I am reminded of a poem that I wrote twenty years ago-- is that meta, or just narcissistic? Or just evidence that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's the last stanza that I am reminded of. I actually say these lines to myself often: (will post the entire poem separately another time).
these are my concerns oil
on the piano cats
who keep their claws
perfectly out stretched
durable as egg
I walked through the snow today to drop off a contract for a project that has already been completed. Chasing down my own paychecks is one of the things I avoid the most, for some reason. If I could afford it, I would hire someone to take care of my invoicing and billing, depositing checks, etc.
Speaking of meta and narcissistic, I was speaking with young poet Kasey today. She has a life story that should be written down. The fact that she is a beautiful writer just solidifies that fact. I told her that today. She said she doesn't think it's that interesting. I told her that that is how I respond when people tell me I should write a book about my first marriage. She replied, "I think it's fascinating." I said, "That is how I feel about YOUR life."
I think to some extent, we both worry that if we write about it, it will be viewed as a cry for sympathy, as, to quote Kasey, "an invitation to the pity party."
Her favorite book has some of the same subject matter. I said, "Why does this author get to write about it, and you don't?"
She said something about loving the author, but I'm not buying it. Kasey and I dribble little bits of information to each other, and she says things like, "Did he really do that?" and I say, "Is that a joke question?" She makes offhanded comments, and I say, "I am absolutely horrified."
We sound like a fun pair, don't we?
Last week when I was with Aaron, we were standing outside, smoking Pall Malls (Garrison Keillor describes Pall Malls as "such a lovely cigarette for a young man," or something to that effect in one of his marvelous stories; I have decided that that makes it okay for me to smoke them sometimes too). Aaron said, "Most of the people I connect with the most are broken in some ways."
I have found that to be true of me too, though I am trying to balance that also with people who are either not broken or also fixed, lol.
Aaron also told me a quote by either Mark Twain or Kurt Vonnegut: "The difference between smokers and non-smokers is that non-smokers know they are going to die, but smokers know what they are going to die from."
While trying to find that quote exactly, I came across a couple of other ones I like:
Thank heaven, I have given up smoking again!... God! I feel fit. Homicidal, but fit. A different man. Irritable, moody, depressed, rude, nervy, perhaps; but the lungs are fine. ~A.P. Herbert
He who doth not smoke hath either known no great griefs, or refuseth himself the softest consolation, next to that which comes from heaven. ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, What Will He Do With It?Here is a Vonnegut quote that approximates what Aaron said:
The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.-- Vonnegut[By the way, you should go here to read more Vonnegut quotes. I forget how much I love him.]
Here is a Mark Twain quote, and then I'll stop:
It's probably wrong, but most smokers I know can identify with all of these quotes. Sometimes, if I am in the midst of telling a story from my life, I feel provoked to light a cigarette. I light it, exhale, and then gesture widely with the cigarette between the fingers of my right hand and say, "When people ask me why I smoke, I tell them, 'Why don't YOU smoke? Of COURSE I smoke!'"
Where was I?
I was wobbling between today and Wednesday, hovering between now and then, hanging in the liminal spaces.