Calm. Down.

That’s too many isms. I am freaking the fuck out around here lately. I used to be really good with people and I think I still am outwardly, but I leave every interaction feeling a little disoriented. Sometimes a lot disoriented. I don’t know what it is. I can’t seem to relax around people. Maybe because I’m new in town?

Today I found out my schedule is going to go down to four days. Still five shifts but instead of 3 night shifts and 2 day shifts, it’s going to be the reverse. It’s great except that I have this expensive ass health care and I am broke now. God damn health care, too, because it seems like you just go to the doctor once a year and they don’t really do anything if you are healthy. I haven’t gone to the doctor in like ten years, though I did get free MRIs all the time when I lived in DC by participating in the National Institutes of Health studies, and I seem to be fine. Shit. Should have tried to keep that up.

My other job, who a couple weeks ago said they were going to see about bringing me back in for a couple shifts, they haven’t said anything and I don’t really want to go work there, but I do have a foot in the door already there so it’s slightly more enticing then trying to start somewhere else.

The upside is that I have Sundays off, so my wife and I will have a day off together every week.

I have been super jumpy all day. Well, except for this morning, when I rode the train in a modified fetal position. I got into the seat and literally hugged my backpack and buried my face in it. I didn’t exactly feel like a terrified child, but I felt like doing that so maybe I was just in denial that I felt that way. I was all depressed and shit and then I got a coffee with espresso in it and drank that shit all at once before starting work. It worked ok at first, in fact the whole shift was fine. In the end, though, I just feel off and crazy.

I waited on this table of dudes my age that were apparently in the fashion industry and they were saying fuck this and fuck that and I was at first thinking oh, cool someone who curses as much as I do. But for some reason it started to seem weird and then I started to think less of these guys. I think it had something to do with their clothes and what they were actually talking about, I don’t know exactly. By the end of their lunch I was thinking these mother fuckers should stop cursing so much.

I am listening to Rob Zombie and writing so I am starting to feel better. I thought that I might. But I wish I knew why I got so crazy in the first place. Why am I feeling so anxious out in the world? I hope I’m not becoming agoraphobic.

Would Be Nice to Be a Cat

I have things I should be doing right now but I am too bored to do them. And I don’t want anything to change ever, just want to sit here and fall asleep and wake up and it’s the same time and I don’t have to do anything else and I’ll just be as bored or whatever.

Firebreak

Two nights ago I wrote for a couple hours about some made up people on a made up island. I thought it went well and then the next morning I sat down to think about writing again in the same vein. I was even thinking I would start getting up early in the morning every day to write (which I sometimes think of doing, every once in a while I start thinking that). But I got up the next day around nine and I sat staring at my books and I thought, shit I don’t know what to write about, and even if I did what’s the point of this story, and the point of life, as I usually do. My wife was like, “Do you want to do yoga with me?” I was like fuck it, “Ok.” I figured if I did the yoga I would stop the downward spiral and at least switch gears, if not feel better. Well, after yoga I didn’t really care about writing but i also didn’t really care that I didn’t care. Wife got angry about something that her sister said and they both went to their rooms and slammed the door. It was something about the knives not being sharp which wife took as a personal affront since she’s the one who usually sharpens them and neither of us have done it before. So I watched a video on sharpening knives with a whetstone and then I sharpened knives for two hours. I ate lunch and then I went to work. So I didn’t get any writing done, but I didn’t sit around staring at books and thinking about how terrible things were. And then I didn’t get up from the couch and get dressed for work thinking, what a wasted day. Maybe the day was a waste, most are, but it wasn’t such a bad day.

Today I got up and realized I don’t have to be at work for an hour later than I thought I would. So then I went on twitter to tweet some BS to try to promote this guy’s book and read all this stuff in the news about Charlie Hebdo. And then I tried to write more on that story but I just wasn’t into it. I got like an hour before I have to leave for work now and I don’t know what I’ll do, but I guess I better get away from this typing machine before I start typing what a stupid idea it was to be born, &c.

Wife is already pacing the apartment listing all the things she has to do and how does anyone expect her to get this all done, &c. I guess I’ll try to eat something and take a shower or some normal thing people do.

Pointless Update No. 78

I had the day off and I didn’t want to fuck it up so I did a bunch of shit during the day. Now I’m all done. It’s cold as a bitch out there and I am inside with fingerless gloves on. Hell yeah I’ve been wanting these bitches for a while. Looking like some Oliver Twist type mother fucker out here. But this time for real, because I didn’t just cut the top off of some stretchy ones.

I’m not actually in the mood to just think more and more about myself right now, so that’s weird. I’ve been reading Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon because my new reading coordinator decided that’s what I’m going to be reading now. It is good. A lot of characters. So I am reading it slowly. I am halfway through now so this is about the point where I just dropped everything and read till the end when I was reading Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Still don’t understand that title. But yeah I kind of want to just read the rest of the day away. I’ve got about two straight hours to chill now. But I am back on the writing a book thing. So I guess I’ll try to think of a book now.

Paradoxical Post

Fifteen minutes left in the first day of 2015. I’m drinking tea, herbal tea, with honey in it. I decided I’ve been drinking too much. I’m not worried about my health I just drink automatically now, without really thinking about why or really enjoying it. I enjoy it but I usually drink and then go to sleep within a half an hour, so it kind of wastes the drunk and then I just get up with joint pain and old people shit.

I used to think that if you had fifteen minutes, you could really do something productive. Like why not write five hundred words? Just set a timer and go! Do that every day and after a year, you’ve got a book. Well, maybe fuck that shit. Most of the time I don’t want to start doing that because I’m afraid I’ll get to invested in it and then be sad that I have to stop doing it. And not only is that probably true, maybe those fifteen minutes weren’t even productive, in a real sense of the word. What do I mean by the real sense of the word? I don’t know, productive as in making your life better…? Fuck if I know.

It’s funny too because I was thinking about that while I started writing this post, knowing that I only have like five minutes to write before Wife gets out of the bathroom.

So I guess the point is I am not going to worry about setting timers and doing shit for twenty minutes at a time. If I have to set timers and shit like that, then maybe fuck it, maybe I’m not supposed to write a god damn book twenty minutes at a time.

I really have to clean up my language though. I’d like to get thoughts across in a clear and direct and concise manner. But here I am writing “maybe I’m not supposed to” as if I believe in fate.

That’s what I was thinking today when I was thinking I would drink this tea instead of beer. I was thinking that there are these leftover things in my brain. Like you take away the root assumption but the habits remain. You take out the axis but the spokes of the wheel are hidden all throughout your subconscious. Like when I stopped believing in God or when I stopped believing that material possessions were the measure of success. I want to be in control of my thoughts to the extent that I can, not just relying on old algorithms that I made up a long time ago. Like I used to think that drinking a lot meant that you were cool, and then I thought that drinking a beer is kind of a reward for a day of hard labor. I still kind of believe both of those things, but now it’s not very important for me to be cool, as I’m married and have no fake friends to impress. So now I kind of automatically drink a beer when I get home, but I’m going to stop that shit.

Double Barrel Buck Shot

Gustave Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you can be violent and original in your work.”

Today I tried to think about ways to make my life more orderly.

I went to the gym the other day for the first time in two months. Then today I found out that there is an associated gym half a mile from where I work, so I can go right after work on Friday and Saturday. If I go both of the days that I have off, that’s four days a week.

Today I felt less like I had to accomplish anything but getting through the day, because there was a lot to do with the gym and working and eating and cleaning myself, and I think I felt better going through the day like that, not trying to accomplish anything. I think throwing 2015 away before it starts is a really great idea.

I feel like I can be really violent and original in my work now, whatever the hell that means.

I am almost done with Les Miserables. Sweet.

I think next Friday I will try to do the exact same shit I did today, at all the exact same times. That shit will be so orderly.

My Second Day Off in a Row

My wife and I are behind dueling computers at the kitchen table. She is supposed to be doing her schoolwork, which is reading things about the environment. So I thought I would do some writing exercises. It turned out to be a bad idea, since her idea of reading is having a conversation at the end of each paragraph.

Sometimes after I drink coffee and start writing, when people talk to me I feel like I’m going to rip a hole in my chest and stick my head in it. I feel very frantic, like they can’t get to the end of what they are saying fast enough. I try to think of proper responses to what she says, but I’m so angry.

She’ll say, “My mom is coming on Sunday. And they are going to take the train. Can you believe that?” (They usually drive.)

I’ll respond, “Ugh! So fucking stupid!” while gritting my teeth.

Today I am off again and she has to work at 3, so I guess I’ll just wait until then to do the writing exercises. Of course now that I’ve switched to the blog she is not talking.

Yesterday ended pretty good. When she got home we ordered pizza on Seamless, drank this moscato that we’ve been saving, and watched Love, Actually because it’s almost Christmas. Then she fell asleep and I read a couple hundred iPhone pages of Les Miserables. But then she woke up and was pissed that it was 2 AM and she said we should be going to be earlier and then she found five or ten different ways of saying it and each took longer than the last.

But then this morning she apologized of course and it was fine.

I’d like to not get so caught up in myself today, but I don’t know how I’ll avoid it. I am supposed to go to the gym since I have been paying for the membership for the last two months without going once. So I have to go today. And I have to go grocery shopping after I drop her off at work. And I have to work on that old man’s project.

i guess that all will help me avoid it because I won’t have time to think about myself too much. What I need to do is reign myself in and use that energy to accomplish physical shit. Remember what Vonnegut said: “I tell you, we’re here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

Just Get It Over With, Christ

Well it’s not going so bad, today. I think the key was taking a shower. I took like an hour long shower and shave and got dressed in actual clothes and suddenly I didn’t feel like I was fucking everything up. So simple.

On the other hand it’s dark now. It’s almost six. And now I am starting to feel like I should be drinking, fuck it, I earned it, at the same time I am thinking I didn’t do shit.

The cold facts are that I took a shower, shaved, folded laundry, called that old dude, deleted a hundred and fifty emails from my inbox (down to 800 now), read twenty pages of Les Miserables, checked my blog stats thirty times, listened to Marc Maron interviewing Ian Edwards for 90 minutes, listened to some news stories, washed the dishes, and completed the first exercise in John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction.

Well, I think that is pretty good for the first of two days off, the one where I’m not supposed to do anything, but I’m sure it’s not enough to fend off the crushing weight of responsibility that 9 o’clock will bring. I’m trying to view this shit objectively.

Well it’s going better than I thought it would. But then again, I make that pretty easy. Ha! That’s pretty much my strategy. I’m pretty sure when I die I’m going to be relieved. “I knew this was going to happen. Son of a bitch! Oh well.”

On the Precipice of a Wasted Day

Looks like WordPress has been having some issues with their ping backs on the daily prompt so I guess I’m not special enough to actually get banned from being posted on there. That’s upsetting to me, but guess what, when they fix that shit I’m going to post on there again! Ha! Sorry, pickledsparklymooseprincess!

It’s all shitty and raining outside and cold as a bitch but I’ve got the day off. And I ain’t even going to do shit. This old mother fucker can call me if he wants. He owes me like five hundred dollars at this point and I ain’t even done shit on that project for a few weeks.

I’d better be careful today. Sometimes I have days off and I set the expectations so low that by the end of the day I’m like shit man I didn’t do anything today but I also didn’t enjoy it. I have a bad relationship with days off. Almost makes me wish I had an Xbox. At least by the end of the day I would have built myself a new battleship or something. I need instant gratification or else it’s all a waste. I guess I could try to get a thousand more iPhone pages into Les Miserables. Then again I been reading on days I work, because I can, whereas I have not been writing because I don’t have time for that shit. So I should just write the whole time, but I always say that and then at the end of the day I do not feel good. And then the next day I probably bust out a thousand words in five minutes that were better than the whole day of writing before. But of course it could be that I had to write all that dumb shit to find those five minutes of gold. That’s only a rationalization; I don’t really believe it.

And I can already feel the sleep coming on. Maybe I just have to get dressed in shitty clothes and get my ass out there in the rain and get uncomfortable. Maybe that’s the secret.

Last night I stayed up until 3 drinking and listening to Nat King Cole’s Joy to the World. I woke up at 5:30 to the sound of a big mirror crashing to the floor. My heart rate tripled and all the sudden I got some extreme heart burn. I downed two Pepto-Bismol tablets and a glass of milk but I thought I was going to have a god damned heart attack. I don’t know what the fuck that was about.

So here we are at one in the afternoon. How will this day play out? How will I end up feeling? What will I wish I had done by the time 9 o’clock gets here?

A Sunday That Happened Today

I had the day off today and so did my wife and we spent it together doing things. Now she is doing her schoolwork and only a minute ago I was at the same desk reading short stories and bits of writing about writing from writers long dead. Now I am sitting on the couch next to the window that needs more insulation.

It was nice weather this morning and we walked in Carroll Gardens which is a rich part of Brooklyn lined with unique and expensive stores. We dropped off frozen compost at the farmer’s market there and bought two heads of red leaf lettuce. It was cold and barren at the farmer’s market and the earth seemed dull and stupid.

We came home and made turkey salad and ate and then Wife felt sleepy and blamed it on the tryptophan. I suggested she might have amyloidosis, because it’s going around the neighborhood.

Last night I stayed up until three reading about a Chicago restaurant’s reservation policy in minute detail. We woke up at ten and I had to decide whether or not I was upset to leave a dream where I was in the middle of making a flight reservation at an airport where they were also gearing up to sell the latest Playstation. It was a lot of drudgery and tedium so I don’t know why I would want to stay in that world, but for a few minutes, I did.

Wife’s parents came upstairs when dropping off her sister and they brought with them enough toilet paper and paper towels to last us until the apocalypse. They carried off a dying plant and shook their heads at our negligence. They were gone so fast we forgot to return to them these bulky water jugs, now empty, that they brought here last time filled with special Japanese water that cures headaches and keeps away mosquitos.

Her parents don’t like to stand still. They had just returned from Atlantic City but they didn’t give us any money so I guess they didn’t win too much. But they brought us dinner in takeout containers.

A penny saved on dinner is a penny earned to spend on something better so now I am waiting until Wife is ready to leave the house and when she is ready then, my friend, we will swagger forth into the night and swipe the debit card linked to our shared account and we will return to our lair with fresh rations of alcohol.