So. I was going to write something for Wednesday.
And then I froze up.
I attributed it to being so busy at work lately, with the crazy work hours and the uncertainty (not about my job, just about where at my job I'd be working next) and having fun doing other things like watching lots and lots of TV. (The new fall season has begun and my Dish Network receiver is bitching about pulling long hours at minimum wage and having to record constantly.)
But then, in the middle of the night, hours after I would have normally writtten an update, I couldn't sleep. The windows were open. This week is the first time it's been cool in Austin without rain, and I was enjoying the cold air, even as I bundled myself under three blankets against it. I didn't know if it was caffeine or restlesness or the fact that I'd slept until noon that day, the only day off I've gotten since my aborted half-vacation that I foolishly tried to take the week of the terrorist attack.
Then, at about 2:30 a.m., I sat up in bed. Cosa was wandering the length of the bed, looking for a place to rest. I stroked her back, and she curled up against it. I sighed deeply and put my feet over the edge of a bed that's so much taller now with the new mattress.
Something filled me then, and I wish I knew what it was. It was a hopelessness. A kind of restless pain for which I couldn't find an easy cause. I thought about my life over the last four years here, all the joy and the sadness, the wonderful moments and the disappointments, and it hit me that it's been four years since I left college, four years since I started my "real life," and I don't know that I have any more answers or happiness than I did when I started this journey. I don't know that I am happy with the decisions I've made or if I've chosen well or if I haven't missed out by not following a less readily available path.
And I don't know if it's because of what's happened recently, the thing we want to stop talking about, but we can't because it's there, like an open flap of skin, still bleeding. I imagine a lot of people, even those who haven't been directly affected by the attacks, still find themselves struggling with sleep, grappling with the enormity, wondering how their lives stack up against it.
When everything feels trivial. When things seem to lack purpose and meaning now. When you can look at your own life and wonder why you even gave a shit about that thing you thought was so important a month ago.
I wish I knew what it was. But something just felt, all of a sudden, Not Right. And after that, it was even harder to find sleep.
I think I'm over it now, but I wish I could promise myself that I won't keep myself awake another night soon, feeling like there's something I lost, fumbling amid the bedsheets in the dark, wondering what it is. Sitting up, searching the months and years past, and grappling with invisible nothings that tear at contentedness.
So, how have you been? Are we living in strange times, or what?
I wish I had some answers or some insight for you today. I really do. The Onion is a lot better for you right now, I think. They completely nailed it this week. They struck a perfect balance, hilarious without being tasteless, and hit it head on. I admire the hell out of them.
So here's something. This is a little funny. Maybe it'll make up for the first half of this entry.
Back in May when I was visiting Los Angeles, I hung out with my longtime friends Chris and Yvonne, who are now a married couple. I was there when they first started dating, way back when I was still in high school, so I've got some personal investment there. I love 'em both. So, while I was visiting, we hit this outdoor market area in Orange County. And we saw an anti-gun poster, right there in the middle of the plaza. It looked like this:
Yes. I was a little freaked out by that, seeing as how I got shot and all. That's the kind of shit that can ruin your day. It hurt! Little bastard brother! This is what it looked like when I got shot:
Yeah, I know. When you get shot, it's impossible to have a flattering picture taken of you. Well, when Chris saw that I'd been shot, he was obviously upset:
Don't go to L.A. It's violent out there, is all I'm saying.
Despite some middle-of-the-night ennui, the Terribly Happy "Notify Your Ass" giveway for those on the notify list is still tonight at midnight.
Hey, look at this! Stuff to buy! Haaawwwt-Damn!
"I see a frightening future... where foolish people believe made-up Nostradamus hoaxes sent to them by electronic mail!"