Bault (right door) & Popay (left door).
January 13, 2019
71 rue Oberkampf,
“Despair came over her, as it will when nobody around has any sexual relevance to you.” — Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“Books and all forms of writing have always been objects of terror to those who seek to suppress truth.” — Wole Soyinka, The Man Died
“Death calls with the arrogance of a guest confident of receiving a warm welcome at any time, no questions asked.” — Nuruddin Farah, Hiding in Plain Sight
Name? Samuel, Ess to my friends. But you’re not asking for my nickname. By the way, did you know that nickname comes from ekename? The n moved from the an to the noun. An ekename became a nickname. And ekename means additional name but when I was young I only looked at the first meaning of eke, to use sparingly, and decided if Sam is short for Samuel then S is even shorter, so I told everybody my nickname is Ess. But you don’t need to know all that do you? Samuel. My name is Samuel. Samuel Brooks. Of the Vermont Brookses, as my Grandmother used to say.
Occupation? That’s a good question. I’m not saying that just because I don’t know how to answer it. I mean it’s better than asking for a profession. It’s inclusive. It doesn’t embarrass the people without jobs. There isn’t a good way to say without a profession in English. Or is there? I don’t really know. The French say sans profession. There’s nothing fancy about it. I mean it is literal. It sounds better. Oh, I don’t mean because it’s in French. The words go well together. They rhyme. Anyhow, you were asking for my occupation and I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s not that I do nothing. I am very busy. I spend a lot of time learning things. You see, I wanted to be an intellectual when I grew up then I learned it wasn’t a profession. I didn’t let that stop me. But I don’t really know what an intellectual does so I don’t know if I am one. I spend a lot of time thinking but is that intellectualizing? And I get easily distracted. Or I start chasing an idea. Like when I signed up to a dating site. The book said I had to make my profile interesting so I said my hobby was nude skydiving. The next chapter said I had to be authentic. Do you know how hard it is to find a place where you can skydive naked? Well I didn’t. It took me two months. And then they wouldn’t let me join the club. They said they only accepted experienced skydivers. Ones who knew how to control where they landed. I mean, can you imagine messing up a dive and landing in a schoolyard during recess? Trying to take up nude skydiving as a hobby is more complicated than you would imagine. Or, at least more complicated than I had imagined. Anyhow, occupation, yes. That is how spend my time. I read. Then one thing leads to another which leads to another. I read a story about Japanese singer who went to Argentina and became a cowboy. But I never made it to the pampas. It wasn’t the right season, or something like that. I never did find out because while I was in Buenos Aires looking for a cattle drive, I read a book about a guy who became a champion tango dancer. When I think about it, and I spend a lot of time thinking, it’s amazing that I didn’t find another interest while learning to skydive. It’s probably because of all the hurdles. I didn’t have the time to get bored. Anyhow, this is how I spend my time. My parents still want me to get a job. Anything. As long as it is a job. But my Grandmother said I had a right to follow my passion so that is what I do. I am a passion chaser. But that’s not an occupation is it? Just like intellectual. I don’t understand why. These are things people do full time. Why can’t they be occupations?
What am I doing here? Some people say I’m crazy. What do you think? Do I belong here?
“Money can’t buy happiness, but it lets you look for it in a lot more places.” — Earl Wilson, “It Happened Last Night,” New York Post (1958-10-17)