Wednesday, December 07, 1994

A great deal of debate over whether we should go to DC, with C. W. this time. He came up the stairs into the apartment all manic and weird; I knew what was up. He really doesn't want to go, on account of the van being in bad shape and being not too burnt out to play the following day in New Hampshire. I hemmed and hawed, not sure myself of what really to do. But later discussion with J. T. and M. R. reaffirmed what I felt all along—we'd be fuckheads to cancel a gig so late. We have to brace ourselves for a long, meaningless ride down the eastern seaboard, through the dreary wasted landscape of Northern New Jersey, the incomprehensibly dull Garden State Parkway with the venomous State Troopers, to Washington DC for one gig and then back out again. It might really suck but we have to do it, and brace ourselves for the loss, financial and otherwise.

Later in the evening I got drunk. The cork from the second bottle of wine wouldn't come out so I stabbed at it and picked at it with a kind of intoxicated impatience; I shredded the cork to little bits and cracked the mouth of the bottle like of peppermint candy. Drank it anyway.

Tuesday, December 06, 1994

I might write a story about a crew of road workers, guys who pave roads and highways under those lights that are exactly like the sun; whose task it is also of course to paint the dividing lines. When it comes time to lay down the big white stripes the foreman tells this motley group of ex-cons and speed freaks to "paint a bright straight one, boys." He says this every single time, and for this and many other affronts the men despise their boss with a sinister passion. One night it begins raining just as they're about to put down the lines, so they all go to this tittie bar instead and get absolutely shitfaced and drag the foreman, whose name is Doug, out into a weedy lot behind the bar, in the rain, and each take turns raping the shit out of his ass. In the end they paint a big sloppy streak down his back and into his ass crack and leave him for dead.

Finch is wondering why we should go to DC with no money to play in a little hole. I think we should go, but I see his point. Since we have to be in New Hampshire the following night, we might have bitten off more than we can chew, or sucked more than we can swallow. We'll see.

Monday, December 05, 1994

We played in NYC on Friday. Have a sense of obligation now to document our comings and goings, as it were, but I'm not sure how it will come off. Anything can be described successfully, I guess. Not much to say about an experience that we had already had over and over, some just like this night, others not. Most just like this night. Went to the Downtown Lounge, on Houston St., a street too wide and dangerous to sustain a cogent night life, it would seem. But when we arrived there was a darkly clad crowd in a small hot room, smoking cigs and listening to some thrash punk band. We went on after many hours of waiting, and shooting pool. One guy who beat me said as he was leaving, cheerily: "Time to go home and be sick." By the time we played there was hardly anyone there. Had a good set, could not get the sound guy/manager to give us a nickel. Something about how the chick with the door money had gone home. He was shaking his head and looking down as he spoke, and fidgeting strangely with a little strip of white plastic. "Sorry. You should have asked sooner." We bought a couple of bottles of Olde English and headed home.

Saturday was a much better night, at Leo's in Portland, Maine. We were greeted by an impossibly good natured hippie cool guy who brightly offered free Guinness ("Just don't let it get out of hand") and pizza. Played for a small but extremely enthusiastic crowd. We never get new music up here, they said. You guys are so different. They seemed intent on telling us just what it meant to them that we had come up, how wonderful it was. A drunk fat chick wanted to get laid. An exile from Connecticut wanted news from home, was fascinated that we were from down there, probably figured every Connecticut band sounded like us now. Altogether a really good time. Listened to WFAN on the way home. The voice of the Jets, Mets, Knicks and the Rangers.

Friday, December 02, 1994

The great thing about these computers is that when you have absolutely nothing to say you can make a mark on the paper, or the screen or whatever, like some pretty /////////////////////'''''''''''''''''''or222222229-=9iooupp86ivfwxsbyn8unl, some nonsense and in a hundred million years of leaning exasperatedly on the computer, depressed and grieving from a near eternity of writer's block, you might have written The Odyssey or maybe at least a solid detective story. Just like that! Wondrous machine.

Microsoft software defines all of our lives: identically laid out resumes, memos, lost and found ads; fonts falling in and out of favor, clip art, spreadsheets; everything rigidly and meticulously formatted. What standard(s) are we gravitating towards? What to do with the utter loss of aesthetic originality in the workplace? Who cares? Everything is such a breeze. Printer chooser. E-mail. Will there be a tremendous backlash, a revolt, even, against what is perceived finally as nothing more than aesthetic and methodological fascism imposed on the entire world by some vague horde of brats in California? They mean well, sort of. Or at least they never meant to devastate the mind of every single living human being. They have not-bad aesthetic instincts and know-how and the level of efficiency and productivity that their work points to is astounding. In its unerring pursuit of perfect flexibility, adaptability, and versatility, Windows holds out the promise of true freedom but delivers none; only an elaborate labyrinthine path. Wondrous machines. Entire paragraphs deleted just like that.

Thursday, December 01, 1994

Just finished writing a song – early in the morning of Dec. 1. Wouldn't have known what day it was unless I was working on the computer... the machine, with machine-like precision, knows the time and the date and does not hesitate to call it tomorrow when it's a minute past midnight. The machine.

It occurred to me that a great constraint of writing is that you can only write one thing at a time. It will be a great evolution in mankind's history when a writer effectively writes more than one text at a time. And not as a stunt, mind you. Because he has to, because the words, thoughts, directions, digressions are arriving too quickly or even all at once. A second pair of hands would be useful, I suppose. And by the way, what a weakness, what a shame it is to reread one's writing, as I have just this moment done. Or to stick the computer cursor into the text at will, as I have just now done, changing the very meaning of an entire half a paragraph (should it be a separate paragraph?) that I've just written, to say this: I am not sure of what I am about to write. That is, what I wrote earlier. I mean – this: Writing teachers, great and not so great teachers, will tell you that you must revise; but I suspect that writers, especially great writers, will tell you that it is really preferable not to look, even; but rather to race through page after page, unhinged. I am consigned to stop feebly at every turn – a comma here, a semicolon there, never sure it is quite right. You can not calculate great writing, arrive at it systematically. It has to flow freely. The words can be modified but the writing must be done.