It’s so hot I can’t breathe. I notice the hot weather makes small annoyances ruinous. When you live in a country known for winter and very little else, the stores are of course immediately sold out of cooling fans and air conditions at the first sign of a heat wave. I actually had to order an air condition and have it shipped, so I’m currently just counting down the days.
It’s hard to focus on anything else, even preparing for school next month, which is a big deal for me. At least it looks like my transportation problem will be solved as a friend of my dad’s has a decent car he wants to sell. It’s a pretty good deal so all we have to do now is drive there and take a look at it.
I’m glad my dad knows a lot about cars (and everything in general) because I would not know what to look for and what potential problems there might be. Without his experience I would have accidentally ended up buying a car with impossibly expensive parts to replace that broke down almost immediately. Because sometimes I’m just that lucky.
I love driving. I do my best thinking while driving, the same kind of feeling I suppose people who knit or quilt feel. Thinking while my head and hands are busy, forces me to prioritize and make a choice instead of choking, as I’m prone to do. It is a meditation of sorts; when the car stops, the spell is broken. My favorite time to drive around is late evening/night, when I can drive around with virtually no one behind or in front of me. It’s almost magical.
I’ve been to this cemetery for two days in a row now. To be fair, I had a legitimate reason for visiting, but I do see people just walking their dogs or running through, and I understand why. It is beautiful, like a park, only quiet. I love how well taken care of the whole place is; it is one of the nicer cemeteries in the city. While I was there early afternoon, the only sounds to be heard were birds chirping and what was most likely girls mowing the lawn as their summer job. After visiting our grave I started walking around on the trails, wanting to see every part of the place. This was my first time alone as the grave there is fairly new, my grandfather was buried a little over two years ago. I felt I could take my time now, looking at others choice of design for their loved one’s final claim to this world, a morbid kind of people watching. Seeing how old they got, their profession(that’s mostly the older graves, though, and very rarely women), their children’s names under their own. Walking down the trail towards the river bank that is completely hidden by trees and the steep hill, I saw a single stone with flower beds around and all these toys and lanterns. It turned out to be a memorial for stillborn children, which might be the saddest thing you’ll see all day.
PS. Fred means peace.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.
I’m pretty excited about this book already, around 50 pages in. It reads very easy without being inane, which is great for me, because even though I read English well, it still takes a little more concentration. The book promises some oddball characters, and I am a sucker for delightfully weird things.
I wanted to wait with this post until I had finally battled my fear and won, which happened yesterday. It was a long battle, drawn out for months, and it almost broke me a few times. This thursday I passed my driver’s test.
I am a very nervous person, irrational fear has plagued me most of my life, and it has kept me from succeeding or finishing things. I took that driver’s test four times, the first time being around October last year. It crushed me to fail over and over again. My confidence is mostly based on what other people tell me: when it’s good, I feel kind of ok about myself, when it’s bad, I hate everything I am. So of course, the second time I felt like a terrible driver and sure to fail. Added to the ball of anxiety in my stomach that made me feel physically sick, I was a wreck.
The third time I failed on a “technicality”, which was me being too afraid to push a button to avoid dew. It didn’t help that the sensors very all male and mostly middle aged, the demographic I am most scared of disappointing for some reason. That failure felt the worst. There’s something about failing at something three times, a pattern emerges. I cried, as I did all three times, but after that I became numb. I didn’t want to hear my dad’s pep talk again. I felt broken, things I would laugh at before, only made me feel worse. I thought to myself: so this is how it feels like to feel nothing? It was a scary feeling that lasted for about a week.
It’s hard to say what made the difference this time. I just knew I had to make my mind go blank, the thoughts only fueled the whirlpool in my stomach. There were certainly things that seemed like a bad sign. My regular instructor was on vacation, I had to use a new car, I didn’t sleep at all that night; the ball of anxiety would travel from the pit of my stomach to my throat and down again. But I did it. I finished something I started, I did it all by myself. I thought I would cry when he told me that “there won’t be a fifth time“, but I just smiled and laughed that day. I didn’t tear up until just now, when I wrote this down.
I am terrified. Of what? Being alone. Being with people. Going out. Staying in. Doing the wrong thing. Not doing anything. Sounding stupid. Sounding pretentious. Not being liked. Not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Being ignored. Being looked at. Being vulnerable. Being a failure. Being.
Fear runs my life, and it rules with an iron fist.
A new day, another challenge. This time the challenge is:
Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
After thinking about this, and changing my mind back and forth, I have decided to write about the loss that has probably made the biggest impact on my life: the loss of my Family. Now, don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with death. I am 20 years old as I write this, in a way my life has barely begun.
My parents separated when I was around 14 years of age. Even so, I cannot remember much of the actual conversation, other than me and my sister crying. We knew it was coming, but sometimes you cry anyway. Our family was just not working the way it was, none of us were happy. Still I had always felt a strange pride in having both parents together as I listened to my friends with divorced parents rant about step-parents and -siblings, and the problems of living two places, separate vacations, birthdays etc. It didn’t matter that what went on in our house was just as bad or worse, no one ever saw that part.
Needless to say, I was mainly thinking of the shallow consequences. No more family vacations? Are they going to sell my childhood home? My parents won’t be together at my future wedding? My future children will have to visit their grandparents separately? Yes, I can get slightly overdramatic. In reality my relationship with both my parents became much better after they started living apart. It turned out it was the stress of them fighting with each other that poisoned everything else. I realize I am lucky my parents split relatively amicably, and that they now can be there for us. Sometimes, though, I can’t help but think of what it would be like to be a family again.