Sunday, November 14, 2021

A personal record

It is of course sobriety that has soured me on parenting. Time chants its flat imprecation, without dreams of baboons and periwinkles. There will be no catching tigers, no red weather. I may not seem sober right now, but I am. It is a horror. That is perhaps part of what a divorce can do. But it can do the other also, old sailor. It is a simple matter, enduring a reconciliation. Without drinking I often lack adequate access to my impulses. One must put effort into inconsistencies when alcohol is absent. Otherwise, chaos arrives in its own time. 

I kid along a bit, mostly to belabor the point.

I am bored and it is Sunday. Three days left at my current job, then a Florida vacation. I have been on a diet for about two weeks and have not lost a single pound. I believe that's a personal record. 


DJ Memory

Here it is - Sunday. Rachel and I drank champagne last night while we watched television with the boy, which was pleasant. We started watching Apollo 13 but it upset the boy when things started to go south for the crew. Perhaps the idea of somebody's father dying helplessly in a cold and isolated place was too much for his nine year old mind. That could just be me, projecting my fears and desires. 

We're good parents. 

CS said something to me the other day and I suspect that he is right. Being a father has done something horrible to me. It has stripped me of my sense of humor, my verve. Well, being a father and being in a relationship.  You end up losing whatever audience you had and gaining one that only finds you funny if you're relaying pre-endorsed humor. Dad jokes, etc. 

Keep in mind that I didn't blame the boy and his mother in the paragraph above, that pornographer CS did. All that I have done is to relay his wisdom here. He phrased it differently, emphasizing the things that I can no longer write about, blaming their absence for my sober times. He encouraged me to re-kickstart my dj'ing hobby and to focus on targeted corporate events that cater to the leaders of the home, the buyers of all things domestic. The idea is to start at Tupperware parties then move them to more of a TupperWareHouse© concept. 

I go to a three hour coaching camp this morning. I will discover some best practices for being an assistant coach of a boy's 4th grade basketball team. My pre-game speeches, I hope, will propel these young boys into a lifetime of victories. Some will say that my coaching style is too barbaric and cruel, focusing on my emphasis of the perpetual shame of loss rather than on perceived positive qualities like sportsmanship and good old-fashioned hussle. I have a speech already prepared for this eventuality, focusing on why Simone Biles was such a disappointment to America and ending with a fact-free prolix on the "spiritual innocence" of Kyle Rittenhouse. Then, I'll ask them all to donate money to his defense fund and to join me in an "All Lives Matter" team chant.  It should be fun.   

She was married when we first met, soon to be divorced.
I helped her out of a jam, I guess, but I used a little too much force.


Friday, November 12, 2021


We won't be moving to Denver. We got the news today, oh boy. 

I have mixed feelings about it. I can make my way towards a paralyzing ambivalence on most issues. It has helped protect me from being decisive, indemnification against certainties. 

The boy told me that he was glad. We bought flowers at the market on the way home. 

I'm checking them out
I'm checking them out
I got it figured out
I got it figured out
There's good points and bad points
Find a city
Find myself a city to live in. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

This Broken World

I can not decide what book to read next. Soon I will have no more books by Houellebecq left to read. I may try to re-read him, but it is too soon. The first book of his that I read was only a few months ago. I have ordered books of his poems, some thing about H.P. Lovecraft, and his observations on Schopenhauer... because the well is running dry. Such is the contour of the coming crisis. It has been a while since I have discovered a writer whose complete works I read almost uninterrupted. It feels good. It reminds me of the enthusiasms of youth. 

Bukowski was probably the last writer whose works I read with this sort of appetite. I should be cautious. He provides rich examples, yet perhaps remains a poor model on which to base a life. 

Every day at work I inch closer to departure. The strength of the feeling that I have around this gives me some indication just how far into a comfort zone I have backed myself. I passed off one of my accounts to a friend today, a very big account. It was sad and sweet. There were congratulations all around for me and the warm smiles that one gets when "moving on." I imagine it feels a little bit what retiring might feel like. Though of course there will be a lot of work to do when December arrives. So only the sense of departure, not in the paralyzing openness of the future. 

That is, I think, why I started writing here again: the feeling that I might not be able to soon. It is curious, the function of feelings. Sometimes we want what we can have. 


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I've always depended on the instability of strangers

I've discovered a word that, if I repeat it a few times and let it echo around in me, can sometimes prevent me from writing a poem: cenotaph. I barely know what the word means - some sort of monument for the dead - but the word reminds me of some of the poetry I read when I was younger, mostly bad stuff from the mid to late 20th century. It's the type word that only someone who believes themselves a poet would try to use poetically.  

This is my incantation (there's another!).


Monday, November 8, 2021

... anything worth expressing

Raquel Garterbelt

What an absolute sucker I have become for late middle age. I do all the things that retirees wish they could still do. The envy of the elderly. 

I'm reading a book by Lawrence Osborne - The Ballad of a Small Player. The descriptions of compulsive gambling make me feel uneasy about other compulsions. The book has made me want to die young, a little bit, though it is getting to be late in the evening for that. Only halfway through, so who knows, perhaps in another hundred pages it will make me want to live forever, though that narrative trajectory seems unlikely. 

Between two jobs, I am in a type of limbo. Awaiting the time at one role to expire before I depart for a three week vacation, returning to the new job with much training and learning to get through at the onset. My usual, comfortable pace will need to quicken. I am trying to return to good better study habits, but my mind is fragmented from the work that I have been doing for many years now. The new job will require new skills, patience, and attention. 

Chatting with CS today through text. He has me wanting to go out with a 24mm lens and just shoot and shoot and shoot. Real film. I have ten rolls of Ilford HP5+. He is also trying to get me to buy a medium format camera but that is perhaps part of another story. He is always trying to get me to spend money.  He will not rest until I live in desperation and squalor. Though the idea of getting out and shooting film excites me. I love and miss the feel of shooting a manual film camera. Those ten rolls of film aren't getting any younger. 

The picture of Rachel above was not shot in film. It was a digital image that I removed the color in Apple's Photos app, which is a complete waste, a turd made of code, all zeroes and no ones. Apple has succeeded in making most all of their software useless or worse: common. Their new phone software has "convenience" features that can not be disabled, which is antithetical to the very idea. My hatred for them motivates me to hate others like them, also. 

Thanks For Your Corporation! 

This marks two days in a row now that I have not written much of a post, but have instead offered three or more unrelated paragraphs about anything that pops into my head. It is not therapeutic the way that writing can sometimes be. Instead, it is having a poor effect on me. I am saddened lightly by my inability to express and my lack of having anything worth expressing.



Sunday, November 7, 2021


I'm having a bit of writer-shock. I finished reading a great book by a great writer and then started reading a mediocre book by a sometimes gifted writer. It's hard to let it go, how disappointing it is that the book should be better than it is. 

I saw The French Dispatch today. I will hold most of my reactions though probably not keep them. It was pleasant to see Anderson indulge his unique storytelling style once more, in a theater by myself. The parts sometimes exceeded the sum - there were scenes that were compelling, smart. The framework of the foreign reporting office was perhaps not strong enough. Or, maybe I was expecting something more complete to be the result, even though the film made no hint or promise of that. I will want to see it again at home. 

I have a week and a half of work, then three weeks of vacation. Two of those weeks will be spent in Florida. The traditional family beach vacation. I may buy a beach hat. We will all wear sunscreen lotion. We will take him to the beach and to amusement parks. I wanted my son to see where I learned disdain for things. 

This is a list of paragraphs. Setting down in form things that can not carry themselves. Too bored to fly, too sleepy to dream. I have nothing clever to say, though all day I have had clever thoughts. They have abandoned me, as my luck in the sequence of books. This paragraph does not belong on the list of paragraphs. 

Tomorrow will be earlier and earlier than that. 


Modest Promises

That's right - dog pics. I don't have anything else. I had believed that reading good and great books would result in something for me in life. Of what, I am not sure. I thought there would be an actual reward. Turns out the world is full of readers. There are people who have succeeded wildly and yet still find the time to read. I've met some of the well-adjusted. 

I had a chat with the boy about drug addiction. I'm not even sure why. I was the one that brought it up. He has been asking about pop stars. He has a fascination with Michael Jackson, so I had to explain that he was a pop star with problems. From there it was a short leap to Kurt Cobain, heroin addiction, and shotgun suicide. You might think I'm kidding, and I wish that I was, but that's what we talked about as we went to pick up lunch the other day. 

To help balance that conversation out I told him about the artist Bill Plympton. He, Plympton, has done the introduction animation for the Simpsons several times, being among the animators' favorites. So, I tried to find any of his shorts on Netflix or Hulu, and perhaps I just don't know what I'm looking for, but I couldn't find anything. I'm certain that there is a service out there, with a monthly fee, that would provide for me everything that I might wish to watch, yet it is always just out of reach. There are illegal ways, of course, and that is what one must resort to if they wish for the internet to fulfill even its most modest promises. 


Monday, November 1, 2021

Other people's air

It is impossible to say what love is. This can be said for others only slightly more than for oneself. The constant speakers will, of course, always disagree. They will tell you what something is and isn't. Their truths needing to outdo yours. Their insistence is reliable - the tedium of certainty. They contradict themselves if left to speak for too long, or when interrupted for any time, but who can blame the for never noticing. When one is so full of thought it is a wonder they never burst. They are like the joke about socialists: eventually they run out of other people's air. 

I feel as if I am running out of time to write, and I am.