Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Transitions (Haruki Murakami, Skeletons and Garlic Bread)

Today is Tuesday. On Friday I will officially turn one quarter of a century old. In honor of the event I've taken vacation from work for the next three days.

Leaving work this afternoon was quite an experience. I'd been working on a major project since Monday afternoon and I was hoping to finish it before vacation so other people could do their parts on it while I was gone - though if it had turned out to be necessary, the project could have waited for me to return. I just happened to want a cleaner break than that. I didn't want to be in the middle of anything at all when I left for vacation, and it's next to impossible to not be in the middle of anything at all because the moment I finish anything I get assigned to something else. So I was running a little behind and rushing to finish by the end of the day, and in the end I stayed 8 minutes late after work to finish my project (though I'd arrived 9 minutes late for work that morning anyway, so technically I still got the better end of the bargain). And then suddenly I was free!

I burst out the back door into the sunshine and thought to myself: They'll never see 24-year-old me again. 24-year-old me is free of this place forever.

Next I went to the grocery store, to stock up on enough food that I can now safely lock myself in my apartment for five days without ever needing to go out for anything. The grocery store had sliding-glass doors, and as I pulled out my shopping cart and spun it around with a flourish to enter the store, I watched myself reflected in them. What a hot 25-year-old. Almost-25-year-old, whatever. What a gorgeous piece of flesh. I looked into my eyes, flirted with myself, astounded at my own luck that somebody that good-looking was flirting with me, and simultaneously astounded at my own luck that I could happen to be this person. Well, anyway: I am Narcissus reincarnated.

While inside the store, I started thinking about the last time I saw my parents, a few weeks ago. We were eating dinner and my mother had made garlic bread and I said, "For my birthday dinner I want lots and lots of garlic bread because I like it so much and I never get to eat it anywhere but here." My mother and brother immediately asked why on earth I don't just make it myself. Good question. Cooking is not something I've ever been much inspired to do. I have a weird relationship with food, in that I hate huge amounts of it - I hate all vegetables, all seafoods, all hot spicy foods, and the vast majority of anything else. Especially anything with a strong taste; but on the other hand I also hate the tastes of water or plain vanilla or any number of bland foods. Basically there are only about 10 foods in the whole world that I don't find totally inedible, and most of those I wouldn't go so far as to say I actually much like either. So there's really no opportunity for variety. I know how to make four types of foods for dinner: macaroni and cheese from a little cardboard box; cereal; a few basic varieties of sandwiches; and ramen. And that's about all I ever eat, day after day.

To be fair: in a pinch, I'm capable of following instructions to make most other types of foods. It's just that I don't bother doing that more than once a year. It's not so much skill that I'm lacking as just basic motivation. I'm lazy, and I can't think of much of anything else to make that I'd actually like except the four types of dinners outlined above. So I don't bother learning.

However, I've lived on my own for over two years now and today at the store I finally decided it's time for me to learn to make garlic bread. So I bought garlic salt. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, I came home from the store and talked a little with SoulMyst, then realized I needed to be alone. I take such pride in my supposed solitary life, yet in reality I've only blocked out the physical bodies and faces, while the stream of other people's words and thoughts continues pouring in on me from my computer screen. It does get to be too much for me sometimes. So I've resolved to work on improving my hermit skills this vacation.

Anyway, I logged off and removed myself to my bed in the back corner of my apartment and settled down to finish reading Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I love Haruki Murakami but I don't tend to think of him as a violent author. Well, this book is full of the most graphic violence I can ever remember reading. All through reading it I kept pausing to look down at my arms holding the book, at those two tiny thin little bones that run down the inside of my arm from my wrist to my elbow, look how close to the surface they are, what little effort it would take to peel back my skin and touch my skeleton, to snap those tiny bones in two and pull them out and throw them away. Um, yeah. So the book disturbed me quite thoroughly. Too much deep contemplation of death. I'm terrified of death. I wish I didn't even have a skeleton, just so the constant shape of what I'll look like when a long-dead corpse wouldn't be always unavoidably right in front of my eyes.

Finished the book though. Now I'm looking forward to my 5 days of re-learning to be a hermit. And I think I'll start off by getting busy on that garlic bread now.
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