Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vernal

Last December I sat in a white van as the sun set early over Vernal, Utah. Behind me slept about ten adolescent males, peaceful and harmless. I thought about the day ending so early, and it becoming too cold and dark for anyone in Vernal to want to leave their houses, and how many people were eating their dinner, many of them alone, realizing they had accomplished so little in such a short day. We drove past the dinosaur wearing a Santa hat next to the town's giant Christmas tree and passed on through the town. It was already cold out but would get much colder, trapping people in their homes, not because it would be impossible to leave, but because it would be so unpleasant.

The lucky ones would be eating with their families that they loved and loved them, or with their friends or new lovers. The unlucky ones would be eating alone and watching television, or just eating alone, or eating with friends they didn't like or a family that didn't ever like talking to each other.

That night I would be hurriedly eating some instant noodles and then sleeping outside with these boys, too cold to worry about feeling loved or lonely. I was not a part of the world then, but seeing it from the outside made it even more interesting and more depressing.

I thought about how hard life is, especially in the winter, and especially if you live in someplace like Vernal and are by yourself. I thought about how it sometimes helps to distract yourself with things like hobbies or movies or books or blogs. I decided that at this time of year, just to survive is success and that staying inside all day long is okay, and that that is what animals do anyway, and that it's okay to stave off tears of aloneness with a badly made movie from Blockbuster. Microwave dinners are okay too, and so is putting on music and the TV at the same time as reading a book just to distract from the repressive silence and fruitless drudgery of introspection.

That's not enough though. There is also the hope of summer. It will get warmer, you know that. And if you're lucky, you might even die in a warm place with the sun shining, but not in your eyes, and be surrounded by people you love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No One Cares What I Had for Lunch

Ok, I know that with the publishing of this entry I join the throngs of mundane internet blogs that complain about their iPods. But I am going somewhere with this, so stay with me. This is important stuff.

My relationship with this trendy device has been rocky after what I thought was a great start (I bought mine, one of the new shuffles, for like $20 from a friend who was moving and trying to reduce clutter. The thing is the size of a book of matches.) First it had her music on it, which was fun for a little while (like an hour). But then it wouldn't take my music. Then when it did, it wouldn't play. Then after getting it fixed it I forgot to bring the adapter with me to Alaska.

I got an adapter today. Then I couldn't find the iPod for a while. Now that I've found it, it won't take my music again.

Pause.


The Senoi People of Malaysia are reported by some researchers to advocate lucid dreaming. But more specifically, they say you should do certain things in certain situations. For example, if you are being chased by a monster, you should confront the monster and either kill the thing, make friends with it, or ask it for a gift (any of these are equally acceptable).

Likewise, if there is something in a dream that you want to do, you should make sure that it happens rather than letting yourself wake up before you get to.

If you find some treasure in the dream, you are supposed to hold onto it until the end and, according to one practitioner of dreamwork research, you should bribe the gatekeeper that guards the barrier between the sleeping world and waking world so that he will let you bring the treasure across that threshold into your everyday life.

And if your dream has a sexual theme, well, you are supposed to see that through too.

Some of my attempts at lucid dreaming have resulted in terrifying hallucinations, as a side note.

So back to the iPod. The whole iPod experience, to me, feels like having treasure in a dream snatched away from me over and over. Very frustrating. For this reason, I think that it is vastly important to my future and mental health that I find the iPod and integrate it into my life in a satisfying, dependable way.

See?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cuddling

Come into my arms,” She added in a rush of tenderness. “I can sleep so, so well with you in my arms.”

Coming into Gloria's arms had quite a definite meaning. It required that he should slide one arm under her shoulder, lock both arms around her, and arrange as nearly as possible as a sort of three-sided crib for her luxurious ease. Anthony, who tossed, whose arms went tinglingly to sleep after half an hour of that position, would wait until she was asleep and roll her gently over to her side of the bed – then, left to his own devices, he would curl himself into his usual knots.


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

Monday, May 12, 2008

On Superiority to the Middle Class

“I belong here.” She murmured. “I'm like these people . . .


“. . . I'm like they are – like Japanese laterns and crepe paper, and the music from that orchestra.”

For a moment this seemed like a sardonic and unneccessary paradox hurled at him across the table.

“You're a young idiot!” He insisted wildly.

She shook her blond head.

“No, I'm not. I am like them...You ought to see...You don't know me.” She hesitated and her eyes came back to him, rested abruptly on his, as though surprised at the last to see him there. “I've got a streak of what you'd call cheapness. I don't know where I get it but it's – oh, things like this and bright colors and vulgarity. I seem to belong here. These people could appreciate me and take me for granted, and these men would fall in love with me and admire me, whereas the clever men I meet would just analyze me and tell me I'm this because of this or that because of that.”


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

Friday, May 09, 2008

On the Middle Class

“There on Sunday gather the credulous, sentimental, underpaid, people with hyphenated occupations: book-keepers, ticket-sellers, office-managers, salesmen, and, most of all, clerks – clerks of the express, clerks of the mail, of the grocery, of the brokerage, of the bank. With them are their giggling, over-getsured, pathetically pretentious women, who grow fat with them, bear too many babies, and float helpless and uncontent in a colorless sea of drudgery and broken hopes.”


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned