Saturday, November 14, 2009


and years have passed since that film.
So many years that you've lost track. Decades, maybe?

Watching it again you admire yourself as you would someone else:
Your lithe body,
Your hollow voice,
Your white teeth and lineless face.
It's like seeing your own ghost.

(Celebrities, like everyone, sometimes get lonely.
Unlike everyone, you're especially lonely.
It's like choking and you feel your eyes bulge in panic.)

Press pause during a boring part,
refill your glass,
then look at your spotted hands, your knobby knuckles.

Take a drink.
Breathe deeply.
Laugh sadly.

You can pretend like nothing is the matter,

and lift the pumpkin off the window sill
to dust beneath it.

Suddenly rotten pumpkin is on the floor
as it collapses between your hands,
soft but still orange.

Rotten pulp is on your socks,
on your jeans,
underneath your fingernails.
Strangely, it doesn't smell.

The inside fell out
when you picked it up
(like that gorgeous lover
who stole your savings).
The exterior was so firm
and the ruin was unexpected
(like your parents' divorce
when they seemed so in love).

With violent gestures
you clean the pumpkin off the floor,
off yourself.

Promise you will never again trust the exterior you touch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Price of Your Shit

There is something regal about eating alone in a cafe. It requires a sort of poised dignity; you sit with your back straighter, your eyes carefully unfocused and concentrate more on pacing, for your bites are not punctuated by voiced observations or laughter. When you eat alone, the sound of chewing will be heavy in your ears. It'll remind you of that squishing sound your mother's tuna-salad made as she mixed it together with a rubber spatula on Sunday nights. You'd have tuna sandwiches all week at school for lunch and the noise your mouth made chewing those cellophane-wrapped sandwiches was the same as that stirring. You wonder if that's the same sound food makes as it moves through your intestines, as it's broken down by acids and turns into shit.

You're alone and suddenly eating seems foolish. You daintily dab your mouth with a napkin and push your plate, which still has half a frittata on it, toward the center of the table. The frittata was $9.50. $9.50 is the price of your shit. If your mother was here she'd tell you to finish eating, she's scold you for being wasteful. But eating alone has made you tired, each bite is exhausting. Besides, it seems indecent for a woman to finish a meal when she's eating alone, just as it's bad form to lick clean your plate on a first date.

You read a book last summer about the way people eat when they're eating alone. Surprisingly, some people go to great lengths to make themselves a meal. They light candles, open bottles of wine, let them breathe and then pair them with a carefully-prepared dish. Maybe they listen to classical music as they do this, waving their arms like the composer as they orchestrate their meal and work through various courses. When you eat at home, alone, you're lazy like a college-aged boy. You eat a lot of cereal, canned fish and fruit. Once you went the whole summer without using your oven or stove. You remember the words of a friend some years ago- he said, "Eat to live, don't live to eat," and you've thought about this advice often over the years, usually as you're eating rice right out of the pot in which it was made. After a couple forkfuls you put the lid back on and put it directly into the refrigerator with a potholder underneath. It's pathetic, and when friends come over you just don't let them open the fridge, or your cupboards, so they don't know how low you've stooped. Idly you'll wonder if these are the typical eating habits of a singleton.

The waiter at the cafe will come over and look concerned, will ask if everything was to your liking and if they can take away your plate. "Oh," you'll say, startled and fumbling to find your voice as if you'd just woken up from a nap, "Everything was great, thank you. Yes, yes, you can take it away." The waiter will smile gratefully and ask if they can get you anything else. You'll shake your head, put on your coat, leave twelve dollars on the table and leave.

Six hours later you'll be hungry again, and when you stomach grumbles you'll sadly wonder, what's the point?

Monday, June 22, 2009

More like England than New England

It's been raining here for a week and the weather is all anyone seems to speak of anymore. "I hear it's supposed to last ten more days," people bemoan to strangers on street corners who, like them, are fumbling with their umbrellas as the wind gusts around them. Umbrellas are useless in weather like this. The rain is more of a mist than anything and it lingers in the air making everything damp, regardless of how you shield yourself. It's like Belgian rain which I've always considered to be visible humidity rather than rain. Real rain actually makes a noise when it falls and is best when it involves lightening and loud pangs of thunder.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I find this weather to be hugely romantic. I love the cozy overcast sky and I use the drear as an excuse to stay in bed all day, drinking coffee in the morning, wine in the afternoon and gin in the evening as I watch the sky change shades of gray through my bedroom window. I listen to love songs and sing along, I litter my bed and window ledge with magazines and books half read. I write bad poetry. Days- weeks- like this are my forte, and I'm enjoying this miserable weather immensely.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Letter I Will Never Mail

Dear ___,
I just ate half a bag of spinach and thought of you. Not because you especially like spinach, but because if you were here we would have gone out for a real meal, somewhere.
I know that it’s been months- and months, and months, and months!- but still, I have not grown accustomed to you not being here. I want you around to check and balance me, to tell me I’m dumb and to give me praise in the moments in which it’s deserved. I miss your creativity, your passivity and your back massages. Though they weren’t in any way erotic, I loved having you touch me. You’re the only person other than my mother to clasp the contour of my waist, to feel each of the ridges in my vertebra and the curve of my neck in a very long, long time. I miss that touch, your touch.
And it wasn’t just your touch, but also your gaze and, more importantly, your admiration that I miss most. I love you as a flower blossoms: I slowly open as you shine upon me. Eventually, together, we make something beautiful, like tree branches against an intense blue sky or, more accurately (perhaps), flower pedals in a bed of wet dirt. It’s a shame that we’re both so practical, that both of us hate to waste time. And oh, my God! ____, how I wish you weren’t an atheist. For I imagine us living in a Howard Roark-esque home, lying beside one another on modern furniture and eating organic ice cream until we’re 100 years old, together. We wouldn’t hinder our relationship with words of unhappiness, we would simply endure, together, forever.
Like a forest.
Remember, _____, that I am, to an extent, forever yours.
I usually love you,

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Knees Go Weak for Louis Armstrong

I’ve worn my hair short, long, curled, slicked back, in nonchalant ponytails and tight fishtail braids. I’ve had it colored deep black, golden brown, and once had bright red highlights that embarrassed my father and attracted the wrong kind of boys. Currently it’s a shade of eggplant and fades to lavender between colorings. I don’t remember what my real hair color is anymore, though I would hazard a guess and say that it is probably a dull brown, the color of potato skins or dried mud.

I’m not particular about my hair, and when I go to get it cut I rarely say anything other than, “Please, just make me beautiful. I trust you.” And then three hours later I walk out with a whole new look and the same attitude. I can’t remember the last time I cried over a haircut; it’s always been a very liberating experience, whacking off pounds or grams of hair and exposing a whole new me, only to find that I am still myself despite it all- that I am unchanged. I’m glad that I’m not that malleable, that my hair doesn’t define who I am.

A month or so ago, Vogue devoted an entire two pages to an article about the new shoulder-length cut (another insightful article from Plum Sykes…), as if it was some kind of daring, note-worthy move: cutting one’s hair to the shoulder (or, near the shoulder). It was silly. It was absurd. Cutting your hair to the shoulder and calling it chic is like playing poker only to fold every turn under the guise of playing it safe. It’s a lie and it’s boring. Please, women (and men) of the world- cut your hair asymmetrical, short, or give it interesting color. Don’t just leave it dusting your shoulders in a drab sort of way- give it some bounce and some life in the name of Spring!

In other news, I am totally addicted to live-streaming All That Jazz on WFAE. It’s the best jazz station I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sheepish (or not) on Sunday Mornings

I haven’t been to church in a while; more specifically, I haven’t been to church since January, when I was home and church was a social engagement as well as a spiritual experience.

The church I attend in Boston, as haphazard as my attendance may be, is progressive and the messages are intellectually focused. My pastor wears suits and quotes C.S. Lewis, Christopher Hitchens, Ghandi. We sing hymns. The congregants are young, many of them are married and they seem to exclusively wear J. Crew and their blinding wedding bands. They’re studying at Boston’s finest institutions to be brain surgeons, business leaders and lawyers; they’re a smart group and I enjoy going to church with them- to an extent. My only complaint, and it’s so, so silly, is that I don’t know anyone there. I’ve done the introduction many times- I’ve exchanged handshakes and extended sentiments of peace to those sitting around me. I’ve gone to a few events and had a couple successful conversations but I’ve failed at forming any kind of lasting friendships with my fellow churchgoers and I’ve been avoiding going back because of it. It’s a strange catch-22: I don’t want to go because I’m alone, but I’ll never meet anyone unless I go.

It’s absurd, really. I’m absurd. I should just go. Especially because I like going once I actually get there. It’s really such a relief to be in a room full of Christians in a city the denounces religion.

One way in which I justify staying in on Sunday mornings is by insisting it is helping me write my senior thesis. I’m putting together a collection of short stories about falling away from religion, but not God, and I’m abstaining from attending church as research. This isn't exactly true, however, and I know God can see through my feeble excuses, but in a way I am finding it helpful for my own peace of mind. But already the itch to get back in a room full of Christians is driving me mad. I don’t necessarily feel guilty, but I feel as if I’m denying myself a great pleasure, a way to develop my intellect and glorify my savior. I want to go to church, and if I had a friend who wasn’t a Catholic, atheist or Jew, if I had someone who wanted to go to church with me, I would be there every Sunday with that person by my side. But I don’t, so I’ll simply have to work up the nerve to go alone, again. And again and again and again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Missing Home on a Sunday Night

I left Minnesota because I don’t like small talk and the way vowels seem to drag as if everyone has all the time in the world to listen to what I have to say. I wanted to leave because I was never fatally attached to my friends and knew from a young age that as long as I had my family, somewhere, I would be able to survive. I wanted to leave because I was tired of being distracted by my parents who made my life too comfortable. I left because nobody else was doing it.

I came to Boston because I like to win, and the East coast is the place to go to get ahead- and I’m not referring to time zones. It’s no coincidence that the Red Sox, The Celtics and the Patriots all had wonderful seasons after I moved to Boston; it’s a city of winners. I love the autumn leaves on Commonwealth Ave, wine and afternoon reading on the esplanade along the Charles River and the sound of waves lapping against the wharf as the gulping birdsong of seagulls sounds in the background with the consistency of a blaring alarm clock. Boston is great. Good-looking college students wander the streets in a daze from too much partying or studying- it’s hard to tell which. Trim professionals in well-cut suits hurry with expensive phones pressed to their ears as they urgently move to attend meetings or buy another cup of coffee. For the most part the residents of Boston have brains- they write for important journals, buy local, read the New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, The Daily Beast. They’re politically correct, they think the only states that matter border the ocean, they drink expensive cocktails. Boston is a great place to live. For a while, anyway.

In the three years I’ve spent in Boston, I’ve realized that I may not, in fact, be fatally attached to my friends and family, but they’re more important to me than I ever thought possible. My connection to Minnesota is strong and deep. I don’t want to be on the ocean if the sea levels are rising, I don’t want to live in a city that has viable reason to fear a terrorist attack. I want to live in a city where my rent isn’t ridiculously high, where my mom can come over on Sundays to help me decorate and teach me how to make white bean chili and braided bread. I want to walk around the lakes and play cribbage in small cafes with The Currant as my own (our own) personal soundtrack to life.

Minnesota, I’m coming back. It may take a while, but I’ll return to you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

On Grad Students, Briefly

So, take II of the 21st birthday is currently underway, in that many of my friends born after me are just now turning 21 (I am in the middle of a birthday surge, it's intense). This means that I suddenly have a whole new group of people to celebrate the cocktail hour with, which is great, but it also means that I am now forced to confront the sad existence of real collegiate bars. Oofta (a grad student tonight claimed to have known a Minnesotan who used 'Oofta' in place of expletives. I assured him that I did not know any such Minnesotans). Tonight, after class, I went out with a friend for a few beers to celebrate her 21st birthday. We ended up meeting with a group of grad students at a sad bar near campus- the kind of place with sticky tabletops, a snack menu and Third Eye Blind tracks that are impossible to talk over. The kind of place that accepts fake IDs and where anyone in business attire is hugely out of place, even scorned.

Us: Hello, grad students! What are you drinking? We point to pitchers of beer on table.
Grad Students: The cheapest beer on the menu. They smile as if they are proud of this and motion for us to join them, which we do.
Me: Oh… -I remove my jacket and sit down- That sounds... great.
The waiter brings more glasses to accommodate us. We drink the crappy beer because it’s there, not because we enjoy it.

Sure, I'm being harsh about their selection of beer, but really, there are plenty of reasons to complain about the grad students last night. For instance, grad students studying the arts- especially writing- are destined to be unhappy. They may be fantastic poets, but fact of the matter is that they’re 25 and still drinking cheap beer in sketchy bars on Thursday nights and talking about the economic advantages of vegetarianism because they're broke- perpetually- and don’t even realize that their lack of brokeness stems from the fact that they spend $30 every Thursday night on crappy beer and hormone slathered chicken fingers (CHICKEN FINGERS!). Grad students studying the arts are brassy- though only when intoxicated,- jaded and loud, otherwise they are unassuming and thrive on insecure eye contact, thinking it's attractively submissive and therefore somehow empowering. They wear nubby sweaters and smoke a lot of cigarettes (but won't eat meat- chicken fingers excluded- because it's bad for the body. Also, they don't seem to realize that cigarettes cost more money than a beer upgrade). They like to say mean things about their parents and like to remind you that you’re an undergraduate. They say things like, "Pay up, undergraduates!" Also, they seem to be an incestuous group. Whenever someone rises to leave the table they all huddle together and gossip about how X and Y made out last weekend and it was so intense because they both just got out of really long relationships. It's like 7th grade, with beer. Grad students studying the arts are ridiculous- I hope never to be one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I like trading, not communism

I never see my roommate. He is always busy. I am always busy when he’s not busy. We’re so metropolitan, you know.
We’re looking for a new apartment, one with more space. I wonder why space is important though; neither of us has time to enjoy it. In fact, I’d be fine in a hovel.

There’s a place deep inside of me that longs for the simple life- for fresh eggs, the overwhelming smell of grass, the excitement that comes with the passing of a car- the luxury of forgetting that everyone else exists- for fresh produce, for sunburns and tired limbs. A part of me would love to have filthy children who know a ripe tomato when they see one, a house with ancient floorboards, the sanctity of empty space and a sky full of stars, but I know that I would quickly tire of such a life. I’m destined to live- just enough- for The City, to live just enough for the weekend.

Tonight, I traded my roommate two ripe bananas for two unripe bananas. Tomorrow I’m going to make banana nut muffins- my favorite! I hope that one day, my children will also like banana nut muffins. If they don’t, I’ll trade them for other children. Trading is wonderful.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Living Just Enough for the City

I tried to tell Lady Liberty that I could make it without her, without the ocean, the gridlock and the skyscrapers of eternal light. I told Lady Liberty that I could do it on my own, without the help of Wall Street, without the inspiration of Brooklyn and the raw kitsch of It All. But Lady Liberty, she’s a constant- her lights are always shining, her skyline hangs steady and her people somehow find time to recharge in the midst of everything happening around them. They get up each day to do it all again; it’s a self-feeding cycle, but it’s never exactly the same twice.
Lady Liberty laughed at me. “If you can’t make it here, babe, you can’t make it anywhere.”
“That’s not true!” I cried. “That’s not true at all.”
She raised her eyebrows at me, questioning my definition of making it. I pretended not to understand her point.
Lady Liberty issued a challenge. “I bet you can’t do it. You don’t have what it takes to make it here.”
I made a show of shaking my head: left to right, right to left. “That’s not true at all. I know I can make it here,” I told her. “It would be easy. Look at the man there, on the corner, the one in the suit. He’s done it. That woman selling falafel out of a van, she’s done it. That girl across the street, with the knobby knees and vacant eyes, she’s done it. If they can do it, so can I. I know it.”
“Prove it,” she taunted.
I looked at her like a child being asked to enter a dark cave in the dead of night. My voice faltered. “I can do it. I can…”
“Prove it,” she repeated. She looked down at me, her eyes stern. “Are you afraid?” she asked.
I nodded, meekly.
“You’re scared of me.”
“Then why are you afraid?”
“I’m afraid of what I want.” I regained my confidence in my earnestness, “I’m afraid of wanting to prove you wrong.”
She smiled because she knew she had won.

- - - - -

I’ve always spoken out against the rite of passage that is New York City. It’s silly to think that living there will somehow make anyone a more interesting person, a better artist, a harder worker. I know it’s ridiculous- to think that I could somehow become something tangible, someone who matters by moving there. But New York City has so much of what I want:

-Locally owned shops and restaurants
-The ability to walk everywhere
-Ethnic food- lots of it
-Communal insomnia
-Cheap cabs/ cabs that take credit cards
-Liberal guilt

But, if everyone who wants these things goes to New York City to find them, what will happen to the rest of the country? I never want to have to own a car again, but what if everyone who doesn’t want to own a car in Minnesota moves to a city with great pubic transportation? Where will the incentive be for the Twin Cities to get a better public transportation system? What if everyone who values great ethnic food moves to New York City? Who will eat ethnic food in Montana, Texas or Utah? Sure, my singular presence may not be important in the cultural direction of whatever city I end up living in, but it’s the cultural mindset that’s important.

Why is New York the bar of success? I’m not trying to undermine the influence of New York City, for it is awesome, but who’s to say that people aren’t doing interesting, creative, important work in Chicago, Baltimore, Boston and Portland?* Who’s to say the best publishing house in the country cannot operate out of a loft in St. Paul? Who’s to say that an influential writer has to live in Brooklyn? Why am I being goaded into the idea that moving to New York and doing well in The City will somehow translate into a successful life, as my professors and friends seem to insinuate?

Over the summer there was a super model from Eastern Europe (or somewhere) who killed herself. She lived in an expensive apartment on the tenth (or so) floor of some New York high rise and jumped to her death from the balcony. One of her friends, in response to her death, said something along the lines of, “I never thought she would do this. I thought she loved the city,” as if to say that New York City is some kind of metaphor for life. In my industry, it is. But what happens when the city dies?

Over the weekend I sat in front of the Stock Exchange and wondered for how much longer it will serve to represent hard work and the tireless spirit. One of the sculpted men on the top of the building is hunched under the burden of a heavy sack, and I wondered, when was the last time anyone currently working in that building labored under such a load? Maybe New York is out of touch with what it represents. Maybe what it represents is changing. Maybe the bar of success can be moved. Maybe I am just trying to talk myself out of moving further away (mentally, not physically) from my family, and maybe I'm secretly hoping I’ll be unsuccessful in doing so.

* These questions are purely rhetorical. I know that people across this great country, across the world, are doing things of huge significance. I am merely suggesting that we take extra care to understand them as artists, workers and people and not compare them unjustly to their peers in other parts of the country, for reasons that are purely geographical.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Favorite Time of Day

I just found a note I wrote once upon a time in which a sketch of a smiling stick-person is holding up a glass. Next to the picture I wrote “Gin! Rhymes with Grin!” The note is a testament to the fact that I am able to make up silly phrases while under the influence, but more importantly it leads me to one of my favorite topics: the cocktail hour, and specifically to my love of gin.

The cocktail hour is a magical time of day. I don’t know when it was originally established or about the customary time of day in which it begins, but I do know that I generally like to start the cocktail hour within an hour of arriving home from my daily obligations, whether that time is 3 in the afternoon, 6:30 in the evening or 1 AM. Also, because I am a modern, forward-thinking young woman I would like to argue in favor of cocktail hourS- for sipping on a fine cocktail (or two) can sometimes take more than sixty small minutes- and I’ve always been one to see something all the way through to its end, especially if it contains some kind of spirit.

I know there are people in the world who frown at the cocktail hours, who think they are excessive, inappropriate, disgusting. These people are completely missing the point of cocktail hours, which are to create an environment of relaxation, to enjoy the simple pleasure of the loosening of mind and muscles, to savor the great taste of a delicious drink in the company of good friends (though they are often present, friends are by no means contingent on the occurrence of a fantastic cocktail moment), to think new thoughts, and facilitate much-needed daily decompression. Cocktail hours are magical.

Please realize that I am in no way condoning alcoholism, for I have never in my life been drunk to the point of vomiting nor have I ever awoken with a sever hangover (though I have, on rare occasions, waken up to find that I am mildly confused about the exact happenings of the night before, but I like to think of those few moments as signs of my mortality or collegiate romanticism rather than as a mistake which I will then beat myself up over when I didn't actually do anything wrong, well, nothing terribly wrong). What I am endorsing, however, is a more communal end to the workday, one that jives to the steady beat of a martini shaker. I believe in responsible cocktail consumption.

I’ve received two really great compliments in the last couple weeks:
First, my dear friend Amanda told me via text message that I looked like I could be related to Stephen Colbert (awesome!). The other compliment was when my older brother told one of his friends that his sister (me) didn’t drink chocotinis! “She drinks real drinks- she drinks like a man,” he insisted. Now, being a modern woman I know that I should take issue with his claim and be outraged by the fact that his bar of measure is that of what a man can and cannot do, but I’m not your average woman and I don’t need to be outraged to feel some sort of self worth, for I know that I am a valuable human being regardless of my sex. In fact, I was flattered with my brother’s statement. Besides, it’s true. I don’t drink chocotinis or fruit punch with a shot of vodka stirred in or crappy dessert wines. I drink the kinds of beverages that Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, Ernest Hemingway and Jesus (that’s right, Jesus) drank. I drink gin martinis, I drink gin anything (unless it is colored something other than the color of gin- I also don’t drink crappy gin), I drink scotch and wine (Jesus drank wine. He would have drank gin too, if they had it at the time). If I’m feeling girly or in need of dessert I may indulge in a small glass of Baileys on the rocks, but that’s as feminine as it gets. I drink beer, vodka tonics, I drink brandy. I don’t drink anything with an umbrella or worm in it. If I could, I would live off Hendrick’s, served with tonic and a fresh wedge of cucumber.

Bruce Springsteen has a song about the glory days and some of the parents in the neighborhood in which I grew up insist that high school or college were the best days of their lives. The best moments of my life were not my years in high school or my time in college, but were more often than not the moments I had with people I love as we talked about politics, love, religion and life over a bottle of wine or tumbler of something fabulous. Those are the moments I remember- when my dad and I drank gin and tonics on the back porch with the speakers playing jazz, drowning out the sound of crickets, as he tried to teach me how to dance in the moonlight, laughing because we’re both so awful. When Sarah, Amanda and I spoke in earnest about the future and our desire for greatness and true love in a booth at an Irish bar on a quiet Sunday night. The few times this past summer when the air was so thick you could drink it and Drew and I would share bottles of cold, crisp white wine and talk over the noise of Pulp Fiction about the next great American novel, the state of our country and the state of our souls. After those nights with Drew I would wander back to my apartment in the heavy night air and on one occasion wrote the following (in very bad penmanship):
Just walked home from Drew’s.
And I’m drunk enough to know that I could punch a man with a key between my fingers if I had to.
And I’m drunk enough to read a short story by some woman whose name I don’t remember before realizing that Drew was asleep on the couch.
And I’m drunk enough to tiptoe up to the roof to check on the renovations that the landlord, with his legion of illegal immigrants, is currently finishing.
And I’m drunk enough to smoke three puffs on a menthol cigarette that tasted like toothpaste before remembering that smoking is disgusting.
But I’m not drunk enough to forget who I am.
I am not drunk enough to forget who my Lord is.

Profound, I know… but really, the cocktail hours are about camaraderie, about being able to say those things about religion and politics that are so often glossed over, about enjoying a beverage that will forever remind you of being 21, 30, 16 or 57. The cocktail hour is about making memories, about writing down and sharing silly ideas that usually wouldn’t be voiced, or even thought, because they aren’t dinner-table conversation. Who wants dinner-table conversation anyway, especially when there’s cocktail hour conversation?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ohmygosh, I think I'm having feelings!

Due to a lax schedule I have way too much time to sit and ruminate on my current life predicament- that of finding an internship, a future job, a new apartment and a great recipe for curry.

I’m unsettled and it’s not just because I have a nagging headache and absolutely no desire to complete the reading for my travel writing literature class. It may, however, have something to do with the fact that my life has become locked into the gravitational pull of a looming black-hole called The Future, and I have no idea as to where it will take me or how I will like it. Now that I’m a senior I’ve been getting a lot more questions about what I plan on doing after I graduate and all I can do is give a saucy smile and shrug in reply. I feel limited by my options, not because they are too few, but because they are too many and I’m torn between them to the point where I am frozen, disabled by my inability to make up my mind and pursue any of the viable paths I have before me.

But idleness is a sin and I will soon get a grip on things and commit to figuring out my life -do I stay in Boston, try for New York City or return to my network of friends and family back home? Do I want to work for a bookstore, a publishing house or an organization of some sort, such as an historical society or university? What color should I paint my nails? And at what point should I color my hair a normal color? What kind of muffins should I make this week? Can I actually just become a baker, please? A baker who only wears clothes from Anthropologie?