my thoughts dried up so i wrote this instead

When you isolate yourself, you have no one else to blame when things go awry. There is some small comfort in this. It is possible to go days without talking to anyone. This can be a magical combination of your own self-imposed silence and a general indifference on the part of others. Together we can make it work. The woman in the alley enjoys screaming hateful words at her grandson but she is sweet as pie when I say hello. This dichotomy hurts my brain. The alley is loud in the summer. The ladies across the way gun their motorcycles at all hours. The level of their inconsideration for people living together in a confined space staggers me. Small children yell and sing and talk like adults. I brood at the kitchen table. If it weren’t for the swatch of overgrown vegetation threatening to engulf my porch, I would have to see, as well as hear, the denizens of the alley and that I could not bear. Meanwhile, in the plus column, the city installed four solar-powered compacting trash cans on a main street in the neighborhood. I was overjoyed to throw my dog’s poop in them. Then they took one away. It was the most conveniently located one. Why. On another street near my house the city erected an expensive-looking fence in the median. A few weeks later they removed it. Why. Every day I see the thousands of dollars I pay in property taxes hemorrhage out onto the streets in the form of Kafkaesque activities such as this. It pains me. I could make much better use of those thousands of dollars than by funding the erecting and dismantling of fences. Segueing into the employment realm, it’s summertime at work which results in a curious laissez faire attitude toward attendance. I like it but it confuses me. I am always suspicious of it. Yet there is a natural relaxed cadence I cannot ignore, and so I allow it to carry me in its wake. When I feel agitated, I look at the little pictures in the dictionary and this soothes me. Last night I had a pleasant time in dreamland, but I forgot most of it upon waking. I don’t like that. I need to remember my dreams or waking life seems vacant. Do you ever wonder about the nature of friendships? They are curious things. Coming and going, rarely staying. Sometimes they wane; sometimes they wither. Sometimes they fail over the stupidest things. And you wonder if it could have been avoided, but in reality if it was a strong friendship it should have been able to withstand most of the nonsense we manage to self-generate. Which then begs the question of why the friendship existed in the first place. Convenience, perhaps. Boredom. Desperation for human contact [see: possibility of going for days without speaking to anyone, as outlined above]. I have had many friendships through the years, for all of these listed reasons and more. Not many have lasted, but the tiny few that have are worth more than gold. The question is then, do I now need more friends? What purpose would they serve? It gets harder to make friends as you get older. It’s horrible but I find myself more judgmental than I used to be of people when considering them as potential friends. I am also perhaps even more guarded now. Friendship requires time and effort, both valuable resources that I don’t expend lightly. How can you know if it’s worth it. Most of the time I am content to be by myself. I also have a dog now. The ultimate friend. Always dependable, always happy to see you. Can’t go to the bathroom without your help, which is a little weird. Doesn’t talk, which is both good and bad. Sometimes I wish he’d talk, just a little. See, even though I am content by myself, I have this annoying urge to reach out sometimes. It’s irrepressible. Sometimes everything can’t be found in books. Or nature. Most things, yes. But not all. This is the curse of human nature. We are not 100% autonomous. And I am so restless. This incessant unease shadows my every move. The panic. The urge to drop out. The crushing confinement of your own mind. We’re all so spread out. Held together by weakening links. I trip over my own shallow roots and fall face-down in a mucky bog. Roll around and let the clay harden on your skin. Let it cover all that you see as wrong. It feels so good.

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  1. Splendid post – and one that resonates for me with almost every sentence. I both love and detest my solitude, but the thought of living with someone fills me with anxiety. I have grown used to waking and sleeping in accordance with my own inclinations, and staying up to read and write for 24 uninterrupted hours is something I appreciate being able to do from time to time. I can extend my pre-waking state in the quiet silence of my house as I get my morning coffee and let the surviving fragments of my dreams filter into daylight. I love being in my own head because at least there is some substance there. I find most people to be shallow and boring. I can say this out loud because it is an honest statement. My dog is sweet and charming, with the softest disposition imaginable. The absence of direct human contact is something I have become comfortable with. Small-talk is exhausting, and indirect human contact has much to be said for it. I feel close to the writers and musicians who come into my life through books and music – I recognise the territories they have traversed, and I know that because of them I am never alone.

  2. Everything that has been on my mind the past few days was so eloquently written here. Strangely, it’s nice to know I’m not alone, though being alone is something I rarely fight. My, what a conundrum. :)

  3. kalidurga

     /  June 26, 2012

    Dried up thoughts? On the contrary, that was a swiftly rushing stream of consciousness.

    • Yeah, even when one stream dries up, there’s always another one starting to flow. It never stops. Sometimes I wish it would.

  4. Sometimes you just need to get out in the world for a breath of fresh air.

  5. These are all things that reverberate in my skull. I like dictionary pictures too. I like to sketch them. I like the words in the dictionary. I like to connect the words to each other. Sometimes I’ll open the dictionary to look up a specific word but then I’ll end up distracted by all of the other words. And the pictures too. My dog’s eyes were full of dialogue. I have found many secluded places scattered throughout the city. At least there’s that.

    • Thanks for the reminders. There is all of that. And I’d be lost without those secret places in my own city. The dictionary is its own magical place. It’s impossible for me to just look up one word without straying off the page. I fall into a reverie almost every time I flip open the cover…so many words we never use yet to be discovered. It seems criminal.



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