But I am phenomenally shitty at being unemployed.
I can't do it well at all. I wander around my apartment, which is not large enough for a good wander unless I go into my roommate's room, and I touch things. As I pack, there are fewer things to touch. So now it's like I'm just doing very tiny laps. Living room, mattress, television, side door, futon, loveseat, front door.
I still wake up early. Even though there is nothing to wake up for. And I go for a walk, and have a cup of coffee, as if there's something specific that should come afterward. Got to get an early start. On nothing. So I'm stretching the final packing of my apartment into a month of work. After a couple hours sorting and packing and visiting my storage space, I start making elaborate plans for lunch. Which are then scrapped in favor of a peanut butter sandwich.
And always, there's this profound unease. And I figured out what it is. After being so overscheduled, doing the working my way through college thing, and the going to work thing, and the long distance boyfriend thing, and the prairie dog thing, andthe benzodiazepine thing...I'm not used to doing nothing unless I'm supposed to be doing something else, or if I'm waiting to do something else.
So I'm at ends. I can't do nothing; but there isn't anything to do. I clean. I vaccuum. I walk. I bike. I wait for people to call. I think about dying my hair. I consider several shades. I consider baking brownies and cakes. I consider more obscene ice cream cakes. I consider cupcakes. I watch movies that are good-bad (Friday the 13th Part 2) and bad-bad (The New World. Stay away.) I fold. I list. I hang out at my parents house, with my parents. A lot. I hang out at my apartment, alone. I drive to Providence and play the boything's computer games. I've watched five seasons of the Sopranos, two of Dead Like Me, and two of House.
I wrote a thingie for a thingie. I helped record something for the same thingie, which entailed a visit to NY, to a friend, and was thus awesome. I wrote a sestina. And you can't read it.
And still, I've failed at unemployment.
I know that I've failed, because successful unemployment should lead to relaxation, rejuvenation, reconnection to old hobbies. Thus, I should be relaxed, with fewer grey hairs, and perhaps having painted, sewed, or knit something hideous and entirely useless. And maybe baked a carrot cake. Because carrot cakes are fucking sweet. Instead, what have I done?
I've had many, many "I'm a genius!" moments. For those unfamiliar, an "I'm a genius" moment is the moment of self-congratulation you experience immediately before doing something incredibly stupid. The best thing that the "I'm a genius!" moment can lead to is wasted time. Most often, it leads to bodily injury and humiliation. Often it ends in a hospital room, explaining exactly how you managed to injure yourself in that precise way.
Like the time I decided to make roasted potatoes, and didn't want to mess up my cookie sheets, so I took several sheets of aluminum foil and fashioned an oval of tin foil with high sides, and filled that with potatoes and bacon bits and butter-
Grabbed it from the oven.
The tin foil collapsed.
And the butter (450 degrees, or something) ran all down my arms. And it hurt like a bitch.
My current "I'm a genius!" moment is that, maybe, if I spend time standing on my head with no bra on, the force of gravity, upside down, will counteract the effects of age and gravity, and perhaps encourage my breasts to be higher up all day long. There are several obvious problems with this program.
Such as that the stretching of the ligaments will be the same, as long as the forces of gravity and the weight of the breasts are the same, regardless of the direction of the forces. A program of spinning around and around and around and around with no bra would be more effective, if engaged in long enough, as the combination of centrifical and cetrifugal forces would combat the forces of gravity as long as I was spinning. But that wouldn't be more effective than wearing a bra all the time. I can't turn back the clock. My nipples are not superman.
So that, I think, accurately demonstrates that I have too much time on my hands.