Stumbling along, or: existential crisis #8462 (give or take)

I’m bloody exhausted. It’s planting season, which is super stressful. But it’s almost done, so there’s that. I enjoy the work, don’t get me wrong. It’s lightyears better than putting up and taking down and rearranging and restocking displays of books over and over and fucking over. How zombifying that shit was. I like being a farmer, I like the sun and the dirt. But the spring and summer are rough for me. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. I like to work. I’m not lazy. I think part of it is that I’m not using my brain a whole lot. I spend most of the time I’m digging holes or watering plants thinking about books I want to read or things I want to write. Being intellectually understimulated makes me tired.

On top of which, like a fucking idiot, I’ve taken up running. So stupid. But it will help me to not drop dead at a young age like my father, so I do it. I hate every second of it, but I do it. It’s getting to the point that when I don’t do it I feel crappy. They tell me this is a good thing, that it’s progress. “They” in this case being people who also don’t want me to drop dead. I think they’re on my side? I believe that enjoying exercise is a myth perpetrated by athletic people who just don’t want to come across as masochists. Because that shit sucks. I’m a chair-oriented person. I’m a writer. We sit. We read. We type. We drink. We do not run unless something is chasing us. Which, to be honest, is not entirely out of the question. This is bear country, after all. Running makes me tired.

I’ve been doing some editing for that literary magazine I told you guys about a while ago. The few days I spent working on those projects I was pumped up and excited, full of energy. I think my brain might have thought we were doing cocaine, when really we were just thinking hard and using a skill we love which has, sadly, turned rusty. (And, yes, I do tend to think of my brain as a separate entity sometimes, my squishy little constant companion.) I’ve also been working on some stuff for another weird writing project. Apparently “memoir” requires catharsis and “narrative nonfiction” requires story structure. I do neither of these. I’m not sure what it is that I do, exactly. But, like the running, I’m soldiering on. Artistic frustration makes me tired.

I don’t sleep well in the summer. I’ve never slept well, really, but summer’s the worst. Occasionally I wake up shaking. When I was a kid I’d wake up with nosebleeds. Sometimes I have dreams where I can’t sleep. Exercising and eating better helps, and not having stupid, unnecessary stress helps, but it’s getting bad like it does every year. Maybe this is why I get depressed in the fall. I don’t know. I just reread Fight Club, and some of those diatribes about insomnia got me on a gnarly hamster wheel. At least I know my Tyler Durden is a real person. Hopefully. If not, everyone in my life is having a really fucked up (but adorable) mass delusion. Thinking about being tired makes me tired.

I got smacked in the face with a bad wave of homesickness the other day. It was my best friend’s birthday, and I called while she was getting her house ready for her party. Apparently it was a great party, and I was sad I couldn’t be there. Again. I’ve missed so many events. People I love keep graduating from stuff and having birthdays and getting engaged and having babies. I haven’t been home in a year and a half or so. And that was a year and a half after the last time I was there. I miss my friends and my sisters. I miss comfort and familiarity. I miss knowing which street to take. I miss back porches and endless conversations about nothing. I even miss Waffle House, which I don’t like to admit. I hate that I go days without laughing. I hate having to send birthday cards instead of giving hugs. I hate that I made a playlist of songs for a party I couldn’t go to and sat on my porch drinking a beer by myself. Being lonely makes me tired.


It’ll all be fine. Sorry if I sound like a whiny jerk. It happens. I’ve been called worse. New and exciting and happy stuff next week, I promise. Be well. Get some rest.