Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Film Lab

The loud blonde piped up and asked the instructor to turn the lights up. Someone behind her piped up, too, and - earning my life-long admiration - asked her if she would mind shutting the hell up. People laughed and some clapped. At least one "here, here" was heard. The blonde did her best to ignore it. I hoped, and not a little maliciously, that the embarassment would keep her quiet for good.

After the first film ended, everyone got up and made for the door. I sat in my seat and watched her leave. Her hair was tied up in something of a small pony-tail and a light-pink scarf was knotted loosely around her neck. She was chatting with her friends as they walked out of the lecture theatre. Unfortunatley, the public chiding had done nothing, it seemed, to dampen her spirits. As they got to the threshhold of the room, one of her friends said something I couldn't make out. The blonde laughed loudly and made a high-pitched whooping noise. I remember feeling disgusted when she did this, disgusted and ashamed. I had never found her pretty but she seemed particulary ugly to me then. She disappeared quickly into the hall and I had to jog a bit to catch up.

At home I emptied out my pockets. I had taken her watch, necklace, and left ring-finger as souvenirs, and I laid them out carefully on my writing desk. There was a lot of blood seeping through the paper-towel in which I had wrapped the finger. Some was beginning to stain the wood of my desk, so I grabbed some new towels and wrapped the finger more securely this time, placing it in a plastic bag when I had finished to be extra safe.

I had missed the second feature, I remembered then, and for a moment I considered going back to see if I could catch the end. Good sense prevailed, however, and I stayed home for the rest of the evening.

I went to the bathroom then and washed my face with cold water. Back in my room, I stood over the table. I picked up the watch and turned it over in my hands. It was still warm. The hands ticked by with a regularity I found cruelly ironic. I held up the watch to my ear, listening intently to each beautiful, inevitable tick. I was struck by the thought that this watch would never stop, that somehow it would prevail over time and pulse forever. It would outlast me, outlast the son I wanted to have whose purpose would be to safeguard this watch, to keep it with him and to give to his son and to hold it forever. I never did have a son, and, by the looks of things now, I never will, but, gentlemen, that watch I wear still - I'm wearing it now - and not once in seventeen years has it stopped. It beats with a regularity I no longer find ironic, beats perfect and uniform and ordered. It always will. Say, would you like to take a listen?

So he comes up to me, right, and he says to me, "You shouldn't be doing that in public." And I'm like, "Well, sir, that's quite the point." And he says, "But it's obscene!" And I'm like, "That, too, sir, is quite the point." So he shakes his head and goes inside, right, and at first I don't think anything of it. But then I remember there's a payphone right in the lobby and this guy - I can just tell - is the type to call Jake on me. So I shuffle up to the building, right, and I - hey! you still with me? Alright, yeah, so anyway, I shuffle up to the building - which is pretty hard to do with your pants around your ankles - and I poke my head around the edge of the brick wall right at the side there and I look around the wall and inside, just like I thought, buddy's on the phone. He's talking and looking to the street and I think he saw me 'cause he seemed to get real excited and he pointed at me. So I go back to the sidewalk, right, and like a minute later buddy comes out and tells me he's called the police, I should get outta here, that type a' shit. So I look him dead in the eye. I don't say a word. I don't know why, but for some reason he's looking back at me. He doesn't turn away. So we're standing there looking each other right square in the eye for what feels like a good, solid minute. Finally he says something, a little quieter this time. "Listen, buddy," he says. "No hard feelings and all. Just get outta here before they come. You don't want to go to jail, do ya?" I clear my throat. "Well, sir," I begin. "That, too, is quite the point." I swear, I thought he was going to shit. Anyway, Jake never showed up so it was all good. So, yeah, how was your day?

Friday, November 10, 2006


So, yes, my blog sucks. It sits here untouched, mocked by those blogs for which people actually write. It's a lonely blog, a sad, scared site. Once loved by its creator, it has since been cast off into the cruel world of things he now ignores. Perhaps during times of procrastination it will be resurrected. Only time will tell on that account.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I'm being forced to write this...

Our topic is the essence of toaster-ovens. The questions toward which this inquiry leads us are puzzling and exciting, often opaque, but always in some sense there to deal with and make sense of. These questions must be encountered for they constitute the very essence of what it is to be a human insofar as toasting lies at the core of our being.

The kinds of toasters, or more specifically, toaster-ovens, that should provide some sort of focus to our inquiry are manifold. They must all be dealt with in turn.

The first and most common sense notion of the essence of a toaster-oven, inaugurated by the ancients and carried forth into our intellectual and metaphysical history, is that of the "two-tiered" or "double" toaster-oven. Interesting that the "essence" of the definition of toaster-oven is based on a relation to the notion of a "single" toaster-oven, but hey, who said toasting was rational?

As the Scholasticism of the Medieval era dawned as the predominant authority in all matters toasting and otherwise, the notion of toasting as well as the essence of "toasting-ovens" was exposed to a subtle but important revision. No longer was the double-toaster associated with what it meant to really "be" a toaster-oven. A sense of individuality, a toaster-oven unto itself, was adopted as authoritative, and the single-oven toaster emerged on the horizon to take the place for which it had been hitherto denied.

Today, the question of Toaster-Ovens has long since been forgotten. It behooves us to study this question because it is through an understanding of the essence of toasting and toaster-ovens that we glimpse a portrait of ourselves, ambiguous as it sometimes may appear.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bittersweet Symphony

Fifty thousand fifty-nine words later and I'm done. I don't think I'll know what to do with myself tomorrow.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

In absentia

Although I post infrequently on this blog (as anyone who reads it must know), I shall make aware to those who do happen upon it that I will, for the next month, be even less prolific than I have been in the past. In the following month I will be undertaking a task of the tallest order: writing a novel in thirty days. Yes, you heard me - thirty days. I am absolutely terrified, but a part of me is excited and anxious and I think it will be a test of my mettle the likes of which I have never really subjected myself to before. So I bid adieu to all you readers (the three of you). Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Wail of Being

I had a damn good cry last week. Broken, dissheveled, pathetic, lying shirtless on the floor, I wept like there was no tomorrow, lost somewhere deep inside, uninhibited. The Wail of Being, I called it. I liked the sound of it, The Wail of Being - very existential. It seemed appropriate too, to attribute my tears to no particular agent, to a sentiment both vague and overwhelming, to life itself, for I'm not troubled by anything particular at the moment. No kittens have been recently mutilated, and my library of vintage Playboy's remains untouched underneath my bed, just where I left them, and so, eliminating the usual sources of pain, I'm at a loss to explain my breakdown.

But this is beside the point. It doesn't really matter why I was crying, but that I was crying, and that it was an ennobling experience. I felt vital and new afterwards. I felt good. There was no shame or regret within me. I felt an individual, finally.

"It's a shame men don't cry more," a friend said to me as we casually happened upon the subject. I agreed, bolstered by my recent experience. It seems women have a kind of monopoly on this whole crying thing, but, dammnet, why should they have all the fun? But I started to think that perhaps the reason it felt so good to weep is that I, as a man, am not supposed to.
We say we're much more enlightened and liberal these days when it comes to gender stereotypes, but that's not really the case. Real men don't cry, and they sure as hell don't admit to it, and they especially don't praise it. And so, in giving up a role and an act that I play almost every day, one that is often stifling and unnatural, I attained something pure and genuine. This feeling was born out of sorrow, but punctuated by joy, facilitated by the structure I overcame, and so the structure was necessary, but only as something to be occasionally razed.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Muses and Philosophy

A friend told me he was all about the Muses yesterday. "I'm all about the Muses lately," he said. I was like, "Wuuurd?" and he confirmed that, yes, he was indeed feelin' the Muses. What I find interesting, however, is that he is a philosopher. He belongs to a tradition that repudiated the Muses, if not directly then most assuredly indirectly; it is in the Poets that the Muses sing, and poetry has been done-in since Plato.

Now it may be somewhat bold of me to suggest that because someone studies philosophy their views are naturally consonant with those of Plato. In fact, if I had made this assertion I would just be plain wrong: Nietzsche was probably the greatest modern philosopher and here was a man who disagreed with the most basic Platonic/Socratic principles. But my friend loves Plato. He has said before that even now it is Plato's world we live in. He knows the material and is especially bright. He has studied Political Theory at the University of Toronto under some of the greatest minds in Christendom. What, then, in the name of Socrates did he mean when he said he was feelin' the Muses, when he said he desired for the Muses to sing in and through him so that he could write some philosophy? Would not the influence of the Muses be antithetical to the very nature of his enterprise? Does not the part of the soul animated by the Muses run contrary to reason and is instead the province of the passions, the thymos, if you will? Don't the muses represent that which philosophy must do battle against and rise above? Homer called upon the Muses; Socrates rejected them. The Muses and Philosophy are foils, not friends, and it is this sentiment I believe which caused me not a little amount of consternation upon hearing his utterance. I had thought it is the aim of philosophy to neglect, or at the least control, that part of man which is persuaded and swindled by the comfort of the Muses, for it is their influence which obscures both reason and detached, rational thought about the unchanging and the eternal necessary for philosophy as envisioned by the Ancients. Philosophy rose in opposition to Poetry because it felt that it could find truth with reason, not "feeling" as Poetry does. But my question is not about which discipline approaches more closely the truth. My question, my doubt, is that Philosophy and Poetry, and by Poetry I refer to the Muses, are not congruent. And my answer is I don't believe they are. One may rightly dispute whether Philosophy is correct in repudiating the Muses, but I believe it is beyond dispute to say that Philosophy does not require, nor is aided by the Muses, and that it should, if it wishes to be true its principles, stop its ears with wax and ignore the call of the Sirens.

But my friend was drunk when he said this so he was probably just a little fucked up.