Friday, September 16, 2005

kind of like gills

ahhhh, Staten Island, magical land of wonder & amazement. as in, i'm amazed it hasn't sank into the sea for the good of the world.
in other words, fishies, good morning, it's time for a healthy rant.
i'm running late for yet another doctor & shouldn't be doing this, but if i don't vent some steam soon i'm going to be kicking people in the teeth all day. metaphorically speaking, of course. probably.
the sights, the sounds, the smells. home of the world's largest dump. the world, mind you. that's a big effing dump. some say you can see it from space.
no center to this place, just a meandering vortex stuffed with traffic lights & side streets so pocked & marred i've had 2 flat tires this summer. if yesterday counts as summer, anyway, & considering it was so hot & humid i thought i was walking through a cesspool i say it counts.
no center, only neighborhoods, provincial & suspicious, full of petty superiorities, barely concealed bigotry, & minor deceptions. this place breeds the worst sort of people. my personality has suffered for being surrounded by this. people can still tell i'm not from round these parts, though, because i say "please" & "thanks" & other such foreign things. (quick disclaimer: i have met some Islanders who are remarkable people, good people with bright personalities, but with very few exceptions, even they are unmistakably the products of this place. & some of them aren't so sweet, after all.)
it costs almost ten dollars to leave this place, by any bridge, & the nearest one--the Goethals--is permanently under construction & so tight that i have panic attacks as the semis swerve & wander in their tiny lanes. this is a test: how close can you drive to a median without shearing off the side of your car?
the population is rude, self-satisfied, & snotty--i thought i knew snotty when i was growing up & faced daily by the uber-nouveau-riche of Margate & the like, but at least they admitted to their snootiness, it was part of the character. here, it's all men who live with their mothers, & controlling, passive-aggressive women, & sarcastic adolescents (ok, that's pretty common to the world at large) & overproduced cosmetic appearances & asshole drivers & shameless oglers & creepy people who follow me home from the local store. i hate walking alone here, & this from a girl who gallivanted gaily through the back streets of Atlantic City at 4 am without any real fear. now i just try to make sure that they don't figure out where i live--i've had to double around blocks, & sneak into my house between passes of that scary pick-up truck...
i have no yard, i have no porch, i have nothing but windows that look out on traffic & concrete.
gas is more expensive than in manhattan, there's a tax on everything, there is one good bar & they infuriated me just last week, but i have to suck up my pride because, really, where else could i go (without shelling out what i don't have for bridges & yet more gas.)
there's no pedestrian culture. the one coffeeshop bores me, because the rare occasions i'm there it's full of--you guessed it--self-absorbed characters impressed with their own specialness. & usually the poetry is terrible. (er, ok, so that's kind of a universal too...)
i have alienated my friends, & i've made no new ones. there are some SI people's numbers in my phone book, but why would i call? what would we talk about? i should be able to say this, not write it to some anonymous websphere.
i feel like living here is showing up the joys i had in life as hollow self-deceptions.
it's like all those years of trying to be a better person have led me to...this.
what a waste.

i had good reasons for moving here. the main one is still the truth: i am here because the person i love is here. & it's still not as bad as the year i spent in Indiana, which takes the cake as the least likely place for me to live, but at least i could get a job there, & there were green & growing things, & a cultural center to town even. & i was only there for one year.
nothing is fresh, nothing is clean. why quit smoking? the air alone would give me cancer.
nothing i need or want in my life is here, except that one big one: i guess i've always been one to pull a fair amount of stupid shit & go to great lengths for the sake of love.
it used to feel more romantic, though.
i can see the future & i'm getting older & i'm bloody stuck here. having got here, i can't get out. 45-mile trips to the doctor three times a week. no job, & not for lack of looking, though i've lost my spirit for it of late. sometimes when i'm going elsewhere i can almost feel the weight lifting as this place falls behind me.
this is a horribly self-indulgent rant, & i'll probably delete it later, but i wake up every morning miserable, oh ye gods another day, & nothing changes or looks like i can make it change. i'm hardly one to sit on my ass about such things, but at what point do you give it up as a lost cause?
why the hell can't i get a job? why am i an outsider still after years of advances? why bother anymore?
i have had many, many good moments here, good evenings, good days--but very little of that couldn't have taken place elsewhere just as easily.

maybe i just miss the aesthetics of New Brunswick, the pedestrian pageant, the juxtapositions of gentrification & what-could-be-antique-if-it-were-restored.
maybe i just miss unpolluted waters.
maybe the parks just aren't enough anymore.

blow this for a lark. i'm going to run away to Bora-Bora & teach snorkeling to rich people.

15 little fish:

Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

wow - there's so many things i could say in respose to this - but really all i need to say is chin up - you can't see the future, your time will come - and i love you

12:03 PM  
Blogger anne swam up to say...

That was a great rant, you shouldn't delete it (plus most of that I can relate to, call it proxy-ranting).
Anyway, if you pull Bora Bora off, keep a tiny spot in the sun for me, 'kay?

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous swam up to say...

wow, time to regroup. any chance of moving somewhere else, anywhere but there.

1:03 PM  
Blogger theleftsock swam up to say...

hey i guess im sorry about indiana. i know its weird, but feel free to call me, or plan a trip down here sometime over the weekend. i have an extra room, (for the time being) so if you ever need out, get to a train, plan a trip, or if you really need someone to talk to feel free to call me. k? otherwise, im wit mysfit on dis one.
side notes. terry pratchett was actually really funny in person. i was kind of surprised. i read the new book, it was ok, i like sam vimes a lot, but only when hes being a real bastard. i finished dorian gray too, it was good. lord henry is the best character, but once again, when hes being a total bastard. hey mysfit did he tell the sandwich story? i was just curious, and i really wanted to ask if he knew if there was any way anything on the disc could stop the luggage.

alrigh, ciao

10:00 PM  
Blogger Suzanna Danna swam up to say...

I’m glad you didn’t delete this post. I like feeling your frustration and angst. You write so beautifully regardless of your mood. So sorry that you are feeling trapped and hand-tied, moving from a pedestrian town to one that is locked in and dependant on things other than foot traffic can be stifling. Maybe you could take a trip to Savannah every few months to get your need of manners, welcoming bars, pedestrian traffic and warm culture to boost your system. I wish you the best Jenn.

Oh, and I tagged you for a meme last week. Do you even do those?

11:23 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

mysfit: i can too see the future, didn't you know that? especially when it looks like the past. i think i think they're equally uncertain. & i love you too.

anne: i'm glad that when i indulge in a self-pitying rant it's at least a quality experience.
proxy-ranting. har. that has a whole other definition in my head.
& trust me, if i get to bora-bora, this entire blogosphere is welcome to come snorkel free of charge.

A: want to hear something weird? i thought you were my mother. that's one of her words, "regroup". but she says you're not her.
sure, there's always a chance; it'd help if i could find that one string that would untie this knot.

sock: indiana was not at all your responsibility, it was mine, much like this current location. & there was so much i took with me from the time i spent in the midwest (not only the conviction that i don't want to spend any more time there than absolutely necessary): the loves, emotions, intense experiences, the expanded consciousness experiments, the stories, the people, images. just because i was unsatisfied there doesn't mean i'm sorry i went.
i totally appreciate the philly space offer, & it's not weird, & i'll probably take you up on that at some point, if Bubbles doesn't beat me to it.
terry pratchett deserves his own post on the fish, as does indiana, probably. let's call them forthcoming.
Lord Henry was my favorite character too. Dorian Gray was a twit.
& you should have asked about the luggage; that's a damn good question. me, i couldn't think of any.

suzanna: i think i'm glad i didn't delete it too. the sympathy alone has been a boost, & while it's one thing to know that others expereience similar circumstances, it's another thing to know it, & empathy is totally underrated.
i do do (?) memes from time to time, if they're interesting, but i haven't had time for much blogwandering so i hadn't even noticed i'd been tagged.
idiosyncrasies is a good one. consider that also forthcoming. it's just me & the cat in the apartment right now, which is odd & (i think) is going to leave me with a lot of free time. more than usual, i mean.

cheers to all, thanks for listening. er, reading. whatever.

7:36 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

i asked who his favorite character was. he said Sam Vines and then Granny Weatherwax - which is cool because they're mine - esp. when Vines is being a bastard

however, it's my guess that had i asked him when he was writing about rincewind that it would have been him or twoflower.

he asked me if i wasn't in fact a nac mac feegle

i miss bubbles

no sure about the sandwich

7:49 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i found out via a sort of game of telephone that there's a response to this post, & it's more than a little indignant.

read it on the guestbook here.

for some reason, it's not accepting my response as valid--maybe i've been blacklisted.

so i'll leave it here:


hit too close to home, did i?

in my defense i did say it was a self-indulgent rant brought on by circumstances of my own making.
& i hadn't heard much to suggest that anyone in that sphere paid much mind to the fish.

& maybe i'm tired of small talk, or not talking.

maybe i'll just never fit in here.

i was going to write a defense of staten island, because i thought i'd been a bit one-sided, but now it'd just seem like i'm making excuses for myself. & those were heartfelt things i said, though i don't remember pointing any fingers as such. you & yours are hardly the only things that surround me here.

& when it comes to slamming the myriad flaws of New Brunswick, AC, & the whole of New Jersey, i've still got you beat.

i have to understand those things about a place that bring me down in order to change my life within it. me, i like change.

so what, then, you regret publishing me now because i've written something you disagree with?

i just wish i hadn't gotten this response third hand. we could have argued this well into the night.

but i've insulted you, it seems, so why speak to me about it, right?

& i don't know this place like you do, how could i?
but what do you know about what i know about homes?

5:36 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

er, forgot the link.

read "Papa"'s response here.

5:41 PM  
Blogger oldben swam up to say...

it seems that my girlfriend and my friends are having a bit of a now that i'm out of town for two weeks and can do very little about it i will sing you a song that i wrote to help me get through times such as these...

just walk, don't talk

fall to your knees
sing for the one that
you see in your dreams
all that you need
call off your guard
and wear it out on your sleeve

just walk
don't talk
get to where you belong

and take your leave
shine like a star
even though you may bleed
take it with ease
amble along though
you may want to flee

just walk
don't talk
get to where you belong

just walk
don't talk
get to where you belong

5:49 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

would that i could.

i don't even know who to ask to watch my cat while i'm gone.

& it's not a tiff until someone says something to me personally.

this is my fish. i get to say whatever i need to express here. i could rave against my mother, if i wanted to, & i know she reads this.
i could say that i'm actually a neutrolino, or a schizophrenic, or the color blue, if i wanted to.

but i could have gone without even noticing that i'd been told "fuck you", had it not been brought to my attention, because it wasn't even a "fuck you" here, where the offending material is.

maybe he thought i'd delete & disown it if i disagreed.

5:57 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i'll just have to wait & see if "retribution" involves anything face to face. i doubt it.

just a slow ostracized doom, i'm sure.

6:00 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

thank you for the song.

6:00 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

a soundtrack for all this...

11:24 PM  
Blogger banzai cat swam up to say...

Whoa. Sorry to hear about that.

If it's any consolation, us cats can watch out for each other. And you too, of course.

1:16 PM  

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