03 May 2004

Goruden Uiku

Hello, everyone. Here in Japan we are celebrating a week of holidays known as Golden Week (in Japanese “Goluden Uiku”). Unfortunately, the weather is not co-operating and it has not stopped raining since yesterday afternoon. This pins Steve-o down in the apartment as he has no money to take the train anywhere. So he’s been reading Richard Yates.

Richard Yates is best read when it’s raining, though if you’re not careful, you can get pretty depressed. For those of you who have read _Revolutionary Road_ (the best post-modern novel if you don’t count _Gravity’s Rainbow_), you know what I’m talking about. More or less, Yates’ characters stumble around in a drunken stupor arguing with one another. This, unfortunately, is an accurate description of Richard Yates’ life as well.

Anyway, at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Yates was a mentor of Robin Metz who I like to think of as one of my mentors. Yates really rubbed off on Robin as Robin is a kind of Richard Yates II without the novel. Given that I’m sort of in this “line” of writers, I’m wondering I’m doomed to several marriages of varying success and a life of alcoholism. I hope the brilliant novel just skips a generation.

I am working on a short story, but it is neither about alcoholism or California.

Okay, it stopped raining.

I added a module on the side of my site with quotes from stuff I’m reading. The first one was from Bell Hooks about Black racism and White supremacy. Read _Black Looks_. Enough said. Now, please note the Yates’ quote. Although I myself prefer the more celibate lifestyle and imagine that sexual intercourse outside the confines of a loving, monogamous, marriage relationship only incurs the wrath of the Almighty, I like this quote a whole lot.

Speaking of sex (well, not sex exactly, but just Steve-o/ female relations in general which I assure you don’t involve sex), several things of note: 1- (from an e-mail to Tom Bazan) There was this girl at the grocery store yesterday, bagging. Sweet moses. We made eye-contact like six times in the five minutes I wandered around the store. I wanted to say so badly in Japanese, “If you weren’t Buddhist and you spoke English, I would like to go for a walk with you sometime.” 2- Additionally, I had a dream about a girl. We talked for a while and I fell asleep. It was very nice.

I don't think I'll ever see the girl in the grocery store again. If I did, the best I could do is: “You’re Buddhist and you can’t speak English. I want to walk with you.”

It's raining again.

Endnote 1: I watched _Jackass: The Movie_ last night. Oh man. I don't think there are a lot of things funnier than Johnny Knoxville asking Dave England: "Is this the worst you've ever had to go boom-boom?"