As I write my second ever rent check and pay my first real round of bills, I find myself thinking of that line from Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan as Cady says, in words obviously written by Tina Fey and not Lindsay Lohan, “I felt like my stomach was going to fall out my butt.” Seriously, that could not be a more accurate description.
My future flashes before my eyes. It takes either forever or no time at all. I feel like Esther Greenwood; I am also in the crotch of a fig tree*. I can’t sing or dance either, and I’ve too many times heard about the plight of a plain old English major. I rewrite the life of Sylvia Plath to be long and happy. I then do the same for my own; but mine’s not a rewrite. I’m only descriptive with the emotions, not the actions. I decide those don’t really matter anyways.
Yet I still waste my time fretting about on my polar bear rug wondering what will become of me. I can be very dramatic sometimes.
I try to make lists and charts and spreadsheets. I gag on the expenses I forget to put in my budget, the ones that are actually mandatory. I look at the clock and hope I will wake up early enough tomorrow morning to center my mind and body in a sweaty attempt to stay happy and healthy. I think about discipline.
I get back in bed and open my book, making mental notes of all the pages out there that I want to read. I think about all the pages I need to write.
I roll over so as to ignore the pile of clothes on my just-cleaned floor. I have to pack my suitcase tomorrow morning. I have an important trip scheduled. I will forget about my stomach falling out of my butt in the shape of a fig. Maybe I’ll win big bucks in Vegas. Maybe I’ll find inspiration. Maybe I’ll just laugh my abs strong until I get home and face the reality that figs are precious fruits.
I hear my grandfather complain about people who waste food, decide that I should thank him for helping me through an everyday crisis, and then fall into a dream about that man with an eye patch who sat next to me on the plane reading a book about sex.
*I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. (Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar)