Novel sketches continued.
But, doctor, there are good days, but there are also bad days. Maybe it's a sign I'm heading in a better direction, trying to take control of my life, the demons come out. So, yeah, the days you wonder: What good have I achieved, in my selfishness, my attempt at writing books, my attempt at being a Dostoevsky or a Shakespeare, what good have I done but destroy a family, bring my unmanly unhappiness to it... You try to not hide your light under a basket, but in so doing, what have you achieved? Your creative effort is a negative thing almost. What can it be but a shame alongside the creation of happy little children with a safe roof over their heads? While I struggle back and forth, back and forth... to write, to not write, and what we all need is a good job, employment. What do I have to show for it? Nothing. Nothing at all. Might as well be honest with myself. I've been lazy.
Days when you think, I've spent twenty five years, more, being completely unproductive. It's like I don't know how to be around other people... I'm stricken by a sense of the great awful meaninglessness of my life. You know what I mean? And this Zen Buddhist stuff doesn't always help, I'm afraid to say.
I don't know, I guess I'm just confronting the meaninglessness of life in a restaurant. I observe it. I'm tired of lying to myself. I don't do any good for people. Or is that too harsh? I don't know anymore. To make you work on Christmas, that just kills the idea that the job really has any meaning.
Who knew what one had for values... We think that other people would understand us without words, but we have to explain, explain our vision, and sometimes they are so nascent, so fresh and not yet fully taken to form, still not knowing what direction they might take, even yourself... Okay, so you've read The Brothers Karamazov, then what. So what?
I dunno, doc, I feel sometimes at the end of my rope, I just don't know what to do and I'm pretty sick of not having any meaning in my life, just showing up at that job. It's been years coming; I don't think I can do it anymore. I can't face the loneliness anymore.
I'm trying to work things through. I even got my sorry self down to see the Wyeth exhibit before it closed. Crowded, and you feel stupid being alone, when everyone else is with family, every guy is walking with his girlfriend on the Mall. Every adult male has a family... And that book is right--the demons come out as soon as you try to start steering your ship in the right direction... Yes, it almost hurt to go see my old friend Andrew Wyeth. That old house in Maine... The Pennsylvania farm house, his dad's studio, his own little schoolhouse studio... The bareness, the vibe that comes out of such soulful alive places... I can't compete with the good common sense of small government Republican kids on Fox News talking with Huckabee; they're not going to understand the Buddhist nuances behind what to them is liberal anti-patriotic foolishness. I need to find my place, like Wyeth did. A bar might be the closest thing in a city to the Olson House with Christian and Alvaro, but... I don't know. Less and less meaning do I take from the exercise, the grunt work. It's become more a mental ward, where depressives shuffle about amidst a happy Hispanic staff with their music and families and cell phone Facebook stuff, a cold French boss who runs the business quite well, but has a purpose in his life, his own family, meaning, unlike me.
But yeah, the demons come out, man, do they. Waiting on a Saturday, walking in the woods, "on call." Just walking in the woods to not go out of my mind or retreat back to bed.
Kerouac, yes, he was Buddhist enough to sense the constant changing within. I think of my failures, almost every morning when I try to get up. I wake up, wondering what's happened to my life, why me, and that's why I read up on Zen and listen to Alan Watts, to know I'll change, or that life's appropriate somehow when you understand it on a deeper truer level, so let go of anguish. I write to hang on to positive directions, for the sense that I'm figuring something out, something that will help me find a way. And while my first book, yeah, maybe was helpful, it didn't answer all the problems of my world, and I almost felt, well I do, feel ashamed to put it out there, as I think Wyeth would almost be, paintings of intensely private emotions, yeah, almost abstract. Zen, now that I think about it. "Let go; you can't hold on to any fixed self, it will always change; we come as waves, which means part of it is life, and the rest in not being alive..."
Yes, the demons come out, and so you write, because that seems to help.