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Bottle of smoke

Saturday 2/1/19

I really don't like unsolicited life advice. I get some, on occasion, from writers and people who view themselves as creative types. They have had a set of experiences, that is in line with their ability. They wished to go further; but even if this industry was a meritocracy, as I am going to make it, they would not have gone further. They would not have gone as far even as they did, because where they did go was down to people hooking them up. A former employee here, does this for them there. I see it all the time. With work I think absolutely nothing of, that could not mean anything to anyone.

These people will sometimes get in touch with me to say that what matters is accepting a tiny niche, that the world doesn't matter, impacting it does not matter. For that person, that's true. That's also what they tell themselves to comfort themselves that their ability got them as far as it could. It wasn't the paucity of ability that was the issue, it was the loggerheads of the world. That is the cop-out that is the final product of the frantic rationalization process. But it was right that they got as far as they got. It was congruous.

We do not have the same amount of ability. We don't have the same amount of drive. Expertise, genius, range. We don't have the same amount of steadfastness of purpose. We don't have the same amount of strength. We don't have the same amount of utility right now. Right now and forevermore. Not when it comes to the whole art thing.

I am not here to carve out my little patch of grass. Which I could not even do anyway, because everything I am is built towards creating, everything I want in this life--everything--is predicated on getting to where I am going. I can't just marry some regular person and live in a house in the suburbs and I don't have other skills that are going to let me live as I wish to live or even ever buy the stock house that I am not interested in in the stock life, and I'm not going to head off and be a custodian or wash dishes, which are my other options. In some ways, I don't have a lot of skills, I'm not a teacher, I'm not an accountant, a lawyer, a doctor, I'm not in computers; all of my ability and everything I am--and it is more ability than anyone has ever had to do anything else--is poured into one thing that is very big and rangy and goes from the page to the screen to the radio to the TV to the movie theater to the podcast to the recording to the sports show to the magazine to the book shelf to the touring stage. I get past the harbor blockade this industry has set up, that is what will be there for me. And doing all of it at once, and better than anyone does any of it, will be like the Country Bears Jamboree compared to what this is like right now, because you cannot even imagine how difficult this is, I don't care if you're Plato. So I'm all in, and I also don't have a choice, because this is what I am. Would I rather be anyone else? Most of the time, yes, I would rather be anyone else. (With the knowledge that if this works out, it will be that I would never wish to trade places with anyone who had ever lived.) Anyone. But I'm not. I'm me. This is the mind and the strength I was given, and maybe I made a mistake working for so long and so hard to grow and evolve, always honing my mind. But I did, and that's done now. I am here to do what is in line with my talent. And what this world needs. I am not going to settle for what is not in line with my talent, in terms of influence, audience, compensation. I am not going to settle for what is not in line with my talent in how much I can impact this world and help people. I am not going to suffer people--though I might deal with them with a smile on my face, though that is becoming less and less likely--who project all that they can't be onto all that I am, and all I am going to do--my congruity--which I am not going to be kept from by man, beast, God, anything.

I am not going to have my life criticized because I have more ability than you do, and I am not settling for your patch of grass, which you had to tell yourself was about other things, like your acquired wisdom, like you wised up and "got things," which may be true, but it was also because you didn't have the talent. If you had it, you never would have thought most of what you've ever thought. That is not my problem. Don't make it my problem. Right now you live in the house, you have people of similar intellect around you, you are not completely alone in every crowd you enter because of your mind, you have money, you have the cars, and I am busting my ass for the only thing that can make this life work out for me. And I'm also busting my ass for humanity.

So: say nothing, get on the bus, or get run over by the bus. I hate sententiousness and fake "go with grace, brother, and be happy with a bottle of milk and some peace." That's your stuff. We are not of the same stuff. No offense, but we are not remotely of the same stuff. If you care about me, do not add to my burden right now. What I am undertaking is vaster and harder than most minds can conceive of, and it requires all my strength and focus. Contribute to this cause, if you care about me. It is, in a way, your cause, too, whether you are a writer who wants more and maybe even deserves more, or whether you are simply a person of decency and intelligence in this world. I am simply the point person on this.

You know something, though? For all that my mind can do, all of its knowledge, I never just pop into someone's life and tell them how they're doing it wrong. (Imagine if I did? And imagine if I held you to my standard of everything? I'd never stop itemizing things for you, would I?) That is some majorly out of touch, wrong time, wrong place, temerity. But then again, I know what I am. And I know where I am going. Nothing else matters. It is everything I am--I have no say in that--and everything I am here for. You might as well tell me I'd be better off dying. Which I am not doing until this is done, because I know I can do it. And the thing is, everyone else knows it too, even the people who pop in to give me a few words that we all know are anything but germane to me. You are saying them for your comfort, not my cause. And if you have any doubt, keep reading the work, read it again, keep reading this journal. That will clear up any doubt for you.

I write these lines as I write all of the lines here, to myself. With the knowledge that others will see them in future, though that's a correlation, not where focus is in the process of composition. I am not interfacing here. This is about something much larger.


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