i'm trying, really, i'm trying. jesus wept, and so did i this afternoon, after edmund white, cos he's so much better than me, at writing … he has vision … i can't even fight my way out of a paper bag.
i did a fire labyrinth once, flames licking right up to my shoulders. i was naked, except for thigh length stripy socks (pink and black) and boots. walking through cold, with hot either side of me. straight, straight, corner, more straight, another corner. afterwards i ran round the outside, so fast, my legs making big steps. i didn't see the woodpile and i fell flat on my face. it didn't hurt though. i picked myself right up and carried on running. no-one laughed.
i've been submitting, and getting rejected, all over the place. obviously, it's either not good enough, or the wrong sort of enough. 'we don't want you,' that doesn't exactly need a lot of deciphering.
next week (hurrah, a para starting with something other than mememe) i'm going to give notice at my studio. i can't even face going there anymore. it's stuffed full with things i've done and things i thought i'd do. it's like walking into a failure room. somewhere along the line i had a cardiac arrest and my heart broke in that creative cell.
i'll bring my stuff home, computer, a million tapes. maybe i'll work here, i'm hoping so, i need to. i don't know what i'm doing. really, i comb the jobs vacant section in the local newspaper and i think i want to be in an office, as an audio typist. you get there, in the morning, you make coffee, instant, bad, you sit down, some bugger brings you a tape, you put your headphones on and you just do it and then it's done, if you're lucky they say thank you. i liked that. there's no negotiation. you don't have to believe anything about yourself. you don't have to try. it's like a switch. yes/no. a binary code. 0/1. uncomplicated. i don't have to be me. all that's needed are my fingers and a basic understanding of the english language and grammar. there aren't any equations. satisfaction. finishing. completion. and then i used to come home and the day would be over. in the end i had a nervous breakdown. trevor was quite nice about it.
duncan was saying, last saturday, that he's been rejected by every agent, so he's given up his job. it's like a perverse determined success. i'm not sure i can handle that …
this is me, hey, i've been wanting to write it, in terms of it being in my head and it needing to be elsewhere, for about 10 days. 'oi,' i was going to say, 'i'm just a regular woman, like a coke, or a period, and i wear trainers, wax my legs, paint my nails, condition my hair. i shit almost on a daily basis. every once in a while i get athlete's foot, but i'm not an athlete. i burn stuff to the bottom of pans, mainly rice. i cry at stupid movies. some mornings i don't have clean socks or knickers, cos things get away from me. i prefer baths to showers, even though it's like sitting in my own dirt. i pick my nose when i don't think anyone's looking at me. i dance in the lounge, imagining somehow, somewhere, at some point, i was, or am, pretty and vital. i don't like bananas. i drink too much. i like fighting and believing i'm righteous. i still talk to god, but he's changed. i avoid mirrors. there's this one mole i have on my jaw, hairs grow out of it. if i drink too much coffee i go mad. my blood sugar does weird shit to my head, if i need to eat i need to eat, otherwise i faint. i wish i could paint better. i'll never be anyone. my hands give away my age' …
i don't know, really, i don't, i make out like i do, but i don't. someone once told me my life was a rainbow. i never see the indigo and violet. i think colours have this frequency thing going on, so i'm blind to some stuff. same happens with me and music. but there again, i hear sub-bass noise, a constant buzzing. for years i thought it was a low hum thrum hallucination, turns out it's actually there, and cos of ear damage i managed to sustain as a kid i can hear it.
what do you do with the rejections and failures? i don't know where to put them. i've got these boxes under my bed, full of assorted shit. there's one, containing all the passports and birth certificates, etc. life condensed into a shoe box. that's all there is really. a few small indicators. this is who you are, these are your children, your next of kin. it all fits into one shoe box, that's torn at the corner, like a ripped lip, flapping, gasping.
i'm not sure how much longer i can keep picking myself up. i stand here, oftentimes screaming, naked, except for the weird socks and boots. always it's about 'look at me'. i should put some clothes on, cover myself up, realise it's not funny and it's not clever. who the hell cares? i don't think anyone cares. i been trying with the happy bus, even though the power steering went, along with the rest of the electrics. i ain't no mechanic. i'm just some lazy arsed cow, with too much and not enough time all at once. i imagine an intellect beyond my capability, a talent beyond my capacity and a vision beyond my veracity.
what do you do? what the hell do i do? i don't have the resources anymore. i'm not going to make it. and yet, there are people starving, in pain, trying to manage a living hell, and here i am, whining and moaning, in some self obsessed, oh so terrible, western delusion. i don't have to run from bombs and bullets. worse thing that happened to me today is that carrying my shopping nearly broke my arms …
i been sitting on a film for 18 mos, can't post the script because it's so violent and homo-centric, was talking to a guy about it, asking cos the main character's been ill – non contagious TB. god, the guy's HIV+, has been for seven years. if i don't pull my finger out of my ass soon he's going to be dead. i love being around him, everything's so urgent with him. he has rimbaud quotes tattooed up his arms. he showed me how to put blusher on, i never knew the dark had to go under your cheekbones and then the light on top. i'm 38 years old and i didn't know how to put my own make-up on. maybe a death sentence gets you to learn faster, live faster. i'm going to watch this guy die, when i have a life that i'm not even living. goddamn. godfuckingdamn. how can you be nothing to everyone else and something to yourself?
that woodpile. i never saw it. in the dark it didn't look like anything. you can't run through something like that, or even over it, cos it's uneven. maybe that's what happens, you have to fall. is that what happens? at some point you got to eat dirt? then pick yourself up? if you fall right then you don't get injured? how do you fall right? should i have seen it coming?
i'm just a normal woman, stretch marks, bad breath in the morning, wind if i eat lentils, calf ache if i wear high heels. i'm not going to be extra ordinary. i'm not going to be anything. i don't know what to do. it's raining and the wipers on the happy bus aren't working properly. i can't see where i'm going. i'm guessing at corners. the heater's fucked too, as is the radio. maybe i should park up. i could probably figure it out given some time. i'm 38, i should know this shit by now.
oh, and i found this, kind of, i remembered this:-
& I used to do the I Ching
but then I had to feed the meter.
Now I can't see into the future
but at least I can use the heater.
Oh it doesn't get much better than this 'cos this is how we live our glory days.
Oh & I could be a genius
if I just put my mind to it
& I, I could do anything
if only I could get 'round to it.
Oh we were brought up on the Space-Race,
now they expect you to clean toilets.
When you have seen how big the world is how can you make do with this?