I’m upset and unhappy – but it only matters to me, doesn’t it, in the end? My feelings sit inside me like a great roiling rancid ball but no one can see them or feel them but myself. And the only way anyone would ever know was to ask me and people, they really don’t ask. If you megaphone your problems and sit on a hilltop crying whatever the modern equivalent of ‘unclean’ is – ‘suspicious lump’? ‘cancerous tumor’? ‘deteriorating injury’? – then well-wishers and emotional support will flock to your side. You can ascribe to them your own motives; I’m surely neither cynical nor naive enough for the task.

But if your jaw is kept clamped shut the ball will stay, and all your analogies about Prometheus may or may not hold water but they’ll stay within the confines of your body too. So I find myself looking out at the city and watching the cars, and wondering how many people feel just like me and how many people have wondered just that – and so forth and so on with all the hulls of our empty selves standing like sentinel cicada husks as witness to what we once were.


The line between my sleeping life and waking life is not as clearly delineated as I would wish it to be – which is to say that, among other things, my dreams are of work and are entirely too vivid. Not vivid in the sense of colour-drenched watercolours, like some dreams are, but vivid in that they are perfectly plausible extensions of my waking life.

A little too plausible; I find myself carrying out actions I was assigned in real life and by now you know where this is going. Need to fill out that time sheet? Dream-me did it in like, five dream minutes. Need to get food colouring for the epic sugar cookie day? Dream-me is giving you a thumbs up.

And while this sort of thing might make charming blog fodder and lead to pithy hipster discussions (“It’s as if part of yourself wants to start fulfilling what only you can give yourself.”), in the throat-clearing real world it would only net me really suspicious side glares, at best.

meant to say

Sometimes I like it, and sometimes I don’t – accordion music. Sometimes it seems to me indicative of everything that’s wrong with the world, the –

That isn’t what I meant to say. I meant sometimes I drink so much coffee I believe I can conquer the world –

Still, altogether not what I meant to say. I shouldn’t let anyone into my house. I should never have guests.

Or maybe I should never have anyone over that I actually like.

a lot

Every so often the director asks me how many blog followers I’ve accrued, and I dutifully report, and she says “Well, that’s quite a lot, isn’t it?” and I smile, dutifully and tightly. Five was a lot. Twenty was a lot. And now 207 is a lot.

Once the number went down by one instead of going up by one. I didn’t think she remembered the previous number but, of course, she did, and immediately squawked with dismay “Someone left you!” I nodded, mumbled that the word commonly, well rather exclusively employed was ‘unfollowed’, all the while watching her shake her head as if I’d made some terrible error. “You should stop writing about yourself, is what it is,” she concluded. “People want to hear about what happens in the life of a teacher, not a Lola,” I nodded, dutifully, wondered if ‘dutifully’ was going to be the word best used to describe my life.

“Exactly,” said her daughter, who had just entered the room, who used ‘exactly’ as a greeting, who then said nothing else as her mother continued to tell me what people wanted to hear.