A few days into the New Year, my computer quite unexpectedly imploded and I spent over a month with no keyboard and no place to binge-watch Courtney Love interviews. Did I learn a lot during this time? I don’t know. Buy a hard-disk and back your shit up still occupies a spot on my to-do list. At the moment, however, I’m back in action! New laptop, empty bank account, same old me pretending my irresponsibility is a blessing, a modern-day tabula rasa.
Since autumn, I’ve been working 12 to 14 hours a day. For the most part I had embraced, at times even loved, this psychotic lifestyle. Just three days into Christmas break, however, it became clear that I’d been playing myself. Why have I been living this way? nudged its rebellion into my lazy days of flâneuse-ery and wine. Instead of running from job to job in a blaze of uncomfortable sweat, I spent hours in museums and at exhibits. I walked home in the sunset, with nowhere to run and nobody to call. I laughed my ass off in the middle of the street until four and five o’clock in the morning. And you know what?
IT WAS FRIGGIN’ GLORIOUS.
Work called, though, and she wanted me back. So let’s cut the caca and talk hopes and dreams. My New Year’s resolutions have remained pretty consistent since 2012:
Become self-employed and
Do a split
I have yet to accomplish either, but I like to imagine that when I do finally ease into that split, a successful business and the paperwork to sustain it will burst forth from my thighs. Fitness tip #1: find a way to stay motivated! All I’m saying, internet, is that I am reasonably flexible and have no problem working long hours.
La Tabacalera, Madrid. December 2016. Photos by Juan Manual Castro Prieto.
You’re tired. You want to stop, but you can’t. Lattes and sunsets and quirky glassware flash before your eyes.
If your breakfasts aren’t beautiful… do you exist?
If you don’t read poetry in sunbeams, do you actually understand it?
If you go on vacation and don’t document every moment of it, if you don’t spread your arms wide for a photo opp in front of the sea, did you really go?
Is the cure for depression and anxiety as easy as reading a Top 10 Reasons to Live list?
Generalized Embarrassment About Ultimately Inconsequential Bullshit:
You just washed your hair with shower gel for the third day in a row (lifehack: shower gel and shampoo are almost the same thing–you won’t die if you substitute one for the other on a poor or lazy day/week/month).
There are three empty water bottles under your bed and the only explanation you can offer is “pure, unadulterated laziness.”
You drank a can of Diet Coke and ate a slice of bread “for dinner.”
You’ve never had a manicure.
You went to sleep with your asymmetrical eyeliner still on last night.
The socks on your feet don’t match.
You’d rather spend an afternoon in an old man bar than at Kelsey’s new vegan venture.
WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE DRINKING SO MANY LATTES?
Life doesn’t look like this! Life is gross! Life is that old guy at the dark convenience store (they’re trying to save on electricity) who walked in smoking a cigar, asking for change. Life is the waiter with gnarly body odor you had today. Life is Eileen Myles writing a poem called Peanut-butter that begins I am always hungry/ & wanting to have sex. Life is that lady laying on the ground at the Paseo de Prado. Life is watching a manchange into his Quixote costume. Fine, whatever, it’s gorgeous, too. Life is gorgeous, but it’s not made of pastels or lists or aerial shots of eggs Benedict.
You fell into a scroll-hole on a lifestyle blogger’s Instagram, didn’t you? Whatta dummy.
Go outside. Respect the lifestyle ladies and men, anyway, for working hard and making a living marketing lives that don’t look like yours does. They must wonder what the fuck? from time to time, too. But that doesn’t sell.
A woman in her bedroom, her laptop perched upon two plastic organizers and placed atop a dresser, her bum sat upon a half-broken chair, the half-broken chair placed in front of her dresser, her body positioned al estilo side-saddle so as to avoid hitting her knees on the dresser’s also half-broken handles. The window open, thick July air pulsing in.
People tell me that these “hermit stages” are a hallmark of every introvert’s life. I don’t believe I’m a complete introvert, though. Some days I wake up like Thoreau at Walden. Others, I spring out of bed like Ethel Mermen doing the can-can. When the Ethel phases end, I can’t stand my own voice. That’s when I have to retreat into my shoddy study and listen to instrumental music only.
It’s also during these periods that I suffer from paranoia. Before you call the psych ward, just listen to my reasoning: the internet knows us better than most of our friends do. Is that not both morti- and terri- fying?