i am trying to make sense of myself and my life. i am trying, everyday, to understand where it is that i am going and why i want to go there and how it is that i will reach that destination of which i am ignorant. how can i feel my way along the path without knowing what the path looks like and being blind to my goal? it comes simply down to questioning what it is that i want and what it is that is best for me. i do this all the time. i've written volumes on this. i do not know where my skills should take me or what i should do with my talents. i am trying to be the best writer that i can be without thoroughly committing myself to a life of writing. i am trying to be a great artist without making art. and i am always stuck in the struggle of doing and not doing, of creating and not creating and the guilt and the anguish involved and doing the dumb shit that i gotta do to survive and to be a productive citizen. i am not defined by my station in life and yet i feel this intense need to define what my station in life should be. i am grasping at the air blindly searching for my dharma, without any idea as to how i will choose the path that leads me to it. i am always lost. i am forever confused and aching for some hint of truth, some insight into me and who i am and what i want. all i want is to understand what it is that i want. most likely i will never find out. most likely we are intended for this earth to hack it out as best we can and we will never fully understand what the best is. most likely i must keep turning to myself with a stunned look in my eyes and confusion on my mind, struck dumb and wondering what the hell it is i think i'm doing. perhaps that is what keeps us in check and struggling for the best, on the path to the unattainable - enlightened versions of ourselves staring back at us from imagined futures with organization under our arm and confusion banished to the ends of the universe. most likely, those things impossible about the universe are the only things worth reaching for.


tumors. tumors and tumors and tumors and tumors. and taking apart the word itself and finding only cells that multiply and multiply and multiply and understand no boundaries and cells that react to harsh therapy and innocent cells that die and cells that occupy brains in grandfathers and cells that overpopulate the cerebral cortex and sap all the nutrients and cells that create malfunctions and tumors and tumors and tumors. tumors that come to me in the movie theater, watching drew barrymore and crying because i cry at movies - it's what i do, it's what's expected - i cry at movies because movies are glimpses of lives that i want or lives that i am deeply familiar with or lives that have experienced enough of what i have or have not myself experienced and so i cry at movies and my friends giggle at me because i cry even at previews for movies because they are all the sad or beautiful moments of movies packed into two-minute montages with that guy's voice-over starting every one the same, "in a world..." and then there is the new kevin spacey movie or the new russell crowe movie and tumors coming to me there, as i'm not drinking my two-dollar-fifty-cent sprite, as it's melting beside me in the cup holder in the theater and my friends sitting next to me and i lean over and say, just before the feature presentation begins, that my grandfather has a tumor, it's in his brain, and there, i've said it, and it's been said and i'm not all that worried, because how can i be, he can be a mean old bastard anyway, and he is going to die one day anyway, but i am concerned for my family and what they are thinking, but it is true that i love him regardless of my own life and sometimes in spite of it. that is how family works. the tumors just come to me in the movie theater and in the car, driving, not listening to the radio and not being concerned about those who are cutting me off or driving too slowly in front of me - all i am thinking is tumors and tumors and tumors and tumors for what else is there to be thought about? the brevity of life? hasn't that occurred to me too often and always, as i inch my way towards that drop-off, that cliff of the end, as sometimes i try with running starts to throw myself over, yet always stopping right here, this spot of the immutable present? is that what a tumor is supposed to conjure in the car or in the corner of the party, sitting, watching the drinks and the drugs consumed and feeling sleep pounding at the door of my eyes? should tumors bring to bear the idea of death? or, is it more about a crowding of the brain, a crowding of the flesh and the pushing out of you, out of your eyes and your chest? tumors remind me of the hollow vacuum of my head - how memories go on forever into darkness and into forgetting, how love is never the thought at the forefront where it belongs, how the preciousness of life is held here, where the cells don't regularly multiply, but rather we kill them off by the millions with concussions and with beers, it is here, in our heads where all that we know is stored, where the value of life is held and thought keeps the world together, our reality in hand. it is the tumor pushing my grandfather out of his own body. it is the tumor that occupies all thought, so that the only things that remain are tumors and tumors and tumors and tumors.


tomorrow there will be the carving of the cubist pumpkin. today there is sick stomachs and a lack of understanding regarding gene theory and the double helix in all its glory and riding a bike in the cold and not wanting to erase the dry-erase board and not wanting to check that the computers are logged off and not wanting to do much of anything and yet there are things to be done, there is the library to be gone to and the eyelet to be fixed on the costume and the smells of cooking to affect and create and the cleaning and the sleeping and the going to of the store. eleanore has been ill, has gotten better. grandfather is in the hospital, unconscious thousands of miles away, moving limbs yet and breathing independently. the character of the novel is coming together in snippets of habit gathered from everywhere and some created separately. the blog has been left un-updated. my dreams are of hangings, accidental suicides of boys from bands named jude who fall, while moving diego velasquez's las meninas, out the window and hang, dead, in broad daylight, suspended with a little princess below on dark backgrounds and reflections in mirrors and people in doorways, painters staring beyond the canvas, breaking the picture plane and confusing the separation of that which is viewed and that which is viewing... head itches, pain in side. scratch, mumble, sleep. the wind is blowing tremendously, showering us in bursts of dried leaves, and watering eyes and noses. the wind howled this morning through the headphones and drowned out gordan gano's voice, explaining again the good feeling and how it always feels like you're leaving. in all this activity, i am searching in myself and out of myself, quietly, unhurriedly, wondering how to reconcile differences between myself and my husband, the way in which we view things, deal with that which we're given. in all this i am wondering how to go on, how to not get sad and break down everyday in the cold while walking. pain in my side is making me want to curl into balls under the covers, hidden, sleepy, dreaming nice dreams where people don't die or come back from the past to haunt me. i'd like to think nice thoughts where things are the opposite of confused, where things are clear, where the future is a straight line from this point to that, cluttered over with lovely memories yet to be had and bad things that are not so bad. i'd like to see me in the future, writing novels, and coming to greater understandings of myself and my purposes, those around me and those i love. i'd like to see me in the future with happiness, depicted as a family portrait, myself and it in front of blue skies, framed or in an album. i'd like to know that all of this is headed in a direction of my choosing and it, in its correctness, makes me feel whole and of value. i'd like to know that i will succeed in overcoming the great obstacle of myself and my confusion, my perpetuation of negativity, guilt, anger, fear, hurt feelings. i'd like to know that one day, i will die without fear and without regret.


i want actual things and inactual things. i want love and community and space to roam and the roaming of space. i want a white sheep. i want a big red barn. i want rabbits in a cage outside in the barn. i want cats running all over. i want some dogs and some fish and maybe some turtles or birds. i want a window that's over the kitchen sink and i want bird feeders and a bird bath just outside of it. i want to grow grapes up the side of the porch so that one side is just a wall of vine and bunches of sweet globular wetness. i want a deep purple metal roof on a brick farmhouse with trees blocking the view of the road. i want hydrangea bushes all along the flagstone path to the door. i want a red living room. bright red. i want a wood-burning stove. i want to make popcorn. i want dried herbs hanging in the kitchen. i want art on my walls and art on my mind and art all over my hands. i want rows and rows of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves loaded down with books. i want to bake bread. i want my own washer and dryer. i want a claw foot bathtub on black-and-white ceramic tiles. i want to paint stars on my ceilings. i want to have little girls who wear fairy costumes at halloween and not at halloween. i want foot massages. i want blankets draped over the backs of overstuffed chairs. i want fresh flowers and organic fresh ground coffee. i want to grow vegetables and herbs. i want lots of chickens. polish hens especially. no roosters. i want to be happy and to meditate on the nature of things and see everything as it is. i want truth. i want the world to get better. i want the war to end. i want to go to italy. i want to go to florence to see david at the uffizi. i want to go back to new orleans and stay in a bed and breakfast. i want to write everyday. i want to work on things that are meaningful to me and that make me feel as though i am accomplishing something in this life. i want to learn how to throw pottery. i want to draw better. i want to make short films. i want to write short stories. i want the new yorker to publish my fucking poem about julian schnabel. i would like to meet j.d. salinger. but i don't know what i'd say to him.


pardon me while i recount events in completely unpoetic language instead of having beautiful insight into things or whatever it is i try to do when i write this, it will only take a minute of your time.
i got into a bar fight last night. well, sort of. this guy who i sort of have met a few times sat down with my two girlfriends and i in our booth and was incredibly inebriated and we just sort of humored him for a while, but then he started railing on me not being a real writer or some ridiculous bullshit and i sort of argued with him a little about that, but mostly was just showing him how unreasonable he was being, which is probably a dumb thing to attempt while someone's trashed and then he referred to my friend lisa as a bitch when she got up to go to the bathroom and i yelled at him for that and told him to go away and then lisa came back and he was calling all three of us bitches and whores and bastards and i was just cussing him out, telling him we were going to leave and that he should just shut up and go back to his own goddamn table. then i grabbed the rest of his pitcher and poured it all into his glass, spilling it all on the table and told him to "go ahead and have some more beer". then we were turning away and he was still saying all this bullshit calling us all cunts and whores and bitches while moving out of the booth and sitting down at a table. so i was screaming at him and grabbed his glass and dumped his beer all over him. then i turned around to leave and all of my friends were sort of standing there and we were trying to get my two girlfriends and i together to go and he threw his empty glass towards me while my back was turned. it luckily didn't hit anyone, it just shattered on the floor, but sarah and i started yelling at the bar staff that this guy had just thrown a glass at me (and the music was in-between songs and everyone in the bar is just starring) and that he needed to leave. so the bartenders all come out from behind the bar and try to get this guy to go, at which point his girlfriend comes back from the bathroom and starts talking shit to sarah and saying that he didn't throw the glass and that he doesn't need to leave, trying to tell the bartenders that everything is okay while we're telling them, "there is broken glass over here" and then she says the most ridiculous thing of all - she starts asking me and my girlfriends if we're feminists, to which we just laugh at her and tell her to fuck off, etc. and then this argument goes on for a minute and then she starts saying she'll meet us outside (well, mostly she's saying this to my friend sarah who has gone remarkably ghetto all of a sudden, certainly for a jewish girl from shaker heights anyway) and sarah's just cussing this girl out and laughing the whole time saying that "sure, i'll meet you outside, what are you, stupid?" and the bartenders are still asking them to leave and this guy is still just making faces at me and applauding me and telling me to go write poetry about it all and i'm turning to all my friends, who are trying to figure out what's going on and who saw him throw a glass at me, and suddenly i'm just admitting that i spilled beer all over him, as though this is really bad and i must confess so it's not confused - i fucked up, etc. so then we just turn around and go and are pumped up beyond belief and can't sleep and i've got my head feeling weird from alcohol even still.


"i don't know what i'd do without cable."
ideas thrown around in art of 18th century europe before the professor started talking:
* "they should have syndicated show channels - you know, like "the wonder years" channel."
* "my boyfriend leaves the tv on for noise. he remembers everything. he can answer game show questions about shows he doesn't watch just because the tv is on. it drives me nuts."
this kid in my class thinks he'd go nuts without entertainment weekly and er. he's upset that er is on every weekday morning for two hours in a row and he has class at that time. there's a whole group of them - addicted to tv. they discuss their respective shows that they watch - buffy the vampire slayer, law and order, star trek: the next generation, etc. it seems that each of them loves tv more than anything; is even willing to and excited by watching large blocks of the same program repeatedly. they make mention of "three's company" marathons and one kid gives some anecdote about what episode of "three's company" everyone should know. i don't know what episode he's talking about. it doesn't appear that any of them has the vocabulary to use their extensive tv knowledge to write a stimulating dissertation on television or the varying methods employed in constructing a good situation comedy. they all just talk about being sucked into tv, of watching programs they don't care about, have no interest in, and yet it does not occur to any one of them that this may all be some conspiracy - some comic-esque method of making american citizens fat and lazy consumers. it does not occur to them that they are being terrorized by jennifer anniston's ridiculous pregnancy and martin sheen's presidency (though he is indeed the american president we can all agree on); that indeed, this is terror! they are instead pleased with their mutual addictions. they find it fascinating that there are others like them out there who care more about the latest episode of "dharma & greg" than rococo ornamentation in germany. i cannot help but admit that my feelings are markedly similar; that i am often overwhelmed with the urge to buy whenever i see a slick catalogue with images of an ideal world and all its ideal fixtures. i can only assume this urge has been planted in me by my television - its flickering images, it's brightly colored sets and fast-paced commercials. i too am a brainless consumer, fed my consumerism by the screen of my television, the speakers of my radio, the monitor of my computer and the pages of my magazines. i am a slave to america. i am a slave to her multi-national corporations, but i feel helpless to change any of it.


the world is fucked up. the kkk picked a new leader from dayton, my hometown. he's setting up a headquarters in ohio, and the probability is that he'll pick ohio for the headquarters of the national chapter at some point in the future. how is it that this is happening? i'm a firm believer in the first amendment and that as soon as you silent one group, you risk silencing everyone, but mustn't there be some loophole or some reasoning to shut them the hell up? isn't that somehow very much like a terrorist, to use god to justify hatred? isn't this the same thing? if we're involved in a war against terror, doesn't that include terror that comes from our backyard? if you're going to hunt down all the evil in the world, wouldn't that require some partial lobotomy for everyone to remove their own bits of bad? isn't everyone just as prone to being mean as to being nice? in ourselves and in children, we justify stupidity and cruelty as mistakes, so why doesn't this apply to the rest of the world? where do the differences lie? what is the precise difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist? and how precisely will violating the privacy of citizens help significantly to quell murderous thoughts? when will freedom ring? when exactly? where is this supposed justice for all? why is it that while this war is waging, while these anthrax threats are spreading, companies are laying off employees and going bankrupt left and right, and right-wing legislation (ban on homosexual marriages; again, the allowance of law-enforcement agencies to spy on u.s. citizens) is creeping its way through congress? isn't someone benefiting from all this? wouldn't that maybe be those at the top? isn't someone making money by filing chapter eleven bankruptcy then selling assets for huge profit, all while scaling down the workforce? aren't these the same people who fund campaigns and plant lobbyists in washington? don't you think that these same people have defense contracts, require cutbacks in environmental standards to lesson their costs further, and get huge government bailouts in the name of national disaster or the promotion of the gnp? doesn't this all sound familiar? doesn't this sound remarkably coincidental? doesn't this sound like what we've heard before - that war is good for business?


it's been decided. having come to conclusions and reached decisions finally without, by some miracle, letting the statute of limitations on that process lapse, i am in the transitional phase, or more aptly, the stuck phase. i am in the middle of the week, perpetually, though the air will grow colder and the clouds will come cover everything (my thoughts included) and i will have to continue fighting through the winter, fighting the down snow off my back, away from my heart (cooling it, letting it slip into sleep), and finishing classes because i have already paid for them. i have decided to do that which i have always longed to do - all of those things most dear to my heart, including drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes in front of the word processor, its cursor blinking up at me, asking me and begging me for movement, for the fingers to decide the course of its life. i will be doing whatever it is i most want to do and i am terrified of this notion because here, way back here in october, the cold has not come and classes are far from over and i have not planted myself in my seat in my brain for the activity of writing and the novel pouring from me, my hands frigid in the air over the keystrokes - and i am terrified that i will change my mind and i will be too scared to go through with it and i will create again a million reasons not to, i will rationalize my way away from myself, my true self (whoever she is), i will walk away from the cliff's edge, citing monetary grief or the fear itself as too powerful to be held at bay by the simple gall of my actions. i must find methods for fighting fear now in all this, i must find ways of not only maintaining contentment and forward progression, but now of maintaining a fearlessness, an audacity with which to covet myself and my freedom. and the question - how do i do? how do i find courage except by doing? has anyone in all time been heralded for their bravery before an act exhibiting it? doesn't courage always come from doing the thing you thought you couldn't? isn't that what i must now do? only not now, later, months from now, after the history of india has been clarified and rococo ornamentation has been memorized and evolution has been properly analyzed and all of this tested and retested and written about by these hands aching for fiction to fill and overflow them.


I Have Something To Say. Everything that I believe in tells me that this war is wrong. I do not believe in God, I am not God-fearing, but I am opposed to the killing of people. I am opposed to the killing of people in the name of self-righteousness, I am opposed to the killing of people in the name of oil prices, I am opposed to the killing of people in the name of vengeance. It is remarkable to me that this nation should be so arrogant as to assume a moral superiority, to assume an understanding of the value of life, to assume righteousness in the face of "evil". If I did believe in God, as our leaders claim to, as the terrorists claim to, and as something like 95% of the world claims to, I would most certainly not fly airplanes into buildings in God's name and I would most certainly not claim that my freedom was more valuable, more superior, or more valid than someone else's by using the excuse of an attack to stifle the civil freedoms of my own citizens, or "defend a way of life that allows companies like Boeing to get rid of 30,000 people" (http://www.michaelmoore.com/). I have been unable in the last month to understand the perspectives and the goals of those in power when everything I see tells me that all of our muscle-flexing and all of our safety measures will result in nothing but the destruction of some mountains in Afghanistan, the deaths of lots of innocent and some guilty people, and the restraining of freedom, the reduction of freedom here in the U.S. and abroad. Isn't the most basic right the freedom to live? Doesn't killing someone by the rationale of "an eye for an eye" because they took the freedom to live from Americans seem a bit medieval, a little backwards? "An Eye for an Eye" hasn't worked for the last two thousand years and I have serious doubts that it will suddenly start freeing people the world over. Los Angeles gangs demonstrate this concept perfectly - someone gets killed so the deceased's "family" must then take revenge for his death which results in some accidental death (because several people get taken out at once in street fights or drive-bys) which must then be avenged and the cycle repeats, ad infinitum. Somehow, this idea of cause-and-effect (and effect and effect and effect, etc.) has been lost on our nation's trusted leaders as well as most of their supporters and a lot of their detractors. More importantly, aren't these effects a tad immoral? Doesn't it just come down to that? Isn't killing people wrong? And interestingly enough, isn't it uncanny the way that speedy measures are being taken to "ensure domestic tranquility" by passing legislation that allows U.S. law enforcement authorities to spy on U.S. citizens, by dropping bombs on people you and I have never seen half-way around the world, and by guaranteeing the cooperation of the U.S. media with huge defense contracts for its owners? What we are witnessing is "bucket" politics - the roof is leaking all over and we're grabbing at buckets rather than fixing the roof. More aptly, we are shooting holes in the roof.


this kid in my class committed suicide. everyone's whispers coming at me - "you should never do that, it's not worth it," "ohmygod." and my thoughts about the matter are the polar opposite of that. this kid must be fucking brave and really incredibly desperate and i know what that feels like and that is fucking unbelievably scary. and i'm wondering if he didn't have anybody to save him, if he didn't have anybody who would hear the cry for help, because i cannot imagine going through with that which i ache for at times - the ending of everything, the wiping of the slate, the clearing of the path, the silencing of screaming and ticking in clocks on mantels and against walls, the silencing of thoughts and people's voices and the party next door, the silencing of the world and all its noise: the cats, the dogs, the insects ticking, the thunderous sounds of matches against matchbooks, flicking of fingers in ashtrays or against countertops, the projectors in the art history building, that roaring tunnel of light and dust - all the noise of the world buried under the snow of your line of vision, the darkness enveloping you like mountains of snow, but warm, snow made of down, snow made of fire, snow of electric blankets and forts on the living room floor, snow of memories, of aching, of changing your mind, snow of your mother, snow of the smell of the ex-girlfriend, snow of your best friend's smile, snow of the first day of class and the last day of everything, snow of your favorite meal, snow of kisses and dandelions, snow of hot chocolate chip cookies, snow of microcosms growing in your head: the bugs of your hands, the atmosphere of your fear and the earth your desire to drown. it's all connected back into your bellybutton - everything is apart of your little world, your reality has not the patience for your body and the realm it exists in, it's too complicated, takes up so much time and exhausts every bit of energy, every step in the real world can diminish your beliefs in everything you are, every touch, every glance, every word exchanged between you and the man on the corner, "no, sorry, i don't have any money." it all chips away at who you are and your patience for the world. so, yeah, i can see getting there, and that's incredible, because as much as everything you do drags you down, it's ten times as hard to look the other way and decide definitively to change your perspective. committing suicide is just as hard as getting better.


troubled sleep. sleep full of tossing, the 360 degrees and back again, lights on, off again, thoughts and dreams... i am thinking of how to make a decision (still). i am considering how it is i will come to the decision i most want and how to do it appropriately so as to not fuck up as much as it seems i could. and all this is making me turn from the left of the bed to the right of the bed. the cats were unable to sleep with us last night, their spots not kept warm because the feet continued kicking them out. and dreams... dreams of the decision to be made, abstracted, giant truck with my mother, telling my mother some lie, and shane in my dream explaining to me, rationalizing and justifying why exactly he is not an alcoholic. and i agreed. i let myself be swayed, perhaps because of the baby. because in my dream shane had a daughter and it was the most magical wonderful thing that had ever happened to him. then holding a cassette, a picture of hitler wearing burgundy doc marten's on the cover, then watching hitler's home movies, every shot a leni riefenstahl wet dream, sides of faces and the mundane captured like an expert fashion photographer, people in a wasteland, person sitting in an easy chair in the middle of this wasteland, windmill, old and decrepit in the background, man being marched to it and disappearing into its depths, its daytime bleak darkness, the tongues-in-earsness of dark spots in dreams. all of this a metaphor for me, this moment in my life - my decision not being made, me marching myself to class each morning without care, without concern, the taking of notes, the asking of questions, the stimulating of interest - it is all an elaborate game. this is all a metaphor for me, a reflection of myself in the distorted mirror of my mind, my eyes gathering pieces of information and me viewing them like a movie, sitting in the darkness of the theater in the dream, a man in the seats in front of me and the sound of a projector as the wasteland and the faces of people went forward, then back, then forward again - and me, i am in bed going forward and back again, i am inside of my mind, wondering and not deciding, merely going forward and back and forward eventually everything just goes in circles. i have always been guilty of not deciding those things most pertinent - i will just let it be, let it rest on the bedside table, silent, in my peripheral vision, waiting in vain for me to pick the thing up again and examine the choices once more - after some time has passed and some thoughts have gone quietly and without me noticing into action, without my consent or effort, a decision will have been reached through accident, perhaps natural disaster, the flow of the river of my life choosing its own course, or there is no decision left any longer to be made and i am now on a path that i believe with half of my heart, has chosen me.


nothing has changed since yesterday. i am wrapped in the same blanket of confusion and the argument with myself as i was before. i am struggling against wishes to free-fall into the world like some feminist incarnation of jack kerouac, spouting novellas from my typewriter and etching paragraphs in minds and on the backs of hands. i am struggling with myself, wrestling my brain to the floor like some crazed monkey hopped up on speed, and i want to see it just to laugh like that again. i am struggling with myself, arguing between one self and the other, which path to take, which decision to make, which rules to break and how exactly to accomplish all that there is to accomplish inside the span of eyes blinking and kisses hello-goodbye. i am wishing for there to be clarity, for it to enfold me and have the hands of gods come shooting through clouds to tell me which way to turn. i am wishing to see me blinded by the stars twinkling in my eyes, laughing like candy-coated youth (that ideal form). i want so badly to want. i want so badly to drink madly and deeply of life and cry it all down in bottles of rolling rock and eight months at the word-processor. i would like very much to spontaneously combust just now, because at least then a decision will have been made. just like i've always said, i've been trying forever to somehow die unintentionally so i wouldn't be responsible any longer for the thoughts flinging themselves around my brain, hitting the me trapped there, inside cowering, terrified of falling and desirous of everything in the same breath. i want no more want. i want action. i am beginning to think i must demand it of myself and spill my guts daily to the computer, asking every question and competing with my fingers for control of the situation, dictionaries piled on floors, highlighters and magic markers strewn inside and outside library books, everything littered with images of everything - this and this and this and this and that - all that there is to think having thunk and excreted and edited again and so on and so forth and unkowing and forgetting and remembering again. i am filled to the brim with so much bullshit, it is utterly ridiculous.


here i am. here i am in waves of uncaring, in waves of upset stomachs and arguing with myself through the ideas of education - how education is not education in fact, but somehow merely a format for setting rules and guidelines for the world, or rather, a format for enacting the rules and guidelines - college is a place for instilling in us our consumerist nature and all under the guise of fulfilling our wildest dreams and becoming or gaining the tools with which to be who we are in the future behind caravans and picket fences and 2.5 children and whatnot and whatnot. i don't really want it. i'm here to discover ancient ruins in books with glossy color plates and the foundations of life in powerpoint lectures. i'm here to see if i can do it and i'm here for plan b - having that paper which promises me a place in the job market (sort of). i'm here because i know i will fail one day in the future and the paintings will not sell and i will not ever master the web and the manuscripts will not sell and i will not be the fucking poet laureate. i am here because i doubt that i am a good writer. i doubt that i am a good enough writer. good enough to write to deadlines and write literature in a hurry and i am here because i have no insight into the world. i am here because i am not brilliant - i am average. i am deadly average. i am here because i am not capable of figuring it out on my own. i am here because i feel guilty and i am scared to death of the world that i have been in and i am scared that i will get caught there, so i must stop myself, bring myself back into the world of idealists and researchers and philosophy. into the world that i know - where we argue willingly well-researched points and we learn to recognize all sides of the discussion, where we must forcibly down diversity and pretend that half of those around us are not in truth unopposed to the idea of an all white universe. a place where under the guise of the search for enlightenment, we become exactly like one another everyday. more and more. here i am pretending to be unlike everyone else, pretending to be a unique snowflake. i am pretending that i like it. i am pretending that i would not rather not exist. i am pretending that my life has direction and that i am contributing to finding that direction and creating my path. in truth, i don't know what the truth is. in truth, i am lost like everyone else, trying to find ways to add structure to my world and to understand it and to understand myself inside of it. i am frail and i am tiny, and i do not know much of anything.


void of thought. nothing takes so much time to accomplish. this sighing and not waking up on time. this lazing about all day, procrastinating making dinner and reading books. this postponement of the inevitable. what i'd like to do is to disregard that which i am supposed to do - take up new hobbies instead of doing my homework. i would like to gather some dried maple leaves in all the varieties of orange, yellow, and red, write poems on them and laminate them and send them to faraway friends. i would like to make bouquets of dried leaves, hang them from the ceiling; buy some pumpkins and some baby pumpkin squash. i would like to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. i would rather that instead of always saying what i would like most to do, i were able finally, to do it. i would rather that my life did not have to be filled daily and overflowing with either school or work, the inevitable school and/or work, the unpreventable, the unstoppable, the unavoidable, the time-sucking scum of the earth. there is too much pretense involved in school and work. school believes that it is comprised of hour-or-so-long segments of education supported by excruciating hours of reading-as-education. work believes that it is comprised of eight-hour days and forty-hour weeks of purpose and employees filled up and smiling with intention. in both cases, you are lucky to spend an hour or so a week either learning something or feeling as though your task is valid. in fact, an hour sounds like a lot now that it's out there in the open on the page like that. i would like sometimes to abandon it all - and haven't i done that before? six years ago i quit high school and spent my days smoking cigarettes and writing on the roof. but wasn't that very much six years ago? six years ago i was not married, had not even met my husband. six years ago i lived at my parents' house, drove their '88 caravan to and from the coffee shop as often as possible, and did things i was not allowed to do simply to do them. six years ago, i was sixteen years old. sixteen years old is a completely different perspective. well then - three years ago i dropped out of college, spent the summer with five friends on the curbside discussing the film we never made. again with the smoking of the cigarettes. but alas, i also spent the summer typing my poor frozen fingers into oblivion - thousands of keys per hour - racing to finish and racing to stay awake in the air conditioning, breaking each finger in its carpal tunnel agony. so again with the working. i worked to fill my pockets and to fill my time. a year ago i quit working to move to columbus with my husband and live off the cashed-in life insurance policy. i didn't do anything at all for months and months. i worked at the coffee shop through the end of december, watched television nonstop, and cried a lot. then in january i half-assed getting a full-time job and sort of spent the winter half-assing doing everything. so here i've had all the time in the world to live like the drunken writer and romantic pea-brain i want to be, and have spent really very little time trying to accomplish any of it. the truth is that i get in the way of myself. i am sad for months on end and become incapable of accomplishing anything of value. i clean my apartment to make myself feel as though i have been a contributing member of society. so the question remains then, were i able (as in rich enough, or supported enough), would i undertake the bohemian pinings in me? would i reach for stars hidden inside my brain and become that which is creativity embodied? would i guzzle whiskey and develop a hack? would i garden and paint endlessly? or would i merely sink between the couch and the down comforter and eat campbell's soup and feel sick and watch friends 15 times a week? would my depression eat me up inside because my creativity wasn't? will i ever see these ridiculous swinging-on-stars dreams of mine fulfilled, or even attempted properly, or will i merely go on dreaming about them until i am able to no longer attempt it at all and die miserable in my rocker, having become nothing i value?