(I deleted this for a few days, but my scrapbooky self can’t stand not to have my innermost feelings on the internet, apparently, so here it is again.)
One Halloween a few weeks after Elliott Smith stabbed himself in the heart, I went to a Bright Eyes show at the Housing Works bookstore in NYC. Conor was sad, we all were. He covered an Elliott Smith song, The Biggest Lie, and it was emotional and lovely. When he introduced the song he said, “Some people are so gentle…they don’t really belong here. Some people just aren’t willing to become the asshole you’re led to believe you have to be in this world.”
I’ve been thinking about that night, that song, that sentiment, a lot lately. I’ve been feeling too gentle for the world. Not in a suicidal way, far from it, but I think I should take a little time to acknowledge and maybe exorcise it.
In short: I put myself out there in the world a little more than I usually do. And I got a little bit slapped down. It happens. And I fear that it’s about to happen again. And I’m trying really hard to not let it make me into an asshole.
I applied to be on the Town of New Paltz Planning Board. I actually ran a little undercover campaign, if you want to know the truth. I had friends of mine emailing and calling the Town Board members, who are the ones who vote on the PB members, and I wrote a great cover letter and fixed up my resume and basically massed the troops. Last night was my interview, and I thought it went reasonably well. Later, my performance was called, in an email to me, “charming.” But, for reasons I basically understand (the need for diversity on the board), I was not appointed. I suspect it was a combo of worrying that I am a bit of a loose cannon who is constantly spilling my guts on the internet ([awesome] blog posts I’ve written on various local projects were mentioned, and we talked about my ability to keep my mouth shut about my opinions on projects, which I so totally could do, though, yeah, just by writing this I’m undermining my credibility, am I not? But can I remind you that I am not on the Planning Board? Things would obvs change if I was!), and worrying that there are already too many lefties on the board. (It seems to me to be made up of all Democrats and one pagan Green Partier, so if they didn’t appoint the Republican who I know also applied, I’m going to be PISSED.)
I get it. I should muzzle myself a bit more on the internet, I know that. Perhaps it’s not wise to be Facebook friends with your Town Supervisor when your posts are so often about things you “motherfucking loathe.”
I don’t really care.
One of the greatest gifts of my adult life is: No Secrets. It’s the code I live by, and it bites me in the ass probably once a week. Want to know how much I make, what I paid for this or that, what my house cost, what the rent is at my kitchen, what I think of that mutual friend of ours, what form of birth control I think you should be on, why my dad went to prison, why I think most vegans are pretty idiotic? Sure, let’s talk. Who the fuck cares?
Well, people care. People, squirrley people, they store up knowledge, and they can use it against you later (not the Town Board, just, you know, people in general). Is pure freedom worth it? Opening your heart again and again and hoping the world will handle it gently?
Also, as I start the second glass of wine of the night: can someone be at once ludicrously jaded and also naïve? I assume, when I’m running my mouth so hardcore, that everyone is with me. Trusting and understanding and on my level. And it’s often not the case.
Anyway, so I’ve still got the big project lurking along the edges of my life, and to be perfectly frank, things are looking a little bleak on that front too. We’ll see. I’m nervous these days. I don’t believe in vibes, or signs, or fate, or religion, or spirituality.* I make fun of all those things, to hilarious effect, when drunk at parties. But man oh man, universe, an auspicious omen or two sure would feel good right about now.
(Parenthetically [and divisively and rather cruelly], is this why people have kids? So that the pain of the world hurting them will hurt less, because they have some puppy-eyed little monster to come home to at night? If so, will someone adopt me a puppy?)
Well, here’s something:
Something pretty exciting will be happening on Tuesday, my sweet-loving sweethearts. Or, maybe Wednesday, depending on how things go. You know why I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it’s going to be good? Because I control every aspect of it.
And I’m not at all above admitting that’s why I’m so nervous lately. As I said a few weeks ago: “Projects that require things I can’t make happen with my own stamina are maddening. Depending on other entities is terrifying.” Nothing’s changed in those few weeks, except that I now have more free time, since I won’t have to go to 3-hour long meetings twice a month for the next seven years.**
So…there’s that. And I guess I’ll find another way to serve my community. Maybe I’ll go the time-tested crazy-lady-writing-letters-to-the-paper route. It seems to be working for Brittany!***
*To be fair though, the other day I said to someone: “I don’t believe in vibes, but [insert here long story about how someone has a really bad vibe].” and the person said “Lagusta. You believe in vibes. Don’t pretend.” She’s pretty much right. Sigh.
**Seriously! Seven year terms!
***Totally kidding, my dear! I of course loved it!!