

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