Anonymous asked: What is one afraid of?
- eating something soft and biting down unwittingly on a piece of metal
- being shot in the head somewhere in the isosceles triangle formed by the bridge of your nose and the two corners of your mouth. bullets that enter the skull through this triangle almost always pass through the brainstem on their way out of it, interrupting the signals that control breathing and heartbeat
- being present during the loading of a cremation oven in which dozens of dead housepets are going be reduced to ash together
- insects with mouthparts that suck or puncture
- swollen and inexpressible respect for another person
- bleeding that cannot be stopped
- a rapaciously convincing schema for the world that dries up the flow of your intuition
- freefall into poverty, as opposed to your life in it
- drowning: the need to cough that can’t be answered and which grows more and more urgent until it consumes your whole awareness and you lose consciousness
- that octaves of meaning and organization exist which no intuition is subtle enough to perceive nor words ductile enough to construe: that if god (among any number of other things) is real, any feature of its existence might easily be beyond our capacity for faith
- your mother dying
- awards, prizes and brass rings of all kinds
- colicky frustration in public
- vomiting in public during the daytime
- the first coup of the US government
- being present for a preventable death you can’t prevent
- narrow passages in caves that turn out to be too narrow to go through and too tight to back out of
- anyone in any position of power who hasn’t had a deliberate, private, and extended conversation with a person who is homeless
- " " " " with a person who is in recovery
- " " " " with a person who is on the other end of the greatest run of economic prosperity the Western world has ever experienced
- big black sunflowers late in the season after their petals have withered, when the heads are so heavy with seeds that they droop towards the ground
— Henry James
"I had a professor in medical school who used to say, ‘Happy is the man who has found his work—but of course the addict who has found a quart jar of heroin is happy, too.’" — Gene Wolfe, Peace
I’ve always identified myself as a creative-type, destined for more than just a job that I work at to slave, save, and retire, as the saying goes. It is such an interesting culture (and sub-cultures) that breeds this kind of pretentious spurning of honest labor, the belief that being stuck in a “dead end job” is horrific, so much so that it is time and again used as that low point many modern day heroes start their upward journeys from.
Having felt this way since about six years old, I’ve spent most of my life avoiding hard work and have become rather successful at it, often becoming moody when it manages to find me.
However, a year ago, I finally got a job that I truly enjoyed, working as a line cook at a local restaurant here in Bushwick. It wasn’t incredibly long hours, but it was physically grueling most days, more so than any job I had had before.
I’m the blur on the left
I enjoyed it though. It was crazy and fun and kicked on the adrenaline and left me feeling exhausted, but in that I-just-did-something-good kind of way. My partner said I always had much more energy coming home from Ghia than when I came home from my previous job, logistics in a jewelry company, even though the restaurant obvious required much more physically. And one of the best parts was that I still had two days off a week and only worked about forty hours, allowing me to do so much in my free time, like read, an addiction I’ve carried throughout most of my life.
And then came my new job about two months ago. I am now currently a pastry assistant for The Meatball Shop. It’s a step up in the food service industry and moved me into my preferred concentration: baking and desserts.
The only problem was that the two would overlap for two weeks. I was working about 80 hours a week, 17 days straight, some days running 18 hours. There is something wonderful about throwing oneself so completely into a project like this. It becomes a silent challenge, a test of your ability to DO. You more fully become a part of something larger than yourself. Everything faded. My body was stretched thin, taken to a point it hadn’t been before. There was a clarity that is difficult to explain.
And there is reward in that. True, I did not read a single page of a book for about three weeks, the longest I have gone probably since I started reading as a child, but it was liberating. And I don’t think I will look down on any type of work again.
— Nicholson Baker (via sometimesagreatnotion)