The Slander of Oblivion

Well, I’m up late because Wife has a paper due tomorrow and she couldn’t get it done on Saturday. She couldn’t get it done on Saturday when she had planned to get it done because two cops were shot and then the guy who shot them shot himself. But it wasn’t that three people were dead at a quarter of an hour before three PM on an innocuous winter Saturday in Brooklyn, it wasn’t that that kept her from writing her paper it was the helicopters and the sirens and the commotion, yellow police tape, blue police barricades, her sister reading headlines out loud, her sister on Instagram kept her from writing her paper on Saturday.

So she needs to write it now. And I tried to help her. But of course I tried to help her by writing the damn paper. I had it done in forty-five minutes. Would’ve gotten an A. She said, I look at your writing and I feel inferior and I said well that’s kind of what I do. Nobody living’s better than me, and the only dead people who could’ve written this paper better are Jane Austen and whoever wrote West With the Night (because it wasn’t Beryl Markham, please don’t say you believe that sham! Tut! And I suppose Shakespeare was Francis Bacon’s pen name?).

But anyway, now she is trying to write it herself. So I left the wine that I bought her to celebrate her having finished writing her paper, I left that wine on the desk with the label on it that says “Drink me after writing! (smiley face heart heart smiley face)” I left it there and I got myself a little glass of Amaro Montenegro and I didn’t put any ice into it and I sat down on the bed at my computer and I thought to myself I’d better work on that John Gardner exercise I never finished and write a long sentence conveying a single emotion.

And then I started to wonder just what the point of long sentences was anyway and I started reading things online, long sentences from literature and criticism of long sentences in literature by the New Yorker and I eventually came across this long sentence by Cormac McCarthy:

I spoke with bitterness about my life and I said that I would take my own part against the slander of oblivion and against the monstrous facelessness of it and that I would stand a stone in the very void where all would read my name.

Well, Wife is still not finished that paper and I don’t know how she expects to finish it. It is already done. But she wants to make sure it is perfect.

But back to that sentence.

I spoke with bitterness about my life and I said that I would take my own part against the slander of oblivion and against the monstrous facelessness of it and that I would stand a stone in the very void where all would read my name.

Well, that is not a particularly long sentence so I don’t remember how it is that my long sentence research drew me to it. But hot damn what a sentence. What an idea. The slander of oblivion? I would stand a stone in the void?

Hoo shit, well I don’t really read that motherfucker. I read No Country for Old Men but that is it.

Oh god damn it. Now Wife saw some other genius shit that I wrote and she’s literally about to cry. What the fuck? Fuck me. Good christ just send the damn paper, get an A, and go to sleep god damn it god damn it! Fuck! Ass bitch mother fucking this is some old bullshit. I want to to stand a stone on the void of my face and be crushed asunder. Flatten my eyeballs into mush and observe the comings and goings of parasitic worms. I wish I was a god damned parasitic worm. Least them motherfuckers understand life.

Now I’m standing at the punch table of life, swallowing punch, not paying attention to the sound of anyone, trying to trade barbs with oblivion, trying to make headway in an endless, indifferent sea, an eternal shoreless sea of nausea.

Good God this shit just will not end. She can’t just erase the motherfucking shit. She saw it so now it is effecting what she is trying to say, it’s polluted her crystal clear writing process, it’s polluting…I just want to say this:


That is all.

Yeah this shit just won’t end. I am a little over a third of the way through Sense and Sensibility. Elinor sees Edward’s marriage to Lucy Steele as an eternal hell which he can’t escape. He entered that hell at the age of 19, thinking it was paradise. But the mind is it’s own place, and can make a hell of heaven, or a heaven of hell. I suppose you know what a Pandemonium is? It’s the place where all the demons live, and John Milton invented it. So actually, what I did there was I told you that I supposed you knew, but then acted as if I did not suppose you knew. Every night and every morn, some to misery are born. Every day and every night, some are born to sweet delight.

But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul, is to be expunged: this I shall do, by printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid.

I don’t even have the strength to understand that. I don’t even know why I think it’s cool. Why it sounds good to me. She’s still at it. It’s going on an hour now since she woke up from her thirty minute nap and ate some cheese on toasted bread, some expensive cheese that she had put on the stove and waited for it to get runny but it’s always so god damn cold in this apartment so it never actually melted.

The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

Ever see that movie, Dead Man? Neil Young and Jim Jarmusch. Was the first time I heard of either of them. Well, not heard, but first time I took an interest in them. Other than that Neil Young was just a guy I heard about in a Lynard Skynard song. And I had a friend long ago who told me that his band was mostly “Neil Young worship.” I wonder if you combined Neil Young’s voice with Jimi Hendrix voice if you’d get something worth listening to while they played their steely steely guitars. I wonder if they could have killed the beast.

Was it leviathan they were eating? Most likely. Most bloodly likely. We are still here, still here, she is hunched over like some kind of ancient scholar.

I was running at the gym and I made the mistake of picking a treadmill with a TV directly on it. I was already on the treadmill by the time I noticed there was a TV, so I said fuck it. But as I was running I realized that COPS was on. I hate that show. I don’t hate cops, but I do hate that show with a passion.

Why do they only arrest whores and druggies on that show? These people aren’t even violent whores or druggies. They are so clearly not hurting anyone. They get picked up in a truck and then they get arrested for whoring. Inevitably some small bag of what looks like police-grade “dope” falls out of the whore’s ass-crack and then it’s “When was the last time you were arrested?” “Got anything else up that ass-crack of yours? Smith and Wesson .38 special? Bazooka? Nuclear bomb?” Ho ho. Motherfucking bullshit ass TV cops. Then some drug dealer they throw his ass to the ground. “I ain’t fightin’ you,” he says over and over again and they show this shit on TV. And they cuff the motherfucker and search his ass-crack for that same dope they took off the whore. Made for TV dope. Man, fuck. I know cops got it rough, especially today because yesterday two of ’em got assassinated and if I came into work and they were like hey two of us were assassinated so now we got to pick up some shifts &c. I’d be like time to find a new job motherfucker but shit! Who is watching COPS the TV show and saying, hell yeah, them boys in blue, fucking A bro. Funny because I remember watching that shit as a kid. But I don’t remember it being all illiterate whores and balding druggies. I remember them chasing motherfuckers over fences and down interstates. You’d think they’d be getting more extreme as time went on but they seem to be getting lazy and malevolent towards iliterate whores. You think that whore wants to be retarded? She doesn’t, christ, just leave her alone, fuck, you think she picked this miserable life? None of us did, you fucking weird TV cops. God damn it! Need to get that shit off the air, for real. I wonder how cops feel about that shit.

Anyway soon as the cop went down yesterday these assholes were scrambling around trying to find out why he was a god damned international terrorist. He’s been reading the Koran! No wonder he drove three hours North to a housing project in Brooklyn and shot two random police officers in a car! Makes perfect fucking sense doesn’t it? He’s pissed we’re taking his oil! The fuck! He’s a god damned terrorist! With his belief in whatever the fuck he believes in…not eating after Christmas or something I don’t know. Shit! How could he not shoot two cops only and then shoot himself. It was the perfect crime! I mean terrorist plot!

Ho ho fuck if I know.

All I know is the mother fucker wasn’t a terrorist. Mother fucker was crazy is all I know. Mother fucker should’ve stayed home in Baltimore, leastways Wife could have gotten her god damned paper done, shit! Leastways, I can’t stop myself, leastways them boys could’ve been home for Christmas.

I’ll be home for Christmas, god damn it, less I get shot in the side of the face by a terrorist! Yeah I love that song so that is probably why I am going home for Christmas. I got wife to agree to spend Christmas Eve with her family and then Christmas Day with mine, but then a couple days ago she dropped on me that we won’t be leaving her parents until noon, which means we won’t get to my parents’ house until four or later, which means we are not spending our time like she had portrayed.

Sorry that last sentence was awful, I’m actually about to fall the fuck asleep sitting here, waiting for her to finish that unfinishable paper. Perhaps that paper is her End of the World, she is sitting there reading the paper as it’s already been written in her mind, an infinite loop plays, infinity of the very small, and for the rest of us time goes as normal, she’s been dead for hours.

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