Slow Goings in Puddletown

I’m breaking the habit of only writing when I feel I have something to say. My hesitance to write on my off days comes from the exasperation of being caught up in the daily rigmarole that is (what I perceive to be) my boring life.

One problem with living from one adventure to the next is you lose sight of what constitutes a “boring” day, but this is coming from a guy who used to also break up knife fights with a coffee cup in his hand before 8am.

I’m big enough to admit when I need to take perspective.

Another is the constant feeling of waiting for the next thing — I haven’t had a job in nearly a decade that I could retire from. Sharing my personal life experiences while also writing about politics and faith makes for a deeply intimate and revealing, if inconsistent, reading experience.

I write all the time, only I’m usually writing aloud to an audience of one. I’ve had the horror story experience — more than twice — of having personal journals and private blogs discovered and read by prying eyes, people who I was supposed to be able to trust. This is me sharing a big trauma that would have been bad enough as a single occurrence. I’ve had fictional writings literally written on and criticized, been told my nonfiction is no good, so it’s much easier for me to plan for a nice conversation with someone who appreciates a good story than to go through the process of writing.

So it’s way easier for me to write about other people’s business than it is my own, even though my life has been quite an eventful one.

As I await a start date for a new job, one I’m looking forward to and which comes with a significant pay increase, I feel all the more trapped in this existential rat-trap of just waiting.

If the goal is to test my patience, it has been a resounding success in proving that my patience exceeds my own expectations sometimes.

Case in point: the new job requires in-state ID. To prove my existence, I need a bank statement and documentation from my landlord that I am a renter at the address I live at. The nearest appointment I could get is two counties over, 2 hours 20 minutes on transit, this Thursday. The next available appointment in the Portland metro area is in early December.

Anyway, while en route, one of Portland’s finest crazy persons, a soaked-to-the-bone Santa Claus in flannel, boarded the bus and started barking about not masking up and how the virus is fake. Eventually the driver relented and carried on, but I’m growing increasingly weary of a public transit system that is, for all intents and purposes, run by loud people on drugs.

Maybe it’s that I enjoy reading Kafka far more than I enjoy living out one of his stories, but single life in the pandemic era is one of isolation, bureaucratic hell, and an overall feeling of what Vaclav Havel calls “things slipping out of joint.”

The connections I have that are enduring are with people that I will be in touch with for the rest of my life. These are the people seeing me on these grey days without an idea in my head, living in a shoebox, doing what I’ve had to do to make ends meet.

Someday, when — not if, when, because I’m not that kind of a Millennial — I’m ahead and life is chill, it’s the people who’ve been around for this phase who are getting invites for the housewarming BBQ/film night/dance party.

Perhaps I should start signing off on this like the blog that it is.

Alex 🕉