Dear Boredom, It’s not fucking Margaret

Okay, so what happens when you get a really idiotic car project in good working order is this:  boredom.  Maybe it’s something like getting through your first pregnancy, if pregnancy lasted two years.  Really, it’s probably not like that, (at least) if you can’t take the term pregnant to mean anything but carrying a future child around in your gut for nine months.  Everything gets boring eventually, so we try other things to spark a bit of inspiration.  Self-destruction can work at times, but there are better avenues.  (Perhaps the normal people who never finish stupid car projects know this, and it’s why they never finish–it’s subconscious intelligence I lack . . .)

One solution is being a Teamster truck driver; you can choose this because way back when, in college, you took the opportunity to build this skill, and it served your life (meaning wallet, not life) effectively.  This pursuit requires that one be available at any time of the day, all week long, to either drive a truck (18 wheels, yo) or move trailers in a yard with a thing called a yard goat.  Driving a yard goat for a couple of hours in the middle of the night results in two experiences:  chronic boredom and a great need to be somewhere else.  If you’re like me, it also results in a really pissed-off shoulder.  The truck puts you on a wrongly chosen residential street in Oakland in the middle of the night with a three-axle tractor and a 50-foot (grocery-specific) trailer where, oddly, people are actually nice enough to come out and move a car that’s parked at the end of the block (so as to avoid having the whole front of it run over by the aforementioned 50-foot trailer).  The truck can also put you on Donner Pass in the middle of the night with the need to chain two axles of big-rig tires while trying not to get killed by drunk assholes sliding their way up an icy I-80 to go boarding for the weekend; no, the reflective vest will not save you.  Once the basic thrill of difference has been exhausted, this job essentially makes you realize that you’ve made your life shit for the sake of boredom and some extra money.  The only recourse is to spend all of the money in a stupid way, then quit (not necessarily in that order).

Another avenue is more contract work that happens on the computer in the home office.  Your brain continues to reach new levels of capacity for repetition and tedium, then one day, you realize that you can’t make it past a normal office-person’s lunch period without a beer.  Is it a capacity limit, or is it just freedom going too far?  You tell yourself that if you just hold out a bit longer and get more work done, you’ll ride the mountain bike or figure out how to make a 315 fit in a fender designed for a 165.  No, you just have another beer and remember that the death wheel has no business in beer-addled hands–same is said for the mountain bike and trail rocks that approach you at beer speed (results in broken face).  Experience and practice provide answers, so yes, you’ve proven boredom via lack of mystery (with all fingers still available).

You’re tired of words because you’ve sold your soul to the devil in making the somewhat commercial use of them as your moneymaker–it was reasonable after eight years or so of college, during which time you wrote novels, studied novelists, and criticized words to no end.  Life costs you time, money, patience, and spirit, but it rewards you with nice property in the end, so long as you keep your mind and avoid heroin (and other comparable habits).  The thing is that words never go away, nor does the idea that if you approach them in the right dispassionate way, you just might be able to make a dollar from a certain kind of factory-like fiction writing.

Many moons ago in college, I heard James Ellroy (LA Confidential) say, in person, that he didn’t read fiction anymore.  I called bullshit, not believing at the time that a “real” writer could ever reach such a state.  Look around now.  What new fiction really strikes me more than once a year (20 or so years hence)?  Movies?  Nearly zilch.  The dude’s writing keeps on chugging.  Mine peaks around a tree, sees a large vulture called laziness or labor or pointlessness, and says fuck it.

Here’s what’s really fucked up:  Of all the labors I’ve pursued or stupidly agreed to over the years, none has provided the feeling of accomplishment that writing has.  Enter disease that costs no money.  Enter a person who could write smut with nearly no ego.  Yes, I’ve been batting this idea around for some time, but reality is finally landing on this bitch, I think . . .

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