So I walked into Professor Wilson’s office… which was dark and tiny and cluttered… and he kind of tossed my journal to me. For some reason he had us writing a response journal to the books he assigned. I don’t remember if his class was modern non fiction, or Modern American fiction…. but my first response was this rambling and breathless fourteen page stream of consciousness mess. I don’t know why I did it or what I expected him to do with it… but I started writing in the journal and then finished it six or eight hours later.
“I love this.” he started. “I wrote a responses” (Which made me flip back to the page and a half response he wrote.) He complimented me on my prose and talked about Bukowski and Edward Abbey and I tried to respond intelligently. He talked passionately about syntagmatic repetition, construct, and intentionality… pointed out some of my better sentences and the repetition of themes in the mess and how even Joyce was intentional… and how I should rework this into something… strenghten the thematic and narrative elements while still making it seem random and spontaneous. I was honored and flattered and I left with the intention of doing as he said… and enrolling in his senior seminar. But I never got back to it.
So I was thinking about that moment… and about this blog. I don’t even know if I could write like that anymore.
General Hospital 1994
Once I had to accompany a kid to the emergency room at General Hospital and wait for his parents. He was from a visiting school and had been injured in a football game. I sat next to a policeman that had a man with him… who’s left hand was hancuffed to his own belt loop and his right arm was in a full cast. It was an interesting place. I imagine it looked a lot like some official health care bunker in Bulgaria… so I sat in the large dark concrete basement emergency room and watched people come and go for two hours…
El Sereno 1981
Today I saw the most beautiful girl. She’s older and I think her name is Armida or something. She’s kind of exotic looking…
Really? Do you know what kind of mess you have left behind? You really did not have to do this! Fuck….
Those voices… they called you a creep. Told you that you were messed up. And what happened confirmed it. Your insomnia amplified it. You couldn’t escape it… loneliness. Thoughts. Impulses. This thought… that you could never be loved.
I wonder if you ever heard what we told you… Do you know how much I love you? How much WE love you? This is what I’m thinking… About how many times you tried to do it right and it didn’t work… about people who told you that Jesus would make it all better. That you would be happy and right if you just prayed. That you just needed to surrender it to God… to give it up… to do it right and no matter how you tried you couldn’t make it work… and you never felt it. Never worked it out. Never felt comfortable in your own skin.
All you needed is one more day. Just one more day.
What an ASSHAT! Buddy, do you think I would be proclaiming the goodness and grace of God after what I have been through if my faith was fake? What kind of “brother” trashes the faith of a fellow Christian because I’m not a tin foil hat, right wing whack job? Where in the Bible does it say that you have to accept Ronald Reagan as your personal savior and that the GOP is the way and the truth? Please… before you judge my faith, talk to me AFTER you have been through what I have been through. If you are still able to walk with God after that, then I might consider what you have to say as credible.