Sunday, April 24, 2005
Photo concocted by Joey Moore.
Given my fondness for juxtaposition, I think I should put up some stuff that isn't particularly related to homicidal dough people. This is from the journal I carry around with me from time to time. I often ponder the relationship between where a person is writing and what they write. Some authors, like Stephen King, recommend creating a personal, intimate space in order to be alone with your thoughts. Others, such as Neil Gaiman, write in bars, airports, and even while waiting in lines. I've never gone to a bar with writing in mind. I've been pretty happy with what I've produced in airports. I've never tried while waiting in line for anything because my handwriting is already terrible.
I'm not sure that either way is better or worse. I like having a personal space to write because hey, sometimes you just don't feel like wearing pants. I also like writing when I'm somewhere I don't necessarily want to be because when I turn my attention to the journal I am essentially creating my own personal space amidst the din and clamor of the world at large. Well, anyway, here's some of that non-doughboy stuff.
* * *
I often forget that this is a journal. The purpose of this book has become blurred. If it ever had a purpose, of course. The only purpose I could bring myself to assign to this particular composition notebook is to relieve stress. Except that it doesn't always do that, either. The pen dips into the mind and stirs up the thoughts. The words, already written, eagerly wait for the eye to light upon them. When I read them again they seem to spring up like tiny imps to unearth old graves.
This journal is a headstone, a grave marker for an aborted idea.
Lack of motivation. Might not that be a good sign? Contentment and complacency are inbred cousins, if not outright conjoined twins who enter together when you only meant to invite in one.
* * * *
He wears all black except for a green arm-band around his left forearm. The large screen in the center of the viewing hall has descended from the ceiling. Projected upon it is the delicate visage of a young Italian woman with the title "Catalina Va In Citta'."
What does he think of as he sips black coffee from a Styrofoam? He thinks of love, no doubt, as all men do when they find themselves alone. What keeps him from loving, then? What keeps him alone? A fierce desire to master himself. A foolish pride that will not allow anyone else to succeed where he has failed.
* * * * *
The old theatre master used to smile grimly and say that the thick, red curtains that hide us from the audience are the border between the living and the dying. He never said which of these we were.
* * * * * *
This time last year, I had no idea how happy I was to become. Nor how great my despair would be at the end of that summer. I don't regret it. I was happy then. I remember the feeling among the others as one would remember the sun more brightly than the stars. That time is gone but I keep it still. I have grown around that summer the way a tree grows. That ring of joy and pains is buried deeper now; under the thinner rings of this past year. At times I feel that ring down under all the others, pulsing with its own heartbeat. I am reminded of a cocoon, lying patient and afraid.
* * * * * * *
"I make 80,000 a year," he said, straightening up slightly in the narrow seats of the airline gate.
"Eighty thousand what?" I asked quietly.
He stared. "Are you joking? Dollars. I make 80,000 dollars."
I looked down at my feet. "Oh. I thought maybe you made songs or stories or fuzzy oven mitts that look like big red lobster claws."
"What? No, man. I make money."
"Drat. I always wanted an oven mitt that looks like a big red lobster claw."