Thursday, March 5, 2009
It strikes me that this is the first time in months I've tried to write creatively. Used to be a daily, then weekly, habit. Used to regularly crack out poems. Might've been full of teenage angst, but Christ, at least it was ink on paper. Ink not scribbled in or directly inspired by a school assignment. Those poems were me, more than anything else, anyway. Back then, a more gloating me might've called himself a poet, little shit.
That's the thing about then-me becoming now-me, at every stage I'm exactly who I thought I'd be at the last one.
Changes, expected and realized, were not particularly great or, on the other hand, damming. I wasn't dreaming of any grandiose achievement; and, let's be honest, such events have not transpired.
But now, looking back, I feel a warm confidence: I've been right so far, and at the moment, looking forward, I expect to be happy, productive. And writing.
It's an awkward thing, to see it written like that. That I wrote it, it's that much more founded. Not nearly a total foundation, not yet stone, this minor firming of the notion is only the second; preceded, by six months, by my declaring an English major.
It's a scary proposition: trying to imagine putting "Writer" in the, yet vacant, [CAREER] box. But it is a good career, for those that can write. People sometimes think I can, who knows? Sounds fun thought, doing this, just this. Whatever loaf the old brain pinches out onto the page. This being a means to support myself? A family? A pet? Or, most importantly, my expensive hobbies? Almost sounds crazy enough to work and easy enough to do.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
“Bert, sit.” But Bert doesn’t sit. He doesn’t so much as blink.
“Bert! Sit.” He stares straight ahead, straight at my roast beef and turkey sandwich: lettuce, tomato, and a bit of Dijon. This sandwich is a creation. A majestic thing of beauty, this sandwich is important to me. At this particular point in time, the sandwich completes me. And Bert wants this sandwich even more than I. My admiration for this sandwich is eclipsed by Bert’s intense desire to consume the thing entirely, to assault the meat and bread and roughage. To put is simply, Bert wants my sammy’, badly.
I should introduce our players. I am Nick. I like to read, skateboard, snowboard, and when the weekend (and vodka) strikes me just right, I like to freestyle rap battle myself. Any time spent with Bert is always spent well. Bert is yellow. Bert is old and grumpy, and stubborn as a stump. Bert is my dog, one of two, and he does not do tricks. Occasionally, he will begrudgingly lower himself to entertain those that dispense the food. This willful disgrace is in the name of eating, as are most of Bert’s actions. Bert is seven years old, and beginning to gray sourly and boldly; think Jack Nicholson. Bert is usually quiet and distant, only exciting himself at the sound of a car parking in front of the house or the words walk, drive, or dog food.
Bert may seem a strange name for a dog, but anyone that knows him will you assure, he’s a Bert. His tags say Dyllan, but calling him Dyllan would be like going to the bar and asking for a cola with ice and a fine Tennessee mash whiskey. Jack and Coke isn’t just easier, that’s what it’s called. Bert is not only shorter than Dyllan, that’s just his name. The tags on our other dog, Stinky, say Jessy. Again, the name Jessy is merely a formality, reserved dinner conversations with extended family and Christmas cards. Bert and Stinky make a fine couple, separated by four years. The younger pesters the older, the older occasionally molests the younger, despite strict scolding from both recipient of and spectators to his dogged advances.
His entire life, Bert has been absolutely fixated with food. Food is to Bert as flight is to an ostrich: a constant itch, a ceaseless desire only occasionally and briefly satiated by intense, voracious bursts of feeding and flying, respectively. Nightly, Bert will watch each member of the family, for a few minutes at a time, one by one, eating dinner. When the food just smells too good (it must be torturous to have a nose so large, the sense of smell so maddeningly intense and powerful) and the dog food just didn’t quite do it for him, Bert will bark. Barking, for Bert, is not just making noise. His din is calculated and strategic. He particularly fancies a loud, booming bark just as one is about to eat a spoon or forkful. It has happened before that the sudden shock sent a piece of steak or sautéed chicken breast tumbling to the floor. These times are Bert’s best; but his hunger, imagined or real, overcomes his desire for taste satisfaction. He rarely chews any kind of food other than dog. If it’s small enough, Bert will tilt his head back open wide, and seemingly inhale large bites of food.
Bert is an excellent dog. He may not be particularly obedient or active. He may play an extremely slow and one-sided game of catch. He may even sometimes take shoes outside without any particularly obvious rationale. But Bert is a hell of a dog, and I love the old jerk.
“Bert sit.” The yellow beast lunges forward, teeth an inch long flying towards the bread, meat, salad, and hand. But I’m too fast for old Bert. I sit down for a nice meal and Bert watches and waits, patiently.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
And what to write about? Today's lesson is on The Condition of Man. More specifically, the condition of "love." I hear a lot about it. People often mention their "love" each other, God, The U. S. of fuckin' A., and that pork tenderloin at Applebee's.
There seem to be all kinds and definitions of love. One loves one's parents, spouse, and dog; presumably, in different ways.
But for all intents and purposes, let's think about Romantic Love. The type of Love that makes babies, Valentine's cards, and (when it goes wrong) slashed tires and poisoned wine.
This Romantic Love sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like an answer to loneliness and boredom, always having someone to talk to.
But aside from the obvious benefits of an Other, with capital O, it seems there is something else going on here. There is a force at work, moving people. Women cry for it, men kill over it, and countless plays, books, and poems are conceived in its name.
Love is a mysterious thing, and in my life, I'm not sure I've felt it. I can say, to a certainty, that a whole heaping horde of people are experiencing something I'm not. I suppose the stoic thing would be saying "To hell with Other, I'll do just fine." The Manly thing might hitting the bar or yoga class or floral shoppe "on the prowl" for any particularly fetching and/or vulnerable young soul that will tolerate me.
Another thing I can say with certainty, I am lonely. I shouldn't be, I know. I have friends and family, blah blah blah. Others have something that I don't, and god dammit, I'm jealous. So what to do? What to do?
Love is not love,
which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove;
O, no! It is an ever fixed mark,
that looks on tempests and is never shaken.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
So what do I write about? I guess I'll write about my day. It was a good, lazy Sunday. But not lazy in the unproductive sense, just lazy in that I did whatever the hell I felt like. I read about 90 pages of Special Topics on Calamity Physics (a truly marvelous book, up to page 459 anyway), I ate good food, and I reflected for a good bit of time. Food and books are good for that: reflecting. Yesterday I was totally unsure of what my life might look like five years from now, and while I still don't quite know, I'm a lot closer to the answer after today's personal rumination.
At the moment, I'm imagining myself, five years from now, freshly graduated with a degree in somethinginteresting-ology. I'm poor, I live in a small house, and maybe, just maybe, I live with someone I love very much. But maybe I'm lonely. Whatever the relationship/economic/health status, I think I'll be happy. Maybe I should "know" I'll be happy, but I don't. I'm pretty sure of it, though. I feel like this person I am is capable, even destined, to do alright for himself. I feel like I'll live a long, good life. So, while I'm still in that kinda-loopy feeling before the Unisom really kicks into drooling high-gear, I feel pretty good. Not smiling to myself, alone in my room, good; but wide-eyed, heartrate-just-barely-elevated good.
Well, that's all for now. I hope someone reads this. Just a couple.