Friday, February 18, 2011

the one where I try to defeat self-consciousness by making a list

1. My daughter is off with friends finding a bite to eat, laughing, talking.

2. The Sprint towers in our area have been having problems for at least a month. We all thought our phones were dying until my girl's dad took her phone in for repair and learned from the technician that he couldn't even run a diagnostic on her phone because the damned towers aren't working right.

3. I never used to like cell phones. They made me feel as if someone were always watching me, waiting to catch me something at embarrassing.

4. I don't like this sporadic connection to my child when she is out on a Friday evening, especially this day when we are having a "fake spring," as my friend Laura called it. I worry that people might be moon- and spring-crazy.

5. She promised to use someone else's phone to reach me, but what good will that do if Sprint won't connect to my Sprint account?

6. It will be fine.

7. I'm just complaining.

8. I have eaten a bunch of rice chips with sea salt.

9. I don't regret much in my life, but I do regret eating all those chips.

10. I'm looking at the printed guidelines for applying to a master's program that interests me.

11. If I take the process step by step, try not to look ahead, I may not freak out too much.

12. It's windy out there.

13. I started to go for a walk but got caught up in a conversation with a kind of a friend who lives around the corner.

14. We see each other rarely. I don't regret the conversation.

15. I returned home pretty quickly because the dastardly wind kicked the 60 degree weather down several notches.

16. Plus, the wind was braiding my hair for me.

17. It didn't feel all that good.

18. By Tuesday, our temperatures will be back to "normal," the 20s. If we're lucky.

19. Of course Tuesday is the day I'm to drive a couple of hours north to attend an MFA program open house.

20. It will be fine. I'll layer up and try to remember my gloves.

21. When I lie dying,
I want someone who loves me
to lay me in the dark, rich, oozing mud
of southeast Ohio, the kind of mud that clings
to the edges of high school football fields
after days of hard rain,
the kind that sucks tennis shoe soles
deep into its saturated filth.

22. "At least one letter [of recommendation] should be from a former teacher or an academic advisor." Of course this is a problem for me since I graduated from college in 1979. Some of my professors are, sad to say, dead. The rest probably don't remember me because I was silent, invisible girl when I was 18 through 20.

23. I'm not worried about it. I'm going to fake my way through all of the applications anyway.

24. Another asks for a critical essay, you know, one of those essays in which you write a kind of academic essay. Or maybe not academic. I don't know. I think I'm supposed to write about a favorite couple of poems or a novel or something. It's all right. I read all the time. I think about what I read after I read it. I'll just write those thoughts down and pretend I'm merely thinking them to myself.

25. Must submit between 15 and 25 pages of writing, depending on the program and which genre I select. I started going through poems yesterday. "Oh, damn!" I thought as I read a somewhat recently revised favorite. "I remember this being a better poem. The first stanza absolutely sucks." That, too, isn't really a probably. I thought of how I would revise the poem while I was driving to the post office to mail a transcript request to a school in Paris that I attended when I was 17.

26. Must schedule: in-car driving lessons for daughter, appointment with money guy, dental appointment (aHAHAHAHAHA), doctor's appointments for me (aHAHAHAHAHAHA) and the girl.

27. Damn. I meant to change the flood lights on my back porch when I got back from grabbing a few groceries (one of those times when I meant to get $25 worth and ended up with $45 worth. I have no self-control). It's too dark now.

28. Had this terrible dream last night that frightened me so much I was afraid that when I got up to pee at 3 a.m., the creature who was haunting the tunnels where the dream was set would slash me to ribbons, back first, with his metallic wolf's claws.

29. I often have terrible dreams, but they rarely scare me.

30. Have run out of steam.

31. Don't know if the list worked.

32. It doesn't really matter, does it?

33. At least I didn't end up posting the draft I wrote earlier that started out, "This winter has shut me down. Since before Christmas, I have been struggling to stay out of this dangerous place in my heart where I get caught in grief and self-loathing."

34. I'm only a little bit pathetic.

35. I'll start to think of this as a journal again instead of a blog. That will help.

the end

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