Sometime Last Week

Do you remember when I was so, so mad on Thursday? I was sitting in a computer lab on campus. I was working on homework, chatting a little, blogging a lot, trying to be funny. Do you remember this? Then in the middle of the afternoon I received an email. I stared at the screen, my eyes left-to-righting words of a message I was so, so confident I wouldn’t receive. I read them again, and the words blurred as tears welled over my pupils. I thought I had a chance. I thought I had a good chance. A damn good chance. But they showed me; they stuck it to me. My good-enoughness went back onto the balance, and it doesn’t have enough weight. It doesn’t have enough, which would have left me with goodness, but I don’t have enough of that, either. I don’t have leverage. I can’t tip the scale; instead, it catapults me into oblivion. The void engulfs my nothingness.

With tears rolling down my cheeks, I gathered my things and logged off the computer. I went to the bus stop and waited until the bus came, and I got on. Do you remember? I was so, so mad, and I was on the bus, and I was so preoccupied I missed my stop, but I snapped out of it in time to get off at the next stop and walk up to my apartment. I went into my room and closed the door and turned on my laptop. With a clenched jaw and a fresh supply of tears, I sent a courtesy email. I climbed into my bed and pulled the covers over my head and slept until I woke up with a compounded headache. I went to dinner with friends feeling bad for being so distracted, but lightning storms and free ice cream helped me feel better. Interestingly, so did talking about the apocalpyse and Prop 8.

That last bit is what I’d like most to remember. You know, lightning and ice cream and conversation. I’m really grateful for my friends.

Dishes Poll Results

When I returned to the apartment Friday afternoon, the sink hadn’t changed. While it didn’t shrink, it also didn’t grow, and I can be grateful for that.

Sometimes I use that task of doing the dishes as a way to clear my mind, to meditate. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh:

While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

There’s been a lot on my mind lately, and being able to focus on the dishes helps lower my anxiety. Same goes with handwashing my whites.

So. Yeah. When I washed the dishes on Friday, I noted that I might have contributed a butterknife to the pile.

When I think about being maliciously passive aggressive and contemplate leaving piles of dirty dishes on respective roommates’ beds, I also wonder how the apartment would react to a swarm of New York City rats crawling around the sink.

But the girls are busy, and I can understand how dishes aren’t a priority. They’re nice, and generally cheerful, and it’s nice when we all happen to be home at the same time and can talk for a little bit. As I rinsed the dishes and loaded the dishwasher last Sunday, someone thanked me, and it was nice. I think I grunted, but not in a mean way.

Maybe I was too focused on the task.