No word plumes today. No $5 words; no dragged out metaphors. You're all in luck: I'm tired. Just phffft.
Had a large day yesterday. Met up with a fellow "dissertator" (awful word, but that's us, dissertator-tots. Nuke on high, done in 60 seconds). A nice idea, and one I'll stick with for the time being, although I know myself well enough to know that my fragile, flickering column of attention bends, breaks, in the presence of any nears and dears. I can think and write amongst strangers, but amongst friends and family? Hell no. Not unless I'm on a serious roll.
So this was a moral support thing. Fine.
Of course, I'm not the only one needing moral support. A dear old college friend of mine was only a few blocks from the cafe I was at, stressing out in a first-semester-of-grad-school way, so I met up with her, had a cheap happy hour drink, attended a lecture in her department, and then had a cheap dinner (and another cheap drink) with her before heading off to see another friend who left the country a couple of years back and is back–newly married–for his first visit as an expat. A couple more drinks, talk, laughs, a heaping teaspoon of melancholy (he doesn't seem all that happy, and I'm considerably worse off than I was when he left).
Then, magically, unaccountably, it was suddenly after 2 a.m. and I was shattered. Bed even would've fallen short of my needs at that moment–I wanted a warm, deep-sea nest, or the brilliant annihilating heat of a volocano, or the womb. Certainly not a bright, noisy, lumbering commute that gets longer and longer the more the MTA's diseased financial chickens come home to roost, or not.
Anyway, by the time I'd lost all my companions to their various subway stops and sighted my own, I realized that I desperately had to pee. This is not an easy thing to do in NYC during prime business hours (though the dread ship Starbucks has actually made it easier with their ubiquitous, easily accessed toilets–and I'm not talking about the ones they brew their coffee in); it's nearly impossible on the west side at 2:30 in the morning. Unless, of course, you want to nip into a bar, where you may or may not have to buy another drink, thereby continuing the cycle. So I loped 20 frikkin blocks, trying (no, I don't know how) to lift my bladder so it wouldn't be as affected by the furious scissoring of my legs. Finally–Penn Station. Horrible place, but with bathrooms! Barely. Despite all the people–some homeless, some ticketoholders–sitting or slumping or sleeping on the floor, the management had clearly made an executive decision that no one would be conducting any toilet business at that hour, and had actually closed all the bathrooms. Luckily one of them had only a flimsy plastic barracade in front of it, which several of us stepped over. When I got to the back ell of stalls, an embattled cleaning lady was tearfully entreating everyone to get out, particularly one woman who had apparently locked herself in a cubical some time ago, probably to shoot up. "Please, please, please, for the love of god. I cannot— Please!!! I cannot take this. Any more of this. It is not a place for staying and having a rest, but going in and leaving, fast. One-two-three. Please!" Of course, my bladder had no interest in waiting, so that's exactly what I did. One-two-three, as always. As I left, I shot a weak, apologetic smile at the cleaning woman. Something in her sad Slavic features made me think of my mother's people–most of whom died before my memory kicked in. Solid, no nonsense, uncomplaining doers–that was that side of the family. What would they have made of a frustrated, direful, quitting nature like mine? Very fucking depressing to think about. Of course, midway through that thought, as if on cue, a woman with a terribly disfigured face grabbed my arm and told me that Jesus loves me, really loves me, and is watching me "right now."
There ended the eventful portion of the evening. Thank god. Still, got home after 4, ninety-two percent sober, dehydrated, bloated, and just so sick of myself. It's not easy to put that sort of self-disgust into words, but it's like a combination toothache/migraine/tendonitis/food poisoning of the soul, that, at that moment, seems as though it can never end, because, hell, that's just the way I'm made.
And today? It's sucked. Big shock. I have been tired, tired, tired. Been craving salt and yet finding water nauseating. No interest in doing yoga. And no goddamn attention span. None. It's like I've forgotten how to get anything done. I can't keep living like this.
Why the hell am I here?