Escapism, Privilege, and Reading

Hello! How’s everybody doing? Hope you’re all doing well… or at least coping enough to get by.

I went to the grocery store to get supplies because I’ve been thinking of making Japanese Cotton Cheesecake for weeks now. Anyway, when I did get the ingredients, I decided not to bake. Looks like the cream cheese will end up on my toast instead. Hehe.

Metro Manila dramatically changed over the past few months. It’s unsettling. Poverty is unsettling. Privilege makes me feel guilty. I’ve been working remotely since January, I quit my job in the academe because of my ‘promotion’ (or lack thereof). I started working in a startup and saw how an employee deserves to be treated. Not everyone can leave a dead end job. I‘m in a constant state of guilt and paranoia – oscillating between toxic positivity and impending doom.

any ARMYs here?

So why didn’t I bake? Because I picked up a book and read. I’m still reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. I think it’s been a month since I started reading it and I’m still at chapter 4. The pandemic didn’t help my reading habits. It completely ruined it. I guess, it’s just one of the small things that went down the drain. But I’m trying. I’m listening to the audiobooks while arranging my island in Animal Crossing. Which reminds me: you might want to add me. Here’s my friend code: SW-0443-0198-5228.

please add me!

After a few paragraphs of Le Guin, I picked up my Switch and played again. It’s one of the few things that make sense right now. I mean, I know that it’s starting to become unhealthy. It’s the purest form of escapism right now that has the least potential to harm. But still escapism nonetheless. But you can escape with your friends. Hihi. That’s the best part.

Let’s pretend the pandemic isn’t happening as long as we have adorable background music.

Reading gives me the same feeling. Or at least, it used to. My reading habit went downhill when I started looking at it from an academic point of view. During my undergrad in Physics, there was a clear demarcation line between leisure and study. I love literature but I’m also working hard for my MFA degree, where does leisure begin and academics end? I can’t read anything without thinking in terms of ‘how can I write like this?’ or something like ‘how can I use this structure in my work?’

So there, what used to be an escape for me became something I am escaping from.

too tired to function

Please take care of yourselves! Love, Dyne 💜🥺

Parked Cars

But I have to pretend everything is fine. Lesson learned: never overcompensate with synthetic adrenaline. Forcing tedious moments to seem significant. It never is.

There’s that crash afterwards. When you realize the futility of your existence, bursts of happiness seem fake in retrospect. Turning off the ignition and the engine’s white noise stops. You’re not going anywhere anymore. You’re exactly back to when the day begun. Zero Displacement. I’m finally home.

It should’ve been relief at the prospect of the cold bed enveloping my body. I don’t want that. I just want to sit still in the garage, in a parked car.

Maybe I’m not the only one pushing an imaginary boulder in hopes of progress. I’m scared to change velocity. Maybe we all are. Don’t let temporary bliss blind that burden.