Monday, December 3, 2007

If I lived somewhere completely different

I would be myself, only somewhere else. Still, I can't help perusing the realtor sites looking for homes in warm places. Spanish-style homes in desert towns or near the ocean. Condos where everything is taken care of for you, no repairs. No worries.

Right. There will always be worries. Money worries, job worries. Even if I took my work-from-home job with me to live in some wonderful place in the sun, I would still be me, doing that meaningless job. Married, living with anxiety and depression. Making friends but not keeping them. Leaving nothing behind on this earth. Except for plastic bags, which according to Al Gore will be around for a millennium if not longer.

Still, what if...? What if living in this place, 90 miles from the closest major city--with its McMansions where farms used to be and strip malls housing banks, pizza parlors, dance studios, and CVS drug emporiums--is really the problem? Wouldn't that be easy. Just leave. Go somewhere beautiful and cultured and warm, and happiness will be inevitable.

This is academic. When my parents and sister and her new babies finally come back from the faraway state where they are stuck until things calm down and they can come home, I will again feel the need to stay put. But now, with them so far, and so many of my older relatives gone for good, I feel little allegiance to this region. I could leave tomorrow and few would know or care.

Now I must shower and put on a suit and get ready for my big day. I've been planning it for about two months, and expect a decent paycheck for it. I hope that there are no problems because I don't want to deal with any one's concerns, and I don't want to be embarrassed by mistakes that I might have made. But really I just don't care. It's so unimportant. The event will come and go and disappear from people's consciousness. At least those plastic bags are here to stay.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm not myself

in most of my dreams. I think that's part of why I have so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I sense reality approaching and don't want it. So I stay in bed as long as I can, with the help I suspect of one of my latest drugs, until I can't stop myself from swimming up through the murk to wakefulness. I don't want to be confronted with my life. But there it is, every morning. If only I could just once wake up into another life.

I listen to the radio and wonder what it would be like to be the commentator. Is she happy? Does she have lots of friends? Does she love her husband? This first thing I do when I pick up a book is flip to the back to look at the picture of the author and read his or her bio. I am most interested in women. Where did she go to school? Where does she live? What magazines and journals have published her stories? Does she feel that she is achieving her potential?

I think about the happiness and satisfaction of others so often that when I finally must turn back to myself I want to dive back into bed and dream of being someone else.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Last night I watched

"God Grew Tired of Us" about the lost boys of the Sudan. It made my own problems seem so petty and small. I went through six or seven tissues. I think that I was really crying for myself, though. I suspect that empathy is a form of selfishness.