Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New/Old

The South Asian students that populate the apartments near my house moved in a couple weeks ago. I drive by makeshift cricket games on the way home from work. This week the rest of the domestic freshman move in, blessed by comfortable temps when it's very easy for the dorms to become stifling, A/C less hellscapes. I remember moving in with 90 degree weather, in fear of my roommate, trying to fill the time with WoW and avoiding contact with every human I saw. I hope nobody else feels that way.

The construction that permeates the summer on campus is now over. Shinier buildings, prettier landscaping, 100s of thousands of dollars spent in the college arms race to lure students and their money. A full time semester at the local 4 year now costs 12 thousand dollars. To attend for four years then would set you back just shy of 100k, more money than I pocket in 5 years, a seemingly insurmountable number.

The crickets start chirping now at 6:30 instead of 8:30 like in mid June when the sunlight drapes over us until 10pm. The days are shorter and the warmth is shorter and the summer is over, effectively, Labor Day serving as an unofficial end when the temperature becomes to cool to go swimming anyways, so the Great Lakes merely become a vessel for disquieting lake effect snow instead of the refreshing swimmable landscape they once were.  It'll start all over again in June.

I feel and look older but wish I could be new again, do things over again, maybe luck out and not get a perniciously violent roommate, maybe luck out and not be so socially anxious I skipped class, maybe luck out and not cut myself and try to kill myself. But I suppose those are bygones now and all I see are the new students playing cricket on the green grass, smiling and laughing, a swing of the paddle, and the ball is flying, over the trees and into the sun.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Every Number Is Scary

2 is scary because of needles and doctors and pain.
10 is scary because now it's double digits and now it's grades.
13 is scary because now you're a teen.
18 is scary because now you're an adult.
20 is scary because now you're no longer a teen.
28 is scary because now your physical peak is passed and likely your mental one too.
30 is scary because you're not so young any more.
40 is scary because you're halfway there.
50 is scary because now you're old.
Everything else is scary because it's one year of further depreciation.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Advice

It is not uncommon - if one is a being that exists in this world, as a human - to receive advice from various adjacent parties on a wide-ranging set of topics. One's parents, for instance, might advise on a school. A friend might advise on love. A co-worker might advise on future plans. Advice can be wide-ranging and broad or niche and specific, but it is almost impossible to escape it. While this previous blog has expounded on the explosion of the not-so-postmodern self-help business, even absent of any profit motive, people are consistently enamored with the idea of passing on their individual perspective's advice to others.

While a simple examination might, then, lead an impartial observer to believe that such frequent and diverse advice makes life easy, as it removes unknowns and routinely lays out what needs to be done, one finds that, in reality, the opposite is true, and the vast and wide-ranging advice of various types and quality leaves one, in the end, with overwhelming paralysis regarding which path - which advice - to take.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hopeless Cases

It's ok I suppose to have no future, in a way none of us do, the same finite conclusion meeting us all, life an immeasurably short output of energy in a vastly grandiose and ancient cosmos. But that gets into metaphysical debates about the meaning, or lack thereof, of an existence that is both inconsequentially small and also enormously-consequentially unique. But in a small city in the Midwest where winters come soon and leave late and in a state with a bleeding population, the cold reality is apparent. No degree, few references, no contacts, the kind of person that gets looked at diminutively for years whenever someone asks what I studied, what I majored in, or even if I was going to school. Now that a four year university is an impossible endeavor, two semesters of it costing more than I make in a year, the immediacy of being left behind by the modern economy sets in. I sit at a dead end job making next to nothing simply hoping that maybe in my down time I can stumble upon writing something worthwhile, but I've been writing for 20 years and have nothing to show for it, no publication, no winnings, no name. It's hard to envision another 50 years of this, my only reprieve being that all the drugs and pills and illness I've pumped into my body has cut my lifespan shorter, more manageable, more elegant. My parents know this all; quietly they ask about me going to school several times a month, quietly they tell me they just want me to be able to afford myself an enjoyable life, as if money can fix 13 years of self harm and endless self-deprecatory platitudes about hopelessness. In their desire to see me happy they've run into the same wall I have seen before; there is no happiness, there is no future for people like me, just a cold, dull loneliness, a money-less future, and a 9 hour work day that ends with me, in despair, staring blankly at an LED screen.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dreaming Older

When you're 13 you dream of what you will do at age 18. When you're 18 you dream of what you'll do at age 22. When you're 22 you dream of what you'll do at 26. It goes on. Before you turn 30. Before you turn 40. Until one day you wake up and realize that decades of misplaced dreams and delusions of grandeur will never come true, that age has sapped you of what miniscule chance there ever was, and you were always better off living in a depressingly resigned reality instead of a depressingly, dishonestly hopeful one.