Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Time is crying out tonight for me to leave this town

Unfortunately, my going to Mexico did little to satiate my yearning for adventure and something different; it only piqued it. I'm happy to be back in some ways, but in other ways I feel even more stunted than before. I know a lot of it just has to do with the fact that I currently have waaaaay too much free time on my hands right now, and I feel very aimless. I'm already looking forward to school starting again, because I really enjoy it, and at least when I'm in school I feel like I'm doing something productive and really working towards something real. Interestingly enough, though, and this is something I was working on with my therapist when I quit going to him, is why I feel like I need that outside something to make me feel valuable, and why I can't find the wherewithall or motivation within myself. I'm certainly not immune, however, to our culture's fast-food ideals, and I'm already anxious to be done with school and to be moving on to something else; like grad school, which, in my mind right now, is really what I'm working towards, and really looking forward to. (And I already have my Top 3 grad schools picked out, even though it's going to be at least another 2 years, probably, before I get there.) Patience is a virtue I desperately need to acquire and embrace and to understand. Good things come to those who wait, they say, and I guess I feel like I've wasted so much time in my life, even though that "wasted time" got me to where I need to be, and many great things came out of it (like my wonderful friends, and some fantastic memories and good times). So I know it wasn't truly wasted, but I still can't help feeling that everyone else is light years ahead of me in the Life department. But ultimately, I know I'm doing what I need to be doing, and it's all going to work out in the end, and for me to have the things that I want to have, I'm going to have keep working very hard, not just on my exterior life, but on my inner life as well. Sometimes, though, it just seems like such a daunting challenge that I'm not up to, and every ounce of my being is fighting against it and wants to remain stunted, and where I am, and just keep waiting for someone to come along and rescue me and magically solve all of my problems for me. I wish someone had told me when I was young that growing up was going to be this difficult and had better prepared me for it. But there again, I'm wanting someone else to be the Magic Man.

So, on that note, I mistakenly thought the other day that season 3 of Nip/Tuck had already been released on DVD, and I got very excited to rent them all and sit and watch the whole season in a few days, but it doesn't actually come out until August 29th, which is one day after I start school. Which sucks. I really wanted that to be my summer TV project.

Season 4 starts on TV the week after that, and I wanted to have season 3 done, so I could actually watch season 4 as it happened, but I guess it's not meant to be. But it's just as well, because I'm really bad about keeping up with TV shows as they're unfolding, and besides, watching them on DVD means there are no stinky commercials.

Nip/Tuck fits into my current Miami obsession, however, which is another reason I was excited to watch season 3. I've always gone through phases in my life of being obsessed with certain American cities for whatever reason, usually because of literature, and right now it happens to be Miami. In junior and high school, it was New York, just because it's New York, and when you're growing up in a tiny town in Arkansas, and all you do is dream about getting out and escaping and having this completely glamorous, exciting life, New York just seems like the obvious choice when you don't know any better.

Then in college I started devouring Bret Easton Ellis novels, and became totally obsessed with Los Angeles, and this lasted for years. (Although his favorite novel of mine, The Rules of Attraction, actually takes place in New England, and not Los Angeles; go figure.) I'm still totally fascinated by that city, and its cultural and ecological implications. I used to really crave the fast pace, and "glamour," and the sort of inherent danger that underlies everything about that city. It all just seemed so sinister and cloaked in conspiracies and intrigue. That sounds incredibly boring and silly to me now, but at one time, I loved the drama of it. The real drama.

Anyway, then I eventually moved on to Pittsburgh, for which I have Michael Chabon to blame. So I went there, did that, and I'm over it. Now it's Miami. Part of it is because I've been reading a Joan Didion book called Miami, a collection of essays mostly about the Cuban life and politics there, and how Miami is pretty much the only truly Latin American city in the United States. The Cuban population and the Anglo population seem to live there in an understood non-acknowledgement and prejudice, even though they both influence each other's lives completely (and at least at the time of the book, the mid-80's, the Cuban population there was almost 60%!). It seems like a really interesting place, and if you want intrigue, drama and danger, there you go. In the 80's, the crime and drugs were so rampant that security (like personal body guards, private alarm systems, and weapons themselves) became pretty much the number one economy, and it was about as close to a police state as any American city probably ever has been or will be again. I don't think it's so bad anymore, and I don't think the politics are what they were anymore, either, but I'm not really sure.

Whenever I decide to take another vacation by myself (which I'm really itching to do again), I think Miami is where I will head. Maybe I should have been an anthropologist. Cities fascinate me. Their histories, their politics, the way cities all develop a unique personality, generally stemming from how they began, or their geographic properties (which are often one and the same), how they grow and mutate and create reputations for themselves. And until I can actually get back down to Mexico, or South America, which I'm also already dying to do, maybe Miami will suffice. Which also means, of course, that I'm dying to see the new Michael Mann Miami Vice movie. I hope he captures Miami the way I feel he captured Los Angeles in Collateral. That's the main thing I loved about that movie, was the city's presence. Directors who can absolutely bring you into a city and portray the city as a real character and make you feel like that movie couldn't possibly happen anywhere but where it did, I think are true artists and I really respect and admire that.


Stacy_Storie said...

I spent an hour on the beach in Jacksonville today. I just walked for an hour and it was amazing. AT one point, I wondered where I was walking too and decided i wasn't walking too anything, I was just walking in the surf and watching birds and fish and people. There was one girl talking to herself in a tidepool, completely oblivious to anyone else.
Just walked and practiced not having a goal, it was nice.

karen said...

You should totally go to Miami. I have a couple of friends who live there (including a hot, Cuban boy named Ricky) who might be up for playing tour guide? Miami, like New York, feels like a different world. It's geographically the US, but culturally it is such an international blend. LA never felt like anything but America to me. In fact, it felt like American City Magnified. I felt like all the cultural diversity of LA was hidden under the miles of highway and the American pop culture industry.
Wow. I'm writing an essay here. I'll cut myself short and just reiterate - Go.

karen said...

Oh! I haven't heard of that Joan Didion book! I'll have to get it. You should read Jane Jacobs' The Life and Death of Great American Cities, if you haven't. I know we've talked about that one before, but I'm rereading it now, so I'm recommending it to everyone.
Maybe you should consider doing some sort of sociology/psychology mix?

Kurt Volk said...

Thankfully, the first season of the television series is on DVD!