That terrorist attack on the first happened in the same train station where I started my longest train ride ever: 48 hours from Kunming to Shenzhen. I remember Eric D. spilled a beer in the waiting hall where it sounds like the majority of the killings happened.
I had a dream yesterday that some other Americans and I were being held hostage by a revolutionary or terrorist or fanatical group in Cambodia. As I remember, we were all from different walks of life, but had made them suspicious somehow and were all being held captive in a crowded apartment. At one point we were going to fight them, and we were making plans for what we would do, and at one point, I got one of the terrorists’ sons by the neck, and was going to threaten to stab him with this big iron file thing if they would not let me escape.
The dream itself was strangely enjoyable, considering the subject. Mostly, it was that all the colors were so saturated and everything was so vivid. I think I actually appreciate that even though I’m dreaming. It really is like I am watching something in super-high definition, where everything is brighter and sharper than in real life.
In other news, I continue going through a hard time. My sleep and waking cycles are out of whack. I’m generally feeling miserable, not really knowing who to talk to about it, since I feel like nobody can give me what I really need anyway. There’s nothing much I can say except that I feel bad, which I’ve probably said a million times before. I don’t think I’m much fun to be friends with. Probably I just give people a lot of anxiety.
Despite advice from EAG/H/my former online friend and my co-worker R. about the importance of making a schedule for myself, I haven’t done it. I guess for me, making a schedule smacks of the kind of compulsiveness I associate with my mom, which I don’t want in myself. However, with no schedule, I find I’m getting nothing done. I’m sleeping all day, staying up at night, but even worse, not doing anything. I’m really wasting my holiday. A new semester is coming up and I haven’t gotten ready for it. Even worse, I haven’t looked for jobs in a serious way.
Maybe I’m scared of this job thing, and that’s what’s making me sleep all the time. It could be. Sometimes when I’m afraid of something, I try to escape it by sleeping. Once on this program on NPR, the author was reading A Hole in the World, this memoir about abuse. I was interested in it, but frightened at the same time. While it was on, I just couldn’t wake myself up early enough to hear any of it, even if I wanted to. I think oversleeping was a way of trying to protect myself. Now I’ think I’m oversleeping as a way to avoid anxiety about this job thing.
On another note, I am thinking about quitting going to my therapist. I feel we are really unfocused and her English is not good enough to really understand me. She is referring me to a cognitive behavioral therapy guy, but I don’t know if I am depressed, just disappointed and sad. I think what I really want is warmth, understanding and affection.
It’d be nice if I could learn something new everyday. Today I learned how to play Fruit Ninja. That’s not very impressive, but that’s something.
I signed up for an online class on Scandinavian Film and Television. Hopefully it will give me something good to think about and teach me something new!
God damn it, I really miss that guy I met online. Messaging him on the computer and on my phone was the most fun I had all of last year.
Last night I dreamt I was propositioned by a famous person (I’m sort of embarrassed to say who), and although I was feeling all sexed-up for some reason I refused him because I knew I would feel disgusted afterward. Instead I went looking for a friend of mine who I had dated in real life. I don’t remember if anything happened between us in the dream, but even in it there was melancholy because somehow I knew in the dream both that we would stop dating (he would quit contacting me, just like the other person), and that he had died in real life.
These two things, the dream and my other feelings, are sort of intertwined with each other right now.
Since by birthday, I’ve made both cookies and pot roast from scratch for the first time. The cookies were a success. Now I’ll see how the pot roast is.
It’ll be my birthday tomorrow. My biggest wish for next year is for friends I can rely on, who I feel like I can really communicate with and who want to spend time with me. It’d also be great to have a partner — again, someone who is excited to talk to me, someone who really wants to understand me. I’d also love to have someone to cuddle up with. To some degree, I feel like I’ll be lost until I have that. Remember that documentary that showed a baby rhesus monkey, and it had two fake “moms” in its cage, one that was just a wire figurine and one that was a wire figurine covered in terry cloth, and how it preferred to cling to the terry cloth one? I feel like I’m the monkey who only had access to a wire one. I’m not young anymore, but I feel like I’ll be stunted until I get that sort of “soft parenting” experience.
I remembered that EL TOPO will be showing Tuesday night, and I can go see that. But still, will anybody go with me? I feel so chronically disappointed with people. Maybe I should be more forceful and honest about my feelings. It still bothers me that only one person came to see me when I was in the hospital, for instance, and I feel the reasons people did not come were petty. Whenever people here let me down (like when I post about a problem I’m going through and only people I know in the US respond), it’s like a kick in the stomach. I’ve thought about just cleaning house, quitting talking to a lot of people, to wipe the slate clean, because that might be less painful.
This is a lot like a story I was writing, inspired by the cat I had at the time, Numa, who once brought an entire rabbit home.
I went in a new direction last week and got glasses with plastic, dark red frames. I was wondering if I’d regret choosing them after I got home, but I’m really happy with them. I also splurged and got a really cool hat. I asked a girl in the store if she thought I should get it, and she said, “It has a Lei Feng flavor.”
Even though I’ve decided to leave, and even started looking at jobs today, I went to IKEA to find some things for my apartment. I’d finally decided to make/buy a curtain to separate the front hallway from the rest of the apartment, and then hopefully keep some of the cold air out. I ended up getting a dish drying rack to replace my decrepit one, a new bath mat to replace my old nasty one as well. I didn’t like any of the curtain fabric or loose fabric they had, so I ended up buying a shower curtain I thought was really pretty. The catch is that the size is not what I needed, so I had to cut it apart, and am in the process of sewing part of the side (it was too wide) to the bottom (it was too short). It’s kind of a tedious job, doing it by hand and trying to do it well. I’ve finished one third of it so far and hope to get the rest of it done by tomorrow night so I can hang it up.
(To be all colloquial about it.)
After he went back to Colombia I got a couple nice messages from Juan, the professor I hung around with when he was visiting Shanghai. I got my typical social performance anxiety, though, and didn’t reply to them for a long time. I went back to the site (OKCupid) to answer him, and found that he’d quit. Quitting horror redux!!! I felt really bad. So, I went and put everything I knew about him and his job into Google, and ended up finding his e-mail! I was really glad, and sent him a message a little while ago.
I went to the Chinese medicine hospital thinking they might prescribe acupuncture for my neck. Instead, here I am applying a dried frog venom poultice.
A very interesting article from Business Insider.
So why aren’t the nicknames more flattering, something like Super Awesome Man? Well, I guess it’s comforting to me to keep them cartoony, but more than that I tend to make fun of things and people I like (whereas I complain about things and people I don’t like).
People around me have noticed that when I like a person (like, am interested in a person), I will give him a nickname. On one level, it can be out of necessity. For example, I became close friends with Dog Man, and then realized I did not know his name. Once you’re friends with somebody, it’d be really strange to all of a sudden ask, “What’s your name, anyhow?” I did try to get it out of him in various ways, but failed again and again. I didn’t know for years, so just referred to him as the Dog Man with people I knew.
There’s something else to it, though. Initially, I had referred to the guy I met online (and who does not communicate with me anymore, so I might as well talk about it here) as Easily Agitated German. It’s because of the online freakout he had where he wrote “I’m not an easy-going guy!” and so on, and because I thought he was German, partly because his profile did not contain any English errors, and partly because he used a German word in it. As we started chatting more and more, he told me his real name, but I didn’t use it with anyone I knew. That’s because of reason number two. Talking about him using his real name feels very risky because I’d feel much more humiliated if, after telling everyone how close I was getting to this man, he suddenly did not want to talk to me anymore. Somehow it would feel worse, and more shameful, if I had told everyone who who really was, like I was dumb enough to express hope, or really believe that someone could like me. It might be bad to anticipate failure like this, but that’s the same kind of failure that really happened. I’d be so much sadder now if people could talk to me about it using his real name.
“The animals are eating toast and cheese” has great rhythm.
In honor of the Australian roach in the ear story that’s all over the Internet lately, let me share my most horrifying cockroach story … It happened when I was in Shenzhen. I was wandering around shopping, and decided to try on a dark brownish-red dress. I threw it over my head, and then saw something nearly the same color as the dress run down my arm. I screamed, thinking it was a mouse that had been inside the dress when I put it on. The thing stopped on my hand … and then I realized it was actually a mouse-sized cockroach.
Later this afternoon I’m getting on a plane to Buffalo, where I’ll stay for about a week and a half, and then I’ll be going to Austin, Texas, where I’ll be visiting some friends.
Wish me a good time, please!