Oh my god, I’m stuck again. A truck in the muck. A cat up a tree. An explorer in quicksand. Winnie the Pooh in the door of Rabbit’s house. Trying to birth a column and needing a Caesarean. Is there any horror worse for a writer than a deadline?
Since I don’t have a TV, I have to make do with alternative distractions. The best distraction today is the rain, a great relief in drought-stricken Northern California. I’m sitting in the dining room of the house where I rent a room with my long suffering companion Argyle C. Klopnick (his middle name is actually Cklutz; the C is silent), and trying to light my little candle against the dark. The absent landlady’s cat is slurping water out of the toilet, and the plate of pumpkins that serves as a table centerpiece seems to be leering at me.
The times are strange: last night I went to the theatre with a much younger friend (we’re at least a generation apart) who outed himself as a Trump supporter. How is this even possible? My friend? An artist, a writer, a musician, and an actor, a member of my very own chosen tribe? The times are they are a’stranging. Did you hear that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize?
Confusion reigns in my mood today: the weather is out of sorts, it’s night in the afternoon, Argyle (aka ACK!) is looking at me with a jaundiced eye that says: “You expect me to illustrate this column you’re writing?” My friend is a Trump thumper (dear god!), and I feel like my deadline is coming at me like a tidal wave. More accurately, I feel like the whole world (the election, the Nobel, the rain, my peculiarly out-of-touch friends, all of it) has gone askew. And my plans for the evening? A revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show performed in San Francisco’s mission district, once the proud home of the “Mission Burrito!” A few taquerias hang on for dear life, but the publicity email I got from the theatre tonight recommended I dine nearby at a chi chi “Tavern” (MY mission district has BARS for chrissake!) featuring “marinated olives” as a $7 appetizer, and duck confit with cranberry beans (huh?) and Brussels sprouts, around $3.
How do you punk the muse in a time and a mood like this?
As the poet says, “You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”
We are all Estragon and Didi, existential clowns standing in the rain, waiting for who knows what, doing schtick for one another for god knows why, occasionally encountering the devil.
I hate deadlines. Don’t you?
Rumpus original logo and artwork by James Lorenzato, aka Argyle C. Klopnick (ACK!).
“The Storming Bohemian Punks The Muse” was originally developed as a column under the editorship of Evan Karp at Litseen. An earlier incarnation of this work can be found there, along with many other interesting things.