hello, your all ain't shit.


mom called me up, said i had a letter. it was from the university of arizona. i already knew what it was. my first rejection letter from a creative writing program. just to be sure, i said, is it small or big? it's small, she said. like a normal-sized letter, she added. just open it, i said. you want me to open it? yes, i said. i wanted her to share in my disappointment. i already knew it was a lost cause when i applied, but still, i wanted her to think i was really upset about it, i wanted her to tell me i had been rejected, that they had regretted to inform me, that i had failed and wasn't good enough for a school in ari-fucking-zona. i like failure and rejection and disappointment. these are things i know, things that come easy, things i am used to.

i had submitted two stories to them, both of them stupid and pointless. one was about a girl who had a birthday party; the other was about a guy whose girlfriend is about to leave him. write what you know, right? the stories were shit, and i never expected them to get me into a ranked school. the birthday story was good enough, however, for the university of san francisco, and so, i've decided tonight that i will not be going there. i know this logic is stupid, and maybe i'm being childish about the whole thing, but really. who wants to pay $35,000 to take two years off to write? i'm fucking writing right now, and i have a job. albeit it's a boring job, but it pays.

and who are all these fuckers that get into ranked schools? who gets to go to fucking iowa? one of my professors went there, but he doesn't say shit about it. all he ever showed me of his stuff was one lousy nonfiction piece. i read some blog about a guy who got accepted to iowa. he wrote a story about some adopted kid from taiwan or something who ends up becoming a transvestite and helps cops solve murders. i feel like that's what those fools on the selection committee want to read. some crazy fucked up out-of-this-world type shit. like the kind of shit that's not acceptable for television or bad films. stories that make no fucking sense but are well-written. i don't know how to do that.

fucking usf. they just want my money. i'm convinced that's all seattle u wanted too, and it was the only reason i got in. jesuits robbing my ass blind and telling me i have potential and talent. christ. and my parents wonder why i don't go to church anymore. i've read glimmer train and other voices and tin house and all these other lit mags, and all those writers have got something i don't. they've got capital letters, for one. they've got connections, probably. they've got purpose, focus, and ambition. they've got a history of writing. they've got a good story to tell.

that last part is crucial, and it's (as far as i'm concerned) what counts. i don't have a good story to tell. or maybe i do, and i just don't know how to tell it. i could try my hardest to write a piece about my grandparents, or my parents, and them being immigrants and all, but because i don't have the patience to go through with it, it'll never get done. because i don't know how to properly use the word "phosphorescent" or "eviscerated" in proper context, i'll never publish shit. because i have this shit attitude about everything, it'll be a long while before i accomplish anything of any significance.

that was the lesson my professor pushed: just keep writing. it's been about three fucking years of this pointless blog, and i still haven't got shit to say. i don't know why i keep updating. i don't know why you keep reading. sometimes when i'm on, i feel i'm on, but most of the time, like tonight, i know shit's off, and i'm not saying anything worthwhile. i'm just making excuses. i'm just ranting and continuing to feel bad about myself because that's what i do best. i'm talking about hard times. about how i could keep trying, pouring my heart into everything i do (or at least trying to), and it still never being good enough. that's something i've learned, too. that you can give it your all, but a lot of the time, your all ain't shit.

i just wasn't ready for it, i guess. i applied to schools because i wanted a backup plan because i knew i'd get tired of my job. i knew how hard it is to make friends after college. i knew that i'd be one year closer to turning 30, and i still don't feel like i've done a damn thing. isn't that why most people apply to graduate school? maybe to some, it's serious business. it's for real. but a part of me is convinced that nobody really knows what the fuck they're doing. part of me knows that all of it's pointless. that we get up in the morning, that we shower and eat and exercise, that we tell people we love them, that we pay our taxes and bills on time, that we try to go green and recycle, take photographs, read books, hold hands and pray, but for what?

to me, i just envision this man who's picking up leaves and stuffing them in his coat, but the wind is too strong and it just blows everything away. isn't that, essentially, what happens to all of us?

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