Ten Thousand Days – Dispatches from Day 9971
Couldn’t wake up this morning. Was up all night last proving political legitimacy by algebra, showing that Shakespeare was his own grandmother, digging up a bone under the Mulberry Tree. Woke with the noon, sun high — then did various administrative arrangements — texted an ex or two — ate a sandwich — watched a couple televisions show.
Friday night, date night, no plans, no nothing. Sat on the daybed, pondered my absence of a future. My roommate is in the room next to mine listening to loud loud music — I don’t mind — it’s Aerosmith now, it was Smashing Pumpkins before — Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage — great song, I’ve liked that once since Day 4878 — for 13 years, 11 months, and 9 days.
Have not yet showered. Eaten once. Would like to walk walk around a little bit before the sun goes down — it sets in two hours. The Library of Alexandria sits at my fingertips. Radiowaves to coaxial cable to repeater station, to fiberoptic mesh, and everyone is thinking about everyone else —
A defense of Poetry —
Everything Sings. Poetry is not the Singing of the Everything, but the Listening. But the Listening Sings too, and adds to the Song. Art + World = World. Bruce Nauman neon-light painting, seen in the Philadelphia Art Museum with Miss EV.L. (no subliminals there, did always have a crush on Evil-Lynn like Woody Allen and the Queen in Annie Hall) on Day 7396 (9/21/02) – what else was done that day — morning at her apartment, meet GScheerness there, I had a crazy newsboy cap from the 1960s on my head, joints were rolled, absolutely, cab was taken or possibly the subway?busway?, went to the Rodin Museum, saw the Thinker and the Burghers and possibly the Gates of Hell, then to the Great Grand Temple in the Sky, Former Reservoir, PMA, where the cool kids walked through the contemporary art exhibit, EV.L. was and is an artist, a painter, I was too once, when I was five or six or seven, I think it was Bob Ross that got me into it, those paintings, they must have been done sometime around Day 2750, 2nd Grade, I remember we looked at the De Chirico, Ariadne, and I thought about all the many women left behind, and De Chirico’s trains of modernity in the background, perhaps EV.L. explained it to me, perhaps not, afterwards we went out the gazebo behind the museum, the three of us, I imagine, Me, the Lady, and My Friend GScheerness, the Past is Still Very Pregnant in My Mind is what I’m trying to put forth, we lit the joint, a family and a child came too close, and I got awfully nervous about corrupting the young child’s experience or smell-buds or something something like that — —
We smoked the joint, we walked around high — ironically, I don’t remember much of the rest of the day — I think we took a cab to a house on 40th and Pine St. maybe, EV.L got a bag of maryjane from some frat brothers, or men, Zeebs maybe — ironic — at dinner last night, with the Sisters Steinstein (pronounced Stein | Steen of course), two young men from Penn appeared, and after a quick little game of Do You Know Ted we all adopted our various Greek Letters — though only the sisters had any — I was misidentified as a Zeeb on account of my association with the Our Holy Jewish Sisters of Venereal Pathologies — also made a joke back referring to Day 6787 when rushing the Zeebs I plied myself with their whiskey, was thrown into an upright mattress (for unknown reasons) was talked to by a nice blond-haired girl and then got up to go throw up on myself in the bathroom. After that, like is common-common-common-for-me-in-these-situations, I decided to sleep it off, in the bathroom — just in case — looking like a corpse no doubt — JK found me lying there later, helped me to a cab (not sure why — someone else should have or could have — I had no friends in this situation — lost my jacket I think — ) JK left with me, helped me to my bed — laid there for a day — people coming in and out — hmm — what a noob, what a boob, what a rube —
water under the bridge, part of that great ocean —
Thoughts about the turbulent ocean — I seem to sail upon the choppy surface of my mind — but I know or should know that deep beneath the waves it is or should be tranquil, shouldn’t it, perhaps I need to be less the sailor (gentle ego trying to navigate my self) and more the ocean (full self, ego merely avatar to my greater contingent being);
I stand on one leg and expound the Torah in a lyric; I type 789 words and call it Art. Liquid crystal display refreshes and rearranges itself 60 times a second. What subliminal messaging are they attempting to get across? Conspiracy Theories and the End of Days. My days stretch out like butter on toast — like paint on a knife, swirling into other days, bleeding through, my borders and walls and rules and anti-rules and anxiety are are bleeding breaking down —
winter is coming, the sun is setting, where do I go from here? Day 9971 fades away. What do I have to show for it? Nothing. Another wasted day. Of these almost Ten Thousand Days, how many were great? In how many did I play the part of Hero of My Life, of Self-Author? Two hundred? Less? I was a slug today, I’ll be a slug tomorrow, no difference, no future at all — and if there was a God who had a Book of Life and a Book of Death, what single thing have I ever done to earn the Ten Thousand Days I have, and the Twenty Thousand more I want.
I have not earned it. I do not deserve it. Not yet. But if on Day 17,771, a Sunday in February in the year 2031, I do one thing, one Great Thing, one Great Priceless Immeasurable Thing, I will have earned all the days that came before for without those days that day would not have come, nor my one Great Thing.
Could I do more? Yes. Should I do more? If I want to. But is it sufficient? The answer would have to be yes.