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Tuesday January 09, 2001, 01:42

I want to listen to something because it is too quiet in my room, but I want to listen to something that does not have any words, because I still get too distracted when there are words coming into my head when I am trying to concentrate on making words of my own. Or rather, I get distracted putting together my words when somebody else has already done all the work for me.

The portable compact disc player that I use as my primary compact disc player because I am, and have always been, too cheap to purchase an actual compact disc player as part of a component system that I am also too cheap to purchase has just tracked back to its resting position and the room is silent. The snow is falling softly and leaving a covering of the driveway which is making the world quieter still. My sister has blown through the house announcing her intention to go to sleep and again, the house is quieter even still. There may be noises coming from my parents' room, but my door is shut, so I could be mistaken.

I am walking a fine line between wanting silence and not being able to handle a world without noise.

I place a compact disc in the portable contact disc player and shut the lid. The device makes a whirring noise as it begins to play the disc and I watch the spinning piece of plastic in the plastic window in the lid. Music begins to play out of the speakers that were intended for use with a computer system but have subsequently taken the role of personal audio system for my bedroom which is conspicuously without a complete audio system.

I sit down at my desk and realize that this momentary distraction has not removed me significantly from the current situation which is simply that I still have no words to string together, despite the lack of music containing words. Indeed, the music that is now playing is an instrumental arrangement, perhaps cellos and violins (to my untrained ear), and nothing at all resembling words. This means that I can not blame my current situation on the environment in which I am attempting this exercise and must instead turn inward and determine exactly what it is that is preventing me from stringing words together in a manner that is both poignant and meaningful (though perhaps I would simply settle for pretty and unpretentious, or even, in the not-so-common vernacular, "not sucky").

I examine my hands in the hopes that they will provide clues as to the current situation in which I find myself. The knuckles are beginning to heal from the battle wounds of the day's exploration in the theatrical arts. This day I found myself in a dark and rather cold theatre, ascending and descending ladders, pockets laden with tools, as I worked for the sheer love of being involved in the creating. I would later reflect on the day and realize that the involvement that I had in the actual creation of art was very small and that I was working for my friend who had requested my assistance and whose underwear always peeks out above the waist-band of her jeans and who I could not very well refuse, for reasons that are wholly unrelated to that fact.

It occurs to me, finally, and with little use of literary device, that I am completely unfocused (and even now wonder if that should be hyphenated, and decided against it, for fear of using arrow keys to navigate this document). I have wanted to be unfocused (and I think about the structure of the word once again) for quite some time now, having had the opportunity to be at two jobs that required me to be quite focused at a task at hand, whatever that task happened to be at the time. But the task was always delegated by some superior who would then, periodically, inquire as to the status of said task. After realizing that all of these such tasks were ones in which I had no personal interest, I had decided (as irrational people often do) that the answer was to turn completely around and become as unfocused as possible.

It is in that situation that I currently find myself stranded, being unfocused enough that I can not focus on any one particular task with which to extract myself from this, dare I say, quagmire of unfocused energy. This too is not entirely accurate as it must be said that I am currently completely focused on not being focused. It has, however, gotten to the situation where I can no longer remember what it is like to be unfocused, having not been in that particular state for quite some time.

Conclusion: Kronos Quartet is lovely music to listen to while writing.

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