It is not eight in the morning and I have composed an excellent new story, called "The Horn Players (Stackable Variations)," which takes the form of telling the story of two Mozart scholars in a series of prose variations, the first and last scenes of the story occurring in the stacks of a library at a conservatory.
It is difficult to convey how stupid people currently are, without some examples. I spend my life--or a larger part of my life than anyone in the world does with their life--dealing in words. The words I write, the words I read, the way I hear conversations. I even watch the films I watch (save when I'm at the Brattle or the Harvard Film Archive) with subtitles, including the English films. I write works of art all day, letters all day, and I am forced to be on dreadful dating sites because I have been alone for years and what else am I going to do? I would say, conservatively, that fifteen hours of every day I am looking at words.
As a side note, it's worth mentioning that people who become infatuated with me, before they know me that well, will then come to this website, and be terrified out of their minds over the expanse and depth of my mind, and they will run. They realize that I am infinitely beyond them, mentally. Sometimes, as was the case with a text I didn't even open from someone I had zero interest in--and after a gap of a week or two (people like to self-medicate and have this moment with me, like they're some brave hero, when I don't even remember their name because a week in my life is like twenty years, and a year is like a century)--they will say that I am massively intimidating (you can see like the first four words), they can't deal with it, they feel so inferior, etc. God's curse appears perfect. The greater I become, the greater I become as an artist, the more screwed I am in this evil industry--not that it's possible to be more screwed in it at this point, which is why I will say whatever on the blog, because it's not like saying the truth about these people can make the situation worse, and I think it's far more likely, eventually, to help and spring me from this prison--and socially. People want someone mediocre like they are. It's the comfort zone. I used to joke that this was a case of Beethoven on dates. Imagine Beethoven, he writes the Ninth, writes the last string quartets, and then hops online, to receive a note like this one I received this morning:
"So, do you mind a little cc on your profile? :) Also spring day? More like third winter. Lol"
Alternatively, in this twisted game of pick your poison, there is this, also from this morning:
"Hi, I'm curious what are your thoughts about art in the context of capitalism. It's an ongoing debate I have going on with friends. I can elaborate but perhaps you have an initial reaction."
First thing one person says to another. A simple, stupid person trying to sound deep. I would bet anything--I don't even need to look--that the second person is an academic drone who calls themselves a writer, and may in fact number among the people in publishing who try to ban me from everything. Their online profiles will clearly identify their pronouns, they'll write prose poems, they will have rainbow filters on everything thinking they are saving the world when they've never done a selfless act in their lives, they'll say they hate cops, Orange Man is bad, Greta Thunberg is the savior, all of the standard stuff. They'll also have a New Yorker tote bag. And remark that they are living their best life. (Edit: Just checked, for argument's sake. And yep, yep, yep, yep, on everything. In fact, the best life remark was the first thing I saw.)
Sometimes I try to be randomly nice. Put a positive thought into someone's day. I saw a photo on Facebook of someone on a beach doing a handstand--I don't know the technical term, but it seemed quite ornate--as waves crashed in the background. I said it was a neat photo, and as someone always loath to try and stand on my head--it used to freak me out in gym class--I could all but feel the blood rushing to my head in seeing the photo. Want to see what this genius replied with?
"Don’t be a perv !! ugh !!!!"
That's what you're dealing with, man. That's America. That's the world. Something Hardware John never understood--this is nearly everybody. And it gets worse each year, the devolution is more noticeable each year.
Then there are the people who want me to like them, who come to this site and are terrified out of their minds, and decide to take a conservative, play-not-to-lose approach, and act like this is all normal, there's nothing to see here, so rather than comment on the planet-sized elephant in the room, they'll say, "oh, thanks, I think I'll watch that film tonight that you mentioned on your blog," nothing else, which tells me that the person is either as obtuse as you can be, hopeless socially, or an utter coward, or a combo, in which case, we are done, I have no interest in associating for a second longer with anyone who fits any version of that bill.
One can literally go days online and on dating sites without seeing a single grammatically correct sentence. I don't mean a masterful sentence. I mean a sentence that if you were a first grader--you know, the year you learn to read--your teacher wouldn't mark any part of it as incorrect. No matter how simple the sentence. People can't so much as execute a, "I like cats," kind of sentence. They will fuck up something.
I printed out a copy of "Six Feet Away" for Emma, wrote her a sweet little inscription on it, and put it outside her door with a couple candy bars. Not that that will cheer her up, but she likes candy. I think in this year of high school she has become kind of unmoored, less mentally well; I think her mental health has declined. I think she isolates emotionally. After her grandfather died, she slept until noon. People are around. Someone needs to wake her up, engage her, help her engage herself and her feelings, get her out for a walk. I don't think it was good to stop going to the therapist. But, not my kid, not much I can do with that kind of thing. And if someone is going to isolate there's also not a lot you can do. I've noticed that whenever people refer to us, despite our mentor-mentee relationship, they tend not to refer to the relationship that way, but as a friendship. And I think that's a salient point. But it's a heavy burden on a friendship when it's one person always doing something for the other, and that other doesn't so much as ever say, "how are you?" anymore. It's like another job for me, to be honest. And I have so many jobs as it is.