Sometimes I get mad for no reason.

January 7th, 2008

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Ben,

Good to hear from you after so long. Your globe-trotting sounds like a sad trotting indeed. When you’re sad in a strange place, it’s even worse, because you feel like you should be enjoying the fact that you’re out and about in a new strange locale. When you’re stuck at work later, you’ll think back and be sorry that you didn’t do as much as you could have. In reality, it’s often exhausting to be where you don’t speak the language, especially when you’re there to do a job. You forget that sitting in a cafe where you can’t speak to or understand anybody isn’t just boring, it can be cripplingly lonely.

I myself have been living in my own little foreign country. It is a country called Living With Your Girlfriend, and it is at once as strange as my first days in Tokyo, and as familiar as Christmas morning in Somerville, MA. Part of it feels like the withdrawal period I had after I quit smoking. I’ve just been a bastard. As a for instance, remember that fish tank? Well, I really wanted to kill the fish and get rid of it, and have for two apartments now. But the girls wouldn’t let me kill them out of some twisted feminine morality (you must be willing to kill anything you are also willing to eat, that’s my new theory), so while I was distracted, they filled it and just put it on the floor on the side of the living room. So, now there’s a 200 pound glass rectangle on the side of the room that makes gurgling noises and has a new dead fish in it every morning. I was so mad about this last night that I slept on the couch. By 3 or 4 am, I woke up and wasn’t mad anymore, so I went back to our room. Then this morning I saw the tank again and was filled to the brim once more with anger. Because I know that it’s just gonna fucking sit there for the rest of the time we’re at the apartment. That they will never move it, and so now we’ll just have a fish tank on the floor where there could be a chair that we could move if we wanted to.

There, see? I got distracted for all that time and complained about a fish tank. Anyways, this is how it is. Uncharted territory. Sometimes I latch onto tiny decisions like they’re life-or-death. Sometimes I get mad for no reason. Sometimes I’m home with the missus and it feels perfect. In the end, it’s like part of me is being taken away, and it’s totally unclear which part or how important it is, so any time I’m called upon to have an opinion or make a decision, part of me is like, “Is this being taken from me? Is this where I lose my identity? Do I need this? For me?”

It’s hard, Ben. This past weekend felt like it lasted about two seconds, and today I have to deal with changing electric bills and calling the phone company and suddenly everything seems so adult, and not in the good way like at the video store. In the way Peter Pan avoided. In the way that seemed like a remote impossibility while I drove through the desert smoking cigarettes three years ago. Adults used to seem like another species, something you regarded from the outside, ironically like fish in a tank. Suddenly, I’m in the tank looking out, and I don’t remember how it happened.

-Charlie

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