Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I am not here, this isn't happening

And suddenly I am one of those people, quietly crying on the bus. Hiding behind sunglasses, but sunglasses are not a dam, just shadow, and so they spill over, overflow. I am a cliche--of what, I don't know--of quiet desperation, of anyone who has ever broken down surrounded by strangers on a public bus, wanting to be home but not quite, wondering where that is. This terrible, awful certainty--I have made a mistake. I have made dozens of them, and they have all led me to where I am, and from where I cannot escape. I want to run away, I want to never go back, and I would, too, except for all the terrible and mundane reasons that I can't. Can't not. I dream of leaving everything behind, going away where no one would ever find me, but where would that be? In this era of credit cards and digital technologies, I would be found. Impossible to really disappear, anymore, and so, what? Even if I lasted the year--a year--what then? What then? There are no more alternatives, I have exhausted them all and now here I am. Indebted and my soul signed away--a lease, a contract, and government loans, I am legally bound, legally trapped, going nowhere, and nowhere to hide. This much is certain--I can't. I can't. I cry on the bus and I lie awake at night and I can't bear the thought of going back, of doing this day after day, I can't, I just can't. I don't know why I ever thought that I would, that I could, but I can't. But I will but how long when every day is worse than the one before and it all comes down to why, anyway? So I can work 12 hours a day so I can afford my apartment so I can live in this city that I never see and don't know and maybe watch a Netflix at night before bed before I get up and do it all over again amen. Times like this I wish I was religious, oh Jesus please save me, it would be nice, anyway, to be saved. Please help me, dear amorphous something, dear nothing in the sky, please help. Because I cannot do this shit. I cannot do it.

Me and Thom Yorke, wondering how long before we can disappear completely.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I am not Michelle Pfeiffer

I thought I would take advantage of a brief and unexpected moment of calm in an otherwise mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world to write a little blog post. Way back in February, and another lifetime ago, in a little town called Mythaca, our young-ish heroine (What, I can call myself whatever I want, get your own blog) was delighted to discover that on her second day of student teaching school was canceled due to snow. And there was much rejoicing in all the land. Fast forward six months and our rapidly-aging-but-still-considered-young-ish-in-some-circles heroine is on her second day of no-longer-student teaching, otherwise known as Shit Gets Real. At this time, Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom knows she can't go throwing a snowstorm in mid-August, and so reaches into her natural disaster bag and pulls out something I like to call--Earthquake Day!!! In other words, this is all my fault, guys. (Actually, it was the Earth's fault (line)--get it?) Sorry. Citing the mantra of better safe than sorry, the powers that be decided to close the schools one day post-quake, a fact that I only learned after dragging my sorry carcass from bed pre-six in the morning, throwing myself in the shower, and slapping on my face paint and my professionally boring clothes. Which means that I probably could have gone to DateMeDC et al's happy hour last night instead of lesson planning and feeling sorry for myself and crying into my pillows, but then, I couldn't have known that.

So, a brief rundown of the state of me with roughly 1.7 days of actual classroom experience under my belt: Stressed. Anxious. Ball of nerves. Overwhelmed. I do not think I can do this, guys. (You can totally do it! Go you!) Ok, I do not think I want to do this, guys. The one thing I have determined: All teachers are masochists. There is no other explanation. These are...these are...these are kids with neck tattoos, guys. These are kids with kids, and another on the way. These are eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds on their fifth year of high school who are still considered freshmen. These are kids who don't give a shit about learning French, and tell me so. These are also kids who come up to me on the first day and sweetly tell me that they aren't very good at French, but they are excited to learn. Or who write on their questionnaires that they are very professional and will work hard in my class. Or who write on their questionnaires that they don't like "getting yelled at," and I want to say, oh baby, who's yelling at you? But I can't even see them. They disappear in the mess and they are quiet and I am so grateful for them that I forget they even exist. Instead I am tap-tap-tapping sleepers, head up, head up, phone away, you can't have your phone, put your phone away, two times, three, five times in one class and still the phones are out and it's not like I can pretend not to see it because it's on me, it will come back and come down on me. They, not the kids, but the powers that be, they are observing, they are watching, they are judging me and they are judging me through my kids, and my future and my money depend on it, depend on them, depend on the kids staying awake, staying off their phones, listening to me, learning French, somehow, some way. But how? But what way?

Anyone who mentions Dangerous Minds will get a virtual ass-kicking and a lecture on reality vs. the product of someone's fertile and highly optimistic imagination. Meanwhile, the grocery store next to my house sells wine. I'd stopped keeping alcohol in the house for a while there, but I'm thinking it might be time to stock up.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why "stress" doesn't even begin to describe it

The last week has been madness. School starts tomorrow. I'll be back when things calm down a bit. So, Christmas? Next summer? Wait, how many years before I can retire? 

Send good thoughts. And Xanax.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why sext sells

Hanging out with local bloggers The Chaser and Date Me DC Friday night, I came face to face with the startling realization that women everywhere are walking around with pictures of penises saved in their phones. As both of them whipped them out, so to speak, (um, their phones) and scrolled past penises of all shapes and sizes, we burst into uncontrollable shrieks of laughter. There were big ones, small ones, and even one shockingly, unbelievably teeny tiny one. There were different angles, different props; some included the rather proud face of the owner, while others were disembodied and floating weirdly in space. A quick survey around the bar revealed the fact that I may be the only 31-year-old woman living in the digital age to have never received an unsolicited picture of a penis, let alone have a whole saved file of them at her fingertips. Though this was never an area in which I had felt lacking before, I was suddenly overcome by the need to join my fellow ladies in this heretofore overlooked aspect of the female human experience. So I sent out a quick text to my go to penis guy (who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this post): Quick, I need you to send me a pic of your penis. Please? Normally eager to show off his favorite body part, he became suddenly and uncharacteristically suspicious: Maybe...but why? 

My fellow bloggers caught the competitive spirit and sent out similar requests of their own. Date Me DC tweeted her request, and I knew it was all over for me. But it was actually The Chaser who had the first response, receiving pics from not one but two different guys, and then had to spend the rest of the night fending off promises/threats to come down there and "give it to her in person." Meanwhile all I received were three more "but why?" texts, and then radio silence. 

Through the fog of a particularly vile next-day hangover, I have decided that I am ok with missing out on this particular aspect of modern dating. I am ok with my phone being filled with pics of cute dogs that I happen across and the occasional baby deer. And if I should change my mind about this, I know exactly who to ask--if I ever need a penis pic, hopefully these fine ladies would be willing to share.       

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I'm calling this an "adjustment period"

I moved out of my old apartment in Mythaca on Saturday. On Monday I moved into my new one in DC. It wasn't until Thursday that the glums hit. The oh-my-god-what-have-I-dones. Pacing around this apartment of barely controlled chaos, with too many cardboard boxes and not enough furniture, and no tv and no internet (make Rachel something something.)

The view from my old bedroom window was all baby deer and bunny rabbits.


Also chipmunks, squirrels, woodpeckers, and towards the end of my stay, sometimes a very shy red fox.

Here, though, it's not even worth the effort to look out the window, the horizontal blinds competing with the vertical iron bars on the other side, but if you were to peer very carefully through the cross-hatching you would be rewarded with a view of the scenic back alley. As far as I can determine, it's where people go to yell loudly at each other, and sometimes to take out the trash.

When I moved in, there was an over-powering sewer smell. I don't smell it anymore, but did it go away, or am I just used to it? The upstairs neighbors have very, very creaky floorboards, and the water here is either warm or hot, but never, ever cold. The air conditioning is crazy loud.

Oh, woe.