si se puede? i can’t remember anymore.

the problem is i just can’t find it in myself to care. i thought only my brain was fried from social work, but it seems like my heart and soul have suffered from third degree burns as well. when i met up with my volunteer organization for the first time, the director told me he would be leaving to the states in a few days. his eyes went wide as saucers when he realized my bilingualacity. “we could really use a volunteer director while i’m away…” “huh,” i said, “good luck with that.” two other volunteers who had been here for a week were suckered into the interim director position, and the first couple of weeks here, i found myself getting jazzed about organizing and planning shit, and then a few hours later not wanting anything to do with it. all the feelings i had at my job in san francisco came rising up in my belly like dysentery: intense avoidance of commitments made; getting easily overwhelmed; utter boredom; indifference; frustration at the ineptitude, lack of organization, bureaucracy, and futility inherent in social service organizations. fuck it. i quickly pulled out before creating something i would abandon. there are enough orphaned babies in the world.

i positioned myself as translation and interpretation support and advisor. which generally meant i got to boss everybody around and hold no responsibility. i could handle that for a while, but recently i can’t even deal with that. volunteers get easily frustrated by lack of structure and want to have meetings with me about it. no. i see volunteers show up to teach a class with no lesson plan and wonder why the kids go ape shit. not my problem. i see us raising money and have no idea where it goes. typical. i see myself seeing rampant poverty in barrios, street children begging, pregnant 12 year olds, and lack of information and access to existing services. uninspired. is this what happens in old age? i know how to coordinate this shit. i’m still paying off loans for the training i received to do it, but somehow i just can’t bring myself to care. will it come back? i am hopeful that the body is elastic and will eventually recuperate from past damage, but i don’t see signs of this yet.

just as bad, i find myself desiring things again. strappy wedges, tank tops of every color, more shorts, pretty sandals, strapless tops, cute sundresses, another bathing suit, nail polish, hair conditioner, a better life through purchasing power. there are no used goods stores around here so the shopping mall is slowly reeling me in like a sad fish resigned to its fate. the hook is so sparkly and pretty. i want to put it in my mouth.

i haven’t forgotten why i came here, but i’m not sure what the end result should look like anymore. all i can do is resist my old urges of complacency and complicity as best i can, do the least harm possible, maintain an existence in the every day, and not force a change upon myself that i will only mutiny. but really that’s just not good enough. i know.


About trying not to touch anything

living in a space where i am half packed, or half unpacked, depending on how you look at it; going somewhere else; wanting to write about my misadventures on a planet i don't feel like i should be on

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