On The Train - Montana
Saying goodbye to Heather on Saturday at the train station, I'm about as sad as I ever was, at least it seems like—I haven't got enough sleep in a long time, and the mounting stress of trying to get everything done I wanted to do before leaving has finally overwhelmed me and left me defeated. I'm starting to think about wanting a normal life again—something that pops into my mind every so often—you know, just work and have a decent place to live and a person you love that you are happy to dedicate yourself to, and maybe kids that are central to your existence. To hell with all this art crap—at the very center of your participation in any kind of "art life" is the realization that it's all an illusion, a lie. You want to trick yourself, saying it's a necessary part of your existence, but as time goes on you see that it's not—and all the promises it held out like a carrot turn out to be rotten, and whatever solace it has provided in the past can't be repeated as you move forward into the future where you have to reinvent yourself continually anyway—so why not without art as a crutch, a diversion, an empty promise?
Maybe it's because a month seems so long that makes it so sad to leave—even though one knows a month is such a short time. Take the month of September for instance—it's like it was not existent—I got only a fraction of the things done I wanted to get done, and now it's too late. But unlike a short period such as a weekend, when you stand at one end of a month you can't see the other end. Nothing is more scary than the unknown. It seems somehow final, even though we know there is no reason to believe that. There's really very little difference in a month's time, relative to eternity, than the five minutes it takes to go down to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes. You can be hit by the phantom bus, or run into a person who changes your life, anytime, anyplace.
I guess it's so sad because Heather and I always have unresolved issues, and day to day they are easy to push aside, but at the point you aren't going to see each other for a month, these issues loom larger. I feel bad about rushing around for days, totally self-obsessed—and worse that I failed to get done a fraction of what I wanted to get done—and at the same time was not someone nice to be around. I feel guilty because Heather has to go to work today, and nothing seems more depressing than working on a Sunday, in a windowless room, while the person closest to you glides through the Rocky Mountains of Montana. And I feel sad, especially, knowing how much I miss the cats when Heather and I leave for just a couple of days—and missing a person makes you even forget about the cats, but then you don't forget, and it all becomes a lot of missing, and sadness—and I feel like I'm going off to summer camp—away from home for the first time—I haven't felt like this for awhile.
Stupidly, I brought all sad music. I brought ten tapes and a walkman, but I brought almost all unbearably sad music—melancholy, slow, beautiful, and sentimental. The only thing I can bear to listen to is Public Enemy, so I listen to nothing but Public Enemy, and Chuck D. is my friend. The movement of the train always cheers me up, or something. It is certainly therapeutic, this movement. It makes me feel content, while the train is moving, but every time it stops it's unbearable. The endless plants growing in Montana, and the rocks strewn about—and branches, debris—if this was clutter and mess, it would be some job to clean it up. No nation or generation could ever do it. "Your job is to clean up Montana, cut all the weeds and wildly grown vegetation, pick up all the rocks and branches strewn around. The pay is $6.00 an hour, the dress casual, and this job may go on indefinitely."
You can't argue with Montana, and the train moving, and Public Enemy, so I'm starting to feel better—but also because I'm writing, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to go on this trip, is to write—because I needed to change my relationship to writing. Relationships will always change, whether you do anything about them or not, so it's up to you to take control of things and change them for the better if you want them to be better, because they will necessarily deteriorate if you don't.
My relationship to time has been really sucking lately—as there became more and more things I had to do before leaving and less and less time to do them, time seemed to accelerate, and one could almost imagine it spinning out of control, like falling out of an airplane—as you get close to the ground it approaches increasingly faster, even though you fall at a constant speed. One good thing about the train—maybe the best thing about the train—is how it changes your relationship to time. It slows time down like nothing else. People think about three days on the train as torture—but it's hard to explain to them that three days on the train does not equal three days anywhere else. It's not like the time goes fast or slow—it's like it doesn't exist—even though you're always aware of the time and your location—it becomes meaningless in that it's not connected to time in the world outside the train.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Last night I had the weirdest dreams I've ever had EVER, no doubt, no exception! (It's the last time I'll consume, on a single day: artificial Irish cream and white chocolate ice cream, meat and cheese platter leftover from work, beans with chipotle pepper and artichoke, two yerba mate colas, one Golly guarana soda—no wonder!) Actually, the first dreams were totally disturbing and bad, scary and insane—and I can't remember them, and I'm glad. The later dreams were classic sick dreams with unsolvable mathematical-like problems repeating endlessly. It's also the hottest day and night of the year—wonderful weather—but leading to sleep problems, all the same. Anyway, if I never remember these fucking dreams I'll be glad. But knowing they're somewhere in there—in my brain—is disturbing enough.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Today I'm forced to admit defeat—the realization that I have total writer's block, or whatever you want to call it. I have no inspiration, and no ideas. No motivation, no anything, just a happy life that will end too soon. All the usual subjects are used up or uninteresting.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Don't forget how significant a day can be when you call in sick in the middle of the week and do out of the ordinary things. I worked in this job over a year without calling in sick. Hurt my toe two days ago—so I'm trying to spend the whole day today in bed with my foot elevated. But I got hungry and thought it might be easier to go to The Hurst than to cook lunch. Don't want to have to wear shoes for too long though. I had my audition for J's movie yesterday. Another brief experience for the annals. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I had any idea what I was doing. The weather is nice and things are growing. Getting all phone calls done today with lying in bed with portable phone. A man and woman are here sitting on the same side of a booth with a whole bottle of wine and wine glasses like this is an elegant French restaurant on Friday night!