Tuesday, April 26, 2016

God and the Registrar

I wrote like hell this weekend, or like hell was behind me. I wrote a 2,500-word essay about my experiences in the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles during the weekend of AWP, and I wrote pages and pages of the scary story, which I should've started months ago and for which I'm now making up for lost time, I guess: it's coming quickly, feverishly. I'm still drafting, and I don't know if I'm halfway done or one-quarter done or what, but it is very, very difficult to write. It hurts and is hard. Despite this, it doesn't seem to be good enough; it feels like I'm not digging down deeply enough into my own flesh to write it. (I don't think that all writing has to feel like that, but for this one, it does.)

Plus I read an interesting book called Atta, and then wrote two posts about it for the class blog that reminded me greatly of what I do in this space. I'm not displeased with those posts, or with these posts, but I am dissatisfied at the idea that I might be slumping into a pattern rather than pushing myself into new places.

But then this whole spring has been like that. Spring fever. Senioritis. Whatever you call that restless crappy feeling that leads you to play solitaire for hours instead of clearing the clutter off your goddamn dining room table, I've got it. Bad. I hope it's on the verge of passing, because I successfully worked hard this weekend, but that hard work also took place after I stayed in bed hours longer than I should have.

It's just so comfortable. The pattern and the bed.

Okay, that's not fair. That bike and I are clearly victims of sudden mudslides.
Or snowslides, I can't quite tell from the coloring. Some kind of slide. 

I made a list of the books I'm going to read this summer after school is over (at a minimum).
Cat's Cradle (Vonnegut)
I Love Dick (Kraus)
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Ferrante)
a David Shields
Don Quixote (Cervantes) (this is 2016's Big Book)
a Georgette Heyer
a Roxane Gay or two
Remembrance of Things Past (Proust) - not sure how much further I'll get
I Hate the Internet (Kobek)
Chelsea Girls (Myles)
Just Kids (Smith)
People Like You (Malone)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Murakami) 
And I picked out the classes that, God and the registrar willing, I'll be taking in the fall. Even though I'm kind of tired of school's grind, I'm nevertheless pretty excited about what I'm taking next.

Scratch that. I'm not tired of school's grind. What I'm tired of is feeling as if I can't get down to business on any of the stuff I need to do for school. I'd be happy for the semester to keep going on and on, peaking and falling and peaking again, but I'm tired of the squeeze of it, the sense that I don't actually have time to do all the things and then also relax as much as I need to so as not to go mad.

And, frankly, I'm pretty tired of student stories. That's not very kind, but it's the truth.

If I can sustain the work spirit that put the spurs to my ass this weekend, then I'm going to revise some of the secret project and give it to a professor who (kindly, generously) offered to read it. I hope I can do that before school officially ends, or I'll be emailing him over the summer, which is creepier than I want to be.

This summer I might try to teach a writing workshop. I haven't forgotten my New Year's resolution about that. We'll have to see which gets the best of me: ego or insecurity.

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