Like the old Russian guy said in an ep of The Americans I watched last night, “We all die alone. Before that, we make choices.”
I choose not to watch True Detective until after the final episode airs and people stop asking if I’ve seen True Detective and stop talking about True Detective. If I then decide to watch and if I find it pleasing, I will hide my enthusiasm and will continue to refuse to give the internet the satisfaction.
Baby steps toward being in a chill, whatever sorta place: first I’ll dabble in some social media unfriending. Instagram and twitter are easy, because there aren’t as many noticeable ties to family and mutual friends. Facebook I haven’t quite been able to manage, because what if I’m being internet-crept-upon? And even if no one is looking at my carefully curated feed of photos and status updates, I’d prefer to imagine that they are. But what if that’s not true, and that my severing the connection wouldn’t even register? That’s what’s keeping me from cutting that link. I’m not ready to face the fact that any interest in communication is all in the past. I’m getting to be okay with no present interest, but no future interest is a harder pill to swallow.
And please, don’t even get me started on contemplations of phone number deletions, ugh.
The good thing about something so short-lived is that there are very few memories to hide from. There’s only one neighborhood ruined, and it’s one I no longer have cause to visit. Only one restaurant I wouldn’t frequent anymore, but there are plenty of late-night breakfast places in town. Only one movie theater that makes me feel sharp little pangs and suppress a nose-wrinkle when I step inside. Just a few bars I’m keen to avoid, but I already have a favorite dive bar and that fancy cocktail place is too douchey for my taste anyway.
But the speed and velocity with which this thing happened means there are marks. Not just the fading, discolored spot on my hip from the metal part of a over-enthusiastically flung belt, but inside ones. Like when Wile E Coyote plummets off a cliff and leaves a coyote-shaped spot in the earth below. The grooves are deep and jagged, and no one else could possibly fit in the misshapen imprint.
When I lived in Chicago, people made a big deal about how the wonderful summers made up for the horrible winters: as if they owned the franchise on pleasantly warm Junes full of patio dining and music festivals. I was only there for a year so maybe I can’t have an opinion, but I always have an opinion. Living in Ohio is pretty much the same (so what I’m saying is, there’s nothing special about you, Chicago, other than your pizza with cheese in a different place than other cities’ pizzas have cheese).
Today I helped a neighbor push her car out of her street spot that was surrounded by snow from a half-assed plow job, struggled to navigate untreated backroads to the highway and sat in traffic under a gray, gray sky. But as I was busting up I-75 to my marketing job in the suburbs, I listened to Ke$ha’s “Warrior” and thought about picking confetti out of my hair after casino concerts and drinking vinho verde out of plastic cups in the park. Ohio, right now you are the pits, but sometimes you are alright.