Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'll Take You There, 1980

In 1980, I was 13 years old. I wore sweaters with flowers printed around the color, pencil skirts, k-mart topsiders. When I stood in line to get my freshman ID the summer before high school, I watched the other kids talking and flirting with one another, and it was like they were speaking another language. I could not comprehend. I was truly, deeply virginal.

In high school, the worst things I did included ditching school to go joyriding on the 5 Freeway with Scott Something in his father's BMW, and hiding in my friend's closet getting drunk on cheap, pink champagne while she and another friend (who did not know I was there) waited for their dates to show up. The friend in the dark was going on her first date with my exboyfriend. I was sort of heartbroken about it at the time, but I had another boyfriend, too, at a different high school, the Catholic one up the freeway. This other boyfriend did not expect me to be his one and only, like the one at my own high school did, because of proximity I guess.

At the school dances, after I broke up with my local boyfriend, I stood on the sides and watched others dance to the music some DJ played. There was this one boy, and I only knew him as James, who always asked me to dance once during the night. He was two years older than I, and he only ever asked me to slow dance. We never spoke during school days, nor did we even really acknowledge each other if we passed one another in the hallways, but in the dark of the school dance, we held each other close and we did sway.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

to the dream [s]he dreams over

1) Notes:
a.) “What the writer sees must be his own time and place, or else, as in the very best historical fiction, the past as we, with our special sensibility, (not better but new), would see it if we went back ...the noblest originality is not stylistic but visionary and intellectual; the writer’s accurate presentation of what he, himself, has seen, heard, thought and felt."

b.) "What counts in [the case of a novelist like Beckett or Nabokov] is not that we believe the private vision to be right but that we are so convinced by and interested in the person who does the seeing that we are willing to follow him around."

c.) "For another kind of novelist the accuracy required is, I think, of a higher order, infinitely more difficult to achieve. This is the novelist who moves like a daemon from one body -- one character -- to another. Rather than master the tics and oddities of his own being and learn how to present them in an appealing way -- and rather than capture other people in the manner of a cunning epigrammist or malicious gossip -- he must learn to step outside himself, see and feel things from every human -- and inhuman -- poing of view. He must be able to report, with convincing precision, how the world looks to a child, a young woman, an elderly murderer, or the governor of Utah. He must learn, by staring intently into the dream he dreams over his typewriter to distinguish the subtlest differences between the speech and feeling of his various characters, himself as impartial and detached as God, giving all human beings their due and acknowledging their frailties. In so far as he pretends not to private vision but to omniscience, he cannot as a rule, love some of his characters and despise others. [He must be as God, all loving, yet the ultimate judge.] .... The beginning novelist who has the gift for inhabiting other lives has perhaps the best chance for success. "

These spoonfuls of seriousness from John Gardner sound ponderous and ominous and they are. Make no mistake about it. To undertake a novel is an idiotic thing to do, an idiotic presumption where the idiot, the novelist, must inhabit successfully other lives in order to become sociable and socialized. Ironically, the idiot cum novelist -- or playwrite? Or poet? (I’m not sure these are the same) -- becomes socialized through solitude. How fucked up is that?

There are some writers who make it sound like utopia, or “doing it all”, is possible, writers like Michael Chabon, for one. I was seriously highly suspicious of this guy. The last time I heard the same sort of praise was when A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius came out. Yeah. I was heartbroken that I spent money on that book. I did not get past the “Copywright” section. SHUT UP! I thought within minutes of having to listen to that guy. However: haven’t you heard?! Michael Chabon is also a model citizen, officially "hot", and a father who does 50% of the child-raising. He might as well be the messiah.

Couldn't the second coming be a woman for once?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In The Toilet

Obviously, my blog project has sagged under the weight of my world these past few months. Ever since my father died. Not consciously because of his death, although I like to use that as an excuse. According to my therapist brother, we are all depressed. He called me today from the doctor's office where he went to get a prescription for sleeping pills.

If only I could afford to take sleeping pills. But somebody has to get up with the children. My therapist brother has a child, but said child has graduated to the sleeping through the night level. My youngest child has not. Diego was UP at 3:30 a.m. today. Probably because he's sick and can't breathe well enough to sleep. At 4:15, I finally got up with him, so over his bouncing up and down on my body, yacking "la da da da La dadadada, translated as "Ride a Cock Horse to Bambury Cross."

I was nauseous with fatigue for most of the morning.

I look at this blog and I get frustrated. Where am I? I cannot for the life of me get to point B from point A without having to navigate the whole alphabet in between. If this blog is B, I'm still at M. And speaking of B&M, my days are so totally solid with shit.

So that's where I am. In the shit. And I would love some shit-lifting pills.