< rip john mccain and that boy at the coffee place
Recommendations include Glenn Gould’s Solitude Trilogy (which came recommended to me and is very good for studying, recuperation, or fulfillment of the desire for isolation), a playlist I created of songs with the word ‘coffee’ in the title (which sketches out a narrower gamut of atmosphere or genre than I thought it would), and looking at the moon. Things which I don’t strictly recommend, but which have been alright or at least interesting include: hearing my roommate and their friend laugh a lot in their room across the hall, getting play by plays of other people I know either traveling in remote places or knuckling through office jobs, ordering milk from the most terse delivery company in Illinois, eating leftover bagels from my minor place-of-employment, reading graphic novels by men in the 1990s. I have not been very productive. I have encountered the standard block where I am not relaxed enough to settle into focusing down on something non-essential, but am also not terrified enough to focus down on something actually essential or pragmatic.
I read my creative writing professor’s debut novel, Severance, and was proud of her. I took mild glee at seeing another professor’s book on the discount table of the local co-op bookstore. I watched a youtube video of what may be the former professor’s love interest read his own fiction at his MFA graduation (or graduation-associated event), and the story was gently funny or touching, if not a little uninteresting or sentimental in a chalky-taste way. I bought a used book by DFW because I need to complete my set, and because John McCain died, and even though I expected the counter-clerk to give me shit for it, he didn’t. Probably because he was too old. Did I want to be given shit? Kind of. I saw a young man with long black hair read DFW’s Gw/CH in a local hip, conscious, exposed-brick coffee meeting place or den nearby, and thought about asking him which one he was reading, of the stories, my guess “Lyndon” because it is long and not as flashy but especially emotionally grating and thus the most impressive type of DFW story to read (or say one has read) because digestive difficulty becomes worth in the eyes of a groupie. But I didn’t ask. He had the Abacus edition, which makes me sad and on average butchers the typesetting. I have the hardback because I shelled out many bucks on the internet. I drink coffee at this meeting place or den but always forget to eat food and it feels a little like I am dying. Maybe I get ‘a crazy look in my eyes,’ when this happens.
As it stands, I am trying to think hard about plans and desires. Though, like laughter behind a closed door, these plans have unsure origin or footing, despite their apparent glee or palliative qualities. These can be addressed specifically in dedicated paragraphs some other time.
It has been raining at least once a day for three days. It is alternately gloomy and very hot in a blinding, UV-unsafe way. I would capture this if I could—it is as if the earth is so flat here that nothing can be contained, though. Brick walk-ups do their best to break up lines of sight, and I can admire them for that.