Books Write Me

If you accept principles of quantum physics, then you will admit that the location, the precise place and time of the existence of an object is altered by its observer. That two objects seemingly unconnected are somehow tied together, even at vast distances, is known as entanglement. If everything proceeded from a single, localized point meeting an infinite amount of energy, then we are actually all connected. Non-localized events affect one another. In psychiatry, a perception that objects in your environment are somehow controlling you or causing you to do things against your will is a symptom of schizophrenia. But, some things in your environment can cause you to get schizophreniaPeople don’t have mental breakdowns because of a daydream gone wrong, either. Usually it happens from a lining up of problems that cause a mental train wreck that piles ruin upon disaster.

You can drink your mind away, suffer a terribly traumatic social event, have micro strokes, stress yourself through too much obsessive focus, be exposed to toxins and even have a genetic predisposition for madness that an event can trigger. If your mind wants to produce DMT, it might even direct you to increase your exposure to events which could cause more stress, making of your madness a function, as though it were an organ to be nourished. None of these things are actually totally under your control. So, I think, as it applies to psychiatric disorders, or art, or theoretical astrophysics, and other avenues of desire which can be thwarted and chopped up and obliterated, stress is the problem. So, I don’t worry about it.

I don’t worry while Federal agents bust into my apartment to arrest my room-mate while I’m kicking it on the couch in my slumdog one-bedroom attic flat I share with three punkers, reading Bukowski’s Pulp, my manuscript sitting out on the table with a note in the margin at the bottom of the page saying. If you write another line the dog will bark and something bad will happen. And below that is scrawled “Fuck the wowsers”.

And when I try to write about losing that manuscript I accidentally destroy the draft.

And it happens twice more that I try to rewrite that account and lose that story twice more. And the manuscript was crappy schlock anyways.

So, yesterday I’m driving home with a thrift store find. I have purchased a size “small” – 6 feet tall – women’s spandex, zippered, NASCAR unitard with a checkered collar and accents on the lower legs. There are lightning bolts and strange badges stitched onto the outfit. The lettering in the badges don’t spell words. “noudc” is not a word, but one badge has something like that attached to it. I left it in my car yesterday.

I can’t review the goofy garb closer because I was bringing it home to my wife as a joke, driving down a cold rainy road when my axle broke as I was turning around in a parking lot because I missed Tippacanoe Rd. My coffee spilled on the outfit – it’s black, no worries – and I pulled to the side of the road. Actually, what broke was my wheel’s assembly connecting the control arm and strut to the axle. Six months ago, the front right wheel fell off the car. Yesterday did the left. If the car had rolled forward another twenty feet, the wheel would have come cleanly off. If I had been on that road (I was on 51) traveling at the speed limit, I would have lost the wheel in the matter of a second and most assuredly would have slid off the road into a gully. Instead of a break down, that would’ve been a break up.

So, I grabbed my beautiful hard-back copy of Moby Dick, and exited my Pequod. Got towed by Skip’s back to Brownsville. I felt like I’d skimmed over the water while I should have been sunk in that wreck. I imagine in an alternative universe, another version of me is in a gully, missing an arm or a leg, off the side of Tippacanoe.

Anyways, I had a fever dream about a book within a book I had been trying to write last weekend about a gathering of whales. When I awoke, I check the news (ten years ago I’d say I opened the paper) and read about a mega-pod of dolphins that had gathered in immense numbers off the coast of California. It was estimated that 100,000 dolphins were there, spread out over thirty five square miles.

Dolphins know each other by name. Orcas speak in family-pod dialects. I am excited about the prospect of one day being able to understand cetacean language. I imagine the exponential increase in the rate of advances in computational abilities will soon lead to an approximation of what whales and dolphins are saying. The discovery will be an important moment on our planet for all species. Dolphins are intelligent beings. They deserve rights.

This is all a lead-up to me wondering if I’m crazy to think the dolphins had gathered for a reason, to communicate something. They did this last year, but didn’t go as big. Are they trying to communicate to us? Is that crazy? Is that rather egocentric to assume they’d have anything to do with us as a species? Are they planning something?

In the book, within the book, I felt there wasn’t a good reason for such a gathering to occur. Then I realized the dream was not my dream, but I was looking at the dream of the writer of the book. It was he who couldn’t figure out the problem, not me. I realized my narrator had diminished capacities of understanding about that which he was writing, and so I wove him into the story, wove his book within the book I was writing. I took an error, a glitch, and made it a dynamic element of the story upon which pivots the other events and flows of action. And, in discovering a flaw of the character, I was able to sympathize with him. And, in doing that, I was able to see a clear resolution to the story and was able to rewrite the synopsis in a flash of delirious excitement. The buzz of coincidence is ebbing. The feeling of illness is ending, and I am readying myself for the adventure. I haven’t been that sick in five years, but the fever dream made it totally worth the agony.

The whole time this is happening, this week, I am giddy with crackling energy. I feel myself being enveloped in this story, cocooned, knowing that when I finally get spit out the other side of it, I will have learned so much more. Going to depths with a story is to return with wonders unseen, and so forth. I hope I rise within the darkness to breach again, and bring myself back, and not just my voice trapped in a series of bubbles rising to escape into the atmosphere of literary wankery while the lifeless body of my efforts is gnawed in the darkness by the doubts and fears and despair that seem to want to rip me to shreds, and so on. Clutched in my hand, I hope to emerge from the sea of dreams with my treasure, and bring it aboard to book it within the corpus of literature, to give place to my dreams, a rubber room, or a mansion, just some space in which I and my dreams can be set free to live, for a turn, before everything crumbles to dust.

I am perfectly aware that the chances that what I am experiencing is singular and unique is totally zero. This happens to lots of people, with variation. Living is expressing the feelings of these moments. Whoever it pleases is receiving charity offered by the muses, and not by me. My job is to confer upon wonder fresh form and reflection. Observe and report.

The world is writing me anew.


EDIT: After I wrote this, there was a terrible crash at a NASCAR race, just an hour or two later. The same part of the car that fell off mine was also the same part that flew off the car that disintegrated against the spectator fence, then flew into the stands at 150 mph and lodged itself in these seats.

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