stomach into knots.

i wish i had more important things to write about, but i don't. all i have is cold weather, stomach aches and the occasional person to chat with at work.

i told my team leader, kevin, that i would be coming in late all next week, since i'm going to be grading the cbest tests from 8:00 - 5:00. he went on and on about how great it was, how they have catered lunches, and whatnot. "i think you're really going to like it," he said. i wanted to say, "i really doubt it, since all work is immoral," but i held back.

i don't know how i feel about work anymore. i hate it, obviously, but when i'm not working, i feel like i should be working. from raymond carver's "what do you do in san francisco?": "i believe, too, in the value of work - the harder the better. a man who isn't working has got too much time on his hands, too much time to dwell on himself and his problems." the thing is, though, i know raymond carver hates this guy he's writing about, and that carver would also agree all work is immoral. after all, he was a janitor at one point, and then became an alcoholic writer. but i also know where this character is coming from. i don't like to dwell on myself and my problems.

i think life would be so much better without computers. it would force me to come talk to you, or else phone you up. instead, it gives me the opportunity to hide behind a keyboard and never have to answer to anybody.

i blew my phone interview today. i'll be ecstatic if i actually get the job. i don't know what it is. for all the meaningless jobs i apply for that i don't really want, i blow them on purpose; but for jobs that i actually think i won't mind doing, at least for a little while, i blow those, too. careless and nervous. yes, mr. employer, those two traits would best describe me.

2 comments:

Michael Hemmingson said...

Actually, Carver enjoyed his janitorial job, which was the longest one he kept (2 and a half years), because it was a gravyard shift so he didn't have to interact with anyone, and could write in his notebook, drink, work at his own pace...then at home, his kids were in school and his wife at her day job so he was alone and could write.

What bothered him later was that all his friends were teachers, professional writers, etc., and he was being published more, so the role of a meager janitor did not fit well with the promising young writer role.

He hated working as a text book editor and publicuty manager more; he hated weraing a suit and tie. He would occasionally drop out of work for long stints nd rely on his wife to support him and the kids, becaus she acrified her own needs so he could write.

I know all this because I am writing an interpretative biography of him -- the first! -- and have written two critical volumes on his work, forthcoming from Borgo Press and McFarland, one ojn dirty realism and the other on women.

I hate work too. I've had all the shitty jobs. But it is better than being homeless and hungry, which I have been before.

Maggie said...

dear james. it's been awhile since i've visited your blog. my new job has me sitting at the computer all day long, so it's difficult to spend much time at the screen in my free moments at home. (clearly this is the case, as i haven't updated my own blog in over a month.)

firstly, as fruitless and sad as all of our lives really are (i sense this in your posts) so much of it really is about connecting to people through language, gestures, actions. you do an awful nice job of reminding me of good things in life and the ways that so very many of us squander our time here--you are good at reminding us not to do so. it's all moving so fast and we do such a good job of ignoring so much till it's too late.

secondly, i am terribly, terribly flattered that i'm m.f.k. fisher on your page. terribly flattered.

hello and good night and thank you.