Posted by: Alice Inc. | October 29, 2009

A lesson in delirium

Where to begin? A chaotic pile of word vomit to fill in a two-month late life update should do the trick.

I survived nine hours with the woman who bore me in extremely close quarters, all the while questioning my decision to go with the eco-friendly coupe. After a slew of potential roomies backed out on my way to dc, I thanked Jesus, Obama, and whoever created the IPhone as I e mailed every potential Craigs List Killer on the web, looking for  a place to rest my head for the month while I looked for a permanent apartment. One night spent at the One Washington Circle Hotel and I was already driving to West Virginia to visit my perfectly seasoned mound of man meat. In 24 hours, I had signed a rent check for more than I’d make in the upcoming two months in the lovely white-washed squeaky clean neighborhood of Friendship Heights, where if you see a person of an alternative ethnicity walking the streets, you can bet that there’s an angry white lady BBMing her mani off about how long she’s been waiting for her coffee/laundry/bus/taco somewhere nearby. Oh, and be careful, the girl in front of Bloomies isn’t actually black, just slightly crispy from her in-home tanning bed that her daddy gave her for her sweet-13-and-a-half. Also in the previous 24 hours, I’d landed an internship (“Part time job,” for those of you trying to explain a similar situation to your parents, teachers, and friends from home who once believed in your employability) at Rosalind Wiseman, Inc. I work for an author, educator, and advocate who deals with teen social issues and injustice, and I do a hodgepodge of publicity and events planning. In fact, issues I confronted at work have spurred a new type of creativity for me, as I invented the world’s first letter folder . (It may look like a piece of cardboard cut to the ideal folded-letter size, but it is so, so much more. But wait! Order now and receive a complimentary envelope licker, which may look like a tube of water with a sponge at the end, but it is so, so much more…)

Brief hiatus from sarcasm: I actually really like the people I work with, and, though it’s conveniently funnier to say I only stuff envelopes, they actually include me in a lot of important marketing and event planning discussions, and I’ve learned a ton about publishing, online marketing, and how absolutely horrible young girls can be to each other… Oh, it looks like I failed to mention that the author I work for wrote the nonfiction book that was turned into Mean Girls because Tina Fey bought the rights to it before realizing that it was an instructional guide for parents… I’m so close to you Tina. Yes, that is my breath on your shoulder. No, I love you more.

After a month of living with three extras from Revenge of the Nerds 7: I Swear I Watch Monday Night Football Cuz I Like It, Not in Anticipation That Someone Might Strike Up a Conversation Tomorrow, I left the house in Friendship Heights — that, for some reason, was constantly filled with construction workers, particularly any time I showered — and moved into a group house located at the end of Crack Alley in Columbia Heights. I jest, it’s really not that bad. And it did give me cause to use the phrase, “Hey Emma, can you give me a ride home? I forgot my mace,” for the first time ever. Ah, silver lining.

Sarcasm Hiatus, 2: My roommates are actually fantastic beings. I live with Lauren, a recovered abstinence teen-leader and current press agent for her senator, Dan, a Cornell math graduate who, when he isn’t beatboxing, works at NIH doing something I can’t, and Adam, who does something with non profits and tells hilarious stories about classmates faking their own abduction. Each is decidedly quirky, interesting, and friendly, and I’m so happy Craigs List found them for me. They giggle maniacally about the weirdest things, dance around the house, and sing and whistle while they cook. I’d usually be annoyed by such outbursts of unbridled happiness, but I get off on their contentedness. I more and more hate the world around me, and yet these cooking whistlers have all the innocent joy of six of the seven dwarves.

I also know they think there’s something wrong with me. It’s probably on account of the fact that I start every sentence expecting that they’ve known me, my quirks, and my sense of humor for twenty years. For example, Dan, who has the most startling and endearing gaffaw I’ve heard to date, and I were discussing a girl he was interested in, when suddenly I went from nice lady to rain man.

“I hate when guys I don’t know well touch me.”

“Um… What?”

“I hate it. It’s like, don’t hug me, don’t put your hand on my waist, don’t touch both my shoulders at the same time. Don’t touch me.”

“I don’t get it.”

“The only boys I’ve ever dated are the ones who don’t touch me for the first couple days of me knowing them.”

“So, I shouldn’t touch you?”

“You can. You’re allowed. But not for a while.”

While watching Glee with Adam, I turned bright red and covered my face. “Oh, my god,” I said, “I can’t handle this, I’m freaking out. I can’t handle people dancing and singing in front of me. Stop it, you’re a regular person. Stop your dancing!” At the next commercial break, an advertisement for Target induced my word vomit: “Why the plaid? Everywhere I look I see plaid! Quit pushing the plaid!” Adam had already stopped watching the TV, and was staring only at me. “You have very strong convictions about the strangest things.”

When I describe my roomies to friends, I always say “they’re all so wonderfully odd.” I often wonder what they say about me, the giant redhead living in their basement, who can’t stand plaid, dancing, and immediate touching and snacks on frosting from a jar.

Though my roommates are lovely people, I have been going through a very rough time. I took this internship, committing to it through December, seriously concerned that I would have a job offer before my time was fully served. But I’m balancing literally four jobs — I work as a publicist, sell crabcakes at a farmers market, write for the DC Spotlight (unpaid start up WOOO!), and I’ll soon be working at Kaplan teaching the GREs to people who are dumb and rich enough to pay $1200 for me to tell them to practice math and make flashcards — and I’m still not making rent. I’ve applied to dozens of jobs and haven’t heard back from a single one. Today is my last day at the farmers market, which was making me $400 a month. I’m sad, desperate, and insecure — this is not me. This is not me.

I hit a low point last week, when, in the spirit of Halloween, my insecurities from being unemployed dressed up as insecurities about my relationship, and I went bat-shit crazy on my boyfriend. Then I got dressed up, got drunk, slipped booze into my diet coke at an upscale restaurant, danced like a madman with some hipsters near U Street, didn’t tip that cabbie on the way home, and passed out with no sheets. I woke up refreshed. Sometimes you need to hate the world as loud as you can.

I’m trying to change my outlook. I’m trying to look at the positive things, empower myself, keep my head up. I’m hanging out with friends and going to the gym more often. I’m making a positivity wall — essentially writing shit on my wall that will make me feel better.

A positivity wall. I must already be crazy.


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