25 March 2011

March 25, 2011

This afternoon was the first time in years I’ve been inside a library. The computer was so slow I drew pictures on the little scraps of paper while the pages loaded. All the golf pencils were chewed, dull. I walked the aisles for what must have been half a mile looking for books on Darwin. I imagined being inside Amazon.com, the way they sometimes personify the Internet in unimaginative movies.

And actually all the pencils weren’t really chewed. I’m not sure why I said that. It was just simpler than saying that some of the pencils were chewed and some weren’t and some were sharpened on just one side so that you had to hold them almost flat against the paper to make them write anything. I left that out because I didn’t want to clutter up that first paragraph. This is probably why David Foster Wallace wrote with so many footnotes. This would probably be a footnote if I knew how to create one in TextEdit.

We were talking today about being introverted, what that means, how it used to be misunderstood, or maybe still is, and how people can sometimes think you’re a snob when really you’re just shy.

My dad remembers me being four years old and telling him that when I turned five I would no longer be so shy, I would no longer be so quiet. I would be better, I promised.

As if I were sick, as if something were wrong with me.

Also — and this is unrelated — I keep thinking about Sylvia Plath’s suicide note. About how she wrote, “Call Doctor Horder,” and then his number.

I think you have to make a choice at some point: are you going to be an artist, or are you going to be a salesman.

If you’re not sure which one you’ve chosen, and you’re making decent money, chances are you’re a salesman.


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