Wake up. The sun is hot. The coffee is cold.
On the news, a probe is passing Pluto, playing Plato on the spoons. But I’m in the yard. That’s right. I’m building a mudpile. A heap of earthly excrement that I’m shaping with my hands. Lathering with water. Getting it under my fingertips. Fuck yeah.
The neighbor’s on his deck. “Hi Trent. What’s up? What are you doing there?”
Making plans to go to Pluto. And play Plato on the spoons. “Fuck off Jerry. Have a great day though. Just do it while fucking off.”
Go inside and sit down at the computer. It’s time to go. The time is now, my friends. This is the moment, and these are the days: this is the madness stuffed into our underpants that compels us to hit a keyboard – one stroke at a time. No matter how fast, it’s always one stroke at a time. And I’m ready – doesn’t matter that Jerry is next door, thinking about having vodka at seven in the morning. As though that’s wrong. As though something’s wrong with that.
I go have a drink. Fuck yeah. I’m back at the computer. No, this is it. This is the actual moment I am going to start something great. Something big and grand and cleansed of all the typical bullshit that contaminates everything else I’ve ever created. I’m sorry for all the warts. They just grew. Came out of no where until they were distended and the puss started oozing out of them, all over my words. You can almost taste it. Sometimes, I do.
I surf instead. Somehow, a girl lost all of her clothes in a strip club. A dead lady wrote a book, but it wasn’t any good. And the Iranians? Well this is important. This is the stuff worth spending time on, because the Iranians are promising not to blow us up. Thank god for that. Thank god. And oh hey, a dead Iranian lady just wrote a god-text that is blowing up the internet. It’s that good. And here I am, Trent Lewin. Not Iranian. Not a lady. No real connection to god at all. I’m just playing the spoons, tapping away at this song you are hearing.
At the coffee shop, the guy behind the counter serves me hot beverage. “I asked for a bucket of it,” I tell him, when he hands me a cup.
“Sir? I’m sorry, we don’t sell coffee in buckets.”
I take him by the collar. “Do you not know who I am?”
“Should I, sir?”
“I’m Trent fucking Lewin. Writer. Jog your memory?”
And I remember. I recall. These are memories I’ve made of things I’ve never done. Dreams and aspirations pissing on the sidewalk after the bar shuts down, sniveling its way into the gutter where they get preciously forgot. And I forgot. That I haven’t written it yet. Haven’t done it. Have failed in near every attempt to cajole the better notions and finer words that surely – surely! – lie inside and are keeping me awake at night. How did I forget? How could I have?
So I’m at the table, drinking the coffee. Opening the computer. This is the moment. This is the time. This is it, right here. This is where it’s going to start, and this is the memory I’m going to make. This is the path to the masterpiece.
I dial the number for Strasburg. “Hello Umba,” I say to him.
“Trenty! How you doing? I thought you were taking some time!”
“A few days. Doing some writing.”
“Are you still at that, Trenty? What strange distraction you set for yourself from your life.”
And it is a distraction. It’s a diversion from the proper course of civilization, like some army of elephants being herded on a riverbank, pounding the sand into a depression that changes the course of a river. I’m the elephant. I’m the river. I’m the fucking sand that gets drowned in the dust.
“I’m going to do it, Umba. Today.”
“Today, Trenty? What’s today? It’s just tomorrow put in reverse. Yesterday hopped up on steroids. Trust your friend Umba. Go buy a new car. Make some real money. And sit in the shade in Strasburg, under an umbrella on the beach. Then you will feel happy again Trenty!”
But the coffee doesn’t think so. Neither does the old lady at the next table, reading a book that she frowns at because it’s not good enough. Because she could do better. And neither does the little college twat to my right, who’s tapping at a screenplay, a sequel to something he hasn’t written yet.
So it’s the park, and I’m in the shade. And there’s a tree behind my back, a lake full of swans at the bottom of this hill. And I’m tapping away at the keys. Because this is it. These are the days, my friends. These are your moments, and mine. Better not let them get away. Better not question yourself later for not using them properly. Because they’re slippery, these moments. Little greasy garter snake fuckers that weave through your fingers and slip into your pants. It’s fun for a moment, but then kind of gets disquieting. Uncomfortable. And the next thing you know, you’re swatting yourself, trying to get free.
“Sir, are you okay?” cries a fine patron of the park.
I’m standing by the tree, shoving a snake down my pants.
“Sir! Look, I can help if you want… just stop doing that and I’ll remove the snake. And then you can get back to your computer and your work.”
She slides over and tries to help. But this snake is curling around my better parts now. Squeezing. And I’m pretty sure it’s nipping at me, like I’m some kind of oversized snack. The poor lady is unbuckling my belt. Slipping down my pants. But you can only stare at a snake curled around testicles for so long before you need to run off screaming, hands in the air – as though some Iranian dead lady just tried to nuke you, or stuff you into a probe heading for the spoon.
I take the rest of my clothes off. I let it all out. Because this is how I’ve chosen to let it be. To let it have its way. It. That thing. You know what it is. It wiggles around inside of you and it’s got its fangs in your organs, and the only fucking thing that ever makes it feel okay is when you give it a voice. When you actually sit down and let it be, let it take over, let it tap on these keys as though you’re naked in a park, singing as you streak, a snake stuck to your sack. Fuck yeah. These are the days! This is the day! This is it. It’s going to start here. I’m going to give it the voice it deserves. I am. Doesn’t matter that I’m in the lake, necking with the swans as a beaver sucks on my toes. This is nature, bitch. You have to appreciate the outdoors. You have to savor it as you sing.
And so I’m at home. Sitting on the porch. This is sunset. This is the beautiful time. I’m in a beer, and the beer’s in me. The sun is hot. The brick is warm. And I’m ready. Because this is it. This is the time, and this is the moment that you start. That you put one word down and follow it up with another, until you have created something that even that dead lady would envy. She’s looking down on you now, envying your aspirations as you stare at a clean screen. But it’s filled up with dreams! you scream at her. Sure it is asshole, she says back. Sure it is.
Night sets. And you are drunk. Because you got into your cups, and your cups got into you. And you’re playing the spoons, because you’re celebrating what you’re GOING to do. What you’re inevitably MEANING to accomplish. What you’re decidedly unabashedly RARING to write. You can smell the masterpiece: its sweat, its stains, its moon rocks crumpled up in your milkshake until you’re sweating with extraterrestrial impulses. Here it is. Here it comes. The true words, the best ones you ever wrote. Yeah, here it is. Fuck yeah.
But you’re in your bed. Not sure how you got here. But you’re in the dark. And you’re asleep. And you’re dreaming. What is that next to that star? Is it a flashing light? Is it a spaceship descending to deliver you your greatest sequence of words ever? It must be wrapped in ribbons and Christmas lights. There is no other possible way this could happen. That light is coming closer, my friend. It is haunting your dream. It is your dream. But for some reason, you won’t reach out for it. You won’t even start to reach out for it, even though you think about doing so all the time, while sitting at your fucking computer and reveling in a success you can’t even begin to taste.
And the thought comes about tomorrow. The day that is going to be. For today is a lost cause, and yesterday was a wart. But tomorrow… well tomorrow, I am going to rule the world.