Losing Momentum. By P. L. George.
January 15, 2006:
Momentum art show yesterday worked long for no profit, the lit Review trying something the world doesnt get, that bleeding on a page, forgotten soon the people, artsy, pretentious, cocktail benders, Nichols Hills No one bought anything, hell, shouldnt it be like this? Many are called few are chosen, like mass consumption, consuming the masses. Friends didnt come, the day and night before, barroom talk, beer translation, oh yeah well be there but really, no respect from friends that are frat boys who think they are the shit, so Ill get the apologies, the pathetic ones, from six of my friends not showing for my readings Theyve said it before, dont respect what I do, see it in their eyes, they cant hang a dollar sign on it. Theres a lot of shit thats hung with diamond ornaments, popular and grotesque . but Im trying something beautiful in a black cave of a world. Stood out of the way .I like the corners of solitude, dont like public readings, small spotlights, they make me nervous rather have them say, Have you read that shit by P.L. George? dream one day they say Hell, I knew that drunk, I used to drink with him and theyll still be sitting in their shitty little cave bars, living the same lives they were meant for.
Dont have to push Brian my editor. Not like David, local filmmaker, bohemian, content with coffeehouse talk and musings on David Lynch Shoved an eighteen-pack in Brians backpack, downed six before the show started. Dont want to tell people about January twenty-first, my CD release, let them guess where I am dont want to pull teeth good quote from my girl, an adage really, If they wanna come, theyll come. If not, fuck em a nice slice of words. Im in the sea, surrounded by writers I pretty much have no respect for, but I hang around, I got no other choices The warehouse that hung the Momentum art was a maze, twenty five hundred people squeezed into a claustrophobic closet, but didnt realize, being toasted by seven Me and my girl will travel to my readings, secretly let the rest all wonder where Im at, this is how it should be. I was born for misunderstanding, this is how it should be. Removed that cloud of Momentum hanging for forever. Get on with my own shit, promote a little, gain some ego and balls and wait for fate or chance and then be a hero somewhere in some corner of some bar or a quiet room. Its always gone like this choose the thing a tiny few that you could hold in a thimble would give a damn about I shove all this back in my ambitious mind, to fuck them over when Im big keep the ones, treat them holy, that were sympathetic and came to dwindlling readings as the night wore on to the others, they can fuck off, at least this week, until Ill need a drinking buddy. I get mad and then forget all that liquor. I need that to get away from the seriousness of art and putting something down.
January 17, 2006:
So the apologies came, at least two one I expected, one not. Not, Andreas mom forgetting the Momentum show was Saturday, my semi- coming out. She had a toothache. Me understandable on the phone. Trying every corner to get notice, respect. The other, wont name names, with a bitchy, needy girlfriend, whos hooked on coke, craves attention, as if the world spun around her. Ive stomached his frat boy stories from Norman, OU football games, drunken stupors, treating women like shit. Now, no balls, she wont let him go out without her oh how the mighty have fallen. Another friend, Jason, the best man at my wedding, hes been missing for three months, not returning my phone calls. Comes out of the shadows, me drunk at Hudsons pub, thought I saw a Fatima vision he, dressed immaculate, Adidas white, angelic. Through all that beer, said he had two hours before his new girl started bitching. I dont think men live anymore, dress, demeanor, submission, only the young college kids, but they exhaust me with their trashed, drunk fuck stories. Skye, Jasonsgirl, left a kid in Dallas with the father, divorced. Within a month, her name was on the checking account, she stays home or goes to school, the same thing Jason just wants love, someone to take care of, someone to put up with his pills, his personality of neediness and suffocation. He used to open and close Hudsons bar down now just a ghost if this is adult, grown up, stick a knife in me, Im done. Shes pregnant, second child, my reaction, shit everything usually ends in a train wreck for him suicide or love, they may be sisters. Our wedding video, Jason made comments, P. L., dead man walking I never walk dead. My girl lets me be, things only change slightly, no overhauls of life Andrea, my wife, a saint, no bitch or control in her body.
So I go to the artist, or he used to be, now a graphic artist, whatever the hell that means, too much capitalist in him now I suspect said hed be at the Momentum show, wasnt though he and his girl drag us to midnight bowling out in the outskirts of Edmond drunk I always turn there, This is boring, lets hit that new bar Bakers Street, somewhere out on Memorial Road Were having fun, his girl says. I am, but I want to turn up the gears whats happened to everybody? Age, I think maybe theyve been there, done that me, chained in Catholicism for most of my life, now I extend adolescence out into a dream I like my strange development.
Got my CD release, a collection of tired stories, Ive gotten better over the two years, should be a drunken mess out at the bookstore on the south side of OKC, where no one ever goes. Im not telling anybody, only my girl, wholl be there, because she knows what I am keep working, building, get a spotlight for the stories. Hell, Brokeback Mountain was a short story, published in the New Yorker . make the theme gay, handicapped, transgender, they lick it up in Hollywood, these themes makes the dollar signs rise, the grease
So the graphic artist who never calls, in his youth days, wins a scholarship to the echelons of an Atlanta art institute, even more prestigious than New York he suffers from that resting, on past youth laurels still gleening ego from it, Im turning towards to hate I know Ill turn drunk one night, I know me. To our circle of friends and cut an irreparable string I really have no needs.
January 18, 2006:
I call Brian (the editor), he returns it he wants to take over the Red Cup prose night, first Thursday of every month. Now run by a girl thats drugged on the poetry scene, the pretentious, the Galilean coffee-housers, the poets Id like to tip them over, spill their guts, and find nothing inside everytime I see this girl she teaches at one of the schools in the city I get them mixed up, OCC, OCU, UCO, hell no one cares she speaks two minutes not wanting to be sullied by the red dirt faces, thats doing something more ambitious than the stick up the assers of education. We go like Jesus, out to the masses, away from the university temples, to the people. Bukowski you saint, you uncommon, ordinary, deep, you had all the answers in your alcoholic lungs. I want a fire, to upset some cemented, established tables, offending the ones I dont respect, to make a name .
January 19, 2006:
Hungover went out midweek to take my girl two stepping to country music. A friend of hers, Travis Linville, plays acoustic at the Wormy Dog saloon. My disposition defeat seventy-five bucks Ive made in three days waiting tables failure writing and art a bitch, a poor one at that. Questioning everything now, those tumbling doubts, no escape, as I push the forty- year marker. But there is no other way for me when in the darkness of my mind, some light springs and drags my weariness to the top. God or me, something invisible I cant define Travis came through with a line, Ill paraphrase, cant do the nine to five, I want a beauty grave Guthrie, Thoreau, something theyve said, but rings true at the Wormy Dog tonight My girl always encouraging tells me about a talk she had with her friend before the Momentum show. Stacy C. says shes never met a guy like me, at my age (thanks) who will hold out for art when others have given it up for a prosperous road maybe thats who I am, a definition, the reason in a bleak world, the fool who keeps doing it, keeping a flame in a windy age, its been blowin and thundering this week but I needed these messages, pulling bootstraps, growing rejuvenated balls, stick the stories in hungry eyes, save someone. Theres hope in this book Im writing, the memoir, the philosophy, Ill never self-publish, like some friends who have, who will never make it Ill peddle it, get the critiques, this writing is coming easy, flowing, it must be right, gonna attach the story Bullet at the end, not because Im lazy, because what I am cant be said any better. Todays my Friday, gonna wait the dreary tables for four hours, come home to my girl, lay naked, rent a video, get ready for my CD release at Book Beat, fifteen minutes of my small pure glory, read the Dinner story, an anthem to an artistic path, make someone take notice, I believe in this. Dinner starts, another purgatorial holiday was approaching, and my brother, Phil, with his new silicone wife, was coming to Christmas dinner. Hes everything the American male dreams for. A hot sixth sense for business, trophy wife, houses on both glistening coasts. The life for him, the life for most, but death for me. That says it all.
January 20, 2006:
So I sit in the midst of a lazy Saturday at silenced Galileos bar in the corner, scribbling, smoking, wasting time for my CD release tonight out at Book Beat. Came unglued last night in the midnight hours of two-thirty a.m., indicting my wifes friends with my insecurities as an artist. Mostly hurt, with my slivers of pretentiousness, me always painting myself with the misunderstood, undiscovered genius brush that I think I am. All my drinking buddies, that which Ive labeled them now, and only that, I dont think they have it in them to support anything cultured, so non-evolved. Hell, look at me, so evolved? I shouldnt be saying such things in all my fucked-up hangovers, the tumbling regrets of Saturday and Sunday mornings. New friends Ive met, maybe seven months Ive only known them, support me more than a lot of these fucks that have insulted me a trillion ways. But they dont know how I take these slight cuts, so hard, as rivers of forever. They want me to come over, to look at their dogs or cars or new couches or boats, to drink.
Im not such an enigma to do this, so hermetic as a writer, no pretentiousness lingers along these lines. I can get drunk with the best of them. Ive got a long record of wobbling and sleeping in bars. Maybe its suffering fools moderately. Maybe its the scars of abandonment from my family that I draw on, at even the hint not caring. And my tongue got loose last night, hurting my wife. Shes always supported me regardless of dreary, artsy readings or whatever. Only love she is, a true definition. But I let anger get the best of me. I felt thrown out, left in a cold blood rain, isolated in my mind. And my heart was a splitter and poured all the acidic words on her because she was the closest. For this, Im sorry.
I talk a big game, but one, I think, of my good qualities, is too forgiving, too quickly. Angry quick, but in the end, temperate.
Im not inviting out anyone again to anything of art or writing. Id rather have two that would want to be there than a trillion pulled by their teeth out of guilt and obligation, Shilo, my publisher and bookstore owner, and my girl. But Shilo was the only one before the stage in support at Momentum, giving me confidence. And while hes new and fresh, I still cling to him in love as a brother. Those I thought, now labeled pseudo-family, didnt have it in them. Exchanging my important debut for a mechanics birthday, though this guy never showed up for our wedding, planning a camping trip or something like it.
So I indicted last night, everyone on the face of the suffering earth, that could be and Ill probably regret, I do that, dividing in my head of what was appropriate and what wasnt. Many a time though, Ive had to endure a lot of get-togethers I had to be coaxed in to. Drunken OU football bullshit, suburban get-togethers, cars and motors all those things. Dragged to the city of Edmond in a blurr, way out to midnight bowling which I had fun, no doubt put twelve beers in front of me and Id think poets were brilliant. Then I go back in my mind about karma, mostly by my girls accusation that I didnt show up to a shitty local friends bands in dingy bars. Yeah, shes right, maybe Im doing penance now to the magical force of Indian mantras. My one saving defense is that Im not shitty as far as writing is concerned the bands are, save Headroom, I always think my brothers are gods, though they never call, mostly cause theyre money has left hopefully.
Im an extrovert but have a lot of introvert pondering in me maybe thats what makes people leary they pick up the judgement I exude, sometimes. But pleasing almost to the point of pandering, to others views, keeping quiet with a head nod Im an actor, a good one, you have to be to hide sometimes the contempt you have. Im by nature a pleaser. Maybe thats why writing is, as Roberts book is entitled, The Last Lethal Outlet, at least for me. To corral all that hate and contempt till its about to bust out of my brain and veins, and then, finally, at its most lucid point, bleed it on a page, the pen a scathing rapist.
Ill go back today, apologize, because I know at some point I took the wrong path, insulted, when I should have understood my girl makes me nice and societal, women, the smooth-overs, tape the frayed relationships, glue the fabrics of society, apologize when all I want to do is throw a Molatov into them and throw them over the cliffs and dash them on the rocks forever. But somehow, shell keep it all together, the grounding.
Im not ready to hang out with them, not just yet Ill miss a few of their so-called important occasions maybe drop a birthday, an anniversary, Lake Eufala on the Fourth of July, hell, let them just sit there, knowing inside, but wondering through their mouths of why I didnt show
And a so-called artist friend, resting on laurels and awards of a teen past, that didnt show, who couldnt call for going on a week and a half now, though he blowhards over beer in bars at how talented he is this to me is disrespect for what I do. I gave him the website for Dinner, it says it all he could have been a theme, either Phil or with a little more time, one of my dead uncles in the story, kissing their demise at the end as I wish they all would do Hell hath no fury like a writer scorned I dont think women can compete I know what motherhood is, protecting your art and ways, like a mother bear.
When this so-called artist, who gave up the dream, commented on my work with this sentence, Dont you think Dinner is harsh?, maybe he fell under conviction. I preach with the fervor of a camp meeting preacher under a tent in a dust bowl prarie.
So this day has turned into, at least on this page, my anthem and mantra, these rude thoughts. And Ill write them, till I make amends. Ill go to Veronicas birthday party at Hudsons because she came to hear me read, wanted me to be there. Drink a couple of cheap draws to take the edge off, sell some CDs on the outside, where I dont want any of my friends to attend, save my wife, because shes rose. Ill make amends, only to her, because she and my mom know somewhat how I bleed in the quiet moments of holy. Isolated, alone, reading in front of people I barely know, as it should be, these are the ladders, monichers, genes, growing pains of a man non-normal a writer. Till tonight P.L.
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