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17 August 2015 @ 08:15 pm
cannot shuffle in this heat  
dear diary,

where are we going with this?

your pages are thin and your purpose questionable.
your pages are thin and your answers unsatisfying.

i suppose it's the grieving, but i'm having some trouble with motivation. i suppose it will pass, or come to inform my process with time, but who knows.

it’s not a secret that p. was one of the people i was writing for. or it’s one not-secret at the top of that pile of secrets. i appreciate that an approaching mission, for me, involves writing for him, moving the needle on the broken system that killed him, but i falter: because there's this divide? a non-venning diagram:

people who get my writing vs. people who do not get my my writing

there does not seem to be a persuadable intersection. you're either one of my readers or you wrote me off a long time ago (though it's quite possible most writers feel this way). often i am one of the people who does not get my writing, so i can almost understand the "what the hell is this" reading better than the note s. wrote me last year:

Just discovered your blogs. You are an off the chart amazing writer. Among the best I've ever read. I hope your work is "out there" and available to the world… I have so many friends who are writers of various sorts, poets, etc., but am very seldom blown away after reading just a bit. I rarely find fiction I can stand to read (most is so painful). We need more writers like you who are out there and easily accessible, so I hope life circumstances allow you to plunge in.

i'm so grateful for that. i'm so grateful for the people who get it, who push me towards doing the work, who show up for me and the work that i’ve done. people who, in their various ways, remind me that i am wanted, that good people actively want me to stick around, even when they can't stick around themselves. maybe i'm not necessary. maybe i am a luxury. a weird luxury, a luxury that occasionally plunges you into existential despair and abandons you there, but

i don't know.
who the fuck knows.

praise isn't necessary, so it isn't an entitlement.
praise can be an obstacle, so it shouldn’t be an entitlement.

but support? that’s necessary. nobody can hope to even begin to write transformational work without support, without somebody giving a fuck. without support, you're just biding out time until you collapse under the weight of your own process.

support is necessary, but it isn't an entitlement, either.

instead, many of us often get envy and other obstacles from the people we love. most individuals who've cultivated a craft have at least one individual very close to them they are continually navigating around. some of the time, the person hurting you doesn’t realize they are doing it; i don’t know if that makes it better or worse. a lot of the time, it's someone close: family member, partner, or friend. someone we have nearly daily contact with, someone who makes us feel guilty - on this fundamental, intimate, naked level - for who we are. for who we cannot chose to otherwise be. for me: many of my closest friends. coworkers. a man i dated for six years. sometimes my dad. i guess. i don't actually know about my parents. they've never really read anything i've written. of course, some of that might relate to my survival instincts. i generally find things go better for everyone if i don't live with a perceived authority figure who believes i'm a raving pervert. (the "oh, god, not my bathtub faucet" syndrome.)

sometimes i look at the world around me - small scale, big scale; news on the hour, kids screaming at each other in the courtyard, a friend you trusted replicating some awful racist meme on facebook or attacking you for trying to talk to them about it in agonizing threads where nothing they say is in dialogue with you and after a time it becomes apparent that this is what they ultimately want out of you, as well; this is what my trusted friend wants to turn me into; this is who the friend i trusted thinks i am; and that's my life, that's my whole fucking life. i’ve let that become my whole fucking life. not every time, not all the time, but enough of the time.

i'm either surrounded by people who can't be persuaded or already agree. it’s true, what they say, confrontation doesn’t persuade. confrontation almost invariably makes the person you’re confronting double down. and i think about p., writing his six page will, arranging his suicide down to the smallest details for months in advance, printing "do not resuscitate" and what boils down to as “i mean it, i’m done, i’m so done, i’m really fucking done” emboldened in all caps on the topmost page and it's just exhausting, endless and exhausting, there's no way to fix it and there's not any viable way out of it, either.

and i'm sorry for the world we've made and continue to make.

i'm sorry for everyone i've failed and continue to fail.

i'm just sick and sad and sorry. happy 40th birthday, right?

friday i talked to p.’s mom and the way her voice echoed his, the inflections, the tonal range, that frantic rasp and squeak he'd get during an anecdote that had my face wet and my diaphragm cramping with laughter, it was almost unbearable. i don't know if it was my continuing and consolidating sadness at his loss or my guilt for the occasional attempt to write him in, but it was such a labyrinth, such an unexpected hall of mirrors to work through.

she said, “whenever i talked to him about reaching out to his old friends, he’d say ‘why the hell would they ever even want to talk to me again?!’”
and i said, "i do that."
and she said, “i know. i remember. you two were similar in so many ways.” after a pause, “maybe too similar, in that way.”

p. was envious of me, but there were equivalencies, and besides that we shared a few close friends - so he got it. there's destructive envy and there's motivational envy and the truth of it is, you do need to experience the former if you ever want to get to the latter. i just hope that sometimes i helped, sometimes i didn’t just get in the way. i hope i did for him even a little of what he did for me.
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music: close cloak - grouper
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on August 19th, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)
Even though reading a post like this sends many back to the security of memes or tweets or kittens, they are what drags me kicking and screaming back to LJ. I have a friend who knows if she brings up dead parents or estranged sisters she will have at least my attention.

Your considerable talent allows me to abstract just enough so I'm not some goggleyed rider on the wall of death. So yes that's me that can't help but say " Just discovered your blogs..."
I wish I could translate that into support. I remember first seeing David Foster Wallace in early 96 as he toured Infinite Jest. I told my companion as I staggered out the door"there is one fucked up guy who writes like a god. Someone needs to help that guy."
And when I heard he had killed himself I thought " I should have helped that guy." Whose the crazy one?

I think it's inherent in this LJ format to be unable to get through, to be understood, to be supportive. The people with kittens probably have it right, but I am glad you took the long way


selva oscura: [anderson] she's troubleanonymousblack on August 21st, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
thank you incredibly for this. look, you win the tom waits badge:

Kateariadnelives on August 21st, 2015 02:35 am (UTC)
I know it's not the point, but I love your writing.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on August 21st, 2015 06:05 pm (UTC)
I know it's not the point, but I really needed that. Thank you.