July Twelfth of the Two Thousand and Seventeenth Year of the Common Era; America: Musings

I didn’t feel great when I woke up today. I think the air conditioning is getting to me. It’s not a good thing to be cooped up in a small room with the air blasting but it’s a necessity when it’s 83 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I took my time today, as I haven’t been doing recently. I think it’s because I’ve been reading this book called The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and the writing is so patient that it’s been rubbing off on me. I get like that a lot when I read or watch a good movie; it stays with me and I become part of the character, like an actor transforming into a role. The book came into my life at a perfect time, something that all great literature seems to do so often. The main character is out of work, much like me, and comments on his goings-about and thoughts as he does nothing much throughout his day. Actually, I do have a job right now but it’s on weekends so when everyone is scurrying about through the week, I wake up late and do a lot of thinking and a lot of reading. It’s a perfect job for someone who is artistically inclined like me, and I could get a lot done if I’m so inclined to do so. I tend to not want to write when I first wake up, and then the day goes by without me writing almost at all. I like distracting myself from reality because reality makes me unhappy most of the time.

The text read something like “I need $50 for your phone bill this month, I don’t want to keep reminding you of this.” It was from my mom. She pays my phone bill. I would gladly give it to her if it didn’t consist of a fourth of my total liquidity right now. I mean can’t she see I’m hard up? I’m working a lot this weekend and I’ll get some good money afterwards, but Jesus does she have to make everything so difficult?

So I ignored it and made some coffee, but I was a little upset not only because I woke up to a very annoying text, but because we ran out of cream for the coffee. It’s not that big of a deal since cream is bad for you and I’m trying to lose weight anyway. Doing this no-carb diet is tough not because it’s a diet, but because everything you eat has a ton of carbs in it. I mean, who would have thought bread, the most abundant food there is, can be so bad for you? It’s not bad if you’re not trying to lose weight, but I am. I sat down to read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle with a coffee with a little artificial sweetener, which is even worse for you on this diet, but I had no choice. I will never drink coffee black unless I’m really in dire straits.

I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoy this book. It’s the first real novel I’ve read by any Eastern writer. For some reason I have avoided Eastern literature and film because honestly it scares me. The way they think is so differently than the West I was afraid I was not going to enjoy it. It even took me a while to get into Eastern film, but after a few Kurasawa films and one by Wong Kar-wai, I realized they aren’t so different. People are just people, and as usual all the worries I had were just in my head.

The book is by an extremely popular writer by the name of Haruki Murakami. It is very confessional and very mysterious. Things happen to the guy at random, but you begin to realize that it’s actually not random at all, that there is a story forming and that everything has its reason.

I read for about two hours until I decided that three o’clock was a good time to get out of the house. Well, technically it’s not a house that I live in. I live in a two bedroom apartment with my dad and it’s very nice. We live on the top floor and I love reading by the windows and watching people walk by all the way down. The place is beautiful and it would be perfect if there weren’t so many old people and if I lived with my brother. I decided to go get my brother and eat with him, but I was still feeling woosey so I drank some flu medicine, but although it made my head feel better, now my stomach felt upset. Don’t take medicine on an empty stomach, they tell you that for a reason. I didn’t feel like my stomach was empty because last night I ate about a million wings at a bar (so much for this diet), but I guess I still needed to eat.

I got a salad at McDonald’s with balsamic dressing, which is supposedly low in carbs, and went to my mom’s house to get my brother. He was still sleeping, as I assumed he would be, so I ate alongside my mom’s annoying dogs and watched a chess video on my phone. I love my mom’s dogs but they are so annoying when food is out because we never properly disciplined them, so I put Rocco outside but he kept crying to come in so my meal wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable, even though the video was quite entertaining. It reviewed a game played by perhaps the greatest chess player of all time, Gary Kasparov, against another great young player Hikaru Nakamura a few years back. Kasparov announced he is coming out of retirement for a few blitz tournaments, which is the big news in the chess world, since he has been in retirement for some time now. It displayed that he still can play at a high level, which is good since no one wants to see the old master get annihilated. Speaking of annihilation, as I was watching the video I got a text from my cousin telling me about the press conference for the Mayweather/McGregor fight that is going to happen in a month. We all want McGregor to win because he’s Irish and he didn’t sexually assault women like Mayweather. He can also read unlike Mayweather, who straight up couldn’t read a page from Harry Potter; but I’m sorry to say that since the sport they picked to settle their beef is going to be boxing and not mixed martial arts, McGregor has no chance. I would probably bet on this fight if the odds weren’t so bad, and if I had any money.

My brother woke up and we went to this new grocery store called Fresh Thyme or something trendy like that. He got a turkey sandwich and I bought a bunch of cheese and fruit to bring to the festival I’ll be working at this weekend. I love working for this cigar shop. My boss is a family friend and everyone else there is so cool and laid back. Cigars are a cool thing to sell since there’s so much history and artistry that goes into them. I worked for my dad’s company when I got out of college. We sold fire extinguishers. Could there be anything more boring than fire extinguishers?

I got home and still felt a little sick but I wanted to write something. First I played a game of chess. It was a 3 minute, no increment, against someone from Bulgaria. I had the black pieces and I somehow delivered checkmate with like 3 seconds left in a crazy Sicilian game. Eventually I sat down to write this. I’m not too worried about its entertainment value because that’s not the point. I just wanted to get something out there. I have been working on a short story for some time, but I’ve gotten stuck, and I think it’s trash anyway. Maybe I’ll finish that and publish it sometime before the summer ends, but right now I can’t bring myself to do it.

Before I opened my word processor I decided to check Facebook. What a dumb idea. All it ever does nowadays is get me upset. It’s just a bunch of people showing off or saying something political that I could not care less about. Trump sure has proven to be a joke so far and all this Russian shit is getting entirely out of control. I don’t care what the hell happens to this idiot, all I know is that if Biden ran we wouldn’t be in this mess. Not that I like Biden, the guy is fake as fuck, but who cares, most of them are anyway and he would probably have won.

I didn’t come here to talk politics but something has been bothering me recently about a video I saw someone share which consisted of Rand Paul talking about the new healthcare reform. He stated that healthcare isn’t a right because in order for healthcare to be provided to someone that person needs to employ the services of other people. It’s a form of slavery, he said. I can’t describe how upset this made me. How could someone lack so much empathy? The worst part is that it’s not just him, it’s millions of Americans that also believe this. It’s truly sad. I don’t want to get into the fallacious reasoning he used to compose his argument because it gets pretty philosophical, but this is why I wish our government had delegates that are experts in this sort of thing. Instead of having some guy be elected because he is popular, I wish we had him elected because he were smart. Wouldn’t a government full of experts on science, economics, health, etc. be better than what we have now? I guess it’s a lot to ask for, and a tad bit Utopian.

I want to be a writer because I love stories, but now there’s much more to it. I figured out that I had a talent for it, that it’s something I could see myself doing a lot of, and I can make a difference. I was going to title my last entry “The Pen” to pay homage to the famous quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” but I ended up just keeping “The Sword” since it sounded better. As I stated before,with this post I had nothing set out to do, but as Plato once alluded, everything that exists must have a purpose. I stopped caring much about politics after the presidential election mainly because nothing was as entertaining, but I also got jaded from the whole thing again. Nothing is going to change at the rate that we want it to, especially with so many people lacking so much empathy, but perhaps it is with art that the light can be seen. It’s always been that way, the great artists of their time have always been more influential than any politician can ever be, and hopefully, without being didactic, an artist will help guide us as they always have.

— Nick