January 03, 2004

The year begins and I am thoroughly confused.


What were you doing at midnight? my grandma asked me yesterday. Hangin' out, I said, watching the ball drop. Which is true. At midnight I was with I'm going to go ahead and guess twenty-five people in the living room of a house where Guillermo used to live and is still, in the parlance of my friends, "Gurg's house" watching the orb of Waterford Crystal descend into Times Square on TV. I was holding a cup but I wasn't drinking. I was standing behind a girl I wasn't kissing but I would later.

Good, Grandma said, 'Cause they say whatever you're doing at midnight on New Years is what you'll be doing the rest of the year.

Makes me wonder why you don't hear about more people who spend an entire twelve months readjusting their sparkly party hats or turning to the person behind them to offer them a hug and a swig of cheap champagne.

And if you'd have been kissing some hot babe, Grandma said and yes, those were her exact words, that's what you'd be doing all year.

How tragic that would be, I said.


I was just watching some VH-1 expose on reality TV shows and it has me thinking about the fuzzy lines between life and entertainment and art, the sort of stuff I spent all semester trying to avoid thinking about, in spite of my Writing the Essay class's best attempts to get me to do otherwise. Unfortunate considering I was watching TV to avoid thinking. Avoidance, concious or otherwise, has been the leitmotif of my Christmas break. Avoid writing, avoid thinking, avoid picking up the phone: the boiling point has been reached.

I have to write but writing's a burden. It's heavy with obligations and fears, and a hiccup in your routine can have you using those as excuses. Not having anything to say is an excuse not to write. Going to bed is an excuse not to write. After a while you've gotten so good at slinging around excuses that the length of time you've been away from the keyboard in itself becomes an excuse; when you sit down what you write will be stodgy, long-winded, stilted, self-indulgent, and you'll say see, I was never any good and I was right to put this off and the memory of this rocky return will be more fuel when this cycle repeats itself, and it will.

In Writing the Essay, the class that asked me to consider (at length) art and its relation to practically everything, a request to which I replied um, no, the teacher suggested we let our writing mimic the subject we're describing. For an example she gave us an essay about a baby's first steps where some of the sentences were long-winded and some ended abruptly, like a newly bipedal infant catching confidence then falling on his ass. I am writing about the difficulty of getting writing again after a long and shamefully voluntary abscence. It is awkward and scattershot and for the life of me just not very good.

I got an A in that class, by the way.


In Case You're Wondering, I Am Talking Around Something: I shook the faith someone I love has in me and I don't for the life of me don't know how to make it right.


You can tell your grandkids the New Year's Eve superstition, and if you fudge the timeline a little bit, you can tell them that at the beginning of 2004 I was at the keyboard, typing away, and that was the way I stayed the whole year. And since you've already started exaggerating, you can leave out the part about how I was thoroughly confused.

Posted by DC at January 3, 2004 03:40 AM
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