He wakes up. He had been wrapped in a terryifying dream being chased by a Shadow Man with a Silent Screaming Mask for a face. He gets up and takes a shower and drives in his old car which he has named Car. There is no frost on Car this morning but it begs not to be switched on because it is old and it just wants to die. He has a cup of tea and a blueberry bagel containing Thanksgiving Turkey and mayonnaise. He goes to court and hands in the final document which will mean that soon he will be divorced. He feels like a regular there now although no one recognises him because thousands of people go there every day and he is just one bearded caucasian amongst a complex tapestry of humans with desires and failings. He gets into work and someone is standing on a ladder in his room. He sees the legs and recognises them as someone he knows. He goes to make himself a coffee. When he gets into the kitchen he finds some pecan pie. He heats it up and puts some condensed milk on it. He enjoys the taste as he eats it. He looks at the work that he has to do for the day and tries to think about the end of the day when he will be able to lie in bed again. He reads some of his book on the bus and he looks at the people on the bus. He imagines what there lives are like. He eats some pizza from supper and plays a rhyming game with someone he loves. Then he gives a pie to some relatives who will not be relatives for very much longer. Then he goes home and he plays Mirrors Edge which is a fine game and then he reads about World War I which was a terrible war. Then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up at 0300. Why can’t he sleep? He doesn’t know. He lies in the filth of his own bed and tries to fall asleep again. He cannot. He turns on the television and glares at the infomercial that tells him life will be easier if he purchases the product that they are selling him two of for the price of one. He cannot use two of them at a time so why would this be a good thing for him? His car is covered in frost and the traffic is very bad. He watches a man cycle the wrong way down a one way street as he wobbles, talking on his cell phone without a hands free set and marvels at the stupid stubbornness of humanity. This man has made it alive through life this far. He looks like he is in his mid thirties. He knows the following things.
- Cycling one handed is difficult.
- Cycling up hill one handed is difficult
- Cycling the wrong way up a hill one handed is difficult
- Cyling the wrong way up a hill one handed whilst trying to have a phone conversation on a cold day is fucking stupid.
And yet he watches this man do all of those things. He despairs and then looks forward to the coffee he will make himself when he gets into the building he works in. He spends a lot of time trying not to buy video games in the steam online sale. He fails utterly. His mind wanders to no useful things and he finally writes a letter to his friend so that their game of correspondence monopoly can begin. He has no good reasons why he has not been better at starting this game but he does his best to explain in his letter. He eats some lovely soup for supper and gets an important legal document signed which means that soon it will all be over which is probably a good thing. He reads about the First World War and eats a cookie. Then he falls asleep, troubled by the things he has learned and all of the things he has left undone for yet another day.
He wakes up. It is 0130. The house is filled with a dreadful stink. It is the stink of the recently dead. He thinks he is still dreaming as he staggers through the house so foul and unreasonable is the stench that is ruining him. Then he realises that one of his housemates has got home very late from work and has cooked some hideous brew in the kitchen. It is now being consumed in the room next door and the foul odour permeates every quant of the house. He grumbles to himself, goes to the bathroom, bends his body at a 90 degree angle because he has an erection and cannot wait until it subsides and releases his bladder into the bowl. He then returns to an unpleasant sleep that never full envelopes him. When he wakes up again and at a proper time he walks into the chill of the morning, protected by his winter beard. He is glad of his winter beard and realises what a good idea it was to start growing it. He fills his car with gasoline. He designs some tshirts on cafepress and imagines the millions of dollars that will soon start flowing into his bank account. He spends it on a private island and a secret underground bunker that is full of books and respectful and interesting robot servants to see to his every whim. Yes, to his every whim. He spends the rest of the day in a fugue and then travels on three pieces of transport, not including his feet, to get home. A train, a bus, a car. It was not exciting, like a John Huges movie. There was no growing, learning and/or sharing. He goes to bed and then goes to sleep.
He wakes up. It is 330 in the morning. He cannot get back to sleep. His eyes ache. He makes himself a cup of coffee and puts it in the very large mug he was given from someone who went to Atlanta one time. It has lumps on it that spell out the word Atlanta. He reads some more of the book he is reading about the History of Europe. It is called Europe: A History. He watches the news. Gaza is being shelled. Israel is being shelled. No one is happy. Maybe Arms dealers and journalists are happy. Maybe happy is the wrong word. He wants Abraham Lincoln to have a voice like Pee Wee Herman but he suspects that Daniel Day-Lewis will not satisfy this desire. He shaves his stubble into a winter beard for it is cold and his face needs some protection for the season to come. He hears about Gazan executions and reads about a woman who shot and then cut up two of her lovers and hid them in a freezer and he reads about how high school children perform better on surgical tests than medical students because of their video game aptitude. He does not know whether any of what he is reading is true but it is entertaining enough so he chooses to believe some of it. He worries about his thinning hair and about the lack of impact he has so far made on the world that he lives in. A homeless lady asks him to buy some soap and lotion. He goes into CVS and buys her some soap and lotion. He hopes that she is not disappointed that he bought her generic brand when she asked, specifically, for Dove. He hopes that she was grateful. She said thank you so he thinks that she was grateful. It reminds him of the time that he was stopped in the street in London by a homeless man dragging a large suitcase behind him. The homeless man asked him for some money. At the time he had large holes in his shoes and pointed this out to the homeless man. The homeless man took pity and after rummaging around in his suitcase for a time brought out a pair of bright yellow shoes. They were too small but after a slight refusal the gift was accepted. He feels now that the circle has been completed in some kind of kismetic way. He wonders why there is an argument in the Church of England about women bishops and it seems to make as much sense to him as couples going to a Star Wars Convention dressed as characters from Star Trek. Later on he is listening to NPR and there is a woman talking about a turducken. He has never had a turducken. He isn’t going to start now. Maybe next year. He spends the evening sorting through his papers so he doesn’t have to continue work on his Great American Novel. In that he succeeds. He is too tired for webcam sex so he goes to sleep. He is middle aged and feels that he is not taking full advantage of the modern world.
He wakes up. He hasn’t written an entry for a while. He has not been sleeping well. He has been playing too many interesting video games with aspirations to art and meaning beyond the bashing of buttons and the honing of hand/eye co-ordination. He watches Aung Sang Suu Kyi awkwardly hug and kiss President Barack Obama. It is very awkward and reminds him of the way that he often awkwardly hugs and kisses people that he knows. Was she thinking about Dave Lee Travis and the arrest and her endorsement of him earlier in the year? How complicated life is, he thinks to himself, that these two people are connected in such a way as they are. He watches some erotic anime which is neither erotic nor, technically, anime. His hard drive has broken which makes him sad. It may be that it is just the fact that he has lost all of his books and his music and his movies and his language learning courses but it may also be the sadness that comes with the fact that after aiming, seventeen years ago, to learn many languages other than English, he is still nowhere near his goal of learning at least one more language than English. There is a new President of the United States. He looks remarkably like the Old President of the United States. The Capitol is still divided in the same manner. What a sordid waste of money the whole process was. Israel and Gaza throw explosive materials at one another. Children die and become embittered on both sides. He thinks about the last time that he had sex. This was quite some time ago but it involved many devices that he is not used to employing during sexual congress. It was enjoyable but, as with all the times he has had sex, he found himself during it totally and utterly bored, his mind wandering to books that he was reading. At that point it was Atlas Shrugged and Anna Karenina. Two books that he would recommend to everyone but both for very different reasons. He meanders through the rest of the day and then decides that he will spend all the time before bed in the nude. Then he goes to bed.
He wakes up. He is late. He doesn’t shower. He tries to be useful at work but his heart is not in it. He does a web search for the woman he lost and discovers that she was arrested five days ago for driving under the influence. This makes him sad and makes him wish that he could call her and ask is she is okay but he also knows that this is mental and that he shouldn’t do this. He talks to his brother about other things. He eats some macaroni and cheese and some chicken. He watches two episodes of Castle which is a show that he now loves. He reads an article by a man criticising another man for saying that Ulysses by James Joyce is a waste of a read. The article was a waste of a read. He was disappointed by the whole tone. He watches Futurama. He laughs. He sleeps.
He wakes up. He drives the car the wrong way around 495. He usually does this even when he has written down directions which he has done today. He does not know why his directions did not work. Then he gets lost in DC but drives past The White House which he always loves to do because of the very fact that he is Driving Past The White House. He arrives at his friends in Columbia Heights. It is so hot today. The radio tells him that the Heat Index makes it 111 even though the temperature is 103. He does not understand the Heat Index but he does dislike the Heat Index for making it even hotter. He collects over 100 books from his friends to look after. He is so happy taking the books. He feels endorphins flow as he carries stacks downstairs into his car. He then takes some coat hangers and also some pens and two Spiderman comics. One Spiderman comic sees him battling verbal bullying and the other sees him battling Smoking and Cancer. They are both amazing and he loves them a lot. He also gets some watermelon which is lovely and then a glass of water. Then he says his goodbyes and drives home along 16th St. then turns onto 495 and again manages to go the wrong way but he refuses to acknowledge that fact to himself for a while so he goes further than he should but eventually reasonable brain controls stubborn brain and he turns round and goes back the right way and gets his plunder into his house. It is good plunder. Such sweet plunder. Then he goes swimming in a swimming pool and the water is lovely and he shrivels like a prune and then he makes some lunch and then the lunch is eaten and he takes some trash out and then he has a nap because swimming in the hot hot heat was tiring then he worries a little about the spot that has formed on his nose and he fears it may be some kind of uncontrollable wart that will swell and hide his face and it keeps bleeding because he picked it this morning because he has neither patience nor self control. Then he realises that it is the anniversary of the terrorist attack on London but the only news he can find of it is a piece about the conspiracy theories surrounding it which makes him feel a little sad for reasons he cannot put his finger on. Then he goes swimming again. Then he makes a pizza which is eaten by people. Then he walks home in the sweltering heat. He is sweltering and feels terrible feelings of wanting to commit suicide. Not the desire to actually do it but the familiar refrain from all parts of his brain that say that it would be good to die but he is used to this feeling and it familiar to him familiar from the age of 12 or possibly younger. He tries to calm himself by swearing out loud and it takes a time for him to realise that he looks like a madman with a backpack sweating in jeans in the dimming eve as he curses shitfuck cunthole fuckflaps bitchface dickshit slutcrack and so on and so forth as he walks home. He manages to stop the swearing but realises the fact that this takes an actual act of concentration may be a problem sometime in the future. Then he gets home and the air conditioning saves his sanity and he drinks a glass of water with ice and watches some Code Monkeys and hugs his new books and sorts them and sees that there is a lot of Marxism and a lot of Christian Sensuality which he didn’t realise was a literary sub-genre and many other delightful books besides. Then he finishes watching Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars which makes him cry. Then he may or may not masturbate he never decides until the last moment as and when the mood takes him. He suspects that he is too tired. He changes tenses in his head in order to exercise his mind. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up and is immediately irritated because his shower schedule is interrupted by someone else using the shower. There has never been a meeting to decide when people take showers in the house but he nevertheless is irritated by the fact that one of his housemates who he nevers sees but only hears, and sometimes steals his pepsi, is now showering. He calms down and dresses and then showers in his turn and then heads out of the house and drives. Work stretches out through the day the steaming wet day of the swamp that he lives and works in. Then he fails again at being a vegan – eating cheese and meat and lard. He gets home finally and goes for a swim in the warm pool and hurts his eyes as he swims through the hot dirty water bit getting in his eyes as he squints through the water that he is swimming in. It is, despite that, a pleasant experience. Then he listens to many many things at the same time again and has sensory overload. He loads spotify, and a playlist from the internet and also grooveshark and sets them to play them all at the same time. His brain is overwhelmed but it pleases him and stops his feelings of hopelessness that have been threatening first at the edges and then more recently at the very centre of his consciousness. There is too much in the world and not enough time. He reads more German philosophy and is calmed and soothed by it’s rock hard lack of sentimentality.
He wakes up. It is 4am. He cannot get back to sleep. He lies there for a while trying to get back to sleep but he fails. He goes downstairs and gets himself a drink of water. He then makes himself an old coffee with some soy milk – vanilla flavoured. Then he thinks about masturbating but it is too hot and he is too lethargic. Then he discovers that another dead line of pixels has appeared on the screen of his computer. He is irritated by this. He doesn’t know what to do about this. He sends an email to the company who made the computer but he doesn’t really think that this will do any good. He can imagine that day by day more and more lines of pixels will die, slowly weaving a tapestry of death across his screen until he has a beautiful Persian Carpet of uselesness instead of a screen. He will be able to see just enough to still use the computer, but not enough to make the experience pleasurable in any way but because he is stubborn he will pretend that it isn’t a problem – even though it is a massive problem. He listens to some music by Gabbie Giftsz. He is not sure about the name but he does like the music. She is a rapper or a spitta’ as the term is now. Either way she does have a wonderful facility with the English language that reminds him of Roxanne Shante who seems to have been forgotten in the pantheon of great female rappers but should certainly not be forgotten. He sits on the bus reading Nietzsche then the bus stopped for no reason and everyone had to get off the bus and walk in the sweltering heat towards the bus stop. It was not as bad as he thought although his lunch steamed in his bag. He was asked to do things at work that he didn’t want to do but he did them anyway and then he did some things that he did want to do and he had some conversations and he thought some deviant thoughts and he thoughts some entirely normal thoughts and then he thought some entirely normal deviant thoughts. Then he got home and he watched some Code Monkeys which was quite entertaining. Then he listened to Soundcloud Poetry and Mos Def on Spotify and tried to write at the same time but he managed to weld his perceptions together and ended up writing nothing productive or useful. Then he went to sleep.
He wakes up. He hasn’t been doing anything recently. He was rejected and he felt bad about himself but now he is over that and feels that he will probably manage to live. He bought some books recently even though he is already drowning in books that he will never read. He bought The Encyclopedia of Philosophy edited by Paul Edwards after hearing that Philip K. Dick had a set of the very same books in an article that he read in The New York Times. He was very excited to receive the books and they now sit next to his bed fat with knowledge. He also bought a Europe: A History by Norman Davies because he knows very little about the extrusion of Eurasia that he grew up on an island next to. He also bought a book called The First World War, Second Edition: A Complete History by Martin Gilbert because, again, he feels that his knowledge of that Ugly Destruction is utterly limited. He also bought Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud by Peter Watson because he gave his brother a copy many years ago and found a cheap copy on the Internet and he really wants to read it and he had the money and the desire to buy it so he could see no reason not to buy it. He goes to sleep in Independence Day. He does not know what has happened to the time.
He wakes up. Morning Joe is on again. He takes a shower and brushes his hair. He walks out of the house and it is muggy outside. He takes pictures on his journey and wonders why he is taking pictures of his journey. He did not see the scrabble-skitter insect this morning. It is probably still lurking under his bed or it has already burrowed itself into his body through one of his soft warm orifi. Nothing to be done. In France socialists are back. In Greece no one can form a government. In Spain everyone is unemployed. In Italy things are not going well. In the UK the Rich and the Powerful are sucking what little marrow there is left from the bones of Empire. America is still deluded as more and more Tea Party libertarians engulf the political process and he is really behind on his Mandarin learning. Ni-hao Kai-lan is all he has so far. He gets home. He sleeps.
He wakes up. He hasn’t written for a while but it seems to make no difference because no matter the gap between each entry into his journal nothing much seems to change. Politicians keep politicking, Wars keep waging, Trash keeps growing and he sees that the projects for the kids at school about protecting the future of the Earth are the same projects that he had to do when he was a child twenty five years ago. No one pays attention to Children’s Projects. The Projects of Children are cooed at and then ignored. He has been reading a lot and even writing a lot and is making progress of a sort with his life. He is sad to learn that Maurice Sendak has died. He liked his books and now he is dead. A bomb plot was foiled, he learnt yesterday, but was it a real bomb plot or was it another FBI sting carried out with people too stupid to realise they were being manipulated by bored government employees? He cannot say but that often seems to be the case. He is sure that it is a real bomb plot and a real threat. Why would they lie? Why would they lie at all? Surface to air missiles are being placed atop the apartment blocks of London to protect the athletes from who? Aliens? Communists? Decepticons? It seems to be a little over the top. Then he meets up with a friend after work and they eat falafal and walk around the city that they are in at that moment and find dark alleys and do unspeakable things to one another and then he goes home and he sees a giant insect scrabbling across the floor of his bedroom that he is convinced was the size of a mouse but it couldn’t have been that big because it was an insect. Then he goes to sleep but his skin crawls as he does so because he imagines the creature will crawl on him and into him while he sleeps.
He wakes up. His chest is still heavy with congestion but this is an improvement on the depression and sadness and the unrelenting hopelessness that weighed down on his body throughout the winter months. He wonders if last night his body smelled of ammonia as he twisted sweating in the yoga studio. He feels healthy and vibrant. This morning he had to change a diaper on a child who had filled it with poo. The child was unhelpful as it sought to smear the excrement over it’s fingers and the uncovered parts of it’s body. He writes some more of his novel. He learnt last night that if he self-publishes a book then he can nominate himself for a Pulitzer Prize. This idea amuses him and he thinks that he would like to do this one day. He probably won’t do it but he would like to. He is truly happy at the moment and he is enjoying life and wonders why he didn’t try to be more proactive before but of course he has been this proactive before and he has been this happy and he knows, as it gnaws with tiny little teeth, at the back of his brain, that the unhappiness will return at some point. For now it is distant, stomping and unhappy on a distant hill. He will leave it there for now. He sleeps.
He wakes up early. He is full of energy except in his eyelids and his legs and his arms. His brain is buzzing but his body doesn’t want to connect to it so he lies in bed until he has the energy gathered to no longer lie in bed. He gets up and goes to the bathroom and pisses out the weight of his bladder. Then he goes and makes a coffee and uses unsweetened soy milk. He has forsworn dairy but it is so hard to do because he loves chocolate and he loves yogurt and it is hard to find large buckets of soy yogurt in mainstream grocery stores on his limited budget. He thinks about yesterday when he put make up on a bald man’s head. He has a strange job but he enjoys it and he gets paid enough so those are both good things to think about. He cannot find his kindle anywhere which makes him sad and he has not done bikram yoga for a few days because he has a congested chest and that also makes him sad because he really enjoys bikram yoga even though he thinks that he prepares like Mr. Bean and when he does it he smells of ammonia. Both these things could be in his imagination but he isn’t sure whether this is the case or not. He makes it to the bus stop and reads Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban. He is enjoying the book and enjoying the feel of a real book in his hand for a change even though he likes his kindle a lot because it means that he can carry lots of big books on one tiny device. He feels like a commercial for Amazon. Everyone is forgetting the Rainforest and thinking of the company, much like the way that children think that Titanic was a fictional boat created by James Cameron and not a real tragedy that marked a turning point in the decline of the British Empire at the Start of the 20th Century. To laugh is to cry, he thinks and to cry to laugh. He feels energised from his recent healthiness and his lack of meat and dairy products may be a part of that but he is not sure. His chest is heavy, thick with congestion from allergies that began the Friday before and meant that he spent the whole day in bed choking and vomiting lumps of grim globs of sputum into his mouth to be spat away in lank lumps into the toilet. He has been drinking a lot of carrot juice and alternating between abstinence and unyielding marathon masturbation sessions that leaves him aching, weak, guilty and unhappy at his unwanted rawness. He wonders if he has a problem and concludes that he does not. He helps someone get a running machine and holds someone’s hand because they are sick with stress that they should be allowed to have at nine years old but life is often unfair. Then he goes home and he finishes watching The Avengers cartoon and reads some more of his Riddley Walker book and then he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He is invigorated and energised from the yoga still that he did yesterday for an hour and a half in a sweltering room. He is still disappointed that he spilled a whole tub of bluberries on the sidewalk last night in the dark but he is glad that no one saw him or rather he hope that no one saw him because he only very half heartedly managed to sweep them up and when he walked past them to get to his car this morning they were jam on the concrete. He reads about the French and how easily they went back to normal after the German invasion during World War II. It makes him sad but he knows that there is nothing particularly about the French that made them do this, it was the fact that they were human beings and human beings do things that, in hindsight often look terrible and shallow and we think that we would never do those things but we would, we most likely definitely would. He then ate some lunch at work which was chicken and mozarella and tomato and carrots that he had cooked and it was pretty tasty. Then he thought about the future and then a little about the past. Then he focused on the present and thought about signing up for some more yoga classes whether through dehydration or energy he felt that it had given him something that he had not had in a long time. It could also have been the lovely sunny day that was doing this to him. The day continued full of energy and positivity and he really had nothing to complain about except for the fact that he could not play the piano nor sing professionally and that he had not yet finished his Great American Novel. He went to sleep bathed in happiness.
He wakes up. He is not getting enough sleep. He is going to start doing bikram yoga because of a woman that he met but didn’t really meet but spoke to on the phone but then he hadn’t made it clear that he was still married even though he had said he was separated and he thought that there was a difference between that word and divorced but apparently there wasn’t. September it is then, he thought, when life really begins if it can be said to ever have stopped. He tweets some things he thinks are amusing and they all get stored in the Library of Congress because all tweet get stored in The Library of Congress. He finishes a Philip K. Dick novel. He loves Philip K. Dick even though he seems to have been a number one asshole. He is getting skinny and toned and he is eating lots of nuts and dried berries and he has never felt healthier or more alone. He wants to stop drinking coffee. He wants to stop being a hypocrite. It took him far too long to find out how to spell hypocrite. So much for a University Education. The nights are hot and the days are even hotter. The summer is going to be a strange one and the cherry blossoms are getting ready to explode out of their buds this time for the 100th Anniversary of the gifting of the Cherry Blossoms by the Japanese to the Americans. He walks in the warm of the dark of the night and then collapses into bed. A chicken is slowly rotting in his fridge but he does not have the energy to cook it. Tomorrow he will cook it but not today. He sleeps.
He wakes up to the sound of dramatic science fiction swells and realises that it is his new phone. He smiles because it amuses him. Then he has a shower and waits for his landlord who gives him a lift in his car after eating wet oatmeal. He is in a valley of pain this morning after the plateau that he reached yesterday. He is without resolution even though the Woman he Loves has total resolution and has moved on and he acknowledges that the emails that he has been getting are bots even though he is pretending that they are not. He is keeping those two ideas in his head because he is a human being and can keep two ideas in his head at the same time. He eats a bagel and he tries to get one hundred twitter followers by the end of the day simply because one hundred seems like a good number except he keeps getting people called FuckbooknOw and huearda0m0n which don’t seem like real people so he doesn’t add them even though he wants to add them. He gets a definitive response in upper case from the woman he loves that IT IS OVER and not to reply and that she is getting uncomfortable so at least he knows now and he has tried because before she used to say that he gave up so easily and now he has gone totally the other way and has become a stalker so he stops even though stopping makes him feel sick and continuing calms his nerves. He is definitely in danger of going insane so he goes to bed early.
He wakes up and he is late very late so late that he misses everything. Then he goes back to sleep and then on reawakening has a coffee with some peppermint creamer and a turkey sub roll with mayonnaise and mustard and pepper that he made himself then he has a shower and he wonders how is beard can grow so quickly. The train is delayed because one of the carriages is broken so he sits and he reads his book until it arrives. Then at work he directs something in Welsh and everything sounds like poetry. His soul is full of poetry but his life is not. He goes down to CVS and he smells the stink of sewage and this is not a metaphor about capitalism and chain stores but there really is a smell of sewage in the CVS but no one seems to be bothered by it. The amazing power of the human nostril to get used to a foul odour very quickly. Then he realises that it’s not the nostril but the olfactory glands and not really the glands but the sensitive electrical interplay between input of molecules into those glands and the manner in which the brain interprets them. Then he drinks some cookies and creme milk shake and eats some chocolate. After that he goes to a pool bar and has a drink with friends. He talked with friends but couldn’t stay for long and only had one drink and then waited for the train and then got on the train and then got off the train and walked up the escalator and then ran for the bus that he could see in the distance and then had a burger and then had some wine and then put on his pyjamas and then and then and then. His life was unravelling.
He wakes up. He sent emails last night that he regrets but then tries to forget as he rides in the car and rides off the wine and rides off the memories of embarrassment and missed opportunities. Then he logs onto an email address that he never logs onto and his heart skips a beat because he has a reply from the girl who he loves and he opens the message but then his heart is confused because it is a link to a page about working from home and he thinks to himself this is most odd and then he replies and tells the girl that he loves that her account has been hacked. Then later as he sits on the train his heart sinks very deep because he thinks he knows what has happened. After receiving the email last night she deleted her account and the moment that happened bots went in and took over the name and used it for their nefarious purposes so he was emailed by a bot. So he is even unhappier and looking at pictures of her doesn’t make it any better and when he gets to work he has failed to do a fundamental part of his job and he is reprimanded and he feels bad about his incompetence. Then he eats chocolate and then the day drags on for hours and he finds himself frozen with indecision and cannot do anything at all. Wrecked by the poor choices that he has made he finally gets to do some work that makes him feel worthwhile and he draws some more art and posts the art and hopes for validation with likes and rebloggings which he gets. Then in the taxi on the way home he texts the girls who’s email was hacked but really deleted and pretends to offer advice just so that he can contact her but it makes him feel better and then when he gets home he goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He tastes wine in his mouth. He is late. He runs but he can’t run far or fast because he has a bag. He spends all day at work drawing a picture of a lorax and being satirical. Then he drinks some more wine. He plays some Mario Galaxy 2. It is an elegant game. He is not an elegant man. He sends an email even though he shouldn’t and he doesn’t expect a reply. He goes to sleep and wakes up to Lawrence O’Donnell at 1am.
He wakes up. His alarm from the week is still on and it wakes him up on Sunday and he cannot get back to sleep and he is annoyed at this. He watches some television and then plays some board games and then goes out for a walk and it is cold but fresh and refreshing then he learns that the woman he loves was accidentally texted by the woman he doesn’t love and then there was an exchange of words and this happened a few weeks before the Trip so he starts to whirr and click and think maybe that made the whole trip a failure, maybe it was these unknown texts but he knows that it is not but he wants to rationalise his madness and hope for his fantasies and live in a Reality that he lost last year with his cowardice and the choices he made to have to pick between selfishness and selflessness and he picked the latter and he goes to bed thinking that he hated that he had to make that choice.
He wakes up. He rechecks for texts and on all of his email addresses but he finds nothing from her. It is her birthday soon but he realises somewhere deep down that it probably wouldn’t be a great idea to contact her and wish her a happy birthday but he feels her in his veins, pumping through his heart and he can’t stop doing these irrational things. He goes to work and he writes his novel all day and yet he still remains stuck in the woods, literally stuck in the woods because that’s where the first three chapters take place and he keeps adding details and details and foreshadowing to parts 2 and parts 3 until the plot grinds to a halt stuck in the thick entwined branches of chapter 2. He eats some fish and then goes for a drink with a friend and wants to tell him all about the weekend before but he doesn’t and instead has two glasses of red wine and then some dumplings and his friend’s girlfriend arrives and there is more conversation but he has to leave to go home to wish those he loves a goodnight and he does that and reads a Canticle For Leibowitz because he needs a break from Atlas Shrugged because he feels that it’s killing him and even though it’s just a book it definitely seems to be killing him. Everything is killing him. He sleeps drunk.
He wakes up. He is late. He does not shower and he uses air freshener instead of deodorant under his arms on purpose because he has no deodorant but he smells like a homeless person so he thinks that the smell of summer fruits is better than the stench of almost death. Syria is being brutalised, Davy Jones died and Putin is going to win his election but all he cares about is that he has a sandwich for lunch that he made himself and it doesn’t taste as bad as he feared it would taste. He is rude to several people during the day but only realises that he was rude after each event as he mulls over his interactions in his mind. He feels bad about his rudeness but there is very little he can do and he fears that it is just now in his nature. He does not feel the joy of living today. He sleeps.
He wakes up. He has a shower. He prepares fish and he prepares vegetables and also some yoghurt and blackberries and nuts and honey for his lunch. He draws more pictures and he talks with friends who highlight his recent madness for him and he is glad of it but he is still glad that he did it because at least now he knows that he has well and truly killed love and not just left it injured in a ditch from where he can go and rescue it at some future selfish date when he himself feels the need for reciprocation. He plans his future and it doesn’t tread many steps past his fathers who ended when he was 45. So he has 10 years to make a mark. That should be more than enough time to make the mark he wants to make – positive creative inspiring mark on the world. Even so he keeps checking his phone for texts and his email for messages but there are no texts and there are no messages and with chagrin he realises that there will be none. He listens to NPR and he reads some more of Ayn Rand and whilst it is terrible he feels compelled to keep reading because she is just so sure of herself and all her characters are sure of themselves and that in itself is quite refreshing because he doesn’t feel sure of himself at all. He drifts into uncomfortable sleep.
He wakes up with fur in his mouth. He only had one glass of wine but it was one glass of wine too many. He hears on the radio that a boy shot some other children in his school. Guns really do kill people it seems. He posted pictures that he had drawn on the internet yesterday and some people who he didn’t know liked them and reblogged them. He likes the feeling that that brings him. He has to focus on these things now after his Big Romantic Gesture turned into Terrifying Accidental Stalking. He has a sandwich at work that he left there on Friday which is now soggy but edible. He hears that his work is at risk. He is a little sad about this but not very sad. He would like to be fired with redundancy so that he can go walking and never come back to wherever his home used to be. He draws frenziedly pictures of many things. He lies in bed and thinks of the mistakes he has made and falls asleep awkwardly unhappy with the progress he has made with his life today.
He wakes up and he is in San Francisco Airport. He had so many plans in his life when he was 19. He wanted to be Orson Welles. He will never be Orson Welles because he is now 35, he is sitting in San Francisco airport, his attempt at rekindling the love of a woman he treated poorly as failed and failed utterly. He had hope it to have gone better but he had expected it to turn out as it did. How could anything other than what happened happen? It had all started at the end of last year. He had finally left his wife, not thinking it suitable that he live in the same house as her, her boyfriend and their new child. So he had been alone and started bible study and wrote many letters to the woman he loves but he keeps getting no replies. He even, eventually, sent flower to her on valentine’s day but he hears nothing back. He should have taken these hints as hints but he does not take them as hints. He learns that there are cheap tickets to San Francisco. So he writes her poetry in a book and draws some pictures pouring everything he can of his love into one little book and he leaves work early and he is still writing on the plane which arrives late in San Francisco on the same night. He gets the train to Berkeley and a man points him in the right direction to his hotel. He gets there too late to walk to her house. He is excited and nervous and he goes to sleep hoping for the best for the next day. He wakes early and bathes and has breakfast and he calls her number and leaves a message. He hopes that she will call back but she does not call back. he was very nervous on the phone on the message and he could hear his voice shaking. Something deep inside him knows that this was a ridiculous idea but he is committed now. He puts the book in a large envelope with a letter and checks out of the hotel. He walks the five minutes down the road to her apartment and he thinks of all the happy memories he has associated with the place. He happens to check his gmail on his smart phone and is shocked to see a message from her. Apparently she deleted the voicemail so didn’t get his number. He calls again but she doesn’t answer. He explains he has a gift and that he is standing outside her apartment. Nothing happens forever. Then ever so slowly the door to the balcony opens and he sees her looking round for him. He smiles as she is so incredibly beautiful and she glows in the San Francisco air. Then their eyes meet and he collapses. It is clear that she hates him. Nothing but contempt and disgust emanate from her. She signs for him to open the gate but he doesn’t know how. She rolls her eyes and makes her way down the steps and opens the door for him she then turns without even a greeting, why should she give a greeting, and walks back into the flat leaving the door open as a polite greeting. He walks into the apartment the envelope clutched in his hand. He looks round for evidence of a partner. He sees medical text books and he sees shoes. She disappears into the bathroom as he keeps standing stock still and awkward at the door. She returns and sits in a chair, as far from him as is possible whilst still being in the same room. She hates him. She asks him what he wants. She can barely look at him. He tells her that he wanted to give her this, pointing ineffectually at the envelope he has placed on top of the medical books. This is a mistake. She says thank you. He should be on his knees begging forgiveness and for another chance but he is frozen. He asks if she wants him to leave and she says Yes. He says he’ll go then and as he does she says be safe and he says I’m sorry. There is nothing more than that but there is so much more. He walks away. Is that all he thinks? He takes breaks on each bench on the way to the station. Maybe she will read the poems and call him back and it will all be okay and love will be fruitful and bountiful. It is at the third bench outside a bookshop that he gets the one and only final text message that he will ever receive again from the only woman that he has ever really loved. It reads along the lines of Sorry, too little too late I’m with someone who respects me. It is a pummel to his heart his soul is crushed. He has no way to respond. As a final goodbye she asks that he stop sending the letters. At least she was getting them, he thinks, but he is bereft of hope and over the course of the next few hours sends three text messages, each of which he intends to be the last ever text message that he will send to her. What was he thinking? he realises that he has been having a one sided relationship with his imagination sucking this poor woman who used to love him into it and no doubt his arrival this morning terrified her. He has lost her. He feels terrible. Life will never now have the option of being with her to old age and this thought crushes him. He sits. Then he goes to Mission and 24th and walks around noting the memories of the time they were there together at night arguing and she poked him in the chest and he told her not to do that but he had meant to be light hearted but she had not taken it that way and had shrunk inside herself and they had eaten at a Colombian Restaurant or more like a cafe and then went to make fun of pretentious art then walked into Radio Habana Social Club ann drank coffee and been in love again. He remembers all this as he walks in the hot sun as hot tears roll down his face at his loss at the loss he made, curated, grew by his abandonment of her when she needed him most. He keeps walking until his legs ache, his stomach aches and his soul is dead. One final time he stands over from Radio Habana Social Club, looking so different yet the same in the daylight and snaps a picture of the scene and a bicyclist is caught in the amber moment and the people with their lives who are insignificant to him share, unknowing, in his self-pitying tragedy. He walks back to the train he has heard no response from his messages. She really does not want to see him. So he goes to the airport and he waits for nine hours for the plane and sleeps and eats sour patch kids and drinks soda and writes and draws and tries to empty himself of the terrors that assail him and the blankness that smothers him. He sends one more text but there is no response. His plane is delayed but not by much. he gets on the plane. He flies home – to his empty house where he curls up to sleep.
He wakes up. He shaves. It hurts. It’s cold and his skin is dry, flaking off with the stubble. He eats some meat with barbecue sauce for breakfast and has three coffees. Is that too many coffees for breakfast, he thinks. He does not know the answer. It stops the headaches so it must be enough. He draws more animals and writes more poetry and prepares himself for his one day trip to San Francisco to give her a gift that she probably doesn’t want and she probably doesn’t live there any more but Philip K. Dick used to live nearby so maybe he will go and visit his shrine, his nondescript home. His old boss arrives and it is good to see him and he goes out for drinks and he has two glasses of wine but then he has to go home. Earlier in the day he thought about things and then he stopped thinking about them. He wondered what it would be like if all his fingers and toes were penises and all his orifices were vaginas. He didn’t know what to do with that thought so he made himself a coffee with some chocolate in it and drew a picture of a golden eagle and tried to make cafepress work so he could put his pictures on t-shirts but he couldn’t make it work so he went to sharpen a pencil. He realises that mechanical pencil sharpeners are more work than hand held ones and he now has a circle burnt into his palm from where the end of the pencil spun as he held it into the end of the sharpener, like the body being pulped at the end of Fargo. He is tired when he gets home and he falls asleep before The Daily Show.
He wakes up. He has no car so he has to walk through the cold but it isn’t cold but he still manages to run and miss the bus no point in even running he was never going to make it anyway he isn’t Superman. He eats his lunch. He does some drawing and some colouring. He hasn’t done it for years but he started at the weekend. Drawing cartoon animals and cartoon George Washington. He is enjoying himself and feels like a child again and his back aches because he has been doing it for too long sitting in a bad posture at his desk then he realises he has to do real work so he does real work. Then he goes home and eats some left over Chinese Food and some macaroni cheese and some salad all in one bowl. It tastes like victory. He is reading more of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He is enjoying it more and more. He supposes this is why it has become such a hit with people who read. He lies in bed for a while and then animates a hand drawn flag of the United States of America which he finds himself happy at. Then he animates a whale tearing itself off a piece of paper. This day is a good day. He falls asleep with the light on and wakes at 1am to Lawrence O’Donnell talking.
He wakes up. Then he falls back to sleep and he dreams he is on a boat that is sailing into a cliff that then becomes a car and in both he is trapped in the passenger seat and at the mercy of the lunatic driver. Everything is pink and then he wakes up and has a coffee and does some laundry because he has no clean underwear or no clean socks and he needs these things if he is going to be a productive member of society. He helps a child make a diorama of The Lorax which is rather good. Then he draws some cartoon animals which are also rather good. Then he reads some of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which he enjoys then he goes to Target to buy toilet paper because toilet paper is important for many things and there is none left in the house and tradition dictates that toilet paper be used for one very important function. Then he watches a bit of Ghost Rider which seems even more ridiculous than Air Force One that he saw a bit of yesterday. There is a lot of face acting in both and they are very hard to watch. He can no longer suspend his disbelief and he is sad about this. He reads some more of The Puppet Masters which is now using nudity and sex to save the world and there are two chapters where the hero gets married and has a honeymoon. This does slow the drama down a little. It is a brave choice for Heinlein. Odd but brave. He wanders into sleep.
He wakes up and is late for bible study. He has some issue with the reality of Armageddon and the fact that Satan is a lesson for the angels. It all sounds like nonsense. He listens to Car Talk on NPR afterwards and that improves his equilibrium. He has no interest in cars but the two hosts are very affable and he enjoys listening to them. He does some laundry because he has no underwear and then has a coffee and some cold chicken which he enjoys eating. He reads some of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which he is enjoying. It seems to be a compelling detective novel but, as yet, he does not understand why it has been so incredibly popular. Perhaps it was promoted well and it happened to appear at the right time, as with so many things. He goes for a walk in the woods. It is a beautiful day. The sky is all blue. The trees are still naked fingers stretching upwards and the earth is slightly muddy from days old rain. The heat from the sun is intermittently paused by cool breezes. It is a good day for a walk and he feels the depression that gripped him over winter slowly releasing it’s hold on him. He eats some pizza and watches The Goonies. He enjoys the film but never realised that, for a children’s movie, it has an awful lot of cursing by children in it. It reminds him of childhood and that gives him mixed emotions. He makes some paper ice skates with paper, tin foil and coloured pencils. It is fun and he is proud of his work. He only makes one. He thinks that Rick Santorum is slowly working round to accusing President Obama of being Satan on Earth. He has a glass of wine and because he hasn’t drunk wine for a few weeks it makes him feel drunk very quickly. He goes to bed. He still has laundry to do but he goes to bed anyway.
He wakes up. He has short hair which is unusual for him. He has also shaved which is also unusual. He had finished reading Portnoy’s Complaint and then posted a review on his goodreads page. A page which nobody reads. Why is he posting reviews that no one will read? Is it because he thinks his views have value? He doesn’t think too hard about it and as he stands on the metro staring at the man next to him who he is sure is Timothy Geithner the Treasure Secretary but why would the Treasury Secretary be on the metro just standing there reading a book, hanging from the loop that helps you stand when you have to stand? He keeps staring at the man who he thinks is Timothy Geitner and imagines that if it is Timothy Geithner what would he say to him? Does Timothy Geithner like being on the metro? Does he feel like he is a man in a world of zombies pretending to be a zombie in case they all smell his power and attack all at once asking for their jobs and the taxes? What can you say to a man like that? Nothing. There is nothing to say because he is a cipher, a representative of something else. He stops thinking about this and starts reading more of The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. He is enjoying it despite even because of the casual unashamed 1950s sexism, brutal unapologetic machismo and the fact that it seems that world will be saved from alien invasion by full scale compulsory nudism. It reminds him of thoughts he had as a child when he wished that everyone would be naked because he wanted to see boobies but then he realised that if everyone was naked then nothing would be special about it because the mystery would gone so he decided he liked that people had to wear clothes because the element of mystery was more a more powerful aphrodisiac. In the way that a small alleyway that you have never walked down is always a more compelling location than the one that you have walked down thus taking the potential for mystery and swapping it for the tedium of the everyday. In the evening when he walks back to the metro he sees Zalmay Khalilzad just walking round Dupont Circle on his phone. Who would have thought that the previous US Ambassador to Afghanistan could just walk around without guards or retinue just walking and talking on the phone living his life without any problem whatsoever. Life is strange and relentless and not neat like story books. He eats pot roast when he gets home and cleans the kitchen and does the recycling and then goes to bed and watches another episode of Birdy The Mighty the anime he had started a few days ago. It is getting weird. He sleeps.
He wakes up. This is interminable he thinks. Every day the same. Every day he wakes up. Then he has a coffee and then he has a shower and then he brushes his teeth and then he puts on his clothes and then he watches some television and then he has some breakfast and then he reads some of his book and then he gets on a bus and then he waits of a train and then he gets to work and then people compliment him on his haircut and then he does some work and then he has a coffee and then he has some lunch and then he browses the internet and then he does some more work and then he goes home and reads on the bus and is misdirected to a meeting that has been cancelled and then he had some food and then he does some flashcards for mathematics and then he goes to sleep with the light on and keeps waking up all night but doesn’t have the energy to turn the light off. That is his day.
He wakes up. He staggers around naked his erection uncomfortable and pointing at all the furniture. He puts on his robe and goes to make some coffee. His eyes hurt a lot. He stumbles into the shower and turns on the taps and adjusts the hot and it is too hot and adjusts the cold and it is too cold and then tries the hot again and it becomes too hot and then cold hot cold hot cold he curses under his breath clenching his fists and hissing air through his mouth quietly so as not to wake up anyone else in the house but he is so fucking angry he can barely think and he wants to smash all the glass in the room and tear out his eyes and lungs but then he calms down because the temperature of the water is suitable and he washes his hair and he feels a lot better. He drinks coffee and he eats a blueberry pancake that he put in the toaster for too long so it now tastes like a blueberry beer mat but it’s not the worst thing he has ever tasted or ever cooked if calling putting something in a toaster and burning it is called cooking which by definition probably is. He writes some of his novel that he is basing on the work of Dante and feels proud of the one sentence that it takes him an hour to write but he spends most of his time looking at the book cover that he has made for his unfinished book. It is a fine minimalist cover. It will sell lots of copies on the internet and in fine independent bookstores and he will be famous now he just needs to write the book but first he toasts himself a bagel which is more successful than that blueberry waffle. He finishes reading The Philosophy of Mathematics. He did not understand a word but he did enjoy it. He realises that he understands nothing about the foundation of the framework of reality. How can he live his life like that he wonders yet somehow he manages and makes it through day after day after day each one like the last as he continues on his journey to where we all go in the end. He watches open mouthed as Rick Santorum manages to put the word rape and the word gift in the same sentence. He was only half listening so was he talking about the gift of rape or a rape-gift or that the gift of life can come from rape? He isn’t sure but it seems that he really really really doesn’t like abortion and given that he uses magical thinking to define when life begins and he has clear views of what life means and what conception means and what abortion means and what and when human life becomes so he is clearly in a position where he feels that it is okay to abuse a woman sexually. He thinks that he may be twisting Rick Santorum’s words but he feels that he doesn’t like the glassy eyed zealot and therefore given that he seems to want to create an American Theocracy it probably doesn’t matter what he himself thinks about Rick Santorum. There are lots of donuts in the kitchen at work the new boss who he forgets the name of has bought them all for everyone is piles high like a pile of mayan sacrifices or a heap of bones or a pile of donuts and he eats many and drinks coffee and thinks that it is Valentines day and he wonders if the girl who he loves received the card that he sent and the flowers that he sent but he is too cowardly to call her because of how it was left before and maybe the letter is on fire in her cooking pot like last time and the flowers are flushed down the toilet not like last time because it is the first time he has ever bought her flowers. He thinks for a moment that this might have been the problem but he really knows that this was definitely not the problem. So he hopes that everyone is unhappy and bitter just like him except for her she hopes that she is happy and fine but wishes that she was happier and finer with him. Then he thinks about the sham of the day and thinks of the things that were spent and how they are spent and the candy and the flowers and the meals and the bears oh so many bears and the fake twitters sent from accounts from Obama and his wife by interns who created accounts although maybe they were real tweets either way it is embarrassing and undignified. The modern world strips dignity from all of us maybe we didn’t have dignity in the first place because it’s just another holiday to buy things like Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day each day a sale to buy we must buy and purchase and spend and consume for we have to consume to keep the engine going because we are consumers and we are 80% of the engine so we have to even if we don’t want to because we power the world as it is as it has been created not by one person or many but everyone and from the small acorns great oaks do grow and from small equations beautifully complex mandelbrots are created so too the economy is all interlinked and utterly complicated and reliant on everyone else but mainly it relies on Americans buying things so you have to buy things I have to be things we have to buy things or it all breaks and collapses and the terror of the responsibility to consume and gorge and gag on every swollen object that we buy and break and discard and buy and break and discard is more for one man one woman one group one people one race to hold on to we are all mad. Madness is our normality because everything is normal to someone. Then he starts reading Portnoy’s Complaint and it is full of masturbation which is apt because he likes masturbation well not likes it but does it too much and still stinks in the guilt and revels in the joy of pumping himself to lonely creamed breach squatting in solitude as he wraps himself in guilt and fear and shame and then does it again and he wonders about the families of the people he watches and knows that they were all children once with mothers and fathers and what happened how did they make it here and then realises that probably nothing and that they are all normal and we are creatures of lust and passion and posting ourselves in our paradise garb and plunging and licking and sucking and teasing and biting is all normal it’s all normal and fine yet why does he feel so ashamed and guilty and tired and afraid. He does not know but it does not stop him because he is a slave to his lusts and his passions and his thoughts and his body is not his own it belongs to his drives and urges and he is merely a bystander. He has another cookie and some ginger ale and that makes it all better. He wishes himself a Happy Valentine’s day and then masturbates himself, gently, to sleep.
He wakes up and then he falls back asleep again. He spends the morning giving out financial advice that he himself never follows. He reads some more about the Philosophy of Mathematics and still doesn’t understand a word or a symbol or a line of it. He spends the afternoon making covers for books he will never write. The covers giving him a sense of joy and are entertaining to make. He is getting grey hairs everywhere. This has been happening for a while but it perturbs him that they are now growing on his balls. He has his lunch which is fish and spinach and tabasco sauce and pepper. Then he thinks about how when the sun rises in the morning it does not really rise but the Earth is rotating at a certain speed around the Sun and the position of the Earth that we find to be our home, for half of every twenty four hour period, will be blasted with sunlight and each time this begins, our rotation gives the appearance, because we are on the rotating object, that the Sun is rising up out from some subterranean exchange with the Moon to take it’s rightful and commanding place in the sky. Then he stops and thinks about something else that is also interesting to him. He reads more Proust and eats a cookie and eats another cookie and drinks some coffee and trawls the internet for information any information about anything but doesn’t find anything that he wants. This is how it is always going to be.
He wakes up. He watches Up with Chris Hayes. He used to hate it and find it really abrasive but now it is his favourite show and he hopes that it keeps going. He likes that it is on Saturday morning and Sunday morning and that there is heated discussion whilst he snoozes in his bed. It is the best morning show. He has a toaster strudle for breakfast and a coffee. He is living the American Dream. He helps with a couch that is ordered but it is too large to fit into the apartment and up the stairs so the movers have to take it back. During the move the President of the Condominium officiously appears and reminds us that the elevator is not to be used for moving furniture. He replies that the sign specifically and the order directly talks about moving in and out of the apartment. There is no moving happening just one piece of furniture. The President leaves smiling wrapped in his worthless power. He will probably write letters. He watches more anime and reads more Proust. They blend magically together. He does laundry and has lustful thoughts about every woman he has ever met. Every woman. I’m every woman it’s all in me he thinks as he remember that Whitney Huston has died and that people are blaming Bobby Brown. It is the faceless people of the internet. Perhaps they think he murdered her. Maybe he did but it is probably some reference to drugs. Sleep.
He wakes up. He is late. He rushes through his already bedraggled grooming regime and prepares his lunch of one piece of fish and carrots and olives because that is all he has in his fridge and he cannot afford to eat out for lunch and anyway it is expensive and less healthy if he does so. It seems to him like he just closed his eyes to go to sleep a blink ago. He runs out of the house for the bus and realises too late that he has left the lunch he has made in the fridge. He will have no lunch today but he will compensate by drinking extra coffee too much coffee with chocolate in it. He listens to NPR on his little radio and they are still talking about Planned Parenthood and the government interfering in the right of religious groups not to give abortion rights or contraception help to their employees. It seems like there is no argument to him but he is from Europe and things are done differently there. Not always better, just differently. He goes to CVS to get some lunch but ends up buying a blueberry yoghurt and some Hershey’s cookies and cream drops and a toffee bar the name of which he cannot remember and some granola. He eats the granola and the yoghurt for lunch and feels good about himself and then eats the chocolate as well and feels indifferent about himself because it’s just chocolate and it’s not like he has raped or murdered a stranger he has just eaten chocolate. There is no need to feel guilty about eating chocolate at noon on a Wednesday. He waits for the rush hour to end so that he can spend less money getting home so that he gets home later than he wants to and he reads on the train and the bus and he eats the granola that he bought whilst reading rabelais and listening to npr and he marks himself in those actions as a particular kind of person but he doesn’t think he is a particular kind of person. He gets home and he eats some meat and potatoes and he gets into his pyjamas and he thinks sadly that btjunkie has closed down because he really liked free information for his kindle and his ipod and his hard drive.
He wakes up. He still tastes beer from two days ago in his mouth even though his mouth is dry. He reads some more Proust but doesn’t understand any of it even though it is written in English. Lots of old French women seem to be sniping at each other because they all feel socially inferior. He drinks coffee because it is available and the test is especially fine today for reasons he does not understand. He watches Morning Joe and they are all annoyed because of religion and politics being mixed but then they all discover that the have found a solution to an intractable problem so tha they are all friends again. He reads Gargantua and Pantagruel. It is a lists and lists and lists of amusing words and perversion and farcical versions of real world things and he is near the end but will probably not remember anything about the book after he has finished it except for the fact that it seems to have been a book that Jonathan Swift was inspired by as it contains the kind of grotesque sweep and verbose scope that he also embraced when writing about the Human Species. He listens to techno music. He has been listening to a lot of this and he is enjoying it more than he expected to. He is happy that he finished Ulysees and it was probably worth it. Is he a better human being? No. Can he pretend that he is? Yes. He writes some more of his book. It is a different one than before but he has a good feeling about this one. He eats some meat and potatoes for supper and then before bed tries to ignore the desire to trawl the internet for webcam poon. He goes to bed.
He wakes up. He has problems with the shower again and swears a little more loudly than the day before. He does not have time to wash his hair and anyway he hopes to get it cut today so they will wash it for him the assistant slicking on shampoo and rubbing his scalp and then conditioner silently washing a strangers head ignoring the sensuality of touching a strangers head as he sits there vulnerable head backwards in the specially designed hairdressers sink but that has not happened yet because it is still the morning and he is getting dressed. Then he realise he doesn’t have the car and will have to walk the route he normally takes to get where he needs to be so he is now late and rushes out of the house and forgets his lunch and returns and then is more late but makes it still with time to spare because he always plans to leave early. Then he sorts some laundry into different piles. None of it is his laundry but he is trying to be helpful because no one else seems to want to be helpful. He drinks coffee and eats a bagel and reads some more of Portnoy’s Complaint. It really is, as rumour had it, an extende ode to masturbation: the guilt, the fear, the shame. He thinks he enjoys it but feels that he is probably missing the deeper point because there must be a deeper point because otherwise it would be so lauded would it, he thinks, or maybe it would because at heart perhaps everyone loves to masturbate, everyone and everyone feels the shame but a book about it means everyone can blame Roth for his perversion and then get back to fingering, stroking, strumming, pumping. This is what he understands when he reads. He is fascinated still by Rick Santorum a man who wants a theocracy and everyone on his side seems okay with that. He goes to a hairdresser in the evening and he gets his hair cut. It seems to go okay and he is happy with the result. Now let the ladies overwhelm him as they try to stroke his hair and make him their own special toy. This is probably not going to happen to him, he thinks, but nevertheless, he can hope. He doesn’t really want that. He just wants love. For now he will settle for a cup of coffee. He has other thoughts but he cannot remember them. His brain hurts so he goes and lies down.
He wakes up. It has been snowing. It soon turns to ice. He read Ulysees, the James Joyce version Ulysees: remix – Ulysees: redux. He reads 100 pages at a time then breaks the stress on his brain with an episode of Archer which is a cartoon and pretends to be above such things as racism and sexism whilst embodying them. Look how we all laugh and wrap ourselves in irony as we commit the same social crimes as those people we are criticising. Then he has some toast and too many coffees with mint creamer so he twitches for a while in bed. His head hurts. It is too cold to go anywhere. He misses the woman he loved and ruined. Then he watches a documentary about Fela Kuti and then about Martin Luther King and James Earl Ray. He writes some of his one sentence novel about revelations about the disappearance of his father. He wants to write more but he is depressed so he stops doing that and sleeps the uncomfortable sleep of the morose. He considers what of the big books he will read next. He thinks that he will tackle Proust. He realises now that he does not need to understand these books. He simply has to put in the time, work the man hours at staring at the pages and absorbing the words because no one reads these books he can say what he likes about what they mean because we are all individuals and it no longer matters what the author intended because he let the book escape into the world and not it belongs to him and everyone else. Actually having read it will bring added cache to his opinions to the book none of which will change significantly from those opinions he had in public before reading the book.
He wakes up late. He slips into the clothes from the night before. There is no time for breakfast for showering for teeth brushing. He is caught in the thick traffic oozing like tar along the roads reeking of the morning crisis that he usually misses. He feels himself imploding as he rides the elevator. There he feels himself in the room so safe and comfortable that judders it’s slowly journey upwards but four floors away is coffee. A man talks about Climate Change economics on the bus but he barely listens because he is still reading Plato and understanding little and disagreeing with what little he does understand. The day stretches out in coffee breaks and shuddering self-loathing. Explosions, Marines pissing on corpses and children drawing self-portraits make up the bulk of his day. There is nothing to be done with this information except funnel it through consciousness letting it drool out the side of his mouth. He goes to sleep.
His body aches. It is a tired body. Shaved now from the night before. As he lies there in the stink of his morning bed he considers the lady on the train the night before who shouted at him in the contempt that only a crazy person can project onto another crazy person. He was not sure what prompted her outburst because all he wanted to do was to have a seat to rest his weary legs on the train on his way home to the bus and then wherever he might be going. He reads some Plato to calm himself. It doesn’t really calm him. The Republic is confusing. He is confused. He goes home and shaves off his beard. He has been told that he looks like a hobo. There is no problem with looking like a hobo, in his mind, but he is going to see a Doctor tomorrow and he feels he should at least make partial effort to appear presentable in public. There are no thoughts he thinks that are worth anything more than the loneliness of all the other people who sit out alone in the night thinking into the dark of the moon and the stars. He finishes Mason and Dixon by Thomas Pynchon. It has taken him three years and he read it so intermittently that he doesn’t remember what happened at the beginning or the middle. The end was confusing but now, in polite company, he can tell, when asked, that he read the book and enjoyed it, along with all the other works of Pynchon that he has read. He goes to sleep staring into himself.
He eats some yoghurt mixed with granola drizzled with honey and mixed nuts. He feels sick and buckles over in the mens’ cubicle for fifteen minutes. He doesn’t know if it is because of the yoghurt or the granola or the honey or some other cause. Yoghurt – Yog. Hurt.
He wakes up. It is early. The sun is not up yet. He stumbles in his monkey pyjamas that he got for Christmas to the bathroom to have a shower. It takes a long time to get the temperature right because neither tap works properly. He dresses. He makes himself his lunch. He is still proud that he managed to finish War and Peace at the weekend and has a real desire now to achieve to read the book again to write his own book to succeed and grow and learn and improve himself. Then he goes to the bathroom. The walk in the dark is a long and cold walk. No one is up when he reaches the house but he wakes up those who need to be woken, makes breakfast for them and makes himself a cup of coffee with coffee that he didn’t buy but feels he deserves. He reads some Nietzsche. He realizes that Nietzsche is a complicated man. It is cold outside when he walks outside. He walks to the bus stop and gets into the bus. The bus driver is pretty. She doesn’t smile because his beard scares her, he can tell. He continues to read on the bus. Nietzsche is a complicated man. He manages to make it through his day of work doing very little work. He then feels incredible pain in his eyes. It feels like they are bleeding but they are not bleeding. His eyes then feel better. He reads some more Nietzsche on the bus and the train. He is squeezed into a corner by a man who ignores him. He eats some macaroni cheese. Then he drives. He drives in the snow and the dark of the night in his car. He watches The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. He enjoys it. It is sad. The Revolution has been televised. He thinks it was lost. The Revolutionaries lost. He hopes that they have not lost.
He wakes up late. He does not want to get up. He listens to slam poetry on the bus. Some of it is good. Some of it is not. It was 105 degrees yesterday. That is a lot of degrees. He is tired. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. He falls back to sleep. He wakes up again. He makes a toaster strudle and he eats some pasta and drinks some black coffee. He had one glass of wine last night or no, he remembers, he had two glasses of wine last night. His head hurts. He can’t drink like he used to. On the way into work he listens to a lecture given by Maxine Hong Kingston that is five years old. She is talking about Poetry and Peace. He has not heard of her but she seems very nice and eloquent and she reads some of her poetry. Poetry about Peace. In one ironic moment he learns that her novel about this historical figure Mulan that Disney made known to us was being used by the USAF as a foundation for the influx of women warriors they now entertain. He records a religious program. There is a lot of talk of God Guiding. The Newsroom is bereft of God. He does not have a pass to enter here. He talks about the inability to ever trust anyone because how can you trust anyone when you cannot even trust yourself. Questions left hanging in the air. Our trick conciousness filtered through eyes which only imbibe a small section of the spectrum of light of the universe and spaces that are filled in with the brain using memory that is always shown to be fallible. Our indelicate olfaction that can distinguish between only 10000 different smells. The Universe is thick with odour. What is the smell of Martian Night? What is the whiff of Lunar Dust? Trapped in our bodies. So it was, all in all, an upbeat day. So far. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. His shoulders are sore this morning. He swam 10 lengths of a small swimming pool on Sunday and choked his way through half of them but, fueled by pride, he struggled on so that the lifeguard did not think that he was a poor swimmer. He was fooling no one. He could not find his ipod this morning. He is glad that this is the kind of thing that he has to contend with as major obstacles to his day and not guns and bombs and slaughter. He reads the end of The Grapes of Wrath. He thinks that the book is incredible. He also read the beginning and the middle of The Grapes of Wrath.
A boss was over from London. One of the many bosses. He seems the clearest so far and all does not seem doom and gloom. He will still prepare myself for the worst. The German Foreign Minister came into work. He was pleasant and had a large serious entourage. There was a lot of German Smiling. He is not sure what German smiling means but it seems to define a particular kind of smiling for him so he calls it German smilnig. He learned more things and he read about rationalism on the train home. It was hot today. The air was hot syrup. He drank a glass of red wine. He had some chicken. He tried to watch Rachel Maddow but she was not on form tonight – too much whining about Republicans acting like Republicans. Lawrence O’Donnell was also a touch off. He had a segment where he pretended to report on the Bill Clinton/Gennifer Flowers scandal of the 90s. It was a segment that was five minutes too long. It was tedious. He goes to sleep.
He wakes up. It is 6. He enjoys his bed for a moment longer before he switches on the radio. NPR is playing. There are stories about Dominik Straus-Kahn and about Syria and about business. Garrison Keilor interrupts, as he always does, with facts about authors who are significant to the day. This section in turns fascinates and infuriates him. He makes breakfast. It is a blueberry toaster strudle, a bowl of blueberries, four rashers of turkey bacon and some pink lemonade. It meets with success. He takes a shower. He misses his beard, his beard that he shaved off on Saturday. He finishes syncing his ipod. It is now full of Spanish lessons and lectures on computers and anthropology and social studies and politics. It is interesting to him. They are all interesting to him. He prepares lunch for himself. It is a salad containing various vegetables and some cold chicken. He also prepares a fruit salad for dessert. It is very healthy. He reads The Grapes of Wrath on the bus and on the train. It is a good book. He has nearly finished it. He is reading it on his kindle. He arrives at work and He is greeted with responses to his lack of beard. This is usual when he has shaved his beard after having a beard for a long time. Many people seem open mouthed. Jokes are made. Fun is had. The day drags on. He has lunch that he have brought in. It is healthy salad and meat as he wrote earlier. The show goes well. He learns more about himself and his limitations. An important boss appears for the second show. He is impressed. He likes that. Congressman Anthony Weiner admits to lewdness on national television. Hippocritic indignation from news room and from networks and cables and everywhere. He sees what he does and he sees others do it every day. It is human and the internet is human and even though he hears that he is an asshole he hasn’t done the worst thing in the world. We want to eat and fuck and sleep. Everything else is window dressing. he returns home and eats supper, then he has two glasses of red wine which he enjoys. He reads some Naseem Taleb. It soothes him. Then he watches the Daily Show. He snorts laughter. He thinks about doing as Congressman Anthony Weiner does, as usual. Then he sleeps.