Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A title? Whatever, nevermind.

According to my nephew's chalkboard and my math, between the three times I've taken the GRE and the 6 schools I applied to I've spent $992 applying to Graduate school. Couple that with the four months I've spent unemployed and this may very well be the single greatest monetary mistake I've made to date. Everything is in the mail or already received so it is all out of my hands.

I discovered a few things about myself in this process, the foremost thing being that I hate my wife's laptop (every time I go to hit backspace I get backslash and I keep moving everything thanks to the touchpad mouse). I learned that I don't get writer's block. I have plenty of things to write about and I am only stymied when I try to write in a manner that is untrue to my voice. I think there were a couple of other things but I forgot them so the other thing I learned is that applying to graduate school is the worst experience ever. It is very slightly similar to any job application but all your dreams about the future are tied up in the process. Very few of the schools do anything to help because they make their websites so poorly organized that it is much easier to make a mistake than apply correctly and they give you three different ways in which you are required to submit your materials. I'm sorry but I haven't yet sired any children so I don't have the blood of my innocent progeny to sign my name with (sure it dangles but that's how I likez my participles).

While I edited and re-read all my writing samples several dozen or thousand times, I have lost all confidence in my submissions. I have to fend off panick attacks twenty to fifty times a day as I rethink every word. I am not allowing myself to read any of the stories I submitted but luckily I have up to five months to wait to hear back about my dreams.

I think I had a point to all this but I guess I just better get back to learning the banjo so my street performance career can take off.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One week remains: A countdown to destiny

In the backyard for my morning piss and the urine shoots out in two distinct streams like my dick is a little girl running around the trailer park after her drunken stepmom has tied her golden hair into cockeyed pigtails and I think "Yeah, I could be a fucking writer."

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I don’t know what I am doing. I woke up this morning wearing a shirt when I went to sleep naked. Stranger still, it is an old high school football shirt I didn’t even know I still had. Was I dreaming about high school? Did I do anything football related? Did I wander outside? The shirt is not backwards or inside out but the correct application of shirt on body is a one in four chance and I had to have dug into the boxes in the back of my closet for this relic so far that I have no idea what the statistical probability is that I ended up dressed as I am. Sometimes I love the mystery of my nocturnal peregrinations.

Sleepwalking aside, I still don’t know what I’m doing. I write a bit here and there and end up with absurdist bullshit about prank calls and dreams. I’m working on short story samples for my applications to MFA programs in creative writing and this is all I am able to slur out? I want to be a better writer, I want to help other people become better writers too, but you have to be a pretty damn good writer already to get into a program and I don’t think an honest desire for betterment will supersede shitty writing samples.

When I scored in the ninety-seventh percentile for the GRE verbal section I was invincible. Well, 97% invincible. I called everybody to brag about my quantified brain skills and was sure that I had guaranteed my place in graduate school; my score would give me confidence to polish my writing samples and would easily land me an assistantship to boot. And then I received my essay scores. I did not improve at all and my previous score that put me in the sixty-seventh percentile would have to stand as my best effort.

Who has two thumbs and appears to be a bit of an idiot savant in that he knows tedious words to a fairly impressive extent but can’t seem to string together enough words to form a cogent pair of essays? This guy.

And so I doubt and delay, never quite finishing a story, opening three documents at once about obsessive counting, a petty creator of imagined universes, and a smoky conversation about pain. That is, when I am actually working. Most mornings I distract myself with the internet while I wake up, checking email, discovering the best sales on items I can’t purchase, watching videos of people hurting themselves. I then make myself some coffee or tea or whatever caffeinated beverage catches my fancy and sit in my backyard reading.

Today I read a whole book from start to finish. This is ridiculous excess. I glut myself every morning on caffeine, nicotine, and literature. As the chemicals seep in and the literature draws me out I am thankful that nobody sees me laugh maniacally (the GRE word for this is cachinnate) and dry sob from sentence to sentence till I can’t stand it anymore and have to go inside to write. By then my hands are too cold to type correctly so I check my email again.

I don’t know what I am doing. I write to exorcise the constant internal narration, writing because I want to (need to?), hoping that someday somebody will read and say “I’m glad he wrote that.” I feel like a polished writing sample is just my current excuse because I need some sort of goal when what I really need is a reason for why I’m writing.

I don’t know what I am doing but I seem to be doing something, and just like my nocturnal adventures in fashion, I hope it means something interesting and mysterious and is not simply the restless wanderings of an overactive subconscious.