Last night in Bushwick as I watched couples at witching hour Chris was all pissy because I wouldn’t have a drink with him. I was already drunk, pleasurably slurring. And he turned to me and started talking about how painting gives him freedom, like 1 mm of freedom, and how that 1 mm is enough. And in a drunken attempt to relate I said I write because I want to be remembered. He got all pedagogical, “Be careful thinking like that. That’ll hold you back.” And then some drunken girl who cried at my birthday party last year because her boyfriend was leaving her came over and started talking to Chris. I was done.
But what I really meant was that I write because I have to. It is a pull in my veins. To leave something for humanity, a record of our time through mine own eyes. I write because I am in a tradition of men, thousands of years old, who have lived. And I am living like them and I have to write about it. I am a recordkeeper. Classic literature is the record. And to be the best recordkeeper I have to practice and write and know as much as I can. Then future children will read my records. They will enjoy the simplicity and the exuberant voice behind it, who even when writing about flies winding through the apartment, or the breeze on the ocean, lives and lives drunkenly.