I find it relatively impossible to actually write. I often, pretty much daily, come up with things to write, but I am 1)incapable at the time of thoughts to actually transcribe them and 2)incapable of allowing those thoughts to settle in before moving forward onto another thought. Essentially, I tend to freewrite. In my head. All the time. Observe, from a graduate class piece a while ago, as an example of what it is like to follow my brain:
“an examination of how I interpret what I hear and what I read
Examination = examine = doctor = I just got health insurance for the first time since I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch, but I haven’t been to the doctor since I was 18 and broke my wrist when I tried to dunk a basketball and was rejected by the rim and landed awkwardly = that was when I should have been working with my baseball coach for the Cradle of Forestry, a company that took care of national park campgrounds and other sites, but I said no because I thought I was going to work the early morning shift at my friend Isaac’s parent’s gas station, but that bombed, so there I was playing basketball, breaking my wrist, and losing out on my last season of American Legion baseball = there was a time when I loved baseball more than anything in the world, but then I shrank away from what it meant to actually have to work hard at it, and decided that it would be funnier to explain this by saying instead, ‘but then I found pot’ = Gillian loves the Cleveland Indians, so for the first time in years, I’m actually dedicating hours to watching games = I now own an Indians hat = isn’t it strange that her stepfather is a doctor from the South Carolina, yet now he’s an Indians fan because this is his adopted hometown = is Akron my adopted hometown? in that, here, now, I’m not growing up anymore, but I’m being asked to be a grown up?
Examination = examine = doctor = there’s a movie about med students in residency who kill homeless patients just to see if they can get away with it, but I don’t remember the name. It starred the dude who played Peter on the TV show Heroes (which, incidentally, was one of those travesties caused by the writer’s strike that one year and shouldn’t have been as bad as it was, but I only actually thought that until the one weekend I watched season one again with my sister and it was pretty horrible, so I’m confused about how I defended it in the first place), but there was another med student who I was told I look like and I took great offense to this because I thought he was goofy looking, which, of course, means that I am goofy looking, and I was told repeatedly that I was wrong, he was not in fact goofy looking, but I don’t know if that is the same as saying I’m not goofy looking = when I started noticing my face getting rounder and I was beginning to look like Ben Rothlisberger = that med student actor, whose name I can’t remember, was in an episode of CSI: where he played himself as twins and he killed his other twin and but then assumed the identity of that dead twin in order to continue his Ponzi scheme or something, and he was also in this movie whose name I also forget that involved aliens coming to Earth, and Charles and I watched it when we were living in the Indian Valley condo in Kent, and it was surprisingly funny = all I can really remember about this guy who supposedly I look like is really from this alien movie where he was a stoner, so perhaps I’m most agitated with an implication that has nothing to do whatsoever with our looks.”
I assume most people are like this.
The question becomes, about that little piece, is that a natural way of thinking or have I created that as an interpretation of how I think but exaggerated it for the effect it would have on the reader and the answer to that is I have no damn idea. And if it is an exaggeration, how does that, in turn, effect my ability to actually deduce what [and how] I think? Behold: a transition into a more timely example:
Yesterday, at around midnight, G. and I were driving home from a party for my brother-in-law’s return from Afghanistan. We were driving west [this is vital]. In my mind, going west, going south, are the destinations. I have interwoven geographical longing with ‘what to do with my life’ career-mindedness. I was trying to explain this to G. as we drove, and I realized as I was talking that I have no idea what drives this feeling, this utter sense of being unsettled, other than I am still discovering how to be comfortable with myself. And that seems to me to be one of those empty ‘large’ phrases because, in truth, I feel pretty comfortable with my life; yet, there is still, always, this compulsion to move west, to move south, to see and be immersed in some other place, all the while, I have this compulsion to write, yet I rarely, if ever, finish projects; I am constantly drumming up ideas; and, yet, still, my comfort resides almost solely in the fact that G. has allowed me to morph into this person that I am, in that, she has been gracious in my non-bending rule that our house must have acres, and I don’t want to live in a big city, and that I still ramble on and on and on about other places, and, mostly, I still will sit at the kitchen table in our house in a small town on 9 acres and say, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.’ But then the follow up statement is, ‘I know what I should be doing, but I have never believed in its plausability, so I have long undermined it and am, now, not shockingly, at a bit of an ethereal crossroads as I have allowed this coal [under] mining to go on and on, razing, if you will, my projected future, and the frustration I feel is at my, well, impotence, in the face of this razed future because knowing what you should be doing and actually getting there after cutting off one’s own legs much earlier in the process is a daunting task that I am not sure I know how to face.’ Or something along those lines.
It is the special snowflake vs. none of us are special line of thinking: I am driven by the notion that I am a special snowflake and deserve the career that I have deemed suitable for my happiness, but I feel it necessary to state realist statements that indicate that there are many people who think that way as well and there is nothing spectacular I have done to indicate that I should be given the chance. When I think, my brain has footnotes. If God is listening, then I demand he make my footnote voice more in agreement with me.
I just don’t get it. I mean, I suppose I could blame all this on the modern living advertising malaise, creating the need for more and better and always. But that seems so passe. Or, at the very least, it seems like the exact excuse that the malaise would want me to have because modern living could solve it if only I were to, you know, purchase the iPhone 5 or something. Here’s what it is: I often, with seriousness, talk about going off the grid to G., yet I am fully aware that my life is entirely dependent on this technology that I not only use, but constantly surrounds me. What I know of myself is filtered through it to a degree that I am not sure there is a separation, and, hence, everything is white noise, I am white noise, and there is always something soothing yet never peaceful about white noise.