Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
(Quick note on the subject title…if I recall correctly, this was the first thing Jack Paar said after he came back to hosting The Tonight Show. Paar had left the show in protest a month before. Funny stuff, that. He’s no Carson, but I’m still not sure that Leno’s any Paar.)
This year, I resolve to exercise more. This year, I resolve to write with greater conviction. I resolve to finish more of what I start. I resolve to chill out, but I also resolve to maintain a single-minded determination. I resolve to keep my bank account above the $2000 mark, and hopefully even higher.
In addition to 2002 being the last of its kind for a good long while, it’s also worth mentioning that during the first hours of this year, the planet Jupiter was visible in the night sky for what will be the last time in decades. If you missed it, maybe it will come out on DVD eventually.
I spent New Year’s Eve at the low-key, but slightly swinging party of my girlfriend’s older brother. At one point in the evening, I apparently stopped all chatter with a go-for-broke solo Busby-Berkeley improvised dance routine to Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet,” but unless somebody snapped a photograph, you can’t prove nuthin. Also, I may be joining an intramural volleyball team based on conversations from the evening; and I met a rather charming, excitable Indian fellow who wants to serve me and my girlfriend spicy food, and likens himself to Edward Norton’s character in “Fight Club,” but only in the early parts of the movie, before he meets Tyler Durden. He wants to find a place to shout and be free. I referred him to the workshop where I took classes, and will soon be starting the second year at. My class starts again, and my writing group is back up and running. I’ve needed to get my groove back.
I resolved also to write more in the longhander, but discovered two minor irritations–one, that the journal doesn’t have guide lines, so my scrawl looks terrible, and two, that my hand began to hurt quite a bit long before I’d said everything I wanted to.
Let it be known that Hannibal V makes excellent cheesecake. Also, he was kind enough to search five different Borders Bookstores in order to help me replace my no-longer-missing copy of Ani DiFranco’s “Living in Clip.” Also, my brother, who is cool, burned me a copy of Weezer’s Green album, and even went so far as to create a CD case and a label for the disc itself. Rudimentary, mind you, but he’s not a professional CD presser, and love always trumps craft. (It would have to, or none of Baz Luhrmann’s movies would work.)
Next week we start that whole “five day work week” thing. I am not looking forward to it.
Must go deposit paycheck and get lunch. I’m going to make a conscious effort this year to see if I can stick to a diet consisting mostly of soups, salads, and sandwiches. I may expand this to include all foods that begin with “s.”  Probably not, although I will miss Pepperidge Farm Sausolito cookies, otherwise. Bleah. I feel fat. I feel like every other “Cathy” comic strip.
I was about to end the entry just then, but now I feel I want to write about the beastie truly eating me. Chewing, gnawing, like the Devil in Dante’s hell making an eternal snack of famous traitors.
My mother is taking steps to move away from the area, and to not let me know where she is going. She is performing the classic “You are dead to me” scenario, but with a twist: whereas normally the offended party declares the other “dead” to them, my mother has decided to declare herself dead to me FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. In other words, she is putting words in my mouth.
She is selling the house. She tells me to pick up my birth certificate and other documents, and anything else I want to take with me.
I’m so close to giving up that I don’t know why I haven’t already. She laments because I struggle, which I can understand, but which I cannot satisfactorily help her away from that, because I accepted that making a career for myself on this path would require struggle. She is convinced she will not live to see me make a success of myself, or that it simply won’t happen. And she has issues with the behavior of my sister that she is taking me to task for, despite the fact that I have some of the same issues.
I am convinced only that my mother thinks she knows what she wants from me–that I move back home, give up my girlfriend, and go back to college on a different career path–but that she wouldn’t know what to do with me if I completely surrendered. I think, in her heart of hearts, she knows that it’s too late for me to do these things just because she wants me to. And it eats her up inside.
I reserve a special hatred for my mother’s so-called friends and relatives, who come from a culture where the solution to my sister’s wayward dalliances is to ostracize my mother. I hate that they make her suffer over my choices, when my choices have not been these terrible awful criminal things. It is one thing to shun a person because her son is a murderer, or a drug dealer, but I am neither of these things. I am a writer and actor with strong opinions about my own independence. For that, my mother is punished. I never use the word “hate,” but I hate those who are too ignorant to look at anything but their own worldview, and who would rather take their cruelties to my mother instead of talking to me about my own goddamn life.
I don’t want my mother to move away. She plans to take my brother with her, and my father will join her after he retires from the hospital, and I don’t like the idea of our family even being momentarily separated, and I was only able to calm down about her hiding my brother from me when I realized that my brother would find me if I could not find him.
Okay. Now I’m really hungry. Apparently, this is the end result of a rant of this kind.
 I find myself remembering the character of Michael in Douglas Coupland’s “Microserfs,” who locked himself in his office for a few days and had to survive on foods his co-workers could slide under the door. The “Flat Food” Diet was born.