Yes, I realize that I can be needy at times. But I don’t know how else to act. When I’m confronted by all these illusions of interested people, and curious questions. How else am I supposed to act? When slowly trudge downstairs and find myself in the dark, flipping the lights on one by one just to make food in the lonely silence. “Transfer.” I feel as if this label has been tattooed on my forehead; like it’s a curse I’ll never be able to escape. As if everyone already put in the effort to make friends their first year of college, so why put in anymore just to get to know me? I just want someone to talk to. I don’t even need someone who will listen to my darkest fears, or questions pertaining to the future. How about some small talk over coffee? I could genuinely appreciate that. It’s funny how in a classroom setting, everyone can seem talkative, and yet no one ever wants to share that same intimacy anywhere else. I just want to bask in the realization that someone appreciates me to the point that they’ll go out of their way just to have a conversation with me. And as we play catch with what’s on our minds, I can rest easy knowing that I’m keeping the person at the other end of the table interested, hopefully as they had expected me to do so.
So as this is likely the first government shutdown in the memory of most if not all of the people posting here on tumblr (I was 8 in 1995), it might be helpful to refresh our memories on what exactly is going to happen when the federal government doesn’t have a budget.
- 800,000 federal employees have to go home. There’s no money to pay them, and coming to work on a volunteer basis gets into some tricky legal areas. While in the past they have successfully lobbied for back pay, there’s no guarantee of it with a divided congress.
- Air-traffic controllers will remain on duty. ATCs are government employees, but they are members of the 2-million odd employees that are marked as “essential”. They likely will not receive paychecks, however, until the shutdown ends.
- Airport delays. While the FAA’s security screeners are essential employees, many of the people who work to support them logistically are not.
- Visa applications and fees will continue to be processed, and foreign embassies and consulates remain open. So if you’re waiting on a visa application, don’t worry, it’s still in the works - though again, it’ll almost certainly be a slower process. Homeland Security and green card operations are included here, though DHS’ e-verify program - the thing that checks on the immigration status of job applicants - will no longer operate.
- NASA will furlough most of its employees. Essential mission control operations and employees will continue, but the vast majority of NASA employees are going home - and I do mean home, because NASA’s on-site housing for employees is being shut down.
- The military stops receiving paychecks. While the million and a half members of the US Armed Services stay on duty, they won’t get paid until after the shutdown.
- The postal service continues as normal.
- The federal court system stops. According to The Guardian, the federal courts would operate as normal for about 10 days before they have to start sending people home.
- The NIH screeches to a halt. That includes accepting new patients for clinical research, as well as answering medical questions on their hotline.
- The CDC will stop its seasonal flu program. According to the Washington Post, it will also have “a significantly reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigations.”
- HUD will no longer be able to provide local housing authorities with vouchers. So if you live in government-subsidized housing, your status is very much up in the air.
- Parks and museums will close. Yosemite, Alcatraz, Yellowstone, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Statue of Liberty, and about 400 other locations will close - though interestingly, the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon will remain open, because the state of Arizona is picking up the bill.
- The EPA will shut down. The only thing that stays open at the EPA during a government shutdown is its operations around Superfund sites.
- OSHA will shut down.
- Social Security will be partially defunded. Social Security, as an entitlement, will remain open enough to keep the checks going out, but will lose enough staff that they won’t be able to schedule new hearings.
- VA Benefits will be cut. VA hospitals remain open, but that’s about it - and if the shutdown lasts longer than a few weeks, the Department of Veterans Affairs has said that it might not have enough money to pay disability claims and pensions.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives everyone a pretty good idea of what we’re going to be looking at over the next few days, weeks, or (god forbid) months.
Feel free to send me an ask with any questions you have, and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
YES CHRISTMAS IS COMING YOU GAIZ I AM READY WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BREAK OUT THE CHRISTMAS SONGZ
In philosophy classes around America the professor will normally spend at least one day out of the school year lecturing about how if a person’s body is gradually replaced with the cells of another person’s body, then the first person will eventually become the second.
I wonder how much of my mind and body are filled with you, both literally and figuratively.
But if I could stand up there in front of a class full of sleepy, hungover college students and lecture about philosophy and unrequited love and the vindication of morals, I wouldn’t tell them that eventually they’d become someone else. I’d tell them that the person they’re currently in love with is the person they’ve always held inside of them, the person they still hold inside, and the person they always will, and that they can never escape from someone that is trapped inside their very psyche.
It’s not worth thinking about how Icarus flew; it’s more worth thinking about how he crashed into the sun after his brief moment of flight and was burned to cinders, because that’s exactly what love does to you: it ends either in flame, ice, or destruction so painful it will make you wish for oblivion.
Even getting drunk doesn’t help like it used to. There are days when I get drunk literally to get drunk figuratively off of the memories we had together, and then end up being doubly hungover. There’s nothing like a beer headache that screams Forget him, forget him at your temples all the while your heart is screaming Remember at the top of its veins.
Phantom limb syndrome is fucked, especially since I feel your arms around me all the time even when your arms are 530 miles away in an entirely different state filled with lakes I wish I could drown in if it meant never having to see you again. Feels like there’s always a gun to my head, except you have this obsession with pulling the trigger just to see my gray matter explode all over the floor, every bit of it full of my favorite memories of you. Gun violence is never acceptable, and even a hardcore conservative could see that if they fell in love with someone they want to forget.
I went to church the other morning and asked God why I couldn’t get over you. God said ask the pews, so I asked the pews and they said ask the hymn books, so I asked the hymn books and they said ask the psalms, so I asked the psalms and they said ask the words. When I asked the words they told me to ask the individual letters, and when I asked the individual letters they rearranged themselves to spell out your name.
There’s just no answering this impossible question; it’s a paradox that even the brightest minds couldn’t solve.
I think that even if the most brilliant biochemist in the world managed to find out a way to remove all my cells yet allow me to continue living, even the memories of my cells would still be filled with you.
I want to write. I want to write more and more. I want to cast out these words, fishing for any form of distraction or hope. I want to follow these trail of sentences to another world, where I can forget myself, and forget all these things that “need” to be done. I want to get lost in each letter, from the dizzying o’s to the robust n’s. But every line must be reeled in, and every road eventually leads back. Just let me float on the waters of this emotional limbo a while longer; let me follow this road until I’m running on empty.
Or maybe, I started this trek already empty.