Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Friday, November 05, 2004

Here's the real problem in my case, I think. My dad always tells me that you shouldn't think about how to spend money until you've won it. It's bad luck, he says. Bad luck or no, I know I had big plans for how I was going to spend the energy I was going to draw from a Kerry win. A NaNoWriMo novel. Taking control of the direction of my condo association. Rededicating myself at work. Getting on top of the whole Father situation.

These are things that of course we're always telling ourselves we're going to do. But in my case, I really need to do them. Big parts of my life, particularly work, have been in a pretty serious state of decay for months. I think the last time I had a really good, productive week at work was February, right around the Dean meltdown.

Of course, I kept telling myself these past few months that all I had to do was make it to the election, since thinking about politics and polls and strategies was taking up so much of my time and energy. And now that the election is actually over, running the dishwasher feels like an unspeakable burden. A medium-sized load of laundry looks like a commission to singlehandedly divert the Snake River.

Today I had to change a tire in the rain, and I literally broke down crying because I couldn't get the damn jack out of its infernal little hidey-hole. I was sitting in the hatchback of the Subaru just weeping, because I was having a modicum of trouble completing a simple and objectively undaunting task.

If there's a silver lining to this (there isn't, but just humor me) it's that whatever boost I would have gotten from a Kerry win in my personal life would have been an illusion. Motivation can't come from external things, whether it's jubilation or anger or pressure or whatever. If you depend on these things, you're not really a person, you're more of a phenomenon, a precipitate of your environment. My task now is to find the strength to do what I need to do, and to find it within myself.

Though I do have what could accurately be described as deeply held religious beliefs including a yearning for something that could be called God, I also agree with Jim Morrison, who said loudly and drunkenly that "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer." However, just in case the Lizard King was wrong (he wasn't, but just humor me) I'll ask for just two things to come out of George Bush's reelection - let me find what it is about me that short-circuits every time I get close to something that feels like success, and let me never have to take my child to a wall and show her the names of all the tens of thousands who died for reasons no one can remember.

But that could never happen. Right?


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