I think that I should probably start writing down ideas of things to write about whenever I first think of them. I just sat down here and nothing happened. I don’t think this is due to me not having anything to say, but rather it is due to me sitting down with too much to say. There’s too much clutter in my mental attic right now and I am still trying to sift through it all now that summer has just gotten here….And I have a feeling there will always be more clutter to come.
Bill Simmons is someone that I had heard of before, but just actually found out who he really was. He is a writer for ESPN and he followed a similar college path as I did. He received a B.A. in Political Science just like I did. He also wrote for his college newspaper at the time, something that I did not do and wish I had given a shot. I worked for my daily college newspaper for a short time but didn’t end up sticking with it. I was a copy-editor, which in terms of excitement ranks somewhere between categorizing birds in a bird watching guide and watching paint dry. The writers and reporters would gather and write their stories and then it goes to an assistant editor who then would send it to me, the copy-editor, and I would then send it to the head editor of the paper for a final run through. Every article goes through three sets of eyes before it goes to the layout department. I understand why so many people are asked to read through an article, but it still seemed a little overkill to me. I essentially was telling myself that my job didn’t matter. In hindsight, (which is always helpful in any situation) I probably was doing the paper a service because on many long nights I highly doubt that every set of eyes was going over the material to the highest of their abilities. I have a feeling this may be the reason that I always pick up a handful of grammatical errors in my favorite dailies. Maybe I missed my calling…I was born to spellcheck things.
I am often scared that I really may have missed my calling, and this often makes me wonder what I might go back and do if I had a time machine. (I should probably write that down as something to write about later) While it may be a fun thing to daydream about, it can also lead to painful feelings of “what-if.” I don’t have access to a time machine and I don’t know anyone else that does either. Maybe I should stop thinking that way. My cooperating teacher that I taught under for my student teaching did mention on occasion that you can buy one somewhere online for around $5,000. He is just the type of cat that may be telling the truth about it too, all the while passing it off as a joke. I’ll file this under things to investigate and write about later too.
I picked up “Post Office,” by Charles Bukowski earlier. Bukowski has always fascinated me because he did not start writing professionally until he was almost to middle age. This makes me think that there may be hope for me after all of living through letters. I doubt I will drink and fornicate as much as him though because I love my girlfriend and dog very much. I love the way that he writes about the post office and his experiences while working as one of the many foot soldiers of our mail system. I am only a few chapters into it and I know that I am going to enjoy it. We often take for granted how our mail comes to us I think. He gives the invisible deliverers some humanity and throws his own personal adventures into it. I like the idea of using his approach as a possible one to my own writing. Making personal adventures out of my day-to-day grind while I look for my own voice is something to think about.
I just need to write. I need to write everyday about anything and everything. It may not always be interesting and it may not always be easy, but I think that it is necessary if I am going to take this idea of writing to the next level. And along the way I can refine my skills, like a musician would do. I can also borrow from the greats that have come before me.
Before, I talked about Bukowski and how he gave a sense of humanity to the job of a postman. He writes about himself and his own perceptions and how they carry over into his profession. His profession just happens to get him into situations where he is walking around hungover, trying to keep German Shepherds from burying their snouts in his gonads. If that is not humanity, then you show me what is…
Isn't all writing about humanity? When the Hindenburg went down in flames, and Herbert Morrison was there, and witnessed one of the first live horrific scenes that have ever been caught on tape, he could not contain himself. He says, “oh, the humanity.” He tells his engineer, Charlie Nehlsen, that he has to step aside. It was the most terrible thing he had ever witnessed…And the words that will always be remembered from that fateful day are, “oh, the humanity."
Humans are the ones that read, listen to, and watch media. Believe it or not, every single one of us has an inner monologue and feelings of our own. It is hard to believe, but even some of the seemingly most despicable people on the planet are still humans. No matter how much that we want to say, “say it ain’t so,” it is so. Even Osama bin Laden was a human being, and in no way whatsoever does my saying so negate the HORRENDOUS things that he saw were carried out against humanity. He got what he deserved. Sometimes humanity can be its own worst enemy.
The fact that we are still here though tells me that we ought to make an effort to somehow embrace our shared humanity. One of my personal heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, was a humanist. A humanist is someone that is mainly concerned with issues that pertain only to us humans here on earth. By my own understanding, it is someone who wants to only attempt to solve the conflicts that are within our earthly control, meaning that we ought not to involve other worldly beings in our business here on earth. We should leave those matters to The Avengers.
I never thought that I would actually be afraid of getting a job. I have a job interview this coming Monday, and I have a good feeling about my chances of getting hired…and it scares the beejesus out of me. It scares me because I feel like it would mean that I finally gave in. After all these years of looking for that which will make me truly happy, I have finally had to settle for less.
I try to talk to others about this and it never seems to work out. I have a feeling that it never seems to work out because these people are not telling me what I want to hear. I’ve had a nice long run of jumping from one rock to the next and I am now out of rocks.
The job in question is with the school district that I just recently completed my student teaching in, and it is in their alternative school. I would like to say that by alternative I mean that it is something that runs against the status quo, but it’s really just a place where they throw the kids who have behavior or truancy issues that have gone beyond what the regular school is willing to tolerate. I know this because I used to work at one as a teacher’s aide.
Anyway, by taking this job or one similar to it, does it mean that I am giving in? Couldn’t I keep on working towards my ultimate goal of writing for a living in my evenings, weekends, and holiday and summer breaks? I really do love my girlfriend and dog very much and it would be really nice if I could start to actually help support the three of us. When I think about it that way then it starts to make more sense. I can’t be selfish here; I have got to put them first. Hopefully the rest will fall into place.
I have just come to two conclusions in my head; that I love and need to be able to support my girlfriend and dog, and that I love writing and need to keep it up. After all, writing brought me to the two conclusions I just made. Maybe one of these days I’ll try to write a story…