The Disapproval of a New Friend

Flickering lights above the panty store. An irreversible march towards summoning a black car T6 something something something. So many thoughts you can’t separate them, you can’t even pick a handful. A damn shame the weather so nice and why you sitting there quart container full of acid reflux in your lap. Alone. Waiting to help out a friend with a fetish. 

You’re not clever, you know, when you speak like that. You’re not clever, you know, when you talk to yourself like that.

Wouldn’t have noticed the battery on edge if I didn’t pull up Spotify looking for Travis Scott. Never heard of this dude till the other night, I swear. I swear I never did! I don’t watch what you watch, everyone. I don’t do the things everyone does!

Hahaha fuck it. Yeah I do. I’m a classic man. I’m an average man. I’m a man in a bench with a stomach ache and cartilage in my teeths.

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Tired

I am really tired of posting every day. Who can do this? On the surface it seems simple. Just fucking write something. I love writing so it should be easy. But some days just seem meant to pass without writing anything. Or at the very least not writing something for other people. Plus my wife doesn’t know about it so I can’t be like oh I have to go write my blog for a minute on our days off. Right now she’s showing me pictures of sea monsters and I’m pretending to be doing nothing. 

Correspondence 22.03.17

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From: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
To: Babe <listentothebabe@mail.com>
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2016 at 12:36 PM
Subject: The twisty sounds of piano-fortes long forgotten

Oi mate, you ever been to a deli? It’s a place with a counter. Maybe there’s some weird rolled chopped animals hanging from the ceiling, they might be caked in white rocks from the ocean. In the deli sometimes there’s a red machine that you pull a ticket from and it has a long number on it and eventually someone will yell out one of the numbers on the ticket and boom it’s time to order your boiled pigs and processed simulated cow’s milk product.

If you look at the digits of a year, 2017 for example, in a certain way, you can see that it’s kind of like that ticket from the deli. You pull one out, you throw it away, you hope you got everything you needed.

What I been doing at The New York? I been doing it to death, my friend.

I used to think: I better not post every day; I don’t want people to have to read every thought that comes into my head; eventually they will get tired of me and unfollow.

You know what, I don’t know at all what people feel. What I do know is that search engine traffic comes from content content content. You can game the system, and I wish I knew how, but if I increase the amount of content on my blog, I figure someone is bound to look at this shit and give me a million dollars.

In 2017 I have not worried about the fact that I’m obsessed with money. I have given up on the dream of a utopian society, of having Tescos. Every empire falls at some point, all I care about is having enough reading material to ride out the apocalypse, and as long as I have one good book, I’ve got that.

I suspect that the more dreams you give up the more you know which ones actually even matter at all. Sure, you can think too small, but you can certainly think too much, and I have found so far that it is better to think nothing at all than to think big some days and on other days berate yourself for not thinking big.

I’m fighting with my cat to type this, and it’s cute like, “oh he wants to type things, too!” but I also can’t fucking focus for one fucking minute god dammit it’s like I have a kid or something. I play with this mother fucker all the time shit I love him but then I try to pet him just now and he bites me. He wants what he wants all of the damn time and that is it. The only time he’s nice to me is when he’s half asleep. If he was a human that’d be a fucked up and very common relationship.

I’m writing all of the time now writing writing writing I just love writing and maybe if I post enough times all over the damn place maybe I can just keep writing. I’m revising a story a little at a time and letting it take its course. Fuck it, you know? But people love to say that. And it’s pretty meaningless. Fuck what? I don’t know.

I know you’re not writing as much these days because you are a more complete person than you were before, but I miss your writing nevertheless. Don’t feel guilty, I don’t know how that makes you feel, but I wouldn’t want to feel guilty about making you feel guilty.

Ha! Feelings! Fuck ’em.

Love ya

G

From: Babe <listenotothebabe@mail.com>
To: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
Date: Friday, September 9 at 11:00 AM
Subject: 21 days with no incident

It is ten o’clock where I am, at a cafe, on an island down south, where a Thai cook is watching television, having already prepared my breakfast. It is low season, and in the course of the day, I am the only one he will see. Perhaps I will pass by again in the afternoon, for tea and to read my novel. I am reading John le Carré’s Our Kind of Traitor, which is intriguing though not quite as intoxicating as The Little Drummer Girl, which remains my favourite.

It rains lightly in the morning before the sun punches a hole in the storm clouds in the early afternoon. In the evening, strong rain and winds frustrate the hotel’s efforts to provide al fresco dining. This is a pattern that repeats itself the entire time I am here. I am not bothered. It is perfect weather for someone convalescing. While this is a short jaunt– a mere five nights– it is still the longest I’ve been away from home. Two days I’ve been on the island and the vastness of my horizon makes me almost seasick.

I want to read your brown leather book. It’s barenaked and shows straight through to the bone like a leper dead six hours in a pool with a distracted piranha. Ha. That’s brilliant. I could never write properly by hand, but I like my typewriter. I ran out of ribbon though, and as I don’t know where to get things that nobody buys anymore, I may have to resort to Amazon.

***

I started this email on the island and now I’m back in Bangkok, and my pores are clogged up with pollution too. I feel my leaves slowly curl up around me. I have never liked living in cities, it has always been something of a necessity. I need to be located near a bookstore. Yet I am contemplating packing my life into boxes, moving into a smaller place in Bangkok, and going on the road again. Living out of a suitcase two months at a time. Why? The world has gone mad, have you noticed?

You must be lost somewhere in Asia by now. Are you intoxicated by the alien life?

B.

P.S.

I can’t conceive of distances either.

 

Word Hangover

Dude I got so many posts coming out of me right now, it feels like I drank too many words last night. Many too many words last night. Shit to be honest I was losing my voice last night, talking about the goddamn specials all the time. It’s funny because I would usually lie about that.

Mother fucking FUCK y’all I’m tired of fucking around all the time!

Nah just kiddin’ y’all that’s what I DO.

Anyway I got a new plan, it has to do with slippers. I lay in my bed, typing shit, and whenever I get out of bed, I put the slippers on.

So my feet don’t get cold and I don’t step on cat shit absorbing crumbs.

If I fall asleep while typing, which I usually do any time I actually try to write fiction, no big deal, it looks like I did it on purpose.

I’m going out tonight, y’all, maybe for the last time…

I’m going to try to maintain control! That’s something I never done before.

Get ready for tomorrow’s super ashamed what have I fucking DONE post yo! It’s going to be very similar to everything you’ve ever read on here before! You goin’ be like damn why do I still read this shittttt and I’m going to be like becAWWWZ you so CRAZY! Me and you both we can’t stop doing this same shit yo!

Yay! Oh Man How WONDERFUL!

Shit I considered going back on my promise to post once a day until the end of 2017. I must have been on drugs or something, no one needs this kind of aggravation every day.

But I never do anything that I say I’m going to do and I usually feel bad about that so I’m making a mother fuckin change y’all.

I’m going to post today! Yeah! Fuckin A!

Sweet!

What do I even care. If my blog got popular I could never cash in on it anyways or else people would know it was me. What do you think I have some kind of artistic integrity or some shit? Hell no, fuck, most of these posts took as much time to write as they did to type because I did both at the same time. Who cares with this theme I can say anything and it looks great. Most of y’all don’t even know that because you read in the WordPress Reader, which is exactly what I do. I don’t know what the hell kind of weird themes you people are using.

Well I have to go to work now!

Stop feeling guilty all the time! You didn’t do anything wrong!

Fate the Security Blanket

Blame the gods, the ground has given away beneath us. It’s not your fault that you put the basement in wrong. Nah, what do you know about putting basements in? Anyway, who told you to do it. The gods and the fates.

It was nice, wasn’t it, then, to have someone to blame. That wasn’t so bad. And we didn’t have to get so arrogant and live and die by our decisions and all of that. Some people are into that sort of thing.

William James decided for one year that he was going to take responsibility for everything that happened in his life, and apparently it was the year of his “rebirth.” I’ve heard it worked out well for him. I thought about doing it for myself. But maybe William James was just the exception. How many people take responsibility for everything that happens in their life and then kill themselves.

You never know, right, because all you do know about is William James and Brad Pitt. Worked for them. 

How many amazing writers will never be read? Who knows, who knows, writing well and getting people to read are two different skills and not every golden thing gets uncovered by virtue of it’s glitter.

This Weather Gives Me the Creeps

I wrote a short short story on Hijacked Amygdala today. You can read it here.

While you’re there, check out this new piece by Candice Daquin: Such is the Inequality of Them.

I remembered I liked blogging today around 2:15. I was in or around a grocery store. Today I had a mango and peach smoothie for the first time. I do not frequent juice shops. Today I put on shoes and tied them as well. I ate salt and vinegar potato chips, even though they are very disgusting.

Why do I like blogging again? I guess I have been writing long pieces of fiction for a long time and have not gotten very far with them. Maybe I should stop trying. I get so bored! And I always feel like I am wasting time on the wrong thing. I can never pick one thing.

Fuck it! Sometimes you try to be so serious and you try to be an adult. Man that is fucking dumb as hell! Fuck that shit! That shit was created by Madison Avenue to sell strollers!

Shit man what a life. I’m going to make margaritas because let’s talk about this weather, huh. Man this weather! Gives me the creeps.

Damn, homie!

Fuck first drafts, too! But even more, fuck second drafts. Like a dog returning to it’s vomit. Fuck all that shit! Be dead by the time you finish that second draft. Shit’s like an ice sculpture. It looked fine the first time, and besides, people weren’t expecting all that much anyway, it’s made out of fucking ice for christ sake! Then you go back to it to fix it up and you’re like why this shit all melty? Sumbitch shoulda known leave well enough alone!

This blog ain’t about the archives anyway! Shit! Nobody gives a damn what you wrote in March when the leaves are turning orange and shit.

Yeah man, shit. Have a drink! It’s nearly five o’clock. Let’s talk about the ISSUES. The issue is everything is arbitrary, so arbitrary!

Man I drank some iced tea that shit gave me heartburn.

Correspondence 10.4.16

From: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
To: Babe <listentothebabe@mail.com>
Date: Tuesday, October 4 at 8:24 PM
Subject: Devilish Town’s End

Babe:

I know about low season now. I was there in Asia and it was low season and you could do whatever you wanted and the staff could do whatever they wanted. Until dinner time and then they had to do a few things no one wanted.

I have had a le Carre book in my possession since 2008 when a strange old homosexual who called me prince gave me The Constant Gardner. Shit I can’t believe I remember the name of the book. It’s in storage right now.

I know exactly what you mean about the horizon. When we were crossing between islands on giant canoes with pontoons and surly men in strange t-shirts, all I could think about were tsunamis. With a horizon like that, how could you see one coming, and worse, what would you do? You would do nothing. You could only hope to enjoy the spectacle. Or is spectacle to trite a word?

Did you get your typewriter ribbon yet? Funny the strange things that get in the way. How does one even make a ribbon like that. We are so dependant on the work of others. But really, is there anyone in the world who could wake up in the morning and make a typewriter ribbon, say at home after a breakfast of stewed tomatoes? I think…no.

The world is mad and the only safety is in motion, especially the road. Cling to it, my dear, do.

As for me I am overcome with lassitude. Extreme lassitude! Total inertia! Thankfully there is a quiche nearby full of leeks and a glass of rum and soda. As for me I am aching and I cannot regulate my temperature. I am mildly sick in the body, and sick as ever where it matters. I am reading Gravity’s Rainbow and so I am also reading the dictionary, else I am completely adrift in Pynchon’s gulf of text. I am writing about being lost in a forest and trying to convey that the forest grows denser the more we focus inward, and loses it’s power when we deal with the world as if it were really there. Which, who knows, maybe it is.

I will tell you about Asia.

All the best to you and yours.

-G

https://listentothebabe.com/2016/09/09/correspondence-9-9-16/

Correspondence: 12.07.16

From: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
To: Babe <listentothebabe@mail.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Subject: Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Babe,

How are the rains these days?

Madness hits you like a bar of soap. That’s funny. Certainly more accurate than washing over you like a beautiful wave. Yes you really have to be a buddhist about it, or a stoic, or what you think is a stoic, since I tried to learn about stoics and I got bored.

I’m glad you posted your story dead things. I enjoyed reading it. That mother is a piece of work. And that bird! What possessed you to write that way about an eagle! Ha! You’re something else. Shitting all over the dresser. Woo! Shit Christ that’s some kind of image.

I have been writing more by hand in my brown leather book. I’ve been writing in it since 2012. No one sees that and tries to peel away the layers. There wouldn’t be anything to peel if they did. It’s barenaked and shows straight through to the bone like a leper dead six hours in a pool with a distracted piranha. But nah it’s not privacy or the lack thereof is it. You wish the work could stand on it’s own but everyone gets psychoanalyzed from Blake to Didion. But that’s half the point. Fuck it. If they think you were sexually abused as a child based on the story well shit I guess you’ve crafted a reality for someone and I guess that’s what it’s all about. Writing fiction, I mean. But anyway shit I’m not deriding you for having to get up your courage to post it. Gertrude Stein never had to read blog comments.

Limn is a great word but I don’t know how to use it. Please demonstrate.

I like the man in that painting and I would like to be him, at least for a time, because alcohol soothes the boredom. On the rare occasion I get to drink these days, with the working all the time and having the same days off as my wife, on half of those rare occasions things really work out well. As it stands I drink an average of two beers three times a week, which is just enough to not be able to say that you haven’t drank anything at all. Ha! Well. Anyway. Doesn’t matter. The worst is over for now.

I’m reading Moby Dick, did I tell you that already? I’m two thirds of the way through. The first third was great. I feel like I’ve written this already but I am too damn lazy to look. You know what I hate? Clicking all around the screen to check things. That’s why I don’t post links, too. I would like to link my posts together more but I’m just too damn lazy for that. Moby Dick has a lot of really killer lines. Like one every other paragraph. This mother fucker knew how to handle English. I never seen a whale up close, but I can’t imagine the dimensions he gives are real. Probably the whales were bigger back then before garbage islands and ozone depletion or whatever else. Probably he’s taking some dramatic license. He says it’s eight feet from the top of the sperm whale’s head to where his mouth is at the bottom of his head. I guess that’s reasonable if you think about. But you don’t know what eight feet is anyway. Two point something meters. Can you conceive of distances? I can’t. A meter is about the limit of my ability to accurately imagine the size of something.

I’m writing in my brown leather diary because I needed to know that the way I write on my blog was the same way I would write if no one was reading. It’s not at all. Every communication is artifice.

Don’t underestimate the value of entertainment. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. That’s what I learned a few weeks ago. It has helped a little bit.

In the city you can’t walk around with your ears open. There’s too much pollution. Much too much pollution and unsolicited bullshit. I used to think I should walk around and experience the moment. We all need a place in the sun and we’re all trying to get it in the same place like a bunch of dumb-fuck assholes. So keep the ears plugged up with house music and remember that everyone else is living their own dream and you don’t want to interrupt. Here even the destitute and the pick-pockets don’t want your kindness. Plug up the ears, grope around in the dark if you have to and turn up the music and find your way to the punch-clock. It’s a stupid thing. But as you can see, the rotten fish in Chinatown and the working models in Soho find a way inside through your pores and that’s more than enough experience and living in the moment for one human animal without leaving the larger orifices unguarded.

I miss those times we would comment on each other’s posts in real time, and I made you laugh and you made me think. The whole world is a wheel so I won’t despair, not because I don’t think it’s a good idea…but because…well I don’t know, maybe I will despair after all.

Best of luck out there in the wilderness of civilization.

-G

https://listentothebabe.com/2016/06/17/correspondence-17-6-16/

From: Babe <listenotothebabe@mail.com>
To: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
Date: Friday, June 17 2016 at 9:39 AM
Subject: the way the rain smells

Dear G

I’ve been waiting for the rains to come since early May. The locals say that this was the worst summer yet. They said this last year too, and I remember that it was vicious. They don’t remember what that was like anymore, but I do. I logged the number of migraines I had last year.

It finally rained last night. I was happy for the 27 minutes it did.

I think a madness that feels like sadness afflicts us sometimes and there is no cure. The only thing is to be Buddhist about it and let it go through you. But it doesn’t happen the way they write it in books– it isn’t a gentle wave that you dive under and perhaps if you can hold your breath, you look up and watch it roll past. It’s not a wave at all, but a bar of soap that hits you.

I wrote a story, dead things, it sat in my brain for a while. It took a bit of courage to post it. It wasn’t the narrative or its subject matter that worried me, it was that people would read it and think, ah so this happened to her. There is no privacy in being a writer. Everything you write is parsed to see if it might reveal you, peel another layer of your self imposed anonymity. Ah, but what did you think of dead things? Was it too risqué?

I’ve discovered a lovely new word: limn.

B.

P.S.

I thought the man in Hope Gangloff’s painting might be you. As you will never send me a picture (nor I to you), I have given you this face and the lackadaisical posture to match the mood that you say has taken you. I hope the boredom has passed, because really there isn’t anything worse than being bored. It’s fucking worse than pain. I know this.