Sitting an waiting

Well, going about another Journal entry. Restlessness drove me to my Panera today, and even though I didn’t want to buy anything, guilt made me spend $1.50 for a croissant so that I could sit and think and write without feeling guilty for taking up space.

Been thinking hard about discipline lately, or rather, how much I seem to lack it. I doubly curse myself every day, once for being slothful—it doesn’t matter how much, even the slightest of wasted time is enough for me to curse myself—and again for expecting perfection.

I think about more than that, too, of course. I think about money, far too often. Can’t spend that here, have to spend it there, and save the two quarters for a newspaper today to page through the classifieds and then no more than two dollars at the Panera so I have enough for the Zoo tomorrow, and I can’t use the air conditioner because the bill will be terrible…

It’s sickening, that I won’t use that air conditioner. I have a fan, and I tell myself that’s good enough, when all it does is push the air of my apartment, hot enough to melt a stick of butter completely in two hours, closer to me. I complain about how I can’t think in my apartment, or work, because the heat inside clings to me and melts my energy like the stupid butter that I’m too lazy to put back into the fridge.

I think about home, a lot, and about how I hate how I can’t go walking in Grand Rapids, and nobody waves to me while I drive in my car, and I don’t know my neighbors. I almost scream every time I forget myself, and pull my computer away from the wall, only to have the monitor hit the table with a thud and hopefully no crack.

I think about internet, and how nice it would be not to have to pay $2.00 a day for an hour of the stuff and a baguette.

I hope, constantly, that I’m not spending all this money on apartment and food in vain, and that this trip to Grand Rapids, this summer sacrificed to language, will be worth it, and I fear, always, that my constant worrying will only become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I count down days on my calender. It’s 5 weeks now. 35 of them left. Days that is.

Last night, in a sudden bout of overheated frustration, I tore all my clothes from where they were, folded, washed, cleaned and scrubbed until my space was smooth and organized, all my intended reading stacked neatly in one corner, my bed in another, and my desk in another still. I washed my dishes and made my bed and cleaned the stupid beard-trimmings from my sink that have been there for the past two weeks. I made my appartment disciplined, even if I couldn’t be.

Afterward, I sat in front of a newly burning ‘baked-apple-pie-scented-candle’ scented candle, and took a few bits of fake Italian ice from a convenient, single-serving tub. It was, for the time, a momentary victory over myself, and while I have no doubts that my own sloth will return to haunt, perhaps I can manage to hold it off a little better.

I ran the air conditioner all night last night. This morning I made my bed.

I will try not to worry about regretting this trip, because if I do I surely will end up regretting. I must realize, that the point of this time is to discipline myself—not to spend money or save money or anything else I worry about. My job is to edit the manuscripts I am given, and do it well. In the time I have left over, I must learn to live life in a way that is good.

Gaining the ability to rule over myself is the work of the summer—and, I suppose, the rest of my life.


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