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Thursday August 10, 2000, 02:57

All I really want right now is to sit at home every day and work on things that won't make me any money. Which isn't to say that I don't want to make any money, because money isn't really the issue. I'm not saying that I have a problem with money, or that I'm denouncing money, but more that the things that I happen to like don't make any money, or at least don't make any money now and I, having not so keen of a business sense, am not going to make these things make any money.

The other thing is that when I say "home" (as in "sit at home") I don't think I actually mean here, because here is a place in the middle of a city that I don't really like too much with only a few friends that I do really like and some of those people are moving away which will leave fewer people here for me to hang out with. Not that I actually take the time to hang out with any of the people that I say I want to hang out with because we all work all the time and by the time we are done working I am so lazy that all I want to do is come home and watch television.

Which is a problem because while I have a television, there is no wire connecting my television to the wall which means that there is no way for me to make anything compelling come onto the television. It is also a problem because of the electricity problem in my apartment which I could get into right here because I know about such things (electricity things, to an extent) but won't because electricity is boring. The important part to realize is that I am afraid of turning on my television because I am afraid that when I turn on my television all of the electricity in my apartment will go off (or, in other words, I will blow a fuse). Every time I turn on my television I hold my breath as I press the button waiting to see whether I will find myself in the presence of the snow that accompanies my turning on the television that is not connected to anything that will give me a picture on my televsion, or if I will end up like a chump in the dark at which point I will have to find my shoes and go to the basement to turn my electricity back on.

The other problem with the television is that I never really want to watch it anyway. Except for tonight. Tonight I was practically begging to watch television. And, in fact, I did end up watching a lot of television at a friend's house, not so much because I really wanted to watch whatever it was that was on the television (though I did really want to watch whatever it was that I was watching) but, in fact, because I really wanted to escape from the rest of my life, and for that, television is perfect. However, it is a rare day when I want to escape so badly from my life.

No, most days I come home and sit on my couch and look at the television and momentarily lament the fact that there is no wire connecting my television to anything that could make it more interesting to me, and then set to work doing something more interesting with myself. This usually involves the computer which is better is some ways but worse in others, than my television. When I am spending time on the computer I can convince myself that I am doing something important that I am enriching my life with the act of using the computer. That, because I am interacting with the machine, I am enhancing my mind, similar to drinking one of those new-age fruit juices. Most of the time this is a load of bunk and what I am really doing is ruining my eyes and rotting my brain. Television makes none of these pretenses. When I am sitting down eating Triscuits and drinking a glass of Coke (not Diet, mind you) I know that I am getting fat and that my brain is turning to pudding.

There is one good thing that comes out of my time on the computer, and that is the ability for my to produce all of these words. Also, pornography. But mostly I like to write, and when I am on the computer I tend to write. However, I feel that the writing too could be construed as a bad thing. This is not often a problem when I am in the confines of my own home but rather when I leave my home and am placed in a situation where I am forced to interact with other people. When these situations arise I find myself, rather than interacting with them like a normal person, thinking about the words that I will later use to write about the encounter. This gives me an air of detachment and tends to make people think that I am mean and have an attitude. This is not untrue, but people pick up on these traits for the wrong reasons.

At a funeral yesterday, as I stood in the room watching my family members cry over the loss of a loved one, I could not help but think about how I was going to write about the experience. Realizing that it would be in fairly poor taste to do so, I stopped myself and focused instead on not crying. It seemed very important to me, at the time, to not cry. So I did not. Though when I looked up to see my father standing over the coffin, his hands planted on the lid, his head bowed down with his eyes closed, it was all I could do to keep from bawling. But I didn't. I just stood there, like I thought I should, and watched him. And as he walked away I put my arm around his shoulder, like I thought I should.

I'm pretty sure I did the right thing.

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