Monday, December 5, 2011

a soft chuckle that says, "so there i am"

Click to enlarge.

Sorry if the writing on this one is even harder to read than usual. This is scanned right out of my sketchbook, so if any of it reads funny, it's because it hasn't been edited beyond the few crossed out words already seen. Perhaps some day I will write something that goes beyond the initial rough draft, but September 6th, 2011 was not that day. Here's the text:
You escape the room leaving the wildness of the party for a quick recovery
and go downstairs to get some water, maybe use the half-bathroom few people know about so you won't be interrupted.
You can hear the bass through the ceiling, the chorus, the shift of feet falling mostly in unison to the beat.
You know that you created the moment. Everybody contributes to the fun, but you are held responsible. The building feels smaller than usual tonight.
There's a ball of heat and everything feels close. You wonder how much noise escapes and can be heard from the street or next door,
but until it's an issue brought to your attention by someone with authority, you don't really care too much.
You finish pissing and check your face in the mirror, maybe you wash your hands and maybe you don't,
and in this moment influenced by music, alcohol, and opportunity, you catch yourself off guard with the face staring back.
You get so accustomed to being a voice in a head that sometimes it's still surprising to find that it's attached to this thing that people always see and remember you by.
If the night is going well, maybe you smile to yourself, a soft chuckle that says, "so there I am" and you're relieved to find that you have power. You look closer, still surprised to see yourself.
You have an obligation to make something happen. The night has been building toward a possibility that is always hoped for but rarely guaranteed. For a second, you forget you're looking in the mirror.
Then you snap back to attention and notice your eyes, milliseconds after dialating [misspelled- should be "dilating"], return to the pointed focus of control.
Everything is back and even stronger now. The music feels louder when it's not, the surfaces of
the banister and walls more pronounced when they're just as they were.
You return to the room recovered, grabbing the door to reveal faces pleased to see your face
the face you sometimes forget about until life commands you to live.

I remember liking the sentiment after writing it, but in rereading it for the first time since Sept 6th tonight, I can't help but wonder if it's a subconscious response to T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. If you haven't read it before and you're at all into poetry, it's short, pretty easy to follow, and worth your time (if my recommendation means anything, I have a hard time caring about MOST poetry but I've somehow managed to write two essays on this particular one).

I hate Prufrock. It's a fantastic poem and pretty crazy that Eliot, being the genius bastard that he was, wrote the thing when he was 23 years old. But I hate it mostly for the reason that I'm terrified of becoming Prufrock myself. The doubt, the bumbling anxiety of trying to find the courage (and failing) to live ones life to the fullest, all of it... The character stresses me out. I want to slap him in the face like Ryan Gosling slaps Steve Carell and be like, "come on, go dare to eat a peach, for the love of all that's worth living for."

It's entirely possible that my brain pulled the parts I like most in the comic as reactionary anti-versions of Eliot's poem. If there are any similarities, they were unintentional. Eliot's "to have squeezed the universe into a ball / To roll it towards some overwhelming question" answered with "the night has been building toward a possibility..." and my response to Prufrock's "there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet" being "...reveal faces pleased to see your face; the face you sometimes forget about until life commands you to live."

I dunno. I'm not entirely sure why I wrote all of this, and if you're still with me, thank you for your patience. It's after 4 am and I'm gonna have to get back to stamping orders yet tonight, but for now I'm wondering if any more of my art will be little more than grumpy knock-off responses to classic works of literature.

If anybody's curious about the reading list in the bottom-right corner:
Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals is a fantastic and fascinating read. Non-vegetarians might shy away from this book assuming it's about why we should all be vegetarians. It's not. The author isn't a vegetarian, I as a reader am not, and it's not the book's aim. It's just a really interesting examination of the moral complications and accidental hypocrisy of human interaction w/ the animal kingdom.
Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You was pretty good too. I heard about Snoop from Some We Love... and it's totally worth reading.
I'm 60% through The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and my interest has waned a lot since I started it. If anybody thinks I really ought to finish it, I'd love to hear why. ...Which isn't to say that it's bad or anything. Adams is an entertaining writer, but I guess it feels thematically repetitive and I'm having a hard time caring about any of the characters.
Still chipping away at Great Expectations. Pip is getting accustomed to the big city, and I doubt I'll be able to get any more read before January.
Haven't read The Corner or Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, but I'm excited to find the time later this winter. A Geek In Japan is like journalistic popcorn if you're at all into Japanese culture. I couldn't tell you how many books I've already devoured on Japanese culture, customs, pop culture, Tokyo, manga, etc, etc, but this one was thoroughly entertaining.

Back to work. Hope all's well!


1 comment:

  1. Well, well, well. I read the entire thing so I was with you all the way :).
    Anyhoo, I found the first bit quite interesting so I ended up looking up Prufrock. I didn't read all of the poem but it led to me googling some more and reading some more (against my will). And gah. I'm not exactly sure what I think or what I should think? It's interesting in the fact that I like how it's written, as I read it it's as if this Prufrock is thinking aloud. And as he thinks, he reasons, which leads him to more thinking and blah blah. And I agree and I think many other readers do as well, I'm afraid to become Prufrock or have I already become him OR is Prufrock present in all of us and it's up to us... (no, nvm, I'm stopping there)? And then I'm angry because I'm on a break from school and the work and mind frame that comes with and here I am stressing about a poem on my free time. I should be playing mindless video games or something more appropriate.

    "Snoop" (Is it weird that I initially thought it might have to do with a certain rapper?) looks like an interesting read but then what does reading that book say about me? Hmmm, it's really all a conspiracy.

    Heh, I always try to stray from reading culture insight books, articles, the like because I always feel like it typecasts me into being a ___-ophile and 'obsessed'. Once I read something, I can't help but share a lot of the times. I even did it today in fact. Meh, knowledge is useless if you keep it to yourself after all. Oh gosh, I'm back on thinking train. This is your fault, forest of beans.