Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Gum Chewing Racism

Chewing gum, occasionally I bite my lip on accident, feel my teeth sink in just a little bit. It hurts a lot but after a while the saliva in my mouth coagulates the ruptured skin and I’m back in business. This has been happening a lot lately, chewing gum. It helps me forget and relax, kicking in my monkey-amygdala brain.

I keep getting the best ideas in the worst possible places. When I try to remember them I feel like I’m wandering in a fog and trying to make out shapeless blobs of cohesive thought. I had an Idea about racism, seeing that that is the flavor of the week. Since Trump took office I’ve only been able to conceive of myself as an oppressor even though I’ve never seen someone as being lesser than myself. (A note. I have plenty of racist thoughts in my head that make me consider Jesus’s sermon on the mount, wherein he suggests that the act of being angry is equivalent to murder. Does that mean that because I’ve had a racist thought that I’ve also considered someone to be sub-human?)

The quintessential quality of a “white person”—at least what I assume to be, in the context of a American everyman raised in the “good part” of town with minimal hardship—is a very human one. The preservation of property. It’s easy to look at material possessions as a right, when in fact the ownership of property is merely by chance. Unless I suddenly won the lottery, the acquisitions of life, liberty, and happiness is a slow going affair. So slow, in fact, that by the end of it all the hard work and chance luck just blurs together into one concerted effort. I find myself harboring bitterness toward my neighbors as if I’ve built up a life for myself in a one bedroom apartment. In reality I’m paying a slumlord a pound of flesh while being angry at my neighbors for littering. I don’t own the streets, or the hedges, or the sidewalks. But I’m under the pretense that I own the space that I occupy. Maybe this is spurred on by the concept of social contract?

Social Contract, as I conceive of it, distilled to its essence is about fairness. (This is the zeitgeist of the 21st century, correct? That meaning is fluid and taylor-fit?) And what we perceive as "unfair" is in violation of the social contract. My psychiatrist tells me that this isn't a realistic way to live, and I agree. Holding people accountable to a contract they never signed with me is tantamount to giving someone a roofie and sociologically fucking them.

In other, less-introspective, news, I got notes back from Desmond on my second book. Reading them has become a bit of a past-time for me, a one man roast on my labors which, I find extremely funny. It's soothing, also, to know that your work is taken less seriously by others than yourself. It's a safety net, placed under your ego, so that when it all falls apart you have a place to land. Like most first drafts, everything is raw and disconnected. Ideas are inconsistently spread across the canvass and need to be thinned out to an even grade. I've done this before with my first book and it's a very frustrating process, though worth wile. And whats interesting is that I've tried to write a second book in between drafts, a shorter novella that I'm really happy with, a tangential work that helps me vent creative frustration. I'm finishing it this weekend and giving it out for another round of notes.

I'm really bad at ending my blogs.

So that's it.

Go back to work. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Concise Summary of My Recent Wit

This is not one of those blogs where I write something once or twice a week. It was... but look where that got me: depressed and stressed out. Today, I'm sitting in a dark room, lit only by a solitary LED desklamp in the far corner of the room, casting soft, unobtrusive light across the floor. Soft shapes decorate the room, stains of darkness on creme paint. The desk is cluttered, even after a thorough cleaning. Piles of to-dos and unfinished books vie for my affections, while a monitor stands erect, in defiance of taste, acting as a mirror.

I don't play video games anymore. Or I play them, but in secret, like a fat man binging in shame, squeezed into a 1999 Honda Accord, with mounds of cheese and animal flesh scattering his torso, under the tangerine hue of the dwindling twilight. Little by little do I understand the vampire-esque habits of my parents who dealt with me in the daylight only to flourish in the night. This is amusing to me, because I used to be a "night person," staying up late at night, watching Adult Swim and checking my Facebook for unexpected contact. Fleeting moments of relief in the endless screams.

I've been looking at my progress over the past few months and I am satisfied where I'm at. The balance struck between obligation and dedication is at the apex straddling commitment and poised to fall one way or the other. But with finesse and fortitude the armistice prevails. While I have been awaiting feedback from my second book, I've started a novella anthology featuring the primitive objects of my worship as a younger man: the tall tale men of Americana. Pacos Bill, John Henry, Paul Bunyan, and Johnny Appleseed are on the move, acting independently of one another in a collage of tales. It's actually not a bad start, and I've felt very satisfied with the end result. While not being as heady as my previous works, it is probably the most human work I've attempted, hoping to evoke the struggles of the American everyman, post-frontier.

My good friend, and fellow man-child, Desmond Write was able to return, at long last, the notes I sought from him for the aforementioned "second book." And while the chafing, yet witty, scathing, yet instructive, remarks of  my contemporary be, I've been able to get a good laugh out of my nascent work. Too many writers think of their tear stained lyric as the poetry of the Gods, yet can't see through their smeared eye liner how shit their prose is. Desmond is the kind of friend that shits on your book, then uses the excrement to stencil in a greater, more profound, foundation. Lesson learned, and always remember: a derisive commentary deciphers opportunity, but a flattering rhyme incites pride.

That's it.