When you start over so many times that you forget why you began. When you start over so many times that life has passed you by. When you start over so many times that you realize that all those sad and tragic characters that you were always thinking about, that you were always writing about, were you. When you start over so many times that your own life is the subject of the story on the page. When you start over so many times that you realize that everything that you ever wanted is something that you probably aren’t good enough to achieve.
This is my life.
My name is James Charles Reed Jr. I am twenty six. I have a degree in Philosophy. I want to say that I hate myself, but I believe that that is wrong, or, that, the latter is exactly what I wish to say but I know no more eloquent way of saying it. My whole life has been this way. I have, in my mind, what I believe to be genius, but it always comes out wrong. Like a trumpet player realizing mid-blow that he is playing the tuba.
There is a song playing in my head, a few notes over and over. I once thought that I was hearing voices, and, that if I thought hard enough, that if I read enough philosophy that everything would just go away. I believed in my own intellect, I believed that I could just think away my problems. Now look at me.
I work retail. Today I even met a very dignified man. He said that he used to be Vice President of Macy’s Department Stores. He told me today that he liked my attitude. He told me his whole life story, basically. He himself worked four jobs when he was young, and, now, one of his companies builds colleges and hospitals in third world countries. But the whole time that he was telling me this, and truly, his life is amazing and his deeds more so, but that, deep down, I didn’t care. I know that the business life is not for me. I know that I will never be as driven as that man has always been. I am just, it is just…I don’t know. I don’t know how to describe it.
I can’t finish a whole philosophy book but I believe that I have a deeper understanding of philosophy then most. I didn’t even make it far after completing my degree. I just didn’t care. One of my professors, I heard that he told his students not to study for the graduate requisite exams, unbeknownst to them that he himself did not study for them. That is one piece of advice that I have learned. I have learned, that, as for advice, that it is best taken with a few grains of salt, because someone can only tell you what they did, and, just because that thing worked or didn’t work out doesn’t mean that that was the only reason for the whole thing happening.
One’s own life is replete with causes, it is replete with happenings that one either has no control over or so little that it seems useless. I have been content to float. I have been rowing as hard as I can, as hard as anyone can without paddles, but I have only gotten this far. I tried to go it alone, and, so far, I am failing.
But there is something beautiful about failure. One cannot ever get too much of it to be sick of it. It is like a favorite food, no, rather, more like a drug. It is the one thing that human beings seem to be never satisfied with. Like the last piece of cake, and, that even if there is only a few crumbs left, that, they are always worth waiting for, they are always worth sitting there for, hoping against hope that they will someday be yours. I was like that. Who am I kidding, I am like that.
Look at me. Look at this. I am alone. My mother, she’s gone. I have nobody else. My girlfriend, she’s at her own house. And I’m here, just looking for a way to pass the time. You know my one question that I have for god? It is “why do I keep writing?” Why do I keep sitting down, night after night, using my intellect not for practical matters, and not for other things like figuring out tomorrow, like thinking about work and how to become more efficient, no. I sit here, as I have sat here, before, writing songs, then poetry, then taking pictures, and now, here, again. I am alone again. I have this thing in front of me, this writing device, and, again, I see myself in this words. And after so much writing about philosophy. It almost pains me to speak about it. I have been writing, everyday, for the past three years, taking up three hours of my day, and, granted, I work eight hour days besides that, and, even with that I feel that I have never missed one day of writing.
How could I?
You see, there lies the rub. Why. WHY? Why do I keep writing? Why do I not just get up and move on with my life. My father, he offered me a job in his company. My mother, she gave me advice, she told me to always be practical. Well mom, I am sorry that I disobeyed you. I am sorry father that I disobeyed you. I am sorry god that I am not a good civilian and that I do not bow down like everyone else. Although this is, in a way, the ultimate bow.
I sit here, alone. I sit here, struggling. I sit here with something inside of me, a creature, and for some reason I feel that it is of a blackened sort, the color of soot. I feel that it is looking up at the sky and that I am a lighthouse towering over it. I feel my light is shining around and that the creature itself is looking up. I feel that I want to be that creature, I want to be something that is not just scanning, scanning, around and around. I want to be something more, I want myself and that creature to be one whole thing.
I want these words to mean something to me after they have been written.
I want these words to be more then words. I want each of them individually to satisfy me.
That has always been my problem. I have never had any faith in my own work. Project after project, I have just moved on. Right now, this page lies upon a project that I am in the middle of, and, that it is long, and that I am in the editing process of it, but, instead of editing it, and, albeit the editing process is itself arduous, but, instead of doing that that I would just like again to start anew. It is like I am waiting for something, like I am waiting for the project itself to speak to me. Like I am waiting for the words themselves to jump off the page and force me into action. Perhaps that is what I have been waiting for? Perhaps this is the project that I finish? But I doubt it. That is probably why I am writing this here, on a blog post, because, each post is itself an itself. Each is before the beginning and has no ending. There is no beginning that you are aware of that could place everything that I am writing into context, and that is because you haven’t lived my life.
You have no idea what is going to happen after this because, again, you are not me. Yet as for me, publishing this and right after I am finishing, checking first for grammar, that with that, all of this text, everything, itself as of one whole feeling and that is how I am right now, that in publishing this, each page like is own book, in that way I can myself finish what I could have never done myself, and by that I mean leave satisfied.