My name's Dave. I'm working on it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dying Like a Day

Taped onto one of the shelves on my desk is a strip of paper which has the following words typed on it: Writing makes you feel better. It was given to me by my friends Staci and Solon, who had made several copies of it to keep as general reminders, free to whomever needed one. I took one home after my last visit with them.
How true it is. Miraculously, the simple setting down of words, as with the speaking of one's feelings, has such a therapeutic effect. Nothing is changed or fixed, but just getting it out does so much.
Today I have been struggling against time, willing the clocks to stop, and growing more and more sad as I futilely watch the day slip through my fingers. I feel this every day, and yet I find that it's more intense when I'm actually using my time well. I have been so productive today! I argue. Why cannot time slow down for these moments? When I waste my time, I hardly notice the end of the day approaching. But when I have lived, when I have done all I could do, it always makes me sad. I start to slow down. The coffee has long since worn off, the light starts to fade. The energy, the will drains out of me. Perhaps it's simply the passing of my peak hours that brings me down. I feel most creative and alive between nine a.m. and noon. Once it's past, I cannot help but feel diminished.
But that's no reason to let it stop me entirely. I would do well to learn to work with these feelings, not futilely rail against them. I just refuse to accept the inevitable passing of that part of the day, and that part of me that lives in it. I can create and function for the afternoon and night if I just readjust my expectations and intentions. Mornings are good for writing and listening to pop music (especially Elephant 6 stuff). Afternoons are good for reading and drinking tea and relaxing. Evenings make me want to listen to Low, drink Papio, and perhaps do a bit more writing. These are all good things.
But I still have the desire to retain that morning feeling, that fresh, zealous attitude, and so I despair everytime I am unable to keep it.
So the good days seem to fly by, the mornings of infinite possibility and joy, and the down times seem to last forever. I still get sad, and each passing morning feels like a tiny death. I can't stop it.
So I write it down. The clock still counts off the seconds, the day wanes.
But writing does make you feel better. It's true.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fuck Safeway

Safeway truly is one of the outposts of hell. You can tell just by looking at it, even from the outside. There is, after all, a giant red 'S' guarding the front gates...
You enter and immediately feel your soul being bombarded by the tacky cardboard displays and condescending banal sales pitches blaring out through the speakers, sandwiched between some of the worst songs you never hoped to hear again. They seem to specialize in mid-90s soft rock, usually Phil Collins or Rick Astley or some other sucker of Satan's cock, as Bill Hicks would say. Really. Can anyone actually stand it? Are Safeway regulars so fucking inundated with noise and ads and shitty music that they don't notice it anymore?
I went in with the simple intention of buying some burn ointment. I was sealing a letter with wax not long before and burnt my finger on the lighter, in my determination not to touch the wax itself. I didn't have anything in my bathroom, of course, so I reluctantly headed out the door and drove off.
I scanned the Pain Relief and First Aid aisles. Row after row of Ibuprofen and Alleve and fuck-all knows what else. Itch relief. Cracked skin relief. Relief for nearly every possible ailment imaginable... except burns. I blinked. I looked again, sure I was missing it. Nothing. I asked for help and the guy started looking feebly through the rows, just as I had, while meekly asking me about the nature of the burn. Was it serious? Did I really need some ointment for it? No, I told him, it's not dire, but it hurts and I would certainly like to put something on it. Oh and did I mention that I don't have to justify to you why I want to put burn cream on, you fucking moron? Do I need to have a third-degree burn before you'll magically produce something from your back pocket? Christ. What are you trying to gauge with these inane questions about the state of my finger? I guess he felt the need to make conversation to stall the inevitable.
He suggested Benadryl in the end, it being useful for burns among other things. I wanted to murder the guy. But I thanked him and turned away any further assistance so he would leave, and then picked up the Benadryl and walked away from the First Aid section.
Goddamnit. I had been in such a good mood earlier.
The soulless, vapid energy of the place was getting to me, so I moved to the aisle with all the cookies and such and looked for something sweet to buy. Nutter Butters perhaps. I scanned the different cookies, their plastic sheen glistening in the fluorescence like tiny idols. Nothing appealed to me enough to actually pick up. But I began fiddling with the Benadryl box. My finger was still red and hurting. I opened it and unscrewed it and put a bit on the burn, which felt nice. I was careful not to crease the tube. I capped it and closed up the box again. I am thankful I didn't have to break any seals to open it. My finger felt a little better, and I walked the Benadryl back to its shelf and put it back with all the other forms of relief. That cheered me up a little.
But I still wanted something for my sweet tooth.
Thankfully, it's the right time of year for this sort of thing. I walked to the end of the store and found some Cadbury eggs, paid for them, and headed out into the night air.
Fuck that place. I'll take Winco anyday. The people who shop there may be terrifying, but at least there's no Michael Bolton playing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Beware the Ides of March

I’ve thrown out all my old attempts at updating and written them off to being too old, left to sit too long. I don’t really care anymore to make this all that spectacular. I have to write something, or I’ll suffocate. I have been such an emotional mess the past month, and gotten almost nothing done. I’ve been caught up in an extremely intense relationship, which now finds itself finally being laid to rest. I can feel it below the ground. The earth is still soft. I felt the end coming and coming and it kept going up and down and threatening to break into something beautiful, but I knew it wouldn’t. I feel like I’ve tried really hard to grow and listen (and hear) things that were said to me, and yet I always fell short of doing so. I always shouldered the blame; I always took it all on myself. Sometimes I think that I’m doing so well, and then I just lose it entirely. I feel that in many ways I have been wrong, been unfair or unkind or simply not listened. But I am trying. I am trying so hard to hear.
Yet time and time again, I fail.
I am so very tired of this.
I have so many things to do. I’ve made a list of them all, which just stretches before me like a life sentence. I feel overwhelmed and stretched thin enough to break and I am just so, so tired. I need to take better care of myself. I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

I will try to update more, for those of you who read this. I’m sorry it’s been so long.

But enough of “the fight,” enough “you and I,” enough of “prevail” or “walk in the light.” While the angels stand by I get high as a kite. I'm too tired to smile or know that I'm right. Am I right? And all our best-laid plans, they crumbled in our hands. ~Okkervil River