Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Death By 1000 Papercuts

I'm going to start keeping a notebook. I have thoughts and ideas I'd love to explore that evaporate while I sleep. During the workday I am an arthritic automaton, but in my solitary night I have carnivals and parades and fireworks factory detonations causing disturbances of the peace in my head. When 4am approaches and the last gong is sounded, I lay down only to arise the next day with nothing but spilled ketchup and relish, trampled popcorn, and tire grooves crushing the grass as evidence of the eve's festivities. Maybe the notebook will serve to polaroid the carousels, merry-go-rounds, and bingo tent hollerings. If I can manage to alchemize those giggling phantoms into gravity-bound flesh, I might just manage to teach one of them to walk.

Allow me to pause this recording to dig through the flotsam abound in this office in hopes of finding a suitable tablet.

I have it. It's 120 college ruled pages, a third full of helpdesk notes undecipherable to none but their writer. That's good, because I am horrible with new blank pages. I have 4 or 5 diaries in which I never broke page 7. I shall delude myself that starting on page 42 will change the outcome this time. The last date on the last page used is sometime in October 2001, so it won't be missed.

Now I have to hope that interrupting my brain to write won't fuck up the whole stream of thinking. It really is quite an exhilarating experience that I can only acheive alone and slightly intoxicated. I can always throw it away if need be. Better yet, set it down next to me and casually forget about it forever.
1:44 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
0 Comments :: - post comment

Monday, December 08, 2003


I was at somebody else's family party at a banquet hall in Bensenville the other night. You know the drill: eighty people, cutrate deejays playing la vida loca, fake wood panelling, half-lit chandeliers and bland food that the old folks can eat without aggravating their ulcers. I had nothing to say to anybody, and in truth, I didn't belong there. I'd been invited by my friend's mom, who'd insisted on my attendance, to the point of paying for my plate. Hey, it's a party, right?

Well, at east the beer was free. I ended up talking to Rosalita, a sweet old gal of about eighty years. She used to be a punch press operater, whatever the hell that is. She kept repeating herself, which was sad. "If Rocky wants to go out and make whoopie, then so can I, but I don't wanna. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I could go out and dance, but what's the point now? Don't you trust nobody. Have fun, but not too much, don't take advantage of your life, but don't forget to dance either." Repeat ten times. Rocky is her husband. She kept looking around for him, but only once did she find him and point. During the 90 plus minutes I spent next to her, he never once came by. The message I got was this: she's regretful and dissatisfied with her life, and she feels cheated. Despite being surrounded by mobs of her offspring. None of them spoke with her, although many gave her quick hugs and kisses before fleeing.

I guess when you get old there's just no room for you in anybody's life. Everybody guiltily acknowldeges you and then runs away screaming back to the land of the living. I don't want to get old. I'm going to keep smoking cigarettes.
8:05 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
0 Comments :: - post comment

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Water Level

Words with purpose.

I don't mean theme, symbolism, or allegory. When I think about writing fiction, and words that have a reason for existing, I refer to knowing my story and using words as a car uses gasoline.

I have a friend that draws a lot, and in my opinion he does lots of sketching and scribbling but very little art. Without a composition or purpose in mind, he always comes up with grinning demonic elf skulls. Or female silouhettes. It's been years since he finished a cohesive page consisting of a single composition. He just starts laying down lines without any focus to them, and the results are invariably fragments.

This is my problem. It's not just a writer's block. I wonder if I can dig up actual stories and real characters in my head and communicate them. I know I shouldn't be waiting for the idea to pop up like a groundhog, but I don't know how to seek an idea, either, so I suppose I don't have much choice. So I wait, and... I'll be aware. I'll be contantly asking myself "What If?" I have to keep these gears turning. In the meantime I'm creating fragments, pointless anecdotes that don't have a beginning, middle, or end.

A few coworkers were talking about the word porpoise. In addition to being a marine animal that jumps out of the water, it's also a verb used to indicate the act of surfacing, as in submarines. "The submarine porpoised." The zenith of this conversation was "So what came first, the submarine or the porpoise?" I love word origin mysteries.

So I need words that won't just swim around aimlessly munching algae. I need words that'll break the surface, flop around wildly, then dive with a fractal splash.

Words that porpoise.
3:54 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
0 Comments :: - post comment