The sun has set and everything in Cambridge is shaded blue.
Looking out my window, I can see cars turning in and out of the parking lot across Mass Ave. I just crossed back, too - I went to see a reading at Porter Square Books tonight, as I have the past two nights. Two poets, and two fantasy writers. I’m trying to limit myself to a book a week, and so far, miraculously, succeeding. Going to the bookstore is my time off in the day, when I really don’t have to worry about doing other things or think about bills I’ve got to pay or my accounts or writing projects or code I said I would work on. I only just returned from Europe on Sunday. The first day was burned settling in; the second, dealing with my things I needed to do. Today, the work has started, the real work, the grind, making things happen. Being a digital nomad doesn’t mean hanging out and drinking pina coladas all of the time.
I want to go hang out with my girlfriend. She’s my main friend in this city. I text her, asking what she’s up to. She’s sitting on her porch, reading a book I gave her. I’ll head over there soon, I think. But in three weeks, she’ll head off, too, to Montreal. I’m trying not to think about it.
My roommates are out, doing their thing. The apartment is quiet. For dinner, I had around three cups of rice, with some friend onions, peppers, mushrooms, seaweed, eggs, and almonds mixed together. Budget food - the whole thing probably cost me $3.
Every time I take a break between paragraphs, I move my elbow on my desk, and the whole contraption creaks under the strain of the book case on top of it, crammed with titles I’ve not read yet. “Getting Things Done.” “The Lathe of Heaven.” “Race Matters.” “Feudal Society.” “The Dispossessed.” The titles of the books weigh on me, too, reminding me to pare down my life until I have a manageable amount of things in it, until I have time for reading and thinking.
While thinking and typing these things, the blue in the sky has faded to black, like a bruise.
Coming home after two months in Europe was a shock. I didn’t realize that I would fit back into my daily life so easily. I expected that keeping up my routines I’d started again would be hard; I didn’t expect that they would cease to be fun. In the hot sun of Lisbon, taking time to meditate seemed like a great treat. Here, it seems like a task. The magic is gone. So I sit and think about things I could do - watch a movie, sleep a bit longer. Let the night roll in without complaint.
You write of walls built, between friends and cities, between communities, between yourself and the person you’d like to be. Walls are huge. They block out the sun. They are hard to the touch. They make you feel trapped. You know when you are in a labyrinth, don’t you?
I think more of swamps, of marshes, of mist. That’s what Cambridge feels like, right now, to me. Some grey, pallid substance has gently lain down over it and gone to sleep, curled up with it’s tail between it’s paws. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll end up going to sleep, too.
But maybe that’s just me tonight. Tell me about the trip. How is it? Where are you?
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