The Difference Between Me and Kim Kardashian

NY Lotto claims to make New Yorkers rich.
Here is an urban setting with a building and a NY lotto advertisement that claims to make New Yorkers rich.

That Wall Street game tho

I’m getting really good at typing shit on my phone. It is an ideal writing method because I can write anywhere and, unlike with a laptop, I can hold the phone so that people can’t read what I’m writing.

I want everyone to read what I’ve written, but unlike Sal Paradise, I don’t want anyone to watch what I’m writing.

I can’t write when people might be watching because I always play to the audience. Any audience will do. I change everything from my voice and cadence to my opinions. Why? The simplest answer may be true, and that answer is that I’m seeking approval all the time. There may be a deeper answer.

But let’s not delve at this time.

People say that everyone is basically the same, that we focus on what makes us different from one another, but the sum of those differences is very minute compared to what makes us the same.

Who knows.

I like to think that I am special, even if it means that what makes me special is that I am the biggest attention whore the world has ever seen. The difference between me and Kim Kardashian is motivation, body measurements, and pretty much a lot of things but if I wasn’t lazy and was smarter and beautiful I would do what Kim Kardashian is doing. I want everyone to look at me all the time.

Well, except when I’m writing.

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Three Hours of Typing / Twenty Minutes of Writing

My new routine is get up, do chores, sit in front of the computer for four hours organizing my notes on Evernote and telling myself I’m doing some deep thinking here.

I just wrote some new stuff for my Trapper John story, and I guess that was twenty minutes out of the time that I spent messing around on my computer. I guess I’m kind of conflicted about this whole thing because on the one hand, I’m having a mental battle against all these ideas about productivity I put together over the years and on the other hand I spend all this time thinking and then when it’s time to go to work I feel like I wasted my time. I guess I should stop trusting my feelings. Twenty minutes on a story I wrote last year is a good thing if I ever actually publish the damn thing.

I want to stop there and say, is publication the goal, or is making a good story the goal? Well, there is no goal, and if you stop to ask what the goal for everything is, you eventually ask until you get back to the beginning of time and you wonder why we’re all really alive anyway, and that question never makes me feel any better. I’m thinking I should base my life on something arbitrary, like money, say, and leave it at that.

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Williamsburg is a hotbed of highly manipulated botanical installations

In that case, yes, publication is the goal. I will make someone else publish this goddamn story somewhere. I don’t care if it’s the most rinkidink-ass shit you never heard of. If you’ve got any suggestions, let me know.

I changed it so there aren’t any cops in the story, just a mob of people that want this John the Trapper guy dead because he’s clearly weird and a guy has mysteriously died. Marley is a necromancer who is worried what the dead guy, Snoops, will be capable of if he comes back from the dead. It’s all based around the scene at the pub with the cat shit bag delivery.

I don’t know what the market is for this kind of story since I understand nothing about markets. I’m going to change that, though, by God, I’m going to become a goddamn master of the markets. I’m going to be a corporate tycoon. I’m going to sail my skyscraper across the nations, making weird valleys and phantasmagorical ridges as I raze the landscape like a giant, vindictive glacier.

I’m Working On Creative Type Shit Y’all

Today I worked on my Trapper John story. I posted my first draft on Hijacked Amygdala a few months ago or something like that, thinking that I would never get around to revising it. As I stared at it again I couldn’t imagine how to begin.

Dave Kingsbury posted a George Saunders piece a while back which talks about just trying to make a sentence better and better out of respect for the reader.

Perhaps I lack respect for my audience, and maybe that has to do with my warped view of humanity, brought about in part by the bullshit that goes on at the restaurant.

So this all ties in to my idea of feeling kindness towards others, no matter how stupid they are and things like that.

Not to say that you’re stupid for reading this, of course! Present company excluded, as we say! Ahem!

Anyway, Saunders talks about how things happen when you slowly try to improve small pieces of the greater work. Maybe I will eventually find something about this story that makes it worth reading.

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As it stands, there are two very funny scenes, so if I could just make those work in some kind of context…or even better make the rest of the story as good as those two scenes, then we’ll be on to something.

And if I can figure out how to make pictures and text work together, we’ll be onto something good with this whole picture thing, too.

Whatever Happened to Leon Trotsky?

What’s good? I been drinking too much again. I have not been writing too much, but what I have been writing I’ve been writing with pencils. I went to the pencil store and got some pencils. It’s summer and I’ve had a lot of visitors. I woke up this morning with that vague feeling that I’d embarrassed myself again. Achievement, success, is the goal of life! I always took issue with that statement but I’m starting to give in. Nothing else thrills as much.

I’m just going to have to go back to being vague again, and I thank you for reading, because even I don’t know what it means.

I Was Going to Say Something, Then I Changed My Mind

There are so many things written about restaurant staff. A lot of things I read overplay one or two aspects of the job and are very confident that this happens in all restaurants. There are many kinds of restaurants. I don’t know where people get the bravado to generalize so conclusively.

I would like to write about waiting tables. Sometimes I think about it. There are a lot of good characters and situations. The situations are often a challenge to capture with words, however, that’s not the main reason I have so far refrained from trying. Writing about restaurants is a little like writing about a disaffected young man in that it’s already been done and overdone, sometimes successfully and sometimes poorly—mostly poorly.

I started to write a post about the restaurant where I work, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what servers are called in the King’s English, so I looked that up. That brought me to an article about restaurant staff and twenty-six things they know about you. And that article was very true about one kind of restaurant, or maybe even one restaurant, but it claimed to speak for all restaurants.

I don’t identify primarily as a restaurant employee, but it was annoying all the same.

And then I realized that I have to stop getting annoyed so easily and just try to have fun.

My New Novel Idea

Ben and Lucas were in a cafe near the White House. Ben had his feet on the table. Lucas was drumming on his thighs.

Lucas said, “I know exactly what I’m going to do.”

Ben said, “Those aren’t words you hear very often.”

“I’m going to drive a fast car from here to California.”

“Boring.”

“Yeah, nevermind. I have no idea what I’m going to do.”

“Those are words you hear very often.”

“Dammit I want to do something!”

“Do anything, as long as it’s not boring.”

“That’s the problem!”

“Why do you always shout?”

“I don’t need this shit.” Lucas got up and walked outside.

Brian paid the bill and followed. He said, “Hey look, we’re two guys, right? Able bodied. Hetero sexual. Pretty good looking. Have normal traits. You know what we should do?”

“What?”

“Not be in a fucking book.”

The Locusts Have No King, Yet They All Advance in Ranks

New post time, bitches. I’m at the Best Western in Burlington, Vermont. I’m drinking on some nasty ass hotel room coffee and listening to some antiquated ass classical music. I got the curtains drawn and the lights on and the headphones in and I am ready to write some shit. Fucking A. I think it was Gertrude Stein who said that being a genius takes a lot of doing nothing for long periods of time, and what I got to do to get ready, as I’ve had time to figure out these last couple weeks, to write, is to do a whole lot of nothing, wasting time type shit.

This morning, after wasting a bunch of time eating soggy Frosted Flakes and staring sidelong at these weird hockey families that are in town for some kind of weird hockey type shit, I came upstairs to my room and wondered if the Gideons still held sway in this part of the country. I pulled the drawer to the bedside table open and, sure enough, them mother fuckers been through here.

When I was a kid and a Christian, I used to read Proverbs all the time. I think that’s how I got to be smarter than my parents. Proverbs says you should shut the fuck up, invite criticism, avoid bitches, and work hard. I only learned how to do the first one, but that was good enough to make me look smarter than a lot of people, and if you aren’t always talking you can learn some shit. Maybe you start writing some shit down. Proverbs also says stay the hell out of debt but I did not even try to listen to that one. What a bitch!

Anyway, this morning I read the whole damn book. I remember thinking when I was a kid what a drag it was to read the bible. Man I read that shit this morning and that shit was fucking deep, homie. Of course I know which book to read, though, because Leviticus and Galatians is a Wednesday plate of stewed cabbage. Yeah I read that whole shit and copied down like twenty really good Proverbs. Check this one out “The heart knows it’s own bitterness, a stranger does not share in its joy.” What you know about that?

Shit I got through the whole book of Solomon’s platitudes and I said fuck it, might as well read my all time favorite book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes. I would recommend you read that shit today. That’s when Solomon was so old and dried up he started calling himself The Preacher, and that’s when he realized that after all this trouble he went through to store up wisdom, the same thing happens to the fool and the wise man. He said in Ecclesiastes, “For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow,” which is some commonplace shit, but check this one out (this is actually in the mother fucking bible, kid!) “Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.” Ha! What a crazy ass.

Anyway, that’s what I did. Then I jerked off to an American Apparel ad and ate a stale Reuben sandwich.

Abnormally Peaceful Badgers

Yesterday right before I was about to leave work, they asked if I could stick around for another shift. I really did not want to do it at all, even though i knew I had nothing to really do, besides try to write something for three hours, and i really need the money. So I had to take a few deep breaths and then I accepted it. It was fine, and then when I got off work I felt a lot better than I felt the night before, when I just tried and tried to write something. I did end up writing something that night, by the way. It was this weird vignette about a guy whose dad made him build a porch when he was eight years old and he mangled it up so it looked like an MC Escher etching and then later in life he looks at it and almost trips over a family of abnormally peaceful badgers. Sounds more like a dream I had then something I wrote in full consciousness. I dreamt last night that I had taken charge of a diseased leopard in order to get a few free steaks in the mail. Totally worth it.

I was thinking maybe I’ll just have to write really fast and try to finish stories in one go, that way I don’t lose interest in them. Like now I don’t want to write about those goddamn badgers, what the hell was I thinking? Or that road trip I put in ten thousand words on, that shit was fun to read but I don’t know what to say about it now. Guess I’ll just have to push myself.

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:

Effluvia

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.