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Ninety-Nine & A Grand

February 7, 2014


Well, of course, eventually — and ‘eventually’ can come pretty damn soon — you start to have doubts. You wonder if you can do it. You wonder if you can do it well. You wonder if it was ever worth doing in the first place. You made a rash declaration, that you were going to do something. You enjoyed the glow of your anticipated accomplishment, a reflected glory from the future which you enjoyed in the present, the present in which you had done nothing. Now that future has arrived and become the present, the doing must be done, and instead of drawing credit from your future you are paying the debts incurred by your past. Such is life. 

So now you find yourself stuck having to write something every day about the project of someone else who made his own rash declaration. And maybe he is feeling the same doubts about his own — arguably more demanding — commitment. Maybe he too is finding that he had underestimated the difficulties of his chosen path. That his ambitions for the project, whatever they are, are starting to look as fantastical as your own: that you get a screenwriting credit for Far Off and All Aflame: Pushing Against the Real: The Movie, that this gains you Writers Guild of America health insurance (is dental too much to hope for?), the love of a good woman, and an altogether less desperate future. Maybe he also wonders if the world really wants what he has to offer, and if he really wants to offer it.

And you both ask the same question: What did I get myself into?     

Only managed a drive-by today at 3:00 PM. Again Anthony sat at his desk, typing. Again alone, behind glass.

–“Restivo Watch Day 3: Doubts” (2/7/11)

This is flummoxing response; it is written in the second person, what do you do with that? You know that with any project like this there has to be one experiment with the second person, and one is manageable, one is okay. But never more than one. The sentiment expressed here was feigned, the author was actually quite pleased at this point to have gotten himself into what he had gotten himself into. I suppose it was just a follow-up to the joke about boredom setting in on the first day. I managed to do this one on the clock, earning money while I sat and wrote it, just because of the location at which I was sitting, and the fact that there were various things that could have happened that, had they happened, I would have been the one to do something about them. But they didn’t, and I was left in peace to write my email. It was a good job that way. I am currently looking for another job like it, if anyone knows about one. If you don’t get much pay for a job like that, at least you don’t have to do much to earn it. To be paid for just being there. It is a beautiful notion, almost aristocratic, almost holy.


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