from the journal—  11/9/16  

img_8507-1On campus and with another blueberry muffin and coffee.  Haven’t started on the coffee, and I can’t find a receipt for what I spent yesterday.  It’s driving me crazy, into full-blown OCD fits.  Keeping them internal, while at this conference room table on campus.  Today’s spending:  $20 for haircut, $8.70 for mocha and breakfast sand’, $1.08 for sparkling water here on campus from bookstore before English 100, and now $5.11 from café for coffee and muffin.  I’ll be stopping by the store later, for some groceries as there’s nothing in the house.  My attempt at mastering personal finance is going I guess well, but it depends on which day you catch me.  “Maybe I didn’t spend anything yesterday,” I think and nearly say aloud in this conference room, “Maybe it was Monday, when I got that snack of trail mix and whatever else I got…” Forget it, I can’t remember, let it go.

My mind is made up on politics, I’m entering the ring.  As a journalist, and participant.  This means a lot less wine focus and a lot more governmental familiarity and involvement.  Right now, my focus is the transition from Obama to Trump.  I try to tell myself, “It’s all gonna be fine, everything’s gonna be fine, nothing’s gonna change…” But do I believe myself telling the self that?  I know one thing, I won’t change.  Not for this leader type.  Not for a person who’s said what he’s said, acted how he’s acted, been as arrogant as he has during and between the debates.  Even during the Republican debates, when they, I think during the first debate, stood in front of that airplane, had like 13 voices vying for the nomination.  But, in being a new journalist to politics, I have to be objective, right?  But isn’t there an expression like ‘there’s no such thing as objective journalism’?  Or something like that.  I will inform myself and share this information and self-education with readers.  Be a voice, but more than a voice, a participant.  Anyone can just rattle off problems and blame candidates or people holding office for something, but the one blaming is doing what toward remedy?

I want to focus on this muffin.  I don’t want anymore politics, at least not right now.  I want to enjoy my day, the more-than-two hours of time for ME before English 1A.  The energy around me is negative, and I understand.  Well, negativity and bewilderment.  I can hear them in the hallways talking about it, about him.  Interesting, this tone.  I’ve never seen this before, and I have to be honest and reveal a bit of ignorance that I never thought this would happen in America, that someone so openly racist and misogynist has the office.  Never mind that, want to talk more about the muffin.  But it’s almost gone.  Why do I do that, eat so fast?  Yep, now it’s gone.  The journalist is done with his fuel.  There’s still the coffee, not in the mood yet though so I keep writing trying not to focus on the election results but it’s nearly impossible when everyone around is going back and forth and up and around in it—  ‘Trump, Trump, Trump…’

Stopped one of the full-timers who walked by, obviously upset, and I asked how she was.  “I’m grieving,” she said.  Then I asked myself, “Am I ‘grieving’?” Well, no, but I’m not happy.  She told me that ‘We’re all on the same page here in this department.’ Nearly wanted to ask her, “Huh, does that include how adjuncts are treated?”, for a little levity and, or, subject shift.  But obviously didn’t.  She told me she let both her classes go an hour early, which made me feel better about letting 100 out about an hour before scheduled close.  “How are you?” I heard one instructor ask another.  Couldn’t hear how the response started, but I heard “dark day” somewhere in the dialogue.  This topic is inescapable, I’m finding.  The moods are inescapable.  I keep trying to distract myself from this very writing by going to my Facebook account but everyone there is either venting or bragging.  So I come back to this page, with no fucking muffin to write about.  Innocuous, where is something benign or even cheery?  I have to get out of here.  “No,” a part of me says, “that’s part of the problem in America, apathy, or escapism.  FIGHT.  Stand your ground.  You’re a writer, a newly self-mantled political journalist?  Then act like it.  Us it as a topic, a direction…  You’re always mentioning inspiration to your students, even ordering them to ‘go out there and be inspired’, right?  Well, actuate what you advocate.”

I collect myself, breathe, completely mute the voices in the halls, all the I-can’t-believe-it’s and ‘fuck!’’s.  I’m safe here in my book, in my journal, this is my world and I rule it gently.  In fact, I don’t even rule, as there are no rules— no ruling class, no divisions.  We all need our medium, now.  Whatever it is.  Painting, music, writing, singing…  Actuate.  Be moving, be writing, be you.  Be FREE.

Back from another break and distraction.  Promised, no more.  But I’m getting bored of this seat, and all the echoing chatter just beyond the entrance to this conference room, ahead and to my right.  The mood is spreading, affecting me now.  So what do I do, how do I get out of this, this funk… let me think……..  Nothing.  Nothing but circular circles and a downright frustration with everything.  It started before 100, when turning left on Steele to get to campus, on the phone with my wife and me giving off a conspicuous attitude, which wasn’t fair.  What if I just cancel 1A and come back here to write or hide out in the adjunct cell?  If I were to assess self right now, the marks wouldn’t be good, I’ll say that much.  “Stop whining, and get inspired.  You’re a journalist!”  True.