Tuesday, March 24, 2009

D'ya know what I was just thinkin?

Whenever I ask Jason this, he looks at me with a pinched wince and says "Ah, no what?" Then I usually follow it up with something like "We should..." and then that usually leads to "...go to the craft store and buy some..." or "...go out in the yard and..." or "...drive to the eastside of town and..."

Most of the time these things are just random thoughts that come out of nowhere and are usually pretty radical. Jason just humors me and then we have a crazy project or excursion to tackle.

Well, today on the way to work, I was thinking about a few things. Fortunately, these thoughts don't come with an insane call to action or elaborate plan -- just some ponderings I thought I would share.

First, I've been re-reading "Minor Characters" by Joyce Johnson (Glassman) who was dating Jack Kerouac when "On the Road" was finally published (after 6 years of rejection) in 1957. She was living a beatnik lifestyle in the Village but had a corporate literary job in Manhattan. She talks about living a double life and how she managed to do it.

Invisibility had become my unsatisfying resolution of the outside/inside problem. Moving back and forth between antithetical worlds separated by subway rides, I never fully was what I seemed or tried to be. I had the feeling I was playing hooky all the time, not from school, but from the person represented by my bland outward appearance...

I completely relate to this feeling. I do it everyday that I go to work. Even down to the subway ride between worlds (well, it's a light rail in Portland, but it was a subway in LA). She goes further to say:

I saw it only as a necessary mask. Office life and real life had to be kept separate. On weekday mornings, you locked the door on your unacceptable self; you let it out again after five. This was the arrangement by which I knew I had to live. But only for the time being. Holding my breath, I was waiting for much more.

Do any of you feel this way? Whether your "unacceptable self" is your personality, religious beliefs, or hopes and dreams, do you feel like you live a double life?

Then, this got me to thinking about how much time I spend on public transportation and how fascinating it is. I have not driven to work in 3 years! I have taken public transportation (the Metro in LA and the MAX in Portland) everyday that I go to the office, rain or shine. I have witnessed some serious craziness over the years...

Do any of you know what it feels like for a train to stop on a dime from a cruising speed of 45 or 50? I do. It happened just the other day. A car turned in front of the train and we slammed on the brakes. I was sitting down and two carriages full of people came hurling and tumbling toward me. One lady totally flattened another lady, face-down on the ground, after she was launched onto the lady's back. That was kinda funny, but my LIVES did flash before my eyes for a second.

It was weird because there are two lives that I live. Two lives to flash. Two lives to lose.

Do you ever feel this way or am I the only one thinking these things?


Scott Hutcheson said...

I use to. =) It's a novelty to me because I don't feel that way as frequently as I use to. The id and all psychological terms never really explained/defined it for me, and I can't even conceive the idea of anything spiritual existing; however, I do think it's a neurological phenomenon ~_^ Flashing multiple/unknown lives before you, take Salvia.. *I know, I know..*, if you take the Green-Yellow dosage (low) it won't induce a daylight-dream, instead it will Scare you out of your skin on who you thought you were/weren't/becoming, et cetera.

Diana Leilani said...

I think that everyone feels that way to an extent. For example, in an undergrad history class the hardest things for students to understand are how "historical figures" are contradictory. We are obsessed as a species with classification. It's hard to accept that we are all contradictory and that we weave in and out of our established confinements. But, I don't necessary see that as something we have to fight. Instead I try not to take my world for granted. I am thankful that I am able to have a "good job" where no one will beat me and I will never accidentally sew my hands together. I am also grateful that I live with enough freedom to pursue the creative outlets I wish. For me, I decide to choose a positive outlook. :)