excuses and cars
I’ll give all of the excuses first. They’re good ones.
I’ve missed like, two weeks now of real entries. I know. I’m sorry. I just… first of all, it kinda feels like I’m on Christmas vacation. It’s colder out, and I’m watching bad videos while I write Christmas Cards or online shop, and I spend all day thinking about things I’ll be doing later, after the holidays. It feels like a break because I’m up until two in the morning playing Bargain Hunter with Eric, or taking Ray to the airport at the crack of dawn, or hearing about parties and plans and so, I don’t know, I just sort of forget where the time has gone.
Secondly, if I plan on doing anything at all during the day, the entire day is gone. Just getting lunch or coffee can sometimes take over two hours. I don’t know why this is the case, but it is. The other day I drove twenty minutes to meet someone for coffee. Since I don’t know anything about anything, I ended up parking five blocks away from the coffee shop. I walked for another fifteen minutes holding a map and a cell phone. I didn’t want to move my car closer to the shop because I had already run inside the grocery store to buy fancy lip balm just to get quarters to park, then used all of my new quarters before I realized my meter was out of order, and then moved the car up one space to use the last of my change. Then I figured I had already invested over a dollar in that spot, so I wasn’t going to find a new one close to where I was already late getting to. I’m learning. I’m learning slowly.
Strangely, though, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas. I can’t believe how soon it is. I keep thinking, “Why is everyone leaving? Where are they all going?” And suddenly I’m really behind in shopping, because I don’t really know where anything is, so I don’t know where to go to find things, so unless you live far away I haven’t bought you anything because I don’t know what you want or where to find it if I do.
Oh, and it’s like, eighty degrees during the day. That might have something to do with it. Everyone’s talking about snow, but I don’t know what y’all are talking about.
Oh, and the forum has seen some trolls lately, and for the past two days I haven’t been able to get into pamie.com for some reason. My DSL hates it. Other people can see it just fine. Not me.
And mostly, the real reason I’ve been just sort of slacking on the entries is I’m just a little depressed these days. This year has taken a toll on me, people, and my moods keep swinging back and forth. One minute I’m pretty cheery, maybe even bubbly, and then I’ll just crash right back down. I miss people. I question myself. I feel like… maybe I’m going a little crazy. There’s that in there, too. I don’t regret moving here. I really do like it here. I think this place is great. But with the weather going from hot during the day to cold at night and my head swirling around with ideas and choices and feelings and lonely and confusion I end up just forgetting to do the entry at all. I’m not avoiding, I just keep putting off. My days seem to just get away from me. Suddenly it’s after six and all I’ve done all day is get some coffee and write an article.
Driving around here is completely different than Texas. One day, if you ask me nicely, I’ll teach you where I learned the skillful art of the segue. In Texas, when you’re in a lane and you want to turn left and there’s oncoming traffic, the best time for you to go (when everyone wants you to go) is the second the light turns green, before the oncoming traffic starts up. You’re already there with the gas ready to go. They’ll let you go ahead of them. Because we’re polite. We let people go ahead of us if they’re quick and quiet about it.
Here it’s completely the opposite, and I almost died trying to drive like a Texan. First of all, they time out the green lights so that you can’t even do the Early Green Left to begin with. The oncoming traffic gets the green light before you ever do. Once your light turns green, you ease yourself into the middle of the street and wait with like, all of the adrenylne you can muster. Then, as soon as your light turns yellow, you punk rock it to the left. Do it fast so that the person behind you, and maybe even the person behind him or her can also turn left. If you don’t do it fast enough– everyone hates you. If you don’t ease yourself out into traffic as soon as your light turns green, others will honk at you. It’s okay to make your left even if the light is red if the person in front of you screwed up and you didn’t get to take the left because you should have been able to go. People just do whatever they want in spite of what the traffic lights say, anyway.
Here’s another opposite rule: “Hi, Mr. Motorcycle Guy. Here we are in Texas, where we share the road. I don’t mind if you guys ride two by two, but be careful, because I’m in a big car, and you’re not. You easily can’t be seen in my mirrors. Try not to be hidden.” Here, it’s, “Hi. I’m a motorcycle. Watch me drive dangerously close to your car and weave in and out of stopped cars at traffic lights. Oh, and I’m going to take that left turn in front of you while you’re taking it because I enjoy the look of sheer horror on your face when you almost hit me. Hi. See my bike? I’m also going to wear full motorcycle gear as if I’m about to do a stunt, because I’m that cool and you’re in a Civic.”
Another opposite: “Hi, Mr. Pedestrian. Welcome to Texas. If you could just be careful, because I’m in this really big car, you know? And it’s hard to just stop this big metal machine quickly. So, if you could use that crosswalk there at the stop sign, it’ll be much easier to see you and then allow you to have the right of way in like, just a few minutes. Thanks. That’s a pretty blouse.” Here it’s, “I’m a pedestrian! I don’t really know where I’m going, but you look like you’re travelling at at least thirty miles an hour, so I’m just going to meander in front of you. The rule is, I ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. That means you stop, or I’ll sue. You kill me for walking straight into traffic with my dry cleaning and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. You kill me and YOU GO TO JAIL. Have a great day, as long as it doesn’t conflict with me running through five lanes of traffic to pick up my headshots. Ciao.”
I almost kill someone every time I’m in the car. And last night at about three in the morning, I thought I heard someone steal my car. I haven’t checked today because I’m too nervous, but I thought I heard the wailing panic of my car’s horn. But I wasn’t wearing any clothes, and standing on my bed staring out the window into my courtyard wasn’t helping. And I think I kinda saw a botched carjacking the other night. And for some reason the street on the south side of my apartment is a popular hangout if you just want to stop your car, play music really loudly, and look creepy in the dark.
And I’m wondering why I never leave the apartment?