Monday, October 11, 2004

A possible experiment

Well, my weekend sucked, how about yours?

I know, I know, keep positive and all that. But I really didn’t feel like sugarcoating things—I never did have much of a sweet tooth and I prefer spicy to sweet anyway. Plus, sugarcoating sounds like one of those processes that is very time-intensive, and I’m not too keen on doing something very time-consuming but not that rewarding for zero monetary gain.

And sugarcoating a whole weekend would be a lot of work.

I mean, if I wanted to do a thankless job for no money, I’d go into politics…whoa…thank you. I mean if I wanted to spend hours doing something that barely rewards me, I’d go down on my wife…ba-zing…thanks, you’ve been a great audience. The BAD STAND UP COMIC part of today’s post has been brought to you by Scheky’s House of Whacky Joke Stuff—Yes people still do buy whoopee cushions and fake dog doo.

But the good news about a shitty weekend is that eventually they do end (Note: you know it was a bad weekend when you look forward to Monday.) And, in true After School Special tradition, I am trying to learn from my experiences.

Basically, and this is a question that’s dogged me not just this past weekend but for a while, I think part of me is either scared, or unwilling to just sit back and be happy. And let me clarify “happy.” Maybe “content” would be a better word. I’m not a fan of “settling” but I think it sometimes reaches the point where I confuse “enjoying things how they are” with “settling”. (Note: I am a fan of "quotes" and "putting them" on "words" which I didn't at all "borrow" or "steal" from "SNL".) As a result I can get, let’s call it, happily greedy. My team can be winning, but I’ll want them to blow the other team out. I can write a great story and people can tell me it’s good, and I’ll be pissed that it isn’t already in the pages of The Paris Review. Or a relationship can be going great and I’ll want it rushed to the totally committed stage (I think I’ve gotten better with this last one and learned that “just dating” isn’t a bad thing, but who knows. And "totally committed" in this case means not seeing other people, not married.)

This is the kind of perspective that helps me understand why so many creative types drink (among other things.) Thinking too much can be great in some respects—your brain feels sharp most of the time, you can make observations and insights—and I think it can be a great asset to a writer. But when you’re trying to just go to bed and your brain won’t shut up about women (both in general and specific women—and not just in the “damn women are crazy” sense but also in the “does ____ like me? Do I like her? How much” sense—the last book I read (or last several), why I’ve gone months without writing a story, how best to handle the next chapter of the novel I’m writing, how short to get my hair cut, whether or not there’s a feather from my feather top mattress poking me in the back…well, you get the idea. At that point anything that lets you not think can become appealing.

I have the luxury of an east coast job with west coast hours, so I’m considering an experiment this week. I don’t like not being able to fall right asleep at night, and I also hate dealing with writer’s block. So I’m thinking maybe I should live this week in the grand tradition of Irish writers: drunk. Basically I’d get home from work, break out the whiskey bottle and then attempt to write before bed. It’s an ideal still in conceptual stages at this point, and it just may have been borne from the frustrating, shitty weekend I just had, but it may yet be worth trying too.

As always, feedback is appreciated…the fate of my liver may hang in the balance.
And in the “wish me luck stage” there’s a chance I may have a column published in the Boston Globe this week, so let’s cross some fingers!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

HAHA! Found you on the web! I woke up this morning with empty bottles on the nightstand in a haze of cheap beer and some barely legible scratchings on a very old notebook. Your "experiment" has "already been done" "my friend." Read anyone else's blog to discover that.
I got a call yesterday morning from my dear roommate Craig who found the same whisky bottle he stashed in the bushes outside Sanford Stadium before Georgia lost the game. He looked around and stuck the bottle in his bag and went to all his afternoon classes drunk. Remember those days? You'd go to lunch with friends, have that extra pitcher of beer, and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring rare ideas in front of both your professors and your classmates.
I don't think my current boss would approve of me trying to retain that feeling...
Chin up and come to karaoke tonight!