Monday October 14 2013

Within and Without. Fitzgerald.[i]

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There's a story of a longhaired shark-man with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. A friend and I are hanging out with this man in an apartment on the first floor. It's understood he dies alone in his room. He becomes somewhat of a legend; nobody believes he even existed.

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Waking up super late and super well rested at 1:47 p.m.

Hot Cinnamon Oat Bran with Brown Sugar, Milk, Flax Seed, and Maca. Orange Juice.

Organizing and planning. Business.

Tuna Salad Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato. Honey Black Tea.

Breaking Bad.

At the Rec Center. Making use of the fitness room – lifting weights – running.

Edamame. Kale and Carrot Salad. Thai Noodles. White Rolls.

It's after 10:30. Ana's here. We share our reflections of the day and previous days. I wanted her to try these Almond Pillow Cookies, part of the massive amount of food donations Skipp brought us yesterday. She has a funny way of pronouncing the word "almond". She always says owl-mund. And I always make fun of her. I make sure to write on the box, "ANA'S OWL-MUND COOKIES".


I rig my laptop under the roof of the loft bed with a broken electric cord and put on The Great Gatsby (2013) so we can watch it comfortably on our backs. I finished the book but she hasn't really started. So the plan was for us to have different experiences. She shall watch the film adaptation first then read it, and I the other way around. Baz Luhrmann, the director, offers everything I'd expect with a Moulin Rouge-like over stylization genre mixing 20's jazz culture with current hip-hop and pop music. The pivotal moments are captured well and with good dramatic taste. Somewhere in the middle we take an intermission and make Popcorn and Black Tea. I decided watching the movie on our backs was starting to get uncomfortable and set the laptop on the trashcan nearby. We finish the movie.


Afterwards I go on a count of my likes and dislikes about it, looking at some message boards on IMDB and such. I get kind of in a talky mood, but nothing too overwhelming or out of the norm for me, and mention some of the fallacies we learned about Christopher Columbus growing up, the abominable acts of violence he was responsible for when discovering the Americas and how he's inadvertently responsible for the slave trade.  

Me: "I mean it's just so amazing to me how all these things we learned in school we later find out isn't all! This country was founded on slavery and imperialism!"

There's a noticeable disinterest in Ana. Maybe all the philosophizing and all the critical thinking just rubbed her the wrong way. She mentions something about not wanting to talk about movies after watching them. But she doesn't mind listening to me. She just feels like I expect her to debate with me. I try my best to understand.

I make sure she knows, "The only thing I expect from you is to be yourself."

She just didn't feel comfortable and for some reason it triggered some hidden fears of inadequacy.

Pertaining to a text she sent me yesterday about how she felt like herself at Busch Gardens I comment, "So apparently the only time you can be yourself is if I take you to Busch Gardens."

The mood teeters on light-hearted and critical.


Her: "That's what I was talking about when I said What am I doing with my life?"

Me: "Wait, so you were thinking about the obstacles in your life in that moment on the roller coaster?"

Her: "Yeah."

Me: "It reminded you of all the obstacles in your life, that fear of roller coasters. And when you were done with the ride you felt hopeful."


After brushing our teeth together, something happens. She wraps herself up in her fuzzy gray sweater, puts on her shoes, and straps on her black bag.

"I wanna go," she announces

Me: "Huh? What do you mean? Did I say something?"

Without forcing I try to convince her to tell me what's going on inside her head. As we continue in discussion a deeper more personal side of Ana is unfolded to me, a side I was forbidden to know before, and maybe still forbidden to know as she's reluctant to offer clarity but still gives me the clues necessary to understand her private battles to greatness. She struggles like all of us in our 20-somethings, and at any age I suppose, to feel adequate in society and to not waste precious time with these...these distractions that hinder us from being ultimately happy. As well she's afraid to get closer to me.


I notice during our conversation she slipped off her right shoe but leaving the left shoe on.

Me: "You're just like Nick Caraway looking out from the window at himself on the street. You're within and without."

Her: "I don't ever want to be a burden to you."

Me: "You're never a burden. You do nothing but brighten my life."

She protests with a smile, "How can that be true?"

Me: "Brightness doesn't mean all positive energy. It just means you're alive. Sometimes we need encouraging. That's what I'm here for."

She smiles. She always has the ability to smile despite anxious situations. She walks over and leans into me. I embrace her. She stays.

While she sleeps I reflect. My beard is real itchy so I take a shower. Around 5 a.m. I slip under the covers next to her. She immediately clamors onto me, like she always does when I get in bed, and caresses me with eagerness. It's been a while since we had sex but now the plague is over.

[i] Fitzgerald quote from The Great Gatsby.

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