Minutes past

Hello, readers.

Ten minutes to eleven. It’s been over a month since I’ve written anything. It’s been over a month that I’ve read anything that doesn’t talk about Biostatistics or healthy public policies. Life has become a whirlwind that seems to stand still. Like going for surgery, disconnecting from the world only to wake up and find that the world has gone on without you. It has changed and so have you. And it’s not one of those emotional improvement changes, it’s a visceral/physical change.

Two minutes to eleven. Grad school is everything and nothing like I expected. Everything and nothing. I’m happy. My hands digging into the doughy bits, there’s no mold just the shapes your hands can make. And it’s liberating to feel that control, to grasp it firmly in your fist in a show of victory.

A minute past eleven pm. I miss my friends. Life has gone on without me, as it should. And in a few short weeks we’ve reorganized ourselves into new dynamics. It’s an exercise in anxiety management, these worn paths of friendship suddenly diverging. We’ve become many small roads, instead of a four lane highway.

Four past eleven, time flies. I miss the quiet moments. The not doing anything with someone else. I miss my wife, passionately and profoundly. Like I carved out my heart to make space for new knowledge. Like I was put under and someone scooped it out without my consent.

I close my eyes and panic a little because I didn’t know this would happen. I panic because I should’ve known. This heartache of missing people that are there, feeling whole in their embrace and shattered in the knowledge that you’re the one that’s unavailable.

Eleven past eleven. Make a wish. I wish you were here. Not so quietly playing The Sims, while that annoying Kim K soundtrack plays on your tablet.

Thirteen past eleven. I wish I could take you for granted again.

Short Little Nothings

Hello, readers!

This week has flown by in a burst of unexpected activity. Or rather, the activity was expected, what wasn’t expected was everything else. I didn’t expect loving my classmates, making a new friend, suddenly finding myself a volunteer, feeling completely at home in grad school. I didn’t expect there were people I’d miss so quickly. Mostly I miss my wife.

Grad school has truly felt like starting a new chapter. My hectic schedule means there’s quite a bit I’m giving up in order to pursue this degree. And the weird thing is, I don’t feel all that busy. At the end of the day, when I look back exhausted, I realize everything I’ve been doing. For the most part though, I feel kinda breezy. It’s an odd feeling to have, I realize. I don’t hate it though.

I’m in the process of settling in so I can get back to reading for fun. I refuse to turn into one of those people who stops reading for pleasure. (Although, I’m aware that’s what might end up happening, so bear with me). Once I figure my schedule out, I’ll start posting about bookish things and loving you all literary like. All seduction and poetry. Actually, a short poetry anthology might be good. What do you guys think?

I’m getting back to the books. It’s a short, not about anything exactly post, I know. I just felt like writing something for you guys. #KeepingTheHabit

Until next time, readers!

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On Realizations and First Days

Hello, readers!

Monday rolls around again, perfectly symmetrical. Like a geometric representation of our lives. Except our lives are anything but symmetrical and, really, it’s just mocking us. It’s no wonder everyone hates Mondays.

Does it ever happen to you guys, that you know something is coming up, but you can’t really accept it until it’s right there in your face? That’s how I feel about grad school. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for it, slowly figuring out new patterns and making my peace with losing 3/4 of my social life. And yet, none of it had felt quite real. Until today. When I woke up at 6 am (in a sad attempt to start getting my body acclimated to its new schedule) and realized I have to start getting my shit ready for tomorrow.

It’s happening, you guys. This is not a drill.

And I’m not going to tell you I’m not nervous enough that I feel like I could throw up. But I’m also not going to deny it… The truth is I’m freaking out a little bit, part nerves, part fear, all of it mixed with excitement. And that’s where it all gets better, because I’m so excited, you guys!

At some point my BA became what felt like a series of repetitive motions, a complex pattern that was still a pattern nonetheless and left me feeling like a hamster running around in a wheel that went nowhere. I learned to love it again, towards the end, but I had to go into another field to get some perspective. Public Health Education, which is what my Masters degree will be in, is a completely new world for me. I can feel the challenge building and I’m thrilled, like taking a step into the unknown.

I know I’m not the only one with a first day this week, maybe yours is in two weeks or a month. Enjoy what’s left because what’s coming isn’t easy. But also enjoy that moment of ‘holy shit it’s happening”! These beginnings are such a big part of life, I think. We often let the fear and nervousness get the best of us and they become nothing more than days full of stress and anxiety. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Be mindful of all you can accomplish because of it. And, whatever else you do, enjoy it.

Until next time, readers!

SST Presents Crane

Short Story Thursdays is a weekly dispatch. Every week you get little known stories in PDF format, accompanied by a short intro and commentary by the guy who runs the whole thing.I started this series called “SST Presents”, so named because that’s the subject title on the emails, to share those stories with you. If you’d like to subscribe, send an email to shutyourlazymouthandread@shortstorythursdays.com

You guys.

This week has been a shit show. Seriously. I’m waiting to hear whether I’ve been admitted into grad school. Casually watching the mailman’s every move. Checking the mailbox multiple times a day. They say a watched mailbox never gets any mail, but what do people know anyway? I’m sure if I stare at it long enough shit will happen. Mail will magically appear. Only to tell me I have actually not been accepted, but thanks for trying. Kloveyoubai.

A Mystery of Heroism

by Stephen Crane

This week’s dispatch of SST is all about death and war and something about being thirstily irrational or getting the fuck out of the garrison. It fits in perfectly with this disaster of a week. And the rain. And the humidity. And my generalized dislike of everything.

The story is about a guy, let’s call him Fred Collins because that’s his name, who realizes he’s thirsty and decides to get some water. The problem is they’re in the middle of a war. And the well is in this meadow which has become a battle field. But whatever, he’s thirsty, people are jeering and mocking, and all peer-pressured he gets moving towards the well.

When Collins faced the meadow and walked away from the regiment, he was vaguely conscious that a chasm, the deep valley of all prides, was suddenly between him and his comrades. It was provisional, but the provision was that he return as a victor. He had blindly been led by quaint emotions, and laid himself under an obligation to walk squarely up to the face of death. But he was not sure that he wished to make a retraction, even if he could do so without shame. As a matter of truth, he was sure of very little. He was mainly surprised.

I totally get this guy. Haven’t you ever suddenly found yourselves in a situation without quite knowing how you got there? Except, everyone seems to know what they’re doing and they seem to expect you to know too. You’re just there, making shit up as you go because what else can you do, really? That’s life. I think. Stumbling around blindly and kind of getting things right until someone comes around and knocks your damned bucket over.

Don’t spill other people’s buckets, guys. It’s not cool.

Until next time, readers.

Alphabet Soup: Z is for Zero Chill

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, readers!

We’ve made it through yet another week and I for one am very proud of us all. It’s been a particularly eventful week for me. I had my grad school admission interview yesterday. I think it went fairly well, I didn’t say anything too obviously crazy so there’s a good chance they thought I was a well adapted member of society. After the interview I came home to find my admission test results – 692 out of 800, in case you’re interested. There was zero chill in my life yesterday.

Alphabet Soup Graphic

And why should there be? I felt like things were finally taking shape, like the horizon was just a bit closer and the Sun almost within my reach. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, that almost bursting, can’t stay still feeling of a job well done. It’s deeply satisfying to look back and find that the path finally makes sense. Hindsight is always 20/20.

This post marks the last installment of the Alphabet Soup series and I for one am very pleased. When I started it I had a completely different idea of what I wanted it to be, but I’ve really enjoyed what it became. I’m happy with the work I did and I hope you guys had an equally pleasing reading experience.

I went out last night to celebrate, so I’m tired and feeling slow. But my heart is still a Zero Chill zone. I’m happy you guys, a kind of soul filling happiness. It’s nice. I hope you guys are happy too, whatever you may be doing.

Until next time, readers. Stay golden!