Mario Villalobos

All Work and No Play

I went to Missoula today, exchanged a bunch of books for store credit at the Book Exchange and came away with On Beauty by Zadie Smith and Ulysses by James Joyce, then went to Hastings, looked around a bit and came away with just the Complete Stories by Franz Kafka, and finally I went to Shakespeare & Co. and bought NW by Zadie Smith, Herzog by Saul Bellow, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, two books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. When I’ll have the time to read these books I don’t know, but I like the little collection I’ve amassed over the past few weeks. I have about $20 in credit at the Book Exchange, which comes out to about 2-3 paperback books, so that’s cool. My favorite place by far is Shakespeare & Co. The other two stores are too big and less personable and I didn’t like them so much.

I’m restless. I want to go somewhere to just hang out. Ronan has nothing. I want to go to a coffee shop or some well-lit place with a couch and a bustling nightlife where I can go with my laptop and a few books and just hang out for a few hours. Even though I’m an introvert, people give me energy. I don’t need that energy all the time — god knows I can get tired of people pretty quickly — but when it’s just me 24/7 for weeks at a time, I can get pretty close to losing my mind. I know a solution to this problem is finding friends and hanging out with them, either at my place or theirs or somewhere else I don’t know exists yet, but… there is no but. I’m simply not trying hard enough. I’m still clinging to the past and want to fix those relationships I used to have that gave me this, but holy shit that’s a bad idea. I’m 29 years old and making new friends isn’t easy.

Ronan has a park. I can walk there with a book or two, sit on a swing, and read for a few hours. Maybe someone I used to know will recognize me and we can start a conversation and maybe start hanging out later. Or maybe I’ll see somebody interesting and I’ll approach this person, strike a conversation, and hang out with this person later. Who knows. Maybe I need to write again, to keep my mind occupied. Write and read and work out and write and read and work out and write and read and work out. Live my days like some lab rat in a cage. Or maybe I need to move. I’m still dreaming about grad school. Grad school could be an option. I could move to New York or Boston or even back to California. Life is limitless. All I have to do is get up off my ass and do what I need to do to ensure my happiness. I wish it was easy.