The Miscellany of Stewart McCoy

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I love sleep

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they would go without sleep if they could, that it’s a waste of time. I would never forgo sleep. I love the ritual and everything surrounding bedtime. I love brushing my teeth. Snuggling under the sheets. Getting bedhead. Fluffing pillows. Staring at the ceiling as I drift into dreamland. Falling to sleep next to somebody I love. I. Love. Sleep.

Business as usual »

I sipped on the picnic-plastic cup of my Maker’s and Coke as we passed the dance floor on the way to the men’s room. One of my wingmen for the night asks “You fuck with blow?”

All this to avoid going back out into the crowd, vulnerable, without a Flight Crew, and lots of Mig Ryans and Penelope Cruises performing lines, loops, rolls, spins, and hammerheads in a faded effort to avoid all the Ice Men in the spot.

“I don’t usually pick up black people,” he says. “They’re really mean.”

Wing Two is black.

 I agreed with him throughout his monologue, peppering my replies with an occasional “insha’Allah”. It slips in so easily, I don’t know whether he’s absorbed into his monologue and simply doesn’t hear me, or whether he must be incredibly offended that a yuppy-ish Christian-sympathizing white boy would affect such a pretense. 

Fast forward.

It’s 9:43 a.m. I get a text: “Just leaving o girl place . Were they in the club”.

Smashed. It’s a new term for me.

I lay in bed, hungover, ruminating. ‘This is not the life my father led.”

Most blogs are just collections of content archived by date. Better blogs are those curated by topics that expose content and its purpose.

Frank Chimero on 'Tweeting and Writing and Deflating Like a Balloon' »

Chris Shiflett says we should blog more. Yes, absolutely. It’s about time someone tooted the horn about the vacant space. Three cheers for Chris.

Why blogs? Well, I suppose the more accurate question is “Why write?” Chris says that tweeting has largely supplanted his blog, and suspects it is the same for many others. This is a shame. It is not necessarily because Twitter is bad, but rather because most of us use it while immersed in things. Going here. Eating there. Talking with you now. I am in it, and we are submerged together mid-stride. We are wrapped up tight, swaddled in the same distractionary cloth listening to the cacophony of calls and songs. Hear them chirp? It’s deafening. Tweet, toot; hyonk honk. “We are so damn close to our own lives,” they say.

Writing 140 characters is difficult if one is trying to say something with poignancy. It’s hard to tell the truth in a tiny box, because the truth is so big and round and gray. Most things I write are crude and awkward, overly unrelenting, not capable of holding the necessary nuance for a confession or an insight. One can’t go too deep in a stunted format. But still, it kind of feels like writing because my fingers are flying, there is that sound of the keyboard, that row of letters getting longer, that momentum of the cursor pushing right. But, it’s not the same as lengthier writing, because it doesn’t necessarily take us anywhere.

Lengthier writing is hard, because it requires one to commit to it. One must be alone. One can not write in a group. One must step away, shut off the world. What do I think? How do I feel? What is this itch? How can I scratch it? Why am I so sad? Why did this make me happy? What’s it like being a father? Why did that project work? What did I learn?

Really writing forces us to lock the words into whatever contraption is being used to write. I like typewriters because it’s hard to take out the paper and crumple it up while writing. The easiest movement is FORWARD. Typewriters are momentum machines. Real writing pushes forward. Tweets push in every direction at once. These are not value judgements, these are just some observations.

Chris is calling his effort to blog more this month the “Ideas of March.” I think this is a noble name, but it mispaints writing as it usually is mispainted: as a documentation of answers rather than as an unearthing of deeply buried insight. Good writing experiences are self-discovery. Each word pulls back the veil a little more.

Writing is chasing a question—an inquiry of the mind. Forward is better than every direction at once. It’s not really writing until you feel something; until you choke up at a thought, until you start fidgeting in your seat in excitement, until you feel the twinge of pain that happens when a thorn is pulled out of your side. Go back. Delete everything before you started fidgeting or crying or deflating like a balloon. Then, write some more.

Go write.