Your Memory Is A Monster

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Luxury living. July 31, 2009

Moving almost always begets a nervous breakdown for me.

There is the normal stress of moving. Starting something new, not sure what will happen, or how things will work out. Leaving a place I was familiar with, people I knew and spent time with. Having to pack everything, move everything, unpack everything.

There are some aggravating factors, too. Like that I have at least two boxes that I packed when I moved out of the duplex I lived in in college, 5 years ago, 3 moves ago, and had a similar nervous breakdown. There are math tests I took 6 years ago, entire boxes of student papers from 3 years ago. So, not only do I have more stuff to move… there’s a hidden, neurotic reason these things are still around.

They have the cursed personal value.

I can’t get rid of anything my mother has given me… and that is a considerable amount of stuff.

I can’t get rid of anything associated with my senior year of college… and a great deal of that stuff is barely more than trash. In fact, I think there are empy cigarette packs that some friends of mine gave me with inside jokes written on them. So, yeah, actual trash.

There are endless notebooks. Class notes, journals, empty notebooks, boxes and boxes of notebooks.

Pictures, from before I got a digital camera. Of parties in college, my front porch the year I turned 21 and belived myself to be impressive by drinking on that front porch, endless piles of pictures.

Tomorrow, I turn 27, and I live in a new apartment, in downtown Ft. Worth. The building and parking garage both have limited access. Landscapers are here every day. There is trash pick-up, from outside my apartment door, every evening. There are swimming pools, a skyscaper view, and the building backs up onto river trails.

I have managed to curb the crap in my apartment in a workable way. The coat closet holds 6 boxes, and there are 4 behind the couch. Aside from clothes, everything else is put away. I am hoping to turn 10 into 2.

I am hoping to feel more deserving of this apartment once I can actually keep track of the crap.

I am hoping to stop romanticizing the town I’ve left, to stop feeling like “it was the only place I felt like myself.” That old town, where I lived for four years doing graduate work and teaching, is the only place I felt like myself… because it is the only place I ever was & because it helped mold me into the person I was… am? I know I’ll miss my friends. Hell, I’ll miss having friends around, no matter who they are. I can’t, though, miss the town. If I think objectively, this town has all of the best things, on a grander scale. And while that grander scale makes things less personal, less personable… I remember now that I never really felt “at home” in all those cool, hip places in my old town.

I felt at home at my home, at my friends’ homes, and at the two shitty bars we went to once a week.

The stuff I own, my possessions, I know would make for a funny essay subject. I’ve tried several times before, and again today, to write about them. For some reason, my stuff has made it to the list of things I can’t successfully write about. Writing teachers have theories about why writers struggle with certain material. Maybe writers don’t have enough distance, can’t prioritize because the subject is a sensitive issue; maybe the writer can’t edit him or herself on the subject because they are still dealing with it, meaning they would use the essay as some self-indulgent therapy ramble.

Would it be too cliche for me to say that I don’t think that it’s any of those things?

I can’t write about my stuff, or my old town, not really… because I don’t want to. Writing is a highly analytical process. Perhaps there is none higher. I don’t want to have to make the kinds of admissions, face the kinds of demons, deal with the implications that would be brought forth by my endless analysis of these subjects.

My essays are highly funny. Perhaps there are none funnier. But they are serious, too, and both the comedy and the seriousness is born of my willingness to make fun of myself. There are matters I just can’t self-depricate on. Old town and stuff aren’t the only ones. Sometimes things change, sometimes I finally find a way to do it.

For now, I’ll just watch my dog look out the window, and wish with him that we had something better to do.

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Protected: Apartment 9, Next Door. April 28, 2008

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Protected: Sunday Morning Walks of Shame. March 9, 2008

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To Grandmother’s House We Shall Go November 25, 2007

Mom: A seven letter word for Wine’s Rooms. Wine’s Rooms? That doesn’t make any sense.
Dad: Do you have any of the letters? Where is it on the puzzle? (as he looks over at the puzzle my mother is holding)
Me: Dad! Stay in your lane!
Dad: What are the cross clues?
Me: Dad! Stop looking at the puzzle! That’s the second car you almost ran into.

Sis: Let’s walk down the street to the bar. It’s only 3 blocks away.
Me: It’s pretty cold outside. I don’t know.
Sis: It’ll be fine.
Me: Halfway there, after having walked 5 blocks) Dude, it’s raining. And it’s 40 degrees.

Guy-Sis-Only-Pretends-to-Like-Because-He-Will-Always-Be-DD walks into the bar, wearing a knee-length, fur coat, two gold chains and a pinky ring.
GSOPTLBHWABDD: This coat is so atrocious, but I lost my leather coat, this is the only one I had. My grandpa gave it to me.
Me: Yeah, man, that is ugly.
GSOPTLBHWABDD: Right?

Brother later that same night: I’m glad that guy showed up to give us a ride in the rain, but I think he’s probably either part-way gay or in training to be a pimp.

Me two days later, when GSOPTLBHWABDD shows up for Thanksgiving dinner, having been invited only because he’s got nowhere else to go: Still wearing that coat, huh?
GSOPTLBHWABDD: Yeah, man, it’s awful. People stare at me.
Me: Yeah, you love that coat. Your other coat is sitting at home, and you just love that coat.
GSOPTLBHWABDD: No, I really don’t. Chuckle chuckle.
Sis: to GSOPTLBHWABDD You have got to take that pinky ring off if you want to stay at our Thanksgiving table.

Brother later that night: It’s been two days! He could have gotten a new coat! They’re on sale for $30 at Target! Not only is he part-way gay, he’ll be part-way dead if he comes near me again.

Text message to cousin: You dad bought us all McGriddles yesterday. I was still asleep so he left mine on my face.
Response: Best text message ever.

Text message from GSOPTLBHWABDD to Sis: I’m at rap club and they love my coat. They all think I’m a pimp. Seriously.

Text message to cousin: I can’t believe you’re not here this year. You’re missing grandma’s useless junk and expired food pass around.
Response: She really does think those are presents, doesn’t she?

Text message to several friends: We just drove past a Mexican Restaurant named “Mexican Restaurant.” Oklahoma is one classy place.

 

Like a Flash November 18, 2007

It seems to always start as an innocent attempt to watch the Mavericks game (we sent the Spurs home crying to their mommas or, in Tony Parker’s case, their skanky wives).
Let’s just go grab a beer, watch the second half. Early night. Lots of work to get done, lots of papers to grade before the Thanksgiving holiday.
It’s not remarkable that some of us really did make it an early night, nor that others, the two of us who said “we’re not staying long” the loudest were the ones getting booted from the bar at closing time.
That girl we’d been making fun of seconds before she showed up that night? She was suddenly our dearest friend as we needed a ride to an after-party. Well, needed…Ha. We needed lights and sirens taking us home to our beds. We wanted a ride to the after-party.
We’re not only the kind of people who fake a friendship for a ride, we’re also the kind of people who get believed, who get trusted, who get rides.
The after-party went a little something like this.
Drink whatever is on the table.” Says our friend, a resident of the house.
I drink the lid-less, probably week-old vodka and chase it with the lid-less, undoubtedly older Diet Coke. No one else seems interested, so I continue this pursuit while my friend A, who had been at the party longer than me, sang a 90s song on the house’s leading draw: the karaoke machine.
I take that back, too. The guys’ house on Alice Street has a clearer, stronger draw: only guys live there, guys without real jobs, bedtimes or particular concern for cleanliness.
A Corona 40 appears shortly after the vodka’s empty.
A video-camera appears shortly after I start singing REM’s “Losing My Religion.”
The video camera has been entrusted to me as some go for refills, others in search of a lighter.
“Are we smoking in the living room?” I ask, not wanting to leave the comforting world of blue arm chair-opia.
We are.
We are also singing Alanis, Elvis, the “I’m too sexy” song.
We are also passing joints from our left to our right, as always, except once, including ourselves. That’s new.
We aren’t leaving until people start falling asleep on couches.

On the walk home, I make many drunk calls, leaving many drunken voicemails, the best of which includes the line “I know where I am but I feel lost.” Drunken rambling? Yes. Poetic life philosophy? If you so choose.