Give Me An Answer

How can you reconcile bitter disappointment over trivial things with a zest for life and an attitude of gratitude?

You can’t, that’s the whole point.

In that case fuck a zest for life and that other cliche.

Wrong choice, dude.

Shut up, dude.

Well, I’m leaving for now. I’ll come back when you’ve had something to drink.

Wow you found the high ground fast. You’re pathetic. Just because you’re not here doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for what happens.

Then make the right choice, keep me around. Fuck disappointment. Disappointment comes from expectations. Since when have your expectations been a reasonable guide for what happens in your life?

Well, I think you bring up a good point, about expectations, and the Tao Te Ching and all of that. But, you know, we tried doing that shit before and we just ended up here. Broke. We need uppers, we need caffeine, we need to get active. We need to improve, compete, evolve, do, act, go, accomplish. We need money.

Some of that is compatible with a Taoist perspective, right? I mean, as far as we understand taoist philosophy.

There’s always a disclaimer with you. Fuck man, can’t you just say something without…

Alright, focus, dude, because attacking my rhetoric isn’t going to get us anywhere.

Alright first of all, bro, we’re not attacking your rhetoric.

Look, just answer the question.

What question?

Letting go of control doesn’t mean you stop being active.

Sounds like it does to me.

It doesn’t have to, right?

I don’t know, just fucking tell me already, Christ why do i have to agree with everything? Just tell me what the fuck you think, good fucking Christ I’m going to agh fuck. Alright. So what are you saying? We should go read the Tao Te Ching again? That’s what you’re suggesting?

How much coffee did you drink?

Now who’s slowing us down with shit that doesn’t matter?

Huh? Nevermind. Look here’s what I’m saying. You’re sitting in bed. You just made this bed. It’s fucking sweet. There are a hundred things that brought you here, but none of them are good or bad. Some of them may be important or instructional, but they don’t need to effect the way you feel right now. You acted today, accomplished what you needed to accomplish, there is nothing more for you to do today, and there’s no reason to be angry or disappointed. You’ve done all you could, and however anyone or anything acts because of or in spite of those actions isn’t something you control. So let it go. Act again tomorrow.

Alright I guess that makes sense. But what happens if we start letting everything go? Like we did last time? Who’s going to pay our student loan then?

I don’t know man. Don’t fuck it up, I guess. Just do what you’re supposed to do every day. Be better. Spend less. What do you want me to tell you? We’re in debt. A lot of it. But keeping working and we’ll be out of it in twenty or thirty years. Anyway, what’s the point? Why even struggle to get out of debt or whatever? What are you even going to buy? Is it going to make you happy? What’s the point of any of this shit?


Oh, hold on…shit. Now I’m depressed.


Yep. Depressed as fuck. Nothing matters.

God damn you. God damn me and God damn this horrible meaningless universe.

Dude, fuck this. Let’s get that drink.

Life As a Series of External Events

A few days ago these two guys I work with, one is a Shakespearean actor and the other is a cinephile, started talking about books, so I got involved. I don’t think that the conversation helped anyone. Before I knew it, I was telling them which translation of Crime and Punishment is the best and why, the actor was telling me that I was confusing Robert Heinlein with Werner Heisenberg (I wasn’t), and I think none of us are going to read what the others were suggesting. I never really talk about books out loud but I don’t think I will try again. It felt like we were masturbating in a circle in a crowded kitchen.

Today I’m going in early to take care of this health insurance bullshit. I am making lists and trying to plan things. Yesterday I was walking to work and I thought about what kind of life I really want to have. I couldn’t think of anything besides cutting down trees of course.

I tried to think about why do I even read books. Do I really read the classics because they are entertaining, or so I can tell people I’ve read them? I hope I read them because they express eternal truths, but I don’t know. I like the idea that stories tell a truth that can not be told any other way. The fact that I slogged through Les Miserables and then sped up through the ending as it got more entertaining shows that I read it for entertainment and pleasure. But then I think I should read Sparknotes so that I can understand what the characters are supposed to represent and all. But then maybe I should just go back and try to figure out that for myself. But then there are so many other books to read.

I decided again that I have a bad attitude and a tendency to complain because it’s fun. But then maybe that leads to actually feeling more miserable overall. And then I tried to think that I thought about myself too much anyway, and that’s why I was miserable. And maybe if I could just think of others or of the world as a whole or just focus on action or focus on whatever I need to focus on, then I could have a successful life.

But I already have a pretty successful life. I wake up reasonably late, I work few hours and yet still pay all my bills, I’m in good health (at least superficially), I’m married. Maybe I should just stop thinking about it. I think I have a good life when I don’t think about it. Like when I consciously put my life on hold when a friend comes over. Or when I have to work a lot and I just think of the days as already wasted so I don’t put any thought into it, or try to achieve something extra.

Maybe if I could just focus on writing as a technique driven exercise I would be happier doing it. John Gardner says most of what you write you write because you have to get this character into this room or you have to foreshadow something or you have to create some character to create this emotion in another character. Maybe if I could just focus on accomplishing some definite action while I’m writing, then I would be better at it and create more. And he says that when you write the story, your interpretation of the story must come out of you since it’s you that is writing it. So instead of trying to say whatever you want to say, just write the story and the truth that you have discovered will end up in there.

Maybe that’s like life.

Maybe if I just focus on the action of life, while being present and engaged, then whatever meaning there is won’t end up there because I thought about it half the day and thereby put myself into a narcissistic black hole, but it will be there because I did those actions. Maybe that way my life can be clean and pure, like a weathered old man in the tundra cutting down a tree.

How Accurately Can You Represent Yourself to Yourself

I always thought I could write in a different style. I thought my voice was a construct and I could play with it, that I could vary the length of my sentences, that I could change the cadence at will, that I could use a different regional dialect, that I could write in a circle or in a square; I always thought that I had what singers call range. Now I think I’ve been writing in this voice for too long and it’s all I can do. It’s pretty good, I think, but I don’t like that it’s all I can do. It’s like what someone said (I thought it was Machiavelli but I can’t find it): being nice doesn’t count if you don’t have the strength to be mean, he said being nice without the strength to be mean was just indolence.

Anyway it turns out I can’t write a long sentence that doesn’t degenerate into a run-on. I mean I can but I really have to think about how to do it and that bothers me. They say practice makes perfect but other people say perfect practice makes perfect. I guess just because you’ve been doing something a while, if you do it without thinking about it and consciously trying to improve, well then you’re probably not going to get much better.

Well, it feels good to do the writing exercises, even though they point out my deficiencies. I don’t know what it is, but I have this weird sense that I’m the best writer that ever lived, while also thinking that I am probably not even supposed to be a writer. I also hate when someone else writes something good. Like deep down hate it. But it’s just not justified. It’s like when House tells that story about the janitor in the hospital who was an untouchable, but when the doctors there had problems they couldn’t figure out they would go to him and he would tell them the answer and even though he was treated like a piece of shit they still had to listen to him in the end because he was right and that was all that mattered. If I was a genius at something then I could be a real asshole like House and hate everyone and I could still have a positive impact on the world. But if I just hate people and think I’m the best for no reason, that just makes me even more of an idiot.

But I also think that I exaggerate my emotions to myself. I’ll be trying to figure out myself and be completely honest with myself but then I’ll say some outlandish shit that I think really cuts the bullshit and gets to my shadowy essence. But then I think about it and I look at my life and I just don’t think that I can actually feel that way. I think maybe I want to feel that way or something.

I am really trying to figure myself out, but it’s another slippery slope, to use a cliche. The reason it’s a treacherous path is that I spend a lot of time thinking about myself, because I think the more I know about myself, the better artist I’ll be, but then what happens is I get into that black hole i was talking about where my ego just spirals out of control and sucks in my entire life. So maybe I should stop thinking about myself and just think about other shit, and I won’t be able to help but have my own opinion on that shit that I think about. Or then again maybe I will be able to help it. I am good at not having an opinion. I am at least good at not expressing an opinion. Sometimes I don’t talk because I’m too lazy to move my mouth. I’m too lazy to be mean, that’s for sure. Hm, but that’s a philosophical question, whether it’s a virtue to be nice, even if you can’t help it. I mean some people would say yes, what are they called? Determinists? Or something like that. BF Skinner would say what matters is the result. You’re nice so you’re virtuous. Would he say that? I don’t know. But someone would say that while the counter argument would be that without agency your niceness is meaningless. Nothing is right unless you do it for the right reason. But I guess if you saved someone’s life they wouldn’t care if you did it because you were having a life saving contest with the guys next door or if you were doing it to get into heaven or if you did it because it was the right thing to do.

I did everything on my to do list today except make limeade, which I guess I’m going to get up and do now. Finishing the list wasn’t easy actually and took up most of my day. Going grocery shopping, going to the gym in the snow, and finishing that work for that old man was not at all relaxing. God damned Word started acting the fuck up with the page numbers and phantom tabs or some shit, I was about to fucking bite my fingers off one at a time, with a small pause in between to maximize the amount of pain my brain could register, just to escape that shit. Fucking maddening shit.

But I got it all done, and then I was ready for wife to come home, sort of, I mean not really, but I was about to get up off of this couch where I fell asleep on and off while trying to fix that stupid ass Word document, I was about to get up and make that limeade since she was getting all nonplussed about these two dollar bag of limes sitting around for two weeks before she got home but then she texted me and asked if she could have a drink with her friend. Well, shit, I didn’t even have a drink yet. I’m about to put some vodka in this limeade.

But that’s neither here nor there. I learned today that I have got to work on my technique. I mean, I still can’t seem to write a cohesive story, but at least I can learn how to write a different kind of sentence.

I also thought today that fuck it man, I’m just going to waste 2015. I’m not even going to stress about that shit. I’m going to pretend like I’m immortal and just fucking trash next year. I don’t care if I take three shits a day in 2015 and average 16 hours of sleep a day, fuck it. I’ll do something in 2016 if I’m still alive, is the way I see it. I always get these high expectations for myself, you know? Like I’m going to figure some shit out this year! Well, hell, fuck that shit. I plan on not figuring out a god damn thing. If I do figure some shit out I’m going to watch Grey’s Anatomy until I forget it. I’m not even going to watch a show I like in 2015, because I’ll be making progress toward finishing that shit. No progress allowed. I’m going to start at the end of Grey’s Anatomy and watch it all out of order in an alcoholic stupor so deep I’ll probably cut myself accidently with a steak knife while eating a raw cashew and I’ll bleed out, my blood will be so thin and I won’t even notice. That’s 2015. Hell yeah. That way, when 2016 rolls around, mother fuckers will be like, man, how are we going to top 2015? How are we going to do it big this year? And I’ll say, bitch, I’m…fuck man I’m dead. I died in 2015 of not getting out of bed to eat and also bleeding to death.

Exit Strategy

My little brother and I just crip-walked through the Marcy Projects. He’s on crutches after totaling my parents’ 2002 Chevy Malibu in a no-headlight night race on a back road in my hometown. We got accosted by a guy telling us how he was laid up for a week with two broken ribs. He got a settlement of $9000 and his building had to install a new stairway. He used the money to put two comfort girls up in a hotel room for a week. He called the experience his “fantasy island.”

I was glad Little Brother got the chance to interact with an old lecherous drunk with a penchant for repetitive storytelling here in Brooklyn. One skill that everyone who aspires to end up not hating humanity when they die should learn is the art of exiting a conversation. Specifically the art of exiting a boring conversation between yourself and a closet megalomaniac who possesses the eye of the ancient mariner.

Little Brother did well in this regard once the old bastard told him for the third time that he didn’t care to know our opinions on his decision to cheat on his wife. Little Brother pretended to see some friends in the distance. An ancient, overused and crude tactic, but effective once in a while. I myself have an arsenal of escape plans ranging from the subtle (successive 3-inch backward step) to the extreme (faking sarcoidosis).

However, neither of us were a match for Brother-in-Law, who uses a time honored three pronged offense: guilt, intimidation, and insincere self-deprecation. Luckily my sister came through in the clutch and harangued her husband from afar with incessant texts concerning his whereabouts, complete with pictures of his sad-faced spawn.

Apparently, Wife and Sister had some troubles of their own while I was away at work last night. My good friend is a deep thinker and a slow talker and allegedly using these tools to hold them hostage over dinner. He asked a litany of questions that had to do with Wife’s recent foray into the world of food policy vis-a-vis grad school, forcing them to consider the ugly implications of the food they were planning on enjoying.

Nothing goes to plan in a world filled with boorish yahoos, and we’re all boorish yahoos. Especially you.

Good Morning Heartache, What’s New?

It’s the entire horn section of the once great Chickasaw Falls marching band outside playing the collected works of Miles Davis’s hapless widow (who, claiming to be possessed by the spirit of her late husband, refused to stop composing polka choruses until she dropped dead twelve long days after Davis’s own tragic death). It’s that at nine in the morning on a sad Tuesday in Brooklyn.

When a friend comes to town for only a short time and you don’t have a real career and you don’t have kids, you put your life on hold until they leave. If your friend is at all interested in your life, you have some time to think about the damn thing with a little more perspective than usual.

Well, such a thing has happened to me these last two days. It is interesting that an entire life can seem so fraught with things to do and then one can decide to stop doing those things and experience no immediate consequences. I remember one time my little brother brought me an Xbox to play with and I put everything on hold (and, as I was planning a wedding and working two jobs there was a lot to put on hold) and even skipped meals and personal hygiene whenever I could (whenever my wife wouldn’t notice) to play that damn game. There was minor backlash after two weeks of being absorbed in that alternative reality, but not as much as i had imagined.

It makes me wonder if the stress I put on myself to “be productive” in day to day life is justified, healthy, or useful. I guess that depends on your definition of useful, and for me I guess I am still too immature to stop taking things to their philosophical nadir, and so my definition of useful is anything that makes me feel good right now (since we could die any second and even if we don’t the universe is expanding in all directions at once so anyway we are getting less and less prominent in the world and to begin with we weren’t even at the level of ants on a galactic leaf).

Absent Minded Somnambulist

I am sitting next to my front door (on the inside of my apartment) on a gray rug that I stole from an absent minded somnambulist. I am sitting here drinking a beer that I don’t particularly like and I am thinking about what I did today. Only I’m not thinking of events because I can’t remember them well enough to make sense of them. Instead, I am thinking about this moment and what does it mean to be a man in Nautilus brand sweat pants two sizes too big with frayed bottoms drinking a beer in the dark at one in the morning while my wife sleeps and my good friend reposes on the love seat with his feet over the side and his breathing slow and shallow and that’s what makes me think he is asleep, too.

The reason I can’t think of the things I did today is that I am not the person who did those things. Maybe half my cells have died and been replaced since then. My mind certainly can’t process the past in a satisfactory way. It skews even the present, but not as viciously as it does the past. The memories I have now are only a representation of the person I’ve become since those memories allegedly occurred.

Anyway, it’s kind of nice here, now that I think about it. The beer is not tasty but it is alcoholic and oftentimes that’s what matters.

(Just now, by the way, I think someone built an entire jungle gym right outside of my door and then dropped it down the stairs. Either that or Charles Bronson is escaping this building’s stairwell using only a tin sledgehammer and a baby’s rattle.)

It’s nice here and besides I have had a nice day. I didn’t expect it to end this way, but that’s okay.

See my friend came to visit me and I had to work. So I was away for eight and a half hours and they were thinking of coming out after I got off. But then I texted them at midnight to say what’s up and got no reply. Then I walk into a dark apartment and so it goes.

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.

You Can Hear it with a Different Kind of Ear

Ain’t it funny when you discover that he wasn’t really where it’s at?

Ah shit, I’ve had too much to drink and it was so nice outside today, and this morning I posted about calories and got more views than I got in months, and almost beat my record, which isn’t so impressive really anyway, but fuck you for thinking that, you bastards.

But anyway, fuck the microverse, I’m going to eat fried chicken and lose the robots in the wake of a thousand dumb experiments, and conceal the whole thing in a grocery bag made for two.

Seriously, though, in the end we’re all just paper-mache that your little brother brought back in the Winnebago that he bought in Canada for a half penny and a smile and a proper donut, the kind with the several light speed dynamos that were illegal in that time of the month for ladies of your stature. And then, like Lot’s daughters, you realized the folly of your ways and sucked the dicks of angels, and tried for the life of you to get rid of your tuberculosis cough, and in the end you switched internet providers and called it a night. A cold, hapless night where the reindeer bayed at your front door and left you nasty messes, and ate the chains from your porch swing, and forever grounded your soul.

And then Tupac came to town and really felt what he was saying, and once in a while, well, the fort Breys windy what ankle trapezoids came through and swept the Oscars.

Reading Walden

I started reading Walden a couple of days ago. Period.

I’ve just been reading a little at a time. It’s crazy how many books I’ve read but if you ask me about some of them I sort of remember what they said and try to use that to show that I know about them or have read them, but you can see I don’t really know about them, like in the Socratic way someone would know something.

Socrates, I read in Proust and the Squid, was not in favor of writing because among other things he said reading things would give people the illusion of knowledge. Now we have it to the extreme, with iPhones we are all cyborgs. I don’t have one yet, but I wouldn’t turn down a free one. But with an iPhone, or a smartphone actually, any smartphone, is what I mean, with one of those things you have the knowledge of humanity in easy reach, almost as easy and in some cases easier than retrieving knowledge from your own brain. But we don’t really know a whole lot. Or at least I don’t. And I don’t even have a smartphone so I’m really fucked.

Anyway, I think I have mentioned that part of Proust and the Squid before, because that’s pretty much the only thing I remember from reading that whole book. It’s amazing the amount of things I have learned from books and then quickly forgot, or maybe not even quickly, even slowly forgot, until I pick that book up again and read the whole thing and remember and think damn if I had only remembered that instead of forgetting it.

So I’m trying to read slowly and really internalize what I’m reading.

I was thinking for this post I should look up the context that this journal was written in and really have an understanding about this shit, but then I said fuck it. There does happen to be some interesting context written on the jacket. It seems that Thoreau died in obscurity and his journals were discovered later as works of importance. That’s what the cover seems to imply.

It says to wit that he was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of a pencil manufacturer. He graduated from Harvard and started teaching, but then gave it up because “of the stern methods he was expected to undertake.” I don’t really understand what that means but I guess he just thought the shit was too rigid or something. Apparently he tried his hand at various jobs, started writing journals, and was close friends or at least in “a close relationship” with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was older than him and had property at Walden Pond. When Thoreau was 28 he built a cabin on that property and published Walden nine years later, and it was “received poorly.” Then he died at forty-five years old in “relative obscurity.”

In the front description of the book it says Thoreau rejected the tenants of the industrial revolution and he searched for something more meaningful than materialism. This of course is very interesting for us today who are so affected by the industrial revolution that we do not even know in what ways we are or are not or how we would be different if it had never happened, and so on until there was no internet.

What did I know about this book before I read it? Well, a lot more than I do about most books I guess, which is nothing. I knew that it said somewhere that he went into the woods in order to live life deliberately, and by that I guess he meant he went in there to do everything the way he wanted to do it, to have a reason for doing everything instead of waking up and shaving because that’s what your dad did.

What else? I think he says “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” but that might be Emerson. Anyway I see it on the side of a bank sometimes. Also I know that people who are libertarians like the book, and park rangers and people who like to do things themselves and independent people and a lot of patriotic people sometimes say something about it, and I know that Thoreau is considered somewhat of a philosopher, at least enough that my parents would mistrust anything he had to say since it would obviously be outside of God’s divine plan.

I know Walden was a pond, or didn’t I know that before I read the jacket? I don’t know. I know something about, well I heard this thing at one point in my life I don’t know when but I’ve always thought about it and never done it, something about he avoided making a path to his door either purposefully or with his feet over time, because he thought that one should always be trying new roads and paths in order to experience life more broadly. That’s the general memory I have of someone saying something like that to me once that, if I don’t examine it, becomes sort of like a belief that I have about the book and about life in general, some background thought that affects my life in some unconscious, subtle way once in a while.

Well, I think that’s all I thought I knew about the book before I started reading. My general list of assumptions about the book.

I’m up to page thirty or something like that, where he’s talking about how cheaply he built his house in the woods and how expensive it is for the students of Cambridge College to be housed in less luxurious rooms and how they don’t even have the advantage of having built the place they are living in, and so cannot fully appreciate it. He’s talking about how people don’t learn anything. He says instead of a student taking a bunch of metalurgy classes, he should just go make his own knife by digging ore out of the ground and smelting it and so on. But instead his father buys him a knife and sends him to school and pays dearly for both with money and therefore with time spent earning the money and therefore with pieces of his life, all of which the student has no connection with and therefore benefits little.

Thoreau’s writing in this book is highly quotable, and it’s hard to feel like you’re getting everything he says because almost every sentence is memorable.

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

I mean that right there is a great line. But the problem with that line is that it starts a thought that continues for four more lines, which are all bad ass, so it’s hard to remember how effective it is as a punchy one liner. Observe:

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would sent to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.

Alright and that’s on page one so…shit. At this point I’m thinking, this mother fucker is like thirty years old right now, writing like that. Talking about what he, on his side, requires of every writer. He thinks enough of himself to require some shit from another writer. I don’t know that shit is blowing my mind right now. It’s like I was thinking about Don Draper on Mad Men the other day, because I was catching up on the episodes, and I was thinking, that dude commands respect, he just is…well he’s just old. Like he’s not growing up. The thing too with that character is that he’s not grown up, he hasn’t figured life out at all, but then I guess you never do, but he just somehow acts like he has and why the fuck haven’t you? Stay out of my office with your childish crap. Hm but that’s just probably some weird connection that makes no sense, I’ll work on it.

Anyway he’s already talking about living sincerely, so that makes me think of Linus in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the great pumpkin, talking about how sincere is the pumpkin patch. And mother fuckers just aren’t sincere any more. Everyone is ironic and sarcastic and evasive. I sure as hell am. But anyway, I’ll continue.

The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra’s head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

Alright now we’re only page two and this mother fucker is dropping it like it’s hot. He’s talking about the normal existence of old time industrial revolution slaves going to work every day and hating themselves, not accomplishing shit. And how well he writes, and for no one but himself, really. This is some journal type shit. I guess he was writing for the townspeople of New England. I don’t know. But I didn’t even know Iolaus had a name. See so we’re already learning some Greek shit up in here. I mean I guess most people know about the hydra, or learned about it sometime. The hydra had a million heads or something and Hercules was hacking away at them…shit you know what I just realized I only really know this story because I saw the cartoon movie Hercules. Ha! Shit. Fuck I should have paid attention in high school. Anyway, the more he chops this son of a bitch up the more heads come up and you’re like damn Herk that shit obviously ain’t going to work! So apparently this Iolaus mother fucker rolls up with a blow torch or a hot iron as it were and seals the heads as Hercules chopped them. But these poor townspeople got to go to work every day and move in the same way and all that like in a Charlie Chaplin movie.

Alright fuck, every line is gold so I’ll just randomly skip some of them.

How can he [humans] remember well his ignorance—which his growth requires—who has so often to use his knowledge?

So basically if you don’t have time for leisure because you’re always working on something then you’ll never realize that there are a lot of things which you have never thought of and only by thinking of those things can you grow…or at least you have to realize that you don’t know a lot before you know what you know…or something like that. Ah fuck it why am I trying to explain it, just read it again.

I definitely feel this next line. I used to tell my brothers about debt and how they should avoid it. I was like, well every time I spend a dollar on a coffee or something stupid, I’m stealing that dollar from my creditors, because I owe them more every month than I make. Thoreau says:

Some of you…are poor…I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live…

Ha, and to continue with his description of the state of the world as he sees it in the common New Englander:

Talk of a divinity in man! Look at the teamster on the highway, wending to market by day or night; does any divinity stir within him? His highest duty to fodder and water his horses! What is his destiny to him compared with the shipping interests?

And then it gets really interesting as he starts to talk about people’s opinions of themselves. And here’s where I really relate to the text.

See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.

That’s a great one-liner in there, too, covered up by the genius of the whole description: Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. If I could just think of myself as being a good person, a nice person, a worthwhile person, which is how I act like I think of myself, well then life would just be better. Somehow I always thought you could just fake it till you make it. I’ve been told that a million times. Not happy? Smile, if you act happy, you’ll become happy.

Here there is also another connection to Don Draper (sorry, I’m obsessed with him. There was some article or TV clip my friend was telling me about last year that said, “I wish everyone would stop talking about their imaginary friend Don Draper.”). Draper is a big shot and no one would argue with that, but on the inside he’s still Dick Whitman and he hates himself for it. So in public he’s got it all, but he’s very unhappy because of his own private opinion of himself.

Then there’s another incredible line, which I can’t even comprehend at all but I know means something awesome:

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

As what’s her name would say in that one movie, “As if!” Well shit I just talked about that the other day, how if you had eternity you could kill a trillion years and still have the same amount of time left, which is just the opposite of this seriously legit one liner. Like I said, don’t really understand why not, I’ll keep thinking about it.

This is obviously too long now so I’ll leave it at that. And I’m up to page five. I’ll leave you with this:

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

I Just Wanna Say This

Well, spring is the mischief in me and in the world so it seems. That is all.

There are so many colors outside now. And the whole week is supposed to be nice, nice, very nice. Yesterday was cold and wet and I took the bus to work instead of riding the bike. Big mistake there. The bus was late getting here and then I ended up taking a cab back from work because the next bus was in 96 minutes. 96 minutes. How does that even work?

That reminds me of a newish thing I hate. It’s funny that I hate it because people say it when they hate or don’t understand something. I hate when people say, “Really? REALLY?” Everyone is at it now. It makes me want to say, “Really?” to them for saying “really.”

The bus situation would have been a perfect occasion for me to say “Really?” And that’s why I thought of the fact that I hate when people say that. Recently Leo from Zen Habits wrote a post about anger stemming from selfishness. Like if you get mad at someone for doing something then you’re just imposing your expectations on a world that obviously doesn’t conform to your expectations even half of the time. In light of that of course I’m just being childish when I expect the bus to come more than once every god damn hour and a half.

Yesterday when I got to work I was like, “Shit man I left my house at 9:30 and just got here at 10:30.” And this new dude at work says, “Well I left my house at 8:30.” Well I’m like shit why do you live so god damn far away? Because this mother fucker drives to work. I’m like damn man you practically decimated the ozone on your way into work every morning. Haha but of course we’re all at work on that one, or maybe it’s a conspiracy. But anyway, I guess you could counter by saying well shit the economy is such a bitch that people have to drive two hours to get a restaurant job! To which I’d say bullshit. The economy is depressed as Eeyore out this mother fucker that’s true, but restaurant jobs are everywhere. But maybe I’m lying to everyone. It did take me a while to find this one. And the general manager drives down from New Hampshire every day. I really don’t think it’s necessary but I could be wrong. Anyway if I had to drive two hours to get to the nearest job, you know what I’d do? I’d fucking move! AKA if I didn’t have any money I’d sleep in the employee bathroom. Fuck driving two hours to work every day.

Yeah but anyway. What the hell was I talking about in this bee-itch. Oh well it’s pretty obvious to certain readers that I have had a lot of coffee today. I try to get down on coffee, like I try not to drink it. I don’t know why, I hear bad things about it and I have a fear of addiction. And GF is definitely addicted. Not crazy addicted but she needs to have it every morning. So just a normal American. But to me that’s scary. I am not reinforced by that. I read a blog post somewhere about how coffee works, some blog about keeping your health or something…shit how did I even find that blog? But anyway it just blocks the chemical that triggers your body to go to sleep from getting into your brain somewhere, so in essence it doesn’t do anything for you, or that’s what the post was trying to posit. And I agree with that from a purely materialistic standpoint. And I usually try to think of things in purely materialistic terms. I have been thinking of cutting that shit out…materialistic thinking that is…but I’ll talk about that later maybe.

But anyway, when I drink too much coffee I feel really great for a little while. Maybe I do crash later and that’s why I am afraid to drink to much of it. But you know what I do when I don’t drink coffee? I crash the whole day. Ok no I don’t crash all day. I just stay at the same level all day. Maybe I’m bi-polar.

Here I found that blog post about caffeine.

Hey while we’re talking about other people’s blogs, here’s a reference:

Q: What do you say to somebody you just murdered for talking to much?

A: Well you’re DEAD now. So SHUT UP.

Oh good Christ that is some funny shit right there.

Hoo damn well it’s nice as a bitch outside and I am sitting in here like a mad man. I was rereading Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country. It gave me so much joy to read it. I feel everything that he says. The world is so fucked so let’s all laugh and dance, he says, and you can really get behind it because he is a very kind person and he never says fuck or shit and he’s smart and old and wise, even though he’s DEAD now.

Ah but it made me think maybe I should just stop reading new books and just reread the ones I’ve already read that were really good. I think that would be a satisfactory way of avoiding the feeling that I’m missing out on everything.

I’m listening to Charlie Parker now because I read most of Blues People about three times but I still haven’t gotten all the way to the very end. I’m like ten pages away and I put it down to read something exciting I saw at the library. And I’ve got this damn book from the library that will probably make it impossible for me to take new books out since I’ve had it for like three weeks past the due date. I always do that. I don’t see any reason for making a special trip to the library and I haven’t been by there so the book just won’t get returned I guess. But there’s a part of the book where he quotes from an earlier book of his, Cat’s Cradle and he says something like “There was a lot of suffering and misery so I made up lies so that everything would seem to have meaning and everyone could live in peace and happiness.” Something like that. And of course that’s the fake guru Bokonon saying that about Bokononism, which I’ve talked about before.And anyway it’s making me rethink materialism. If I could just convince myself of the lies maybe I could also feel fulfilled.

Well I could go on about whatever now. But I guess I’ll keep this to a somewhat readable length.