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.

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