|Jean Baptiste Rochambeau: traitor but not bad game designer|
To wit: faced with an unexpected 40% tuition increase from last semester to this semester, I decided it wasn't right to put that kind of strain on my family's already thin finances. The financial aid office, in all it's wisdom, offered me the opportunity to apply for yet another loan that I probably wouldn't get. If I had gone out to LA to deal with the issue in person, I'd have had no money to pay for lodging and no sure way home ... unless my wife and I didn't pay the mortgage.
See what I mean? Untenable. Add to that the fact that the additional loan I was "qualified to apply for" was a PLUS loan... which is essentially a bank loan. They check your credit score for that one.
So I didn't go. I was able to get a Leave of Absence for financial reasons, but that means I'll graduate a semester later than I originally planned... December instead of June 2020.
Meh. That part I'm not all that bothered by. A little bummed that I won't get to graduate with my friends in the same cohort. But it's that ol' brain... my Ego... that's been kicking my ass over the last few days.
Well, fuck you Ego. And move over.
This self-questioning has been a paralytic in the past. My joints lock up. My brain turns into an old rabbit-eared idiot box permanently stuck on white noise. Generally this happens while I'm mid-stride into some half plan or another. Except that this time I had a plan, even if I'd forgotten that my old enemy, ego mine, would try and get in between.
My plan? Nothing.
That's right. Nothing.
I'm pretty sure my wife doesn't want to know this, and I'm damn sure certain that every productive member of the Machina Trumplandia doesn't want to know, either. Nothing flies in the face of that Engrained Something we were taught from the moment our parents started trying to socialize us. My mother will worry. My mother-in-law, too. Pretty sure my daughter, who is preparing to have a daughter of her own, will have some concerns. If my father's ghost is hanging around, he'll have some choice words on the matter.
But yeah. Nothing. One Big Spontaneous Nothing.
That Engrained Something... that's ego. That's all my previous lives and decisions trying to run on repeat. But like a religious has to die to their old life, a poet ... to truly be one... has to die to his or her old life, too. While I have a deep respect for The Grand Experiment*, I've (finally) learned that there is no such thing as finding an accommodation between poetry and "life."
Poetry IS life. And there is no accommodating life. Either you live or you don't.
I know what you're thinking. What about money? What about bills? Yes, I will need to make money. My decision to try and go back for my MFA was predicated on the notion that I had to find another track to be a good husband. My decision put off going this residency because of the financial hardship it would drop on my household was based entirely on needing to do what's best for my family. Not my ego, which would have had me going out to LA and putting our domestic security at risk.
No thank you, Ego. Fuck off.
Now, it's true that I've done a lot of things to earn money. Nearly all of them were awful. I attribute this to the fact that I've always hated money. Even when I thought I was engaged in my own little capitalistic experiment ... and doing pretty well at it, actually... the thing I was sacrificing kept kicking me in the nuts. Poetry. Poetry kicked me in the nuts. Life. Poetry ignored is one big game of Roshambo, South Park Style.
I'm done getting kicked in the nuts for you, Ego.
Nothing. Live it.
*The working idea that a poet can balance poetry, professional, and domestic life. I'm not saying it can't work. I'm saying it doesn't work for me. I was born with rambling feet, but I'm a lousy dancer.
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