My teacher tells me that I “write well as a way to hide, as a way not to tell a real story.” Apparently my fiction sure sounds nice, but it means nothing.
This is our last conversation for the term- spoken over the most recent draft I had given him of a story.
And now I’m bitter, competitive, sensitive, angry, and I also know that he’s right.
As a student who doesn’t study English, maybe I miss out on a lot of this “meaning” business: the deep philosophical mantras I’m supposed to explore, the human condition I’m supposed to uncover. Instead, I study media. I like experimental films. Maybe this makes my work feel less like a story and if I’m not telling stories, what am I writing?
I have this thought that I can’t avoid, that every time in class when we get into something so meaningful and deep, I just think– construct. The whole world is bullshit. We make up stuff to explain other stuff, when everything actually just kind of is. Human beings are smart, but we’re not evolved and we’re not any better, if anything were worse off, than nature. This could just a young, immature perspective, which I’ll soon regret making public.
But it does make me think about why I’m drawn to the abstract. I think meaning develops for me in disorganization, in putting together ideas that don’t belong and meanings that don’t make sense- regularly. Sure it means nothing, but isn’t that awesome? Isn’t that exactly how life works? Or, okay, this is might just be existential rambling that does not bode well for a future career in literature.
But this also reminds me to listen to advice in some important f-bombs. One, I heard from my art teacher and I absolutely love it. He told us, as his last remark, to “question fucking everything.” Question fucking everything!
So okay, I question what my fiction writing teacher said. I question what it means, what it means for me, how I can use it, how I can subvert it. Is he just a total jerk? Is he my greatest teacher? Or do I just need to let it go already?
And the other if from my current obsession, Die Antwoord, the South African zef hip-hop group that I cannot escape. I just keep listening. My roommates are sick of me blasting it, but I don’t care. Anyway, the lines are, “I freak you the fuck out, cause I choose to be free.” And I’m down with that.
For example, I’m down with doing performance art that is absolutely bizarre. And I’m actually proud of myself for doing with weird thing, because I am always so concerned with what everybody thinks of me that even putting the word fuck in this post makes me nervous.
I don’t have a good way to end this post. I just have more questions. I don’t have a grand epiphany to share or some cathartic moment to give to you, and I’m sorry. So instead, here’s a picture I took on my trip to Dog Mountain,