joni abilene

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Month: April, 2012

Paycheck

People, people who need people . . . are they really the luckiest people in the world? That song says being needy is good. I’ve always been the opposite: I love people, but dayum, I love being alone too. Like, when I go out places, sometimes I think about how everyone is like some jacked up Sims character and it really messes with my mind. Especially fairs and places like that. That’s when you truly see the dredge of life surfacing out of the cracks and nooks of society.

I used to work retail, and can tell you that during full moons and severe weather, every freak on this earth would go shopping. People who’d never visited before stumbled though the sensor glass doors with wild eyes and money to burn. “I need curtains!” The worst department is home decorating. People don’t get the concept of pictures on products. They have to rip open boxes and bags so they can see and feel the polymix, smell the dyes, snag their little hangnails on the cheap threads. Then, unsatisfied, they’d ask, “Do you have this one in the back?” This one being the unobtainable object discontinued but still shown on the packaging as a tease. Sometimes I’d look; sometimes I’d stand in the stock room reading a paperback for five minutes. “Sorry ‘Mam, we do not carry that. Try the catalogue department.”

The best part about retail, and the people who came in, was the feeling of relief after work. Of shedding the role of paid servitude for a burrito at Taco Bell, or a cigarette borrowed from a best friend. There’s a lot of philosophy in the post-retail drive home, cigarette in hand, The Doors on the radio. It’s like, being born again. Humility. Regret for not having a degree. A squeaky belt and knocking axle reminds you to work at least one more week so you can get ‘er fixed at Midas. But you know you won’t. You’re going to spend the next pay check on Doritos and new book and album. And some wine. The rest is to live.

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Gloom

I read this story just now and loved it immensely:  http://atticusreview.org/this-is-between-us-excerpts/#comments. I can breathe easy now. I can think straight. It was beautifully written and for a second I forgot I was a writer, that I need to take a shower, that it’s another rainy, crappy day, that I’m broke, that I’m lonely as fuck. Thank you, good story.

I also read the opening to this beautiful book and it made me happy, just like the story. Same publisher. I might send them something.

I’m still depressed about Danny. I should have known the book would have ended the way it did.

I’m also depressed because I tried to go to church today per my mother’s request, but with the holiday and a family to feed, and dress, I just couldn’t get it all done in time. If I had gotten up at 5 a.m. things would have gone smoother, but I got up at the lazy hour of 7 a.m. and things went to shit. Now God hates me, but more importantly, my mom is mad at me. She wouldn’t have liked my outfit anyway; it was too short, too glitzy. It’s an emerald green dress with sequins on the front. Nice for Easter, but with all the embellishments and the knee-length hem (insert the fact that I’m 5’11”) you have an outfit unsuitable for maternal figures. I tried wearing boots to cover up some skin, but they only made the dress length seem more provocative. Then we have my hair, it’s long. I’m a hippy. I’ll never have trim and neat hair ala Jackie Kennedy. It wouldn’t look right on me, and anyway, I love having long hair.

What do you do when you’re trying to save your soul, but your mother holds the key to salvation–only the key is a pair of shears and a two-piece sweater set with pearls?

Any way is a good way

Slow and steady progress. I remember writing a book in a month. Ah, how I wish I could do that again. To just sit there and put my whole life into a manuscript with no insecurity, no worries of whether it’s good or not. Now I write with a rude editor (me) lurking over my shoulder, but  if I turn off the editor it’s like something isn’t catching, my mind is off in lala land and I can’t lock into anything that makes sense. There’s something to be said for the trance period that occurs after about twenty minutes of writing. If I can allow myself to get there, things so start to lock  in and run much more smoothly.

I’m almost done reading All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers in which the lead character Danny Deck experiences the worst book signing ever known to man. At least he had three bottles of champagne there to drown out his sorrow. And then he had Jenny Salomea and Emma Horton to further ease his humiliation. I’m just around the end, where he and Petey get pulled over  in the El Chevy. It doesn’t look good for old Danny.

Yes, it’s time again for me to get off my duff and make some grub, breakfast style. No pork involved.

It’s later, and I finished the book and am depressed about the last chapter. I don’t think any book has had a character so utterly broken down as Danny Deck. I kept thinking something good would happen for the poor guy, but it never did. The best things happened near the beginning: sex, marriage, a book deal with a major publisher, after that his whole life slipped away quite miserably. It was a beautiful book in so many ways; disgusting in others. I’m sitting here feeling the effects of having read it so intensely the last few days, and yeah, I’m a little depressed. I’m depressed for Danny. There’s so many times where, if an event in the book had happened differently, Danny’s life would have been made better and things would have turned around. But it didn’t. Just like real life.

Ah well, I have another book to read. Maybe it will lift my spirits.