Sunday, February 2, 2014

Day 21: Superbowl Soufflé, freedom of speech and how I just plain lost it...

On the 21st day of my Superbowl sojourn I neurologically imploded. It had nothing to do with the deeply fried battered buffet of food set out on which to gorge while one was purportedly suppose to be optically entranced watching the big game.  There was pizza and there was Buffalo wings and there was this Italian beef that I was informed by my gourmand co-workers that it is to die for   and nachos and hot-n-spicy Cheetos, all of which I love. There were the bars down the street that were agog with apish young men wearing jersey’s with digits and last names on the back in capital letters, sporting short haircut and sideburns looking all the same seated on the swivel of a bar  forming an emotional (vicarious) rapport with the splashes of images cascading across the screen seated next to girls all sporting the same haircut, all with extremely white teeth and voices that are seminally nasal and seem to screech several octaves above the imprisoned Treble clef in a strident of  shrill of conformity.

 It was Superbowl Sunday and I was fucking Supbowl-sick of abstaining from my vices. Sick of refraining from kowtowing to the nearest bowl of wings. Sick of not being able to come home after work and crack open a brewsky sliding into the morning writing jam a cold beer to accompany me. Sick of always pissing one day to the next. Sick of busting my ass and always  careening out of control. Sick of always living paycheck to paycheck while watching a third of my take home funds evaporate into the swishing vortex arrears of college loans (note: to all you yuppie parents out there who think you are still cool: start a college fund for your kids. Even if its just a couple hundred a year. It will change their lives and they will thank you someday).Sick of not becoming the writer I know I am capable of being. Fuck, Mozart died when he was 36. So did Rick Baker The difference being that Mozart was likely Syphilitic and Baker was pure Southside.

Sick of feeling stuck all the time.

So sick that when I came home off of work today boy, was I close to chucking the towel on this who Fucculent Sobriety (what I call it) bullshit.

Sick of all this snow, and boy, I like snow. I like buying a case of Moosehead and planting the emerald scepters in a bank of freshly settled arctic precipitation and the cavorting in the woods, with a beer in paw, following animal tracks, gliding on a glossy thatch of fresh ice, smoking, cracking open another beer, lost in the trumpeting whipped raspberry peach freezie of a winter sunset, wanting to hurtle your back into the blinks of longing, Daedalus watching as his progeny  winks into a splotched asterisk before lost in the hum of the horizon.   



It felt like day 38.5 from the original Succulent Sobriety this morning. I didn’t understand why I was even writing this. I made what I thought was a witty quip pertaining to allegations of Woody Allen and the heroin-induced demise of Philip Seymour demise. I flippantly wrote.

“When I was 7 years old I was molested by Woody Allen. I was just innocuously practicing my tennis swing when Uncle Woody handed me a vial of his antidepressants and a copy of Crime and Punishment and then went at it. It really sucks because I was hoping to get sexually molested by the Diane Keaton of Annie Hall, the ingénue-eyed Mariel Hemingway of Manhattan or that hot chick from Match Point (the classy British chick. Phuck Scarlet Johannson). He bribed me with Knicks tickets and then took me to see Miss Saigon, lulling me to sleep with the dulcet octaves of his clarinet before instituting the molestation all over again. Lucky, I was able to go over to my good friend Philip Seymour Hoffman’s house and watch Trainspotting for solace… “

 When you are a writer you write about everything. You constantly push the sociological barometer in an endeavor to chauffer your readers into viewing the periphery of this planet from a different plateau. A different cosmological tumbling parallax.  A poetic purlieu. If yer a writer your only job is to take someone you have never met somewhere they I have never been before, or never travelled gladly and beyond.

 My flippant comment made a few people laugh esp. a writer from LA whose work I’ve admired for a long time. Then someone complains, spent ten minutes going out of their way to inform facebook that they were offended and I get flagged. I want to talk about the Constitution. I want to talk about freedom of specch. I want to say that I’ve seen pornography on facebook the last  of months, actual pictures of vaginas and those guys are never flagged. I want to ask whoever felt compelled to knock me down (note: you didn’t) why the fuck you didn’t just have the courtesy to write me a note conveying to me you were offended. Chances are good I would have just taken it down. Or you could have blocked me if you don’t like what I have to say. I try to write at least 10,000 words a week, which factors into over a quarter of a million words a year which is a lot, about the size of an Infinite Jest with half the footnotes deleted (they were buggin’ me anyway).

Or at least you could have the courtesy to buy me a beer like gentlemen before you discreetly chose to joust. Now it’s just pathetic because my ire is up and there is pizza in front of me and Italian beef and a bar so close if I stood on the roof above my front porch and adroitly aimed I could hit it via urinating.  

 Now I’m pissed. But what do you do. You realize that you’re not writing for them. That there is a reader out there who is deeply lonely and romantically wounded and hurting and dealing with some pretty gnarly existential shit and that something you wrote, flippantly, about an ailing genius and a warped sexual allegation or a millionaire who choses to deal with his demons by pricking a hypodermic stalactite into his arm, will somehow give that person who feels that her life has no purpose a moment of hope.

A modicum of peace.

A linguistic hug.

I once wrote that writing fiction is a lot getting drunk off the draught of the keyboard (Home Row Happy Hour) and then squeezing your heart into an empty gin bottle and hurling it as far as you possibly can into an ocean of unknown variables. You don’t know what sort of current your script will get caught in; how large the tidal wave will be. You have no clue how many seasons your heart will spend bobbing up and down, succumbing to the sloshes of nature, the indifference of mankind, the boiled insouciance of an accelerated society whose paws have more and more freely adapted to the rectangular scepter of the remote control and less and less to the tattered lapels of a book jacket. You have no clue what foreign shore will be privy to your psychedelic scribbles or if your heart will even wash up in the hands of an appreciable audience at all. I still think that way to an extent.

I still think its like that, but I also feel that writing (the type of writing I am into) is kinda like looking up in the night sky and pointing out Sirius or Andromeda and realizing that the light you are witnessing is nothing more than a galactic echo. A wink residual splatter of something firey and incendiary that happened a long time ago. 
I used to be envious of young writers my age or a lil’ older who’ve made a career out of their work. Envious of Dave Eggers, (which a lot, admittedly has to do with the fact that he’s also from Illinois went to once of those suburban high schools you always see portrayed in John Hughes movies where his classmate was Vince Vaughn and I went to a high school in the same state where the avg ACT score was like an 8) and Jonathon ‘Phuckwad’ Foer is a few months older. Both are married to sexy literary vixens. Both have made millions with their work. Both got huge breaks just ridiculously early in their literary careers. Both have  (lets be honest) have had pretty easy lives, perhaps not wiping their asses with two-dollar bills silver spoon laced palate lives, but easy lives nonetheless. When Eggers’ progenitors died he got a trust fund, a toddler and a career. When my father died I was living in the back seat of a station wagon in Jumer’s parking lot with a mother who thought her son was a loser. The day Foer’s just ridiculously advanced EATING ANIMALS came out I had already written well over a million words, was trying to market my 700 page manuscript, oh, and the only thing I was able to eat that day was a previously gnawed crust of pizza that I culled from the garbage bin in the cullom-davis library.
 I’m not trying to bash Eggers or Foer. Obviously they have an audience and an industry buttressing their aesthetics and obviously they are talented and good at their craft. Writing takes time. Unlike a music, the engagement of a narrative structure lasts longer than five minutes or an artist, a book somehow sticks around longer, looks at you longer, scowls and pricks and scratches at the interior of your psyche longer. Like the light from those constellations, the authors I love and go back to again and again always sparks a fresh response in my nervous system and looking at the books flooding my shelf, from Gogol to Patrick White to Flaubert to Beaumarchais, somehow every time I grope the spine of these texts their light seems brand new, unflawed, as if it has taken millions of years to experience this splash of synaptic bliss all over again.
 And like with the pizza and hot wings and esculent-inducing Italian Beef in front of me, the Foer fame I seek may have to wait, but I’m still gonna have fun jamming my ass off, writing 2000 words a day and bleeding out as many poems as is humanly possible along the way.

That in itself is worth a Superbowl saturated game-winning drive....


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