“Bubbly ruptures” of fathers, children, homes — Random text bits from Journal 142

I wrote Saturday, I think, or Sunday, that I might need to wrestle with my ideas about Dad. Today, I don’t think I need to be so deliberate as that. Clearly, I have lots of questions still. Since I didn’t — don’t — feel like I knew/know him, since he’s a cipher, an enigma, to me, I’ll have plenty to ponder for, maybe, the rest of my life. [Page 66, Mon. 13 June 2011]

Neighbors — how one is distant from them, one may not like them, even, and yet, in living so close, one is naturally bound to them. They’re gonna see and hear (and smell, potentially) how you live. They’ll see you unwashed, mowing your lawn. … All of one’s home-living — showering, shitting, getting sick, eating, having sex, playing board games, scolding one’s kids — these happen in proximity to others.  [Page 81-82, Thurs. 16 June 2011]

My wife, M, has been saying lately that she’s not sure she wants a kid. She said yesterday that it seems exhausting. But then she smiled at a kid in a cart while his parents weren’t looking, and a couple had a little girl in checkout line ahead of us, and the girl had a little doll she kissed, and the parents didn’t want to take doll from her. They tore off the doll’s tag instead — pretty sweet. M said after that that maybe she could have a kid. [Page 217-8, Sun. 3 July 2011]

It felt really good to be going home to apartment. In my tired state, I’m starting to feel I don’t have a home, that homesick feeling of not belonging anywhere. Woke up overnight not sure where I was for a moment. I’ll probably feel that a few more times in coming days. It’s the end of an era of sleeping here, in this hot, dusty, crowded apartment, but it has been home for quite a while. I’m glad our new place is nice — makes it easier to go than if we were moving to a worse place. [Page 111, Sat. 18 June 2011]

As a teen, I found each book was, in a way, a door to a room I hadn’t known existed –– for instance, I liked Maynard Ferguson’s covers — “Chameleon,” MF Horn 1 & 2 — but I didn’t know the original versions. I didn’t know the influences, tradition, or history. And now that I see this, not all of history but the pattern of influences and contexts, now I’m less likely to experience any new thing (music, building, book) as entirely new. … So I probably won’t have that sense of wonder, of the possibility of finding a new realm in a magazine, that I had as teen. But I don’t feel inferior to others or their writings now. [Page 89, Thurs. 16 June 2011]

Why’d my dad leave the security and relative prestige of the bank — where people came to ask him for money–and go to sales, where he had to sell to some of these same people? I’d never thought of that, but, no doubt, some clients may have enjoyed that turn of tables. They used to ask him for money; now he was asking them. [Page 61, Mon. 13 June 2011]

They — my cousin’s kids — have to come to terms with that, have to figure out why their dad did what he did so that their own lives had to change so greatly. Shit, I’m still trying to figure my old man out–the divorce, but also his character. Maybe it’s all funneled thru the divorce question: what made him the way he was so that he would do what he did? Or maybe it’s sappy to think it’s only the divorce I see as the frame. It’s everything: his jobs, his depression, his basic unknowability.  [Page 164, Sun. 26 June 2011]

I was over at the house, packing canned food into bags and wiping the brown rings of what seemed to be–by deduction–sauerkraut juice from a can that had a pestilential-looking greenish bubbly rupture — botulism? Some nasty thing that indicates it wasn’t processed properly. [Page 164, Sun. 26 June 2011]

Sometimes I like to write down the words I hear, and I’m fascinated by the transition from vocalization to marks on page. But today, that doesn’t necessarily seem to fascinate me. That’s OK, too. I mean, sometimes, I think that these expressions of my soul–these writing sessions–have a a certain value in themselves, a scream from the void, as it were–a sign I existed. I’m not sure that that matters, either, really. After all, only other people can make sense of these things (and that’s only if they can figure out my handwriting), and each person’s interpretation of this text might vary, anyway. [Page 32, Thurs. 9 June 2011]

You don’t think of others as dumb just because they haven’t thought of the things you’ve thought of. Anybody over 30 — well, most people over 30 — are fairly competent. So you can think of yourself at 30 as competent, too — not lacking or callow, as you tend to think. [Page 209, Sat. 2 July 2011]

I found this note [see note contents in paragraph below] someplace while cleaning and moving. I’m not sure the date of this note … I’d guess last 4-5 years. But somehow it seems neat to find ideas I had written down before. These ideas don’t seem so special at the time I write them — they’re simply “what I’m thinking now.” But then, later, they seem interesting. [Page 209, Sat. 2 July 2011]

What do you take seriously? My daily journals. Life is serious, naturally, but also joyful, playful. [Page 209, Sat. 2 July 2011]

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