Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, April 14, 2003

Failure of the Day: Many Ways of Blowing

I do. I feel like I suck a little bit because I didn't go to a thing yesterday that I sort of wanted to go to but then just didn't. We are World-Class Fritterers, Chris and I. We fritter whole days away. Though to be fair, when Chris fritters, he paints the windowsills, but when I fritter, I play BoxerJam's Know It All. So I guess there's frittering and then there's frittering.

So the thing was a reunion of sorts of a poetry reading community that I was peripherally involved with some 10 years ago. Most of the people were older than me and even though I was fucked up and on SSI and all that, most of them were a good bit more fucked up than I was. They were nice to me though, and for a while it was a pretty big deal to have some measure of acceptance at the Café Babar reading. Julia didn't much harrumph! at me while I read, and David didn't throw peanut shells, and people were generally quiet during my sets. And Julia went on to nominate me for a Pushcart prize, which I appreciated even though I didn't win.

Café Babar has been closed for a while now, along with most of the other long-time readings in town, and the people have largely scattered, found greener pastures, or are dead. I think part of the reason I didn't go was that the only people I really wanted to see are the dead ones. And the people who aren't dead and who I still want to see, I see already.

But maybe the other reason is that I feel weird…I'm not so incredibly fucked up anymore. In fact, I'm doing really, really well. I landed on my feet, and I'm not overwhelmingly worse for wear. But the thing is, I don't know if I feel weird because I'm worried that it would look like I was bragging or something about how well things are going for me, or because I'm worried that I would look like a big fat yuppie. I've got a husband and a job, for chrissakes!

And that's really pathetic. None of those people would begrudge me my happiness. Even the lunatic fuckwad who sued me for 100 million dollars said I deserved my remission. (Although that was the last time I spoke to him, and apparently that conversation is what inspired him to add me to his lawsuit against The Universe, so that's maybe not a good example.)

Anyway, my overall ambivalence won out and yesterday we just did laundry and ate burritos and watched movies. We frittered, yes we did, and it was lovely, in fact.


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