Thanks to Vipal Monga for sharing this song with me. There are days when you just need to know that things can be sweet and dandy.
Today was one of those days when I wonder what the hell I’m doing here anyway, a place way more hopeless than imposter’s syndrome.
And while I’m at it, can we can it with “imposter’s syndrome?” On the hand, I get the need to identify and normalize feelings of inadequacy from which most — if not all — successful people suffer from time to time. So sure, you’re not alone, buddy. So stop crying in your beer.
But the whole point of this feeling of inadequacy is that it’s uniquely mine. My feeling of inadequacy isn’t the shallow self-pity-party YOU think it is, or can relate to. No! My feeling of inadequacy is of epic proportions, Biblical proportions, Byronic proportions, and is way beyond your vague and quickly assuaged feelings of inadequacy. My feelings of inadequacy go to the very root of life, of existence; you’re just wondering if you deserve that promotion from senior director to vice president. You’ll be over it next week; after twice witnessing the new amount directly deposited to your account at the very most.
Whereas, me! I have been to the mountaintop (of the Strand’s dollar shelf), I have been “picked” by People Magazine’s “Picks n Pans,” I have shaken the hand of Don DeLillo. And even still I doubt myself.
Yes, people have told me “I have something to say.” Well, that’s unique!
I’ve been told that I’m talented, even very talented, and while those whom gods want to destroy they first call promising, I believe those whom the gods wish to destroy also first call accomplished.
Given I accept that, to what end, I ask. To tell that something? To be heard by the many? Or, as my friend Rick Whitaker intimated (with the greatest kindness in mind, I know), to be read by five hundred people at most?
And how shall I deliver this message? The gimmick of the templated novel? The equally catchy gimmick of the… ellipses and…
ings stumbling his way across the room, a paperback Bukowski in his fucking hand because even e fucking e fucking cummings needs some pussy at least once a year and his fucking old lady made off with the fucking rent check and now that bitch of a landlady is going to come over smelling like beer and Marlboros and take her rent in kind.
Or shall I purply prose my longwinded runon sentence of syrupy prose slip across the pixilated page like pittances of roly poly pill boxes he read in the prolix paper of record while chewing on an ursula sandwich under sentient skies?
Rollicking but respectful like Russo? Bitter without a cause like Ford? Abstruse like Coover? Punky like Adam Wilson or genre-adjace like Lincoln Michel?
I want to write across the universe of time and I want to shout from the rooftops a Gigantic (Yeh, Gigantic!) fuck-off to all of humanity for repeating the same injustices and yet failing to reward my own mediocrity, to (De)Wit(t)!
Can no one love me as unconditionally as my mother? Can no one judge me as harshly as my father — only come back from the dead and acknowledge that I didn’t fuck up as badly as you figured? Can no one forgive me for failing my own tests of moral courage, failed at almost every turn? But also can no one proclaim that I am a good man and a loyal friend and the greatest writer that perhaps the world has ever known?
I want the ability to know the future, I want people to stop lying, I want people to treat each other with a modicum of respect, even if they have to subsequently, mercilessly exploit them. Only simply, before the pillage, say something along the lines of “there but for the grace of god — I know. You’re cool. But better you than me,”
The “god” question must be answered. I have come to think God is a completely amorphous energy source of which the world is a physical manifestation, and that humans are one of several physical manifestations God created to experience mortality.
Someone, DH Lawrence or Freud — I can’t remember — once said that sex and death are the only subjects worthy of the adult mind; I try to hew to this aphorism when I write, but I bet that’s what god thinks too.