Y’all ever feel weird and like things aren’t quite the way they ought to be? I’m not a person who fears change, but change does tend to wreak havoc on me. Lately I find myself feeling like I’m the central figure in some David Arkenstone album.
In case you’re a normal person (or just someone with good taste), you've never heard of David Arkenstone. You should be able to find out everything about him here. My parents, who’ve instilled me with their excellent musical tastes over the years (The Beatles, Yes, Ravi Shankar, The Gershwins, The Allman Brothers, and Led Zeppelin as well as all things classical), had a dark period in the mid-nineties. It was the Arkenstone period, and I don’t want to talk too much about it. Because it’s embarrassing. But his “music” (if you can call it that) always made me feel as though it was about nomads wondering through the desert. But not, you know, like real nomads. These nomads (again, all in my head) were dressed like Olivia Newton-John in that “Physical” video. It was “Physical” meets Lawrence of Arabia. It was (is) terrible. Listen to Mr. Arkenstone sometime. You’ll get it.
So I’ve been feeling all wandery-in-the-desert, and purposeless and also just epically removed. But maybe also a little bit like Olivia Newton-John in the "Physical" video (spandex, leg warmers, bad hair, headbands). When I get confused about my place in the world, I get tired and take a nap. But there’s really no time for that. I have to take math class (stats, finally!) and find a job (anywhere, anytime) and work on my summer bucket list.
The bucket list isn’t long, as yet.
Here it is:
1. Do a pull-up.
2. Run a mile.
3. Run a mile in under 15 minutes (this was my time when I was on the track team in junior high and finished last at EVERY SINGLE MEET.)
I’m currently running for 10 minutes IN A ROW and have accomplished only .63 miles. I’ve killed many spiders and one silverfish, but I’m not anywhere near over my fears. (Especially after hearing Ouisa's boyfriend, Matt, talk in a scholarly fashion about bedbugs, which I'm now convinced are crawling on me at all times.) I’m working on lat pull-downs to make my side muscles stronger.
But I feel kind of like those people in that American Gothic** painting. I’m standing around with a bunch of tools (or just a broom?) and looking confused and angry in front of a big old barn house: the modern-day, Nebraska equivalent of wandering through the desert.
*The quote is George Bernard Shaw. It should be my epitaph.
**Did you know that Grant Woods modeled the figures in American Gothic on his neighbor and his own sister? I also didn't know it was supposed to be a farmer and his spinster daughter. I always thought they were supposed to be a married couple. Wow, art.