Friday, January 06, 2006

Prefaces not Prologues

et me start by explaining my surroundings. This is the Waverly Hotel of College and Spadina, Room 215. The room, more or less, appears calculated to convey as strongly as it can one message: that there is absolutely nothing to look forward to. The walls are all white, with the machinery of pipes plainly visible, especially under the sink, where no effort is made to provide anything other than a sink counter. The pipes protrude from the poorly painted wall and reveal a pretty disturbingly simple mechanism. The television is half ripped apart and gets exactly three channels, all of them cartoons that are barely viewable due to the awful static. A single fluorescent bulb fills the room with hopeless soft light. There are three holes punched in the wall near the bed, at least one of them looks bottle shaped. The white walls are contrasted by the doors being an identical blue, and the two tables horribly contrasting browns. There is, oddly enough, a small closet that I can’t imagine many of their regular customers use on a regular basis. The window, which is a struggle and a half to open, looks down on part of a small, dirty parking lot from which cars rarely pull in and out but garbage is always blowing around noisily. Above the door, in ink pastel, is drawn an eye with a tear coming out of it and the word “Sorry”. On the wall next to the bed at eye level is another eye with tear, this time drawn in pen. Oddly, both eyes are drawn in blue and brown. At any given time there are at least two people sitting in the lobby saying absolutely nothing; just sitting in the lobby. The place has a strong piss smell that, thankfully, abates inside my room. This might be due to there being no bathroom; I have a shared one down the hall. It’s a little like residence, only instead of hopeful, attractive college students it’s abusive, broken boyfriends, brow-beaten prostitutes (or those getting there), and, by far most numerous, sullen old people with death-coughs ticking away their last time on this planet here because they couldn’t find anywhere else to live the last of their living. Rent here is five hundred a month, and my friends one block away pay slightly less, so I imagine that it’s not that they couldn’t afford anywhere else but that everywhere they could afford didn’t want them. This is downtown, and there’s never any shortage of tenants, so who would want the dying health hazard no-funs? I can think of two places: hell, and the Waverly Hotel.
The window doesn’t completely close, so the room is constantly assailed by a slight winter draft. I am a small man, yet my arm span is still 3/4s of the room long. The room smells slightly from when I vomited in the sink two nights ago (even though that isn’t the hotel’s fault), and you can easily spit from the far wall to said sink without arcing your spit. It’s such a place that the homeless will apologize to you and leave you alone when you tell them you’re staying here and mean it.
Of course, it isn’t so bad that the homeless should feel bad for you or give you hobo ‘spect for staying here, even though they seem to. Its reputation exceeds its suffering. The ceilings are high, housekeeping never bothers me, and it’s nice to be sleeping in a real bed again – a surprisingly comfortable bed at that.
Right now I’m here to be in Toronto so I can live. Someday will I come here to die? Will I someday end up here again, not because I’m so tired of burdening my friends and like being in downtown Toronto instead of downtown Guelph to such an extent that I’m willing to pay for it, but because the money’s run out and I still haven’t learned how to keep a job longer than a few weeks?
Well, for now those worries are immature collegiate prattling mnemonic rambling aimed to centralize me better and before I sink too far into the everyday jesusfish polemics I need to drink and coordinate my thought box and think of something imagistic. But the images are all around me and the beauty is insecure and deafened by too many years of looking at loud pictures like those I’m trying to imagine. 4:29 PM capsizes and I’m standing in front of Allenby Public School, in Eglinton Park, at King and Harmony, in front of Townhouse 42, at the Blue House, at Bloor and Adderley. The specifics are uninteresting, the concepts are everything. My memories may be special but they’re useless – useless to me as long as I’m not actively cherishing them and useless to everything else whether I am or not. This confirms the initial ‘useless’ assessment. This self obsession is the greatest roadblock in my aim to do anything at all. I must gravitate to fiction, or at least a pretentious narrative. It’s a shame that in light of all this tragedy it’s arrogance that gets in my way and not depression or loss or longing or feeling or heartbreak or desire or sex or altruism. I have landed in the Waverley Hotel and I’m still convinced strongly of my own rightness. To brazenly co-opt Salvadore Dali, the difference between other comedians and myself is that I am comedy. I have no trouble combining irony and earnestness because I am that intersection. I suppose I hope to die this way. All this, and I have not woken up with X-ray vision. I disgust myself and think about suicide occasionally.
I have become suspicious of my motives in loving. Is it possible what I wanted wasn’t them, but instead to walk through my childhood haunts feeling unbelievably elated? To see forests and ponds and Canadian geese and new groups of people with some kind of perfect company? To ride on subways with someone on my shoulder? To be less enthusiastic as I should have been about making out in movie theatres? To argue about spirituality, love and god and law and mechanisms of evolution? To have stories to write for inspiration? Was I just in love with the world again and again? Did I just want to see light streaming through different snow-covered trees? Like everything, I imagine there’s a grand of sandy truth in there surrounded by gesticulations, defense mechanisms, and stories about books.
I’m thinking scrap everything but the first three paragraphs to interject into another story.
The midday buzz has worn off and I feel drinking more won’t help until I drink a lot more, and that’s not likely to happen until the nighttime, and with it the inspiration, to skip the part where I phrase my sentences correctly. I ask too many questions in my writing. It’s not that I should be writing answers either.
Regardless, here’s the other thing that’s been in my mind for awhile and I might as well write now because I still have 56% of the battery left and if I don’t write some more I will be a failure and I need to stop writing “I” so often if any impact is to be had. A lot of people have told me that religion is a good thing because it provides a moral compass to so many people through devices like the ten commandments. I can’t agree with this, but not because I don’t think it can provide said moral compass. The basic ideas of morality seem like common fucking sense to me. Did you really need a bible to tell you not to kill people? Anyone who doesn’t arrive at that conclusion naturally is a (probably) fat fucking moron. I can’t imagine how anyone could need to be told not to hurt things. If the bible really does make people better then okay I guess, but I hope you people don’t reproduce because you’re fucking STUPID. Stupid! Idiots idiots idiots without an inkling of the ability to do that “thinking” thing that enabled us to make said decisions in the first fucking place. I wish the selection pool had been tougher on you morons.
Moving on to further polemics, I’d been planning to become a vegetarian since two Septembers ago, and having been one since one September ago, let me say that I have never been happier with any lifestyle choice I’ve ever made. No, it doesn’t make a dramatic difference singularly, but the movement as a whole has made a huge difference (just look at how supermarkets always have a section for us bleeding heart fragile hearted people who at least fucking have them), and I really think that any small difference is still worth making since we’re dealing with living, feeling things here. If you aren’t one because it doesn’t make a noticeable change then fine, that’s the only good response I’ve heard and while I don’t agree with it it’s pretty solid if you plan to do something else for the greater good (like Mark – you’re cool). However, I cringe in my pants every time I hear someone say “I wish I had your willpower”, which I do get pretty often. Lack of willpower makes me not go to lecture far too often. Who does that effect? Me. Big fucking deal. If every time I didn’t go to lecture a child or mentally disabled person who I didn’t know would be tortured to death (which is more or less exactly what we’re dealing with) then of course I would fucking go. The only reason I wasn’t earlier was because I just didn’t think about it. I spent a whole year thinking about it, writing about it, and talking about it, and the arguments are rock solid. I love arguing about it because I’m right. I got my brother to admit that I’m right for probably the first time in his entire life. Bring it.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten angrier, when I think about it, at peoples’ incredible selfishness. Maybe ignorance or stupidity…I guess hopefully ignorance or stupidity. We aren’t a nation of babies who rely on their breathing reflexes to stay alive, so why do we act like it so often?
I’m very sorry. In real life I make people laugh. Really.

The part before I started forcing it was the important part.

Also, if I have mono i'm going to kill someone.

Also, I'm going to lull myself to sleep with vodka and orange juice now. Goodnight.

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