Friday, October 31, 2014

One small gratitude

My current food obsession is spicy chili crisp piled on hard boiled eggs.  I love this humble man and his hot, oily peppers. It also happens that no one else in my family is remotely interested in eating chili on eggs so life is pretty much great.

I know this is trivial, but it's something.  I'm making an effort to revive Deconstructionist.  It is the longest running commitment in my entire life, except for well, running.  I have now been running for longer than I smoked.  The house I live in is the longest I've ever dwelt in one place since ever.  It's like I'm finally growing up.

Monday, October 27, 2014


I've spent the weekend in a chair, variously contorted and invariably uncomfortable.  In chairs actually (more than one): a chair in the kitchen, in the living room, on the couch, and propped by the contumacious pillows of my bed.  I also spent 7 straight hours on a chair in a coffeeshop with only one bathroom break -- which is really more about being dehydrated than the torturous trial of my weekend, which was torturous.  I am feeling bound in breath and limb.  I don't even dare to think about the things I'd rather be doing.  I did do a little bit of running, but not enough.

My kid can make herself a PB&J sandwich now, so my work there is done. Of the eyebrow-raising proportions, the dogs clean up the difference and that allows me to stay in the chair.  It has become the devil I know.  I'd rather be a mom.  I fucking hate sitting here...

...mostly because I'm not convinced of the validity or effectiveness of what I am doing or how I am doing it.

I'm researching.  My research is focused on the great European witch-hunts in the early modern period of European history.  This is the most awfully awkward sentence i have ever permitted to be seen by other people. I can't get beyond the fact that I've use the word 'European' twice in one sentence.  OMFG.  The subject is fascinating -- macabre, disgusting and infuriating, although I'm way too old and sagacious to let it affect me.  Or have an effect on me.  Fuck off.

I think a confident person would have finished this project by now.  I'm too multi-causal in my approach, and it is the ruin of me.  Stake me, burn me. Just let me out of this chair.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This week, a single parent

My husband is out of town, day 6 of 8 now, and I have gotten lazy.  I've taken the kid out for pizza and burritos and ice cream.  I've let her stand in the shower for too long, and watch movies past her bedtime.  I know better, but don't have the energy to do better.  It's like a passive bribe: let's not punish each other.  Mostly meaning me, to my own self.

At this rate I'll never be the person I want to be though, and the only thing that bothers me is the idea that every day for the next 80 years I'll think it's still just within my reach...  perhaps tomorrow I'll close my grasp.  Be better.  I'll just do it, later maybe, and it will work forever on.  We eat in restaurants and I get existential anxiety. I'm a Sisyphean groundhog-day cliche.  I'm tired by the end of the day, exhausted by the sustained commotion of micro-failure, till a step back feels like reward for surviving.  Come on, lets go spend what we saved.  We've earned it.  I'll start tomorrow, when I'm dead.

Delete Debate

I accidentally deleted every single shred of academic writing I've produced over the last fewsome years and I can't decide if it's a big deal or not a deal at all.  It is moments like these that my feet, by reflective pause, touch bottom and the current splits around me.  What does it feel like? Astonishingly cold?  Hostile? Swift, Melancholy or Bittersweet?  This writing represents so much work -- bloody, sweaty and profoundly frustrated and sad work -- but does it have heart?  Did that essay on Gatsby (always gatsby!) matter to me, heartwise?

I'm a vigilant underskilled perfectionist and an arrogant gifted procrastinator in the same turn.  I am not in-between, but am exactly 100% bastard of this spectrum.  The thing is, I've been in school while interpreting post-secondary for so long that I speak fluent academia.  I decipher syllabi with preternatural accuracy, and I cannot do less than I am called upon to do.   C to an A -- IT WILL NEVER MATTER, they say, GO EASY ON YOURSELF.  But it matters to me.  In that way, I am a predator.

Once I graduate, I just go back to being a mom who interprets in the class room.  Nothing will change.  The grade matters not at all, if not less than that.  The writing that I've lost, my work, is summarily dismissed upon submission of the grade, that again, matters not at all.  Still, it matters to me.  Futilely.  Since grades have been submitted, should I care?  Agh!

So I ran.  It's the only thing I can do.  And I couldn't stop bracing myself against the rotation of the earth.  I don't know what is coming, but I'm throwing myself against its arrival.  For 7 miles it was one ankle calf and quad with torque leading me straight.  Why am I fighting the world? And while I'm asking, why don't my A grades matter?  Why doesn't my work matter?  Does it matter?  Fuck!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mayakka River

the one i saw

We drove north, then east from Sarasota to tour the state park on Mayakka River. The park was drier than last year. We did not wade through tea colored puddles on the forest trails. The water did not come up to the road. The ferns, high in the tree boughs, were dry and shriveled. There were alligators, honking and barking like pigs in the weedy swamp grasses but we did not see many of them. Only one, actually, and another one was accidentally photographed with my zoom lens which I did not discover until much later that night. Does that count? I don’t think so.

the one i didn't see

We spent the afternoon at Siesta Key beach down where the birds congregate. The water, as is usual this summer, was choppy but warm. I hop-toed out to a sandbar trying to photograph pelicans but they are savvy and elusive. The needle fish are also somewhat coy, unless I don’t have a camera with me, in which case they bonk straight into me with their careless needly snouts. Otherwise they dart to the peak of the next swell, just out of focus.

a congregation of birds

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Here in Florida, I say to whoever will listen, I live and die by a breeze.  Inland from the sea they criss-cross in secret, unexpected bursts.

It looks like it might storm.  Might.  It has not once rained like it did last year.  Not even once.  I’ve been waiting, thirsty, for the deluge, for the thunder and the lightning but it has not come.  Maybe today is the day.

Maybe not.

The potential for a storm seems to be blowing over.  My run today will be blistering hot and unforgiving.  At my hottest I feel thirst all the way down my throat, to the depths of my lungs.  I long to fill my lungs with ice water.  I imagine when exhaling, deadly cold water pouring down my chin and over my jugular.  I imagine ice water coursing through the white-hot pulse in my temples and on the scorched acreage of my skin.  I long to drown, running from remote island of shade to remote island of shade.  I consider the fractions of a second between life and death. Arriving at that next spot of shade between which two periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom (of which there are 9,192,631,770 for the duration of each one second) would make the difference between my life and my death.  Can any human activity be sliced so thinly?  If I were to drown in my own ice water, at which exact hyperfine moment could I no longer change my notion of folly and chose to live?  … I think, stepping into the next breeze.

Monday, July 07, 2014

I went out when in was 84ºF, and by the time I stopped running it was 88ºF.  For every 15 minutes that I ran I raised the temperature in the metro area by 1ºF.


About Me