Monday, June 10, 2013

A Call to Arms II

I wanna quit. This is the general mood, the general feeling; it's the way the ennui sets in during the quiet and tired times. I read the newspaper. It's worth a giggle or two. I drink coffee, I'm down to one cup a day. On Saturday nights after work I hustle up my buddies John and Soizic. The three of us get acquainted with gin martinis. Last night it was Old Raj, dear Old Raj. I continue hustling tables in a restaurant where I may never be able to afford to eat. I wander the streets of downtown Portland daily, mostly after dark. I contemplate quitting. I think about coming off the weekly gin. I mean, it's like the conversation after the Old Raj martini. “It was like three drinks,” I said. “It was like five,” John said. “We should've quit after that first martini,” I said. “Yeah,” John said. “It was perfect, after that I was just chasing the high.”

Just chasing the high.

I do wanna quit. I wanna quit my job. It's a good job. I work less than 25 hours a week. I make good money. It does not interfere with the daytime hours I spend with my son, which is perfect. On Saturday nights I get to have a drink or two with my friends, which I love. In short, there is nothing about the job that should make me want to quit. I wanna quit the walk to work, and the walk home. Because not only do I not want to work downtown, I think I wanna quit living down here too. The coffee and the newspaper? These are the least of my worries. And they are only a small part of the ennui.

Dying of ennui.

I wanna quit the magazine. This is only a true statement around publication time. So, quarterly for about three minutes I wanna quit Umbrella Factory Magazine. Fortunately, this too passes. It is a small literary magazine that has already outlived the lifespan of many small literary magazines.

Out living the lifespan.

I often wanna quit writing. I want to quit all of it. I wanna quit keeping a journal. I wanna quit writing novels. I wanna quit this blog. This blog that I have so religiously dedicated myself to writing weekly for the last three years. I want to quit the random pieces, the poems, the vignettes, the short stories that I contribute to Sophia Ballou. In short I want to quit it all.

What's left in the wake?

Nothing. That's right, nothing. To quit writing, at this stage is a ridiculous notion. Not now. It's far too late. I cannot quit work at the restaurant. It's only 25 hours a week, and besides, I see John and Soizic on Saturday nights. And this blog? Forget about it. It's been going on for 180 weeks. And the novels?

Yeah, right.

I just spent the last week review Undertakers of Rain for the tenth time. I got at least 2 more revisions to go through before it hits the proverbial bookshelf. I'll read it through this week, and in a few months, I'll see it in print. It's just not time to quit.

What happens to us when we reach our goals?

This is a stellar question. I set about in life to be a writer. I worked hard to free myself from my confines. I've done everything that I ever said I was going to do. Now what?

Now what?

I can't quit, even though I often want to. It's like at this moment I've just finished that Old Raj martini. And now I'll just keep at it like I want to chase the high.

You, start right now, start today. Write it down. Pick up that pen. Strike a few keys, make the keyboard suffer under the weight of your words. Make art. Do whatever you do. Do it so much, put it in the balance of your life, and make it so you want to quit. It adds an element of conflict to it. Be dangerous. Be subversive. Make love. Make art. Write it down. Go have a gin martini on Saturday nights, late, with John and Soizic.

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