The first Monday of the month I was at a friend’s house for dinner, peering over her shoulder as she showed me the wonder that is astrologyzone.com. I am very recently interested in astrology at all, and before a few weeks ago I had never even heard of internet astrology.
This site is great, said the friend. So good.
So I read my horoscope for the month, all four pages of it, and it told me that my month was going to be most excellent. Everything was going to come together like melted chocolate and heavy cream in a kitchenaid mixer – a wonderful forecast to make up, I am assuming, for the mercury retrograde that was everyone’s supposed “horrible” January. (I actually had a perfectly wonderful January.) According to this site, my February would start out on a good note, and by the end, I would be wealthy, promoted, and in love. The best day of the month, said the horoscope, would be the seventeenth.
I call bullshit.
This month has been terrible. And today, the seventeenth, has by far been the very worst day. Yesterday I had panic attacks all day for no apparent reason, had sugar cravings that were so strong I started to cry, couldn’t write (trying to write just gave me even more anxiety), was awake till two am, and then couldn’t hardly sleep. In the morning I got my period and was like- DUH. And I felt better for a minute, biked to a friend’s, and collapsed on her bed with the worst cramps EVER. Not even aspirin would kill that shit, and I know aspirin sounds weak, but I never take pain meds and so usually one measly little aspirin does the job like a champ. So I took two. Whoah dude! My friend went to work, I fell asleep for a minute with her cat in my armpit, and when I woke it was dark. I bought some organic eggs from the corner store and two avocados and biked home. Once home I watched Mr. & Ms. Smith (don’t laugh, it was at the library, and I happen to have a thing for Brangelina) but the movie was so BORING and it made me depressed like movies always do, so I took a shower and sat in the tub under the water and cried and wished there was some other place I could go to besides here, or that I was a superhero ninja spy with a zipline gun or at least a part time job.
As far as I’m concerned, the seventeenth didn’t even HAPPEN. This day was wiped off the face of the earth.
That’s what my horoscope should have said: We checked your chart, and it looks like the seventeenth is totally missing. Hmm…
A request for my readers- If you’re the kind of person who loves routine, who has any easy time making long-term plans and sticking to them, who can do things like balance their checkbook and fill out long, pointless applications and sit under fluorescent lights and ride in elevators without feeling like their heart is being smothered like a bird in the same room as a burning Teflon pan, BE GRATEFUL FOR THAT SHIT.
I can’t. And I don’t know why. When I was like, nineteen, being a giant flake who couldn’t commit to anything was a whole lot of fun- you know, my whole life ahead of me and I could live off of dumpstered bagels and anything was possible and stuff.
But it’s not fun anymore. It hasn’t been “fun” for a few years now, and I’ve been desperately trying to find some way that I can exist in this everyday world of meaningless bullshit and abstract career plans without crushing the magical fantasy land that lives in my heart. I know that sounds stupid and self-centered, and it is. It’s naïve of me to even have my own pet fantasy land, but I do, and it’s the one thing that keeps me alive. I’ve had it ever since I was a kid- you know, when I was poor and stuff- not poor like I am now, because being poor when you’re ten is way different than being poor when you’re 26 and not crazy or drug addicted or blah blah blah. So it’s not something that grew out of privilege, it’s just me. ME. So I’ve been trying really hard to find a way to prop myself up and get some sort of consistency in my life so that I can you know, live, and pay my rent and eat, but the things that are easiest for most people, it seems, are the hardest for me- I’m not afraid to be homeless or ride freight trains or hitch-hike or not have a future but I’m completely incapable, apparently, of structuring my time or getting a job or living in one place for more than three months without having panic attacks.
Oh yeah, that’s pretty much the worst part. My brain is on a timer. I can be happy someplace, sure! For three months. And then, DING! It’s anxiety time! Time to go! It’s like I’m fucking Cinderella or something, and my coach turns into a pumpkin. I think maybe I’m addicted to travel, it does something in my brain that makes me forget about my problems, and so as soon as I leave a place I feel better, like life is a fresh clean slate and once again, anything is possible.
Maybe it’s because I’m white and I’m a colonizer, but there’s nothing left to colonize. So now there’s all these white people on three-month adventure timers bumping up against the pacific ocean, freaking out. There’s nothing left! There’s nothing left!
It’s funny when I write about it, but actually it’s really serious. I’m actually freaking out right now, sort of disappointed in myself because I was all set to live in Portland for a good while (so I could finish my novel and make something of myself, you know, at some point) but then my three-month timer went off, and 85 thousand words doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t even stand to look at the screen to finish editing it. It’s really hard to try to write a book, you have to hold it in your head like this magical object, and it takes all your strength and energy to hold it up, and the only thing that keeps you going is this sort of miraculous belief that it even exists, the ability to see it in your head. So then the belief just dies one day for some mysterious reason and instead of writing you cry, and stare at the stupid story on the stupid glowing screen that you were stupid enough to think people would actually want to read, and you put your head down on your desk, and try to resist the urge to smash the computer’s face in with your U-lock, even though then you would be free, because you would never be able to afford another computer, ever, and you could just go be a hobo in the desert, and live in a cave made of rock, and be one with the lizards, and die.
Logic! What I need is more logic, and less metaphors! How do I do this? Some sort of logic coach? No-one ever taught me how to live in the real world…
There is one thing, I know, that always helps, when I feel this way: Nature. Nature is so good for me, it makes my anxiety go away pretty much instantly, like *poof*! The only problem is that human community doesn’t exist in nature anymore (and please don’t tell me to go live on a land collective, six people in the middle of the woods does not a thriving community make) and my human community (the gaywads) even less- so I pretty much have to choose, again and again, between my mental health (nature) and my friends (the city). And when it come down to it I take lonely and grounded over social and anxious, and then when I feel better, I usually drift back to the city, so I can go out dancing and feel hot and like I’m a real human being who relates to other, similar human beings, and then I start to feel overwhelmed and anxious again…
SO, I’m looking at farming internships for the summer, is what I’m doing. It’s time I learned to grow things anyway, what with the impending collapse of western civilization and all. At the rate I’m completing my “livin’ off the land” curriculum, I’ll never get to graduate from the school of anti-capitalism with a degree in DIY. So it’ll be alright. I’ll just be lonely, is all, and maybe I’ll turn into Annie Dillard and write a book about preying mantises eating each other and how a muddy flooded stream is an elaborate metaphor for a cruel and heartless universe, and then I’ll wind the Pulitzer prize.
(oh Annie, you know I love you. You’re my one and only, even if it is a little creepy that so many of my friends have made out with your kid.)
This post= self-centered and rambling, aka therapeutic and helpful. Thanks for listening. I feel better now. Really, I do.
Also, a few inspiring posts for your consideration, from blogs that are not mine, to prove just how heartbreakly beautiful a blog post, of all things, on the stupid glowing computer screen, of all places, can be-