My City Was Gone

It’s pretty outside today but my feet are cold. I left the door open earlier and it hasn’t warmed up. It’s me and the animals and the rest of the world on the other side of the balcony.

You ever wake up and remember that you went to sleep, but you did it in a bad way. You pulled your arm muscle, let’s say, and you woke up and it was gone? Today it was as if I woke up and the whole world was a pulled ligament.

I remember that time in Cleveland, with John Ray and the rest of the Rust Bucket Henchmen walking across the bridge and talking about e-commerce. That was a time in the nineties and the world could have been ours, but we were in Cleveland. John Ray’s girlfriend went to Clemson later and stopped being his girlfriend. John Ray got a job at a gym. He’s probably in good shape. I dreamed I saw him and his sister. I liked his sister a lot. She was older than he was and I was older than she was and I saw her in my dream I said, “Hey, I was sorry to hear about your father’s death.” We were in my parent’s kitchen.

I remember we went over to Cincinnati and pretended it was a big deal. I went to Hooter’s for the first time and it was even worse than I thought it would be. When I was a kid my grandmother would joke about going to Hooter’s. I always thought it was just a bar. I didn’t really have a good concept of what a bar was.

You ever wake up and start making your bed before you got out of it? You ever live your life in fear of what actually happened every day? You ever plan for every contingency? You ever design a cage for a rat? You crawl inside, and you think about things sometimes. It’s comfy sometimes when you’ve built it right, and maybe you can see the clouds on the back of your eyelids and your eyes get crusty after a while and you remember you went to sleep. You ever do that?

I remember pretending I would be there for John Ray, but I only liked his girlfriend and his sister, and he was a good guy too but I was only pretending. And then one day the whole city was gone.

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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.

Playing Cars

I have worked a lot the last few days and it’s funny to me how the more I work the less I dread working. When I have days off I don’t want to go back to work, but when I work long hours all in a row, I don’t mind going to work at all. It feels more natural. I wish I could stop dreading going to work for good.

This time in my life, it’s never going to get more open than this. There may have been times in my life when I had more options than I do now, but those times will not come again and I know that I am in a time right now that I will look back on as a time when many roads were stretching out in front of me.

I remember I used to want to play cars with my sister. I don’t even know what that means any more. I have no idea how to play cars in a way that makes you sure that you are playing cars. I have no concept of what makes a person yearn to play cars with another person. She would never play cars with me and I was always upset about it. I didn’t have a brother and my dad was busy working and had probably forgotten how to play cars in a satisfactory manner as well. It seems like now the most important thing in my life in those days, I guess I was 9 or 10, was playing cars. It’s funny how you have no idea what the hell life is all about when you’re younger. Not what it’s all about, but rather, what the hell you have to do in life. Because life is probably more about playing cars than going to work, but life isn’t made up of what it’s all about.

Yeah but what I mean is I’d better take advantage of this time before I have a kid or something. Or before I break my legs or become paralyzed from some rare disease or even contract ebola. Or get strapped with some kind of financial burden that I just can’t crawl out of. Or get arthritis or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or amnesia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Maybe if I just keep telling myself to do something I’ll be able to convince my 94 year old dying self that my life was worthwhile.

The Desire to Write Grows With Writing

That’s a quote from something Erasmus that popped up after I posted yesterday. It’s true I think. The more I write the more I want to write. But I wonder when this Erasmus wrote that. Did he mean to say that the more one writes the more they want to write or did he mean something else…since maybe he wrote that before many people can write.

It’s amazing to think that, aside from the obviously crazy fact that anyone can publish anything, to think that everyone or basically everyone can read and write now. It’s a much different world. And crazy for the kids, our kids, who will have access to all of our histories in detail so rich I don’t know how they’ll handle it. Probably just ignore most of it I guess as they’ll be bombarded with their own pictures and such and obsessed with their own lives. Then again obsession with yourself could lead to reading the history of your family.

My feet are so cold. The ground out there is colder than ice. My coworker is trying to get me to cover for him again. He just texts me things like “Do it.” He sounds really mean in his texts and then acts really nice in person…except when he doesn’t. He’s like some kind of emotional bully.

I’ve been thinking of something I tell myself when the shit hits the fan at work: Embrace the chaos. I forget where I heard that first, or read it first, maybe it was in this book about finding the right career for yourself by wandering called “You Majored in What?” But anyway, maybe that’s what I have to do in life. I often feel like I’m not getting the things done I should, like I haven’t called my parents and other people, and I feel like these things build up and are going to come back and bite me in the ass. But that’s how I feel on a smaller scale a lot of the time during dinner service, but if I just go with it, embracing the chaos of the immediate moment, somehow at the end of the night everything gets done. Some people leave unhappy with the service I suppose but most people are A-OK.

I also looked at Seth Godin’s blog yesterday and today, after it came up in my post yesterday. And I started getting discouraged. All of his posts have genius ideas in them. And he always makes me feel like I should do more. I should “ship” something. And I suppose he’s right. And I was sure he was right yesterday and this morning and I was getting more and more down on myself. I thought, “This essay thing will never work. Nobody cares about it. It pretty much sucks since a thousand people have already said exactly what I’m going to say. There’s probably thirty books out on the front table at Barnes and Noble with this exact story in them. I should do something people are actually going to be interested in…like…shit…fuck I don’t know anything that interests anyone! How could I possibly think I could entertain or inform anyone when I haven’t done shit with my life!” This isn’t Seth Godin’s intention I’m sure. Probably he’d rather I did the opposite and actually create something, if I asked him his opinion on the matter and he had time to answer. But for some reason, this is how his blog effects me. And not only that, there are so many good ideas one right after the other, that my feeble mind can’t keep track of all of them, and in the end I don’t remember a single thing! Or so it seems. I do remember if I really think about it, some things, but the effect of all those brilliant ideas one after another like a machine gun is daunting and I lose track of the one really good idea I got when I first started reading. Of course he posts only once a day unlike me, so if you follow the blog every day you’ll have all day to consider each idea. But anyway.

Some needs we cannot ignore. Like I just walked into my house with the bottoms of my pants wet and my feet cold and starving hungry but I didn’t worry about any of that. I didn’t hardly take my coat of just sat down and started writing. Until I suddenly had to use the bathroom like a mother fucker. And I couldn’t ignore that. And while I was away from the computer I changed my pants put on some slippers and threw these hand warmers in there, too. Never used them before and the idea just struck me. I’ve had them around for years, my mom got them for me as a Christmas gift. So fuck it.

Also, maybe the reason I haven’t gotten anything written is that I don’t have an editor. Maybe if I had an editor who got on me about deadlines and also took everything I typed and made some kind of sense out of it, like Hunter Thompson’s editor did for him, and Thomas Wolfe’s did for him, then maybe I could have some reputable shit.

But back to whatever I was talking about before. Yeah so I was getting discouraged and finally I said to myself, Fuck it. You came in this game with nothing and you found out some interesting shit and you’re writing more than you’ve written in a long time. You’ve been reading Seth’s blog for five years and it never once gave you the satisfaction that you’ve gotten these last two weeks of blogging yourself. The infuriating thing is that everything I say to myself, I can hear Seth Godin saying, “That’s what I was saying all along!” I know I know Christ! Just let me have my own moment okay fuck! Jesus got damn it mother fucker I can’t get any peace around here! All these mother fuckers in my head talking nonsense. In all probability I will never have a real conversation with Seth Godin and yet I can’t type some shit that I feel without deferring to him and apologizing in advance.

It’s like a curse. I always try to see both sides of an argument, and therefore I never argue. Even when arguing would be healthy and productive.

Also I lie a lot, like everyone, to keep up appearances. Even to an extreme degree. Like my parents don’t know that I’m not a hardcore evangelical Christian. And it’s strange that I have this memory of getting in trouble and my dad asking me why I didn’t do some chore or other, and I worked up my courage and said, “I didn’t feel like it.” I didn’t say it smart, because I was afraid as fuck of my dad, but I really wanted to answer his question honestly. Damn it my parents were always asking, “Why did you do that? Answer me! Why?” I don’t know! “You don’t know? You don’t know! I’m going to don’t know your butt!” So I thought that time, shit, I’m going to god damn well answer him. So I thought about why I didn’t do the chore and all I could come up with was that I didn’t feel like doing it, honestly. So I said that and he was SUPER PISSED. He put me in my room for the rest of the day and whatever else and I remember walking around my room crying saying to myself ” at least I was honest! I was just trying to be honest!” Ha my childhood looks pretty tragic when you put it like that. But for whatever reason that stayed with me, I was like eight or something, and now it would be nice to link my penchant for lying with the discovery I apparently made that day about what being honest gets you. I lie all the time now and no one ever gets mad at me. They would if I didn’t lie because then they would know that I actually think they’re an idiot. Or what have you. It’s probably too simple to say that triggered the web of lies I’m in these days, but it’s a neat story anyway.

And my blog has flat lined. At least for the past few hours no one’s looked at it. I’m a sad panda.

But anyway…fuck it. Time to do some research.