Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i can see down this road.

i've been having a hard time with boundaries lately. literal boundaries. not really with setting them - people aren't actually walking around drawing lines in the sand that often, i suppose - but more with, i don't know, perceiving them correctly. putting them in their proper context. i am troubled by the concept, and by the inevitable breakdowns, a lot more than i should be.

two weeks ago, roaches and mice started appearing in our kitchen. seemingly out of nowhere. we've lived here for a year and a half, and never had a problem. and then bam - vermin. for someone who hunts down all the holes in a new place and stuffs them with steel wool the minute she moves in, this was a problem. i'll keep what has felt like a saga to my anxiety-ridden brain to this brief summation: we kept finding small spaces to plug up in the kitchen, they kept coming, then we found a big hole behind the fridge to plug up, then a mouse died somewhere in the fridge. so at the moment, we have a (knock wood) well-fortified apartment and a decomposing mouse somewhere in the kitchen apparatus.

this is not, of course, the end of the world. but it came on the heels of a lot of other odd boundary-related issues that kept cropping up for me. for months, anxieties about that inside/outside divide, and all the ways that it is and can be breached, had been pressing themselves into my consciousness. i worried about bug bites that took too long to go away; i lay awake at night scaring myself with house fire scenarios; i obsessed over whether the hallway smelled like gas; the tip of my tongue went numb. yes, numb. it was either a jalapeno injury or a psychosomatic thing. and honestly, i wouldn't be surprised at the latter. everything, it felt, was encroaching.

encroaching on what, right? the anxiety over the physical piercing of boundaries is, so my pysch major sister informs me, about control. i am not surprised by this, as this is certainly not the first time i've dealt with this particular problem, this irrational and impossible desire to control the uncontrollable. but this is the first time it has manifested itself with this consistent theme. my reactions have not been at all proportional to the situations at hand, and at the very least, i need to try to change that. because i can see down this road and i don't like where it leads. at all.

there's lots to be done. lots of slippery and distorted thinking to wrestle to the ground, expose, interrogate. lots of behaviors to put in check. lots of ghosts to get in line. because really, it's their doing - and while i've lived with them long enough to know that they're not going away, they are going to have to start listening to authority. because i've had enough of this acting up. i've had enough of feeling like i'm being forced to run along a cliff edge with my eyes closed. i've had enough of being held hostage by all the people i used to be.

and i need a decent night's sleep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

other people's lives.

do you ever have the feeling that other people’s lives are so much richer and interesting than your own? even with all rational evidence to the contrary - we are, after all, surrounded by the pedestrian at every moment - do you find yourself imagining that other people are experiencing things in a thoroughly more fulfilling way than you are?

i find myself thinking this way sometimes. it’s such a subtle thought process that i have to catch myself at it red-handed. like the other day, i was reading a novel, and one of the main characters was home alone in his apartment while his wife was away. he got up, wrapped up in a robe, and made a pot of coffee and toast with butter and jam. totally boring, right? and yet, i felt like somehow he was getting more out of coffee and toast than i ever would, or ever do. the mere act of putting together breakfast somehow seemed enviable to me - like it was imbued with some type of pleasure that i’ve never been able to access. this is not restricted to fictional characters either. sometimes i’ll read a blogger’s account of an evening out or see a facebook friend’s photo album, and i’ll feel - loosely and faintly and with this vague, existential incomprehension - that i am missing some critical faculty, some way of living right.

it’s a strange thing, this impulse to overly romanticize other people’s lives and day-to-day experiences. i mean, on a rational level i am aware that the way they experience making a pot of coffee is probably, by and large, the same way that i experience it. so why do i give them more credit? why do i think they have access to some secret, some effortless method for infusing the mundane with meaning that i don’t?

when i see this in other people and not myself, what am i really looking at - what am i looking for? i do wonder about this.

Friday, October 03, 2008

it's settled, then.

i've found the best thing ever, courtesy of yvonne.

i just thought you might like to know.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

things i am doing. right now.

i'm watching the baseball game.

i'm drinking chai tea.

i'm refreshing toast's haloscan comments.

i'm talking to chemist about the mitten-shaped state.

i'm feeling remarkably cool air seeping in through the window unit by the couch.

i'm trying to stretch my shins, because they hurt.

i'm also noticing that my head hurts a bit too.

i'm pondering aspirin.

i'm hating this futon cover.

i'm hating the fact that i'm going on 30 and i still technically own a futon.

i'm hearing the downstairs neighbor's tv along with my own.

i'm wishing these fricking bug bites would heal.

i'm cursing, silently, because jason is sleeping.

i'm reminding myself to take out the trash and dust tomorrow.

i'm almost, i think, through with the day.