6.23.2008

Shield me from the bullets -- they won't shoot civilians


I’m close to hitting the wall, people. My day job’s turned into a giant ball ass-kicking tension. Friday was a series of screaming matches (not involving me, thank God), people getting pissed and leaving early, and all sorts of squabbles rising to the surface. What is it with screaming in LA? Do people who prefer to do business this way just gravitate to this corner of the world? It’s one thing if you’re where you want to be, or with a bunch of Hollywood drama queens, but in my line of work? It’s inane – and avoidable.

Things need to change. My writing is suffering, I’m stressed out – not sleeping well or eating much. I’m losing weight – can’t complain about that – but it’s not healthy. A couple posts back I wrote about feeling something wicked this way coming. Like a seasonal change.

(After my last post, someone felt the need to point out to me that the seasons were changing, and I had to point out that A) we’re in Southern California, and B) that they weren’t the sharpest meat cleaver in the stack – we don’t have seasons, it’s just unseasonably cool for a little while and then we slip back into desert heat, and shit gets set on fire.)

Well, time to be proactive. It’s the blind leading the blind out here, but I might as well bump into shit and fall on my ass instead of getting edgy and pissed off.

Way back when – ah… to be young and in the shit again – when asked what I did, I used to say something along the lines of “Confined space training.” Normally this is something I’d say to girls. It sounded better than saying that I wanted to write for living. And it verged on flirty. But I would also use it frequently as a snarky way to dodge the conversation with earnest whippersnappers back yonder round the Great Lakes.

But, honestly, that actually is what I spent a lot of time doing. Confined Space Training. Holing up in my own little bubble and clickety clackety on the keys. Crafting makeshift hovels for my warped ideas. Honing a whole little world that’s somehow survived the famine of the oughts.

But I’m reaching a point where normal efforts of proactivity aren’t bringing home the umami-wonderful bacon. I can’t live on confined space training alone. And the normal Commandments of the Confined:

1. Keep up the clickety clackety.
2. Be patient, but persistent.
3. Be a social butterfly.
4. Don’t burn bridges.
5. Revise, revise, revise.
6. Always say yes, unless you should say no.
7. Query not, want not.
8. Covet not your fellow Confined’s success, but piggy-back it.
9. Respect your elders: read, watch, listen.
10. Don’t sleep with actors.

…well, they’re just not cutting it. I don’t want to window shop and end up like the guy in my neighborhood with the beater of a car that he’s constantly relayering in brightly colored paints advertising his latest film projects, his website, and his rapid descent into LA Freakdom.

So Evasive Maneuvers are in order. Covert Ops. Strike Team Tactics. Sneak Attacks. Grappling hooks, helicopters, walkie talkies, bird calls –

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(quick-but-completely-necessary-and-not-unrelated-tangent: I’m one of those rabid few who believe Bottle Rocket to be a masterpiece, and Wes Anderson’s best film. This tends to be a Beatles/Stones kind of argument between the Bottle Rocket people and the The Royal Tenenbaums people, and I tend to think it says something about each camp...)

– and lots black clothing and smoke screens.

I have no idea what the game plan is – but necessity is the mother of creation. Many of the old plans will stay on track, but I need to get back into the shit. Healthy doses of hoo-ha. Time to eye the elephant. And, as long-ago writing TA of mine used to say (I’ve probably referenced this before):

“Sometimes you just have to let those evil monkeys out.”

Indeed.

ps. Don’t worry, I’m about 75% sure what the fuck this post is about.

pps. My mother – who I’ve always tried to encourage to return to her writing – wrote a story once when she was pissed at my father. It was about a runner who kept talking about hitting the wall. It was called “I Hope It’s Made of Bricks.” Personally, with my own wall, I really hope it’s not.

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1 comment:

Maggie said...

Well that's just crazy talk. Clearly Rushmore is the best one.