Writer 12/07/20

Got a new laptop today, for my birthday/Christmas. It was long overdue. My old Macbook is a battleaxe, still chugging along eight years later, but it is mighty slow, especially when opening Microsoft Word. Which is a dogshit app, but still. I depend on that working quickly for my business, and having to wait five minutes for a document to appear onscreen has become taxing.

I would click something, get up, make some coffee, read a chapter of a book. Okay, great. It’s ready now. Just not very sustainable for a writer.

A writer. What a strange thing to admit to being. As someone who has spent time in the world of writers, it became ugly. Too much of an identity, less of a descriptor. The strangest thing happened, though. The more I conceived of it as such, the harder and harder it got for me to do any actual writing. My frustrating personality, as someone who doesn’t want to be tied to one thing at all, kept me from actually doing the work. That and a fair amount of anxiety, if I’m being honest.

Anyway, who gives a shit? Pontificating on writing is the biggest waste of time in the world. It’s a thing you either do or don’t. Like eating, or making friends with the neighborhood dogs. I think that’s going to be my go-to, semi-Buddhist take whenever someone goes on about writing and what it means to be a writer. “Who gives a shit?” It’s clean. I like it.

Formally, though, welcome to the blog.

I’m not allowed to talk about anything that I’m doing, either with the blog or with my novels, because I’ve found over the years that it spoils the whole process. Most of you will get it soon enough, if you don’t already. It’ll be a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Who gives a shit?

Fatherhood continues to be a thing that develops day-to-day. I know that it’s coming. Moments of realization roll over me, and I know that one day I’ll be very different. But I’ve always had the spirit of a procrastinator. There is no possible dimension where I am fully ready. All I can do is jump. One time I went skydiving with my pal Sebastian. I was hooked up to a pro like a little baby. The plane door opened and they dangled me out the door and asked if I was ready to go. The answer was a resounding “Yes???” The Three Sisters looked phenomenal that day. So clear. We hit the ground just fine.

What kind of dad will I be? I get along with my father well. Now. Not so much when I was doing the actual growing up. What about that relationship didn’t work? I thought, at one point, that having a child would be a way for me to right the wrongs I felt I’d experienced. Now I recognize that as selfish and weird. It’s really not about me at all. And that, my friends, is something to wrap the head around.

Has anything been about me, my whole life? I’d like to think it has. Then I wonder who this “me” is that we’re talking about. Is it the me who enjoys drinking a beer in a warm house on a cold night? The “me” who reads a book and finds myself being shaped by the words as I read them. The “me” who is standing in a line somewhere holding a toothbrush and a pair of socks like some kind of asshole? I don’t know. I feel like I’m a few dozen me’s from the time I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. It’s been about someone or something this whole time, but who? Never just one.

I had a dream last night that I was back in the neighborhood that I grew up in, but the trees were enormous, stretching up to the sky, Jack’s beanstalk style. Every time I woke up to get a glass of water or use the restroom, I would tell myself “think of those trees” and I’d go back to it. Other dreams in the past week have had me visiting “the land of the dead”, having smoke blown on my soul by shamans, memorizing the shifting topography. This is never spooky or weird, but rather nice. I’ve made friends, but won’t type their names.

Recent science suggests that the way we remember dreams is due to our waking brain making sense of the signals our REM brain has sent throughout the night. That we all assemble it in the moment of waking, and retroactively ascribe a timeline.

Is that not the biggest load of horseshit you’ve ever heard?

Be well.

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