a recap of yesterday

a sample of donald barthelme's teaching syllabus, lifted from the believer.
(click images to enlarge)

i've been feeling pretty low these past couple of days--uncertain about myself, uninspired, friendless, lonesome. it's a function of a few things, i think, not the least of which is living in los angeles, where everyone seems to be polished and busy and wrapped up in the world of their own problems. i don't know. in any event, i hope this feeling lifts soon, because it's making me tired and irritable.

in spite of all this, though, yesterday was a lovely day. the plumber came and fixed our stopped-up sink and leaking toilet. we got a late start after he left and walked straight to IHOP, because rhan has had a hankering for IHOP since we saw a billboard with eggs on it a month ago. (note: IHOP is not so good.) then we drove towards brentwood to go to dutton's bookstore but on the way spontaneously decided to visit the getty, paid eight dollars for parking, and gave the art a cursory glance before buying coffee and a rice krispy treat (which was the highlight of the getty for me). finally went to dutton's and purchased "the teachings of don b." and "the collected stories of amy hempel," the latter replacing the copy i lost some months ago. the books are good and a highlight of the day, too.

we did all these things, but what i really want to talk about is how unenthusiastic we both were about all of it--the lunch, the museum, the bookstore. all day long we kept saying, "what do you want to do?" and then "i don't know" and finally "what's wrong with us?" but for some reason, despite all that, it was the best day we've had in a long time. laughing, joking around, commiserating all day long. i am a believer in that therapeutic sort of commisery ("commiseration" is correct but an uglier word), and yesterday was indeed a testament to how much somebody saying "i feel shitty, too!" can somehow make you feel less shitty, and then you're just both shitty, together.

i need to read more. maybe don b. up there can help me. i need commisery, at least a little bit, and more regularly. i need to stop thinking about what other people think. i need more days like yesterday, at least until i can figure out how to have days better than yesterday. any suggestions?