Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

On Writing

How does an idea become a story? How does a trait become a character? Stephen King says that stories are not created by an author, rather they are dug up, unearthed, discovered. He's told how images such as a boy pouring coin change down a sewer grate led to Everything's Eventual. (I think it was that, I haven't read that particular story quite yet.) I'm wonderering this because I would love to write a story, be it short or novel in length. I've always wanted to write fiction, but I haven't laid pen to paper for that in seven or eight years. When I did, it was definitely a story of the discovered variety.

My class was given a book with thirteen illustrations in it, and we were assigned to choose one. We were then to write a story incorporating the image. I chose a picture of a nun on a floating chair, and did a 40 page apocolypse story in which the nuns hypnotized the world's population and led them like zombies to the water, drowning them all. It was 35 pages longer than assigned.

Just this quick rehash has brought a notion to mind:

If we all died like this, or just disappeared, what kind of events would occur in humanity's leftover infrastructure? If the demise of us was nonviolent, and we left all that we've created behind, what kind of natural order would evolve in our subways, skyscrapers, and golf courses?

Not the most orginal idea, I know, but just typing this has jerked my mental gears into action. I used to have ideas like the sky has stars, bright and scattered and numerous. I never used them. Never recorded them. That's okay, because they were then. I wasn't ready to use them at the time, and now that I imagine I'm ready, I don't have the ideas. I do know that if I can keep the story notion alive, one day the right spark will ignite. I'm watching. And waiting. I'm almost greedy for it. Who knows, maybe this time I won't have to kill everybody to have fun with it.
3:56 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Monday, November 17, 2003


I drove through a thick daybreak fog today for the first time in ten days. For a week I was green, bronchitis with cigarettes. I am glad to return to work, where the flourescents will sting my eyes. I lost my brush so I put my Panama Jack on my crown.

I've never kneeled down and licked the asphalt. Never had gravel tic tac toe my tongue. Never had splinters take tally on my forehead. Still I think of unprotected flesh and beads of blood and the unrestrainable urge to poke a wound.

That's mighty raw. What brought it on? I want to get naked and hug a tree. Shit in the woods. Kill a fish with a stick. Break an animal with a rock. Bathe in mud. Bone tools and cave fires. Rising with the sun. Guts in unfinished pottery.

Hmmm. I just felt the need to write something down, and that's what I got. Makes me wonder about myself. Where the hell does that come from? What is it supposed to be?
10:18 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Violence And Apathy

I went to that Halloween party on Friday night and had a blast. I drank over a case of beer, flirted with a girl in the kitchen until her boyfriend berated her through the kitchen window from outside, argued with a teenager that racism is stupid and that his sycophantic white supremacy blather would get him into trouble eventually, and finally threw up outside and got dragged home by my designated driver. Somewhere along the line I was stabbed in the arm with a lit cigarette. I think it was when the flirty girl fell on me. My costume was a pair of 3-D glasses and a budweiser hat made from cut up cans and yarn. It was my grandpa's. The glasses came with the 1998 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and I found them last week at my folks' house when I was cleaning out the last of my possesions there.

That was Friday night. Late Saturday night, actually Sunday morning, at 4am central time, my roomate got a call from his big sister invitng us to an acid/exstacy get-together. We declined. He was already asleep and I was hopelessly hooked to a gamecube game and unable set down the controller, let alone travel an hour's distance to start tripping at 6 in the morning on a Sunday. I went to bed around 7 am, and my roomie tried to wake me at 10 because there was some some of a trouble situation invloving his sister.

To make a long story short, some of her boyfriend's enemies in the Chicago club scene offered to hang out with them and have kiss and make up party. As veteran iliicit substance users, his sister and her boyfriend thought it was a fine idea. Unfortunately, the enemies had bad intentions and fed them PCP instead of acid. They all became very fucked up in a bad way, and my roomie was called to help. Eventually paramedics and police had to be invited to save some lives and sort them out. His sister may lose her child, who was present in the same house during the shenanigans. DCFS is investigating her worthiness as a mother. I spent all day Sunday helping to find the child, contacting the father, and just supporting everybody during a trying time in general. It was miserable.Tomorrow I am going to see the Hot Machines play at Schuba's. I haven't seen any live music since the Joe Strummer concert last winter, and I hear that this band is amazing. I hope so.

Author's note: 12/15/04: The people looking for Kurt(current roomie's sister's boyfriend) eventually killed him, by shooting, in a desolte field in Joliet. This was two months after he moved out of my apartment. He had been setting up dealers for the cops. He'd been busted while rolling two years ago, and made a deal. He was one setup short in the designated time period and rushed the last bust. They figured it out, so he was murdered. I found all this out posthumous. Woe.
7:56 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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