Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post 35

I've been writing more these past few days, and as I do not usually approach the writing with a plan, the material ends up scattershot. Yesterday, I wrote about some sensory details I had experienced. To wit:
  • The leather of my dog's ear as I passed him going down our back stairs
  • The puckered skin of the grapes that I rinsed in my hand and ate over the sink.
  • The gritty accumulations in my molars from eating peanuts.
  • The sour pit in my stomach, a combination of coffee and wondering what my mom thinks of me.
  • the twinge of my hamstrings as I walk, which reminds me of yesterday's exercise
  • my muscles scrunching toward my spine involuntarily when a bug brushes against my neck
  • crawling my toes into my sandals
  • two dots of sunlight on the hood of a car, which diverge as I approach and then slide away into the grill.
  • The muffled descent of the bedsheet when I flopped back under it after hitting the snooze button.
There were others, but I woke up this morning realizing that writing collections of sensory details is valuable only so far as one wishes to improve at writing collections of sensory details. If HarperCollins called, asking me to describe how my sink coughed when I jerked the handle this morning, I'd be set. Until then, it feels like procrastination, doing scales to avoid Fur Elise.

I have never kicked my own ass. It was a grim realization this morning, or simply an admission to myself. I had the fortune to have two parents who ran along with me much further than they need to, their hands in the small of my back. They let go at college, and I coasted for a long time. But I am catching on the gravel now, and the blur that used to be surrounding me is settling into an unfamiliar landscape.

That was a lengthy euphemism to explain that I have been lax since school let out - letting two job offers slip away and waiting anxiously to hear back from others. At pick-up soccer today, my mouth and response tightened with embarrassment every time an alumni asked what I'm doing in the fall. I came back fuming. My team lost. I'm not sure where I'll be after the summer, but I look back on my pursuits and see trail markers for the path of least resistance. Even my flirtations with armed service is a way of passing the buck: I would always have an order to carry out, even if it made me miserable.

Usually in these circumstances, I make myself a To-Do List to feel productive for the rest of the day. These are usually filled with trivial daily tasks - make my bed, take vitamins, shower. I seek the refuge of fulfilling household duties because it feels productive, because I can't be criticized for taking the dogs for a walk.

I am hoping to turn this trend around. I will not hide behind being a good son to avoid making tough choices and pursuing passions. I will not deny myself pleasures to appease a false sense of obedience. I've had enough of passive: let's see where aggression goes.

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