I look at my right arm and I think that it’s a blank canvas. It’s bare except for the hairs. Too much for a woman, too little for a man. I’m on the cusp of everything. Maybe I’m being too sentimental about my arm hair. Maybe I’m being too sentimental about everything these days. Without internet access, I’ve been reading a lot. Reading and re-watching old DVDs. And re-reading old books. I will never forget the summer before I turned seventeen. I read important books. I read books that shaped the me now, I have no doubt about that. And I’m going to re-read those books. They make me sentimental and sad but in a way that’s so addictive. I guess I’m a sap.
I’m naive. I’m so naive that I’m embarrassed for myself but what can I do? I’m reading and looking for a job and trying to remain hopeful. I’m being greedy. I’ve gotten this idea in my head and I won’t stop thinking about it until I achieve it. And I might never achieve it. Because it’s not just up to me. I forget that other people have feelings sometimes. And that’s not in a vindictive way – I just get so concerned about myself and my feelings that I forget other people have that same capacity for pain. And I’m sorry.
My bare right arm. Blue and pale and untouched. And my left arm that tells a thousand stories. Or, rather, the same story a thousand times over. Silvery white scars and angry red scars. And nothing has changed. I have a tattoo that reads, “There are no beautiful suicides.” Some people think it’s redundant. Of course there are no beautiful suicides – suicide devastates families and there’s nothing pretty about the kind of sadness that drives people to take their own lives. I agree. I agree that suicide is an ugly word and an ugly thing, but if you’ve never been the kind of sad that prompts suicide, you won’t ever see the beauty in it. And you are so lucky. But if you have been that sad, if you’ve been awake all night feeling empty and hopeless, then you’ll know. You’ll know that solace. Apparently, Nietzsche said, “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it, one gets successfully through many a bad night.” If you’ve felt it, you’ll understand. If you haven’t, you won’t. I hope none of you understand. I’m just trying to convince myself that it’s not beautiful. It’s just death.
I don’t know why I’m talking about suicide. That’s not what I meant to talk about. I meant to talk about getting drunk alone and loving someone. I haven’t gotten drunk on my own in a very long time, and I fall in love on a weekly basis and I never know what’s real. The last time that I really hurt someone, someone I loved and loved me, all I could think about was that Jack Kerouac quote:
“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another ‘til I drop … I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
I felt like that. I like quotes. I love quotes. I must have hundreds hidden away in a notebook. I read them when I feel a certain way and I find the quotes that match how I feel and I know that someone else felt this way too. I highlight the important ones and I paint others and I keep adding to them. And they draw a picture of some other romantic world that I don’t live in. Dramatic love, drinking, poetry, madness. I guess I do live in that world from time to time but mostly I’m in a routine. I’m nearly twenty-one. I should be doing something. Something big. But what am I doing? I’m thinking about people I’ve loved and I’m making a poor attempt at getting a degree in English and I’m trying to bulk up my CV and my portfolio but I’m thinking, what’s the point?
I always imagine my life to be more romantic than it is, you know. But it’s hard to feel romantic around iPods and laptops and internet access. It’s hard to feel romantic while wearing braces and watching movies you downloaded illegally. Sometimes I want to be bohemian, whatever that means. I want to write and drink coffee and be comfortable with not wearing make-up. I write and I drink coffee and I second-guess myself and I am so self-conscious. I want things to be simple. But things can’t be simple when I owe money to the bank and I can’t afford new, on-trend clothes. Things can’t be simple when I’m worrying about being in fashion. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be someone who worries about clothes. But then, didn’t I say that I wanted to be a fashion writer? I do. I like fashion. But I feel like a fake because have you seen what I wear on a regular basis? Thrift store t-shirts and that tights and shorts combo that’s long since been dead in the water. I’m a bad example. So, despite the fact that I know what looks good, and I’m pretty okay at throwing words together to make a nice sentence, I’m a fake. Would you take style advice from me? Probably not. So I think I’m a fake.
And I think I’m not good at anything. I’m not good at selling Airtricity. I’m not good at getting people to donate to Clean Water Action. I’m not good at shaving my legs regularly. Maybe I’m bohemian without even meaning to be. If you gave me a lot of money right now, I’d become material. I’m already very material, though I’m trying not to be. I’d buy things and I’d imagine that they’d make me happy. But of course they wouldn’t. I think that this is because I’m not used to having money. But, if I was, I’d sometimes buy a new dress. I’d stay in bed and drink coffee and read books and occasionally go out for dinner with some nice boy. I’d wear lipstick and a pretty dress and I’d shave my legs. How very idealistic.
If there was a point to this post, I have lost it in the process.