December 1998

After several years' absence, I have decided to begin keeping a writing journal again. This is the result of a vague need and very specific bullying from a few friends (Hi, Ross, Terry).

I'm not working on any specific projects at the moment but I do need a place to jot down images and overheard conversations. My commute on public transit is still proving to be very fruitful.

When I say there's nothing that I'm particularly working on, that's slightly inaccurate. Terry - a guy who is probably known to the four faithful readers of my website (thanks Alex, Steve, Jennifer and Brian) - has been convincing me to turn my hand to poetry.

I find poetry bloody intimidating. I've always thought that it's something written by blindingly intelligent people, to discuss something supremely sublime or profound. People other than me, in other words. I'm willing to admit that such an attitude is at least partially derived from the way poetry is taught in schools - all those Odes and Moments and suchlike. Getting past that attitude is proving very difficult. Another problem lies in that when I don't think poetry is above me, then it's below me - why, it's just a prose sentiment missarranged. It's a sign of a man who can't or won't write properly. I think derisively. Of course, press me for a definition of 'proper writing' and you'll probably catch me without a leg to stand on.

But I've broken the ice and the two who are willing to read my first efforts (Terry and Jennifer, kind souls who seem to remember that writers have to begin somewhere) haven't turned green, yet. Well, they haven't turned green within sight of me. Of course, the fact that both Terry and I were shitfaced drunk when we were talking about said efforts may have facilitated things. Whatever, I'll take breaks where I can find them.

Regardless, I'm finally having a bit of fun with the form. Now I just feel that I need to learn more about it and move past 'moments' to 'momentum' - one part of the drunken conversation with Terry that I do recall...


In other news, my dreams have been doing their best to go off the weirdness meter and have conjured a few interesting images and sensations. One recent dream was extremely disquieting - I was a final-year medical student who, along with the rest of my class, had been pressed into service assisting British authorities (I was in medical school in England, and I'm sure there's a whole subtext in just that fact). We were helping remove, record and identify remnants of some 100+ train commuters who had been blown/burned to smithereens by terrorists whilst in the Channel Tunnel. (Oh boy. Tunnels. Somebody grab Freud, please.)

That, alone, wasn't too unsettling to me when I was awake, but the scene was accompanied by such reluctance and squeamishness from every person there - even three days later, I can still recall the feeling very clearly. Mass hysteria was about 3 seconds away, when the presiding med-school authorities rather sharply pointed out that if we couldn't handle this, we should all just put in our applications at MacDonald's now.

God save me from broad shouldered, fluffy haired women with wispy scarves about their neck. Got broadsided by some broad of the above type on the train platform and couldn't help but wince at her ensemble. When built like a linebacker, the fairy-princess look isn't going to do much good. Especially if the most noticeable accessory is a scowl. Merry bloody Christmas.