It’s snowing out, just predawn and it’s fun to watch and I’m feeling kind of loopy.
I promised an update awhile ago…but the caffeine has run its course and only leaves me with a slight jitter and no brain energy. Thoughts are falling out of my head and getting mixed in the snow.
Thanksgiving break, all one week of it, was GREAT. Yeah…living the loner life of the hip bachelor is fun…but it was nice to go home, eat home cooked food (I use the microwave so much it’s a wonder I haven’t gained some superpower…or some putrescent deformity that would make Jeff Goldblum puke Fly-acid on his donuts…be afraid, be very afraid). And to sit and do nothing. NOTHING. I’m lazy by nature…but there’s always that guilt that I could be doing something…but not on Thanksgiving. Not this week. I can sit, in front of a fire. See the family (we’ve stopped going to larger family gatherings and keep Thanksgiving relaxed, with immediate family time). Got to see my now tough as nails, New Yorker, sister. She mentioned a costume party she went to where, it came to her attention, some fuck-wit (excuse the language, but verbal and textual communication is flawed enough as it is, we have to use all the words at our disposal to even have a prayer of getting a fraction of our meta-messages across) had made a bet with his friends that he’d have sex with my sister that very night.
A couple of moments of seething anger…but then she told me how she handled it and I got a laugh out of the situation (and our before mentioned friend lost 20 bucks).
During that week, Nick and I went to see an improv show (it was good and very unique) in Chicago, along with Mike Urnikis…who had DVD copies of Black Days. At last!!! Now everyone can see me as a drug dealer (dressed…exactly as I might normally dress…) and Nick get shot in the head a half dozen times (you rewind it and you can make it an even dozen).
At the improve joint, little-brother-Nick spotted an old head shot of Mike Myers that, he thought, looked a bit like an old head shot of me (Dee took it…maybe my Sophomore year).
Nick: “Hey Josh…look. You’re like a fat Mike Myers.”
Josh: “Well thanks…you’re like an unsuccessful Johnny Depp”
More lazing at home…more days…
I won some contest too…
Speaking of which, at the last minute, I ditched the short story I was going to read in Short Fiction class and brought in the first chapter of the novel I will now write for the competition – test it out on my classmates. Afterwards, I walked Joanna, the teacher (though she was a classmate of mine until last year) back to her car…cause it’s a dark, big parking lot and because a shady looking character had kind of stalked her, in the lot, a few weeks back and because, as I’ve always said, the best protection against a shady looking character is to have your own, shadier looking character walk with you.
Joanna told me how excited she was about my contest…but then said she couldn’t really expect it as happening any other way. “You’re the one, Josh,” she said, “the one whose name is going to be out there.” I was taken aback by this. What she was referring to was our little group of UIS writers – not all of them, but the little group we had, in class, a few years ago – the original guinea pigs of Dr. Perkins’s new writing program. Other students drifted in and out. I was taken aback because this was a very nice compliment…and Joanna’s the kind of person you just believe. This is a GOOD group of writers, every one of them. None of my other classes come close. And I remember coming into this group (I was the outsider…the baby of the group as all of them were in their thirties when I came into the class almost four years ago). I remember the first class and feeling intimidated (not because of anything they did…they were great). I’m the last one of “the group” still a student here…they’ve trickled away in graduation.
And Joanna telling me that I’m “the one” made me feel good indeed.
All right…I have to sleep.
My neck is very stiff and very much in pain…but I feel I have little room to complain.
I’m listening to an audio recording of “Ulalume” by Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite poems. Jeff Buckley reads it and does a great job (and there are nice haunting sounds in the background). It’s dark and beautiful and although a guy like Poe might have caught a few raised eyebrows at contemplating the dark so closely…when you can find beauty in the dark, you’ve gained a valuable thing.
The snow’s still falling…