Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to do

Ever notice yourself sitting around for weeks on end desperately racking your brains for something to do? Hour after hour, moping, surfing the net, stretching, zoning out, making to do lists that never get done? Do you ever feel like you can't, for the life of you, figure out what needs to get done, or if anything ever really needs to get done at all, ever? Maybe then you fall into some sort of existential internal debate about whether or not life has any meaning. Or, you simply press the snooze button on your brain and allow yourself to sail through your week relying on the generosity and productivity of friends and family to get you what you think you want.

It seems I live with one of these creatures of non-productivity. She's the kind that cleans the house not because it needs cleaning, but because it has needed cleaning for ages. She's been thinking about possibly doing it for about a month now and it just so happens that right now she has nothing better to do and even feels like trying something besides the usual lying around.

Her daily routine goes something like this: A slow waking at 12 in the afternoon after a good couple of hours of hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock and stuffing the cell phone beneath a pillow to muffle its ring. At about 12:30 - 1:00, she'll open the door to her room, strut out to make coffee, light one of my cigarettes, and slug back to her room, closing her door, waiting for the water to boil. Eventually she'll return for the coffee, maybe make a second cup, and then roam around the apartment picking up things that might amuse her momentarily: a few strums on the guitar, a glance at the plants that she may or may not water, a ruffle through the mail laying on the table . If she finds herself paints, she might play artist for hours, inhaling toxic fumes of turpentine, and guiding the brush slowly over her canvas with no clear idea of an end-product, wholeheartedly believing that this is creativity.

Every so often she goes to work. She works at an icecream shop a few times a week. Most days she returns with stories about her boss, or her boss's wife, or about the young girls that work there with her. The work is relatively easy, although tedious at times, and the fact that she doesn't even like icecream keeps her skinny as a ballerina.

Almost every night she goes out for a beer at the nearby bar, the Hoodna. The Hoodna attracts young hip tourists, alternative young Israelis, and neighborhood wierdos who are looking for interesting company and a cheap beer on tap. It boasts old beaten-up sofa-seating, poor service, no non-smoking area, and young owners who know how to keep the regulars regular. She has no problem going alone since she's now a well-known and highly revered regular, but most of the time she's there with a friend or two, nursing her bottle of Goldstar and smoking Camel light after Camel light.

Her neighborhood cavorts are subsidized by her unknowing, rather naive and conservative parents. No, she doesn't have much to complain about. Her parents pay her rent and provide her with this monetary allowance that seems to have no limit. Not that she's a big spender, but she certainly lives beyond her meager means, beingher work schedule is considerably light. When she does complain, however, it is typically in regards to how many strange guys hit on her, and how crazy they are that they wont leave her alone. The only other routine complaints she has are either related to noises that wake her, pidgeons that wont stop shitting on our balcony, her supposed desire to quit smoking, or her temporary lack of hash stash. Come to think of it, she also complains about bills, her army reserve duty, and anything else related to authority or government.

At times I find myself loathing her. Her existance disgusts me. Her smoking, her laziness, and her lack of purpose in this world twists her into a rotten insect, a pest, vermin. It's this Kafka-esque feeling that she's lost her human quality with her sense of purpose and direction. But most basically, it comes down to this: she so rarely helps with the upkeep of the apartment that frequently I feel resentment coming up like undigested food in a nauseous stomach.

The only time I remember her going on a grocery shop that filled the fridge for us both..... was once, after I specifically asked her to. I left her a detailed list of what to buy. I typically do the dishes, buy cleaning supplies, toiletries, food, and appliances, clean the living room, water the plants, descuzz the bathroom and sweep the balcony floor. I frequently find things neglected irresponsibly, doomed to rot or decay- brushes left for weeks in open bottles of turpentine, cups scarttered throughout the apartment with remnants of food eaten and cigarette butts and ashes strewn on top, pieces of unfinished "artwork" scattered around the living room, ashtrays stuffed with burt butts and dried up lemon slices, toe-nail clippings or dead cockroaches. I've surpassed her by 1000 shekels on the list of joint household purchases. 1000 shekels. And I pay my own fucking rent thank you.

But at times, I find I'm desperately addicted to her incompetence. She makes me feel productive, for who isn't productive compared to her? She makes me feel talented, vibrant, organized and capable. All of a sudden I am independent and grown up. I get things done and manage my own needs. I'll come home searching specifically for signs of her laziness and thoughtlessness just so I can say to myself, "I'm not like that."

And there is something pleasing in her childish manner. Her and her huge gummy smile, her full cheeks and protruding chin....her slow movements and reliable easy-going attitude. She doesn't mean to be careless or thoughtless, she's simply never been educated. The ignorance factor. It's unintentional and therefore laughable at times.

Plus, she also is almost always there for me. It's likely she's at home, it's likely she's not busy, so if I need someone to talk to, it's likely she's available. And she's a good listener. Very patient. No questions or interjections. We typically agree. She's always up for a beer. Or coffee. Or a cigarette.

1 comment:

  1. My brother suggested I would possibly like this website.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann't consider just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!
    Stop by my blog ; Spot acne treatment


Let me know what you think!