the twenty-two list

Onward to some higher number. Like Mercer, pelted by stones, we ascend with him to the peak.

18. Last night was our fourth wedding anniversary. Four years! Balloons fall.

19. For our anniversary, she gave me Henry Frankfurt's On Bullshit. Should I be paying closer attention?

20. I have taken a leave of absence from the genuine world and entered into the reenactment phase of my series. I leave my life at the door and plunge into a world of script breakdowns, call sheets, phone calls that end with me saying things like "Go back there and bargain them down" and "Yeah, that's a good rate if you're looking to blow the series budget on one half of one show". This is a world of pinched budgets and squeezed tempers, sudden reversals and insane rate quotes. It is a rectangular, compartmented world, like a submarine navigating a lattice. I'll be here until February.

21. A friend of mine who sends emails and expects timely replies, which I rarely give, asked me whether I was an imploder or an exploder. That is to say, do I struggle to gather myself together in the face of an urge to dissolve, or do I attempt to dissolve in order to unbind my too-solid identity? Perhaps the best way to put it is to ask: does your identity require corn starch or turpentine? Or do you like a nice starch and turpentine blend? And what do you think would happen to your laundry if you threw on a nice lather of turpenstarch? The friend who posed the question likely needs a daily soak in turpentine (and yet I mean that in a good way). I thought I'd deal with the question publicly because I spent so much time mulling it over. At first I had a long reply prepared that said I'm older now and I don't bother with such questions, I just am what I am, but that answer, I realized, had ridden in on a bullshit carrier signal (should I be paying attention?). The truth is that I need lots and lots of corn starch to keep my identity in check. Otherwise it spreads to fill whatever container it's occupying. Maybe this is why I'm the marrying kind.

22. At various points in my life I've longed for certain prostheses. For example, back between 1993-95 I lived on the sixth floor with a balcony that looked out onto a hipster-filled plaza opposite. I would sit and stare with growing resentment at the coffee sippers and emphatic gesturers, relishing the notion of scaring the living shit out of them somehow. One day I realized that I wanted a pair of leathery bat-like wings that would allow me to strafe them like an angered sandpiper (with leathery bat-like wings). I talked about those wings for months. Lately I want a metal arm with a clacky pincer, but the lack of backstory on my desire means that it'll probably pass in a few weeks.