Was feeling inexplicably angry the other day. I guess I still feel that way. Miffed, I guess, at the basic unfairness of the Universe. Revealed ultimately through the fact that no one else seems to be freaking out about it. Tuesdays always put me in a bad mood. Tuesdays are my Monday. But, you know, I managed. I went home after work and went to the gym and worked out really hard. And had a protein shake for dinner and then went to go see Cat Power. I'd been looking forward to that show for so long. She didn't disappoint.
I'm reading this Susan Sontag novel, Death Kit, but my heart's not really in it. I need to be reading a new book. I've never been crazy about Sontag's fiction. I've actually never been crazy about Sontag's writing in general. I kind of thought it was a little bit snooty for snootyness' sake. I feel guilty, because I know I'm supposed to love her work, as a queer and a jew, but I feel like I'm, too stupid to be reading it. In college I remember telling a professor that I felt like I was too dumb to get Sontag's work, because my frame of reference was so different. The professor smiled and said "Ah, yes. She writes for the layman, but for a very very educated layman." So it is snobby, I'm not imagining that.
Anyway the novel I'm reading Death Kit is pretty okay (so far). Susan Sontag is really good at conveying the moral certitude of the failed suicide. Like "Why bother?" right? What is the point. The ennui. It's weird to have your feelings confirmed in a book. I forget, though, that I always feel this way, about every book I'm reading. But in Death Kit, the protagonist Diddy tries to kill himself. He doesn't seem like he really wants to die, he just seems like he doesn't want to be alive. It's not morbid, exactly, but it's the morbid end of the Spectrum of Boredom. Which I identify with. I like to see something like ambivalence or indecision pushed to a conclusion.
Really, this is why I like to see art and try to make art: because I'm trying to work out a problem that I can't work out in my "real life" so I blow it up to bigger proportions and deal with it that way. Like, I think it's cool or fun to read about boredom so extreme that you have to try to kill yourself. That helps me negotiate my own boredom (I don't want to kill myself). Once I made this performance art show about having a boyfriend who was a meat-eating panther monster, because I had a boyfriend in real life who was a sort of monster (a little bit). That seems like so long ago. By the time I finished the thing I wasn't even upset about the boyfriend anymore, so either the art-making thing did it's job or there's really no job to do and I'm just being romantic.
So cute, right?
One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately giving people bad news. I'll do pretty much anything, including lie without any reservations, to avoid having to give someone bad news. Because I feel like if I give people bad news then they won't like me. And, logically, if people don't like me, then the world stops revolving. I'm doing this for everyone. But honestly, I go through a lot of suffering, and end up making other people suffer too, to avoid having difficult conversations. To avoid disagreeing. I hate disagreeing. Some people like it, though.
What happens when you forget to wear sunglasses on your morning commute on the subway? What happens is that a yuppie in a yuppie outfit (that's sports coat and button down shirt open at the collar with no tie on) notices your tattoo and says "Sweet tattoo, bro. Do you play the violin?"
No, you say, it's form the cello. And you don't play anymore.
The yuppie says that he plays the guitar, and has been thinking of getting a tattoo about that.
You recommend that he gets the same tattoo as you.
The yuppie is uncomfortable and says "Okay. Well. Take care." but you're in a crowded subway car and have nowhere to go. It's a little bit awkward.
Now, though, the idea of a crowded subway car, even full of yuppies, fills me with longing.
There were so many really wonderful things about Cat Power's performance last week at the Hammerstein Ballroom. But this was one of the most touching parts. At the end of the song, when Chan is singing "Someone. Someone. Someone." and pointing out different people in the room, then herself. I almost cried.