Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Evening Series No. 4
The Evening Series Volume 4
Tonight, I feel like someone turned the oxygen off. Stuffiness has its decaying scent. Not mildew exactly, but the scent of life not happening. Which pretty much describes my life. The job I have already, pretty much pays the bills, but nothing left over for fun and relaxation. So in place of relaxation and fun, I began to work on a journal. At first, I decided to get a blank notebook - but one with attractive grade of paper, but also much needed lines. My handwriting is kind of bad, so I need something to keep my lettering straight and to the point. And since I don’t have a lot of money, I purchased an expensive blank (but lined) journal. In my mind, since I made a financial commitment on the tools of the trade (expensive pen as well) then that means I will produce great literature. So far, the page has been blank.
If time is money, I’ll be super broke by now. I have noticed that I look at the clock on the wall, more than the empty blank page in front of me. At times, I feel like a narration that is just waiting to be cracked open. Then again, I do look at that clock often. The big hand moves faster than the little hand. And my hand grasps the pen and it’s not moving at all. I put on Michel Legrand’s “Ballade de Polly Maggoo” on the turntable, because it’s getting closer to midnight, and I haven’t the foggiest idea why I have the notebook opened in front of me. It’s not drawing me closer to the pen or paper. If I stare at the two items on my table, it looks like they are pulling away from me.
My memory is very great, and part of the problem is I can’t feel or tell which memory is more important than the other. I start thinking maybe I should write something about my life, but then again, don’t you need to have a life to write about it? Clearly I did things, but living that life is one thing, and then writing it down is a totally different matter. I’m pretty sure I was happy when I went through the motions of my life, but writing, I feel a sense of disappointment, that perhaps, I could have done more. And we are taught early that more is the best. But looking back, it seems not that much has happened.
The notebook’s blankness is now taunting me. I used to own a series of leather bound miniature notebooks to take with me so I can jot down an idea or image if I’m out of the house. But, not surprisingly, the blank notebook pretty much stayed in my back pocket of my jeans, and often while walking in Echo Park Lake, I would pretend to write something down on the blank page, because I would see people all around me, writing with great intensity. The only thought in my head at that moment, is that I wish that I had some sort of passion - something to burn me up. Depression, pure joy, even a boredom with many textures and levels - but all I felt was nothing. So pretending just made me feel ‘OK’ at that moment, and occasionally I would stroke my chin, like I’m in deep thought. But the truth is, I was totally acting. I’m such a fake, and then I try to analyze that, so I can write on that subject - but all I come up with is a blank. Void. Empty. Natta.
It is at that moment, that I put the notebook aside, and open my laptop. I go on Facebook, to see what Kim is doing. She writes on film, especially Noir, and is very much an expert on the cinematic arts. She also can’t sleep at night, and tend to post on Facebook around 2 am, and since it is the twitching hour, I want to see what she’s up to. Gene Wilder. She’s posting images of Gene Wilder. He died. She likes Gene Wilder. She likes him a lot. I never seen a Gene Wilder film. I have heard of him, and I saw images of him on the internet and in various coming attractions throughout my life, but I never actually seen a film by, or him in it. The reason why I haven’t seen his films, is because I can’t stand comedies. I can’t laugh at the movies. Why? I don’t know. I went on a date once to see a Laurel and Hardy series of short films, and my date was laughing like an insane person, but I just kept quiet and ate our pop corn. In fact, I pretty much ate the entire bag, because she was laughing, and I had nothing better to do then munch on the food, and I wasn’t even hungry.
I actually wanted to go out to the movies with Kim, but I was afraid to ask her. Not in fear of not accepting my date, but her saying yes. I feel it would have been my responsibility to actually select a film, that I think she may enjoy watching. And since comedy is out of the question, what kind of film do you take a woman, or beyond that, a person to? She has a quirky taste, so I imagine it could have been the recent “Batman VS. Superman” film, or even “Suicide Squad.” But is that really a good date movie, and especially with someone like her who has sophisticated taste in films? I didn’t ask her. Or ask her out. Which solved that problem quickly.
The page is still empty. Yet, somehow I feel like I lived a life. But not an actual life, but one that’s in my head. When people read my works in general, they notice that my writing is about nothing. Yet in that void, one can taste the most devious fruits, that seem to be too good. In reality, they have been rotting on my kitchen table. They are used more for visual appearance, than something tasty to eat. So, in that sense, my writing will nourish your head, but leave your body nothing. I throw the notebook aside, and I get off the chair. I approach the window looking at the night. It’s dark. My eternal canvas.
- Tosh Berman