Perfect Day, Infinite Gist, part 1: Bus, Station, Weed, Whacker…

Greyhound Buses: main line in the US

Greyhound Bus: US main line

1100 Hours: I am sitting in the Greyhound bus station in Tucson, Arizona. I walked here from my house a mile or so (two km) away. I plan to go hang with my wife in LA, if I can only get away, get all my ducks in a row, get everybody on the same page, then just take off; but there is no bus with seats available today Sunday, or so they say. So I get online—in the bus station, mind you—and find one: six hours from now, a bus apparently hidden down an Internet worm hole…

This is not the same Greyhound bus station that serves as my first memory of Tucson, more than a decade ago. That one was smack downtown, where University of Arizona housing now sits—stands? Tucson is changing. A guy who looked like Randy Quaid once hit me here—for no reason—just whacked me on the shoulder. Then he just kept walking like nothing even happened. So did I. I just now realized that it might actually have been Randy Quaid…

Lonely outpost in the city of Tucson

Lonely outpost in the city of Tucson

The bus station has WiFi, just like everything everywhere now. Even retired rednecks need WiFi. Old folks need it special. Facebook changed everything. Social media is like junk; so is travel. You feel guilty for liking it, and make excuses for why you spend so much time at it. You protest too much, then slink off tail-tucked, and go use it some more…

I am finally reading David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’. I pretend not to like it, but really I do. Why didn’t I think of this? Writing about nothing! Now there’s a concept (though I doubt he ever gave Seinfeld credit, any more than I’d give him)! I checked out the e-book from my local library without having an idea how to return it. Why is there a limit on digital media anyway? It should be infinite! I guess they’re still emulating the physical world so as not to frighten anyone. I guess that’s why the pages move side to side, instead of up and down…

I am a junkie, hooked on travel—and caffeine. I need at least 400 mg to make it through the day coherently and suitably inspired. I’m inspired right now, even, but I owe none of that to David Foster Wallace. He’s just doing what I would’ve done if I’d been born to exactly the same mother and exactly the same father with exactly the same DNA: no big deal…

Product DetailsNow he’s in the Year of the Trial-size Dove bars, of special interest to all—yeah, right. I’d like to add some genuine content to all that paradigmatic form. Ha! What arrogance on my part, BUT… the world DOES consist of more than spooge and wens and verbal sleights-of-hand, after all. That should be a Jeopardy category, if it’s not, something like before-and-after homophonia, but homophobes would probably be aghast. Homosexuals might also be, but they probably wouldn’t say so. They tend to be smarter than homophobes. Wallace liked Jeopardy…

Scuttlebutt is that he liked getting stoned, too, not unlike many of us. Yeah, I’ve smoked a little weed, but I’ve never done anything like Foster’s Jest character, holing himself up in a dark apartment, drawing the blinds, and ordering up some stuff, and proceeding to smoke myself into oblivion for the next few days or weeks, until the bag is spent or the money is gone or the brain cells are too confused to know the difference.

Early Greyhound Millennial

Late Greyhound Millennial

For me getting stoned was never anything like that, and that’s the main reason I don’t do it anymore. It’s too strong. I liked to interact with it, not go to sleep with it, though that might be more typical of the later phase of usage than the initial flirtation and excitement. Remember how when you used to get stoned, and write, write, write, then you go back afterward and read it and it’s total gibberish?

That trance-like state is my method and inspiration, except for a couple of minor differences—I don’t get stoned anymore and the work might actually be good—some day, anyway; I can feel it. There’s a book in me somewhere. But I’m not a sculptor creating something out of wet clay nothingness. I’m a sculptor in stone, steadily chipping away to reveal what is already within.  And it has nothing to do with David Foster Wallace and his supposed prowess with a pen and vestigial virtuosity with a tennis racket–no way… (to be continued)…

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