I like to think. I think about a lot of things. Lately, I haven’t been thinking at all. I have a lot of things I should be thinking about like school and work, my career (since this is supposed to be my last year of college), and my boyfriend of 6 years and our future together. But I don’t think of any of that. I’ve stopped being reflective or even critical of my life and the choices I make. Of all the things I’ve been through in my life, this is the year that I’ve stopped caring.
The best analogy I can use to explain my situation is with school. In the beginning of the semester you start with strong determination that you’re sure will get you A’s in all your classes. Then eventually you go easy on yourself and start handing work in late or not at all. By midterms you’re scrambling to catch up and the last week of class you’re just praying for a passing grade. That’s where I am right now. I don’t give a shit about my GPA. I just want to pass. Give me that D, please. I just need the credits to graduate and finish. Finish. I need school to end already. I don’t know how much more of it I can handle.
Once upon a time I loved school. Maybe some part of me still does because otherwise why would I still be here, but the other day I picked up a withdrawal form and hovered over the ‘Drop all classes’ box. I wanted to do it, I still do. But would quitting school make me feel better? I want to believe it would, but I know that’s not true. I can’t say for sure what turned me this lazy or if this is how I am naturally and I’ve finally lost the energy to keep up the front. I started realizing my utter lack of care when I would subconsciously turn up the car radio so that I didn’t have to hear my boyfriend talk. I don’t want to hear anything, think about anything. I don’t care. I’ve become numb and nothing around me can make me give a damn.
Sometimes I have bouts of thoughtfulness when I realize that I’ll go down a spiral if I don’t start focusing again. But those thoughts are fleeting and I ignore them by immersing myself in other stories, stories much more interesting than mine like fantasy, romance and action manga. I speed read through them. I read Orange Marmalade’s 100+ chapters in one day. I could have been doing homework or studying, but I wasn’t. Instead I pass the time marathoning through short anime series and watching lots of YouTube. If I feel like being social, I’ll play video games, but that’s rarely the case. I’ve never had a problem with loneliness. I’ve always liked being alone, but lately it has been true solitude. As a writer there’s always some story going on in one’s head, some moment you observe and jot down for its symbolism or future metaphoric value, there’s always inner dialogue as you reflect the world around you or even debate with yourself. Inside my head it has been dead silent for a while now. There’s nothing going on. I’ve stopped thinking altogether.
Then something that I’ve been anticipating for the past few months happened last week. My grandfather died. I’ve never experienced a loss before. I knew the possibility of it happening as he had major surgeries scheduled, but I didn’t know how difficult it would be to deal with. When I heard the news I fooled myself into thinking I misread the text and went back to sleep. It wasn’t until it was followed up by a phone call where I heard my grandmother’s hysterical crying in the background that it sunk in. He had a funeral here for one day and then he was flown out to his home country, the Dominican Republic, to be buried. My grandmother insisted that my father and I make the trip and she wanted us to stay for the nine days of prayer, but I had school and work and an expired passport, plus my dad had an outdated resident card he hadn’t converted into the new system that was pretty much useless and wouldn’t let him reenter the country. Still we scrambled to get our papers in order and booked the fastest flight out which had us flying over the Atlantic during the time we should have been enjoying our turkey dinner.
Heading toward the tropical weather was the only relief we had from what we’d left behind, but that still didn’t manage to make it bearable. It wasn’t a vacation. I woke up every morning at the crack of dawn to my grandmother sobbing and every night I would pretend not to hear her sniffling in the bed next to me. I had packed a few things to keep me distracted like the New 52 bat-family volume ‘Death in the Family’ that I’ve been meaning to read for the longest, The Fault in Our Stars and all my printed homework. I didn’t take any of them out from the suitcase once. When I wasn’t staring at the bees in the corn stalks or trying to knock down water apples, I was crying. On the day of his burial I watched two of my uncles grab large rocks and beat the coffin. They didn’t stop until the handles came off and the box was ugly and the dents made it hard to open the lid. It was so grave robbers couldn’t throw his corpse in a ditch and resell his coffin like it was known to happen. If I wasn’t already numb inside that was the moment it happened.
I was there for the holiday weekend and insisted on coming back for Monday so I could make it to my classes, but with flight delays and immigration lines, plus the traffic from JFK to the Bronx, I only made it to one of my afternoon classes and even then I fell asleep in the middle of it. My parents are still over there resolving issues that would let my father return into the U.S. and until they come back I have three cars I have to move for regulations and two kids I have to take and pick up from school and feed. This entire event has been so overwhelming for me that I don’t know what it means for my school career. I didn’t do any of my assigned work over the Thanksgiving break and in some of my classes I was already backed up. The stress of how this could impact my senior year has me feeling like a crab with the meat sucked out of it and I’m vacant, completely checked out.
I never understood fully what it meant to be emotionally drained until now. To not care at all about what’s going on around you and shrug off the future like it’s a predestined fate that you have to do nothing but wait for. There are people that believe in taking life into their own hands and there are others that let life happen to them. I always thought that I was a doer. It takes a lot of patience and faith to simply believe good things will happen, but it takes a lot more passion and determination to ensure that they will. I had the passion at some point, but that’s gone and I am willing to accept the consequences of my lethargy. Now I think I’ll just coast through and see where I can go by taking it easy. I’ve never considered myself a quitter, but there has to be a time in life when you’re allowed to sit back and accept the ride wherever it takes you, right?
In class there are people who ask ‘who cares?’ when discussing others’ papers and I think that it’s awfully rude to the author when they do. However, in this situation I believe it’s appropriate to ask. Who gives a shit about my life or what I’m going through? Everyone has their own struggles and if my story isn’t helpful or inspiring to anyone why write it at all. I wrote this 1) because the professor’s response email about me missing my paper made me feel horrible. 2) I need to pass this class to get the hell out of here. 3) These words are all I have left.