The past week has been a blur; hence, no journal writing. But it felt something like coming home to arrive at school, running into the various tired or wild eyed classmates who greet you with an ashamed shake of the head.
E-cigarettes, raw food meal bars, milk, occasional conversation with a human being, zero facebook except to commiserate briefly with fellow classmates as to how effed you are: ingredients for finals survival.
Successfully hit rock-bottom a few times during the week alone, sitting on the floor at the low white table in the living room—
where I'd set up the "sacred zone" in front of the windows, aka not my dark, cluttered room run through with mice—but that floaty, never-ending day-into-night sphere did lead to something like zen, in that I came up against the possibility of failure, the reality of mediocrity, the truth of mortality, with each wave of writing that eked out.
The body does exert its needs every now and then. One cannot live on inspiration alone. Food was raw food meal bars; but milk and emergen-C was my mainstay. Tiredness and stimulants causes the stomach to revolt against solid food.
The body also reaches a state of revolt against being awake. I've never known the pleasure of "napping"—I didn't understand how people could lay themselves down in the middle of the day and shut-down all the faculties like an unfeeling machine. But this week I felt the power of my body, the dominion of Adderall only so encompassing--my eyes irritably fluttering and then an icy ceasing of significant brain activity; I'd settle like dust on the sofa a few feet away from me, on my roommate's kind of not-so-clean brown blanket I'd folded as a makeshift mattress. Sometimes stayed awake long enough to pull Mum's old flowered sheet over me to protect me from the blazing sun coming through the windows. Roommate bleary-eyed walking through to the bathroom.
That 6th day's accidental 50 minute nap the day my portfolio was due was a face-down crash on my glasses, mid-edit. I missed the train as I've been paying for metrocards with coins out of a ziplock bag. That shit takes time to load. I went to school with the histrionic hope that I would actually be able to submit on deadline. Ran into the other kids who were alternately leaning over the side of their chairs staring into space or coming up to me traversing typical personal space with crazed eyes and barely moving lips, asking "how are you," and "have you finished yet," and "i'm so fucked."
It was a community; and here I'd been thinking the age of community was dead. I wonder if I will ever see them again. They're graduating seniors and we were there together for the apocalypse, but the real world will subsume and we will burrow into the earth again, travelling our sordid underground tunnels.
Roommate emails me and says, "I hate my job; what will become of us?" He ran into a high school friend the other day on the subway; high school friend expressed surprise at the roommate's increase in weight. He says he hopes he won't have to hang out with high school friend, for he is glossy and owns a PR firm and deals with models and stuff. I guess that's why we came to NYC? Not to be creative or change the world, but work in some "industry" and peddle stuff to the rest of America—for friends—to consume.
The ones who haven't joined the real world yet...or who are on the brink...the musicians, the creatives on the fringe: Bf said, "All of my friends don't go out anymore. They're either too broke...or too jaded. They don't know that they can't just stay in their little world and expect everyone to welcome them when they finally come out again. The scene doesn't work like that. The scene will forget them." Maybe it's true. I never thought the [techno] scene would die. I thought the power of what us disparates experienced together in those specifically odd, extended moments at parties and afterparties would carry us through like a naturally self-sustaining system.
But systems do crack; the reasons are starting to come out. People reveal their true natures; familiarity sinks in; momentum loses ground. The drugs, too. Solitude has started to make people strain under their natural weirdness that had brought them to the scene in the first place; which they had been celebrated for.
J came over last night, having broken up with his gf of four years. He was kind enough to act interested about my finals and I stayed up for the night to commune with the humans.
Zen even though that 50 minutes of shut-eye; maybe an hour or two a night for that week. I did the unprecedented, falling asleep repeatedly breakfast that morning; I lit the stove under the Italian coffee maker and it turned out it was the hot water flask: melted plastic all over. BF ran out yelling; it was 5AM. I had poured milk all over a plate and water on my cereal. Water on the floor. On the subway home, I nodded off hanging onto a pole; perhaps people thought I was a junkie. I thought of my advertising friend saying "Tired is the new drug."
J's animation was enough to keep me going. Bf watched hockey in between moments of making toasted sandwiches for us. We talked about how fucked up the world has been seeming lately, got onto the subject of last taboos (incest, specifically) and how J knew all these beautiful women who had been assaulted by family members at one point in their lives. He met Woody Allen that day, who had stared at him for a long time, maybe because J is physically striking; we talked about how we couldn't understand any of it, though I feared that maybe nobody gives a fuck anymore.
J was feeling good because he'd been doing physical labor, his first job after two years of unemployment. He said he could feel power coming back into his body. The idea of physical strength has become foreign. All week I kept forcing my back straight, feeling me constantly slumping, my lower back increasingly bending in a C like an old woman. I could feel myself becoming an alien and J was becoming more human. I could see that J's face had taken on a new openness, as if he was seeing something light in the horizon for the first time in a long time. He is almost ten years older than me. I wondered if life was going to be a struggle for all of my thirties.
(I am losing steam. All the friends are also growing frantic seeing the possibility that youth and fame doesn't protect you from lives not "happening." Maybe we were denying that we wanted the American dream in a small way; maybe the incessant forward motions were all about pretending the desire didn't exist because we were afraid.)
Today was a day of Madmen, falling in and out of a doze. The last episode I only heard audio, unable to keep my eyes open. Bf was already sleeping. He looked beautiful with a red bandana around his head, which I'd been wearing around my neck today to make it feel as if something new was starting, pretending to be renegade. Silly symbols that sometimes work.
It took several hours after the last Madmen episode to get to the computer to write; I couldn't face the screen all day. All the Madmen characters were in various stages of panic. The American Dream eluding them. Maybe it has always been eluding us and every generation believes the world is ending. The "commie" on the show had been ranting that they all might die soon—the kid was watching the burning Buddhist monk on T.V., worrying.
That Beastie Boy—Adam Yauch—died yesterday of cancer. 47 years old. Some kind of sense that an era is coming to a close. Are we on our way out, or is there going to be a hippie revival?
[Note: this post has been edited "the morning after"].