Monday, April 03, 2006

Come on down!

I'm trying to get control of my life, beginning with my kitchen. Hello, Mop? Mop? Where ahhre you? Come on down and meet the floor! And the books, my god, the books stacked on top of every level surface. Yesterday, I looked at a co-op on 9th Street in the West Village and it was like coming face-to-face with my fate (well, an off-5th Avenue sort of fate). In 1200 square feet of space, this owner prides herself on having fit almost 8,000 books, 3 couches, 1 grand piano, mulitple armchairs, a television, a double bed, one cat and his assorted accoutrements (litter box, scratch pole, tiny toys), and -- lord, it is impossible to overstate the cramped feeling that standing in the middle of 8,000 books will give you. I walked out with a newfound motivation to cross the street when I get close to used bookstores. A new mantra: My home is not, and should not aspire to be, the public library. All the culinary mysteries I've been reading for the past month? Hello, sidewalk!

The past couple of weeks, since I returned from a week at my parents' house in Tennessee, have been really difficult. In addition to all the heightened stuff with Robert (we're still together, we continue to miss each other, I'm going to visit in a couple of days, and in two hours I'm going back to look at another apartment with a contractor), I've started seeing a therapist every Wednesday and was rejected from several literary magazines and a newspaper. One of my great writing friends, though, has sold her first book and has now crossed the divide that eludes most writers for decades: she is now able to support herself as a writer. I'm happy for her, really proud of her; this could not have happened to a more genuine and deserving person. Also positive is that my running is much-improved -- since January 10th, I've been running at least 15 miles a week in preparation for the Vancouver half-marathon on May 7th, with my dad and Robert, and now, finally, I'm starting to look forward to it. I know that I can do it. Also, on Friday night, I participated in a reading in Brooklyn. I stood up onstage at a dive bar (it opens at 8 in the morning) and read 2 essays into a microphone and I wasn't booed off. The best part of that was seeing my friends who came -- Tallu and Phoebe and Andrew and their friends. (The second best part was the guy who, I noticed, walked in front of me to get to the bathroom while I was reading and then came up to me outside afterwards and said I "did good." I was like, "Oh yeah? You enjoyed it from the bathroom?" And he held up both hands and said, "Hey! I didn't pee directly into the water so as not to make a lot of noise and disturb you. And I hesitated to flush!") Does life get any better than that? By "better", of course, what I mean is hilarious and humbling?

One of my best friends and I broke up. Did we break up? I don't know, we are taking a break. I'm going to have to think about this before I write anymore because I feel conflicted and still unsure how it even came to this point. That thing that Anne Lamott calls "K-FKD" -- K-Fucked, the voice in your head that delivers a constant stream of self-abuse -- has been playing loud for the past week, and considering the dissolution of what had been a solid friendship makes me feel horrible. I can think about this, or I can mop and clean my apartment, but I cannot do both at the same time. Maybe what I need now is a cup of coffee and Liz Phair, to get on my knees and start scrubbing.


Anonymous Nicole J (from Prague) said...

Shit, Sarah. I feel you on the rejections. I keep sending out and sending out and getting rejected. And I have no idea what I'm supposed to do after the MFA. I'm still waiting to hear from 2 fellowships and it's driving me batshit crazy. --Nicole

2:43 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Nicole! Fellowships...that's exciting. Are you finished with your book? I would love to read it, all or part, if you wish to share. xoxxSarah

9:43 AM  

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