the post from the basement

Some good things about unemployment: being both able and expected to write all the time. Having the chance to paint and draw and wander and read and take photographs all over the place. A bad thing: having people ask me what I’m up to, telling them, and watching their faces mull it over in a moment of skepticism, confusion and disappointment. (Also bad: I have too much time to worry about what other people are thinking.) Recently, someone said, in response to my description of how I’m spending my time, “Oh. Well, if that’s okay for you.,” leaving me to wonder why people always think it’s appropriate to say messed up shit to me.

Yesterday I felt exhilarated about finally being able to control my time, that I’m actually being a writer always now, not just in the spare moments when I’m not doing my day job. Today I’m tired and grumpy, although I discovered the basement of the Starbucks on Court Street in Brooklyn, which is dark and cold and full of plugs, and I spent some quality time reading on my favorite bench, the one outside Book Court. Apparently, 3 in the afternoon on weekday is a good time to go there, the children have not yet commandeered the space.

Things I’m thinking about: how I wrote some words in a delicious tizzy the other day and now I can’t seem to make more of them, or make the existing words coalesce; Israel, which is rapidly approaching; how ridiculous it is that I can’t seem to feel optimistic two days in a row,; why my new pen loves to bleed through my journal pages; how strange it is that this recent cup of coffee refuses to do its job and make my thoughts shiny and snappy like a steel trap.

I’m at an impasse-am I not pushing hard enough? Am I not seeing what’s possible? The brutal truth here, I’m starting to realize, is that I have to figure this out for myself, and really not pay attention to people who have expectations for me that are different from those I have for myself. It’s weird to realize something that I’ve always believed. Lately, that seems to be the theme.

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