The Woman Suddenly Quits Her Job and Leaves With No Immediate Prospects

Since my mission in life is to escape whatever makes me uncomfortable, I extricated myself from another ghastly Midwestern winter and buried myself, with no attachment to the common sense of arranging a backup income, in a two-story Mexican house with a woman nearing the end of her seventh decade.

Armed with the best weapons, a black pen with an extra fine nib and a new journal, I recorded the experience. It isn’t the sort of suspenseful account an expedition leader to the Himalayas might write as his entire crew dies and he is ultimately left with one demented Sherpa and a can of sardines. It’s mostly me complaining about my grandmother’s snoring. The occasional bout of epiphany. Sometimes it’s my untimely attention to detail when I realize I’m in a small town on the beautiful coast of the Pacific Ocean and the bed is king-sized and there’s just me with a black notebook eating pineapple cookies.

The trip provided me with the certainty of nothing being a surety. There has been such an unfinished moment since the beginning of the winter. Nevertheless, I seek experiences. For to remain buried in the comfort of the routine is to commit myself to a life of predictable numbness. And I’d rather feel this twitch in the right side of my face, a near daily electric spasm in my cheek, because then I know I might live.

Instrucciones Para Verme Más, y Menos Así

Lo que escribí en una hoja de papel amarillo durante el momento en mi trabajo en el que se supone debía preparar un reporte de contabilidad. Me había visto en el espejo del baño de mujeres justo antes, y la lamentable impresión me obligó a crearme una estrategia.

  1. A usar más escotes. Si las tienes para amasar, deja que les de la luz del sol primaveral.
  1. Para de usar esos cochinos molotes de bibliotecaria. Te ves como monja de Guanajuato. O tal vez de Morelos. No importa, suelta ese animal sobre tus blanquitos hombros.
  1. Más tacones, y menos tenis de $5.
  1. ¿Estás esperando a perder kilos para vestir bien? ¡Moderniza tu guardarropa! No hay buen resultado a tu autoestima si andas chancluda. Mientras rebajas, acomoda tus caderas en seda bien cortada. ¿Quién se siente motivada con lonja y sudaderas?  Nadie.  Baja unos kilos, viste bien, baja unos más, viste mejor. No te pongas aguada. Luce tus carnes.

Routines

Though we resist, life consists of routines. Our propensity to claim the talons of routine do not touch us is futile, for lack of action, laziness, and allowing ourselves to be tossed by the current like decaying salmon is routine in itself.

Now, why not change our routine? Why must we continue a life without flavors, lacking passions? If your life is as mine, a cycle of work, eating anything from a paper bag, going home and watching some random vapid thing on television and falling asleep with an electronic device in your hand, then for heaven’s sake, make a change!

Let us divide our life into portions which shall allow us to perform as the ants. That is, let us become persons who labor, who collect the fruits of such works, and construct goals even from the smallest resources.

Whichever our labor–secular, social or scholarly, physical or spiritual–let’s divide the day to ensure all labors complete our hours. For example, if your labor is a physical one, if you exercise constantly, you shall see the fruit of said labor is a fit body and vigorous health. Of course, with a fit body you will no longer spend several minutes in a department store dressing room crying because the pants you tried on fit like sausage casings. The important thing, the most important, is the wise use of your time will yield rewards.

Therefore, I shall divide my day, and await fine fruits.

©Cejijunto

Rutinas

Aún nos resistamos, la vida consiste de rutinas. Nuestra tendencia de decir que la rutina no nos toca es débil, pues la falta de acción, la pereza y el dejarnos llevar por la corriente del río como peces casi muertos, en sí es una rutina.

Ahora, ¿por qué no cambiar nuestra rutina? ¿Por qué tenemos que seguir con una vida sin sabor, ni pasiones? Si tu vida es como la mía, un circulo que consiste de trabajar, comer lo que sea, ir a casa y ver cualquier babosada en la televisión y después dormirte con el móvil en la mano, ¡por el amor de los cielos y tu tía Lucha, cambia!

Dividamos nuestra vida en porciones que nos permitan ejercer como las hormigas. Es decir, que seamos personas que laboren, que recogen el fruto de dichas labores, y construyen sus metas aún de los recursos más simples.

Cualquiera que sea nuestra labor—seglar, social o escolar, física o espiritual—dividamos el día para cerciorarnos que dichas labores llenen nuestras horas. Por ejemplo, si tu labor es física, si te ejercitas constantemente, verás que el fruto de tal labor es salud vigorosa y un cuerpo sano. Claro, con un cuerpo más en forma ya no pasarás 15 minutos llorando en el vestidor de un almacén porque los pantalones te aprietan como embutidos de chorizo, pero lo importante es que el buen uso del tiempo te recompensará bien.

Así que, dividiré mi día, y esperaré las cosechas.

©cejijunto

Paper Masks Melt and You Should At Least Pretend to Care

I have proven to be a very slow learner. One of the fools.

I have faith in the reactions of others.

There is a stubborn tendency in us to reach out for comfort, for solace. As children, we want to be held and nurtured by our parents. We want to feel the safety and comfort of arms around us and soothing voices hushing away our distress. However, as I’ve discovered through the years, with the help of persons who have kindly let me know they don’t give a fuck about my ache, the best and sometimes only comfort to myself is me.

There will a come a day when everyone will get tired of your problems, bored of your complaints. “What do you mean you miss your grandfather, didn’t he die over 15 years ago?” “That is not depression, you are just lazy and self-centered and if you went outside and mowed the lawn now and then, you wouldn’t whine all the time.” “Some people have no egg rolls for dinner and you don’t hear them bitching about life choices.”

And here is my response. Trying to find my way in life and questioning my choices at regular intervals isn’t a folly. I am not a whining, spoiled child of Western culture because I sometimes cry myself to sleep at night, wondering where I took a wrong turn and everything in my life turned to rhinoceros shit. Even as adults, we still seek comfort. We still want to be held and told everything will turn out fine in the end.

Except, not everyone is patient. There will be the rare few and enormous souls who will hold your hand at 4am and listen to you and watch you sob and not throw up at your feet from the sight of bleeding, emotional carnage. There will be the jerks who pity you. Some will act as though pain is self-made and therefore inexcusable.

To me, worse of all are the apathetic. The persons who don’t care to know, and furthermore can’t believe you still haven’t gotten over it. My profound mistake has been having repeated faith in other people. I have thought that if I gave of myself, if I exposed and demonstrated, I would gather the same soothing comfort from my peers as I did from my parents as a child. This is why a shrug and an indifferent grunt have left me distressed. Or why I was shocked when I confided in who I thought was a caring friend and heard, “You already talked about this last year. It’s boring.”

The lesson I’ve learned from these assholes, and several others like them, is to keep a very practiced mask on my face. Everything is fine, and will always be fine. I’ve learned that if I want a mother’s love I should call my mother. I have discovered I am a fantastic source of inner strength and thus should not seek solace from someone who plays with her phone in the restaurant during our entire meal rather than interact with the person across the booth.

Being your own strength is fine and easy for some and a few of us can even fool ourselves into thinking we’ve now a good bead on things. The problems for all of us begin when we find it impossible to keep the facade tidy. Or when we begin to feel like we’re absolute and alone in a planet that’s said to be overwhelmed with swarming bodies. Not everyone has the capacity to rely on their own instincts, or to continue doing so for long. Perhaps this is why our uncles drink with the lights off. The crushing sensation that no one cares about us is inevitably unbearable. Maybe this is why women come home on a Sunday afternoon and find their sons hanging from a beam in the ceiling, looking handsome and still feeling rather warm to the touch.

Wouldn’t you want someone by your side? Look, I’m the last person in the world to advocate hugging. Go watch Full House if you want bullshit tenderness and life lessons learned in 5 minutes. What I do ask is for you to look up from your book, Cobb salad, newspaper, electronic device or even crotch and just listen. Listen to the person in front of you. You don’t have to provide a solution. You don’t even have to kiss this blathering idiot who can’t decide what career he wants or what she needs out of living. Only listen.

© Cejijunto

What Feeds Me

In certain moments, when my head hurts in a way which makes me regret the way I behaved in the year 2000, my only pleasure is a long day of writing.

Why do I love to write? The question is not, why I love to write, but why I need to do so.  It is that music, that music which guides my pen and makes it dance.

My pen upon the paper.  Love, upon all my loves, how I need to write.

I must, I declare that I need to write. On the contrary, if I desist, my soul becomes a stagnant swamp, and every light I see is sourness.

My preferred method of writing is pen and paper, followed by typewriter.  Who remembers, in this age of the automated, the meticulous task of handwriting? Or, the sounds of the typewriter keys, clanking like the pistons in your 1967 convertible and the little ding at the end of a line? O, the ding! Unfortunately, I don’t own my typewriter anymore.  Now I resort to writing in a blank journal. When the rain falls so soft and sweet, or even better when there is a thunderstorm with the sort of lightning that makes you believe in the very existence of divinity. Mi greatest pleasure is to wrap myself in my red blanket and take my notebook in hand. My pen is ready to conquer. It does not need wartime strategies nor a battle plan, for I let the words guide themselves and I assert, the words command me and I merely obey them.


© Cejijunto


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Lo Que Me Nutre

En ciertos momentos, cuando mi cabeza duele de una manera que me hace sentir pesar por mi comportamiento en el año 2000, el único placer de mi alma es una larga sesión de escritura.

¿Por qué me gusta escribir? La cuestión no es por qué me gusta escribir, sino, por qué lo necesito. Esa música que guía mi bolígrafo y hace que baile un danzón. O un mambo. Tal vez una samba.  ¿Puedes bailar samba?  Yo no, pues mis muslos y mis pies son protagonistas de una cochambrosa batalla.  Pero, mi tinta sobre las líneas. Amor, de todos mis amores, cómo necesito escribir.  Debo, mantengo que necesito, escribir.  De lo contrario, mi alma se estanca y mi luz se amarga.

Mi método preferido de escritura es tinta y papel, seguido por la máquina de escribir. ¿Quién recuerda, en esta era de lo automático, la tarea minuciosa de la escritura a mano? ¿O el sonido de las teclas de una máquina de escribir, y la campanita al final de la línea? Ay, la campanita. Por lástima ya no tengo mi máquina de escribir.  Así que ahora lo que me encanta hacer es escribir en mi cuaderno empastado. Cuando la lluvia cae muy suavecita o de preferencia cuando hay una tormenta con relámpagos, de los que te causan que creas en lo divino, mi placer es acurrucarme en mi cama con mi cobija roja y mi cuaderno, y mi bolígrafo listo para conquistar. No necesito estrategias bélicas, ni plan de batalla, pues solo dejo que las palabras se guíen a sí mismas y te digo que las palabras mandan y yo les obedezco.


© Cejijunto


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