it turns out none of that stuff was true, the stuff about following schedules and paying your dues and be patient and overcoming obstacles and becoming stronger having some bad experiences and being miserable half the time at least and waiting and wondering when you get your shit together, and wondering if its all worth it, that you should weather each storm and come out stronger in the end, it turns out none of that stuff was true
-‘anybody ever not fire a gun?’
-‘yes,’ i said, ‘actually, i’ve never even held a gun, i think’
-‘wow,’ he said, ‘a total novice’
he got a shotgun off the shelf. the whole class was staring at me. he walked half way to me and threw the shotgun at me. i caught it, but he made it look so light when he held it but actually it was so heavy it brought both my arms toward the ground. i looked at anthony, he just looked sort of amused and sort of horrified, i stood up slowly holding the shotgun. ‘well now you have,’ he said. ‘and those won’t miss if you need to shoot somethin right away. say a raccoon, a fox or a porcupine … or a snake. i hate snakes, if i ever see one i shoot it’ … anyway, that was the beginning of the first gun lesson. how may gun lessons were there? anthony, he kind of just went with it, shooting guns, but i was never sure if i was just pretending, like i’m always pretending about everything
I realized real early on that getting trapped was a raw danger. But I never imagined it could be this bad. To have dreams lilting above one’s locomotion. To grasp, to come up short, to resign, to get back in the fight, to live life as a stranger in a second language, to languish and burn slowly like an ill kept fire, like a stupid no good low down good for nothing stupid son of a bitch metaphor. A dying fire. There’s no convincing the fire it’s not old, you may convince it that it’s going to reignite, to get more fuel, to suffer a renaissance. But it knows it’s old. An old soul from the start. An affirmation of many things, the way of affirmation.
I am crying, I am crying about things you wouldn’t understand. You think I am preoccupied, I am, but not by you. But more important stuff. I am crying. I am inventing new things. I am out of my element, lost, an outcast. I am crying and you would never ever understand.
The people, they just truck on. I don’t understand how they do that. I am immobilized at every corner. I am befuddled and ambivalent with every new thought. I am overwhelmed by potential and possibility. The people, I don’t understand them. I understand trees somewhat.
There are tears. Tears and tears that separate us from heartbeats and mind games. And sentimentality. A sentimental crusader I am. I like nostalgic pining and genuine reminiscence and crude emotional displays of of complete sentimental stupidity. It is a beautiful thing. That saves us. It does. It saves us from the present fear and torture of the present moment. That moment we are in. We are in, in always supplicating, fighting the desire to be somewhere else.
When I finally got to Pete’s it was not a pretty display. This was not ending well. I felt sad and a little guilty. Guilty I hadn’t been up to his place and at least tried to be there. He was kneeling, ‘every time I see you falling, … ’ and it was not optional. He was in despair. A despair like in conflict, curled up ‘I’ll never see just what we’re meant to be’ … This genuflecting Pete was the final straw. I just saw, that in his toughness, in his hubris , he couldn’t help humiliating himself the way people are bound to do given plenty of rope to hang with and the intelligence to drive himself mad.
So I mentioned the animation progress was crap, right? All I could hear around me was how someone ‘made it to the nationals’ and another guy who got ‘bought out’. What was that? Bought out from a job? A rent controlled condo ? A start up ? How could I get ‘bought out?’ It sounded lucrative and easy, but I was stuck in emotional turmoil, philosophical ambivalence, and mental masterbatory machinations of no use! A light box shines light up though an image drawn on transparency and then you take a photo. Simple, but the sheer number of technical, mainly lighting variables and the overwhelming number of outcomes was paralyzingly me. I couldn’t afford to be paralyzed any longer. I decided to correct the one thing I could, talk to Pete.
All I could think about was putting together this animation and everything was going crappy on me. I kind of felt guilty now for ignoring Pete. I tried watching football at the spanky new sports bar on Greenwich. But since the niners were really sucking, it was hard to achieve distraction. It was snowing. Which I loved normally but frankly was just in bad enough mood for it to annoy the crap out of me. I remember going to a bar in TriBeCa, deserted at lunch time, and crying on the sidewalk before I went in. I remember the bartender being hot and not affirming my ego, but rather just serving me midday whiskeys with a frown and talking to her colleague about how some psychology guy was stalking her. I thought briefly about how it would be to stalk someone and thought it would be boring as shit so I wallowed in my misery and couldn’t take my mind off suffering Pete.