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Murphys Pt 6

There are levels of problems. I think I worry a lot but only to a limit for primarily no more than 2-3 things at a time. When I was in the bay area it was sometimes more than this because you think you have all you want to worry about and then something unexpected happens. I hate surprises and there were always surprises there that in time led to my decision to come out here to the middle of nowhere.

Some of these things were little things, like not being able to find parking at Trader Joes or taking up smoking again and all of the consequences involved in that and the look my dad gave me when he found out and reminded me that my grandpa’s last words were asking for a cigarette.

Some of these things were bigger, like the DUI, and the near fatal accident that caused it, and the crazy lady craigslist move into the city, and the mugger in Berkeley and alcoholic neighbors in Oakland.

Some things were continuous. The traffic. The Alpha type A personality people and the lack of sincere friendships. Maybe it was me. Maybe I couldn’t hold down to a friendships because I was too wrapped up in my own problems. And the effort involved in seeking and holding onto a friendship wasn’t ever inspired there. The first month in the bay area and I had run from the farm and used the money mom wired me to find that little basement apartment with the manic depressive girl. The first month I was unstoppable and exhilarated to be free, so I got a job and befriended the creative artsy girl and soon after walked around Halloween night with a cute coworker who was also a Triathlete at Cal and had pretty eyes. I became close to both of them and just as soon as it started it was over. She was jealous and flighty, as I learned most of my artist friends were, and he had a girlfriend abroad who would be back in December. So it was over by the end of autumn and I never carved out any potential long-term friendships after that. Just acquaintances and small gestures of affiliation like a concert here or a one night stand there. It wasn’t always by choice and I’ll probably talk about that more later.

But back to these problems and how I tried to leave them behind and remain in the bay area. The last year of grad school I moved to the north bay, at the foot of Mount Tam and only a 40 minutee drive from the ocean and the redwoods. I could hike and explore. I could park without too many problems. It seemed like the perfect solution and the weather, though one of the driest years recorded in California, seemed closer to how I remembered it in Oregon with mist and fog. The only snag was the price of everything, from rent to food to gas. I couldn’t afford it and so I graduated and I came here for $1 a month. The parking is even more incredible here. I can park anywhere I want, within reason, and only once have I seen a sign for $3 parking and that was for the Fourth of July when the town park played free music and had a fireworks show I could see and hear from my hilltop on Saturday night, the day after the 4th.

The land here isn’t covered in mist and fog. It’s dry dry dry. They said a dry year, watch your water usage, and I see signs of this everywhere. Yesterday the soil around my camping chairs in front of the house started smoking. It was literally turning black and smoking. I couldn’t figure out what it was from or the accompanying smell that reminded me of toxins we’d studied in safety class at the beginning of entering my fine arts school. Here was a little black spot next to another little black spot mysteriously starting to catch fire and I grabbed the hose behind the house and soaked the whole front lawn down. And by lawn I mean patches of gold grass I’ve been watering morning and night since no one is here to scold my water usage and I want a garden. The black spots blended in to the rest of the soil, and everything turned a dark brown but I couldn’t figure out what the smell and smoking was caused from, and now I have a little problem with only a couple of hypotheticals. Is it from the two stumps I brought from my MFA exhibit? The dark spots were near enough one of the stumps and so maybe it has chemicals on it. I found them in a junk yard after all. The other idea was that it might be something already buried in the ground, but if that is the case, and this is the second time the soil has smoked, then I am in trouble. I’ll have to be near most of the time just in case it happens again and I need to hose it down. I’m not sure if this is a big problem or a little one. It seems like a big one but that’s only in relation to the lack of problems I have here, which are this, a problem receiving my mail, and the problem of knowing no one and doing nothing social, which are both problems I can fix if I just go out and do something about them. The latter, regarding mail, I’m working on. The former, regarding people, I will get to when I’m sufficiently tired of being alone, but with a dog and cat seeking other accompany and the problems they could initiate seems unnecessary.

It’s early and the sun isn’t out with full form yet, so this could be a good day to drive to Yosemite. The drive would be about the distance it used to take me from Eugene to Portland, and with less traffic and more winding roads. I fill up my camelback and nalgene, and a ziploc bag of dog food. I’m still debating between that and watching the tour de france in England online. Each morning is a decision like this- remain on the hilltop and do little rings, or go out and explore new unknown things. I think today I will explore. Every other day seems to be good for an exploration. The sky is still calm and the rooster down the hill is still sleeping (I think it doesn’t come out until the heat is unbearable) and a humming bird is occasionally dropping by my cup of coffee as if asking for a taste. My dog is grumbling at every little noise and the mouse is still hiding in a corner of the house ignoring my death bucket of water and peanut butter held by chopsticks

If you are quiet and sitting right at the edge of the hilltop looking over Murphys, you can hear the clouds moving. I’m not sure if it’s the clouds or if it’s traffic or a plane in the distance near Columbia, but I always assume naturally that it’s clouds, and they’re rumbling in the distance, and that maybe it will rain and it will be the greatest welcome surprise of all.


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Stupid ipad work I hate you so this is not about you

Twenty-something and clueless- the never before told story of a lost young girl experiencing a quarter-life crises in a hipster city post-college, and in throes with her parents, and still coping with her childhood, which makes relationships a burden especially when she still sleeps with her ex because she is scared to go over a month without sex and so is he…yes the most original piece of literature to ever surface in this post-modern, existential, deconstuctionist capitalistic, overly-scholared American world. I would be at the forefront of groundbreaking beyond-hippie-hipster visionaries everywhere, embracing this new vision to pull us into 2012, and bridging the gap between driveling confused trust fund babies from gen X and soccer moms caught shopping at Forever 21 during school hours. In one book I would encompass a global view of communist capitalism from my experiences teaching abroad in Korea, which is like China but smaller and less original, and I would then blunder gracefully into stories about being unemployed post-teaching and college, confused about the ex thing, and trying to get inexpensive massages but failing after backpacking SE Asia, and being spoiled and no wiser than a fortune cookie, because my India and eastern spirituality loving ex ruined any ideas of enlightenment for me. He also failed to keep my cat alive when I moved abroad, and he gave me herpes so I lost a relationship with the next boy I really liked, which took me two years to find after I realized I had to move on, but you know, I’m not resentful or anything…I’m just a lost twenty-something writing an original tale about being lost in Portland, the capital of Happy Hour, bad credit, crack coffee, and tight pants.

I am returning from a hour at a Vietnamese beauty parlor where I entered to get my eyebrows waxed, and exited with my whole face waxed and freshly painted nails. I also had a mediocre foot massage from a lady called either Thing or Ting, who had named her 22month old Italy because her husband, who had two years ago returned to Vietnam to find a wife and tow her back to the states with him, had a soft spot for Italians. Ting/Thing and I threw at each other several questions in broken English like a crippled interview between Autistic teenagers, when she looked deeply into my eyes and asked, “Do you like Cocaine?” That’s what it sounded like and I stared at her and then asked her to repeat herself about ten times, each time she repeated “Cocaine, Coke-do you like?” and I finally was about to accept that my neighborhood Vietnamese community was submersed in drug culture, and maybe relate in choppy English phrases my most impressive cocaine story when I snorted about 22 lines in one night and talked about Nietzsche with a friend and decided by sunrise I was a genius and then crawled up in a ball and wanted to die…but then she spelled it out. “C-O-O-K’. Do you like? Coking?” Oh, that’s not as interesting a story, but yes, I like it.

I just cooked. I returned home, cleaned the litter box and then made dinner, and I really wanted protein so I opened a can of refried beans with a vision of Mexican tortillas, but the beans, after being coked up with cheese, onion, peppers and garlic, just looked like a big pile of colorful shit. But it tastes good.

So I just wanted to recount these stories, because they are going into this famous book I’m going to write about the nothingness of being nothing and getting old and feeling like I need to meet someone, and that every guy I pass is a potential husband, even the balding ones, because at least I know they are less likely to leave me or cheat on me, and at 26, you know I have a crippled heart and can’t take any more of that misery, because life is hard, and I still work retail.

PS. My Mucocele has gone down. In case you don’t know what that is, because I had it one month before I actually found it out on Google, it is (and this is according to Wikipedia): a swelling of connective tissue consisting of collected mucin due to a ruptured salivary gland duct usually caused by local trauma, in the case of mucus extravasation phenomenon, and an obstructed salivary duct in the case of a mucus retention cyst. The mucocele is a bluish translucent color, and is more commonly found in children and young adults.” It’s basically a lip cyst, or polyp for a friendly term. And to gross you out thoroughly let me tell you that I didn’t want to see a doctor and try to figure out the whole PSU insurance thing, because I hate insurance, bills, taxes and all of that boring shit, so I poked and drained the polyp twice (heavy drainage of mucus-like saliva liquid the color of faded yellow wallpaper), the first time a week ago, the second a couple days ago. And with the natural remedies prescribed by such reputable sources as Simplestepsdental.com and lumpinmymouth.com, I dabbed the drained lump with alum spice, bags of Hibiscus tea, colloidal sliver drops, and sea salt. My lip went from Hattie McDaniels- Mammie size (a Gone with the Wind reference that would be lost on most of my generation, and shunned by older righteous citizens for its political incorrectness), looking like I was punched in the face, to looking pretty normal now. I am relieved. I have a freshly waxed face, freshly painted dark blue nails, a whole new week of classes, a pile of shit at my side getting cold and hoping to be picked up and ingested immediately after I finish this rant of nonsense, and to be accompanied by a 3 dollar bottle of Trader Joes wine called Pink, and an instant netflix movie, probably something hip and unique and sexy because I don’t get laid enough and really need to live vicariously through my unlimited instant netflix movies, because they are reliable and committed and always await me after a long day of selling expensive shit to Mac-snobs, or bobbing around campus trying to pretend I still care about college, even though I don’t feel like a student because my professor doesn’t even know what avarice is and misspelled gluttony!; and I’m dreaming about traveling again or doing something, anything, but this…snagging that husband. Have you read this children’s book about a baby bird trying to find its mom? I can’t remember the title, something like , “Hi are you my mom?” or “Where’s my mom?” and so that is me lately, “Hi, are you my husband?” Pathetic.
I don’t even like responsibility. Imagine me in a committed anything. I can’t even imagine a rental that is more committed than month to month. This world completely befuddles me.

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