Feel like someone’s fucking with the gaslight in a house I’d thought moved out of.
NINE OUT OF NINE DONE. (Fuck that last one.)
EIGHT DOWN / TWO TO GO
SEVEN DOWN / THREE TO GO
During my MFA application process, I decided to also apply for a week long writers conference in Florida in January. I got in today, and I got [partial] funding. So yay! I get to go to sunny Florida for a week (the longest amount of time I’d be willing to spend there) in January! And I’ll probably be going to Savannah for a few days before that!
This makes me [slightly] more confident that I can get in to an MFA program.
I’ve sent out my first two grad school applications.
I’m sitting here upset with my dinner. Frozen burritos. They’re organic, Amy’s brand, bought two for a dollar on Kroger Klub special, and the cooking instructions, like most instructions, are incorrect. One minute covered in the microwave followed by 45 seconds flipped and uncovered barely thaws these things. So I put them in for several extra minutes. Now they’re dry, near inedible, and I am left hungry.
I’ve spent the past week upset in general. I have thrown myself full-fledged into my grad school applications, trying to eschew all emotional disquiet regarding my possible and complete rejection. There are only so many spots, and I have to prove myself worthy through effort and dedication and just being plain attractive to them. They need to fall in love with my writing sample. Then I need them to fall in love with me all over again in my Statement of Purpose. It’s tough, trying to keep the love going to the point of acceptance, assured acceptance. I am putting my whole self on the table, trying to commit for at least two or three years to a new program, a new city, a new direction to my life.
But there are only so many spots. Three at one school. Four at another. And so on. There are thousands of applicants. I am having trouble with the thought of rejection. What will the cause be? I overdid it, I’ll think. I came on too strong. Or maybe they’ll find my work uninspired, boring. What if they like the work, then read a Statement of Purpose that drips of neediness. At that point, how will they reject me? Will it be sent in the mail, or perhaps just electronically. “We regret to inform you that.”
Maybe they’ll just sit there, quiet, and I’ll have to figure it out myself.
What is left, then, to do, other than improve. There’s always next year. There’s always an opportunity to try again.
I can’t think about that. I have to stay positive. I must work, and hope. Dedication is not something I am particularly used to. But I have dedicated myself to success, to improve now so I don’t have to worry about what is left, then, to do, after what? Rejection?
Fuck rejection. Fuck that noise.
I don’t want to sound cliché or trite, but I believe in love at first sight. I believe in ghosts, too. These are things I wouldn’t believe in had I never experienced them. I believe the ghost I saw was a trick of the brain. Months before I saw the ghost, I took acid. I learned what the brain was capable of, in a sense. I mean, like, it wasn’t spiritual. Neither was the ghost. Or it wasn’t spiritual from beyond. There’s an interior spirituality. It’s lodged in the brain. Holymen all had tumors. All the prophets were schizophrenics, the martyrs bipolar. Maybe science can explain my ghost one day. Probably not while I’m alive. (Maybe when I’m a ghost!)
Though I did flip through a world atlas while I was on acid. It was the most calming and beautiful experience I had because there was something recognizable and familiar about the movement and the interplay on those maps — touchscreens. They looked like touchscreens. Did you know Steve Jobs took a lot of acid? In an isolation chamber, even. He wanted to make real and functional what he saw. He wanted to create what others couldn’t imagine, what he couldn’t imagine even, what this drug allowed him to see. So maybe someone down the line, some great neurologist of the future, will figure out where the spiritual is stored in our brain. Maybe she’ll do it after a lot of acid trips.
My acid trip wasn’t spiritual. But it left me feeling cleansed the next day. Empty. Like a colonic. You know when people say whatever-I-don’t-care? That’s what I felt. It was glorious. It wasn’t resigning. It wasn’t sardonic. It wasn’t said to anyone, dismissing them or shirking some responsibility. It was as if care were bricks. Responsibility were cement. Guilt were shingles. Regret and disappointment were stucco. And that day, for several hours after an insane, 24-hour trip, I was undeveloped. I was an unclimbed mountain. I was fucking fresh. When I say I felt whatever-I-don’t-care, I felt it with elation. I was lighter than a sunbeam.
I had a moment of that after a few drinks with friends on a summer day in New York. It wasn’t the friends or the drinks that made me feel that. It was later that night. At a gay bar. I made arrangements to hook up with someone from the internet. Hook up in the sense of meet up with and have drinks, and hook up with in the sense of put my penis in him. (When I said the first, I heard the second, and I want you to know I’m not trying to be that asshole with double entendres.) I walked into the place after texting this somewhat stranger that I had arrived. I didn’t see him anywhere so I stepped outside for a cigarette. He had seen me, though, and bolted out front. As he approached me, I lost recognition of time and space. He smiled at me and held out his hand, and I felt undeveloped.