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Black Notebook

January 11, 2010

I just got back from a trip downtown to buy an umbrella. But if I went to the umbrella store instead of heading straight to Chapters to deflower a gift card, then why are my pants so wet and what are Vladimir Nabokov and Gertrude Stein doing in my bedroom?

I had this theory that today I was going to go find out how it feels to be one of those obnoxious people who spend hour after unemployed hour writing in coffee shops, but that didn’t pan out. It’s a dark-at-3-p.m. type rainy day and my pants quickly became so soaked that I was far too self-conscious to set foot in a place where I could have been beheld at length by curious dry people. Honest to god, I looked like an incontinent person whose Depend undergarment had proven itself unworthy of its name. One thing I did do though was crack open the black notebook in which I write notes to myself, generally in the dark in the weeest hours of the morning (as the handwriting definitely attests), and have a look. I had intended to write in the notebook at the coffee shop but with that plan having been aborted (ablative absolute), a covered bus shelter on West Pender was where the perusal actually took place. I guess my intention in keeping the notebook is to maybe incorporate the stuff from it into future writing projects. But it’s all these fucking weird punchliney sentences and fragments that I’m not sure I could/should ever use for anything much other than a blog post where I list all the not squeamishly personal contents of the notebook. For those who get the reference, this will be like the last book of the author’s Loeb series where you get all the random contextless bits ‘n’ bites. I always liked those volumes. I like being trusted enough to create my own context, even if the trust is an accidental consequence of time’s abusive relationship with papyrus and if the author were alive today to see you insolently attributing ideas to him and making ignorant modern assumptions about him he would slap you upside the head.

I think I’ll give some of the clever asshole lines to a certain protagonist of mine, but the rest of it, who knows. Blog offal. (Yes, I realize there’s a homonym.)

If I were dressed like that I might walk like that.

the ritual of waiting for the letter

I had a lot of catchphrases that were not very original

the canary only sang when nobody was home

and sitting in a window, an occasional cat

-“Hi, stranger.”  -“Stranger than most.”

handwriting that betrays insecurity

If global warming is real, why is it cold outside today?

the gods made you exactly right

You aren’t worth the five seconds it’s taken me to write this sentence.

all the teachers in the basement drinking

stretching alone toward infinity

There are times when words on a page are insufficient. A summer storm, a love affair. The distance between the thing and the description thereof can seem infinite; words can seem useless, but sometimes too the reverse is true, and the crack of thunder or the night of passion can be rendered trivial in comparison to a well-written sentence about it. This is the power and the problem.

went out of my way to stay out of yours

one of those moments with 20 years’ worth of mistakes built into it

To name someone is to say, Hey, come on into my ontology.

the Mr. Clean commercials where he just stands there leaning on the counter and giving a thumbs-up to the woman who is actually doing the cleaning.  Then he gets all the credit and the product is named after him. Feminism is necessary.

I don’t own the room but once in a while I rent it.

As if I could afford to let anyone rip my clothes off. They would have to come off carefully so I could wear them again tomorrow.

It’s because she’s one of those people who’ve never not been liked.

Whoever you bought your tone and your attitude from, that person should give you your money back.

that a city that went on forever could become too small for two scrawny people

the kind of person who’d stay on a sinking ship out of politeness

The difference between the Ezra Pound version and the Sappho version: his is complete

That’s either incredibly brave or incredibly pretentious.

“Holy fuck,” Mary kept screaming.

a customer: “I’m just here to make comments and touch things.”

freedom is being dropped into the middle of the ocean and told you can swim in any direction

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