Sunday, March 31, 2002

the following, in yellow, is the beginnings of a journal I found on my home computer last modified monday august 7 2000. below it is today's entry in orange. also: thanks johns, if you're reading this.i love you. call me at school. I took 10 years of piano lessons before the piano drew me to it. I allowed myself distance from the instrument: I respected it, I honored it, its disciple. But not once during those ten years did I pass the piano in my living room, and, desire to play. I felt a duty to learn, to develop skills, it was, well, something I should do. I sit at my compaq today, at age 18, writing out of the confines of assignment for one of the first times in my life. Every so often for the past few years, a little voice in the back of my head fitfully whispers to me from his sleep. "Ari. Hey Ari. You should write." And On. "You say you like writing. You might even be pretty good at it." And on. "….Considering the limited practice you give yourself. English papers. Newspaper articles. Research reports. Please. You know that doesn't count. You're committed. You're held to it. It is so damn disciplined." And I mollify it with an resigned, "ok, I'll right something at some point soon." And on and on and on for all of high school and it never really happened.

I saw Fugazi tonight. Well, I saw a portion of the lead singer's head, the rhythm guitarists forearm, and the drummer's cowbell. Mostly though, I saw the nasty sweatstained back of the large guy who nudged his way in front of me. I stepped back, assuming he was trying to get past, and watched him set up camp right where I was standing, giving me a beautiful view of the moist hairs matted outward from the center of his neck. I glared at a few beads of sweat propelled down his neck by his gyrating body. Pissed and unassertive, I grumbled inwardly at my self-imposed impotence. The happy zen-mountaintop I have climbed for myself can place my in precarious danger of falling down the slope of impotence and resignation. Did I want to bother this guy? He was having a good time. Pretty damn selfish of me to interrupt his enjoyable evening with harsh and inconsequential words simply to see the rest of the bass player's face. I later found that the bass player was hiding behind one of the monitors, or the drum set, or both, so I would not have been able to see him anyway.

"The things you own, they end up owning you"
Last night I watched magnolia with my parents. For Daddy's Birthday I made dinner, good dinner too, penance for the lopsided birthday cake. I had spent the weekend alone in the house, and watched my one act of subdued teenage rebellion go very very wrong. I uninstalled the VCR, trying to pay attention at least to how many wires went in, and roughly where they went, and tried to move it upstairs to the other tv so I could cook and watch magnolia at the same time, but it didn't work. And I could not reinstall it.
And I freaked three hours the stress fantastic on the phone with CableTV Montgomery ("Now 'Comcast, Inc.'") getting everything working again. After the movie, the cable stopped working again, and I broke down. I don't even like TV all that much. My parents wouldn't be mad. More than anything I filled myself with the sense that I had done something wrong, that I was responsible for destroying something that was not mine. I wonder at myself, whether I am really what I believe myself to be.
Am I strong, or simply untested? Will my confidence shrink when I enter an arena exponentially larger than the bubble of my high school life? Do I have self-esteem without a support net of friends and family? I would like to think I am what I think I am, but how strong can I be if I can collapse over a cable TV box, if I allow people to push me around for their own convenience, if I allow trivialities to consume me?

I worry. My pseudo girlfriend from summer past Katie always told me I think to much. She was right, at least a little. I am not an impulsive person. I am not a wild person either. I would like to think that I am eccentric, that I don't fit under anything near the normal tent…..
More later

I feel like the patron saint of catastrophe visits me on occasion to keep me smart and considerate and responsible and safe. The first real party I went to in high school got busted by the cops and I got to take a breatholizer. The first night I went out drinking in Israel ended on my friends bed, with me holding her as she vomited and babbled and cried. These sobering experiences have kept me out of trouble, kept me a good boy.