Monday, December 15, 2008

Patience and Fortitude

I am sitting in the New York Public Library, the Rose Reading Room in the main branch, and there are few more beautiful places in this large metropolis that I live in, its cathedral-like ceilings, long tables, quiet atmosphere, and studious lighting making it such a pleasant space to sit in and think thoughts, write story fragments, and ponder over the life that you are leading, 27 years of age and still unsure of quite a lot I thought I would be sure of by this age.

I just wrote a very short story about hearing a piece of Waylon Jennings music, a subway performer really hitting me in the belly with some songs the other day, and trying to get the experience down on paper in an only vaguely fictional way. I have had a hard time at most of my attempts at writing because I tried too hard to make it something else other than my life, my story, a first person narrative, but maybe you have to do what comes best to you, what makes most sense, and for me this seems the way it is going to be, not sure why I think it should be otherwise, am more and more sure (finally) of what writing can mean, writing produced by me specifically. It is about making art with words and revealing things in subtle ways, trying to get at this life thing, and this is how it works for me and my hands - often in diary format, but now in other ways also.

So I am lonely sometimes and unsure about a lot. Christmas is around the corner and it doesn't feel like it, especially in this sixty degree weather. It was nice to be out and about in it this morning, to be able to sit outside and drink coffee and look up at the sky and the things around me, not keeping my head pressed to my chest for warmth, but being able to linger in this space, in this city, to wander and take in my fellow residents of this place, us all out and about on this day, dressed in light clothes.

My Internet access at my apartment is spotty and it is too bad because without it, I don't have the urge to write in my diary, that this is the only way it has worked for me most of these past years, to be able to write these things knowing (or imagining) that they might be read, and that there was some point to it. It makes me slightly sad, only slightly though, to realize that my intentions may lie in exhibitionism, in some form of external validation. But we do what we can with this life and what gets off or what works is going to have to do.

Still without work, vaguely stressed about money, jerking off with sexy men in the steam room, and reading and seeing stuff. I forgot to mention (probably because of lack of an Internet connection) that I saw August: Osage County recently, certainly a bit late to the game with that one, but all of the praise that has been heaped on it is tremendously deserved. The play made me jump to my feet afterwards, that it was one of the few shows I thought so good that actually deserved a standing ovation. The acting and the writing are so incredible. I am thinking about that work and what I liked and what I didn't necessarily like about it, thinking about it in the context of producing American art. I have been thinking a lot about notions of America lately and certainly gas was thrown on to that fire with this play. I finished Reinaldo Arenas' Before Night Falls the other day, it a really good read and inspiring me in several ways, it pretty amazing that there are people, Arenas among them, that care so much about literature, that in the worst of conditions, under persecution and threat of death and arrest, continue to produce and write. It makes me feel epically lazy - that in some of the most comfortable conditions imaginable, aside from getting some grant to live in seclusion, that I am unable to even produce a short story now and again, that all I can produce are these diary entires detailing my days, my love interests that fall apart, my sluttines, and the cultural products I have been interacting with, that that is really quite pathetic. And to mention one more of these cultural products, I read Cristy Road's Bad Habits yesterday, which produced some of these same questions about production and first-person narratives and not being a lazy fuck.

Tomorrow I will be back here and will be back again on all these cold days when I am not working and things will be made.

No comments:

Post a Comment