College is soon a reality. The fall term is soon to start and I will not be a part of it. But the winter term… ahh… I will be there. I’ve gotten my financial aid letter back. They are offering me $4,999 in loans for the winter and spring term. They estimate tuition to be $3492 and books $600. This is less than the official amount that is listed on the UO catalogue. But still… it is good for me!
Today I got up and went to Cafe Perugino. There I sat outside and enjoyed a cup of coffee while reading from Fritjof Capra’s The Hidden Connections in a chapter where he talks about the problem of consciousness and the developing fields of science to tackle this question. Yes… consciousness… this is interesting. I’ve got a cognitive neuroscience textbook on my desk.
Starbucks house blend sits on my desk. Its smell carried to me by a soft breeze from my window. Music from The Prayer Cycle plays over the radio.
Things are tight, tighter than I’ll let others know… but they are worlds apart from how difficult it was less than a year ago. All in all I am doing fantastic right now and I am eager to be back in school. I am tired… sick of dealing with drunk people, drug dealers, people on crack, people high on pills, people who want to fight me, listening to a new excuse every day from people who, every day, seem to have some reason why they are irresponsible. I am tired of my environment and the drain that it pulls from me. I am tired of the emotional roller coaster that I ride, my short temper flare ups with those who work for me when they need me to be solid for them. I am tired of trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and having them prove to me week after week that they are incapable. I am tired of not being able to be the person who can patiently listen to them and give them the tools necessary to make themselves and their lives better. I’ve not done all that I can do for those who work for me, but I sometimes wonder if anything I do will be enough. The average person that I deal with, whether it is a guest, a customer, or a worker for me, is drunk, abrasive, shelfish, and abusive. Yes… abusive. The environment is fun, with the loud music, the lights, the drinks, the “atmosphere”… it is a seductive trap… but it is abusive in that it robs people of their invidividuality, of their free-will, of their vitality. At least it does so to me… and I see this same pattern at work in others. Time moves slower, days turn to weeks and weeks to months. I put my life on hold for one afternoon to do something out of the ordinary (ordinary world of wake up, move around slowly, drink coffee, go to work) to apply for college. But now that I’ve done so… I can see changes coming. I’ve added a new ingredient to the pot and it is dynamic. I worry about Eliza… if she will make the changes necessary for her, for me, for us. I do not want to be in a long, multi-year relationship with a stripper, nor does she want to make a future with a strip club manager. Yet unless I make moves to get out of the industry… I might not ever. Unless she makes moves to get out of the industry, she may not either. Our nights are about work, our days are in preparation or rest from work, our fights are about work, our conversations are sometimes about work. I look forward to the day when both of us are nolonger connected with the industry of sex.
But for now, fresh coffee sits on my desk. The breeze stirs green-leafed trees outside my window, and I dream of the college classes to come in January.