My Life in Boxes

I’ve lived at ten addresses since the beginning of last summer. This assumes that you count the friends I’ve stayed with, but since I’ve had something mailed to all of those places at some point, I think that’s fair. I am getting tired of packing my life up into boxes. At one point, I was sleeping on a friend’s floor while leaving many of my things packed up in boxes at another friend’s place. It is not a very comfortable feeling to be stretched thin in that way. It would be nice to settle down somewhere. This Tuesday, I received notice from the student housing building I’m staying at that they won’t be able to accommodate me for the fall semester. Condescension always pisses me off. I’m really sick of rejection letters beginning, “Thank you for your application. We really appreciate blah blah blah yada yada yada…” By that point, I’ve already figured out what they’re about to tell me, and am skipping ahead to find it. The part that made me really angry was this sentence: “If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Office by phone at [number here] or by e-mail at [address here].” Uh, yeah, there is a way you can be of assistance, but you already didn’t do it. Just once, I’d like to read a rejection letter like this:

Dear Robot King,



The People Who Just Ruined Your Life

I deactivated my Facebook account this morning. I’ll reactivate soon enough, but for the next two weeks, I’m on vacation from everything except friends, family, and blogging, and feeling quite proud of myself. I’ve survived a very difficult semester, and despite all of the pressures that I’ve faced, I still have a great deal of self-respect. This is only somewhat diluted by my realization that my first impulse after deactivating my account was to post a status update about how proud I am for lessening my dependency on social media. So with all of the positive shit for today out of the way, let’s get back to hating.

I don’t watch much reality TV. In fact, I never watch any if I can avoid it. But yesterday, I found myself alone in the resident fitness center with the TV tuned to Laguna Beach and began to wonder aloud if there was a single nonwhite person onscreen. I squinted, but couldn’t even find one in the background. Normally, I get the impression that the point of reality TV is to marvel at what horrible people the folks onscreen are, although I didn’t find the spoiled rich teenagers on Laguna Beach loathsome so much as simply vapid. As eye candy goes, you could do a lot worse, but I cannot imagine a more shallow and meaningless existence. The drama on the show, as far as I can tell, revolves entirely around which bland, ineffectual moron will sleep with which other bland, ineffectual moron. I guess there are worse things to be preoccupied with. Still, I wanted nothing more than to pick the teenagers up and deposit them in a war-torn region in Africa or the Middle East. It really puts your problems in perspective to see them juxtaposed with those of people who have to struggle just to get by. I mean, yeah, I’m pretty privileged myself, but there are a lot of people who lead more comfortable lives than I do. I’ve taken my share of hard knocks, if I may say so, although they tend to come in the form of being made homeless by judgmental roommates or indifferent admissions boards rather than, I don’t know, abusive parents or something.

I keep saying this, but I don’t have much left to give, not very much left to give at all. There are only so many times I can be forced to pack everything up and move it across town in the hopes that this time, I’ll be able to stay for a while before I sell everything and move to a remote island somewhere. I moved to New York because California didn’t want me. If New York doesn’t want me, I’m running very low on options. Sure, I could always move to the rural South, but they shoot nonreligious left-wing cocksuckers down there, don’t they?

I’m rather proud of something I accomplished yesterday. For the past few months, I’ve been working on a group project the point of which is to prepare presentations and memos on a proposed piece of environmental legislation. It’s been the cause of even more stress in my life than housing, largely due to the pressure put on me by my teammates to do the best I can or let everyone down. I was assigned to take the lead on writing the final report. I did a good job. That’s a fact. I compiled some of the earlier memos into one draft, assigned the later memos to my helpers, then wrote an abstract, introduction, and conclusion, formatted the report, made sure that the memos I’d compiled were properly cited, then sent the rest to my helpers. A few days ago, I received an urgent email from the task leaders (one of whom also happened to be a helper on the final report) stating that since the earlier memos hadn’t all used the same method for citing sources, we now had to go through the entire report and make sure everything was properly cited. Having warned them about missing or incomplete citations while compiling an earlier memo and gone to the trouble to fix some of them while citing my sections of the report, I declined to help. One of them (not the one who’s helping me on the report, but the other one) sent me a passive-aggressive email saying that I wasn’t done yet. I sent him an email saying I was. He backed off. Perhaps people think they’re being helpful by backhanding me rather than telling me what’s really on their minds. It is my job to let them know that they are wrong.

I’m working on it.


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