5/15/2003

This is what a nerd I am: I get songs stuck in my head like everyone else. But I also get words stuck in my head. And we're talkin' SAT words here.

Tonight I can't seem to get rid of panoply or panopticon, neither of which I had any idea as to what they meant, until I looked them up to link them just now. Although "panopticon" is pretty sweet: A prison so contructed that the inspector can see each of the prisoners at all times, without being seen.

Words are sexy. I don't care what anyone says.
Night 2 of recycling a creative writing assignment as a blog entry. If I was really smart I wouldn't tell you. But that wouldn't be very honest.

Regular posting will resume once finals are finito.


The cab driver was mumbling to himself in Arabic. Actually, I shouldn’t say it was Arabic because I don’t know for sure. It could very well have been Persian, or Pashtun, or Indian, even, for all I know. He was a brown guy speaking a different language than me, and not to me. To himself, under his breath, in the front seat of the cab at 2 am in New York City.

They call it the city that never sleeps but at this hour it could’ve fooled me. All the stores were shuttered, the only other traffic was the occasional garbage truck. If I would’ve rolled down the window and shouted out my accusation I’m sure the city would have jumped up with a start and insisted it was just resting its eyes. But I’m pretty sure cab windows don’t roll down.

At the club, the comedian had mocked me as I left the room with Melanie’s cell phone.

“Going to call mom and dad and ask for a curfew extension?” he said.

“No,” I shouted back, “I’m calling my grandma.” And I wasn’t kidding.

“I’ll be back a little late,” I said in the hallway outside. “Probably like two.” She insisted I take a cab back uptown, she’d reimburse me tomorrow. I didn’t argue, wasn’t in much of an arguing mood. After all, I was in a comedy club with a model I used to go to high school with. If her psuedo-boyfriend hadn’t been there, too, I probably would’ve asked for that curfew extension.

Then I realized he wasn’t talking to himself. He had one of those hands-free earpieces, he was mumbling into a cellular phone just like I had been doing in the hall of the Comedy Cellar. Maybe it was the dispatcher on the other end, but it didn’t sound like it. Someone was keeping him company. I imagined it was a woman, his girlfriend, maybe, his wife, maybe, waiting up for him. She’d be flopping around their terrible apartment in the Bronx, watching late-night TV, trying to stay awake ‘till he got home. And he was saying, in this unidentifiable undecipherable language, just one more fare, I just have to take this bourgeois brat uptown to the Waldorf Astoria and then I’ll go park my cab and count my tips and I’ll be home by two-thirty.

Or maybe she wasn’t in the Bronx, maybe he didn’t bring her with him when he came to the New World. Her family hadn’t let her come, or they didn’t have enough money for the both of them to make it, so he’s over here saving up so at this time of night she’d be ten miles away instead of ten hundred thousand. Maybe the meter running up my fare is being mirrored by the long distance charges, but on a night like this he just had to hear her voice.

We pulled up to the hotel. I don’t remember what the meter said but I gave him a twenty and told him to keep the change.

And I was thinking, if speculating on things like that and writing them down is what I want to do for a living, maybe here’s the place to learn how to do it.


Five months later, I was in another vehicle, mine. In my home state, in the parking lot of my high school. It was seven thirty or so at night, and I’d just left a dress rehearsal. There was no Arabic spoken in that vehicle. There was one word, in English. It had four letters and it shook my windows when I screamed it after realizing the reason my truck wouldn’t start is that I had left the lights on that morning, coming in at six thirty AM for rehearsal for another play.

Greg gave me a ride home, and told me how proud he was of me applying for schools besides ASU and actually intending to go to them if I got in. I explained the concept of Early Decision: whereby I’d have a better chance of being admitted to NYU if I applied, and probably get more money, but if they accepted me, I’d have to go. When he dropped me off, my dad and I went back to school to jump my truck. When I got home the second time, I finished my online application and sent it off. Yes, the dramatic writing program is great, and yes, the city is an education in itself, but that night I think the primary reason I wanted to go is that I wouldn’t have to drive in New York and if I wouldn’t have to drive I’d have no stupid trucks in which to leave the stupid lights on.

I hadn’t kissed a girl in six months and I had slept probably ten hours in the last week. People have done stranger things than applying Early Decision to their out of state dream schools under those kinds of circumstances.

5/13/2003

At the beginning of the school year we had to write letters to our future selves in Creative Writing. We opened ours today. Here's mine.


Sweet Donny P-

Whatup homes. Not much, I hope. Or lots. Good things. I wonder what has happened in between today and the day you're reading this. Hard to predict, considering you're such a loose-cannon-pimp-daddy-2002. 2003, now, I guess. How are the ladies treating you? Are you going to NYU? I hope you are. Don't fuck it up for all of us, ya bastard.

Right now, if it interests you, "Favorite Things" is playing on the stereo and I have Advanced Acting after this, and my whole Senior year is ahead of me and it will only be a matter of moments before I'm reading this again, in the cosmic scheme of things, anyway. And in the way it will seem by the time you get to it. I hope this class is fun, and this year.

Remember this always:

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

-Winston Churchill



People without the open diaries and all the trappings of self-record, how do they know what they thought a year ago? Half this stuff we must completely erase because it gets to start sounding so stupid, how do they remember it? They are disadvantaged by their inability to look back and go, "Wow, I was an asshole!" Poor guys.

You, you will always be recorded, charted, and checked for further review later.

Peace.

-DC
8/12/02

I haven't blogged from the school library in a long-ass time and I figured now's as good as any, since I have simply become immune to schoolwork. Well, immune's not the right word. Physically incapable works better, I think. I tried to work on that stupid play this hour, and it's like my fingers just knew I was writing something for school. They were afflicted with temporary carpal tunnel, they hesitated and stumbled over the keys like a punch-drunk prizefighter past his prime. Kind of like me. I've been in the circuit too long, now I just have to take these last few punches, wait for the ref to hold the other guy's hand up in the air, spit out my teeth and duck the hell out of this ring.

All the library shelves are taped off, with handwritten Xeroxed signs reading "DO NOT ENTER: IF YOU NEED A BOOK-ASK FOR IT AT THE CIRCULATION DESK. THANKS!!" like they always are towards the end of the year. The other day we were in the computer lab in sixth hour and Trevor and I saw one of the more anal-retentive librarians actually measuring the distance between the shelf and the chair she was going to put the tape on, to make sure no one would even come close to their precious books in this late autumn of the scholastic season. The turnstiles full of young-adult novels isn't taped off. Neither is the reference section. Maybe I'll cop me a thesaurus and a crappy novel about dragons. Figure I've earned it.

Every time they hear the sound of the printer they swoop in from the so-called "Circulation Desk" to paw through the output. Probably because Drew in my sixth hour wrote something about the librarians being cunts or douchebags in Word and then set it to print 600 times. This was a while back. I see they still haven't gotten over it.

I think I'll go duck in to second hour Economics and see if they're eating. What better way to celebrate my last Tuesday of high school?

5/11/2003

I've been flopping around in front of the computer for what's coming up on two hours because this semester I was supposed to write two one-act plays for my Advanced Studies class and I've so far only written one and there's only a week left in this semester.

Yes, I'll have the Procrastination Special with an extra helping of Procrastination and a cup of Procrastination on the side for dipping, please.

The problem is, I've had numerous ideas for this thing I'm supposed to write, and I get ankle-deep in them, decide they suck, and run screaming to the kitchen or the TV or bed and put it off for another day, tonight being no exception. Repeat until Wednesday when this is due.

My last play at MPHS was this last week, and now the Theatre Co. belongs to a new set of kids. It's sad, but freeing, in a way. Now I'm not working for the benefit or glory of some overarching entity. Now it's just me and the big, indifferent world.

Hello, big indifferent world.

And you are?

There are stabbing pangs of sadness where my heart would be if I hadn't traded my heart for cigarettes when I spent that month in the slammer. Now I'm going to finish out my last week of school and get a crappy-yet-better-paying-job, probably in telemarketing, and then go to New York. People will kill for lives like the one I have (and people kill for the sums I'm shouldering to furnish it, but I'm trying not to think about that so much.)


Does everybody feel like their blog is the most boring thing since white bread, or is it just me? Actually, I think white bread kind of shows me up. Wonder Bread has that retro-style rainbow packaging, Iron Kids has those fresh-faced uber-adolescents acheiving athletic glory, and white bread as a whole has a kind of secret-identity thing going on, since you know it was bleached to its unnatural palor but the question, dear friends, is WHY? White bread doesn't write blog entries that start out whiny and self-pitying then scold themselves in that same blog entry for being whiny and self-pitying only to return to complain about how dull that whole cycle just was. Come to think of it, white bread kicks pretty significant ass compared to me.

But that said, I still won't eat it unless it's the only kind of bread in the house. Wheat for life, suckas.