Friday, March 10, 2017

operate.


The lid of my record player broke.

I don't know when it happened – it was fine last week – but I went to move things around on the shelf and it just...came off. The hinge was already in a fragile state, from several big moves over the last 6 years, but it didn't mean it sucked any less to find it snapped.

I bought that record player in LA in 2010. Charles Hicks and I used to take trips with friends to LA every 5 or 6 of months for no reason other than to bop around record stores, eat overpriced burgers, and drink coffee at hipster cafes. (It didn't matter that we could probably do all of those things in Orange County.)

Sometime in 2010, he talked me into buying my own record player so we could take turn supplying the entertainment during newspaper production days. If there was one person in my life who could talk me into spending money on big purchases, it was Charles. I still can't believe he talked me into buying a MacBook.

So we returned from LA that fall of 2010 with my record player and I finally had something to play the records I'd been collecting since high school and during the summer internship I had just finished at that art collective where we produced poetry books and independent music. That record player came with me home to Sacramento after graduation, when I squatted in a friend's house to avoid moving home. It came to D.C., though I never unpacked it because I moved from Maryland to D.C. and then back to Maryland in the span of 5 months. It came to New York where I meant to stay 1 year and ended up staying 5, and where it had comforted me during some of my lowest days, including the day Charles died in 2015 and the day my aunt died the following year after that.

Sure, it still plays music just fine. It's still perfectly capable of operating. There is nothing wrong with what it was built to do. And yet...somewhere along the way, in between graduating and growing up and falling apart and coming home, I kept expecting that damn lid to endure. And then sometime this past week, it just...didn't.



By now, you've probably gotten the metaphor. I don't need to keep going. I'm afraid I've reached my own limits and something this week just broke inside of me. The combination of everything that's been chipping away at me the last few months culminated in what I can only describe as one giant meltdown. Every failure, every mistake, every shortcoming – whether real or perceived – has suddenly become 100% real, and in the battle between doing everything and doing nothing, I have no middle ground. I either care way too much or feel too spaced out to care at all.

I honestly don't know where I'm going with this or why I'm writing it. What I should do is take a nap, wake up, and then GSD. But maybe if I try a little harder, I can swerve and avoid the burnout point a little longer. Either way, when it comes down to it, I still have to live and do something, so I might as well word vomit all this now, eat some string cheese, and then get back to work.

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