July 1st, today, it seems: way too hot, the world is ending, everything is plastic and why don’t we ever think ahead, I want books and articles and essays, I want education and an overall sense of Wading.
My favourite author, Philip Roth, died just at the end of this past May. June was very difficult for me. I feel newly dedicated to his work in a way I cannot describe. Lately I just want to read. And hide.
I am still living with my parents. My dog and I have been here a month. Originally, I came here to heal a knee injury. Now, I stay for the retreat.
After weeks of self-promotion and fundraising for my Fringe Festival as well as some application writing at the beginning of the month, June was one big lesson: Act alone.
People keep letting me down. I have a habit of acting in the best interest of others out of guilt. I do everything someone else’s way, hoping they will be grateful enough to be considerate of my own wants and needs in the future.
It doesn’t work. This month I hit a wall. Last week, middle of the week, I suffered through a row of dark, drunk, terrifying evenings. I woke up. Turned my phone off and calmed down.
Here are the things that no longer matter
- Dating (My parents want me to settle down, my parents want grandkids? Then my parents should date the dicks I’ve had to deal with this year)
- Showing up for someone else (No one needs me. No one should need anyone. NEED is invented and it is ruining the world.)
- Living downtown (who was I trying to be close to? Where are they now)
- Drinking (who am I trying to transform into and why is she more loveable than I am? Or going for drinks, who am trying to go for drinks with, what am I trying to do while drunk?)
- Having a meal with someone else (Why do I keep eating when I’m not hungry, who is all this food for?)
None of it matters. All that matters is that I stand in the world and then write about it. That I read about the world and understand how to write about it. Nothing else matters. Or else, the things that matter most are the things I truly do not understand. Fuck all those things.
In The Human Stain, a novel that has been my favourite book since I was eleven years old, Philip Roth writes in the voice of Nathan Zuckerman, a writer who lives mostly in seclusion until he befriends Coleman Porter, a local controversial professor.
At the start of the book, Nathan speaks to the experience of living alone as a writer. I have to paraphrase because I do not have my copy with me but the writing suggests: If you can fully submit to refusal, a refusal of noise and indulgence, you can begin to find value silence and then you can truly live alone.
A month and a half until I am thirty, I am so committed to living alone, I hardly think about anything else. Plans, making plans, conversations are annoying to me now. I just want a room, a way to right and a pile of reading.
I certainly do not need the guy who lost interest in me in July.
I do not need to participate in the public events that left me feeling used and foolish.
I do not need to promise anything to anyone.
I am solo. I am happy to be solo.
This month, I am writing a Trashy Novella in honour of my Toronto Fringe play The Queen’s Eulogy, regular installments will appear on my blog. I will continue to write about women who have inspired me and a daily essay in gratitude to my daily readers.
Otherwise, I am studying The Short Story, reading and reading and reading because I am afraid that theatre involves way too many people for me. I am also sure that the self-promotional aspect is too depressing.
I am not hiding. I am just giving in. Solo.