hildeguardog's Diaryland Diary


Constant Headache

I often feel as though I am the only person I can talk to. My conversations happen through writing. When I don't write, things get backed up. My midterm started half an hour ago, yet here I am.

School seems to be the most unconquerable thing I have ever endeavored. As a second-grader, my teacher circled the number 20 on my midterm report card. That was the amount of assignments I had missed.

In third grade, I told Ms. Carey I hadn't done my homework because of baseball practice. She said she'd accept that answer when I became a professional baseball player. I took her up on the challenge, albeit halfheartedly. I was more interested in reading the statistics on the backs on baseball cards than I was in serious practice. After my final season of little league concluded before I could record a single hit, I decided to try out for the high school team. Outfield, in little league, was where the crappy players were allowed to play, and so that's the position I went for. For tryouts, us potential outfielders were paired off. When it was time for me and my other, the coaches hit a couple fly balls. We were to get in position and call off the other if we felt confident. The other dude called me off on every ball. His confidence was intimidating. I didn't return to subsequent tryouts. Years later, I learned that particular kid had been drafted by the Astros.

Because I had the inclination toward reading statistics, I retrospectively conclude that maybe I had some proclivity towards math. Freshman year was algebra. I got Bs or Cs. I had taken algebra in grade school and wasn't particularly piqued by another round. Sophomore year was geometry. The first week, we took a test in algebra on which I scored a 36. I had answered nearly every question correctly, but I hadn't shown my work. I didn't return for the subsequent forty weeks.

Emotional turmoil was at a particular high in 2005, when I dropped out of high school. This seems obvious to me now. As an avid, lifelong fan of the White Sox, I hardly batted an eye at their championship run. My dad had the game on at home on a particular night I recall. I ignored the television then left his place to walk Toby, and stayed out touring the neighborhood and smoking cigarettes and wondering where my life was headed.

I have recently joked that I am on the eight-year path to graduating college. The reality is much less certain. Those statistics I cared about on baseball cards in grade school? They do nothing for me now. I have a decent sense to pick out fishy statistics; I know numbers can be manipulated to prove whatever point the manipulator is trying to make. I don't, however, care to memorize the formula for standard deviation or z-scores or whatever. My brain understands that stuff, and then compartmentalizes. I know how grammar works, but I can't explain in the lingo of an English teacher. I don't know what the fuck a past participle is. If I had to know or use it, though, I could look it up, understand it, apply it, then forget it and move on with my life.

Tonight is my statistics midterm, and here I am.

My unspoken plan was to sleep all day. I got off work at 12:30 and took a nap. I woke up to pee, then went back to the couch and reset the alarm. Once I decided not to go to the midterm, I sat up and read a couple essays in a book by Mark Greif.

I had been running lately. Well, that doesn't need to be past tense. I've been running lately. Like twice a week. And going to the gym and lifting weights. I'm a body builder, now--I'm just really bad at it. The only things being toned are my bones, which are perhaps more prominent than my musculature.

Part of today's plan, regardless of midterm, was to run or lift. When sleep took precedent, it became sleep or... [nothing]. Then I happened to remember that the Menzingers released a new song today. After I finished an essay about Radiohead (which was slightly more engaging than listening to Radiohead), I gave it a listen. "Bad Catholics," I think it's called. I wasn't into it, but one of their older songs was suggested beneath. So I listened to that. I turned it up loud and "Good Things" filled the studio apartment.

(God, there's so much to undo here. At a focus group the other night, we did an ice breaker-type thing. We were asked to give our name, living situation, and first job. Scott; living with my ex-girlfriend; Dunkin Donuts. The facilitator said I should find another focus group to talk about that. I laughed. It was a joke. His name was also Scott and he was also a huge piece of shit.)

When I realized I could listen to punk rock all night, I decided I should do that instead of sleeping. I don't need rest, there's just nothing keeping me awake. But I can't just listen to punk rock. So I said Fuck it and went to make sure Will's car is parked legally--not because I had much suspicion it wasn't, but because it's close to the liquor store. Then, out of sheer convenience, I went to said liquor store and bought a twelve-pack and a pack of smokes. Because Fuck it. If I feel obligated to be awake, I might as well catch a buzz. And if that's going to happen, I might as well write.

Oh, but before I sat down to do this, I made a playlist. It's all the, uh, barn-burner pop-punk songs I could think of. In part because I was paid to "babysit" Proffy's kids at the Green Day show on Sunday. Told her it was my dream to get paid to see Green Day. So I have ten more beers, nineteen more cigarettes, and ninety-seven more songs to get through.

Speaking of numbers, Dave showed me that all numbers lead back to four, and isn't that weird. Here's how it works:

1) pick a number (97)
2) spell out chosen number (ninety-seven)
3) count letters (11)
4) count letters of new number. In this case, eleven (6)
5) count letters of new number--6 (three)
6) count letters of new number--3 (five)
7) and on and on--5 (four)
8) 4 (four)
9) 4 (four)
10) 4 (four)

6:42 p.m. - Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016


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