So, my brand-new husband is out of town for two nights, and I am bored out of my mind. There’s only so many hours of the day that I can write, and I can tell when I’ve reached that threshold because I pretty much stop blinking and start to become unmoored from reality. If I push past that point, I think the inside of my head would start resembling a cross between Inception and Labyrinth and that would be a very scary place, if only because of David Bowie’s hair.
So I have to stop writing eventually, and then I kind of look around the apartment, and I’m like, What the eff do I do now? I could clean something? Uh, no. Cook something? Probably not. Call all of my friends and hope one of them picks up and is willing to amuse me via telephone for several hours? This is usually what I do, because I’m a sad, sad person who can’t be left alone.
See, I only moved to Pittsburgh two months ago, and really the only person I know here is the husband. So it’s not like I can meet up with a friend or anything. When we were living in New Orleans, I would take every opportunity Todd was gone to go get stinking drunk with my friends and have some fun and maybe even do some dancing, so when I came home reeking of booze and smoke and sweat, Todd would not be there to judge me. (He’s not a big drinker, unfortunately. Or, I guess it’s probably fortunate.)
So, here in Pittsburgh, all I have is the phone. This depresses me on a regular basis. Have I thought about being that creepy person who posts a personal ad for a friend in the paper? Yes. Yes I have. That’s how desperate I am. Thankfully, there is some small part of me that still has some dignity left. And/or doesn’t want to get murdered in various horrible ways by the people who would respond to that kind of ad. I need to make some Pittsburgh friends. Bad. Turns out, this is really hard to do when you’re an adult and don’t have a built-in system of peers anymore (i.e. college, grad school). Also when you have a solitary occupation like writing. Being an adult sucks. This is a topic that will almost definitely be covered in another post.
I also have this problem where if I spend too much time without any human interaction, I start to question my existence. Like, not my purpose in life, but whether I exist or not. For example, when I couldn’t find a job for three months after undergrad and basically sat in my apartment in my pajamas all the time being a sad sack, I started to wonder if I had actually died and was a ghost now. I’m serious. That actually happened. Mental illness does run in my family.
During that time, I also stopped going to the grocery store because it was just too much effort to get dressed and I didn’t want to have to interact with any humans. I ran out of food and survived solely off a big thing of oatmeal I’d had forever. I do not know, nor do I want to know, how long I went without showering. When I finally had to go to the store or else die of starvation, responding correctly to the checkout lady’s questions of “How are you doing today?” and “Did you find everything okay?” was absolutely bewildering. I think I got both the answers wrong.
So anyway, it’s very important not to leave me to my own devices for too long, because I will recede inside my own head and become a dirty, slothful hermit. I mean, I’m going to be fine for the two days Todd is gone. I’m not that sad. This problem only really happens if I’m left alone for two weeks or more.
I’m realizing now that this makes me sound totally co-dependent. This is not really the case. I’m actually, as my mother calls it, a “fiercely independent person.” I just happen to be really bad a taking care of myself unless someone is around to hold me accountable. Own your faults.
And really, isn’t there a dirty, slothful hermit living inside all of us? You know what I’m talking about. I know that when you have a weekend alone, you wear your pajamas for all 48 hours, pig out on bags of potato chips and Easy Mac and whole pints of ice cream, and have your own private marathon of The Wire or Grey’s Anatomy or whatever your taste in TV is. Don’t lie. I know you do it, and you love it. Sometimes, it’s nice to just let yourself go and do nothing for a couple days. I also know that you pick your nose when you don’t think anyone is looking. When left alone, humans become disgusting. Don’t be ashamed. It’s fine.
See, I just have a very extreme case of that, and if left to develop too long, it eventually somehow bridges into existential angst. I don’t know.
Therefore, it is important that I make myself actually do things that require me getting out of the apartment and out of my own head. And the funny thing is, I don’t actually like people that much. Usually, I find people annoying and rude and smelly and they always seem to be in my way. Unless I’m drinking, and then I love everybody. I’m a hugging drunk. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.
It would also help if I could find a job. (Anyone in Pittsburgh need a creative writing teacher? Email me.)
So what the hell do I do?!? Last time Todd went out of town, I drank most of a box of wine and then decided to dye my hair. I have learned from this mistake. So far, what I have done this time is write this blog entry and start re-watching Damages on Netflix because Glenn Close is just amazing at being a humongous bitch, isn’t she? I love to watch how mean she is! This show makes me want to be a cold, hard bitch. I’m serious. It makes me feel like a huge softy and very uncool and like I need to buy a lot of scarves to wear around my head with dark sunglasses. It also makes me feel very paranoid. But anyway.
I also plan to finally submit a story I recently finished to a couple of places, and also to work on a story that I want to submit to Glimmer Train’s New Writer contest (ha! a girl’s got to dream). I also am throwing around an idea in my head for a nonfiction piece that I think would be good for The Rumpus. Ha! More dreaming.
See, reality is already becoming fuzzy.