August 28, 2007

Today I was

poised like an animal about to take flight.

I was also so stuck on this song that I just listened to for the first time:

Well I hope that I don't fall in love with you
'cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays and you display
Your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you
Calling out for me
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Well the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair?
Well if you sit down with this old clown,
Take that frown and break it,
Before the evening's gone away,
I think that we could make it,
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Well the night does funny things inside a man
These old tom-cat feelings you don't understand,
Well I turn around to look at you,
You light a cigarette,
I wish I had the guts to bum one,
But we've never met,
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

I can see that you are lonesome just like me,
And it being late, you'd like some some company,
Well I turn around to look at you,
And you look back at me,
The guy you're with has up and split,
The chair next to you's free,
And I hope that you don't fall in love with me.

Now it's closing time, the music's fading out
Last call for drinks, I'll have another stout.
Well I turn around to look at you,
You're nowhere to be found,
I search the place for your lost face,
Guess I'll have another round
And I think that I just fell in love with you.

--Tom Waits

A wild itch.

Every once in awhile I get in these moods where I feel this pent-up energy and these wild urges to do something completely ridiculous and/or insane.

Fuck. It's late at night. Everyone I know has to work tomorrow and would not be up and interested in acting ridiculous. Most of the things I can think of need to have someone else present to be fully enjoyed and appreciated.

I'm not in the mood to water the lawn in the middle of the night. Or cook. I'm not feeling a drinking alone night tonight.

All I can do is clench my teeth and imagine taking wild actions. These actions are only vague and murky in my mind, but they are wild nonetheless.

"If you close the door, the night could last forever."

August 24, 2007

"If I am out of my mind, it's alright with me..."

"He had fallen under a spell and was writing letters to everyone under the sun. He was so stirred by these letters that from the end of June he moved from place to place with a valise full of papers....Hidden in the country, he wrote endlessly, fanatically, to the newspapers, to people in public life, to friends and relatives, and at last to the dead, his own obscure dead, and finally to the famous dead....

[He] had been overcome by the need to explain, to have it out, to justify, to put in perspective, to clarify, to make amends....The table creaking, he wrote on scraps of paper with a great pressure of eagerness in his hand; he was absorbed, his eyes darkly circled. His white face showed everything--everything. He was reasoning, arguing, he was suffering, he had thought of a brilliant alternative--he was wide-open, he was narrow; his eyes, his mouth made everything silently clear--longing, bigotry, bitter anger. One could see it all....

Considering his entire life, he realized that he had mismanaged everything--everything."

--Saul Bellow, Herzog

August 21, 2007


with your feet grounded
your thoughts turn toward the sky
and you start to float
you see your shoes are tied

and you close your eyes
imagine that your shoes
had those velco straps
so you could be set loose

so you hold real still
believe that it is true
and your shoes move forward
leaving without you

and you laugh so hard
it hurts your sides in pain
as you approached the sun
it rains on everyone

you float away
you float away
and find yourself, laughing
into thin air

Moderate comments

The cycles of hurt, sad, pissed off, and indifferent used to take months to play themselves out. Today it only took about 6 hours to achieve the full spectrum.

Is this a sign of progress? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe soon there will be no cycles at all anymore.

August 15, 2007


Alarming! So much nothingness!

August 12, 2007

The reminder that it can be different.

"I have always found the times when another person recognizes you to be strangely sad; I suspect the pathos of these moments is their rareness, the way they contrast with most daily encounters. That reminder that it can be different, that you need not go through your life unknown but that you probably still will--that is the part that's almost unbearable."

--Curtis Sittenfeld

August 9, 2007

Slapped across the face by the errors in my own perceptions

Crap. I don't know where to begin.

First, I posted these words quite sometime ago:

I have noticed that if it appears that someone likes me, I am immediately suspicious of them. This is because I assume that:

1) They obviously don't really know me.
2) They are really screwed up themselves.
3) They have very low standards.
4) All of the above.

It just occurred to me that a perfect example of this--this thing I'm trying to be more aware of about my own mind--happened to me last night. The majority of this realization came through a conversation with a friend after I explained what happened at a bar last night as I was out with my friend Scott. I recounted:

I think I must have been releasing some special pheromone that only weirdos could detect [this statement also referred to a bizarre bus encounter from earlier in the day]. Scott and I were sitting at the back table next to the pool tables talking. There was a table of people behind him, and most of them went home and one of the guys was left sitting there drinking a beer by himself. It was about 1:30, and I had been telling Scott some story that ended with me saying, "God, I sound so California-ized when I say that."

The guy behind Scott stood up and stepped over to our table and said, "I couldn't help but overhear..." I said, "What, the "California-ized" thing? Do you have something you want to say about that?" He said, "Yes, I do actually." He stuck out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm ____ (Dan? Stan? The man with the plan? I forget.)" I introduced myself and then Scott did, too. I briefly filled him in on the context of whatever I was talking about (it's hard to tell what it was, I don't even remember).

He said, "I want to talk about this more. Can I see you again?" I looked at Scott who started to laugh. I said, "Well, we'll probably be back here next Wednesday, so we might see you in here again." He put his hands up in mock defeat and said, "Ok, ok. So I guess we'll leave it at that then. You guys have a good night, and maybe I'll see you next week."

After he left I said to Scott, "Jesus Christ! What the hell was that? And for all he knew we are TOGETHER." Scott said, "Well, it's not like we were acting intimately or anything." I said, "I know, but who does that? Just walks up to a table where a woman is sitting alone with a man and hits on her?"

So I explained this to a friend and he said, "That's not so odd. Maybe it was more obvious than you think that you weren't together." I was very surprised that he didn't think this was as bizarre as I did. And when I started to think about it more I realized: I just assumed he was insane because he asked to see me again--because in my head it wasn't even conceivable that someone would or could ask me such a thing after only talking a few minutes.

I wasn't interested in seeing him again for many reasons, but that's not the point.

I assumed there was something wrong with him!

And then the ramifications of such conclusions and assumptions on my part over the course of my entire life began to quickly multiply in my brain. Suddenly, this explained my lifelong tendency to assume that people wouldn't recognize or remember me, and my persistent surprise if and when they did.

It explained my confusion in grad school as I was first getting to know my friend Linda. She'd asked me if I wanted to have dinner one night, and I agreed. We ate Thai, and had a nice conversation. It never occurred to me that she might want to do it again sometime. A couple weeks later she said, "Amie, I keep wondering if you're going to ask me if I want to get dinner again sometime." I was like, " want to go again?" She said, "Yes!"

It explained my surprise when a certain lovely someone I'd written to a couple of times on MySpace seemed to want to continue writing to me. I'd send a message, assume that was the last time we'd probably talk, and then go on about my business. When I'd get another message later on, I'd think, "He still wants to talk?"

How can I possibly be a social psychologist and be so fascinated by observing other people's interactions within their social world and be so completely fucking clueless about my own? It boggles the mind.

There's really nothing to be said about this, I suppose. I'm mostly just processing what felt like a very earth-shattering event in my mind. I'm not completely sure what to do with this new knowledge but, according to G.I. Joe, knowing is half the battle.

August 1, 2007

Up late. Again. Meandering. And "Santa" wants to be my friend. I guess it's no weirder than "Meatballs." This is a long title.

I don't know what it is about late nights that make you feel like you're the only person on the planet. I seem to be getting into a worse and worse sleeping cycle lately and I'm not quite sure how to break it. If I could pick my ideal sleep schedule, it would be 2am-10am, but I can't even seem to get that down right now.

All I know is that being inside my own head can get really fucking old. Damn. Sometimes I get lost in it's cavernous innards and have a hard time getting back out. I'm always finding new shit I didn't know about in there: stalactites (as my earth science professor used to say, "The ones that 'hold tight' to the ceiling."), stalagmites ("The ones that 'might' someday reach the ceiling."), bats, pools of water, fish without eyes...

Where the fuck was I going with all this?

I had an interaction yesterday that I can't stop thinking about. I was on my way to a meeting at work, and I ran into a senior researcher that I really like. She's very well-established in her area, and is extremely intelligent, articulate, and clear-headed. I always feel a little guilty when I see her now, because months ago she reviewed a manuscript for me that I'm supposed to be publishing and I haven't yet finished and submitted it. (I only have moderately good reasons for this. Mostly I just can't seem to care.) I was glad to see her, though, and told her I heard she was retiring soon.

Her candor surprised me.

"Well, I'm getting divorced."

"Oh. I'm so sorry to hear that," I said, not knowing what else to say.

"And I'm getting married. I fell in love!" she beamed, proudly holding out her left hand to show me her ring.

"Oh!" I gasped, "Congratulations!"

"So I'm retiring. He's recently retired, and we want to travel. How are you, Amie? I haven't seen you in awhile and I've wondered about you."

This is where I hesitated. Part of me wanted to cry out triumphantly, "You're completely irrational sometimes, too!" Part of me wanted to tell her every little thought that has run through my brain over the last several months. Part of me wanted to tell her that I'm freaked out because I'm supposed to be starting to look for a real job now and, as recently as today, I've considered everything from going to pastry school to going to bartending school to disappearing somewhere in Spain to pursuing another doctorate to taking up Chinese brush painting. Part of me just wanted to go home after considering all these options.

Instead, I said that I'd love to talk to her more about what was going on in her life and tell her what was going on in mine. I always liked talking to her because, even though I've only interacted with her in a work environment, I've always felt very comfortable and natural talking to her about all aspects of my life. So now I'm supposed to contact her to set up a coffee or a lunch to sit and talk. And at the moment I feel frozen, because I don't know which Amie will be showing up for that appointment. The professional one who talks the talk? The happy and crazy one that feels like "What the hell?" is the right answer to everything right now? The uncertain one who feels she is about to be overwhelmed by life at any given moment? "

An Amie that was well-rested would be a nice start, I guess.