Wake up early to beat the bathroom rush at the hostel1 I’m living in and spend fifteen minutes waking up by scrolling on my phone.
Go back to sleep.
Wake up and go to the bathroom. Wait ten minutes to go in.
Decide I should do laundry, watch a classic film for research, and write ten pages of a screenplay and then a blog post.
Watch the classic film while eating breakfast.
Wait until I’ve watched half of the film until I actually pack the laundry bag.
Watch the second half before I walk to the laundromat.
Forget to bring the gallon of Tide detergent and waste some precious laundry-tokenquarters on detergent at the laundromat because I’m tired (I’ve done so much work already).
Read something beautiful in a novel while swatting a fly from my head — think I’ll finish 50 pages before I get home.
The fly doesn’t leave me alone — maybe I’ll get to 30.
The fly is gone until I realize it’s in my hair.
Laundry is done — ten pages have been read.
After I shove my laundry in my hostel locker, plan to write a blog post.
Remember I haven’t seen the rest of the last season of The Legend of Korra.
Remember I’m hungry.
Watch Korra while I eat.
Prepare to write the blog post, but realize I only have five hours until I go to sleep early for my internship2 the next morning.
Remember the internship doesn’t pay.
Question why I’m spending my parents’ money in a new city without a job.
Check my spam folder to see if a prospective employer’s response got lost.
Check job listings for anything that’s suitable.
Remember everything available would be a hassle to reach by public transport.
Consider getting a car.
Remember climate change.
Ask Google how expensive Teslas are.
Ask Google how expensive bikes are.
Remember the car crash3 I was in last time I was in LA.
Ask Google if I should leave LA.
Ask Google if my favorite filmmakers moved to LA.
Remember I have to write a blog post.
Consider the opinions I have to express about climate change, the economy, the military-industrial complex, institutional racism, women’s rights.
Feel like I would rather talk about my favorite books and/or movies.
Wonder if this is a generational problem or if I’m just selfish.
Get a phone call from a friend and talk to them for an hour.
Make beans and rice.
Watch another classic film while I eat.
Fall in love with the idea of making movies.
Ask Google how the filmmaker of the movie got started.
Write furiously on a script. Convince myself it’s perfect for about a minute before I self-doubt myself.
Hate the rewrite. Hate the script.
Remember that Orson Welles was also horrible when he started making movies.
Reread for things to change — can’t find anything bad but unsure if anything’s good.
Decide I’m going to go to sleep.
Pack up everything in my hostel locker.
Lay on my twin size top bunk bed.
Ask Google if I can make movies outside of LA.
Watch the news cover the developing story about the US’s military intervention in the Middle East.
Recall that I haven’t talked to a person in real life all day, despite being in a hostel house of fifteen.
Remember that there are bigger problems than me.
Remember to write about them.
Wonder whether I should write about them on the blog or in a script.
Wonder if I am getting read.
Realize that I’m qualifying my writing about real problems like climate change, the economy, the military-industrial complex, institutional racism, women’s rights by whether anyone will read it.
Realize that I’m selfish.
Think that things would be better if I had a job.
Recognize I need a structural change in my life.
Wonder what that change is.
The room is so hot that I have to strip to my boxers.
Think the change is to move out of the hostel.
Remember that would cost more money than I’m spending.
Think all that matters is my craft. Life will be simple that way.
Remember devoting time to helping others is just as important.
And spending time with your friends.
Take solace in the fact that life is too difficult to find the answers for in your twenties.
I stayed at one of the homes of the Loriff Management developments in LA. If you want to know what $575 a month in rent looks like in West Hollywood, it’ll most likely involve 12-15 people sharing one bathroom. ↩
Tesla, the sustainable car for a non-fossil fuel dependent future. Available for anyone with $101, 500 in their pocket. ↩
While my friends were driving me around in Orange County, they played Death Grips. Nothing really sets the stage for your car being slammed onto the curb by a speeding car behind you like the first minute of Inanimate Sensation. ↩
Saleem Gondal is a writer based in New York. You can find more of his at work on his blog, themellowdramatist.