AND I have internet.
So here’s a run down on what’s been going on:
The first night I slept here, my refrigerator started to make a sound like someone urinating, and I woke up thinking “Who the fuck broke into my house to use the goddamn bathroom?” So I got up ready to punch out some criminals with poor bladder control (strangely unafraid for some reason, I just woke up knowing I would punch them out and was not worried about getting killed) only to realize the sound was coming from my refrigerator. Then I did get afraid, because water damage is not to be trifled with.
So at two in the morning, I pulled the refrigerator out from it’s nook. There was no water. None. So then I got deeply concerned, because as a human being I’m not accustomed to hearing water that isn’t there. Couldn’t find it or really figure out what was causing it. I hoped it was just the drip pan being struck at a strange angle. And then it just stopped after a few days. So that’s good, I guess.
It will have to stay a mystery, though, as I’m quite busy these days.
Onto other things…
I’ve ripped up the carpets and for now I’m just walking around on the baseboard. I’ll probably be doing that until mid or late March. It’s not ideal, but those carpets were disgusting and I couldn’t bear to look at them. I’m going to be putting corkboard in the halls and main living areas, and then I’ll probably carpet the rooms.
I’m going to paint soon. Shades of something called “Thoughtful Gray.” I spend about two hours a day walking around with a spackle knife, filling holes that the previous occupants put in the walls. Seems like I’m always finding a new one. It’s like their kid discovered dry wall screws and sheetrock anchors and then thought he was Norm Abrams or something. I listen to “Learn Mandarin” audiobooks on my iPod while I do all of this. None of it is sticking so far, but I’ll get there.
Oh, and I’m going to go to Ikea to get blinds next weekend.
What else? I don’t have much in the way of furniture. Just my bed and a single chair. And I don’t have any kitchen knives. I won’t be expanding beyond these relatively Spartan accommodations for a while. I have to pay down some debt I ran up when I was trying to invent reasons not to kill myself (Laser Eye Ball Debt, iPad Debt, and Kayak Debt). All of it is at zero percent (because even suicidally depressed, I can still read terms and conditions) and I should be able to get rid of pretty much all of it within six months.
Working on Soul-Shaped Atoms still… it’s good. It’s a good story. You’ll definitely like it, and many of you will love it, but I already know it’s not going to be the story that “makes” me. It’s not a fire-crackling “must read” story. I can just tell when I’m writing a story whether or not it has that fire, and this one doesn’t. I’m still figuring out how to be interesting without my crippling inadequacies. I’ll get there. Even when I spent all my time in daydreams not every story I wrote was gold. But this is good and you will like it.
Isolation sharpens me. It makes me more insightful, focused, and driven. I can feel those golden “Make Me” stories. They’re bubbling up. I’ve just got to keep digging down until I meet them.
I included that clip above, because that’s how I changed my circumstances. I just never stopped being afraid. I never made any concessions for failure. I never stopped moving. As soon as I felt myself getting comfortable, I’d go do something else that I found terrifying. I kept risking my life in small ways even after I stopped wanting to die.
This is melodramatic but here is how I feel: God stole my life from me by putting me where I was born, and by chance I won it back in a coin toss. I’m not going to let my life be taken from me again. Not after everything. Not without a fight. And I have a lot more fight in me than I ever realized. I have an ember growing into a fire, and I will defend that spark with my last breath.
I’m angry and impatient now too. I didn’t have that before. I’m furious for all the years of my life I’ve squandered. I want to live a life that makes up for all of it. So, I’m going to live here, alone, and focus on writing. I don’t have any pie in the sky dreams for success but I think I can make a decent living. Enough so that I can work for myself.
I don’t look like I used to look. I don’t make the choices I used to make. After the last few weeks, I don’t even walk the same. Pretty soon, I won’t even sound the same. I know different doesn’t always mean better, but it does in this case. Every time I change something I steal a little more of my life away from the person I used to be. It’s invigorating.
So, to the ten of you reading this, Soul-Shaped Atoms will be available by Valentine’s Day. I’m going to delay painting my house to write it. I think you will enjoy it.