Near our house here in Leucadia there is a nice park. My daughter loves to spend time there on a sunny day, much like today, swinging back and forth. She knows how to swing by herself, but my arms are much preferred for a higher, more exciting round of pendulous cruising. So, when she asks me to go to the park, sometimes I’ll go in the hopes that I can sit at one of the picnic tables and write in one of the few journals I have. I’ve bought a couple basically useless keys to dreams for the expressed purpose of jump-starting my autobiography because, y’know, I’m really that interesting.

Recently, however, I received one as a gift from my mother-in-law. No, it didn’t have poison or anthrax agent in it; mostly it just smelled like a light patchouli. Mind you, I have only half of another journal filled with a myriad of quotes from authors I’ve enjoyed in the past. I think the last time I recorded any lines from a literary work was sometime in 2004. I’m not exactly sure why I stopped scribing these words I found inspiration in, but I’m sure that it was somehow rooted in the everyday business of bullshit running. I’m easily distracted by noise and disturbances. Growing up in a virtually silent household as mine was, there was never a steady stream of sounds to force my instincts into adaptation. My parents, however, were very loud when they did a handful of things such as closing the microwave door, shelving pots and pans, coughing (as my father did so often, with such gusto, during mass), sneezing (ditto with the dad), as well as a few more mundane actions we hearing folk take for quiet granted (if you didn’t already know for some reason, I am the lone ears in my entirely deaf family). Since I can’t write at home so often because I am plagued by noise from kids, an extremely gregarious wife, the freaking television, and whatever other chaos may come my way during the evening (at this moment I am listening to music through headphones…a steady stream of music I want to hear can keep my attention in focus), I try to find other venues to get my writing mojo on. I think a MacBook pro would solve the issue.

So, yeah, the journal: I started writing in it today when my daughter felt that she could swing herself high enough to get butterfly gut. I thought, “Sweet! I can sit in the sun, take in the chilled air, ingest nature and make like Thoreau.” Yeah, not so much. I get trapped in this block where I cannot express myself on paper with the articulation that I want or that is required to be even bullshit writing. What I wrote today…

See, I was just interrupted with the question, “What can I have for a snack, Daddy, that’s healthy but not fruity.” I think she’s eyeing my hazelnut mocha. I told her to get a fruit cup and I was met with a response as if I’d suggested she eat some raw kale.

…okay, what I wrote today was utter shite. I started off with the God crap again. This is really making me tired. I think I’m done trying to figure this out, but it won’t leave. Somehow, some way there is a method to breaking this madness. I feel like I’ve been drawn into this war that didn’t exist and now I’m a battle wounded nutty casualty with PTSD and a bum leg. I scribbled some shit down over two pages and ended it with the line, “This is all bullshit.” I don’t think I meant to end it there, but the swinging daughter wanted to reach higher into the sky. Of course, I obliged her.

The God block is on. It is with a certain amount of difficulty that I put pen to paper, obviously. What the fuck am I supposed to write? Is my life any more interesting than anyone else’s? Most likely not. I have the same worries as everyone else. Am I going to make rent tomorrow? Shit, is the electricity going to be paid today? How are those SoCal moms in the park making all the dough required to live in their nice, $1m plus homes? I know they ain’t no hookas. Well, unless they’re very discreet expensive call girls. What do their husbands do that they can own houses like that? I know they’re not that old…Christ, I’m going to be 35 this year and I have the clothes on my back and a couple other belongings to speak of. Our car is missing a hub cap, is dented, has the “Check Engine” light blaring, and is closing in on 200k miles. If it dies for some reason, we wouldn’t have the resources to bring it back to life and we’d have to hitch it. How do people do it? How the fuck do they make it in America?

Oh, that’s right, mostly they make it by fucking other people.

I mean, how do people make and maintain a set of decent ethics in America? Or, even better, how do Americans make it and not neglect their kids? Because that is something I will not compromise. Fuck. Life is hard and for some reason I can’t articulate myself well enough (judging myself, of course…the black book isn’t for public viewing) to make it not hard.

Can someone shake their wand at me and make me write?

Don’t you wish it was that easy? I do. But then, at the same time, I don’t. The black book is rather a symbolic character. It’s black. It’s bleak. And I can’t do shit with it.

Kind of like America.