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Saturday, June 25, 2011
To The Replay
I’ve been writing less and thinking a little bit more. If thinking is what you want to call it. I always had a hard time reading in front of people and was a lot more comfortable talking shit. Even then I lose track and have a hard time saying the things I want to say. It is only once every great while I cut out the scatter shot philosophizing and say exactly what I mean.
So anyways, I’ve been taking a break from the ramble jambles because there’s something I want to get at.
I said last night at the downtown books reading that I think to myself, when things get hard, that I wish I had made the exact opposite decision in every step of my life.
If I would have worked harder, focused more, been less impulsive, less romantic – things could have been entirely different. I would have a good job and a car and a gal and a full fridge, I could go to the movies when I wanted, I could go to baseball games when I wanted, if I had known how it was going to be I could have changed everything. I could have felt different.
Instead I’m walking in the rain and hanging out at fucking Kinkos, eating slims at bus stops and cursing to myself, about myself – all in the attempt to get maybe one, hell maybe two people to read my newest piece of underground fiction.
And a long time ago Ladd from the band PARK told me and the dudes that if we wanted to play in a band, if we wanted to enjoy it and get any sense of fulfillment from it, we had to be able to measure our own success. And we played for another six or seven years after that. All things considered I measured it out and it was a great thing that brought a lot of fun times and new friends.
And there was a show last night and Downtown Books that I think exceeded everyone’s expectations, people coming out and enjoying fiction reading, live art and acoustic music sets. Shit was bonkers man. I thought it would go well but it exceeded all my expectations.
Even in the good times, the triumphs and victories, the underlying doubt remains because after you drink your drinks and applaud each other’s efforts you still wake up lonely on someone’s couch and walk to school to take a nap in the stacks.
Last night I said that many people believe that art comes from passion. I rarely feel passionate in a traditional way about my work. But in the same way I can’t go back and change the decisions I’ve made or reconstruct my life, I can’t stop wanting to write books and make movies. If passion means doing something because you think you don’t have a choice, I got mad passion. If passion means writing and making art because you’re trying to save your life, I got that too.
Someone once told me that waking up early for work on a cold Milwaukee morning was the loneliest time in their life, that they were the only one alive and the two minutes they sat in bed before they actually had to step out and get dressed was the longest two minutes known to humankind. The two minutes of isolation and loneliness stretching on into infinity until it was not a measure of time at all, but a symbol, a statement of affairs and a stamp on their reality.
And the more decisions we make (one way or the other) the more we scatter these statements of loneliness, which only fade when we don’t expect it.
We’re all responsible for what we do, and while making art can be frustrating and hard – It’s also a choice (hell I wouldn’t be a good doctor or dentist anyhow). So as my man Frank always says, “You made that bed, now lay in it.”
So let’s lay.
Happy Friday and much love,