Monday, September 26, 2005

All I Want Is a Beer and a Pillow

In the two days prior September 14, when I first put this to paper before getting busy with self-loathing and other forms of procrastination, I saw copious amounts of footage showing New Orleans under water, and eaten at least six meals. I had put in about three hours commuting, 17 hours at the office, and16 hours in the land of nod. I've investigated the efficient frontier and portfolio management, read of Augie March's adventures, and seen Kurt Angle put a serious pain on Jon Cena. Two hours of "Law & Order," two hours grooming, and 90 minutes in the gym.

Nothing, not a second, writing fiction.

Welcome to my world.

As I continued to rage about what happened to the Big Easy, I seem to have reached a creative dead end, in writing fiction, blogging, letter-writing, and other forms of correspondence through which I make my living and spend my idle hours (or used to spend them). I've got three short stories that are in reasonably good shape for submission to lit mags, but I haven't lifted a finger. My novel isn't selling, yet I resist the obvious -- the damn thing needs another revision. I fuck around with a blog entry, delete it, and then lurk on other blogs without commenting because I feel like I don't have anything worthwhile to say.

Henry slept, and slept, and slept

All writers go through funks like this. In my case, it lasts a few weeks; others, it can last decades (Henry Roth, for instance). There are some of us who can write through thick, thin, and otherwise, but those modern graphomaniacs like Joyce Carol Oates or Christopher Hitchens are the exception.

There are several convient excuses: work is difficult, and my herniated disc is acting up, and Wife is busting my chops. (One out of those three is false). Mine is that I'm just frickin' tired. I just want to watch television or read a magazine or eat a ham sandwich.

Just the blahs or depression or lack of interest in anything but SEX SEX SEX, I don't know. I'm starting to question my priorities, with this writing thing. Maybe I'm meant to be a couch potato, my religion the NFL and The Sopranos. Maybe I should just resign myself that I'm an overglorified typist. Maybe, as I peruse the pages of Mr. Bellow's novel, I should resign myself that I'm never going to write an opening sentence as perfect as "I am an American, Chicago born" and give up.

Or maybe I just need to shut the fuck up, and start snapping sentences on the computer. I'm going to submit this now, without proofreading or editing of any sort. I will wake up tomorrow, re-read it, and think about what I shall do with the rest of my numbered days. Not that I'm a drama queen or anything like that.