Tuesday, February 9, 2010

summer of sweat

Self-pity isn't attractive on anyone, and I think I got it all out of my system. Geez, sorry again for that terrible last absolution post! Confession, blogging, same difference? Ugh.

Anyhow, things have been rolling along here in Buenos Fucken' Aires. It finally stopped raining for a minute and today I strolled around and was struck by how normal everything feels here. I am sweaty in February, still don't know anyone here, and have just gotten used to going for a walk with a map and a dictionary. Okay, so I don't usually take the dictionary with me. But I should.

My folks got me on video chat again yesterday. I have talked to them more since I moved than ever before. I am online all the time now, toiling around with my little projects. They caught me in a bad mood yesterday. I was chasing down a paycheck that should have come in September and was all bitter about it. It's hard enough for me to get assignments, and it turns out it's even harder for me to get paid for them. Me Ma said to me, "Well, you've chosen a very difficult line of work." This just killed me. Maybe I just hear criticism and head-shaking in everything she says to me, but it came across as, "Jesus H Christ, you are so stupid. You could have done any number of things that would have paid you. I seem to remember you actually having a salary at one point. Why the hell you feel the need to make everything so difficult is just beyond my comprehension."

She didn't say it. There's definitely a part of her and Dad that think that, which is why I try to avoid bitching about these kinds of difficulties. But like I said, they caught me in a bad spot, and as soon as we started to talk about, I felt like a complete asshole. Like here I am trying to "make it as a writer," whatever the hell that means. I don't know the first thing about the business, other than that I need to be writing ten times more than I am, selling five times more, and collecting checks in a timely fashion. I feel a kinship with the people peddling crap like four pairs of socks and a plastic binder, or the people trying to pass along badly photocopied fliers for lawyers, call girls and chemistry lessons on the street corners. I used to look at them and think, "There's got to be a more efficient way to do this," and I would sidestep them precipitously. But lately I think, "God, I know what that feels like." You don't know who wants to buy your crap, and so you just do what you know how to do, which is to ask every goddamn person who wants it within reach. Lately I buy the lighters and tissues from the wanderers and I take every flyer that someone hands me and I look at it. I wonder if this is working.

I hope it is. When there's no security, I guess, all we can do is hope. And try to stay out of grim situations as best as possible.

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