yes it’s all been done before and other people can write better than you and shit is cliche–and yet but what

Blergh. Feeling kinda down way down in the dumpster like really fuckin down there like beneath all the dripping diarrhea of weekold trash and not sure why. Maybe the -5 on yesterday’s LR section, maybe spending too much time on twitter, maybe just bored at work.

??.

Got to get my spit together for Peace Corps clearance. Need prints of these fingers.

need something other than this Coke Zero. Feel strange when my 30 y.o. coworkers start talking about partying on a Tuesday night and going to Colorado to smoke the weekend away. Feel strange when I realize I’m the only one who feels strange about such conversations taking place. These people all seem so…unaffected….

and mirthful

how

it was strange to read the cover story of the Economist’s 1843 Magazine. Micro-dosing and creativity. Admittedly always wanted to microdose lsd. Not sure that it increases creativity and have cried a lot on lsd and but still so why the desire?…

Reading brave new world (finally) after getting an A in Modern European Intellectual History freshman year. wonder how prof. bernstein is doing he really liked my essay on hegel.

a class which required reading brave new world but for which nevertheless i never did the assigned reading. feeling shit about skeezing my way through college with vyvanse and unreality and literally ingesting soma daily sometimes often more than daily–well not literally soma–but literally it’s the same thing (KIND OF haha??) and now i want to be pure i will be pure like that one bright eyes song

except maybe microdosing lsd one day

silly goal little idealist cute kid cute idealism

been listening to some old ones

Maybe spending too much time reading Top-Law-Schools forums reading posts of kids that got 4.0s in UG reading stories of their incredible prestigious amazing accomplishment and can’t help thinking I really screwed the pooch man I really could’ve I really could’ve I really could’ve been… everything

And yet but think in some very real sense what I have overcome

cannot be denied and the camus quote about the invincible summer and yeah yeah–yes, it’s all been done before and other people can write better than you and shit is cliche and feeling is cliche especially existential feeling oh please and the truth is that what you have to say is not profound in the least–and yet but what?

a pause and a breath

that ineffable peace escaping (returning…)

silly blog cute blog (SHUT THE FUCK UP haha)

that yaweh of the self looking out at the self with my ass on the sand

can i be the ocean with these waves?

i do miss the ocean

 

 

Jamaica

Peace Corps invited me to serve as a Primary Literacy Adviser in Jamaica from 2018 to 2020. The position involves helping elementary kids, namely those elementary kids that aren’t high achievers, learn how to read. I’ll be working with them one-on-one to develop not just reading comprehension but a desire to read. Or at least that’s the spiel that I was given when I applied 6 months ago. It sounds like a dream, but of course it does: it’s fucking ad copy. A salesman is a salesman regardless of that which he sells.

I don’t want to seem (much less be) caustic or irreverent. Rather, the point is I don’t want to go into the whole thing with any expectations. I especially don’t want to romanticize something that may never happened (if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time on this planet it’s that fantasy is pernicious). Whatever is, is.

If all goes as planned, I’ll fly from D.C. to Montego Bay on March 12. That’s a big if, though, because I still have to obtain legal and medical clearance. Legal clearance I’m not so worried about–my only brush with the law was getting popped for smoking weed by some narc RA sophomore year of college, and that incident was resolved solely through the university.

But there is a very real chance I get denied medical clearance. This is because of the various mental health diagnoses I’ve been bestowed: depression, alcohol dependency, substance abuse disorder. All by licensed medical professionals, all of which I disclosed in the medical history portion of my PC application. Additionally, the fact that I got invited to serve does not mean I’m in the clear with respect to my medical history; placement specialists, who review applications and invite/deny candidates, never see the medical history form. Shit is completely separate. And so my hirer was unaware of my mental health issues (cringe along with me at the phrase ‘mental health issues,’ please).

Despite the fact of 13 months of sobriety and despite the fact that I’m mentally healthier than I’ve ever been and despite the fact that I really truly don’t even have any spite for the facts (whatever was, was) mental health stigma is real. It’s nobody’s fault, I guess–it makes sense PC wants every volunteer to be stable and healthy so that they represent the U.S. well overseas. And I get that serving often is incredibly mentally taxing–the isolation, the loneliness, the culture shock, the fear: each of these is real. It matters that candidates be strong-willed with constitutions high enough to withstand any and all demons.

All I’m saying is this: I know my demons well. I’ve played chess with Death. And I’m ready to go to Jamaica.

I hope I get the chance.

And We’re Back

*coughs from inhaling probably weed* you don’t want that shit.

-conro orbest, as heard in the outro of the Desaparecidos song “Mañana”

Light from unlight. Or light from light from light and so on, ad infinitum. Remember what the professor said: there is nothing logically inconsistent about an infinite causal chain.

Light, here.

Lanky legs illuminated and full pubes too and boy blue in his bedroom naked as his dick laying on his bed, mostly legs, almost arachnid, reading james joyce’s a portrait of the artist as a young man thinking the only good pun i can come up with for my magnum opus which will inevitably cleverly allude to james joyce is a portrait of the fartist as a young man and that’s not even close to being good, or clever.

And then remember how david foster wallace talked about being twentysomething wanting to be clever and how students who want to be clever are like literally the worst. and then think would mr. foster wallace think well of father john misty? and think too didn’t dave predict this whole trumpian dystopia and–fuck–i wish he were still alive to help me.

think a bit selfish, maybe.

Pause put the novel down and think jesus time is moving pretty fast huh, already july. We’ve come far. The beginnings of existential dread as the mind constricts itself with thoughts of past and future, wrapping itself in unrealities,

and then ha woops catch yourself bud, ha there you go, no we must not get rapt.

Pick the novel back up and continue reading and let the mind breathe and maybe a pun better than fartist will come to you.

 

 

A Sketch

If you could take the day by the hand

even now and say Come Father

calling it by your own name

it might rise in its blindness with all

its knuckles and curtains

and open the eyes it was born with

                                 -W.S. Merwin, “The Day”

 

 

I am fifteen years old and might as well be five. The most difficult thing I have ever done is read the part from Anne Frank’s diary where she’s talking about puberty out loud in front of my eighth-grade English class without laughing. I am wearing a t-shirt from The GAP and orange khaki pants that have a zipper at the knees that if I unzip turns them (the pants) into orange khaki shorts. I am fifteen and taller than all of my teachers and goofy with one droopy eyelid and conspicuously, grotesquely, virginal.

I am bored. I have been bored since second grade when they started putting me in the third grade math class in Another Room with Third Graders I corrected Mr. M’s error on the chalkboard. I am fifteen and bored sitting at a comically small desk thinking about second grade and was I born in the wrong city to the wrong family in the wrong era of history?

I am fifteen and bored, with a slight boner, thinking about the girl across the room and imagining her body naked. I have been watching pornography regularly ravenously on the computer ever since sixth grade when a friend said something about 69 at the lunch table and I didn’t know what it was so when I got home from school I googled it, and so I know what a real naked girl might look like, I think.

I am fifteen and bored and my package has just arrived. I have very little idea what William Burroughs is about but I had my mom buy me The Yage Letters on Amazon. It’s finally here. I am fifteen and what is Moloch! Moloch! or capitalism? but I’ve been on the Wikipedia page for DMT and ayahuasca and marijuana and I like Ginsberg and so mom bought me The Yage Letters. Mom has no idea what DMT or ayahuasca are. She may or may not know about Wikipedia. We both have no idea how marijuana smells.

 

I am seventeen years old–not five–with a droopy eye and somehow still getting taller, still getting taller wow, the doctor says, you must really be pretty good at swimming.

I am not really pretty good at swimming, but thanks but I think I have ADD or something. I’m not sure. I’m always bored and restless and can’t pay attention to the chalkboard and the teachers are dumb and I keep getting up out of my comically small desk or staring out the window.

Secretly I’ve known that I have attention deficit disorder ever since last spring when I scooped some Adderall XR for the SAT. After I took that pill I just knew. Talking to the doctor, though, I omit the part about my clandestine SAT doping; telling her would just complicate things.

I am seventeen with a slight boner at a comically small desk sneakreading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason while my civics teacher teaches. It is much more difficult than Plato’s Republic. One reason I like the ADD medicine is it makes my eyelid feel less droopy. It doesn’t actually make the eyelid less droopy, but it makes it feel that way. In four years, I will come to have a visceral, phenomenological understanding of the word ‘delusion.’

And I am seventeen on a drug I conned the doctor for sitting at a comically small desk, desperate for ayahausca and Truth and, most of all, sex.

Outside, the sky is a dark grey. Anyone who is paying attention can tell it’s going to storm soon.

ass still to air

He drags himself across the intersection shirtless, ass-exposed.

By the looks of things, he’s either 30 or 80 years old. All you can say for sure is it’s hard to say for sure. One reason for this is that hair protrudes from and grows with the skin on his skull like untended shrubs outside an abandoned house, obscuring any good look at his face. And the hair from the top of the skin of his skull, once dreadlocked but now unshackled and wild with dirt, grows over and with his shrubs of beard to form a single menacing haircowl. There is more hair than face on his face.

His legs, too, are hairy, and loosely covered in what look like they might’ve been black cargo pants a very, very long time ago. They girdle his waist like normal pants, his pants, but then on the backside drape into a thong from which scraps of pant hang and expose his hirsute skin. The fact that the dangling thong of pant is not stitched to its kin on the frontside by way of some tween-leg-gooch connection is uncomfortably obvious. Oblong ovoid shapes have been torn, or somehow otherwise been removed, from the back of each leg. A man before you with a thong of pant between cheeks and no shirt and it’s what, 8:30?

You think to yourself it’s almost like his pants and normal pants differ in teleologies.

His back is at a 40-degree angle relative to the street; he looks more like a four-legged creature trying to walk on two legs than a two-legged creature trying to walk on four. A black hefty Hefty trash bag filled with godknowswhat is slung over his shoulder as if it were a bindle. He might wish he had a bindle except for the fact that it’s been a long time since he wished anything. The bag rests behind his unlocked locks on his barren back and hangs just above his waist so as to not obstruct your view of the cheeks.

Things are tense now. Although your first thought is something like where did he come from this man just came out of nowhere, eventually you reason he must’ve been coming south on Brazos from up where the shelter is. He had to come from somewhere, right? Unless he actually did come out of nowhere, that is, get dropped here through some black hole worm hole time manipulation 5th-dimension shit. The idea is worth taking seriously given the fact that this man does not belong here in front of you at this moment. But here he is.

Because the thing is it’s clear this is not just another panhandler or bum–he’s not like the rest of them that sometimes you see on the streets looking dejected and resigned and pathetic. He is not asking anything from anyone and he is not pathetic. He is ravenous and horrible and wild and kinetic and naked, mostly naked, with anger so palpable it radiates from him like light from lightning. His gravity does not feel good. He drags himself across the crosswalk and, looking at him, you quiver.

And you didn’t notice it before but now, scanning his body again, you realize it’s not just his hair that’s dirty but every square inch of skin and clothes. Dirt so enmeshed in his skin that dirt has become skin; so much dirt that you can’t distinguish between what is dirt and what is hair and what is skin and what is he doing here this creature what is his story and what is happening? What has happened?

His ass and its cheeks are especially dirty.

And so but here he is, a human male covered in crud and not-so-covered in scraps of black pants and holding a trash bag close to his body, who has now made it across the street and who, strangely, is now standing still with his eyes closed, like a monastic about to light himself on fire, outside of some of the most expensive condominium apartments in the entire state.

The vectors of venture capitalists and project managers and techies walking to work turn parabolic in the early morning air. These people cannot get farther away. The lengths at which they go out of their way to avoid the creature are almost comical, and you might even laugh if before you weren’t this hyena prowling mostly naked in the cool sunrise air of central texas downtown texas austin texas the liberal oasis of all of texas and a paragon of progress for all the world to see.

No one says anything.

And suddenly without opening his eyes he drops the Hefty and puts his face way down close to the ground. The thong of black pant rises on his back as he bends over and you think Jesus Christ as if this could’ve gotten more indecent. But you keep staring anyway. And once he feels sufficiently close to the ground, once his face is like violently near the sidewalk, he forms two sickles with his two middle fingers and puts them right down on the ground right next to his disheveled skull and he cries out like some ungodly apparition, loud enough for the entire continent to hear, “FUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUU.”

And then he picks up his sickles and his trash bag and turns the corner of Brazos and 2nd, ass still to air, and goes out of sight. And a couple seconds later you put one foot on a pedal and kickstart off the ground with the other and ride out on 3rd to work and all you can think is this man will probably in all honesty be dead by this time next week and no one will ever see him again and he will never scream fuck you again at the sidewalk on 3rd and it will probably not be a graceful death

and all I really want to do is give you a hug and a bath and tell you I am so, so, so sorry.

8 May

I might be misremembering things. But rightly (writely?) or not I recall in On Writing this great metaphor Stephen King gives which equates writing to archaeology. Writer-as-archaeologist, is the point. You don’t create the story, you uncover it. Like the story is already there and you don’t have to fuck with it too much–in fact if you do fuck with it too much, it’s ruined–but you do have to uncover it. Remove the surrounding dirt. Dig. You really gotta dig. But the point is you don’t create it, you find it, you excavate, and you uncover.

I like King’s metaphor because I’m fond of the notion that the story already exists. One could say it jives with my platonic (neoplatonic?) ontology or at my sympathies for such an ontology (always been a sucker for plato’s metaphysics and also right now if you’re thinking to yourself Christ, listen to yourself kirk, you sound like a complete twat: yes, I know, and also, suck my balls and hail Satan). But no–the Form of Story, the Form of This-Particular-Story, out there somewhere not necessarily in spacetime but out there, somehow supraspacetime, out there nonetheless–how majestic. How mesmerizing.

It turns the act of writing on its head, the metaphor. A change in ontology necessitates a change in perspective of that ontology. I am no longer the creator. The story was created before I arrived and it will be here long after I am gone. It is eternal (or in the archaeology metaphor, just very slowly decaying). So it’s like, humbling, or something. To view things this way. To adopt the ontology implicit in King’s metaphor. I should be so honored to have the opportunity to uncover the story.

This is all to say that for the past couple days I’ve been feeling the call of the story, its gravity and its pull. A feeling like I was walking along and came across a fossil protruding from the ground and now the image keeps coming back. I didn’t explore and I could’ve. The feeling that there might be something more there. A fantastic discovery for the world to see. I need to go back. I’m writing this so I remember to try to write that. You don’t have to understand.

Of course, I might be misremembering things.

you are good

what does it mean to why do i keep what the fuck. chill. chill man can’t you be chill. like them. nothing. remember that time. dude that is so stupid. haha. her face. what. worried you smoke too many cigarettes. jesus why do these people listen to such bad music. where is he I need a cigarette fuck. why is she. you still got it champ. beer bongs are great. something to smoke. remember that time. i am hunter s. kerouac. this is it. fuck that. i want sex her. where is weed. hahahahaha. have to piss. you are grotesque fuck mirrors. vonnegut soul. is he coughing now on a bathroom floor. bob is crazy. this shit is crazy man. where is carl. where is she. can’t believe we’re here. fuck belief. another cigarette. outside is better. kerouac died from liver cancer. this shit is awful. stop being lame. you are good. what does it mean to why do i keep what the fuck. these people are so god damn boring. nothing. weed for everyone here. good shit man. remember that time. twenty one years old wow. how did you get here. you still haven’t started that thing. what will you do tomorrow. nothing. shit is getting out of control. no taste beer. stop staring. go talk. or was it cirrhosis. who wants a cigarette. colorless piss small dick in the cold. better cirrhosis than a shotgun to the dome. maybe not. chill. why is she and what does it mean to why do i keep. this shit is crazy. fucking this music and everyone. you’re stilling stare. is kicked that. remember time that and yes so why doesn’t this feel like it used to and why doesn’t this feel like it used to and why doesn’t this feel like it used to and why don’t you feel like you used to and why don’t you feel like you used to and why don’t you feel like you used to and why aren’t you what you used to be?