I sometimes feel like the last bullet shot in a massacre. All isolated and delayed and useless. Or I feel like an empty space shuttle floating sideways through the darkness, lost forever. I don't know. I think people misjudge me, but who am I to tell? Maybe I'm paranoid. Or maybe I truly have some unprocessed trauma.
I went to a local Bookstore in Brooklyn, now called Greenlight; I saw the interior, and I don't think there is another place more beautiful on this earth. The book I'm reading, Two Serious Ladies, is very funny and I enjoy the rudimentary style. I did not know about Jane Bowles (or her prolific husband for that matter) before, and it's a shame her life was so short. A shame that there could not be more of her. And yet, we've gotten just enough. When I'm finished with her book, I will read her play, and maybe her stories too. Unless I get tired and forget. We'll see.
Books might be the only things holding me up in this time. Not all of them are as enjoyable or inspiring as I would like them to be, but even just the occupation of reading--it's certainly what's keeping me alive. If I feel like having a drink I can't afford or like being lost in the darkness like that empty space shuttle I will simply pick up a book and read. That's all I can do. That's all I need. No one can take that from me. Not yet, anyway.
My life is full of distractions, within and without. What is the bottom most part of the deepest well in my soul trying to tell me? It's hard to hear the screaming echoes from below.
I wrote the first line of a possible short story. The line is "Who would I be if I did not kill her then?" I don't know who I want to kill or why. I don't know why it's a her. Why do I want to kill her? Most of the hers in my life have been lights. Lights of my life. That is just like a man. To want to dim, even put out, every glowing light of his life.
But am I even a man? I often don't feel like one. Am I even considered one? I very often don't want to be one!
My uncle asked me why I always seem to be writing with a pencil and not a pen. He's like "I know that is a specific choice." I didn't have the courage to tell him that actually I had never really thought about why I write with a pencil and not a pen. And so I made up some bullshit about how I like to make sure I can erase things, and I always like to work out ideas or rough drafts in a notebook first before typing it up. He told me I should be sure to keep all my notebooks so that when I have kids or possibly become famous people can read them and feel cool about reading all my notebooks. I felt like that was kind of dumb. Also I am just not organized enough. And I keep things in different places and I don't label anything. I don't particularly like to write about my actual days because my actual days are so boring!
What am I going to do today? Write some. Read some. Clean the apartment. Call mom. That's about it.
So, I have a line about someone who wants to kill. But I have a few sentences for another story that is totally different. I am looking at those sentences now, and I will probably not finish any story at all! Looking at these sentences makes me think I am becoming a freak ever so slowly. I look at what is coming out of my heart and I think, this is not what I set out to write at all. These sentences make me feel like I should be in prison or a psychiatry ward.
I don't care what comes out. Anything I put to the page, including this lonely blog post, is just a tribute to all the authors I have read and will read, all the authors of the world. I just want to be part of the club.
When I called the local bookstore to see if they had Two Serious Ladies, the person who answered the phone sounded really exuberant and breathless. I asked them why they sounded that way and they told me "sorry, I ran to answer your call!" And I swear I almost cried. I almost cried at the fact that this stranger ran just to pick up the phone, so that I could have the book that I wanted.
I went to the bookstore to pick up the book, and I swear the inside of it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. But I already told you this. I don't know if it was the way the shelves were organized or the color of the floor or the ceiling, none of which I really remember, it was just gorgeous and small. Like a little teapot of a home. A teapot filled with books.
I am doing some "private podcast instalments" with my friend Bernard. Who is a great actor with a small g. And is damn crazy. And watches too much cable news. I'm grateful for him.
The only thing I long for besides these books is for the theatres to open back up. I know all the good stuff is "streaming" on our screens now, but honestly when I've been in a live theatre I never really cared if the play was any "good." I just loved the crackle of the actors' beautiful voices bouncing off of each other. It's always been like watching sport to me. I don't want to think. I just want to enjoy these beautiful voices--speaking, not singing--usually accompanied by beautiful bodies; beautiful eyes. I love it when these beautiful voices and beautiful bodies move fast and crash into and away from each other making like a symphony of things.
I feel like my writing is supposed to be more specific. But I also feel like when writers fill up entire pages with just descriptions of a room or something all they're doing is... filling up pages. Just as I'm doing now with all of this painfully non-specific writing.
Writing is not just filling up pages with words.
If only I could fill up pages upon pages! I need to get my hands on some speed. That might help. Humans aren't meant to be alone. That's why all the lonely artists are on drugs all the time. I know Dickens wrote all his stuff on opium. That's why I can't endure his books. I'm usually just on coffee. I try not to drink alcohol but sometimes I do.
But beautiful language or beautiful voices in a protected space speaking it is like a drug too. One that leaves you fuller and not just empty once the effects of it wear off.