Who Do You Think You Are? Anton Fucking Chekhov?

I think I just had an epiphany of sorts. I read this book by Michael Chabon called Maps and Legends…ah fuck, nah that’s wrong. I did read that and it was good but it was Charles Baxter’s Burning Down the House that I was thinking of. In his book, Baxter criticizes epiphany literature wherein the story goes nowhere, the lead character realizes something and that’s the end of the story. It was a lot more clever than that of course.

But anyway back to my cliched epiphany.

The first novel that I completed…well the only one that I completed…was about a disillusioned male protagonist who gets shot for no reason at all and doesn’t really care. And then the book ends.

I didn’t try to publish the book because I was like well this shit doesn’t even go anywhere.

Then I read books about writing stories and they were like, hey does your story go nowhere? Who do you think you are? Anton fucking Chekhov? Cut that shit out and stick a dick in your ass, nobody wants to read that trash.

So I said fuck it I need to write a story.

But you know that first book was oddly suspenseful. All of my beta readers finished that shit in a day and they aren’t even big readers, certainly not fast readers. There was nothing in it to figure out, so I don’t know how it was suspenseful. I think the characters were good and people just enjoyed spending time in that world.

So I just thought to myself, what the fuck, I’ma write that shit again. Or some other shit like it.

The truth is I somehow can’t get myself to write even a short story. Ha I should post the one short story I did write the other day. It was about a little girl who gets a puppy and then two paragraphs later finds an old dog dead in the yard and she is in graduate school and hates herself and her mom and her mom hates her and the dog and the mom finds out that the dog is dead and she cries for the first time in her daughter’s life.

Man I can’t write stories that go places for shit. I think I just can’t because I don’t believe that shit. I don’t believe that everything is connected, that there is a higher power, that shit rises and falls in an interesting way. I believe life is boring as hell and miserable too. I don’t think there’s any lessons we can teach anyone else. I don’t think curiosity makes life worth living.

But oddly I do love stories. I like tight plots and stories that go places and I don’t like Sarah Orne Jewett and her intricately designed settings and characters and absolutely nothing going on. Well I guess I haven’t read her stuff in a while so maybe that’s not true any more.

I guess I might be having trouble writing stories because it’s not the truth for me. Stories are a way of expressing deeper truths. I don’t have any truth I want to express…that’s not true.

The truth I want to express is “life is meaningless and the only things worth doing are loving someone and/or looking cool while smoking cigarettes…maybe sex too.”

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.

Feeling Sorry for Myself

I’m in a weird place now. I didn’t want to start writing a post because I knew that when I did, time would start passing faster, and it’s almost time for me to leave for work. The new AirBnB guest is supposed to be here about the same time I have to leave for work, too. So I’m not really looking forward to either one of those activities, as usual, even though I don’t know what I’m doing that’s any better than that.

Last night I thought sure I was going to wake up and write something. I got everything in order and sat down to the computer at 10:30. By the time it was 11:30 I had opened up my word processor and I was ready to go. By 12:30 I had written two terrible paragraphs about nothing. So I got up and ate.

I’ve said before that the only times I feel good at home sometimes is when I’m eating something. More instant gratification. I did study for the LSAT for 30 minutes and that felt fine. Didn’t want to do it at first but it became fun by the end. Then I read some of Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! It’s interesting and I had to stop reading it because I knew time was really going to fly if I got too into it.

And it’s cold as a bitch in this whole house again. I figured I hadn’t turned on the heat up to whatever point it was, so no reason to do it now, with only so much time to go. So now I’m sitting at the desk with my jacket and my shoes and my hat on all ready to walk right out the door. I’ve been like this since more than an hour before I actually have to leave. I don’t know why. I guess I’m scared that I’ll get caught up in something and then won’t have time to get ready to leave or something. I’ll really be screwed if that dude shows up early.

Maybe I’m trying to force myself to write too much and I’m not really having much fun with it. So many things I have to do, or think I have to do, I don’t give myself any time to just not do anything, I guess. I don’t know. Same shit all the time. Maybe I’ll try to memorize some poetry while I’m at work or something. I don’t know. Count to ten in French a bunch. That should be helpful.

There where it is we don’t need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

This morning it was bright outside. I had to take my jacket off as we walked to the train in the sun. The birds were chirping as I sat down to my computer in my house made gray by the curtains and the upholstery. And now I’ve moved to the office, with windows all around, and it’s gray outside now, too. And my feet are cold inside my shoes, still soaked with last night’s sweat.

I guess I’ll never talk to my best friend who went off to the Army again. We aren’t the kind of people who can be friends into true adulthood. My great Aunt died and my dad texted me: “Don’t know if you heard but Aunt Annie passed away. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!” Weird. Last night I had a dream that I was drunk at my parents house and I wrote some kind of journal thing and saved it on a 3.5 inch floppy disk and my mom found it the next morning and was really upset as I helped her unload the groceries from her car. And I had stolen her bag of Domino sugar and cocaine had something to do with that.

Tomorrow I am working a double so that my coworker will cover my shift on Saturday so I can take a bus to Long Island and meet my mother there, and then she’ll drive us back to Delaware. I’ll be there until Tuesday.

I’ve been wanting to get drunk all day, or at least just have one whiskey and ginger, but I keep putting it off for good reasons, just like the heat. We are having wine class before work today, so maybe I can get enough, but no I already know how that story goes. And yesterday I drank a lot of coffee but it was either too much or not enough because it was not making me feel good. I wish I had a flask but I know I’ll never do that. I’m sure they would notice I was drunk by how happy I would be.

We are set to make 500 dollars from AirBnB for the month of May. So far no one has noticed anything and we’ve had four or five sets of guests come. We have a pretty full April, too. I guess we’ve made about 350 dollars including this guy coming today for March. So that’s good. We are going to need a lot of money for our Eurotrip. GF keeps thinking we should stay for longer. I don’t know, shit, people do it but they are rich or have no debts I don’t know. Damn sure can’t throw it all on the 3,000 dollar credit card I have with an interest rate of 22 percent and already 2,000 dollars used up on that bitch!

I guess I’m about the laziest person I know, in a way. I don’t know how to live without instant gratification all the time. I don’t know how to live with a bad feeling in my heart. I don’t know how to struggle through a day gracefully. I don’t know how everyone shows up to work and acts like they do.

For a while there, it seemed like I had some perspective. I was reading the news and history and seeing myself as part of a bigger picture, instead of just self-analyzing and obsessing with myself and all that. How can I get that back? Guess I should read the news and history again.

Ah well. There goes a half an hour. Better spent than the three hours before it anyway.

Nothing That I Can Think Of

It took a long time to catch up on all you’ve been writing. You guys write a lot. But it was fun. Shit I didn’t think it would take five hours. At least I was doing my laundry at the same time. GF will be out of school soon and it’s back to the god forsaken grocery stores. And Target. To get paper towels and toilet paper. And a bike tire. Fuck it. I was going to try to shop local, but I’m too lazy. And so the world will end in fire.

My bike’s been busted for a week but I am too lazy to go to the bike store and get another tire. Besides I am afraid of those guys. They will probably laugh at me.

My lip hurts. Last night I had a dream that my best friend who I don’t talk to any more who’s in Afghanistan was here and we were in some kind of apartment complex with many floors. We were trying to figure out a puzzle, like a fucked up crossword, and if we didn’t figure it out it was sure death for everyone. And there was another annoying guy with us, fucking the whole thing up. He said he was trying to solve it, too, but we knew he couldn’t, but he wouldn’t get out of the way. We went downstairs and there were some rich white guys in a truck and they flashed a gun at us when someone said something disparaging. I knew it was going to happen. I ran for cover and heard the shot and knew there was a gun in my car, which was next to where I was hiding. Then that annoying guy popped out with my gun, it was a little revolver. He shot at the guys and then things got tense. I knew those rich white dudes were just shooting to scare us, but now someone was going to die. I cursed the bastard and suddenly there was a rifle in my hands and two girls in my car. And I didn’t know if my best friend was dead yet, so I ran up to the white guys’ car and shot wildly. Then there was no one in the car and a tall black man in a military uniform was pulling a sidearm and I knew he was going to kill me. So I shot him in the shoulder. I didn’t know how to cock the gun, but I figured it out as he slowly gathered himself to raise his gun again. And then I shot him in the heart. He looked annoyed and like he was going to die, but he gathered his strength as I cocked the gun again and I aimed for his hand, and I shot that.

Then GF woke me up by asking me if I was tired.

Switching between worlds like that is so jarring. I try to tell her that it is, but she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t have dreams, or anyway she can’t remember if she does. She never understands why I wake up feeling weird or scared.

Dreams are fucking weird. Especially because to me they are so real.

And I don’t know if they end and it just seems like I wake up right away, always breaking them up weirdly, or I’m always waking up mid-dream, which is why I feel so what’s the word ah shit I can’t think of it but you know what I mean. Disoriented.

But anyway. Shit. What’s going on around here? Today GF forgot her chef coat, and we were halfway down the street to the train when she remembered, so I ran back while she kept walking, and then caught back up with her. That was too much running in the clothes I was wearing. It’s pretty windy out there. All the snow’s gone but the scraping woman was out again. Her companion has not been around.

I’m almost to the end of Great Expectations and I’ve pretty much forgotten or perhaps never read all that happens after this point. I think I read it all but it was probably on an all nighter in high school.

I’m reading Proust and the Squid and it’s really interesting. It’s just about reading. And it makes me want to read Proust. But I feel like I should learn French if I’m going to do that.

Watching Midnight in Paris has really made me want to read more Hemingway. And reading Proust and the Squid, since it’s so dense I end up skipping through the middles of some sentences, not on purpose but just because I want to finish, even though I go back and try to reread and get every word, well anyway it made me think of Elmer Leonard’s quote, “I leave out the parts that people skip.” As much as I like wordplay, I think I’m more of a story guy. Just clean writing thanks. But then again I’ll change my mind tomorrow.

Anyway, trying to be more “manly” and have an effect on my environment. Trying to believe I can change things or that life matters. Trying to grow up. Just like always.

When I walk around the city and people walk into me like I am a ghost, it happens all the time, it usually gets on my nerves more than most things. Like Christ people don’t you know how to walk? If there are four of you coming towards me, one of you needs to move to the back so I can get through! Jesus fuck and those god damn strollers! Fucking hell! It’s a baby not a license to plow humanity under like a cornfield. Jesus mother fucking Christ I swear I’m going to get a stroller and put an old time iron ass cow catcher on the front of that shit and mow motherfuckers down!

Alright so yeah that shit really gets on my nerves because I just think people should respect each other. But I’ve started thinking that I’m at war with everyone. Like there are two sides to this war, considerate people and inconsiderate people. I’ll always be considerate, because that’s what side I’m on, but if those bastards on the other side want to be inconsiderate, well I shouldn’t expect any different. That’s what makes it maddening, is that you go out in the world just expecting other people to be considerate. If you expect them all to be inconsiderate because they’re at war with you, well you’re not surprised. And surprisingly there are some other people on my side of the war, and we smile as we pass each other, leaving each enough room to comfortably walk.

I’ve also thought this way about customers and older people. Like I heard this one guy talking at a party I was working, he was talking to this young architect about how he doesn’t understand why young people don’t want to work. He was commending this young man for having a real job instead of just opting out of life and so on. He said it drives him crazy that young people don’t want to work. Well little did that fuckface know but the guy serving him bruschetta on a stick was an out of work architect. Guess what mother fucker people want to be architects but they can’t because no one’s building shit right now!

But of course that guy is probably totally a good person with a wife and kids and struggles and such. He probably would be fun to have dinner with. Maybe. Probably. And on top of that, the server I’m talking about who’s also an architect, well he’s basically a pretentious asshole and I hate him. Not really. He has a good heart and he’s interesting and fun to hang out with. But he’s also pretentious and an asshole and I can see why some people hate him. Or would hate him if they didn’t know him.

The incident made me think of this really awesome blog post on Rarasaur, which was also probably the first inspiration for me to start thinking this way.

But when I think that we’re at war, it helps me to manage my expectations and be more like myself instead of getting really angry on the inside. It’s really not a generational thing, it’s just that this guy and the generations and generations of humanity before us have helped hold up an idea of what society should be that in the end might not be sustainable, and is certainly irrational, and the only logical response to an irrational world is non-participation. Or at least it’s one logical response.

So I think to myself, that’s ok, he’s on the asshole team. Of course he hates me, we’re at war, and I’m on the not-an-asshole team. But just like the Germans and the French that one time on the battlefield, if some shit happened where we could temporarily forget our uniforms, we could sit down and enjoy a beer together.

But yeah, non-participation. I was thinking maybe fuck it, if this is the way the world is, I might as well act like it matters. Even if it really doesn’t, I guess it’s a little like what I was telling Matt on his blog, about induction and probability and shit. The probability of anything happening, really, philosophically, is 50/50. Or at least that’s what David Hume postulated. And it makes sense if you think about it. Like the coin toss and what not, if you flip it 100 times, 50 times or so it will be heads, that’s true. But say you flipped it ten times and all those times it was tails. Well, now you’ve got to believe that this time it will be heads. I would guess the probability of it being heads at that point would be about 91 percent or some shit. But think about the coin. It doesn’t know it’s been flipped ten times and the universe could give a shit less about you flipping a coin so it’s not keeping track. There is nothing keeping track of your flips so there’s nothing that really makes this particular coin toss 91 percent likely to be heads. Nope every time you flip the coin it’s a 50/50 chance of being heads or tails. That is unless you take into account that it also has as much chance (and this is taking a philosophical bullshit leap) to burst into flames or become sentient or ask you “do you want some more?” like that machine in The Fifth Element. Anything could happen, but we don’t really believe that because we believe the past is a predictor of the future, which according to Hume is the logical fallacy upon which science is built.

But anyway, shit what was I saying?

Oh right, non participation. So Hume was a fucking crazy ass for thinking of this shit and articulating it and what all but in the end even he had to agree that a person can’t live without basing his idea of the future on his idea of the past. I mean you can’t live a fulfilling life if you walk around continually conscious of the fact that the sun is just as likely to rape you in the ass as it is to rise tomorrow morning. So the point is to just be aware of it as a logical construct and then just go with it, if it works. Which is somewhat the same as functionality…or shit what is the real word for it? I don’t know but it’s what Newton and those fuckers thought about when they made their theories. Maybe the basis isn’t true, but the end result is true. Maybe calculus depends on something irrational and non-existent, but it accomplishes the desired end so that’s fine.

So probability is bullshit but in a coin toss I’d bet twenty dollars that the coin that’s been tails 10 times will be heads on the eleventh. And if I think this way about that, well shit, I might as well deal with the world as it is. Like some kind of rationality is possible. Like change does matter, however futile it is in the long run.

Ah but it’s so hard, since the world is so farcical. And life is a joke and death is the punch line. Working within the system to change the system. Shit I don’t know. The system is fucked with a capital K but then again, maybe that’s a bunch of horseshit. Maybe there is no system. Maybe the internet is a construct. Maybe they’re after all of us.

But really, you can’t save the world by changing your light bulbs and not going to target.

Mother Theresa said we can’t do great things, only small things with great love.

Be the change you want to see in the world and all that.

But even that was a simpler time.

Or just as fucked up, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe everything that happens has to happen.

Alright well I’ve stopped making sense about a thousand words ago. But what I’m trying to say is that I think I’m going to try to act like the world is a rational place. I’m going to try to make a small difference in it. I’m going to stop thinking that everything is futile and meaningless and just pretend like it isn’t. Just for the hell of it. What have I got to lose?

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.

And We Would Cook a Corn Meal Porridge

Readability Index: Weak

Well, shit.

It is almost one AM. It’s funny how some people say, “It’s 1 AM in the morning.” I’ve never done it before, but one day, by God, I’m going to say, “Yeah by that time it was like 2 AM in the night.” I bet no one will think anything of it. Because it makes total sense to me.

Well, but shit.

This is to be my wind down post before going to bed.

God I love hitting that publish button so much. All the words blocked off in their appropriate fences with pretty blue titles. And all the ways to keep track of them. To catalogue them. I love cataloguing. I could totally dig a job where I just fixed people’s iTunes libraries. I love databases, especially the ones with no point whatsoever. Of course those kinds of databases don’t exist.

I love the Mad Hatter.

Yes, but I am trying to wind down, and unlike this morning, well I just can’t stop my fingers. They are moving so fast and with such precision that it almost hurts to watch. God. How did I get born with fingers that work? Jesus Christ. What if my fingers were cut off in a freak trolley incident? What a bitch that would be. What difficulties that would present.

I am so god damned perfect. Like a machine. Like a sad machine. Like a god damned ecstatic James Brown SEX MACHINE!

Well but shit. It is imperative that I calm down now so that I can go to bed. So that I can wash those god damn dishes that led to this beautiful coconut muffin that my super hot girlfriend just made.

She is so super hot that I am afraid of time. I am afraid that she will get older and so will I. I will have saggy balls. What a bitch. She is so super hot that I just want to jump into a drying tub of amber with her and die like that French movie called…The Game. But in French.

But for now. We are both so perfect. No diseases. Ten fingers. What a couple of assholes we are.

Hoo.

Shit. The dishes. The dishes. I think…no, I know that that is what life is REALLY ABOUT. Life is really about doing the dishes. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again and again. Because I feel that it is true, and I know that I know why, but I can’t articulate it, even to myself. I know that life is about doing the dishes, but I don’t know why I know that.

But that’s neither here nor there, as my friend would say who has gone to Afghanistan for a year and we parted on bad terms. Isn’t that a bitch. We have been friends since High School. We have been so cool together and now he is seconds away from dying and we don’t even like each other.

Yes, but as another friend wisely told me in a funny voice, “Friendship is a long and bumpy road.” Yes. Yesssss.

Well. Shit.

These muffins are delicious. And I never expected to be given the gift of sitting here for two or three hours after work just doing my own thang.

The truth is if it weren’t for my girlfriend I would have no structure in my life whatsoever. I would probably be watching Marley the Bob Marley documentary right now and blogging about it. And I would do that for about three hours and love the hell out of it and not eat a god damn thing. Then I would watch some porn and then I would blog some more and then the sun would come up and I would have not eaten or drank or took my coat off. There are many bloggers out there who come to this and find it a pleasurable state. I do, too, until later when I look back, like when I’m at work and I think if I got anything done that day, then I am not happy about it. So God only knows what the fuck is going on. But my girl makes me go to bed and wake up in the morning and eat and wash the goddamn dishes. And take showers. Trust me I’d be the dirtiest mother fucker alive. I love taking showers once I’m in the shower but I hate undressing and getting in there.

Showers are just about the most luxurious fucking thing anybody could ever do. And millions of “poor” Americans take showers every day. We are rich as a bitch over here! Showers feel fucking great. God damn I am an American! How did this shit happen. In France I had to shower in cold water and it sucked sucked sucked. I have taken many cold showers on the advice of Tim Ferriss and the venerable General George Patton, but those were for a purpose. Hot showers…man they are one big fuck you to the Earth, but I can’t stay away. Yes I know. I’m a terrible Earthling.

Ah, but fuck I will talk about that some other time. I can’t even be bothered to stop typing long enough to pick up that goddamn muffin! Yum so good. Oh god it’s warm and good. It’s so goooood o fuck. Jesus.

What the shit am I doing with my life! Christ in heaven and blazing angels pissing on Willie Nelson this muffin is good!

Yes, so now to do the dishes.

There is so much more to talk about. I can go without sleep. And I totally would. But y girlfriend’s home and the mother fucking hammer is down.

Tomorrow I work early in the morning and she is not going on a field trip so we may be just talking and laughing the early hours away. AKA staying stone cold the fuck asleep because we stayed up until two AM in the night.

So I’ll just be reading Ruth Reichl on the bus and itching to get back here around 4 PM and type my ass off.

Right now…the dishes.