I turned 40 today. Half a life – the most able half. Right now, it’s a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 holding the terror of introspection at bay, but it’s only got a couple of days in it when it’s pulling double shifts. The past has an evil way of skulking around with a sock full of quarters. Let your guard down, and you’re through Bubba. Very few of us can practice the discipline of purposeful distraction – looking past the naked woman at the nothing on the horizon – for very long.
My response to the event of the day itself has been admittedly poor. Work, lunch, beer, gelato, and mediocre spousal offensiveness. But I have decided to write again. I remember when I stopped, concluding that without the idealism of teen and college years, and absent much unexploited wild living, my writing had become a parody of itself. I fell back to stealing liberally from Thompson and Brautigan, until I didn’t have the heart to molest them further, and simply stopped. I resolved to go live life before I tried to immortalize it any further, and set off on 10+ years of … whatever.
I don’t have it in me right now to explore whether that was the right call. Or, more despairingly, whether I wasted my thirties on pseudo-living when I should have been making story kernels from the outback of life. Not now. Maybe not ever. But here we are, and from here on, things get scribed, no matter how weird, twisted or raw. This is what there is.
In 1987, I spent six weeks hidden out at a college where a raucous band of tenured hippis introduced me to Neil Young, Tom Wolfe, and B-grade horror movies. And I learned the one rule of writing – not to pick up my pen and not to stop. Sure, what I got was 97% shit. But the remainder was something I could have taken years looking for and never found – and I had it within a couple of tendinitis-inducing hours and one spiral-bound notebook.
So here goes. Here’s to the 3%. Here’s to writing with a drink in one hand and no editor. To chaotic meditations on age and death, and national affairs, and the tools of thought, in this foul year of our Lord, 2010. Yip-yap.

“But here we are, and from here on, things get scribed, no matter how weird, twisted or raw. This is what there is.”

— (nearly) nothing would give me more joy than to read more of your work. I’ll check this site again, soon. bring it.


Leave a Reply