life is so funny. so strange. right now i am baking kale chips and cookies. it’s 3am. i could blame this on my erratic work schedule, where i usually get off work around 8:30 am and go to bed around 10 am. but i haven’t worked all week, so i have nothing to blame but myself, my brain, and my life.
i am listening to pandora internet radio, set on the carpenters. the 70’s lite rock that i despised throughout my whole teen-hood is coming out of my boyfriend’s laptop. the young me would be flabbergasted: “why are you listening to this shit! ughhhh, i listen to it all day, every day, it sucks”
my dad plays the radio constantly, every room in the house set to the lite FM radio station. bland hits. resistance is futile. at one point i ranted about how much i hated it, and he said, “how the hell can ya hate a SONG?!”, completely dumbfounded at the act of hating music. a song, no matter how trite, means something to someone somewhere.
i think the young me would be disappointed in the current me in a lot of ways. this week i realized that i have been using the name ocean for NINETEEN YEARS and i still have not legally changed it. the teenage me was so certain that i’d get it changed once i turned eighteen. so sure that i’d have a new york state ID card that said the name i know to be mine, “OCEAN CAPEWELL,” in all-caps helvetica font. but i didn’t even look into it until i was twenty, to learn that it cost hundreds of dollars. at the time i was making $6 per hour, no support from anyone, struggling to pay my $210/mo rent and eat at the same time. no fucking way.
now i make twice that hourly wage, which is not a big accomplishment when adjusted for inflation and the city i live in, which is far more expensive than the one where i lived in then (although i have lucked out with absurdly cheap rent, at least for now). a legal name change for an adult in the state of california is $435, not including the cost of the newspaper announcement.
in the village voice. i used to read the legal notices. and silently wish them well. and burn with envy. i just never got my shit together. i haven’t been that poor forever, but when i had money there were other more pressing concerns. i thought i could deal with the albatross of this ill-fitting, triggering legal name. thought it wasn’t a big deal. it would hurt my parents, it would be weird to explain to people who knew me under that name (dwindling every year, mostly people from straight jobs). but now i think i might just do it. i think it’s time. i will be 31 in two weeks, i have been using this name since i was twelve. nearly 2/3rds of my life. maybe i should get hitched to myself. maybe i should make it official.
anyway, that was a tangent, and the point i was making was somewhat tangential anyway. who would have thought i’d be here, in 2013, listening to music that originally came out on vinyl shuffling through the ether, digitized and cold but somehow still so real. it’s 3:30, i’ve been baking. my friend gave me his foodbank excess which included 4 bunches of kale, which is a lot even for me, so i made some kale chips, and then figured i’d make cookies while the oven was hot, so there you go. it’s better than staring at the wall, for sure, even if it feels a little weird and slightly crazy. dear younger self, maybe you hate the music, but isn’t it nice how there are no parents to yell at us to go to bed? by far the worst thing to happen will be my boyfriend coming out to pee and asking sleepily, “oh, you’re still up?” and maybe you couldn’t have imagined the music, but could you also imagine this peace and freedom and tranquility? no, don’t even answer that, i know you can’t, because you don’t have any reference points, you’ve never experienced it anywhere really for more than a few fleeting moments, but don’t worry. someday you will have all the reference points you need. love, ocean