Prelude to Something Worth Reading

I went home. I got back. I forgot to post yesterday. That’s a chink in my plan to post every day until 2018. Since I failed, I would usually give up now. So instead I’ll just post twice today and keep it going. 

I’m afraid to change things here on this blog because Gordon Flanders is a nihilist and proud of it. Me I’m tired of seeming like I’m getting away with everything.

I’m thirty years old. I’ve been living ten years as a nihilist if not in action at least in thought. My life looks okay from the outside but my thoughts are fucked up. I got secrets.

And I’m finding out how much of a follower I am, philosophically. It’s okay to be unoriginal as long as you know it. I thought being nihilistic was the way that everyone should be, because it’s the truth that nothing matters. How could anything have value in a crazy world like ours.

But it turns out I bought my worldview at the same store as everyone else.

Stick around y’all. Looks like I’ve still got some interesting posts up my sleeves. 

What Happened Since Thursday

A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

It’s Sunday. Somehow we got here again. Halfway through the week I didn’t think I would make it. Somewhere around Thursday I thought that was it for me. The girl I am obsessed with wouldn’t text me back fast enough. My wife wouldn’t text me back. I couldn’t focus on my job. Time was going so fast and weird.
Some cranes in New York CityI reached out to my nihilist friend who moved to France last year. He understood what I was going through, as best as anyone can over text messages. He sent me a video and a podcast and we talked about how annoying everything was.

I didn’t have time to listen to the podcast or watch the video. I went back into dinner service not sure how I was going to make it. I told a sympathetic coworker, who has been in a bad relationship for years, about my wife and I getting ready to have kids and how I thought I might be trapped working in restaurants forever.

I didn’t know how I was going to make it through dinner service. I ate some Altoids.

I decided to get a haircut the next day. My hair was crazy and I hadn’t slept much, so I figured that was probably the problem.

On the way home, the girl called me and we talked about nothing because her phone was broken and I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. She said she was going to get a flip phone. I said cool yeah that’s badass smartphones are for tools. She said something I couldn’t understand. I texted my friend who’s a barber now and made the appointment.

On the bus ride, I watched the video and my mind was blown. The guy basically taught a class why thinking people are nihilists these days and how that’s not much different than mental illness but it is just a little different. And a whole bunch of other stuff too. And that’s when I remembered that life really was suffering, which is such a relief to remember because when things aren’t going right I always think what did I do wrong? Of course, there are plenty of things that I’ve done wrong and continue to do wrong.

At the barbershop, we gossiped about people we both knew and how we couldn’t understand the things they did, and we laughed about that. We talked about how awesome we were, and my friend said I looked like Don Draper now that I’ve been working on this hair style for three months.

When I got home I decided to focus on bringing sexy back so I made my wife cookies and I pulled out my chest hairs one by one and I shaved and trimmed and did some pushups. Then I went to work and I didn’t text anyone and then I went home and went to sleep.

In the morning, I fucked my wife for the first time since she went off birth control. Then I walked to work and treated my customers like apparitions.

On my break, I told the girl I am obsessed with to meet me at a bar when she got finished working. She said she would so I sat in the bar drinking beer and listening to the podcast that my nihilist friend had sent me. The podcast was amazing, but as time went on, she didn’t appear, and I got sad.

Then I walked back to work and to my locker and there she was, getting ready to leave. She hadn’t come because she hadn’t gotten off work yet. I asked if she was eating at the restaurant before she left. She said yes. I said good.A tall streetlight in Brooklyn

I put my plate at one table and she put her plate on the table right next to it, instead of across from my plate so we ate together diagonally, so not really what I had in mind. She asked if anyone had made a will and my bar manager said she didn’t need a will since she had nothing of value, no family, and no partner. I said oh well there you go, easy. Then she seemed like she was about to cry. I said she had friends, but I didn’t know what else to say. I should have told her to remember that life is suffering.

When the girl that I’m obsessed with left, she texted me that she hadn’t seen me on the way out but that she hoped I had a good night.

I told her to have a good one, too, and then my bar manager handed me a pint of beer to chug because she had made a mistake and poured the wrong kind.

Later she gave me four ounces of vodka and people asked me where I was from. They said I had an accent.

Then it was midnight and it was time to go and I polished glasses while the chefs and cooks drank Modelos that a customer had bought them from the pharmacy across the street.

On my way out the door I checked out with the manager and she told me to get a pint container. She filled it with Jameson and told me to come out with them to the bar. A chef asked me three times if I was coming out. He told me that he had wished his ex-girlfriend happy birthday last night and they ended up fucking. He asked if I thought he had a problem. I said no I texted her happy birthday, too, what’s the big deal?

The other chef handed me a Modelo and I chugged it and went home. Last night I got home around 1:30 and chugged a quart of water, hoping that today could still be a productive day.

I woke up at 1:30 PM and went outside. It was too warm for the clothes I was wearing and I bought an iced coffee. Tonight I’m going out to eat with my wife, her sister, and my in-laws.A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

The Tin Wizard

A grassy part of Brooklyn

A grassy part of Brooklyn

Y’all I need more real life friends, specifically a nihilist friend who won’t judge me for things or try to improve my life with advice after I tell them some fucked up shit.

Also, I need more alone time. My wife is gone for the morning, and the morning consists of about 30 minutes before I go to work, and I am accomplishing all kinds of shit that would take me pretty much an entire day off with her here. Also I get to listen to music. She hates listening to music in the morning. In fact she refuses to do it, so I never get to wake up like Will Smith in I Am Legend, which is what I want to wake up like every day.

Today she left the building and I immediately played The Wizard by Black Sabbath. It was awesome. But then right before the climax it cut out because she was playing Spotify on her phone. Then I realized that my sister-in-law was still in her room. And I was really rocking out to that song.

How can I say I need more alone time to my wife? I don’t think I will. Doesn’t sound like a good idea.

I Just Remembered That I Can Publish Anything I Want

For the last hour and a half I have done nothing. I have tried writing on paper. I wrote some shit about how life was crazy and I signed my name ten or fifteen times. I drew a picture of a box and then I drew a picture of a guy doing a back flip and a bunch of people looking on with different expressions on their faces.

It’s getting close to an hour to go until 9 and I already feel useless. I thought I should maybe just do more of the fiction exercises, but then I didn’t want to overdo it. I don’t know why.

Then I started to wonder if I was just bad at writing. Maybe I should be doing something else. But I guess the point is that if I do want to do something else I’ll need money and education so I guess I am doing right by making money and reading. I guess I could do without the perennial ulcer about whether or not I am wasting time.

I don’t know guys I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know. We’re not going to be okay.

We’re going to be fine. We’re going to be not fine not good not great but dead we’re going to be a living sensation a free sense of boredom and an overwrought frock black speckled coat with orange flag braided into our hair and we’re going to laugh with the wind like Pocahontas on Tuesday and we’re going to use things devices stencils forms patterns and recipes to make jokes and we’re going to entertain people and have empathy for no one and we’re going to take a nap when it suits us because what the hell else are we doing at this point and anyway our wife is not going to answer our text about whether or not we should defrost the meat and anyway we couldn’t give a good god damn and the cat probably knows how to live and it is sleeping too and why why why stay awake and why not give this…

You know I just realized that the only thing I care about is making money. I’m a god damned hack writer who just wants to make money. I’m a hack human being who just wants a lot of money so I can go away in the woods but the funny thing is if I had money I wouldn’t do that I would probably just want more money. Fuck this is a real bitch this is a real problem I am in trouble shit fuck asshole mother of God in the firmament with cloud scented daisies I’ve got to get the fuck out of here.

I just want a lot of money and some good friends and nothing to do any more I want to be dead just divorced from the earth on some ethereal plane I’m a consumer of information and feelings and attention I’m a perfect capitalist I’m fucked fucked fucked what am I going to do?

I probably wouldn’t want more money I would just want more nothing I would just exist I have no existence the only thing I like to do is drink alcohol and put things in my mouth just taste things taste that I don’t even care about eating I just want to read and watch TV and listen to music at the same time and get paid for it and everybody leave me alone but also adore me and think I’m the best in the world the best the best the best in the world what the fuck fuck this shit Christ what a bitch I wish I was a fucking cat.

I wish I was a fucking cat that had a place to live. That had someone to care for it and didn’t eat things that smelled like fish and didn’t eat at all just ate real fish like a fresh piece of fish like I was the king of the fucking cats. I wish I was the king of the cats and I lived in a box that was nothing and I had nothing to think or care about or love or nothing I wish my whole body was asleep and numb and dreaming and the dream was of nothing and I never had to wake up.

Hmm maybe I am full of bullshit. Sometimes I really do feel like that, well, like right now for example. But sometimes I care about things, and well actually I always care about people, what they think of me, if they like me, if they are happy or dying or throwing up now and laters. No but really I care about shit, right I care about shit sometimes I care about something. Sometimes I don’t feel like I want nothingness. Sometimes I watch the movie Braveheart and I think I wish I could do that or I watch Gladiator or Spartacus or Lord of the Rings you know I’d like to cut people in half with a sword and jump across a lake of fire. I’d like to not do anything of that nature because swords are heavy and it will probably be raining in hell anyway, who wants to go out there? I want to sit at home drinking and listen to a song I’ve heard a billion and twelve times before and no one writes any more songs and tells me about them and no one talks to me but everyone loves me and wants to talk to me but I say to them I do not want to talk to you because I am too drunk to care about you and I only care about myself and anyway I am a nothing and so is life so leave me alone please thanks anyway I am a considerate person you know? Fuck what are you still doing here, I would say to them, I would say nothing to them I would leave them alone in that dread place with the flowery wall paper and the shadowy eyes casting into the rafters like a meal made for two on a but fuck I don’t even understand any of that what am I trying to say? Why am I writing this shit down well because it counts I guess.

If you keep writing the same thing over and over it counts and maybe later you won’t feel this way at all and maybe later you can oh you know what I always forget about is sex until the end and I say something about sucking a dick and I remember that I would like to have sex with a lot of different people one after the other and see them later and they would say, “Hey that time we had sex was the best thing that ever happened to me. But it’s ok that you don’t want to see me ever again or whatever, or if you do, you know, I won’t bore you with nothingness or weigh you down with the admission that I am a suicidal maniac with only one string left attaching me to the world and it’s you…hey, you know what” and they would be saying things like that to me and I would nod and smile because I would already be having sex with someone else and I would be drinking at the same time and listening to my favorite song and I would be the hero of my favorite book while also someone was filming but it wasn’t a porno it was the greatest movie since the invention of movies and someone would walk up to me afterwards and shake my hand and say I was Charlie Chaplin only better and they would say I could meet him if I wanted to because he was looking to drink with someone and I would go meet him at Rick’s bar in Casablanca and Yo Yo Ma would play us some tin pan alley ragtime and maybe if you just kept writing bullshit it would count.

I guess if there’s nothing better to do you can just try and psycho analyze yourself by writing down whatever dumb thing you think about fuck it why not.

I realized that most of the writing I have done was never in pursuit of a story. It was just whatever was on the top of my head. And I thought to myself while I wrote it, “This is great. I am writing. Maybe tomorrow I will look at all of this and pull it together and synthesize it and make a story out of this. This is gold.” And then I never thought about it again until one day five years later i look at it and I think “damn I was really going somewhere with this. This is genius. I should totally try to write a story because I am obviously good at it.” And then I sit down and try to write something else because why would I go and revisit my own vomit.

Yeah I should stop trying to make money fuck it what am I going to do when I get it nothing pay credit cards and student loans and life insurance premiums fuck it all fuck it all why am I even saving money when Adam Smith said I shouldn’t and there are restaurants to go to and why do I need a buffer and why do I need anything I think…

I think I’ll have a drink before I go out tonight. Because people there you have it we are going out tonight.

Sometimes I treat the keyboard like an instrument. I don’t care about the words on the page I just want to hear the keys click. So maybe I’ll never be a writer. Maybe I’ll be a typer. A new kind of artist. The words don’t matter. The substance, the art, isn’t in the writing, the rhythm of the writing, the style, the subject. The art is in how fast it gets written. How it sounded when it was written. The art is that anyone could actually think about themselves this much. The art is fuck the art fuck the world fuck me fuck it’s like I wish I knew some kind of myth that I could relate this too I wish…

I wish I had a classical education, like John Milton. He died blind and penniless and it took him a lifetime to finally shut the hell up and write Paradise Lost. William Blake did the same thing and if they had ever met Pocahontas they would have pulled some Joseph Conrad shit and bit her ear.

You know, yesterday this girl asked me where I wanted to get punched and I responded automatically, “Right in the ear.” And she thought that it was a hilarious answer. She did not pick up on the fact that it was pulled straight from Fight Club. And I know damn well she has seen that movie. So I can’t figure that shit out even a little…

But anyway. I wish I knew some kind of myth I could relate this to. Not for me, but rather, for you. For some Rhodes Scholar who would read it and say holy fuck this guy is the new James Joyce. And the bullshit is I haven’t even read James Joyce because I was too busy reading Catch-22 for the fifteenth time. There is nothing and that is nothing and then you are dead.

Sometimes I wake up and sometimes. Sometimes I feel like there are things to be done, ways to get where you want to go. I always know that life is suffering that nothing is anything. I always know that the goal of life is not to be happy. That the goal of life is not to be comfortable. That comfort is deceiving and even debilitating. But in the end…today, which is the end of my existence, I realize that it didn’t matter to begin with. Nothing did. Nothing that happened before now made a difference, and I spent it all having a god damned ulcer, and I didn’t read any James Joyce.

And the funny thing about that, mother fuckers, is that I’ve never even had an ulcer. You might think I was some kind of Woody Allen psychotic, but I’m not. I just walk around like the Big Lebowski or something. People like me. I mean they really fucking like me, you know, shit, of course they do. That’s my only goal in life. Fuck if I was failing at that…

But how am I not failing at that when I am failing at making any kind of reasonable money. And by reasonable money I mean enough money to buy an impoverished nation. And by impoverished nation I am making a subtle reference to my soul, to America, to the United Bullshit of the Universe, to humanity. And by impoverished I am making a subtle reference to imps, especially Mephistopheles, and the realization that everything is meaningless, and without the tacked on happy ending, and by tacked on I mean it’s time to get down to brass tacks, and by that I mean, how much for the monkey? And by that I mean, Hunter Thompson probably died an unhappy bastard, too. But at least he did things. I am afraid to even drink enough alcohol to get addicted. I haven’t published a single thing, the bastard.

The devil.

And by saying “The Devil” like that I am referencing Hunter S Thompson but also Dostoevsky. The Deuce. In some cultures they call the devil the rag man. My uncle used to go around yelling at the kids, “Rag man!” and wiping their face with a dirty rag he wiped the table with. I don’t even need to quantify that shit. You understand. You’re damned right you understand.

Stevie Ray Vaughan used to sing a song about the crossroads, and he had to, because every blues artist must. And in some cultures the devil was…

It doesn’t really matter. Because without the devil there is nothing. Without Loki the norsemen were a boring bunch. Odin had nothing to do. And the whole thing comes down to trying to connect yourself with a larger context.

Incidentally, I hate everything.

I am like a black hole, and like a black hole I wasn’t always this way. I start life as a large star, I exploded like a supernova, but slowly I am condensing back into myself, sucking in whatever I can, I’m like a black hole but only to myself, because everyone knows…because I know everyone, am everyone and nothing and a nothing of nothingness and nothing will ever get out except radio waves out one side and the other and a bunch of bullshit, because even that…

Rag man. That shit was disturbing and I told my parents about that being another name for the devil and I don’t even know how I found that out since there was no internet.

Yes, just a bunch of typing just typing typing typing typing and typing typing typing and you ever read something that was just typed and you knew it and Charles Dickens was something like that and sometimes…

Have you ever thought about becoming a comedian maybe you could make money maybe people would like you then only they wouldn’t and Joan Rivers would show up to your funeral and she would have been disappointed in you but you just kept…typing typing typing.

Hey I don’t know man sounds like you’re a sick sick man with no friends and no family and no money and no love and no anything is what it sounds like but since I know you I know that you do things like cut your toenails once in a while and you fold laundry and wash dishes so you’re really not all that special, my friend, and you couldn’t even get banned from the daily post so…I really don’t know why you spend all this time typing it really…well it really just isn’t helping. It really just wastes time, a whole lot of time, and time is something you can’t waste.

I don’t understand why I have such an inordinate amount of respect for time. If I am just waiting for death…really there is no point in not wasting time. I am more and more like Dunbar, the character in Catch-22, every day. I do things I don’t like so that time will seem longer, so that my life will seem longer. Because, as he says in the book, what else is there? I don’t know. I don’t fucking know, alright? I don’t know I don’t know typing typing fuck.

Hey man why don’t you just suck a dick and shut up already. Hey that’s an idea I could become a prostitute. Gay people find me attractive. I knew this one guy who got approached by a guy who said he would pay him to let him suck his dick. I just wonder how much he would have paid. Then I could dispense with this writing shit. Watch TV all day get drunk and then I would have really depressing true stories to tell people about my life and the state of my soul. Maybe if I had watched my friends and relatives systematically destroyed by disease and wars and my own skin had been set on fire and I walked the earth scaring children and all of that then I wouldn’t be so bored and nothing.

Hell I could even watch TV while getting paid to get my dick sucked and then I could even not be wasting precious precious fucking time. I could save time for later so I could hate myself for wasting it when it finally showed up.

Well, shit, I have to go now. Things to do. Dicks to suck.

This has been fun.

I Forgot to Name This Post

It feels strange to type on a laptop keyboard now, I’ve been writing from my iPhone for the past few days. I started blogging from my phone out of necessity, and now I think it’s become almost equal to or greater than blogging from the computer. I think it makes me think more about what I’m going to write, without slowing me down as much as writing with pen and paper.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately. I want more people to look at my blog and like my stuff and come back to read, so I don’t want to flood the blog with posts, but then the only thing that seems to raise the number of people who look at the blog is to write more posts. And then I always want to write, but writing in a word processor isn’t enough for me anymore. I want someone to read every god damn thing that comes out of my head.

But I’ve thought it before and I’ll stop thinking it soon and come up with it again in a couple of months: Fuck it, maybe I can get away with publishing every stupid thing I write.

Wife is back to school so that means lots of time at her computer which means lots of unsupervised time for me. I have to get working on my projects for those old guys who want to publish books, but honestly I wish I could give that shit up. I’ve felt very free these past two days, since I told them that I would get back to him in a few days once my friend left.

But I can’t give them up because they may be my key to getting out of waiting tables. If I got two more clients like them I could just stay home and work on their projects. But maybe it would be just as bad as waiting tables.

I started listening to The Self Publishing Podcast today and it was really interesting to hear those guys talk about writing for money. They are very prolific. I feel like I can’t write stories. I feel like if someone were to give me a well thought out story, I could write the scenes, but maybe I couldn’t. Fuck if I know.

Oh that’s another thing, I’ve been making a conscious effort those last few posts to censor my language because I started thinking maybe I could get freshly pressed. It started off motivated by that, and then I found that I could come up with more clear and creative way of expressing myself than cursing. But sometimes that’s just too fucking much to think about.

Hunter Thompson curses a lot in his writing but he doesn’t overdo it, in my opinion. So I think I will try to do that. But then, fuck, I’m always trying to do what other writers would do. I don’t know if I will ever figure it out. But I do know I’m too young and inexperienced to be discouraged about that, even if I’m too old and have seen too much dumb shit to believe anything good about anything.

But yeah, the blog is blowing up! Mostly because I’m engaging with the community like in the early days of last year when I reached 400 views in one month. It’s not much relative to a lot of blogs, but I haven’t been able to get anywhere near that since. I think I posted an average of three times a day that whole month.

Ah I’ve been trying to avoid writing this kind of post and stick to the interesting stuff but I guess I am too excited about writing so much. Writing begets more writing, said someone famous. And then the positive reinforcement that comes when the notifications keep popping up on my phone that someone looked at my blog or commented or liked.

That’s why I was thinking, I forget what I was reading but they were saying if you want to create something new you’ll have to do something you haven’t heard of anyone doing before, which sounds obvious, but it made me think fuck it, if I write enough posts that are interesting to me, maybe I can find enough fans to quit my job and stay home chopping down trees and drinking white lightning and blogging from my phone.

Ha, I’m not really finished writing but I just want to publish this so people can read it while I’m writing the next thing. Fucking ridiculous. I don’t know, maybe I’m a god damn genius.