Inspired by my friend Martina, who has created “The Unquiet American,” an account of her p.h.d. work in Hanoi, I’ve taken the next step towards becoming a member of modern times, and started a blog. I’ve always wished I kept a diary, but whenever I mean to start one in earnest, the act of recording the events of my days, no matter how exciting, outrageous, or disgusting (as my days often are), proves too tedious to continue, and I am left with a stack of expensive notebooks wth elegantly-crafted covers, in which pages three through four hundred remain blank. However, as I do like to write, I now wonder if it’s the fact that no one will ever (indeed, no one must ever) read my diary that makes keeping one seem so pointless. A “blog” is meant to be read by one’s friends, and even strangrs who chance upon it, and perhaps this slightest nod to the world of publishing will provide motivation to bore not only myself but anyone I can harangue into reading my posts.
Of the events in recent months I wish I had recorded in this new literary toy:
*Meeting Benjamin Bratt twice in two days at Dianda’s bakery in San Francisco, and dragging out of him a confession of sex-addiction.
*Smoking pot on my fire escape at 2 am on my 25th birthday with several friends (who shall remain nameless should they ever decide to run for office)and my mother.
*Celebrating with Aggie the final night of the Plaza before its conversion to luxury nests for New York’s tackiest nouveaux. The Oak bar seemed to be hosting a sugar daddy convention and we couldn’t spend a dime. Memory of the event is fuzzy, as, in an effort to get rid of all the liquor the hotel had stocked, the bartender put tripleshots in every drink. Now, that’s hospitality.
* Sneaking into the San Francisco Opera House in New Year’s Eve with Patrice and staging a two-person folk song/Shakespearean Soliloquy/ancient dirge extravaganza before the echoing, empty house.
These are just a few events thatI wish I had recorded in greater detail and closer to the time of their occurrence. These days, I fear I will be keeping a log of my now months-long search for employment in Manhattan’s food and retail industry. Perhaps my next post will be on the virtues of Harry Potter as a mood-elevator to rival the strongest vicodin or richest chocolate, or the multiple times I’ve applied to work at Starbuck’s without luck, or my latest slew of auditions in which I had to hold different yoga poses for eternities on end while improvising a stream of consciousness monologue in the style of Eugene O’Niell’s Strange Interlude from the point of view af a struggling Rockette hopeful.
These are the grim activites and reflections which comprise my day-to day existence, or, I should say, existential nausea. Hence the title, Writhing in Apathy, which I lifted fromt the Diary of Kenneth Tynan, one of those prolific writers who seemed to effortlessly pen phrases I wish I had written, and surely would have expended much sweat over had I been able to do so. I include Martin Amis, Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov, and John Fowles in this group of luminaries. These diaries chronicle Tynan’s decade of decline, the 1970’s, during which he reassessed his life as a drama critic and a dramaturg and came to realize that he should have devoted himself to a more creative life such as that of a director or playwright, but now, steadily succumbing to emphysema, he hadn’t the time nor the energy necessary to create himself anew. In a moment of particularly acute self-loathing brought on by months of procrastination and languishing crativity, he ended a dreary passage with, “I shall die writhing in apathy.”
The chronicle begins.
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- PERSONAL ESSAYS (60)
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