Thursday, May 01, 2003

I’ve always prided myself on my practicality and dependability. I wrote about that over here, back in January. I am, I know, a pragmatist to the core.

That being said, I feel like I’m letting a lot of people down lately, including myself.

I lost my watch when I moved to Atlanta. It was a Dr. Suess watch, one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, that I got around my 21st birthday. I wore that watch pretty much everyday for almost 6 years, except for that year I switched to a watch that had fork and knife hands to remind me to eat my last year at MTSU (I was really busy that year, and sometimes I need a reminder).

So, I lost my watch 9 months ago.

So the idea of tracking minutes on my wrist was lost to me. I still keep charts of the days, weeks and months though. Or I try too. For the first time in years, I double booked myself for a weekend, because I talked to a friend without my planner handy. I told my cousin Audrey that we’d visit our grandmother together, and I also told Ron and Dinan we’d look for an apartment.

This is getting resolved. But it doesn’t change the fact that lately I feel…like a total flake.

When I did I become un-dependable? When did I start losing track on my money, my time, my emotions? When did I get interested in tarot cards? When did it become important that my friends know about my personal crisis, which I’d rather keep quiet because I’d rather not have any personal crisis?

Dinan let me have it a few weeks ago on the telephone because she said I had gotten into the habit of not telling her and Ron things. So today I let her in on a lot, and went ahead and told Dust and Christi and Kati too, because I realized they’d be just as angry. There are all the friends of mine who will be mad I’m not telling them about it all, when the truth is just that I don’t want to talk about it, it’s nothing personal. And I have to have another family meeting with my cousins, and I have to decide what I want to tell my aunt and uncle.

But the problem with disclosure is just this: it makes me look unstable. I like looking stable because I want to be stable. I want to be dependable, reliable; I want to be a rock. I want the shifting tide of life to break against me and around me. I want to get a job and have that same job for years and years. I want to move into a house and not move again for years and years. I want to have things be quiet and sure and steady.

I still want to have adventures, of course; I can’t live without going on adventures. But I want to plan my adventures. I want to have enough money when I get there so that I don’t look like a total ass. I want to start keeping an 18-month wall calendar with plans clearly marked there upon for all to see, at a glance, what’s going to happen.

But I am not a rock. I am some free floating piece of greenery pushed back and forth by the tide (hormones, economy, love, obligation, guilt, addiction, reserve, creativity, antipathy, politics, pop culture, religion, manipulation, control, release, research, win, loose, past, future, memory, anticipation, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, should I stay or should I go? Atlanta, Morgantown, Nashville, Augusta, Brunswick, Boston, traffic safety, airline security, depression, elation, rigid, flexible, hot, frigid, bothered, complacent, endorphins, seratonin, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, sweat, blood, fever, synapse spark, hypothalamus, your skin, smell, taste, see, but I can’t hear properly when my eyes are otherwise distracted)

And the thing about the tide no one remembers is that it’s caused by the earth’s rotation and the gravity pull of the moon. It’s just the world we live in, and you have to learn to accept that. There’s no ordering back the sea.

But I did go and buy a new watch today. I will start tracking the hours again, and then the minutes. And I will get a new place to live, and I will make that 18-month wall calendar. I will try to put down roots and grow a new calm bed of ocean greenery that sways with the tide but remains a safe haven for other ocean creatures. I will no longer be free floating, but the first sprout of a dark green sea-grown forest, silky-smooth, an aquatic haven of kelp.

And I will be dependable.

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