john sent me a text message asking to meet him at maui’s. i found myself last there with him and mikiel this past saturday, late in the evening. at some point john demanded that i retrieve him another beer.
i said, “do you think this is that scene in mad men when the parents just lay on the couch and the kids just pour bloody marys for them all morning?”
there was a pause, as if he and mikiel had not heard me.
he said, “yes... i like this song.”
mikiel responded, “i also like this song.”
they seemed dazed, out of it. the flow of the conversation bucked from under me, disturbed by the music, our concentration interrupted by the alcohol. the moment seemed uncanny or uncomfortable as the space our conversation had created failed momentarily until we found our footing again.
i’ve been told that i’m sometimes hard to follow because my thoughts jump around and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a connection between one thing and another. i believe all the connections are there; they’re just not laid out on the table. how long would my stories be if spelled out everything, processed everything?
i’ve been told that i talk a lot.
i’ve been told that i have logorrhea, too.
my favorite people can keep up. my favorite people demand that i keep up with them. smart, clever, funny. even we end up talking around each other, not quite listening or understanding, or perhaps hearing but not understanding until later.
i told ryan our conversations sometimes feel like dialogue written by tao lin.
via gchat, i wrote to ryan:
“i think the blog post i wrote makes me sound crazy.
i need to edit it.
edit the insanity out of it.”
“a book on existentialism would fuck me up.
i don’t know how i feel about the tao lin thing
but i’ll take it
because sometimes he’s funny
and lemme read it and measure your craziness”
“i like tao lin and existentialism. how would it fuck you up? it’s a humanism.”
“i’d start to fall into an existential k-hole
don’t make me go back!
DON’T MAKE ME.”
i don’t actually make ryan do anything he doesn’t want to. i certainly don’t force any intellectual exercise upon him. but he is a smart and clever guy.
the letters that my old friend writes to me are not intellectual, but i also know how smart he is, and always enjoy the letters i receive from him. the way we talk to each other differs from the late night bar conversations i find myself lost in every night with john and mikiel; it differs from the intimate, personal, quick and witty conversations ryan and i share all day over the internet as we’re working. the space between drew and i is greater; the time between the call and response longer. our conversations build like floes of ice, glacially moving and building.
in one letter he told me of his parents’ new country home in rural alabama and his experience reading absalom, absalom! (one of my favorite novels.)
in the next letter i wrote of a southern obsession with history and my ambition to write a novel.
in his most recent letter he writes:
“I think you’re right: as Southerners, we must be obsessed with history and time. There is something literary in our blood, however wise it may or may not be. I’m sure you already know how difficult writing a novel can be. And you’re right, too, that it would be much easier if you had a quiet, scheduled place to go for a while. I don’t know that moving back in with your parents would be the best option, considering the nagging and judgments that accompany prolonged stays with one’s parents. But perhaps you could go stay with my parents at Mulberry for a while. It’s very quiet there, and the countryside is beautiful. I’ve told you (I think) that I’d like to turn the place into a sort of Yaddo, but who knows if that could ever happen.”
our goals and projects differ; our lives have taken us to different cities. however, in many ways we’re cut from the same cloth, and our letters to each other easily maintain and build a strange closeness to each other, extraneous and yet influential to the quotidian life i need.
if silence provides those moments of meditation that allows one to collect one’s thoughts, put one’s self in order, escape the chaos of each day, then i would say the moments when we talk and converse sustain and fertilize, too. i need all of it. i need all the different layers and levels. and i need more, too.