Two weeks in Hanoi. A Mercedes rolled over my foot at a red light. 4000 pounds bearing straight down on my twig-thin metatarsals. Of course this would happen the very month I became uninsured. Somehow I was fine. But I still had to kick some ass. The driver was a kid, someone’s hired help. Black mildew teeth, nuclear flower-killing breath, dopey country face. Just trying to cut through traffic like I do. I made him roll down the window so I could yell at him. You almost maimed me, you fuck, you almost made me fat. I wanted to go ISIS on him. Crack his neck and drag around his body behind my scooter.

That’s every day here, riding in the sprawl and tempting the fates. Besides that my routine is just a simple progression of: eat, watch anime, and shower constantly because the heat always, always makes you feel like you’ve been dipped in oil. My laziness is such that even this short to-do list feels like too much. I feel like I’m already 90 years old. So don’t you dare try to put any more bullshit on my plate, even if it’s beautiful bullshit. Such as: My friends who are here and want to go hike near the Chinese border, where there are probably some monks, and some birds who croon the secrets to enlightenment. I know the trip would do good things for my soul or at least my Twitter feed. But I just can’t be fucked with leaving the house.


The roads are warzones. It can be pretty savage out there but I can handle it now. Break through holes in this perpetually collapsing traffic cyclone and it feels like you scored a miracle touchdown. Which it shouldn’t. Scooters are the opposite of sexy, they roll slow. Engines groan along, sounding like fat bees. I need to grow a dick and start riding a motorcycle, while I’m still young. Start too old and it comes off as a crisis hobby.

Had a text fight with my girl while I was driving around the lake. Hit a dip and the phone cracked on the pavement. The phone’s only two years old but over at Samsung they studied it like a Martian artifact. They must be trained to do that. Squint at their own product like that. Of course I hadn’t bought the platinum warranty or whateverthefuck, of course there were no replacement screens at Samsung, of course a new one had to be ordered from Korea for a hundred dollars, of course I’m unemployed and a phone is nonessential but of course I’ll still pay for it.

I’m uninsured and unemployed. At least I’m a “writer” so my floundering can be spun as an ebb in the creative process, maybe a regrouping period. I have this half-finished novella that depresses me, how good it is. It’s depressing because I wrote it last year. I was more arrogant then and a better writer. Took every risk and maybe 70% of them paid off. Now I’m a cagey little bitch. Too precious with a sentence. I’m writing the second half of the story and it’s like I’m a hack hired to finish a dead guy’s work. I never really considered that skills can be lost after you get them, even if you keep practicing. I never considered that a lot of things could happen, but these days, they are.


9 thoughts on “Clusterfuck

  1. Shhhh! Your negative thoughts are feeding my cancer cells hehehe. Honestly, I see where you are coming from. I hope things would be better for you. Just an unsolicited advice, I know it’s hard, but try to think more positive thoughts. Remember the laws of attraction: negative attracts negative!

  2. I just finished Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, which is really great. Any time I have fantasies about becoming a writer I read something like this book and pack up my suitcase, put my tail between my legs. Anyway, the Mercedes running over your toe reminded me. Also, about your supposed lost skills. I shoot free throws every morning at the Y. My routine is to sink 10 in a row before I can start my day. Some days I’m Larry Bird and get to 10 in under 10 minutes. Other days I barely get to 5 in a half hour and give up. The difference is minute. A slight twist of the hand, leaning back instead forward, nagging mental thought and then I get into overthinking and when that happens I’m done. The over analyzing is the worst. Hang in, keep at it.

  3. C’mon, you’re in Vietnam – unemployed and uninsured. I think that takes a lot of balls, so this novella will have to wait until you find your way again back to its path. Never give up!

  4. ‘Too precious with a sentence. I’m writing the second half of the story and it’s like I’m a hack hired to finish a dead guy’s work.’ Could you be any more precise??? (I can’t think of a more clever way to say that I really, really like it…)

  5. I think you haven’t entirely lost your skills, not if you can craft a sentence like this one: “Start too old and it comes off as a crisis hobby.” Sadly, when I read that, I equate it with my dreams of ‘being a writer’ and the reality that maybe, just maybe, it is a goal for younger people with more energy than I have!

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