I am being driven slowly insane by the sound of dogs obsessively licking and chewing themselves. Clearly, it is time to go home.
It is the nature of the house/pet sitter’s life, particularly during the busy summer season, to go for long stretches during which one spends only a night or two at home. After three months of that, I have nothing booked, although the Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah requests will begin arriving soon. But right now: NOTHING.
And, I am okay with that. I need, somehow, to define “home”.
This summer I seemed to have lost my equilibrium, or, rather, my sense of place and time. I had thought myself well on the way to serenity, or, at least, a level of acceptance that masqueraded as sangfroid. I thought I had finally journeyed through the guilt for my inability to conform to the capriciously determined standards of “should” and “ought”, free from what author Mary Gaitskill calls “the reductive tendencies of our cultural moment.”
And, in many ways, I had. But that freedom left me un-moored. Many of my connections – personal, professional, social – are gone. That’s okay. And I don’t think that having money or being well-known – at least, in the ways having money and being known are most often done in this culture – are goals to which to aspire.
In fact, I’ve little use for almost anything heralded as worthwhile in this world in which we live. And, as I have previously discussed, I no longer believe there is a greater power watching over us or keeping score.
So, you see, there seems little point in doing almost anything. Which is where I’ve landed. I have continued to write because to do so pleases me, it feels to me like what I should be doing – though I could not tell you why. Not that you asked or cared. And in order to have money enough to keep me in books and necessities, I house and pet sit. I’m a responsible grown-up who enjoys vacuuming, and so, I clean while I sit, and too, I am terrible with money, so I pretty much let people pay me whatever they like, ignoring industry standards (such as they are) and all of this adds up to make me very popular.
But, I’m exhausted now. This floating from place to place, without ever anchoring, and this listening to some dogs lick themselves obsessively – well, I just – I need quiet. I need for DANCING WITH THE STARS to begin again. And AMERICAN HORROR STORY:COVEN. I need to hide away.
Equilibrium … time. My place in time; here’s the thing: I can’t remember what I did last summer. Or the summer before. When did I direct the first American amateur production of SPRING AWAKENING? When did I live in NYC for the summer and do a Fringe show? It’s all a blur. Time is a blur. My life is a blur. And while I have long thought time was itself a symbol, an illusion, as was language a symbol of a symbol, and have in many ways spent my life exploring those concepts – to come so close to living them, to experiencing that all is symbol, all is illusion, all reality is an effort to limit and label and make linear the sorts of energy and experience that are not linear or limited or defined by words or time –
– well, it is, frankly, exhausting. And I need to go home.