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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/31 - In the Shower

The floating book shop was rained out today. March went out exactly as it came in - a pain in the butt. Here's an excerpt from a novel I plan to self-publish three years from now. Two others will precede it - should my good health continue. This one is titled American Ulysses, inspired by James Joyce's epic of the unconscious, of which I understood perhaps ten percent. I'm thinking about subtitling mine Ulysses for Dummies, as I intend to make it highly readable to anyone interested in following a single character, mentally and physically, through an average day. Of course, it will be based on myself and will reveal plenty of embarrassing tidbits. By then I will be pushing 70 and - hopefully - finally mature enough to handle any blowback.

He stepped into the tub and put a hand under the spray.
Too hot. Little cold water. Come on already. There we go. Perfect. Ah, that’s good. Shit, look at those stains. Spray foam next time, Brillo pad. Too late now. "In this smoking gun existence/ It gets harder to unwind...."* Ssssh. Neighbors. Can’t even carry a tune in the shower. Bad. If this’s ninety-nine-and-forty-four-one-hundreths soap, what’s the other fraction? Wonder if it says on the wrapper. Who cares? Pure as anything gets in this world. Not even God got it completely right, ‘less this’s the way He intended it to be. Still great, though. Every greatness has its flaws. Even The Brothers Karamazov and The Possessed aren't perfect. Disappointed first time through that. Expected a pro-revolutionary tale. Shocked to see ‘em depicted as pathetic or diabolical, not heroic. Actually wanted revolution back then, before you realized it was you who needed revolutionizing and not the country or life. Anybody healthy can survive, even thrive, despite the abuses of power, ‘specially in a country that allows the freedom this one does. Let the corrupt have their perks and kickbacks – what’s it matter? Long as there’s equality of opportunity, or semblance of it. Only demeanin’ themselves. Maybe cheatin’s justified. Wouldn’t happen if the other person was payin’ attention. Own fault if he’s not. Machiavellian thinkin’. But that’s the way it is. ‘d get the same corruption if the proletariat ruled, without the benefits - see Russia, post nineteen-seventeen. Personal revolution never stops. Workin’ hard enough at yours? Changed at all last twenty years? Know your flaws now, still can’t correct ‘em. Probably fight ‘em to the grave. Not that they’re so terrible. Mostly annoyin’, mostly to yourself. Hitch-hiked cross-country, ran the marathon, dropped acid, jumped out of a plane, took an ad out in a swinger’s rag, seven novels, nineteen short stories - and barely changed at all. Opinions and beliefs fluctuate but character stays locked. Maybe a little more open and self confident, but only a little. Maybe should just accept the way you are and forget about tryin’ to change. Save a lotta grief. Would that be quittin’ or a sign of maturity? Would it make you happier? That’s the goal, isn’t it - happiness? Easy as that? Just accept your own quirks and flaws as easy as you do other people’s? Maybe can no more change our own than we can anybody else’s... When’d you wash your hair last? Yesterday? Day before? Can’t remember. Think. What’s it feel like? Can’t really tell. Too moist now. When in doubt, wash it. Adapted from comma usage rules "When in doubt, leave it out." Hate this. Amazing how lazy you can be. Three minutes and it’s done. Three minutes - and you whine. Any wonder you can’t change?
The music quote is from Iggy Pop's Winners and Losers.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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