Jude Law’s character, Dan, in Closer tells Clive Owen’s. “You think love is simple. You think the heart is like a diagram.” Larry replies, “Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, wrapped in blood! Go fuck yourself! You writer! You liar!” When I heard that I stopped the film and muttered, “damn, that’s some shit!”
These memorable words, along with so many quotes from this movie, always stood out as tremendously poignant and piquant to me. Not the heart being like a fist wrapped in blood — although as image and metaphor goes, this one takes the proverbially cake and keeps it too, defying conventional wisdom about the impossibility of such — it’s the epithet Larry hurls at Dan afterwards that I’ve always related to: “You writer – you liar!”
Lie. It’s what we writers do: we write tales, play make-believe, string yarns out of ether. Put it another way, we invent, we rearrange truth and reality into more appealing, rewarding, constructive forms. I see the sun disappear over the horizon and to me it’s impregnating the Pacific. I hear a car horn blare and hear the wailing of Humanity’s Modern thirst. Gasoline spills in gutter water are parabolic rainbows. The heart is a blossoming rose of emotion — or perhaps a fist wrapped in blood if that’s more your speed.
I filled out the census today and sent it off. It’s a lot of pressure now to make sure I’m still alive by April 1st or else I’ll feel like I misled the government. I’m glad I’m the only person I need to account for because I was already bored with filling it out by the time I got to the second page. Oh well, it’s going to be ten years till we’ll have to do it again.
I have a pile of notes on the tables, written on small pieces of paper, things I’ve been meaning to write about, thoughts conceived while out on the town. I move my dictionary and they go flying to the ground. All this creativity is hard work. It makes me tired and sleepy, but sleeping is even harder when your dreams are brittle serenades to a life you’re not living.
We spend our lives working to earn a living, while true living is really all the stuff we’re doing when we’re not working. That’s why I want to write, so I can combine making a living and living at the same time. And also so I can pen something that will cause someone else to stop what they’re doing and say ‘damn, that’s some shit!’
Francis Ford Coppola bottled some vino just for me. It sits on the table, sucking in the oxygen. We’re both here for your distraction. The wine and me. Swallow us both. Who is it that I’m talking to? I don’t think I’ll ever know.
Dan: “You’ve ruined my life.”
Anna: “You’ll get over it.”
The marathon is tomorrow and so all day traffic has been hellish. Cars wherever you look. Tomorrow thousands of people are going to bring their bodies to the brink, their muscles throbbing painfully as they run a pointless 26.4 miles from Downtown to the Santa Monica Pier. It sounds grueling and awful and something nobody in their right mind should ever want to do. I hope to do it next year.
I’m not in my right mind — never claimed to be. It’s what allows me to function in this world of shifting shadows and duplicitous doppelgänger, where truth is phantasmagoric in nature. The ability to create sense out of nonsense and vice versa. Writer/liar, reality/fantasy. Or maybe I was just born with my brain scrambled and my heart ripped open and so the only recourse is to invent confabulatory confections (poetry) and deceive thyself with ones philosophical proclamations. (life looks aflame from afar but close up it’s just fireflies in a jar)
Do you think Billy Shakespeare ever ran a marathon?
Love is this elegant key that you’re always searching for, and when you find it and unlock the door you find yourself in a complexly designed room with a hundred doors and you have no idea where they lead. Sometimes you might want to turn around and go out the door you came through, but by then it’s too late, and so you stand there dumbly staring at all the doors wondering which way to proceed.
Death is just a hole in the ground. There’s no need for an extended metaphor. It’s easier for me to think of Death like that — that way I live everyday one step in front of the hole. Dancing. Not looking at the hole because that’s all it is… nothing.
You are not a proclamation.
You are my greatest subjugation.
You are not a diversion.
You are my wonderful subversion.
Wine and love and poetry and the city all go hand in hand… in a sweater, under a hat, in a white tee-shirt. Me. I run because I want my heart to be strong, powerful, and because it’s the only time where I feel I am actually going somewhere. If this makes sense to you than I must be getting it wrong.
(Go runners, go! You crazy, wonderful folks you. I’ll be sweating it out with you next year.)