Monday, April 16, 2007


I've been feeling pretty crummy lately, for no good reason, and since there's no real problem, that's pretty hard to fix. As a last resort, I find it always helps to poke fun at myself. Last night I asked James, "Any idea how to deal with the crippling pain of daily existence?"

First he laughed at me, which was what I was going for; but then he actually answered. "Well," he said, "I find it helpful to think of the big picture."

"And what exactly is the big picture?"

"Well, we're living relatively comfortable lives in the richest country in the world. In the scheme of things, we're doing pretty well."

I paused and considered that for a moment. "Yeah," I finally admitted, "I guess I did just eat Nutella straight from the jar with my finger."

All this to say: poor me. I'm fine. Everything's going well (except, as always, con law... always, always the exception for con law). Or at least, everything's going as it usually does. My upstairs neighbor is watching third-string reality shows and arena football, loudly. (Okay, he's just upgraded (?!) to Pimp My Ride.) I've been staying up too late and waking up too early. The weather is insane, which is fairly typical for Charlottesville at any time of year, and especially in the spring. Windstorms are fascinating to watch.

I'm pulling out all the stops to combat this melancholy. I even got my guitar out tonight for the first time since I moved here. My usual stress-relief tactic is cooking, and I've done a fair amount of that: pot roast for dinner last night, and the most delicious pancakes I've had in a long time the night before that. I've tried knitting, going for walks, calling and emailing friends with whom I've fallen out of touch. I wrote my first short story in five years. Still, the inexorable feeling of encroaching doom.

I guess the final tactic to be tried is waiting. That one pretty much always works.

On a different and undoubtedly more interesting topic, a friend asked me at dinner the other night, if I could demolish one structure that's been built in Charlottesville in the past ten years, what it would be. I asked for some parameters: could I, for example, pick the entire Old Lynchburg Road development corridor? No, he said, that would be too big. First I said Target, but then he reminded me that Target is way the heck up 29 where no one has to look at it who doesn't want to. In the end, I couldn't really think of anything. I picked JPJ, but not because I think UHall was any good, or because I have anything against JPJ itself; I just hate what it does to the traffic flow on event days. I do wish the Best Buy were still an Aunt Sarah's Pancake House, but for purely sentimental reasons: I never ate at Aunt Sarah's, but I remember I used to find it so charming when the sign out front advertised their fried chicken and waffles special. Oh, and if I could make the Cingular store just north of Barracks on 29 a Dunkin Donuts again, I'd be terribly pleased. It's hard to be sad when you're eating a blueberry cake donut.

What am I missing? There's got to be some deplorable building that I hate and have just forgotten about.

I want to go lie in a cornfield in Earlysville and go stargazing like I did when I was in undergrad. Bowling at Wayne Lanes, barbecue at the Blue Ridge Pig, hiking in Shenandoah. Too much of my life happens within a three-mile radius these days. I think I need to get a look at the big picture.


Blogger common_sense said...

Melancholy seems to be going around for some reason. Hope things clear up for you soon.

4/18/07, 8:27 AM  

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