1/8/15 5:40 P.M.
It’s pretty strange: how when you read some things (maybe you weren’t going to and decided to take a look) and the reading correlates to something happening in your life at that time – where the exact thoughts you were having in recent memory are there on the page through literary happenstance. I had been late to the party in this instance. The thoughts that I’d been having recently weren’t corresponded through my literary travails for a few days – something I interpreted as me being lazy and not keeping up with the breadcrumbs to my walk of life.
I had been thinking it was strange that I was born into a system – a government – a way of life – that I had no say in whatsoever. And I’m not exactly complaining about the system (which I’ve previously lauded), but it doesn’t negate the previous thought. I wasn’t consulted on this deal that no doubt affects me. Supposedly voting is how we exercise that ability to change or augment the system, but that’s a dead end; politicians are too cunning and capricious to follow through on campaign promises (which I admit I’m ignorant to. A lot of the contrived loquacity goes up and over my head; in one ear and out the other. So I’m part of that conglomerate of Americans that are deemed “too stupid.” I don’t subscribe to the wording, but the idea is correct. Bill Maher preaches this a lot – but then he turns around and says the goal of his program is to give people the news of the week who didn’t have a chance to sit still because they were working. My life right now is art and only art. When I’m not trying to make it I’m watching and reading it – truly believing that it is all for the residual benefit of my craft. I have plenty of other work cut out for me after this screenplay: video journal, novel idea, short films, short stories, a laundry list of readings and viewings, plus other screenplay ideas. So he’s right. I am too busy to become versed and knowledgable on domestic grievances, or geopolitical turmoil, or socioeconomic issues that need to be reformed. But please don’t call me stupid? Give me more credit than that. I’m trying, I swear to God I’m really trying with this thing. I want it so bad, and when sixteen hours of my day are spent on that, there isn’t a lot of room for an edification on the current state of our foreign policy, or articles on the pros and cons of teacher’s unions. This is all to say – fuck you, Bill. No Bill’s a good dude).
I wonder what the fuck a handful of us would do if we were picked up and thrown on an island. I’m sure there have been studies (and God knows a glut of T.V shows), but what would really happen? We’d probably all die … BUT – we would at least know that whatever we did as a group, on that island, our little society and the little engine that would – I’d have a goddamn say in it: “No, don’t cut down that tree. We need that one.” “We should probably start sewing the fields near the post, and maybe set up skewers by the bay.” “Who’s standing guard tonight? You have the tomahawk and the bell?” I don’t know; crappy examples but they suffice.
Maybe a committee could be set up where citizens looking to take an active role in the improvement of their country could type up op-eds: eloquent, pragmatic, and thoughtful op-eds that would be received by each state’s committee. And I’d only hope that the state’s committee members would be receptive and attentive to the realistic concerns of everyday human beings.
“I, too, am beginning to feel an immense need to become a savage and create a new world.”
August Strindberg, Orpheus Descending
Unfortunately this world lost Stuart Scott a few days ago; it seems like he was just giving me my sports news (a sad fact about the human condition: it’s frail. None of us are promised our eighty years. None of us are promised grandchildren, or wrinkly skin, or in my case love). Stu chose to spend his final years with us and the American people, and for that it’s safe to say we are all eternally grateful.
My sister’s friend – Danielle – her brother died on the same day. He was young, too – mid 30’s. All my sister said in a mass text was: “say a prayer. Danielle’s brother died.” My other sister and Mom responded, “How?” I was curious myself but didn’t ask, and there was about a two hour window until a response was given.
Now Danielle is a party girl; she still parties pretty hard. She hangs in the same town she grew up in and is a fixture at the local watering hole. At my sister’s wedding three and a half years ago, I did ketamine and blow with her in my hotel room all night, so I wasn’t completely off base when I assumed he OD’d on drugs.
He had sat in the hospital for three days before they finally ran a CAT scan, at which point it was too late to treat, and he passed on. It was the first time I said an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be since grade school, and one of many times where I’ve been insensitively wrong.
I have this fantastical idea that I like to believe .. that when someone dies .. that person passes on into a new realm, and in that new realm there’s a healthy affinity for the current players still in the game, and there’s scattered congregations of onlookers amongst the infinite backdrop – where each separate congregation is watching a specific player’s life play out – voyeuristically rooting him or her on: “See the young man run!” And I have this image of Stuart Scott walking pasting my life booth, and Danielle’s brother just got in and he starts gliding down the aisles of congregations and life booths, and someone from mine waves ’em over to take a peak: and they’re all just watching me go, “Watch the young man run!” They’re all looking with admiration and delight, and before moving onto their own respective families, Stu’s watching me write with vigor and verisimilitude: “Boo Yah!” and Danielle’s brother is … is probably more interested in Stu than me. And then they proceed to their reserved life booths, eager to watch over those who they hold most dear.
These are the kinds of thoughts I like to think about when thinking about death.
Harry: “Professor … is this all real .. or is it just happening inside my head?”
Dumbledore: “Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry. But why should that mean that it’s not real?”