Monday, December 9, 2013

Unpacking: 2 of some

In which I continue, after a long hiatus, unpacking some of my tamer compositions. this is some prose that I, judging from the notebook I wrote it in, came up with in the late spring of 2011

My cat just touched my foot. His ears whiffed my toes like the sheerest velvet. To add to the cliche, 
his fur felt like silk.  He is a good cat. He tells me,  insistently, when he something.  In this he is better at communication and, quite possibly, inter-personal relationships than I am.  My father says that cats are "the only honest animal."  My cat is honest.  We both know exactly what he wants when he wants it, or when he does not as the case may be. . . . This is more than I can say for most people.  Everyone needs to have a cat for a cat consistently reminds you that you are not alone in the world. Indeed, a cat reminds you that you are, in fact, second in the universe.  The cat being first. This is a realization that would benefit many people. I can imagine a cat saying, if cats could talk, "what the hell are you looking at? feed me." A little humility is good for the soul because it reminds us that there is something else greater than we are.  Even if it only a mass of cat-less humanity.   

 i apparently wrote this on night during hot season when i couldnt sleep

The hot, close feel of a bed that you have laid in too long.  Not the cool feel of tired sleep, or the sweaty, lazy feel after sex.  But the claustrophobia of a sleepless night when the darkness grips you by the throat and the promise of morning brain fucks you as you feel the seconds tick away into some slow motion abyss that claws each moment out of your tossing head.  And all that you feel is that you do feel and it wont stop.

a critique on writing.  one of my tamer ones.  i once counted some 50 books i read in my first 10 months in Togo

Chapter titles are stupid.  Either offer a point of view, like [George R.R.] Martin. Or just number them.  Otherwise, who gives a shit?  Foreshadowing is the mark of a crappy writer-- one who doubts his or her ability to keep the audience engaged. If I wanted to know what was going to happen in a chapter beforehand, I'd flip ahead to the last couple pages and just read those.

i apparently wrote this on an optimistic day.  likely after i had just had my morning coffee and was sitting on my porch watching the world go by during hot season

"the wonder of the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer"

The problems of a Volunteer's life in Togo are easier to think about . .  children shouting "yovo yovo anasara bon SOIR" in unison.  Stomach problems.  Heat rash, that I suffer from writing this.  But when else in life am I going to have what I have now?  I problem solve on a large or small scale.  Read books all day if I want.  Every day can be a new experience. Not always a good one.
The hazy, dusty landscape stretches away before my eyes, not to the known, but to the unknown.  When I ride my back past children coming home from school, they all smile and wave.  People may laugh at what I say, or blow me off, but they listen just because I am here.  I can stand in a crowd and not understand a word being spoken around me . . . What is so good about the life I left behind? Here, people randomly drop dead, children get polio, noma, and worms.  Everyone gets malaria.  Traveling takes days.  Eating takes planning.  But I get to where I want to go . . .  We live in little capsules of America here.  We have most of the creature comforts of the US  . . . But unlike the US where our sense are bombarded by minutia and noise, here the next horizon is there if we look up.

the following are some selections from my black notebook, aka my later/cynical phase

My stumbling quest for something brilliant, earth shaking, or intellectually arousing to say leads me to vomit words on paper.  Much like throwing mud on a wall.  To see if something will stick.

Does time exist where there are no watches?

Of course, the only constant in life is entropy-- the entropy of self.  The entropy of ideas.  Of ideals. Of promises.  This constant spiral towards disorder fascinates me.  Or maybe disorder only of the perceived previous our thoughts were once in. 

The best part about life is that it doesnt make any sense.  And, in that, there is truth.

Truth is like a weed.  It grows in the cracks of all our bullshit.  Very well. 

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