I’m sitting at the back corner of Starbucks, enjoying my first day off in months. Yesterday was the deadline for Play, and Rocket is finished for at least another week. So for one Styrofoam afternoon, I’m free to float from word to word, trying to map the journey as a tour. My thoughts are islands, and only the ride between them makes for any kind of story.
I brought in Tim Rogers’ 2006 Fukubukro to Kinko’s last week. Coming in at 160 thousand words or so, the single-sided print-up weighs a couple pounds, easy. It’s the second (or third) Rogers piece I’ve bound, and each one is a similar size – like he has an unconscious page limit to any single anthology. For some reason, Kinko’s decided to re-copy every page onto glossy paper and then bind those pages, so the black-bound book has an extreme slickness when opened. Like I’m reading buttered linoleum. It goes well with his words.
The guy has a fair share of antagonists, and I don’t understand it. I’m an unapologetic fan. If it wasn’t for his stuff, I would have never considered writing about videogames. I’d still be thinking about them, certainly, but it was Large Prime Numbers (and Fort90) that introduced me to Insert Credit, The Gamer’s Quarter … and eventually Play magazine. Here I am, a miserably paid Video Games Journalist, but I’m happy. Very happy.
When I’m not busy to the point of breaking, I’m free.
My phone chirps out Lonely Rolling Star from Katamari Damacy, and I’ve been called back for another commercial: Ohio Savings and Loan. I remember this audition. I beat-boxed and did some vocal scratching for a SAG spot about an Ad Agency. I got to dress like me, a rarity in an industry that wants to see who looks the most like everyone else. Monday, I’ll pull out my Dad’s red tie and throttle the camera for attention. Maybe I’ll be paid some absurd amount of money to stand under bright lights for a day or two.
What is my life? (An in-joke: “A miserable pile of secrets.”) I’ve never really suffered any hardships; I’m emotionally overweight from ten years of easy decadence. Not wealth, mind you, but opportunity. I’ve lived all over the place, and other than a brief stint as an Internet Grocery Delivery Girl, my career has been graced with serendipity. I used to tour Europe as a comedian. Now I write for two magazines that you can pick up in Import Book Shops in Holland.
I walked through Best Buy this afternoon, looking at HDTVs. I can’t really afford one until I get out of debt two years from now, but I can drool. I’ve been promised a new TV by work, but I have doubts about the delivery. It was mentioned to me last July. It’s now April. I still don’t have a 360 or a PS3, either. But I’d rather have my job than complain about its shortcomings. For fuck’s sake, last month I played Super Paper Mario for a living. Eleven year old me just crapped her hat.
It was a cowboy hat. I went through a phase. And adults mistook me for a little boy, so I stopped wearing it.
I’ve fallen in love fifteen times in the last two months. Once every four days. My current tally of People I’m In Love With is around Ten. I’ve stumbled on a simple realization — that falling in love is not something you should guard against. Life really is too short to block the best parts. This awareness has lowered the rank of my second favorite painting of all time, A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros, to a new position at fifth place. I took the print off my wall, and have started to embrace everyone.
Mind you, in my psyche love and sex are divorced. Loving someone is easier than having sex with them. Hooking up still frightens me, twelve-to-fourteen years after I started kissing.
I can’t fathom casual sex. Sex isn’t easy to do, even. It’s like suggesting to someone, “Let’s casually assemble some furniture.” Sure, you can take an entire afternoon to put together some Ikea, but you’re going to have to keep looking for the wrench. And then you’ll realize that the bolts you’ve been using are the wrong ones, or that you’ve lost a part somewhere on the floor – no, sex is difficult. I’d rather wrangle myself out of the painful aftereffects of a failed affection than spend an evening trying to figure out what makes me physically happy.
Besides, I don’t know if I’ll ever be as satisfied with someone’s body as I am with a good glass of Basil Haydn’s and a fucking vicious piece of music.
It’s getting harder and harder to hide my computer from the sun, and the caffeine is wearing off. Soon, I’ll get angry at the people walking in, shooting them angry looks for wearing Those Clothes and Talking Too Loud. It’s not their fault — it’s just the low that comes after drinking syrup and sugar that tastes like a coffee. I should post this before I think too much more about it, so I can read it tomorrow and be humiliated.
A long piece of Journal-ism is like getting drunk. Can’t remember what you said, and everyone who cares to comment is a little embarrassed for you. Fuck them. I’m poor and happy.