I guess you have to have a tolerance for it. A high tolerance, for the time alone, in many ways, alone, time spent in the antisocial job of poet, writer, essayist, novelist, memoirist. The verbal habits you have are different, inclusive of the belief that such makes a difference, that such is even essential, the conviction that words are not exclusively for social life, for intimate life. Thoughts, not shared in the common market of verbal exchange, but submerged. Not shared in the usual habit of conversation, and so they are different. Built out of little notes on the side, almost an adolescent thing, of an inner purpose.
And this runs against the main reason why people are verbal, to be social. They do their exercise, keeping the body in good shape, and to them the whole point of being able to talk about something is to use it for social behavior, to belong in groups.
That's the kind of town it is, where things are getting things done. Less ambiguity, the better. A town for clear progress. And there is no point to writing of a certain kind here, of the kind that's not a report, or a journalist piece, in the eye of the official ego of the town. At the very least, a clear story about something. There's so many things to do, so many ways to make money, so many material things to describe, there's no place for any other kind of activity such as writing essentially is for some of us at least.
To not write for a clear purpose or to record a recipe or to explain a part of the world someone has been to, that would be scandalous, as defensible as masturbation.
And yet there is a verbal vanity to the town, so many with a book they'd like to write, a book about themselves. A well-read town, of course.
And then there's me, who has absolutely no purpose. Laundry to do. No bar stories for not working the night before. Hot out, ragweed pollen in the air, no sense of how to kickstart the day. The sheer sense of inactivity that comes when you've not been writing, not been writing down the memory of how my father would come out of the house and wave when I backed out of the small driveway, paused on the road to wave back, before driving away back down College Hill, braced for the long drive back down 81 to Washington, DC and my pointless life alone, no sense of home, home being back there where my father was.
Seeing a therapist, what good does that do but make you wonder about your own good instincts, the thing you have to go on...
It's for the artists not to belong as easily, to not participate.
You have all the time in the world to write, and yet you don't. Fritter it away, thinking about writing without actually writing. No job to show up to today. You don't belong to consumerist society and that state, if anything gives you freedom, because it's not like you're going to pick up any chicks being like that. There's nothing interesting you have to write about work, just your old aging self that you may take out for a bike ride at some point. Worry, shame, a sense of not having an honest job, all those things go through your mind. Where to write, even. Go down to Starbuck's, which means be a poseur. Or, give up, get a job, there ceased being a point to this a long time ago.
This is the true stuff of writing, the shit aspect to it, the vagueness, the helplessness, the futility of the activity, the puzzle of being alone in a room, and what do you do with yourself, and how do you avoid falling into some mind game fantasy or projection about what might be going on somewhere else nor or in the future, or even in the past. The world has gone back to school, back to campuses, and left you in your own disorder, with no sense of a future. Is it the awkward need for a public living room, just to get out of the house... The point at which you've done enough yoga, had enough of Buddha, for the time being, the point at which you are incredibly bored, rudderless on top of that. What do you do then? You want to avoid conversation with the neighbor and his 'what, what?' as if wanting an admission of something out of me, a wish to escape, but where, except to park benches, maybe libraries...
My father's humble Timex Indiglo watch still ticks on the little table by my bed, his sandalwood scent on the leather band still, and my own watches issues with their straps... My fake Panerai, against his humble still functional watch that ticks on years after his passing, his disappearance, his death. But the watch, with Swiss movement, I did get that for myself, as a treat for having my four wisdom teeth yanked, and I remember his emotion when he called the morning of going it to have that done, so there is a good memory attached to the thing. I bite the inside of my mouth below the lip as I eat a microwaved Rosada hot dog, spread with mustard to balance the sweetness, and I need to brush my teeth and get out of the house.