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Saturday, March 28, 2009

He decides to write some haiku becuase it's supposed to be peaceful and he's supposed to be peaceful. So he writes this:

Ringing in my ears
Stinging in my eyes
Try not to flinch

because fuck them. Because he doesn't give a damn what the fuck he's supposed to be. Except that he does. He's supposed to be successful, and it hurts like hell that he's not. There's honor in fighting the good fight, he hears, in plodding along in stalwart, Victorian good cheer. His is apparently not to make reply, his is but to do or die, but by God, if it's the last fucking thing he does on the face of this materialistic, judgemental, hypocritical, self-serving, hopelessly egotistic planet, he's going to reason the fuck why. Why that superior, pompus, pseudointellectual, hyperbolically anti-fashion, condescending motherfucker gets recognized every goddamned year for having a master's degree in self-importance and a PhD in bullshit and a goddamned smirk on his face in lieu of an original thought while he gets chastized for not lying about what paperwork he's turned in and what paperwork he hasn't, and gets shoved from open job to open job because he simply doesn't have it in him to stand the fuck up and say no. He used to say, see, that he was too kind to stand up, too tolerant, too accomodating, too blah blah blah, but the reality is that he's not capable, and he wonders. He wonders. He wonders if maybe they're all right, that it's the assholes who get rewarded, which is no fucking secret, but that it's the assholes who get rewarded and that they deserve it. He wonders if Somerset Maugham was on to something when he wrote "The Ant and the Grasshopper" and that it's time to man the fuck up. Man the fuck up.

And then.

And then.

And then he prays. He prays that he's fucking wrong, and wishes he didn't need an answer, that his faith was that strong, that he had Faith instead of faith, but what he has is Doubt.

So he waits.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Been a While

I have a girlfriend and I'm going to a Kurdish New Year's celebration this weekend. And I have a beard again.

I love having a beard.

My grad school professor liked my idea for my contemporary lyric poetry seminar paper. I plan to discuss Plumly's manipulation of tense and the subjunctive as an effort to subvert the traditional notion of temporality.

I love being a nerd.

I now own two signed McMurtry first editions.

I have a number of students with whom I would be more than pleased to spend extended periods of time in conversation. I can't think of another job which would involve my getting to know such a diverse range of personalities and talents. Some of my students are just stunning people. I can't wait for them to get away from the shithole they've grown up in.

I have stacks of books in my apartment because I don't have enough shelf space for all of them. I like the aesthetic effect.

I have mastered the use of the comma. I am confident enough with the English language that I feel comfortable rebelling against grammatical rules which I find counter-productive.

I am alive.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ay, there's the rub(s)

So here's the thing. I actually really like her. I did not expect to. When I told her to call me if she found herself in need of someone to buy her dinner on Valentine's Day, I was mostly thinking that it would be nice to be a gentleman to a young lady for a night. I in no way expected her to be what she was, which was terrific company. I had no clue that my sister's friend she had introduced me to at the bar the night before, who was smashed and absolutely threw herself at me, would be anything other than a kinda fun but shallow and dingy (and slutty, based on her behavior at the bar) way to spend Valentine's Day. But, lo and behold, she's actually intelligent, nice, much more reasonable without like eight shots in her, a Democrat (what?!), a reader, and a grammar nazi. So what I expected to be a short, diverting evening capped off with some xBox and a glass of wine ended up being an eighteen-hour date. (I did not sleep with her. Literally I did, but not euphamistically.) I actually really like her. It's like Ron Livingston says at the beginning of Swingers: Somehow they know when you're really over it. You can't just act like it. But when you are, it somehow just happens. At no point in the decision-making process which led up to my asking her if she'd like to be asked out did I think about my divorce. Which only occurred to me later. Not that I'm fully over the divorce, but it's no longer in my mind all, or even much of, the time. It's not behind my decisions (as far as I can tell). Which feels really good.
So here's the thing. I did only get divorced in June, though it really ended more like in March or February, which makes me nervous. I feel pretty good, but you never know. And I'm really not ready to go from single guy to full-blown relationship guy. I'm just not. I have space issues, people. And probably trust issues. And probably other ones too. So that makes me a bit uneasy. But then, there always has to be a first time. Or, rather, a first time after the other time.
So here's the thing. She has multiple kids. All by the same father. She's not a Jerry Springer episode. I'm not looking to rush headlong into anything serious, which I told her. But then we had an eighteen-hour date, which didn't exactly drive the point home, and I feel badly about that. And I think she might REALLY like me, which makes me a bit nervous, because I only really like her. There will be no meeting of the kids. I'm not that guy. Right now, I just want to hang out with her, but the kids are looming in the background. Do I have to buy into becoming a father at some point in order to date her? Or is it okay to just date her? Hm.
So here's the thing. My sister hates when her friends date/make out with/hit on/etc. her brother and her ex. She flips out about it. And she's nuts anyway. And when she loses it, she drags my mom down with her. And then I get phone calls from my mom about how she's "not telling me what to do, but..." Which are the most enfuriating phone calls ever. Oh, and I work with my mom. Awesome. So while, as a general rule, I try not to allow my family's dysfunction to dictate my behavior, sometimes it's just not worth it. This one isn't really a so here's the thing, though, because I'd never let my sister's instability ruin things for me. I'm just saying.
So here's the thing: I really like her. People date all the time. Almost every single time they eventually break up. Does that mean you don't date? Do you only date people you see yourself marrying? How do you know if you don't try?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quote of the Day: Life's tough in the aluminum siding business. -Sam Seaborn

Poem of the Day:
Postscript by Seamus Heaney

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightening of flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park or capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A day off, a day off, my kingdom for a day off

Boy, do I feel better. (Except for feeling like crap, thanks to the ducking and weaving of this hybrid alllergy-cold thing that has me trading off between like 6 kinds of medicine in an increasingly futile attempt to find an effective treatment.) I'm finding myself thinking about things -- money, career, dating, identity, etc. -- and realizing that I no longer have the ominous specter of the divorce floating in the background. I didn't really realize how much I was allowing the divorce to define me until I stopped doing it all the time. It's awfully liberating not to have to use it as the starting point for everything. I'm not clear of the whole affair, of course, and won't be for quite some time, but, oh, this is what moving forward feels like.
Also, boy do I feel better drinking less. I didn't really realize how much I was drinking, and how it was affecting me, until I cut back. The whole thing just kind of snuck up on me a bit at a time, a couple after work, a couple after work again, three or four turns into a six-pack on Friday, and so on, until I looked at my recycle bin and had to blink a few times. So no more drinking during the week, and all of a sudden, I'm in a better mood, less tired, more alert, and feeling miles more responsible. An entire trip downtown to see my friend perform and I stop at two beers and get home at a reasonable hour. It's like I cleaned my windshield and realized how dirty the damn thing was and how badly I was driving as a result. So, whew. That's much better.