Monday, March 24, 2003

moral ambivalence will solve nothing

At work tonight, watching the Oscars, during that In Memorium part where they flash images of all the film people who have died within the last year, I thought about those that died today. The sixteen or twenty or whatever the number is of US soldiers who were killed today in combat. It seemed to be about twenty people that were showcased in the In Memorium segment, black and white clips from old movies that these people either were in or helped to make, and I can not help but wonder about those other twenty and the creative potentials that will now never be utilized from them. We'll never see their movies. Twenty or so Americans and all they could have offered us died today somewhere in Iraq. Tragedy seems to be uniquely marked by a sense of loss concerning potentials and what might have beens. For this reason, the death of an old person is rarely refered to as a tragedy. Rather it is the young, those still in their prime, those who still have the capactiy to build amazing things that could change us, that could inspire us to build our own amazing things - it is the death of these young that usually qualifies as tragic. And so it is the case today, and sadly it has taken the deaths of these Americans to make me realize the tragic sadness of Iraqi deaths, of more unharnessed potentials.

Yesterday at work, an old man looked at the newspaper that was sitting out on the counter by me and said something along the lines of an astounded Wow. There was a huge photo on the front page of fireballs over Baghdad. Definitely worth a Wow. Because Wow that is astounding that things like that still occur, that people live somewhere in this photo. And then he said something along the lines of: "Just be glad you are working behind that desk and aren't over there." An off-the-cuff remark that really hit home for me. I am glad how lucky I am that whatever circumstances have enabled me the luxury to work part-time at some Florida hotel. And there are people whose circumstances led them into the armed services. It all is so random. And all so tragic. Some American youth died today and I watched the Oscars. Michael Moore, Adrien Brody, and Chicago won. It seems like bullshit, my part in it. But it also seems tragic to live and not harness your creative potentials, to let them lie asleep while you watch self-congratulatory televison. There are Americans out there and I am going to find them, I want to be one of them, join their secret club and do public things, build bright, big, shining things that will make you say Wow in a good way.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

To Do List With Notes

-Do laundry so that when Niki is here she can take a shower with a towel not covered in grime and cum. But even more so, do laundry because I really do not think I have done laundry in two months and every single day when I put on smelly clothes and stiff socks, I am a little disgusted with myself. I should try to amend these things that fill me with self-disgust, so that that way, I can minimize my unhappiness.

-Clean the dishes, take out the trash and recycling, clean the bathroom. Cinderella, Cinderella.

-Purchase milk, coffee, lotion, and maybe some food.

-Write a snazzy cover letter so I can apply to intern at Soft Skull, Verso, and Nerve. Do this today.

-Maybe look for some fun jobs. Obviously, working at the Strand is not the exciting place it once was. I called in sick today after finding out yesterday that I still had one more paid sick day at my disposal. I have now used all ten of my sick days and it is not even April. Now there will no more three day, or even four day work weeks. And that, my friends, is an awful thought. But soon, it will be warmer. Today, it even edged up there to past forty, and then a huge reason I never feel like leaving the house will be gone, and it will be a lot easier to step out into warm sun, even warm cloudiness and head off to live. People, I don't know if you are aware of this, but I live in New York fucking City. I was reading through my old journal the other day and saw some things I had written shortly after moving here. I will transcribe them here, so you can understand what I am talking about:

5/23/03: Tomorrow, it will be one month to the date since I left the sunshine state for the big apple where so far the sun has decided not to come out, save for two or three days, where its rare presence inspired a joy in all and created an appreciation for nature, for the good things in life that can only come from being denied those good things for a while, and I've been perusing this journal and all these entries have been about wanting an unidentified thing, a more exciting life. And now, there are no excuses. I am here in one of the most exciting cities in this world of ours and I am hopping on it, taking it for the great thing it is. I am learning lessons, thinking about how - -'s rock n' roll attitude toward life is the type you need to approach life with. And like the sun, which is now in absense - so was a sense of urgency in Sarasota and parts, times in Madison. And now, I appreciate it even more so than all those New Yorkers out in sunglasses smiling when the sun shows. I am young and I am alive and I am in New York. Life is pretty damn good. I have a job at a cool bookstore. I'm not living out on the streets and I am desired and even more importantly, the thing that is making me alive, is that I have desire. That is life, when life is good, when it is being lived, when there are things (non-material ones, of course) that you urgently desire, and that I am going to fucking chase down the street, tackle, and beat the shit out of!

And I will ignore the fact that the next entry on 5/28 is one of non-urgency, of ennui. I have to somehow restore a sense of urgency to this project of living. Reading this 5/23 entry made me aware that yes, I am here in New York, no more fucking excuses, where else would I be, what would I be doing? There is no reason, none at all for me to not to be the happiest fucking clam in the world right now. And bored? Ha, fucking laziness knows no bounds.

-Live urgently. Do things, start with laundry, and go from there. Come on, drink more coffee if you need to, just get going.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

grab life by the balls and fellate it

The human body is 70% water. One of those facts that are common knowledge, that are circulated for whatever purposes. What is the other 30%?

I took a bath tonight, lost myself in a tub of hot water, let that seventy percent of me merge back with itself. I died in that tub. When I am in the tub, I am even further gone than usual, even less conscious of my living than I usually am. But the difference between the two states is not that great, and that is a problem. I was lying on my bed, drying off on a towel, resting, letting my heart calm down to a normal heartbeat, and I thought about this as I regained my thinking capabilities after pushing my body to almost passing out from so much hot water, about how life is not really consciously lived lately. I have not been being human. I want to attribute it to my throat, say that my throat hurts, I think have a virus. And maybe I'll accept that doctor's note even though it does look forged, but that only excuses today, what about yesterday and the yesterdays before it?

I want to be human. Human is self-aware man, when man is conscious of his existence, maybe even hyper so, and I have to to get there. I am excused for today. Remember, I have that note. I am taking Nyquil and drinking tea and liquids, eating soup. Filling my body maybe even past that 70% marker. Something is missing and I do not know what, I know it's not a product I am going to be able to purchase or steal from the grocery store. While fancy cheese sure does please my senses, there is something else I need and I don't know what. I read novels and watch movies too much, read them hungry. Consuming all these cultural products in the hopes that something'll click. But I think I am going to have to do the clicking. Produce more, consume less. Eugene's mantra is going to have to be put into practice. Some how.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

sarasota, new york, baghdad and back

Minutes ago, I just bought my plane ticket to New York for April 24th. I am outrageously excited about this change, these prospects for the future that have been bought with fifty one dollars and a travel voucher for getting bumped off a Delta flight around Christmas. And that is the deadline I have bought for myself through the purchase of a non-refundable ticket. No more postponements, I will be leaving Sarasota soon and moving on with my life. Now all I need is an exciting job in New York.

Last night, I watched as bombs dropped on Iraq on television. Television is oddly compelling when it is taken over by round the clock grainy footage of bombs and talking heads. There is something that compels me to watch this, something comforting about it all being here in my living room on the tv. Everyone makes me mad except Donald Rumsfield. I woke up to watch his Pentagon briefing today and was impressed by his grouchiness towards the press, how he manhandles silly reporters and gives them the exasperated sighs that they deserve. I want to give an exasperated sigh too. Like why don't you get it? Last night, when there was all that talk about "target of opportunity," I held my breath, anxious, wondering if the military would have been able to peg off Saddam that quickly. Before that, I ate some key lime pie that also made me hold my breath. I ate two slices of it. But it was pretty much the opposite of an anxious feeling. It was a perfectly settled feeling, where else and in what other moment could I imagine myself but one of constantly enjoying the taste of key lime pie. As non-historical a moment as you could possibly have. Anti-historical. The intensely personal. And then there are these other moments of breathlessness where some new development makes me pause anxiously wondering about how war will play out, where I just want to sit in the calm of the tv, with all you other millions out there, enjoying the collective anxious moment of breathlessness.

And I am sure none have noticed, but this entry has been profanity free. I am wondering about my own usage of profanity after finishing Lolita yesterday, a book that is remakably (given its subject) free of profanity. And using profanity seems so cheap a gimmick. And I am more guilty than anyone. Most of my writing is littered with profanity after profanity using "fucking" as an adjective to give an intensity, a sense of dramatic import to my words, which would otherwise lack it. I am resolved to stop cursing in my writings, and to actually try conveying meaning the hard way, with language.

Monday, March 17, 2003

more dead things on the side of 47th street

Yesterday, biking to work with about two mintues to get there, my bike died. The rear wheel cover thing, rammed into my spokes, bringing my bike to a crashing halt. I didn't have time to fix it then since I had to be at work, so I stuck it in some trees in someone's yard, planning on getting it after work. After work, it was pouring rain so I got a ride home. I just went to 47th Street to pick up my bike and now it is not there. That brings the number of bikes lost this year to two. Two and counting.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

west on 47th street, towards home

It was right after I had stopped at the Mel-O-Dee. Under a streetlamp, minutes, maybe even seconds after midnight, right after I had gotten off from work. I was there in that Mel-O-Dee diner parking lot playing the role of doctor, doing a little emergency surgery upon my bike, removing the source of the annoying clinkity clink, the kickstand. And I fucking unscrewed that thing with far too much delight in stripping yet more of my bike. Bringing it back to the basics. The frame and wheels are all I need. The chain can stay too, I guess. Last week, in a fit of screwdriving madness and destructive glee, I yanked off the splash guard guarding my back wheel. And now, tonight, another piece of my bike was removed with that same glee, that same untraceable glee that I am going to be cocky and try to trace back, maybe to our desire to kill and burn, why ripping up paper and breaking shit and lighting things on fire is so much fun, why everyone gets a high from a punching bag, and I fucking want to tear it all down, and you do too, and that’s what I am talking about, that is why my bike is as of tonight without a kickstand.

And it was right after this, after this kickstand operation that I picked up speed on my newly improved bicyle, and felt the increased speed of the wind, of the sky gliding over me because of my own increase in my speed, and I was flying down 47th Street, down Sarasota, heading West on it. Towards the bay, towards my house. And the moon was overhead, over my head, half full, and head half full too, of ideas that should have been. I should have made the connections, but I just took it in, the moon, the speed, and my own glee, and took that as the meaning, failed to translate this energy into anything specific. I was just window shopping, I wasn’t really going to buy anything.

And now, or just right then, because it was that quick, like a motherfucking flash, and ew, it was so clear, so recently dead, the opposum on the side of the road, blood visible, and a life that was, that is no more. That means something, it doens’t, it means something is dead, and this sent me, a living thing, into shivers for my own state, for what will become of me, for the inevitability of also being a dead thing on the side of 47th Street. So matter of fact. The matter of factness about it being the scary part.

I biked home with this image, this flash in my head, and now my bike is resting leaned against my house, since it is without a kickstand and all, and it is holding up, standing upright on its two wheels because the kickstand was a piece of shit and unneccesary and my bike didn’t need it, and what else is there that I don’t need, and what is there that I do. As much as I know that I don’t need a kickstand or a splashguard, it doesn’t mean that I would not like these things. Because you see, tonight was one of those nights, I put on the high school music (Dave Matthews) and started skimming through books on our bookshelves, picking them up like they were new, like they might hold all the secrets, and picking them up like they were old, just as old as me and the first time I skimmed through them, thinking of adolescent moments and girls who had heads atop their shoulders and shared. And shared, when people wanted to share every amazing thing they encountered, when they got exctied about these things, and when I was still excited about hearing these things. Tonight, my hands found their way over the spine of my old Ginsberg collection, and there was all this old, outweighing the new. But maybe it was the old, the memories of being excited by the new that I was seeking out.

The poem, “Many Loves” was new, was one I had never read, a page I had always skipped over, and it was great, beautiful, so non-political, and so lovely - made me want someone to sleep next to tonight, my own Neal Cassidy, fuck, anybody really. The idea of cuddling sounding so nice. And then, “Supermarket in California,” one I have read a gazillion times because of it subject, my Walt, my Whitman - and sometimes randomly, in a song, a movie, whatever - you’ll pick up on a line you had never really picked up on before and that was the case tonight. We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possesing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier. That never passing the cashier part seems hugely significant and my failure to notice that line earlier strikes me as odd. But tonight, because it is that type of night, the type that dead roadkill and a half full moon can produce in you, because of this the line strikes a chord with me somwhere. Never passing the cashier is not a good thing. It seems easy to read it that way - that it’s a good thing - that Walt and Allen are no victims of consumerism. But no, no, no. They fail to do anything with these half-thoughts. And this itself is a half-thought that I am not sure how to make into a full one, how to verbalize this feeling that this, all of this is about how we all fail to articulate, or no, no, no, we do to much of the articulating, but how we fail to act on our desires. We are all Whitmanic polyanas, holding flowers to our noses, exclaiming how lovely they smell, how “beautiful” it all is, but failing to see something or do something, and I never pass the cashier either, because I don’t know how to resolve it either or what, if anything, needs resolving. All I know is that I passed roadkill tonight on a bicyle and knew that it was beautiful, my brush with something dead, and wanted to touch the oppusm, hug it, fuck it, eat it. I wondered about being eaten. And physical contact seemed the only imaginable way of reinforcing the magnitude of the situation. I want some physical contact, Allen, Walt, all of you.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

for the children (who else?)

The house is empty. Emptier. Bonnie is in Utah. Jamie is in New York. Bonnie's absense is only for a couple of days, but Jamie has moved back to New York, has gotten a jump start on her post-collegiate life, and the house will be emptier. There will be two occupants. My tennis and scrabble partner has departed today, has left for "NYC". Of course, where else, but to an acronym? This morning, I woke up at 6 and rode with Bonnie to the Tampa airport, slept in the backseat with Becky, and saw the sun also slowly getting up, rising over the water, reflecting onto it. A flash, the stillframe of the sun, the water, the sun's reflection on this water, and the Sunshine Skyway, and then eyes close again, sleep, Tampa airport and then it was my turn to drive this car back over these roads, retrace my steps, wake up.

And now I have her car for a couple of days, can drive behind the wheel of a large automobile, blare rock n roll, feel wind blowing against me, use gasoline, and feel that American high of roads, stoplights, good songs on the radio, and Taco Bell late at night. And I can, and I did, and I will tomorrow too. I will every fucking day that my body is able. Tomorrow the intention, today's intention for tomorrow, the current state's hope for the future, the tomorrow that today would like to live in will involve going to the beach. Seista? Eating food there, finding a place to get a milkshake, swimming in the goddamn fucking waters that surround this state, that will surround me tomorrow, maybe even peeing in these fucking waters, adding my own fluids to the earth's if my bladder is full and I spend enough time at the beach. I am going to bring some of the items that I stole from Barnes and Nobles today and read them there, on the sand. And I am going to tell myself certain things that I will do in future tomorrows, how I will get a second job to save money, how I will move to NY in one month's time, how I will do this or that, maybe both, or I'll pretend I am on vacation, that I am living in the Sunshine fucking State and I will let the heat fuck with my mind like it always does, like I love for it to do.

And I am living the fucking vacation lifestyle. I am not in school. I live in Florida, I spend my days playing tennis or soaking up the sun, that fucking early riser, soaking it up at the pool. I go on bike rides, I take in sights and scents. I spend just about any alone moments at home masturbating like I am living in the end times. I wear sleeveless shirts when the mood strikes me, when the heat does. Something about if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen - and I did, got out of it, stepped into the heat, the sunrays of pools and beaches, and I am going to go underwater tomorrow because I feel like Benjamin Braddock. I don't know what to do with myself. And I don't even have a Mrs. Robinson that I am fucking during this pool time.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow. In other news, news concerning today, everyday, I am in love, madly in love with a lad by the name of David Bowie. Hmm, I think he is the most amazing person ever!!! One of the items acquried at Barnes and Nobles today was an issue of Uncut with a CD of all these people covering old Bowie songs - a sizable portion of them are aweseome fucking covers. Culture Club, Duran Duran, Blondie, Guy Chadwick. And now I am listening to the covered artist, the amazing young lad in utter rapture, astounded that someone can be so talented, and so happy for all of us, filled with hope for you, but more importantly, for me, for fucking me, that great things are indeed possible.

Saturday, March 8, 2003

"a new day, another morning after

I need to exert myself. I woke up this morning just a little while ago, if that can even be called morning. And I woke up with a pulsing heart, with a desire to run really fast or something. I don't know if this is residual caffeine from yesterdays's coffee binge at work, but lately I have all this physical energy that I want to transmit into actual physical activity. Last night, I danced a lot and asked just about everyone encountered to play tennis with me, trying to schedule future physical activity. And I am dissapointed with myself for not waking up earlier, for not doing things.

Last night, I talked to G-3-S or whatever they call themselves and was oddly entertained, and have a tennis date with Bryson which should also be really entertaining. I wanted to slug a certain idiot last night. The desire for physical activity. That's what it is, what it was, what it always is.

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

ash wednesday

I will not let bad churches temper the faith I am holding these days. Today is the start of Lent. I am giving up all tv and cinematic products. And starting tomorrow I am going to give up meat. I have already had pepporoni pizza and sushi today. Jamie, Bonnie, and I went to St. Martha's for mass tonight and it was dissapointing to say the least. I want to hear revolutionary love preached, I want church to somehow further incite this radicalism that Jesus tried to incite, to teach something, anything. But tonight's mass was the most hurried thing I have ever attended (at least as far as masses are concerned), there were no songs sung, no Apostle's Creed, no Nicene creed, no half of the things you would normally have at mass, and add to that a two mintue homily that I could not understand at all because English was not the priest's first language, and it is mine, and half his sentences were just not registering with me. Then: Mass is ended let us go in peace, and then another priest explaining how there was no real system for recieving the ash cross on your forehead, just telling us jokingly "to get the heaven out of here," which when taken into the context of the hurried mass we just atteneded, did not sound so joking. It was utter chaos, and it makes me so mad. This is why people don't have faith in things, right here, this is why.

I did not get my daily dose of tennis today. Jamie is moving soon and I do not know who I will play tennis with, who will play tennis with me. Jamie's eminent departure is making me plan mine. No one wants to be the last one left at a party. Entropy is starting to take place and I have to get the fuck out of Dodge. Plan as of now: Work here for another month or so, then once I have enough money saved for deposit and first and last months rent at an apartment, move move move to New York and live live live.

Saturday, March 1, 2003

the sonic force

I have bleached the hell out of my bathtub, out of our sinks, and out of our toilet. The skin on my fingers feels fragile from all that scrubbing, all that bleach. My mom is picking me up tomorrow to go visit relatives and she will be seeing my house for the first time. I have hid the Playgirl that was lying out on my table forever, I have bleached what dirt I could. And it made me sweaty and tired. I just plopped on my bed to rest with a beer and some Al Green seranading me through my headphones. Now, I am going to brush my teeth, lie down to sleep, lie down to masturbate, to fucking put the buzz of Al Green, beer, and bleached hands to use, to damn good use.