Trash Forest

There’s a T.C. Boyle story in the copy of Harper‘s in the office bathroom. Yep: this is one of those blog posts where the author writes about a short story he read serially over the course of a week of visits to the bathroom. It’s a genre on the Internet, you knew that. I haven’t even finished the story yet. It’s called “My Pain Is Worse Than Your Pain.” It’s still in the bathroom, so I don’t  have it in front of me for reference. I should wait to write this blog post until I’ve finished the story. I received two friendly acquaintance comments about this blog, positive ones, which means in this space I have to become angry and toddler-style and poo-poo all over the place in order to set it back to “Freedom of Expression” mode. If I let the happy friendly acquaintance comments make me too happy then I will get stuck permanently writing sentences like these: Gary sipped his fourth cup of coffee as he refreshed the browser window. “Sheila?!?!” he wondered. Then: “Where the Fuck is Kleist?!?!” Just kidding. Mouse over the brickette. Barbecue just kidding. Just kidding. I’ll write those sentences whether you like “me” (to) or not.  The climax of the Boyle story seems to come very close to the beginning. The story could’ve ended after two pages and I would’ve been satisfied. The story while about pain and suffering and humiliation generated a great deal of pleasure for me. There were times when I felt ecstatic reading it. I’m sorry if I’m forcing you to picture me reading Harper’s in my office bathroom. I work in a fun office where you can leave any books you want in the bathroom and no one comes up to your desk later saying, “The books in the bathroom, they make me sick to my stomach. It’s disgusting. Seeing them in there, warped from dirty water damage, forces me to imagine all of you guys individually sitting in there, chuckling over the Readings, shitting and pissing. This is a foul place.” Most of my coworkers have been made to cry at some point during their tenure. Is that true? Probably. We’re all eleven years old, and eleven-year-olds cry when they’re upset. It’s a high-pressure office, but sometimes we drink beers at our desks! I can make as many marijuana jokes as I want and I never get in trouble. A good cry, hey, it’s all part of the rich panoply, pageantry, tapestry, tapenade, papistry, I hate myself. This blog is fiction, all rights reserved, no part may be reproduced without express written permission of the author. © 2010 Goodjobbb. I don’t actually have a job, I’m not an editor of anything, despite what Google or the New York Times Paper Cuts Blogroll tells you, that was a joke, I live in Paris with my boyfriend, I am 23 years old, people often tell me I look like Selma Blair. I was surprised to see that the T.C. Boyle story went on for several more pages after the “climax.” The story is so good that its length becomes a boon. “I ordered a small pad thai to go but they gave me an entire huge lunch special what a BOON!” I read recently about this same phenomenon in Anna Karenina: the big narrative wad gets blown early, and then there are several hundred subsequent and inexplicably still-interesting pages. I read this in the introduction to Elif Batuman’s The Possessed, I think. Of course she put it much better. Nota Bene: after I finish the TC Boyle story I’m not going to come back “here” and “finish” this “blog post.” It’s already done. Writing is not rewriting any more. That ended in 1983, with the publication of Funny Fake Ekphrasis, the legendary collaborative experimental novel written by Thomas Berger and Nora Ephron. After my daughters matriculate at ‘Uni’ I’m not going to “come back here” and post photos of them in their caps and gowns. If you’d like to picture me writing (typing, really, this is hardly writing, Truman Capote on JD Kerouackinger, etc) (what) (nothing) (I hate “you”) (“fly fishing the stream of consciousness”) (MousePad SexDreams) (ScareQuotes Boat Rental, Inc) (I Am Going Blind) (FlyFishing For Cynpathy®) (“I’m Busy At Work, I Don’t Have Time To Be Typing All This™”) (Strunk & White Mix [DFA]), picture a terrified woman wearing a tunic pouring purified water into an large jar of Sun Tea.

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