My First Adult Writing Contest (The Post Where I Write My First Flash Fiction Story)

Well, I never gave much thought to this flash fiction business. Thought it was so much window dressing. Thought it was a bunch of malarky. I would have thought the same thing about all poetry if my English teachers hadn’t told me it was meaningful. And then poetry hit me like a smack in the face last year. And it was good. So, I read some of the winners of this contest and they were good. So now I will try to write a story in under 250 words and win the contest! I’ll save this as a draft in case there’s a rule about publishing your story beforehand.

I’m pretty sure I won’t win the contest at all, having never written a story like this before, but I was pretty sure no one would like my blog, so fuck it.

Addendum: here’s the prompt and the quote for the contest:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs

Oh by the way I found the idea for this on WetInkPress. So you have to write a story under 250 words and use at least four of the prompt words and you can either try to use the quote as inspiration or not, if you do and you are the best at it, you get an additional award.

Ok I think it’s two guys talking, one guy thinks he can change the world, the other doesn’t, then the first guy leaves and feels like he’s already changed the world.

Here goes then.

Tides of evening wash over the graveyard in a sudden flurry. The men spoke with strong Irish accents.

“Mom would be proud of us wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt. Not a question, jus

Pause. Outside they are digging themselves out of the snow, so this works well. Me and GF are like fuck it, we ain’t going out in that shit! I don’t know why people are in a hurry to get out. We hibernatin in this bitch.

Anyway

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

The two men spoke in Irish accents.

“Mom would be sah proud, wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

“I should be glad to never learn one way or another.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“Our world is as beautiful as hers,” he said, handing the flower to Dennis.

Dennis glared at his brother and threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “Our world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

Ok, obviously lost the thread there at the end. But that was about 310 words, so only sixty to cut. Now to make the language more poetic, and more dark, and more graveyardy. Nothing like what I had in mind, but fuck it, I guess that’s what flash fiction is all about. It’s some kind of flash of a scene that makes an impression in your mind. But it’s still supposed to have a middle and an end, according to the writer interviews I read about people who have won last year’s contest. The middle is supposed to be the ending, and the end is supposed to be basically giving you some time to wind down from the hock of the middle/end, instead of being a punchline at the end like an O Henry story or something.

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

Hmm. I like the idea of a tide of evening. Probably read that somewhere else.

The rolling tides of blackish violet announced the evening

The rolling tides of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug shoulder to shoulder near a humble stone.

In his strong Irish accent, Dennis muttered, “She deserved so much better.”

In the beginning I was thinking he was a gravedigger and he was saying sarcastically his mother would be proud that the Irish brothers had gone to America and could only find work as gravediggers. But now I think she should have died without enough money for a funeral and they are burrying her. Maybe she had big dreams and never got to do them. Maybe she died in America after making the voyage to follow her dreams.

In the accent of the old world they had just left, Ireland, Dennis gritted his teeth. “She’d be sah proud of us making the journey.” He tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt.

I like the idea of tossing words over his shoulder, but then old Patrick better not be shoulder to shoulder, because then why is his brother tossing words over his shoulder at him.

Ok they are digging graves back to back. Ha! They can’t be back to back tossing dirt over there shoulder into each other’s hole! That’d be a story in itself.

Ok they are face to face.

“I guess she found what she went looking for.” Dennis tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt. Nope got to go!

“I guess she found what she went looking for.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

Dennis glared. “Should’ve been buried in Ireland at least.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“She found a new world, to her it was more beautiful, probably because she’d never been there, and having died as soon as she saw it, she hadn’t the time to be proved wrong, and so she probably died happy.” Patrick handed the flower to Dennis.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

I was thinking of the dwarves from Lord of the Rings when I said, “And further we delve…” but then I put dust, because ashes to ashes and dust to dust, from dust we came and to dust we go. But of course Patrick shouldn’t say anything about dust, that would be Dennis’ line.

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

Of course here I was thinking of the song “Time” by Pink Floyd,

You run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking

Racing around to come up behind you again!

The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older

Shorter of breath, one day closer to death!

But exactly here is where the image kind of fell to pieces, and I overstated his line and then of course Patrick would never ask this question:

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

And then with this next line I was trying to find out what the whole point that Patrick is trying to make:

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

I was thinking this would make a good ending image, differently worded of course.

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and placed it carefully at the foot of his mother’s…stone…headstone…rock…the humble stone…the crumbling humble bumble of a tumbling stone.

Ok if this story is to work I’m going to have to let go of trying to keep with the “ding in the universe” theme. At least so closely. It’s a good image, and it can work if I let it, at least marginally, though it may not be a contest winner. This is, after all, my first contest.

And that’s a line that Hunter Thompson used frequently: “We are, after all, professionals.”

Round three:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug near in front of a humble stone.

Dennis muttered, his Irish accent harshening the long ‘o’: “She deserved so much better.”

Why am I fixated on this long o shit? Maybe I’d better use a different word from the prompt. Or maybe: “Two men dug close to a humble stone” Or near the entrance, there cowered a humble stone, and two men dug gravely. Hahahah gravely. Dug with seriousness. Dug in earnest. Dug in painful earnesty. Dug integrally. Dug it like it was Dizzy Galespie in the wild blue night and the mad ones running hurdy gurdy down a street of internal pain and wondering…all of us suffering, all longing, and Dean’s long last old man wandering the streets nearby, somewhere in the mist beyond reckoning.

Or maybe, There cowered a humble stone, and two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging stolidly, digging stoicly. digging. There cowered a humble stone, and along it two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving, to wind up here. And us, her only kin, her only friends, the only ones who care enough to bury her.” This is of course too drawn out, but he would say something like that. He would grit his teeth and hurl the dirt, heft the dirt, bring the dirt out of his very soul, which he has been keeping there all her life, only to dig it out now at her grave, digging into his own soul and finding nothing there but dust, all is dust, all is fleeting. What a bitch.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. This is good, glinting may be the wrong word, but cool moonlight on bared teeth is both bright and creepy. Patrick’s a creepy mother fucker to be laughing in the moonlight. Which of the two is right? Well, that’s in the eyes of the reader. Life does not present us with judgments. Like Jet Li says in Fearless, basically my favorite movie of all time (maybe after Crocodile Dundee), “Does the tea judge itself? No, we judge the tea.” Or something like that. So what then does Patrick say here, if Dennis life can be…or rather Dennis’s thoughts can be summed up with all is dust…what does Patrick mean to say. “But she does not die in vain, for she has us, and we are who we are because she lived, and because she loved, and we live because she lived, and we love because she loved, and here in the night, working together to celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows and the strain of our backs, we prove to the world that she was here, that she made some difference in the world.” Ah what a cop out, dear Patrick. Just by getting knocked up someone makes a difference. “No, anyone can stick a hanger up there or fall down the stairs, but no one who raises two boys against the threat of silence and death, against the hungers and terrors of this world, has lived in vain.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

Well he’d have to be stealing this rose from another pile, because roses don’t just grow in graveyards. So what does it signify if he is taking a rose that someone else has gathered, and giving it to his own mother. Well, it could be very political. Robin Hood and the merry men. As this is a very austere graveyard, and his mother’s grave cowers among the other stones, because they are so much bigger and richer, he is taking from the rich, like their view of welfare or some such. They pay the taxes and he takes it. Yes but I don’t know if I want to make that point. Like Kurt Vonnegut said, or something like it, when this country was born you’d better have taken way too much, or you’d get nothing at all.

And why is he giving his brother a rose. He is taking a part of his mother’s soul, say, if they brought the flowers there to lay at her grave, then he is taking a part of his mother and giving it to his brother, how is it he can bestow this blessing? I suppose it is because he took from her her caring nature, her optimistic view on the world, or perhaps is currently blessed…I mean possessed by her spirit and therefore is acting in her stead towards his troubled brother.

Patrick held the rose delicately and proferred it to his brother. “Like this rose, she is now dead, but her beauty lingers with us.” Hm that sounds good, but lingers has a bad connotation I should think.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.” I think I can just take out “this world is shite” since Patrick has refrained from saying anything about the world now and they don’t have to be talking in Irish accents. But slowly opening is good, not for the wording but for the image, it’s like a mouth that opens to swallow them, not a new image, but a strong one nevertheless.

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Here of course I was thinking of the song “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle. And the graveyard isn’t really a horrible place of death. But to Dennis it is. Should the story be more biased towards Dennis view of the place? If not, then I’d have to say how it sounded to Patrick. Maybe: Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal. Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

Is it? I don’t know if anyone thinks so. But Patrick would scoff, “Ah but what’s the use, Dennis, since it’s all dust to dust up in here anyways.”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

Maybe: Patrick sunk his shovel into the earth, the soil, the terroir, the fertile ground ready to grow a briar and a rose, like the song about Barbry Allen…sorry…Patrick sunk his shovel into the dirt, “Every action has meaning. By merely thinking, and the remarkable and instantaneous aquiescence of my capable muscles, I have thus caused this ground to clear the way for my mother’s broken body. Further and further we delve, where if we had not been, if she had not been, no delving would be done.”

Delve. Acquiesce. Hm…Wordpress spellcheck does not recognize the word aquiescence.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust to which we too will soon return,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and replaced it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Round four then:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard. Two men dug in front of a humble stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers.

Close to the gated entrance, there cowered a humble stone and two men bowing low to the hard earth, digging.

Cose to the gated entrance, a clean and proud, if relatively diminutive stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers, watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving to make a difference, just to wind up here.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight.

Cool moonlight reflected off of Patrick’s crooked teeth as he smiled. Oooo. Patrick’s crooked smile reflected cool moonlight. Patrick’s toothy…Patrick’s sawtoothy…Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight.

“We live, because she lived. We love because she loved. Tonight, brother, we celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows, the strain of our backs. The woman who raises two boys against the hungers and terrors of this world, she has not lived in vain.”

A little preachy, but getting there I guess.

Patrick plucked a rose from the arrangement at the stone and proffered it to his brother. “She is as dead as this rose, but similarly, her beauty lives on.”

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will fade in a matter of hours. From dust we come, to dust we return.”

Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal.

Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

“Even here we make a difference,” said Patrick as he sunk his shovel into the dirt. “Each stroke clears the resting place for our mother, who we can bury properly because of this difference we have made.”

Shit still don’t know what to do with that.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick shrugged and scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Oops. 378 words now. Round 5, and at this point I’m just going to go with it. It’s been an experience anyway. And I’ve been working for…two hours?

Ah but shit that 378 included asides by me so not so bad after all.

Final round, all cut up:

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight. He plucked a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will wither in a matter of hours. We will wither in a matter of years.”

Patrick’s eerie laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the dirt. He emptied his shovel to the side. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis agreed. “Further and further we delve in to the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick lovingly scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Now for the title. Got to be good since it’s such a short story. Basically my thinking for this final cut was don’t overtell the story. The line about the terrors and hungers, I really liked that, but it’s not something someone would say, unless they were really damn smart. It’s something the narrator could say I guess, but there’s no place for it. So sadly it goes. And I want to leave some to the imagination, about the relationship of the rose to the person, and I didn’t want to get to sappy about we love because she loved, because I think that’s a Kirk Franklin and The Family song.

But the title, what a bitch.

Twilight in the Garden of Souls

Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Digging

The Brothers Who Think Differently About Death and Other Things, Too.

That title endebted to Zoolander’s school for kids who want to learn to read and do other stuff, good, too, I’m sure Matticus will come through with the accurate quote there.

A Proper Burial

Like digging, these two titles at nothing to the story.

Laughing in the Cemetery

The Dusty Rose

Dust on a Rose

The Petal and The Rose and The Stone and Casper the Friendly Ghost

The Hand The Furnace The Straight Face

That’s a Project 86 song, by the way.

Burial…It’s a Real Bitch When You Do It Yourself

DIY Burial

The Hipsters in the Cemetery

Burial for Fun and Profit

Further and Further We Delve into the Dust

That’s fun but doesn’t add anything either. Son of a bitch.

But then the guy who wrote last year’s second place entry: Dutch Baby, also had those exact words in his story, so his didn’t technically add anything, even though he said that you have to make your title work for it’s pay.

Death Makes People Think About Their Lives

Making A Difference

Vanity

Pride

Pride Turns to Ashes in Their Mouths; and Their Bones Littered the Desert Until Judgment Day

The Cold Hard Earth

The Entrance

The Exit

Coming In Through the Out Door

Entrances and Exit

Exeunt

Farewell

By The Sweat of Their Backs

By The Strain of Their Backs and The Sweat of Their Brows, They Confront the Terror and the Hunger of The Cold Hard Earth

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

Hey there you go. And I used another word from the prompt.

For this to, is the lot of a man. And the cemetery is a sort of a lot isn’t it.

A vacant non-vacant lot where the kids can’t play baseball.

Well I wasn’t going to post this until the contest was over but fuck it. I’ve had so much fun I don’t care whether I win the contest or am disqualified. And I can’t wait to see what you think. And just in case everyone doesn’t want to read all this muck about, I’ll post just the story first and then this.

And I just printed it out and realized a few things. Lovingly was used twice. And two adverbs right next to each other “decorated lovingly with freshly” not good.  And dirt used twice too! Shit. And did I mention there’s kind of an incestuous homoeroticism going on here? “…loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.” Well shit. Sounds like a proposition to me. Oo if he extended the flower to his brother we could add some further sexual innuendo there. Patrick’s totally gay for his brother. What’s a better word for “lovingly scooped?” Oh man if he “ladled” it out it’d be like he was eating homemade chicken noodle soup straight from his mother’s grave, how nourishing is that.

Hm, shit. This story is actually not a story. It’s more like a poem, an arrested image. A photograph in words. And that’s fine. And I’m still going to submit it. But I think it’s not actually a story.

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among an austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s toothsome smile reflected cool moonlight. He took a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He extended the flower to his brother.

Dennis accepted it and dropped it into the slowly opening grave at their feet. “The rose will wither before dawn. Our fate is the same.”

Patrick’s laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed eerily off the faces of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the loam. He tilted his shovel and watched the stuff accumulate along the mound. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis nodded. “Further and further we delve into the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the pit and replaced it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Ha, so I went to post that, and these suggested tags came up: Neurological Disorders, University of Auckland, Cannabis.

WTF

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Stat Junkie

It was clear that these people were swingers of some kind, sodomites up from L.A. for the weekend. There was talk of orgies and flogging, and also of calling the baby sitter and getting back in time for the Rams game. One of the women asked me what I thought about Ed Meese, the new attorney general.

“He’ll get you,” I said. “You’ll all be in jail before long.”

She backed away and stared at me. “What are you?” she muttered, “Some kind of creep?”

“I am the night manager of the O’Farrell Theatre,” I said, “the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America. I am the final authority on these things. I know the face of decadence.”

Hunter Thompson wrote that in October of 1985. In his early days, he would type whole manuscripts of great writers just to see what it felt like to write those words. The Great Gatsby and I think some Hemingway, but I might be wrong about that. It feels good to write those words. Especially, “I know the face of decadence.” And, “He’ll get you.” I don’t know why this is funny, I guess because I can just see him walking up to these cats in front the elevator in the middle of the night, and they’re asking him about Ed Meese, who he no doubt knows all about, being a politics junkie, and he tells them he’s the night manager of O’Farrell Theatre, for no reason at all.

When I read Thompson I like to listen to Bob Dylan. He liked Dylan and so do I. He was a self proclaimed politics junkie. He said following politics and being a part of it was a rush better than sex. A habit worse than heroin.

I found I have a problem, too. I’m turning into a stat junkie. I check my stats all the time to see how many people have looked at my blog since I was last here. Sometimes I just write a post lately so people will look at it and like it. That’s not a road I want to go down. I want this to be about more than stats. Although I do love cataloguing and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And maybe stat checking has something akin to that. But I’m running out of things to write about because I’m not putting more things into my head because I’m trying to get home and read the new comments and check the new stats and so on. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, nothing drastic. I guess I’m just going to make an effort to read more and take more stuff in and all that. Live in the moment and whatnot.

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.

About Today

Readability Index: Unreadable

Ok I finally put in some laundry. I had to try to shove the quarters into the machine like three hundred times. I set a timer for my French Press before I went down into the basement, four minutes, and it went off not halfway into my struggle. But it finally worked. There’s a note on the wall from 2001 saying that we tenants should let the landlord know if there are any problems with the machine, but I feel like we should probably have said something by now, so I’m definitely not bringing it up at this point.

I had some thoughts:

I should be a journalist

I should just read books all of the time

I should be a famous bartender

How did that guy on Top Chef get to be famous

The owner of that noodle place

He makes me think I could do some shit too

He just wants to have a good time

Wouldn’t it be funny to start a story with this guy’s next door neighbor lets him in the house, like inivites him over and the guy is kind of weary of the situation because he pretty much likes to be by himself anwyay…but then the neighbor says, “You want a beer?” and he says, “Well, by God, I would like a beer!”

Ok I’ll talk about that stuff later. Maybe.

So I left out of here to go get some shit done and I gotta say it did feel good. Getting shit done just feels good. I don’t know why. I was thinking about it at Stop and Shop while waiting for the bus. It’s like that Bob Marley song, Pass It On, “Live for yourself, you will live in vain, live for others, you will live again.” Well, I really don’t understand that shit at all because you are the only person you know, but then again, we’re all made out of the same elements so we’re really all the same thing, we’re all one, the universe just experiencing itself subjectively. I am everything that has gone before me. And yet I have an ego and can block the world out if I want to, and parts of me want to, one part. You know I’ve never read Freud or Jung. Should fix that. But I did read some Ruth Reichl on the bus, and you know I never have before. Well it was great. She’s awesome. But so Bob Marley, I should watch that documentary again. Marley was the creative title and it was the shit.

But I was thinking, that some of these errands, well I wouldn’t run them if it was just me. I wouldn’t probably run any of them if it was just me, but it was for my girlfriend. Well, not exactly. Like I had some stuff at the library, but so did she, so that was sort of for her. Really I only went because she asked me if I was going to go and I felt stupid saying no since she’d probably be like, well what the hell are you doing all day then?

So being productive. I’m sure it feels good because my mother was always all about being productive. Rather she still is. And so I grew up in an environment that reinforced my getting things done, or however Dr. What’s-his-face would say it. Skinner. BF Skinner. That was a fascinating read, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. If we’re not controlling the environment then we’re simply leaving control of the environment to someone else, because the environment will control the public. Or the society. Something like that.

All the muddled notions one arrives at by way of a thousand books one only read as fast as they could so they could say that they read them…could they be dangerously incomplete? Well. In reality I didn’t read them so I could say…well some of them, perhaps as many as half, could’ve been read that way…for that purpose rather. But mostly, like today, I just start a book and I get so wrapped up in “what happens next!?” that I can’t slow down to appreciate the way it’s done. Like the first page of Garlic and Sapphires, I was like, wow look how she does that, and look at all that alliteration and consternation, this is a beautiful piece of writing, and look at that formatting, but by page 3 I was like hot damn this shit is intense! Is she going to give Le Cirque a 3 star rating? 2 stars? Will she fold? Shit! And before you know it I finished the damn book and it’s two weeks from Friday and I don’t remember a damn thing.

Well I had to take a break here because my girlfriend came home and now I feel less on a roll. She’s pretty awesome, she just walked right in and made chicken stock. And gave me a chicken taco. Then I washed the dishes. Now she’s taking a shower. I made some more coffee because she said she wants some. She has a lot of reading to do which is awesome because it means I can just keep writing and writing. And finishing that damnable laundry.

But shit, what was the point. Yeah so just going out and doing errands, running them rather, well that was enough to make me feel pretty accomplished. At this point that feeling is starting to wear off. But at the time I didn’t feel anxious about whether I was wasting time and whatnot. I guess those are the kinds of things I feel are important. Daily drudgery type things that have nothing to do with art. I don’t know where I got the idea that working at art was a waste of time but I guess it’s down somewhere in my psyche because I don’t make time for it. Of course I have made plenty of time to blog. But then that’s not true, I had all the time there anyway. I just stopped doing a lot of other things like sleeping late, watching porn, watching movies, and washing the dishes, not to mention eating and reading about cocktails, and then all of the sudden I had all this time to blog. So I guess it is true, then, that I made time by clearing away those activities. What is it about blogging then that makes it ok?

Well I guess I haven’t given up entirely the idea that one can make money at writing. Even though by God I have tried. Merlin’s beard. I’ve tried to give up the idea. But it just seems right that I should make my money writing, even though I’ve never sold a damn thing I’ve written, or even tried to. Shit that’s not even true, now that I think about it! I sold a story on Amazon. I think I sold two of them for 99 cents each. Well there you go. That’s progress for you.

One of my favorite proverbs goes something like: Be not afraid of moving slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Of course I spent most of my time going backwards. Or so it seems.

Where is all this leading to? What’s next?

Reminds me of that scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Damn that was a good movie. Hunter Thompson is everyone’s favorite. And Johnny Depp is my favorite actor. The scene at the hotel when he’s tripping out and trying to check in. “What’s the score here? What’s next?”

Well, I was thinking I could become a food writer. Or a journalist of some kind. I love writing, but I just love typing and typing and never looking back. Maybe I could send it in and someone else could edit it or something. Ah shit. But that’s how Thompson did it. Just let it go. Maybe if I spent enough time practicing, I could do it something like Jack Kerouac. But well that’s completely misunderstood. He worked really hard. I just finished reading a biography that came out recently called The Voice is All and it was by a Carol…something…Carol Johnson..shit I don’t know but it was damned interesting.

I shudder, I sit at my own dining room table, someone else’s dining room table for that matter, this furniture is a rental from the real occupant, I sit shuddering here listening to the demons all around. And by demons I mean those bastards that live upstairs and those bastards who live downstairs. I can hear their every breath. It’s a good thing they’re not big talkers or I’d go mad. No chance of that now. Not at all.

But God damn it. What is going on. I’m positively giddy with the notion, the idea of spending hours just typing random bullshit. I could even get down with typing Random Bullshit Random Bullshit Random Bullshit over and over again. You know, that’s a damn good way at getting better at typing, because the more you type one word the harder it becomes to do it without fucking up.

Positively giddy, where did I pick that phrase up? Either a book movie or TV show that’s for damn sure. Used to be I would pick a phrase or a mannerism up from one of my best friends. But I have moved away from them now, so whatever I say is probably from books or moving pictures.

Everything is unimaginable.

Ah, but damn, I need to get good at everything. Read all kinds of books about food and educate my simple palate. It doesn’t pick anything up at all. Lemongrass? What the fuck. I’ll tell you what an apple tastes like if you can tell me first. Like Ruth Reichl says, food writing is very subjective, to the point that I can’t be absolutely sure that what you taste when you eat an apple is the same thing as what I taste. Just like with colors and all that.

Well, shit. I think I’ll look at comments for a while.

I’m obsessed with myself. That’s for damn sure. Everything on this post has been for damn sure. I’m tired of that.

You know I really like looking at my stats. What for? Shit the writing is the fun thing right? But really, we only write so someone else can read. I never knew that before. And you’d think I didn’t know it now, the way I spew shit on the page like something I don’t want to talk about.

Damn, and I had a million ideas I wanted to talk about. And they all were me. I should write something that adds value to someones life. How do you spell someones? I don’t know. But I learned what a consomme is.

Oh yeah, but I was at The Breakers in the gift shop looking at all these boring ass books and thought, shit, I could be entertained for years just reading these dumb ass books. I should just bartend, make money, and read books.