What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

Wednesday “What Now” #4


I wrote yesterday, so I’m just going to dive in today. No witty attempts at repartee to serve as an introduction. Just four points, quick and dirty…

1) On Monday, my computer claimed that it reached up to 14°C—or about 60°F, for the metrically disinclined—in Kyiv, and thus, likely around that temperature here in Rivne.  Monday was blue and cloudless and full of light, and it was the first time I’ve noticed, first time I’ve really felt, that 250,000 people actually live in this city.  To be honest, I’ve never really liked masses, crowds of people (and that’s why I was a security guard…obviously), but it’s great to see that this city isn’t just a collection of buildings.  I’ve always loved the first sprinklings of spring: at Wabash, the first warm days brought out frisbees and beer pong tables; here, it’s more like soccer (foot-) balls and couples making out on benches, but the idea is the same.  It’s cliche to call spring the time of rebirth, but at the very least there has been an explosion of life, of living, in the past two days and it’s heartening, though I still get comments for not wearing a coat (winter is NOT over, don’t you know?)…now if only the trees would take note and get with the program…

2) At the request of a certain someone who likes the show very much, I have been watching the first season of Dexter over the past week or so. Dexter is the story of a sociopathic serial killer/forensic scientist who was trained by his adopted father to channel his urges, his hunger for blood, into a sort of vigilante justice: he only kills people who, without any doubt, deserve it.  At first, I was quite put off by the grimness of the show; as a general rule, I try to avoid shows and movies that seem too real, that don’t seem to be redemptive of some quality of life.  I think, also, I was attracted to Dexter’s calm control, to his inability to feel (emotional pain) and his utter rationality…and this attraction was disconcerting to me.  Maybe it’s something that we all want at some time or another: a true imperviousness to pain.  But, despite these early negative emotions, I didn’t stop watching when I wanted to after the second episode.  I gave Dexter a chance to surprise me…and while I have to admit that I still don’t really like the “hero” all that much most of the time (I think that’s the point…I don’t often really “like” House either), the show is ultimately rewarding and at least a little redeeming: though I think I would want to be completely pain-free, emotionless, it is the moments when Dexter’s facade cracks, the moments of subtle facial tics and telling eyes, that really draw me into the show.  I want to see if Dexter can ever be saved, if he can ever learn to feel, and so I’ll keep watching…at the very least, I’ll get some brownie points with Bean.

3) It’s no secret that I fell on my computer a few weeks ago.  The pictures are on Facebook and since most (2 out of 3 total) of you probably came over here from a link on that site, you have probably seen the damage.  When it happened, I immediately ran out and bought a monitor with the rationalization that I absolutely had to, at that very moment, check to see if the computer itself was broken or if it was only the screen.  It was only the screen.  To be truthful, it is a very nice monitor—much nicer than the one actually attached to the laptop (which blinked and flickered and was a general nuisance until I figured out how to turn it off).  To be more truthful, it was an impulsive and poorly though out purchase.  The main problem: I have to carry it back and forth with me to school if I want to use my computer there, BUT it is too big to carry in any of the bags that I have now.  So, for the past three weeks, I have been carting my monitor around in a box, under my arm, drawing stares and suspicious glances of people thinking I robbed some place.  This is actually okay for the moment; my dorm is literally 1 minutes walk from the main uni building.  But, I may soon move to a nicer place further away, at which time, carting around a semi-fragile piece of electronics equipment will be an incredible hassle.  I know there are easier solutions to this, but none of them fit the lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to living.  Yes, I could just use the computer sitting behind me, right this moment, but my computer is better, it’s faster and has better graphics, and it’s set up how I want it.  Yes, I could just leave my monitor here in the tech center, but then I wouldn’t be able to use my computer, which with it’s attendant videos, is my sole source of entertainment in this country.  Yes, I could just buy either another monitor or an entirely new computer…no, wait…I can not buy either of those as I can not buy much of anything.  SO, I need some suggestions from my (3) readers.  Anyone know where I can get a babusya bag with a secret 20″ padded compartment???

4) On a more serious note, I’ve been thinking about life and people a lot lately…maybe because it’s fairly impossible for a life writer to not write about (and thus think about) life and people.  Here’s something that I’ve been working over in my mind for months—a sort of burgeoning personal philosophy—but only actually wrote down yesterday.

We are all of us broken, no one remains untouched, uncracked, not a one.  And it is the way you approach this immutable fact, the way you deal with your cracks, that determines the type of person you are and the type you will always be.  Will you accept your brokenness, and seeing it in others, will you grab your salve and your bandages and go to work, just go out there and serve…


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  • Brownie points, yes, but you don’t get your Dexter patch for your vest until you have watched through season 4 🙂

What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com





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