I’ve been doing different kinds of work. Working on learning how to grapple, how to be a partner, how to break up fights and prevent overdose deaths. Built a teeter-totter in the basement that launches the users’ heads right up into the floorboards. Chance of death or paralysis medium, concussion high. Wrapping my raw nerves with kratom gauze. Reading instruction manuals each morning while I ride trains and busses. They teach me the myriad ways in which my house is disintegrating. My wife and I sit inside and comment on the angles by which the light shines through the holes. It’s time for a new kind of work. It’s time to get on the teeter-totter and launch my fucking head through the floor of the kitchen, grinning like a maniac at whomever might walk in to ask “oh hello, what is it you’re working on now?”
I've never done a year-end list, but then again I've never kept track of what I read. This year I decided to start keeping track, mostly because I can't remember anyone's faces without pictures and I can't remember where I went or who I saw without back-scrolling my google calendar. I am thirty years old and my hard drive is crashing, it seems.
So I started keeping track of what I read.
And figured I may as well do something with it. I read Jim Ruland's excellent list at Medium and decided to steal his format, more or less. I had some reservations about doing this at first, since who the fuck cares what I read? But then again, like all writing, I mostly just did it for me, so fuck it.
I was on the train to work this morning and passing the early morning homeless and unemployed with their signs and their limps. "GOD BLESS PLES HELP" read one. "U.S. VETERAN AND UNEMPLOYED" read another. One just had a big sloppy dollar sign followed by a sad face.
I was listening to a podcast and Scott McClanahan was saying "People should write more love letters." I thought, yes, this is good. I'll go to work and write a love letter instead of doing work. Even before I got to the end of the thought, I knew I wouldn't do it, though. I knew that I'd end up sitting down to my desk and opening my work emails and trying to push toward 4:30, toward the train ride home.
At my transfer point, there were two homeless sign bearers. One read "Hungry And Poor." The other read "JUST LOOKING FOR A GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRL." I laughed and gave the second guy a five dollar bill.