Amateur novelist, author want to be:
I wonder, Doctor, if my problem isn't, quite typical to every thing I do, is that I bring complexity to situations. Like, for instance, college, going back to a place where there was some family history, my father being a professor at the University down the street, my parents meeting there, and then mix that with other complex things, like trying to figure out what you should study and thereby do with your productive professional life, and then of course the huge complexity of meeting another human being halfway, when she is a she and a different background, city as opposed to country, etc., etc… I'm afraid I made a great blunder, combining, or mixing everything together, such that I could not respond, or would try to but had all this trying-to-right-the-wrongs-of-the-world and the academy also hanging there in front of me.
And this is when you are supposed to figure out these very important life changing things. I was stuck in my head, almost. And now I see my being an English major as terrifically self indulgent and of complete uselessness, and as a supposed adult I went on courting all these complexities. And so everything I do is unclear, doesn't have anything, or much, to do with the situation really before me. I take bar tending as being like Jesus, surely mixing business with an attempt at pleasure.
And so my emotions are always complex, about everything. I feel things too intensely, too much nostalgia, too much sadness, too much complexity to face, when I could just go and do things. I know, I've read books about how to be in the moment, to not be in the past, to be present. But I don't know what to do. I look at this or that, a degree, a new kind of job, and I seem to be unable to move. You know what I mean?
But writers I suppose are always children, parts of them anyway. Perhaps it allows us to sometimes look at things freshly, amidst our angst.
When I left home to go out into the world, I guess I wasn't in such good spirits. I slogged around in shitty temp jobs, became a busboy, fell into bar tending, which is probably the worst possible job in a lot of ways, seeking the approval of strangers, through stupid feats… I mean, I've always been professional about it, and got the job done, but what a waste of time. And there are no stories from it, nothing worth writing about, beyond the Melville aspect of the work and the ice cold bosses. Why would such a smart guy as him signed up for such a thing? Be a lawyer, a teacher…
Okay, I'm a nice guy, maybe comically so, tragicomically, perhaps being nice, ridiculously kind, but you know that's not going to get you anywhere. I can't even find a good way to serve humanity… What do I do… get them drunk… Maybe there is no way left to serve humanity… Everything is so regulated, who'd want to be a teacher? Try to do something for the environment, well, no, sorry, there is too much money defending the interests of people gathered in corporations for the sake of making money. Guess what, leaving the earth alone, not polluting it irreparably, you don't make any money. Making a vineyard, or an ecological organic farm, that sort of stuff, is good...