Better Than Jim

Boy, I hope that last post didn’t sound like little wolf-crying boy making a gesture at abandoning his friends just so he can hear them say “Shut up, kid; we love you.” I didn’t mean it that way.

Forgive me the rough and tumble; I gotta put something down, even if it sucks.

The little voice is sulking and playing coy. Fucker. I have a writing assignment due for my class on Wednesday. He needs to cut it out.

This keeps happening: I am drawn to a story from my past; a weekend, a month, a year: I kick out 2 or 3 pages of good writing, then hit a wall. Each story needs a story behind it; why did Michael do this? Because he did this over here, before. One step back requires another. I should just start at the beginning, you know, drooling baby DogPoet carted around the Midwest by two parents who were gay but didn’t know it yet. But it seems so, what? boring? obvious…the memories then are paler and thinner. Everyone had a rough childhood. I’d rather just hopscotch over my past, drawn by each story. Piece it together later.

Or maybe I should just fuck memoir (I hate that word; I mean, dude, I’m 31) and try something else. Isn’t memoir supposed to be dead? Wasn’t it the new pink was the new black was the new navy? Is it selfish? Or do I believe that the only life we can really know is our own?

How aout this: Michael, chill. Just kick it out. Don’t box it up.

Really, I’m very lazy and I would rather be watching television. Kidding.

There’s another reason I’m restless. I’ll tell you Friday.

When the fog fills my head, I like to defer to others:

“We plunder – sometimes with timidity, other times with cunning, or endurance, or speed, or power – but when we come back with shining objects, it is not we who were brilliant but the places to which we traveled. Maybe there was something in our blood that hinted those places might be out there. But anyone who has ever written or made something knows intimately how much luck and grace is involved; and when people – critics – start saying how fine a reader or writer is – well, I get annoyed when a reader or a writer starts believing that and forgets how much damn more mystery is involved.” – Rick Bass, “Brown Dog of the Yak”

“I don’t believe in being interested in some things because they are said to be important and interesting. I believe in being caught by it, somehow or another.” – Joseph Cambell, “The Power of Myth”

And this bit of brilliance from The Detox: ” I’ve edited my lowest life moments list. that time i tried to make my own pom pom socks…”

One of my personal favorites: white-knuckled, failed recovering alcoholic Michael gives up trying to stay sober another day in the summer of 2000 and crawls into a Minneapolis liquor store (there were four conveniently located within a block of my apartment). He grabs a bottle of Jim Beam and scuttles like a crab up to the cashier, some hipster chick with dyed black hair and a really small t-shirt, who takes the bottles, sighs, and says “Jack is so much better.”

You gotta laugh at life. Or you’ll wither up and die.

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