Saturday, January 15, 2011

102 SIT UPS TO HEDONISM

Kathy is writing in her diary. She writes the date first. 12.01.11. Usually she writes the dates with forward slashes like this: 12/01/11 except for when she is writing in her diary. The diary is black with a hard cover and unlined white pages. She got it from Gordon Harris on her 19th birthday. Usually she writes about how much she hates herself. This time isn’t any different. Maybe because Gordon Harris is a shop/not a person. She writes: I can’t do anything because I am so worried about doing it wrong. I’m not good enough. She is also quite lonely. Maybe if she got the diary from a person called Gordon Harris and not a shop things would be different. Kathy knew when she woke up that it was going to be one of those days. Not just because of the grey clouds and the rain right before she wanted to go for a run but because it was behind her eyeballs and she was alone and spent to long refreshing her facebook page and thinking about what she wanted to do that day and not actually doing it. Kathy theorizes that she could make herself feel better by going for a run as soon as she wakes up which would get it over with and then she could have a shower and start her day properly. This day though, she spends too long refreshing her facebook page which fucks up her whole day.

It’s raining. She’s running. She’s getting wet. Her IPod is getting wet. She’s listening to the Modern Lovers. She especially likes Pablo Picasso. She’s got a wet patch on her shorts from the rain which looks like she’s urinated on herself. She does 102 sit ups on her parents’ AB KING PRO II. She has a shower. She slips into one of Jim’s t-shirts and no pants. She has no plans today. She checks her diary. Shit she says out loud. The diary says JOB INTERVIEW 2PM. I’ll put pants on later she thinks. She likes wearing Jim’s t-shirts. It’s what people in long distance relationships call hugs she euphemises. This way, if I wear Jim’s t-shirts he’s hugging me all the time but I can still move my arms freely which is a lot better than having a normal relationship. She opens her laptop again. She refreshes her inbox. There’s one message from facebook. She deletes it. She refreshes her facebook page again. She is invited to a show in Auckland. She doesn’t live in Auckland. She clicks ATTENDING. She feels dishonest. She thinks about writing the short story for a creative writing competition she started. She opens the folder in her MY DOCUMENTS called WRITING and tries to find the file but gives up and closes the windows--                                                        X  X.                                                                                    

It’s 11am. She watches some clips on www.youtube.com of people giving lectures about how gaming can change the world. She watches clips on socialism and capitalism and the brain in your gut. She watches a clip of Miwa Matreyek doing cool stuff with shadows. She watches clips about the importance of performing arts. She watches clips until just past midday and then she eats lunch. She boils the jug and makes a toasted sandwich. She has crackers as well and a cup of tea. She goes upstairs and puts a dress on because she really needs this job. She thinks a dress would look more impressive than shorts and t-shirt which is what she really wants to wear. There are some stains on the dress which are quite prominent because the dress is white. There is also a rip in the back of the dress. Kathy questions the decorum of the dress and pulls it down at the back. She is worried about getting it hitched in her knickers. She sits on the bed. She looks at the mess on the bed and on the floor. She looks at the to-do list she made. She makes a poem out of it. According to the list, Kathy’s priority is to phone her GP and make an appointment to discuss how depressed she is. She phones her hairdresser instead. Kathy thinks about the people from the clips and how happy they looked. They looked really happy, she thinks. Happy but mainly content. Kathy has a preoccupation with contentedness. She thinks that anyone can be happy and that happiness is only fleeting bliss like a joke or a tiny cat wearing a tiny hat or fainting goats and that people are generally hyperaware of their own happiness: I am happy right now people laugh, Kathy thinks; but being content is not about being aware, just being. Kathy wonders if she’ll ever be content. Kathy walks around her room.  She pulls the dress down at the back. She is worried about getting it hitched in her knickers.  She ends up at her desk again refreshing her facebook page and gmail account. She thinks about writing the short story for the creative writing competition. She opens the folder in her MY DOCUMENTS called WRITING and double clicks on the file labelled “smack bottom truck”. The name depresses her. She is writing a story and the first two sentences are: “The river hung like a painting, a backdrop to the street” and; “It cradled the narrow roads impervious to the few cars which perched on its shoulders like sleeping children”. The first two sentences depress her. It sounds like she is writing a story for a creative writing competition. She wonders why she even wants to enter at all. She thinks fuck that and looks out the window. Jim texts Sorry no Skype tonight need to get Ethernet cable. Kathy says Oh okay. That’s okay but in way which is obvious it is not okay. Jim texts back Getting Ethernet cable now. Kathy texts back I’m going out it will have to be later. Jim texts back Cool. Kathy regrets not being more jovial in her texts to Jim. Kathy debates for five minutes whether or not to bike to the JOB INTERVIEW 2PM. It’s not raining anymore. She picks up her car keys. She bikes to the JOB INTERVIEW 2PM.

Kathy gets the job. While she is in town she thinks I may as well go to the library so she goes to the library and gets out two books even though she is already reading one of her own. She foresees future anxieties about starting a book before she finishes the first one. She gets out AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN by Richard Brautigan and MURDER IN THE DARK by Margaret Atwood. She’s going to read everything Richard Brautigan has written in the first six months of the year. She doesn’t think it will be hard. Jim got her four Richard Brautigan books for christmas and a t-shirt with her favourite band’s best album printed on the front. She puts on Selfisssh by Seth Frightening on her IPOD and bikes to her friends’ house the LOG CABIN. There are lots of people at the LOG CABIN having a vegetarian BBQ and she asks a question relating to the CORN-ON-THE-COB on everyone’s plates and then is offered CORN-ON-THE-COB she says no thank you and then she is offered CORN-ON-THE-COB again and she says no thank you I don’t want any CORN-ON-THE-COB I was just wondering if you grew it yourself. No, they say. She talks to her friends a bit and there is a cat which looks more like a possum than a cat. She mentions the possum thing a couple of times. She thinks she is lame and wants to leave. She leaves and goes to another friend’s house. She takes lots of music from this friend and puts it on her IPOD. It starts to rain so she hangs around. She feels better at this friend’s house. She feels slightly wounded that she didn’t get officially invited to the BBQ at the LOG CABIN. She texts her mum Can you pick me and my bike up from my friend’s house please? Her mum says No. She bikes home in the cold but at least it’s not raining she thinks. She thinks that was optimistic. That was sarcastic she thinks. She thinks fuck. Shut up I’m not talking to you go away she thinks. It’s a good thing Kathy has a helmet on because she would have hit herself in the head otherwise.

I got the job she says to her parents. They are watching the six o’clock news on their 50” plasma screen television. She puts on a cardigan and talks to Jim on Skype. He looks nice she thinks. I got a job she says. At the cinema he asks. Yes. Did you ring the doctor? No. I think you should ring the doctor. I know.

Kathy does 102 sit ups after exercise on her parents' AB KING PRO II. She also does 102 sit ups at night before she goes to sleep. She kind of dreads it. Kathy brushes her teeth and dreads doing 102 sit ups. She does 103 sit ups as punishment for dreading doing 102 sit ups. She goes to sleep with an upturned mouth feeling like she has accomplished something. 

No comments:

Post a Comment