I have been at my parents’ house in Oregon for about a month now. There are several alleged overlying reasons for this decision, all of which are perfectly plausible.
First, I was basically a lame duck in New York, eking by as a professional TV-commerical watcher under the withering gaze of a menacing, Machiavellian dickfer who is probably scrambling to make up new rules to thwart me even though I don’t work there anymore.
Then, my apartment was a railroad unit about 10 blocks north of the last G train stop in Greenpoint and my room was about 30 square feet, windowless and basically an addition to my roommate’s kitchen. I took the place, which cost $600 a month, by the way, because at the time my roommate was workign days and I was working nights, so the place was basically going to be empty while I was home and awake, giving me a little space to do some writing work and otherwise futz around. My roommate quit her job about a week into my tenure, however, and it soon became apparent that I was living on someone’s kitchen floor. She also had two cats who didn’t get along with each other, suffered stomach maladies, and left so much hair all over my stuff that there is little wonder they had any left on them. I am the kind of person who needs a tremendous amount of time alone every day, preferably upon first waking up in the morning. I can be a massive pain in the ass before I get coffee and I prefer to ease painfully into the day with as much gentleness and good humor as possible so as not to drive me to suicide after being awake only an hour. This was one of the perils and also wonders of living with my ex-boyfriend for three years–while he was unusually patient with my nontraditional sleep habits (most of which involved getting up around noon, much to his chagrin, and tossing and turning until 5am every night, also much to his chagrin), his own body chemistry allows him to go from dead asleep to vertical and reheating pungent Indian food at 9 a.m. in the span of around 10 seconds. One minute you could hear the scrape of the pigeons’ feet on the windowsill, and the next he’d be clanging around the kitchen and hammering out the entire discography of Black Sabbath on the acoustic guitar.
But I am getting greatly ahead of myself. What I am trying to explain is why on God’s earth I have chosen to live at my parents’ house in Eugene, Oregon for two entire months, surrounded by hippies and proto-hippies and old friends from high school who are married with 9 kids and begonias and for some unfathomable reason no longer define "a good time" as staying out until 4 a.m. drunk on bicycles breaking into swimming pools and jumping off of bridges, which is all there is to do here when neither children nor begonias are allowed into the picture.
But I have gotten ahead of myself again. Why am I here? How did I get here? Yes, I know that at some point my parents probably had to have had sex with each other, and I don’t like that idea any more than the rest of you, but that’s not what I’m talking about. How did a 28-year-old woman with mildly exciting career prospects and a 7-year tenure in various dead-end avenues of the New York publishing industry simply decide to give up the proverbial ghost altogether and end up in Eugene Fucking Oregon for two entire months, with nothing to keep her company but a reconstituted 1970s Schwinn and an enviable proclivity for self-pity? (And her parents?)
How many reasons have we gone through so far? We’ve done my lackluster employment potential, my unenviable apartment situation…now let’s move on to the fact that summer in New York basically consists of spending three and a half months trapped in that scene of "The Empire Strikes Back" wherein Luke Skywalker is almost crushed to death in a giant gross alien trash compactor. I would imagine that in the George Lucas universe said trash compactor was about 120 degrees, 100 percent humidity and smelled like the galaxy far away’s largest backed-up septic tank. That is what it is like to live in New York City in the summer unless you are fabulously wealthy, and then you leave. I had the opportunity to leave even though I am not fabulously wealthy–in fact, quite the opposite, I was out of money, this being the reason stated directly after the hellacious weather reason.
I’m already tired of typing and there are still so many reasons to go, including the only real reason (because the punchline of this entire tirade is that all the other reasons are just coverup reasons for the real one which I am now feeling too tired to explain). Quickly: my father is about to have hip replacement surgery and my mother is out of the country for work. He can’t walk all that well and could use some help running errands and doing basic housework etc. And I know he likes the company because I am a fascinating, dynamic, sparkling and altogether delightful individual, despite the fact that I mope around constantly due to the fact that I have no job, no money, and no serious prospects that do not involve first getting through five more years of school and then MAYBE if I am LUCKY getting a job "teaching" asshole frat boys who hate me and cheat on all their tests. This brings me to another wonderful reason, which was that I have my alleged future ahead of me starting in September, and that future is, for reasons I don’t really feel like typing about, in Irvine, California.
Last, of course, however, finally, heavily modified, and overall wholly dreaded, is my real reason for deciding on purpose to bunk at my parents’ house in Eugene Fucking Oregon for an inordinate amount of time. It is that I recently got my heart broken and haven’t had time to deal with it at all and wanted somewhere that had little to no outside stress where I could mope around all day in peace. So for the past month that is basically what I’ve been doing–moping. That and riding my bike and hiking and otherwise morphing myself into a bronzed specimen of physical perfection. But mostly moping. Good old-fashioned eating-carrot-cake-for-breakfast, watching-Gilmore-Girls-reruns-in-the-afternoon-instead-of-reading moping. Which is what I am now going to go excuse myself to do.