Emily Dickinson Gets Drunk

12 Apr

(aka: unrelated post title…sorta)

Some things about living.

Last night, I was explaining to Lindsey that I want people to look at me and think to themselves, wow, she looks exciting! I am always wondering how people can look exciting…I mean, I have tattoos. I kiss my lady in public. But, what else is there? Sometimes, I think that I am moving too fast for people to even see me, let alone formulate an opinion about me.

I used to cross my arms hard over my chest. My  mother told me she never worried about me being kid-napped, I looked so tough. Now, I still do that thing… that thing where I intimidate people by staring too long. Where I move so quickly, no one can see me. I’d like to call it a compulsion: the itch to constantly move. I’d like to say it’s ADHD. But, I’ve never been tested. I don’t take any prescriptions. I thought the other day how people just want to sit still with me for a few minutes. But, those minutes feel like hours. My brain strains and screams, you’re wasting time!!!

The moment I stop doing what “needs to be done,” I panic. The reason I stare so hard at people (that’s how Ashley and I made friends, even) is usually 1 of 2 reasons: either I know right off the bat that somehow you figure into my life and I want to know how, or I think you look interesting and want to read your mind. (What about you, Christopher Newgent? **awkward stare buddies 4lyf!)

Anyways, what this all boils down to is that today on the way to work I had an existential(sorta) crisis where I thought that I’m just gonna keep going, keep going, kinda feeling miserable, and then one day I’m going to forget what I’m even doing everything for…I mean, right now, I wonder why I’m doing so many of the things that I am. I used to whine about being tied down. How I hated the idea of not being able to pick up in the middle of the night and disappear. Obviously, right now, I can’t do that. I can’t leave Ball State. Or my friends and loved ones here. That ties me down. But, I’m not fighting it like I thought I would. I’m just chugging through. Is that a good thing? Should we all just push through what we don’t want to do, be a bit miserable but be accomplished none the less? Or, is it best to just do what you want, when you want. How do we live like our writing predecessors in today’s culture and pace?

slow down, emily, it's only 5 o'clock!

We really can’t.

I mean, think about it: If you expatriate to Costa Rica, what will your mother say? If you drink absinthe every night and smoke pot all day only to stare at your type writer, how do you pay rent? If you hate work and sleep in a few times more than you should (Ahem…I did) then how do you keep your resume clean?

It just seems to me that this need to feel excitement, be enlightened, look like the most thrilling person on the planet, all of this is just a waste of time in today’s culture. But, just because it’s been proven to be wasteful doesn’t mean it is, entirely. What are we missing out on, by living more like 9-5ers rather than real live poets?


6 Responses to “Emily Dickinson Gets Drunk”

  1. Sunshinegrl April 12, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano

    You live on the edge and always have…different colored socks, spiked hair, funeral for a snake, tear streaked staring contests…. that is what makes you the unique person you are. You embrace the world and look at the beauty around you and voraciously drink it all in. This is what makes you a wonderful writer, friend, and most importantly…daughter.

    • D April 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Mom nailed it!

      Not everything in life is the gateway to excitement, but that does not mean we should avoid being passionate about them.

      Here is an interesting quote from a true artist…

      “I’m shopping around for something to do that no one will like”
      Jerry Garcia

      Remember truly being you is about being you, let people perceive away as they may. Stay true to you first!

      That said, ADHD might be an accurate diagnosis.:)

  2. Lindseyplaval April 12, 2011 at 10:53 am #


  3. Natalie April 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Sweet pea, this is a question I wrestle with weekly. I don’t care so much about what I want or what’s easier– but what’s the best thing? To struggle against it and for it or be responsible? And which brand of courage do I have?

  4. Ben April 13, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    “If you drink absinthe every night and smoke pot all day…”

    I see nothing wrong with that course of action.

    There’s some anxiety there about continuity. Maybe you are mixing space and society together? I’m sure if you ran off some place, you’d have a hard time coaxing yourself to part with a few of us. That seems universal to me. And inevitable. You might be restless physically, emotionally, and intellectually, but just because everyone else isn’t scurrying at the same pace or with the same abandon doesn’t mean you’re necessarily on the outside.

    The physical and the social aren’t contingent anymore (INTERNET) is what I’m trying to say, and neither one necessarily inhibits your pace.


  5. elysiasmith April 13, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Oh benji.
    What I meant is that I have to do so many things but, I don’t really have to at all. I’m at a point in my life where I could drop whatever and pick something else up or nothing else up and probably still be a successful human being in the long run.
    And, while the internet does make it easier to be “with” people, and not be with people at the same time, If I’m truly living a life separate from society (like previous poets and writers) then relying on the internet is feeding monsters that I don’t want to feed. We all have an internet addiction. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but is it affecting our writing? Can we truly get inside ourselves if so many different versions of our self exist in the world. The various live versions, the version on the page, and the version on the web…
    Know what I’m sayin?

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