I've been harboring Nico in my home over the past several weeks.
... Alright, maybe that was a little mean.
The truth of the matter is, I am currently rooming with no one - fugitive, mysterious, agitated, or otherwise. In fact, it's been downright sepulchral in my little apartment. The joint ain't exactly hoppin'. Cabin fever looms over all who enter these walls.
I think what I am feeling right now is ... overwhelmed. I think what I am seeing all around me is so disturbingly normal that I sometimes wonder if this crisis is really happening. After all, despite being smack dab in the economical heart of the Midwest, did we not feel the ripple effect from the dot-bomb era? Did the words "freelance" and "contractor" not strike fear into every post-grad's twenty-something heart just a few years ago? Why do these stories you all share so readily feel so disconnected from my daily life here, where it's cooler by the Lake?
I mean, I remember the streets going deader and quieter for a while in 2000. There was this palpable panic on the news - heady stuff that was nearly as dark and dire as what we're seeing now, but, ... I don't know. Back then, it felt like the collapse merely meant that some people were putting off buying that gigantic television or third car for a few more weeks or months. Maybe going out to dinner had to be cut back to "only" twice a week.
Being less of a businesswoman and more of an over-educated artist/retail schlub means that, of course, I am going to notice things, but I also wonder if my Big Picture Context is seriously skewed by my initial placement in the pecking order. Do I really have to cut down on grande half caf no-sugar skim vanilla lattes if I never used to get them in the first place?
In some ways, I feel as though I've been here all along. I try not to feel angry, or frustrated. Sometimes I want to scream, Where have you people been all this time???
Some days, that's very, very hard. It's just not hip to yell. :P
I haven't had a car in years and years. I know the transit map like the back of my hand. I live paycheck to paycheck, and yeah, so, maybe ramen noodles cost a bit more than they used to, but why am I not seeing so much difference in my life? The transit system is becoming horribly broken, but it was doing that before the gas price spiking.
To be very honest, my having to deal with spoiled yuppies during rush hour seems like such a small inconvenience, when the day is done. I keep reading about fistfights in other places, fires, and people screaming at each other and more police activity than you can wave a carbon credit at. I look around me and hear the uninterrupted music of the city, maybe, just MAYBE turned up a notch. Cognitive freaking dissonance. Can I get a witness?
I wonder sometimes if maybe being a city dweller means just going without so many things in the first place, that being part of some huge machine means that we experience a pre-determined loss of things we never knew were "supposed" to be ours to begin with.
*Closed loop, circuit tight and electrical, sparking to life for a moment, dulling down again as soon as a routine is re-established.*
My favorite color is wine.
My hero is no one.
My transportation costs have held steady.
Turning on the news is an exercise in surreality.