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You Ain’t Goin’ No Where July 30, 2011

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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Some days after a long week of herding feral cats through a labyrinth of financial and software process controls you make a frozen pizza, wash it down with a Vitamin Water energy drin and stay up late eating Vienna Fingers (the cookies you called streetcars as a child), watching most of Season Four of the Wire.

And then suddenly: it’s Saturday.

The clouds are rolling in and its gray, with just enough intermittent breeze to stir the hangers on the temple bells but not to ring them. You watch the squawking wild parrots in some indeterminate weedy tree next door, the one with roots choked in another vague3 shrub and its crown choked in cat;s claw, that one hanging perilously over the house on the street behind you and you wonder when it will finally fall, what is the rated load in parrots of this particular situation? Perhaps you just want something to happen. The sky is blank, calm and ominous and something is bound to happen, and you would rather in happen nearby.

Today’s accomplishments so far:

  • Drink half a a pot of coffee.
  • Boot up the laptop, ignoring the book you meant to read when you woke up.
  • Go to the bathroom. Wash face after.
  • Re-read two blog posts several times, then wrte an email explaining why you are stuck on your contribution.
  • Drink other half of pot of coffee
  • Determine your son is alive (he’s been sick all week so I was letting him sleep as late as he wished).
  • Make more coffee.
  • Offer your son breakfast: we have eggs and bacon, bagels and Honey Nut Cherios. (Omar’s breakfast of choice). (He declines). (My son, not Omar. Omar would eat the Cherios).
  • Open a new pack of cigarettes.
  • Read a post and all comments on HTML Giant, and suddenly understand why you never saw professors in the coffee shop at college.
  • Try to decide if you’ve had enough coffee
  • Read an interview between a sort-of anonymous The Rumpus interviewer (you know which one lives in Ann Arbor) and Megan Boyle, in which they discuss web pages selected by Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky button. You are not feeling lucky. You should have waited for the movie, except Tao Lin will be in it.
  • Watch parrots from the back yard smoking your newly opened cigarettes.
  • Read last sentence again and decide to leave it that way for the hell of it. Insert your own while. (This is explained below).

It is almost three o’clock in the afternoon and you have reached a point. Not a metaphorical point (time to shower, time to get moving, time to make more coffee) but an actual point, a unidemensional non-space in which there is no narrative arc, no impetus to shower or get going, no impulse to resume watching The Wire or pick up the book you opened last night in bed and decided to start in the morning, such possibilities requiring four dimensions and you are stuck in one. You have mislaid the while from the sentence above. Trajectory is not a possibility in one dimension but there seems to be a simmering here somewhere, the recipe for a singularity, a point in non-space and non-time in which time is the burning fuse and out of which something is certain to exploded.

Perhaps it will be the trunk of the tree. Or the coffee pot carafe left unattended on the burner.

Possible things to do today:

  • Shower
  • Read Julio Cortazar’s The Observatory. (That book again, sitting insistently on the other side of the bed like that load of laundry you should get to if only because in one pocket is a $50 bill).
  • Make lunch
  • Watch the rest of The Wire disks
  • Decide about dinner.
  • Decide to watch the DVDs after dinner
  • Finish Cortazar while my son plays video games.
  • Make dinner
  • Drink a beer and smoke a cigarette or two on the back deck. (The parrots are gone. The tree remains).
  • Watch The Wire.

Saturday is named after Saturn. In astrology Saturn is the planet associated with practicality, achievement and conformity. Perhaps that is why I can hear the whine of lawn equipment in the distance and would never dare to venture for errands into the ants nest of cars on Veterans Boulevard today. It is the year of my second Saturn return: 54 years, two orbits. I should be busy at something: determining my next career step, starting some great new undertaking (om shri ganeshaya namah), realigning my life for the next 27 years should I be so lucky. (My family often makes it into their 80s in spite of lifestyle. It could happen). (I did one practical thing this morning, but we will omit that for now as it would be ill luck to speak of it.) For now I am typing random thoughts into a window and wondering which is the planet associated with lethargy, too much coffee and indecision.

I think I’ll go make some more coffee, smoke a cigarette and think about it, reawakening the horizontal and vertical, the possibility of pitch and yaw, put into motion at least possibility in contemplation of one or more possible futures. Saturn will be back before you know it. I had best get busy.

Comments»

1. raynola - July 30, 2011

I slept til 3. So there’s that. Made coffee and french toast. The most complex philosophical musing I’ve had so far is, if I sleep til 3 and then make french toast at most people’s dinner time, is that breakfast for dinner, or is it just breakfast?

Miranda July’s “Me and You and Everyone…” starts out with the most stupidly cute and fluffy divorce-with-kids scene that I am having trouble taking the rest of it seriously. Miranda doesn’t know anything about divorce. “Blue Valentine”? Now THAT was a divorce.

I think you should ignore those last two posts and do what you do. Even if you cover some of the same ground, it’ll be poetic in ways that those other two people are incapable of writing.

I wrote the skeleton of a story last night and now I’m trapped in that netherworld where I don’t know whether it should be a short story or a screenplay and I can’t push myself in one direction or the other. Feels more like a movie, but if it’s a story than there is some chance that somebody might read it some day. If I write it as a movie, all it does it let me say, “I’ve written a couple of movies” instead of “I wrote a movie once”, and she can say “that’s nice” and go back to making my latte.

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2. sam - August 2, 2011

Ha! this is close to a lot of my days. (BTW I’m in the process of re-purchasing the Wire DVD’s all as separate seasons as the box set quaility is atrocious. 3 out of 5 disks unplayable, probably due to the horrid packaging. Checked out Amazon 1star reviews and they’re all having same issue. Wish I’d looked at them prior to buying the box set.)

We’ve spent last two days in Wire-land. . . .again. See something new every time, marvel every time.

Still working on the three year old story that I had a burst on a couple weeks ago, had to scrap original direction so changed it which changed other things. Still working intermittently on the play, the thing I really want to get done, but alas, it’s taking longer than I wanted it to even with the characters regularly conversing at the end of my bed as I try to go to sleep.

Ray is right. Ignore the other two pieces and do what YOU do.

Meanwhile, enjoy the relaxation, enjoy the sound of the boy’s video game playing–he will be off into the world of college and life before you know it and you’ll miss that sound. A lot. Saturn is also limitations, so maybe it just decided to limit you to a small area and simple pleasures.

Ray, write it both ways if you can. Many of Tennessee’s plays started out as short stories. The stories were wonderful. The plays transcendent. Re-watching the Wire reinforces what we’ve all been talking about re:the literature as a visual medium. Why don’t we start embracing both?

And Omar. God how I love Omar. Where are those damn cheerios?

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3. dangermond - August 8, 2011

Was thinking about you as I read this in the NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/fashion/modern-love-when-an-ex-blogs-is-it-ok-to-watch.html

And was wondering if any of the moments when my stomach clutches and I wonder what it is that I am doing would ever cause me to retract everything I have ever written? Curious.

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Mark Folse - August 8, 2011

This almost requires an entire, long post to answer. There are things I write but don’t post, or lay in bed at night and think of writing but don’t get up to type. Is this all vanity or is there somewhere an instructive lesson? It’s hard to know when the end is no where in sight, when I pull some punches that would fill the narrative, but I believe there is. It is meant as more than personal therapy. And read end to end there is a narrative, if I were to go back and fill in the important blanks, to pull things out of the drafts folder and post them in their chronological place.

I don’t think I would ever go back and edit beyond bad typing or for style; certainly not for content. If anything I would expand it. I’ve laid it out for so long that stopping would be to abandon something important, something that taken end to end would have meaning not just for myself but for others.

If I let myself care who read it then Moloch would not play such a prominent role for fear of current and future employers. As for the more deeply personal, that goes elsewhere (drafts, blogs I’ve deleted) but someday it will all be placed here in the proper order and then there will be nothing left to hide.

To be a whole person will mean for me having nothing left to hide, nothing left to lose, to lay it all out without the niceties of roman a clef, to call Bulworth on the world in the hope that someone else is saved, to live in that bright moment in which you know your doom.

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4. dangermond - August 8, 2011

M – no doubt I have never considered rescinding and as a matter of fact, I too have added, I’ve gone back to some of the comments that seemed asinine or hurtful and approved them because they are part of the dialogue – for my journey to self-actualization there will be little to no editing but I too leave out parts that might indict someone else or be taken out of context by someone I love dearly – I still work to write truthfully not consistently but truthfully and we all know truth is often in flux.

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5. Mark Folse - August 9, 2011

Truth is always in flux because memory is dangerous and fickle. Events don’t stand alone but as details in a tapestry woven into the threads of behind and ahead. I am rereading Joan Didion’s The White Album for the first time in decades: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Stories, not recitation of the facts of the case, are the stuff of memories as recent as last night. I have redacted, but not here. There were things put on the Internet for a few to read that I thought well hidden in plain sight but not well enough. I dumped those things before the blog where they were kept was deleted and some of them will reappear, perhaps threaded into this blog because they were an otherwise hidden thread of the story buried here in blog posts. . Before I veer into suppositions about your own story, or go father than prudence allows for now, I really need to deliver you the promised bottle of wine for the S&S piece, with glasses and a corkscrew in hand.

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6. dangermond - August 9, 2011

Yes! I will throw out a suggestion – my partner is traveling to NY for her book and maybe the 18th – evening after I’ve tucked Tin in at around 8:30ish, you could come by for some porch and wine time? That’s a Thursday so if you might be at the Goldmine, maybe the 20th as well – I think I have plans on the 19th.

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Mark Folse - August 10, 2011

The 18th sounds fine. Now I have another reason to get over to the Can Company which I keep forgetting to do to pick up some wine.

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7. dangermond - August 10, 2011

Great – let’s say 8:45 – Thurs 18th. See you then.

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