Thursday, July 08, 2004

Back in the city

surprisingly feels pretty nice. I even exchanged friendly words with my landlord, Phil the Neanderthal. He did not make a fuss about the fact that my rent was a week late, or that my stairwell is a fire hazard, and inquired about the problem with my air conditioning. He was here because the girls on the ground floor moved out. I will miss them. They threw away a ton of great stuff, which I recycled out of the garbage can--two silver-framed mirrors, three virgin stretched canvases, a brand-new mat cutter, a shower caddy with half a jar of lime-coconut sea-salt exfoliator, and a wool Army trench coat just my size. Oh, to have a day job which allows me to think I can afford such luxuries.

Today I am doing a Master Cleanse fast, which makes me headachy, probably from caffeine withdrawal. I decided that my ankle problem might have to do with toxicity of the liver (this is not insane, the massage therapist pointed out that my entire liver meridian is tender) and so I have quit alcohol for the time being. Went for a bike ride round Prospect Park, which I must do more frequently so I don't go into tree withdrawal again, and did a very lazy, slap-happy, distracted yoga set, pausing every three minutes to snuggle with my Big Splendid Cat. All of us missed one other.

Stopped by Barnes & Noble last night, in desperate search for the new Robin McKinley book, which I need so that I can escape my own brain for a couple more days. Realized that during the last five years (FIVE years? Five YEARS since I've had a steady job? Ack! Ack! Ack!) since I worked in a library, and have been living in other countries and not browsing the new book shelf almost daily, all my favorite authors have been busy writing more books. That's what authors do, right? Whoopee! Backlog!

Argh, I'm hungry. You're not supposed to GET hungry doing Master Cleanse, but I always do. Some people I know have done it for a month or more, but the longest I've managed is two days, in Mexico. Then at the end of the second day I broke the fast with a Baratillo steak quesadilla with tons and tons of really hot salsa. All my vegetarian friends were like, what? You broke your fast with a TACO? You're supposed to start with carrot juice, and work up to brown rice, or some such rot. Sorry, I think I'm a different SPECIES from these people.

I think I've finished the painting for the BWAC show, which has to be delivered Saturday. I don't like it too much, I don't think it's one of my best, but it's not bad enough to pull out of the show. It is supposed to surge and glitter and sparkle, and it sort of does, but not to the extent that I envisioned, and now it's in danger of being completely overworked. I need more space, so I can paint bigger and back up farther, and more time, and more money for huge canvases and brushes and paint. Well, don't we all. I should be all inspired and motivated, seeing as how I've got to go back to the shop pretty soon and start trying to earn my keep again, but all I want to do is lie on the couch and read my new Thomas Perry novel and make a bunch of macaroni and cheese. God, I hate fasting.

I've given myself a one-year ultimatum for stabilizing my finances--if income does not equal or exceed expenditures by the time my lease expires next June, I think I have to move to Maine or Philadelphia, where the licensing laws are gentler and rents are much lower. My friend Sasha vigorously tried to talk me out of this plan, over a way-too-expensive salad at the Brooklyn Diner yesterday evening. It's true that I belong here, and I don't want to go anywhere else. But I've been here two years and still am not breaking remotely even on rent and bills, let alone qualifying for a mortgage on a home of my own, even a stupid little condo which wouldn't be big enough to paint in anyway.

If I think of my current life as a one-year artist residency in New York City, maybe this will motivate me to use my time a little better, market my work a little more (I'm still terrified of gallery owners, even though I AM one) and get out of bed in the mornings. Today I actually got up after eight and a half hours of sleep, hooray. Quitting drinking is probably the secret, dammit.

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