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Long Summer Months

I have hated this summer.

I resent the house because working on it causes way too much physical pain for too little progress. I hate using the sink in the bathroom, as it reminds me of the time and pain wasted on a sink that still isn't to code. I hate the kitchen, with various things incomplete or missing. I really despise the hallway, where there's no flooring and the open closet is a mess from water damage.

The house is much too small "per floor" since I can no longer use the stairs without wanting to scream in pain. This means my exercise bike, many books, my desk, and much of my writings are out of reach for me. I'm not about to use the stairs if I can avoid them. It was bad enough on my back for the three weeks essential items were downstairs.

I want a house that is "normal" to my experiences: a nice, Southwest-style home with a single large floor. No stairs. An attached garage, too.

The location bothers me. A lot. I hate driving any more than I must, even though I feel trapped being in the house day after day. I don't like the outdoors, which are claustrophobia inducing. The homes are too close to each other and the streets too narrow. The closest place I might want to be is in St. Paul, where two bookstores are on the same street. But, the street is too busy with cars and I don't feel safe riding my scooter in the area.

I am worried about not passing my oral exams on the first try. I must, must, must pass my doctoral exams so I can write my dissertation as quickly as possible. I cannot fail. I'm sick of failing. I want out of here, and that Ph.D is my ticket to something better.

I hate waking up here. I'm depressed, drained, sore, and miserable. I can barely move some mornings. Most days, I try to stay in my bedroom to work for as many hours as possible. I don't want to see outside. I don't want to be reminded I am here, in the middle of Hell. Once I see
outside, I get so depressed I shake.

I belong somewhere else. Somewhere where I can sit in a quiet bookstore and write. The bookstores here aren't conducive to sitting and writing. Well, all but for one B&N. Ironically, the B&N in the Mall of America is quiet in the cafe area. It's an ideal oasis from life. I wish I could locate an equally quiet bookstore with cafe area outside a mall -- but it is so cold here during the winter that things need to be enclosed in malls.

There are 23 months or fewer left. I have to make it. But it is getting harder and harder each month. I hate life here more and more. I hate more about Minnesota with each passing week.

Don't try to tell me its a "Top Ten" city on various lists. Those lists mean nothing to my lifestyle or needs. I don't attend huge theatrical productions, expensive professional sporting events, or hang out in clubs. I want peace and quiet. I want drives in mountains, time at a beach, and most of all... space. Lots of space between me and everyone else.

The cooler weather during the summer is the only positive. That's it. One positive. And since I can't be outside here without feeling like things are closing in on me, that's not much.

Too much time here is leaving me the most isolated I have ever felt. My writing has suffered, my sanity has suffered, and certainly my health has suffered.

I really do need to leave as soon as possible.


  1. Hallo Wyatt,

    I stumbled upon a link of yours at when searching 'zeal' using google.

    I searched this word because I am an Indonesian. English is my second language not a second one, because I love this language and I was more fluent than my peers even before I was admitted to the best English Literature faculty in my country.

    At your words grasped my attention. I continued reading the pages and, aside from admiring your achievement, was surprised that to some extent your life is just like me.

    In Indonesia people don't get good educations and decent jobs without some privileges. My parents were teachers and they could not afford me a computer. I witnessed the early development of computer technology since RadioShack in 1983 (in Indonesia) before DOS . But I had my first computing experience when I borrowed my friend's handheld BASIC-dedicated Casio microComputer during the last year of high school in 1986. That was when I learned BASIC not a real BASIC, though.

    Only very few people had access to computing technology in Indonesia at the moment. And I guess I was lucky. I encountered 8086, or XT compatible computers in the first years at the university. Computer courses began to flourish but I chose to educate myself by reading books. So, I witnessed the advent of windowing environment in PC ever since MSWindows version 1.0.

    But my passion aside from computing is writing in English. But only a couple of friends of mine respond to this hobby of mine. I enjoy reading the works of Paul Theroux, an American writer; a protege of the recent literature nobel laurate, VS Naipaul. I love their works.

    Now, I work in a pest control company. I wrote program for customers database and created the company website. I use VisualBasic, Filemaker, on PC, and I master less languages than you do. But above all, in the company my vital role is that I am the only negotiator for foreign jobs which we often get.

    When my writing lacks audience, my reading hobby is only satisfied by Scientific American, Discover, National Geographic, (no more BYTE) which I buy used at less than one buck. Works of Theroux or Naipaul are impossible to find in used bookstore; buying them online would cost me half of my salary. With a wife and two sons I have my priority.

    Anyway, to me you're as healthy as a cow on green pasture. Don't break. Fight for the cause. God Bless You, as the reality is and the way you are. We are at the Mercy of His Humour, and let us humour others in turn.

    Cordially yours,

    Hilarion Satriyo

  2. The best thing I ever did was move to Maine. We moved here in 1997.

    We are rural, can't see our neighbors from the yard, have 3 acres of wooded land. It is so nice and quiet here, you aren't bombarded by car noise. I don't have to go to the mall, maybe go 2 times a year at the most for the kids. I can hide out in my beautiful backyard, or go to the seashore, I find the ones less visited, or go to the mountains. I hate shopping, of all kinds. Here, it is the least painful, and at least the noise level isn't like when I grew up in SoCal. The stores are pretty small and there is only one mall in Portland. All the stores are individual buildings, I don't get as overwhelmed like in the malls in SoCal. My stress levels are so low. I had no idea how stressed I was living and growing up in SoCal until I moved here. I will never move back to a city. I consider this paradise.

    My husband drags me to the occasional music theater or movie, but for the most part, I let him go with work friends or with his best friend.

    We go to Moosehead Lake and rent a cabin on the lake every summer for a week, absolutely gorgeous, don't have to talk to anyone but my kids and husband, and his best friend who is an "uncle" and like family. The sounds of nature, the view of the sun coming up over the lake, out on the water, hiking, swimming, very relaxing!

    I hope you can find a place that soothes your body and soul.


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