Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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I'm only happy when it rains

I went out walking in the rain yesterday, partially from a desire for exercise, partially to clear my head. I love the rain, always have. Part of it is the cooling effect that it has, I almost always prefer low temperatures to high, but mostly it’s because it widens the gulfs between people on the street. New York is a hell of a town, but it always feels cramped and crowded, except late at night and when it’s raining.

Part of why New York can feel open in the rain is because there are just fewer people out on the street. Most people don’t like it when water falls from the sky, maybe they’re worried that it will never stop or maybe they just hate crops. I don’t know. For whatever reason the rain not only washes away some of the grime of the city, but it pushes people underground and inside, into man made edifices that provide shelter from the potential deluge. Eh, that’s melodramatic bullshit. People don’t want their clothes, hair, and shoes wet. People are shallow. Fear of biblical deluge would be a more legitimate reason for hiding from nature behind concrete.

In addition to emptying the streets rain also creates a bubble of privacy around the people who are willing to go out in it. Umbrellas create a natural barrier, people huddled together trying to stay dry creates a closed environment. As for those, like myself, who venture forth unshielded into the downpour, well there’s a certain camaraderie among us, but it’s of a “Yes, you have defied the laws of social convention and the wrath of nature to be out here! I salute you! But I don’t really want to talk to you. You very well might be a freak” sort.

Anyway, out there, alone in the rain, I got some time to think. I did some rumination on my current situation and future prospects (not good, and not much better respectively) but mostly I worked up a comedy routine for myself. I told myself that I’d write it up upon arriving home and post it, but then I thought “Self, does anyone really want to read a couple thousand words of lame ass comedy by you?”

The response that came was, naturally, “Nobody wants to read ANYTHING you write. You’re not funny, loser.”

So I said, “Hey, screw you, it’s not like YOU’RE mister popularity.”

Then I stopped talking to myself for a while, but I couldn’t stay mad.

Anyway, while I was out there thinking I came to some revelations. The first is that all those little cartoons and articles about how the college world and the real world are basically unrelated…well they’re pretty accurate. It’s nice when the president of your University is calling you the next great hope of the world, and fabulous when a professor calls you one of the smartest people she’s ever taught, but it doesn’t mean anything when you’re being told by a prospective employer that the best you can hope for is to do the filing and if you’re lucky maybe get a chance to watch the editors at work.

The other thing I realized is that I’m really NOT going to be special. At least not right away, and probably not ever. I’ve known this forever, but not on that gut level where it actually effects your behavior. It’s not that I’m that arrogant, or naïve. It’s just that some things sink in deep and some don’t. “Chicks don’t dig fat slobs” I’ve absorbed right down to the bone. Some guys don’t. “You’re not 5% as talented as you secretly think you are” had been pretty much cloistered away in that same part of the brain that holds the law of conservation of matter. Now it’s starting to seep down.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up, because I can’t. I tried to tread the straight and narrow. It didn’t work for me. I did well enough that I could go to a good law school and probably make decent money and prestige in that profession if I wanted to, but I’d be miserable, and it isn’t worth it. Better to struggle along in something that I care about but I’m no good at (or at least not as good at in the complicated supply and demand dance that determines things like opportunity, compensation, and all the rest of that jazz.)

I don’t know. Even if I don’t achieve anything worthwhile in the film field there’s always writing, which is a more egalitarian and less formal experience requiring field, not to mention my first love. There are always options. I have to keep telling myself that until it too seeps down towards my marrow.

Ever since my computer was fixed I’ve been sitting close to my TV, because that’s where this particular computer is. I think it’s impacted my writing negatively. It’s not that I ALWAYS watch TV while I write, but the temptation is there, and even when the TV is not on the blank screen is taunting me addictively. I’m not sure if the problem is the computer location or if I’m just a little depressed at recent developments. I think it may be the former, considering how much inspiration I’ve had over the last few days and how little I’ve done with it. On the other hand, I’ve also been going to sleep early and suffering other oddities that make it hard to ferret out the cause. Last night I went to sleep at 9, but was up between 3 and 5 with very loose stool.

I have a pointless interview for a job I honestly don’t really want tomorrow. It’s not a job. Job implies money. It’s filing for a film company with little opportunity of advancement. I’m not just assuming that, the guy told me that during the telephone interview. My mother wants me to take it, of course. She’s already given up on me, in the last few days. That’s her though, at this point it rolls off my back like with the water and the duck and I’m lying. It’s more like those little burs sticking in my socks. It needles and itches and even after you pull it out there’s still some of that crap still in the material. But eventually it dissipates and you move on.

I’ll go anyway. It can’t hurt, and the guy seems to feel sorry for me. Maybe he’ll know of a more appropriate opportunity. Maybe he’ll be so wowed by my charm and élan that I’ll be given a little more responsibility than that a monkey butler would be offered. Maybe being a monkey butler would be a good decision, long term. I don’t know, but I’ll try and find out.

There are men outside my window and they’ve been there for days. They’re like cleaning the building or something, but they could be spies. I’ve taken to accusing them of being spies loudly, so they’ll hear. Not directly to their faces or anything, but over the phone or to my mom. Do you think spies get embarrassed or irritated when people speak behind their backs? Does it make them stop spying? How often are spies accused of being spies? Do they just play it off or does it irritate them?

I finally saw High Fidelity, only on TV. It was okay, but not worthy of cult status any more so than any other John Cusak movie. I used to be a huge fan of John Cusak, but after I heard a rumor that he dated Brittney Spears he lost some of his luster for me, not that I necessarily believe it. I still like him, but no longer to the same level I once did. I’m sure he’s very hurt by this, but I have to tell it like it is.

Transitional periods are rough. It’s hard not having a firm sense of identity outside oneself, at least for me. I didn’t define myself as a Columbia student when I was there, but it was something, at least. Now all I have to hang my hat on is myself, and not in that way you dirty minded hoser.

It’s times like these when it would probably be good to have a girlfriend. Not to talk to or anything, I imagine I’d be a horrible boyfriend in terms of sharing the stuff that was going on in my life or in my head. I’m a decent to good listener, but I’m just not all that interested in sharing. When I have a problem I prefer quiet contemplation or writing to discussing with other people, for the most part. There are exceptions. No, I’d want to have one as a reference point and something to write about. People like writings about tortured romances much more than aspiration. Aspiration and all the drama involved in it isn’t naturally interesting. Think about the number of interesting movies/songs/works of literature/paintings about aspiration (how would one even go about painting about aspiration?) versus those about tortured romance. Sure there are a few good works of art re: aspiration, but they are usually by masters who could make cardboard distribution interesting. Romance is relatable in a way that wanting to achieve just isn’t. Even good films about aspiration usually have a cute chick thrown into the mix to spice it up. To be fair almost every movie has a cute chick in it, but that’s another issue.

Anyway, if I was writing about renegotiating things with some phantom lover I could probably make it spicy and interesting, at the very least tortured and deep. Instead I’m stuck boring everyone with tales of how I’m trying to get a job that I don’t really want but that might, conceivably, lead to one that I do want and how I want to write better some day. Now I’m boring you by being insecure about how boring I’ve become. It’s a vicious cycle.

Oh well. I’m going to go play some billiards with that elementary school friend I mentioned in my last entry. Don’t worry, there will not be wagering.
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