doin’ alright.

It’s hour thirteen that I’ve been on my feet in a stuffy kitchen.

So far, I’ve eaten two eggs. A little bit of spinach with some tomatoes and cucumbers, and a bite of really sweet bread pudding from the “leftover pile”.

I’ve washed dishes more than I have cooked, and I begin to lose myself as my glasses fog with steam from the barely scalding water. I have a cup of hot, black Community coffee sitting on the ledge to my left, and I pause every few minutes for a hot sip. I’m tired and need a little jolt.

I lose myself for a while, as I rake off uneaten bits and unclog the drain. Hunched over a three-compartment sink, sweat beading off my balding head. My back, on the occasion of lifting a stack of plates, pings a nerve and I squint my left eye.

Scrubbing-a-stainless-steel-sink-with-baking-soda-6

I’ve found myself in some weird places recently. Mostly in my head, and of course, intertwined with some heart things. I’ve been asking myself some terribly hard questions.

“Is this place working out for me?”

“Shit man, what was that all about?”

If I’m honest with myself, I’m still having trouble fitting into place. I want to cook food for people. I want a place that I can live my passions, and up comes some article about how you’re never going to work your dream job. Whatever. Anyways.

I’ve been finding myself a little quiet and distant, because a person tells me they think what I write is too sad and heavy. That’s fair. But you tell me that, I’m going to find ways to not to write like that, and I need to. You see?

I need to be angry at the times when I am angry. I also need to be sad and people need to see it. Well, I need to see it. Because I cannot allow myself to dwell in a place where I do not feel authentic.

I am okay.

I am doing all of this now, so twenty years from now I can say I felt everything, and worked through as much as I could. I know you want me to at least seem happy.

I can tell you, this is the best I’ve felt all year. I may not be jumping up and down and screaming, but I am feeling good.
(what is happy, anyways?)

What I mean, is that I write what I write here because it is true to me. Sure I’m a little different in the kitchen, or sitting in a pew. I will make jokes about sausage and also sing a gospel song. Because my life is a wonderful, deep, and challenging thing.

Ya know, those dishes can be therapeutic.

And my couch feels like heaven right now.

I just ate two leftover Labor Day hot dogs on a fluffy white bun with mayonnaise and mustard and ketchup.

Oh. And a cookie.

And you know what?

I’m doin’ alright.

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8 responses

  1. Someone said that what you write is “too sad & too heavy”??? I think that is arrogant. That person apparently feels/thinks that you should be writing to entertain him/her. That is arrogant.
    You are honest and sincere, Josh. Please, allow such criticism to roll off your back and out the door. Allow that critic to move on to blogs that are written strictly to entertain others. Maybe Howdy Doody has a blog of some kind that would suit that person. 🙂

  2. If you ask me. ….this is your space. Sad, heavy, happy, wistful. ….this space is yours to be what you will. Please don’t stop being you. And it’s good to hear you are happier.

  3. I don’t think your writing is sad (although I do love how you explore your emotions here) but I do think your writing is heavy.. like whipping cream is heavy. It’s perfect for a lovely, rich dessert. It’s the kind of thing you savor and enjoy.. I’ve loved your writing for that reason since day one. Good depth is hard to find.

    I do get the what you mean about hearing the way others perceive your writing though. I take it pretty personally when people comment on my writing as well, even though I know better.

    I write for me. I share it publicly, openly, but that’s for me too.. and I have a feeling you’re the same.

    I would that there were more writers like you out there.

  4. Maybe this is a weird thought process, but I’ve been working less on feeling *happy* and more on feeling *present*. Which I know aren’t the same things, but I really feel I’m gathering more awareness and contentedness every day, which is happiness in its own right. I appreciate you sharing the path you are on in such an open way!

    • For sure. I can’t ever answer a person who asks me if I’m happy. For one it’s very fleeting. Sure, I’ve had really happy moments. But to be present is to be full of so many things. Happy is just a tiny part. So good to feel when you recognize it though. 🙂

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