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You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Cyanide…

January 2nd, 2009 · 46 Comments

The Good: I made my television cooking debut today on “Hawaii’s Kitchens.”  If you weren’t up at 6:25am watching the Channel 2 Morning News, that’s cool, it’ll probably be online soon.  Next month I get to do vegan baking.  Channel 2 today, Food Network tomorrow!

Okay, the good’s over.

The Bad:

There is a girl driving home.

This girl, she’s crying.

I’m watching myself, and it kills me to see how sad I am.

I’m crying for the both of us.

And so on.

And so on.

It’s unbearable.  Not being able to live with your best friend; not being able to live.  Slipping into debt; slipping away.  Falling into routine; fuck you routine.

What makes me insane today?

I’m glad you asked.

What makes me insane today is that I’ve lived on this island almost my whole life, and I still get lost, take wrong turn after wrong turn with escalating horror at the truth of the metaphor—dead end, dead end, we’re all going one way, merge or hit us head on, we all must go the exact same speed.

Almost every time I get behind a wheel, I wonder if I’ll make it to where I’m going.

“Living, naturally, is never easy.  You continue making the gestures commanded by existence for many reasons, the first of which is habit.  Dying voluntarily implies that you have recognized, even instinctively, the ridiculous character of that habit, the absence of any profound reason for living, the insane character of that daily agitation, and the uselessness of suffering.” –Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

I’m searching for meaning in the meaninglessness.  I am looking for the fun I lost last year between the couch cushions.

Ryan is the only person I feel safe around, and this neediness overwhelms him.  Friday nights I want to go out, laugh, merry-make, extricate my inner hippie, be all jah love and shit—but a shot of vodka is no longer a shot of short-lived freedom—and if I’m out all I can do is worry about how the hell we’re going to get un-broke.  How I don’t have the right to be carefree.  Panicking over when we can get our own fucking place to live.  How it’s already January.  2009.

I wonder when I will stop being a bittermelon and start being a honeydew.

But when I’m in, alone, all I can do is resent the fun lovers, the carefreers, the world that looks so perfect, from where you writhe, inside your restless prison of a body.

Can’t go out, can’t stay in, can’t move.

I usually just annoy the shit out of Ryan, wherever he may be, until I pass out mid-tantrum, like a two year old who has no words for what he wants, where it hurts, and is terrified by the size of the dark.

I feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster that is actually just a Kalanianaole Highway that stretches on forever.  So.  Fucking.  Boring.

Ryan spontaneously went to Vegas (see entry below), and since he’s been back, we’ve been loving, patient, BFF’s.  Last weekend, the Entire Island Power Outage gave us permission to just play.  Dad Hee worked the gas stove, making coffee, bacon, pancakes.  We read Outliers (Ryan) and The Stuff of Thought (me), ate breakfast on the lanai.  We borrowed Scrabble from the neighbors (I won), played Transformer Monopoly (I won), had a Tangoes-Off (I won).  Winning is never boring, friends.  Never boring.  In the afternoon, when the lights and television surged back on, we went back to our Facebook, our blank pages, but it was a wonderful catastrophe, and most mornings I want to wake up to that same dim stillness, where there is less that can be done, and so much more to do.

The first drizzly sunrise Mati-walk of the New Year.  The first evening run, hip hop mix, one extra valley for good luck.  Family breakfasts, hikes with Mom Hee, getting to boss my sister around at work and write things like, “Make Tofu Poke—FATTY” on the white board.  It’s not all intolerable.  I just want to go back to living like every day something amazing could happen.  And does.  Something worth writing about, worth photographing, worth capturing.  I want to live like I travel, not wait until I travel to live.

So I suffer and it doesn’t matter—to the universe, to anybody.  Blah blah blah.  So it’s the same shit, different year.  Unless.  We make a radical change.  What is that radical change?  Leaving each other, just for the shock, even though no matter who we are with, ever, we will always be single, because no one can ever understand who we are.  Close is still Pluto.  From Pluto, it’s hard to even hold hands.

I’m grieving for the girl that used to drive and sing Tristan Prettyman, Ani, Journey at the top of her lungs, windows down, hair down–and that was all there was to driving.

Oh life.

You can only fake it so much, until you begin to fake the faking, and you lose all that was real.

Everything is so nightmarish that I can’t begin to articulate it.  It’s just a sense.  Of everything falling apart.

Of the pieces changing shape so they can never be put back together.

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46 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ryan // Jan 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    1. you rocked on cooking show. you make me want to toss my own salad. and put dressing all over your hair.
    2. you don’t overwhelm me, life does. i know going out into the world is hard for you right now, but staying in has its drawbacks too [we both have done both, at different times, for different reasons– one is not intrinsically better than the other], and it’s simply and innocently: the misalignment between randomly meandering agendas– which at times are diametrically opposed, for no particular reason; best friends aging differently, our lives benjamin buttoning into a double-helix structure of connecting and always missing each other; the shifting plate tectonics between our metaphorical brad pitt and kate blanchett, making it so that sometimes, we dance, and paint each other’s butts in a cheesy montage of new apt. love, and at other times, we live in our parents’ house, and have to fuck quietly, lest our families get all grossed out, like we’re back in high school– like we’re growing young towards death. And we just can’t find the meaning in the meaninglessness, the fun we lost last year, in between the couch cushions, because, well, there’s no meaning in meaningless, fun in couch cushions, duh. we are just pieces, dear, changing shapes; we are just Pluto, pissed that we no longer count as a planet; we are indeed, all of us, single—i think the more we get this, ironically, the more together we’ll be— united by our individuality [yes dear, like the scion commercial].
    3. I love love love your words. always. sometimes i feel if i were to quote you back to you, but claim it’s really some unknown author, you would explode from multiple epiphanies. read yourself woman!
    4. “…no one can ever understand who we are.” agreed. no one. not even we understand ourselves, how can someone else? perhaps it’s the delusion that we exist, as a subject to be understood, that is the thing we don’t understand. like trying to “pin a wave upon the sand, oh how do you solve a problem like Maria [and all selves], how do you hold a moon beam in your hand?”
    5. Fuck 5.
    6. call me when you wake up. let’s misanthropize over coffee.
    7. I’m sorry 5, it’s not your fault.
    8. wake up already, i want a scrabble rematch [no looking up words this time, cheating whore]
    9. why do we always need 10?
    10.

  • 2 christy // Jan 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    i love you and your words jen.

  • 3 ryan // Jan 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    i love you and your words too ryan. you’re fucking awesome.

  • 4 Mayumi Shimose Poe // Jan 13, 2009 at 3:11 am

    yes, thank you both jenn and ryan for all your words. which make me feel like it’s okay to be feeling whatever i’m feeling. :)

  • 5 Matt // Jan 22, 2009 at 5:19 am

    “I want to live like I travel, not wait until I travel to live.”

    have wiser words ever been spoken?

    …i think not. wow.

  • 6 stranger // Mar 28, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Hi, I’m a random stranger, I’ve been reading this blog on and off for a couple of years. I’m a writer and lucky enough to be finally making my living writing - it took twenty years of hard work and day jobs. I agree that you have a great talent. I like the way you use words. I think, too, if you want to live like you travel then the best way to do this is to write about something that allows you to travel outside of yourself and your own specificities. I don’t mean write a gladiator story set in the Roman era, unless that’s your thing, but it might be too big a journey, what I mean is create a character that allows you to travel outside of yourself as you are writing (for example, you could write about a repressed house-wife married to a successful bank manager who dreams of excitement, then falls in love with the hot ‘n sassy drama teacher who moves in next door).

    OK, that’s a bad example. But something like this would mean you are still using your own insights and wisdom (and words), but using them to describe and reveal a fictional character’s experience instead of your own.

    This, to me, is how you can live like you travel. I have a very boring life. I sit in front of a computer and write for 8-12 hours a day. But the territories I cover on the inside make my life rich with experience. Most writers are prone to introspection, desperation, self-immolation and melancholy, which is why it’s so much better to write about other people: it is an escape, but it’s not a deceptive one.

    Of course, this might sound like a shitty idea. And you’re not asking for advice. I’m just being presumtuous, but I like you two both a lot and think you’re both very talented. I think you should write a novel.

  • 7 jenn meleana // Apr 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Hey Random Stranger! Wow… have we been blogging for a couple of years already? ACKH! Oh time, you messy blur you. Thank you, thank you for your comment and kind words. But 20 years of hard work and day jobs! Wow… I’ve been at my day job barely 10 months and I just want to DIE. And indeed, I am prone to introspection, desperation, self-immolation, and melancholy! Hi, I am a writer and a living cliche. However, I never write fiction, but am interested more now to try, and truly appreciate your advice. Thank you. I need the escape, to take my words outside of my immediate world.

    Take Care,
    Jenn

  • 8 stranger // Apr 9, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Just remembered writing this comment. You go girl. Live like you travel! Fiction is fantasy and travel is a kind of fantasy too, isn’t it? Until you run out of money.

    But ffiction is free. Travel, not so much.

  • 9 Umbro England // Apr 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

    “I want to live like I travel, not wait until I travel to live.”

    I would say:

    “I want to live while I travel, not wait until I travel to live.”

  • 10 Umbro England // May 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Is it true that peach pits contain cyanide? If so, is it found
    in any other fruits?

  • 11 England Home Shirt // Jun 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    lol I was totally wrong!

    “It’s easy to assume that the word ‘cyanide’ is always synonymous with a deadly poison”

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