Process

I read Carsie Blanton’s posts on How to DO Creativity. They were a nice pair that can be found here. I am hung on the idea of “Angel Bait”.

It’s certainly not something that hasn’t been restated before. I think Amanda Palmer references a similar technique in the Art of Asking. Hugh MacLeod of the GapingVoid also talks about this.

why is it that we need to be saturated with things that inspire us in order to create? And is it even a wise idea to question it to begin with?

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ac·com·plish

ac·com·plish
əˈkämpliSH/
verb
  1. achieve or complete successfully.

When someone wants to ‘do’ something, its usually a simple thing. ‘Do’ a puzzle or a crossword. ‘Do’ the dishes or the laundry. ‘Do’ can also be a associated with something not happening now: “What are you going to do about school?” “I am going to do a study abroad program.”

An accomplishment requires one or many ‘do’s’ and it is implied that they were not easy to come by. First you had to ‘do’ the research, then you had to ‘do’ your resume, then you had to ‘do’ the interview.

An accomplishment doesn’t necessarily require a plan to be accomplished. Although the feeling of accomplishment is greater when the ‘do’s’ have been thought through.

Ask Yourself:

  1. What are things you feel that you have accomplished?
  2. What did you have to do to complete your accomplishment?
  3. Have you ever done anything that didn’t feel like an accomplishment?
  4. Have you ever accomplished something and afterwards felt as if you didn’t do anything?
  5. To what extent was your accomplishment hollow and meaningless? Also, do you want to accomplish something again?

5 things I remember when I am unemployed

  1. My body needs protein. In fact it needs all kinds of food. Hollowing out a hot-pocket in an attempt to reduce your carbohydrate intake is not going to assuage your nutrient depletion.
  2. I am very sad. I think about killing myself. I think that my life is not worth anything and that everyone thinks so too. I could make my next post be 5 things I don’t like about myself, and it would be as tough a race as… I don’t know insert sportsball analogy here.
  3. I try really hard. For example, at a nice party with people I really do care about, I find myself extremely uncomfortable and perceive all bonds as closer than any I would have. New girl syndrome takes over and my ‘groove’ is lost.
  4. I need structure. Left to my own devices, I flail my way through my days pretty tremendously. I stay up way too late, forget to eat, remember to drink, refuse to be alone and yet somehow also refuse to let anyone be close, and I spend a lot of time being frustrated.
  5. My life is long, and I have a lot of things I want to do. Nevertheless that the hope which lifts up my heart will be immediately followed by racing thoughts and then never followed up on, the big terrible world is out there for at least a little while longer.

A Word on Magic (and the right places for the things)

If Magic is light & fleeting, then I know it by the feeling:

My face flushes warm in spots and perhaps there is some meaning.

My heart feels like it’s flying, connected to something bigger,

Everything is swelled & buzzing, ticking & jumping: a full discernible vigor.

If this is Magic, I hate to say it but I don’t think this happens.

I’ve rarely felt, at least in real life, swept up in visceral passion.

I don’t think I believe in Magic. I can’t see how I could.

With so much greed and asshole-ery screwing up the world.

When I feel it, it isn’t real, I’m experiencing a screen.

That’s the few times I’ve really felt something. Anything.

I try not to think about this.

It makes me a little sad.

Instead I keep my head down. I’ll grab my journal or a legal pad.

An office is not the place for these revelatory moments.

Neither is a restaurant, or street that’s filled with homeless.

Magic doesn’t happen here, no matter what “The Office” told us.

Sometimes I think the only Magic left is on TV,

some blog or tweet that’s written, it’s trapped behind a screen.

I can’t find the feeling of Magic, or human connection, even when I try.

You have to be sneaky and careful when you look in others’ eyes.

People are broken and hardened and it’s so very rare,

that they will let you close enough to find the Magic there.

So I just keep on going and hope that everything’s alright,

hope that I’m making right decisions, hope it won’t keep me up at night.

Because I’ll have to work tomorrow and as I’ve already said,

Magic doesn’t happen in an office (and isn’t Magic the point??

The reason for the suffering: to find the exclamation points?)

No, it doesn’t happen where I can see, so I’ll watch Netflix instead.

thoughts on recent changes

I was thinking that change has a weird way of pushing onez self into self-reflection. Because everything externally is not really processing fully (because it’s changing) it’s like the mind has to pick at something.

My mind picks on me.

It does has a process that it goes through of popping in with things that are true about me, only to stab those things in the face with every shrapnel piece of doubt it can find.  For,  example, when meeting new people:

BRAIN: She said something weird didn’t she? Do you think she said that about you? I bet she thinks you’re weird.

ME: But I am weird. Everyone is weird, and you are your own weird and that’s something we came to truth with a long time ago, why are you bringing this up again?

BRAIN: *decisively* She thinks you’re weird. And crazy.

ME: AGAIN, we’ve been over this, everyone is crazy, everyone is weird, everyone worries all the time that people are judging them and they never are. Calm the fuck down!

BRAIN: You’re so awkward. But you’re smart and you’re better than this. Stop denying this and do something about it. Now!

ME: *trying not to flail violently in my cubicle* DO WHAT? MAKE EVERY ONE LIKE ME!? Shut up and let me perform this temporary data entry position to make money and to live.

You see, “ME” is aware that in a *temporary* position, if someone really thinks you’re weird and crazy, then w/e you get to never see them again in three weeks. Brain does not. Brain also doesn’t understand that gainful employment is more important than petty insecurity.

Maybe it would be therapeutic to write a full scene where I get to where a brain costume and yell at myself. One of us would have to be pre-recorded… it’d be fitting for it to be the brain since what it tells me it’s been repeating for years and years now.

Went to Bed

She was wined enough and ready for bed as soon as I came to what I wanted to do. They always do. She drank wine and the glass never ended. An endless box of pink zinfandel, and an endless glass. And she wants to watch Jenna Marbles. She wants to play the drinking game. She wants to tell me how she almost joined the navy (it’s a very interesting story). But then I want to watch Moonshine Bonanza, a slightly sad, absolutely in-need-of-attention book store worker turned stripper. I want to watch *her* videos (the book store is now defunct-Borders) and she has, like 7 Aerosmith tattoos. Including Steven Tyler’s famed and ribboned mic stand. I think, in a sad way, that she is cool.

But, she goes to bed. Eventually. First, we peed together. She said she noticed piss in the toilet earlier and realized I must have been there last because I never flush.  I was embarrassed but also slightly amused, proud even.

“Did you know that it takes 7 gallons just to flush?” I said, “If it’s yellow let it mellow man…” It was something I was secretly proud of and I spoke aimlessly. I was in comfortable company.

But, she still went to bed. It happened after I hugged her. This doesn’t make for great fiction but it sure as hell might be the truth. I hugged her-threw my arms around her- and she was ready for bed. About two hours ago, and four glasses of wine ago (if you were keeping track) we were going to go to our pre-paid yoga class at a local brewery with no-sleep and however much Franzia it took us to get there. It’s an hour and a half session, and when she first posed the idea (“You’re NOT going to sleep, c’mon, we’re doing this!”) I thought that there was no way I would ever survive the late drunken night and the assuredly drunken-er morning in which we would attempt that marathon which would be an hour and a half of some of the most uncomfortable poses your body could ever be put into. Most liken yoga to a pretzel. But pretzels can be soft and warm. Yoga hungover (and possibly a bit still-drunk) can be cold and ruthless, like a great steel device squeezing your body into a multitude of halves. Yoga can feel frigid and mechanical. In this state, it tests the limits of your spine in three-hundred-and-sixty-degrees and you (physically but also in your mind) are forced to deal with the obtuse and uncomfortable feeling that your muscles are shredding, and your mind is tearing to bits, like a homework paper you should have been able to turn in. But your dog ate it, and by ate it, I mean: your dog had a shit-load-of wine and then ate your homework and then tried to do fucking yoga in the morning.

Excruciating.

Her boyfriend told me tonight that when I was going to drive drunk after that fight, well, he was just letting me know, he had taken my license plate number and was going to call the cops had I left. This is bullshit. She is actually not his girlfriend. She is his wife. And we are friends. And I was looking forward to yoga with my only friend, his wife.

She began to tell me about the army and as she spoke about this frequently spoken and not understood (by me) “MEPS” process. I have never heard of such and would not google at a time like this, because while she was speaking she never stopped moving.

“When I went to MEPS I just, I just, was on a good track you know, I had four years of stable employment and income and EVERYTHING and I was really going to do it.”

She was twitching. She was sitting on a barstool in our kitchen and it had no back to keep her spine straight. Her shoulders hunched:

“My family and everyone think, they just think it was asthma or something and I wouldn’t have ever said anything…”

“What do you regret?” I asked. It was obvious there was something. Her body was upset. She had not stopped wringing her hands since her nearly-stuttering story began. I couldn’t help but notice and couldn’t help but want to know what exactly was making this story so cringe-y.

“Nothing, I mean, really I don’t regret anything..”

I interrupted: “Well then, what are you afraid that people think?”

She had given me an entire novel of words on the decision she made to join the Navy, a light profile of her recruitment officer, an entertaining physical re-enaction of the MEPS exercises, absurd crab walks and squats. And she had insisted all the while that she had signed a contract with the US government.

“I’m not, I mean, I’m not,” she shifted near constantly, “I just want, it’s just that Jeff thinks, that it was the concussions.”

She was shifting like her ass was on fire, like she had to piss. Her hands were wringing and flailing as if we were in South America in a rainforest and the mosquitoes with their poisons would catch her. Her face contoured endlessly as if to seek sympathy, and at the same time, trying to prove itself a singular concrete figure. Unmovable and brave against weather.

“Jeff thinks it was concussions, ‘cause I had so many in high school? And when he brought it up the other night? I just didn’t know, he thought that? You know? I just thought that, he knew, but he didn’t, so it surprised me? I told my parents it was the concussions from cheerleading and asthma, but no one asked any questions. My uncle, you know my uncle and my brother’s friend had called me and asked me, ‘what THE HELL are you doing?!’ and then I knew. But I MEAN, I don’t want them to know that it was my choice. I just, I had to do it for him.”

She meant her husband. Not Jeff, HER husband. Jeff was a very good friend and long-term roommate. Her husband was the only one who knew the whole story. Her husband she married about a month before she had the Navy tear up her contract. About 3 years before we were sharing this moment, albeit, a drunken moment.

“I didn’t tell anybody, but after a month, I knew it just wasn’t right. I made him ask permission. I said, you HAVE to ask my Dad, you just HAVE to. And at first he was opposed, he didn’t want to get married that way, but he asked and we got married and a month later. I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. I blamed it on my Dad’s cancer. They wanted to call my parents but I wouldn’t let them. So my recruiter told me to take two weeks to think about it. I texted her two weeks later and said I JUST FUCKING CAN’T. I had signed the contract and everything…”

“Love is what it’s all about,” I said, “There’s no stable income, no stable job, nothing worth being able to come home to love.”

“That’s right,” she said, “You know, that’s exactly why I did it.”

We pissed together after this story. I giddily asked her to come with me (I don’t get this sort of girlish intimacy very often). After, she stopped talking about all that. She told me about how she knew when I pissed. We went to the living room and I hugged her. I felt that she had shared with me something, even thought I couldn’t get to the root of the clammy and squirming vulnerability. Still, I wrapped my arms around her. Then, I went to play the next video. The moon-shine stripper video. She was interested; she took a big sip and said, “We should go to bed.” Then she said that we have to go to bed. She got up, with her wine, and she went to bed.

On this America

On this day in America, I am jobless.
On this day in America, millions are jobless.
They are tired, hungry and poor.
On this day in America, millions are loveless.
They have cold blue eyes and can’t realize
the consumption they create will ruin the rest of us.
On this day in America, cold blue screens light up faces.
The faces receive messages and the subconscious will never understand
why it believes nothing is ever enough.
On this day in America, thin red lips tell big fat lies
about perfect thighs and wider eyes and
manufactured beauty that cannot be recreated.
On this day in America, she is filling herself with plastic
and she is dead inside.
On this day in America, he is suppressing himself as if it is his duty
and he will go on this way for years.
They will put themselves in the boxes on their shelves from Ikea and their hopes will collect dust. Inside they will rust.
They will be doing what they are told.

On this day in America, I am tired of the broken, I am tired of the huddled masses, I am tired of lies stacked like a buffet in front of us all. I am tired of the sickness. I am tired of waiting in line under fluorescent lights for freedoms owed and I’m tired of having them stripped away like paper confetti, dangling and drifting in the air above our heads.

On this day in America, we’re expected to celebrate independence. We’re supposed to let the patriotic sycophants roam the streets among the jobless, among the girls and boys, among all the many who have no love in their hearts. We are to celebrate our independence and the roars will drown out the small whisper which is carried on the wind: WE ARE DEPENDENT.

On this day in America, the bastards will win again.