August 5, 2020

We (Danni, Caitlin, and I) need to get a copy of our lease notarized, but the cat, Rockstar, (affectionately named Pukestar) puked on our copy, so we might need to print another one. I woke up this morning. Caitlin made coffee. I dialed Washington ESD non-stop from 7:55 to 8:10. I only dialed 87 times today, down from ~200 attempts on monday. I need to call every week to receive benefits because my account is fucked and I need someone with sufficient admin privileges to grant me access.

I\’m listening to Educated by Tara Westover. I envy her success in spite of her circumstances. She had it worse than I did, and she did more with it than I could.
All is void.
I guess a bad mood is coming over me again.
I think I finally learned how to sharpen knives. I have gotten two of our kitchen knives sharp enough to very easily shave with. I cut a chicken thigh yesterday, and it was like cutting through semi-cold butter with an average kitchen knife. 
I don\’t know how old I was when Shawn Sather tried to teach me how to sharpen a knife. I must have been fourteen. We sat in his kitchen, and he told me everything. He just kind of left me with with a knife and a whetstone. I didn\’t get it. It didn\’t click. I remember not feeling present when he was trying to teach me. I was in that headspace where I was really detached and alienated from myself; I couldn\’t really feel my body; my vision was hazy; my legs felt weak.
I think I still have the whetstone he gave me wrapped in a leather sleeve he made for it. I also remember lines that he said:
\”This whetstone is particularly hard. It\’s from a hard rock vein. There\’s not much of this particular stone.\”
\”When I was your age I sharpened shurikens for hours and hours. I tried throwing them at a neighborhood cat with a friend of mine. We never got the cat.\”
\”This [knife sharpening] is a dying art.\” He said that with a deep sense of sadness.
I\’m surprised I could only pull up three lines. It felt as if there was a lot more floating around my head. But there it is. 
I\’ve been wanting to learn this for a long time now. I tried learning sometime in 2018. I bought my stones in a frantic, impulsive Amazon purchase while I was still in school. But I couldn\’t get it back then for some reason. Then I tried again when I was at Kris\’ former house in Index, and I fixed the edge on a Benchmade that Shawn gave me back then. Then I really got the hang of it this week. It must have taken less than a total of twenty hours of practice to get here—a satisfying place.
Why now? Why was I able to learn now? Was it just time and effort? Did I just need to let those lessons sit on the back burner?
There is a mystical side of me that says that it has something to do with my relationship to matter. I have learned to approach matter in a way that I can work with it in useful ways.
What is matter? How do I make it better?
I went on a walk this morning from Lower Queen Anne to Upper Queen Anne. I struggled with a familiar feeling of being inferior—a useless misfit, a sentient piece of slag, a failed permutation.
I tried to wear the feeling like a crown, an excess, a flourish.
I am worried that I am becoming useless. I feel like I am growing away from the standard culture. But I don\’t know where I am growing. Am I growing up? Am I branching off only to be plucked off and cast away into an abandoned scrap heap? Am I the vanguard, leading the charge in cultural change? Am I a piece of shit?
Better to ask—Am I living the good life?

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