I am sitting here listening to the Beasts of Bourbon's 2003 recorded (but released in 2005) live album, Low Life
. The band is crunchy and wild and on and you want this album, even if you don't know it. Get it from here. The track 'Straight, Hard and Long' is available for download, if you doubt me.
Not that any of you should doubt me, mind, cause I'm just not wrong about this shit. I don't want anyone pointing out, either, how I've gone from watching kids TV programs and their bright, autistic child designed sets, to dark, pub soaked punk rock or whatever it's called these days. I do that now so there's no need.
Still, that aside, I've entered the stage where I'm writing the conclusion for my thesis.
How do you conclude four years of your life? It seems ridiculous to sum up a novel and a dissertation with a couple of thousand words, none of which will capture what I've been through. It's not so much that I have this thesis at the end, but that for four years I found this environment that let me pretend to be a writer. Sure, it didn't give me any respect in an academic sense for it, though it appears creative writing is on the up nowadays. Jobs for me? Hope so. But for four years I got to hang round and write, and to just focus on that, and that, more than anything else, is why I did it. I don't much care for a doctorate--I didn't when I began, and I don't know. But where else would I get four years, and four years basically left on my own, to write as I pleased, and to teach it. There are a whole bunch of writers out there that will tell you that teaching creative writing sucks the life out of them, but I'm the opposite. I like the fresh minds, the newness, the way you can sort of crack their preconceptions open, and see what they come out with. Fuels me as much as them.
But that hasn't got any place in the conclusion for a dissertation. Likewise, neither does the sheer burn out I'm currently feeling in relation to the novel and academic work. I feel like putting a blank check on the front with a note that says, "Look, I'm tired of this. I hate it now. Don't make me go back." Yet, at the same time, what am I going to do once I've finished this thing? There's a huge, empty blank slate that comes at the end of March, and part of me wants to have a suggestion box at the end of the whole thing, where markers can suggest things for me to do. I suppose there are worse things than having nothing to do, and I'm fairly sure something will come up, since life is generally like that, for good or bad, but nothing that I write in this conclusion of academia will actually capture any of what I actually think I should write.
And what, exactly, would I write?
It'd probably go:
Something has come to an end. Something is over. I'm done with A Year in the City. I'm done with these thoughts. I'm just done. Judge it however you want, but understand that nothing written here comes close to explaining how I lived what I wrote. There is a despair, in the author, when he or she sits down to write about life, to capture life, to portray life--there is a despair in any of these pursuits, for prose, by its nature, fragments, separates, and breaks up that unspeakable quality that makes life lived and experienced. What you have read is an imitation of my thoughts, my life, my complete and utter desire to challenge everything I knew about myself as a writer four years ago. Like it, hate it, I don't care. It is your own experience now. Your own lived event. It is not for me anymore. I am done with those challenges. I have new ones, now.
But that would be incredible wank and not enough words, at that.