I’m engaged in another group reading of Infinite Jest. I said I’d blog about it.
But I haven’t.
I’m reading, mostly along with the group, and should be commenting on the boards and the threads and the things.
But I’m not.
This weekend, Pretty in Pink is back in theaters for the 30th Anniversary. And I really want to see it.
But I won’t.
Last week I was enthralled by Beyonce’s video and performance, and by the Super Bowl ads, and the presumption of people who wanted to tell everyone what they didn’t like and didn’t understand. I’m annoyed by those people, and I wanted to write about it.
But I didn’t.
I’ve been meaning to exercise more, and to eat better.
But I haven’t.
I can’t decide if there are Shoulds that I’m just neglecting because I didn’t choose them and therefore actively (if unconsciously) reject them, or if life is subsuming my best attempts to live it.
I doubt that I’m consciously choosing, really, anything. Until five minutes ago, I was standing in front of the TV, which was on for the first time in a week. Standing. Eating popcorn from a bag. Watching previews, waiting for The End of the Tour to come on. I saw it in the theater, cried for an hour, and pre-ordered the DVD that night.
Standing and eating from a bag. Thinking: I should blog, I should read, I should exercise, I should…
I’m tired. I should go to bed.
I’m tired of navigating a divorce and shared custody. I’m tired of doing my absolute best, at 200 mph, at work. I’m tired of all the shit that’s involved in being an adult…watching dishes while feeling helpless about racism and sexism and poverty and hatred and ignorance and fear. And laundry. That, too. I’m tired of laundry. And I’m tired of being guilty for being tired of laundry, when there are real issues in the real world.
I’m horrified by the food choices in The End of the Tour. That’s wrong, I know. Two humans painfully uncomfortable with their existence, trying to make a connection, trying to be understood and to understand. But I focus on the Pop-Tarts and cigarettes. Because seriously? Red Vines while discussing technological ways to dissociate from humanity disturbs me in ways I can’t, articulate.
As I eat popcorn from a bag. Finally sitting.
Can’t find words, or won’t. Can’t make food, or won’t. Is this what failure looks like? Exhaustion? Modern life? Low-level psychic pain?
Popcorn someone else has popped feels like a gift. I’ve gotta be honest. It might ruin the world, processed food put in a bag and trucked across the state…but I’d rather have food someone else made for me. Or, rather, made for millions of people. I’m willing to be one of millions. Nondescript. Boring. Average.
I worried that rereading Wallace would make me untenably sad. It has made me both happy and lonely, which is exactly what I remember. The pages feel different, in the way that reading Calvin and Hobbes as a kid and then as a 40-year old disappoints because you’ve grown, without noticing, to someone who identifies with the parents rather than the protagonist. The prose, the characters, and the situations still grab me. Predictably, though, I’m already teetering. I want to wallow in the book and the movie and the articles written after his death. I’m pulled, increasingly, by nostalgia. And hope.
“I think that if there’s a sort of sadness for people under 45, it has something to do with pleasure and achievement and entertainment, like a sort of emptiness at the heart of what they thought was going on. And maybe I can hope that some parts of the book speak to their nerve endings a little bit.”
There’s a thing, in human existence, called understatement. Just saying. Speak to my nerve endings a little bit? Ah…yeah. It does that.
I’m feeling clingy, and it doesn’t much matter what I cling to. I don’t want to blame the book, but it’s hard not to. Set in Tucson and Boston—two of four of the biggest cities in my life—filled with tennis and intrigue and menacing specters of helplessness and entertainment and death and life’s meaninglessness. Also at least 50% of my life, right there.
So, like, good times, but with existential crisis.
I should totally never post this. There’s no photo, no point, no story. Breaks every rule of writing.
And it’s all I have to offer. It’s all I have.