LETTER FOURTEEN

Friday, February 19, 2016
A Pub At 110th and Broadway (12:35PM)

AHOY AHAB!

Screw you! Here I am freezing my goddamn balls off in my jankety old house and you’re living my dream in a cabin in the woods. I know you know that the scene you described is my own personal heaven.

Seriously though, I really enjoyed your last letter. It was lovely and made me incredibly jealous. All I want in this life is to be happy and to have a woodstove.

You know I’ve never been skiing? I do own a pair of snowshoes though, so I feel like that more than earns me some Canadian clout. I’d love to go though. One of these days.

So you want to know my daily routine? I’ve always found it funny how interesting other people’s routines are. I think it makes us feel close to people, knowing the minutia of their lives. I read an article on once Joan Didion’s packing list for short trips. I loved it! I had her list (with some small changes) printed out and taped to the inside of my closet door back in Toronto.

I hate to let you down, but my daily routine is very dull: I wake up between 7am and 9am, depending on the day. I have a few cups of coffee. I make my bed. Hotel corners and everything. I eat breakfast. If I have class, I go to class; if not, I usually try to get something productive done in the morning, because I find it way harder to work after 4pm. I eat lunch around 1pm. I eat again around 5pm. I go to the gym at night, fairly late, after the crowds have cleared out. Any time after 7:30pm. (Sometimes I go in the morning, if I’m up really early). I usually eat one last time when I get home, because I’m a growing boy. I get the coffee ready for the next day and set the timer on the coffee-machine so it turns on automatically when I wake up. I go to bed. I go grocery shopping a couple of times a week, and on days when I have nothing to do—or when I’m trying to avoid what I should be doing—I go for long walks around the city, or I cook. I do laundry on Sunday, and Wednesday night I’m usually up late finishing my work for my Thursday morning class.

That’s it, the basic structure of my life at the moment. It’ll change soon as classes finish, maybe sooner, but for now this is me.

Today—Friday I have no class—I got up early and made a good breakfast. A pile of crepes and sausage. I’ve got that Great American Novel to work on, so I thought I’d chip away at that. And yet it’s lunchtime and I find myself at a bar uptown, youngest person here by at least thirty-years, day-drinking and writing you. That novel will get finished eventually…

 

H

 

One last thing. You hit on something that is a constant frustration of mine. That idea of planning how you are going to experience and then describe a thing before you actually experience it. I worry about that all the time! Am I living the way I live just so I can have a story to tell? What is it like to genuinely experience something without always being conscious of how you might want to recreate that experience? I think that’s the price we pay as creative people. I think maybe we’re doomed to live our lives always a little detached, always watching. (Or maybe that’s just something “Creative Types” say to make themselves feel tragic). You can’t think about it too long, otherwise you quit everything and more to a small town and open a little autobody shop and never write another word as long as you live.