Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'm Pretty Sure Other People Are Happier

I watched a movie you might want to skip.  No, simply skip "End of the Tour," the film about David Foster Wallace.  Did it get good reviews?  I read that it did, but I didn't research that.  Nobody could have seriously given that a good review.

But I had nothing else to do, and since I paid money to rent it, I saw it through to the end.  The key there is that I had nothing else to do.  After a sad and tired Friday, I had a dull and uninspired Saturday.  I took a walk.  I sat without reading.  I ate little.  Listless.  And after making a barebones dinner of fried eggs and canned soup to accompany the bad movie, I went to bed to read, but not for long.

And you know the rest.  Woke in the hollow blankness of the night, vulnerable, paralyzed, unable to sleep, unable stopper the flood of paranoia and unhappiness.  I'd had enough by five.  Lights on.  Coffee.

I look around.  There is always so much to do.  When we are young and have nothing (if you did not grow up privileged and was able to start with everything), we have the need for "stuff."  You need things to cook in, things to serve meals.  You need tables and chairs and what will pass for a bed.  An apartment, a Papasan chair, some peaches crates, a mattress on the floor.  Someone gives you a chipped dresser.  Your mother gives you some kitchenware.  Books, records, a stereo.  The shit keeps piling up.

Then you wake one night and all the beautiful shit you have collected, better stuff now, beautiful things, bookshelves full of hardback books rather than ratty old used paperbacks, matching leather chairs, expensive lamps, cameras out the wazzoo, pictures, computers, HD televisions, antique pine furniture. . . you wonder what you will do with all of it.

And your body hurts and you don't want to work on the house nor in the yard.  You don't want to call a tree trimmer and you don't want to do anything.  And you wonder how you have always managed to end up alone.

I will throw everything away.

There is nothing worth reading in the paper.  And when did my music collection get so bad?  Nothing gives pleasure.  Nothing satisfies.

I'll say one thing, though.  David Foster Wallace was pretty brave at the end.

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