Monday, August 15, 2011

Repeat Offender

"Dude, we should bounce some ideas around first. I think for the formal one it should say, 'To whom it may concern' and the fan-one should say 'Dear Dave Eggers or Dr. Haggis-On-Whey or Lucy Thomas."

"I think we should go get some donuts and cream sodas," I said.

"Ray, come on. Let's get at least some work done before we do something like that," Lester said, opening a black notebook and dropping it on the floor. "Do you have any ideas?"

I shrugged.

"Come on then! Think!"

"I can't. I'm hungry."

"You just don't want to work. You're being lazy, Ray. You quit your job, you're doing nothing. Surely you can work on this today. I'm working every day of the week and now I'm here on my day off, should of gone to church, but I'm here to work with you, dude." He sounded more serious than normal. As if this was a matter of life-or-death. Maybe it was.

"Dude, you wanna watch the Big Lebowski?"

"No, I want to work on this thing. I think it could be very good."

"I don't want to work. I don't ever want to think of writing as work. And now you're blatantly calling it that and making me feel like it is."

"I love to design. I do it on my own. But sometimes it feels like work, and I still do it. That's the nature of all art. It is good that it feels like work. So we can suffer and sacrifice for our art. That's the only way it's any good."

"Well, then. My writing must be terrible." I said this plainly, with no hint of emotion, which pleased me greatly.

"Dude, that's not what I'm saying."

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying we should work on this."

"And I'm saying we should get some donuts and some sodas, then work on it. I can't write early in the morning."

"It's 11."

"Too early, man. I need about eight hours of fiddling around for every one hour of productive work."

"So you're gonna waste my time?"

"Dude, how are donuts and cream sodas a waste of time? And then we can watch the Big Lebowski."

"You hate that movie."

"I know."

"You're just procrastinating."

"Procrastination is a prerequisite for creating art. As a wise man once said, 'Procrastination is the creation of an exciting life by manufacturing tension, because suddenly you're off on this great adventure.'"

"Can't we just do a little bit of tossing around ideas before we do anything else?" he asked, earnestly blinking his eyes.

"No." I felt ruthless and alive because of it.

"Then I'm gonna leave, Ray. If you don't want me to help you, I've got better things to do."

He walked across the room and opened the front door. "Help me?" I called after him. He turned around, keeping his hand on the door frame. "I'm the one helping you write this thing."

"Right," he said. "Bye." He shut the door behind him and I decided I was ready to go.

I went out and walked to a store where I purchased a $100 backpack with the $134.11 I had left in my bank account. I walked back home and just sat for a few minutes on the floor shaking. From my closet, I grabbed a small, green sleeping bag and shoved it into the new backpack as small as it would go. Also, from my closet I brought out five T-shirts, two long-sleeve shirts, three pairs of jeans, seven pairs of underwear and socks, and a beanie and stuffed them all into my backpack. I added a water bottle, my wallet, a flashlight, my cell phone charger, a few pens, a sharpie, a small notebook, and an immense novel by Adam Levin. I zipped it up and set it by my front door.

In the morning I didn't take a shower, but dressed quickly and left my home with the backpack strapped to my shoulders. I started to walk.

In walking, I will get to new places. I won't give myself the illusion that I am doing something new and exciting by writing a blog. I won't fool myself into thinking I can be better friends with Lester or Anna, only to end up hurting them in repeated cycles.

As I walked across a bridge, my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. It was Emma.

"Hey, Ray. I really enjoyed catching up with you the other day. I bought this movie a friend of mine recommended yesterday. It's called Wendy and Lucy. I was going to watch it tonight, and I know how much you love movies, so I thought of you. And I can't eat a whole bag of popcorn myself."

"I've already seen that movie," I said.

She was silent for a slight second before saying, "Oh, Okay. Well-"

"Thanks for asking. I'll see you later. Bye."

I shut my phone and clutched it tightly in one hand, before tossing it over the rail of the bridge.

That was ten minutes ago, and now I've stopped by the library to write this post. As I look around at some of the patrons behind the computers, I smile, in anticipation of looking more like them.

And now I'm gone.