Time Enough at Last

There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion. It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.

—Sherlock Holmes, “The Naval Treaty”

I’m trying to put more of a distance between myself and politics these days. I can’t stop following them; I’m too attached to the whole thing for that. But just as I have a tendency to think of having a boyfriend as the go-to thing that will make my life better, I need to stop thinking of everything in religious and political terms. When I was in college, I noticed that I had a tendency to do that when analyzing Shakespeare. The fun of Shakespeare is that you analyze it from virtually any angle, be it gender politics, historicization, metatextual elements, you name it, it’s probably there. But if you get too deep into politics, it just becomes depressing. I knew the Republicans were going to sweep the midterms. And without even bothering to read the commentary from right-wing pundits and politicians on it, I know that they’re going to talk about how they’re “taking back America” and all that other stupid shit they said when the same thing happened in 2010. There’s nothing I can do about it, and that’s that. Because change takes time. And their victory has more to do with the public’s disillusionment and their own gerrymandering than anything else.

People talk about how quickly high school flies by. Or college. Or life. The thing is that it’s always easy to say that about something once it’s over. Just as it’s easy to become attached to your money because every amount is small after you’ve spent it, every length of time looks short after it’s over. But four years is a significant length of time. It doesn’t just fly by, and the people who say it does are looking at it through the lens of nostalgia. These days, I’m just trying to make a living and hopefully have something resembling a healthy social life. It’s funny. Ten years ago, I felt like I was slamming my head up against a brick wall. I kinda felt that way four or five years ago. Depression has that way of shrinking your worldview so that all you can see is how shitty everything is and how difficult it is just to get up and shower and eat breakfast and shit. So I can’t really say “It gets better”, because my social life, romantic life, professional life, and various other aspects are nowhere near where I want them to be. But I want to see the next ten, twenty, thirty, or 200 years if I can.

I’m looking for a second job now. My savings and my income from my current job will hopefully last me up through December, but after that, it’s hard to tell. I’m hoping to make it back to New York for a week or so sometime in January so I can see old friends and visit old haunts, but that would require both getting a week off work and saving up the money. God, I miss NYC. People say they’re going home when they visit their families; New York is home for me. I applied for a job this week and didn’t get it. No biggie, I guess. It’s the same store that sells kitchen utensils and appliances at which I interviewed several months ago. I gave a great interview, but they gave the job to someone else. They don’t necessarily look for people who want the job and are qualified, do they? They told me that I could reapply for a temporary job during the holiday season. I took this to mean that they would keep me in mind for that, but obviously, they didn’t. I should know better than to get my hopes up by now.

I try not to let things get under my skin, but sometimes, I can’t help it. I got into an argument with some dbag not too long ago who called me an “insufferably pompous dudebro”. Wow, that got personal fast. And all I said was that I hate Taylor Swift. I guarantee you that I did not say anything half as harsh about this person, but I think what drives me nuts about these people is that they seem to think that because there is nothing stopping them from doing something, that means they should go ahead and do it. I don’t get that. I don’t understand why hating Taylor Swift makes me a misogynist rather than a misanthrope, and I don’t understand how applying the misanthrope label to myself makes me a faux-edgy dudebro. I guess the reason I’m fixating on this is because I could tell that a lot of people sided with him. The internet baffles me sometimes. Taylor Swift once countered a criticism made of her by Tina Fey by saying that there’s a special place in Hell reserved for women who don’t support other women. Because being a feminist means agreeing with every other woman about everything, and hating an individual woman, even in a tongue-in-cheek way, makes you a misogynist. Got it.

Most of the people I argue with seem to think that it’s wrong to act like people are different. But people are different. That doesn’t mean you should treat them differently. It’s offensive to tell other people that the labels they apply to themselves are meaningless because if you see it as a part of your identity, then anybody who tells you otherwise is robbing you of your individuality. Please do not act as if the key to recognizing everyone as an individual is to tell them that all labels are meaningless. Because then, you’re acting like everyone is the same. And you don’t get to decide for me what makes me me. If I believe that my astrological sign means something (I don’t, but bear with me), then that’s my goddamn business. I like Italian food. There, that’s a label that I’ve chosen for myself. And it means something, because not everybody does (just people with good taste). Am I making sense here?

If I had to choose a spirit animal, I’d go with snake. I’m weird, I know.



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