We spent too long making things smaller: moving pictures in your town, your house, your purse, your pocket, your eye. So the story on the news can be about a journalist taking smartphone pictures of the rubble in Gaza, and taking smartphone voice memos instead of paper notes, and isn’t that smartphone something. But doesn’t it set off a sort of calendar, the gradual, predictable shrinking of integrated circuits? Isn’t being impressed by these new shapes for old tricks like being impressed by a Tuesday?
This morning I realized that I’d left one of my only irreplaceable possessions in the seat back flap of a 737 and was all messed up about it and set in my heart for a life of rueful wandering like a fool in a corrido. Sadness and tears sound pat in English when they’re tristeza y lagrimas en español and that was me, ay. At my box drawing job I could hardly get a line segment down on paper. But soon I got a voicemail and my runaway grandiose sense of self-importance got its proportional response: “somebody has turned in your… uhhh… it’s like a black journal, ok? so, give me a call. thank you bye bye.”
Who can show me a person who’s written more songs than Jim Croce about coming out of hard times with a new state of mind? Is there even a way that a person can come out of a hard time—even if human experience is an infinite continuum, and similar states of mind reveal themselves to be unique by infinitesimal degrees of difference in the end—is there even one that he hasn’t put to music?
It’s like I’m watching TV and every time I start to comprehend the plot, somebody changes the channel. Or, it’s like I’m watching TV and every time I start to comprehend the plot, somebody hands me a little packet of peanuts and sends me to New York. Granola in the morning from a plastic pouch and after that, who knows. Tired some. Looking around all the time like what the hell. Pessoa says it sweeter:
“I lay down my pen without laying it down and see, through my window that looks out onto the dark countryside, the light of the high and round moon permeating the air like a new, visible air. How often a sight like this has accompanied me during my endless meditations, useless dreams, sleepless nights when I can’t work or write.
My heart feels like an inorganic weight.”
A street kid once told me I looked like Conor Oberst, and I thought, “finally!”
Here are some words people here say all the time when they want to say something about themselves while appearing to talk about something in the world: