July 1st, 2006

Coffee Squirrel

TV Blues

1 July, 2006 2:50a

If this were a sitcom, I’d be a neighbor. I’m having a difficult time getting television out of my life. I love it ‘coz it’s been good and bad to me. Of course damncutekitty is right: I think I’m relaxing, but I’m also taking in things and it can be enervating. What do you do, though, instead? I’ve been trying to force myself into a reading or writing jag. You can’t force jags, it seems. When I leave the television off, I feel blank. Even before I read, I watch television. I watch a show, then I get into a book. I read and watch. I have it on as background. When I do turn it off, it’s oddly even more difficult to concentrate. I could take out the recycling. I could be studying manuals for work. I could finish the last of the sorting of papers in boxes that needs to be done. But I don’t. I sit there. Or I plague Eric with annoying questions. I can’t wait to start school. I can’t quit you, TV. But eventually it will be forced to take a lesser role in my life when classes begin. Certainly I an aware enough to know it’s not teaching me social skills. It’s not really enriching my life – at least not lately.

There was a time I felt enriched by it. I felt wrapped in warmth and almost grew within the worlds it created. I wouldn’t give up those years of watching Northern Exposure with my grandfather during the last years of his life for anything. I recently rented disk one of season four. I watched it for research for my stalled screenplay and I still love the characters. That hot, young John Corbett as Chris, eloquent former delinquent. Tasty, tangy Rob Morrow as young, whip-smart curmudgeon Joel Fleishman. Janine Turner as intrepid bush pilot, misanthropic black widow and oddly sweet woman-child Maggie O’Connell. And Darren E Burrows as the delicious Native filmmaker Ed Chigliak. It’s even better with no commercials. While I know I will have to give it up soon, no one will convince me that television is incapable of presenting the occasional gem to the world. Here’s to you, TV, and the day I won’t need you anymore.

On to the positive: my calves are rock hard again. The bike riding has done that much. I get the occasional lift home, but most of the time it’s all the pitch-black road and me. I wish the library had called, but I’ll take this gig. It may not be fulfilling, but it gets me out of the house and pays the rent.

I feel light and still of late. I’m not certain if it’s good or bad. It is what it is. I walk or ride my bike and I’m feeling the pang of annoyance that driver’s aren’t using their turn signals. Then it’s over. I feel a twinge at the lack of results my reaching out have garnered. I feel anger at myself. I pass people on the street and flash a hard glance at someone, only to see the softness in that stranger’s eyes disappear. Had they thought me appealing when my mind was elsewhere? Perhaps they mistook me for a child. It happens and I don’t mind. What in my look broke their reverie? What in their passing broke my own and made me look at them with rigidity or judgement? I often end up at my destination filled with emotion: remorse for having slighted who could have become a friend, annoyance that it matters that I gave a stern look to someone I don’t know, concern for my floating self. Then it’s gone. I can’t tell if it means that I’m being more or less present that these moments fly by, yet when I make an effort to gauge the passage of this era, it’s always the middle of the week. I hardly feel my feet. My bruised arms are healing – the left more quickly than the right, for whatever reason. I don’t know what else I have for you. Except a list of things I need to do tomorrow(today):

-Post this to my journal
-Get a roll of quarters to do laundry
-Buy bus tokens
-Buy batteries for the light on my bike (already)
-Mail a letter to a woman in Nashville who never forgot me though I met her in person once
-Meet someone at the library
-Come home and take out that damn recycling
-Finish sorting
-Make sure I have clean clothes for volunteering at the art gallery Sunday
-Go to a quiet, green place and drink milk and honey. Some rituals have to be literal and obvious.

EDIT: I didn't exactly do these in order. I was 45 minutes late to the downtown library to meet someone! I feel horrible. I missed the first bus by seconds. And here, on a weekend, I had to wait half an hour for the next one. Now I'm at the downtown library. Feeling annoyed with myself. I'll head home. Hope everyone is well!