I dunno, Doctor... I feel like, like I'm the reincarnation of a Hemingway, here to run my little salon, waiting on people, dealing with all you have to do in a bar, to purge my previous sins of ego. In one world, maybe you're JFK, like they say, the leader of the free world, but that too is ego, because only he who has mastered himself, as Arjuna must master himself and learn the divine wisdom from Krishna, is really, like, I don't know, how to say it, in charge of things, or, the great educator, the great communicator, the great example, the real steady final point of wisdom in all matters.
So, yeah, like Hemingway liked his bars, but didn't have to wait on anyone, and could order up whatever he wanted and sit on his ass, whenever he wanted, could get drunk, have a nice dinner, engage in conversation, and in the next life he has to go and be the waiter, waiting on everyone, except he still remembers his salon, back in the perfection of Paris in the '20s, his excellent friends and adventures, artists, writers, Joyce, Stein... It's not like he had carte blanche just to do anything, he worked hard at it. When he started out he had his wife's support. But it wasn't money from producers to, like Woody Allen, put his own little self up on the screen with every character speaking in Woody Allen's voice, the same old shit over and over again... It's what artists do, so I'm not blaming him in particular.. Just that I grow quickly tired of Allen's same characters as I get older, see less the genius...
So in the next life, Hemingway ends up there, having to work, the same worldly worries of having to bust his ass to put food on the table, of not quite knowing what to do with himself on a day off, all the pretenses you have to go through in the artiste's life, foppish navel staring... Not really crafting a series of well-honed short stories that somehow have the magic they are supposed to... But now, just going on about the same shit, which is all artists do. Chekhov, I'll give Chekhov a free pass, because the guy knew many a heart... And he was a doctor, dealing with people's shit....
But you sit in, or lay, in meditation, in corpse pose sometimes, I do--perhaps because I don't know what to do with myself, like when you have to wait for a shift to come, but don't feel like doing anything... There you are in corpse pose, and I remember my father, his body, at the funeral home, laid out with his hands folded across his chest... And what does a corpse ask, but, be kind. Be kind. Be kind to me. Life is hard enough. Hard enough just feeding the creature, and getting it through one day, one day at a time. And that's all we want. That's all we would expect.
And I suppose it's why some cities, like Rio, have whore houses, with smart beautiful women in them, because a man needs someone to be kind to him too. And we all end up paying for whatever we get, so, maybe it's a realistic understanding. How did I get off on a tangent... So I'm told. I wouldn't know. I've only been to one once, and thought it all a bit sad.
But the writer, the salon contributor, the barman, even in this town, particularly in this town, he needs people to just be kind to him.
That's why I haven't done much with my book as far as getting it out there. It's like I stopped expecting there to be any kindness toward me, toward the core of my being which is the rest of humanity and by extension the entirety of creation. And that's all reading a book is. It's not fancy, it's not complicated, it's just a simple agreement to sit down and read something someone else wrote. It doesn't have to be good, on either part, by any standard, or significance beyond that. The writer is his own credential, by the simple fact of life.
But as they say, woe unto the world because of offenses. Or, like Lincoln said, 'and the war came.' Why does shit happen? It does. I wasn't as kind as I meant to be, or was frustrated bringing out the kindness in my own heart... Why does that happen? Ego, insecurity, brattiness. Hormones, confusion..
That this is so is tragic. Lives get burned, bodies get mangled... Civil War hospitals, World War One horrors... Dead parents you can't fix things of your own life to show, convincingly, that you are happy, as you owe a good parent... It's all in your own mind, yeah, but it hurts. And it all happens, all of it, because of ego, because you think you have to stand for something that perhaps itself is ultimately sort of hollow.