September 8th, 2006

Mask

Non-Fiction: Happy Mortality

Why does it feel like bragging to tell you I’m happy?

My living situation is wonderful; I live ten blocks from work, eight blocks from excellent coffee, and eleven blocks from local food on Saturday. I share a house with two gentlemen of excellent character, both of whom can quote not just lines, but full monologues of Shakespearian prose.

Jared and I sometimes quote lines from The Revenger's Tragedy by Thomas Middleton. I enjoy saying: A bawd, my lord, one that sets bones together. Who can say that and not understand that we are talking about intercourse? You know - sex. The rumpy pumpy, the old in-and-out, the beast with two backs, a hot fuck, setting bones together. But we are not snobs; we also quote comics, cartoons, movies and the Venture Brothers. This quoting is a lifestyle choice. The three of us (Jared, Brendan and I) just happen to be obsessed with amusing prose.

Brendan might deny this and claim he cannot read, but the truth is that the three of us seem to spend most of our nights reading. We read novels, non-fiction, blogs, gaming books, comics, the free newspaper that comes to our house, web comics, and the Thomas Middleton monologues I’ve stashed in the bathroom. I fall asleep reading, which I hear isn’t good for you, but we all have our little habits.

Yesterday was the start of classes. My professor is asking us to keep a daily journal. In the spirit of daily journaling, I’ll be posting daily, non-fiction essays here. I have been writing fiction too, it’s just that I’ve been taking those stories and sending them to people who might send me a check, rather than posting them on my journal.

Besides my professor, I was the only person in my creative writing class who has been published. Don’t’ take this to mean that I think I’m better than the other students, because I don’t believe that at all. I have been in class with some of these students before, and one in particular is a far more powerful writer than I am. She commands language like a general, where I (to quote Tycho Brahe) am just fumbling with the bra clasps, trying to get to second base. Ah, the second base of language, where the sweet metaphor lies, awaiting your sweaty hands.

The only reason why I’m published, and she isn’t, is that I’ve submitting my work. A lot. If there were stock in stamps, I should buy, considering the way I am supporting the industry. It’s a addicting, this whole process of sending letters out and getting them back. I’ve been collecting handwritten notes from very nice editors.

Thanks for sending, I enjoyed reading this, but I’m going to have to pass this time.

That’s okay guys, I’m not sweating it. You will be hearing from me again. Soon.

“I wish I could get my stuff published” she says. “But it’s not ready.”

I’m tempted to just give her an envelope, a SASE. Screw being ready. My prose will never be ready, never perfect. If I wait till it’s ready, I’ll be dead. I’m always aware of my own mortality. Kind of strange for a happy person, isn’t it?