Saturday, May 25, 2002

don't you love it when the last song you hear in the car is a really good one?

With that and with this, I wondered if I could make it mean something. The "that" is the masturbation and the way it made me feel - "feeling like I don't even know what" - and that sad bracketed description leads into "this": The "this" is to accept the fact that in writing, it is not acceptable to say such things as "it made me feel like I don't even know what." Obviously I, as the writer, will have some sense of what that was intended to mean - the feeling to which it was meant to refer. But you, the reader, have no idea what the hell I meant - and even if you thought you did, more than likely it would be a misinterpretion. You would take that vagueness to mean one thing, while I had said it meaning something else entirely. And so, I'm going to from now on try to remember that the act of writing is an attempt to verbalize what was felt, instead of just giving up, citing the too oft spoken line that language is inadequate and can just never describe some things. And while that may very well be true - in fact, I guess it is - but whatever, that does not mean that we can not and should not strive to give the closest approximation to our experiences as possible. Otherwise, what is the fucking point?

And even if I do somehow manage to capture what has actually transpired in words, maybe even ones like these, that would not neccesarily preclude (mis)interpretation by you, the reader. And of course, there is all that reader response bullshit about the meaning of the work lying in each individual reader's interpretation of that piece of writing. And really, I don't even know what I am trying to say, because I totatlly do believe that that is the case - I am not trying to argue against literary theories that empower the reader - what I am trying to say is that for me, as a writer, for my own benefit (and directly stemming from that, the reader's benefit) - I need to be more explicit in my descriptions of how things personally affect me, instead of resorting to calling these things "indescribable" - because I mean really, what things are not indescribable? And if right now you are listing things that you think are not indescribable, then I think that you have your feet too firmly planted on the ground and need to recommune with this beautiful world and each of its parts, and realize that it is all indescribable.

And fuck, I am totatlly contradicting myself with each sentance. Okay, let's review:
1. Quit being too chicken to confront words and hogtie them until you get then to say what you are feeling.
2. And so, as should be obvious from that maxim, do not say things like, "It was so amazing - I cannot even desribe how it felt." Other phrases to avoid: "beyond words," "indescribable," and "words couldn't even describe it." I mean, duh - we all fucking know that...
3. every single thing is indescribable.
4. But, that is the purpose of writing - to try our damnest to put into words these things - so that the reading can serve as a sort of re-creation of how these things felt. Maybe even a re-creation of the event itself, in our secular longings for eternal life.

And goddamnit, we should be getting off on language. This is why I am in love with erotic writing, because it demands the participation of the audience in a way that no other type of writing even comes close to. When words can make you hot in the crotch, then that is fucking amazing.

Okay, we're going to perhaps contradict myself even more, because I have just been struck by some of the positive effects of vagueness in writing. To say transcendental things like "Words would fail miserably in attempting to describe the joy - the joy - the sheer fucking joy of self-pleasure" - I mean, to say something like that is sort of good in that by being so vague, you are also allowing for the reader to attach their own feelings of "indescribableness" to the moment. As opposed to a very detailed description of the joys of masturbation, which in its detailedness, may seem alien to most readers who do not relate the described feelings at all. By being so vague, a very broad interpretation of meaning is possible, in which every reader's feelings are accepted with open arms - the vagueness of the writing serves as a democratic force, taking in all the readers and their interpretations.

And really, I did not mean to write any of this. I sat down meaning to talk about my day, which included two instances of masturbation, lots of packing, and just general tiredness. Tomorrow I have to wake up at 7:30 to assist my mom in moving furniture to her new house. I really dread waking up in the morning, and am so not looking forward to spending the whole day moving shit in the heat with other people.

The other thing which I had intended to write about was a place called the American Road, and about how excited I am that on Monday, I will fly into Atlanta, hopefully be picked up by Bonnie, and drive to Madison, Wisconsin. This will probably be my last entry until I am settled into Madison since tomorrow morning, bright and motherfucking goddman early, I will be disassembling this computer and sticking it into a big moving van. And so good-bye Virginia and Route One, which I have just realized is perhaps one of the most amazing, beautiful stretches of road I have ever seen. Or at least, the ugliest - which is very often translated to mean "character" - which to me means fucking beautiful. Good-bye Ty and Mary. Ty, I could do without seeing you ever again. Mary, I sometimes dream of rescuing you and turning you into the benign person underneath all that Mac makeup you sell. Good-bye. Good-bye Eastern Market, and rushing past Yes, scared to show my face. Good-bye Sarah. And related to that, good-bye Starbucks, Kingstown parking lots, cute lesbians, maybe even devastingly cute. Good-bye free ice cream from Ben and Jerrys. Good-bye Dad, you I will not miss, not at all, only the memorey that I used to have of you. Good-bye Mom and your excessive kindness that always makes me feel loved. Good-bye Jamie and your pigginess in the bathroom. Good-bye to that really hot sculpture in front of the Library of Congress, that makes me "hot to trot." Good-bye muscular boys with nice penises at Wet. Good-bye Rebecca. Good-bye Metro escalators that stretch on for eternitys. Good-bye CityPaper and articles by Hank Stuever in the Post. Good-bye scent of honeysuckles.

And as they say at the end of the opening theme song to "That 70's Show":

Hello Wisconsin!!!

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