Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mismatched jigsaw pieces

There is a man in front of me on the bus with his fly undone. With his arms outstretched to reach the handles above my head, and the fact that my head is precariously level to his crotch, it feels a little obscene and deliberate. Though I can tell from his unknowing demeanour that it is in fact inadvertent, I still feel the need to shield my eyes a little and pretend to be exceedingly fixated on my left shoulder.


It surprises me what surprises me these days.

Off key reggae sung along to the clanking of tin cans seeping through my kitchen window from the alley below seems as natural as the hum of the washing machine. 

Yet, today I was shocked by the sight of teenagers. Living amongst low rise character apartment buildings and overpriced grocery stores, one almost disregards this demographic. I haven't even the slightest clue where the nearest high school is located. As such, as I stepped onto the train platform at the mall exit, I was nearly overwhelmed by the seas of giggle, sighs, pouts and skinny jeans. Is it possible that I actually forgot that they existed?

***

If I could sum up my life, and consequently my state of mind these days, the one most suitable word would be scattered. My thoughts are like jigsaw pieces all from different puzzles. Pulling together coherent stories feels like trying to force the pieces to fit, fraying the edges in the process, pretending to ignore the obvious gaps, professing that the bits of the schooner do indeed interlock with the snippets of the basket full of kittens.

The notion of focusing on twelve separate things at once (aka. the very essence of my PhD program) really defeats the entire notion of focus. As such, by the end of the day, I find myself utterly exhausted, yet restless-- my body doesn't want to move, but my mind can't stop moving, skipping from one topic to the other, yet not pausing long enough to focus or elaborate on any of them. 

It's like I'm operating in point form, rather than sentences-- let alone my usual paragraphs.

15 comments:

X. Dell said...

You know what the stereotype of the absent-minded professor. It's grad school what does it to us. We're constantly in a state of intellectual triage.

Not noticing teenagers isn't so bad. When you start forgetting about your significant other, it miht be time to reprioritize.

Essentially Me said...

Aww that sucks. It's almost over. And if you need to take a break, take it and don't feel guilty about it! Everyone needs a re-boot once in a while.

lspoon said...

I wish I could forget about teenagers :)

A Margarita said...

Teenagers? Wait, they're not extinct?

Tina Vaziri said...

I hope you can relax soon and regroup your thoughts. Finding a kitty to pet might help!

Sheila said...

"My thoughts are like jigsaw pieces all from different puzzles" describes me so well! Writing is one of the only ways I can sort it out.

I myself have one teen and one nearly teenager living at home, so there's no forgetting about their existence. :)

Jocelyn said...

Stick to bullet points, then, and forego the sentences and paragraphs.

When all else fails, take a few moments to fixate on that left shoulder.

Abbey said...

I just happened to get this forward this week:

How to tell someone their fly is down:

The cucumber has left the salad.

I can see the gun of Navarone.

Someone tore down the wall, and your Pink Floyd is hanging out.

You've got Windows on your laptop.

Sailor Ned's trying to take a little shore leave.

Your soldier is out.

Quasimodo needs to go back in the tower and tend to his bells.

You need to bring your tray table to the upright and locked position.

Paging Mr. Johnson... Paging Mr. Johnson...

Your pod bay door is open, Hal.

Mini Me is making a break for the escape pod.

Ensign Hanes is reporting a hull breach on the lower deck, Sir!

The Buick is not all the way in the garage.

Dr. Kimble has escaped!

You've got your fly set for "Monica" instead of "Hillary."

Our next guest is someone who needs no introduction...

I'm talking about Shaft, can you dig it?

I thought you were crazy, now I see your nuts.

Lauren said...

I know what you mean about feeling scattered. When you have so much going on, it's easy to feel everywhere at once.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

You need some time to regroup and recharge - it sounds like you're a little overwhelmed right now......and ewwww on the man on the bus.....

Crushed said...

Surprise is a funny thing. Never understimate the ability of life to still shock.

I don't think it's a secret I've had an 'interesting life'. Yet I heard something last night in the pub STILL made me shiver and lose myself in thought for five minutes.

Do you ever find you write thing in work reportsc which aren't related, they're blogposts you were also composing in your head at the same time?

I do. Very inconvenient.

Yoda said...

Scattered is good, chaos comes from order! Usually with an extra order of sleep :-)

Surfergrrl said...

I hate when I feel that way. Just ultra scattered. Wondering which thought to tackle first.

Mrs4444 said...

And yet, you have not lost a bit of your fantastic writing gift....You're brilliant.

chasinglibby said...

oh pp, i know what you must feel like, all frazzled. can i say the fact that you made time to write a guestpost for me means THAT much more knowing you're so overwhelmed? I heart you. and if anyone can pull through the stress its you. because you're a superstar.