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My Game

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Game

It doesn't take much to throw me off my game.  I had a fine plan for today as recent as last evening.  I'd printed out a copy of the Lone Palm, having recently made changes to my graduate noir novel, including (but not limited to) removing the most antiquated language and lingering details too derivative of Chandler and the 1940s, which I accomplished my (re)placing my story in a darker, alternative (modern noir) San Francisco (as opposed to a "timeless Bay Area City"), and tweaking the love story to add additional tension, and in the process adding depth to my main female character.  Michele (agent) already has a list of 10 -15 publishers we are targeting.  I also had today's blog post topic all picked out, reviewing and pitching the excellent Get Set Go and one of my favorite albums ever, Ordinary World.

Then my phone broke.

Fucking Sprint piece of shit, this like the second time it's happened in the last two months.  Now I need to drive to the Sprint Store, which throws off my routine, and without routine I am flying blind.  And it fills me with dread.  Going to the Sprint Store is as bad as shopping at Grocery Outlet, visiting the DMV, and driving in LA during rush hour, all rolled into one miserable anxiety-producing ball.  First, there are like two Sprint Stores in the whole fucking Bay Area, which means that everyone with a crappy Sprint phone in this heavily populated region crowds this ten-by-twelve store, smelling really bad, and the staff, all three of them, are usually too busy talking to their friends who've dropped by kick it or hang or whatever the fuck it is kids do.  And while I'd like to direct my ire at the Sprint store staff, I can't. Because they are probably getting paid minimum wage, and I'm lucky they even get out of bed and show up to their job at all.  Expecting someone to hop, jump and skip with a smile for $4 an hour (or whatever the fuck the new minimum wage) is a joke, and depresses the hell out of me.  No one on this planet should be making less than $50/hr., not the way this capitalist world is constructed.  But then that gets me thinking about politics, which depresses me even more, since the whole damn thing is so hopeless.

Plus, the kid has developed this new trick of squawking like a pterodactyl, an ear piercing shrill that bores in my skull like a dental drill.  Speaking of which, I need a new fucking dentist, because my old dentist is too far away, and the last time I had my teeth cleaned the hygienist was too hard on my gums, and it sent a mixed message because I care for my gums and I want to treat them well.  So I need to find a new dentist and make an appointment, which I keep putting off, much like I am putting off making a hair cutting appointment.  I can't go to a barber.  You pay $14 for a haircut, and you get a $14 haircut.  No, I have to go to a goddamn stylist, which costs a shitlot more.  But it's my hair, and who knows how much longer I'll have it?  'Cause I am almost 41, and I could go bald any minute.  And then what will I have?  Without my looks, I am just another crotchety bastard with a lousy personality who needs his hip replaced.  Because this hip has really been killing me of late.  I knew this day was coming; they told me.  But I've been able to keep up such a rigorous exercise routine, constantly moving, like a shark so I don't die, that I've been able to stave off the stiffness, the inevitable arthritic advancement.  But it was an impossible pace to keep up.  I can't run a marathon a week, lift six days a week, hit the bag, ride the bike, doing 2-a-days.  There simply isn't time.

And that's what it all comes down to: time.  Tick, tick, fucking tick.  Either speed it up.  Or slow it down.  Like a shitty Adam Sandler movie

                                                       , because it always circles back to art for me, and I can tolerate the deserving getting their due, though it kills me; it's the talentless hacks getting published all the time that eats away at me, which only causes the self-doubt to creep in, because who am I to determine who is talentless and/or deserving?  I'm just a farmboy from Connecticut.  Fuck, maybe I don't have the book deal because I am simply not good enough, never will be.  I am mediocre, commonplace.  I am American cheese and supermarket meats on Wonder Bread, slathered with Miracle Whip.

My biggest fear is that I am an Ordinary Joe.

And now the floodgates have opened, undermining everything I try to get done today: writing, music, fathering.  Even attempting any of it makes me feel like a fraud.

And all because my phone broke.

Damn you, Sprint.  Goddamn you for doing this to me.

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At August 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM , Blogger Jenny Dreadful said...

This shit. is fucking. HILARIOUS.

You're like me at 40, with a sex change. Let me guess. Unless I'm 10 years and older than you my opinion doesn't count either. Whatever. Keep the pen moving. We all take our turn slogging through the shit pile.

At August 21, 2011 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Joe Clifford said...

Jenny, your opinion certainly DOES matter. I like the company, and people who think like we do, well, there ain't that many of us. (Or maybe there is? What do I know?) Anyway, thanks for reading. Glad you you like the site. I try (Oh, dear Jesus, how I try...)

At August 22, 2011 at 3:15 AM , Blogger Jenny Dreadful said...

Whoo! Thanks . . . thought I was gonna get a smackdown response "Listen here, you fucking kid, etc. etc."

Either way, keep slogging. Always an outrageous read. You should start lit reviews on here. It would be like throwing a match down a kerosene well.

At August 22, 2011 at 6:09 AM , Blogger Joe Clifford said...

Jenny, believe it or not, I'm actually a very nice guy ;) (OK, probably not so nice. But I am big into manners. And it's just humanity as a whole I deplore; individual people I actually meet I tend to like a great deal.) Lit reviews? Would love to. But it'd be career suicide. I really really hate some writers (who are very big in the literary world, i.e., Junot Diaz).


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