Saturday, August 20

not a list

I had the unusual urge tonight to write a list of things that I did this week, which is unusual because I don’t generally feel “list” urges. In fact, I have a thing about not writing lists. Like not writing them is a small rebellious victory every time I avoid making one.

I equate lists with “people who get shit done” a lot of the time, even though I know several wonderful people that swear by them, and even though I used to have to make them all the time so that I could “get shit done” back before the life inversion started. But when it did start – the inversion – list-making was one of the things near the top of the “things I’m not going to do anymore because they carry with it an association of losing my soul” list. Which didn’t actually exist because, well, I stopped making lists.

If I had created such a list, however, of those things that I wasn’t going to do to avoid having my soul sucked, list-making would have been up there with tie-wearing and all forms of non-organic, manufactured marketing (of self or anything external).

So, there cannot be, for the reasons mentioned above, a list of things that I did this week. However, if there were such a list, created for posterity because it felt a bit like a minor internal tectonic shift kind of week, it would have included some or all of the following:

I hiked a local (small, not really even a) mountain in the city where I live, and did it in the dark, which allowed me to see the twinkling fake lights of the remarkably boring-looking city below me and the far more brilliant lights of the clear, endless, indigo-dark sky above; I assembled a home gym and a treadmill (for money – a new thing that I hope will allow me to escape the infuriatingly stubborn gravitational pull of working in fucking casinos for a living); there were continued fifth revisions of THE NOVEL (too important not to highlight, but not ironic enough for quotation marks), which go well and are heading in new and exciting directions as I pour through the beta-feedback I’ve received while simultaneously remembering how I wanted to write something with a strong plot and action that still aspired to be faintly literary in scope and theme; I finished Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, which was delectable, invigorating, and heartbreaking all at the same time (and which was also the perfect novel to read as I embarked on THE NOVEL revisions, a reminder that great writing can and should sneak up on you at least as often as it hits you over the head; I also blew through The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield (the guy who wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, [which I loved way before the movie] – who knew?), a book that will require subsequent readings to fully appreciate because it’s so simple and profound – profound in its simplicity and, not surprising, simple in its profundity; I spent an entire day doing maintenance on my POS Jeep (oil and filter changes, chassis lubing, and chasing down miscellaneous squeaks and rattles) during which I found a sizable rock partially lodged between my transfer case skid plate and the case itself, the removal of which resulted in a rattle-free Jeep – a minor miracle; I went climbing and did some trail jogging and some yoga as part of my effort to get back into decent enough shape so as not to die of a heart attack come the advent of hockey (playing) season in September; I dealt around 300-400 hands of poker, a fact that I find both continually amazing and slightly depressing.

If I’d have written that list (which I would, heaven forefend, nevereverever do on account of the aforementioned aversion to list making), it would have been an incomplete list – obviously – but still a list of marginally-yet-personally interesting things that coalesced into a pretty damned good week.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing that I didn’t (would never) write it, or it might have resulted in a self-indulgent, frivolous post that was more about having fun with complex-compound sentences and semi-colons than saying anything remotely worth saying.*

p.s. I’m going to start Stephen Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries next week. So. Stoked.

* Unless you really read between the lines AND read stuff into it that probably isn’t really there.