4-27-08 [some excerpts from the little journal i bought to pass the time in the airport]
First of all, I miss my goddamned notebook, not that I would’ve written during the trip home, but I miss it. I know where it is, and it’s not with me.
Second, I feel as though I should write with a purpose, but today, fuck that.
Third, someone smells like onions. I’m in the airport. IAH. Sweet onions, lightly sauteed with butter.
Fourth, I couldn’t find a good book to read b/c I just finished The Things They Carried, then talked about war and art with Dad and about love and marriage with mom, and then there was the bachelorette party, and getting to know Katie again and crying and taking bridal photos and the shower and the blisters on my little toe and these fucking shoes, and I really miss Chris, and I’m all full up. I am like a bucket, and I need to pour some out, so I got a little notebook and figure I’ll see how it goes.
In the airport, I like to practice making snap judgements about people, like reading their auras, but just reading them: their faces, clothes, posture, etc. People tell us so much about themselves just by what they wear, how they walk, all that. I think, in the airport at least, I give off a “don’t fuck with me” vibe … unless I’m knitting.
[some notes on The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien]
- Vietnam, politics, war
- truth, fact, perception, memory
- war, death, killing, survival, pack mentality
- the brutality of innocents
- Lord of the Flies
- guilt, blame, perception of causes and effects
- Nothing struck me about the writing. That’s not the point.
- Confession — guilt is individual, personal, subjective. Sin is not a fact. Even malice might not be true, but I already knew this.
- Does that mean no one is ever to blame? My logic always points to moral relativism, but my intuition or some other sense resists. Some things must be just wrong. But when you get in to someone’s head, it never seems that way. Remember the time I punched E.K. in the stomach? WTF was I thinking?
- Cataloguing. That struck me. What is its effect? Why all the listing? (status details, rhythm, sense of situation)
- What is the situation? War.
- What is the story? Look at all the times he says “moral.”
- “Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.” If someone had made me read this stuff sooner, I might be a productive person by now.
This lovely man next to me across the aisle has got to have OCD — he’s writing down everything, but so am I … Is my excuse that I’m a writer or that I have wicked anxiety issues? Maybe I write because I can’t cope with life any other way. Remember when I would ask everyone I met, “Do you write?” like it was as normal as playing basketball.
Sometimes it takes music to get really down into yourself.
Become an ocean unto yourself. Let the music be the water. Swim around and discover all the creatures that live in you. “Diving into the Wreck” — Remember that teacher who didn’t accept the mythological interpretation. Remember sleeping at Nora’s house with OK Computer playing and waking up every time I heard the line “Please could you stop the noise I’m trying to get some rest.”