An eyelash falls on the rim of my glass. Should I blow it off and make a wish? Or take a swig and see if it hangs on? It’s emblematic in a vague way of our tenuous existence, and this is easily the most tender and exquisite metaphor I’ve constructed for our mortal quandary, how delicate and vulnerable we are. Don’ t worry, I hang on.
Everyday we prevail just by making it to our pillows. (I love all my pillows. There are four of them, two are firmer and more substantial, the other two are rather flimsy and weak, very scrunchable. Those I place around my body while my head rests on the other two.)
The light through the crack in the blinds is a reminder that the outside world exists. It is peaceful to look at the strip of light on the wall, in the dark, slipping into slumber. In the morning there is no such ease of feeling. Just the darkness of dream interrupted. The alarm clock buzzing something horrific. I wake, agog. Hello, world. You rang.
— In a fractured world, how do you know what constant to follow? How do you stay on beat? You’re not a drummer! You’re not a DJ! You write prose prickly like Joshua trees, more obscure than the most distant galaxy beyond the last one. All you care about is satisfying your hunger for art and your quest for a good time: a bohemian pinstripper giving it all away.
Friday Night 12/18 11:19pm. Lets go. Close the door. We’re off to the streets. There is a festive atmosphere to the usual comings and goings. By the curb a homeless transvestite sleeps splayed out, his shopping cart tipped over and contents spilled out, a bottle of Centrum loose on the lawn. The driver of an American made roadster revs its motor and tears off towards Fairfax. The constellations spell out dirty words in Latin. Behind closed doors people are drinking, screwing, and merry-making. Behind others they’re sleeping, watching TV, or playing video games.
Where are you, when the spirits walk among us?
I wonder about the lonely ghosts this specter of a city produces, crawling our streets in the invisible dimension, driving invisible 55 Chevies and caught in permanent diaspora. Will they ever find the other shore?
— I place these fragile thoughts online to preserve them in infinite air. When all of civilization is frozen they’ll survive in permafrostedlink. While the world does a post-apocalyptic jitterbug these stonepiled-essays and arguments will exist in some cluttered cyberfield, the carnal grounds of blogs and Facebook pages….
There are only so many words you can fit on a tombstone. And you can’t ever hear what anyone has to say back. I have too much rattling my bongo-brain to not let it loose, but 90% of writing for me is staring at an empty screen, and after an agonizing hour, when I read it back, it still feels like I’m looking at an empty screen, the ideas seemingly evaporated into dust, lost in a jagged, extraneous prose. I know I shouldn’t harangue myself like this but how can I not? This is how it feels when you’re caught in that winterselfpityfunk and you’re hard on yourself for being hard on yourself. Tumbling in a psychic spin cycle.
Writing is the pursuit of manics and demigods. Listen to me! I’m so smart. I’m so witty. I’m so deep. I’m so sad. It’s the toil of fools who believe they have something to say. And they repeat and repeat and repeat the same thing over and over again and delude themselves into thinking it’s original. I know I’ve called the moon a hundred different vegetables or minerals over the years; it’s a melon, it’s a grapefruit, a grape, quartz, alabaster, a piece of clay, an oyster shell, a hubcap, a pie pan, etc.! Whatever fancy tag I can give the moon only serves my intent poorly — there’s nothing more evocative than simply… the moon.
Saturday 12/19 3:42pm. It’s a postcard perfect day in L.A. The transvestite and his cart are gone but the bottle of Centrum remains behind cryptically out of place. The East Coast is being hammered by a blizzard, as we speak hundreds of people are sleeping in cars on closed highways, and here in Southern California I’m strolling down a sunny sidewalk wearing shorts and a light sweater, the mountains are capped with a white layer of snow and the sky is a soft bed of blue. A few diaphanous clouds interplay with a scimitar-shaped harvest moon. Such a beautiful day, I wish it would last all year.
I’m not the type to make New Year’s resolutions. I make resolutions throughout the year ad nauseam. I battle my imperfections everyday. I don’t need a holiday to be reminded that I could use some work. But even though I’m not the type, I make them anyway — because I’m the type who does things even though it makes his skin crawl. Like cut onions and watch Jersey Shore.
— The reader will take this all in, digesting it according to their own personal experiences and thoughts, reading it in rooms just like mine but very, very different. I would be surprised if I’ve conveyed anything approximating my intention (and if that’s even an achievable feat for any writer). The words on the screen is just a finger pointing at a jellybean moon.
I got a box of chocolate truffles from work and a bottle of Shiraz as holiday gifts. I’m indulging myself with the two, supine on the couch, enjoying the gluttony and the silence. Christmas is coming and there are triangular strings of lights atop office buildings throughout the city and white holidays lights festooned through the trees along Wilshire Blvd.. Los Angeles does its best to provide some simulacra of traditional cheer. There’s a very busy Santa with a very sore lap down at the Grove. There’s Styrofoam snow on their chemically treated green lawn.
Another year almost laid to rest, ready to be simplified into lists, recaps, and memorials. The twenty-dime (2010) is here. The world’s wobble continues on indifferently to our nomenclature, our calculation of time, our slang, or our plight.
We’re an eyelash on the rim of some writer’s glass fantasy. Are you ready to make a wish?