I’m feeling lonely in a way I haven’t in a while. I don’t feel lonely a lot because I am alone a lot, and also, you know, text messaging and the internet exist in my world. But occasionally I get this deep, almost physical loneliness. My chest feels tight almost, but that isn’t the right description because it sounds like I’m having trouble breathing or feeling physically panicky which I am not. Maybe it didn’t help that I spent all day reading Sharon Olds book about her divorce. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’m incredibly scared right now because in about two weeks I will be taking another step forward into “real adulthood,” which is to say leaving the world of retail and starting a new job that I still don’t want to spend my life in. Maybe it’s because I just want to lay in bed and snuggle with one or more of my cats and listen to Neko Case but none of them seem to want to do that right now. Maybe.
Anyway, this is nothing but I thought writing it out might help some.
I just found this photo of me going in the Pacific Ocean for the first and last time at 16, almost ten years ago, on a school trip. Mostly what I remember about this is we were amazed by how docile the seagulls were, and my mom, who was the nurse for the trip, had to give my friend, who cut her foot on the beach, a Band-Aid.
This me was not that different than me now. She didn’t wear make-up, and I would never in a million years wear khaki capris, but I do kind of miss that green hoodie She still thought she had the emotional fortitude to be a social worker. We both, although me to a lesser degree than her, are convinced one day we will need electroshock and it will be exactly like the first time in The Bell Jar. We have the same best friend, but hers isn’t married yet. She hasn’t started baking yet. I don’t listen to Brand New anymore. I still sleep in her bed.
- In a parking lot, possibly getting ready to go home, paying attention only to my paper basket of fries, until some seagulls got a little too close. Ditching the fries and scrambling into my nana’s van.
- Sharing an iPod with my best friend. Turning over every 3-5 songs so we didn’t burn/our tans stayed even.
- Going on the last day of classes senior year and somehow being convinced to ride one of those Double Drop rides from Hell. Not peeing my pants believe it or not.
- Walking the boardwalk around closing time. Getting discount water ice and soft pretzels. Having a blue mouth the rest of the night. (I can never resist the obnoxious colored water ices and popsicles.)
- Almost flashing an entire beach in North Carolina because I was so not prepared for water that rough.
I’ve been upping my reading game the last couple of months. I never feel like I’m reading enough, but I was kind of slacking off last year and earlier this year. I feel accomplished when I spend all day reading, even if I never so much as put a bra on. Staying all day in bed reading is acceptable in a way staying in bed all day watching TV is not.
This year I accidentally and then on purpose decided to only read women. I saw someone doing something similar last year somewhere online and it seemed like an interesting thing to do. I don’t know if anything different has happened, but I will say, I’ve liked to loved every single book I’ve read so far this year, and the hardest thing has just been having to save books that I’m interested in for later.
I like dude writers. Wait, no. I hate “dude writers.” But, I like writers that are men. I might sneak in The Halloween Tree in October because it will take me less than a day and it just doesn’t feel like Halloween without Bradbury and that book (or I might just read The Haunting four times in a row all month).
I know it’s not Important, but it still feels important, to me anyway. I was never someone who read the canon because it was the canon, but it’s nice to ignore that shit for a little while.
ANYWAY, this has gotten away from me a bit. Maybe I’ll try to write something more coherent at the end of the year.
Is almost crying on the floor in the back cleaning up an entire bottle of Irish Spring bodywash a low point? What about actually crying after the fact on the phone to my mom because I’m so fed up?
If you get the accidental sad drunks (drunk sads?) after an exceptionally shitty day at work that started out almost pleasant, I highly recommend wailing along to Neko Case and anything Jenny Lewis sings on/in in a hot shower.
The summer I was supposed to leave for college and I adopted a spider who spun a web outside of my window, and I named her Charlotte, or Charlie, because, believe it or not I don’t know how to determine the sex of spiders. When I was doing everything to hold on to my home and my childhood, my bedroom and the first book I loved. The summer I still freaked out whenever there was a spider in the apartment.
The summer I was supposed to leave for college, or I guess did, technically, leave for college, but didn’t stay left very long, when I was anxious the entire beginning of the summer, and crying for most of the end.
The summer when my intended major was, what exactly? social work? or something tangentially related to social work. The summer when I thought I had the emotional fortitude to help others. The summer when I might even have a job now if I had done what I was “supposed to do.”
The deciding summer, essentially, but the summer I ignore and forget as much as humanly possible.