[I just found this while I was clearing out my old laptop; apparently it’s something I wrote in the middle of the night and completely forgot about. That’s why it’s marked with the original July 2005 date, in case you were looking at the date in the URL and thinking… LIARRR!!]
whatever it is about driving home that motivates me to write, it’s pretty inconvenient. i could’ve stayed with a friend tonight, gotten up in the morning for church and a good lunch. i left for home instead, getting here at 1:29 with several disconnected thoughts creeping their way into sentence form. after twelve hours of rollercoasters, waiting in lines, waiting for girls, and general hot sunniness, i felt like driving an hour and change was worth jumping into the pool before bed. an older model red carerra passed me on the interstate, and behind him i made up lost time… would a patrolman be more likely to go after a pontiac, or a porsche? everything but my suit, towel, and keys will spend the night in the car, the pool feels like bath water, and the stars seem to have multiplied as they do every time i forget they’re up there. thus ends disconnected thought one.
i’ve been at this point – or i guess it’s more of a long, connected series of points – where i don’t know what i’m doing. i haven’t written anything for months and i think i ought to, since continuity is only continuity if you keep it up. then i remember no one’s reading, and no one’s got much reason to, and the best of my older essays read like chopped boredom when i look through them now. regardless of how many weird things i do for weird or no reasons, i cannot make myself interesting. shortly i go from thinking the website really needs some updates, to thinking the website really is a total waste of space.
i get this way about different things, but writing is the one thing that almost always brings it out. i think about hemingway, and how every time i go into a bookstore i almost buy a copy of for whom the bell tolls. he could write about anything or nothing and drag it out into an overworded, sometimes amazingly insightful sentence. hemingway saw himself as no more than a writer, and eventually it drove him so insane that he killed himself. this may be the one thing i have in common with the late ernest — i can write about nothing, and it makes me crazy. i get to where i want to write a novella about a completely uneventful drive, and the pointlessness of it shocks me to frustration.
maybe — and this is just an early-morning thought — driving wakes up the writer in my stupid subconscious because of how little driving requires my brain. i have to think, but i have to think just enough to keep from running into something… just enough to realize how much more i could be thinking as i drive. and before i know it i’m memorizing the cars that pass and at which exits in case i want to use them as a parallel for something later, stacking up as many bad metaphors and phrases as my big hard head will hold. if i don’t get too aggravated or annoyed, i’ll probably end up writing something exhaustingly long and shallow so that readers who know me would think i’m either full of it or completely nuts. there’s an outside chance they’d be right on both counts.
why else would i get out my laptop at quarter to two, shut it off at 2:30, and turn it back on just before three? inadvertently coming the long way through middletown tonight, i remembered the last time i was following the “to 75” signs and hoping they weren’t lying. it was, as they say, “all downhill from there,” which is good if you’re trying to get down a hill and bad if you’re trying to get down it slowly.