Friday, February 12, 2010

the voices in my head say to chill the fuck out. oh, and i love you.

The 90-degree weather keeps on coming, and I am just cruising with it. Okay, so I allowed myself to suffer a bit, and then decided it was not getting me anywhere.

I thought about Detox Doc the other day, and how he would have coaxed me out of that bitter mood I was in. Sometimes you just resign yourself to a fate, you know? I had resigned myself to being lost and hot and miserable. I don't know why. But another take-away message from my State of New York-sponsored detox program is that guilt/suffering/certainties are gifts from Satan that you do not have to accept. So, no thanks, darling of the darkness: return to sender.

I slid into this world here with some totally random rules for myself that have been making my life unnecessarily difficult. Like I told myself I wouldn't socialize with English-speakers (so I could accelerate my Spanish learning), I wouldn't go out with boys (distractions!), and that I would really live within my means...a steady diet of cheese, salami, and sliced bread. I don't know why I thought I should come to Buenos Aires and live like a fucking nun. I guess that is just how I am. And every time I faltered on these rules, I would feel really bad about it. But then Detox Doc came to me in my insomniatic haze last night and spoke magical things to me, mainly calling me silly for placing these unrealistic--and sort of pointless--expectations on myself.

I sent him a Christmas postcard. But I don't think he got it. Out of the dozen postcards I sent, I have only heard that two made it through. One was to San Francisco and one was to Chicago. I think the NYC post office just dumped them in the East River, which sucks. They were damn good postcards, and rather expensive to send.

Anyhow. I'm relaxing my rules, relaxing myself, and all is so much better when I'm not constantly berating myself for being a failure. Okay, so I'm not exactly a huge success story. Living off your savings in a country with a favorable exchange rate is not go-getter material, particularly if you're not even 30 years old. But the phantom Detox Doc said to me last night, "Who are you comparing yourself with?" And I was know, my friend Playboy who is like an international telecommunications consultant and just bought a fucking Ducati. In New York City. And then there's Girlfriend, who is moving in with her girlfriend, and finishing up her fifth year in her secure and satisfying teaching career. Or, Christ, my little brother, who owns his own place in Chicago and regularly makes payments to his 401K. I guess I'm just jealous of people who don't go through life feeling like they're constantly walking on the wrong side of the street.

But I have other heroes too. Like you and you and you. Let me digress for a second.

For a hot minute I was sure I was going to marry this Straightedge Vegan I met in Chicago. And barring the obvious inherent WTF? in that imaginary coupling, there is the feeling that when you make open-and-shut decisions like that in your life, you miss out on a lot of the tortuous angst that makes you the well-rounded, articulate individual who can get along at most dinner parties. What is a cocktail hour if we can't discuss some sort of existential crisis? My whole life seems to be about toeing the lines between creativity and criminality. I think that is why I don't have any friends who are doctors, lawyers, or accountants. I like to start with people from the netherworld of "Okay, people, where the hell are we and where are we going?" If both of these premises are understood, I really don't know where to go from there.

There are people in my life like Playboy and Girlfriend and Little Brother who have more solid ground than I do, but the reason why we can still relate is that they are constantly changing their footing. We are all antsy in our own ways. Some people are accepting--of their jobs, their cities, their friends, their lovers. They are into settling down in some ways. And then there are those of us who don't know the meaning of settling down, no matter how secure they may be. I am in awe of people who can commit to their careers, their partners, and their cities. But I know they have a lot to do with people like me who can't commit to a damn thing. This great American travel writer once said, "You can't shoot a cannon from a raft," or something like that. And it's so true...! But if you did try it, it would certainly be a hell of a ride.

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