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Archive for September 21st, 2009

Trache day: Thinking about Tender Branson

September 21st, 2009 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, I’m waiting to go for my usual fresh trache. I’m thinking about Tender Branson just now, he’s a character from Survivor, my favorite novel. Survivor is the best thing Chuck Palahniuk’s ever written, and it’s the book that showed me the way that I write today. New artists just learning their craft tend to copy other artists who’ve mastered their craft. Eventually, that copying evolves into something unique, it stops being a copy and becomes something new. I like to hope that that’s happening with what I learned from Survivor. I hope that Palahniuk’s voice is mixing with the voice in my head to create something new. I’ve been influenced by lots of books, I’m always finding inspiration from other writers, but Palahniuk’s Survivor is my foundation. Anyway, back to Tender Branson.

Tender’s sitting in the the cockpit of a hijacked 747 cruising at 39,000 feet. He’s up there alone, telling his life story to the plane’s flight data recorder, particularly the astonishingly fucked up year leading to his being alone in the cockpit of a hijacked 747. He’s up there knowing he has about seven hours to tell his story until the plane runs out of fuel, then he’ll crash, and die. He says, “The sky is blue and righteous in every direction. The sun is total and burning and just right there in front. We’re on top of the clouds, and this is a beautiful day forever.” He says, “Just for the record, how I feel right now is very terrific.”

I don’t want to die in a plane crash, or getting my trache changed, but I’d love to feel the sort of clarity that Tender feels up in that cockpit. I’d love to wake up with a fresh trache and know what the next seven hours will bring. Part of me would even like to know that this is my last trache change, and that would be that. I could sit for a few hours and write something about me that’s perfect and final. Given the last few years, a little certainty would be nice. I’ve had so many things that seemed absolutely certain go absolutely wrong, it’s difficult to trust in anything save for the idea that nothing is certain aside from death.

I’m swimming in, sometimes drowning in so much grey area. I wish that a few things would get clear. It’s so hard to write when everything that means anything is grey, everything that means anything important.