Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Who was Murphy, and what yahoos granted him legislative power?

Strictly speaking, I’m not being assailed by Murphy’s Law today, which states that everything that can go wrong will [1], but I am nonetheless wearing a frown on my face that I cannot make go away in any meaningful capacity. Things are not going wrong, so much as they are going bad, like milk left in a defrosting refrigerator, and the frown on my face is that one which precedes the expectoration of ugly, disgusting milk chunks.

I am currently updating my journal from my supervisor’s computer, something I can do because she has left the office early, en route to Florida to visit an ailing sister-in-law. Something I have to do, because this morning, my Mac G4 decided to have one of those errors that cannot simply be corrected by restarting the computer, or even turning it off manually and turning it back on. The computer gets about a quarter of the way towards restarting, and then simply freezes, while the Macintosh startup-face simply smiles at me. Smile, smile, smile. Dah-doo, doo, doo, lookit me, I’m never going to work again, la-dee-dah. Fucker. Curse you and the microprocessor you rode in on.

So instead of scanning Jumbles, something I was looking forward to doing, I instead proofread more of our upcoming New England Patriots book [2] than I’d expected to. While getting more work done is, per se, a good thing, I suddenly and inexplicably broke through the recent attack of writer’s block I’d been having, and was looking forward to spending a little time putzing around with the Word today in between scanning and web-surfing.

But top that all off with the conversation–or tirade, perhaps–that occurred on the phone with my mother this afternoon, who stated unambiguously that she has no desire to know my girlfriend, based on no other factors than in her culture, nobody has girlfriends, they just get married. She will not respect Donna under any circumstances, she claims she will be happy for me, but she will never be happy. It would change her, she tells me, to imagine she could ever feel anything for the love of my life. She will not come to my wedding. She will never forgive me. Tonight I made the mistake of inviting my girlfriend to a family dinner, mistakenly believing it was all right, and so now I can be hated by both parties for one reason or another. Huzzah!

My mother puts words and feelings in my mouth about how I do not love and respect her, accuses me of continued corruption of her children, ignores anything good I’ve ever done with my life on the basis of how deviated from her “plans” and “dreams” for me I’ve ended up. I didn’t become a doctor, so I’ve failed. I live with two female roommates (and one male, and four cats, but whatever), so I have failed. I have not yet gotten a Master’s degree in anything (ANYTHING!), so she has given up on me, I have failed. I’m still an assistant editor, I have failed.

Here is a day where I hang up the phone at the end of a half hour and I realize that I will never, ever, be good enough for my mother. And the knowledge burrows and twists its way inside me like hungry desperate alien parasites, and I want to scream but I don’t, want to restart my life but I can’t, want to throw myself out the window but I won’t. I want to break up with my girlfriend and cut off my family and live somewhere far away from the noises of pride and ridiculous circumstance, and inabilities to understand, I want to go mad, completely, utterly, never-come-back insane, I will drool over myself and finger-paint and take the small paper cups of tablets for countless hours until I finally stop breathing if it will only take away the agony of these past few hours.

Some people have the ability to dislocate their own shoulders and such through sheer force of will, and these people become escape artists. Nobody I know of has figured out how to go insane at will, but if they could, they would be the greatest escape artists of all.

[1] Not to be confused with the Peter Principle, which states that all people are promoted to the highest level of their incompetence.

[2] This book technically lands outside our publishing company curse [3] because the book is a review, although it remains to be seen how well the Pats do next year.

[3] The curse of our company is that any sports figure or team that we do a book on–or even consider doing a book on–will immediately begin to suffer a catastrophic slump in competition, unless they have already finished their season, and the book is a retrospective. In the course of the last year, we did several books on the Detroit Tigers, scheduled a book on Gonzaga College basketball (eliminated in the first round of championships), on Bobby Knight (Texas Tech also eliminated early), scheduled a book on Allen Iverson (who went on the injured list shortly thereafter) and a book on the history of the New York Yankees, who ended up NOT winning a World Series somehow. We did a book on Kurt Warner right before the Super Bowl. We had just added a book on Jason Kidd to our schedule at the top of this week, and the Lakers have just three-peated. [4]

[4] However, the Detroit Red Wings seem poised to break the curse, and they’ve been on our schedule for months now. So, good for them. But in all other possible betting situations, bet on anybody we’re NOT doing a book on.

Current music: Medeski Martin and Wood, “Uninvisible”

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2002 by in Life, Love, Work.
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