Tag Archives: literature

A Passion Vomit

The boy with the white hair pointed out not too long ago that I become heavily influenced by whatever book I am currently reading.  I argued at first, but let’s get real, he was absolutely right.  Last month I was ready to start a cult after reading A Very Minor Prophet.  The month before that I was cursing the use of plastic and paper towels after reading No Impact Man, and the month before that I had a huge crush on River Phoenix after reading his biography.  Now, more than ever, I want to spread the word of the evils of the white man.  We fucked everything up.  The world now needs to understand that just because we don’t understand a certain way of life, does not mean that it needs change.  We all just need to leave each other’s cultures and civilizations alone.

I don’t discuss books much on this blog, but I’m not sure why.  I am constantly reading and I always have to stop myself from writing an entry about whatever book I just read because I know that none of you care about my passion vomits.  But today, I don’t care that you don’t care.  I’m about to passion vomit all over you.  And for Christ’s sake,  start reading books with me!  I just read The Poisonwood Bible, and here are some quotes from it that heavily influenced me, along with my commentary that you won’t care about:

“Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly.  Those who have known this kind of hunger cannot entirely love, ever again, those who have not.”  

This passage made me think about how little the world understands each other.  This lack of understanding is really what leads to wars.  But bringing it back to the topic of hunger, if you were someone who has honestly starved, been plagued with a threat of not being able to eat day after day, you could never honestly love someone like me.  Someone who has dieted and thrown food away and shops in grocery stores that holds more food than some villages see in generations.

“Like Daniel she enters the lions’ den, but lacking Daniel’s pure and unblemished soul, Ada is spiced with the flavors of vice that make for a tasty meal.  Pure and unblemished souls must taste very bland, with an aftertaste of bitterness.”

Cody and I were talking recently about being weird.  He is definitely weird, and I am as well, though sometimes I camouflage it better than him.  I think.  Actually, I think I have gotten more weird with age because in the last couple of years I have heard people declare me as “weird” quite a bit.  I think people who have this characteristic also have a certain level of inner darkness in common.  The weird ones tend to have the most demons.  My point to him however was, I think it’s cool!  I would take a weird person over a “normal” person any day.  Weird people are much more interesting.  Hence the quote.  Pure and unblemished souls are boring and bland.  Maybe that’s why the lion didn’t eat Daniel.

“Green mamba, mistress of camouflage, agility, aggressiveness, and speed.  The experts claim in the library book of snakes: In this serpent the diabolic genius of nature has attained the highest degree of perfection.  What had passed before us was a basket of death, exploded.”

I’m now obsessed with green mamba’s and want to get a tattoo of one.

“…by the grace of hell.”

That just sounds badass.

“To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.  In perfect stillness, frankly, I’ve only found sorrow.”

If you can find peace in stillness, you have found enlightenment and are far stronger than me.  If you’re like me however, you have to keep moving or else go insane.

The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes.”

Be equally as grateful for your failures as for your successes.  In the end, it’s all the same thing.

“The loss of a life: unwelcome.  Immoral?  I don’t know.  Depends perhaps on where you are, and what sort of death.  Hereabouts, where we sit among such piles of leftover protein we press into cakes for the pets, who usefully guard our empty chairs; here where we pay soothsayers and acrobats to help lose our weight, then yes, for a child to die from hunger is immoral.  But this is just one place.  I’m afraid I have seen a world.  In the world, the carrying capacity for humans is limited.”

Leave Africa the fuck alone.  Those people have survival figured out.  Or had at least.  We may have fucked it up beyond salvation now.  Sure, a lot of kids die there, and yes, it’s sad, but that is the way of life that they have known for millions of years.  Just because it is different from ours, doesn’t make it wrong.  They have nine kids in the hopes that one or two reach adulthood.  There, they only have one word for all things living and passed.  Villages only had one word to refer to those living and those dead.  To them, death is company, not an enemy.  This brings me to the next quote…

“If you could for a moment rise up out of your own beloved skin and praise ant, human, and virus as equally resourceful beings, you might admire the accord they have all struck in Africa.”

This is believing in all things equally.  Believing in the fundamental right for a plant or a virus to rule the earth.  Maybe it sounds that I have no heart for humans, but I think I have too much.  I see what we have done and what we deserve.  We should really stop fighting death and all walk together into the heart of darkness and let nature take its course.  But we are selfish and the unknown is scary and death is a mixture of selfishness and the unknown, so we avoid it at all costs.  I say that death is selfish because what mourning is, is mourning our own loss.

“All the noise in my brain, I clamp it to the page so it will be still.”

Why writer’s write.

“Conquest and liberation and democracy and divorce are words that mean squat, basically, when you have hungry children and clothes to get out on the line and it looks like rain.”

This goes right along with what I have been preaching for quite some time.  That us people in the First Word have the LUXURY of whining about democracy, divorce, liberation, etc. because we don’t need to worry about survival in the way that people in some other places do.  I rant about this more in …Annoying First World Problem.

“I have lost all the words to my childhood prayers, so my head rings with its own Grand Silence.”

I think that one of the first signs of losing one’s inner peace and innocence, is when silence becomes an enemy.

Passion vomit concluded.  The lesson to be learned here is, read The Poisonwood Bible.

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Five People Living or Dead

I’m big on questions books.  I used to throw a lot of parties, and one of the key ingredients to being a good host, is making sure everyone feels included.  Weird tension and segregation between groups of people who don’t know each other is a buzz kill.  One of the best ways to get everyone talking is question books.  There are the fun “Would You Rather” books, which ask ridiculous questions like, “would you rather pee your pants or drink a glass of spoiled milk?”  Then there are the more serious question books, which is when things get interesting and you find yourself bonding with the most unexpected people.

One of my favorite questions that I have come across is, “If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be?”  Which brings me to our discussion.  I like this question because it’s ever evolving.  My five seem to constantly be changing, and I find myself thinking regularly, “hmmm I would probably consider bringing (insert cool person here) to my dinner party.”  The most recent consideration was Johnny Cash, but unfortunately, he didn’t quite make the cut today.  Maybe next month he’ll have better luck.

Without further adieu, the five people I would like to invite to dinner would be:

1.  Thomas Jefferson

2.  Anaïs Nin

3.  Ernest Hemingway

4.  Caravaggio (the painter)

5.  Kristen Scott Thomas

Now for my explanation.  There are a bunch of people I would like to meet, but I’m trying to consider the “vibe” of the entire group.  The above five, I feel like would get along (for the most part).  Or at least keep things interesting.  I could see Caravaggio and Hemingway having a literal pissing contest after drinking Scotch, neat, and arguing over the most effective way to skin an animal carcass or start a fire, or something that’s equally as arbitrarily manly.  Then they’d bro down over a game of “Five Finger Fillet” while Kristen sips on wine, humming a French tune and seductively getting Thom to come out of his shell for a moment and gently dance with her.  Anais would be on the balcony smoking a cigarette, wondering if any of her past loves are looking up at the same moon right now that she is.  I’d be at the sundae bar (having a make-your-own-sundae station is crucial to my parties), and then we’d all sit on the floor together, pass around a wine bottle and laugh over a game of Never Have I Ever.

Jefferson is my one constant.  He always makes the cut.  I have a fascination with the cycle of brilliant minds in history, and have my own theory about such.  Well, a half-assed theory because it is based on no real merit.  It’s really just a Caitlin thought, and like most of my grand ideas, it’s probably naive, but these callow musings are my way of still believing in the good of the world.  I believe that the universe brings together brilliant minds at times when we’re in the most need of them.

I have many examples that I won’t bore you with, but one of them is the Founding Fathers.  I truly believe that never before in history, had so much genius been in one room together.  This can’t be merely a coincidence.  It’s the universe’s way of providing us with a solution.  Enough hippie jabber.  The full explanation of my theory will be a discussion for a different day.  Back to Jefferson, he’s just fucking sexy because of all his mystery, and I’d try to get him drunk, then get in on the real gossip of his life and ask him about his love affairs with his slaves, and what his secret coded messages were actually about.

Kristen Scott Thomas is probably the choice that you’re scratching your head at.  I don’t know why, but to me, that woman just seems like when she talks, we should all listen.  She has this wisdom about her, and she’s cultured, so I think she could hold her own next to the other self-indulgent artists’ that I’ve chosen.  On top of her charm and intelligence, I think she’d be a fucking blast to get drunk with.  Her and I would definitely end up outside jumping on a trampoline together.

We all know my night would probably end with myself, cuddled up next to Caravaggio on the couch.  Though I’d hope it to be Hemingway, let’s get serious… I somehow always end up with the guy who seems most likely to draw a picture of a penis as well as the most mentally unhinged.

One thing I think that all five of these people have in common, is that they seemed to have made love to the world.

Who would your five be?

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Never Date a Writer

Never date a writer.  She’ll tell you tales of intrigue and heartache, filled with clever parallels and euphemisms, but somehow by the end of it, she will feel further away.  She’ll creep into your soul and tell you she loves you, a love will last “‘til Kingdom come,” she’ll whisper.  She might even compare the two of you to one of the greats, like Catherine and Heathcliff, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,”  but somehow she’ll say all of this in monotone and without ever meeting your eyes.  Don’t worry though my friend, you won’t notice it at the time.

Never date a writer because she’ll always say what she knows you want to hear.  She may even say it in iambic pentameter, or throw in a subtle rhyme.  Then when your head is easy with her words of serenity, she’ll be saying the same thing to the boy down the street with the scar over his eye.  Or the boy with the Vonnegut quote tattooed on his arm.  Or maybe even that mysterious boy from Liechtenstein.

Never date a writer because she will always know more than you.  During your intimate moments of idea exchanges and song meaning theories, if you look closely, she’ll be biting her tongue while you’re declaring your impressive theories.  Don’t you know?  She has already thought of that one, you fool.  But do not worry, she’ll disguise her patronizing with a warm smile and a sweet sigh.

Never date a writer because she will write about you.  She’ll write about the time you built her the canopy for her bed that she never got to have as a kid, and the time you wrote her a song.  She’ll even write about the time you had a fight out on the balcony when her make-up was only half done and one of the Christmas lights was burnt out.  She’ll call that irony of course.  Somehow your broken heart will lead to another’s favorite lyrical.  And she’ll definitely write about the time you forgot to pick her up from the airport.

What she won’t write about is how you didn’t forget.  How everyday you couldn’t wait for her to get home.  How you left the porch light on each night in case she decided to surprise you and come back early.  She won’t write about how that day your car broke down on the way to pick her up, but you had no money for a cab because you spent your last dime on an engagement ring for her.  Of course you didn’t tell her any of this once she started speaking to you again, because you were embarrassed.  She won’t write about how in a hurry to scramble together enough money for a taxi, you pawned that watch your Dad gave you when he finally declared you “a man.”  And she definitely won’t write about how when you finally got to the airport and found her not there, you cried, as a man, for the first time.

She won’t write about how she was the only person you couldn’t wait to talk to everyday.  Not even the times you kissed her forehead while she was sleeping or kept smiling after she turned away.  She won’t write about how you planned to propose to her one night under that canopy you made for her.  Five times you hid the ring under the pillow and opened the windows in that bedroom because you knew she’d appreciate the gentle whispering of the wind, maybe she’d even write about it, you thought.  But she won’t.  She won’t because all five times she felt far away.  Her voice was monotone and her eyes never met yours.  She kept biting her tongue and breathing a sweet sigh, so you never proposed to her any of those long nights.

Never date a writer because you’ll never be Heathcliff.  You’ll never be Rochester or Romeo or Mr. Darcy or even the man from that story by O. Henry, who sells his watch to buy his wife those combs.  Maybe, if you could remember his name, she’d love you all the way.  So never fall in love with a writer, because she’ll never fall in love with you the same way.

Also see, Never Date a Musician.

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