I’ve been reading Frederick Bartheleme’s collection Moon Deluxe this week. It’s good. It’s mostly about a guy thinking about girls.
Thre’s one story (‘Pool Lights’) that has the protagonist working on a project. It reminds me of how I’m feeling with my PhD a bit. Here is part of it:
At midnight Friday you go into the small living-dining room and click on the overhead light. There, in neat low stacks along three walls, is the summer project: piles of Time, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Money, Road & Track, Stereo Review, American Photographer, Skin Diver, and Vogue. All from American Educational Services at a terrific discount. When they started piling up unread, they became a collection. After better than a year, the subscriptions got cancelled. And after two moves–one across country, one across town, the project was born: maybe save an article or two, a peculiar picture, a curious headline, and toss the rest. Reading every word seemed at first a possibility, but finally the idea was exhausting.
The project isn’t far along.
The project isn’t really mentioned in the rest of the story. I think it gives the guy an aimless quality. I empathise with this. Am I meant to like him? Suburban drift. Using disconnection from the materials of a culture to show existential disconnection? A plenitude of potential sources. A practical difficulty in navigating/negotiating these.
I need to get back to my project. I am in the library. I am logging off from Facebook. I am logging off from Twitter. I am posting this to Tumblr and then looking at the window with my current chapter in it.