Monday, July 31, 2017

The Evening Series: Monday, July 31, 2017

I’m pretty happy-go-lucky middle aged man till the evening comes rowing on toward the end of the daylight hours.  It is then, while drinking my first glass of wine, that my thoughts turn inward, expressing the dread that is very much not noticeable during the daylight hours.  Each sip I take brings me to a place that is more real than my mornings.  It is if I have been avoiding the surf, and finally, I can get on the wave, and let it ride me to a place that’s home.  Which by any terminology will be called despair. 

I spend most of the daylight hours at the Central Library here in Los Angeles.  I have been working on a novel about a writer who based his life on the presence of Robert Benchley.  Not being him exactly, but a character who approaches the sensibility of a Benchley in his life and writing.  When I show my novel-in-progress to others, they have all commented on Benchley - why and who?   I’m mostly interested in the “what” than the who or why of such commentary.  Benchley represents the humor of the world that is not funny.  I don’t see the joke during the daylight hours, but when in the home or at a bar nearby the library I often focus my thoughts on the world that exists in front of me, and how one can be funny inside that particular landscape.   It’s no joke, you know?

As the tick-tock of the moments go on, and I’m in front of my laptop, which has to be the most unromantic method to writing, I think of the family unit and what it means to a writer describing the moments as they pass.  Impossible to capture the fleeting thoughts as I drink more.  Truman Capote, a well-known lover of the sauce that takes one to other places, wrote that it is impossible to write when drunk.  Like his commentary that Kerouac wasn’t writing, just typing, he is clearly wrong.  As the cloud becomes thick with deep insight into a memory that comes and goes, like a humming refrigerator in the middle of the night that keeps one awake.  The thought comes back to the family and what that means to me, and therefore the world.  I come to a conclusion after looking at this page for an hour that the family could care less about the world. 

If you can see me now, one would notice a downturn frown on my face.  Happiness is now a distance, and as I look outside the darkness, it seems to me to be a portrait of yours truly.  Handsome yes, but sad as well.   My time spent in hell, which looks very much like heaven, is my prison. I made these four walls with additional space for windows all around me, and I have no one else to blame except yours truly.   I read Benchley to get insight and reflect on a time when social drinking was looked upon as an active series of steps to one’s betterment.  Now, I can see the false footsteps to that ladder to success.  It’s a myth or image supplied by my ego and taste.  I remember reading a quote by a wise older man.  He said:  “Look down at me, and you see a fool; look up at me, and you see a god; look straight at me, and you see yourself.”   Which proves that one should at first, be standing up than sitting down.   And second, never look at someone straight on.  It’s best to study that person perhaps behind their back. 

I will sit here, drink wine, till the bottle is empty.  Then I will go to bed.  I will dream. Everything will be fine and dandy in the morning.  Till the evening comes again (and again). 

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