Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Seventy-seven

Posted by ilbebe on January 25, 2012

In honor of Robert Burns’ birthday (Happy 253rd!), we will continue our discussion of spirits, and given the number of this entry, we shall discuss the spirit of punk. That spirit was most perfectly described to me in the closing lines of Trainspotting, a novel by another Scotsman, Irvine Welsh. I won’t quote it at length, but you can buy the poster. The gist is that the most radical thing you could ever hope to do is stay alive. Only if the livers live to love do we stand any chance at peace in our time.

Amanda Curreri, an acquaintance of mine, opened an exhibition in 2010 entitled “Occupy the Empty”. That exhibit was recently cited by the SF Bay Guardian in their 2011 year-end wrap-up for her prescience in identifying the key password of this past year’s resistance movements. I never got to see the exhibit in person, but given the photos I saw of it and her artist’s statement, which my own opinion stands in relation beside, I’d like to imagine the thrust of it was simply the radical act of filling up anything empty; whether it be a room, a park in lower Manhattan, an old sweater, yr heart, anything. I still fit well into a shirt she gave out as part of her graduate open studio exhibition. The shirt is bright yellow with purple lettering. The back reads “reorientation ops”, with ‘reorientation’ written backwards. The front implores “COME BACK”. I like it when that shirt comes up in my clothes rotation. I take the shirt off the hanger, and think Did You Ever Doubt Me, Baby?

But the truth is people doubt me all the time. They doubt I’ll stick with the writing this time. They doubt I’ll call them in the afternoon. They doubt my rent check is good. Based on my resume, they doubt I can do part-time entry-level office work. Do I blame them? Of course I do. I am one of them.

Last week I was shown a radical act of selflessness and compassion when my friend Jenny B bought me a new laptop. I was complaining to her that my old one had all sorts of problems, and it was impeding the writing process, which made me hate myself for being too poor to afford a new one. So she just bought me a new one, and said pay me back whenever. It is on this gift I am writing now, and you can count on me, Jenny B and everyone. For auld lang syne, and for the present and brilliant future. This gift will keep on giving.

Yr punk,

Landon

-1o:30AM, 1/25/12, home, sunny as shit outside!, grinning like a magazine salesman…

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