It took 'til six AM to be calm enough for bed. Another busy jazz night with the World Bank crowd. Every table arrived in a ten minute window just before seven, when the group V started playing. Drink orders, dirty plates, a waiter comes up from downstairs just to help out, and it will be like that 'til the last desserts are served. The place is full, but the menu never changes, and the specials…
So, when I leave, around one, to get a cab home, I'm starting to stiffen. I watch TV, vacuum a bit, sip on some Brouilly, more because it feels good, like it does something for the blood that acts as an anti-inflammatory. I'd like to do something creative, but I'm too tired to get the guitar out, and I'm not up for reading. Wasted time, what can you do. Take a melatonin, under the covers, a glass of water nearby and the fitful night ends in sleep.
I'm up around two, and summon the energy to hobble into the kitchen, after turning the heat up, for some chilled mint tea. I'm hungry, stiff and sore. I want to write, to get that ball rolling again, but, as always, what? All that seems self-evident enough is that things aren't going so well. Not able to get much done. Forget even what writing is about, not about specifics, not about fiction filled with moving figures, descriptions, places, actions, conflicts, tensions, narrative arches, none of that 'show, don't tell' stuff. All of which, Lord knows, takes a long time anyway for a mortal. No, you can't beat the system; don't even try. Take the entrance exams, keep on pushing, don't lax off thinking you have something to say or a need for saying it. The restaurant business will break your heart, my mom said, speaking from experience.
But I look around at the world, at heroin use in Vermont, and at least I have a job, if not a lot to look forward to. I am reminded of the spiritual need, the spiritual struggle, those of Old Testament Philip Roth, or sad New types. What else is there to write about? You have compassion for the human race, but not enough for your own self and now look at you, scratching your head, in a sweat shirt with athletic pants on sitting on a rented couch. Or just not enough drive, not enough aggression, or just susceptible to things that make wasting time too much of a pattern, as if doing things that didn't make money have much a point behind them.
The only thing you can do is write a few things down, as honestly as you can. And then maybe once you've said them, then you know you have to address them, like the bad feelings you have when getting up out of bed like 'what's the point' beyond everyone has got to do it. I've failed, I know that. I keep up a show by having a job, some sort of job that itself is pretending something.
"Worthless sketches, that don't even say anything accurately," Van Gogh might have said to himself… Reactions, an inner landscape… Painting his hotel room like Job with the hope of Spring outside the window.