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2020-04-07 15:19:20 (UTC)

mark and natalya and other folk

"Blackest Bile" by Giles Corey [a very beautiful, delicate song]

And it hasn't been easy on you
I know that more than most
I am born to be alone
I am just some lonely ghost

April 7, 2020 Tuesday 3:20 PM

I've been in a bad mood today. Generally, I have not been feeling too bad. I am not depressed, but I am certainly anxious. I've been nauseas for days and I've had a few headaches and my stomach is often burning. Today, however, I'm in a shitty mood just because I was very tired and as a result I feel like I performed pretty poorly in all 4 hours of class, lmao.

I stayed up late trying to finish Stanislaw Lem's Solaris last night, and I wasn't done until like 2:30 in the morning. I think I like the book. In any case, it makes the movie look like faux-philosophical shit. Sorry Tarkovsky, lmao. No, wait. I dunno, the movie is beautiful and moving in its own way, but I do get tired of the constant philosophical speech, and it can be really confusing the first time you watch it. I preferred the dialogue in the book, and I liked the whole history of scientific thought on the planet Solaris. The latter thing was almost completely absent from the movie.

After I finished class today, I decided to go outside to get some fresh air and I needed to pick up my prescriptions from CVS, so. Two-in-one. I'm still worried the Lamictal is causing my amplified anxiety. Or am I always anxious???? Holy shit you'd think I'd know by know what the hell "normal" is for me. I've no fucking idea! I guess I am frequently very, very anxious. In which case, at best, the lamotrigine has yet to help significantly. But I guess that would be okay. It would just mean we would keep going up for awhile.

CVS was fine. It's an ideal spring day today. Sixty degrees and everything, flowers on the trees in full blossom. I saw a woman with her eager dog taking a picture of a magnolia tree. It is still very surreal, to bike by the occasional person and to see them in their masks or with a scarf over their face. I wasn't wearing a mask while biking, but I put one on to go into the pharmacy. There was tape on the floor indicating where one should stand to remain six feet away from the next person in line. The same in the bank, where I went afterwards to pick up quarters for laundry.

When I was almost home, this man was crossing the street; he smiled at me so I smiled back, and then he stopped me. He said, "Sorry, I don't mean to push you off course," or something like that, and I said no matter. He asked me where Cranston was. I was confused, because Cranston is, like, an entire-ass separate city from Providence, lmao. He was looking for the DMV, or rather, the shelter that was near the DMV. I said, Cranston is across the river and South, but I mean, it's like a twenty minute drive. He said the map (idk which map, maybe he asked someone else) told him the walk would be almost 3 hours, and he needed to get there as soon as possible so he could get a bed. The shelter in Providence was not providing beds to people who didn't live in the tower??? "Due to Corona." I dunno what that means (maybe that they didn't want to overfill the shelter) but I figured it didn't matter. He took a step forward, and I must've flinched, because he immediately took a step back and said, "Ah, sorry!" and I said, "It's okay!"

I offered to call him a Lyft, but he said he could only take a cab because he was on probation and if he showed up to the shelter in a car they would think he was drunk or something?? I dunno. I might be stupid to believe him. My instinct is to think he must be swindling him. But he was so nice, I really want to believe he was telling the truth, so I told him I could call him a cab but I didn't have cash. I should've called the cab and asked if they took card—but then again, what does it matter if I give the guy money? Who cares if he spends it on something else? He needed money.

He watched my bike while I went inside the corner store, but the atm in there was broken so we decided to meet up across from the nearby coffeeshop instead, because that's where the Indian restaurant with the atm is. He said, "I got long legs, I'll meet ya there," so I went ahead. At first it didn't work because I fucked up my pin. I didn't know that so I just thought the atm was for whatever reason out of cash. So I went inside the restaurant to ask for help but it was absolutely deserted and dark except for some noises in the kitchen. I had my mask on, I felt dumb breathing in my own hot breath and going, "Hello??? Hello???" I checked my receipt, however, and realized it did not dispense any money on purpose. I hope I'm not charged for that transaction, but I probably will be. I did it again, pulling out $40. The guy said the taxi was $23. I already decided I was just going to give him all $40. It was about 25% of what was in my bank account ($120), but I already bought groceries, my prescriptions, my laundry money. The only thing I have left is my gas bill, but even then, my sister sent me some money and I have some $100 in repayments from Nadiya and Sonya (I'm the one registered with National Grid, so I pay the bills out of pockets and they pay me back). So I will be okay to pay electric and wifi later this month.

I'm so bad with money, lmao. But I wanted to channel my mom and my grandma, and give a guy the benefit of the doubt and help in whatever way I could. Still, it's kind of hard to get over the stuff that's instilled in you. In the area of town I grew up in, there were not many homeless (I think they were more likely to be on the Southern side, or anywhere that had a more concentrated population—so not the east side, where I lived, and not the northern bit by the golf course where the suburbs are); I actually think I mostly only recognized the homeless from when I went to NYC and San Francisco, and I always avoided looking at them and there was a smell like piss. But there are generally a lot of homeless people on the main street near the university, because a lot of people go to the shops and restaurants there so it is a pretty good place to panhandle. I lived on that street last summer and I remember I always got kind of anxious going through that area because someone always asked me for money and, as much as I'd like the help, 1) I can't afford to give everyone money all the time 2) I don't carry that much cash even if I could afford it, and in some cases, especially at night, I am not going to go to an atm with a stranger and 3) some of the people were kind of rude lmao. But I understand. I think I have a gross expression on my face when I can't give someone money, I get all crumpled up and pitying—if I were them I would hate it. But I can't help it.

Anyway, the guy (his name is Mark) was waiting for me by the building next door because he was "nearly 60!!!" so he got tired. I handed him the money. I saw that he had been talking with a guy he seemed familiar with a couple moments earlier; he said he was calling a cab for him. I have the uneasy feeling that he was lying, and I keep having to remind myself that it doesn't!! matter!! Who cares! He wasn't pretending to be homeless. Anyway, he took the money and said, "I'll pay you back," and I'm not sure how he intended to do that and it's possible he said it knowing full well I'd refuse. I said, "Mmm keep it," ouch said my pocket, but it's okay, it's really okay. He said, "Thank you. Veronica, right?" He had told me that Veronica was also the name of his niece. Anyway, I said, "Yes, Mark?" and he said, "Yep," and he told me to be safe and held out his hand and I shook it. It was dry and cool. I started to walk away. He said, "I gotta get me a bike so I can get some exercise!" and I laughed and rode away.

Whatever he does with the money, I hope he is okay. I feel kind of guilty, because that interaction actually made me feel less shitty (although I'm still super nauseated. I had a headache still, but I took some Advil so I'm starting to feel better).

Anyway, I think what I'm going to do now is figure out what homework/studying I have to get done by tomorrow; then I will make a sandwich, watch a video, play some minecraft, play some piano, and hopefully I'll be back to studying by 6 and then I can cook dinner around 7:30 and return to studying again at 8:30.

Oh, also, I went to Russian language practice yesterday, and I got to see Kyle! Well, hear him. His video was turned off, probably for a lack of bandwidth. His Russian is so good now!!! I feel deeply inadequate next to him, but what else is new? It was still nice to hear his voice and his evil little laugh. I've been texting him and all, still. Also, there was a new lady at Russian language practice besides Luba (if I haven't mentioned her, she is a native Russian speaker from Kazakhstan), her name is Natalya and she's from Moscow (but her favorite city is Saint Petersburg). She had this cute art on her back wall and it turns out she made it; I told her it looked similar to the art from Hedgehog in the Fog (a Russian animation from waybackwhen Soviet era) and she said that was her favorite animation!!! It was really nice. OKay, anyway.

I really, really, really hope everyone is okay. Everything is weird. I had another nightmare last night, but I barely remember it. My skin is gross right now, I have a zit on one of my cheeks. I feel bad. I feel good. You know what I feel like? I feel raw. Everything affects me. I dunno, it's a weird duality, but I'm hoping I can stop being so sensitive soon.