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08/01 Direct Link

I’m not sure what to tell you. It was kind of all over the place. You seemed, I won’t say “drunk” or “into your cups,” but you seemed to be… having a really good time. By your account, you’d just moved (today) and you’d just gotten divorced, so I can’t really hold any of your words or your antics against you. A lot of it, to be honest, was bullshit. Especially the stuff about your family. Some of it was weirdly on-the-nail. I was fucking with you a lot, because, well, because it was easy, I guess. Don’t sweat it.

08/02 Direct Link

YOU ARE IN THIS WAY OVER YOUR HEAD. You’ve taken on more than you can possibly handle. You’ve sacrificed your own standards. No one’s going to bail you out. No one wants to. This will end in tears. This will never be over for you. Nothing to do but reflect on all the many chances you had to extricate yourself from all this, chances you didn’t take. And ponder what you might do when it finally collapses. You can apologize, but that will just make things worse. You can run, but there are a lot of people who’ll hunt you.

08/03 Direct Link

You know… I learned something today. Kinda took me by surprise when it first hit me. If you’re true to yourself, you’re living a lie. Just as there is great wisdom in great stupidity, the greatest truths conceal the greatest lies, or vice versa. You know what I’m saying? You do. You get it. I think we’ve all had a long week. We could probably use some down time, some time to reflect, before we draw any conclusions. But, you know what? I’ll tell ya. You can’t sell your soul until you’ve made all the payments on it. Weird, huh?

08/04 Direct Link

“Sometimes,” he said, “ I come up with good shit when I’m drunk.” He chalks the tip of the cue. “Brilliant shit.” Leans over, squints one eye, lines up his shot. “But…” CLACK… Clackclackclackclackclack. “I can also spout nonsense and be just generally an unnecessarily confrontational asshole. So I’m going to keep writing when I’m drunk. It’s a responsible way to go, considering. I’m just not going to TELECOMMUNICATE drunk. I’m going to leave that .doc file on the desktop. I’m going to SAVE DRAFT. That way, I’ll wake up with funny-ass, outrageous-ass shit AND the chance to EDIT it.”

08/05 Direct Link

I’ve lived here for a minute. Selling anyone else on it would be relatively easy: It’s got mountains, beaches, enormous parks, palm trees, cacti, pretty people, unapologetic social outcasts… If you’re lazy and poor, it’ll make you feel like shit, and you’ll bust your ass to accomplish something. The weather’s always beautiful, as is the generous amount of space between you and the next person. And the next person is, by the standards of any other place, invariably knock-out gorgeous. Because this place makes those rules. To you, the best I could say is: It’s earthly paradise for sick fucks.

08/06 Direct Link

A rapid puppy. A truck full of gasoline barreling toward a tire fire. A film of a naked woman jumping off a clip into the ocean, run backward. The sound of a stylus on a 12” “Hawaiian” pizza rotating on a turntable. A prankster blowing his nose from the top of the Empire State Building. A man with a joy-buzzer trudging through airport security, barely concealing an impish grin.  Our hero getting fellated on a moving motorcycle. His antagonist, shooting fancy teapots off a fence. Earth, the sun and Jupiter colliding. The title appearing in a cloud of pot smoke.

08/07 Direct Link

Whenever I think about that night, I expect to be happy and horny, and find myself depressed and nauseated. To my credit, I’d spent a lot of time alone leading up to that. I hadn’t had much of a sounding board. And I was convinced that acting like a defensive prick was better than nothing. But I’m not going to rationalize it. I could’ve handled it better than I did. I could’ve received what you were saying instead of just waiting to blurt. I could have had a sense of humor about it, in real time, instead of in retrospect.

08/08 Direct Link

My credo was always thus: The More It Hurts, The More True It Is. At least as long as I can remember. So I dedicated myself to picking every scab, to pouring gasoline on every open flame. In my “work,” at least. I wrote hard, lived like a refugee. But my work has ever worked anything out. In person, I’ve always been polite, direct and shapeless, relating OK while resisting the hurricane and the brush fire. And always seeing You as an enemy. Just in case. The more I knew, the worse I felt. In my exhaustion, I asked questions.

08/09 Direct Link

Get out of the house. Get a dog and walk it. Talk to your friends. Talk to strangers. Talk to people who enjoy the things you enjoy, whose lives are something similar to what you’d like yours to be. Learn to cook something. Block off one day for juicing, drink yourself silly, and then don’t spend money on it for a while. Get a bike and ride it.  Spend eight hours today wholeassedly looking for a job – one that’s right for you. Learn an instrument. Write until your hand aches. Take a long shower. Walk outside. Or just kill yourself.

08/10 Direct Link

A suburban living room. A pretty teenaged girl in black jeans and a black leather jacket, hair dyed black, nails painted black, sits on a white couch. An older woman in a red sweater, hair dyed brown, paces, lectures, and balls her fist for emphasis. A sunbeam sneaks between the curtains; it hits the dust particles in the air. In the basement, a black and white cat bats at a black snake. Across the street, a retired man finishes mowing his lawn, then starts over again from the beginning. An airplane soars overhead. Some cough syrup sits in a cabinet.

08/11 Direct Link

When you were a child, something rather unpleasant happened to you. You were humiliated; your life changed rapidly for the worse; you didn’t get the nurturing that you needed – something like that. Whatever it was, it or something like it is probably about to happen again. If it does, there is nothing you can do about it – it, and your response to it, are out of your control.. The most you can do is strive for perfection, attempt to influence your circumstances for the better as much as possible, and give yourself hell when you fail. That’s how you learn.

08/12 Direct Link
SLOW DOWN. I’m losing you. You’re losing me. I lost you a few lines ago. You stopped looking over your shoulder. “Slow down. I’m not keeping up with you.” “Relax. I know exactly what I’m doing. You don’t have to figure this out. I’m figuring it out on your behalf. You just have to listen to me, and believe what you hear.” “Well, I admit, that sounds awfully convincing.” “Ahh, yeah. Beautiful girls! Ahh, yeah. Beautiful girls!” “Hey, come here, baby. What’s your name? Hey, where you goin’?” “Ahh, yeah. Beautiful girls!” “I need ‘em!” “Ahh, yeah. Beautiful girls!” [KISS]
08/13 Direct Link
I don’t know exactly what you’re going through. But I think I might have a general idea. I’d guess that this is scary and painful for you. And the pain is just getting started. That’s what really hurts, knowing it’s not going to be over for a long time. I know how dead you feel right now. I’ve been there. And I know you’ll be happy again. I know it’s going to take more than you think you’ve got to hang in there, but I trust you to let it happen. I know it’s going to get better for you.
08/14 Direct Link
I have achieved everything I could have possibly wanted. Anything after this is gravy. If I get any ladling of victory, of triumph, beyond this, it’s only ‘cause I earned it. Obviously, my victory is established. And, thus, I get dates with the girls that out-and-out reject you. But I STILL can’t nail their pussies. I reflect fondly on every time I’ve ever been rejected. And have NOTHING, PERIOD, to show for it. I’m not sure whether I SHOULD have given up a long time ago, or whether I’m some sort of sacred genius. Maybe you can break it down.
08/15 Direct Link
NEXT. I’m not bitter. I never see my children, and I haven’t even met my grandchildren, but if I break my back to raise my kids with all of the freedoms that come with American citizenship, then I guess they’re free to be thoughtless ingrates. I recently lost a job that I’d had for a dozen years, in which I’d become indispensable. Maybe my employers didn’t recognize my skill, although I don’t think they’re that blind. More likely, they knew that having me around threatened their power.  Maybe I would have done the same, were I a bit less ethical.
08/16 Direct Link
THE SHRINK. I know, it SHOULD be easy. It’s been 45 minutes, and all I’ve done is nodded and made eye contact. (When I look at him, I hold his gaze until he looks away. I let him know it’s my house.) Maybe I say “um hmn.” What is he talking about? “I’m a success. Obviously, I’m a success. You know I’m a success because I keep telling you this. But I can’t get laid. I don’t know what’s up with that.” What’s up with that is you don’t listen. You CAN’T listen if you can’t SHUT THE FUCK UP.
08/17 Direct Link
AUTOCANNIBALISM-A-GO-GO. MAP 1 – Beverly Hills: When the outside world pictures Los Angeles, it often defaults to well-lit images of Beverly Hills: palm trees, broad avenues, nice cars, snappy rich folk. Shopping Rodeo Drive is high-stakes fun, but locals avoid it. To store the best BH memories, visit during the holidays, when the decorations above Wilshire Boulevard beam their glitzy charm. One mental-health practitioner per 100 residents! If you’re just visiting, enjoy the town’s only freebie: two hours gratis in a public parking lot. Rodeo Drive is a theme park, complete with sky-high pricetags, throngs of tourists, and long valet lines.
08/18 Direct Link
This “Obamacare” fiasco gives me ripping déjà vu. Here’s how it’ll go: Obama will do OK without accomplishing much. His term will be an eight-year sellout. (He’ll coast to re-election in 2012 – fuck the Mayans!) By 2016, he’ll inelegantly fade, and the presidency will be tossed between two unlovable party hacks. One will lose the popular vote, win the Electoral College, and be sworn in. One year into his term, terrorists will attack New York City! When you see a corpse, you don’t care about its politics. Sometimes, you’re thankful for its struggles. That’s why I only care about fucking.
08/19 Direct Link
THE LAST SHAMEFUL DRUG. Late last year, I fell into a funk. I stayed there. And I realized it probably wasn’t going away by itself. So I started taking anti-depressants, which pretty much did their job. I didn't feel weird about telling people, since most of my friends know me as a fan of mind-altering substances. But now, for the first time, everyone seems disillusioned, and a little bit creeped out, by it. "Man, I never thought you'd be weak enough to take Prozac. I saw you drink a fifth of vermouth once. I always assumed you had it together."
08/20 Direct Link
WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS. We’re going to win this thing. Soon enough, we’re going to stumble on some glorious epiphany, and, slowly and sexily, the whole mess will start to make sense. We’ll see those speed bumps as exciting plot twists in an inspiring story – the story of a win, pulled off by winners. Things have gone wrong for us, and you know what? We could’ve handled them better. But we’re back on earth now. We can do this. All we need to do is FOCUS. To let our minds do their jobs. To get out of the way.
08/21 Direct Link
TO HELL WITH YOU. If my options are starving to death or catering to your whimsy, then starvation it’s going to have to be. I had everything I wanted and lost it. Now I schlep your garbage and listen to you whine like the bitchy ingrate you are. And it occurs to me: My sort of life, right now, is for losers. I choose not to lose. I’d rather strangle you than do you another favor. FUCK THIS NOISE! I’m not trying to hear this. Let’s settle this shit with a good old-fashioned cakefight. You heard what I said, bitch.
08/22 Direct Link
Your problem is that you’re shy. You need to stop that. You need to assert yourself. You have to figure out what it is you have to assert. If you fear rejection, you’ll talk yourself into expecting it, and it’s then guaranteed to happen. So what do you do? Do what I do. Think of the most fucked-up shit you could possibly say, and say it, from the loving truth of it in your gut and heart. At first, you’ll get a lot of flak. And you’ll stick to your truth. And save yourself some time. Bust it, and repeat.
08/23 Direct Link
And there are minor annoyances, which, left unattended, grow into major crises. And we shall conquer fear with love. And there are noxious parasites who will take all and give nothing. And we shall conquer fear with love. And there is deception, misplaced faith and violent disillusionment. And we shall conquer fear with love. And some are thoughtlessly cruel and greedy. And we shall conquer fear with love. And some are lost, abandoned, forsaking hope. And we shall conquer fear with love. And some may live, die by a desperate sense of scarcity. And we shall conquer fear with love.
08/24 Direct Link
“For my sanity. For your safety. I want you out of my life. Forever. Have a nice… rest of your life. Goodbye.” “Take all the time you need. If you ever want me again, I will always be here for you. I love you. Make yourself ridiculously happy.” “Please, just go away! Leave no room for doubt. There will be no returning.” CHHHH. “We don’t have any slobs. Just professional plumbers who show up on time…” CHHHH. “Tears in my eyes burn. Tears in my eyes burn. While I’m waiting. While I’m waiting for my turn.” CHHHH. “…after the break.”
08/25 Direct Link
Many have asked me: How do you get your ideas? How can I be as productive, as original, as excellent as you? The answer is simple. You need an EDGE. That drive. A certain sensation in your chest that makes you BETTER than the rest. It probably comes down to DNA. If you’re a born loser, you’ll probably die a loser, blaming everyone but yourself for your richly deserved misfortunes. If you’re born a winner, you will know. You will not doubt. And you will take responsibility for your greatness. Take it from me – your work has just begun, son.
08/26 Direct Link
I’m staying in a small rented room, with my cat. As I’m falling asleep, I notice a few skunks running around, adults and whatever the young ones are called. When I wake up (I’d guess I only slept for a couple of hours), the skunks and the cat are missing. I leave my room and rummage a large house, looking for my cat. I find dozens of other cats. Cats with similar coloration to mine, but not passable replicas. Beautiful cats with huge, sightless eyes. When I find him, he’s with another cat who looks almost identical. A different version.
08/27 Direct Link
YOU’VE PUSHED IT TO THE LINE. I don’t take this kind of dumbass disrespect. This is enough. Since you’ve neglected to take five seconds out of your day to show me basic common courtesy, I’m going to assume you just forgot about it, and “live [my] own life,” as one person advised, If you try to hold this over my head later, or play bitchy little mind games, you’ve had it. I genuinely believe in your work, and I’ve sacrificed myself relentlessly for you, and if you’re can’t give me basic, polite acknowledgment, you can learn yoga and blow yourself.
08/28 Direct Link
DAY 1 AFFIRMATION: PANIC IS MY FRIEND. Panic is my friend. Panic is my only friend. Panic is my ever-present companion. Panic spurs me to excellence. On some days, panic is the only one that cares. Panic makes me strong, stripping away every half-assed characteristic from my psyche. Panic lets me know this moment is essential. Panic reminds me that I am, for now, alive. This world is out to get me. It’s out to get you, too. All of us. Those who never panic don’t survive. Their genes don’t evolve. Sometimes, I fight. Sometimes, I run. Always, I return.
08/29 Direct Link
DAY 2 AFFIRMATION: WEAKNESS IS MY ENEMY. Weakness is my enemy. It will not die until it sees me crushed. Weakness is the only foe I can never permanently vanquish; I can only knock it out of my way long enough to get to the next stage. When I’m doing well, weakness steps it up. When I am in jeopardy, weakness wages a campaign of intimidation. Weakness can never beat me; only intimidate me into giving up. And it can’t do that, either. It evolves alongside me. Weakness never rests. Weakness must be dealt with harshly. It does not negotiate.
08/30 Direct Link
DAY 3 AFFIRMATION: WINNING IS MY REWARD. Winning is my reward. I am not in this for money. (Man to man, the money you pay me is fucking peanuts for the amount of work I’m expected to do, much less for the feats I actually accomplish.) I do this because I know I am part of something that’s going someplace, something powerful. I do this because I started it, and I want to see it through. I do this because I love to win. I do this for the feeling of continually ripping out the lungs of my nearest competitor.
08/31 Direct Link
DAY 4 AFFIRMATION: I AM UP TO ANYTHING. I am up to anything. No challenge is too great; no detail is too small. I refuse to lose; the nicest thing you could do for me is oppose me with everything you’ve got. I’m in charge. I have no reason to trust you. I have no reason to believe you know what you’re doing. So we’re doing things my way. That’s the only way I know they’ll work. Each battle is different; its outcome uncertain. I will not let a win get to my head, nor a loss to my heart.