Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I spent yesterday morning at a clinic on the borders of Compton, in order to get some blood tests done. I've been there before, to do my STD panels, as I love the nurse who draws the blood. She's this stereotypical black woman in her late forties, early fifties. Very blunt, nothing withheld, but very friendly. She doesn't take shit, and she's incredibly efficient at moving through patients.

Walked in ten minutes before my appointment. White girl on the premises. Possibly the only one. I'm sitting in the waiting room occasionally using my Blackberry, legs crossed, book balanced on one knee. Hair pulled back, hadn't washed it in two days, as I had just had it dyed on Sunday, like to let it sit for a few days. My usual, work casual uniform: plain black shirt (that is now very obviously too big for me, hangs off my chest, hides my waist), blue jeans, a pair of original Docs, laces wound around my ankles instead of laced the final three holes. Still hints of mascara from clubbing on Saturday.

Young girls around me with too many kids. Women wearing crazy high heels, giant shiny earrings, neon-bright tops that are much too tight. Jeans that taper to show the curves of wide hips and bubble asses that I have to hide to fit in with my demographic.

Looking around, thinking of attraction, thinking of how much of the women around us we just dismiss, label sexless without even considering them as passionate people, as how they were when they were young and exploring, crushing on boys, whispering to their girlfriends. Too old, too large, too thin, skin shows too much age, too much experience. They show up with their husbands and boyfriends and make you wonder what type of relationship they have, what drew them to each other, what they do with each moment, each year, if things were as they planned, if they even had time to stop and plan as they battled what life gave them.

I left an hour later, arm with a brand new exit hole. Watching the blood leave me, thick darkness winding through a plastic tube. And the remenants in that tube that the nurse tossed into a biohazard bin. What would happen to the blood that did not make it to the vials? Parts of me scattered to whatever overpriced disposal service they use, with hundreds of others taken that same day.

Back to work, then to dinner with a friend I had not seen in nearly two years. I could not deal with his infidelity with one of my friends, my distaste for his rudeness and lack of control distancing us.

But I tried to resolve it, my frustration, my disgust.

There was that distance still, as he told me about his life now. So much has changed for him. He used to be the AMOG, used to be the center of everything. All the girls wanted him, all the boys listened to him, mimed him. His (now ex-) girlfriend is, was, incredibly charismatic as well. Something about her is so very charming, so very endearing. Just talking to her makes you want to be her friend. The two of them would host parties once a month, they were the place to be, something that everyone would make sure to attend, running until 5 or 6 in the morning.

Now he lives out in San Bernardino. He told me about his life, about the girl he settled with, about his day to day activities. The stagnation. The last year and a half, two years, has been a build to settled life. Social activities and parties that would pack his schedule gave way to nights inside with his girlfriend, developed hobbies like Warhammer and World of Warcraft, something he used to make fun of. He never goes out clubbing. No parties.

Is this the standard life?

Graduate college, find a job, find a partner, find a house, stagnate.

You're just done? A backwards butterfly going from beautiful and wild to trapped in a coccoon you've made?

Is this what I want? Is this what is lined up for my friends?

Will I look back on this journal, five years from now, ten years from now, and wonder what happened to that wild girl?


  1. Stagnating is exactly what happens. You can't live your life at extremes without burning up. Even relatively sedentary weekend warriors slow down. And then, what happens? if your a man you look in the mirror and see a stranger, so you try something to regain the glory days - buy a sportscar or an expensive guitar, start dating younger women and you are labeled ridiculous, going through the mid-life crisis. For women I guess it is similar, they start talking about "me-time", whatever that is, and attempt to find another relationship that will make them feel younger again. Whats the alternative? live your life at maximum speed. A lot of people try and there is a reason why there are so many rich, talented people who died in their twenties and thirties. From Eddie Cochran and Hendrix to Brian Jones and Keith Moon. You might survive, I am just over forty but my body is a wreck, if I was a horse I would be a suitable candidate for a mercy killing! The truth is you slow down or you die, but there is another, bigger truth and that is your going to die anyway. You might want to freeze yourself like Walt Disney and wait for future aliens to revive you to the prime of your life but relying on that seems even more far-fetched than belief in an afterlife

  2. There is only anxious malaise to be found inserting your present mindset into the incompatible lives of others.

    You seem frightened by the Ghost of Poetry Future. By a possible life you may lead one day.

    It is your have the ultimate say in it.

    One day you may choose to be stagnant and draw looks of distaste from others who can't relate.

    Actually, I frequently find myself wondering what I would have thought of myself 20 years ago. I suspect I would have laughed and shaken my head in disbelief.

  3. Toni,

    I take it you prefer how you have lived to the possible, stay-at-home alternative? Can't say I disagree, but there definitely is an excess toll on the body if you don't take care, and ever then, it happens.


    You know, your comment is very anti-Hive. I'm concerned that someone has hijacked your account and is writing comments that tell me I'm not about to be absorbed into the mass. :P

    I didn't feel distaste for him at his stagnation, as it suits where he wants to be (obviously, or he wouldn't be there), but I have this worried feeling that something, somehow, is going to get me in the same boat.

    Honestly, it'll probably be a guy.