Update: I do not have an office. Or a murphy door or a mini fridge or a white board. As is always, always, always the case with us, the ETA on the project was grossly underestimated, and the attention span of the person who has the carpentry skills was equally overestimated. We laid the floor upstairs, and painted the walls. He did a fantastic job. We helped. The baseboards are stacked behind me and my former “office” now looks like a construction site shared with an x box and a litter box, and we are still paying for a storage unit that contains most of our shit.
I’m pretty mad about that. Because I predicted it, to the usual chorus of denial. I promised I would stop mocking our (his) perception of time and our (his) capacity for creating a realistic expectation. Our (his) formula for estimating the timeline for a project is to create an approximate ETA, and then double it, then (I) add seven years. I do not feel an obligation to keep that promise. This weekend, while he skips off to help his bestie install some bullshit I don’t care about at the friend’s lakehouse, I will be cleaning out the basement, ostensibly so it’s ready for flooring. This is really why I am mad, I think. It makes me feel like our needs aren’t a priority.
Prediction: I will still be down here in July.
So I’m back to screaming at my newsfeed in the basement again.
I do my best writing when I don’t have the means to capture it. On the drive to the gym each morning, I write what I always think are thought-provoking responses or reactions to things I read, or that I was remembering while I drank my coffee; by the time I am home, the urgency has passed. I’ve tried videotaping myself talking it out, as I often do in my head, or voice-texting my thoughts to be edited later. That works, sometimes.
Then, when get home, my internal editor scraps whatever it is I came up with, either because I legitimately don’t know where I was going with that, or because it’s dumb or irrelevant or been said a thousand times or I’m afraid it’s stupid and I’m the only one who doesn’t see it.
You can’t be online 5 minutes without realizing this is a thing that all writers do. All the time. Some more than others. Me? More than most.
So much so that I am sick of writing about it. I’m so sick of myself. I’m so sick of everyone else.
My children are growing up, my marriage has become the hypnotic, rhythmic sway of a slow dance at a 50-year high school reunion – the promise of what may be has faded into the comforting echo of what is, of all that we had hoped for – in vain, or otherwise. My life is settling into the groove of the path of the road of the highway of the tired metaphor that it will follow off the symbolic offramp to the mystical wherever. My list of never-wills is growing along with my existential rage – my soul dies a little every day. The world is dying – it always has been, just like us, it’s just that now we can see the itinerary. Just like me, growing old.
Wow. I am super pissed that I don’t have an office, apparently.
Nothing interesting happens to me, and I don’t like to tell other people’s stories. Whatever wisdom I have to tell is sharp and bitter – and pointless. Someone once, in college, made a point about life on earth with a yardstick and an emory board. He showed, in distance, how long the dinosaurs existed, how long some form of what we consider our ancestors to be existed, and finally, when it came to humanity as we know it, he took the file and swiped it once across the end of the stick, effectively wiping out any evidence of our existence. In the grand scheme of things, we are a cosmic sneeze. In 200,000 years our selfishness has put our very existence in danger – we won’t turn it around in 12. Or fifteen, or a hundred. It was over before it began.
I wonder. Will another species rise when we are gone? Or will the planet die? The notion that there are other planets somewhere, in other galaxies that evolved much as we did, that are out there doing a better job than we did brings me a little light. It makes it all seem less futile.
Existentialism is brutal, and cruel, and relentless and I can understand why some would reject it for the hope of an afterlife. I understand the need for faith – without faith, you have no hope, and without hope you have nothing.
Really, really mad that I don’t have an office.
On a lighter note, here are some things I have been reading. some happy, some sad – all excellent writing. The kind I aspire to. Enjoy. Perhaps I’ll even take a stab it it someday, this writing thing. Wouldn’t that be cool?