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March 18, 2012

I’m scared. But at least I’m not scared by myself.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 10:40 pm

Blog. Hi, Blog. I’m sad tonight. I don’t really have a good reason to be sad. I’m just sad. Writing helps me out with that sometimes.

I’ve been crying a lot this week. It feels like productive crying, the kind that means I’m working through something somatically that I don’t have words for. I try not to do too much storytelling when that happens. It’s too easy to map some kind of narrative onto my emotional discomfort as a way to try and make it easier to deal with — since I’m way better at solving problems with my brain than I am with my body — but that way lies dangerous misapprehensions about what’s going on for me, especially when they get translated into conversations with other people about what’s going on for me.

I finally read the rest of Steffi’s letter today. I’d read half of it over breakfast a couple of weeks ago, but then hadn’t really had a moment to myself to finish it until this afternoon. It was wonderful, of course. Her letters always have this great balance of visceral descriptive detail and reflexive subjectively-situated analysis, and she just has killer voice. Part of me wants to publish everything she writes me on the Internet so that other people can appreciate the awesome (which is an idea that she and I have played with) and part of me wants to keep them all to myself and read them over and over again when civilization is getting me down.

Here’s an excerpt from this recent one that really made me smile:

“…The whole “cool” aspect of traveling. I hate that shit. I meet kids all the time who it feels like don’t think I’m cool enough ’cause I don’t smoke pot or haven’t been traveling for long enough or some stupid bullshit. It’s like, if we’re going to reject so many things about society and live on the streets and shit, can’t we FINALLY reject the fucking idea of “cool”?

Apparently not. I keep thinking I will eventually find some sort of group of people who don’t give a fuck about being cool but I should probably just give up on that. I’m sure, to be fair, that I care about it too.”

Meanwhile, Lafe and I are on IM chatting about the best way to navigate quitting our respective jobs. He’s drunk. And keeps saying lovely things about the twisted logic of capitalism.

Lafe: i’ve been really stressed
but i’m so glad
that this is happening
i feel like i’m about to wake up
from this long awful dream of employment and school

Which has been quite cheering, actually. Huh. Maybe I’m not sad right now because something is wrong with my brain. Maybe I’m sad because something is wrong with the world.

Standing in my kitchen earlier today, trying to figure out how to make sense of the available leftovers in the fridge enough to feed myself, I found myself thinking this: People who are close to me have been making concerned noises, but people with a less vested interest in well-being keep telling me how much “lighter” I look, emotionally, since the beginning of the year. It’s true. I feel lighter, too. And I’ve made some pretty drastic changes in my life to get there; cutting off contact with my mom, quitting my job, investing a huge amount of time and money into physical self-care, getting involved with political work that’s meaningful to me but bound to make me some unfriends. And it feels good. But it feels like a lot. As I stand looking over the edge of this cliff I’m about to jump off, a voice in my head can’t help asking, “Is it too much, too fast? Am I going to crash?”

Here’s another excerpt from Steffi’s letter:

“I’ve been thinking about you a lot. About what it would be like to take you traveling, the way I’ve been traveling. I get to experience so many beautiful things but I’m also hungry most of the time and, recently at least, cold a whole lot and I only shower about every two weeks and I’m having to learn to deal with the fact that a lot of people treat you like shit if they can tell you’re ‘homeless’. […] But the place is beautiful. Last night I watched the full moon rise over the mountains in the pure, beautiful silence. I guess I’m kinda just exhausted by traveling, life, people, whatever. Being cold all the time sure does take a lot out of you.”

True. But being sad all the time does, too.

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