A principled writer knows when to say “with all due respect, I don’t respect your opinion.”
Archive for Writing
Showed my friend a first draft, which he criticized as self-indulgent and lazy.
My first thought: “I believe you to be a jealous, oblivious-to-intent bitch who’s taking his abject cuckoldry by nature out on the nearest alpha.”
My second thought: “it is self indulgent, and was meant to be. Thanks for your feedback, my friend.”
Drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip…
“Sounds like my faucet in disrepair,” you say?
Try hearing that all day, every day. Try hearing and feeling drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip on top and inside your head all the time and then try such flippant comparison again. Every fucking time there’s the sound, there’s the sensation, the two make the phenomenon—drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip means wetting of the same 1-inch radius, the same pi-inches-squared area, followed by geometrically different but equirhythmic radiations all day long.
I won’t talk—I won’t—and that’s why the dripping and thipping won’t stop, why a bit of my scalp is bare, why little, cracked bowls are wetted in the same time, time after time.
I thought this method of torture was bygone, but it’s 2013 already and still
I’m getting dripped and thipped insane by this routine, these habits, by myself. All the play I have now is with letters. No longer do I play with sounds, spoken words. No one would or will play like I want to.
This, here, my jungle gym, my wooden castle like the one distant daddy brought and built one Christmas—brought and built by daddy, played with ad nauseam, until that consistency became drip drip drip drip thip thip thip thip.
Though I’m aware of what’s happening and my body and the rest of me are free to go, I continue furiously and only semiapologetically; what separates this from my boyhood playground?
I suppose that since I am still that boy at heart I need to play, and since now I won’t play with my body like I used to, I must play with letters.
But can I reengage my muscles, my bones, my connective tissues, my organs? My soul is healthy, engaged. My letters come from my body, so my body is engaged. That’s right. This is everything I need.
The lonely cloud is
Incomparable in size but
Equal to your face.
Is that how it happens? Are we born this way–hypersensitive, hypervigilant, hyperverbal, hypercerebral? Are we all that way? No, that’s not how it goes.
So when and how is a writer cobirthed out of the vajeens of his/her brain and body? Pay attention to that pair: brain and body. Learn the language of your eyes, their eyes, your ears, their ears, your neurons, and their neurons. The writer remembers and adds perspective, unity. The writer takes fragments, tacks them to other fragments, and makes new lives. Life is manifold; the writer knows this and shows as many folds as he/she wants, thank you.
When and how does the writer assert itself? I had to take charge somehow, and I took to the pen and then the keyboard without doubt. Without doubt is the only way to write, and skeptically is the only way to edit.
Once you get past fear, what’s in your way? If you’ve browsed here, you can at least dictate to a machine, and you at least have the software that allows you to do that.
I may suck, but I write because it’s right for me, and because sometimes my life just isn’t enough.
I came home one night, hard day in wake, expecting to have salad with my steak. I got to the kitchen—having clitted and clatted up the stony steps—and all I saw was an expired spring mix; no steak, no chicken, no salmon! I opened up the spring mix to make sure there was no hope for it, bent down to a suitable distance for testing, sniffed…
So the lettuce smelled like when Ricky took that jizzy fart in his unwashed mouth and plugged it up along with his nose. The stench escaped through his eyes, must have been! Ricky would buttress me there if only to herald his lung space but now he’s dead. Died that same time. Needed to be uncouthest. Couldn’t be anything-elsest, Ricky? I wondered if the gases were noxious or if Ricky wasn’t the athlete he said he was—if his known muff diving failed to live up to his alleged deep-sea diving.
“Lettuce for dinner? Is there nothing else? No peas, beans, oats?” I led.
“Check the ice box and the pantry,” she said.
She read my face, my slanted mouth and furrowed brows, and knew she—cause of the present association, her native herring and bean-induced flatulence co-enablers of Ricky’s last oral stench—should say something. She, after all, likely finished the oats, the beans, and the peas. The oats, the peas, the beans if you like allusions. Played that one in band—really tested my nine-and-ten-year-old lungs. Repugnant Ricky had the same breathing tests I did, plus one yes that jizzy one too many. Hope it at least occurred to him at the end that a hard jaunt would have been better.
Note: I wrote this two-and-a-half years ago and just published it. I got a gas guzzler handed down—nine months later I think it was.
Today is a pivotal juncture in my life. I’ve decided it’ll no longer pay to take shit from anyone–including myself. Assertiveness is my new robe; fuck forbearance. Fuck meekness. This is my time to initiate the actualization of what I want. I’m only twenty, which is pretty encouraging; most people, in all age groups, are beholden to the whims of others. I’m not–at least not anymore. Yes, I’m still dependent upon my parents to some extent; however, I’m confident in my ability to convince them that their participation in my becoming independent, while perhaps detrimental to their near-term bottom line, will save them quite a bit of both money and regret in the future, and may even pay dividends! They’ll naturally resist, but I’m confident that even in the lowest people, reason trumps emotion, given ample time to do so. Just because I’ve committed to no longer taking shit doesn’t mean I won’t help people when given the opportunity. I’m convinced this is the threshold of manhood; perhaps my prefrontal cortex has undergone some significant development overnight. In any case, promise is evident, and only if I seize upon it will my potential be fulfilled.
Concretely, now’s the time to ask for a car.
“It’s an investment,” I’ll say, “not a net drain on your wealth. In order to get and do justly a meaningful job, I’ll need a consistent, ever-available form of transit. No such transit means inconvenience for any prospective employer–i.e. they’ll need to coordinate their schedule with mine instead of just catering to their own needs. Employers are likely to be rational, at least with respect to fulfilling their need for help; if one’s availability is inconsistent with their needs, they are not going to make room for them simply out of philanthropic impulses, at least not at a rate such that my meeting that sort of employer would justify the search costs. The purpose of opening a business is to make a profit, and if the slots within which I’m available are already fully occupied, then hiring me would detract from that quantity. Thus, in order to maximize my chances of finding work, I’ll need to be available, barring no hour. If you’re impervious to this argument up front, I’ll give it time to seep into your subconscious mind, the seat of all basic understanding. Believe me, this is going to stave off costs I can already foresee, costs you’ll bear if we don’t act swiftly. Suppose you’re to spend four-thousand dollars on a car, and the requisite monthly sum for insurance.”
Thanks, Ayn, for the kick in the ass I so desperately needed. I won’t forget you when I strike gold.