Conceits, Desires, Well-Intentioned Diversions and Writing
I have had conceits, desires, well-intentioned diversions and writing. Writing is the thing I am all about — I am one of those unfortunate writers that professional writers like to complain about — I actually believe in what I am doing — that is has some kind of significance. I can’t offer what that significance is, and I can’t swear that it has any reality outside of my own existence, but I am aware of it — it’s in here with me — if you are concerned with me at all then you need to understand that, and if not then fuck you anyway. So writing, with it’s ambijective significance and other beasts.
The conceits are the worst part of me. When I was 17 I wasted some time with a couple of long-con operators who had worked in the fashion industry. They wanted to open a modeling school/agency — maybe all such endeavors are filled with filth and slime, this one certainly was. I was living in Newport Beach, and I was impressed with the clean sidewalks, the boats, the cars and the other trappings of wealth. (A friend who moved there from Seattle recently commented about how people there have “taste” — I vomited a little into my throat.) I would love to say that there was some redeeming quality to all of it — I suppose if you are a big fan of mine you could write it off to curiosity. I wasted some months of my life there. And I think my attachment to the University of Washington has had something of the same quality to it — saying that I am affiliated with that campus has that kind of empty respect inside it — it makes me feel more important than I actually am, in the same way that money does. Status is ultimately long-con.
The desires are both more innocent and more destructive. Of the last 5 years I probably spent three of them hoping that one particular relationship was going to finally work out. That one particular girl was actually my soul mate — she wasn’t. I had to learn that though a series of profound humiliations — I suppose I deserved all of them. Or maybe I didn’t — but they came anyway. I spent a lot of time being exited about something that wasn’t going to last, and that may not have had any reality at all to begin with. And then I spent a lot of time being sad over it. Mostly I spent a lot of time waiting, thinking that things would be better in six months, or better in a year. While I was waiting I didn’t go anywhere or really do much of anything. I was waiting for my faith to be redeemed. I perceived myself as having a long suffering faith in love — but it was really just desire. People have loved me here and there. I do think that I loved one girl once — I saw her recently and my heart fluttered as it has always fluttered, but I didn’t expect or believe anything was going to come of it. I am glad she exists, that is all. This other thing — the thing I waited for — it was some strange combination of believing that I was special, that I was going to be rewarded for being special. Of believing that another person was gods way of rewarding me as opposed to simply being another person — that is the ugly truth of much love.
Well-intentioned diversions, I think, also stem from some form of vanity. The need to be more significant than you are. I am not significant enough, so I am going to attach myself to something that has significance, and hope that some of it splashes over. That can be a cause, or it can be religious. I am not interesting enough that you should listen to me, so I am going to talk about starvation — because starvation is important. So I am going to talk about it, and by god you will listen. If you don’t listen then I can call you names — it is your fault instead of mine. I am going to talk about God (not so much the last few years, I kind of saw through that one when I was younger — but it fits the pattern, so I am going to give it a swipe.) and if people don’t listen to me it’s because I am spiritual and you are – I don’t know — shallow. But we don’t have to be fully cynical — even when considering ourselves — I think that, for instance, desiring to do something about starvation and disease can proceed from a noble impulse. Hence the title well-intentioned diversions..
Because it is important to recognize that they are diversions. And the well-intentioned part is how they always get back under my skin. The trick is that I am not very good at the things I need to do to address them. I am clumsy and afraid of blood, which made me a terrible phlebotomist. I don’t have the patience for science — I am bad at it. I put a lot of time in (when I say I don’t have the patience I don’t mean that I can’t sit for hours in front of the books and try to solve the problems — I made it all the way to Real Analysis and Modern Physics — I mean that I am not steady enough in my thinking to do the high level problem solving. It’s not a cop-out — I tried.)
And for all of that trying I accomplished absolutely nothing. The limited gains I made were compromised by my inability to get along with other scientists, or to play the grant and resume game. I spent a year with an idea that ultimately got a 12 million dollar grant, which I mismanaged to the point of having my name no-where attached to it, and the lab that got the grant shelved the idea in favor of anti-terrorism research. (Update — it’s been shifted to another lab and is actually working it’s way through to field testing, I was to negative to quick here.) I would love to say that someone stole it from me — but no, I gave it away. I was a dead weight on the idea — my lack of credibility as an investigator actually inhibited my own good idea. And ultimately even the idea itself withered and died. (other folks have come up with better variations on the same thing without my help — this is the point — not that I am some kind of victim, but that through trying to do good, I was ABSOLUTELY USELESS.)
But through all of this I have had writing. Writing is the one thing which has given back to me. Which is not to say that I have been recognized for it, or that it paid my bills, or that this is the acceptance speech for some award. I mentioned, I am one of those writers who professional writers hate — they write tracts about me. I am an embarrassment to them. I write because I think it is important. I write because it is the only thing that I can do. I write to save my life.
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