homeless guilt, an itinerary, and sexual anxiety
"Wet and Rusting" by Menomena [sonically interesting song]
I made you a present, you’ll never expect it
And when you unravel the secret will travel
It's hard to take risks with a pessimist
I hope that this shaking will help us awaken
Separated by skin ‘til we let ourselves in
It's hard to take risks with a pessimist
It's hard to take risks
I hope one will burn me, I know you’ll desert me
(This is the closest I’ll come to touching you the way I want)
The hope can be painful, I’ll try to be faithful
(It’s hard to take risks)
January 11, 2019 Friday 10:24 PM [back at Brown]
I always feel really guilty after interacting with homeless people. I got my hair trimmed and my eyebrows fixed, and then stopped by CVS, on the way back down Thayer a man stopped me and asked for money (homeless people tend to camp around Thayer b/c of the foot traffic and the young rich kids). I had no cash, so then he asked me to buy him food because he was hungry. I said sure, what does he want? He said, Or better yet, is there an ATM around here? He was trying to get a bus ticket. I said, "I can buy you food but I can't do that," because some alarm bells in my head went off and I didn't have enough time to examine the anxiety. I am still a little confused about my suspicion. I guess the thing is, I will never bring a stranger up dark streets into a relatively empty building to get them money. Even if the stranger feels normal enough. There's no way to judge a danger like that.
I paid for his food, about $11, and asked if he wanted me to wait and he said "no," and I said, "Okay, have a nice evening, then," and I felt bad because he didn't look at me and I don't think I ever asked his name although he asked me mine. To be fair, I don't ask peoples names except to be polite and even then it's usually 2 minutes into a conversation and I didn't even talk to this man for that length of time. I am just always really anxious about accidentally treating homeless people with some kind of subhuman condescension. I know what it's like to be patronized and it's just. not great. And I don't want to make that necessary. At the same time, I know my own experience with being patronized might make me a bit naive to potentially dangerous situations involving desperate people. Of course I wouldn't recognize desperation like that—I've never been homeless. And it is hard for me to strike a balance between human respect and wariness.
Last night I ate dinner with Nadiya. We made eggplant parmesan and I made Moscow Mules. We got drunk while watching Bandersnatch—which was, conceptually, awesome but in execution kind of disappointing—I mean, I get that it's a game of choice, and they literally say within the movie that it's supposed to create an illusion of interaction between the person and the product, so of course the actual pathways are limited and sort of disappointing. I think the problem was the themes were so obvious from the get-go, and there did not appear to be anything added to that initial thematic of choices/consequences/parallel realities and some apparent convergence between them idk. Like, if the point is to say we are in a simulation, then shouldn't you then make a point about why being in a simulation even matters? And what steps can be taken to either come to terms with this situation or to fight against it? I want to think about this more, but I think I should rewatch the movie first. Maybe a few times, idk.
I woke up at 7:30 AM
Ate at 8:30
Went to the gym at around 10 and read while walking on the treadmill. Tried to run a bit, but I was kind of hungover and also I really had to poop so it just wasn't working out. I expected my muscles to hurt from running the night before (after I got off the bus from NY), especially since my only meal that day was the dinner with Nadiya, but they were fine.
This book I'm reading on improving one's writing skills offered some exercises so I did a couple:
At noon I wrote a 933 word short story virtually without stopping. Obviously some pauses to think, to adjust things or insert a sentence, but yeah, mostly written in a linear fashion—which is honestly pretty close to my current writing strategy. The issue is, I am so into this style of writing that I think concepts that could have benefited from more research end up :/// not as cool as I want them to be. As with Bandersnatch: cool premise, poor execution.
At 1 I began writing a detailed outline for the short story I'd just written, including
(1) the starting concept
(2) why I found that starting concept interesting, in order to help me figure out... in what direction I wanted to develop the premise. Although being a short story I think I leaned more towards the side of characterizing a person more than I did providing him an arc of change and growth. This story is only supposed to be like 6 pages. Oh, also
(3) a biography on the character and all auxiliary relationships and the area he is living in and why he has the tendencies he has, why he does certain hobbies. Not all this info will be included in the actual story, but it felt kind of nice to build the world... out of the frame... if that makes sense.
(4) I listed out themes and motifs
(5) mapped out a plot, which I realized was a bit similar to Baldwin's short story Sonny's Blues. God I love that story so much, "the very cup of trembling." ahh. Anyway, I also related it to some other things I'd learned about plot construction, and decided I wanted the first portion of the short story to be representative of the central conflict (especially since I plan on expanding this story out into something longer later on)
(6) I realized that I like some level of confusion to be present in the story. I like the idea of confusing readers. Which is a weird thing to come to terms with. I used to idolize Kurt Vonnegut and I liked something he'd said about providing the reader with all the necessary information as soon as possible; and I'd also been thinking of a lot of modern writing, in which the goal is to write sparsely but effectively, as tends to be the approach in a lot of my favorite books. Although I appreciate the aesthetic very much, I have a harder time getting through very rant-y and nonlinear writing (thinking of On the Road in particular), but that is what some of my writing tends to lean towards.
(7) I then wrote an outline of the two scenes that are supposed to appear in my story, including the timeline of occurrences, dialogue, and thought. I had it stuck in my head from the initial stream-of-consciousness draft that I really wanted to start it mid-sentence, and end it mid-song. I am unsure of the complete Why behind this urge.
At 2 PM, I wrote the first scene.
At 3:00, I made some ramen and ate it.
At 4:00, I went to the mail room and picked up a package, and then I sat in the pool room in the basement of Faunce until about 6:30. First I spent that time playing this game Celeste, and then I read about 30 or 40 pages of Of Mice and Men, and about 2 pages of that book about writing.
At 6:30 I left to go get my hair trimmed and eyebrows fixed, and I think I was done with that probably a bit past 7, and I went to CVS to pick up some toiletries that I accidentally left at home. And then I bought that man food and I came back here, ate some leftover eggplant parm and maybe 1/8 cup of salad, and I microwaved a personal Digiorno pizza and ate it. And I was still hungry so I ate half a bag of Cape Cod chips and a couple Milano cookies. And I played a game of Stardew valley and browsed Youtube and did a face mask but I still have no idea how I managed to pass 3 hours doing all that.
I was having a lot anxiety. In particular, sex anxiety. I still find myself quite ugly and I can't get over it. But I started to panic because, for the past couple weeks, I've been thinking about dating again and now that I'm home I've been trying a little harder to do so. But the issue is even men that are attractive are not very attractive to me. As in: I am not attracted to them. I can't imagine wanting to have sex with them.
And I went on a googling spree where the answers ranged from asexuality to anxiety disorders (lol 2 late 4 tht), and I read this one firsthand account of a beautiful woman who only found 2 or 3 men attractive and she wasn't sure why and was very upset with it. The posit was partly that, as a beautiful person, she had higher standards and also that she had a boatload of other mental issues, which she mentioned in the body of her explanation.
But I'm not like that. Boys never really paid attention to me; I'm not particularly attractive, never have been. I feel like the reason for my lack of attraction is actually the complete opposite. Pretty much, I think I'm ugly, lmao. I like the idea of other people having sex; but when I'm included in it I'm just like: ew. I shouldn't be involved, I'm too groooosssssss. Nadiya and I talked about a similar idea yesterday, but I can't remember the details.
OKKK such are my thoughts. I'm kind of sad and nervous today. I realize this is my third day in a row on an average of 5 hrs of sleep and so I think that's affecting my mood. Also I'm sick. But you know. I'm always sick, lmao. Okay. Goodnight. I've written excessively today.