“It’s all there, in shades of grey…”

There are words on every page.
There are words on every page.

In addition to the scores of blog entries here over the years, I’ve written dozens of notebooks full of journal entries, as well as the hilarious green and red notebooks full of stuff my friends and I thought was funny or ridiculous. I also kept a few “other” notebooks. Some of them were full of personal observations I hoped would lead to story or poem ideas, while others were just phrases or sentences I though were deep or meaningful. I quoted movies, I quoted friends, I quoted Camus and Nietzsche and Kafka. I was deep and pretentious, honest and phony, brilliant and idiotic, and all the while I was self-involved and myopic.

Since the early 1980s, I had a couple of extra spiral notebooks where I could carve out some of my inconclusive free-verse or jot single-line ideas. I also used them for shot lists of movies I never made, and outlining novels I never wrote. I really liked the hard cover notebooks that were popularly for sale at bookstores in the 1990s, so I switched to them from the old spirals.

As an aside, I was wondering the other day what I did with my free time back in the old days before the internet, and except for obsessive masturbation and the occasional video rental, writing in my journals and these notebooks must have been it.

Almost all of the things written here about women were written before I was married.

There is no chronology to these items. In fact, I usually just opened the book to a random page or a page that looked particularly empty.

Also of note: writing a lot of material doesn’t necessarily make any of it good.

  • Life is a song. Time is the voice.
  • Home is a moment.
  • Hell is the moment of ultimate regret.
  • “You don’t conquer fear. You learn to get excited by it.” –Gary Busey
  • It’s all there, in shades of grey.
  • “All is not lost, only misplaced.” -Unknown, quoted here from M. Z.
  • I have as much paper as I want. The day will never come when I say to myself that I’ve written too much.
  • My life is full of undocumented suffering.
  • “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” ~1984
  • She had that damned black soul that got all over my fingers.
  • I feel happy on purpose, but often feel sad by default.
Prepare and Prevent
What do we mostly offer our children? Candy, sugar, fat, video games, television, the internet, violent movies, cigarettes, alcohol, bad advice, empty morality, hypocrisy, Mr. Self Destruct. What kid could possibly resist? Moral: don’t act so surprised.
  • Medicine is not candy. Food is not medicine.
  • I despise women who date and marry loser guys who are really good looking, but I fawn over really beautiful women.
  • Story idea: a man spends an entire winter cutting down a huge oak tree with his bare hands.
  • Is confession an action?
  • Unhappiness fuels the engine of passion.
  • Violate my tender place and witness the darkness.
  • Everyone else is so ridiculous. I wish I had a clearer picture of my own ridiculousness.
Spirit is Psyche
Don’t tell me who I should be. Don’t tell me that buying something will make me happy, that I’ll be loved, that I’ll be The One. In fact, don’t tell me anything. Give me the truth.
  • “I use hate as a weapon. Had I been strong, I never would have needed such a weapon.” ~Ann, from her journal
  • Fear: If I let this all out, the explosion of violence and rage will destroy me.
  • “Anger and sorrow frighten me because I fear losing control and becoming a raging maniac.” ~Letter from girlfriend, 1992
  • I look into their beautiful chestnut eyes and think about the bold, uncaring ingratitude their husbands will show them tonight.
  • Demanding that I demand nothing is a demand.
  • I don’t miss you. But I miss who I was when I was with you. Or thinking about you. Or missing you.
  • Story idea: “The Disk,” about a writer who has misplaced a computer disk full of intimate erotica she has written, and the search to find it through subtle dialog and observation.
  • Having others around me suffer helps because I think they deserve it.
  • Lots of people call me for advice to ignore.
  • My life is raw material for writing.
It Is Your Destiny
Wherever I am is where it seems like I was destined to be. When I am with someone, it seems natural, obvious, inevitable. It’s the same when I am alone. The truth is, though, that I am alone much more than I am with someone.
  • I am not insane, but I sometimes have insane fantasies.
  • If you castrated me today, would I care about anything in two weeks? How much of what I feel and desire is in my glands?
  • Today I walked venomously close to that place of dangerous insanity. My hate, all clad in white and red, led me by the hand.
  • Then there’s that intensely person moment, in the dark, shared with no one, when you finally say you’re sorry.
  • That day, I was her hero.
  • I’m lucky: I fantasize about violence that is so ridiculous that I could never actually do it. (K called this “utility tempered vengeance.”)

That brings us about a third of the way through the blue book with the gold filigree. More to come.

With these notebooks I have always tried to be a little messier, a little more chaotic, a little closer to the edge.
With these notebooks I have always tried to be a little messier, a little more chaotic, a little closer to the edge.
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