Thursday, January 13, 2011

frustrated subgenius

The snow drifts outside my window are several feet tall and sculpted beautifully. People in my fair city like to complain about the winter months as if we haven't gotten snow before ever, but there is a beauty and lightness to it that alleviates the early darkness.

I ventured out last night to get my art fix, having fallen in love with crystalline glazes and wondering what the combination of kiwi green, deep Starry night Van Gogh blue starred with white, and yellow with orange sunbursts will look like on a bowl as the oldies station played on the boombox in the corner and I wonder why I always hear "Lean on Me" and "Light My Fire" every single week in between ads for knockoff Viagra. Damn boomers.

Coming home is wonderful even with the foot of slush at the bottom of the street, the grind of snow plows, and the hookers who still go out at sunset in fishnets and short skirts even with the temperature is firmly in the teens. Every year I wish I bought that Subaru that probably would have died because four-wheel drive in this would be nice.

A friend of mine dropped off her key, since she's escaping for the weekend to celebrate a friend's matrimony in warmer climes. I'll be feeding their fabulous felines (who will pretend that they are not lonely) and make use of their Netflix account and back issues of National Geographic. It's sad that the majority of what feels like vacations are spent at friends' houses a block over, but it comes with the perks of pecuniary compensation and animal companionship.

Working in a place that was once a place for expanding one's knowledge and now is a costly step up a ladder full of buzzwords and networking, I long to take what I've learned and what I see and turn it into something that I'd actually like to read in hopes that there are other starving souls who need something that's got a little more substance than Nicholas Sparks and is better written than Dan Brown and is not written by smug McSweeney's acolytes.

I suppose that the document on my computer is too regional and pedestrian, but I want to capture what I see here, the corner stores and garage bands and awkward dynamics of class, geography of culture that converge in strange way.

I don't think I could write anything thrilling or romantic if I tried, but I'd love to do something that would be funny, heartbreaking, and full of enough details that even if you've never seen the stegosaurus hulks of rusty bridges and broken industry in the valley under a hazy summer sky, the certain ethnics at State Road park swearing and listening to eurotechno next to their tricked out Hondas, or the way that the sun sets over a beach covered with driftwood and stubs from Black and Milds, where kids play in the sewage and men walk their pet crocodiles on the shoreline, you'd see it for yourself the way you visualize places in New York or Los Angeles.

Ambitious yes? Doomed to fail? Probably. Will it ever be accomplished? Maybe. Total Slack is a second religion of this city so we shall see, inshallah.


Randal Graves said...

Good writers give readers what they want, sheesh.

You could spin a tale just out of your penultimate paragraph. I expect this novel to be written, now get cracking.

thatgirl said...

I can write description all day but I can't plot to save my life.

If the creative writing program didn't involve sitting through Vogon-esque poetry readings, I'd be there.

Randal Graves said...

Bah, description is *FAR* more important than plot. That crap's for churn-em-out mystery goons. No interesting conversational vignettes in plot.

I was going to suggest that it'd be comical, but after the third or fourth sheet, thoughts of pyromania would begin to creep in.

thatgirl said...

I could always substitute plot for endless streams of interesting conversational vignettes with loads of description.

But then I'd sound like some beatnik.